Students take over Taiwan's Legislature amid massive protests against a trade bill with China.
Student protesters stormed Taiwan's Legislative Yuan last week, overwhelming police, and have occupied it since as protests grew outside. Last night, another group of students stormed the Executive Yuan, but were removed, sometimes violently, by riot police. The Presidential Office is surrounded by barricades and police checkpoints.
The protests began after the ruling party, the Kuomintang, declared a review of a China trade pact to be concluded after months of wrangling between it and the opposition in the Legislature. The students originally wanted the review to continue, but they're now demanding that it be scrapped altogether.
posted by Poagao
on Mar 23, 2014 -
"These gargantuan Lego blocks flattened global capitalism and erased human labour from industrial history in the process; they are the perfect tool for an economic system only interested in short-term, pop-up solutions." The shipping container (previously
) an innovation
that both revolutionised global trade
and caused mass job
loss, is now being reborn as the pop-up shop
posted by mippy
on Feb 21, 2014 -
Extra Virgin Suicides
is an interactive graphic from the New York Times about the global business of counterfeit olive oil. The NYT graphic is pretty slick, too.
posted by Mad_Carew
on Jan 27, 2014 -
To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure:
Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Sep 7, 2013 -
: "About a month ago, a farmer in eastern Oregon noticed some wheat plants growing where he didn't expect them, and they didn't die when he sprayed them with Roundup." The wheat was tested and found to be genetically engineered.
"Nobody knows how this wheat got to this farm. Monsanto's last field trials in Oregon were in 2001. After all such trials, the genetically engineered crops are supposed to be completely removed. Also, nobody knows how widely this genetically engineered wheat has spread, and whether it's been in fields of wheat that were harvested for food." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Jun 1, 2013 -
The Forces Of The Next 30 Years - SF author and Mefi's Own
Charles Stross talks to students at Olin College about sci-fi, fiction, speculation, the limits of computation, thermodynamics, Moore's Law, the history of travel, employment, automation, free trade, demographics, the developing world, privacy, and climate change in trying to answer the question What Does The World Of 2043 Look Like?
posted by The Whelk
on Mar 27, 2013 -
Networks of the Hanseatic League
- The Hanseatic League was a late-medieval network of economically largely independent long-distance trade merchants which was based on trust, reputation and reciprocal relations. The informal cooperation among its members kept transactional, informational and organizational costs low, allowing the Hanse merchants to make good profits from the long-distance trade between the Baltic and the North Seas. Thanks to personal and institutional links with confederations of towns, the Hanse merchants were initially able to strengthen their international position of power. Since the late 15th century, however, the transaction costs of long-distance trade increased as a result of growing exclusivity and formalization efforts in the Hanseatic league. Moreover, changes in the European economic structure, triggered by the discovery of America, and internal conflicts ultimately led to the disintegration of the Hanseatic networks.
posted by infini
on Dec 29, 2012 -
"Honey laundering is a complex exercise
that involves several players in the honey chain from apiary to wholesaler to retailer. In the case against ALW, evidence was presented to show the use of fake country-of-origin documents for shipments, replacement of labels on Chinese containers with fraudulent ones, switching of honey containers in a third country, and even the blending of Chinese honey with glucose syrup or honey from another country."
posted by vidur
on Dec 6, 2012 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
Spanning one-ninth of the earth's circumference across three continents, the Roman Empire ruled a quarter of humanity through complex networks of political power, military domination and economic exchange. These extensive connections were sustained by premodern transportation and communication technologies that relied on energy generated by human and animal bodies, winds, and currents. Conventional maps that represent this world as it appears from space signally fail to capture the severe environmental constraints that governed the flows of people, goods and information. Cost, rather than distance, is the principal determinant of connectivity. For the first time, ORBIS allows us to express Roman communication costs in terms of both time and expense. By simulating movement along the principal routes of the Roman road network, the main navigable rivers, and hundreds of sea routes in the Mediterranean, Black Sea and coastal Atlantic, this interactive model reconstructs the duration and financial cost of travel in antiquity.
posted by Blasdelb
on May 11, 2012 -
Troy Tate and The Smiths: The Not Poor Recordings
. The Smiths were first produced by Troy Tate and the bootlegs have been rather bootleggy as it were. These are one step removed from the master recordings and don't sound quite so hollow... Includes an apparently unheard version of Accept Yourself as a bonus.
posted by juiceCake
on May 4, 2011 -
, premier of China, is in the middle of his first state visit to the US, whose pomp and circumstance reflects China's growing economic stature and role in world affairs. Due to the linguistic and political differences between the US and China, few Americans know very much about Hu. Many of them will have had their first real look at him during an extended and surprisngly candid joint press conference
held with President Obama and lasting well over an hour - something which never happens in China. Fears (or possibly hopes) of a trade war between the US and China a year ago
have faded, and instead a trade deal involving $45 billion of American exports was announced, to mixed reactions
. He was received less kindly
by Congress, whose members expressed disquiet about everything from trade deficits to human rights and whose leaders declined
to discuss matters over dinner - perhaps because they did not wish to be lost in the high-powered crowd of attendees. [more inside]
posted by anigbrowl
on Jan 20, 2011 -
Yummy avocados. So delicious...so contentious...and at times...so expensive. Why have prices in the U.S., particularly California, been so high? And why have they dropped? Weather and a bad crop? Or are the causes often more insidious? A one act play
sums up one perspective on the situation. [more inside]
posted by thisperon
on Feb 23, 2010 -
The Seljuk Han in Anatolia
has tons of information about and pictures of the caravanserai, inns for caravans, built by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in what is now Turkey. The Seljuk caravanserai, called hans, were a vital resource for trade from the middle ages to recent times. The website, by Katherine Branning
, explains what a han is
, their origins
, their function in trade
, what life there was like
and much more. The site also features 39 individual hans, such as the Kadin Han
, now a furniture store, Dibi Delik Han
, which is undergoing restoration, Zazadin Han
, which has been restored already, and the spectacular Sultan Han Kayseri
. For an academic survey of Seljuk hans, here's Ayşıl Tükel Yavuz'
The concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais [pdf, automatic download]
posted by Kattullus
on Jan 8, 2010 -