The ruins of empire: Asia's emergence from western imperialism Moreover, a narcissistic history – one obsessed with western ideals, achievements, failures and challenges – can only retard a useful understanding of the world today. For most people in Europe and America, the history of the present is still largely defined by victories in the second world war and the long standoff with Soviet communism, even though the central event of the modern era, for a majority of the world's population, is the intellectual and political awakening of Asia and its emergence, still incomplete, from the ruins of both Asian and European empires. The much-heralded shift of power from the west to the east may or may not happen. But only neo-imperialist dead-enders will deny that we have edged closer to the cosmopolitan future the first generation of modern Asian thinkers, writers and leaders dreamed of – in which people from different parts of the world meet as equals rather than as masters and slaves, and no one needs to shoot elephants to confirm their supremacy.
4 years later, Matt Harding has a new Dance Video. Here are his older records of Travel around the World: 2008, 2006 and the original from 2004-5. What a life! [more inside]
How the World Was Imagined: Early Maps and Atlases — Depictions of the world from the Iron Age to the Age of Discovery and the emergence of modern geography. From Socks Studio, who have been producing great feature after feature.
How America Is Making the Whole World Fat and Unhealthy It is hardly news that the United States faces epidemic health problems linked to poor diets. Nearly two out of every five Americans are obese. But according to a press release from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, "The West is now exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets. By 2030, more than 5 million people will die each year before the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases linked to diets." [...] De Schutter, whose work usually focuses on ending hunger, just published a new report saying, "The right to food cannot be reduced to a right not to starve. It is an inclusive right to an adequate diet providing all the nutritional elements an individual requires to live a healthy and active life, and the means to access them."
Where are you on the global pay scale? A nice calculator that shows how your monthly salary compares to the average for your country and for the world. But before drawing too many sweeping conclusions, check out the notes that explain how the numbers are calculated, and the difficulties with trying to calculate any such thing. [more inside]
The Naked Rambler now in prison for 6 years for nudity Six years ago, Naked Rambler Stephen Gough's hike from Land's End to John O'Groats brought him media fame – and a prison sentence. Then another, and another, and… why has he been locked up ever since?
"Countries are defined by the lines that divide them. But how are those lines decided — and why are some of them so strange? Borderlines [a New York Times column by Frank Jacobs of Strange Maps] explores the stories behind the global map, one line at a time." The latest in the series: "The Loneliness of the Guyanas," and the inaugural essay, "In Praise of Borders."
Hubii is a map based newspaper browser. Filter by category, language, time or region or use the heatmap. [blog]
Around the World in 80 Days is a BBC television travel series first broadcast in 1989. It was presented by comedian and actor Michael Palin.The show was inspired by Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days, in which a character named Phileas Fogg accepts a wager to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days or less. Palin was given the same deadline... Here's Episode 1 - The Challenge. [more inside]
The Shadow Superpower: a survey of globalized black market trade, and the size of the informal economy. [more inside]
You must have heard about frisbee, a flying disc based pastime, haven't you? Throwing a flying disc can be more exciting than you think. You can try to break one of the world records (there's a record for 1-year olds and a challenge for 102+ years old women). Alternatively, you can play some competitive games, including some well known ones like ultimate and some you probably haven't heard about: buttgutts, a game of immense skill played between two teams of one to ten players each. The objective is to hit the oppostition's butts with discs.
DJ Zhao brings contemporary and classic dance music together from all five continents, with focus on Africa. While his DJ sets reach from culture centers to remote areas of the globe, and from now back through the ages, DJ Zhao’s remix and mashup work directly connects “East” and “West”, acoustic and electronic, traditional and hyper-modern. Equal parts ethno-musicologist and booty shaker, Zhao is an ambassador of boom not only talking about, but demonstrating through raw sound experience, the underlying unity of all earth cultures and peoples. [more inside]
The latest (and greatest?) New World Trade Center visualization video. Silverstein Properties recently released footage of the construction and a visualization of the finished New World Trade Center. WTC Tower 1(Freedom Tower) is slated to be finished in early 2013 and it will mark another chapter in the ever evolving Manhattan skyline.
Are overly restrictive immigration rules causing a worldwide economic slow down? According to the Guardian "Allowing workers to change location significantly enriches the world economy. So why do we erect barriers to human mobility?"
Die, Danger, Die, Die, Kill! is a blog dedicated to 'world pop cinema', and covers everything from Russian science fiction to Italian superhero films.
"Using pejorative terms like "handouts" and "doling out", some parts of the media are mounting a campaign to suggest Britain should be embarrassed by our level of aid giving. But the idea that aid is generous is absurd. Some families, inspired by religious tradition, think it is appropriate to give 10% of what they have to charity, £10 in every £100 of earnings. In 2010, the UK gave not £10, not £1, but 56p ($0.91) in overseas aid for every £100 ($163) we earned as a country. On average, since 1990 we have given even less, 35p ($0.57)." [Giving aid to poor countries is hardly a great act of generosity] [more inside]
The official Google Earth plugin is one free download that makes all sorts of cool stuff possible in your browser. There's a full screen version of the program (complete with underwater views and 3D buildings) which can be searched by entering queries at the end of the URL. There's a framed version with support for layers, historical imagery, day/night cycles, and the Google Sky starmap. Less useful but more fun are Google's collection of "experiments" demonstrating the possibilities of the Earth API, including a "Geo Whiz" geography quiz, an antipode locater, a 3D first-person view of San Francisco, a virtual route-follower, and MONSTER MILKTRUCK!, a crazy fun driving simulator that lets you careen a virtual milk truck through the Googleplex campus, ricochet off the Himalayas, or explore any other place you care to name. Lots more can be found in the Google Earth Gallery -- highlights include a look at mountaintop removal mining, a real-time flight tracker, a guide to trails and outdoor recreation, a 360 panorama catalog, geotagged Panoramio photos, and the comprehensive crowdsourced Google Earth Community Layer. And while it's too large to view online, don't miss loading the Metafilter user location map into a desktop version of Google Earth! [more inside]
Larry Gonick is a veteran American cartoonist best known for his delightful comic-book guides to science and history, many of which have previews online. Chief among them is his long-running Cartoon History of the Universe (later The Cartoon History of the Modern World), a sprawling multi-volume opus documenting everything from the Big Bang to the Bush administration. Published over the course of three decades, it takes a truly global view -- its time-traveling Professor thoroughly explores not only familiar topics like Rome and World War II but the oft-neglected stories of Asia and Africa, blending caricature and myth with careful scholarship (cited by fun illustrated bibliographies) and tackling even the most obscure events with intelligence and wit. This savvy satire carried over to Gonick's Zinn-by-way-of-Pogo chronicle The Cartoon History of the United States, along with a bevy of Cartoon Guides to other topics, including Genetics, Computer Science, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics, The Environment, and (yes!) Sex. Gonick has also maintained a few sideprojects, such as a webcomic look at Chinese invention, assorted math comics (previously), the Muse magazine mainstay Kokopelli & Co. (featuring the shenanigans of his "New Muses"), and more. See also these lengthy interview snippets, linked previously. Want more? Amazon links to the complete oeuvre inside! [more inside]
Leslie Slape has been a professional storyteller for more than 20 years. This column will feature some of her favorite short folktales from around the world. Come on, snuggle up in the rocking chair, and get ready for a story. [more inside]
A new report by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization indicates that 1.3 billion tons, or nearly one-third of all food produced in the world is lost or wasted. The full report is available here (Warning: PDF).
Hobbitish is a site that collects the various cover and interior paintings and illustrations of The Hobbit from versions around the world. [more inside]
Remove the scourge of conflict - "Taming mass violence is the theme of the World Bank's latest World Development Report, which focuses on 'conflict, security and development' [pdf] ... Mass violence destroys all hopes of progress. We should make a huge effort to eliminate this scourge. It seems feasible. It is desirable. So try."
And here is Ten Dreams, your Symbolist, Magical Realist, and Metarealist brain/eye candy art source, featuring, among scores of many other artists and subjects, Alma Tadema, Bouguereau, Ernst, Hundertwasser, Klimt, and Maxfield Parrish, too. And then there is the Ten Dreams of Ten Dreams, and not an exemplar known to me included. [more inside]
World control panel Continuing a trend of modern parents that put the boring, lifeless drones that raised you and ruined your life to shame, is Steve Lodefink, a UI designer for the Walt Disney Internet Group in Seattle. His latest project, The World Control Panel, was designed at the request of his son, Harlan. Harlan wanted a light panel to use for secret missions when he and his friend play "agents." The resulting UI design, which took three weeks to build, displays a variety of light combinations and includes a voice recorder and the Larson Scanner (used in Knightrider and Battlestar Galactica).
Mariella Frostrup on International Women's Day, feminism and the emancipation of women in the developing world.
so the moral of the story is
always wear a condom
you are going to have to resort to an impromptu skull c-section
with a shovel
Myths Retold. [more inside]
always wear a condom
you are going to have to resort to an impromptu skull c-section
with a shovel
Myths Retold. [more inside]
Talk Radio's Alex Jones, the Most Paranoid Man in America. Charlie Sheen's interviewer opens up.
Richard Sullivan has posted the 16mm color footage his father shot of the "spontaneous celebrations that broke out upon first hearing news of the Japanese surrender" on Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki on August 14th, 1945.
The Economist Intelligence Unit recently presented a 6 minute animated infographic summary of their global Women’s Economic Opportunity Index as designed by data visualisation agency JESS3. [more inside]
A 24 hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to just over a minute. Similar videos are created by NASA's Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (or FACET), like this one of a day in the life of air traffic over the United States.
Iftin, a Somali form of funk, was popular from the early 1970s until the time of the civil war there in 1991. It's just one of many examples of little-known (outside of Africa) African popular music found preserved at Likembe. Found while falling down the world music blog rabbit hole here, after stumbling on a rock here. [more inside]
The once shining beacon of capitalism in the Persian Gulf has lost a lot of its luster since the global financial crisis in 2008. But is it too soon to declare Dubai dead? [more inside]
It's autumn, which means for some nerdy bike racers, it's cyclocross season. Cyclocross is an off-road cycling discipline characterized by short, hard, intense racing that requires skilled bike handling, running through mud or sand, and quickly dismounting, carrying, and remounting your bike to navigate obstacles. After all, sometimes, carrying your bike is just faster than riding it. In Europe, cyclocross draws huge crowds despite terrible weather, but it remains a niche sport in the United States, though with increasing popularity - perhaps it's because it's one of the few sports where rank amateurs can closely mingle with (and race the same courses as) top professionals. With the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Championships to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, its popularity and domestic appeal is expected to continue rising. Previously.
"This just blew my mind out of my nose and onto my keyboard." A spectacular show of 3D mapping light projections on 3D surfaces at the last Mobile World Congress presented by Alcatel-Lucent. Originally found via this blog:
Europe according to... is a project to map stereotypes of European countries according to other countries and groups of people. [more inside]
The new planet, currently under development and slated for launch next year, will be an immersive virtual space themed after iconic visuals drawn from Michael’s music, his life and the global issues that concerned him.
Web of stories - "There are few things more interesting or more pleasurable than to watch someone tell a good story. And one story always leads to another."