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Haisai Ojisan

Shoukichi Kina, peace activist, club owner, environmentalist, sailor, critic of the US presence in Okinawa, proponent of Okinawan independence, and, since 2004, member of the Japanese House of Councillors has been playing his highly influential hybrid of traditional Okinawan min'yo, reggae, and other island music styles since he formed the band Champloose in 1968. [more inside]
posted by billtron on Feb 2, 2008 - 8 comments

Last Call

With the death of Louis de Cazenave, Lazare Ponticelli is the last surviving French veteran of World War One, and the country has been wondering how to mark the inevitable. By contrast, Germany's response to the recent death of Erich Kaestner has been a more muted affair, indeed, all but unnoted. [more inside]
posted by IndigoJones on Jan 26, 2008 - 10 comments

A New Hope

In these times of trouble, A New Hope.
posted by five fresh fish on Nov 29, 2007 - 30 comments

The Economist: The World in 2008

In 2008, China will fail to ride the Olympics wave and improve its worldwide image, the US will vote mainly on health (barring a terrorist attack or a recession), usher in a period of pragmatic caution and toast to it over a nice Merlot, the culture wars will go global, Israel may decide that it must act alone against Iran, African gangs will prosper, UK politics will be re-established as a spectator sport, we will finally quit oil - and want yet more of it, the potato will make a comeback, an island will be moved for the sake of the Euro, we will rush to give for free what others charge for, U will HAV CASH, robots will explore the seas of Earth, which is round, by the way, pigs will fly, and we will like totally love it (don't we?).

The Economist: The World in 2008. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 28, 2007 - 33 comments

Trees of green & red

Happy Thanksgiving to all. (YT. Click on bottom corner for full screen)
posted by growabrain on Nov 22, 2007 - 17 comments

Social studies didn't prepare me for this!

Know your world? [via and from]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse on Nov 20, 2007 - 37 comments

Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Paris, 1900

Exposition Universelle et Internationale de Paris, 1900. Approximately 200 antique photographs of Paris at the turn of the 19th century, mostly from the 1900 Paris World's Fair. French CG artist Laurent Antoine is reconstructing the Exposition in Maya 3D. Bienvenue!
posted by cenoxo on Nov 11, 2007 - 13 comments

Biplanes and triplanes and Zeppelins-- Oh My!

WWI-era aviation photos (page 2): Biplanes and triplanes and Zeppelins-- oh my!
posted by dersins on Oct 16, 2007 - 27 comments

In China, it is a common thing to stumble over the bodies of dead babies in the streets.

In the 19th century, English author Favell Mortimer wrote several books describing various countries to children. Apparently she didn't travel much. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 2, 2007 - 34 comments

Too much Pirates of the Caribbean?

Is the world flat? The great minds of The View explore the age old question. As we've recently and painfully learned, the children of America need maps. [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 19, 2007 - 95 comments

Zawinul gone at 75

The very great Joe Zawinul has passed at 75 Accordionist, proud Austrian, composer of Mercy, Mercy, In a Silent Way, and Birdland, associate of Miles, McLaughlin, Cannonball, Hancock, and Shorter, arguably the father of world music, Zawinul has left the building.
posted by Wolof on Sep 11, 2007 - 43 comments

Round the World and Bach

David Juritz a leading violinist left his house with a backpack, fiddle and completely empty wallet at the start of a 60,000-mile, twenty-five-country, round-the-world busk. He is raising money for Musequality (read about some of their support efforts, like the M-Lisada Brass Band). His comment about Berlin being a terrible city for busking put me in mind of this post about Joshua Bell. You can donate here if you feel so inclined.
posted by tellurian on Aug 14, 2007 - 5 comments

Wrath of the Lich King

Well, it's official. After numerous rumors, leaks, and even someone with a sharp eye for trademark searches, it was revealed this morning with the first entrants to BlizzCon in Anaheim, California that the next World of Warcraft expansion will be called Wrath of the Lich King, complete with new areas to explore, new hairstyles and character customizations, level 80, and the first new class to be introduced to the game since it opened.
posted by thanotopsis on Aug 3, 2007 - 76 comments

Zeitgeist - Hegel would NOT be proud.

Zeitgeist, the movie [Google Video link embedded] - An interesthing, if bizarre, mix of buffed-up comparative mythology, 9/11 conspiracy theories and New world order rambling about banks, loans, debts and war. Is paranoia the spirit of our times?
posted by Baldons on Jul 26, 2007 - 32 comments

Universe, by Jonathan Harris and the world

Universe is the newest project from Jonathan Harris, who was also behind the amazing WeFeelFine, and the Yahoo Time Capsule. Here's a talk he gave about his projects at TED 2007.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken on Jul 25, 2007 - 20 comments

Showin' the Young Uns the Classics

I would walk 500 miles to get my kids to listen to the classics, but all they want to do is play games. The best (classic) music videos out there (for gamers).
posted by misha on Jul 6, 2007 - 16 comments

Mystery at Shingle Street

Shingle Street is a tiny, picturesque hamlet on the coast of Suffolk harbouring a big WW2 mystery: the best developed rumour is of an attempt by the Germans to invade Britain at this spot which was anticipated and intercepted by pumping fuel onto the sea surface and setting fire to it. UK files on the subject are closed, again mysteriously, until 2021. Ronald Ashford, who claims to have been an eye witness, has a lot more information. You can stay.
posted by rongorongo on Jul 5, 2007 - 17 comments

The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E Smith

"In January 2005, Mark E. Smith and The Fall (described as 'one of the most enigmatic, idiosyncratic and chaotic garage bands of the last 30 years') were the subject of a BBC 4 TV documentary, The Fall: The Wonderful and Frightening World of Mark E. Smith." parts 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
posted by item on Jun 17, 2007 - 22 comments

What the World Eats

What the World Eats A photo slide show of images taken of families around the world, and the food they consume in one week. The commentary also provides the amount of money they have to spend, and what their favorite meals are.
posted by Dave Faris on Jun 5, 2007 - 117 comments

Punch line inside

First Global Peace Index Ranks 121 Countries
posted by acro on May 30, 2007 - 66 comments

Database of Terror Attacks

The Global Terrorism Database is now available online. It includes information on more than 27,000 bombings, 13,000 assassinations, and 2,800 kidnappings. With 2D and 3D georeferences for some incidents. The interactive map isn't working for me though.
posted by tellurian on May 24, 2007 - 18 comments

11 days without sleep!

Sleepless in Penzance. Tony Wright is trying to stay awake for eleven days, in order to beat the current 1964 world record held by Randy Gardner. You can watch him on a live webcam. More on what attempting this might do to your brain.
posted by Happy Dave on May 15, 2007 - 45 comments

World Under Siege

World Under Siege: A teenager's video blog . . . a diary under siege.
posted by augustweed on Mar 23, 2007 - 36 comments

A masterpiece in nonverbal filmmaking.

Baraka is an astonishing film voyaging six continents and twenty-four countries. Directed by Ron Fricke, it is a visual tour de force painstakingly shot on Todd AO-70mm film. Information on the film (and its upcoming sequel!) can be found here or you can always watch the making of.
posted by ageispolis on Mar 16, 2007 - 48 comments

245 Countries in 10 Minutes

Inspired by Ironic Sans's 50 States Game comes the more worldly (and difficult) 245 Countries in 10 minutes. Also pairs well with the previously posted GeoSense.

(Caveats/Minor Spoilers: Game has some questionable choices, like making you type in the long form of the country's name, i.e. "People's Republic of", rather than the common usage name. Some countries have "The" in front of them. Also, your spelling must be perfect, which can trip you up for those obscure island nations, and countries you know but don't know the exact spelling of. Good Luck!)
posted by wander on Mar 4, 2007 - 64 comments

Economic States

California = France? Norwegian bløgger Carl Størmer (via THE BIG PICTURE) made a U.S. map substituting the state names for other countries of equivalent GDP. Some of the substitutions are funny: Illinois = Mexico? Texas = Canada? New Jersey = Russia? Hawaii = Nigeria? Oregon = Israel? But your economic mileage will vary: apparently California no longer has the "sixth-largest economy in the world", no matter what The Governator says. Wikipedia chimes in, while some Californians don't want to be bothered with facts.
posted by wendell on Jan 16, 2007 - 39 comments

For, it is not the center of all the revolutions.

Planetocopia - have some new planets for the New Year.
Future ones; tilted ones; wrong ones.
Plus instructions on how to make your own.
via Making Light.
posted by thatwhichfalls on Dec 31, 2006 - 4 comments

The (Wedding) March of Progress

The grooms wore khakis and leather boots. Two game rangers, Vernon Gibbs and Tony Halls, became the first same-sex couple to legally wed in South Africa on December 1, a day after President Thabo Mbeki's government authorised gay marriages. SA is the 5th country allowing fullly equal same-sex marriage rights--Worldwide timeline of advances here, from 1979 until now. (In other news: Israel just officially recognized full rights for marriages made abroad, and Mexico City just approved Civil Unions)
posted by amberglow on Dec 4, 2006 - 23 comments

The Economist: The World in 2007

In 2007 there will be lots of anniversaries, the web will keep killing the television star, the popcorn will taste familiar, humankind will come closer still to achieving immortality, and text messaging will conquer Africa. And although the spread of democracy is stalling (don't worry however - the Swedes still win (pdf)), it's still down to George Bush.

The Economist: The World in 2007.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 2, 2006 - 38 comments

11/11

The Great War in the Air is a 69-part video project, clearly a labor of love, by one Jan Goldstein, a musician, painter, and publican. Overwhelmed? Here's a representative sample: Part 7, on the French ace Georges Guynemer. Please note: extensive use of YouTube. Many of the images seen in the film may be perused at earlyaviator.com.
posted by mwhybark on Nov 11, 2006 - 12 comments

Enough Rope with Andrew Denton

Oodles of past and current interviews with both living and dead celebrities and interesting nobodies over at the support website for Andrew Denton's Australian television show Enough Rope. You will find video excerpts, some full interviews as audio downloads (the more recent ones), and lots of transcripts.
posted by sjvilla79 on Nov 7, 2006 - 11 comments

And thanks for all the fish.

There will be virtually nothing left to fish from the seas by the middle of the century if current trends continue, according to a major scientific study. What IS our planet going to look like in 50 years? Can there really be no more fish by then? I can't even begin to imagine this.
posted by jfwlucy on Nov 2, 2006 - 86 comments

Nazi home movies

A 10 minute home movie taken by an SS officer has been discovered in an English church. It shows SS officers and secretaries relaxing in the summer of 1942 in southern Russia. The last couple of minutes shows footage from a slave labor camp in that area. The footage was taken at the height of the German success in Russia, a few months before the turning point in the Russian campaign - and probably the turning point in the Second World War.
posted by bobbyelliott on Oct 26, 2006 - 51 comments

Armageddon's Deep Impact

An interactive map of the 174 major meteor impact craters. The largest crater we know of is the Vredefort Dome in South Africa, caused by a meteor some 10 km in diameter. Almost as large in the Sudbury Structure, located in Ontario, which contains some of the world's richest nickel and copper reserves, and has been only confirmed recently to be a crater. Third largest is the now-famous Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan, which probably killed the dinosaurs. Then take a look at an animation of asteroids near Earth [animated gif] and the list of minor planets that could hit us. Want to find out what happens when an meteor impacts in your area? Use the handy Earth Impacts Effects Program!
posted by blahblahblah on Oct 25, 2006 - 13 comments

If you can read this, you can help.

Tomorrow morning at 7:46am, the US Population Clock will hit 300 million. As the world population continues to grow at a similar rate to ours, perhaps its time to start asking some questions. After all, if you can read this post, chances are you don't live in Africa, where "more than 2,500 children are dying each day," simply for lack of access to fresh drinking water. Its so easy not to worry about when you're not the 1 in 5 who can't get a clean drink. But there's lots of ways you can help.
posted by allkindsoftime on Oct 16, 2006 - 39 comments

to tackle big global challenges in bite-sized pieces

Webcasts from the Clinton Global Initiative conference (all wmv, archived of past 2 days and live tomorrow) --covering energy, healthcare, agriculture, poverty, religious and ethnic conflicts, etc. They're trying to turn "practical ideas into meaningful action". More here, including a cool waterpump/merry-go-round thing.
posted by amberglow on Sep 21, 2006 - 10 comments

Freedom really is on the march?

Economic Freedom of the World: 2006 Annual Report (Summary [PDF], full table [PDF, p.13]). Winners: Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the USA. Losers: Zimbabwe, Myanmar and the Congos. How free are you? And why does it matter anyway? (PDF, HTML)
posted by hoverboards don't work on water on Sep 11, 2006 - 18 comments

One evening in November, 1914, I found myself in Calais

The Great War: "People at the time experienced it differently. We may think they were misinformed and deluded, and perhaps they were, or maybe we have become incredibly cynical and mistrusting. What were once considered to be civic virtues are now thought to be quaint anachronisms at best or grand delusions at worst. Things change." The site proffers an incredible variety of popular-press articles and imagery concerning the unfortunate European events of 1914 to 1918.
posted by mwhybark on Sep 1, 2006 - 40 comments

subway(station)spotting

Beautiful Subways --worldwide--from palatial to postmodern, folksy to brutalist (pee smells not included--and don't miss Tehran's)
posted by amberglow on Aug 25, 2006 - 48 comments

A home decor revolution?

What the world creates by hand. The sons of a Peace Corps member, Roberto and Andy Milk had a lifelong interest in artisans in developing countries. They teamed up with Armenia Nercessian, a UN human-rights officer, to create Novica.com, an online marketplace that sells the work of more than 10,000 craftspeople. While Novica operates chiefly in association with National Geographic, NPR also helps to promote them.
posted by owhydididoit on Aug 25, 2006 - 14 comments

Around the world on a Dream Machine

Around the world on a Dream Machine — 77 years ago, the giant German airship LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin left Lakehurst, NJ on an aerial world tour sponsored by American media mogul William Randolph Hearst. The airship's gondola carried 20 passengers in high-tech style, including: U.S. Navy observer Charles Rosendahl; English pilot, Zeppelin frequent flyer, and Hearst reporter Lady Grace Drummond-Hay; and Japanese naval aviator Ryunosuke Kusaka. The 41 crewmen were captained by Dr. Hugo Eckener, Zeppelin champion and the world's best airship pilot. The hydrogen-filled LZ-127 flew over the Atlantic to Germany, Siberia, Japan, over the Pacific to California, across the United States, and back to Lakehurst. The 20,500 mile, 21-day flight—with 12 flying days at ~80 mph top speed—defined airship travel's golden age. [More inside]
posted by cenoxo on Aug 8, 2006 - 24 comments

The Big Here

"You live in the big here. Wherever you live, your tiny spot is deeply intertwined within a larger place, imbedded fractal-like into a whole system called a watershed, which is itself integrated with other watersheds into a tightly interdependent biome. At the ultimate level, your home is a cell in an organism called a planet. All these levels interconnect. What do you know about the dynamics of this larger system around you?

30 questions to elevate your awareness (and literacy) of the greater place in which you live.
posted by Hartster on Jul 13, 2006 - 31 comments

A World Cup without goals?

Goals are become scarce in the final 16 knockout phase of the World Cup. A discussion has been going on over at the Guardian's World Cup blogs. In the knockout phase the number of goals has declined from 42 in 1986 to about 25 in 2006. There hasn't been a World Cup Final since 1986 where both teams scored. There have been a mere 3 games in the knockout phase from 14 where both teams have scored. For the first time ever a team, Switzerland, has been eliminated without conceding a single goal. Does something need to be done? Do bigger goals, no goalkeeper, fewer players or changed rules need to be considered?
posted by sien on Jul 6, 2006 - 124 comments

Olbermann Tears O'Reilly a New One

O'Reilly insults American victims of a WWII war crime, and Keith Olbermann calls him out. It's been a while since I've seen pure outrage so eloquently expressed. The facts about Malmédy are well known. (WMV and QT video links via Crooks and Liars).
posted by fourcheesemac on Jun 2, 2006 - 66 comments

Gooooooooooooooooooooooal!!!

Since the 1930s, only 16 teams have held the World Cup Trophy. In 10 days, the 2006 World Cup will begin. Pick your team, pick your jersey, then find your time.

Once the teams have all gone home, more than just the balls will have changed. The world will be saying goodbye to one of the greatest players of our generation. And this time its for real.
Here is a little something to put you in the mood (youtube).
posted by RobertFrost on May 30, 2006 - 148 comments

Flea muses on leaked RHCP album

MusicFilter: You supposedly can't buy it yet. Well, you actually can get it other ways. Flea isn't that pleased about it either.
posted by sjvilla79 on May 4, 2006 - 86 comments

10th anniversary of the massacre at Port Arthur

The victims of Australia's worst mass murder will be remembered today, on the 10th anniversary of the tragedy in Port Arthur in Tasmania. [MI]
posted by sjvilla79 on Apr 27, 2006 - 21 comments

Web codes, world-wide

More map fun: The first world map of internet country codes. Large jpg here.
posted by hydrophonic on Apr 21, 2006 - 17 comments

Dear Girls ...

Futbol ! - As the World Cup fever heats up ... the Swiss heat up their campaign for the futbol widows' ... "Alternative Programme" (d/l the commercial ... purrrrrrrrrr)
posted by Surfurrus on Apr 15, 2006 - 8 comments

The World Web Playing Card Museum

Take a card, any card, from the Anti-religious pack, or the insufferably cute Our lovers (kittens!) deck, or the utilitarian Cards that talk (Japanese, Korean and Chinese phrases) and many, many more.
posted by tellurian on Apr 12, 2006 - 12 comments

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