Category World

Obama, Japan

Justin, our Cynical Correspondent in Japan, visits Obama (the city) and posts pictures illustrating Obama’s love for Obama.

Traditional Boxing in Nigeria

From BBC News:

Traditional boxing from northern Nigeria is fast, brutal, and has few rules.

The men who dedicate their lives to it are wanderers, itinerant labourers in search of fame, or the sons of boxers – born into the ring.

“Dembe”, as it is called in Hausa, is exceedingly dangerous. Serious injury, and even death, are a real risk.

Manila Cemetery Houses More Warm Bodies Than Cold Corpses

A fascinating article about 10,000 Filipino families living in a cemetery.

10,000 Filipino families live in this massive graveyard in Manila. I recently spent five days walking among its residents taking photos and hearing stories of struggle and survival.

Some families ended up here almost accidentally. Some inherited the mausoleums that they now live in from their great-grandparents. Others came from the provinces and couldn’t make enough money to live in the big city. In all cases, they’re basically families with nowhere else to go.

The people who live here manage to extract livelihoods from the dead. Teenagers carry coffins for 50 Filipino pesos—about 50 American cents. Children collect scrap metal, plastic, and other garbage to sell. Their fathers are employed to repair and maintain tombs while their mothers maintain the house, which could be the family mausoleum or the mausoleum of their employers. Rent-free shanties are wedged between or on top of crypts.

(Thanks Jason)

Chinese Theme Parks

They seem rather boring.

In July 2001, Jennifer Hubbert, a China anthropologist at Lewis & Clark, and Maram Epstein, a scholar of Ming-Qing literature at the University of Oregon, toured a number of historical theme parks in the People’s Republic of China. Three of the theme parks we visited, “Old Beijing,” “Grand Prospect Garden” at a park dedicated to the novel Dream of the Red Chamber, and “The Eight Wonders of the Ancient World,” are commercial. Others, such as the “Matriarchal Clan Village” at Banpo and the “Yan’an Revolutionary History Park” were constructed under the aegis of the local government. The imposing “Ethnic Minorities Theme Park, still under construction, is under the sponsorship of the Central Government.

The Seven Wonders of the Totalitarian World

From Esquire:

Throughout history, it is the deep-pocketed madmen who tend to leave behind the biggest wonders. And while last month’s election of the New Seven Wonders of the World hints at this point — the emperors who fed Christians to the lions in the Roman Coliseum were neither mild-mannered nor impoverished — they’re basically positive tributes to mankind’s triumphant, enduring half. But what of the tyranny that drove men to produce such wonders? On some level, each of the New Seven is also a colossal monument to narcissism, either some ruler or some culture’s desire to go bigger and leave a mark that cannot be erased — a sentiment not unlike the one held by some of today’s most ruthless dictators.

An Abandoned Italian Village

Lots of pretty pictures but no explanations.
(via reddit)

How Much Does a Gram of Cocaine Cost Around the World

From The Economist:

THE street price of cocaine varies hugely across the world. No surprise that it is cheapest in Colombia, the world’s biggest producer of coca: at $2, a gram costs less than a Big Mac. Geography is an obvious price factor. The farther away a country from the main producers in South and Central America, and the more isolated it is, the higher the cost to traffick there. In far-flung New Zealand, a gram costs a wallet-busting $714.30.

Kilauea Eruption Near Kapoho, Hawaii

Shorpy has an amazing picture of the eruption of Kilauea. Click here for the full sized picture.

Unfortunately, the town was destroyed from the resulting lava flow.

KÄ«lauea erupted on January 13, spilling lava out in the middle of a sugar cane field just above Kapoho. Although the main flow of lava flowed into the ocean, a slow-moving offshoot crept towards the town. Despite frantic efforts to divert the flow with earthen barricades or to harden it by spraying water on it, on January 28 the flow entered and buried the town. Nearly 100 homes and businesses as well as a hot spring resort were destroyed. A single lighthouse was spared as the lava simply parted around it (it has since been replaced by a modern light). The town was never resettled.

G.I.s’ Guide to Iraq (1943)

From Danger Room:

In 1943, some American troops were stationed in Iraq. Here is a PDF of a War Department handbook introducing them to the country (‘i-RAHK”), and providing some do’s and don’ts when interacting with the Iraqi people. Some highlights:

* NEVER discuss religion or politics or women with Moslems.
* Don’t stare at anyone. Remember the fear of the “evil eye”.
* Knock before entering a private house. If a woman answers, wait until she has had time to retire.
* If you see grown men walking hand in hand, ignore it. They are not queer.

The U.S. County That Doesn’t Allow Children

On the island of Molokai:

Kalawao County can be reached by sea or by mule train but if you intend to visit, leave your children behind. State law prohibits anyone under sixteen from living in or visiting the second least populated county in America.

Kalawao County is Kalaupapa Peninsula, on the north coast of the island of Moloka’i. The small peninsula of Kalaupapa is isolated from the rest of Moloka’i by sea cliffs over a quarter-mile high — the only land access is a mule trail.


Wikipedia’s entry for Kalawao County.

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