- The super-rich don’t care about us. It will be their downfall
Always refreshing to see articles like this in mainstream media.
- Was Colonialism Good for Asia?
This article tries to refute a controversial claim made by the mayor of Taipei.
- What ISIS Really Wants
This is a very long read for an article (around 45 minutes), but it’s worth every minute of it.
- Das Geheimnis des billigen Öls
Interesting article on why olive oil can be so cheap in discount supermarkets (in German).
- What is the oldest city in the world?
tl;dr: Probably Aleppo.
- Malaria on Myanmar-India border is ‘huge threat’
Now that’s bad news.
- The Time Everyone “Corrected” the World’s Smartest Woman
Funny, I just talked about this statistical problem with a friend last week.
- Jerry Lawson, a self-taught engineer, gave us video game cartridges
Do you have good memories of blowing into game cartriges? This is the man to thank!
- The Tyrant as Editor
Interesting article about Stalin as editor of Pravda and editor of history.
- Equation Group: The Crown Creator of Cyber-Espionage
If that’s not state-sponsored, then what is?
- hackme: Deconstructing an ELF File
Great read. If you like this sort of thing, I can wholeheartedly recommend A Bug Hunter’s Diary (affiliate link).
- 10 Things People Once Complained Would Ruin The English Language
Next up: the Internet.
- Samsung’s warning: Our Smart TVs record your living room chatter
If you read the article, also read this comment: comment
- Singapore: A Mutiny Like No Other
A bit of history for the 50 years anniversary this year.
- No Big Bang? Quantum equation predicts universe has no beginning
This week’s most discussed Physic’s article.
- Chinese charge government officials for being part of “illegal underground Tibetan independence organization”
I have to say I’m somewhat surprised by this.
- A City Where Everyone Works, There is No Police, and the Salary is 1200 Euros
This is not some sort of socialist utopia, but a real place.
- Does Work Really Work?
Somewhat older, but still a very good read.
- Spanish is the happiest language, Chinese the most balanced, new study reveals
Language ans statistics, of course I like this.
- Life in Prisons in Southeast Asia is far removed from the West
No news here, but may be interesting for people not aware of the situation in SE Asian prisons.
- Don’t Call them Expats, They are Immigrants like Everyone Else
For me: expat = sent abroad by company, getting bonuses etc. for working abroad. Everyone else, myself included, is a foreign worker/migrant. In a discussion on Facebook however someone mentioned the following, which strikes me as true: moving from richer to poorer country = expat. Moving from poorer to richer country = migrant.
- Yes, Oil Is Behind a Lot of Wars
Also interesting in this context: Greed versus Grievance
- India: The Austria-Hungary of the 21st Century?
You don’t see Austria and India compared all that often. Th comparison seems rather far-fetched though.
- Sea Slug has Taken Genes from the Algae it Eats, Allowing it to Photosynthesize Like a Plant, Study Reports
This is really fascinating, but is it true?
- Top China analyst: Beijing has been duping the US since Mao
Now I’m not one to underestimate the Chinese, but this does sound a bit paranoid.
- The World’s Email Encryption Software Relies on One Guy, Who is Going Broke
Luckily this article seems to have greatly improved things for Werner Koch.
- What are Europeans afraid of most?
“A hideous ecstasy of fear and vindictiveness, a desire to kill, to torture, to smash faces in with a sledge hammer, seemed to flow through the whole group of people like an electric current, turning one even against one’s will into a grimacing, screaming lunatic. And yet the rage that one felt was an abstract, undirected emotion which could be switched from one object to another like the flame of a blowlamp.” — George Orwell, 1984
- Parton sends books to Rotherham
Let’s finish on a positive note…
- Men are less promiscuous when women are scarce
Evolutionary speaking, this seems to make sense.
- Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites
I wonder if something similar will happen in Spain this year.
- Indonesia Is About To Start Producing A Male Birth Control Pill That Will Change The World
This would be a real game changer for women around the world.
- China’s tourist turn-offs: visitor numbers down thanks to rising yuan, pollution and visa issues
Reading this makes me glad that I managed to see China in the early 2000s.
- Pablo Escobar’s hippos: A growing problem
Escobar certainly left a legacy to Colombia.
- Human rights groups demand UN action on abuses in Laos
Unlike most of its other SE Asian neighbors, nobody seems to talk about Laos much.
- How Seville transformed itself into the cycling capital of southern Europe
Seville’s one of my favorite European cities already, here’s one more reason to like it.
- Spanish Civil War: Rediscovered photos in Navarra museum
Very interesting photos.
- Auschwitz Survivor Gena Turgel Walked Out of Gas Chamber Alive
Despite the sensationlist headline, it’s important we listen to the last Holocaust survivors.
- 7 shocking facts about Saudi Arabia under ‘modernizing’ reign of King Abdullah
- Golden Years
As Singapore turns 50 some people are challenging the official narrative.
- Veteran foreign journalists to leave Thailand following threats
The sad part is that they feel they have to leave in order to assure their safety.
- The Mediterranean’s urban sprawl: ‘You know a city’s near by the plastic in the sea’
The Mediterranean’s coastline is being heavily urbanzied.
- 40 brilliant idioms that simply can’t be translated literally
I love idioms, and this is a pretty good collection.
- Chinese Businessmen Paying $80,000 to Hunt Polar Bears in Canada
“I don’t want to live on this planet anymore!“ — Professor Farnsworth
- The Benefits of a Lunch Hour Walk
Even though I don’t do it enough, I’m a big fan of lunch hour walks myself.
- How I Brightened My Bank Job with Crystal Meth
I think I’d do the same if I had to work for a bank.
- Soldiers’ ration kits tell us a lot about their nations
A very interesting photo series.
- The Strange Tale of the North Pond Hermit
This is quite a long read, but well worth it.
- The Life of a Pot Critic: Clean, With Citrus Notes
New laws, new jobs.
- It’s the Umami, Stupid. Why the Truth About MSG is So Easy to Swallow
Always good to challenge one’s assumptions. This time: MSG.
- Lệ Hải: Saigon’s Gangster Queen
This life story would make for an excellent movie.
- My Brief and Curious Life As a Mechanical Turk
Talk about alienation at the workplace…
- Degrees of Difficulty
Unexpected visa problems for foreign exchange students in Malaysia.
- The subliminal power of city fonts
Cities and fonts, two things I enjoy in the same article.
- Professional Cuddlers Embrace More Clients
Nope, not from The Onion.
- Sukhumvit shakedown
A good summary for everyone who hasn’t been following these incidents.
- A girl tries to break Egyptian social taboos
Courageous and uplifting.
- The One and Only: Hun Sen
Hun Sen, the man who ruled Cambodia for the last 30 years is the world’s longest serving leader.
Here’s my annual reading list post. 2014 saw me read less than I wanted to, but exploring my new hometown (Bangkok) and learning Thai used up a lot of my free time. That said I still managed to get in a decent amount of books, caught up on more comics and added a 4th language (Thai) to my reading, although so far that’s been limited to children’s books.
- Tom Vater: The Cambodian Book of the Dead
- A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda: On the Way to Krisna
- Timeri N. Murari: The Taliban Cricket Club
- Jonas Jonasson: The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared
- Luis Sepúlveda: Historia de una Gaviota y del Gato Que le Enseñó a Volar
- Charles Bukowski: Post Office
- David Sedaris: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls
- Tom Vater: The Devil’s Road To Kathmandu
- Jean-Claude Izzo: The Lost Sailors
- Sean Eads: The Survivors
- Charles Bukowski: Factotum
- Benny Lewis: Fluent in 3 Months
- Paco Ignacio Taibo II: Some Clouds: A Hector Belascoaran Shayne Detective Novel
- Charles Bukowski: Women
- Aldous Huxley: Brave New World Revisited
- NoViolet Bulawayo: We Need New Names
- Alex MacCaw: The Little Book on CoffeeScript
- Ernest Cline: Ready Player One
- Andreas Altmann: Der Preis der Leichtigkeit : eine Reise durch Thailand, Kambodscha und Vietnam
- Charles Bukowski: Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame
- อีสป: ราคานิทานอีสป2ภาษา อินทรีกับชาวนา
- Marco Ferrarese: Nazi Goreng
- Nnedi Okorafor: Who Fears Death
- Nick Wilgus: Mindfulness and Murder: A Father Ananda Mystery
- Vikas Swarup: Six Suspects
- Haruki Murakami: Norwegian Wood
- Shamini Flint: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder
- D.D. Johnston: Peace, Love & Petrol Bombs
- Mohsin Hamid: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
- Rodolfo Pardi: The most important Chess Pattern – Critical Squares
- Dan Kennedy: Loser Goes First: My Thirty-Something Years of Dumb Luck and Minor Humiliation
- Junot Díaz: This Is How You Lose Her
- David Sedaris: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
- รัชนี ศรีไพรวรรณ: หนังสือเรียนภาษาไทย
- Ali Almossawi: An Illustrated Book of Bad Arguments
- Avdi Grimm: Confident Ruby
- Terry Pratchett: Unseen Academicals
- Ioan Grillo: El Narco: Inside Mexico’s Criminal Insurgency
- Mikel Santiago: Historia de un crimen perfecto
- Charles Bukowski: Mockingbird Wish Me Luck
- Johnny Cash: Cash
- Marc-Uwe Kling: Die Känguru-Chroniken: Ansichten eines vorlauten Beuteltiers
- Barend Jan Terwiel: Thailand’s Political History: From the 13th century to recent times
- John Siracusa: OS X 10.10 Yosemite: The Ars Technica Review
- Marc-Uwe Kling: Das Känguru-Manifest
- Marc-Uwe Kling: Die Känguru-Offenbarung
- Namita Gokhale: The Book of Shiva
- Julia Alvarez: In the Time of the Butterflies
- Peter F. Hamilton: If at First…
- Simon St. Laurent: Introducing Elixir: Getting Started in Functional Programming
- David Eisenberg: Études for Elixir
- David Eisenberg: Études for Elixir
- Anthony Grey: Saigon: An Epic Novel of Vietnam
- Scott Snyder: American Vampire, Vol. 2
- Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 1: Out of the Deep Woods
- Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 2: In Captivity
- Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 3: Animal Armies
- Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 4: Endangered Species
- Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 5: Unnatural Habitats
- Jeff Lemire: Sweet Tooth, Vol. 6: Wild Game
- Jason: I Killed Adolf Hitler
- Fábio Moon: Daytripper
- David Mazzucchelli: Asterios Polyp
- Brian K. Vaughan: Saga, Volume 3 (Saga #13-18)
- Fujiko F. Fujio: DORAEMON Vol.4
- Ed Brubaker: Deadenders
- Matt Fraction: Sex Criminals, Vol. 1: One Weird Trick
- Scott Snyder: American Vampire, Vol. 3
- Neil Gaiman: Marvel 1602
- Ales Kot: Zero, Vol. 1 An Emergency
- Fujiko F. Fujio: DORAEMON Vol.5
- Jeph Loeb: Spider-Man: Blue
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 1
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 2
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 3
- Jonathan Hickman: The Manhattan Projects, Vol. 1: Science, Bad
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 4
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 5
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 6
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 7
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 8
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 9
- Mark Waid: Irredeemable, Vol. 10
- Hugh Howey: Wool: The Graphic Novel
- Joe Sacco: Palestine
- Ales Kot: Zero, Vol. 2: At the Heart of It All
- Mike Richardson: Crimson Empire, Volume 2: Council of Blood
- Brian K. Vaughan: Saga, Volume 4
I know, I usually publish the Information Overload on Sundays, but my schedule has become so irregular…
- 15 Things You Shouldn’t Believe About Africa
What I can’t believe is that this needed to be written…
- The weird afterlife of the world’s subterranean ‘ghost stations’
The Guardian City blog is one of my favorite web sites at the moment.
- The Dalai Lama and the Politics of Reincarnation
It will be interesting to see how this pans out.
- A Young Chemist Explains How Legal Highs Work
People clearly want to take drugs, so maybe policy changes are in order.
- Life in Timbuktu: how the ancient city of gold is slowly turning to dust
It did say it’s one of my favorite web sites, didn’t I?
- Is There a Parallel Universe That’s Moving Backwards in Time?
The title of this website says it all, “I fucking love science”.
- Law and Order: Special Victims Unit
Lots of bad press for the Thai police lately, but I also always like other viewpoints.
- China’s Economy: Don’t Bet on Beijing
The Diplomat confuses me. While some of their articles are interesting, I’m still wondering about their overall agenda.
- The skin I live in
The excellent Southeast Asia Globe with an article on transgender sex workers in Singapore.
- A quick history of why Asians wear surgical masks in public
After having lived in China, I don’t even notice them anymore.
- Why Does Time Fly as We Get Older?
In case you wonder, here are five different theories.
- Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Protesters Clash With Police In Surreal Scenes
Sometimes a picture really does say more than a thousand words.
- China is Hong Kong’s future – not its enemy
I like differing points of view, here’s one on the current situation in Hong Kong.
- “Es ist schlimmer als das Töten”
About acid attacks on women. While the interview is in German, the photos have no language.
- What It’s like to Fly the $23,000 Singapore Airlines Suites Class
Now that’s traveling in style.
- Coming up easy
Like with many other drugs, people can’t seem to make up their mind about kratom either. Curse or blessing?
- 8 Lessons Learned from Visiting Every Country in the World
I’m a sucker for all things travel related.
- ‘In 1976 I discovered Ebola, now I fear an unimaginable tragedy’
Despite the sensationalist title, this is actually a very interesting interview with the researcher who discovered Ebola.
- Thailand’s Full-Moon Parties Have Become a Trashy Disgrace
Never went, don’t plan on ever going. Here’s why.
- What Europe Would Look Like If All the Separatist Movements Got Their Way
I for one would be happy to truly have a Europe of regions instead of countries.
- These Stunning Photos of Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Climate change in the Arctic.
- Is China’s Market-State Juggernaut Grinding to a Halt?
Personally I’m not convinced by the argument, but that doesn’t mean I can’t share the article.
- Ersatzreligion Liebe
A very interesting and critical article about romantic love (in German).
- Global middle class nears one billion mark
Very interesting and certainly challenged some of my perceptions/expectations.
- Israel’s N.S.A. Scandal
A NYT op-ed related to the Snowden leaks.
- “Traumdeutung ist der Königsweg zur Seele”
A German language article about Sigmund Freud, written in a quite original way.
- Mantis shrimps can see cancer, and scientists have now created a camera that does the same
These cameras could play an important role in non-evasive cancer detection.
- The Real Reason al-Qaeda Is Establishing an India Branch
If the assumptions in this article are correct AQC seems to think very long term and strategically.
- The Soviet city is dead: long live Beijing
On urbanism and city planning in Soviet Russia and China.
- The Rise And Fall Of The Dreamcast
The Dreamcast was my favorite console and will always have a special place in my heart.