Farah Subhan at Amader Kotha, a women-based portal highlighting the unheard voices of Bangladesh, tells how countries like Bangladesh can particularly be positively affected by the celebration of International Women’s Day.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + Ideas
Bangladeshi adventurer and social entrepreneur Muntasir Mamun has some advice for the young people, who have not yet decided about their goal, still haven’t found their place; merely figuring it all out:
By placing emphasis on new, different and bigger picture things, we change our definitions of success. Experiment, calculate, find your own path and organise yourself – and then inspire others to come along with you.
Ricey Wild, a Native American blogger at the Indian Country Today, writes about wolf slaughtering in Minnesota, USA.
[...]My beloved friend Melissa came to get me last month to rally against the wolf hunt in Minnesota and everywhere. We went way up north and joined other people who care and are disgusted with the massacre taking place upon the wolf population.
[...]I look at my Mitzi and I can’t tell that her nearest relatives are okay to slaughter just because. I imagined a pack of Mitzi’s being pursued by ‘hunters’ and her wondering what she ever did to them? Why are they murdering her family? So yes, I cried and vowed to make my voice and presence acknowledged..
Her original post, entitled “It ain't easy being Indian”, was published in December 2013 and you can find it here.
The first meetup of the Lahore Brigade members took place on Sunday, 23 February, in Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). The brigade consists of civic hackers – software developers, designers, urban mappers who will be working to solve civic problems in Pakistan. Code for Pakistan and Technology for People Initiative partnered to launch the Lahore Brigade.
Code For Pakistan blog reports:
All the attendees introduced themselves and also proposed potential solutions to civic problems, pertaining to the areas of health, transportation, education, and governance. Some of the participants expressed interest in some of the projects that had been created at the Lahore Civic Hackathon. The ideas were all captured, followed by a rigorous discussion of them. A couple of Brigade Project Mentors were also present and they, like everyone else, expressed their interest in certain ideas. 6 promising project ideas or areas were agreed upon by the group.
In anticipation of her J'ouvert experience at this year's Trinidad and Tobago Carnival, Tillah Willah explores why the opening of the festival holds so many truths for her.
There have been mounting criticisms on both local and international media's coverage of rampant plastic surgeries in South Korea; many reports are highly sensational, describing how reckless and ignorant plastic surgery patients are (focused on females ones rather than male) and have successfully generated numerous crass jokes and harsh comments not only about patients, but also about the country as a whole. Wangkon936′s post in Marmot's Hole blog leads readers to drop the narrow ‘good’ and ‘bad’ value position and approach the issue from a purely business perspective. Some of the highlights are:
When it comes to South Korea, much of the press is negative and borders on reporting mostly on the strange and/or weird such as the so-called “tower of jaw bones”[...] However, is it all bad? If we are to take perhaps subjective values out of the equation and just look at economic impact, then is this all “bad,” per se? From an economic and business perspective, Korea’s highly demanding aesthetics culture is creating an expertise, technology and infrastructure base [...]
The online drinking game Neknomination that promotes binge drinking for teenagers has outraged many people around the world. Neknomination asks participants to film themselves drinking an alcoholic beverage in one gulp, upload the footage to the web and nominate others to do the same. Julien Voinson, a young frenchman from Bordeaux, decided to counter the drinking game with a more positive initiative called SmartNomination [fr]. The idea is to film oneself doing charity work and then nominate a friend to do the same. Created on February 12, the facebook page has already close to 9,000 likes. In the following video, Voinson explains the details of his project [fr]:
Geoffrey Fattig of Jeollamite blog shares his brutally honest opinion on reverse and latent racism in South Korea, urging fellow native English teachers who under-appreciate a fairly good working condition to stop whining. Some of the highlights of his post are:
On the whole, though, Korea is a pretty easy place to teach English, and playing that foreign card has brought far more advantages than not over the seven years I’ve been in the country. I would add though, that being a tall white guy probably has a lot to do with it.
It's a comic book. And yet, while I did a lot of laughing [it's got a lot of funny moments] I also couldn't stop the tears. Because I was so happy to see a version of myself reflected before me, not sensationalized or stereotyped.
Blogger Aisha Saeed posts a review of the Pakistani American comic hero Ms. Marvel, who was featured in the latest book of Marvel Comics.
Groundation Grenada has partnered with Trinidad-based artist Joshua Lu “to create a visual campaign to draw analogies between sexual orientation/gender identity discrimination and other forms of discrimination.” Check out the first few installations in the campaign, here.
Chinese netizens were outraged about such ridiculous performance. The girl Wei Caiqi rotated more than 8000 circles non-stop for four hours as performance. As explained by the TV hosts, the spinning performance is to indicate the Chinese sense of “time” and “history”. It sounds like a mockery.
ChinaSMACK translated some online reaction to the performance.
Colombian blogger Javier Moreno typed “[Name of country] is” on Google search to see auto-complete suggestions for each country in Latin America and Europe. He modeled his experiment after the English version of the Google search “Why [country] is.”
From his search in Colombia he got results like “Ecuador is dangerous,” “Brazil is a Latin country”, “Bolivia is God's people,” “France is socialist,” “Belguim is expensive,” and “Spain is different.”
He added his results to two maps in his blog Rango Finito [es].
Harinjaka, founder of the co-working space Habaka and Madagascar-based blogger, created the 2014 Antananarivo Start Up Cup [fr] whose objective is to select and support the best business ideas in Madagascar. He thinks that there is a bright future for entrepreneurship and innovation [fr] in Madagascar. Here is a poster for the event [fr] :
A massive Disney hit movie, Frozen is rapidly gaining traction also in South Korea. However, more young Koreans are turning sour on typical Korean-style movie poster, which has long been criticized for being either too confusing or overly interrupted [ko] by extra-bold text dropping names or media/net users’ reviews ridden with cliche [ko]. One net user from the TodayHumor site compared different versions [ko] of Frozen poster (allegedly tailored for audiences in US, France, Japan, China and Korea) and Koreans exchanged heated discussions on what has made Korean movie distributors select such cluttered posters as one can see below. (In comparison, on the left is the poster released in France which has been lauded by many net users for its artistic simplicity)
In order to alleviate the lack of student housing available across Europe, a few universities in Denmark, Germany, France (Le Havre) [fr] and Spain have tried to turn containers into student dorms. Containers appear to be the structure of choice because they are less costly and readily adaptable to include the necessary amenities. However, a few associations have already raised a few issues [fr] regarding thermal isolation and safety in the containers.
On the column Breviario [es] from the website El MalPensante [es], Argentinian author Hernán Casciari [es] concludes that many timeless fairy tales that are part of children's imagination and many other stories would have never taken place had their main characters had access to the current technology:
What happens with the chosen story? Will the plot go smoothly, now that the characters can call each other from any place, now that they have the choice to chat, generate video conferences and send SMS? It doesn't work at all, right?
With a phone on her hands, for instance, Penelope does no longer wait full of uncertainty for Ullises the Warrior to come back from combat.
With a mobile phone in her basket, Little Red Riding Hood would alert her granny just in time and the lumberjack's presence is no longer necessary.
And he concludes by saying that “our plots are losing their charm because we've become lazy heroes”.
Young filmmakers from all over the world are invited to produce and submit a 1-12 minute video documentary telling a story about climate change. What the #Action4Climate video challenge wants to know is:
How is climate change impacting your community? What are you doing about it? What needs to be done to solve the climate challenge?
Personal information of about 20 million people, which amounts to two fifth of the entire South Korean population, has been compromised in the country's worst identity theft. Customers of the affected three major credit card firms gasped at the sheer extensiveness of the breach; it is not just the user's real name, home/work address, cellphone/home/work phone number, social security number, but in many cases, even user's credit limit, credit history, credit card expiration date, and credit records have been stolen. Korean online venues flooded with angry users’ comments and one net user even set up a fake website entitled ‘Trade My Info; the No. 1 Online Personal Info Trading Venue’ [ko]. Its intro sarcastically proclaims that instead of letting the identity thief sell your personal info, users should rather trade their info by themselves and make a a modicum of money out of it. Most of the site's links lead to related news articles on the breach. An extensive post on Korean reactions to the country's worst ID breach will soon be posted on Global Voices.
Blogger Denise Duncan makes a confession [es] on her blog:
¿Por qué voy a viajar 1400 kilómetros para votar por Luis Guillermo Solís? ¿Por qué ir y volver de Barcelona a Madrid en 24 horas? ¡Pero es un voto, nada más!, podría pensarse. ¿Qué diferencia hay? Una: estoy enamorada.
Why am I going to travel 1400 kilometers to vote for Luis Guillermo Solís? Why am I going from Barcelona to Madrid and back in 24 hours? But it's just a vote, nothing else!, you could think. What's the difference? One: I'm in love.
Denise is a Barcelona-based Costa Rican citizen and she'll have to travel from there to Madrid to cast her vote for Luis Guillermo Solís Rivera [es], a candidate running for president in the upcoming elections on February 2, 2014.
She remembers an earlier experience, when she spent 24 hours in a train to meet the man who is now her husband. She ends her confession saying:
Entonces brindaré por lo que viene, por un cambio que hará que mi corazón diga: yo recorrí 1400 kilómetros por dos hombres decentes en mi vida. Uno es mi marido. El otro el Presidente de la República.
Then I'll make a toast for what's yet to come, for a change that will make my heart say: I traveled 1400 kilometers because of two men in my life. One is my husband. The other one is the President of the Republic.
Berlin is welcoming the digital intelligentsia to a conference this weekend (January 25-26) on “self-empowerment in the age of digital control”. Speakers at the event, As Darkness Falls, include Jacob Appelbaum, Bruce Sterling, Micah Sifry, Evgeny Morozov and from Global Voices, Asteris Masouras (@asteris).
ban-d-wagonist posts a video that offers “simple suggestions on how ordinary citizens can create a better T&T.”
20-year-old Raul Oaida from Romania has built what many dreamed of as children – the world’s first life-size LEGO car. The car, including the engine which actually runs, was built using 500,000 LEGO pieces. The vehicle can only achieve a speed of some 20 to 30 kilometers per hour, but – it runs on air!
The young Romanian, a self-taught tech genius, paired up online with Australian entrepreneur Steve Sammartino, who procured the funds for this project on Twitter and got twice as many investors as needed in just days. The car was built in Romania and then transported to Australia, where the two unlikely partners met for a test drive.
The engine of the car is also entirely made of LEGO. It has “four orbital engines and a total of 256 pistons.” According to the project website, the top speed isn’t very impressive, around 20 to 30 km. “We were scared of a Lego explosion so we drove it slowly,” the founders wrote. Steve and Oaida say that the project was possible only because of the internet. The two even met online, when Steve accepted Oaida’s Skype request. “I’m teaching him about business and he’s teaching me a bit about physics,” Steve told the press.
Srananart's Blog highlights an exciting new initiative, An Eye For Art: Every fortnight, an esteemed art critic discusses a piece of work from a Surinamese gallery's collection.
Mailis Rodrigues, a young talented Portuguese women has invented a new musical instrument and now needs help to show it to the world in an annual event to find the world’s best new ideas in musical instrument design:
Hi, I was selected as one of the 20 semi-finalists of the Margaret Guthman competition with my PhD work. This competition chooses the best new music instrument. I have to travel to Atlanta in February to present Intonaspacio, the music instrument that I designed (you can take a look on how it looks like in the photos), to a juri. But I need some help to pay my trip to Atlanta. Please contribute, even if it's just 5 euros it would help me a lot. I can promise to send you a postcard from Atlanta. Thank you so much!
She explains what Intonaspacio is, and shows the instrument in action in the video below:
She has raised so far €1.275,00 out of the €1.500,00 she needs to cover the costs of her trip. To contribute, check her Go Fund Me campaign.
kitsch presents us with a fantasy, and feelings and emotions that we may wish to have but are not central to our actual experience of self. It trades in models and stereotypes, that at best we may aspire to or wish to believe, but nevertheless tell us nothing about ourselves.
Yemeni blogger Noon Arabia shares her dreams of Yemen in this post. She writes:
I dream of a Yemen where everyone has a roof on top of their head
I dream of a Yemen where everyone has a meal on their table
I dream of a Yemen where poverty is addressed and managed
A major US media outlet, NBC made one of the most sensational international reports which claimed the North Korean young dictator might have had his uncle devoured by 120 ravenous dogs. Unsurprisingly, the report went viral online, but was later found out to be a confusion caused by social media satire. Numerous jeers and jokes have been made about Western media's speculative reports on the world’s most reclusive nations. Ask A Korean blog founder via Twitter (@AskAKorean) reminded people of the fake voiceover fiasco back in the spring of 2013 when the inter-Korean tension was dangerously heightened.
Fasokan explains why elders in rural Mali pay special attention to the protection of doves [fr] :
Les vieilles personnes font tout pour protéger ces oiseaux contre la tuerie des enfants pendant leurs chasses avec des lance-pierres. Si par hasard il arrive qu’un groupe de jeunes garçons attrape une tourterelle vivante, une vieilles personne du village rachète l’oiseau et le libère. Cet achat a pour but de mettre les enfants dans leur droit parce qu’ils ont fourni de l’effort pour l’attraper.[..] les tourterelles sont considérées comme annonciatrices d’évènements futurs selon leurs chants, comme l’arrivée d’un étranger ou d’une étrangère. De village en village pour les commissions des parents, les tourterelles informaient les jeunes envoyés en cours de route, sur la position de celui ou celle qu’ils devaient aller voir dans un autre village.
Elders would do everything in their power to protect doves when children go for a hunt with their slingshots. If a group of young boys happen catch a live dove, an old person from the village would buy the dove from them and then release it. The purchase aims not only to protect the dove but also to not punish the kids because it took some effort and ingenuity to make the catch [The reason why Doves are protected is because] they are considered harbingers of future events based on their songs of the moment. For instance it could announce the arrival of a guest. When children run errands for their parents from village to village, doves would inform children whether the people they were looking for were at home.