Quickies

Global Quickies: Holy Monkeys in Latvia, Giant T-Rex Statues in Turkey, and a Museum of Poop in Italy

CHILE

Ash from volcanic eruption in Chile covers town 18 miles away – “Chile on alert for a fresh eruption after Calbuco volcano burst into life for the first time in half a century, forcing 5,000 people to evacuate and lighting up night sky.”

CHINA

The women of the Chinese internet remain defiant – “Despite the arrest and continued interrogation of China’s most prominent online feminists, women in the country are continuing to protest against sexism using the internet.”

World chess chief’s bizarre plan to use ‘pieces made of ice’ to get game into Winter Olympics – “The eccentric head of world chess has been quoted as saying the game could be played with pieces made of ice if it is welcomed into the Winter Olympics. Fide president Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who famously claimed he was abducted by aliens, told Chinese media on Wednesday that chess would ‘fit quite well’ at the event.”

The families revealing everything they’ve ever bought online – “Photographer Huang Qingjun is famous in China for his photo series, Family Stuff. Since 2003 he has been asking subjects to pose with everything they own, neatly displayed in front of their homes.”

EL SALVADOR

The mothers being criminalised in El Salvador – “Doctors have to inform the authorities if they think a woman has tried to end her pregnancy. If they fail to report such cases, they, too, could face long sentences in jail. The result is what human rights groups are calling a criminalisation of miscarriages and medical emergencies. The punishment for abortion is up to eight years in jail. But in many cases in which the foetus has died, the charge is changed to one of aggravated homicide, which carries a minimum sentence of 30 years.”

ENGLAND

‘Fake painting’ revealed at Dulwich Picture Gallery – “Visitors to Dulwich Picture Gallery’s Made in China project have had three months to guess which painting in the gallery’s 240-strong permanent collection had been replaced by a replica.” What a great way to stimulate interest in the arts!

FRANCE

France outcry over Muslim schoolgirl’s skirt ban – “France is facing a fresh backlash against its strict secular policy after it emerged a 15-year-old Muslim girl was sent home from school because she was wearing a long black skirt.”

France gay blood donor ban ‘may be justified’ – “The French court that will make the final decision on the case must first decide whether there is a high risk of gay men in France catching severe diseases that can be transmitted by blood.”

INDIA

Indian conservationist wins Whitley award for saving elephants via SMS – “Dr Ananda Kumar wins one of seven ‘Green Oscars’ for his system of reducing human-elephant conflict by tracking and texting elephants’ locations to people.”

IRAN

A photographer’s journey behind Iran’s closed curtain, in pictures – “Australian photographer Brook Mitchell visits Iran during Ten-Day Dawn celebrations, commemorating the anniversary of the establishment of the Islamic Republic in 1979. The celebrations offer the state-controlled media the opportunity to portray a people united behind the leadership, with appeals to a sense of nostalgia, national pride and Islamic unity.”

IRAQ

The Iraqi cellist who played on amid the rubble – “Karim Wasfi sat on a stool amid the wreckage of a Baghdad car bomb and played his cello.”

ITALY

Italy’s museum of faeces smells ‘fresh as a daisy’ – “Tiny village in Italy has added to the rich tapestry of the country’s museums, opening one entirely dedicated to faeces.” Road trip, anyone?

JAMAICA

Jamaican Law Prof Outed, Forced to Flee – “Law professor and activist Maurice Tomlinson of AIDS-Free World says it wasn’t until he married his husband in Canada that he really understood the wrath of Jamaica’s rabid anti-gay culture.”

LATVIA

‘Holy monkeys’ not meant to rile Orthodox church, says Latvian artist – “Sergey Dyomin’s paintings depict primates as Russian clerics but he insists he isn’t aiming to offend.”

LIBERIA

A Man Said To Be Ebola-Free Could Still Infect A Partner During Sex – “Even before this case of likely sexual transmission of Ebola, health authorities had advised either abstinence from sex or condom use for three months after recovery from the virus, since it had been found in the semen of survivors up to 101 days after their first symptoms appeared.”

NAMIBIA

Farmers work with conservationists to protect predators – “BBC science reporter and video journalist Victoria Gill has been out with the team in Namibia to witness a unique partnership in action.”

NEPAL

Nepal’s Rural Poor, Hardest Hit By Earthquake, Now Face Massive Health Threat – “Nepal’s difficult terrain and cash-strapped government mean the physical and humanitarian scale of the disaster is just beginning to reveal itself. The Nepalese army is conducting a huge relief effort, with reports that nine out of 10 soldiers are involved, airlifting the critically injured out of rural areas and overseeing logistics for medical teams. Despite these efforts, and the flood of foreign help, including the release of $15 million from the United Nations emergency fund, tens of thousands of people are still sleeping in makeshift tents with no toilets.”

Show Us The Aid: Anger In An Ancient Nepali Town – “I met a woman named Annapurna Rajbhandari, standing with her arm around her 78-year-old mother, who’s [shaking] with fear. The mother starts to cry softly. Her medicine was buried, the daughter says. All the shops are closed so shee can’t even find even basic medicines.”

NEW ZEALAND

Church ejects tai chi group – “A New Zealand church has told a group of elderly people that they can longer practice tai chi there because it conflicts with worshippers’ ‘spiritual wellbeing’.”

RUSSIA

Seven Soviet sci-fi films everyone should see – “From Tarkovsky to the ‘godfather of Star Wars’, The Calvert Journal looks back at the finest examples of Soviet futurism.”

RWANDA

How has Rwanda saved the lives of 590,000 children? – “In 2000, one of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals committed the world to reduce child mortality rates by September 2015. At the time, out of every 1,000 live births, an average of 90 children died before the age of five.
Now the average is just 46. The UN says 17,000 fewer children are dying every day. Unicef called this ‘one of the most significant achievements in human history’.”

SOUTH AFRICA

Fear and distrust as victims regroup in South Africa – “After deadly xenophobic violence, foreigners sheltering in camps outside Durban plot their next course.”

THAILAND

The quest for the perfect pad Thai – ” ‘It’s not just the technique,’ he said. ‘Look at the ingredients: tofu, noodles, dried shrimp, to name a few. Are any of these Thai? No!’ He paused and then added: ‘But what makes it Thai are the sauces and pastes. The profile is Thai. Everything else is Chinese.’ ”

TURKEY

Fear and reporting in Turkey – “Although fewer journalists are currently jailed than in previous years, crackdowns and attacks on them are on the rise.”

Mayor Of Turkish Capital Replaces Giant Robot Statue With T-Rex – “Turkey’s chamber of architects wasn’t amused when the mayor of Ankara installed a giant Transformers statue. They sued, he took down the robot and instead installed a 10-foot tall T-Rex.”

VATICAN CITY

Pope Francis calls for equal pay for women – “Pope Francis added his voice Wednesday to calls for equal pay for women, saying it is ‘pure scandal’ that many of them earn less than men for doing the same jobs. Francis also lambasted the attitude of those who blame the crisis in families on women getting out of the house to work. He called such attitudes a form of ‘machismo’ that shows how men ‘want to dominate women.’ ”

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Mary

Mary

Mary Brock is a scientist who works on drugs you've hopefully never heard of. She enjoys cooking to Blue Grass music, messing with her cats, and hosting the Boston Skeptics' Book Club. She was born in the South but loves living in New England (despite the lack of chocolate chip pizza). Mary does not use Twitter and don't even try to follow her, because she is always looking over her shoulder.

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1 Comment

  1. May 2, 2015 at 4:29 pm —

    I wanted to draw everyone’s attention to this: Clicky

    Oh, sweet Flying Spaghetti Monster, JEB takes after his Nazi grandfather.

    I have a…bad history with AIDS-Free World. (Yeah, go tell the Xhosa that their traditional initiation rites make them immune to AIDS; I’m sure nothing bad will happen.) That said, he still shouldn’t have to deal with this shit.

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