HALDEN – “Hello everybody! How are you today!?”
On stage, behind his keyboard, the musician takes in the applause and boisterous chattering, as he presents the members of his band. They kick into a cover of a reggae version of a Jackson Brothers’ song, the lights blink, as the singers move confidently from English to Arabic, Norwegian and even a few words of French. A filmmaker is capturing the scene, while a young radio reporter conducts interviews.
It is hard to imagine that this is all happening inside a high-security facility, an hour outside of Oslo. Indeed, this prison in the town of Halden looks more like a hotel.
MOSCOW – There was a goat just outside the Moscow metro station, accompanied by a girl who was selling bottles of milk – the goat was obviously there as a live advertisement.
“Look, she has white eyelids,” passersby would say, looking at the alien animal. “Look at the tail!” they said – and these were all adults; women in heels, men with beer, young guys with skateboards – everyone stopped for the goat. “Come on, that’s enough,” one woman said to a man as she pulled his hand, “we’re going to the country soon, we’ll see plenty of goats and chickens there.”
Vacations in the country – that is what these goat-loving city-dwellers dream about. And there are a lot of them. According to statistics from the All-Russia Center for Public Opinion, last year on 5% of Russians spent their vacations abroad. Most Russians vacationed in the Russian countryside.
GENEVA – People strolling, music, smiles, bursts of laughter. Customers walk between clothes and trinkets, homegrown zucchini and children’s games, spread on tables or on the ground. A neighbor has brought his electric razor; another has just found a book by French sociologist Marcel Mauss.
This kind of flea-market-with-veggies could be coming to your neighborhood soon. With a twist: here everything is 100% free.
The gratiferia (free fair) concept originally comes from Argentina and then expanded to neighboring countries and all of Latin America. The idea was quickly taken up in the U.S. and Canada, and this year, it has arrived in the Old World. Sales and swaps are completely forbidden at gratiferias. Everything must be in good condition, and of course, a bit of civic sense is required. Do not show up with a van and load up everything in sight. This free fair aims at “liberation from materialism,” with the goal of leaving behind “the oppression of the economic system.”
Till Roenneberg, a professor at the Institute for Medical Psychology at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) in Munich, is a chronobiologist – which means that he specializes in the study of how biological rhythms affect our physiology and behavior. Over the course of his career, he has gathered statistics on people from 166 countries.
The human organism follows the cycle of the seasons: growth, hormones, blood pressure, cutaneous perfusion, the immune system, sleep and body temperature all adjust accordingly.
During the autumn, when leaves change color and drift to the ground we are reminded unequivocally of the passing of all things. Add wind and rain into the equation, and it may all add up to depression.
Roenneberg has observed that the further a country is from the equator, the more its residents notice the seasons. “We live in a society that strives to be happy all the time,” says the Munich scientist. “We don’t understand the power of cyclicality.” People are, after all, part of nature – a perpetually flowing system of growth and decay. So the emotions we experience during each separate season all have their important role to play.
The best remedy for autumn depression is love. Strolls amid fall foliage are so romantic — and the season ushers in a deeper quality of love than the summer flirt: when it’s stormy and rainy, we seek to create more warmth on the inside.
Pirate Gold Mining Thrives In The Remnants Of South Africa’s Boom Times – Worldcrunch – All News is GlobalPosted: 12 September 2012
WELKOM – It’s a small open-air factory, impossible to spot from the road. You have to go into Thabong, the township in Welkom, three hours south of Johannesburg, to discover it in an old mining town in the G-Hostel, where a dozen workers are clustered, busy transforming rocks into gold.
Behind the apparent disorder hides a well-oiled production chain. First the mineral blocs are extracted from deep beneath the earth, and heated up. They are then ground into a powder using a cast-iron bar that resonates with a clang in the courtyard with each hit. The particles are separated from the rest of the rock using a cylinder filled with cold water and mercury that is rotated with a crank.
Finally, three hours later, a mixture of the precious metal appears in a wrung-out rag.
“To get a gram of gold, you have to work at least a kilo of rock, it’s exhausting work,” says one of the men. He is from neighboring Lesotho and has been living in Thabong for the past five years. “I don’t like doing illegal things, but I don’t have a choice, I have a wife and three children to feed, I also have to help my two brothers,” he says. He wants to remain anonymous. “Call me David,” he adds.
The boundless admiration that some have for the diploma machine that is Harvard worries me by its lack of hindsight. Of course, this private university – the richest in the world – does not lack laurels, but do not forget that laurels grow well on manure.
Longitude Lag: Your Time-Zone Location May Be Affecting How You Sleep – Worldcrunch – All News is GlobalPosted: 6 June 2012
Human beings have internal biological clocks that are set to the natural path of the sun. Our modern lives, however, are calibrated on a different time horizon. According to a recent study, published in the magazine Current Biology, the discrepancy between internal and social clocks creates a permanent social jet lag that may be at the origins of severe pathologies.