Unbelievable: an obsolete, socialist, jingoist, bizarre North Korean monster film


For your information: this 1985 film was produced by Kim Jong-il, and directed by a South Korean filmmaker whom the dictator forcefully abducted ‘only’ for the production of this movie. Read the true, spy-film-alike, story in Cracked.

Last important message: this video, subtitled in English, is only one of 9 consecutive videos you can see in Youtube (unless you’re not interested at all).

Microscopic country, macroscopic projects.




Having been splashed by seemingly endless oil wealth has turned most of the Middle Eastern countries into something like the hands of  Midas – as though everything it ‘touched’ might turn out into gold. Dubai is not hesitant for a complete, skyscraper-lavished ‘plastic surgery’ of its own, building high-rises almost as plentiful as those in Shanghai or any other new-world meccas else. Saudi Arabia is spending hundred billion dollars on the same thing – constructing utopian-like satellite cities, many of which are later uninhabited. (and one prince even once complained that the government only focuses on ‘building building’, not ‘nation building’)

And Qatar is the doing the similitude as well. Having succeeded in inviting numerous Ivy League universities to set up branch campuses in its futurist-inspired Education City, bought the global voices through that newly-born ‘panopticon’ we later know as ‘Aljazeera’, and rebuilt the entire capital, Doha, through a mushrooming number of skyscrapers worth hundred billion dollars, this country, endowed with the world’s 25th largest oil reserves and 4th largest gas reserves, has never truly discovered its own limits of satisfaction. Indeed, it is planning even more: the most expensive World Cup (scheduled in 2022), perhaps if not in the whole planet, the entire solar system may fit in.

The emirate is not poking fun at the media: 220 billion dollars have been prepared to ensure the success of the world’s largest football competition. Whereas the ‘center-of-the-universe’ sensation, 2008 Beijing Olympiad, had had all the world leaders dumbfounded with its 50-billion-dollar series of projects to modernize, and to ‘redecorate’ the capital notorious for its excessively abundant air pollution.

And this 220 billion dollar thingy? That could be similar to Carlos Slim Helu and his two replicants accumulating the same amount of wealth, and unbelievably, a bit higher than the overall GDP of Nigeria in 2011 (with a population of 170 million, its GDP level currently stands at 200 billion US$), or 60 times more costly than previous World Cup in South Africa. Like Aladdin fairy tale were emboldened into reality.


See 5 things around the planet that may be worthy of such tantalizing amount. Click it here.

Misinformation and a black swan phenomenon in Boston bombing




We all knew that the Tsarnaev brothers had at last been captured, but we also did not largely realize how on earth misidentified ‘suspects’ like Sunil Tripathi or Salah Eddhi Barhoum had been fleeing as well.

Boston bombing, compared to other similar occurrences, was one to be the most widely reported either on mass or social media, and also the one most widely misinformed. CNN became the first to report that ‘arrests’ had been made – and also the first to commit so large a mistake that the Americans thought a Negro could have committed such brutality. Then the photos of Sunil Tripathi went viral in Internet, resulting in one of the biggest manhunts in the city’s history, only to track out the whereabouts of the Brown University student. Barhoum, a Moroccan student, was overtly traumatized when FBI agents, ‘thanks’ to the information by mass media, mistook him for doing the terrorist act.

The fallacies were not over until the two brothers showed up in the MIT shooting (and also a little bombing in an infinitesimal section of Harvard), leaving Boston and its surrounding cities like Cambridge and Watertown, known for tranquility and a high-profile sense of Cantabrigian, ivory-tower intellectualism, into full-day ghost towns. Police and military troops patrolled the streets and avenues as though they were a war zone, while the brothers, using a hijacked car, threw grenades throughout the the circumstances.

And there came the most unexpected fact largely unknown to American public: this was a first time that Chechen sympathizers, the name which was the least associated with ‘radical Islam’ compared to Afghanistan or Iraq, could orchestrate such a deadly attack in a nation already traumatized by the intimidating 911 experience. It became both a lesson for United States, for it should not overlook ‘minor harbingers’ like they had placed too much attention merely on Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, and countries elsewhere in Middle East, and for Russia as well, a country already exhausted, and largely ignorant, of the ongoing wars in the volatile autonomous region of Chechnya.

That could be dubbed another ‘black swan phenomenon’, an unexpected, unpredictable event beyond all our control.


Read further as Tauriq Moosa, a South African blogger, attempts to explain further about media inconsistencies in Big Think.

And also one not to be missed: why the brothers, one known to be a ‘first-stage’ hard-liner, the other one a moderate Muslim, could have instigated such chaos.

Why we’ll never truly ‘leave’ high school (and its scientific explanation)


High school, as many of us concede, is undeniably a truly-defining, coming-of-adulthood moment in welcoming us to life and reality itself. It is not that high school is all an ultimate, utopic phantasmagorism; within it, we encounter problems, worries, and to a further extent, thanks to our puberty, excessive fear. But it is also the time that we found friends to share our burdens, to express all the preemptive madness we all face as teenagers, and to cherish the first years of coloring the beginning of our often rambunctiously-spirited adulthood.

As time goes by, though, we can’t always celebrate such moments. Changes strike in, and we have to prepare for that bittersweet process. There comes the limit to which our teenage mischief should end, and instead – like how an eagle trounces its old beak for a replacement – that new, obnoxious, and clumsy one named ‘adult responsibility’ should rake in our spirits and be welcomed by all of us, willingly or not.

Nevertheless, questions arise. Why are there some adults who can hardly put out the ‘seventeen-forever’ syndrome (psychologists term it as ‘reminiscence bump’), while some others may easily be oblivious about virtually all the high-school memories? A team of scientists attempt to unravel the answers, and the implications to our lives, in fact, may be more far-stretching than we have always preconceived.

Read the 6-page full report in New York Magazine.