Postcards From the Future: imagining a post-climate change Earth

 

‘The Gherkin’

 

Why you should visit this website: long before both North Pole and South Pole completely melt down, long before the rising sea waters flood away most of our planet’s major cities, long before climate change disrupts our whole patterns of life, you had better simply imagine, give a simple glimpse of thought, through these postcards Photoshopped by Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones, of what this world could have been if we hadn’t done anything to reduce the flows of carbon dioxide emissions now already at an increasingly dangerous level. You wouldn’t expect London turning into Venice, Buckingham Palace turning into a huge refugee camp, would you?

Link: http://www.postcardsfromthefuture.co.uk/

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Zen Pencils: Inspiring people with cartoon work

zen pencils

 

Why you should visit this website: wisdom doesn’t have to be judgmental; no human beings are born perfect, and we are all prone to making mistakes. But, one good thing about humanity, again, is our automatic tendencies to never cease reminding each other to learn from our misdeeds, to not repeat the same errors, and to live life with a wider perspective. Somehow, we also must realize that not all people are ready for feedback, in particular if it sounds harsh and superiority-inducing to one another. Gavin Aung Than, an Australian freelance cartoonist, has one creative approach to fill the void: make the fullest out of his passion – drawing adorable characters – to disseminate those messages of wisdom, preferably in a humorous and self-evaluating manner. And there comes Zen Pencils: with wise quoting by well-honored public figures, Gavin wants to prove, once more, that spreading wisdom doesn’t always have to be uni-directional. Thank you, Gavin!

Linkhttp://zenpencils.com/

Innovations for Successful Societies: Achieving a civic society

innovations for successful societies

 

Why you should visit this website: firstly, there’s no doubt that almost every person is always questioning whatever an authority is doing. Be it city management, corruption eradication, simplification of red-tape obstacles, provision of basic welfare services, etc, etc. No doubt that many people, as well, will oftentimes get disappointed with the governments. Nonetheless, for Princeton University, this is a healthy sign. A sign that people ‘participate’ in public discourse about issues pertaining to their countries, their provinces, or their cities. That they are concerned about anything that the authority is doing, and of course, as government itself is primarily consisted of human beings, too, they’re prone to mistakes and wrongdoings.

So, how do governments, particularly in developing countries and semi-democracies where people’s voices are oftentimes overlooked and repressed, respond? Here is where the university releases a public-policy studies initiative, titled ‘Innovations for Successful Societies’. Looking into hundreds of case studies spread over 56 countries worldwide over decades, this program attempts to disseminate positive ideas, creative methods, and out-of-the-box courage as already practiced by dozens of successful leaders in their respective fields. These are just a few examples:

1. How Joko Widodo (or Jokowi, now Indonesia’s elect-president) transformed his hometown, Surakarta (Solo), from a city once plagued by crime, poverty, and extreme violence, into a creative arts and tourism hub in Southeast Asia

2. How Bertrand de Speville spearheaded massive anti-corruption efforts in transforming Hong Kong, once one of the world’s most corrupt cities, into now one equivalent to Singapore in terms of financial transparency, economic freedom, and almost non-existent red-tape practices, in less than 4 decades

3. How a former British police commissioner reformed a once-decrepit police force in Lesotho, a country completely surrounded by – and dependent on – South Africa

4. How anti-corruption watchdogs are working to bust political cronyism in several former Soviet states

Get inspired and be participating in building up your society!

Linkhttp://www.princeton.edu/successfulsocieties/

Culture Pub: the Internet’s ad database

culture pub

 

Why you should visit this website: it’s a very, very huge database of any kinds of weird, surreal, unique, creative, and oftentimes mind-boggling advertisements across the whole world (hundreds of countries, literally) you either have watched or thought you have watched it a long time ago, but have no ideas what they are advertising about. The only ‘problem’, though: it’s all reserved for les francais, or simply anyone living in a world of Francophone. But, still, as a solution of ‘last resort’, in case you can even hardly use your good guesses to understand some of these French phrases, you can rely on Google’s automatic-translation feature to let it interpret every word on it for you (but be prepared for typos, though).

Linkhttp://www.culturepub.fr/

 

Bonus: luckily they have the English version, as you can view it from their Youtube channel, The Ad Show.

Minorities at Risk – Assessing ‘the vulnerable others’

mar_mast

 

Why you should visit this link: when it comes to ‘minority’, what comes up in your mind? There may be numerous possibilities you can envision about: being secluded from the majority, or discriminated against for the distinct traits, either they are physical, social, historical, religious, et cetera, that you possess, or worse, being exploited on numerous paces or extents, ranging from having your assets confiscated, or your identities denied, or worse, get yourselves deported or even end up murdered. Okay, such thoughts may be overly distant, but as a matter of fact, as many as 283 ethnic minorities, numbered in nearly 1 billion people worldwide, are being faced with those existent forms of menace. Numerous historical examples have taken place, and, having been compiled by this University of Maryland project, are presented in this website. Unfortunately, though, for unclear reasons, this project only cites references up to the year of 2006, and ever since, has barely updated any information. Still, despite such cessation, you can still have a clear understanding by looking at the data from each of those 283 ethnic minorities scattered across dozens of countries round the globe.

Bonus: it includes assessment for Chinese Indonesians, altogether with a complete, well-detailed chronology covering from 1990 to 2006.

Link: http://www.cidcm.umd.edu/mar/

The Diplomat: know the Asia-Pacific, much deeper

the diplomat

 

Why you should visit this website: it’s an online magazine, about Asia-Pacific, not like any other you see; it provides in-depth insight (normally nearly 1,000 words long for each article) into numerous particular issues surrounding the region, with simplistic, convenient multimedia features, and a language particularly easy to understand. Another great fact from this website is that it allows international-relations wannabes (mostly Master’s or PhD candidates worldwide), altogether with senior fellows and other well-experienced analysts, to exchange words, facts, and information freely, giving it an exclusivity-free atmosphere you barely see in conventional, first-class global-affairs websites you frequently need to subscribe (another recommendation being Foreign Policy, but still, you can only access 8 free news articles each month starting from last year). Such humble face of this website provides great opportunities for the public to access these articles freely, therefore gaining rapid comprehension about current affairs taking place in the world’s currently most dynamic region.

Linkhttp://thediplomat.com/

Diffen: compare (almost) anything

diffen

 

Why you should visit this website: you can compare almost everything, with extensive details, highlights of similarities and differences among the two things compared in numerous aspects, and even detailed backgrounds of the stuff mentioned. Only, and if only, you keep the scope of comparison realistic and relevant (say, when you input two objects you want to compare, for example, don’t expect any results when you enter ‘democracy’ versus ‘antibiotics’, or ‘Han Solo’ versus ‘Barack Obama’).

But, as this website is relatively new, you may not expect this website to be your personal genie. There are a lot of things – with relevant topic for comparison – by which you find no results (they may simply ask you to refer to Wikipedia, while sorting out some important phrases related to the things you want to compare). The best suggestion, still, is to keep browsing other similar websites to get your desired results.

Personally, though, it is still a great website for you to discover new knowledge and expand your horizon.

Linkhttp://www.diffen.com/