Infographics: United Against Islamic State

strange bedfellows


They are enemies, they are archrivals, and they have conflicting ideologies against each other. The web as you see above looks particularly very intricate, given each country’s animosity towards each other. Nonetheless, one thing has put everything aside for a while: the rise of Islamic State (ISIS), a ‘pseudo, outdated, and rather anarchic Islamic hegemony’ which seeks a 7th-century-style governance amid the times of 21st century (a biting impediment towards Type 1 civilization). These countries all have one thing in common: its establishment is a dangerous precedent, and it should be eliminated. Indeed, it is just a start. Strange bedfellows will soon find themselves working together, uneasily united in an unexpected vantage point of history.

Check the graphics in Wall Street Journal to find out more about each of the links (with different colors) above.


The real meaning of Christmas

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Christmas, in an essay by Christopher Hitchens, despite his flaming atheism, is not ‘as simple, and dead-boring, as writing compulsory confessional drools to families and friends and listening to the same songs and music elsewhere’. The real meaning, he asserts, is much deeper than what people always perceive.

Warning: this might not be a suitable article for everyone.

Read the full article on Wall Street Journal.




In their already discrepant accounts of the miraculous birth, the four gospels give us no clue as to what time of year—or even what year—it is supposed to have taken place. And thus the iconography of Christmas is ridiculously mixed in with reindeer, holly, snow scenes and other phenomena peculiar to northern European myth. (Three words for those who want to put the Christ back in Christmas: Jingle Bell Rock.) There used to be an urban legend about a Japanese department store that tried too hard to symbolize the Christmas spirit, and to show itself accessible to Western visitors, by mounting a display of a Santa Claus figure nailed to a cross. Unfounded as it turned out, this wouldn’t have been off by much.

You would have to be religiously observant and austere yourself, then, to really seek a ban on Christmas. But it can be almost as objectionable to be made to take part in something as to be forbidden to do so. The reason for the success of the Lehrer song is that it so perfectly captures the sense of irritated, bored resignation that descends on so many of us at this time of year. By “this time of year,” I mean something that starts no later than Thanksgiving (and often sooner) and pervades the entire atmosphere until Dec. 25.