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News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty

Date

November 1, 2015

The Elegant Woodcarvings of Dongyang

dongyang-woodcarving-3

Dongyang is a Chinese city in the center of Zhejiang Province, about 200 kilometers south of Hangzhou, reputed for producing some of the most elegant woodcarvings in the world. This ancient art goes back by more than 1,300 years at the time of the Tang Dynasty. In the Song Dynasty, it became highly developed as an art, and reached its peak in the period of Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty. Dongyang woodcarving is characterized by high relief, multi-layers, and a rich composition of pictures, presenting the third dimension. The carvings often told stories from history and Chinese literary classics and poems, others reflected local customs.

full article at Amusing Planet

A bubble freezing in the cold

Scottish Labour vote against Trident renewal

70 per cent voted in favour of the motion. Picture: Contributed

SCOTTISH Labour members have backed a call for the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system to be scrapped.

A motion opposing the renewal of Trident was debated by delegates at the party’s conference in Perth, with trade unions, MSPs and other members split over the controversial issue.

full article at The Scotsman

28 Vintage Photos of Korea Before the North-South Split

The separation of the two Koreas: North Korea and South Korea, isn’t an event that happened in a flash and developed into two opposite countries as you can see in the present. The land where these countries stood had experienced division since the early years of the Common Era with the Three Kingdoms: Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla dominating the states after the disintegration of Gojoseon, Korea’s first kingdom.

After more than a century, one of the three kingdoms, Silla, expanded rapidly by occupying the Han River basin and uniting the city states. Later, the kingdom’s armies attacked Baekje in 660 and Goguryeo in 667. These attacks resulted to the birth of a Unified Silla.

After 267 years, the unification fell and Korea became separated again into three kingdoms. The entire Korean peninsula became united under one government during the ruling Goryeo dynasty by 936 which lasted until 1392 when the Joseon Dynasty was established. The united Korea under Joseon Dynasty maintained a stable economy and a peaceful life until the beginning of invasions from Manchuria to the full occupation of Japan.

Fast forward to 1943, Russia, Britain and the USA agreed to make Korea “free and independent” after the invasions during the Second World War. On August 9, 1945, Soviet tanks entered northern Korea from Siberia and declared war on Japan. The surrender of Japan after the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and the collapse of Nazi Germany, with fundamental shifts in global politics and ideology, led to the division of Korea with the United States holding the southern half of the peninsula and the Soviet Union administering the north.

North Korea has lived under communist dictatorship while South Korea lived in democracy. The differences between the two are obvious until now but the idea of a peaceful reunification remains an idea no one can see happening in reality soon.

However, there are old photographs that still exist and serve as windows to the past. So here are  some from a thousand images taken from Pyongyang to Seoul that’ll give us a slice of Korea before its 38th parallel separation.

Aeryon Hall, Pyongyang, North Korea – ca. 1910

Photo Credit: Moravius

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