News from a World gone mad

yet there is still so much beauty


January 11, 2016

Hans IslandFar in the Arctic North lies the barren and desolate Hans Island.

The uninhabited half-square-mile island, possessing no apparent natural resources, is a bizarre sliver of territory for two countries to fight over.

However, since the early 1930s, this nondescript rock has been at the center of an ongoing disagreement between Canada and Denmark.

According to World Atlas, Hans Island is located in the middle of the 22-mile wide Nares Strait, which separates Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark, from Canada. Due to international law, all countries have the right to claim territory within 12 miles of their shore.

As such, Hans Island is technically located in both Danish and Canadian waters. World Atlas notes that the island was decided to be Danish territory by the Permanent Court of International Justice of the League of Nations in 1933.

However, as the League of Nations fell apart in the 1930s and was then replaced by the United Nations, the ruling on the status of Hans Island carries little to no weight.

The issue of Hans Island then loss traction in popular consciousness and the concerns of the Canadian and Danish governments throughout World War II and the heights of the Cold War, only to reemerge in 1984.

full story at Business Insider UK







People take part in the 'No Pants Subway Ride' in Vienna, Austria, January 10, 2016. © Heinz-Peter Bader

One day a year subway riders across the world get rid of their trousers and skirts to show off their new knickers and have fun as part of the “No Pants Subway Ride” day.

What started as a mere joke back in 2002 in New York by the Improv Everywhere prank collective, has now turned into an annual flash mob that brings together some 25 countries around the world , including the UK, Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic and Russia.

lots more funny pictures of pantless people at RT











Denmark Deports Top Foreign Student For Working 'Too Hard'

COPENHAGEN, DENMARK:  Denmark has kicked a foreign student out of the country for exceeding hourly part-time work regulations, despite Aarhus University’s efforts to hang onto one of its top students, the school said Saturday.

Marius Youbi, a 30-year-old engineering student, flew home to Cameroon on January 7 under an expulsion order requiring him to leave Denmark by January 8.

The Scandinavian country has some of Europe’s strictest immigration policies, and has repeatedly tightened its regulations in recent months to deter foreigners from seeking a new life in the country.

Working part-time as a cleaner to help pay for his studies, Youbi was found to have occasionally exceeded the 15 hours he was allowed to work per week.

“We disagree with this decision from the Danish immigration service,” university spokesman Anders Correll told AFP.

full story NDTV










RIP David Bowie, The Man Who Changed Science Fiction

David Bowie, who just died of cancer aged 69, had an incalculable impact on pop culture throughout his shape-shifting career. But perhaps more than any other musician, he also had a tremendous impact on science fiction. He changed the way we thought about the alien, the uncanny, and the familiar.

Bowie’s first hit single, “Space Oddity,” established him not just as an artist who sang about science-fictional topics like space travel, but also as someone who embraced the discomfort of humanity juxtaposed against the cosmos. The song’s churning guitar riffs and psychedelic noises convey something of the disorientation of floating in a tin can, far from home. Over the years that followed, Bowie produced some of the most poignant representations ever of alien visitors, doomed grandeur and tormented supermen. I recently listened to his song “The Man Who Sold the World” on a loop while writing, and it reveals more and more layers of pathos, remorse and arrogance the more you hear it.

Bowie’s greatest gift to science fiction was that combination of pathos and dissocation, which comes across in a lot of his best songs. His album Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, a rock opera about a band led by a mysterious figure, encapsulates the apocalypse, androgyny and rockstar excess with the same bohemian drama. (Click here to read Bowie explaining to William S. Burroughs the whole fascinating backstory of Ziggy Stardust.) Ziggy Stardust was just one of many personas that Bowie created over the years, including the zombie-like Thin White Duke.

Here’s more of Bowie talking about Ziggy Stardust, with animation: io9









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