Arts & Culture

The strange inspirations behind Greek myths

Greek myths - BBC

There are many strange stories in Odysseus’s long journey home after the sack of Troy, but where do they come from? BBC News Ella Davies Many of us know the well-told ancient Greek story with the wooden horse, but how well do you know its sequel? Homer’s Odyssey recounts what happened after the sack of Troy, specifically Odysseus’s epic voyage home. It might be fictional but… The strange inspirations… Read More »

We’re thinking about happiness all wrong

Happiness - Al Jazeera

Polish philosopher Zygmunt Bauman explains the problem. Al Jazeera News “We’ve been brought up by marketing, by advertising … to think about happiness as an uninterrupted row of better and better pleasures.” Philosopher Zygmunt Bauman breaks We’re thinking about… Read More »

The surprising origins of famous Christmas carols

Carols - BBC

The familiar tunes never fail to get us in the festive mood – but many of them have remarkably un-Christmassy roots, writes Mark Forsyth. BBC Mark Forsyth The Christmas carol service was invented in Truro in 1880 by a chap called Edward WhiteBenson. The story goes that on… The surprising origins of… Read More »

Hopeless Afghan struggle to save boy sex slaves

Afghanistan - Asia Times

Power and impunity ensure tradition of culturally sanctioned enslavement and rape of children by Western-backed security forces Asia Times Anuj Chopra Quivering with quiet rage, Shirin holds a photo of his teenage brother-in-law, who now lives as the plaything of policemen, just one victim of a hidden epidemic of kidnappings of young boys for institutionalised sexual slavery in… Hopeless Afghan struggle to… Read More »

Mobile ‘clothesline gallery’ a hit with Gaza’s young generation

Gaza - Al Monitor

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — An exhibition of works by photographer Mahmoud “Ezz” al-Zaanoun has been traveling around the Gaza Strip since Sept. 25, starting at the Beach camp. Al Monitor Ali Dolah However, his images depicting a Gaza most people never imagine aren’t hanging on the walls of a gallery or museum, but on clotheslines strung in the alleys of the poorest and most populated refugee camps in Gaza and… Mobile ‘clothesline gallery’ a hit with… Read More »

Why Japan celebrates Christmas with KFC

KFC - BBC

How a fast-food marketing campaign turned into a widespread Yuletide tradition for millions. BBC News Mark Peters Every Christmas, Ryohei Ando gathers his family together for a holiday tradition. Just like their father did as… Why Japan celebrates Christmas… Read More »

Shock theory reveals Anne Frank might have been found by chance – and not BETRAYED

Anne Frank - Express

DIARIST Anne Frank could have been discovered in a raid on ration fraudsters instead of being snatched by Nazi’s hunting for Jews, a shocking new study has revealed. Express Vickiie Oliphant The wartime writer was thought to have been removed from her home at 263 Prinsengracht after an anonymous call tipped her and her family off to the Nazis. The Franks, van Pelses and… Shock theory reveals Anne Frank might… Read More »

Wonder and Worry, as a Syrian Child Transforms

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Canada welcomes Syrian refugees like no other country. The New York Times By CATRIN EINHORN and JODI KANTOR  But for one 10-year-old’s parents, is she leaving too much behind? TORONTO — As soon as Bayan Mohammad, a… Wonder and Worry… Read More »

The patriarchy, actually. What our favourite Christmas films mean in 2016

Film - The Guardian

From the housing crisis of It’s a Wonderful Life to the white, male hegemony of Love Actually, festive classics now seem more relevant than ever The Guardian Toby Moses Love Actually A film with myriad problems – not least its… The patriarchy, actually. What our… Read More »

Ancient Babylon’s bricks finding their way into modern buildings

Residents visit the ancient city of Babylon near Hilla, 100 km (62 miles) south of Baghdad February 17, 2012. Picture taken February 17, 2012. REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: TRAVEL SOCIETY) - RTR2Y1RF

BAGHDAD — Every now and then Iraqis are surprised to find out that some of the new buildings in the city of Hillah, south of Baghdad, are still being built with antique bricks stolen over the past century from the ancient city of Babylon. Al Monitor Wassim Bassem Mohammed al-Hilli, a 75-year-old stonemason from Hillah, told Al-Monitor, “We often find authentic Babylonian brick while demolishing dilapidated houses.” He explained, “During the 1950s, it… Ancient Babylon’s bricks finding their… Read More »

Art exhibit showcases Syrian history, culture

Art Exhibit - Al Monitor

The Aga Khan Museum in Toronto is exhibiting more than 40 works of Syrian art in an attempt to raise awareness of the rich cultural and artistic histories of Syria. Al Monitor Aaron Schaffer The exhibition, entitled “Syria: A Living History,” will be on display at the museum through late February. The exhibition was curated by… Art exhibit showcases Syrian… Read More »

Framing history

Hong Kong - Asia times

A philanthropist and photographer document the disappearing streetscape of the first road laid on Hong Kong Island Asia Times Mathew Scott Every streetscape tells its own unique story and Hong Kong residents Howard Bilton and William Furniss saw one disappearing before their very eyes as they traveled to and from home each day. Queen’s Road was the first laid on… Framing history… Read More »

How Michelle Obama became a singular American voice

Michelle Obama - The Washington Post

The heart of the first lady’s efforts was a message about the country’s persistent inequities of race, class and gender. The Washington Post Peter Slevin Three weeks after Inauguration Day in 2009 and still a long way from crafting an agenda, Michelle Obama climbed into her motorcade and paid a visit to Mary’s Center, a Latino community services agency a few miles north of the White House. She read “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do… How Michelle Obama became a… Read More »

German State Passes Law To Force ‘Dominant Culture’ On Refugees

Germany - Daily Caller

The German state of Bavaria passed a new law Friday to force the local “dominant culture” on refugees. The Daily Caller Jacob Bojesson The ruling Christian Social Union (CSU) argues the law is necessary after the massive influx of refugees during the last two years. Extra funding will go to schools and daycare centers where… German State Passes Law To Force ‘Dominant… Read More »

Arnold Zable: Greek tale a chance to reflect upon immigration in Australia

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Over the past two years, Australia has observed a series of World War I centenaries peaking with the commemoration of the Gallipoli landings. The Age Arnold Zable Ongoing centenaries continue to be observed, accompanied by events and publications marking battles fought in Europe. December 10, 2016, marks the… Arnold Zable: Greek… Read More »

Oliver Stone: ‘We owe Edward Snowden a huge debt. He’s a hero for our time’

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The reliably controversial American auteur spent 18 months talking to the CIA whistle-blower for his new film The Irish Times Tara Brady Oliver Stone Exclusive Interview You don’t need to keep rewinding – and the use of the iconic phrase “back and to the left” is entirely optional – to uncover a… Oliver Stone: ‘We… Read More »