The Economist’s Christmas Specials all deserve a read, my favorites this year:
- Paraguay’s awful history – The never-ending war
- The Senkaku or Diaoyu Islands -Narrative of an empty space
- China’s motorways -Get your kicks on Route G6
- Matsutaro Shoriki -Japan’s Citizen Kane
China’s copycats are now copying buildings before the originals are even complete, Plagiarism: If you build it, they will come (and copy it). (The Independent)
Lingering in China where massive population leads to unintended consequences, Yellow Is the New Red on China’s Roads. (ABC News)
Saudi Arabia is much more layered than the limitless riches portrayed in the media, Saudi Arabia’s riches conceal a growing problem of poverty (The Guardian) and Will Saudi Arabia Ever Change? (The New York Review of Books). Saudi Arabia is one of my highest travel interests, though I will only go for a meaningful visit that does not break the bank.
Can You Fight Poverty With a Five-Star Hotel? is a damning report on the World Bank. (Foreign Policy)
The New York MTA has a partial technological improvement many years behind that of other major cities, Next Stop for New York Subway: An App to Track Trains. (WSJ)
Salt rumors add to health crisis in Pakistan, so sad to see the forces of ignorance and mischief tearing Pakistan apart. (Washington Post) At the recommendation of NYT’s Nicholar Kristof, this year I added The Citizens Foundation to the charities that I support.
No surprise that the Gangnam neighborhood of Seoul wants to cash in, Trendy Spot Urges Tourists to Ride In and Spend, ‘Gangnam Style.’ (NYT)
Visitors to Alcatraz will notice a new old feature, Antigovernment Graffiti Restored, Courtesy of Government. (NYT)
A Brewster Buffalo has been found, 10 Feet Below Waters Off Midway Atoll, a Famous Flying Dud. (NYT) I enjoyed learning about this little-known fighter’s history.
Barron’s has a favorable take on Delta as an investment, Gaining Altitude With Delta, as with so many businesses, what analysts like is often bad news for customers. (Barron’s)
Down-Home American, Korean Style is a fun cross-cultural story set in North Dakota (NYT):
“I cannot totally live with Koreans; it would drive me crazy,” she said. “I cannot totally live with American people; it drives me crazy. I love being in between and being a bridge.”
At Disney Parks, a Bracelet Meant to Build Loyalty (and Sales) is useful for some, while something to creep out those who worry about ‘Big Brother’ and personal data. (NYT)