Month: November 2017

Why Morocco is Africa’s little Hollywood

Why Morocco is Africa’s little Hollywood

(CNN)In the new comedy "Army Of One", Nicolas Cage plays an American civilian who tries to hunt down Osama Bin Laden after an encounter with God, played by Russell Brand. The backdrop to the story is the slums of Pakistan's capital Islamabad. Here, Cage navigates the city's narrow back streets through loud traffic and buzzing markets on the back of a donkey, as seen in the recently released trailer.It's the perfect South Asian scenery.Except, the film was shot thousands of miles away, in Morocco's Marrakesh and Ouarzazate (pronounced Wa-za-zat), a home from home for Hollywood directors looking to recreate a host of landscapes without any of the risks, costs and nightmarish logistics of filming in other, perhaps more suitable countries. A safer alternative Morocco has a long history of wel...
The Jobs That Made People Hate You

The Jobs That Made People Hate You

From the town crier to bakers, a number of jobs in the ancient world made you a pariah in society.">According to the conventions of stand-up comedy, there are certain professions that render a person worthy of mockerybeing a lawyer, a banker, a politician, or a priest are all positions that can earn the scorn of others in society. For bankers, the satirical heat has been turned up since the financial crash of 2008, and for priests the horrifying sex scandals of the past thirty years fuel much of the cheap shots about pedophilia. Making fun of lawyers and politicians, however, has always been the norm.But theres a difference between following a career path that makes one the butt of jokes and playing a role that makes one a social pariah. Two thousand years ago the stakes were much highe...

Clitbait: 10 things you didn’t know about the clitoris

The Glitoris is not only Amanda Palmers No 1 artwork in the fight against fascism, its also an educational tool, says Australian artist Alli Sebastian WolfOn Saturday night, Alli Sebastian Wolf delivered a sex-ed lesson in one of the worlds most famous performance venues. The Australian artist was pulled on to the stage of the Sydney Opera Houses Concert Hall at the request of the musician Amanda Palmer, who had seen Wolfs recent piece Glitoris online. Nicole Morgan (@BendalongMorgan) Can't resist @amandapalmer pic.twitter.com/pmItUSbF6N January 21, 2017 Its much as it sounds: a giant, sparkling clitoris, a 100:1 scale model of the real thing, covered in intricate, sequinned nerves so that it lights up the room like a divine disco ball, says Wolf. Palmer said it was the most effecti...

Everything you ever wanted to know about hangovers (but were too queasy to ask)

The Romans treated hangovers with raw owls eggs; the Assyrians went for powdered birds beaks. Do any of the miracle cures really work?Reflecting on life in 1920s New York, F Scott Fitzgerald opined that the hangover became a part of the day as well allowed-for as the Spanish siesta. But while 21st-century bosses may not be quite as accommodating as the Wall Street tycoons of the roaring 20s, hangovers are certainly part of the Christmas party season. Whether its how to avoid them in the first place or negating the suffering after the event, hangovers have been pondered over for millennia. In ancient Rome, Pliny the Elder declared it advisable to line the stomach with a meal of roasted sheeps intestines before hitting the drink, while centuries later the English herbalist and botanist Nicho...
Warrior women of the ancient world: 5 myths busted

Warrior women of the ancient world: 5 myths busted

(CNN)History often remembers them as fearsome, war-loving lesbians, who killed baby boys and cut off their own breasts to better fire a bow and arrow.But just who were the Amazons, these legendary horsewomen-archers depicted across ancient Greece, Egypt, and China?The truth is no less gripping than the myth, as Stanford University historian Adrienne Mayor reveals in her book: "The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women Across the Ancient World.""Excavations of Eurasian graves have uncovered battle-scarred female skeletons dressed in tunics and trousers, and buried with quivers full of arrows, battle-axes, spears, and horse gear," she told CNN."So we know that genuine warrior women really existed at the time and places reported by the ancient Greeks and other cultures."These fierce no...
Sour note: In Ancient Rome, lemons were only for the rich

Sour note: In Ancient Rome, lemons were only for the rich

Lemons were the acai bowls of the ancient Romans prized by the privileged because they were rare, and treasured for their healing powers. In fact, this coveted fruit, as well as the citron, were the only citrus fruits known in the ancient Mediterranean it took centuries for other fruits, such as oranges, limes and pomelos to spread westward from their native Southeast Asia, a new study finds. However, the citrus fruits that followed in later years weren't as exclusive as lemons and citrons, said the study's lead researcher, Dafna Langgut, an archaeobotanist at Tel Aviv University in Israel. "All other citrus fruits most probably spread more than a millennium later, and for economic reasons," Langgut, told Live Science in an email. [10 Biggest Historical Mysteries That Will Probably Never B...
Want to Change the System, Trump and Sanders Supporters? Learn How It Works First.

Want to Change the System, Trump and Sanders Supporters? Learn How It Works First.

Our democracy has rules for a reason. And ignorance of them is damaging our democracy.">In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. George Orwell Civic participation is one of the most important responsibilities of being an American. Im old enough to remember when being selected to lead your homeroom class in the daily Pledge of Allegiance was a source of great pride. As kids, with our hands over our hearts, shoulders squared, wed recite those venerable words, and to the republic, for which is stands with purpose. Unfortunately, the moral imperative of being a good steward of this great nation and understanding what it takes to preserve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, is an afterthought for many, if any thought at all. Without question, the insu...
Eggnogs, candy canes and wreaths: The stories behind our Christmas traditions

Eggnogs, candy canes and wreaths: The stories behind our Christmas traditions

(CNN)The trees are decorated, the wreaths are hung and now it's about time to start laying out milk and cookies for Santa. There are so many traditions we've come to depend on during the holidays, but ever wondered where they came from? Now you'll know.Did Coca-Cola invent the modern-day Santa?In ancient Rome, people would exchange evergreen branches during New Year's celebrations to wish each other good health. The Romans eventually began bending these branches into a ring and displaying them on doorways, which symbolized both victory and eternal life. The wreath later became a Christian symbol for the body of Christ. In holly wreaths, the sharp, pointed leaves represented the crown of thorns worn by Jesus on the cross and the small, red berries symbolized drops of blood. Evergreen wreat...
Can Graduate Students Unionize? The Government Cant Decide

Can Graduate Students Unionize? The Government Cant Decide

Last semester, Paul Katz, a third-year Columbia doctoral student whos working toward a Ph.D. in 20th century Latin American history, was assigned to help teach and grade an undergraduate course on ancient Greece. He hadnt studied Greek history since high school, and he took time away from his own dissertation work to prepare for the class. Its reasonable to view that as a work assignment that Id been given, not to pretend that this is about my development as a scholar and teacher, Katz says. Hes joined other Columbia graduate students in petitioning the federal government for the right to unionize as they seek higher pay and other concessions, including better health benefits, for the teaching and research they do while pursuing their degrees.The National Labor Relations Board is expected ...