By Vinay Menon Entertainment Columnist Wed., May 23, 2018 Since leaving politics, Barack and Michelle Obama have minted a fortune with speeches, book deals and, as of this week, a new gig with Netflix. On Monday, the entertainment behemoth announced a “multi-year agreement” with the former U.S. president and First Lady. Though Netflix is now spending cash like a Lotto Max winner with terminal cancer — the content budget for this year is roughly $8 billion — what it stands to gain creatively from this move is not yet clear. In a statement, the company said the Obamas will “produce a diverse mix of content, including the potential for scripted series, unscripted series, docu-series, documentaries and features.” That’s the vaguest thing I’ve seen since stumbling upon a sign in the foothills of Darjeeling that contained a picture of a teacup and what looked like an angry bear: Honey, if we continue down this path, I … [Read more...] about Netflix and chill about Trump? Obamas show the way
A lesser-known red-shirt leader in the Northeast recently made an interesting observation about the chronic political dispute that has divided our country for more than a decade and shown no signs of ending, not even four years after the military coup imposed an uneasy ceasefire. Sira Pimklang of Sakon Nakhon alleged that certain groups of people are seeking to prolong the conflict for their own benefit. He blamed other leaders of the red shirts and those of the rival yellow shirts, as well as the major political parties and the military, for there being no end in sight to the conflict. Sira said he and his followers planned to set up a new political party for red shirts who were committed to promoting political reconciliation. Setting up a political party for a particular group of people might not be the right way to go, and it is unclear whether it’s even possible to establish a party for rank-and-file red shirts. But the goal of achieving reconciliation in the … [Read more...] about Manipulation and resistance
Code-named “Blue Sky 2018”, the ongoing operation targets waste slag, metals and plastics that are being smuggled into the country to be used as raw materials. As much of the waste is hazardous and sold to unlicensed plants with no proper processing technology, it poses a serious threat to the environment and people’s health. It is the third time this year that a campaign has been launched against the smuggling and processing of illegal solid waste since the introduction of a ban on imports of 24 categories of solid waste from foreign countries that came into effect on January 1. Since then hundreds of people have been arrested. Before the ban, China had been the world’s largest dumping ground – taking in over half of the solid waste exported globally. And the huge profits involved, in tens of billions of US dollars, as well as lack of effective supervision and a well-regulated recycling system, mean it will be a long and tough fight to put an end to the … [Read more...] about Battle against pollution has pride of place among China’s policies
Fukuoka Girls’ Commercial High School has allowed students since April to choose what they wear from among two types each of blazer, trousers, skirt, jabot and necktie. One third-year student, 18, who wears trousers on some occasions, says she prizes the mobility they afford. “The trousers look cool,” she added with a smile. Located in Nakagawa, Fukuoka Prefecture, this private school began considering a free choice out of consideration for students who felt uncomfortable that their uniform was decided according to gender. The school asked members of its student council two years ago to wear trousers on a trial basis – an experiment that was received well among other students. The school then decided to officially introduce trousers. Of about 400 students, about 10 have started wearing trousers, the school said. Fukuoka prefectural-run Genkai High School in Koga has 20 overseas students. Since April, it has allowed female students to wear trousers for … [Read more...] about Anyone can wear trousers at Japanese schools
The term “beauty influencer” might sound familiar to those active on social media. A beauty influencer is defined as someone who shares their opinions on various beauty products. Consciously or not, these beauty influencers have more or less contributed to shaping our judgement on our choice of beauty products. Why do we trust beauty influencers in the first place? Why do we listen and read their reviews? Why does it matter? Until the 18th century, the notion of beauty was dominated by Plato and Aristotle, who saw beauty as something objective. They emphasised beauty as a matter of specific proportions or relations among parts. It was not something that came from the response of the beholder. Then, the concept of beauty experienced a shift. Beauty was seen in a more subjective state. In a sense, the definition of beauty laid on the set of standards generated by the perceiver in his/her own mind. As David Hume asserted in “Of the Standard of Taste” in 1757, … [Read more...] about Why do we trust ‘beauty influencers’?