Halloween is universal?

October 29, 2010 § 5 Comments

Halloween is the world’s fastest growing holiday. What is the reason behind this? Halloween is one of those consumption holidays beloved by businesses. In the U.S., the occasion is the year’s second most bankable day. Apparently, retailers in other countries don’t want to miss out on such a lucrative event; they are actively promoting Halloween as a universal holiday. I mean everyone loves an adorable ghost, right?

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Top search terms for October 18-24

October 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Blog Stats:

1) Pop art
2) Efficient health care
3) Foujita girl in the park
4) Google v. Yahoo war
5) Weeping woman

Grass is always greener at Wimbledon

October 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

The Wimbledon championships have often been cited as the most prestigious tennis tournament in the world, and are for very good reasons. Wimbledon is the oldest tournament in tennis history, enjoying over 130 years of history. Moreover, the event is played on the unusual surface of grass, a near-extinct species in today’s age. The tournament is also deeply connected with traditions. It may be highly atypical to see players give curtsies or bows to the royal box or wear all-white attires, but this is part of Wimbledon’s irresistible charm.

Perhaps, the finest case for Wimbledon as the best tennis tournament would be found on the championship trophy itself. The list of singles champions is truly extraordinary with names like Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, and the Williams sisters—each with multiple titles. Wimbledon is surely the players’ favorite tournament.

Stories of the decade: 2004 Tsunami

October 15, 2010 § Leave a comment

Natural disasters are normal events in everyday life. However, a natural disaster in the scale of the 2004 Tsunami probably only happens once every century. Indeed, what took place on December 26, 2004 was one of historic proportions. According to the UN, the tsunami killed nearly 250,000 people and displaced almost 2 millions more. The scale of destructions on the countries affected was enormous and unprecedented.

One good thing that came out from this devastating event was the extraordinary compassion shown by people around the world. Billions of dollars were raised for the recovery effort, and thousands of volunteers from around the world had spent time in the affected areas to help the people there rebuilding their lives. It was a wonderful gesture of goodwill and offered hope for humanity.

Top search terms for October 4-10

October 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Blog Stats:

1) Picasso Weeping Woman
2) Mona Lisa
3) Pepsi v. Coke
4) Ao Dai
5) Efficiency v. Equality

Stories of the Decade: Economic Crises

October 8, 2010 § 2 Comments

Historically, each decade has produced at least one major economic crisis. In the 1970s, we had the Oil Crisis and subsequent Stagflation (combined high inflation and unemployment). In the 1980s, we had the Debt Crisis, a stock market crash, and the Savings and Loan Crisis. In the 1990s, we had the Asian Financial Crisis. In this decade, we have had to endure the Dot Com Crash (started in the 1990s) and the Subprime Mortgage Crisis. The impacts of these two events on the world economy were quite severe. The Dot Com Crash caused tech-focused NASDAQ Composite to lose almost 80% of its value in just one year, effectively wiping out trillions of dollars in asset value. The Subprime Crisis has been just as unforgiving. The world financial system nearly crashed as a result of the housing bust, and the U.S. economy has lost millions of jobs during the current recession.

What has been the cause of all these financial and economic crises? The answer is human greed. As long as greed still exists, we will continue to suffer from more of these crises in the future.

The Japanese Kimono

October 7, 2010 § Leave a comment

Nothing is more Japanese than the Kimono, Japan’s traditional dress. The dress is described as a weightless robe with wide sleeves and purposeful collars. Women’s kimonos are renowned for their audacious colors and elegant embroideries. Men’s kimonos, on the other hand, are decisively unadorned. Unlike traditional dresses of other countries, kimonos are used both for ceremonial purposes and for daily life. The dress is also the default wedding garment for both Japanese men and women. Housewives and older Japanese often don kimonos at home.

As most kimonos are made of silk, the dress is an exceptionally comfortable wear. But there is one caveat. Kimonos are rather pricey. A well-made kimono can cost in the neighborhood of several thousand dollars. The cost of maintaining the dress is, unfortunately, also very steep.

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