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Erik's picture

A Modest Proposal

Last week, I read an article on a Slovak blogging website about involuntary organ donations in China. After reading it I have to conclude that what is going on in the world nowadays is worse even than the events of the WWII. Although, maybe we are just better informed...

The article outlines how they kill prisoners in order to use them as organ donors. It is not only those sentenced to the capital punishment or the victims of accidents. Often, people in labour camps disappear under mysterious circumstances.

A year ago, when I visited Oxford, I saw a Chinese exhibition about the Falun Gong. It is a movement associated with meditation and the philosophy of harmony and independence, and its growing popularity is a needle in the eye of the establishment. The members are being persecuted, tortured and executed, and their organs are offered for transplants. There was a painting of an organ harvesting ‘operation' (above)...pretty awful.

Guest's picture

5 Most Popular Courses in USA for UK Students

The latest data has revealed some very shocking numbers when it comes to young minds from UK shifting base to the land of opportunities that we all know as America. The top universities in the US have recorded a high number of in-take from United Kingdom. The dull job scenario and overall job crunch in the market seems to be the reason why bright minds from the UK have decided to try their luck in United States of America.

As per the data released by the elite universities in America, it was evident that the British students are flocking the American colleges in large numbers especially for the flexibility in courses related to Arts field. Sites such as https://bridge.us are providing great help to these students. The students are known to seek admission in the liberal arts which encompasses a wide spectrum and also provides them the liberty to study range of subjects before they take specialization in the third year.

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Check out these April Fools’ Pranks

With April Fools' fast approaching, pranksters will no doubt already be plotting and scheming for 1st April. In light of this, Gala Bingo have put together a list of some of their favourite pranks from recent years.

There have been many well-publicised hoaxes in recent memory, such as last years' ridiculous suggestion that a Central London theme park was being planned with a slide around the Gherkin. This absurd suggestion will surely have only fooled a small proportion of people, nevertheless it was a bold claim. Up North in Newcastle, there was confusion last year when it was reported that after a poll on the Sun Newspaper, the iconic Angel of the North monument was to be re-painted pink and renamed ‘Cheryl Cole of the North' after the Girls Aloud star who has Geordie origins.

Companies are often keen to gain publicity on the day, as demonstrated in 2010 by coffee giants Starbucks, who announced a new ‘giant' coffee size on their blog. Whilst this sparked widespread interest across coffee-lovers alike, it turned out to be a hoax and the company had no intention of producing the ‘Plenta' - a 3.8 litre option!

Erik's picture

A Trip to Venice

"This is probably the only tourist hot-spot in the world without traffic problems", I thought as I got on a vaporetti - a waterbus. The Venetian canal (above) forms the main road and vaporetti are the buses, and are quite cheap at €18 for a 12 hour pass.

Nearby, a group of Japanese tourists were enjoying a ride on a gondola- a kind of private taxi. One ride for a maximum of 6 people costs about €80, but I heard stories that the gondoliers often charge extra for the added bonus of singing. Many shops follow the same practice- the ‘eat-in' fee is the equivalent of the tip.

From the vaporetti, you can observe the typical Italian architecture, especially the many churches. In medieval Italy it was popular to steal the relics of the saints and because of this, St Nicholas is buried in Bari. However, the remnants of St Mark (San Marco) the evangelist rest in the basilica in Venice patrolled by his symbol - a lion. The basilica is decorated with mosaics and onion-shaped cupolas - that's the byzantine architecture, and Marco Polo even brought aspect of Asian culture from his travels.

Lorenzo's picture

Film Review: The Great Beauty

It is now more than fifteen years since the victory of Roberto Benigni 's unforgettable Life is Beautiful . On Sunday, in Hollywood, an Italian film came back to triumph in the Best Foreign Film category. And it did it after bringing home the same award at both the Golden Globes and BAFTAs in the weeks before. This is The Great Beauty, the new film by Paolo Sorrentino.

The film recounts the story of Jep Gambarella, a journalist and theatre critic (played magnificently by Tony Servillo, at this moment the best actor that Italian cinema can offer) and also the writer, in his youth, of a single novel The Apparatus Human.

The journalist, a man of great charm, immerses himself in the beauty of Rome's great past, whilst at the same time busying himself with the mundane events of the city. He attends every evening salon in the capital, jumping between parties vulgar and poor taste, along with his circle of friends.

Jep, by now lazy and impatient, understands that in his life there is nothing left to believe, and reduces its existence to a single purpose: "not to slip into the mundane of the mundane".

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