Nuclear Farmville

Money

As the secretive nation of North Korea continues to baffle and occasionally amuse, most of us can only guess about people’s lives behind the Great Wall of Pyongyang.  But there’s one thing we know for sure – they have computers, and they seem to be fantastic at using them.

Over the past few years, the United Nations has imposed sanctions on trade with North Korea in an effort to reduce their cash…

Planet Tiffany

Star City

Over the last 150 years, the diamond industry has spent billions of dollars (and a lot of good karma) trying to convince us that diamonds are one of the most rare substances known to mankind. It all started innocently enough, as until the mid 19th century, diamonds could only be found in a few secluded corners in India and Brazil. But when an expedition to South Africa in 1870 unearthed thousands of…

A Face-Lift for Fifi?

Animals

In the last few years, followers of fashion and good sense have had to deal with one plastic surgery-related shock after another. First it was the beauty queens who went belly up after some completely unnecessary procedures. Then it was the 12 year olds who put Liposuction on their birthday wishlists. Followed by the Asian 12 year olds who got eyelid surgery to look more Western. And now, it’s the…

The Russian Revelation

Food

Russia has had a long struggle with alcohol, from alarming statistics to a multitude of jokes that start with “Three Russians walk into a bar.” The good news is that the country has finally admitted that one of the factors contributing to alcohol consumption tripling in the past decade could be that they have been classifying beer as a food!
Initially marketed as a healthy alternative to drinking…

A Slum With A View

Home

When you picture a slum, the first things that come to mind are images of filth, squalor and snotty-nosed children abandoned on the streets. You think of guns and dubious transactions behind closed, stained doors. When you picture South America’s fourth tallest building, you instantly think of a glass-and-steel monolith, buzzing with suit-clad bankers clutching half-filled cups of coffee. And yet,…