80+1 » Heritage http://www.80plus1.org A Journey Around the World Thu, 25 Nov 2010 14:24:05 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.7.1 en hourly 1 Russia, Mongolia celebrate 1939 defeat of Japan http://www.80plus1.org/blog/russia-mongolia-celebrate-1939-defeat-of-japan http://www.80plus1.org/blog/russia-mongolia-celebrate-1939-defeat-of-japan#comments Thu, 27 Aug 2009 13:20:40 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=3940 Before leaving Mongolia yesterday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (pictured) and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj memorialized fallen soldiers who defeated the Japanese imperial forces at Khalkhyn Gol in 1939. This was the final battle between Soviet and Mongolian forces and Japan…

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Before leaving Mongolia yesterday, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (pictured) and Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj memorialized fallen soldiers who defeated the Japanese imperial forces at Khalkhyn Gol in 1939. This was the final battle between Soviet and Mongolian forces and Japan along their border in 1938 and 1939. This week marked the 70th anniversary of that battle.

“The Soviet and Mongolian soldiers fought for the right cause,” the Agence France Presse quoted Medvedev as saying.

The news agency also interviewed 100-year-old Mongolian veteran Damdinzhav Tsagaan, who said: “I believe that our two countries will be united forever.”

The two presidents met earlier this week to discuss development of minerals and other resources in Mongolia.

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Roman edifice found in Jerusalem http://www.80plus1.org/blog/roman-edifice-found-in-jerusalem http://www.80plus1.org/blog/roman-edifice-found-in-jerusalem#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2009 08:31:11 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=3588 Earlier this week, Israeli authorities announced the discovery of an ancient Roman mansion dating back to the year 300 CE. It was found in the City of David, south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Other artifacts that scientists uncovered were…

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Earlier this week, Israeli authorities announced the discovery of an ancient Roman mansion dating back to the year 300 CE. It was found in the City of David, south of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. Other artifacts that scientists uncovered were the sculpture head of a boxer and gem-laden earrings.

Dr. Doron Ben-Ami, the director of the excavation, told United Press International:

“Even though we do not have the complete dimensions of the structure, we can modestly estimate that its territory sprawls across about 1,000 square meters,” said Ben-Ami. “In the center there was a large garden which was enclosed by columns. Balconies revolved amid the rows of columns and rooms that bordered the garden. The rooms’ ceilings rose to the height of two stories and were covered by tile roofs.”

Despite the discovery, the Jerusalem Post also adds though, that “archeologists, Jewish new residents and veteran Palestinian residents vie for space on the crowded hillside.”

The paper notes:

Palestinians residents have protested the extent of excavations within the Silwan neighborhood, which is intertwined with the archeological park, claiming the digging has weakened the structural integrity of their houses and is being done for political, rather than archeological reasons.

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Gaelic translations outsourced to India. Sort of. http://www.80plus1.org/blog/gaelic-translations-outsourced-to-india-sort-of http://www.80plus1.org/blog/gaelic-translations-outsourced-to-india-sort-of#comments Thu, 06 Aug 2009 09:34:21 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2751 So back in 2005, the Scottish Parliament passed the Gaelic Language Act, promoting the use of Scottish Gaelic throughout the Highlands. Presumably that means that all kinds of public documents have to be translated from English into Gaelic, including the…

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So back in 2005, the Scottish Parliament passed the Gaelic Language Act, promoting the use of Scottish Gaelic throughout the Highlands. Presumably that means that all kinds of public documents have to be translated from English into Gaelic, including the parliamentary annual report.

But in order to get this translation done this year, Holyrood (the Scottish Parliament) turned to the UK-based company, Format Design. That company, in turn, outsourced the translation to an Indian company, which offered “to carry out the translations for 6p a word - undercutting rivals by 40 per cent,” according to the UK newspaper, The Sun.

This meant, the paper added: “Based on last year’s 12,317-word report, the translation would cost £740 instead of around £1,200 [1414€].”

But here’s the thing: as there aren’t too many Scottish Gaelic speakers in India, the unnamed Indian company then had to hire a sub-sub-contractor in the Western Isles of Scotland to actually do the work.

In a related story, Herald Scotland reports that “First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday announced an extra £800,000 in funding for Gaelic education, bringing the total above £2 million this year.”

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Tsonjin Boldog boasts huge Genghis Khan statue http://www.80plus1.org/blog/tsonjin-boldog-boasts-huge-genghis-khan-statue http://www.80plus1.org/blog/tsonjin-boldog-boasts-huge-genghis-khan-statue#comments Mon, 03 Aug 2009 17:11:45 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2699 The New York Times has a new feature on the new statue of Mongolia’s most well-known historical figure, Genghis Khan. The 13th century emperor and conqueror of much of Asia and the Middle East has become a contemporary icon — Mongolians have…

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The New York Times has a new feature on the new statue of Mongolia’s most well-known historical figure, Genghis Khan. The 13th century emperor and conqueror of much of Asia and the Middle East has become a contemporary icon — Mongolians have put his name and or visage on the airport, currency and in a huge statue near the Parliament building.

The “Chinggis Khaan Statue Complex,” which opened last fall, is a huge area located in Tsonjin Boldog, about 50 kilometers outside the capital, Ulan Bator. The Genco Tour Bureau, a Mongolian tourism company found in 1997, spent $4.1 million on the statue, which towers in 40 meters of steel above the surrounding plain.

The Times reports on the activities available to tourists besides the huge statue itself:

Inside the two-story base of the statue, which opened last September, visitors can see a replica of Genghis Khan’s legendary golden whip, sample traditional cuisine — heavy on the horse meat and potatoes — and experience some decidedly un-nomadic customs, like billiards.

Although there is no evidence to back up its claim, the company contends that the site is where Genghis Khan found the whip, traditionally considered an auspicious omen, that inspired his future conquests. Like Genghis Khan, the company is intent on expanding its empire. Several miles away at a “13th-century national park,” the more adventuresome can milk horses, spin wool and watch a shaman ceremony. A spa, hotel and golf course are also in the works.

However, the newspaper notes that Mongolia has done very little to explore the complicated nature of Genghis Khan, who is considered by many to be a destructive, imperial force, particularly in Iraq, Iran, and the surrounding areas.

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Israeli Foreign Minister wants 1941 Hitler photo circulated to counter world pressure http://www.80plus1.org/blog/israeli-foreign-minister-wants-1941-hitler-photo-circulated-to-counter-world-pressure http://www.80plus1.org/blog/israeli-foreign-minister-wants-1941-hitler-photo-circulated-to-counter-world-pressure#comments Wed, 22 Jul 2009 16:14:10 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=2462 Jews and Palestinians in Israel have been at each others’ throats basically since the British showed up and screwed everything up. It’s been an intractable struggle that’s been going on for the better part of a century.

The latest episode…

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Jews and Palestinians in Israel have been at each others’ throats basically since the British showed up and screwed everything up. It’s been an intractable struggle that’s been going on for the better part of a century.

The latest episode incarnation this week involves the US trying to get a Jewish-American hotel owner and “millionaire bingo magnate,” who is trying to turn his Shepherd Hotel (pictured) in East Jerusalem into a block of apartment buildings. The U.S. government is calling for a halt to the project, saying that it represents new settlement on the internationally-recognized Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem.

Irving Moskowitz, a longtime supporter of conservative Israeli and American politics and equally long contraversial agent provacateur, pulled the same stunt about 12 years ago — and has a longstanding relationship with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As if that weren’t weird enough, now, the Israeli foreign minister and ultra-nationalist, Avigdor Lieberman, is calling for a 1941 photograph to be circulated in Israel’s embassies around the world. The photo is of Adolf Hitler meeting with the then-grand mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, and presumably is meant to imply that Palestinians then and now were Nazi collaborators and perhaps have the same moral standing today as neo-Nazis.

Not surprisingly, the Agence France Presse is reporting that “[f]oreign ministry staff opposed the move.”

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New Orleans is attracting new entrepreneurs http://www.80plus1.org/blog/new-orleans-is-attracting-new-entrepreneurs http://www.80plus1.org/blog/new-orleans-is-attracting-new-entrepreneurs#comments Mon, 22 Jun 2009 08:02:36 +0000 Cyrus Farivar http://www.80plus1.org/?p=1727 According to the local newspaper the Times-Picayune, New Orleans is attracting young entrepreneurs who are eager to help the city get back on its feet. In fact, the article notes that the American business magazine Forbes listed NOLA as eighth (of ten)…

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According to the local newspaper the Times-Picayune, New Orleans is attracting young entrepreneurs who are eager to help the city get back on its feet. In fact, the article notes that the American business magazine Forbes listed NOLA as eighth (of ten) US cities where Americans are relocating in March 2009.

At the time, Forbes wrote:

Still recovering from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, New Orleans has been regaining its population slowly over the last two years after losing 22% of its people from 2005 to 2006. Due to massive rebuilding efforts, the unemployment rate is at a moderate 5.5%, 2.6 percentage points lower than the national average.

One business mentioned in the article, iSeatz, has 80 percent of its staff that are not from New Orleans — according to the company’s founder, Kenneth Purcell.

Part of the allure about New Orleans may also be that there’s just a lot of work to be done.


Tim Williamson, president and co-founder of the Idea Village, a nonprofit that identifies and supports promising local entrepreneurs, agrees.

“New Orleans is attractive because there are lots of opportunities here and less layoffs than in other places like Boston or San Francisco,” Williamson said.

In addition to digital media, Williamson said other hot sectors include green business, those ventures that pursue environmental sustainability, and urban redevelopment.

“Katrina reversed the brain drain, so you’ve seen an influx of new talent and capital coming in,” he said. “If you’re an individual looking to take on the most pressing economic and social challenges, there’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity here with entrepreneurship.”

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