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Sex before marriage is wrong…and here’s a formal event to prove it.

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North Korea is the world’s least visited country

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Only 1,800 Westerners make the trip each year.
Travel to North Korea is only possible as part of a guided tour. Independent travel is not permitted.  Citizens of the US, South Korea and people of South Korean origin are normally not permitted to visit the country.

Visiting North Korea is generally seen as a bureaucratic nightmare, and the traveller’s every move is monitored by tour guides. Ordinary North Koreans are forbidden to interact with tourists without authorization from the government.

Regardless of political beliefs, North Korea is generally acknowledged to be a beautiful and unique place to visit. The traveller must make his or her own mind up about the rights and wrongs of visiting the country.

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WARNING: Under no circumstances whatsoever are you to say something that could be perceived as an insult to Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-Il, Juche, or the North Korean people or government. You and your guide are likely to face serious trouble, although your guide will bear the worst of it. Assume at all times that you will be under constant surveillance throughout your trip. Your hotel room, bathrooms, telephones, faxes, emails and even modes of transportation will probably be bugged.

 (from wikitravel)

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Menstruation patterns are neccesary medical details

Investigating “the menstrual question” 

MUMBAI, India – India’s women bureaucrats are being told to provide details of their menstrual cycles in a new job appraisal form, a move that has angered female civil servants.

Among questions about goals and skills, the latest appraisal form, sent out earlier this year, asks women in India’s sprawling bureaucracy questions such as “when was your last menstrual period?” or “give details of your menstrual history.”

The form also specifies that “all female officers” must list details of their last maternity leave.

“This is insensitive. We feel strongly about this,” said Seema Vyas, a civil servant in the western state of Maharashtra’s administration department. “What will the government do with this information?”

All civil servants routinely undergo health checkups, but the details of the tests are not supposed to be part of their appraisals.

The appraisal form was based on guidelines issued by the Health Ministry, a senior government official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to reporters.

(Source: Associated Press)

A top official form the Indian civil service has since revealed plans to remove this part of the appraisal form, following an intervention by the Indian prime minister.

Continue reading ‘Menstruation patterns are neccesary medical details’

Terry Wogan gets paid for charity

Terry Wogan pictured with Pudsey in 2001

The BBC has said it is “not ashamed” of paying Sir Terry Wogan a fee for hosting the annual Children In Need charity fund-raising gala.

Sir Terry, who is the only celebrity to receive a fee, has been paid since he began presenting the show in 1980.

A BBC spokeswoman said the payment was “never remotely commercial” and came from the programme’s budget and not from charitable funds.

(Source: BBC)

The veteran broadcaster has said: “I would quite happily do it for nothing.”

The 68-year-old added that he had “never asked for a fee” for fronting the marathon appeal, which raised more than £18m on the night last November.

Documents which were released to The Mail On Sunday newspaper under the Freedom of Information Act showed that Sir Terry received £9,065 in 2005 for anchoring the seven-hour extravaganza.

“We are not ashamed to pay him and see no reason why it should not continue. If It wasn’t for Sir Terry, Children In Need would not be what it is today,” she said.

 Wogan is said to have earned £800,000 last year, that’s more than Barbara Windsor (£360,000), Tony Blair (£277, 928) and Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, (£133,997) put together.

 I have two things to say: Wogan better be making one hell of a personal donation…and nice one Babs.

This season: it’s not just the devil wearing Prada

Pope Benedict XVI, who earlier this year became the first pontiff to feature in his own official calendar, may just be the world’s most unlikely fashion icon.

The pontiff has recently been pegged as something of a “clotheshorse” as these fabulous red Prada loafers demonstrate.

But the fashion doesn’t stop at his feet. The Pope’s watch is believed to be a Cartier, as are his reading glasses. He’s even been seen wearing Gucci Sunglasses. The Vatican says all the designer items the Pope has worn were presents and don’t conflict with the church’s doctrine.

But now the Pope’s penchant for designer clothing is reportedly causing tensions in the Vatican with plans to fire the tailors who have been making papal clothing since 1792.

In what is being called the “cassock wars,” Benedict is said to be favouring his tailor from his days as cardinal, Alessandro Cattaneo, and the 20-year-old religious-fashion house of Raniero Mancinelli, which has provided the pope with some lavish and intricate vestments to date.

Continue reading ‘This season: it’s not just the devil wearing Prada’

Coffee takes a beautiful photo

  

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 Milk Meets Coffee; photography by Irene Müller

Irene doesn’t use any triggers for her high speed photography. “Just a pipette or syringe, good eye/shutter finger coordination and patience, patience, patience…..”

Ernest Hemingway was bad at aquatic sex. Oh, and War is Spinach.

Flirtacious letters written by Nobel Prize-winning author Ernest Hemingway to Marlene Dietrich – the world-renowned actress of early film and stage – have revealed a playful and intense relationship between the two icons.Thirty letters Hemingway written between 1949 and 1953 to the German-born actress and singer were made available to the public for the first time on Monday at the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum.

Hemingway’s letters will complement 31 letters from Dietrich to Hemingway that are already in the collection, and reflect the depth of the pair’s relationship. In the letters she calls him Papa and he calls her daughter and Kraut, a common World War II pejorative that he uses affectionately.

The correspondence written by Hemingway include seven hand-signed letters, eighteen type signed letters, four telegrams, and a Christmas card. Hemingway wrote to the Dietrich from: Cuba, France, Italy, Spain and Kenya.

In a letter dated June 19, 1950, at 4 a.m., the he wrote: “You are getting so beautiful they will have to make passport pictures of you 9 feet tall. What do you really want to do for a life work? Break everybody’s heart for a dime? You could always break mine for a nickel and I’d bring the nickel.”

“I love you and I hold you tight and kiss you hard,” Hemingway ends one letter. In another he writes, “I can’t say how every time I ever put my arms around you I felt that I was home.”

And yet the timing was never right. As A. E. Hotchner writes in his book “Papa Hemingway: A Personal Memoir,” Hemingway once told him: “The thing about the Kraut and me is that we have been in love since 1934, when we first met on the Île de France, but we’ve never been to bed. Amazing but true. Victims of unsynchronized passion.” Whenever one party was unattached, the other was not.

“They adored each other, but there was no sexual thing,” said Dietrich’s daughter, Maria Riva. “They were buddies, they were friends, they were comrades in arms.”

Continue reading ‘Ernest Hemingway was bad at aquatic sex. Oh, and War is Spinach.’


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