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Improbably, however, a number of foreigners did continue to make the trip. Some wanted to witness the war firsthand. Others, such as a visitor from suburban St. Louis, just “wanted to see what this place looked like.” Indeed, it was not until 1974 that the travel publisher Fodor’s saw fit to cease its Vietnam coverage. By that time, of course, most tourists had long since decided that a visit was not worth the risk. Seeing Vietnam would simply have to wait. But wait they did. If the idea of tourism in Iraq today sounds positively crazy, its planners can look hopefully on the Vietnamese case. By the close of the twentieth century, the one-time divided state wracked by decades of brutal warfare had emerged as one of the fastest growing destinations on the planet. In 2001 it received over two million visitors. By 2008 that annual figure had nearly doubled. –“Iraq: Your Next Holiday Destination,” Scott Laderman, History News Network
Israel has admitted that pathologists harvested organs from dead Palestinians, and others without the consent of their families – a practice that it said ended in the 1990s, it emerged at the weekend. The admission, by the former head of the country’s forensic institute, followed a furious row prompted by a Swedish newspaper reporting that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to use their organs– a charge that Israel denied and called “antisemitic.” –“Doctor Admits Israeli Pathologists Harvested Organs Without Consent,” Ian Black, the Guardian
Some time ago I was interviewed via e-mail for an article and, as I often do, after providing answers to the nine questions, I asked the following: “Mind if I republish these answers in full on my blog after the piece goes live?” It turned out that the journalist actually did mind. In fact, in the correspondence that followed, the journalist explicitly refused me permission to publish my own answers before changing her mind and saying I could– but without the accompanying questions she had supplied. So who owns the interview? –“E-Media Tidbits,” Paul Bradshaw, PoynterOnline
Fleming awoke in the dark and his room felt loose, sloshing so badly he gripped the bed. From his window there was nothing but a hallway, and if he craned his neck, a blown lightbulb swung into view. The room pitched up and down and for a moment he thought he might be sick. The word “hallway” must have a nautical name. Why didn’t they supply a glossary for this cruise? Probably they had, in the welcome packet he’d failed to read. A glossary. A history of the boat, which would be referred to as a ship. Sunny biographies of the captain and crew, who had always dreamed of this life. Lobotomized histories of the islands they’d visit. Who else had sailed this way. Famous suckwads from the past, slicing through this very water on wooden longships.
A welcome packet, the literary genre most likely to succeed in the new millennium. Why not read about a community you don’t belong to, that doesn’t actually exist, a captain and crew who are, in reality, if that isn’t too much of a downer on your vacation, as indifferent to one another as any set of co-employees at an office or bank? Read doctored personal statements from underpaid crew members — because ocean life pays better than money! — who hate their lives but have been forced to buy into the mythology of working on a boat, separated now from loved ones and friends, growing lonelier by the second, even while they wait on you and follow your every order.
Rank of Detroit among major U.S. cities whose residents give the largest portion of their income to charity:
A South Dakota researcher concluded that only scant blood spatter results when chain saws are used to dismember pigs.
Four people were arrested for using a remote-controlled hexacopter to fly two pounds of tobacco to prisoners inside the yard at Calhoun State Prison in Georgia.
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Our congratulations to Alice Munro, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature