World Trade Centre

Featured Image: The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre, as seen from a nearby street in 2000.

11 September 2018, New York, NY – This blog post went out at 8:46 AM, the same time that the first aircraft struck the North Tower of the World Trade Centre. Today marks 17 years since those jarring terrorist attacks, and its effects remain deeply ingrained into American society. Everything from the War on Terror, to the TSA, to the end of America’s skyscraper quest, has been a result of the attacks. In honour of the victims and their families, we thought it would be a good idea to briefly discuss the history of the World Trade Centre, what those towers stood for, and their impact on American popular culture and society.

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Northern Ireland

Featured Image: The Troubles, a guerrilla war in Northern Ireland that lasted from the late 1960’s to 1998, resulted in the deaths of 3,600 people and injuries to thousands more.

3 September 2018, London, United Kingdom – On 23 June 2016, the British people voted to leave the European Union, and in March 2017, PM Theresa May (who the BBC called “a dead woman walking”) began the process to leave the European Union, and the UK will be kicked out in March 2019. According to Brexiters, the purpose of the vote was to allow the UK to regain control of its economy and its borders. But today, we will be focusing on the latter, and how the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union could create a crisis at the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

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Nelson Mandela

Featured Image: To commemorate Nelson Mandela’s death, the South African flag flew half-mast outside Drakenstein Correctional Centre, where Mandela was imprisoned from 1988 to 1990.

Friday, 22 July 2018, Johannesburg, South Africa – 100 years and 4 days ago, Rolihlahla Mandela was born in Mvezo, a small village in the Eastern Cape region of South Africa. Disillusioned by the unrelenting racism of his country’s government, he stood up not only for himself, but for the entire black majority of South Africa, fighting against the white minority government for a democratic, egalitarian future. The government attempted to suppress him, famously sentencing Mandela to a life prison sentence for treason and sabotage.

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Southeast Asia

Featured Image: Uluwatu Temple, Bali, Indonesia

Tuesday, 17 July 2018, Shanghai, China – Today we have decided to write sort of an informal blog post, inspired by the death of Anthony Bourdain and his TV series, Parts Unknown. His first episode was about the country of Myanmar, and that inspired us to create a blog post about some of the best known Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia.

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Hong Kong

Featured Image: The Handover ceremony on 1 July 1997 marked the end of British Rule and the return of Hong Kong to China. From 2003 onwards, there have been pro-democracy protests every year on the anniversary of the handover.

1 July 2018, San Francisco, CA – This is the first time we’ve actually been on time for an anniversary. Beginning in the evening on 30 June and ending on 1 July 1997, at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre in Wan Chai, British and Chinese authorities gathered for a handover ceremony. Many things happened at the convention centre that night, but the key event was the lowering of the Union Jack and Hong Kong Ensign to “God Save the Queen”, followed by the raising of the Chinese flag and new Hong Kong flag to “March of the Volunteers”, the Chinese National Anthem. The lowering of the Union Jack and Hong Kong ensign symbolically marked the end of British rule in Hong Kong, and by extension, the end of the British Empire. But why was Hong Kong even a part of Britain in the first place?

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Extreme Temperature Records

Featured Image: The sailing stones of Death Valley

Sunday, 17 June 2018, New York, NY – It’s mid June, and summer is here. In coastal parts of the country, the extremes of summer and winter are mitigated by the ocean, but in most parts of the country, the ocean is not there to provide much needed relief, and intolerable temperatures result. Because summer has arrived, and because we can’t think of anything else to write about, we decided to take a look at some extreme weather records, both hot and cold.

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Elizabeth II: 65 years of history

Featured image: A young Elizabeth; her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh; and her children on the balcony of Buckingham Palace

Friday, 9 June 2018, London, UK – 65 years and 1 week ago, a new British monarch was crowned (we’re not great at keeping up with anniversaries). Her name was Elizabeth II, and her coronation marked a turning point in British history. She was lauded as a symbol of a new era following the enormous destruction of World War II. She was young, fresh, and a symbol of hope for the future. 65 years later, it is unbelievable to think that the monarch who oversaw the decolonisation of the British Empire and the monarch that is still reigning today is the same person. She acceded the throne when she was 26 years old and today she is over 90 years old. In honour of this anniversary, we decided to delve into the Queen’s life, and the enormous change that she has seen, both in Britain and abroad, during the course of her reign.

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