Category Archives: Asia

Malay Ban on Smiling Pigs

This weekend The New York Times published a small fluff story about how Switzerland has banned ownership of one guinea pig since they suffer from loneliness. This law is very protective of porkers, however not everyone loves pigs. Seal Beach in Orange Country has banned household pigs, which was directed at the one pet-owner in [...]

Supreme Snow Lord

Last week North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un executed his uncle for treason. His crimes included not applauding his nephew with enthusiasm. Jang Song-Thaek was killed by a machine gun firing squad after the state media had declared that “despicable human scum Jang, who was worse than a dog, perpetrated thrice-cursed acts of treachery in betrayal [...]

Islands Of Nowhere

In the winter of 1991 I spent a month on the Pulau Weh at the westernmost tip of Sumatra. The quiet island was remote. Few westerners ventured north from Medan. There were better beaches in Thailand and an ethically more interesting culture around Lake Toba, however I was drawn to this destination knowing it was [...]

SEA LEGS by Peter Nolan Smith

Spice dominated the trade between Asia and Europe for centuries and the oriental lore of processing roots, seeds, and bark into food enhancers inspired western travelers to seek various paths to detour the Arab middlemen profiting from the lucrative east-west trade route. Successful voyagers stood to reap fortunes from their discoveries. Failures were many. In [...]

Too Far For North Korea

According to the BBC UN chief Ban Ki-moon has said the North Korea “crisis has gone too far” after Pyongyang announced plans to restart its main Yongbyon nuclear complex. In late-February ex-Laker and Piston rebounder Dennis Rodman paid a visit to North Korea. The retired basketball star met with Kim Jong-un to discuss basketball and [...]