The Louvre in France is once again the most visited museum in the world for the fifth consecutive year, 9.7 million visits last year; that’s a lot. Pickpockets managed to close it down anyway which is very funny. Also in the news is the Anne Frank museum, not many people have visited the Anne Frank House and some, especially youngsters may not even know who she was but thanks to Justin Bieber, some Beliebers probably do now. The museum isn’t one of the most visited in the world but with over a million visits yearly it ranks second to Van Gogh Museum in The Netherlands which is quite impressive considering the fact that it is a non-art, local history museum. More impressive is the story of
The reaction of Britons to Margaret Thatcher’s death was one of the most fascinating days on twitter and the blogosphere in general; total disregard for respect for the dead was on display. The foreign minister of Australia suggested she was racist, a female MP was extremely careful not to refer to her as a woman, street parties were held, Ding Dong the witch is Dead made it to the top 10 but narrowly missed top spot in the UK singles top 100, the instagram memes were really creative, even the Respect MP encouraged people to show a lack of respect. It left me wondering why it is still considered a taboo to speak ill of the dead afterall, the dead could care less what the living say and besides
I narrowly missed donglegate which must have been a trending topic on twitter at some point, but thanks to the vergecast, I still managed to pick it up in time. Interestingly, Sheryl Sandberg’s story was just dying down; both relate to women, tech and the workplace and ended with a rough outcome for one and sweet for the other as the former lost her job while the latter’s book got a lot of publicity to become a bestseller. Tech companies are overwhelmingly male and once regarded as “no woman’s land” where those who venture in can rise to the top but no more than the glass ceiling allows them, there’s even a joke that you can practically smell the testosterone when you walk into one.
You’ll never find a theory whose expression is so ubiquitous like the Communication Accommodation Theory (CAT). If you have ever witnessed a foreign student trying to communicate with local students or stewards of expatriates trying their best to be understood, then you’ve probably seen the theory in action. The two examples cited here are convergence processes of the theory while the other two accommodation processes are divergence and over-accommodation. The accommodation processes are sometimes necessary for effective communication between speakers of a common language with different speech patterns and sometimes, speakers can unintentionally engage in one of the three processes of the theory. From my observation, you can easily predict which of the processes people will engage in based on their country of origin and whom they are speaking with.
Just how bad is the economic crisis anyway? I recently came across Pier Luigi Celli‘s open letter to his son titled “My son, leave this country” urging the about-to-graduate engineer to move abroad in order to find opportunities for skilled work in his chosen field. The motivation for the letter is not just the unemployment rate in Italy, apparently Italy has other problems to deal with asides the economic recession which are cited in the letter. While the letter was written back in 2009 and the worst of the recession is now over, the reality is lots of highly skilled workers especially from countries like Italy, which belongs to a group of nations known as the PIIGS of Europe (distasteful acronym I must say) have run out of patience as their countries experience unemployment rates above the EU average.
The UK prime minister is making a subtle shift in his Conservative party’s strategy on immigration by chasing the immigrant vote, albeit indirectly. The Independent, a major newspaper in the UK reports David Cameron recently called for an increase in minority (Asian and Black) parliamentary candidates in his party because of the party’s growing unpopularity among UK’s minorities, a very reasonable political reaction to recent events considering the direction he was heading not too long ago. Having watched the republican party across the pond (the conservatives in the US) lose a presidential election because of the changing demographics of American voters amongst other reasons, David Cameron will be wise to embrace minorities in the UK before it becomes too late.