Snippets: 23 April 2013

American terrorism, BBC’s documentary debacle, Chinese superstition begone

Snippets: 23 April 2013
Snippets: 23 April 2013

Americans witnessed a dramatic hunt for the suspects of the Boston blasts that claimed 3 lives. An editor based in UK questions why isn’t the same attention given to the more common and often more deadly gun violence. The BBC took a lot of flak from LSE for placing an undercover reporter in the middle of a group of genuine students who took a tour of Pyongyang. You may conclude that all that trouble was not worth it after watching the programme. China is trying to make its citizens less superstitious. That in itself is a tall order. Then, there are over 100 million minds to change. Buying a camera lens is no easy task. They are expensive and confusing. Hopefully, the fourth article will get you sorted. Lastly, stop complaining about career problems. Ants have them too.


#1: America’s Gun Violence vs. Terrorism

The blasts at Boston and the dramatic chase took the center stage in what was a bloody week. What many non Americans find hard to understand is why the blasts took precedence over a much more common form of terror – gun violence. What draws the line on terrorism in America? This article is written from the perspective of an author based in the United Kingdom. American reactions to this article are mixed but it remains a good read nevertheless.  [via Guardian]


#2: North Korea Documentary Debacle

BBC’s documentary on North Korea was based on an undercover reporter following a group of students from the London School of Economics on a tour of Pyongyang. The documentary is available on YouTube and frankly the value of John Sweeney’s narrative does fall short at many points. Shakey hidden camera footage that is cut short and an overdose of dramatic music to cover what is essentially a lack of information are common motifs running through the half an hour programme. Was that worth the trouble? The Guardian thinks it isn’t and that many other undercover reporters who have spent many more trips have produced better material that are less controversial as compared to BBC’s decision to ride on LSE’s name. [via Guardian]


#3: Chinese Superstition Begone

The Chinese are a superstitious bunch and China wants to change that. Religion is a tricky topic in the Communist state and was at some point illegal. While the Chinese government is not attempting to stamp out religion, it wants to get an estimated 100 million religious believers to stop believing in superstitions. It believes that this hinders the progress of the nation especially in areas such as health. I’m not quite sure how will they carry out such a mammoth task though. [via Reuters]


#4: Photography: Reading A Camera Lens

When you step into photography and move past the usual smartphone / point and shoot cameras, you begin to see a camera as a two part device. Whether be it DSLRs or even the newer mirrorless systems, lenses are very essential switchable accessories that are often sold separately from camera bodies. There are common ways to understand what a lens does based on its classification as a telephoto lens or a wide angled one, etc. But most lenses will require you to hand over more than half a grand. This is why you should learn how to really read a lens properly before buying one. [via Tested]


#5: Ants Make Career Choices Too

Career choices (and sometimes the lack of it) are one of the central themes of being an adult. After finishing all that hassle called school, welcome to a new rat race with an overwhelming number of permutations to choose from. Apparently, humans are not the only one that face this. Ants make career choices too. While they are limited to mainly three types of roles, scientific studies have shown that active career switches do occur. What is more amazing is how scientists managed to attach individual chips to track each ant. Talk about tiny. [via Nature]


On a side note, I will temporarily be reducing post frequency as I am completing my final exams for the coming two weeks.