For this week’s Saturday Mish Mash, we bring you three more stories from international headlines that we’re betting you missed. Don’t forget to contact us if you spot a quirky story.
Keeping up with the Jones’ just got a little harder
You know how it is: Once you settle down with your spouse and kids, a home, a few cars, a jet, a yacht and an island in Belize, what else do you need? Really, where do you put the elephants?
But if you had to, couldn’t you find room for a submarine?
Despite the sluggish global economy, there is no shortage of bidders for a new line of luxury submarines. According to Spiegel Online, a few American companies now specialize in making submersibles for the super rich.
The Phoenix 1000 – a submersible yacht – runs around $80 million. If your budget’s a little tight this month, there are smaller submarines, starting as low as a million dollars. The paper reports that one buyer is Virgin founder Richard Branson.
Revolution no more in Egypt’s Tahrir Square
“A little over a year after becoming a national symbol of unity, Tahrir Square has become a very lonely place.” That’s the sad summation from the Egypt Independent.
The English-language Egyptian website says tattered groups of protestors are riddled with internal conflicts, while a lack of police have opened the square to drug dealers and roving bands of thugs.
Many of the protestors who brought down President Hosni Mubarak last year have been unimpressed with what they see as slow, inadequate reforms in Egypt. While individuals remain resolved in their protest, groups of reformers remain stationed in Tahrir Square with very little agreement on how to move the revolution forward.
Separate camps of protestors have starkly different visions of what is best for Egypt’s future. One woman recently tried to clear the square of non-revolutionaries while wielding a metal rod. “We are here to cleanse the square of the street people and keep it a space for the revolutionaries,” she told the Egypt Independent.
Meanwhile, drug dealers are becoming a more common site while roving bands of “thugs” have hijacked other portions of Tahrir. Last week a group assailants enter the square with machine guns.
One columnist for the Independent believes the lack of police in Tahrir Square is an intentional ploy to deface the symbol of the Egyptian revolution.
The Irish are angry drunks, says an Irishman
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
American cities, notably Boston and New York, celebrate the holiday with huge parades and more than a little drunken debauchery. Embrace it, says Paul Allen in Ireland’s Independent. The Irish have an unsavory reputation for a reason.
But Irish eyes aren’t smiling over two recent corporate campaigns. Urban Outfitters released a range of “Drunk Irish” t-shirts, and Nike named a new shoe the “Black and Tan.” Dubbed for two kinds of beer, stout and pale ale, the Black and Tan also shares the name of the notorious British parliamentary group that harassed Irish citizens during the War of Independence.
But Paul Allen thinks the sport-outfitting companies should have a get-out-of-jail-free card.
“Yes,” argues Allen, “you’d think we’d have enough political and economic turmoil to be dealing with, without getting our knickers in a twist over some hipster clothing store and the world’s largest sports brand.”
Allen says Irish are being too sensitive and politically correct.
“I can assure you that such outdated thinking does far more to put a dent in the Irish community’s reputation.”