The Sham Elections of the North Korean State

Every 5 years, all North Korans over the age of 17 are expected to vote in a democratic election in which 687 members of North Korea’s Supreme Peoples Assembly are elected to represent the North Korean people. Voters are handed a ballot with a single name pre-written upon it and are expected to place this supposed vote in a ballet box, however the ballet box is not enclosed for privacy, rather it is open and on display for all to watch as a persons peers submit their vote. This entire charade is pointless as there are no choices for voters, it’s merely an exercise to create the illusion of democracy for the international community. Perhaps the only positive which comes of this system is that there is no instability within North Korean families with opposing political ideologies as is the case with other democratic nations. Additional positive characteristics of this shameful display of democracy in action is that voters do not need to be familiar with candidates or their policies and platforms and they do not have to worry after having voted if they indeed chose the wrong candidate. The primary reason as to why these sham elections occur is because the North Korean government uses the process as a census to detect those who oppose the current status quo of the North Korean dictatorial political regime. Private voting booths are available but are treated with significant stigma as anyone who uses one in order to write in a candidate or perhaps a short message which is contradictory to the current administration of Kim Jong Un is subject to being questioned and arrested for the crime of “subversion of the North Korean political process”, something which would be unimaginable in most democracies. The entire operation is essentially a method of detecting and exposing dissenters. The 2014 election recorded a total turn out of 99.9% of the North Korean population

The Reason William Shakespeare’s Macbeth is Believed to be a Cursed Play

It is often believed by thespians that it is bad luck to say the name “Macbeth” within the theater that the play is being performed. This belief stems back to 1606 when a group of witches objected to William Shakespeare using real incantations within his work. As such, these witches claimed to have placed a curse upon the play, in perpetuity. The superstitious tradition caught on as the initial showing of Macbeth in private before King James I at Hampton Court in London, England sometime between August and December of 1606 was laiden with unfortunate errors and mishaps, continuing non-stop, even when performed for the public for the first time at the Globe Theater in London, England in 1611

Men Around the World Acting as the Primary Catalyst for Criminal Activity

5% of men in any given country are responsible for 60% of that nations crime. Violent criminals cost society a lot of money in respect to their victims medical costs, law enforcement time spent investigating and locating these individuals, judicial costs of a fair trial, and correctional facility costs which include housing, feeding, and providing for these people. Violent offenders cost the state between $1,500,000 – $36,000,000 (1.5 million – $36 million) each over the course of their lifetime. Rehabilitation at the point of incarceration has shown to be largely ineffective, as it is akin to pruning a weed, not removing it’s root. Researchers within the New Zealand Dunedin (pronounced “do-nee-den”) study found that if rehabilitation begins during adolescence, a persons chance of ending up imprisoned dramatically decreases

The Reason Most Cats Adore Cat Nip

Catnip is a perennial herb which is a member of the mint family, specifically the species of the genus Nepeta (pronounced “nah-pee-tah”) in the family Lamiaceae (pronounced “lah-me-yay-see-aye”). The chemical compound in the nepeta cataria plant which attracts and affects felines is nepetalactone (pronounced “nah-pee-tal-ack-tone”). Nepetalactone is indigenous to Southern and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, and parts of China. When cats consume catnip orally the compound acts as a sedative, but when inhaled for its scent, it causes short bursts of hyperactivity. Nepetalactone is extracted via steam distillation and acts as a natural mosquito and fly repellent. Several scientific studies have demonstrated that leopards, cougars, and various species of lynx often react to catnip in a similar manner to their domestic house cat cousins, whilst lions and tigers may react strongly, but may also have little or no reaction whatsoever. 33% of cats are unaffected by catnip with the behavior theorized to be hereditary in nature. In 1962, it was discovered that susceptibility to catnip may be directly related to the Mendelian-dominant gene. Other plants can have similar effects upon felines including the roots and leafs of the valerian plant, silver vine which is sometimes referred to as “matatabi”, and Tatarian honeysuckle wood. Cats who do not respond to nepeta cataria are more likely to respond to one, some, or all of these alternatives plants. In addition to its use with cats, nepeta cataria is also a popular ingredient in herbal tisanes and teas, and is highly valued for its sedative and relaxant properties”

The Mysterious Resignation Syndrome Affecting Traumatized Children Around the World

During the past 2 decades, hundreds of traumatized refugee children in Sweden have become afflicted with Resignation Syndrome in which they withdraw from the world into a coma like state of consciousness, which can last for years. Symptoms typically begin with a person frequently laying down and being unwilling or unable to talk, which gradually shifts to a change in eating habits, decreasing as time progresses until the patient stops eating and drinking all together at which time they typically require medical intervention via a feeding tube. This syndrome began turning up in Sweden in the early 2000’s and it was initially theorized that children were pretending or parents were poisoning their own children. Similar cases have occurred in countries outside of Sweden, but with fewer cases reported as Sweden is currently the world capital for this condition. Various theories have been proposed and it is believed the cultural practices unique to Sweden may play an integral role in this condition, specifically the factor of the insecurity families applying for refugee status experience and the unpredictable system which may or may not grant asylum. This is theorized as recovery typically comes to fruition once a family becomes secured (e.g. granted permanent residency and asylum etc.) and typically occurs over multiple months

The Creation of the Taliban in Afghanistan and Other Islamist Extremist Organizations

In Peshawar, Pakistan, Arabs who supported the Afghan Mujahideen during the Soviet-Afghan War reached out to displaced Afghan youth refugees, paying particular attention to the youngest and most impressionable minors. All camps had madrasas installed, which are religious educational facilities that young boys would attend, virtually always freely provided by their own families as the families believed this would provide a better future for themselves and Afghanistan. It has been argued by that these young boys were segregated so that they could be brainwashed and taught to fight violently as it was these same boys who grew up, created, developed, and became the Taliban. No formal education was provided to the selected youth outside of Quranic texts which is why this tactic was so effective. The Soviet-Afghan War led to the collapse of the Soviet Union, and permitted for the development of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria proliferated from al-Qaeda which had propagated from the Taliban which had developed from the Mujahideen, all of these groups cultivated at their root by the U.S. and Soviet need to control this region of the world with both groups sharing equal liability and responsibility

The Business Rationale Behind Videogame Pre-Order Perks

Videogame production companies focus heavily upon pre-order sales as these provide the best path to generating revenue, income which is then re-invested to make even more profit. Production studios spend a lot of time and effort trying to come up with appealing pre-purchase packages because the quicker income is generated, the quicker it can be re-invested, but perhaps as important, pre-sales are sold at the full retail price point unlike delayed sales which are often sold at a discounted rate. Video game production companies spend an immense amount of time developing demonstrations for conventions (e.g. E3, Comic Con, Blizzcon etc.) because this is considered the best opportunity to attract gamers and have them purchase on the spot. These demonstrations are often over the top and include features which won’t be in the final version set for release (e.g. advanced graphical shading features), akin to a bait and switch technique in which the best face is presented with the actual product which is less polished actually being delivered. This deception is intentional as it helps generate revenue which helps fuel the production of future gaming titles and franchises

The Four Ancient Greek Concepts of Love

The Ancient Greeks had 4 terms for love. The first term, “philia” (pronounced “feel-ee-ah”), refers to “affection which grows from friendship”. The second term, “storgē” (pronounced “stor-gay”), refers to the “kind of love one has for a grandparent or sibling”. The third term, “érōs” (pronounced “air-ohs”), refers to “romantic love, the uncontrollable urge to say “I love you” to another person”. The fourth and final term, “agápē” (pronounced “ah-gah-pay”), refers to “steadfast love as an action, the kind of love to take care of a partner in their elder years as they decline further and further”

The Harvard University Hope Experiment

During the 1950’s, Dr. Curt Richter from Harvard University performed a series of experiments using water, buckets, and both domesticated and wild rats which resulted in a surprising discovery within the field of psychology. In the first experiment, Richter placed his test subjects into large buckets half filled with water with even those rats which were considered above average swimmers, giving up and dying within a few short minutes. In the second experiment, Richter pulled each rat out just as it was about to give up due to exhaustion and let them rest for a few moments. Upon inserting the rats back into the bucket of water, Richter found that the rats continued to struggle to survive for up to 60 hours as the rats now believed that if they continued to push forward with enough effort put forth, eventually they would be rescued once again. Richter recorded in his notes, “after elimination of hopelessness, the rats do not die”

The Italian Concept of Caffè Sospeso

In Italy, cafes often allow customers to purchase a suspended coffee, which is a drink paid for and donated to be consumed by a future customer at no cost, referred to as a “caffè sospeso” which means “suspended coffee” in Italian. This act of charity and humanitarianism does not allow the purchaser to know who consumes their donation, and does not allow the receiver to know who provided it, as the barista decides who should receive said gift. This act of kindness started in the 1930’s when poverty was rampant in Europe, as it was believed that a coffee provided at no charge revitalized an individual and made their entire day better, more so because of the act itself, rather than the coffee or money involved