A selection of three articles read aloud from the holiday issue of The Economist. This week: a history of Christmas newsletters, the life of Desiderius Erasmus (18:20) and the lure of pebbles (37:45).
Ajman is the capital of the emirate of Ajman in the United Arab Emirates, located along the Persian Gulf. It is the smallest emirate of the United Arab Emirates and is engulfed by the larger emirate of Sharjah.
Sharjah is the third largest and third most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, forming part of the Dubai-Sharjah-Ajman metropolitan area. The emirate of Sharjah borders with Dubai to the south, Ajman and Umm Al Quwain to the north and Ras Al Khaimah to the east.
The United Arab Emirates, sometimes simply called the Emirates, is a country in Western Asia located at the eastern end of the Arabian Peninsula. It borders Oman and Saudi Arabia, and has maritime borders in the Persian Gulf with Qatar and Iran.
Kentucky Bourbon is known worldwide and is a staple of the American spirits industry. Nowhere else are there so many famous bourbon brands all within a short drive from each other as there are in Kentucky. Amie and I spent the better part of a week trying many of the different distilleries and made this video to showcase how amazing this area is, especially if you like bourbon. This video was shot in January of 2020.
- 95% of the world’s Bourbon is produced in Kentucky.
- In order for whiskey to be Bourbon, it must be made with a minimum of 51 percent corn, aged in new, charred oak containers, stored at no more than 125 proof and bottled at no less than 80 proof.
- There are now 9.1 million barrels of Bourbon aging in Kentucky, which is 2 barrels for every person living in the state.
Palazzo Barberini is an imposing Baroque building that houses the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, the National Gallery of Ancient Art. Commissioned by Pope Urban VIII, the mansion was the most elegant and luxurious villa of the period.
In 1623, Maffeo Barberini, once made Pope (Pope Urban VIII), ordered the construction of the estate to Italian architect Carlo Maderno, who is responsible for the design of St Peter’s Basilica’s façade. The construction started in 1625 and was finished in 1633 by Bernini, after Maderno’s death.
In 1949, the Italian State bought the palazzo to house the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Antica, which was created from the donations of pieces of art by several noble Italian families.
Two film crews explore the spectacular wilderness of the Arctic. The people who live there face dramatic changes.
Part two takes viewers from East Greenland to Alaska. The region around the North Pole is one of the greatest and least-known wildernesses in the world – and it’s rapidly changing due to global warming. 350 people, most of them Inuit, live in Ittoqqortoormiit in Greenland. The nearest settlement is on neighboring Iceland. Almost 800 kilometers of Arctic Ocean separate the two islands. The film team accompanies an Inuit family through Scoresby Sound, a fjord system on the eastern coast of Greenland.
They travel hundreds of kilometers in small boats through pack ice, passing icebergs as high as skyscrapers. On the way they meet whalers who are hunting for narwhals in summer. In this Inuit culture, narwhal skin and polar bear goulash have ensured survival for thousands of years. Greenpeace and WWF activists want to stop whaling and polar bear hunting – but this poses a threat to the indigenous way of life on Greenland.
On the expedition through the world’s largest fjord system, the team learns about the consequences of global warming: melting permafrost and a rapid increase in greenhouse gases. The changes are worrying. Some say they have brought benefits to the far north — the ice breaks up earlier and so too does the hunting season. However, the risks outweigh this benefit. The knowledge and way of life that have been passed down from generation to generation may soon be unsustainable.
Laguna Beach is a small coastal city in Orange County, California. It’s known for its many art galleries, coves and beaches. Main Beach features tide pools and a boardwalk leading to the paths and gardens of nearby Heisler Park. Aliso Beach Park is a popular surf spot. The waters off Crystal Cove State Park are designated as an underwater park. Trails meander through coastal canyons in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park.
The Arctic is one of the most fascinating regions on our planet, and one of the most threatened. Two film crews explore its spectacular wilderness in a two-part documentary. Part one takes viewers from Norway’s Svalbard archipelago to Siberia. The region around the North Pole is one of the greatest and least-known wildernesses in the world, and it’s rapidly changing due to global warming.
The retreat of Arctic sea ice can be observed everywhere along the Arctic Circle, presenting those who live there with dramatic changes. This documentary takes viewers on a journey through the Arctic circle and explores those changes. It begins in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, a place to see one of nature’s most spectacular displays — the northern lights. With the ice retreating, cruise ships can now travel further north than was previously possible. This places a strain on the fragile ecosystem.
But more visitors may also mean more awareness about the risks that face the region, and more motivation to protect the Arctic. But as if often the case, protecting nature in the Arctic is at odds with economic interests. Russia, in particular, is keen to sell Arctic fossil fuels to the rest of world. The film next takes viewers to the gas-rich Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia, where the Russian company Novatek has built the northernmost industrial facility on the globe.
Further East in Yakutia, two noises fill the air: the relentless buzzing of mosquitoes that infest the Siberian tundra in summer, and the steady dripping of the thawing permafrost on the banks of the Kolyma River. The film’s journey ends in Chukotka in the northeast of Russia, a region closer to Alaska than to the Russian capital Moscow.
The Fujian Hakka Earth Buildings are a design of building where people belonging to the same clan live together, with the added function of defense. Yongding County and Nanjing County in Fujian Province have the greatest concentration of Fujian Hakka Earth Buildings, which can also be seen in Pinghe, Zhangpu, Yunxiao, Hua’an, Zhao’an and other regions in the Minnan area (the southern part of Fujian province).
Fujian Tulou were built in the Song and Yuan Dynasties and have a history of more than 1,000 years. This style of building was in its heyday in the late Ming Dynasty, the early Qing Dynasty and the era of the Republic of China, and has been preserved until now. The buildings are over two-stories tall, consisting of thick walls constructed of rammed-earth between outer panels.
The main architecture materials were earth, wood, stones and bamboo. It was a mixture of clay and sandy soil in a specific proportion. In 1995, as the representative of China’s southern and northern circular architecture, architectural models of Fujian Hakka Earth Building and Temple of Heaven were displayed in the World Architecture Exhibition of America in Los Angeles. It caused a sensation and was honored as “the Oriental Pearl of Architecture”. In 2008, the Fujian Hakka Earth Building was officially added to the World Heritage List.
“Sunday Morning” takes us to White Mountain National Forest in New Hampshire. Videographer: Scot Miller.
Welcome to the United Arab Emirates!! This is the start of our new FOOD series from this amazing and diverse country. We are leaving the big city of Dubai to show you the traditional food and culture of the Emirates, starting with a very special family meal, and ending with an awesome desert feast!
BIG thank you to our friends Omar and Salem for their help and hospitality. For our first Emirati family experience and food, we were kindly invited to the guest home of the Royal Al Qasimi family. We ate a delicious Arabic biryani, salads and Khabees (traditional dessert). This food is often what guests will experience when they are invited into a family’s home. After the meal, it is also common to enjoy a cup of Arabic coffee, which was rich with cardamon. The family was also kind enough to show us their vintage car collection, which included the original Land Rover from 1948. Thank you very much for the warm invitation and the wonderful gifts! Next, we explored the town of Ras al-Khaimah to see original architecture, old cafes and experience real Emirati lifestyle.
We visited the oldest cafe in the city, where locals from the mountains and locals from the coast would meet and exchange news and drink tea. We tried their sangini tea and it was very sweet. We also stopped at a traditional juice stall that serves mixed fruit juices with avocado. So refreshing! We then drove into the desert near Sharjah, to visit Omar’s family farm. Along the way we met a camel farmer who offered us tea and Omani halwa.
At Omar’s desert farm, we started cooking Majboos, an Arabic rice dish that is cooked with goat, vegetables, potatoes, dried fruits and tons of spices. The Majboos was then cooked for several hours over wood fire, which worked up a big appetite! The Majboos is served on a massive tray and shared with everyone. The goat was so tender and the rice soaked up all of the flavours of the spices. It was an extremely special experience and we are very grateful.