Archive January 2018

What it’s like to live in a well-governed country

What makes a country well-run? Whether minimising corruption or spearheading educational and medical initiatives, governments around the world use different policies to facilitate a high-functioning society. To quantify the effectiveness of these policies, indexes like the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, the World Bank’s Governance Index and the Social Progress Index survey residents, compile publicly available statistics and rank countries based on their performance across different categories. While each index varies in their precise ranking, certain patterns emerge...

Ancient Rome’s sinful city at the bottom of the sea

Rome’s ultra-wealthy took weekend trips here to party. Powerful statesmen built luxurious villas on its beach, with heated spas and mosaic-tiled pools where they could indulge their wildest desires. One resident even commissioned a nymphaeum – a private grotto surrounded by marble statues, dedicated solely to ‘earthly pleasure’.   More than 2,000 years ago, Baia was the Las Vegas of the Roman Empire – a resort town approximately 30km from Naples on Italy’s caldera-peppered west coast that catered to the whims of poets, generals and everyone in...

The Japanese castle that defied history

In a downtown park in the under-visited city of Kumamoto on Kyushu, the south-western-most of Japan’s main islands, a group of locals can be found painstakingly trying to complete what could be called the world’s hardest jigsaw puzzle. It’s a problem so huge the pieces cover the size of a football field. A riddle so challenging, it’ll take them the best part of 20 years to complete. Together, they work with chalk-marked fingers, numbering hundreds of salvaged rocks arranged in checkerboard patterns, photographing each one, trying to determine the correct position of...

How sausage flavours the German language

When I awoke to grey skies and pouring rain on my wedding day, everyone had something to say about it. Poised to marry in a country garden north of Berlin, I was quickly surrounded by well-meaning Germans with plenty of aphorisms on hand. Everything has an end; only the sausage has two The one that came up most often was the classic ‘Viel Regen bringt viel Segen’ or ‘lots of rain brings many blessings’, which I suspected was less a time-tested truth than a means of consoling an inconsolable bride. My father-in-law, however, only looked at me sadly, shaking his...

Tips for Studying for Your Social Work Degree While Vacationing in Antigua

If you are on vacation but you still want to study, distractions can make it hard to focus on studying. Antigua has plenty of things to do and see, but remember it is not going anywhere if you spend a day studying! You will not regret missing a few hours of sun for your education. Even taking out an hour a day can be enough to gain your degree and still enjoy your vacation. Here are some tips to help you out. Plan This is always helpful when studying when you also know there is a lot you want to do and see. Planning what you want to do in Antigua and booking excursions and tours beforehand...

Top 5 Things you Need to Know Before Moving to London

For most of the visitors, London spirit hides in bright double-deckers, elegant cabs, manicured parks, and lovely pictured streets. Moving to London, you need to shift the focus. Of course, you will have access to all the beauties and advantages of this cosmopolitan center, but as a citizen, you will always need to keep in mind the assembly of written and non-written rules. To live here is not the same as writing essays about it after the first visit. It is the matter of responsibility. To become accustomed to the new code, get acquainted with the things to remember when...

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