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Dubai Bribes Recyclers With iPads and Cash

We probably shouldn’t poke fun at the Dubai Municipality for bribing local residents with cash awards and iPads as part of their recently-launched My City, My Environment recycling program. Because their intentions are essentially good. But it’s so hard to resist when so much that happens in the Vegas of the Middle East (need I […]

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Istanbul Twilight: Hand-Crafted Felt Candlesticks With Mood

German/Iranian designer Siba Sahabi has handcrafted Istanbul Twilight – a series of sophisticated felt candlesticks that mimic the city’s skyline at dusk and dawn. A self-described poetic designer, Sahabi coils long strips of moody-colored felt that resemble the facades of Istanbul’s historic buildings during moments of low light, and tops them with different sized candles.

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Veganism Goes Viral in Israel

It is very unusual to find a dinner or breakfast table in Israel that doesn’t include a smattering of meat and/or dairy products to choose from (depending on whether or not the family keeps kosher), which is why the revelation that tens of thousands of Israelis have embraced veganism in the last year is nothing […]

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Mutant Fukushima Butterflies Should Discourage Middle East Nuclear

Researchers who collected and studied 100 pale grass blue butterflies from the Fukushima prefecture following last year’s nuclear meltdown have discovered serious mutations resulting from exposure to radiation. The butterflies, which were collected two months after the March, 2011 earthquake and tsunami caused the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, had abnormalities in their legs, antennae and […]

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541 Jordan Trees Sacrificed for Dubai-esque Development Project

The privately-owned Abdali development company promises that the new 384,000 sqm commercial center in the heart of Jordan’s capital Amman will offer “lush inviting spaces that beckon and call for your attention.” “Notice the elements subtly woven into the new downtown’s [sic] environment,” their web marketing person gushed. “Delight in the blossoming urban forest close […]

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Ramadan in Yemen is Miserable and it’s Getting Worse

Yemen isn’t as hot as Saudi, but the temperatures this Ramadan have been high enough to make waiting out the long daylight hours without food and drink very, very hard. But that’s not the worst of the country’s troubles. Such spirutally-motivated hunger and thirst would be bearable if families had some nice dates and juice […]