This week in drunk news: Man kills 70,000 chickens in Maryland and a North Korean man floats south

A drunk man in Maryland killed 70,000 chickens after accidentally cutting a farm’s power. (Photo by Chesapeake Bay Program via Flickr)

Drunk men all over the world are making headlines this week in bizarre events that rival the “Hangover” films.

For starters, 21-year-old Joshua D. Shelton accidentally killed 70,000 chickens after flicking a switch and shutting down power for a chicken farm in Maryland.

Shelton stumbled to the farm after a night of heavy drinking at a nearby concert, making history as the single greatest mistake made while intoxicated.

Across the globe, a night of drinking turned out differently for a North Korean man who woke up with brand new citizenship.

The absurdly drunk man floated on a piece of wood to South Korea and was picked up by police wearing nothing but his underwear. The South Korean government has offered him citizenship since they rarely force people back over the border.

Read the full story on the Global Post.

Sixty-one developed countries are ranked by how well they use the Internet. (Image via World Wide Web Foundation)

Sweden beats out the U.S. at using the internet 

Sure, the U.S. is home to tech giants, media moguls and weird internet memes, but we come in second to Sweden in using the Internet to improve people’s lives.

The World Wide Web Foundation ranked 61 developed countries by criteria like number of broadband connections, political and social impact of the internet and web content available.

The study also points out that the web is a highly underutilized resources with only one in three people with access globally and less than one in six in Africa. See the full report here.

In related news, Sweden made headlines this week for arresting Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the torrent king and co-founder of The Pirate Bay. Warg was detained in Cambodia on request of the Swedish government.

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The Seattle Globalist is proud to announce our first ever apprenticeship program in partnership with the Seattle Digital Literacy Initiative.

In this year-long journalism training program for young adults ages 17-20, participants will be mentored by a journalist from The Seattle Globalist and receive training in writing, photography, video and design. Their work will also be published on The Seattle Globalist.

Ready to start working as a journalist? Take the first step and APPLY HERE>>>

Two waitresses work at “Victory,” a nostalgic diner chain in Ukraine. (Photo by Sarah Stuteville)

A crescent of twinkling lights and the blown-out mouth of a comic book style submarine cave are the last I see of Balaklava before we fly off the side of the road.

We’re in Crimea, a little semi-island to the south of Ukraine and the east of Russia. Most Americans my age would know this region for that photo of Stalin, Roosevelt and Churchill at the Yalta summit we all studied in our history classes.

But in addition to WWII battlefields, Crimea is home to some serious Cold War history, including hidden caches of nuclear warheads (that submarine cave was rumored to house some of them).  If you’re old enough to remember Soviet missiles trained at your town, they may have been stored here.

The Seattle Globalist is launching a new multimedia project on transgender health care in the U.S. and why Americans are traveling to places like Thailand for more affordable options. The project, called “The Cost of Gender” hits at the core of two of the most heated debates in the US: health care and LGBTQ rights.  

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Omar Souleyman will perform on Monday at Bumbershoot. Known as the King of Syrian Techno, this Arab performer has gained the attention of his countrymen and hipsters alike. (Photo by Stuart Sevastos via Flickr)

For the die-hard Bumbershoot fans already penciling in the schedule for this weekend’s festival, we have a few more can’t-miss global acts for you to squeeze in.

Now in its 42nd year, the festival boasts an impressive roster of musicians, comedians and artists from all over the world for some 100,000 festival-goers annually.

Thinking about buying a ticket? Already going and not sure who to check out? Sure it can be overwhelming with dozens and dozens of acts to choose from.

But we’ve got you covered. Here are some of best international musical acts spanning all three days of the festival.

A letter from Jessica Partnow’s pen pal, Sasha Krizhanovsky, in 1990 from Ukraine.

When the Seattle Globalist reporting team – Sarah Stuteville and Jessica Partnow – took off for a 2-month reporting trip in the Former Soviet Union, they had a secret goal: to find Sasha, Jessica’s childhood pen pal from 1990. Sarah chronicles the journey in photos (after the jump), which all started with an aged letter, a name and one address.

Face-kini sweeps China beaches as world’s most awkward fashion fad

This almost certainly beats out Jnco jeans and the piano key necktie as one of the most awkward (and somewhat terrifying) fashion trends. The simple, stretchy face mask seems to be more for utility than fashion, as women try to preserve a pale complexion on sunny beaches.


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Deric Gruen poses with a fan during a stint with Lebanon’s pro-am basketball league. (Photo courtesy of Deric Gruen)

As the Seattle city council ponders a vote approving bonds for a new arena that could bring back men’s professional basketball, the summer Olympics proved the game’s popularity is still growing quickly overseas.

The U.S. men’s basketball team sped past Spain for a gold medal in the summer Olympics, but other countries showed burgeoning strength. Between the Olympic games and overseas leagues and tournaments, international basketball serves as both a professional and cultural landing pad for Seattle-area players and a recruiting pool for U.S. teams.

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(Photo by Bhamati Sivapalan)

Chandni Gautam, above, is one of the first of her kind; a female cab driver in India. Gautam works for a company employing and training women to become cab drivers and chauffeurs. But the job is about more than getting a license. It means going to work in openly hostile field, where road rage, physical threats and sexual violence are often sparked by the sight of a woman behind the wheel. 

Chinese man builds own prosthetics after fishing accident

Sun Jifa is the new face of DIY disability adaptation after making his own prosthetic arms from steel and scrap metal. The arms took eight years to construct, but were the alternative to the expensive models recommended by the hospital. (Via Daily Mail

A backwards baseball hat will get you pulled aside by TSA in Boston airports

The Transportation Security Administration is under investigation for using racial profiling techniques that not only targeted Middle Easterners (as Globalist reporter Alma Khasawnih writes), but also Hispanics traveling to Miami and black people wearing backwards baseball hats or expensive jewelry. (Via the New York Times.

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vintage TWA airline timetable
Traveling While Arab can mean a whole different timetable. (Photo by Jeremy Keith via Flickr)

I waited too long to book a flight home to visit my family in Amman to be picky about my flights. The only option under $2000 was a four hour layover at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport.

The price and timing was fine.

The racial profiling and accusation that I might be a terrorist was not.

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    VIENTIANE, Laos – Imagine a day when it is possible to take a train continuously from London to Singapore. The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) hopes to realize that vision by constructing the Trans-Asian Railway Network (TAR).

    Laos, the least developed country in East Asia, sees this rail project as a developmental key that would transform its landlocked situation and untap its abundant natural resources. At present, there are only 2 miles of rail track across Mekong River, connecting Laos to Thailand.

    The new railway will consist of a web of 70,836-mile rail track, linking 28 countries across Asia and Europe. When completed, this network would greatly shorten distances and reduce transit times between countries and regions. For Laos, it means opening a direct link between China and Thailand.

    According to Pierre Chartier, economics affairs officer for UNESCAP’s Transport Division, the network could also be a potential catalyst for trade expansion, economic growth and cultural exchanges at an international level.

    Currently, 5,157 miles are still missing. For countries with absent links, embarking on multibillion-dollar rail construction has become a national agenda.


    Where no train has ever run, the government aims to build a high-speed rail line across the country, linking it to neighboring China. The entire project is estimated to cost $13 billion and Laos is seeking funding and technical assistance from the Chinese government.

    The Vientiane Times, Laos’ daily newspaper, reported that construction of this high-speed railway, originally scheduled to begin in April 2012, has been postponed as the Laos government is currently in negotiation with China. The article also revealed that China would be the main stakeholder, with a 70 percent share in this build-and-operate joint venture with Laos.

    A complex process of changes– social, economic and ecological– will inevitably result. While possibly generating economic benefits, the railway project may lead to new groups of people falling below the poverty line.

    “Where you have transport, you have a greater level of human activities and human interaction,” Chartier said. “Some of these activities and interaction may be negative, [such as] trafficking and an impact on the environment. You may have to displace some communities.”

    Laos' economic and political future is balanced on the tracks of the Trans-Asian Railway project. Watch the video report, "Unlocking Laos," above.(Photo by Ore Huiying)
    Laos’ economic and political future is balanced on the tracks of the Trans-Asian Railway project. Watch the video report, “Unlocking Laos,” above.(Photo by Ore Huiying)

    Shamali Guttal, senior researcher for the development NGO Focus on the Global South, also highlighted that the railway will open up parts of Laos that are currently not connected to other areas. Guttal said this could lead to distress migration, increased illegal logging and accelerated natural resource depletion.

    Rural villagers, who depend on the land for their livelihood, are likely to be most affected by the railway developments, having little to no control over the decision making.

    In search of perspective, I traveled in Laos along the proposed rail route from the capital Vientiane to the northern border town of Boten.

    What started out as a simple inquiry about the Trans-Asian Railway very quickly turned into a complex and fascinating experience. As I journeyed into Laos’ world of economists, sociologists and politicians, I found this continent-linking railway will bring nothing short of complicated change through its landlocked borders.

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    Preparing gluten-free bread
    Jenny Asarnow prepares the dough for her gluten-free bread – note the scale for weighing ingredients. (Photo by Alma Khasawnih)

    Until I came to Seattle, I’d only met one person in my life who had a wheat allergy. But it seems that for the past year I have heard nothing but “I don’t eat gluten.”

    Is this the new fad? The new Atkins? What is up with the United States and people with allergies and food issues? Is it the same everywhere or just here?

    It came up again as I was searching for recipes for my Kitchen Stories series. My friend Joaquin told me I must meet with Jenny Asarnow who bakes the best gluten-free yummies ever.

    My first reaction was “gluten-free, umm, why?”

    I tend to eat a lot of bread because it is easy food to find and it is filling. And so far, it didn’t seem to be hurting me.

    Or maybe it was.

    I had to learn more. And where else would I go but Wikipedia.

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    A few of the seasonal offerings at Cafe de Lion in Queen Anne. The cafe’s Facebook page showcases their daily lineup. (Photo courtesy of Cafe de Lion)

    The pace at Cafe de Lion is slow — a very deliberate slow that’s now as rare in Seattle as it is in Japan, where owner Daisuke Miura, his wife Tomoyo and their son Lion (the cafe’s namesake) moved from two years ago.

    Francoise Hardy and Serge Gainsbourg play in the background as young diners enjoy green tea macarons or lobster bisque. Miniature Eiffel Towers adorn the bakery case and bar. Daisuke teases a customer for killing off his bowl of chowder in mere minutes.

    The ornate cursive lettering on the sidewalk A-frame sign boasts “luxury boutique pastries.” But do not mistake this patisserie for one of the many trendy pie and cupcake shops strewn about Seattle. Cafe de Lion’s sweets cost a few dollars more — about $5.50 apiece — but they are made dense, dainty and detailed by Tomoyo herself. And they are beautiful, like edible Limoge boxes.

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    The 32nd annual Seattle to Portland (STP) Bicycle Classic is coming up this weekend.  Ten thousand riders will set out from the University of Washington and, after some 200 miles and 43,000 energy bars, end up in northeast Portland.

    Looking for a unique way to experience a new country? Try it on two wheels. Above, Deric travels with his bike on a trip to Bahia, Brazil. (Photo by Deric Gruen)

    Sadly, the trip has been sold out for months, so if you didn’t register way back in March, I’m afraid you are out of luck until next year.

    Not to worry. There’s an entire world of road (or off-road) for intrepid cyclists to choose from. Traveling internationally with a bicycle is a low impact way to get a little bit closer to people, land and places you might never visit by any other mode.

    As you ponder your first overseas experience with a bicycle, consider the following questions in planning your ride.

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    Seattle International Beefest is showcasing over 200 beers at Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion July 6-8 (Photo by Mor Naaman)

    It’s no secret that Seattle is home to about a million craft breweries. For a lot of us, it feels like we can hardly keep up with the latest local brews, let alone keep tabs on the hundreds of international options on tap.

    This weekend, Seattleites will get to be the judge of exactly how their home brews measure up to the international competition – one 4-oz. beer at a time.

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    Over 500 candidates from 80 countries were sworn in as new U.S. citizens at the 28th Annual Naturalization Ceremony at the Seattle Center.  The annual event marks the end of a multi-year process of naturalization that includes a civics and history exam, residency requirements, filing fees and background checks. The Philippines, India, Mexico, and Somalia had the highest numbers of candidates represented.

    Alma Plancich, executive director of Ethnic Heritage Council and event organizer, encouraged the new citizens to find ways to preserve their culture in their new country. “You must never forget why you came to this country,” Plancich said, “Whatever it takes to remember where you come from.”

    Candidates for U.S. citizenship wait to be sworn in at the 28th Annual Naturalization Ceremony on July 4th at the Seattle Center.

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    The Seattle Globalist launch party drew over 300 people to celebrate our new hyperglobal blog last night at Washington Hall. Performances by Seattle Fandango Project and music by Last Night’s Mix Tape kept party goers dancing well into the night, as our hashtag, #ImAGlobalist, trended on Twitter. It was an amazing kickoff and show of support from all of Seattle’s brand new Globalists.

    See below for a few photos from last night and check out our flickr page to download your own photobooth shot!

    [slickr-flickr tag=”Launch Party”]