Updates no more

mercredi 16 décembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In France, the regional elections in late 2015 saw the FN win a majority of seats all over the country. Both the socialist party and the republicans lost most of the contested areas, and it became clear that the FN is the biggest party in France. However, the repercussions of this grand victory did not help Marine LePen's prospect for the presidential elections in 2016.
As her party now had actual power, all eyes were on France to see how the anti-EU, anti-immigration far-right that was springing up all over Europe would handle being in office. As it turned out, they did not handle it very well.
The sudden and aggressive cuts in funds to immigration management and social welfare caused a stir of social unrest as early as February 2016. The tensions with the EU meant that international trade became rocky. The FN tried to salvage the french economy by making new deals with Russia, but this caused them to be the subject of sanctions by the US, as tensions over Ukraine and Syria resurfaced. And the party's support plumetted.
All in all, voting for the FN in the regional elections seems to have been the surest way to keep them from the presidential office.

lundi 14 décembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"There is no black and white, only shades of pink."

    - David Cameron, about the war on terror.

samedi 12 décembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Late Bloomers

The late bloomers aren't really one species, but rather a new modus operandi that seems to be the consequence of recent climate change. Indeed, as the seasons get more unpredictable, and the stability of our climate circles crumbles, some species of plants and insects are starting to adopt new strategies, which would have proven highly disadvantageous to them before, but which, now, have become a new way of survival, and which might lead to speciation in the near future. The late bloomers, in other words, are evolution in action.
As there are more and more warm days in winter, and cold days in spring, the biological cycles of lots of species in the northern hemisphere are thrown into disarray. Plants which normally bloom in early spring now show their petals in december. And insects, which usually hibernate, get active again after the first warm days, which can come at any time. Luckily for both those cases, they are able to help each other out.
The insects pollinate the flowers when there should be no polinators around. And the flowers feed the insects when there is no other food available. As such, even those individuals which are too quick to respond to would-be signs of spring can still survive.
As the years pass, these mis-adaptations might well become defining traits of a few sub-populations, which, if they can polish their tactics into long-term strategies through natural selection, will cut them off from the rest of their species. However, wether or not they have the strength and luck needed to complete this process, or wether they will simply be “weeded out”, remains to be seen.

mercredi 9 décembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In 2016, Donald Trump was elected as president of the U.S.A. Keen to uphold his election pledges, he was quick to close the US border to mexico. And to ban all muslims from entering the country. After a few months, it became clear that this did not solve all the countries problems, so, along with some changes in internal politics, including low income tax for the super-rich as well as even laxer gun laws, he also decided to recall all US forces from abroad, and deployed them inside the country for extra security. And still, the US was "not great enough" in the billionaire's view. So he decided to close the countries borders entirely, and to cut all personal internet and telephone communications with the outside world. Starting from 2017, the US had only diplomatic and economic contacts with the rest of the globe, and only the very elite where allowed to travel abroad. And as the US kept to themselves, the rest of the world started to feel pretty damn good.

lundi 7 décembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Born to die!"

    - Charles Darwin, getting his first tattoo before embarking on the Beagle.

vendredi 4 décembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Beaver Rat

The beaver rat, Rattus castor, is a member of the rattus genus that lives exclusively in the sewers of big to medium-sized cities. Its name comes from its tendency to build dams along sewer lines, reminiscent of the behavior of its larger cousin, the beaver. But, although in both cases, the construction of dams is intended to better the habitat of the builder, beaver rats use their skills in much more complex ways than beavers.
Beavers build dams to flood their living area, giving them better protection from land-based predators, such as cougars, as well as shelter. But beaver rats make constructions that do not directly benefit them. Indeed, what the beaver rats are trying to achieve is to manipulate human behavior by constructing dams in the sewers, so that the maintenance that follows suits their needs. Expanding waterways, cleaning up excessive rubbish, closing off some tunnels, digging new ones, beaver rats have become master manipulators of urban planning. And for a long time, they did so without anybody being the wiser. It was only when Anna Therscientist started a long term study of sewer rat behavior for her Phd at the New York Institute for Stuff that Most People find Distasteful but that's Actually Really Cool (NYISMPDARC) that we became aware of the phenomen.
Her research suggests that most of this behavior is a cultural trait, inherited not through genes but through learning from the community. She has done several experiences where she introduced young rats from laboratory populations into the ones existing “in the wild”, and they have been able to copy and innovate on the behavior of their new compatriots, albeit their learning rates being slightly inferior to those of the natives, and their innovations less succesful. However, how the rats came to adopt this behavior in the first place remains a mystery.
The time between the construction of a particular dam, or the blocking of some access, and human intervention, can be very long in terms of the animals' life-span. This suggests that they either have very good memory that allows them to link cause and effect over long timespans, or that they are able to infer consequences of their actions on a logical basis, without needing positive feedback to learn any given behavior. Both cases would drastically change the view we've had of animal intelligence and learning so far.”

mercredi 2 décembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In the wake of the Paris attacks, several countries, including France, Great Britain, Russia and the US, stepped up their efforts to bomb Syria into smithereens.
The drastic increase in military spending caused by this decision put a strain on their budgets, but, because of the increase in revenue in the military-industrial complex,the overall economy of participating countries seemd to boom. And it wasn't long before most states which produced their own bombs started to join in.
In less than a year, over twenty countries where shelling positions in Syria, and the increasingly crammed airspace became the cause for a number of spats between these states. To avoid any serious incident, the UN soon decided to allocate specific areas to each country, which they could bomb at leisure without any risk of collision with other armed forces. As syrians kept fleeing their homeland and seeking refuge elsewhere, the land became empty, and, by 2018, the whole of Syria was one big weapons testing ground.
Today, there is barely a living thing to be found in the region, but the bombing continues to increase in intensity as arms manufacturing has become the pillar of the economy for most of the participating countries. And even though few people still remember how any of this started, heads of state keep on insisting on the need for more, larger bombs. And in 2020, the first international bombing contest will be held, an event which the organisers hope will become a bi-annual event. After all, there is nothing quite like the feeling of blowing up stuff.

lundi 30 novembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"There are a lot of free lunches happening every day. Just because no one invited you doesn't mean you should try and ruin it for everybody else."

    - Leon Trotsky

vendredi 27 novembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Liquor Fish

The liquor fish, Trutta liquore, is a member of the trout family, and is mainly found in mountain streams in the Atlas region of northern Africa. Like other animals, the liquor fish, when making an anaerobic effort (meaning that the muscles have to produce energy without a sufficient supply of oxugen), produces alcohol as a by-product. In other species, this by-product is then simply ecavuated along with other cellular waste. But the liquor fish stores it in a special compartiment in his body, called the “liquor pouch”, which is situated near its intestines.
Prof. Andrew Daniels, of the University of Jacksville, believes that this peculiar morphological feature has evolved as a defense against predators. When eating the fish, they would get drunk off the aclohol, and that this would discourage further predation of the species.
Due to its effects, the fish was rarely hunted by humans in the region, most of them being muslims, and thus shunning alcohol. A few local tribes did catch the fish for special occasions of revelry, and there was a small but constant market for it with some muslims, who saw it as a way to bypass their religion's ban on alcohol, but the population seems to have remained stable up until the late 18th century, when french colonialists discovered its existence.
The french found its flesh to be delicious, and, finding that the inhebriation that inevitably followed the consumption of the fish only made the experience more pleasurable, started catching and selling it in earnest. It did not take long for the liquor fish to become a sought-after gourmet pleasure in France, and as commerce of the animal intensified, natural populations started to come under heavy pressure, and fell rapidly.
After decolonisation in the 60's, commerce continued to drive the species towards extinction, and it seemed that it would not be long before the liquor fish was no more. However, recent conflicts in the region have discouraged most to go look for it, and populations have been recovering slowly but steadily for the past ten years. Whether this trend will continue once the situation stabilizes remains to be seen.

mercredi 25 novembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In mid-2016, the swiss people, sick and tired of being screwed around with, launched a popular initiative to make lying a criminal offence for anyobdy acting in an official capacity granted by popular election. The initiative was voted in by a vast majority, and its effects where immediate. Over half of the acting politicians were soon stripped of office and either fined or imprisoned for breaking the new law. The political vacuum thus created had to be filled fast, but, afraid of the consequences their habits could now cause, most politicians refused to stand for election. Those who did where either a far cry away from mainstream politics, or kept their speeches to a bare minimum. The slogan of one candidate simple stated that "If I am elected, I will become an official elected by the people."
As time continued, the two strategies showed very different results. People voted consistently for the candidates making real commitments, and, after a period of "political selection", only those who did everything in their power to honor those commitments remained. And for a time, all seemed well.
Sadly, after a few years, the political elite has started to rally their troops. Trained in double speak, and backed by an army of lawyers and linguists, they spent most of their time in office fending of criminal charges. And the swiss government became little more than a reality show.
However, the people did not mind. While the political class was busy trying to prove that when they said "A", they actually meant "B", the people started making the changes they wanted to see come true by themselves. Citizen projects flourished all over the country, and a sense of solidarity and purpose took a hold of the whole country. As one citizen put it, "Once we got the politicians otherwise occupied, we where finally able to get stuff done."

lundi 23 novembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Death is the last thing you'll ever experience, so make sure you enjoy it."

    - Anon

vendredi 20 novembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Sailing Crow

The sailing crow, Corvax marinus, is a bird of ill repute and strange fascination that lives off the coast of the Irish Isles. At home on fishing boats or cargo ships, the sailing crow is said to be of foul mood and nasty temper, and there are more than a few sailors who have lost a finger to it. Yet none of them would ever try to shoo it away.
Sailing crows are said to have the ability to sense storms, and warn the crew from impending disasters. Many stories are told all over Ireland of how they saved a vessel, and of how they let another one sail to its demise after the sailors had chased it away.
Prof. Ellen Paragoda, of the Dublin Institute of Occult Biology (DIOB), has been studying the animals for several years, and has found that the science backs up the stories. Indeed, a series of laboratory experiments have confirmed that the animals can sense changes in air pressure and humidity, as well as subtle shifts in temperature, which allows them to predict the weather.
When we expose them to the same conditions that you would have on the sea when a storm is approaching, the get very agitated. They are unpleasant fellows to begin with, but they become downright nasty when they think they are in danger. I suppose some crews couldn't take it, and threw them out just before the storm hit. And others could see the warning signs for what they were, and got out of there in time.”
In recent years, due to advance in availability and capability of modern technology, the birds are less and less welcome on most ships. But there are still some sailors who believe that there is more to it than just science.

mercredi 18 novembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

After the Paris attacks of 13.11.2015, shock and outrage took a hold of France. Ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy in particular could not believe the reaction of the Hollande government. "For years, my party has spent millions campaigning for less immigration, stripping criminals of their french passport, and a higher budget for the military in general and mass surveillance in particular, and we got nowhere. And now these seven guys come out of nowhere, with a measly budget of a couple thousand euros, and in less than a day, they achieve what we have been trying to do for years. It's disgusting." However, he assures voters that his party will not make the same mistakes twice. "We have a team of analysts working around the clock, and we will learn our lesson from this. Why spend hundreds of thousands on public events, when a couple of kalachnikovs will achieve the same goal in seconds?"
Meanwhile, the leadership of Les Republicain (the new name for the UMP party headed by the ex-President) has decided to sue the Hollande government for copyright infringement. "They have clearly stolen our ideas, copying our policies almost word-for-word. We believe that this is a clear case of copyright infringement, and an unethical move to confuse voters before the 2017 elections, and we will go to trial as soon as we find an open courtroom.", they said in their press-release.
Hollande responded by saying that there was "no reason" for the right to have a monopoly on totalitarian policies. "Look at Stalin. Look at Mao. The left has just as much to offer in regards to surveillance and police state than the right, if not more so.", the President was quoted as saying.

lundi 16 novembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"One hundred years after Einstein, human stupidity is still the only truly infinite quantity in the universe."

    - Stephen Hawnking, November 2015

vendredi 13 novembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Dancing Mouse

The dancing mouse, Mus aliqua, is a subsepcies of the common house mouse that seems well on its way to complete speciation. As of yet undistinguishable by physical traits, it is its peculiar mating behavior that has caused the dancing mouse to be granted the status of sub-species, and which makes it very unlikely that it will mix with other, related, mouse species.
Indeed, like a number of other animals, the dancing mouse finds a partner through dance. A more or les elaborate choreography is performed by males and females together, and if both are satisfied, they will mate. Laboratory studies by Prof. Wuan Chop have shown that an essential factor determining the “success” or “failure” of the ritual is synchronization between the two partners. Which might explain the habitat preferences of dancing mice during the mating season.
Although dancing mice usually occupy a large variety of urban habitats, during mating season, they seem to gather in buildings where music is regularly played. From concert halls to night clubs, and even the occasional melophile home, it seems that dancing mice in heat are drawn to a good tune. Prof. Chop believes this is due to the fact that the constant rhythm helps them stay in synch with their partner, and increases the chances of a dance leading to mating.
We have done several experiences in the lab, and even the presence of a simple metronome will increase the chances of success by a significant margin”, he told us. However, it seems that there is more to it than just rhythm. More complicated melodies seem to have less of an impact on mating success, but correlate strongly with offspring fitness. “The trend we are seeing right now has many different aspects, and it seems that dancing mice are still trying out this new behavior. We are at the state where evolution still has to make up its mind, and the mice are trying out all sorts of combinations that might lead them to better fitness.”
If you do see a dancing mouse, please note the time, place, and location, as well as the tune it was performing to, and post them in the comments of this blog. We will then relay them to Prof. Chop, who is interested in following the evolution-in-the-making of this peculiar species.

mercredi 11 novembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

As 2015 became the first year on record to be, on average, more than one degree warmer than in pre-industrial times, this fact was not lost on american presedential candidates. Not one to let an opportunity pas by, Donald Trump quickly assured voters that if he was elected president, he would quickly change this. "In the last hundred years, and with a coordinated international effort, we only managed one degree. If I am president, I promise you that we will reach two degrees before my first term is over!"
Other candidates were quick to retaliate. Some criticised Trump's statement, saying that it would be impossible to reach the two-degree mark in less than four years in a "sustainable way", arguing that even if Trump managed the feat, temperatures would plummet again shortly afterwards, maybe even below the one-degree mark they had fought so hard to achieve. Jeb Bush said he was working on a long-term plan to suprass the two-degree mark, and that, if America was made great again, "the sky will be the limit".
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, said that immigrants would be necessary to provide a new influx of human capital that was vital to any prolonged warming, and that the republican candidates' refusal to accept this made their proposals irrealistic, if not utterly ridiculous.
After two weeks of back-and-forth, candidates were kindly informed that the goal was to reduce global temperatures, but by then it was too late. United for once, they criticised the scientific and ecological community for not being able to "think outside the box". And climate change remained one of the main subjects of the election campaign.
Not all hope is lost however, as one reader pointed out. "Seeing the track record of politicians, and how they deliver on their campaign promises, this might just be what we need to stop global warming."

lundi 9 novembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"The world better it wasn't back in the day. Ignorant of all the shit that was going down, you were."

   - Yoda, during one of Luke's "I can't do this" rants.

vendredi 6 novembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Earworm

The earworm, Lombricus auris, is a parasitic species of worm that can infect a large number of mammals. Rather small in size, earworms are deadly in most cases, and responsible for a number of deaths each year. Although infections of humans have decreased significantly since the worm was first discovered in 1892 by Dr. Humphrey Earbog, the worm population seems to be thriving nonetheless, probably through a rise in infections of animal hosts.
Earworms mate only once, at the beginning of their life, and after that, they start searching for a host. The host can be almost any mammal. The worms lodge themselves in the ear of their victim (hence the name), and start manipulating the auditory signals received by their hosts. They have special appendages, called ceruchus (latin for string), which they vibrate to produce a sound that hypnotizes their victims. The host is put into a sort of trance that will cause him to wander aimlessly, which will usually result in his death through accident, either by falling down a cliff, or being attacked by a predator, etc. The worm then lays its eggs in the dead body, which will serve as nutrients for the offspring once they hatch. The young worms will feed of the cadaver, and, after mating, leave in search for their own host.
The effects of the earworm have been described by a number of historic populations around the world, from the celts of ancient britain to the Indians of South-America, and it is believed that the earworm is present all over the world.
Even though cases of death have become rare in humans, and, with the advent of modern medecin, the infection can be treated since the 1980s, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in the species, driven mainly by the intelligence community, who is trying to reproduce the hypnotic effects of the worm's “song” for their own ends. Recent leaks of classified documents lead us to believe that there have been several attempts in this direction, from Britney Spears to Justin Bieber, but most of them seem to have obtained mediocre results at best.

mercredi 4 novembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In late 2015, after the Safe Harbour ruling by the EU Court of Justice and the US passing CISA, many european countries decided that something should be done about the unilateral exploitation of private customer data by tech firms and the US government. Aided by the fact that, since the last elections, it contained more nationalist representatives than ever, the European parliament passed several laws which heavily restricted US access to EU data, and made the operational models of several multinational tech companies all but impossible in the EU.
Used to getting their way, the companies decided to keep doing business as usual, while threatening to relocate should the EU decide to uphold its new laws. But, due to recent tax scandals, it became clear that relocation would be far less of a loss of revenue for the concerned states than thus far believed, and, for once, states decided to enact their laws regardless.
As a consequence, most of these companies ceased to do business in the EU. But, as people were now used to, if not dependant on, these services, it didn't take long for EU-made alternatives to appear, and the market was quickly re-established. This of course caused a surge in the EU economy, just as the US one took a nosedive while the rest of the world followed the european example. However, the ball was now rolling, and it did not stop there.
Differences in national laws, as well as the prospect of boosting ones internal economy, caused the the exchange zones to become smaller and smaller, and the world slid back away from a global economy to a local one. As the size of the area of operations of each company shrunk, the salaries of the top earners did as well, while the average pay stayed relatively stable. This caused a diminution of inequality not seen since the second world war, and tensions between countries are now at an all-time low, as each one of them focuses inward to boost its own economy. Which just goes to show that, the less you have to do with others, the better you get along.

lundi 2 novembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"The thing I hate about sleep is that, sooner or later, you wake up."

   - Snowhite

vendredi 30 octobre 2015

Aniamls that don't Exist

The Optimistic Otter

The optimistic otter, Lutra ipsum, is native to the northern steppes of Siberia. It ressembles its cousins in every aspect, from its physical appearance to its dietary habits. There are, however, some traits of its behavior and its physiological capacities, that make the optimistic otter one of a kind.
Presumably as an adaptation to its harsh environment, where predators, both human and animal, are never far, the optimistic otter has developed an ingenious and unusual trait to protect itself. Unlike other animals, when faced with a predator, the optimistic otter shows no fear. On the contrary, it tends to approach its would-be aggressor, displaying a number of behavioral cues that indicate curiosity, and even affection (hence its name). This strange behavior momentarily surprises its attacker. And a moment is all that is needed.
Through a mechanism that has not yet been fully understood, the optimistic otter manages to filter out of the air the pheromones belonging to its adversaries, and, in mere seconds, starts synthesizing and emitting those exact same pheromones. Those olfactory signals, combined with the confusing behavior it displays, will make any mammal predator change its view of the cute animal, and switch from predator to protector in an instant.
Historically, optimistic otters have been viewed as messengers of god (or even deities in and of themselves) by the native people of northern siberia. They are often found as pets in villages and isoloated huts, some otter families having lived with humans, or other animals, for generations. However, since the fall of the wall in 1989, their situation has taken a turn for the worse.
Environmental destruction that followed Russia's conversion to capitalism has damaged much of their natural habitat, and otters in the wild have become rare. And as the capitalists came flooding past Moscow, feelings of love and affection have been pushed aside in favour of greed.
The optimistic otter has a particularly soft fur, and its pelt is prized above most others. Hunters have traditionally shown mercy to the animals, for the reasons mentioned above, but in recent years, those who have heard of the creature, but never seen it in person, have taken to go on the hunt with gas masks, to avoid the otter's defences. In repsonse, the otter popuation has plumetted even further.
But there is hope still for our furry friends, as resistance movements have started organizing themselves in the steppes. Locals have taken to stealing, or sabotaging, the hunters gas masks, and several otter sanctuaries have been erected in the region.
The animals themselves seem not to care much, and keep approaching both humans and animals with the same curiosity and big brown eyes they always have.

mercredi 28 octobre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In 2016, the new Swiss government, shocked by the amount of negative effects of lack of sleep, and the number of its citizens who suffer thereof, especially in the 15 to 25 years age group, passed a law that made 8 hours of sleep per day the mandatory minimum. Exceptions could be made for people who were medically certified to need less sleep, but otherwise, offenders could be fined up to 10'000 CHF, and forced to attend sleep-prisons. The result, however, was not as expected.
Despite the benefits that should have come with increased sleep, the crime rate soared shortly after the law was introduced, especially in the 15 to 25 years age group. The judicial system was overwhelmed by the sudden increase in cases, and for several weeks, became completely paralized. Politicians were desperately looking for causes, and found many, from the decline of the social state to periodic sunstorms and immigration. But it was only a year later that the truth finally emerged.
A new study linked regular sleeping hours to a rise of crime after having compared the swiss situation to that of neighbouring countries. This caused the abolition of the sleep-law, and the effects were immediate. There was an unprecedented decrease in criminal cases, especially in the 15 to 25 year age group.
And science once more saved the day!

lundi 26 octobre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"There's no such thing as good or bad. There's just bad and worse."

    - John McAffee

vendredi 23 octobre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Fog Shroom

The fog shroom, Mycellium nebula, is a little known species of fungi that, like its name suggests, is native to the british isles. Found mostly in moores and marshes, the species can disperse quite far during automn and winter. But since it cannot survive prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, its population is heavily reduced during summer, where only those individuals in shaded environments can survive. Most people that live in or around its natural habitat have probably already encountered this peculiar fungi at one time or another, altough most of them were not aware of it.
The fog shroom, unlike some of its cousins, does not exhibit the typical physionomy we are used to. And, unlike the mushrooms we pluck from the forest, its mycellium is not spread throughout the soil, but rather, throughout the fog. This soft and delicate web of unicellular threads hangs suspeneded in the water droplets of the air, and travels with its currents. When coming into contact with solid vegetation, like trees or ferns, some part of the web will get tangled on these surfaces, while the rest of the mushroom travels on, weaving its invisible net through the wet air. Once the fog dissipates, most of the mushroom dies, but those parts that have clung on to the shady part of a tree trunk, or the humid underside of some leafy plant, will persist, waiting for the next fog to continue their journey.
Scientists estimate that, with the right weather coniditions, fog shroom mycellium can grow to an astonishing size, sucking nutrients out of the air as it does. The parts that could not find a hiding place from the sun dry up, and their remains fertilize the ground, contributing to an equilibrated repartition of ressources in the habitat. Thus, it has a stablizing effect on the ecosystems it inhabits.
In olden times, the people thought that the strange feeling they sometimes got from the fog where due to ghosts, clinging on to the living and trying to pull them into the bog with them. This unseen force has fed stories about haunted forests, and contributed a lot to ecosystem tranquility by scaring of humans.
Today, due to more and more extreme weather events, the population of fog shrooms has undergone massive changes in size in relatively short periods, going through boom and bust cycles that have been unknown for the species so far. Not only has this become one more factor that decreases ecosystem stability, but researchers fear that the next such event might decimate the populations in some areas for good, which could have an unpredictable effect on the ecosystems they inhabit.

mercredi 21 octobre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

At the end of 2015, there was a major shift in attitude from western countries in regards to their involvement in the ongoing wars in the middle-east. Following Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau's lead, more and more countries pulled out of direct military intervention in crisis zones in the region, and by the end of 2016, only the U.S. and Russia were still carrying out military interventions.
As international pressure increased, the two countries found themselves in the same camp, against the rest of the western world. Unlikely allies as they were, this forced cooperation between the two, and in the latter half of 2017, they agreed to join forces, and coordinate their activity in the region. As the conflict kept on intensifying, and more and more countries joined the call to end any military activities and concentrate on humanitiarian aid instead, an unprecendented friendship started to bloom between the former rivals.
Today, in 2018, the U.S. and Russia have more enemies than ever in the international community, but, as they stand united, it seems there is little the rest of the world can do to stop the two superpowers from behaving as they please. And as history is constantly rewritten, it now appears as if most of the citizens of these countries see the other as a long-time, natural ally, with whom they entertain a healthy rivalry that keeps pushing them to exceed themselves. Whether this is something to be happy about, however, remains far from certain.

lundi 19 octobre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"I hate waking up in the moring. Especially when it's on a sunday."

   - Spike Spiegel

vendredi 16 octobre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Studying Parrot

The studying parrot, Parrotus studens, is a rather strange animal indeed. At first glance, it closely resembles the Ara, and only experts are able to distinguish between the two birds by visual observation alone. However, if you ever have the luck of encountering a flock of these strange birds during mating season, it will soon become clear where they got their name from, and that they are truly a different species.
Unlike other species, the studying parrot does not woo partners through a display of bright colors, physical prowess, or elaborately constructed nests. Instead, it spends the rest of the year learning complicated formulas or philosophical insights from humans, which it then parrots back to impress potential mates.
This behavior has given rise to a number of questions, perhaps the most interesting of which is how the parrots distinguish between intellectually relevant phrases and pure gibberish. There are a number of teams from around the world that are studying this behavior, but their efforts have yet to bear fruit. In addition, due to the protected status of the studying parrot, specimens for study are not easy to come by.
For the ancient tribes who share their habitat with the studying parrot, the bird has always been a symbol of wisdom, and whole villages would come to the bird's mating grounds, feeding them and listening to the words they propagate.

mercredi 14 octobre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In 2016, Facebook and others tried to make the world a little worse by creating Internet.org, a free version of the “internet”, with less information, less freedom, and less privacy. But because of the vital role the net now plays not only in our social life, but also in our work life, people who could not afford a real connection were forced to rely on this new, watered down and poisoned version.
Luckily, as emerging nations came to realize the full extent of the hoodwinking that was going on, they decided to sue internet.org for breaching privacy and data retention and sharing laws. The money thus obtained went into a common fund, which in turn was used by those same nations to ensure that every citizen had free access to the internet. The real one, this time.

lundi 12 octobre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"If you don't like us sticking our fingers up your ass, it must be because you've got something to hide."

   - Gen. Hayden, NSA

vendredi 9 octobre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Hangover Rat

The hangover rat, Rattus spiritus, is a member of the rat family. It dislikes light, sound and early mornings, and spends most of its time sleeping in dark places, intermittedly waking up to eat and drink something. There is not much it likes, and even though it does reproduce, it doesn't for the life of it remember when or with whom.

mercredi 7 octobre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

Back in the late sixties/early seventies, when things were called groovy more often than not, the Controlled Substances Act was being debated in the U.S.A. At the same time, many places in the country, due no doubt to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and SteppenWolf, decided to legalize or decriminalize cannabis. The debaters in Washington took notice, and, intending to forestall any conflict between State and Federal law, agreed to add a provision to the Controlled Substances Act, allowing State regulations to trump federal ones where Cannabis was concerned.
And it was lucky they did, because otherwise, things would be a real mess today.

lundi 5 octobre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Wisdom can be found in any civilization. The difference is how we get there."

    - Z.

vendredi 2 octobre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Binary Bacteria

The binary bacteria, Bacillus binarius, is a recent discovery by Prof. Jack Hammer of the Institute for Tiny, Tiny Things (ITTT), North Dakota. At first glance, these monocellular lifeforms seem rather unremarkable. In addition, their reproductive rate is quite a bit lower than that of most known bacteria, which makes them appear like a rather tedious subject for study. However, it was exactly this trait that intrigued Prof. Hammer. “In the wild, low reproductive rate means low competivity for space and ressources, and the theory of natural selection tells us that this should lead to extinction over time. Yet we could find evidence of binary bacterias in a vaste array of substrates. That made me curious.”
Indeed, further research showed that, no matter what kind of nutrients where present (or absent) in its environment, the binary bacteria would grow at an almost identical rate. This is very unusual for bacteria, and by the time of this discovery, Prof. Hammer was positive that there was something special about his latest find. The research that followed would prove him right.
Binary bacteria, his team found, could be in one of two states: reproducing or producing. The producing bacteria would absorb as much matter from their environment as possible, and then transform it into adequate substrate for the reproducing ones. The latter would use the ressources to produce offspring. This simplistic division of labour might seem mundane to most people, but it was the first time such a thing had been observed in bacteria. “Archeabacteria are known to show this behavior on occasion, just as single celled algea do, but so far, it was believed that bacteria never exhibited those traits, and that this was why multicellular lifeforms did not evolve from them. So this recent discovery puts into question everything we know about the evolution of multicellular life on our planet.”
In addition to procuring easily absorbable nutrients, it seems the producer bacteria also emit nocif substances into their environment, keeping competitors at bay. As the colony expands, these are again absorbed by producer bacteria and given back to reproducers as substrate, which could explain how they were able to survive and thrive despite their low reproductive rate.
There is still much that we have to learn about these peculiar organisms, and Prof. Hammer is up for the job. “When I started to see then first signs of their strange behavior, I knew that I would spend the rest of my life with this bacteria. It was love at first sight.”

mercredi 30 septembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In 2016, as the refugee crisis intensified, elections in countries across Europe resulted in a rise of rightwing and far-right parties, drastically changing EU politics.
Fundings for refugees, both in Europe and abroad, was cut significantly, and in its stead, billions were used to cut Europe off from the rest of the world. Fences were built, border controls were intensified, and refugee quotas that would have been ridicoulously low at the best of times were instated. And all the while, refugees from the warn-torn middle-east kept coming.
The tensions between politics and the real world resulted in numerous humanitarian catastrophes, as countries used their military, and live ammunition, to make sure nobody crossed their borders. The cost of these operations kept on increasing, while an aging Europe, bereft of the influx of migrants which had kept it over water until now, experienced little to no economic growth. By 2019, Europe was practically bankrupt.
Slowly, politics where starting to change again, reducing repression and increasing refugee quotas, but it was too late. Other countries, having seen the disastrous results of EU politics, had decided to welcome the refugees in its stead, and, encouraged by the economic growth produced by their demographic increase, kept doing so. By the time Europe opened its doors again, nobody wanted to go there anymore.
The european economy, because of an aging population and the PR-disaster its politics of the past three years had caused, has since been in recession, and shows little signs of picking up again. Europeans have started to leave the continent in search for a better life, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, very few countries are willing to accept these "economic migrants".

lundi 28 septembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Tell me how you seed, and I'll tell you who you are."

   - Gottfrid Svartholm, co-founder of TPB

vendredi 25 septembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Drunk Dog

The drunk dog, Canis inhebrietus, is a relatively new breed of dog. It ressembles a golden retriever, but with an unmistakeable taste for alcohol.
It was while seeing police dogs trained to sniff out bootlegger caches during the prohibition that Alan Bick first thought of the idea of selecting a breed that has a predilection for the then-illegal substance. Thirty years later, he presented the first drunk dog at an Alcoholics Anonymous convention in New York. His plan was simple: since the dog would like a drink just as much, or even more, than his master, he would constantly be on the lookout for a hidden bottle, and, if he found one, empty it before his master could.
The idea took hold at first, and a number of recovering alcoholics procured one of the dogs, in the hope that their new companion would stop them from falling back into their bad habit. However, this was without taking into account the social nature of dogs.
If there was no alcohol in the house, the drunk dogs would steal it from somewhere else. But, as dog etiquette dictates, they would invariably offer a share to their master whenever they brought home a bottle. This led to some of the most intense friendships between man and dog, and was responsible for destroying a number of households.
Today, drunk dogs are not bred anymore, but their descendends still roam the streets, sometimes in company of humans, and sometimes on their own. And if, by a struck of ill luck, they manage to form a pack, no distillery will be spared.

mercredi 23 septembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In late 2015, politicians promised us to fight crime, poverty, violence and pollution. And since then, everything is alright, and everyone is happy!


lundi 21 septembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"You can't get a silver lining without no clouds."

   - Kenny Logans, after a few beers to many.

vendredi 18 septembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Lost Crab

The lost crab, Liocarcinus erravi, has not been seen for over a thousand years. Ancient manuscripts describe the crab as being of a pure yellow color, and living mostly in seacaves on the mediterranean. It was considered a delicacy in the times of the roman empire, to be fried in garlic oil and eaten whole.
Where the lost crab has gone to, or if it even still exists, nobody knows. Texts from around 1000 A.D. describe the puzzlement of the people of that time as to why the crab has disappeared. Cryptozoologist and gourmets from all over the world have searched for it, but so far to no avail.
Dr. Rudolf Krebs, from the European Institute for Lost Animals (EILA), mounted an expedition of more than a hundred people in 2013, and they spent over a year scouring the mediterranean coast looking for it, but to no avail. The lost crab, true to its name, could not be found.

mercredi 16 septembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In the wake of the refugee crisis of 2015, where Europe had to deal with an increasing amount of refugees from the countries it had spent the last ten years at war with, it became obvious that, because of globalized conflicts, globalized economies and global climate change, the old notion of rigid political borders had to be changed.
As a result, the World Federation of Nations was created,  unifying all countries under one central government, and easing the transport of not only goods and money, but also people. In the years that followed, massive population movements, as well as profound restructuring of infrastructure, would change the world forever.
Now, Europe has become the overcrowded dorm of the world, while most countries in Africa are more or less empty, save for a few farmers and some natives. All over the world, a new rural exodus has happened, not from the countryside to the city, but from the producing to the consuming countries.
Redistribution of wealth still remains a challenge, and most cities are unable to keep up their growth to match the incoming people. But, on the other hand, global inequality has diminished drastically, and hunger as well as curable diseases have decreased significantly.
Whether this experience will manage to stand on its own in the long term, or whether these overcrowded cities will implode, remains to be seen. But it has become clear that, in the face of global inquality, only global solidarity stands a chance.

lundi 14 septembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Ah sh*t!"

   - Man, 7'000 B.C., after inventing the calendar and discovering it was monday.

vendredi 11 septembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Chocolate Worm

The chocolate worm, Lombrix chocolata, was historically found exclusively in Switzerland, but has since spread over most of western Europe. Unlike its name indicates, the chocolate worm does not feed on chocolate, but mainly on milk. It got its appellation when the swiss first started making and exporting milk chocolate, which, in some cases, contained the worm. People from neighbouring countries, having never encountered the creature before, thought it must be there because of the chocolate, and called it chocolate worm.
Apart from this story, there is really not much to say about the chocolate worm. It is neither of particular form or shape, nor does it have any biological or chemical properties that make it in any way significantly different from its peers. But despite its mundane appearance, it almost caused a premature end to the blooming chocolate indusrty of Switzerland.
Because of these events, the swiss have nominated the chocolate worm enemy of the state, and they hold yearly worm-culling festivals, were milk and milk-products are inspected carefully for any trace of the bugger. Some say this is just and excuse to sample all the different milk-products made in Switzterland, a theory that is corroborated by the fact that the swiss usually end up very drunk on these occasions. But, officially at least, it is all about the worm

mercredi 9 septembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In 2016, in Switzerland, a popular initiative passed that made informatics classes not only mandatory from secondary school onwards, but changed the subjects as well, from word and paint to python and C++. Although drawing many complaints at first, mostly from parents and teachers who had trouble keeping up with the students in the new subjects, it quickly became evident that this gave swiss pupils a big advantage in the job market.
As computers became ever more omnipresent in our lives, most countries' educational system could not keep up with the growing demand in qualified personnel. Especially in IT security, there was a lack of available candidates, and the swiss government, emboldened by the positive feedback of its revised educational policy on the matter, decided to integrate the subject in its new curriculum.
Today, Switzerland is connecting once again with its mercenary past, as it has become the country that "exports" the most IT-personnel in the world. The U.S., China and Russia have introduced quotas to the number of non-nationals who can work in security-critical jobs so as to maintain "autonomy" in those domains. But recent years have shown that this policy has backfired, and leaves gaping holes in the industry. Meanwhile, Switzerland has become, for the first time in its history, one of the big military powers, be it only through its IT-unit.
On another note, the Pope has recently decreed that the vatican's IT systems shall only employ SysAdmins from Switzerland from now on, following the 2018 attack on its systems, where three swiss Admins defended the holy mainframe at the cost of their lives.

lundi 7 septembre 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Although humanity is pretty fucked up, humans in themselves ain't half bad."

   - Unknown

vendredi 4 septembre 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Shining Moth

The shining moth, Hyles lumens, can be found in mainland Asia, as well as most of Japan. At a wing span of twenty centimenters, it is one of the largest moths of the region. But what makes the shining moth special is not its size, but rather the scales on its wings.
Shining moth males have a peculiar life-cycle. They come out during midday for a few hours, and then again around midnight. During the day, their scales, which are coated in a substance very similar to glow-in-the-dark vinyl, absorb the sunlight. And, when they come out again during the night, their glow attracts the females of the same species.
This behavior is very unusual for moths, who usually use the highly sensitive antennas on the males to find partners. In addition, although the light seems to attract females, it is only seen in a rather restricted radius, and it can be a big give-away to predators. Thus, it has been theorized that this morphological trait must have evolved in isolated conditions, with low risk of predation and in confined space. How the moths managed to spread as far as they have, though, remains a mystery.
In ancient Asian culture, shining moths are a recurrent theme, and the people seem to believe that they are a good omen. It is even said that some cultures have elaborate rituals centered around the moth, either to extend ones' life, or to guide the dead to heaven.
Dr. Louis Eclats, of the Institut des Lumieres de Paris (ILP), believes that the moths have had a deep and lasting impact in asian culture that far exceeds that of the occasional ritual, and that every religion in the area has been inspired by the insects. He is also keen on studying the moth's wings in greater detail, since the conservation and emission of light is much more refined in these, than in our own glow-in-the-dark objects,

mercredi 2 septembre 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

At the eve of the twenty-first century, after the world was shaken by a quick succession of financial crisis which resulted in levels of inquality not seen since before the first world war in most developed countries, most economists around the globe were at a loss as to why their theories were not working in real life.
As some of them, more proficient in mathematics than others, explained that exponential growth in a finite system was untenable on the long term, and that humans did not, in the vast majority of cases, act as assumed in their models, it was decided that our economic practices and prejudices needed a global overhaul. In what where to be the most drastic reforms of our century, it was decided that growth would no longer be an absolute priority, and that our ressources should go first and foremost to guaranteeing a decent living standard to everybody. To this end, taxes on big fortunes and high incomes, as well as profits from financial speculation, were raised significantly, and consitently, across the world.
Despite violent protests from the top ten percent, the majority got their way for once, and, after a few years, inegality reached an all-time low in the western hemisphere. As the rich fled to developing countries, which had refused to implement the same tax reforms, that massive injection of capital, and the will of the immigrated elite to live in a nice place, accelerated the devlopment of these countries considerably, and it is now believed that by the end of the century, inqualities between countries around the globe will be almost gone. However, given the fact that most of those now-developed countries hold more natural ressources than the western world ever did, and that they are the only ones still pursuing an agressive capitalist policy, some wonder if we are not going to face a reversed image of the twentieth century in the near future.

lundi 31 août 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Hell ain't nothing to be afraid of for those of us who grew up on planet earth."

   - Grandmaster Flash

lundi 3 août 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"It's easy to misuse power, and hard to misuse a lack thereof. But that doesn't mean we should give powerful people a break."

    - Yours Truly

Also, on that note, regular updates will be on a break until september, because holidays. Nice summer to y'all!

vendredi 31 juillet 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Bored Badger

The bored badger, Meles meles circumforatus, is a subspecies of the european badger, and the only member of the badger family that is in acute danger of extinction. However, unlike most animals, this is not due to human factors, such as pollution or destruction of the environment. No, the bored badger, as it were, is simply so bored in permanence that he shows little inclination to accomplish even the most basic tasks of survival.
All animals, human or otherwise, have been selected through a long period of evolution, where instincts will push us to accomplish certain basic needs for reproduction (the famous “eat, fuck, sleep”), and our neurons are wired in a way to recompense these behaviors through a release in dopamine, thus teaching us to keep doing them. In the bored badger, however, these mechanisms seem to have broken down.
It is not yet entirely clear what evolutionary road the bored badger took, and even if he can really be consider a subspecies of the european badger, or if he is merely a particular phenotype. What scientists agree on, however, is that he is extremely bored. It is very hard to elicit a response in the bored badger, be it through food, danger, or the opposite sex. Breeding programms, which have been realized mainly in the course of scientific studies, have had very little success, and the lack of specimens makes a detailed study of its behavioral patterns even more challenging.
Dr. Stud Hanson, of the University of Luckyton, has recently suggested that the behavoral oddities of the bored badger are not due to genetics, but to infection by an as-of-yet unknown pathogen, which could potentially infect humans as well. His research was showing promise, but he abandoned it recently, because “what's the point, anyway?”.

mercredi 29 juillet 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In 2018, as the american economy started to decline, mainly due to less exports, which politicians related to higher minimum wages raising prices, congress decided to reinstate and expand mandatory minimum laws for a number of offences, in order to provide companies with more cheap labour by prisoners.
Today, in 2021, the effect has been drastic, with american exports having almost doubled in the last three years. While politicians from both major parties keep clapping each other on the back for what they describe as "the successful revitalization of the american dream", more than 10% of the american population is now incarcerated, and the number is projected to rise even further.
Answering the question of a journalist, who had aked him what he thought of people saying that the american dream had turned into a nightmare, the president responded: "Not if you sleep in my bed!"

lundi 27 juillet 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"Yes. No. Listen. I know I said I'd help you if you ever needed me. But I'm not a nice guy. So I won't."

    - That guy who said he'd help you out. Yeah, you know the one.

vendredi 24 juillet 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Curry Moth

The curry moth, Samia aromii, is closely related to the Ailanthus silkmoth, Samia cynthia, and commonly found throughout southern India. It's large size, as well as delicately coloured wings, have long made it a species of interest for collectors, but it is only recently that its culinary properties have been discovered. Or, to be more precise, re-discovered.
The curry moth, like most moths and buterflies, only lays its eggs on specific plants that meet the requirement of the soon-to-be hatched larvae. In the case of the curry moth, it looks for plants that have a relatively high concentration of capsaicin, the “spicy” molecule of chili peppers. As a result, they are mostly found on the spice plantations that grow chilis, or on wild plants of the same variety.
When the British East India Company took over India in 1757, they also took control over the spice trade and production. Due to poor communication with locals, which was due as much to arrogance as incompetence, the british failed to see the curry moth as anything but a pest, and ordered farmers to dispose of the insects trying to breed on their crops. Later, as pesticides and herbicides were introduced, the curry moth population suffered an even more drastic fall, and in 2005, the species hit its all-time low, now being found only in the wild. However, recent efforts to introduce biological agriculture in the region have seen a revival of the moth, and local population have kept the memory of the moth, and its uses which eluded the british, alive until today.
In fact, due to its restrictive regime, the curry moth was often used by local s as a seasoning in and of itself. The moth larvae absorbs much of the aromatic molecules of its food, especially the capsaicinoids, and stores them in its body, possibly to deter predators. This, however, did not work well on humans, who quickly discovered that the subtly modified spice produced by the moth was even more enjoyable than that of the plants themselves. But as the moths started disappearing due to the chemicals used in the fields, they disappeared from peoples food, too.
The rediscovery of the curry moth as a seasoning, however, has not only caused a cultural revival in India, but a culinary revolution in the west as well. What was inconceivable to british colonialists (namely, eating insects) is commonplace for the modern “foodie”, and the moths are starting to appear in more and more high-end restaurants in the western hemisphere. This, in turn, encourages indian spice farmers to reduce, or eliminate, the use of chemicals in their fields, allowing them to switch to biological methods of cultivation and increase their profits at the same time, the moths now fetching much higher prices than the spices themselves.

mercredi 22 juillet 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

At the climate conference in Paris, in December 2015, China announced that, in addition to diminishing its CO2 emissions, it would also impose stronger regulations, as well as yearly maximums, on its rare earth industry, to reign in the uncontrolled and massive pollution these industries caused to their immediate environment.
In an official statement, the white house called the commitment "a dick move", accusing China of trying to manipulate prices via the guise of environmental policies. Chinese officials, however, were not impressed, and counseled their american counterparts to "suck it". "As these capitalist pigs should be well aware, the best way to make sure people have less of something is to artificially raise its price", said Hu Jin To, chinese minister for environmental protection. "That goes for pollution as well".
In the years that followed, prices for most technical devices more than doubled, and consumption of said devices decreased significantly. China offset the drop in demand for manufacture with the price increase, and, thanks to lower industrial output, is well on its way to overachieve on its emissions pledge.
The U.S.A., on the other hand, have desperately tried to convince other countries, especially in Africa, to create their own rare earth mining centers, and save the american tech industry, which relies heavily on cheap electric components. But until now, massive popular protests, some of which have turned violent at times, have hindered their efforts.

lundi 20 juillet 2015

Citations that weren't Made

"When the government tells corporations what to do to help the people, you need to support it. When the government tells people what to do to help corporations, you need to change it."

   - Che Guevera, 3 April 1963

vendredi 17 juillet 2015

Animals that don't Exist

The Sun Snake

The sun snake, Crotalus solis, is a close cousin of the rattlesnake, and is found all around the southern U.S.A., as well as northern Mexico. The well-versed snake-admirer will recognize its three distinctive horns, which it uses to pinpoint temperature fluctuations in its surroundings.
Like all snakes, and reptiles in general, the sun snake is cold-blooded, meaning that it has no means to autonomously regulates its body-temperature. Unlike other reptiles, however, the sun snake does not go from sun to shadows in order to maintain an optimal temperature. Instead, it will always seek out the hottest places it can find, and use the increased temperature to drastically accelerate its metabolism. Hence its name.
This peculiar behavior has puzzled researchers for some time, since the uncontrolled increase in temperature can lead to internal damage, and, in some cases, death. It was only recently that doctor Edward Visper, of the California Institute of Slithering Stuff (CISS), has found the biological reason behind this strange habit.
Contrary to what we thought, it is only female snakes that seek to drastically increase their temperature, and only once they carry fertilized eggs. The increase in temperature allows them to speed up to development of the embryos drastically, and thus provide their offspring with a jump-start into life, which greatly improves their chances of survival. The occasional death, or internal damage, is offset by the evolutionary advantage to their descendants.
The sun snake has always fascinated the native people of its habitat, and a number of indian tribes in the region reference it in both their customs and believes. Due to its extreme aggressivness when it is heating up, as well as the increased potency of its poison, most people have seen it as an emissary of the sun, representing the anger of the star. A few tribes have gone further, and see the taming of a heated up sun snake as a rite of passage for their shamans, who thus demonstrate that they can quell nature's fury with their powers.
In recent years, due mainly to the higher fluctuation in temperatures, sun snake populations have become instable, rising rapidly after hot summers, and falling drastically during cold ones. In addition, recent heat-waves have driven the animals into a frenzy, making them extremely dangerous. We all remember the horrible tragedy of Clarkson Elementary School, where a class came across a sun snake during a hiking trip on a particularly hot summer day, and fourteen students where bitten by the frenzied animal, nine of whom later died from the poison.

mercredi 15 juillet 2015

Politics that didn't Happen

In the summer of 2015, Greece, being forced once again into an unreasonable bailout program by the IMF, the EU and ECB, had had enough. With the support of the people, the government decided to leave the union, and default on all its debts.
In response, the troika yelled foul, and decided to suspend all lending to the ancestral home of democracy. Markets fell sharply around the world, and it seemed that a new financial crisis was beginning. The greeks, however, seemed unconcerned by the panic around them, and, with the help of Russia and China, as well as Brazil, managed to secure enough funds to avoid a complete collapse of their economy. The economic miracle that happened afterwards, however, can only be explained by the solidarity and determination of the once-again free greek people to make it on their own.
As the european union fell into disarray, Greece soon found a steady stream of revenue through increased tourism by its new partners, and was well on the way to recovery. Meanwhile, Spain, hit hardest by the new crisis, decided to exit the EU as well, and was quick to form economic alliances with Greece and its creditors.
Today, almost five years later, half a dozen countries have defected from the EU, and joined the ever-growing number of countries in the asia-focused economic alliance centering on China, Russia, Brazil and South Africa. The USA, afraid by the rapid decline of their allies, have called for reinforced sanction against countries whose government defaulted on their debts. In retaliation, China has asked the US to repay half of the 1'200'000'000'000$ (1.2 trillion $) debt it owes. The U.S. treasury has yet to respond to the demand.