Internet loses its mind over ‘racist’ Dior perfume ad featuring Johnny Depp & Native American dancer

A clip of the promotion, called ‘We are the Land’, was posted on Dior’s social media accounts on Friday. The teaser shows Depp, clad in a poncho, shredding on an electric guitar as a Native American, decked out in full ceremonial garb, performs a tribal dance.

In an apparent attempt to preempt internet outrage over alleged ‘cultural appropriation’, Dior noted that the spot was filmed with the help of Native American consultants. In a caption to a now-deleted Instagram post, the company wrote that the film was made in “close collaboration” with Americans for Indian Opportunity (AIO) “in order to respect Indigenous cultures, values and heritage.”

However, what some would argue was the brand’s attempt at preemptive damage control did little to help Dior escape the internet’s wrath, spurred by accusations of cultural appropriation and outright racism.

There were also those who came to Depp’s and Dior’s defense, noting that the perfume is said to have been inspired by Christian Dior’s friend, Australian fashion publicist Percy Savage, hence its peculiar name. ‘Eau Sauvage’ was introduced by the perfumery line of the famed fashion house back in 1966, long before the online cultural wars began.

Others argued that neither the creators of the ad, nor Depp – an honorary member of the Comanche Nation since 2013 – did anything wrong, with the ad itself being a powerful homage to Native Americans.

Huawei in talks to use Russia’s Aurora operating system for census

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has started negotiations with Moscow to install the Russian operating system (OS) Aurora on 360,000 tablets, sources told Reuters.

The firm is reportedly in talks with the Russian government to use the Aurora operating system, currently being developed by Moscow-based firm Russian Mobile Platform, on 360,000 tablets, possibly for a population census next year.

“This is a pilot project. We see it as the first stage of launching the Russian OS on Huawei devices,” said one source.

A spokeswoman for Huawei confirmed that Huawei is in talks with the Russian Ministry of Communications. She, however, did not provide any further details.

“Huawei is interested in the project. It showed samples of tablets that could be used,” the source said.

The owner of Aurora, Russia’s state telecommunications operator Rostelecom, is the sole contractor for buying tablets to hold the population census.

“Various options for collaboration with Huawei are currently being considered with participation of the Ministry of Communications… We don’t disclose details yet, there is an agreement on confidentiality,” Rostelecom told Reuters.

Huawei, which plans to significantly increase its sales in Russia, has already contacted several Russian tech firms to create joint ventures and use their technologies. The corporation has intensified its presence in the Russian market after Washington barred US tech companies from dealing with Huawei.

In May, the world’s biggest telecom equipment supplier and second largest smartphone manufacturer was put on an “entity list,” as part of the trade war between Washington and Beijing. The Trump administration severely restricted American companies from trading with the Chinese tech firm.

Huawei said last week the US trade restrictions could cut its smartphone unit’s revenue by about $10 lion this year.

Gantz and top aides targeted by Russian hackers in ‘unprecedented’ attack

Blue and White party co-leader Benny Gantz and a number of his top aides were reportedly the victims of a Russian hacking effort earlier this year, according to Israeli broadcaster Channel 12.

In an internal report submitted by The CGI Group, an Israeli firm specializing in business intelligence, Gantz’s mobile device was targeted in a “powerful and unprecedented attack by Russian hackers, the kind we have never seen before.”

Also targeted in the attack was Blue and White campaign chairman Ido Har, campaign adviser Ronen Moshe, and chief of staff Hod Betzer.

Israel’s Sagi Muki takes gold at judo World Championships

Israeli judoka Sagi Muki was named world champion Wednesday, taking the gold medal at the World Judo Championship finals in Tokyo, Japan, and becoming the first male Israeli athlete to receive the top prize.

Muki claimed the gold after defeating Belgium’s Matthias Casse in the finals of the men’s under-81 kilogram weight class.

The middleweight champion reached the finals after narrowly defeating Egyptian opponent Mohamed Abdelaal, who refused to shake his hand at the end of their match (echoing another Egyptian judoka’s actions when losing to Israel’s Ori Sasson at the Rio Olympics in 2016). “I’m sorry” that Abdelaal refused, said Muki. “I’m pleased that I was able to show the beautiful face of Israel.”

Ahead of the semi-final there were reports that Iran’s Saeid Mollaei, who had also advanced to the penultimate stage, could drop out if he were paired with Muki — although Iran was recently reported to end its longstanding ban on its athletes facing off with Israelis.

The matter was not tested, however, as Mollaei eventually fought, and lost to, Belgium’s Casse while Muki fought Abdelaal. Casse and Mollaei “are both excellent sportsmen,” said Muki.

After the victory, Israel’s national anthem ‘Hatikvah’ was played at the medal ceremony as Muki and Israeli members of the audience sang along.

Muki’s win makes him the first male Israeli to be named world champion. In 2013 Yarden Jarbi won the World Judo Championship in Rio de Janeiro in the women’s under-63 kilogram weight class.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated Muki on his win, tweeting: “You’ve brought us all great honor and pride.”

In a conversation between the two broadcast on Israeli TV, Muki told Netanyahu it was “a privilege” to represent Israel, and said he was boosted by the large number of Israelis supporting him in the arena.

Graphic design: How nazis designed a referendum form

The assholes who designed were no other than the nazis. The form that you can see above was designed for a referendum held in Austria in 1938, to decide whether the country wanted to join the Third Reich.

In order to make sure the voters would not make a bad decision (in their opinion), the nazis decided to add some hierarchy in the answers. Interestingly, they also put Hitler’s name forward and made it look like a referendum for or against Adolf Hitler.

The referendum question was:

Do you agree with the reunification of Austria with the German Reich that was enacted on 13 March 1938 and do you vote for the list of our leader Adolf Hitler?

The results:

Choice Votes %
For 4,453,912 99.73
Against 11,929 0.27
Invalid/blank votes 5,777
Total 4,471,618 100
Registered voters/turnout 4,484,617 99.71

Although there were irregularities, LIFE in 1938 acknowledged that the results of the referendum and its German counterpart were “largely honest”.

This illustrates that the design of elements like voting forms can have tremendous impact on society.

‘Pluto is a planet’: NASA official risks sparking science civil war with controversial declaration

Saturday, August 24, 2019 marked 13 years to the day since Pluto was demoted from having the status of a planet to being assigned that of a dwarf planet, by the International Astronomical Union (our solar system’s resident’s association of scientific fuddy-duddies).

But now, in what history may record as either a brave call to arms, beseeching the scientific community to band together against the tyranny of the IAU or, more likely, an off-the-cuff, likely tongue-in-cheek remark, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine had declared his unwavering belief that Pluto is indeed a planet. “I’m sticking by that, it’s the way I learned it and I’m committed to it,” Bridenstine boldly declared.

Regardless of how his comments were intended, there are still members of the scientific community fighting the good fight to restore Pluto to full planetary status and renew its membership in the Solar System Planet Club.

Pluto was originally demoted as it had not cleared its planetary neighborhood (the Kuiper belt) of cosmic debris, angering the uptight Galactic Residents’ Association back on Earth.

There was also a certain degree of NIMBY-ism behind the decision: astronomers had discovered multiple objects in our solar system that were indeed larger than Pluto (including Eris). Does this mean that these should all be declared planets? This could set up a slippery slope for chain migration by unscrupulous dwarf planets trying to force their way into the solar system’s exclusive planetary club, making a mockery of the IAU’s byzantine rules and regulations.

Proponents of the restoration of Pluto’s planetary status point to its multilayered atmosphere, the presence of organic compounds on its surface, the fact that it has weather, avalanches, plutoquakes and possibly even liquid oceans, in addition to its own moons, as more than sufficient evidence of its rightful place among the stars.

Haym Salomon – spy and principal financier of the fledgling American republic

Haym Salomon (also Solomon; April 7, 1740 – January 6, 1785) was a Polish-born American Jewish businessman and political financial broker who immigrated to New York City from Poland during the period of the American Revolution. He helped convert the French loans into ready cash by selling bills of exchange for Robert Morris, the Superintendent of Finance.

In this way he aided the Continental Army and was possibly, along with Morris, the prime financier of the American side during the American Revolutionary War against Great Britain.

From the period of 1781–84, records show Salomon’s fundraising and personal lending helped provide over $650,000 (approximately $18,035,722.16 in 2018 dollars) in financing to George Washington in his war effort. His most meaningful financial contribution, however, came immediately prior to the final revolutionary war battle at Yorktown.

The financier died suddenly and in poverty on January 8, 1785, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, after contracting tuberculosis in prison. Due to the failure of governments and private lenders to repay the debt incurred by the war, his family was left penniless at his death at age 44. The hundreds of thousands of dollars of Continental debt Salomon bought with his own fortune were worth only about 10 cents on the dollar when he died.

US State Department removes all mention of Palestinian Authority

The US State Department website has deleted the Palestinian Authority from the list of countries and areas on its website.

Until recently, ‘Palestinians’ appeared on the site under the name ‘Palestinian Authority’ and before that the ‘Palestinian Territories’.

Over the past year there has been a significant devaluation of the Palestinian status on the US side, with the State Department ordering to remove any reference that included the word ‘occupied territories’ in reference to the Palestinian Arabs.

Now the very existence of a Palestinian Authority is not present on the official website representing the US State Department.

Header image: Benjamin Netanyahu, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump attended the opening of the United States Embassy in Jerusalem. [Dedication ceremony of the Embassy of the United States in Jerusalem].

Behold the Man. Jesus in Israeli Art.

What appears to be a routine photograph of soldiers eating is, in fact, a meticulously staged scene. It was inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, depicting one of the most dramatic oments in the story of Jesus: his pronouncement that one of his disciples would betray him, leading to the Crucifixion, the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of humanity. Unlike Leonardo, Nes (born 1966) does not portray a scene filled with tension and emotionally fraught gestures. As his relaxed soldiers talk and joke, only the central figure occupying the seat of Jesus seems preoccupied as he looks away from his comrades and out into the distance.

Facing the risk of dying in battle, the youthful soldiers are at the most dangerous moment in their lives. Nes’s analogy between the iconic Christian scene and Israeli reality conveys a political message about commitment and sacrifice. Like Christ’s apostles, the soldiers act on behalf of a power stronger than themselves. But they are also victims of a geopolitical constellation over which they have no control and may be betrayed. The bullet holes in the wall, cigarette smoke, and bitten apple are symbols of transience, reminding us that this might indeed be their last supper.


Source: The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

awwwards – Qode Interactive Catalog from Serbia

The Catalog is a curated compilation of creative WordPress themes produced by Qode Interactive.

The main aim of this collection is to highlight original design solutions established in some of the most creative themes that left our workshops.

This presentation sheds a new light on current design tendencies, and demonstrates the scope of possibilities available when it comes to modern WordPress design. This is why the focus is set on presenting a unique breed of creative themes – the design approach to all these bold concept themes has been distinctly driven by different forms of art.

Qode Interactive is a team of more than 100 dedicated professionals whose aim is to set new standards in WordPress theme and template business. Spearheaded by its team of over 30 UI and UX experts, graphic designers, visual artists and illustrators, Qode delivers only the most beautiful products which all carry their authentic vibe.

Check out Qode Interactive’s extensive back catalog consisting of over 340 original projects.

Visitors to be allowed access to Jewish hospitals, synagogues

Some of Europe’s most exquisite synagogues will open to the public on the 20th edition of the annual European Days of Jewish Culture series of events.

Among the synagogues that on Sept. 1 will be greeting visitors is the Portuguese Synagogue of The Hague. Less known than its larger and older counterpart in Amsterdam, the 18th-century Hague synagogue is more complex architecturally because it features a glass dome that adjoins the two buildings it comprises.

On Sept. 1, the Beth Jehoeda Liberal Jewish Community, which uses the synagogue, will host under the glass canopy a concert with cantorial flavors, Jewish Heritage The Hague wrote in a statement.

During the European events, visitors will gain access in guided tours and individual visits to synagogues that are usually closed to the general public for security reasons, Jewish cemeteries and even Jewish hospitals in 25 European countries. The events seek to “combat collective forgetfulness and to dignify European Jewish heritage,” wrote the Council of Europe, which coordinates the events.

North of The Hague, the synagogue of Bourtange in the Dutch province of Friesland will show off a 200-year stained-glass window that the building received in June. It had been part of the now-defunct synagogue in Oude Pekela.

Almost all of the Jews of Friesland, who had their own customs and dialect of Yiddish, were murdered in the Holocaust. The Bourtange synagogue, which this year hosted its second Jewish wedding since the Holocaust, will feature an exhibition on the Bergen Belsen Nazi camp on Sept. 1.

In memoriam, Zsolt Torok – World Renowned Romanian Climber

Zsolt was one of the most famous Romanian climbers. He climbed five peaks in Himalaya in 2016, being accompanied by Vlad Capusan on three of the ascents.

Zsolt Torok on Pumori, South Face

The two alpinists scored two national premieres and a world first three years ago, as they were the first human beings who reached Peak 5 in Makalu region, also known as Saldim Peak (6,374m), which has had never been climbed before until then.

In 2013, Torok Zsolt led the Romanian expedition that reached the 8,126-m high Nanga Parbat, considered the biggest performance in the Romanian climbing. Among Torok Zsolt’s other premieres there were also the Great Wall Marathon, the Alps Trilogy and K2.

At the beginning of 2019, the climber from Arad had successfully completed an ascent in the Himalayas, considered a unique performance in the world of climbing. Together with two other Romanians, Teofil Vlad and Romeo Popa, Zsolt managed to approach a route in the Himalayas that no one has successfully completed before. This was an ascent in the South Wall (South Face) of Pumori Mountain, which has a maximum altitude of 7,165 meters.

Pumori, South Face, Attempted New Route

Torok Zsolt had climb alone on the mountain several days ago and reached an area with no cell phone reception.

The climber had just got married a month ago, and his wife said he had left alone to climb the mountain on Tuesday night.

His wife could not contact him since Wednesday, August 14th. The Sibiu mountain rescuers could not reach the area where the climber was found dead by helicopter due to the bad weather, so they embarked on the rescue mission afoot.

Japan – Marriage has little to do with romantic love

In theory, the Japanese do understand what love is, the dynamics of the relationship, the whole till-death-do-us-part passion behind the marriage vow. But the simple, nitty-gritty reality is that there are just not romanchikku (ロマンチック, romantic) enough.

“We can’t demand romance from our own family.” And therein lies the crux of the issue.

There’s an inherent belief that anything rosy, passionate or overly sexual has no place in the Japanese marriage, and by implication the Japanese household. It’s almost the norm for husbands to look for sexual love in every other place but the home, since that territory belongs to his wife and children and therefore is sacrosanct. Weird, and even perverse. But the belief is prevalent even among the younger generation and there’s a strong tendency to distinguish between kazokuai (家族愛, family love) and renai (恋愛, relationship love).

The first is all about seikatsu (生活, everyday living) and the other supposedly covers personal pleasure, physical gratification, passion and warmth and other good stuff. There’s even the notion that if you marry the person you love, the whole thing is likely to end in disappointment and divorce. There is also a favorite maxim for this: “Kekkonaite wa gobanme ni sukina hito ga ii (結婚相手は五番目に好きな人がいい, Choose the fifth person from the top as a marriage partner).”

Accordingly, the Japanese proposal is typically bland. The traditional no-brainer stand-by for men is: “Oreno misoshiru wo tsukuttekurenai (俺のみそ汁を作ってくれない, Will you make my miso soup)?”

The other old line is equally questionable: “Oreto issho no ohakani hairanai (俺と一緒のお墓に入らない, Will you share my grave with me)?” I’ve been told that this one is making quite a comeback recently.

A variation on the theme is: “Isshoni toshiwo torō yo (一緒に年をとろうよ, let’s grow old together).” Not exactly bursting with ardor, would you say?

A Japanese wife is fully aware that the Japanese married life consists of stocking up on toilet paper and bottles of soy sauce on weekends, and that a good chunk of her holidays will be sacrificed to visiting in-laws.

She also hopes by that time to have separate sleeping arrangements. “Isshono ohakani haittemo iikedo isshoni nerunowa kanben (一緒のお墓に入っても一緒に寝るのは勘弁, It’s okay to lie in the same grave but I draw the line at lying in the same bed).”

Ah, the Japanese marriage.