the current issue is called going to market. here are a few of the highlights:
* us satellites. before, they used to track soviet missiles. now, they are used to gather information about crops. that is sold to stock market investors who use it to predict economic trend. fun fact: when photographed from space, the crops can yield very accurate information. they can even tell the earth’s moisture content.
* stocks perform inexplicably poorly during full moons but rise during new moons. it’s the conclusion of a 28-year long study on 48 national stock indices.
* in the 1940’s, computers used to have a life span of approximately 40 years. nowadays, it’s less than 5. 2 thirds of them are dumped.
* piracy industry in nigeria was so profitable that the copyright commission offerred pirates a deal. if they agreed to pay a license fee of 1,585 usd, they would be allowed to sell their pirate goods.
* nollywood, nigeria’s film industry, makes 500 million usd/year. it’s the most prolific in the world with an output that exceeds 1,000 titles per year. with regard to its income, it comes third after hollywood and bollywood.
* you have probably seen that botched restoration job by a woman in zaragoza, spain. it left jesus unrecognizable, went viral and prompted a wave of visitors. the author of the mess has hired lawyers to copyright the image.
* china is, as you might expect, the counterfeit champion of the world. dafen, china is the source for 60% of the world’s fake art output. it also rules the related trade of fake famous painting, from mona lisa to contemporary art. so, no matter what your taste is, china has an inexpensive and valueless copy for you.
* auction houses in china are forbidden by the law to claim they sell original artworks. even the andy warhol foundation refuses to say whether a piece is authentic or fake. the stakes are simply too high…
* did you know that there are art investment funds? the paris art exchange was the first and it was established in 2011. anybody can now try making money off art, with the lowest investment at 10 euro.
* in 1936, there were 611 paintings attributed to van gogh around the world. the rembrand research project believes than only half of them were original.
* giugliano, italy is the european capital of counterfeit money. half of the 6 million fake euro seized in the euro zone were made there. a 20 euro bill is sold for 6 euro. it’s a business like any other: it’s being passed from father to son.
* in hungary, each year, 1 billion usd worth of worn out forint bills are shredded and given to charities to use as fuel.
* in italy, a local bank will accept maturing wheels of parmesan cheese as collateral for loans. they have special storage and personnel for the period the cheese is in their possession.
* in haradheere, somalia, there is a pirate stock exchange. one can invest in weapons, cash or sailing gear and they will later get a part of the booty.
* the tsukiji market in tokyo sees 20 million usd worth of fish going through it every day.
* in south africa, you can pay 150,000 usd to hunt down a black rhino. the money goes to the black rhino conservationist effort. weirdly enough, it works: the number of black rhinos is increasing.
* tirumala venkateswara is this temple in india. believers go there and have their hair ritualistically shaved off. the temple sells the hair. in 2011, the collected hair was sold for a total of 37 million usd.
* online, you can sell a full head of hair for an average of 3,600 usd. a premium is put on virgin hair. that means that the source person doesn’t drink alcohol, doesn’t smoke and has never used hair dye.
* the anonymous mask is made in china. but the copyright is owned by time warner corporation. funny how protesting somehow ends up making profit for the corporations, right?
* the legend says that adolf hitler approved the making of the first inflatable dolls. it was because his soldiers were visiting french prostitutes and getting syphilis. expectedly, the dolls had arian features: blonde hair and blue eyes…
* shanghai has a marriage market. one can post a resume (all personal details including assets and income). the parents go through the entire selection process for their sons and daughters, but often without them knowing it.
* as girls are basically second hand citizens in asia, the wave of selective abortions will have collateral consequences in china. soon, there will be a group of 24 million chinese brideless men. india has a similar problem.
* china has a 63 billion usd wedding industry.
* world wide, 1,2 billion tonnes of edible food is thrown away, on an annual basis.
* the global black market is estimated at 1,8 trillion usd.
* columbian drug smugglers use 30m-long submarines to get their stuff over to the states. 1 in 3 is caught. 1 gram of cocaine costs 3,5 usd in bogata and 120 usd in new york.
* in 2004, 6,200 liters of vodka were smuggled from estonia to russia via a 2 km underwater pipe
* a study says that during the past 20 years, in russia, 50% of the deaths of people between 15-54 are alcohol related.
* in iran, it’s legal to sell your own kidneys. the price is about 2,450 usd.
now, go get your own copy of colors magazine. even if it’s hard to believe, there is still a lot left to read in it. i love the colors magazine take on this world we live in: realistic, human. they don’t sugar coat it. they don’t glamorize it. they take it as it is!
photo credits: colors magazine, google search