The only thing I’m really afraid of is staying the same.
The Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, who unleashed the worldwide boom in Spanish literature with his novel 100 Years of Solitude, has died at the age of 87, a person close to the family has said. García Márquez had been admitted to hospital in Mexico City on 3 April with pneumonia. Full story
Pictured: Gabriel García Márquez at his house in Mexico City, 2010. Photograph: Miguel Tovar/AP
michael poliza in churchill manitoba, who noted “the polar bear was all by himself as they are very solitary animals anyway. but this one looked particularly sad as it wandered around, almost as though it didn’t understand where the snow had gone.” (more polar bear photos)
Israel Is Forcing Palestinians in East Jerusalem to Demolish Their Own Homes
In the Shu’Fat neighborhood of East Jerusalem, Palestinian Iyad Al-Shaer stood inside the gutted interior of a modest breeze block structure. The building, an addition to Iyad’s own home, was set to be a new residence for his brother Baser and his fiancé. But the fully furnished home, complete with a heart-covered bedroom that Baser had designed for his future child, now had three gaping holes punctured in its roof.
Just days after completing construction, the Israeli-controlled municipality issued Iyad a demolition order for his “illegally” constructed home, built without one of the expensive permits issued by the same set of authorities. Unable to afford the protracted and costly legal battle, he chose to destroy the structure himself.
Self-demolitions like this began a few years ago and have continued—albeit somewhat under the mainstream media’s radar—ever since, with Palestinians compelled to destroy their own homes in order to avoid the steadily increasing fines leveled by the municipality.
While the Palestinian population in the city has quadrupled to over 300,000 since 1967, municipal authorities have only zoned nine percent of East Jerusalem land for Palestinian construction. Even with this space being set aside, permits are rarely granted, and the result is widespread “illegal” Palestinian construction—which, of course, Israeli authorities can then order to be demolished.
Tens of thousands of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents now live under the constant threat of having their homes demolished by Israeli authorities, part of a policy of displacement that has been taking place in Jerusalem with a startling degree of public support for more than four decades.
“We know that there are some 20,000 ‘illegal’ Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem,” Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) told us. “[That’s] about a third of the Palestinian housing stock.”
“They don’t consider us citizens, so they push. It’s not a personal thing—I am one of many,” says Iyad. “They push us to go outside of Jerusalem. I call it a soft transfer.”
The #NotaBugSplat Art Piece in Pakistan Won’t Be Making Drone Pilots Feel Empathy
Earlier today, many publications, including VICE News, started reporting on a large art display in Northern Pakistan. Photos depict an open field or a rural farm on which a giant portrait of a young girl has been unraveled. It’s part of a project called #NotABugSplat.
Saks Afridi, the online PR rep for the project, says “for now, we’re an artist collective from Pakistan, USA, and France.” He won’t divulge precisely who else is involved for the time being. The French component, however, is reported to have been JR, who you may know from his sweet, humanity-affirming art, or his downright saccharine TED Talk.
As The Verge observed, #NotABugSplat is meant to show people coming together to say, “We exist.” In short, it’s like Banksy meets Kony 2012: Straight-up, uncut internet heroin.
Have you ever heard of iatronudia? It is, according to places like Urban Dictionary, “a paraphilia involving sexual attraction to medical staff and doctors.” Inspired by that, here’s a fashion shoot showcasing people pretending to be sick/injured in order to get naked in front of healthcare professionals. It’s called “Do Me, Doctor.”