South Korea took exactly the opposite lesson from Israel and Gaza

iron dome

I wrote last week about the South Koreans who occasionally float Choco Pies over the Korean Demilitarized Zone (“My delicious vision for Israel’s border looks a lot like North & South Korea’s Demilitarized Zone“), and expressed the wish that Israelis and Palestinians might follow the nonviolent example set in that other seemingly-intractable conflict:

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My delicious vision for Israel’s border looks a lot like North & South Korea’s Demilitarized Zone

choco pies

The Qassam rockets were neutralized by Iron Dome. The (known) tunnels have been destroyed, and Israel is busy developing the technology necessary to detect them in the future (or is at the very least now more attuned to the threat). So what fun fruit roll ups diabolical plan will Hamas roll up with next?

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Are Facebook’s relationship status options a little bit sexist?

Facebook small

[Editor's note: Granted, everyone's a little bit sexist. But because the headline might imply otherwise, I should really tell you upfront I'm only talking about one of them.]

Facebook made a lot of headlines today with the announcement that it will now allow its users to choose from among fifty different descriptors of gender:

In a nod to the “it’s complicated” sexual identities of many of its users, the social network on Thursday added a third “custom” gender option for people’s profiles. In addition to Male or Female, Facebook now lets U.S. users choose among some 50 additional options such as “transgender,” “cisgender,” “gender fluid,” “intersex” and “neither.”

[Editor's note: Gender fluid certainly does sound like it would go nicely with a seafood dinner and a box of chocolate.]

The new options appear to be quite progressive, but is Facebook really just trying to cover up some of the other ways in which it is insensitive to gender differences? Just take a look at the various relationship statuses from which the service asks its users to choose:

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O really, O Canada?: A Trade War of Northern Aggression


The Canadian government today, Reuter reports, imposed criminal penalties on Nestle and Mars for colluding to fix the price of chocolate:

The three executives [one each from the candy companies, another from a wholesale distributor] face up to five years in prison if convicted, while the companies and the executives could each be fined up to $10 million.

The Competition Bureau has been probing the allegations of price fixing for five years in a scandal that has already resulted in a major class-action suit.

Both Mars and Nestle said they intend to “vigorously defend” themselves against the allegations.

Not every company targeted by the investigation is in so much trouble:

Canada’s Competition Bureau recommended lenient treatment for the Canadian arm of Hershey Co, which cooperated with the investigation. Hershey said it had reached a deal with the bureau, and would plead guilty to a single count of price fixing.

In its statement Hershey expressed regret for its actions and blamed workers who had already left the company.

“The current Hershey Canada senior management team as well as The Hershey Company and its management had no involvement in this conduct,” the statement said.

But I’m less interested in why Canada targeted Nestle and Mars over Hershey, than I am in its decision to target chocolatiers over other kinds of confection-makers. You may recall the breathless headlines back in August, when thieves made off with $18 million worth of maple syrup from Canada’s “global strategic maple syrup reserve.” If not, you probably remember when the Daily Show did a bit on it back in February.

The maple syrup reserve, explains the Atlantic, exists to manipulate supply and demand for the sticky sweet stuff in the global marketplace — in other words, it works hard to make sure you never have to resort to slathering your pancakes with “breakfast syrup”:

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