The surprising lives of Myanmar's logging elephants

Most captive elephants are kept under immensely cruel conditions. In Myanmar, they're treated differently.

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  • Myanmar's logging industry has a very particular kind of employee: elephants.
  • While many captive elephants are subjected to horrible treatment, Myanmar's logging elephants live twice as long as elephants kept in zoos and are "semi-captive".
  • While they are treated exceptionally well for captive elephants, are logging elephants truly treated humanely?
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Finland’s education system is failing. Should we look to Asia?

Finland's recent decline in international test scores has led many to question whether its education system is truly the best.

  • Finland scored high on the original PISA education assessment, but its scores have slipped in recent years.
  • Critics argue that Finland's success came from earlier education models, not from headline-making features like late start times, lack of homework, and absence of test assessment.
  • Asia's rigorous education system is now eclipsing Finland's PISA scores. Which approach is the right one? Which is truly shortsighted?
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Why Asia and America are trading places

Asia is experiencing a boom in terms of education and business.

  • Less Asians are traveling to America, and this is partly because many U.S.-based top-tier schools have extension campuses in the East.
  • Asia is becoming a melting pot itself because countries such as China and Japan are attracting immigrants from across the region, not only to attend the notable universities, but also to find jobs in caring for aging people.
  • The tenure of an expat who moves to Asia, if she or he is part of a lucrative business, has extended significantly. This said, there are many Americans, particularly of Asian heritage, who are migrating to cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Tokyo because of thriving industries.

Why a Japanese WWII soldier refused to surrender for 29 years

For the Japanese in World War II, surrender was unthinkable. So unthinkable that many soldiers continued to fight even after the island nation eventually did surrender.

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  • Japan may have surrendered to the Allies on August 15, 1945, but many Japanese soldiers did not get word until much later.
  • The culture of death before surrender that permeated the Japanese military caused many to continue to fight even after Japan's formal surrender.
  • Hiroo Onada was one such holdout. He engaged in a guerrilla war in the jungles of the Philippines for nearly 30 years.
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9 weird and terrifying monsters from Japanese mythology

From animated umbrellas to polite-but-violent turtle-people, Japan's folklore contains some extremely creative monsters.

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  • Compared to Japan's menagerie of creatures, Western folklore can feel a little drab.
  • The collection of yōkai—supernatural beasts or spirits—has a staggering amount of variety.
  • Although there are many more creative folkloric creatures, here are nine that caught our attention.
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