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May 23rd, 2011
04:47 PM ET

Another Icelandic Ash Cloud: Should we Call it Karma?

[cnn-video url=http://cnn.com/video/?/video/world/2011/05/21/vo.iceland.ash.cloud.cnn]

Once upon a time, Iceland was the land of geysers, hot springs and puffin stew. We yearned to navigate its rugged coastline and traverse its fiery interior. We cared not a jot if the price of vodka in Rekjavik's Ice Bar was exorbitant. Because Rekjavik was the epitome of cool. Damon Albarn had a house there. The city's Sigur Rós soundtrack was a trip without drugs. Even Take That's "Patience" video (filmed on the road to the Blue Lagoon) had a kind of craggy, rustic allure that wasn't limited to Jason Orange's facial features.

Then Icesave happened. 400,000 British and Dutch people found themselves out of pocket and not a little peeved as a result. The domino effect of the Icelandic economic crisis saw cash-strapped UK local authorities turn into cash-starved UK local authorities. Iceland the country suddenly had a greater image problem than Iceland the supermarket (whose public face Kerry Katona was simultaneously dominating the tabloids, enjoying a white substance that didn't resemble freezer frost).

Britain's northern neighbor, while not suffering the expected capitulation in tourism, found itself cast as Public Enemy No.1. And unfortunately we didn't take a basic truth into account: Hell hath no fury like an Iceland scorned.

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Filed under: General • Personal musings
May 23rd, 2011
12:39 PM ET

What does beauty mean to you?

(Left to right, top to bottom) Kelly, Reda, Rebecca, Amanda, Shiro, Autumn, Gloria, Jennie.
(Left to right, top to bottom) Kelly, Reda, Rebecca, Amanda, Shiro, Autumn, Gloria, Jennie.

It's a cliché, but it's one rooted in the truth: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

Everyone has a different idea of what is beautiful to them. And everyone perceives their own qualities in a different way.

There are few better examples of the terrible power beauty has on the human psyche than this powerful story from Kyung Lah. She introduces us to a 12 year old who thinks the way to gain confidence is to change her appearance with plastic surgery.

After filing the story, Kyung decided to look a little deeper at what beauty meant to people in different parts of the world. She put out a call to friends of friends to hear their thoughts, and while certainly not a scientific survey, their answers are fascinating. FULL POST


Filed under: General