I was cruising around YouTube for some video clips on North Korea and Ahn Myong Chol, a former prison guard who later defected, for a North Korea story I’m putting together for Gadling. Chol has made his name as a journalist by sneaking back into the country and recording all kinds of footage that would be impossible to secure otherwise. Well, I couldn’t find the videos he shot of an open market where human flesh was (allegedly) being sold, but I did stumble upon something very strange: a video trailer promoting a musical about Yodok, one of the most notorious prison camps in North Korea.
That’s how strange it is to cover North Korea. You really never do know what you’ll encounter. A musical on Yodok? Crazy. Fortunately, I hate musicals.
The last sign of Iceland‘s foray into globalization is gone. The small Arctic country is going to lose its three McDonald’s restaurants. Three locations were owned by Lyst Hr., all in the capital city, Reykjavik. According to Lyst, the economic situation was just too difficult, especially since the company had to by its supplies from Germany. The decline in the Icelandic krona relative to the euro just pushed costs too high. In order to be profitable, the Icelandic Big Mac would have to become the most expesnive in the world, at $6.36. Right now, it’s priced at $5.29, with the most expensive in Norway and Switzerland at $5.75.
A friend of mine e-mailed me last week to ask where I write. He can’t sort it out through all the tweets and links and so on. I can understand; I’m all over the place. So, if you’re interested in following my work, see the following links:
I love Montreal. I’ve had a fantastic time every time I’ve gone. And, I’m a big fan of Canada. I enjoyed Toronto, Quebec, other parts Ontario and, of course, Montreal. Winnipeg sucked, but that’s life.
Even more than I love Canada, though, Canadians love me. I don’t know what it is, but Canadians have always taken to me, especially down here in the United States. I won’t name names, but there are plenty. Since discovering this, I thought about hunting for proof of my position, but hunting wasn’t necessary. I’ve gotten a lot of play in the Canadian press, including coverage in the Toronto Sun and Globe and Mail.
It’s been a few months since I’ve hit the road, and I’m starting to feel the effects. For my work on Gadling, I’ve been relying on other news stories for reblog fodder, and my ol’ standby sites just aren’t delivering. It’s been pretty slow – which wouldn’t be a problem if I’d had some travel under my belt. Fortunately, I have a trip to Montreal coming on Thursday, so new material is only a few days away.
This small situation, limited to me, could indicate a future problem in the blogging world, though. As most blogs still rely heavily on reblogging to fill their pages, the decline of the traditional media space will put more pressure on people like me to originate content. Coming up with new stuff requires a significant commitment of time and resources, which would turn the existing blog business model on its head. Bloggers at sites across the market know this and are reacting to it, but a solution will take time.
I’ve been away for a while. That’s the curse of finding paid work: not as much time to spend on the fun stuff. But, I have been able to squeeze in a bit of time to experiment with video. I’m trying to spice up my posts for Gadling and Luxist with footage that I’m shooting with a Flip HD. So far, my work is nothing short of amateurish, but I’m hoping it at least brings a bit more life to the stories I’m pulling together.