Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Stairway to Heaven tribute @ Kennedy Center

Happy 2013 everyone! This post isn't related to Mongolia at all, but how awesome is this!
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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nightclub lands Heineken in hot water

A journalist friend of mine informed me of this. Photos from 2010 of a dogfight with Heineken banners plastered around the venue has recently gone viral on Facebook, with consumers threatening to boycott Heineken products. The photos are from a 2010 dogfight "championship" organized by a pit bull terrier breeders' club at a UB nightclub called Elite. According to the site that originally posted the photos, the breeders' club has been organizing these "official" fights since 1997. (source here. be warned though, graphic images of animal cruelty).

In an official statement on their website, Heineken denies any knowledge of or involvement with this activity, stating:
Images continue to circulate in social media channels showing a dog fight, with Heineken® banners clearly visible in the background. This is very distressing and totally unacceptable. As a company and a brand owner, we do not and would never knowingly support any event, outlet or individual involved in this type of activity...The venue owner has verbally confirmed that Heineken banners are visible in the pictures because the previous evening the club had been decorated for a promotional event and he had failed to remove the banners once it was over. [Source]
The company claims to have removed all promotional materials from the venue and ceased relationship with the nightclub since the incident came to light.

I have not been able to find any information on laws prohibiting such activities and according to friends, dogfights are not illegal, i.e. nobody's bothered to address it so far. These events are most likely low-key and never publicized, as I have never heard of this before yesterday.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

German engineers arrive to save Tuul river

And they're beavers. 14 Eurasian beavers arrived in Ulaanbaatar from Bavaria, Germany this week.
Known as ecosystem engineers, the hard-working beavers build dams that have positive effects on the ecology. According to Wikipedia:
Beaver ponds, and the wetlands that succeed them, remove sediments and pollutants from waterways, including total suspended solids, total nitrogen, phosphates, carbon and silicates. Source
Six more beavers will be sent over from Germany later on. According to various news sources, Germany is sending the beavers over for free. 20 more beavers are to be imported from Russia sometime this year. The initiative by mayor G.Munkhbayar is a part of a program to restore the heavily-polluted Tuul river basin, which provides most of the drinking water for Ulaanbaatar city.

The beavers will be bred in a protected environment before being rehabilitated into the wild.
Of course, one questions the logic of pinning our hopes of saving Tuul river on a few families of beavers when there are thousands of human families dumping their household waste into the river. One hopes that this is only a small part of the Tuul river restoration plan.

Beavers are native to Bulgan river, Khovd aimag of western Mongolia. However, according to news reports, Bulgan river beavers have been migrating south to China over the past few years.

If you are curious, below is a BBC documentary segment on how these hard-working animals go about building their lodge.

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Monday, April 16, 2012

Genghis / Chinggis Khan statue unveiled at Marble Arch, London

Gengis Khan.
Originally uploaded by maggie jones..
A giant sculpture of Chinggis Khaan on his horse by Dashi Namdakov, a Buryat Russian artist was unveiled in London on April 14th. Love the Medusa-like mane on the horse.

More info here @ BBC

Via Flickr:
Genghis Khan on a horse by Dashi Namdakov.
Marble Arch, Westminster.
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