September 2017

How market research revolutionised advertising and shopping

Image copyrightGetty Images In the early years of the 20th Century, US carmakers had it good. As quickly as they could manufacture cars, people bought them. By 1914, that was changing. In higher price brackets especially, purchasers and dealerships were becoming choosier. One commentator warned that the retailer “could no longer sell what his own judgement dictated”. Instead, “he must sell what the consumer wanted”. That commentator was Charles Coolidge

Reality Check

Image copyrightUN When Pakistan’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Maleeha Lodhi, held up a photograph of a scarred girl at the United Nations last weekend, she said she was offering proof of “Indian brutality” in Kashmir. But the photo turned out to be that of a 17-year-old Palestinian girl, taken in Gaza in 2014 by award-winning photographer Heidi Levine. The teenager had been injured by shrapnel in an Israeli

Malaysians in a lather over laundrette for Muslims

Image copyrightThe Malaysian Insight/Hasnoor HussainImage caption Is cleanliness next to godliness? Malaysians are debating the extent to which this is the case Laundrettes offering their services to only Muslim customers have stirred up quite a debate in Malaysia, where about two-thirds of the population practise Islam. A photograph of a signboard advertising the “Muslim-friendly” laundrette in the state of Johor first started circulating on social media earlier this week. “This

Imperfect economics

Image copyrightGetty ImagesImage caption Jean Dreze is known for his influential work on hunger and gender inequality Economist Jean Dreze’s new book makes an increasingly necessary argument that creating a morally good, progressive society is as important as improving traditional development indexes, writes Nilanjana S Roy. The jhola, a sturdy, often exuberantly decorated cloth sling bag, can be spotted all across India. Over time, this precursor to the backpack and

Soviet mural enjoys rare Estonian restoration

Image copyrightPostimeesImage caption The sailor restored, along with the Soviet ensign A group of Estonian artists has restored a mural of a sailor at an abandoned Soviet naval base, in an effort to address their country’s troubled history with Russia. Hilkka Hiiop, a professor at the Estonian Academy of Arts, led the restoration work at the naval club on the small island of Naissaar just off the shore near the

Pure gold sari, Big Ben wow Kolkata crowds

Image copyrightRonny SenImage caption The goddess Durga, seen here dressed in the 22-carat gold sari The Indian city of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) has a long tradition of lavishly celebrating the Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival that reveres the goddess Durga. It is the biggest and most popular festival in the state of West Bengal, where elaborate stage decorations, known as “pandals,” draw huge crowds. During the nine-day

Big Ben and gold sari

Image copyrightRonny SenImage caption The goddess Durga, seen here dressed in the 22-carat gold sari The Indian city of Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta) has a long tradition of lavishly celebrating the Durga Puja, an annual Hindu festival that reveres the goddess Durga. It is the biggest and most popular festival in the state of West Bengal, where elaborate stage decorations, known as “pandals,” draw huge crowds. During the nine-day

The avid watchers of travelling cinemas

Image copyrightAmit Madheshiya For seven decades now, travelling cinemas have been transporting the magic of movies to audiences across rural India. Often travelling as a part of religious and entertainment fairs, they bring the big screen magic to millions. Huge tents are hitched to the back of gigantic trucks and films are screened using hand-cranked projectors. However with advancing technologies and widespread connectivity these touring cinemas have started losing audiences

Cinema travellers

Image copyrightAmit Madheshiya For seven decades now, travelling cinemas have been transporting the magic of movies to audiences across rural India. Often travelling as a part of religious and entertainment fairs, they bring the big screen magic to millions. Huge tents are hitched to the back of gigantic trucks and films are screened using hand-cranked projectors. However with advancing technologies and widespread connectivity these touring cinemas have started losing audiences

'Victim shaming'

Image copyrightGetty Images A recent Indian court order suspending the jail terms of three young men guilty of gang-rape and blackmail, even labelling the victim as “promiscuous”, stands out for being regressive, writes the BBC’s Geeta Pandey in Delhi. A two-judge bench of the Punjab and Haryana High Court awarded bail to three law students from the elite Jindal Global Law School who had been convicted by a lower court