7 Headlines You Won’t Read Anywhere Else Today: Dec. 17

By Tina Tatarková, Epoch Times
December 17, 2013 Updated: December 17, 2013

Poland: Women bear brunt of Christmas chores

A survey has indicated that Polish women carry out the majority of household chores over the Christmas period.

According to the survey by Poland’s Public Opinion Research Centre (OBOP), 89 percent of female respondents said they normally do the cleaning up over the Christmas period, 81 percent said they do the cooking, 76 percent said they do the household shopping, 73 percent buy the presents, and 66 percent decorate the house.

By contrast, only 52 percent of men have claimed that they get involved in cleaning up, and just 24 percent try their hand in the kitchen.

Children are most active when it comes to decorating the house and the Christmas tree (choinka), with 30 percent joining in in this sphere. …

The News.pl


Iceland: Yule Lad Arrives

The Yule Lads, the Icelandic version of Santa Claus, one of the differences being that there are 13 of them, will come down from the mountains one by one starting today to treat well-behaved children to presents.

The Yule Lad brothers, offspring of the trolls Grýla and Leppalúði, are called Sheep-Cote Clod (a.k.a. Stiff-Legs), Gully Gawk, Stubby (a.k.a. Shorty), Spoon Licker (a.k.a. Ladle Licker), Pot Scraper, Bowl Licker, Door Slammer, Skyr Gobbler, Sausage Swiper (a.k.a. Sausage Snatcher), Window Peeper, Door Sniffer, Meat Hook and Candle Beggar. The last comes to town on Christmas Eve.

Nowadays, the Yule Lads carry a bag full of little presents with them to leave behind in children’s shoes, which every child in Iceland has excitedly placed his or her windowsill. …

Iceland Review


Hawaii: Maui homeowners ask for rock to slow erosion

A group of beachfront homeowners on Maui wants to begin construction to replace sand-filled tubes that were laid on the beach two years ago to slow erosion.

Spreckelsville homeowners say the beach erosion has been going on for decades, The Maui News reported.

The erosion has resulted in a loss of land and habitat for endangered species and is disrupting the ability of people to use the beach, they say.

The Stable Road Beach Restoration Foundation’s permit to keep sand-filled tubes on the beach is only good through the middle of next year. …

The Garden Island


Russia: Parents to Watch Their Children Taking Exams Thanks to Video Cameras

Video cameras monitoring high-school graduation exams will transmit their footage live, allowing parents to watch their children and their classmates taking the test, the education and science minister said.

Video surveillance equipment, which will be introduced next year in a bid to reduce cheating, will be installed in “practically every classroom used for taking the test,” Education and Science Minister Dmitry Livanov told NTV television channel on Sunday.

Parents will be able to watch their children taking the test live, Livanov said. …

The Moscow Times


Scotland: Glasgow Film Festival: Fish market to be a cinema

It is one of the most distinctive landmarks on the banks of the Clyde, and was home to Glasgow’s fish market for more than 100 years.

Now the origins of the historic Briggait building are to be marked in a series of mouth-watering film events as part of the city’s annual celebration of cinema.

Four food-themed films will be shown when the Grade A-listed landmark, which dates back to 1873 and is located on the edge of the old medieval quarter, is transformed into a “pop-up” cinema and café. …

The Scotsman


Siberia: No snow in Siberia? Locals marvel – and worry – at the ‘snow shortage’

We highlight December images taken in recent days in two Siberian cities Krasnoyarsk and Barnaul showing scenes that locals insist are unprecedented in living memory. The startling pictures from Krasnoyarsk show an almost total absence of snow yet as every school child around the world knows, snow is what Siberia is all about. 

No more, it seems. The images of the River Yenisei with ducks splashing in the water, and grass in the parks, could be from autumn rather than deep in the winter in a city where December temperatures have gone as low as minus 47C, and the daily mean in minus 13C at this time of year, with plenty of snow on the ground. …

The Siberian Times


France: Napoleon ‘second most important man in history’

France’s former Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte is second only to Jesus in terms of importance in history, according to rankings based on a new software programme. Napoleon was deemed more significant than the likes of the Prophet Mohammed and Hitler.

Napoleon Bonaparte, the former French emperor, is the second most important person in history, coming in behind Jesus Christ.

That’s according to rankings based on a new software programme that placed the man known as “the little corporal” above the likes of the Prophet Mohammed, who was ranked third, Shakespeare, who was fourth and Hitler, seventh. …

The Local