FREAK-est Links

1. Movie tickets cost as much as $48; "Star Wars" creator George Lucas predicts that ticket prices are only going up. (HT: SM Fishman)

2. Name wars: Borghese Inc. fights the Borghese family for the right to market with the royal name.

3. Does dim lighting enhance creativity?

4. An interactive data map (in French) of Paris Metro lines crossed with socioeconomic and political indicators.

Google Earth as Big Brother?

Google Earth isn't just for kicks anymore: FP reports that governments around the world are using the service to catch everyone from tax evaders to marijuana growers.

Crabby Incentives

Military side-jobs in North Korea.

Make It a Taedonggang River Beer

North Korea has come out with its first beer commercial for Taedong River Beer, "the pride of Pyongyang," which shows both Western businessmen and a sweaty worker in uniform enjoying a cold one.

The Hidden Side of Rail Travel

| North Korea launched a threatening-looking rocket over the weekend. It crashed harmlessly into the sea. Wonder what North Korea actually looks like on the ground these days? Two Austrians recently entered the country by train, through a border crossing that has been closed to tourists since 1994, and took these rare and fascinating photos […]

A Unified Korea Is Depressing

I had depressing conversations with several Korean economists about the possibility of eventual Korean unification. Unlike Germany, where the East was only 1/4 the size of the West, and where GDP/capita in the West was perhaps only double that of the East, North Korea’s population is over 1/3 that of the South, and the South […]

Scarier Halloween Costume: A Pirate, or Kim Jong-il?

Yesterday, a U.S. Navy destroyer helped the crew of a North Korean freighter recapture their vessel from a band of marauding pirates off the coast of Somalia. It’s an unusual news item, not because piracy is rare — around the world, pirate attacks have surged over the last decade — but because we’re more used […]