The other movie that pissed of North Korea … or not

Sony pulled “The Interview,” because of terrorist threats allegedly from North Korea. In case you’re interested, “The Interview,” with Seth Rogen and James Franco, sounds like it was going to be a bad comedy about the assassination of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

I don’t know. The North Korean connection seems kind of tenuous to me.

Because some of us remember this movie:

All kinds of terrorists. And they kill Kim Jong Un’s dad, Kim Jong Il, who’s actually a cockroach.

(Really? You needed a spoiler alert for that? The movie’s 10 years old.)

I don’t remember terrorist threats when “Team America” came out. Do you?

I think I’ll watch it again. I’m sure it’s a better movie than “The Interview” would ever have been. And it’s got depraved puppet sex with Charlton Heston.

The new symbol of protests

Pro-Democracy advocates in Hong Kong are protesting China’s rule that says any candidate for office in the city has to be approved by Beijing.

(Your eyes glaze over)

OK, it probably doesn’t mean much to you because if you have the average American sense of geography, China is “out there” somewhere around Africa or Brazil, for all you know. I won’t try to bore you with why that matters.

But authorities are teargassing the protesters. And all the protesters are doing is this:

HONGKONG-CHINA-POLITICS-DEMOCRACYDoes that remind you of anything?

handsYes, these are the people of Ferguson, Missouri, protesting the shooting of an unarmed black teen by a cop. And in response, they were teargassed by the authorities. So authoritarian oppression is being met with the same response in different cultures on opposite sides of the globe, right down to the masks on the faces.

And now that I have your attention, here’s why the protests in Hong Kong matter:

The Earth, and its wealth, at night

dnb_land_ocean_ice.2012.3600x1800.0

If it were night everywhere at the same time, this is what the Earth would look like (click to enlarge). But that strange statement doesn’t explain the importance of this view. What this image shows us is a representation of global wealth. As Vox puts it:

What you see is that in rich countries, light is largely a proxy for population density. Observe the thick cluster of the US Northeastern Megalopolis and the even bigger cluster in northwestern Europe. In poorer regions, however, the map represents not just population density but also the actual availability of electrical lighting. Huge swathes of Africa are barely illuminated at night, and densely populated India looks rather dim.

But of course, if it were night everywhere, that would mean the sun would be gone and we’d all be dead. Money can’t fix that.