Tibet Is Going Crazy for Hoops Monks, nomads, and a sport’s unlikely ascent in a remote corner of the globe

A long the northeastern edge of the Tibetan plateau, a treacherous landscape where yaks graze above the clouds, basketball hoops are everywhere: at the bases of cliffs; in the courtyards of centuries-old, golden-roofed monasteries; in nomadic villages tucked into the hills.

It was within such a village, Zorge Ritoma, that Dugya Bum, a sheep and yak herder from the Golden Stone Clan, took up the sport. He’d played in school, but after dropping out at 16 he became a full-time nomad, the livelihood of his ancestors. During winter, his family lived in a mud-walled house about four miles from Zorge Ritoma’s center, grazing yaks and sheep at the foot of the mountains. In the summer, when the weather improved, they took the herds up to rich, high-altitude pastures and resided in temporary tents. In the fall, they would gradually make the journey back down.

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Cutting back on Facebook or Snapchat will make you less depressed, study says

  • A study conducted by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania claims to be the first to find a direct causal link between cutting back on social media use and improvements in loneliness and depression.
  • The study finds that students who limited their daily use of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to 10 minutes each per day experienced significant declines in depressive symptoms.

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The World’s Most Powerful Passports [Infographic]

Some passports afford their bearers more freedom than others and if you’re a U.S. holder, you’ll be able to enjoy an impressive level of visa-free travel. According to the latest edition of the Henley Passport Index, the U.S. passport is one of the world’s most powerful, granting its holders visa-free access or visa-on-arrival access to 186 countries. That’s a level of freedom shared with Austria, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

After its citizens gained visa-free access to Myanmar earlier this month, Japan has been named the country with the most powerful passport. Japanese travelers are now able to cross an impressive 190 borders without restrictions. Singapore, another Asian island nation, is in second place with 189 destinations. France, Germany and South Korea follow close behind with visa-free travel to 188 countries. At the other end of the scale, Afghanistan and Iraq have the least powerful passports worldwide with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a mere 30 jurisdictions…MORE

Nepal buys Rs 700m mansion for its ambassador in Washington

Nepal buys Rs 700m mansion for its ambassador in Washington

At a time when state agencies have been prescribed austerity to reduce burden on the public coffers, the government has purchased a lavish mansion as the residence of the Nepali ambassador to the United States of America at a cost of $6.8 million—approximately Rs700 million.

The cost, which does not include the additional three percent commission to the middleman, totals the entire rent Nepal pays for all its missions aboard annually, including the embassy buildings, and residences of the embassy staff and the ambassadors.

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