The coming surge of separatism

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Why splittists will be on a roll around the world

FROM CATALONIA to Kashmir, and from Hong Kong to Scotland, separatist movements will make headlines in 2020. At best, this will lead to political turbulence and tension. At worst, it could lead to violence.

Across the world, two types of identity-driven movements are increasingly clashing—and feeding off each other. On the one hand, there are separatist groups that seek to break away from their nation-state and establish new countries; on the other, there is the outraged and assertive nationalism of existing states, determined to crush separatism.

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People are so obsessed with trading cryptocurrencies that a hospital just launched a program to treat addictive behavior

Scottish addiction treatment center Castle Craig Hospital has launched a program geared to help people who are addicted to buying and selling cryptocurrencies online.

In its online guide, the hospital describes the addictive behavior as similar to that of other online addictions, and offers practical advice as well as longterm therapeutic treatments.

Since bitcoin first appeared nearly a decade ago, cryptocurrencies have transformed internet culture. Online, crypto traders and blockchain enthusiasts eagerly swap anecdotes regarding market speculation and upcoming token offerings, and the crypto culture has spilled out into the world at large as well, inspiring thousands of summits, meet-up groups, and conferences worldwide.

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World’s Strongest Beer Heads to the U.S.

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BrewDog’s Jim Watt and Martin Dickie, with the world’s strongest beer.

Thanks to a war among European brewing companies, it’s never been easier to catch a healthy beer buzz. Or get yourself totally sloshed. In November, BrewDog, a three-year-old Scottish microbrewery, released a new brand, dubbed Tactical Nuclear Penguin. The beer set a new record by weighing in at a scary 32% alcohol by volume (ABV), more than six times the strength of familiar domestic brands like Budweiser. As explained in a cheeky video on the company’s website (warning: the clip contains simulated penguin sex), the brewery was able to attain the high alcohol content by freezing the beer at a local ice cream factory, at temperatures as low as -6°C (21°F), for 21 days. Alcohol freezes at lower temperatures than water, and removing water from the solution increased the alcohol concentration.

 

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