Posts

March 29, 2015

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4:16 PM | Nightwalking: a subversive stroll through the city streets
Matthew Beaumont in The Guardian: Who walks alone in the streets at night? The sad, the mad, the bad. The lost, the lonely. The sleepless, the homeless. All the city’s internal exiles. The night has always been the time for...
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3:52 PM | Why Is Confucius Still Relevant Today? His Sound Bites Hold Up
Simon Worrall in National Geographic: He was hailed after his death as “The Uncrowned King,” a philosopher whose sound bites of wisdom became China’s handbook on government and its code of personal morality for thousands of years. But little is...
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3:26 PM | Orson Welles on Hemingway
No summary available for this post.
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3:26 PM | Tomas Tranströmer (1931 - 2015)
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3:25 PM | Sashimani Devi, Last of India’s Jagannath Temple Dancers (1923 - 2015)
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3:24 PM | The torments of Ronnie O’Sullivan, snooker’s greatest player
Sam Knight in The New Yorker: Early on a Tuesday morning last fall, Ronnie O’Sullivan was running through the woods near his home, in Chigwell, Essex, northeast of London. It was damp and muddy, England in November. O’Sullivan, who is...
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11:02 AM | Sunday Poem
According to the inhabitants of the Trobriand Islands "a remarkable thing happens to the spirit immediately after its exodus from the body. ...the baloma (which is the main form of the dead man's spirit) goes to Tuma, a small island..."...

March 28, 2015

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10:08 PM | Poor peer-review – a case study
Many scientists are not impressed with the peer-review processes scientific journals use. Like democracy, this peer-review is better than all the available alternatives but it certainly doesn’t guarantee published scientific papers are problem-free. Sure, peer-reviewed sources are better than others which … Continue reading →
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6:11 PM | Body Art Mixed With Environment
More here.
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6:02 PM | What Do Americans Think Should Be Done About Inequality?
Ilyana Kuziemko, Michael Norton, Emmanuel Saez, and Stefanie Stantcheva over at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth: There are several novel findings that emerge from our survey. When respondents are given the actual data on the growing income gap in...
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5:27 PM | Fact or Fiction?: Dark Matter Killed the Dinosaurs
Lee Billings in Scientific American: Every once in a great while, something almost unspeakable happens to Earth. Some terrible force reaches out and tears the tree of life limb from limb. In a geological instant, countless creatures perish and entire...
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5:18 PM | The Two Masters
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3:32 PM | Reluctant Crusader: Why Alice Dreger’s writing on sex and science makes liberals so angry
Tom Bartlett in The Chronicle: Alice Dreger is feverish. On a wet, chilly Wednesday evening, in a high-ceilinged, beige ballroom at the Marriott in downtown Philadelphia, she is taking to task — eviscerating, really — the American Anthropological Association for...
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2:46 PM | ‘The Folded Clock,’ by Heidi Julavits
Eula Bliss at The New York Times: Heidi Julavits once said that keeping a diary when she was young is what made her a writer. Julavits, the author of four novels, ­revisits that story in the opening pages of her...
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2:44 PM | 39 AFRICANS WALK INTO A BAR
Orem Ochiel at The Quarterly Conversation: New anthologies of African fiction seem to materialize virtually every year, if not more often in recent years. When presented with the physical fact of yet another new anthology of African fiction, the immediate...
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2:41 PM | Swedish Nobel laureate Tomas Tranströmer dies aged 83
Andrew Brown at The Guardian: He wrote in exceptionally pure, cold Swedish without frills. His descriptions of nature were as sparse and alive as a Japanese painting. In fact, in later life, he attempted to write haiku in Swedish. Peter...
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1:54 PM | Crash of EgyptAir 990
William Langewiesche in The Atlantic (originally published 2001): But that's getting ahead of the story. Back on October 31, 1999, with the first news of the crash, it was hard to imagine any form of pilot error that could have...
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7:22 AM | Epigenetics Is Not Revolutionizing Biology
Michael White in Pacific Standard (Photo: epsos/Flickr): The idea that our DNA, rather than being an immutable fact of our biology, is actually responsive to changes in our health and our environment is what makes people so enthusiastic about epigenetics....
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6:46 AM | The Meaning of Money
Over at Radio Open Source: In his latest book, Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt, Lewis sounds worried. After that last great crash, finance has gone digital. The action has moved off the downtown trading floors and into black-box servers...

March 27, 2015

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3:04 PM | Lemon-Scented Malaria
Carl Zimmer in his excellent blog, The Loom: Malaria is caused by single-celled parasites called Plasmodium. A female mosquito carries them in its gut as it flies around in search of a victim to bite. After the parasites mature, they...
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2:57 PM | Money in Politics Corrupts: Big Money Corrupts Absolutely
Simon Radford in HIPPO Reads: It’s not often that a working paper published on an academic website creates a stir, but it seems ours has! As the Guardian Observer reports, our paper shows that for the number of big donors...
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2:51 PM | Akira Kurosawa - Composing Movement
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2:17 PM | POPE FRANCISCUS UNDER A BRIGHT RED STAR
Federico Campagna at The White Review: The position once held by the European Left – that solidarity is to be valued above thehomo homini lupus, and that the concept of freedom doesn’t merely have a negative character – has been...
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2:11 PM | The Foreign Correspondent
Pallavi Aiyar at Granta: My European friends in China had largely been agreed in their envy of my departure to the ‘civilized’ world. When I’d expressed any apprehensions about the move they had rushed to assure me. Things would be...
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2:07 PM | MI5 and the Hobsbawm File
Frances Stonor Saunders at The London Review of Books: The British Security Service, better known as MI5, released its file on Eric Hobsbawm last autumn. Hobsbawm, who had long desired to see it, had died two years earlier, at the...
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1:57 PM | Novelist Akhil Sharma on why his first response to winning the 2015 Folio Prize was not joy but shame
Gaby Wood in Telegraph: Akhil Sharma’s deadpan autobiographical novel, Family Life, ends with a kind of beginning. The narrator has taken his beautiful new girlfriend to a resort hotel. As they lounge by the pool and she leans against him,...
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1:43 PM | Leadership: look for leaders with fire in their belly and emotional intelligence
Pierre-Alain Clavien and Joseph Deiss in Nature: The academic world has changed greatly in recent decades, so demands on its leaders have too. Departmental chairs, deans, facility directors and other leaders are now expected to power research, attract funding, manage...
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1:27 PM | Jerome: a model scholar?
Christa Gray in OUPblog: The Renaissance vision of Jerome (c. 347-420 AD), as depicted by Albrecht Dürer in a world-famous engraving of 1514, seems to represent an ideal type of the scholar: secluded in the desert, far removed from the...
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12:00 PM | On Quine's Arguments Against QML, Part 2: The problem of "quantifying in"
Read part 1. The first of the two problems we look at is related to the problem of ‘quantifying in’. Versions of this argument can be found in [1,2,3]. Quine points out that modal contexts are intensional, by which he means simply that they are non-truth-functional [1, p. 122]; this is why the class of analytic truths is larger than the class of merely logical truths. Intensional contexts are opaque, and they “do not admit pronouns which refer to quantifiers anterior to the […]

March 26, 2015

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5:17 PM | Surrogate Transcendence: Terry Eagleton’s Culture and the Death of God
Dustin Illingworth in 3:AM Magazine: Shrill and appalling, the words still hold something of their concussive effect: “God is dead.” A particular strain of modern agony, crystallized. But if Thus Spake Zarathustraheralded deicide, it was only in the context of...
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