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Posts

April 07, 2014

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4:30 AM | Perceptions
Sughra Raza. Vegas From the 51st Floor Balcony. 2014. Digital photograph.
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4:25 AM | Strained Analogies Between Recently Released Films and Current Events: Noah and Nate Silver
by Matt McKenna As the wicked, soon-to-be-drowned warriors surround Noah and his famous ark in Darren Aronofsky's rendition of the well known, but well modified Bible story, one gets the sense that the ornery mob isn't just ornery because they're...
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4:20 AM | To Kiss the Lips of John the Baptist
by Leanne Ogasawara Ending her dance nak...
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4:15 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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4:10 AM | Bundling, Dream Space, Love, and the Farmer’s Daughter
by Bill Benzon The other day I was reading an old post an eBuddy of mine, Michael Cobb Bowen, had written about the possibly of a female viagra-type drug. Michael ended the post by observing: Sex is dirty, complicated and...
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4:05 AM | Reclaiming Liberty
The sound of money talking is echoing ever louder throughout the land. We the people now have to raise our voices even louder if we are to have influence in our political system. It is all too easy to become discouraged, but we can begin to gather inspiration for social engagement by returning to explore first principles.
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1:06 AM | Pandering to anti-fluoridation campaigners
Social media can be bloody frustrating at times. I do find Twitter useful for identifying interesting newspaper reports, scientific articles and videos – often long before I would see them myself on other sources. But, boy, there is loads of … Continue reading →

April 06, 2014

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11:37 PM | Buying the Future
Mike Konczal in The New Inquiry: Finance can go beyond bringing the future of raw commodities into cash value in the present. A wave of mathematical modeling and computer simulations allows investors to predict the likely value of everything from...
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11:33 PM | Why Do So Many Leftists Want Sex Work to Be the New Normal?
Katha Pollitt in The Nation (commenters pushback in the comments section): Right now on the New Inquiry website, for example, you can take a satirical quiz called “Are You Being Sex Trafficked?” Of course, if you are reading the New...
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11:13 PM | On Kahneman
Over at Edge: [John Brockman] Daniel Kahneman turned 80 on March 5th and Edge noted the occasion with a reprise of a number of his contributions to our pages. (See "Kahneman Turns 80"). At that time, Kahneman's longtime colleague, behavioural...
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11:08 PM | Why Global Warming Will Cross a Dangerous Threshold in 2036
Michael E. Mann in Scientific American: If the world continues to burn fossil fuels at the current rate, global warming will rise 2 degrees Celsius by 2036, crossing a threshold that many scientists think will hurt all aspects of human...
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11:04 PM | himiko
No summary available for this post.
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11:03 PM | The Mental Life of Plants and Worms, Among Others
Oliver Sacks in the NYRB: Charles Darwin’s last book, published in 1881, was a study of the humble earthworm. His main theme—expressed in the title, The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms—was the immense power of worms,...
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7:05 PM | Where Did You Sleep Last Night
No summary available for this post.
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4:22 PM | Intelligence without a brain? Um, no.
I am placing this post here because it it addresses a question that arises frequently—on twitter, Wikipedia reference desks, etc.  It is extracted from a longer essay titled Metaphorical Dualism and the Cartesian Airplane. One often sees claims that there are people with severely damaged brains who nevertheless have normal minds. The most widely discussed … Continue reading »
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2:20 PM | A God In Every Stone
Michele Roberts in The Independent: Pink may be the colour of an Empire's territories shown on a map of the world, while for modern shoppers trawling that world it denotes gifts suitable for girls. Kamila Shamsie's passionate new novel, set...
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1:47 PM | Epic Fail
Scott A. Sandage in The New York Times: Books about failure put both their authors and their readers in awkward positions. Writers are at pains to abase themselves somewhat, to show that they know the terrain by sacrificing some dignity...
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11:04 AM | Sunday Poem
Performance I starred that night, I shone: I was footwork and firework in one, a rocket that wriggled up and shot darkness with a parasol of brilliants and a peewee descant on a flung bit; I was busters of glitter-bombs...

April 05, 2014

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11:15 PM | Leaves from Satan's Book (1921) - Carl Dreyer
No summary available for this post.
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9:12 PM | Microbiome OS
Your computer could be sitting alone and still be completely outnumbered for your operating system  is home to trillions upon trillions of tiny passengers – chemlambda molecules. The programs making the operating system of your computer are made up of around ten million code lines, but you harbour a hundred million artificial life molecular beings. […]
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5:23 PM | One Of The World's Most Dangerous Cities Is Emerging As An Indie Music Capital
Mallika Rao in the Huffington Post: Karachi, Pakistan is one of the world’s most violent cities. And yet some of the music coming out of it would fit right in at a garden party on Cape Cod. The disconnect is...
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5:09 PM | For nearly two hundred years America was one of the healthiest and longest-lived countries, but today, over thirty countries have better health by many measures. What happened?
Stephen Bezruchka in the Boston Review: In answering this question, the distinction between health and health care is a critical one, but something that seems not to be well understood by the lay public, health care professionals, or policy makers....
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4:56 PM | Ken Roth: Rationales governments use to claim mass snooping is legal
Ken Roth in the Sydney Morning Herald: Edward Snowden has done us all a service by revealing how extensively our private communications are being monitored - not because of any targeted inquiry into criminality, but as part of a broad...
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4:47 PM | Alan Lightman: The physicist as novelist
No summary available for this post.
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1:28 PM | Barbara Ehrenreich faces the mystical
David L. Ulin at The LA Times: "[W]hat do you do with something like this — an experience so anomalous, so disconnected from the normal life you share with other people," Ehrenreich asks in the foreword to the book, "that...
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1:21 PM | It's a Living: the glum designs behind the world of modern work
Jerry Stahl in BookForum: One of my favorite moments in Cubed, Nikil Saval’s lush, funny, and unexpectedly fascinating history of the workplace, comes in a chapter called “The Birth of the Office,” in which the author describes the insane yet...
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1:21 PM | Charlie Chaplin
Susie Boyt at The Financial Times: Peter Ackroyd’s compact new life of Charlie Chaplin opens magnificently in the heart of south London in the last decade of the 19th century. This is a London rife with the “suspect pleasures” of...
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1:13 PM | The Repercussions
Sonali Deraniyagala in The New York Times: “Where is Ajay? What was the point of having raised him?” an elderly woman grumbles to her husband about their adult son in the opening pages of Akhil Sharma’s semi-autobiographical new novel, “Family...
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12:56 AM | Speciation – A brief history: The late eighteenth century
After Linnaeus had settled on the older mechanism of hybridisation of genera with other genera or with varieties formed by geographical conditions as the cause of new species, the topic began to pick up speed. Hybridisation remained the usual method … Continue reading →

April 04, 2014

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1:12 PM | The Limits of Muslim Liberalism
Zaheer Kazmi reviews two new books on the Middle East and Islam, one by Tariq Ramadan and another by Bassam Tibi, in the LA Review of Books: As at the end of the Cold War, the recent tumult in the...
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