Posts

January 08, 2015

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12:08 PM | What is Charlie Hebdo? The magazine that dared to poke fun at religion
Agnes Poirier in New Statesman: Editor’s note: on 7 January 2015, the office of Charlie Hebdo was attacked by gunmen. 12 people are so far reported dead, and more injured. As context, we republish this 2007 article about the magazine....
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12:00 PM | Thursday Poem
Letting Go I love the abandon of abandoned things the harmonium surrendering in a churchyard in Aherlow, the hearse resigned to nettles behind a pub in Carna, the tin dancehall possessed by convolvulus in Kerry, the living room that hosts...
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11:52 AM | Resveratrol found to activate ancient stress response and at 1,000 times lower doses
From KurzweilAI: Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have found that a fundamental new mechanism for the known beneficial effects of resveratrol — the grapes and red-wine ingredient once touted as an elixir of youth: it powerfully activates an...
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10:32 AM | In memoriam: Ivor Grattan-Guinness
The great historian of logic and mathematics Ivor Grattan-Guinness passed away about a month ago, aged 73. I only heard it yesterday, when Stephen Read posted a link to the Guardian obituary on Facebook. From the obituary:He rescued the moribund journal Annals of Science, founded the journal History and Philosophy of Logic, and was on the board of Historia Mathematica from its inception. A member of the council of the Society for Psychical Research, he wrote Psychical Research: A Guide to […]
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10:05 AM | The Blame for the Charlie Hebdo Murders
George Packer in The New Yorker: The murders today in Paris are not a result of France’s failure to assimilate two generations of Muslim immigrants from its former colonies. They’re not about French military action against the Islamic State in...

January 07, 2015

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10:01 PM | The victims of terror
Appropriately, some of the most effective protests against the most recent act of terrorism has come from cartoonists. Let’s hope the pencil, and brush, are mightier than the weapons of terror.
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5:24 PM | The Dastardly Attack in Paris
by S. Abbas Raza On February 14, 1989, I was working as a young engineer in my office at the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC, when I heard the news of Khomeini's murderous fatwa against Salman Rushdie and...
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4:43 PM | Stanisław Barańczak’s “This Is Not a Conversation for the Telephone”
Dan Peipenberg at The Paris Review: I’ve been thinking today of Stanisław Barańczak, the Polish poet and translator who died last month at sixty-eight. He was known for flouting state censors with poems that mocked the euphemistic language of communism,...
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4:38 PM | the internet and the new face of photography
James Polchin at The Smart Set: What you notice in the historical movements of this show is how much the act of photographing has turned from public vision to private realities. Early works here rest often on travels. The 19th...
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3:49 PM | What the World Will Speak in 2115
John H. McWhorter at The Wall Street Journal: Yet more to the point, by 2115, it’s possible that only about 600 languages will be left on the planet as opposed to today’s 6,000. Japanese will be fine, but languages spoken...
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1:28 PM | The new modesty in literary criticism
Jeffrey J. Williams in the Chronicle of Higher Education: Literary criticism once had an outsize reach, influencing the terms and concepts of disciplines like art and legal studies. With it came an outsize ego. During the 1970s and 80s, the...
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11:57 AM | Imagine... a world without work
From The New Humanist: For many people, jobs are boring, low-paid, humiliating and increasingly scarce. New Humanist asks three young writers: what if we just did away with them? In discussion with New Humanist are Federico Campagna, author of The...
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11:38 AM | Wednesday Poem
Lullaby for a Daughter Go to sleep. Night is a coal pit full of black water— ................ night's a dark cloud full of warm rain. Go to sleep. Night is a flower resting from bees— ................ night's a green sea...
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11:26 AM | End of cancer-genome project prompts rethink
Heidi Ledford in Nature: A mammoth US effort to genetically profile 10,000 tumours has officially come to an end. Started in 2006 as a US$100-million pilot, The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) is now the biggest component of the International Cancer...

January 06, 2015

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10:00 PM | Final CfP: Formal Epistemology Workshop 2015 (Deadline January 16!)
May 20-22, 2015 (Wednesday to Friday)Washington University in St. LouisKeynote speakers:Tom Kelly (Princeton), Jeff Horty (University of Maryland, College Park)The Formal Epistemology Workshop will be held in connection with the 2015 meeting of the St. Louis Annual Conference on Reasons and Rationality (SLACRR), which will take place immediately before, from May 17-19, 2015.There will be conference sessions all day on May 20 & 21, and in the morning on May 22.Contributors are invited to […]
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5:37 PM | Orality, Literacy, and the Memorized Poem
Mike Chasar at Poetry Magazine: Partway through Francis Ford Coppola’s 1983 film adaptation of S.E. Hinton’s 1967 novel The Outsiders, Ponyboy Curtis (played by C. Thomas Howell) and Johnny Cade (Ralph Macchio) are hiding out in an abandoned church in...
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5:19 PM | defending organized labor
Michael Kazin at Bookforum: Undaunted, he continues to roll his little stone of hope uphill with vigor and wit, albeit with louder huffs of exasperation. His new book, despite its title, focuses more on what he views as the three...
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5:17 PM | the genetic self
Nathaniel Comfort at The Point: The notion that your genes are your essential self—genetic essentialism—is fairly recent. Although the idea that heredity contributes to our health and identity is ancient, the idea that for practical purposes it is all that...
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5:11 PM | Why the "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Routine Actually Works
Esther Inglis-Arkell in io9: Instead of committing to intimidation, the scientists decided to commit to whimsy, and devised a weird, wonderful set of experiments with fake blind people asking math questions and police whistles distracting people on the road. The...
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5:05 PM | How a Watch Works
No summary available for this post.
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3:48 PM | Our Animal Hell
Robert Pogue Harrison in the NYRB blog: The Pope spoke not of dogs but of all of God’s creatures. Where does that leave humankind? To call us a species among others is both correct and misleading, for whether by divine...
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3:10 PM | A Dubious History of Targeted Killings in Afghanistan
Spiegel Staff in Spiegel International (AP/Kirsty Wigglesworth): Predator drones and Eurofighter jets equipped with sensors were constantly searching for the radio signals from known telephone numbers tied to the Taliban. The hunt began as soon as the mobile phones were...
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11:51 AM | Tuesday Poem
Invisible Waiter Maitreya Bodhisattva, raising a bite of rare steak to his mouth, said, “Even we sometimes get hungry. Mere peace of mind doesn’t satisfy the flesh, though, on the contrary, the sense of fullness at times does lead to...
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11:01 AM | Discontent and Its Civilizations – Pakistan’s place in the world
Sukhdev Sandhu in The Guardian: In 2010, Mohsin Hamid was asked by Granta to contribute to a piece entitled “How to write about Pakistan”. Other poets or novelists might have railed against accounts littered with mullahs, military generals, secret agencies...
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10:50 AM | Cancer’s Random Assault
Denise Grady in The New York Times: It may sound flippant to say that many cases of cancer are caused by bad luck, but that is what two scientists suggested in an article published last week in the journal Science....
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6:41 AM | History and Heartbreak: The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg
Vivian Gornick in The Nation: There she was: a girl, a Jew, a cripple—possessed of an electrifying intelligence, a defensively arrogant tongue and an unaccountable passion for social justice, which, in her teens, led her to the illegal socialist organizations...
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2:47 AM | Fluoride Free NZ report disingenuous – conclusion
This is the third and last article in a series critiquing contributions to the Fluoride Free NZ report “Scientific and Critical Analysis of the 2014 New Zealand Fluoridation Report“ which is aimed at discrediting the recent review Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of … Continue reading →
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2:31 AM | New research role as early career researcher and new faculty member
I have been largely absent from these pages as I had been busy finishing up my PhD dissertation, graduating, taking some final classes, traveling Europe for research, working on some non-academic science studies writings and also revising articles for academic journal submissions, all in the space of my silence. Of course, looking for suitable academic/scholarly base has also consumed my time.

January 05, 2015

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12:42 PM | PhD students unite! Do you hear the people sing?
Several years ago a director at a Max Planck insitute near me in Southern Germany was found to be putting PhD students of non-German origin on lower pay than his German students. I know of several labs/insitutes in Europe where emails have been sent round explicitly telling PhD students that it is expectation that they […]
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5:45 AM | He's So Ronery
by Misha Lepetic "Data made flesh in the mazes of the black market." ~ William Gibson, Neuromancer Sometime last September, to add to what was already a fairly stressful month, I received a text message from my bank inquiring about...
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