Posts

November 30, 2014

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5:00 PM | Support the YODA bill!
This looks like a tremendously important bill! “A bill introduced Sept. 18 would make clear that consumers actually owned the electronic devices, and any accompanying software on that device, that they purchased, according to sponsor Rep. Blake Farenthold’s (R-Texas). The You Own Devices Act (H.R. 5586) would amend the Copyright Act “to provide that the … Continue reading Support the YODA bill! →
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3:46 PM | The Unsaid: The Silence of Virginia Woolf
Hisham Matar in The New Yorker: Here is where the artist Adeline Virginia Stephen was born. She lived in this house, at 22 Hyde Park Gate, in west London, for the first twenty-two years of her life. The whitewashed Victorian...
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3:41 PM | How Pakistani law inspired Israel to seize Arabs' land
The new Jewish state used the legal techniques of a new Muslim state to deprive its own mainly-Muslim refugees of their properties. How ironic. Benjamin Pogrund in Haaretz: Mark Twain’s quip, "Buy land, they’re not making it anymore," could have...
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3:36 PM | Giving thanks for the Fourier Transform
Sean Carroll in Preposterous Universe: This year we give thanks for a technique that is central to both physics and mathematics: the Fourier transform. (We’ve previously given thanks for the Standard Model Lagrangian,Hubble’s Law, the Spin-Statistics Theorem, conservation of momentum,...
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3:05 PM | Bola Sete & The Vince Guaraldi Trio: Outra Vez
No summary available for this post.
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3:05 PM | Sabah (1927 - 2014)
No summary available for this post.
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3:04 PM | Sunlight on the Garden by Louis MacNeice
No summary available for this post.
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2:23 PM | The Taliban's Psychiatrist
Tahir Qadiry in BBC News Magazine: "The reason they gave me for the turmoil in their minds was the uncertainty in their lives. They had no control over what was happening to them. Everything was in the hands of their...
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2:04 PM | What does it mean to be an Arab atheist?
Samira Shackle in New Humanist: In Arab countries, openly declaring a disbelief in God is a shocking and sometimes dangerous thing to do. In his new book, "Arabs Without God", journalist Brian Whitaker looks at the factors that lead people...
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2:02 PM | Sunday Poem
Poem Ending With a Sentence by Heath Ledger . Each grinding flattened American vowel smashed to centerlessness, his glee that whatever long ago mutilated his mouth, he has mastered to mutilate you: the Joker's voice, so unlike the bruised, withheld,...
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3:15 AM | An Indian Original
S Prasannarajan in Open the Magazine (Photos: Raul Irani): The word for history in Sanskrit is itihasa, the way things were. When, half way through Aatish Taseer’s new novel, Toby, Sanskrit scholar and classicist, gives us a little grammatic- al...
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3:13 AM | The Good Zombie
Davia Sills in Aeon (Photo by Corbis): The original concept of the zombie was drawn from 19th century stories about West Africa and 20th century accounts of Vodou culture in Haiti, where terrifying, drug-fuelled rites could make it seem like...
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3:10 AM | In Transition
Mario Da Penha in Caravan (image Chandan Khana / AFP / Gety Images): ON 15 APRIL, the hijra activist Laxmi Narayan Tripathi walked down the stairs of India’s Supreme Court, overwhelmed by what she had just heard. A division bench...

November 29, 2014

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8:06 PM | R.I.P. Mark Strand, 1934-2014
Joseph Brodsky used to tell this anecdote, repeated in his Nobel lecture. A journalist was interviewing him and Mark Strand and maybe John Ashberry. At some point, the journalist asked something like, "To pose the Adorno question, how can you...
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3:16 PM | TRIESTE BY DAŠA DRNDIĆ
Kristine Rabberman at The Quarterly Conversation: Jan Morris describes the city of Trieste as “an allegory of limbo,” demonstrated by its shifting political allegiances—first as a part of the Habsburg empire, then later given to Italy, briefly ruled by the...
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3:12 PM | I Refuse by Per Petterson
Neel Mukherjee at The Guardian: Petterson’s great theme is time and how we experience it. This has a direct bearing on how narrative positions and unspools itself in relation to the consciousness of time, and on how a writer represents...
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3:01 PM | The English and Their History
Christopher Sylvester at the Financial Times: There have been two massive history books published this year that deserve to be widely read. One is the English translation of The Transformation of the World: A Global History of the Nineteenth Century...
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2:37 PM | Where’s the ship? (lots of questions part II)
I explain in Lots of questions, part I how Plato and Brazil made me want to switch from math to biology.  Eventually it seems I ended in fundamentals of computing, but there is this strange phenomenon. I can’t figure it how it works, or why, or even if is widespread or rare. I think is … Continue reading Where’s the ship? (lots of questions part II) →
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1:55 PM | Anjelica Huston: What are men so angry about?
Chrissy Iley in The Telegraph: The first time I met Huston, about 15 years ago, she wept into her white wine over her father’s death. John, who died in 1987, cast a long shadow over Anjelica, leading her to seek...
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12:36 PM | New Novellas About Family
Jenny Offil in The New York Times: It is hard to resist Ludmilla Petrushev­skaya’s darkly comic new collection of ­novellas, “There Once Lived a Mother Who Loved Her Children, Until They Moved Back In.” The suffocating domestic life she renders...
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11:13 AM | Saturday Poem
Wolf Between the Trees . His wife, his wife, his daughter, his daughter, his granddaughter, her brother, knelt in a circle in huckleberry woods, digging with fingers, under pine needles, a small hole in which to place smoking sweetgrass, optic...

November 28, 2014

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10:02 PM | The Cretan Paradox
Morgan Meis in The Smart Set: El Greco is confusing. He is one of the few universally acknowledged great artists of history who does not fit into any of the established art movements or categories. Given his time period (late...
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10:00 PM | Entwined Fates: A Conversation with Margaret Levi
Over at Edge: The thing that interests me has to do with how we evoke, from people, the ethical commitments that they have, or can be encouraged to have, that make it possible to have better government, that make it...
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9:57 PM | Paris Envy: Frank Gehry’s Vuitton Foundation
Joseph Giovannini in the LA Review of Books (image The Fondation Louis Vuitton © Iwan Baan): IN TODAY’S EFFICIENT, RATIONALIST, COST-CONSCIOUS architecture culture, squishy, unquantifiable qualities like enchantment are off the drafting table — exiled, beyond the grid, outside the...
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9:52 PM | The Loneliest Genius
Leonard Mlodinow in Nautilus (illustration by Ralph Steadman): Describing his life, shortly before his death, Newton put his contributions this way: “I don’t know what I may seem to the world, but, as to myself, I seem to have been...
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5:01 PM | (NOT) Five African novels to read before you die
Aaron Bady in The New Inquiry: University of Leeds professor Brendon Nicholls made a list of the “Five African Novels to Read Before You Die” yesterday, and it’s a fine list, if your best-case scenario is that literate first-world types...
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4:12 PM | PD James: She was fascinated by death all her life
Jake Kerridge in The Telegraph: PD James had, to quote the title of what is probably her finest novel, A Taste for Death. Only last month she attended the launch party for CJ Sansom’s latest Shardlake mystery. Picking up the...
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2:39 PM | the Rembrandt effect
T.J. Clark at The London Review of Books: Let us call this the Rembrandt effect. It is an immensely powerful one, whose mechanics remain largely a mystery. It proved inimitable; or rather, the imitations seemed often to get the mechanics...
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2:34 PM | why are novelists turning back to religion?
Philip Maughan at The New Statesman: There is also a sense that, in recent years, novelists have formed part of a rearguard action in response to the New Atheist consensus that emerged after Richard Dawkins’s God Delusion was published in...
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2:27 PM | rebecca west visits america in 1924
Rebecca West in The New Republic: Really, it is just like that. America is a continent with which one can have innumerable love-affairs. I am not monogamous myself in my passion for the Mississippi. There are times when I think...
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