Posts

January 27, 2015

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3:07 PM | Remembering Robert Stone
Stephen Goodwin at The American Scholar: Robert Stone, who died on January 10, was a member of the all-but-vanished tribe of hard-living, two-fisted, wildly ambitious American novelists who grew up in Hemingway’s slipstream. In the 1960s, when Bob was writing...
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3:04 PM | THE CREATOR, By Mynona
Michael Dirda at The Washington Post: When I first picked up this eerie-looking paperback, attracted by the half-spider, half-human figure on the cover, its author was completely unknown to me. That doesn’t happen a lot (he said immodestly). I could...
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3:01 PM | Michel Houellebecq Defends His Controversial New Book
Michel Houellebecq interviewed at Paris Review: Where did you get the idea for a presidential election, in 2022, that came down to Marine Le Pen and the leader of a Muslim party? Well, Marine Le Pen strikes me as a...
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1:47 PM | Man Down: why men are ridiculous
Amanda Marcotte in Slate: Men: Notes From an Ongoing Investigation may be the most provocative title in a long list of provocative book titles from essayist Laura Kipnis—a remarkable feat for a woman whose previous works include Against Love and...
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1:31 PM | Can This Treatment Help Me?
Austin Frakt and Aaron E. Carroll in The New York Times: Consider aspirin for heart attack prevention. Based upon both modifiable risk factors like cholesterol level and smoking, and factors that are beyond one’s control, like family history and age,...
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12:54 PM | Tuesday poem
Insomnia I wake up in the middle of the night hear the house settling, the ceiling creaking realize I have no bottled water canned food, flashlight, rifle or bullets stored in the hidden room off of my office my children...

January 26, 2015

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10:29 PM | Hypocrisy
Credit: The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe This cartoon reminded me of some of the local campaigners against fluoridation. They almost all are either strongly connected to the “natural” health movement and its businesses, or, because of their beliefs, are customers … Continue reading →
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5:50 AM | The Politics of Barbarism
by Ahmed Humayun Is there a method to the madness of Islamist extremism? Yes, if a voluminous literature produced by militants in Arabic and other languages is to be believed. One example of the genre is the militant manual, the...
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5:35 AM | Monday Poem
$hip of $tate I'm on a big boat (which the nautically savvy call ship) if this ship's a cocoon of light atmosphere its steel will float, but it will tip if its load’s unbalanced— if its equilibrium is off it...
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5:30 AM | Remembering Old Friends: Cars I have known and loved
The first car I bought and paid for on my own, after the divorce, was a 1992 maroon Toyota Corolla. I loved that car, and so did my children! The story of the Corolla is the story of my family.
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5:25 AM | perceptions
Liliana Porter. Man with Axe, 2011. More here and here.
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5:20 AM | Flogging Hate
by Maniza Naqvi Flogging newspapers with hate drawn up as free speech is a cheap self serving marketing trick. Nothing new there. Hate sells war. It sells weapons. It sells newspapers. Hate sells. Floggings and cartoons to caricature Muslims as...
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5:15 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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5:05 AM | Fish stews
by Rishidev Chaudhuri Fish stews occupy a wonderful middle ground between delicacy and robustness, suggesting sun and warmth and brine, and yet also being mouth-filling and meaty and deeply flavorful. They’re happy at simple weeknight dinners and at parties, and...
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5:04 AM | Poem
A RESURRECTION My mother tells this story about her childhood in Kashmir years before she married my father. “I remember our horse Burak, hoofs scuffing snow, nostrils fuming, hitched to an open cart. Relatives, showering rice and rose petals on...
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5:02 AM | When Startups Begin to Fail
This is the 3rd of a series of brief weekly pieces on the unfolding journey of a new incubator based in New Delhi: www.startuptunnel.com, @StTnL. Checkout earlier pieces in the series: Entering Startup Tunnel and What Makes an Incubator Tick?...

January 25, 2015

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10:09 PM | How will we crack the brain?
Adam J Calhoun in Medium: If you would like see things straight out of a a science fiction movie, you should visit a neuroscience laboratory. Technology and science has advanced so quickly that I am not sure the public understands...
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7:13 PM | Aggressive prayers, curses, and maledictions
Elizabeth McAlister in The Immanent Frame: This speech form is known as imprecatory prayer, from the Latin, imprecate, “invoking evil or divine vengeance; cursing.” The use of scripture as a form of imprecatory prayer has long been covertly practiced by...
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5:35 PM | A.I. Has Grown Up and Left Home
David Auerbach in Nautilus (René Descartes’ illustration of dualism.Wikimedia Commons): Our approach to thinking, from the early days of the computer era, focused on the question of how to represent the knowledge about which thoughts are thought, and the rules...
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5:31 PM | The Art of Critique: Victor Serge’s “Midnight in the Century”
Guy Patrick Cunningham in The LA Review of Books: I TREASURE GREAT POLITICAL FICTION, in part because it’s so rare. Literature — fiction in particular — thrives with time, whereas the specifics of political struggles are notoriously transient. That makes...
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4:58 PM | Why Greece Needs Syriza to Win
Philippe Legrain in Foreign Policy: Greece’s reckless borrowing was financed by equally reckless lenders. First in line were French and German banks that lent too much, too cheaply — foolishly treating the Greek government as if it were as creditworthy...
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2:41 PM | BONEY M. "Rasputin"
No summary available for this post.
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2:41 PM | Art City: Manhattan in the early 1990s
No summary available for this post.
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2:40 PM | Faten Hamama (1931 - 2015)
No summary available for this post.
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2:15 PM | The rise of the medical humanities
Belinda Jack in Times Higher Education: The cynical account for the rise of the medical humanities – a newish interdisciplinary area that explores the social, historical and cultural dimensions of medicine – would be an economic one. At a time...
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2:04 PM | A Modern Clinical Trial: 7 Years, 1,000 Patients, and Plenty of Questions About Cost
Paul Basken in The Chronicle of Higher Education: It was my ritual for seven years. Every day, take two sets of pills—one labeled, the other a mystery. Every three months, take three sets of blood-pressure readings, twice a day for...
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4:00 AM | Sunday reading – Richard Dawkins reads some of his “fan mail”
This is a more recent version of Richard Dawkins reading some of his “fan mail.” Don’t remember much of the first batch he read – but get the impression the language skills of fundamentalists has become even poorer in the intervening … Continue reading →

January 24, 2015

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6:12 PM | I Served in Iraq, and American Sniper Gets It Right. But It’s Still Not the War Film We Need.
Brian Turner in Vulture: This isn’t the defining film of the Iraq War. After nearly a quarter century of war and occupation in Iraq, we still haven’t seen that film. I’m beginning to think we’re incapable as a nation of...
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5:55 PM | The predictive brain (part two): is the idea too generic?
After explaining the main concepts and promises of the Predictive Brain (PB) idea in Part 1 (you may want to read also the comments), it’s now time to explore its boundaries. In this post, I will not drill down into…Read more ›
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5:05 PM | I’m back!
About a month ago I clicked a little button on my WordPress dashboard saying “Upgrade to 4.1″, which had been appearing for some time with increasing urgency. I clicked it, and shortly afterward got a message saying that the upgrade had failed. The result was that I lost administrative access to this site. All the … Continue reading »
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