Posts

November 14, 2014

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7:12 AM | Terence Tao on prime numbers on the Colbert Report
The Colbert ReportGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on FacebookH/T Tina Eliassi-Rad (And comments that pick on Tao for (sort of) calling 27 a prime will be summarily deleted.)
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6:51 AM | The American Justice Summit
"There is a growing consensus that America's criminal justice system is in urgent need of reform. Today, about 2.4 million people are incarcerated in the US — by far the most in any country worldwide. Another 7 million people are...

November 13, 2014

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4:26 PM | Disconnecting Acts
Efrain Kristal and Arne De Boever interview Zygmunt Bauman in The LA Review of Books (in two parts): ARNE DE BOEVER / EFRAIN KRISTAL: Did your military experiences as a young man — particularly those involving the liberation of your...
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4:20 PM | Trouble in Paradise and Absolute Recoil
Terry Eagleton reviews two new books by Slavoj Žižek, in the Guardian (Photograph: David Levene): It is said that Jean-Paul Sartre turned white-faced with excitement when a colleague arrived hotfoot from Germany with the news that one could make philosophy...
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4:11 PM | ANTS AND US
JM Ledgard in More Intelligent Life: They work together, share food and send their elders into battle to protect the young. And the world authority on them thinks they have a lot to teach us. J.M. Ledgard goes to Harvard...
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4:06 PM | Marguerite Duras at 100
Dan Gunn at the Times Literary Supplement: Duras was born in April 1914, and her centenary year has been marked in France by a proliferation of publications, most important of which by far are the final two instalments in the...
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4:03 PM | Lila Azam Zanganeh interviews roberto calasso
Interveiw with Roberto Calasso at Paris Review: INTERVIEWER Do you consider yourself a man of the Left? CALASSO I wonder what that means today. Certainly the success of Adelphi began, among other things, with the extreme Left. For instance, Joseph...
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4:01 PM | Whole-genome sequences of 17 of the world’s oldest living people published
From KurzweilAI: Using 17 genomes, researchers were unable to find rare protein-altering variants significantly associated with extreme longevity, according to a study published November 12, 2014 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Hinco Gierman from Stanford University and colleagues....
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3:56 PM | Chris Ofili’s Thumping Art-History Lesson
Jerry Saltz at New York Magazine: It was a shitstorm that ended in a witch hunt. “If this painting is censored, I’m canceling the show,” snapped English megacollector Charles Saatchi. He said this to me privately in the early hours...
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1:49 PM | The deadliest factory fire in recorded human history
Danyal Adam Khan in Dawn: Two years after the incident, the relatives of the dead are as angry as they are heavy-hearted. Sometimes called Pakistan’s 9/11, the fire at the factory owned and operated by a textile exporter, Ali Enterprises,...
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11:30 AM | Thursday Poem
Chai —(for Micky Absil) I've only seen a photograph — boats anchored on the muddy shoals of the Ganges. Splintered canopies on top of blistered bows and sterns, sari'd women leaving their men to wash, or launch the dead among...
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10:33 AM | Najla Said at the NYS Writers Institute
Najla Said is the author of the new memoir Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family (2013). The daughter of major Palestinian-American intellectual and political activist Edward Said, Najla spent her formative years in the largely Jewish...
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10:29 AM | To end global poverty, we have to end global capitalism
Vijay Prasad in Jacobin: In December, the United Nations sounded the alarm. Releasing its report on the World Social Situation of 2013, entitled “Inequality Matters,” the UN warned that inequality was deepening, and that no country was immune from the...
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9:44 AM | West End Boy
Adam Shatz reviews two new books on Anders Breivik, in the LRB: Before he went on his mass killing spree in 2011, Anders Behring Breivik was a regular at the Palace Grill in Oslo West. He looked harmless: another blond...

November 12, 2014

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10:14 PM | Catch 22 in Ukraine
MH17 recovery team finally start work at crash site. Credit:  RIA Novosti. Alexey Kudenko The Dutch team investigating the MH17 Malaysian Airline crash in eastern Ukraine report it has problems collecting debris from the crash site in eastern Ukraine. But aren’t … Continue reading →
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5:25 PM | Is the Growing Market for Male Escorts a Sign of Female Sexual Liberation or Just a Re-run of the Same Old Stereotypes?
Clarissa Sebag-Montefiore in Aeon (Photo by Ozgur Albayrak/Gallery Stock): In What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire(2013) the American writer Daniel Bergner argues that female sexuality is as animalistic – if not more so – than...
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2:09 PM | Why John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight Is Better Than The Daily Show and Colbert
Matt Zoller Seitz in Slate: Over the past few weeks he’s shown us, with evidence, that while our national legislature is unproductive and tedious, our local legislatures are incredibly prolific and often demented; that the rules governing drone strikes are...
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1:48 PM | Gut–brain link grabs neuroscientists
Sara Reardon in Nature: Companies selling ‘probiotic’ foods have long claimed that cultivating the right gut bacteria can benefit mental well-being, but neuroscientists have generally been sceptical. Now there is hard evidence linking conditions such as autism and depression to...
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1:45 PM | More detailed argument for the nature of space buillt from artificial chemistry
There are some things which were left uncleared. For example, I have never suggested to use networks of computers as a substitute for space, with computers as nodes, etc. This is one of the ideas which are too trivial. In the GLC actors article is proposed a different thing. First to associate to an initial […]
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1:31 PM | the berlin wall
Stefany Anne Golberg at The Smart Set: In the beginning, the Wall was made of barbed wire and soldiers. On some streets, cinder blocks had been stacked. In the Neukölln borough, on Harzer Straße, the Wall was about neck-high. East...
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12:30 PM | Martha C. Nussbaum: There are limits to what the law can do to police cyberabuse
Martha C. Nussbaum in The Nation: Like a surprisingly large proportion of Americans, I have a cyberstalker, whom I shall call S. “You know I hate you more than Aphrodite hates Helen,” S announced in his most recent e-mail. “If...
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12:30 PM | Srsly.
Sarah Mesle in the Los Angeles Review of Books: You’re not supposed to say that. Being categorically angry with men is unattractive, and it isn’t (given the basic human decency of most men) really fair. What’s worse, being angry isn’t...
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12:05 PM | Wednesday Poem
Glacier . One might have been born for such sharp alignment: The white curve of an arch quietly concentric To the bowl of my skull, my knees midway Between a pair of columns, the feet of a chair In line...
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11:56 AM | Scientists Figured Out How to Make People "Feel" an Otherworldly Presence
Rachel Nuwer in Smithsonian Magazine: A tickle on the back of your neck, a sudden feeling that you are not alone: some believers in the paranormal attribute these sensations to the presence of a ghost, angel or otherworldly being. Now,...
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11:49 AM | Watch Larry Lessig make the case that campaign finance renders the US, at best, a quasi-democracy
No summary available for this post.
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11:47 AM | Sweden's Prostitution Solution: Why Hasn't Anyone Tried This Before?
Marie De Santis in Esnoticia: In a centuries deep sea of clichés despairing that 'prostitution will always be with us', one country's success stands out as a solitary beacon lighting the way. In just five years Sweden has dramatically reduced...

November 11, 2014

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6:33 PM | Unsolicited Advice: Becoming a Science Communicator
Everyone who does science inevitably has “communicating” as part of their job description, even if they’re only communicating with their students and professional colleagues. But many people start down a trajectory of becoming a research scientist, only to discover that … Continue reading →
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3:13 PM | new translations of Italo Calvino
Aaron Thier at The Nation: Positive or negative, these letters reflect an intense belief in the importance of discussion. “Dear Silvio,” he writes in 1948, “I’m pleased we’re arguing. It’s a healthy symptom, for goodness’ sake! It means there’s life...
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3:10 PM | Steven Pinker’s Bad Grammar
Nathan Heller at The New Yorker: Some skimmings from the final part of Pinker’s book ran in the Guardian last month, under the provocative headline “10 ‘Grammar Rules’ It’s OK To Break (Sometimes).” It is a brazen document. Armed with...
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2:54 PM | The rise of unreason
Pervez Hoodbhoy in Dawn: Some 300 years ago the age of reason lifted Europe from darkness, ushering in modern science together with modern scientific attitudes. These soon spread across the world. But now, running hot on its heels is the...
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