Posts

December 16, 2014

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9:43 PM | Did Salaita Cross the Line of ‘Civility’?
Joseph Levine in the New York Times: The case of Steven Salaita has been hotly debated both in and out of academic circles in the past few months. Salaita is the Palestinian-American professor and scholar whose offer of a tenured...
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9:28 PM | Poem
Forgetfulness The name of the author is the first to go followed obediently by the title, the plot, the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of, as if, one by...
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6:51 PM | What right do they have?
What right to members of the public have regarding decisions to undertake large science projects? a) The right to be informed? b) The right to be consulted? c) The right to vote? I’m not sure c) has ever happened so let’s look at some examples of a) and b) a) The public was informed that […]
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5:36 PM | Nurses: The white army
NB: This article, published two days ago, seems particularly relevant in light of today's horrific killing of more than a hundred schoolchildren in Peshawar, Pakistan. Halima Mansoor in the Express Tribune: Coffins in storage area at Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar....
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3:57 PM | Anne Carson’s Dialogue of Grief
Gary Hawkins at the LA Review of Books: With their clear references to the myth and their book-length scope, we might be inclined to approach these books as contemporary heroic tales, and so we’d take the broad perspective of an...
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3:55 PM | John Burnside on Seamus Heaney
John Burnside at The New Statesman: It was Auden who famously claimed that “poetry makes nothing happen”, though what he meant by “nothing” is open to discussion. Yet if we choose to take that dictum at face value, there is...
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3:52 PM | the funny parts of Geoff Dyer
Jonathan Gibbs at Threepenny Review: The great risk of this essay is that I analyze to death any love, affection, or appreciation anyone might have for the funny bits in Geoff Dyer’s books. My defense comes down to this: seeing...
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2:18 PM | An Introduction to Homeopathy
Harriet Hall in The Skeptical Inquirer: In 1800, conventional medicine was a disaster. Doctors weakened patients with bloodletting and purging, they poisoned them with mercury and other harmful substances, and they often killed more patients than they cured. Dr. Samuel...
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2:16 PM | In Pakistan, fear has become mundane – will the Peshawar attack change anything?
Samira Shackle in New Statesman: By now, you are probably familiar with the bare facts of the case. This morning, at around 10am local time (5am GMT), militants wearing army uniforms stormed a school in Peshawar, a violence-wracked city in...
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2:10 PM | Why does the Pakistani military pick unwinnable fights?
Muhammad Idrees Ahmad in The Nation: Pakistan suffers from an enduring sense of vulnerability that was born of the calamities that attended its creation. It was the trauma of partition that formed Pakistan’s national psyche. The new nation inherited all...
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2:05 PM | Incredible time-lapse video showing storms and mesocylcones
Stormscapes 2 from Nicolaus Wegner on Vimeo.
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12:35 PM | A Meditation on the Art of Not Trying
John Tierney in The New York Times: Just be yourself. The advice is as maddening as it is inescapable. It’s the default prescription for any tense situation: a blind date, a speech, a job interview, the first dinner with the...

December 15, 2014

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10:36 PM | Fascinating and painless chemistry lessons
I had to select this video on the element rutherfordium because of the  New Zealand link of the scientist the element is named after. It’s an interesting short lesson on rutherfordium and there is more where it came from – … Continue reading →
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8:34 AM | CPF: Workshop on Epistemic Justification -- JustGroningen 2015
CALL FOR PAPERSWorkshop on Epistemic Justification: JustGroningen 2015August 23 to 25, 2015Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, NetherlandsInvited speakers:Clayton Littlejohn (King's College London)Erik Olsson (Lund)Duncan Pritchard (Edinburgh)William Roche (Texas)Katie Steele (LSE)Sylvia Wenmackers (Leuven)We welcome submissions on all aspects of epistemic justification, and especially encourage contributions which aim to connect formal and traditional perspectives. All sessions are […]
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6:10 AM | From Plato's Cave to the Holographic Principle
by Tasneem Zehra Husain Remember Plato's allegory about the cave? Prisoners, chained inside a cave, sit facing a blank wall with a fire lit behind. All they know of the world is through shadows cast on the wall, by whatever...
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6:05 AM | Delhi: the City of Rape?
By Namit Arora On how caste patriarchy in urban India hijacks and distorts the reality of gender violence. Delhi now lives in infamy as India’s ‘rape capital’. Two years ago a gruesome and fatal gang rape unleashed intense media and...
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6:00 AM | Monday Poem
Poet Builds a House all that we are arises with our thoughts, the Dhammapada says, with our thoughts we make the world …….thing one: tour the foundation, …….scrape down its roughness …….with the edge of a hammer head, …….dis the...
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5:55 AM | The Discombobulating Hedonism and Exclusivity of a Karachi Club
by S. Abbas Raza A friend's wedding recently provided occasion for me to return to Karachi, the city of my birth and much of my fondly remembered childhood, after an absence of several years. Both my parents died a few...
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5:50 AM | Tchotchkes and Latkes
by Akim Reinhardt I still remember the first time I heard it. It was back in the late ‘90s, when I had cable. There was this openly gay guy, bald, a little overweight, a beard I think. He had some...
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5:45 AM | Perceptions
Egon Schiele. Self Portrait with Chinese lantern Fruits. 1912. More here, and here. Current show at Neue Galerie, NYC.
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5:40 AM | boiling fish
by Leanne Ogasawara “.....all the charming and beautiful things, from the Song of Songs, to bouillabaisse, and from the nine Beethoven symphonies to the Martini cocktail, have been given to humanity by men who, when the hour came, turned from...
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5:35 AM | Free-Floating Anxiety, Teens, and Security Theatre
by Bill Benzon Talcott Parsons I am going to continue the psycho-cultural argument I introduced in my previous 3DQ post, American Craziness: Where it Came from and Why It Won’t Work Anymore. The core of my argument somes from an...
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5:30 AM | CATSPEAK
by Brooks Riley
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5:25 AM | America's Big Problem: Our Wages Are Too Damn Low
Nobody gets paid enough in this country. Here’s a statistic that will blow your head right out of your ass: if we were paid by how much we’ve increased our productivity over the last 30 years — in other words, if our wages kept pace with our productivity — the median household in America would, instead of earning just under $50,000 a year, make $92,000 a year.
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5:20 AM | On Guido Ceronetti
by Eric Byrd A few years ago I found a copy of the 1990 English translation of Guido Ceronetti's The Silence of the Body: Materials for the Study of Medicine in a used bookstore's Humor section. Those are usually dead...
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5:15 AM | Jacob’s Struggle
by Josh Yarden Translation has its limitations how do you say... we stumble, severely at times We do not realize when we do not realize understanding stands down misunderstanding stands in The translator pretends to be Superman disguised as a...
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5:10 AM | Strained Analogies Between Recently Released Films and Current Events: Birdman and Hillary Clinton
by Matt McKenna Alejandro González Iñárritu's Birdman is a gorgeous and wry dramedy about a 90s-era movie star attempting to regain relevancy in a media landscape to which he can no longer relate. This description may make the film out...
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5:05 AM | Allen Jones RA: Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, London
Until 25th January, 2015 by Sue Hubbard Some years ago I was commissioned by the Royal Academy magazine to write ‘a feminist appraisal' of Allen Jones' work. As an RA, Jones had the privilege of reading the piece before it...

December 14, 2014

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10:15 PM | Chemlambda task got bigger, explanation
I learned how to reproduce the type inference system of the Calculus of Constructions in a (slight modification of) chemlambda . This comes with the previous caveats concerning untyped lambda beta calculus and chemlambda: (a) for any term (or type) there is a chemlambda molecule, but not for any chemlambda molecule there is a correspondent … Continue reading Chemlambda task got bigger, explanation →
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6:51 PM | Problems in search of solutions
Science communication is hard. Really hard. I just wrote an entry for a science communication competition where I had to summarise a biomedical research paper into 800 words of Plain English providing relevant background and making it sound exciting to boot. Turned out to be pretty darn tricky. But that’s not the sort of hard […]
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