Category Archives: Science

Afternoon Links

The return of letterpress printing

A history of moonshine

The real Prufrock behind T.S. Eliot’s famous poem

Toscanini, a self-made and principled musician

You’ve probably never heard of him, but you know his work

7 things you need to know about the Charlottesville violence and white supremacist terror attack

The promises and pitfalls of the gene editing technique known as CRISPR 

The strange art of the strange Wyndham Lewis

“President Trump built his reputation with tough talk and harsh condemnations of people who earn his disapproval. That he refused to offer those things on Saturday is no accident. It’s no surprise, either.”

Yep: “Charlottesville is why I’m glad I don’t support Trump”

Why the Curiosity Rover stopped singing ‘Happy Birthday’ to itself

In defense of cigarettes

“You can have the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, or you can have your ridiculous race cult.

“As things stand today, we face a darkening political future, potentially greater loss of life, and a degree of polarization that makes 2016 look like a time of national unity. Presidents aren’t all-powerful, but they can either help or hurt.”

Can Taylor Swift lead America out of the campus Title IX wars?

Yes, thank you: “Instead of dumbing down Shakespeare, smarten up the kids”

This is hilarious.

You were warned, dum-dums.

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Filed under Art, Music, Poetry, Politics, Science, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

OMG. Hamlet!

It’s time to deal with the police threat to the Second Amendment

“Trump is Woody Allen without the humor”

The utter contempt I have for these petty fascists cannot be overstated.

“In the era of Trump, we’re lost in the monkey house

From guitar manufacturer to “musical lifestyle company”?

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150

The ‘no guardrails’ presidency

Vintage Casablanca poster sells for $478,000 

The death of reading is threatening the soul

This is so good:

These guys don’t want to see Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. What they want is to be Blake. They want to swagger, to curse, to insult, and to exercise power over men, exercising power over men being the classical means to the end of exercising power over women, which is of course what this, and nine-tenths of everything else in human affairs, is about. Blake is a specimen of that famous creature, the “alpha male,” and establishing and advertising one’s alpha creds is an obsession for some sexually unhappy contemporary men.

If that sounds preposterous, remind yourself who the president of the United States of America is. Trump is the political version of a pickup artist, and Republicans — and America — went to bed with him convinced that he was something other than what he is. Trump inherited his fortune but describes himself as though he were a self-made man.

He has had a middling career in real estate and a poor one as a hotelier and casino operator but convinced people he is a titan of industry. He has never managed a large, complex corporate enterprise, but he did play an executive on a reality show. He presents himself as a confident ladies’ man but is so insecure that he invented an imaginary friend to lie to the New York press about his love life and is now married to a woman who is open and blasé about the fact that she married him for his money. He fixates on certain words (“negotiator”) and certain classes of words (mainly adjectives and adverbs, “bigly,” “major,” “world-class,” “top,” and superlatives), but he isn’t much of a negotiator, manager, or leader. He cannot negotiate a health-care deal among members of a party desperate for one, can’t manage his own factionalized and leak-ridden White House, and cannot lead a political movement that aspires to anything greater than the service of his own pathetic vanity.

He wants to be John Wayne, but what he is is “Woody Allen without the humor.” Peggy Noonan, to whom we owe that observation, has his number: He is soft, weak, whimpering, and petulant. He isn’t smart enough to do the job and isn’t man enough to own up to the fact. For all his gold-plated toilets, he is at heart that middling junior salesman watching Glengarry Glen Ross and thinking to himself: “That’s the man I want to be.”…Hence the cartoon tough-guy act. Scaramucci’s star didn’t fade when he gave that batty and profane interview in which he reimagined Steve Bannon as a kind of autoerotic yogi. That’s Scaramucci’s best impersonation of the sort of man the president of these United States, God help us, aspires to be. But he isn’t that guy. He isn’t Blake. He’s poor sad old Shelley Levene, who cannot close the deal, who spends his nights whining about the unfairness of it all.

Hunting a 500-year-old shark

New research on the effects of power shows that it really does corrupt…your brain

A history of the rock star 

 

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Filed under Guns, Politics, Science, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

Don’t resign, Jeff Sessions. Make him fire you.

If only a loud group of people had warned that this administration would turn into a horrendous clusterfuck.

“It is a multitiered tower of political idiocy, a sublime monument to the moronic, a gaudy, gleaming, Ozymandian folly that leaves many of the president’s prior efforts in its shade. Let us walk through the levels of stupidity one by one…”

“Mr. President, please be quiet.”

It won’t change, because he can’t change. Character is destiny, now and forever.”

Why it’s hard to take Democrats seriously on Russia

Sharks’ social lives are way more interesting than yours

Sperm counts among Western men have halved in last 40 years

What a fucking disgrace. So glad I left this party.

The Shakespeare that almost didn’t happen

The National Museum of China was the world’s most visited museum last year

The savage beauty of central Italy

What happened to video games based on movies?

Zen and the art of the world’s deadliest motorcycle race

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Filed under Around the World, Politics, Science, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

On health care, bipartisan dishonesty is the problem

Exhumation of Salvador Dali’s remains finds his mustache still intact

Goethe: Life as a Work of Art

The limits of a history of the cross in Christian art

Mary Beard on voting in the ancient world

The dumbest thing you’ll read this week

Civil asset forfeiture is un-American and incompatible with a free society

How capitalism saved the bees

Insanity

No, it’s time to actually teach people something in high school, where algebra is supposed to be taught.

Every word of this

“One of the great enduring stupidities of modern economic life is the belief that buying American is somehow beneficial to the United States as a whole.”

What was Wagner like?

“Trump was especially disturbed after learning Mueller would be able to access several years of his tax returns.”

Disband this Party. Unfit to govern.

A new theory of how the moon formed

Hillary’s White House would be no different than Trump’s

Julius Caesar in Gaul

A history of heart surgery

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Filed under History, Literature, Politics, Science, Uncategorized, Unusually Stupid Primates

Your Morning Cup of Links

The president of the United States really just isn’t a very good person. There is no definition of good character that he can meet. You certainly can’t say he’s a man of good character when it comes to sexual behavior. His adulterous past is well-documented. You can’t say he models decency in the way he talks. He’s not honest (you can look it up). He brags about whining his way to winning. He boasts of double-crossing business partners. If you want to say he’s charitable, you should read up on how he used his “charities” as leverage or for publicity stunts. I think we can all agree he’s not humble or self-sacrificing. When asked what sacrifices he’s made, in the context of his spat with the Khan family, he couldn’t name anything save for the fact that he worked very hard to get rich and that he employs people (presumably because it profits him to do so). I don’t know how anyone could absolve him of the charge of vanity or greed. He’s certainly not pious by any conventional definition. Some argue that he’s loyal, and there’s some evidence of that. But the loyalty he shows is instrumental and self-serving.”

First gene therapy – ‘a true living drug’ – on the cusp of FDA approval

Hollywood has a bad movie problem

A pointless argument. They’re both great for different reasons.

“We have our political, economic, and religious disagreements with our friends and allies, but everywhere in the world where people fight against tyranny, we hear an echo of 1776. Everywhere in the world where people risk everything they have to tell the king, führer, caudillo, secretary general of the central committee, dear leader, ayatollah, or president for life to kiss their asses, we see something of ourselves. When things get bad enough, we join in, and have spent untold blood and treasure in the pursuit of other people’s liberty…It is in our nature…It emphatically is not the case, flatulent rhetoric notwithstanding, that the desire for freedom has been planted in every human heart. But where it has been planted, Americans know a kinship beyond blood. When Ronald Reagan demanded of Mikhail Gorbachev ‘Tear down this wall!’ no one asked, ‘What’s in it for us?’ We already knew. We still know.”

Why are whales so big? Scientists may finally have an answer.

Philip Roth on his love of American names

Trump caves to Putin

Queen Victoria’s food

What do dental records tell us about the advantages and disadvantages of living in cities?

Why rare books are thriving in the digital age

The beauty and power of Cape Cod

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Filed under Foreign Policy, History, Science, TV/Movies, Uncategorized

Weekend Links

“South Wind,” a strange literary best-seller, a hundred years later

Sad that this needs to be explained

“Trump should get off his phone and start lying to my face”

“Sean Hannity, the self-abasing monkey-butler of the Trump regime”

We wouldn’t want to depict pirates in a bad way! So stupid.

The Vatican’s statement on the Charlie Gard case is a disgrace

Picasso’s bulls

The romance of the eclipse

Life as a Lego master builder

A.E. Housman: The Laureate of Loneliness

Germany’s techno DJs, a thoughtful lot

Who names diseases and can they be improved?

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Filed under Around the World, Literature, Science, Uncategorized

Your Morning Cup of Links

The Lunar Sea: The moon influences life in a surprising and subtle way…with its light.

The Trump family shouldn’t fight Shakespeare. They’ll lose.

Inside the 1950s LSD therapy that changed Cary Grant’s life

Detroit’s DIY cure for urban blight

Do androids dream of electric guitars? Exploring the future of musical A.I.

A history of the Giro d’Italia and what makes it so different from the Tour de France

Lol. Oh the irony.

Yep. Sad!

How the Democrats lost their way on immigration

Is Shakespeare over-lauded, over-performed, and over-taught? 

A history of moonshine

Lol

So, you want a Swiss health care system?

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Filed under Around the World, History, Politics, Science, Uncategorized