A man's admiration for absolute government is proportionate to the contempt he feels for those around him.--deTocqueville
Of the Brics – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa –four of the five abstained in a UN vote condemning the fifth’s annexation of Crimea.
From The Economist: "Russian agents have turned up in custody and in reporters’ notebooks, organising the protests and, some say, paying for them. Russia has been meddling in eastern Ukraine for weeks, occasionally with results from the pages of Gogol. On April 6th “local people” stormed what they thought was the regional administrative headquarters in Kharkiv only to find that they had taken control of the opera house."
"In Praise of Hatred" by Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa is about the civil war between the Sunni majority and the minority Alawite Muslim government in Syria in the 1980's. It is exactly what the title sounds like, a novel about the internal and spiritual rewards of all consuming hatred.
Diversity is always really good and always has a lot to offer.
tractable: adjective: Easily handled, managed, or controlled. From Latin tractare (to handle), frequentative of trahere (draw). Earliest documented use: 1504. You can not read Faulkner without it.
FAA document listing cargo battery fires March 1991 to February 2014. A review showed this:
1991-2005: 50 non lithium battery incidents, 10 lithium battery incidents
2006 - February 2014: 23 non lithium battery incidents, 58 lithium battery incidents
Who was....John Wallis?
Salman Rushdie on Gabriel García Márquez: "The trouble with the term 'magic realism,' el realismo mágico, is that when people say or hear it they are really hearing or saying only half of it, 'magic,' without paying attention to the other half, 'realism.' But if magic realism were just magic, it wouldn't matter. It would be mere whimsy — writing in which, because anything can happen, nothing has effect. It's because the magic in magic realism has deep roots in the real, because it grows out of the real and illuminates it in beautiful and unexpected ways, that it works."
The oldest known jokebook is the Philogelos, a composite collection of 260 or so gags in Greek probably put together in the fourth century A.D.. Over half of the jokes are at the expense of intellectuals, or "egg heads."
This is interesting. The island nation of Sri Lanka has ordered the deportation of a British tourist for arriving in the country sporting a Buddha tattooed on her arm. Authorities say the ink shows disrespect for religious feelings in the majority-Buddhist nation. This is not the first time this has happened to a Brit and several years age three French tourists were imprisoned for three months for kissing a Buddha statue.
Imagine if Christianity took itself as seriously as Buddhism or Islam.
After at least 200,000 years during which all humans lived as foragers, agricultural life appeared within just a few thousand years in parts of the world that had no significant contact with each other. It has been hard to explain because it seems to have been spontaneous and multi-focal; foraging works, is low tech and is adaptable while farming does not always work and is tied to the land.
Nails from crucifixion victims were popularly worn as charms, around the neck, by both Jews and gentiles to ward off illness, so the later Christian use of crucificial relics was actually part of a long tradition.
In an interview recently, Sen. Lindsey Graham spoke about his success in blunting the conservative movement's efforts to replace him: “Ideological people don’t give you a whole lot of money,” Graham said. So practical people without ideals do? There is another quality in the interview: His unsuccessful opponents do not like politics. They are disgusted by its process and feel demeaned by it. Those qualities select out a special and unlikeable group.
The nation's largest banks have paid legal charges and set aside suit related cash worth more than $100 billion. Most of these fines are related to the sub-prime disaster, the result of policy mandated by the government itself, and most of the fines seem to be related to the predictably bad loan nature of the enterprise. There was a lot of abuse in that feeding frenzy but very few indictments.
Democrats who dominate the legislature are moving to exempt Elon Musk's SpaceX and other space-travel companies from California's personal property tax.
David Einhorn, the astute manager from Greenlight, says we are officially in a bubble. In a letter to his investors he wrote: "Now there is a clear consensus that we are witnessing our second tech bubble in 15 years. What is uncertain is how much further the bubble can expand, and what might pop it. In our view the current bubble is an echo of the previous tech bubble, but with fewer large capitalization stocks and much less public enthusiasm."
Bill Clinton had a higher approval rating on leaving office — 37 points net positive — than Reagan (+34%), Eisenhower (+31%), Ford (+21%), Bush 41 (+19%), LBJ (+12%), Carter (-21%), Truman (-24%), Bush 43 (-27%), or Nixon (-42%).
The most cited line in poetry according to a Google analysis is Alexander Pope's ‘To err is human; to forgive, divine’ with nearly 15 million results. No Shakespeare line is in the top ten.
AAAAAaaaaaaannnnnnddddd......a picture of smog in China: