Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Amy Winehouse: How to Plan for a Good Death

A good society contains many different artists doing many different things. A bad society coerces artists because it knows that they can reveal all kinds of truths.”

Iris Murdoch on Storytelling, Why Art Is Essential for Democracy,  * Good Writing

Legendary journalist Seymour Hersh on the truth behind novichok, the Russian hacking and 9/11 Independent. The story is said to have been published early by accident, but just in case, this is the Google cache version…

7 For All Mankind 'Josefina' angled hem jeansSold out! Shop similar styles below...

Steal Selena's Josefina style in step-hem jeans by 7 For All Mankind

Seven hours in Paris: police go sightseeing with alleged international drug trafficker

Federal police took the alleged criminal on a tour of Paris - stopping for happy snaps and a $300 breakfast - on their way back to Australia, court documents allege.

3000 or so years after King David's United Monarchy, Israel again becomes a Jewish nation-state

You are never too old for a tattoo

"To my executors L and *... , We leave MEdia Dragon and $5Billion."

14 Noteworthy Music Rooms

David Koch under fire for #socialsuicide post

Website Kochie's Business Builders has deleted a post comparing social media mishaps to suicide.

       Vladimir Voinovich (1932-2018) 

       Russian author Vladimir Voinovich has passed away; see, for example, the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report,Russian Author, Former Soviet Dissident Voinovich Dies At 85. 

       Only one of his novels is under review - Monumental Propaganda -- but I enjoyed the Ivan Chonkin books, and Moscow 2042 is also worthwhile. 

What English has wrought. It's everywhere. Meantime, a language goes extinct every two weeks; up to 90 percent of the world’s 6,000 languages are at risk of disappearing Death is Bad 

15 JUL 2018
Has stricter vetting really reduced Australia’s migrant intake?

Macron, the bodyguard and the May Day scandal FT

How drug firm at centre of China’s latest vaccine scandal cut corners and forged data SCMP

A Surveillance State Unlike Any the World Has Ever Seen Der Spiegel

Lonely deaths account for around 30 percent of the total clean-out market, according to Hideto Kone, vice president of the Association of Cleanout Professionals.”  Link here.

Photographer of death: “It is not known whether Hooper ever aided his subjects.”  Warning: those images are tough viewing

What is love?” Kafka asked in contemplating love and the power of patience“After all, it is quite simple,” he answered his own question. “Love is everything which enhances, widens, and enriches our life. In its heights and in its depths. Love has as few problems as a motor-car. The only problems are the driver, the passengers, and the road.”

Communism sent millions to their deaths – so why is it cool to wear it on your T shirt?
The shortest economic suicide note in history

The Dead Can Vote–At Least on the Ninth Circuit

24 JUL 2018
The rising death toll in the Mediterranean reflects a deeper problem with European policy towards irregular migrants.

NEWS YOU CAN USE: Tight blood pressure control can cut memory loss, study finds: It’s the first intervention that has been clearly demonstrated to lower the risk of developing memory loss that leads to dementia, researchers say. 

Researchers find link between viruses, inflammatory bowel diseases. “Viruses may be killing off beneficial bacteria in the intestine and allowing ‘bad actor’ bacteria to cause inflammation and bowel disease, the researchers said.”

Yugoslavian concrete brutalism show at MOMA (NYT)

Why people like exaggerated stories

AMERICA: Identical twins run for US office — for rival parties.
This would make a great premise for a sitcom, and the Tyson twins seem almost custom-made for TV…
Forbes “deletes” opinion piece by economist advocating replacing public libraries with Amazon - Quartz: “On Saturday morning Forbes published an opinion piece by LIU Post economist Panos Mourdoukoutas with the headline “Amazon Should Replace Local Libraries to Save Taxpayers Money.” It quickly received enthusiastic backlash from actual American libraries and their communities. As of around 10am US eastern time this morning, the story had nearly 200,000 views, according to a counter on the page. As of 11am, though, the story’s URL has been down. “Forbes advocates spirited dialogue on a range of topics, including those that often take a contrarian view,” a Forbes spokesperson says in a statement. “Libraries play an important role in our society. This article was outside of this contributor’s specific area of expertise, and has since been removed.” In his article, Mourdoukoutas argued that local libraries are no longer useful. If libraries closed, he wrote, taxpayers would save money, and Amazon could open bookstores to provide those communities with physical books.“[Libraries] don’t have the same value they used to,” the article argued. The functions of the library, Mourdoukoutas said, have been replaced: community and wifi are now provided by Starbucks; video rentals by Netflix and Amazon Prime; and books by Amazon…”

Inside my nightmare working in de Blasio’s government.
When Bill de Blasio became mayor of New York in 2014, things changed drastically. I started to hear rumblings early on. My former colleagues who were dedicated public servants were concerned by a large-scale rollback of Bloomberg’s strategic initiatives. These seemed to be based on partisan politics and black-and-white thinking as opposed to critical analysis. It was very disappointing for me since I had also voted for de Blasio.
Although I was still working in the same social-services agency where I had remained at the end of Bloomberg’s term, my job changed radically. I had no contact with the new commissioner who appeared to be disengaged from substantive discussions about social-services programs for an extremely vulnerable population. In fact, she was much more preoccupied with renovating her office — I heard her new desk alone cost thousands of dollars. She even requested that a private bathroom be built for her. She had the attitude of an oligarch and was disturbed that she had to vet invitations to galas through legal and City Hall. She wanted carte blanche to attend expensive events.
She also refused to meet with the lawyers in her department and she kept the door to her office closed and didn’t know the names of the people who worked in her agency.