Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Whales and Books: Not Dead At All, Not Even Dying

Existence is never neutral. No moment is insignificant or lacking in tonality. Each one can shine with a singular light, vibrate intensely, and suddenly can seem to unveil the ultimate depth of things. Leaden grey is, after all, a colour of the sky just as much as turquoise – and yet, how many monotonous, atonal moments, their singularity flown, are reduced to nothing! How many moments become colourless, their music silent! Has the call of Being deserted us then? From what sphere does this uncanny indifference descend upon us with all its weight? Where does this uncanniness itself come from?
Michel Haar (tr. Brick) via ABC Tales ...

HOW’S THAT SPACE PROGRAM COMING ALONG? Large Asteroid Will Make Close Approach To Earth Today.

The New Yorker – “…Whale falls, as marine biologists call such events, create pop-up habitats that may serve as stepping stones for organisms migrating from methane seeps or hydrothermal vents to other parts of the ocean. Precisely how this works, and which species colonize the carcass as it degrades, were open questions…

From supermoons to blood moons to super snow moons — what's all the hype about?Social media awash with supermoon pics from around the world - 

Buying young people's blood to prevent ageing has no benefit: FDA says

“A fine bookstore makes a home for the great forgotten virtue: attention. It is not subjected to the whim of stockholders and committees, eager to dump stock in favor of digital innovations. It is curated, but not minimalist. There is texture, there is age, there is the joy that comes of having known something for more than a season.”

Well, Dr. Johnson had a way of being right. But he had a way of being wrong too—otherwise we shouldn't love him so much.”
'Otherwise We Shouldn't Love Him So Much'

In a 1999 address, Pope John Paul II said hell “is not a punishment imposed externally by God but a development of premises already set by people in this life.” Hell is the “state of those who definitively reject the Father’s mercy
… Review: To hell and back | America Magazine

Stop For A Moment To Appreciate How Much We Depend On Standards

The basic irony of standards is the simple fact that there is no standard way to create a standard, nor is there even a standard definition of “standard.” There are, however, longstanding ways that industries and nations coordinate standardization efforts. In the United States, the system of voluntary consensus standards is coordinated by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. – The New York Times

Booker Prizewinner Marlon James On Following Up His Literary Novel With An Epic African Fantasy Trilogy

James, who is originally Jamaican and who lives in Minnesota, says of his African fantasy epic, “I was reading a lot of the original myths and legends. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to write a fantasy novel. I wanted the ability to pick and choose and do what Tolkien did with Scandinavian and British culture. I wanted this pool of ideas and legends and building something out of it.” –The Observer (UK)

Instagram is a disease: Photographer Raghu Rai The Telegraph

Worker allegedly threatened with sack after asking to attend funeral

A worker was allegedly threatened with the sack after asking for compassionate leave to attend his father-in-law's funeral.

Even those of us dependent on the vagaries of translation understand. For many of his readers, Chekhov is companionable in a way Tolstoy, though inarguably a master, could never be. In his Lectures on Russian Literature (1980), Nabokov writes:

“. . . Chekhov managed to convey an impression of artistic beauty far surpassing that of many writers who thought they knew what rich beautiful prose was. He did it by keeping all his words in the same dim light and of the same exact tint of gray, as tint between the color of an old fence and that of a low cloud.”

Books: Not Dead At All, Not Even Dying

Bonds Faced Their Waterloo and Came Out Winners Bloomberg

How to Stop Being Afraid of the Unknown

GNC: “Crime is common,” Sherlock Holmes said in the 1892 novel, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. “Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell.” Holmes famously used his intellect to make deductions about crimes and solve them. For him, logic was the linchpin, helping him associate disparate pieces of evidence. For law enforcement agencies today, it’s not only logic, but connections and relationships that are key in successfully using data as the foundation of information, knowledge and wisdom for decision-making. So how can today’s law enforcement agencies leverage technology to mitigate crime and do their jobs better in the connected age? Here are three ways…

Data leak reveals China is tracking almost 2.6m people in Xinjiang FT. “SenseNets’ database was freely accessible on an online server without a login password for half a year.” (also at Money Generator)


Money sure does make the world go round, and last week an announcement by the European Union had a few heads spinning. The group released its ‘dirty money’ list that named and shamed 23 countries.

Four United States territories, Panama and Saudi Arabia were among the jurisdictions it said are not addressing a high risk of money laundering or terrorist financing. All three nations had a bit to say about the list, which is actually a lasting effect of our 2016 Panama Papers investigation.


“Adverse events associated with these devices are not rare.” That’s what one gynecologist told an expert panel last week. The group is considering whether or not three vaginal mesh devices should be allowed to remain on the U.S. market.