Monday, October 31, 2011

Abraham Lincoln

I have found that most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
---
As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master.

日本電気硝子

左が従来のガラス。

右が見えないガラス。

World Overpopulation Awareness

Population (in billions)12345678
Year18041927195919741987199920112023
Elapsed-123321513121212

Sunday, October 30, 2011

CIA

Budget expenditures 2011 Country Ranks, By Rank
1United States$3,397,000,000,0002009 est.
2Japan$2,252,000,000,0002009 est.
3Germany$1,516,000,000,0002009 est.
4France$1,441,000,000,0002009 est.
5China$1,270,000,000,0002009 est.
6United Kingdom$1,154,000,000,0002009 est.
7Italy$1,042,000,000,0002009 est.
8Canada$677,700,000,0002009 est.
9Spain$648,600,000,0002009 est.
10Brazil$552,600,000,000NA
11Australia$426,500,000,0002009 est.
12Netherlands$399,300,000,0002009 est.
13Russia$341,100,000,0002009 est.

Wikipedia

Global assets under management
Private wealth$32,800,000,000,000
1Pension funds$29,937,000,000,000
2Mutual funds$24,699,000,000,000
3Insurance companies$24,634,000,000,000
4Real estate$10,000,000,000,000
5Foreign exchange reserves$7,341,000,000,000
6Sovereign wealth funds$3,980,000,000,000
7Hedge funds$1,800,000,000,000
8Private equity funds$1,600,000,000,000
9REITs$764,000,000,000

Towers Watson

The World's 500 Largest Asset Managers
1BlackRock$3,346,256,000,000New York, NY
2State Street Global$1,911,240,000,000Boston, MA
3Allianz Group$1,859,351,000,000Munich, Germany
4Fidelity Investments$1,699,106,000,000Boston, MA

Alexandra Hall

If Boston is, in fact, the Athens of America, the Boston Brahmins hover over our city like the gods of Greek mythology. Not only were they the ones responsible for molding Boston into a version of Athens in the first place, but their reputations are parallel: deities in history, enigmas in the modern day.
Rumors about the Brahmins' influence in old and modern Boston are as plentiful as they are contradictory. Without a doubt, the Brahmins were (and, some believe, still are) the shadowy cabal that pulled the city's strings from on high. Others say their wealth and power have dried up, that all they have left are their names and what's left in their trust funds. Admirers retort that the Brahmins are this city's caregivers, lovers of culture and education; detractors claim that they are elitist and provincial Boston royalty. What's undisputed is that, despite their generations of wealth, the Brahmins were notoriously averse to the crass shows of wealth on display in places like Palm Beach or Newport. They are distinctly Boston creations, who actively shun glamour and attention in spite of their fortunes. ...
The remaining Brahmins, comparatively relaxed by historical standards, closely guard their privacy, rarely ask that the hospital wings they pay for be named for them, and (believe us) do not rush to consent to interviews. As one Brahmin (who, of course, asked not to be named) put it: "My dear, a Brahmin should only be in the newspaper when he is born, when he marries, and when he dies."

Keith Porter

Meaningful numbers on the U.N. budget are hard to come by because spending and funding is spread over a variety of agencies and member states. Less than $2 billion is spent each year for U.N. operations at its headquarters and regional offices. Around $4.5 billion is spent each year on peacekeeping operations.

U.N. supporters like to point out that the U.N. annual operating budget is smaller than that of the Tokyo fire department or a single major American university.

Brandon Griggs

According to the latest statement from the U.S. Treasury, the government had an operating cash balance Wednesday of $73.8 billion. That's still a lot of money, but it's less than what Steve Jobs has lying around.

Tech juggernaut Apple had a whopping $76.2 billion in cash and marketable securities at the end of June, according to its last earnings report. Unlike the U.S. government, which is scrambling to avoid defaulting on its debt, Apple takes in more money than it spends.

ThoiryK

dwrawlinson

TOTO

水は形態を留めることなく常に動いている。
純粋にそのふるまいの面白さや、
美しい現象を取り出して、
感覚的に水を感じられる空間を目指した。

光を受けた、やわらかい反射材を踏み込むと、
反射光がまるで水面のように揺らめき出す。
ダイナミックに表情が変わるインタラクティブな空間となっている。

ゆらゆらと水面に反射した光に包まれるような、
あるいは水中から水面を見上げたときのような光景は、
楽しさの中で、ふと、水を考えるきっかけとなる。

Google Maps

日吉健吾

「ザリッシャ村、ザピッリャ村……」

チェルノブイリ市の中心にある広場には、原発事故で消えた村の名前が書かれた立て札が並ぶ。事故から25年となった2011年に作られた。

Мир24.tv

Гомельская область, 26 апреля. После чернобыльской аварии радиацией были заражены не только земли Украины, пострадали несколько районов России и почти треть всей территории Беларуси. Многие населенные пункты навсегда исчезли с карты республики.
Роза ветров это была или злой рок, но спустя несколько месяцев после взрыва на Чернобыльской АЭС баба Дуня похоронила сына. Потом один за другим умерли ещё четверо её детей.
Баба Дуня просит прощения за некрашеный пол и за то, что угостить нечем. Гости-то нежданные. А для себя она давно уже не готовит. Целыми днями одна сидит на лавочке, проклинает Чернобыль.
Сегодня на загрязнённой территории живёт больше миллиона белорусов, то есть каждый девятый. Свои болезни большинство из них связывают с катастрофой 1986.
В Японии, чтобы остановить радиацию, реакторы накрыли специальной тканью и залили смолой. 25 лет назад таких технологий не было. Люди защищали себя, как могли. Детей не выпускали на улицу, а в эту деревню приезжали военные и заливали крыши домов специальным раствором.
Деревня Залесье относится к зоне периодического радиационного контроля. Собирать грибы и ягоды здесь можно только в определённых местах. А вот земли в Залесье давно уже возделывают. Люди научились выживать в новых условиях.
Каждый год на ликвидацию последствий выделяются миллиарды белорусских рублей. Это львиная доля бюджета. Совместными усилиями белорусы вернули к жизни тысячи гектаров земли. Но 270 населенных пунктов по-прежнему остаются заражёнными. Соседняя с Залесьем и некогда процветающая деревня так после Чернобыля и не ожила. Вот уже четверть века её, как и ещё 429 деревень, нет на карте Беларуси.

The Travel Insider

Deregulation didn't just happen by some random chance event.

Deregulation was the result of an increasingly - and obviously - broken system that was dysfunctional, and benefiting neither the airlines nor the traveling public.

What started off as a well meant series of protective measures to nurture the new airlines of the 1930s, and what was meant to bring about a strong and successful airline system had evolved to the point that it was doing nothing of the sort, but was grossly interfering with both what the airlines and the public wanted.

As a result a bipartisan consensus, lead by Democrats, brought about the dismantling of the government regulations that were preventing an efficient effective and economical air transportation system in the US.

William J. Baumol, Alan S. Blinder

Economics is a broad-ranging discipline, both in the questions it asks and the methods it uses to seek answers. Many of the world's most pressing problems are economic in nature.
---
To residents of a prosperous society like ours, economic growth—the notion that standards of living rise from one year to the next—seems like part of the natural order of things. But it is not. Historians tell us that living standards barely changed from the Roman Empire to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution—a period of some 16 centuries! Closer in time, per-capita incomes have tragically declined, on net, in most of the former Soviet Union and some of the poorest countries of Africa in some recent decades. Economic growth is not automatic.

Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR)

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is an Asia-Pacific regional trade agreement currently being negotiated among the United States and eight other partners. The United States’ TPP negotiating partners are Australia, Brunei, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Robert M. Solow

Why does public discussion of economic policy so often show the abysmal ignorance of the participants? Why do I so often want to cry at what public figures, the press, and television commentators say about economic affairs?

New York Dream Center

The Dream Center is a non-profit outreach dedicated to helping inner-cities. Our ministry provides hope by meeting both the tangible and spiritual needs of those in our community.
We are committed to Living Life and Living Love.
Living Life: Jesus says in John 10:10 that His intent for us is to experience life in its fullest state. Jesus gave us the ministry of reconciliation and it is our priviledge to escort individuals into an ongoing relationship with God. In John1:4 it states, "In Him was life, and the life was the light of men". When the life of Christ is present in our lives, it shines brightly for the world to see.
Living Love: Our mission is not to convert people but to love and accept them. We are committed to soul-winning; however, we believe that this takes place organically when we share, love, and engage in the lives of people around us. This doesn't mean that we are spineless people who never stand up for the truth. We are just more focused on connecting people to God and His word, not just winning an argument.

池田信夫

これもクルーグマンの教科書から引用しよう。
  • アメリカでは1000万本のバラを栽培しているが、これに使う資源で10万台のコンピュータを生産できるとしよう。他方、南米では同じ資源で3万台のコンピュータしか生産できないとすると、アメリカでバラの生産をやめて全量を南米から輸入したら、南米のバラの生産は1000万本増えてコンピュータの生産は3万台減るが、アメリカではバラの生産がゼロになってコンピュータの生産が10万台増える。つまり世界全体では、バラの生産量は変わらないが、コンピュータの生産量は7万台増える。
各国で生産費が異なるときは、相対的にコストの安い財に特化して輸出することによって世界全体の生産量が増え、双方の国が利益を得るWin-Winが実現するのだ。これがリカード以来知られている比較優位の原理である。日本のような製造業に比較優位をもつ国が農産物に高率の関税をかけて農業を保護するのは、製造業を犠牲にして世界経済を収縮させているのだ。
このとき貿易黒字になるか赤字になるかはどうでもよい。黒字は対外債権、赤字は対外債務だが、企業が債務をもっていても返済できれば問題ないのと同じである。輸出するのは輸入の代金を払うためであり、輸出代金をためこんでもしょうがない。そのように外貨を稼ぐこと自体に意味があると錯覚するのが、アダム・スミスも批判した重商主義である。

Paul Krugman

The more I look at the amazing rise of the U.S. stock market, the more I become convinced that we are looking at a mammoth psychological problem. I don't mean mammoth as in "huge" (though maybe that too), but as in "elephant".
---
If each country exports the goods in which it has comparative advantage, then all countries can in principle gain from trade. Once every country specializes in production of goods that has a comparative advantage in, and then trades its excess supply, world production increases. The extra production is the result of better allocation of resources. This extra production can be divided between the trading countries allowing them to achieve higher consumption levels.

しんぶん赤旗

農林漁業の危機打開は緊急の国民的課題ですが、それには原因を明らかにした適切な対策が不可欠です。原因は多面的です。長年の輸出産業を中心にした大企業優遇策のもとで歴代政府がアメリカの農産物輸入拡大の要求を受け入れ、国内ではアメリカの農産物とできるだけ競合しないよう政策誘導し、そのあげく、生産を奨励してきた畜産や果実まで自由化するなど、国内農業を軽視してきたことに最大の原因があります。

Julie Guthman

The agrarian vision is, of course, deeply rooted in U.S. political and cultural history and has emerged repeatedly as a trope of anticorporate sentiment. It originated with Thomas Jefferson, who opposed the centralized power sought by the Federalists. He preferred a weak federal government and argued that only agriculture and landownership could ensure independence and virtue, thereby providing the basis for a republican democracy (White 1991, 63). The vision of a nation of small, like-sized, and, ultimately, white farmers undergirded the clearance of Indians, as well as the major land giveaways of the nineteenth century, including the Homestead Act of 1862. After the so-called closing of the frontier, agrarianism was revitalized during the populist moment of the 1890s, when western farmers fought the monopoly power of the railroads and middlemen. Agrarianism saw another resurgence after the dust bowl tragedy of the 1930s, when the dust storms were attributed to agricultural consolidation and mechanization, which had pushed poor tenant farmers west to become "sodbusters" (Worster 1979). The link between ecology and farm structure first articulated by the permanent agriculture movement evolved into a call for reinvigoration of the family unit of production.

Dejan Ivkov

We found a ghost-like city with clear traces of fighting. When we reached the hospital, we found only a few health-care staff and no patients, but a medical team sent by the authorities arrived shortly afterwards and a few patients were brought in for treatment.

Mariko Kushima

Local volunteers, health and religious authorities have been eager to uncover as quickly as possible the mass graves they knew about. Until a few weeks ago we were responding to a crisis situation, so we urgently provided support and training for Libyan Red Crescent volunteers to make sure that dead bodies could be properly identified.
(With the arrival of a forensic expert and a delegate experienced in dealing with missing persons issues, the ICRC is taking on an advisory role and recommending a more coherent approach at national level.)
The role of the ICRC is to help the Commission for the Missing and other competent authorities create a pool of forensic experts and set up further training and guidance for all those involved. Our aim is to help bring answers to grief-stricken families and uphold their right to know the fate of their missing relatives. The ICRC is not involved in the collection of evidence that could be used in any judicial proceedings.

Colin Duncan

Unfortunately, the only serious critics of industrial farming per se are those who comprise what can be loosely called "the organic-farming movement."

Wendell Berry

A mind overloaded with work, which in agriculture means too much acreage, covers the place like a stretched membrane—too short in some places, broken by strain in others, too thin everywhere. The overloaded mind tries to solve its problems by oversimplifying itself and its place—that is, by industrialization. It ceases to work at the necessary likeness between the processes of farming and the processes of nature and beings to order the farm on the assumption that it should and can be like a factory. It gives up diversity for monoculture. It gives up the complex strategies of independence for a simple dependence on industrial suppliers.

Claire Cummings

Care about social justice issues? Labor and employment practices by agribusiness, health problems related to pesticides by farm labor, and the security of the small family farmer are related issues. If corporate farms continue their takeover of our food supply, then these businesses and their giant trading corporate partners can set the price of basic food commodities, dictate the wages and working conditions of farmworkers, and put family farms out of business through the consolidation of landholdings and economies of scale. Polluting farming practices and poor labor conditions are cheaper and are more likely to occur if corporations are allowed to continue taking over our food production. Preserving the family and small-scale farm that can employ alternative methods and that can produce food for local consumption ensures food safety and is more environmentally sound than industrialized farming methods, and the organic industry is made up of primarily small-sized producers. We have not fully addressed the issues of sustainability within the growing organic industry, but that question may become moot if these laws are passed. Lower standards will allow for a greater takeover of organic farming by agribusiness and put the small producer out of work and off the land.

安藤健二

「今、話題になっているTPPと同じですよ。期限を区切って、回答を要求する。アメリカ人の大好きな手口です」。10月中旬、都内の喫茶店で、男性が声を潜めながらも憤りを露わにしていた。彼は都内の中堅出版社「S出版」(仮名)に勤める書籍編集者。編集業務のみならず著作権管理にも精通したベテランだ。
 ネット通販大手の米国のアマゾン・ドット・コム社(以下、アマゾン)からS出版に送られてきた封筒。そこに入っていた契約書案を見て、男性は愕然としたという。彼の話によると、アマゾンは年内にも日本で電子書籍事業に参入する予定。国内の出版社130社に対して共通の書面で契約を迫っているそうだ。しかし、その契約書は「アマゾンは出版社の同意なく全書籍を電子化できる」「売上の55%はアマゾンに渡る」「価格は書籍版より必ず低くせよ」など、出版社側に不利な内容だった。アマゾンは「10月31日までに返答せよ」と要求している。
 「こんなの論外ですよ。もはやロイヤリティ以前の問題です。一読してもらえば、どんなにひどい内容か分かりますよ」と、男性は吐き捨てるように言った。アマゾンは一体何を狙っているのか。男性の話から、「黒船」来襲で動揺する出版業界の内幕が見えてきた。

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Michael Ginsborg

As a coalition, we could investigate evidence of unfair and anti-competitive practices of the largest publishers. We could work together to achieve legal reforms, by raising public awareness, seeking FTC intervention, or even – as warranted by evidence – pursuing class action lawsuits.
We have a proud tradition of defending our values. We have never limited ourselves, as AALL now does, to supporting increased public availability of only government publication. We have equally valued increased public access to all forms of copyrighted publication. But we can not advance this more inclusive ideal, without a collective commitment to consumer advocacy.

Brenda Mead

The main advantage is that books are available immediately – if you want to read something and it is available as an eBook from the library, you can start reading the book in minutes. Also, there are no overdue fees – books will just become unreadable after the three week loan period. From a library point of view, there will no longer be a problem with books being damaged or lost. We may also have the opportunity to reach new readers – those who are not able to visit the library, whether because of opening hours, mobility issues or for any other reason, will now be able to borrow books from the comfort of their living room.
---
It is too early to evaluate how successful the service will be – both in terms of financial viability, and in terms of assessing whether we are reaching readers who might not otherwise be reached. The main problem at the moment is the lack of availability of titles, with many of the big publishers not allowing libraries to loan their titles and their technical platform; the better our offer of titles, the more users we are likely to attract. But our suppliers are working on issues such as the ease of downloading and the availability of titles, and we are confident that the offer will improve in the future.

Nicholas Lewis

Whilst few institutions have moved to a completely electronic-only model, there is clearly considerable movement in this direction. Sometimes this is underpinned by a strategy or policy, but more often it seems to happening as a reaction to other pressures: ‘we are being forced along this route by shrinking bookfunds and lack of space,’ one librarian explained. There is perhaps a danger here of conflating two issues, problems of space and whether to move to electronic-only. It may be sensible to consider each of these issues separately. Otherwise, the short term benefits of saving space by moving to electronic-only may be outweighed by another set of problems in the longer term.
Most institutions seem to be adopting an incremental approach owing to constraints that vary in importance depending on local circumstances. Some of these constraints are external, such as the terms of the licence agreements, others are internal such as opposition from the users.

PricewaterhouseCoopers

eBooks will not replace the printed book. They will be available in parallel with printed books and will stimulate reading behaviour. The book market is facing an exciting future. If publishers are to benefit from this process, they must invest now.
---
Digital publishing appears to be reaching critical mass. Most consumers have an understanding of eBooks and eReaders, thanks to media coverage, as well as extensive reporting ahead of this year’s major book fairs. Apple’s new iPad, which can serve as an eReader, also brings more attention to the market for the digital technology.
---
Intermediaries will have to redefine themselves in the digital environment. It is true that numerous tasks will continue to exist as a result of the co-existence of digital and printed books, but they will become less important. The intermediaries would therefore be well advised to adapt to the new requirements and to develop services for publishers and stores that have difficulty in providing such services on their own due to their weak financial position or lack of technical skills.
This includes support for converting content to an eBook format, the establishment and maintenance of a content management system and payment processing, document hosting, eBook storage, and digital delivery of eBooks.

Steve Kolowich

The difference between the University of Texas at San Antonio’s Applied Engineering and Technology Library and other science-focused libraries is not that its on-site collection is also available electronically.

It is that its on-site collection is only available electronically.

The idea of a libraries with no bound books has been a recurring theme in conversations about the future of academe for a long time, and it has become common practice for academic libraries to store rarely used volumes in off-campus facilities. But there are few, if any, examples of libraries that actually have zero bound books in them.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Berliner Unterwelten e.V.

寺山修司

書を捨てよ町へ出よう

Jason Kessler

The northern Scandinavian landscape is dotted with fjords, lingonberries and, if you believe some locals, elves. But another sight is increasingly common on the Arctic horizon: data centers.
Drawn by the promise of lower electricity costs, a growing number of tech companies are harnessing the region's abundant cold air to cool their servers, cutting expensive air-conditioning out of the equation.
Facebook, the latest tech company to take the polar plunge, announced this week that it will build a data center just south of the Arctic Circle in Lulea, Sweden, where the average low in January is 3 degrees Fahrenheit.
The facility, a set of three 300,000 square foot buildings, is the social networking site's first data center outside the U.S. It's scheduled to be operational by 2012.

Ian Martin

On Sunday, I had the great privilege of representing the Secretary-General at Libya’s declaration of liberation in Benghazi, the city where the popular movement had begun on February 17. A peaceful movement, sparked on that day by the demand of families to know the fate of their loved ones who had disappeared in a notorious prison massacre, was met with lethal repression, and civilians across Libya took up arms in a revolution to end decades of denial of political freedoms, human rights violations, corruption and social inequality.
The declaration brings to a close a long and painful chapter in the history of Libya. Four decades of brutal dictatorship and autocratic government have tragically wasted the potential of an entire generation as well as immense opportunities and resources that could have been invested in creating a prosperous, modern nation-State.
The declaration thus marks a new beginning for the people of Libya. While expectations must be managed, the aspirations of its youth and the sacrifices they have made must guide the next phase of Libya's transformation.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

U.S. Government Printing Office

Early in 1945, the State Department requested that GPO provide the printing for the United Nations Conference in San Francisco. At that time, GPO’s wartime San Francisco Warehouse had only five employees, so several additions were made to the staff and an emergency call went out to Washington for three key GPO central office employees. Until the Conference ended, this group carried out an incredible amount of rush work on an almost 24-hour a day schedule. Perhaps their most important job was the creation of the Charter establishing the United Nations.
The last days of the conference saw the GPO unit racing against time and the oddities of Chinese and Russian typefaces to complete and deliver one of the Office’s most momentous jobs.
...
So ended one of the most harrowing jobs ever undertaken by GPO. A handful of employees had planned and coordinated one of the most complex jobs ever to challenge the Office. Their only reward was a paycheck and the knowledge that they had contributed in a small way to international peace and understanding.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

U.S Government Printing Office

Federal Digital System (FDsys) of the U.S Government Printing Office (GPO) provides free online access to official Federal Government publications. Through FDsys, you are able to
  • Search for documents and publications
    FDsys provides advanced search capabilities and the ability to refine and narrow your search for quick access to the information you need.
  • Browse for documents and publications
    FDsys offers browsing by collection, Congressional committee, and date.
  • Access metadata about documents and publications
    FDsys presents information about Government publications in standard XML formats.
  • Download documents and publications in multiple renditions or file formats
    With FDsys, download a single file or download content and metadata packaged together in a compressed file.

京华时报

全国人大常委会第二十三次会议审议《中华人民共和国居民身份证法修正案(草案)》。草案要求,公民申请领取、换领、补领居民身份证,应当登记指纹信息。对于身份证为何要登记指纹信息,公安部副部长杨焕宁表示,在身份证中加入指纹信息,国家机关以及金融、电信、交通、教育、医疗等单位可以通过机读快速、准确地进行人证同一性认定,有利于提高工作效率,有效防范冒用他人居民身份证以及伪造、变更居民身份证等违法犯罪行为的发生。

上海合作组织

unicef

赤塚 不二夫

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Geoff Brumfiel

The disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in March released far more radiation than the Japanese government has claimed. So concludes a study that combines radioactivity data from across the globe to estimate the scale and fate of emissions from the shattered plant.
The study also suggests that, contrary to government claims, pools used to store spent nuclear fuel played a significant part in the release of the long-lived environmental contaminant caesium-137, which could have been prevented by prompt action. The analysis has been posted online for open peer review by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics.

nature

Organogenesis relies on the orchestration of many cellular interactions to create the collective cell behaviours needed to shape developing tissues. Yoshiki Sasai and colleagues have developed a three-dimensional cell-culture system in which floating clusters of mouse embryonic stem cells can successfully organize themselves into a layered structure resembling the optic cup, a pouch-like structure that develops into the inner and outer layers of the retina during embryogenesis. In further 3D culture, the optic cup forms fully stratified retinal tissue as seen in the postnatal eye. This approach might have important implications for stem-cell therapy for retinal repair. The optic cup shown on the cover was generated from multi-photon images of an optic cup formed in vitro.

Wolfram Alpha

The United Nations (UN) was officially founded 66 years ago this week, bringing together “peace-loving states” (as the Charter of the UN described them) to cooperate on issues of international law, economic and social development, human rights, and other matters of critical importance to global human development. From the time it launched, Wolfram|Alpha has relied on a wide variety of datasets provided by various UN organizations—and as recent blog posts indicate, these agencies remain an important source of information for international data.

For example, you can ask Wolfram|Alpha for the number of men in China who are 65 years old, and it will a display detailed age pyramid with breakdowns for different age groups.

Or you can tap into population projections from the UN Population Division and see what the world may look like in a few decades. Query “India versus China population in 2030”, and you’ll see the approximate point where India is projected to overtake China as the most populous country in the world.

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen

And what are we paying for? A UN Human Rights Council that includes such gross human rights violators as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and its vice-chair, Cuba. ...
We’re paying for the Durban process, which has been hijacked to spread anti-Israel and anti-Semitic venom. Then there’s the UN Conference on Disarmament, recently chaired by North Korea. So serial proliferator North Korea presided over the UN’s disarmament body, and Iran, a regime which stones women to death, is a member of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
We’re paying for a UN that just appointed as the head of its Kosovo mission an individual involved with the infamous Oil-for-Food scandal, and a UN that goes after whistleblowers while protecting the corrupt.
Why do we bear the financial burden for this? ... they pass the costs on to big donors like the U.S., which is assessed a whopping 22 percent. ... In contrast, China pays just 3 percent.
... This UN Reform bill seeks to shift the funding basis for the UN’s regular budget to voluntary contributions ... The best-performing UN bodies are usually the ones funded voluntarily, like UNICEF and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

森川友義

恋愛とは、自分の恋愛価値、商品価値を基にした物々交換です。一般的には、価値が同じくらいの男女同士が恋人や夫婦になります。素敵な人の配偶者は素敵な人であろうと想像できるわけです。これを「恋愛均衡説」といいます。
女性は、つねに自分が最低ラインと考える傾向があります。この自分を基準とする考え方を「ベースライン理論」と呼んでいます。つまり、男の人を選ぶ際、学歴や収入が同じか、あるいは自分より高い人を求めてしまうということです。
高学歴の女性は、大企業の総合職などの地位に就き、年収が高い人も多い。よって、自分を最低ラインと考えると、男のパイがなくなってしまいます。
時間はいくらでもやり繰りできます。意識して努力すべき。それなのに、「待てば白馬の王子が現れる」と思っている人がいまだに4~5人に1人もいます。
女性の中には、自分の年収が上がることがモテにつながると考えている人もいますが、それは勘違いです。生物としての女性の魅力は、19~20歳がピーク。女性誌を見ると「30代後半がモテキ」と書かれていますが、事実とは異なります。

中日春秋

▼四万人近いファンが葬儀に参列したカリスマの死から、もう十九年になる。若者の孤独と怒りを歌い、人気絶頂の中、二十六歳で急死した歌手尾崎豊さんを追悼する「尾崎ハウス」(東京都足立区)が、取り壊されたという記事を感慨深く読んだ
▼十代の「代弁者」といわれた尾崎さんだが、最近の若い世代には通じないらしい。ゼミで尾崎さんの歌詞を一緒に読んだ私大の教授は、失笑する学生ばかりだったことに驚いていた
▼十年近く前、精神科医の香山リカさんが学生に調査した内容を思い出す。「何を怒っているのか分からない」「ひとりよがりで不愉快」などと否定的な意見が多く、尾崎さんの歌詞に共感できるという学生は百人のうち二人だけだったという(『ぷちナショナリズム症候群』)
▼中東のリビアではカダフィ大佐の死亡が確認され、四十二年に及ぶ独裁体制は完全に消滅したが、チュニジア、エジプトと続いた民衆革命の原動力は、ツイッターなど新しいメディアを使いこなす若者だった
▼日本でも、震災ボランティアや脱原発デモの中心に若者がいた。ストレートに感情を込める歌を暑苦しく感じても、政治や社会への関心が薄れたわけではないはずだ
▼尾崎さんが叫んだ時代より、格差社会化は進み閉塞感が強まっている。それを打ち破る主役は青年以外にはない。格好のお手本は海外にある。

Monday, October 24, 2011

Joel E. Cohen

The first billion people accumulated over a leisurely interval, from the origins of humans hundreds of thousands of years ago to the early 1800s. Adding the second took another 120 or so years. Then, in the last 50 years, humanity more than doubled, surging from three billion in 1959 to four billion in 1974, five billion in 1987 and six billion in 1998. This rate of population increase has no historical precedent.
Can the earth support seven billion now, and the three billion people who are expected to be added by the end of this century? Are the enormous increases in households, cities, material consumption and waste compatible with dignity, health, environmental quality and freedom from poverty?

Tavis Smiley, Cornel West

Robert Rector

The following are facts about persons defined as "poor" by the Census Bureau, taken from various government reports:
  • Forty-three percent of all poor households actually own their own homes. The average home owned by persons classified as poor by the Census Bureau is a three-bedroom house with one-and-a-half baths, a garage, and a porch or patio.
  • Eighty percent of poor households have air conditioning. By contrast, in 1970, only 36 percent of the entire U.S. population enjoyed air conditioning.
  • Only 6 percent of poor households are overcrowded. More than two-thirds have more than two rooms per person.
  • The average poor American has more living space than the average individual living in Paris, London, Vienna, Athens, and other cities throughout Europe. (These comparisons are to the average citizens in foreign countries, not to those classified as poor.)
  • Nearly three-quarters of poor households own a car; 31 percent own two or more cars.
  • Ninety-seven percent of poor households have a color television; over half own two or more color televisions.
  • Seventy-eight percent have a VCR or DVD player; 62 percent have cable or satellite TV reception.
  • Eighty-nine percent own microwave ovens, more than half have a stereo, and more than a third have an automatic dishwasher.

AIRFRANCE

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Captain Obvious

Captain Obvious states the obvious. This means that his statements are self-evident.
  • The future is coming.
  • Indeed, current events may become past events, but always remember that there will, now and always, be future events in the future.
  • Computers don't work after they break.
  • No matter how today turns out, there's always tomorrow.
  • Simply because you can't see something doesn't mean you can't hear or smell it.
  • If something gets hard that means it won't be easy anymore.
  • If you hate someone that can most likely indicate that you don't like them.
  • Someone has, at some time, had sex with someone else.
  • When your thirsty nothing feels better then drinking liquid!
  • Well, I say! These boots are made for walking.
  • The best cure for hunger is food!

Kunal Sarkar, Michael Scanlon, David Drescher

  • Sharpen Memory - Memory is our brain’s way of holding on tight to the things we need and love. Without it, we’d be nothing.
  • Focus Attention - Life can be distracting, full of countless details crying out for attention. Some things, though, deserve more attention than others, and the ability to selectively attend to these tasks represents a critical cognitive area.
  • Reach Peak Performance - Lumosity games target specific brain functions divided across five main areas: speed, memory, attention, flexibility and problem solving. Exercise all of these areas and you can dramatically enhance your brain’s ability to recall facts, notice details, and process information. Do so and you’ll find yourself more confident at work, school, and home.
  • Enhance Creativity - Creativity can be difficult to define. Most people think of it as a spark, an energy tasked with breathing life into the world. According to conventional wisdom, this creative energy fuels art, humor and even scientific discovery.

Alexander Stille

The United States prides itself on the belief that “anyone can be president,” and what better example than Barack Obama, son of a black Kenyan immigrant and a white American mother — neither of them rich.
And yet more than half the presidents over the past 110 years attended Harvard, Yale or Princeton and graduates of Harvard and Yale have had a lock on the White House for the last 23 years, across four presidencies. Thus we have become both more inclusive and more elitist.
Inequality has traditionally been acceptable to Americans if accompanied by mobility. But most recent studies of economic mobility indicate that it is getting even harder for people to jump from one economic class to another in the United States, harder to join the elite. While Americans are used to considering equal opportunity and equality of condition as separate issues, they may need to reconsider. In an era in which money translates into political power, there is a growing feeling, on both left and right, that special interests have their way in Washington. There is growing anger, from the Tea Party to Occupy Wall Street, that the current system is stacked against ordinary citizens. Suddenly, as in the 1930s, the issue of economic equality is back in play.

Thomas L. Friedman

I take no pleasure in seeing anyone lose a job, but I can’t say that the recent headlines showing that America’s biggest banks have been losing money on their trading operations, and are having to radically shrink as a result, are entirely bad news for the country. Over the last decade, America’s banking sector got pumped up by steroids — in the form of cheap credit and leverage — every bit as much as Major League Baseball’s home run hitters. And if one result of the downsizing of Wall Street is that more of America’s best and brightest math and physics students decide to go into science and real engineering rather than financial engineering, the country will be a whole lot better off.
Why? Because, to paraphrase the Columbia University economist Jagdish Bhagwati, Wall Street, which was originally designed to finance “creative destruction” (the creation of new industries and products to replace old ones), fell into the habit in the last decade of financing too much “destructive creation” (inventing leveraged financial products with no more societal value than betting on whether Lindy’s sold more cheesecake than strudel). When those products blew up, they almost took the whole economy with them.
I was on Wall Street two weeks ago, and I’ve been in Silicon Valley this past week. What a contrast! While Wall Street is being rattled by a social revolution, Silicon Valley is being by transformed by another technology revolution — one that is taking the world from connected to hyperconnected and individuals from empowered to superempowered. It is the biggest leap forward in the I.T. revolution since the mainframe computer was replaced by desktops and the Web. It is going to change everything about how companies and societies operate.

Alexandra Carmichael, Kevin Kelly, Gary Wolf

Are you interested in self-tracking? Do you use a computer, mobile phone, electronic gadget, or pen and paper to record your work, sleep, exercise, diet, mood, or anything else? Would you like to share your methods and learn from what others are doing? If so, you are in the right place.
Quantified Self is a collaboration of users and tool makers who share an interest in self knowledge through self-tracking. We exchange information about our personal projects, the tools we use, tips we’ve gleaned, lessons we’ve learned. We blog, meet face to face, and collaborate online.

Robert P. Crease

In one kind of measuring, we find how big or small a thing is using a scale, beginning point and unit. Something is x feet long, weighs y pounds or takes z seconds. We can call this “ontic” measuring, after the word philosophers apply to existing objects or properties.
But there’s another way of measuring that does not involve placing something alongside a stick or on a scale. This is the kind of measurement that Plato described as “fitting.” This involves less an act than an experience: we sense that things don’t “measure up” to what they could be. This is the kind of measuring that good examples invite. Aristotle, for instance, called the truly moral person a “measure,” because our encounters with such a person show us our shortcomings. We might call this “ontological” measuring, after the word philosophers use to describe how something exists.
The distinction between the two ways of measuring is often overlooked, sometimes with disastrous results.

Paul Coleman

Caring goes one step beyond attentiveness and involves actually doing something for the other person. ... Tenderness involves warmth. ... A tender gesture ... an extra spice of gentleness. ... intimacy will be deeper and more profound in the relationships that really matter. ... being an intimate listener is crucial to warmth, passion, and devotion.

Vinícius R. T. Ferraz, Gustavo F. Afonso, Cristiane Yaguinuma, Sérgio Borges, Marilde T. P. Santos

In environmental research, data integration plays an important role given the increasing availability of heterogeneous data sources for specific features, such as soil type, climate, geographic location and so on. However, some of those features have inherently imprecise relationships and the lack of a suitable semantic model can be a major obstacle to its effective integration. In this context, this paper presents a semantic data integration system based on a fuzzy ontology, capable of perform query expansions based on imprecise aspects of real phenomena.

Dean C. Delis, Cassandra Phillips

One partner is more in love than the other. And more love the loving partner wants from the other, the less the other partner feels like giving. ... the more-in-love partner was in what I term the "one-down position," while the less-in-love partner was in the "one-up position."
One-downs try harder. Feeling insecure and wanting to regain a sense of control, they labor to enhance their "attraction power": wearing most flattering clothes, spending hours at the mirror, thinking up clever things to say, honing culinary skills, spending money freely on gifts, restaurant meals, and romantic diversions - in sum, making yourself as desirable as possible. ... If you prove too appealing to the one you want - to the point where he's clearly more in love with you than you with him - your relationship will fall out of balance. You've become the one-up. Or, if you're frightened by your partner's distance, you become the one-down. And herein was the missing link I sought:
The very urge to attract someone, to bring another person under your emotional control, contains the potential for upsetting the balance of the relationship. And that is because the feeling of being in love is biochemically linked to the feeling of being out of control. Once you feel completely in control or sure of another person's love, your feelings of passion begin to fade. Gone is the challenge, the emotional spark, the excitement.
Of course, we all know that the dizzy, delicious feelings of new love can't last forever. In a balanced relationship, after the initial passion fades, the partners move into a phase of enduring intimacy and warmth. But when one partner falls more deeply in love than the other, it can trigger harmful patterns between them.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jeff Kaufman

A start would be returning to a gold backed legal tender dollar. It will not reimpose the full intent of the Constitution but it would reimpose limitations on the government consistent with the Constitution. A bigger step would be repealing all legal tender laws so that alternative entities could introduce other "monies" in competition with the U.S. dollar which would also discipline the Federal Reserve and create a disincentive to quantitatively ease the money supply.
What we really cannot do however, is nothing. Since 1912 the dollar has been on a 100 year decline losing value as it became detached from gold and printed in excess so that its value against other currencies has been eroded by inflation. Inaction will lead to an inevitable collapse of the dollar.

George Gilder

The belief that all wealth comes from stealing is popular in prisons and at Harvard.

Michael Rothschild

Fortunately, political freedom and economic progress are natural partners. Despite capitalism's lingering reputation as the source of all the world's evils, the fact remains that every single democracy is a capitalist country. Half a century of economic experimentation proved beyond doubt that tyranny cannot yield prosperity. ... Socialism collapsed because it is a policy of unrestrained intervention. It tries to fix what is 'wrong' with the spontaneous, self-organizing phenomenon called capitalism. But, of course, a natural process cannot be 'fixed.'
...
Socialism is an ideology. Capitalism is a natural phenomenon.

Robert Lucas

Of the tendencies that are harmful to sound economics, the most seductive, and in my opinion the most poisonous, is to focus on questions of distribution. In this very minute, a child is being born to an American family and another child, equally valued by God, is being born to a family in India. The resources of all kinds that will be at the disposal of this new American will be on the order of 15 times the resources available to his Indian brother. This seems to us a terrible wrong, justifying direct corrective action, and perhaps some actions of this kind can and should be taken. But of the vast increase in the well-being of hundreds of millions of people that has occurred in the 200-year course of the industrial revolution to date, virtually none of it can be attributed to the direct redistribution of resources from rich to poor. The potential for improving the lives of poor people by finding different ways of distributing current production is nothing compared to the apparently limitless potential of increasing production.

Robert A. Heinlein

Everything is theoretically impossible, until it is done. One could write a history of science in reverse by assembling the solemn pronouncements of highest authority about what could not be done and could never happen.

Free will is a golden thread running through the frozen matrix of fixed events.

A generation which ignores history has no past — and no future.

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as "bad luck."

Thomas Sowell

One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again. Do we need to keep repeating the same mistakes forever?

Two things that seldom seem to go together are genius and common sense. When I try to think of people with both, the first name that comes to mind is Milton Friedman. But it is a struggle to try to come up with more names after that.

The "self-esteem" dogma has triumphed so completely in our educational system that you have all sorts of people spouting off about all sorts of things that they know little or nothing about. Just recently, letters have come to me from people diagnosing individuals they have never laid eyes on -- saying that Andrea Yates was insane and that Einstein was autistic -- even when there is nothing to indicate that they have any expertise for diagnosing anybody.

Most Americans living below the official poverty line have air conditioning, microwaves and VCRs. About half have a car or truck. Moreover, most of the people in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution in 1975 have also been in the top 20 percent at some point since then. ... People who are genuinely poor all their lives still exist, but only about 3 percent of the American population remains in the bottom 20 percent for as long as a decade.

中森明菜

Richard Vedder, Christopher Denhart, Matthew Denhart, Christopher Matgouranis, Jonathan Robe

Colleges and universities are turning out graduates faster than America's labor markets are creating jobs that traditionally have been reserved for those with degrees. More than one-third of current working graduates are in jobs that do not require a degree, and the proportion appears to be rising rapidly. Many of them are better described as "underemployed" rather than "gainfully employed". Indeed, 60 percent of the increased college graduate population between 1992 and 2008 ended up in these lower skill jobs, raising real questions about the desirability of pushing to increase the proportion of Americans attending and graduating from four year colleges and universities. This, along with other evidence on the negative relationship between government higher education spending and economic growth, suggests we may have significantly "over invested" public funds in colleges and universities.

Walter E. Williams

In terms of natural resources, Africa is the world's richest continent. It has 50 percent of the world's gold, most of the world's diamonds and chromium, 90 percent of the cobalt, 40 percent of the world's potential hydroelectric power, 65 percent of the manganese, millions of acres of untilled farmland as well as other natural resources.
Despite the natural wealth, Africa is home to the world's most impoverished and abused people. Of the 41 black African nations, only three (Senegal, Botswana and Mauritius) allow their people the right to vote and choose their own leaders. Only two (Botswana and Senegal) permit freedom of expression and criticism of government policies. In countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Mozambique, Sudan, Chad and others, ethnic genocide has taken the lives of untold millions of innocent victims. Slavery is still practiced in the Sudan and Mauritania.

本多圭

フジテレビが俳優の松方弘樹を暴排条例に抵触しかねない危険人物として、極秘に使用禁止の通達を出したという。続いて日本テレビが、女優の水野美紀に関して、同じ理由で使用禁止の通達を流したそうだ。
松方と水野の共通点は、テレビ局にも甚大な影響力を持つ大手芸能プロ「バーニングプロダクション」から独立していることだ。
そんな2人をフジと日テレは芸能プロ関係者からの情報を鵜呑みにして、テレビ界から追放した。そこに、真実性や公平性はあるのだろうか。
「マル暴交遊を身体検査された歌手たち」というリストについても、何の根拠もない歌手の情報が入っている。NHKは『紅白』の選考に関して、社会部記者総動員で調べていると言ってるらしいが、暴排条例を担当する警視庁組織犯罪対策3課の関係者はリストを見て、「暴力団との交際者として聞いたことがない歌手の名前も挙がっている。濡れ衣を着せられている人もいるのでは?」と同情するほどだ。
特定の芸能人を「干してやりたい」という芸能関係者の思惑で情報が操作され、"芸能界浄化作戦"の一環に利用されたら、人権侵害にもつながりかねない。NHKや民放は出演者の身体検査をする前に、芸能プロとの癒着体質を検査し、浄化することが先決のはずだ。

CNNMoney

It's official. The first decade of the 21st century will go down in the history books as a step back for the American middle class. ... the government made gloomy headlines when it released the latest census report showing the poverty rate rose to a 17-year high. A whopping 46.2 million people (or 15.1% of the U.S. population) live in poverty and 49.9 million live without health insurance.
But the data also gave the first glimpse of what happened to middle-class incomes in the first decade of the millennium. While the earnings of middle-income Americans have barely budged since the mid 1970s, the new data showed that from 2000 to 2010, they actually regressed.
For American households in the middle of the pay scale, income fell to $49,445 last year, when adjusted for inflation, a level not seen since 1996.
And over the 10-year period, their income is down 7%.

Jared Bernstein

Economists talk about the lost decade in Japan, a period where the macroeconomy stumbled along for years. Well, with these 2010 data, we can confirm the lost decade for the American middle class. Though the economy grew most of these years in GDP terms, and productivity growth was notably robust, the middle class fell behind.
... as the income, poverty and inequality results of the last decade reveal, we have a structural problem that needs to be addressed. Otherwise, we could lose the next decade as well.

田中宇

米国では、金融界だけ利益を出し続け、金融で儲ける大金持ちは繁栄を続けている。だが、それ以外の一般国民は雇用が回復せず、中産階級の平均所得は1年間で2・3%減った。この4年間で1千万人が貧困層に転落した。貧困者の人数は史上最多だ。

Corbett B. Daly

Jobs met the president in in the fall of 2010 and later offered to help make political advertisements for his re-election campaign. ... Jobs told Walter Isaacson he was not impressed with the president after their meeting, in part because of Mr. Obama's focus on what is not possible, rather than what is possible.

"The president is very smart. But he kept explaining to us reasons why things can't get done," Jobs told Isaacson. "It infuriates me."

Jobs told Obama that American regulations make it more difficult for Apple to build its products cheaply in the United States compared to the cost of building them in China. Chinese health and safety standards are more lax than the United States.

Brainetics

Brainetics teaches your brain to behave like a computer. It will receive information, store it and memorize all the relevant information while ignoring the unecessary information.
There are three powerful reasons why Brainetics work so well:
  • Brainetics teaches how to MASTER all the vitally important learning SKILLS (focus, concentration, problem solving, thinking outside the box, organizational, increased mental capacity and memory) that are rarely taught in schools and people lack throughout their lives.
  • Brainetics TRAINS two different parts of the MIND to work simultaneously yet independently of each other. One part memorizes information while another part is sorting and processing new information. The mind will begin to work much more efficiently and be more powerful giving Brainetics kids a huge advantage throughout their academic lives and beyond.
  • Brainetics is INCREDIBLY FUN. Brainetics will never seem like a chore and everything is very fun and cool to learn for all ages and ability levels. Brainetics can either be learned alone, or entire families can learn together.

km

We power the United Nations with the right knowledge and information.

National Library of Israel

To collect, preserve, cultivate and endow the treasures of knowledge, heritage and culture in general, with an emphasis on the Land of Israel, the State of Israel and the Jewish people in particular.
  • To serve as the National Library of the Jewish people, responsible for collecting the literary treasures of the Jewish people and preserve the continuity of Jewish and Israeli culture.
  • To serve as the National Library of the State of Israel.
  • To serve as the central research library for Israel and for the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the Humanities fields, with an emphasis on Jewish Studies, Middle Eastern cultures, Asia-Africa and Islam.

国立国会図書館

国立国会図書館は、真理がわれらを自由にするという確信に立つて、憲法の誓約する日本の民主化と世界平和とに寄与することを使命として、ここに設立される。
国立国会図書館は、図書及びその他の図書館資料を蒐集し、国会議員の職務の遂行に資するとともに、行政及び司法の各部門に対し、更に日本国民に対し、この法律に規定する図書館奉仕を提供することを目的とする。

Library of Congress

The Library's mission is to make its resources available and useful to the Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations.

Library and Archives Canada

  • To preserve the documentary heritage of Canada for the benefit of present and future generations;
  • To be a source of enduring knowledge accessible to all, contributing to the cultural, social and economic advancement of Canada;
  • To facilitate in Canada cooperation among communities involved in the acquisition, preservation and diffusion of knowledge; and
  • To serve as the continuing memory of the government of Canada and its institutions.

Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek hat die Aufgabe, lückenlos alle deutschen und deutschsprachigen Publikationen ab 1913, im Ausland erscheinende Germanica und Übersetzungen deutschsprachiger Werke sowie die zwischen 1933 und 1945 erschienenen Werke deutschsprachiger Emigranten zu sammeln, dauerhaft zu archivieren, bibliografisch zu verzeichnen sowie der Öffentlichkeit zur Verfügung zu stellen. Im nationalen und internationalen Rahmen pflegt die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek kooperative Beziehungen. So ist sie unter anderem federführender Partner in der deutschen Regelwerks- und Normierungsarbeit sowie maßgeblich an der Entwicklung internationaler Standards beteiligt.

Bibliothèque nationale de France

Les missions principales dont est investie la Bibliothèque nationale de France en tant que bibliothèque nationale gérant et valorisant le patrimoine qui lui est confié :
  • Constitution des collections ;
  • Conservation ;
  • Communication ;
  • Catalogues ;
  • Coopération; Recherche.

中国国家图书馆 ・ 中国国家数字图书馆

要求正确认识并宣传国家总书库文献信息资源保护的意义和作用,保障馆藏文献信息资源的安全和可利用。在保护文献的基础上,更要以服务社会、服务读者为己任,以促进文化交流、传承人类文明为目标,以期满足公众的文献信息资源需求,促进文献信息资源的有效传播与长期保存,从而实现现代图书馆的核心价值观。

Российская национальная библиотека

Бережно сохраняя культурные и исторические традиции, Библиотека смотрит в будущее. «Цифровая революция», захватившая весь мир, внесла коррективы в понимание о месте и роли РНБ в современном мире. К началу XXI века из книгохранилища и "тихого места для чтения" она превратилась в общедоступный информационный центр хранения и выдачи оцифрованных текстов, необходимых для научной работы, получения знаний. Ее богатейшие фонды и интеллектуальный потенциал становятся все более доступны широкому кругу читателей. Подобно другим крупнейшим библиотекам мира, РНБ стремиться сохранять, развивать, эксплуатировать свои уникальные ресурсы с наибольшей пользой для общества, содействовать их распространению, работать в кооперации с другими библиотеками.

British Library

Our mission: Advancing the world’s knowledge

Our vision: In 2020 the British Library will be a leading hub in the global information network, advancing knowledge through our collections, expertise and partnerships, for the benefit of the economy and society and the enrichment of cultural life.

Our vision is supported by five key themes which set out the strategic priorities for the Library:
  1. Guarantee access for future generations.
  2. Enable access to everyone who wants to do research.
  3. Support research communities in key areas for social and economic benefit.
  4. Enrich the cultural life of the nation.
  5. Lead and collaborate in growing the world’s knowledge base.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Haruki Murakami

I guess we have a common feeling against the system. George Orwell is half journalist, half fiction writer. I’m 100 percent fiction writer. . . . I don’t want to write messages. I want to write good stories. I think of myself as a political person, but I don’t state my political messages to anybody.

I am 99 percent a fiction writer and 1 percent a citizen. As a citizen I have things to say, and when I have to do it, I do it clearly. At that point, nobody said no against nuclear-­power plants. So I think I should do it. It’s my responsibility.

I don’t think people think of America as a model anymore. We don’t have any model at this moment. We have to establish the new model.

Kathryn Cramer

I checked you out of the library. You were due back in two weeks for synchronization, but I kept you out much longer, running up huge fines. The librarian was very nice and didn't make me pay right away, but said that she had very little discretion; that the fines were set by the library system and your publisher.
I am a writer and I was looking for an acting teacher to help me improve how I read my work out loud. Although, of course, your publisher didn't tell me your real name, your bio on the package really spoke to me. I thought we would get along, and we did, from the very first moment that you were uploaded into my card slot.
Suddenly, there you were. It surprised me that you were my height. I'm not sure if that is an artefact of the software: virtual teachers scaled to the same size as their students, or whether you really are (or were) five foot six.
I was ready to work. I began to read aloud from the draft of my novel, and I could tell before you even said anything that the narrative voice just didn't work. She wasn't in the story, but aloof, above it all. This moment felt almost like telepathy, but I imagine it was accomplished by transmissions from the software of the emotional colouring of what you were about to say.
... I went to the library again this morning and checked you out. We've got two weeks.

SONY

make.believe symbolizes the spirit of our brand. It stands for the power of our creativity, our ability to turn ideas into reality and the belief that anything we can imagine, we can make real.

Elizabeth C. Economy

China's leaders once tried to insulate themselves from greater engagement with the outside world; they now realize that fulfilling their domestic needs demands a more activist global strategy. Rhetorically promoting a "peaceful international environment" in which to grow their economy while free-riding on the tough diplomatic work of others is no longer enough. Ensuring their supply lines for natural resources requires not only a well-organized trade and development agenda but also an expansive military strategy. The Chinese no longer want to be passive recipients of information from the outside world; they want to shape that information for consumption at home and abroad. And as their economic might expands, they want not only to assume a greater stake in international organizations but also to remake the rules of the game.

Sheri Fink, Rebecca Rabinowitz

The World Health Organization (WHO) calls it an "invisible epidemic." In the United States and now many parts of the developing world, the biggest killers are no longer infectious diseases, such as HIV and AIDS or malaria, but rather chronic conditions, such as heart and lung disease, cancer, and diabetes. Often the preventable result of unhealthy diets, tobacco, and alcohol use and a lack of physical activity, these non-communicable diseases, or NCDs, now account for two out of every three deaths worldwide.
Most surprising, perhaps, is that NCDs have rapidly gone from afflictions of the developed world to afflictions of the developing world.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Alvaro de Soto

Palestinians do not expect much from the UN bid, but armed resistance has had its day and negotiations are in a deep rut. The Palestinians have suffered displacement, disappointment, and discrimination for generations. Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasir Arafat’s 1988 declaration of independence barely merits a footnote today. At Oslo, the PLO took part in a political process that was meant to build confidence and lead to independence, but it unwittingly reinvigorated the Israeli settler movement, which greatly expanded its presence in the West Bank in the following years. To make matters worse, Palestinian leaders have been erratic. In their struggle for liberation, they have often resorted to, or at least tolerated, brutal acts of terror that have greatly damaged their cause.

Ann Coulter

The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic. ... Everything else changes, but mobs are always the same. A mob is an irrational, childlike, often violent organism that derives its energy from the group. Intoxicated by messianic goals, the promise of instant gratification, and adrenaline-pumping exhortations, mobs create mayhem, chaos, and destruction, leaving a smoldering heap of wreckage for their leaders to climb to power. ... The Democratic Party is the party of the mob, irrespective of what the mob represents. Democrats activate mobs, depend on mobs, coddle mobs, publicize and celebrate mobs-- they are the mob.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Carla Bruni

On me dit que nos vies ne valent pas grand chose,
Elles passent en un instant comme fanent les roses.
On me dit que le temps qui glisse est un salaud que de nos chagrins il s'en fait des manteaux pourtant quelqu'un m'a dit...

Que tu m'aimais encore,
C'est quelqu'un qui m'a dit que tu m'aimais encore.
Serais ce possible alors ?

On me dit que le destin se moque bien de nous
Qu'il ne nous donne rien et qu'il nous promet tout
Parais qu'le bonheur est à portée de main,
Alors on tend la main et on se retrouve fou
Pourtant quelqu'un m'a dit ...

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA)

The first Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) Plenary Meeting, convened by the DPLA Secretariat at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society and hosted by The National Archives in Washington, DC, will bring together a wide range of stakeholders in a broad, open forum to present the history of and vision for the DPLA effort, to showcase the best ideas and models submitted to the Beta Sprint (an open call for code and concepts defining how the DPLA should operate), and to create multiple points of entry for public participation in the work of the DPLA.
We hope to bring together a broad and diverse mix of participants, both individually and institutionally. Space at the plenary meeting is limited, and although there are capacity constraints, we genuinely seek to welcome as many voices as possible through participation online via our webcasts and social tools.

Daniel Jones

What would a digital version of your public library look like? There’s more to it than e-books and digital reading devices. Librarians, scholars, innovators, and techno-wizards are collaborating under the mantle of the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) to build a next generation public library. Such a thing could incorporate one or more of many different elements: a set of physical buildings; a purely digital archive with an open API layer for coders to play around with; a full fledged digital lending library.
And when the DPLA converge on the National Archives in Washington, DC this Friday (you can check out the agenda and tune in to a livestream here) they’ll get to work out just a few of those ideas.
Today, a special report from Benjamin Naddaf-Hafrey who spoke to a few of the minds behind the DPLA.

Partnership for 21st Century Skills

Steve Matthews

There are at least five major challenges that every librarian will face, sooner or later. Whether you overcome these challenges will determine whether you become a 21st Century librarian, and ultimately whether you, your library and your profession survive.

1. Broadest Spectrum of Library Customers in History
2. Information Literate Millennial Customers
3. Computers that Replace Librarians
4. Transition to Digital Content
5. Devaluing of the Library’s Benefit to the Community

Ofer Zur, Azzia Zur

Older - Digital ImmigrantsYounger - Digital Natives
Prefer to talk on phone or in personPrefer to connect via text, chat, Facebook, online games, etc.
Do not use text or use it sparingly and reluctantlyText more than call: Almost half of all teens can text with their eyes closed
Prefer synchronistic communication, in real time, such as in f2f or phone conversationsPrefer a-synchronistic or sequential communication, such as in email, Facebook, or chat
Accustomed to and prefer instructional manuals with clear sequential steps. As "reflective learners" they like a logical and linear process of discoveryCannot relate to manuals - Solve problems "intuitively." As "intuitive learners" they are engaged in rapid 'trail and error' actions and prefer discovering via actions, experimentation and interaction rather than by reflection
Prefer receiving information slowly: linearly, logically, and sequentiallyPrefer receiving information quickly and simultaneously from multiple multimedia and other sources
Prefer singular processing and single or limited taskingPrefer parallel processing, multitasking or task switching
Prefer reading text (i.e., books) on processing pictures, sounds and videoPrefer processing and interacting with pictures, graphics, sounds and video before text
Inclined to read a book from cover to coverInclined to read texts in short bursts, one paragraph at a time, hopping to other activities, such as texting or Facebooking, in between paragraphs
See high value in deferred gratification and rewardsPrefer instant gratification and rewards, do not see value in waiting
Hierarchical approach to workplace rather than a democratic or egalitarian oneView the workplace more in egalitarian terms and less in hierarchical (top-down) terms
Rely on a traditional 5-day work week, followed by an off-work weekendWork intermittently 7 days a week; alternate among play, work, socializing, etc. 24/7. No "end" to the week - continuous flow, natural rhythm
Assume they will work their way up the ladder in the workplace, in a linear fashion, in one career with one company, leading to a 'gold watch,' retirement and pensionTry many careers during the lifetime and switch workplaces and work settings fairly easily and fluently. Stability, security, and pension are not highly valued as variety, experience and experimentation, which natives see as essential to vocational satisfaction (Theme - experiment rather than consider)
Value loyalty and consistency in the workplaceAre more concerned with personal satisfaction - self is focus rather than company. May change jobs often as they develop personally, add to skill set and change areas of interest
Prefer central brick and mortar work place, distrust telecommuting, need to control when and where people workPrefer telecommuting and flexible hours, opportunity to make up work remotely, i.e., from a café on a weekend or while on vacation
Exclusive focus on work-related matters during work hoursPrefer to switch focus and alternate among work, play, social networking, etc., and are more productive and happy working this way
Hang out in person, clubs, dinners, etc.Hang out both online (Facebook, texting) and also offline (concerts, parties)
Value 'proper' EnglishUse texting and instant message shorthand: cu tomorrow; luv ya, r u going to the game?
Tell friends about a trip on the phone, or with an in-person conversation or at-home slideshowTell friends about a trip by posting pictures on Facebook (visual versus verbal or text stories)
Use the Internet to gather informationUse the Internet to socialize, play, have fun, watch videos, shows, create, etc.
Think of the Internet in passive terms of what they can read, review or learnView the Internet in terms of interaction and participation rather than as passive or one-directional
Think young people waste their lives onlineMany aspects of life are happening only online
Think of the Internet and virtual world as not part of "real life"Internet is as real, and often more pleasurable and tangible, than offline life
One task or pleasure at a timeLike multitasking and task switching. Prefer several tasks or recreation activities at a time: Watch a show, socialize, text, study, play, etc.
Value privacy and limit self-disclosure to small circle of friends, if even thatPut highly personal information on social networking sites, where they may have hundreds or even thousands of friends who can view. Also put personal videos on YouTube - not afraid to be known, not especially concerned with privacy
Prefer more knowledge and "just-in-case" approachPrefer to learn "just-in-time" and what is minimally necessary
Learning is a necessity and is often unavoidable drudgeryLearning should be fun and knowledge is often acquired via fun activities, such as gaming, surfing the web or social networking.
Get their news via traditional news sites (New York Times, local papers) or hard copy newspapersGet their news from friends via Facebook (political discussions on walls), Twitter, political blogs. Traditional news sites are a part of, but not the central piece, of news for this group
Prefer to have 'quality' interaction with one or few people rather that manyInteract/network simultaneously with many, even hundreds of others, as well as with best few friends
Quality interactions can only occur with a tight circle of friends, who have known each other a long time and earned trustQuality interactions can occur with complete strangers, in public, on Facebook, via Twitter and especially online gaming (some games have millions of players around the world). Natives are constantly meeting each other and getting to know one another, often having never met face to face
Traditional safety concerns: Physical kidnapping, assault, robberySafety concerns: Sexting, inappropriate pictures online, cyber stalking, cyber bullying, privacy invasions (hijacking of email accounts, social networking sites

清水修二

(原発などの原子力施設の立地地域に交付される電源三法交付金制度について)
原発を造る仕組みにすぎず、地域に交付金依存体質を生み、地域の発展には結び付かない。

電促税は納税者に存在すら認識されていない。

『富は都市部に、危険は農村部に』という関係を構造化した単なる産業立地政策。

恩恵を受けてきたのは電力を供給されてきた首都圏の人々。交付金は危険手当だ。福島第1原発事故の被害額は巨額であり、これが恩恵と言えるのか。

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

北野 武

何もなくていいんだ。
人は生まれて、生きて、死ぬ、
これだけでたいしたもんだ。

George Carlin

  • The reason I talk to myself is that I'm the only one whose answers I accept.
  • Religion is just mind control.
  • The status quo sucks.
  • I think people should be allowed to do anything they want. We haven't tried that for a while. Maybe this time it'll work.
  • I'm completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death.
  • There's no present. There's only the immediate future and the recent past.
  • Weather forecast for tonight: dark.

Bob Weeks

Much has been written and debated about monosodium glutamate for a number of years, most of it focusing on the supposed negative impact of the ingredient and ignoring its many positive aspects. One of the ingredient’s most important functions is the part it plays in creating umami, the fifth taste. Ajinomoto has played a major role in developing research focusing on the health properties of glutamate, as well as the manner in which it interacts with our taste receptors and delivers the unique flavor we now refer to as umami.

Barry B. Kaplan

Prior to the twentieth century, the proposal ritual in western tradition consisted of only two stages: a man asked a woman (in person or in a letter) for her hand in marriage, then met with her father to ask for his consent. The present day engagement proposal involving the giving of a diamond ring has augmented the erstwhile tradition and is now firmly established as a universal custom.

The inspired and brilliant marketing initiatives of one company, De Beers, and its talented throng of publicists, marketers, and advertisers has forever changed the way we perceive and value diamonds - symbols of esteem, wealth, luxury and above all, romance.

吉田拓郎

疲れ果てている事は 誰にも隠せはしないだろう
ところが俺らは何の為に こんなに疲れてしまったのか
今日という日が そんなにも大きな一日とは思わないが
それでもやっぱり考えてしまう ああこのけだるさは何だ

いつかは何処かへ落着こうと 心の置場を捜すだけ
たどり着いたらいつも雨降り そんな事のくり返し
やっとこれで俺らの旅も 終ったのかと思ったら
いつもの事ではあるけれど ああここもやっぱりどしゃ降りさ

心の中に傘をさして裸足で歩いている自分が見える
人の言葉が右の耳から左の耳へと通りすぎる
それ程頭の中はからっぽになっちまってる
今日は何故か穏やかで 知らん顔してる自分が見える

Patrick Seale

In recent weeks, intense discussions have taken place in Israeli military and intelligence circles about whether or not to launch a military strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Apparently, the key question in the debate was how to ensure that the United States took part in the attack or, at the very least, intervened on Israel’s side if the initial strike triggered a wider war.
Will Israel seek an American green light if it decides to attack Iran or might Netanyahu believe that Obama, enslaved to Israeli interests, would have no choice but to follow suit?
According to the October 6 edition of TTU, a French intelligence bulletin, the US and Israel are planning an unprecedented joint land forces exercise next May with the goal of establishing a common ‘intervention force’ ready for action in the event of a major regional war. Admiral James Stavridis, head of Eurocom — America’s European command — paid a recent unpublicised visit to Israel for talks with General Benny Gantz, Israel’s chief of staff. According to TTU, the plan is to set up American command posts in Israel and Israeli command posts in Eurocom. Cooperation between the two powers has rarely been closer.
These are dangerous times in the Middle East.

Tanya Somanader

The 99 percent movement protests are going global as more and more people seek to register their frustration with corporate greed and injust economic policies. Preferential tax treatment has helped drive the U.S. to its worst level of income inequality since the Great Depression, with the nation ranking more unequal than the Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, and Pakistan. Since 1979, “the gaps in after-tax income between the richest 1 percent of Americans and the middle and poorest fifths of the country more than tripled.”

Relying solely on the wealthy to reduce income inequality seems woefully out of touch with reality. Numerous corporations are sitting on enormous profit, paying more to their CEOs than in taxes. Last year, CEO salaries increased by 27 percent while private worker wages increased by only 2 percent. This pattern will hardly help address the disparity.

Monday, October 17, 2011

New York Daily News

Venkatesh Rao

The basic mechanism by which Sociopaths transfer blame to the Clueless, while reducing the overall severity of the penalty, is an application of Hanlon’s Razor: never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Because Hanlon’s Razor is often true, it is a believable dodge even when it is not. Coupled with another uniquely human trait, the tendency to link penalties to intentions rather than consequences (eg. first-degree murder vs. vehicular manslaughter), Hanlon’s razor can be used to manufacture predictable HIWTYL outcomes out of fundamentally unpredictable situations.
How? By shifting blame from a locus where it would be attributed to malice, to one where it can plausibly be attributed to incompetence, the severity of penalties incurred is lowered.
Hanlon’s razor is double-edged, and Sociopaths use it to feign incompetence themselves or to charge others with incompetence, as necessary.
When ends are defensible, but means are not, Sociopaths feign incompetence, and you get the first kind of Hanlon Dodge.

Hugh MacLeod

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pablo R. Picasso

Todo el mundo quiere comprender la pintura. ¿Por qué no intentan comprender el canto de los pájaros? ¿Por qué a la gente le gusta una noche, un flor, todas las cosas que rodean al hombre sin tratar de comprenderlas? En el caso de la pintura, en cambio, se quiere comprender. Que comprendan sobre todo que el artista obra por necesidad ... Quienes intentan interpretar un cuadro, casi siempre se equivocan.

土光敏夫

  • サラブレッドより野ネズミの方が強い
  • 個人は質素に、社会は豊かに
  • ぜいたくは嫌いだ
  • 社員は三倍、重役は十倍働け
  • 蛍光灯は半分消せ
  • 小便しながらでも報告せよ
  • 『できない』『むり』『むずかしい』は禁句
  • 『今時の若い者』と対話せよ
  • 地獄の底から見ているぞ
  • 自分の火種は、自分で火をつけよ

Laney Salisbury, Aly Sujo

The grand moment of the reception finally arrived. Two Tate conservators wearing white gloves came in carrying a pair of five-foot-tall paintings jointly titled Spring Woodland. The works were beautifully composed, semiabstract figures resembling birds and vegetation, set against an electric-blue background. Conversation stopped as everyone at the table acknowledged the gifts. There was a moment of respectful silence.

“Ahh, the Bissières, how lovely,” someone said, in a voice barely above a whisper.

Myatt was stunned. He had painted the two “Bissières” himself just two weeks before.

Worsley School OnLine

When two physical surfaces make contact, we say they are 'touching' each other. This contact may make it appear that two different surfaces are actually touching, but in fact, no atoms of any one object can ever touch the atoms of another!

A man is leaning on a wall, which his jacket is 'touching'. At least, it seems that way. But when you look very closely at the two surfaces 'in contact', and understand a little about what atoms are like, you discover that no jacket atoms are touching any wall atoms at all!

Here's a simplified explanation of why this is so:
An atom could be described as a positively charged nucleus, surrounded by a cloud of negatively charged electrons. The nuclear forces between these two types of objects is so strong that no earthly conditions can cause the electrons to merge with the nucleus, even though they are opposite in charge. There is always space between them.

S. Morris Engel, Angelika Soldan, Kevin Durand

If we consider a hole and ask, "Does a hole exist?" it would certainly seem clear that it does. For example, Kenny could step in a hole and twist his ankle. If we asked Kenny if the hole exists, he might well think we had become addled to ask such a silly and obvious question. "Of course it exists," he might say, "after all, I just stepped in it, and I couldn't very well have stepped in something that doesn't exist!" However, if we consider the matter a bit further, an oddity within the reality of holes becomes apparent. A hole, it seems, exists differently from, say, a tree. The tree defines its own boundaries, it exists independently of other entities, and it has physical extension. A hole, on the other hand, does not exist independently. While we might say, "I stepped in a hole," it is clear that what is meant there is that "I stepped in a hole in the ground." A hole is always a hole in something else. Thus, it does not establish its own boundaries, it does not exist independently of the entity within which it is, and it does not have physical extension. A hole does not take up space; rather, it is an absence or a privation. Thus, a hole is not a something:, it is a nothing.

Carl Marziali

Air and water meet over most of the earth’s surface, but exactly where one ends and the other begins turns out to be a surprisingly subtle question.
A new study in Nature narrows the boundary to just one quarter of water molecules in the uppermost layer - those that happen to have one hydrogen atom in water and the other vibrating freely above.
Such molecules straddle gas and liquid phases, according to senior author and USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences associate professor Alexander Benderskii, who said the free hydrogen behaves like an atom in gas phase, while its twin below acts much like the other atoms that make up “bulk” water.
The finding matters for theoretical reasons and for practical studies of reactions at the water’s surface, including the processes that maintain a vital supply of nitrogen, oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Hubert Dreyfus, Sean Dorrance Kelly

This sense of certainty is rare in the contemporary world. Indeed, modern life can seem to be defined by its opposite. An unrelenting flow of choices confronts us at nearly every moment of our lives, and most of us could admit to finding ourselves at least occasionally wavering. Far from being certain and unhesitating, our lives can at the extreme seem shot through with hesitation and indecision, culminating in choices finally made on the basis of nothing at all.

Molly Jane Quinn, Jenna Talbott

Modernists are a rare and superior breed of human, indiduaks who understand that high design gives life meaning and that the ordered luxury of minimalism is a salve that heals the weary soul. A modernist is eager to eschew the meretricious accessories that have been deemed indicators of success - enormous televisions, hand-cut crystal champagne flutes, plush carpeting, and comfortable furniture. As a modernist, you are enamored with architectural innovation. You crave a home that is a direct extension of your ego and ethos.

Marcia Reiss

Coney Island's Dreamland—destroyed by fire in 1911, Metropolitan Opera House—demolished in 1967, Moondance Diner—moved to Wyoming in 2007.

James H. Austin

Little insights come as grace notes, usually when one is in solitude. Lighting up our ordinary lives, insights arrive more often after the meditative Path has incubated difficult questions for a long time and begun to ripen into open moments of no-thought clarity.
Meanwhile, regular daily life practice and meditative retreats have continued to hone a variety of subtle top-down and bottom-up skills, both attentive and intuitive. First, the mental landscape is quickened by small surges, then opened partially by the absorptions, and finally turned inside out by kensho’s seismic transformations. Only in that rare, deep selfless state does our generic process of intuition unveil its innate other-relational mode of operation. This underlying version of consciousness, shorn of Self-centered intrusions, finally sees into all things as THEY really are.

仙厓

Tumblr

Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors, to your theme's HTML.

We launched 4 years and 8 months ago out of our office in New York City. Since then, we've grown from a team of two, to more than 51 people. Tumblr is something we've always wanted, and we're thrilled so many people care about it as much as we do.

John Roberts

Truth and error are interdependent; claims to truth can be made only in the light of previous error.