Saturday, December 31, 2011 - Roma

Deferito alla Commissione di disciplina del Ministero degli esteri. E' stato un articolo comparso il 29 dicembre sul quotidiano l'Unità a convincere il ministro Terzi dell'urgenza di un intervento sul caso di Mario Vattani, console italiano a Osaka e figlio d'arte (suo padre, Umberto, ex segretario generale della Farnesina, è tra i diplomatici più conosciuti d'Italia). Il console, però, risulta essere anche il leader del gruppo fasciorock «Sotto fascia semplice», noto negli ambienti neofascisti vicini a Casapound con il nome di Katanga.

Elisabeth Rosenthal

Clamshell containers on supermarket shelves in the United States may depict verdant fields, tangles of vines and ruby red tomatoes. But at this time of year, the tomatoes, peppers and basil certified as organic by the Agriculture Department often hail from the Mexican desert, and are nurtured with intensive irrigation.
... even as more Americans buy foods with the organic label, the products are increasingly removed from the traditional organic ideal: produce that is not only free of chemicals and pesticides but also grown locally on small farms in a way that protects the environment.
... from now until spring, farms from Mexico to Chile to Argentina that grow organic food for the United States market are enjoying their busiest season.
... while traditional organic farmers saw a blemish or odd shape simply as nature’s variations, workers at Sueño Tropical are instructed to cull tomatoes that do not meet the uniform shape, size and cosmetic requirement of clients like Whole Foods. Those “seconds” are sold locally.


Friday, December 30, 2011


Kevin O'Flynn

The real and the fake have long entwined — just look at a certain someone's smooth cheeks and forehead, or watch the news on Channel One — but reality began to bubble up, again and again, like a TV channel that flickers and starts showing the other side.

Frej Finniche

Egyptian soldiers attacked several NGOs offices in the capital Cairo, forcing their way in, blocking the entrances and seizing computers and files.
To the extent of our knowledge this is the first time since January 2010 but this is the first time even under Mubarak regime that military officers are doing this kind of attack. They said according to some information from some sources that have to check the origins of funds and some information about their relationship with foreigners but this can be done according to the law. That means they can invite them for an investigation.



Starting January 1, a new law will charge a greenhouse gas emissions tax on all air travel to and from European Union airports. The plan, which was passed by the European parliament two years ago, was recently given the green light after a court challenge led by a U.S.-based aviation group was rejected.
As a result of the new tax, airline ticket prices to EU destinations are expected to rise $3-$15. Total tax revenues, which could add up to $26 billion by 2020, will be invested to fight climate change and spur the adoption of greener technologies in air travel, which accounts for roughly 3 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions.
European officials say their initiative was taken because 10 long years of negotiations overseen by a United Nations agency has yielded absolutely nothing resembling international agreement on an aviation carbon cap-and-trade system.

Giles Wilson

It's become a tradition on the BBC News website that at the end of each year we look back at some of the faces that have been in the news, and in choosing a face for each month of the year we try to reflect a range of the different kinds of subjects that have been covered. We generally produce a list of women and a list of men, and since we regard it as part of our job to make the list interesting and engaging, we try to include some choices which are not obvious or predictable.
The inclusion on the list of Tian Tian, one of the pandas who arrived with such fanfare at Edinburgh Zoo, led some people to claim that we were not recognising the accomplishments of women. Tian Tian, being female, had been included in our list of women. However, as we pointed out yesterday, she was not the first non-human to be included on these lists - last year there was Peppa Pig who had got mixed up in a political wrangle. The year before there was Benson, a poisoned prize carp. Peppa was on the women's list, and Benson on the men's, though of course like Tian Tian they are not technically men or women.
One thing is at least clearer today. If Tian Tian hadn't justified her place on the list of newsmakers based on her arrival in Edinburgh, she would have done after this.

David Barboza

In an otherwise nondescript conference room, Wu Jianping stands before a giant wall of frosted glass. He toggles a switch and the glass becomes transparent, looking down on an imposing network operations center full of large computer displays. They show maps of China and the world, pinpointing China’s IPv6 links, the next generation of the Internet.
China already has almost twice the number of Internet users as in the United States, and Dr. Wu, a computer scientist and director of the Chinese Educational and Research Network, points out that his nation is moving more quickly than any other in the world to deploy the new protocol.
IPv6 — Internet Protocol version 6 — offers advanced security and privacy options, but more important, many more I.P. addresses, whose supply on the present Internet (IPv4) is almost exhausted.
“China must move to IPv6,” Dr. Wu said. “In the U.S., some people don’t believe it’s urgent, but we believe it’s urgent.”
If the future of the Internet is already in China, is the future of computing there as well?
Many experts in the United States say it could very well be. Because of the ready availability of low-cost labor, China has already become the world’s dominant maker of computers and consumer electronics products. Now, these experts say, its booming economy and growing technological infrastructure may thrust it to the forefront of the next generation of computing.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Patti Neighmond

Yes, exercise is good for you. This we know. Heaps of evidence point to the countless benefits of regular physical activity. Federal health officials recommend at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, like brisk walking, every day.
Studies show that when you adhere to an exercise regimen, you can improve your cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and improve metabolism and levels of cholesterol and triglycerides. You can reduce diabetes risk and the risk of certain cancers. And, finally, exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight, which can boost all of these benefits even more.
But now, researchers are beginning to suspect that even if you engage in regular exercise daily, it may not be enough to counteract the effects of too much sitting during the rest of the day.

Mark Duell

If you’re reading this sitting down, then stand up. It could save your life.
Women who sit for more than six hours daily are around 40 per cent more likely to die than those sitting for less than three hours a day, a study said.
The figure was about 20 per cent for men, according to American Cancer Society researchers who looked at 123,000 people's health over 14 years
Extended periods of sitting down increases risks of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, depression and obesity, the study said.


The Muftı of Kesan (a small town in NW Turkey) is the order of the day in Turkey with his statements on Santa Claus.
Süleyman Yeniçeri (the last name means Janissary in Turkish) is hot topic in Turkey, after the mufti stressed his opinion about Santa Claus and the adoptation of Christian Christmas and new year habits into Turkish and Muslim Life. The brilliant statement of Yeniçeri was : ”New year celebrations are not part of our (Turkish) culture. There is no person as Santa Claus. There is one Saint Nick, yes, but he is merely a fabrication. It is yet not clear if santa or Saint nick has ever lived or not. Santa Claus uses chimneys or windows to enter homes. If he was a decent person, he would use the front door.
The brilliant mufti continued :” Why are we trying to impersonate the Christian lifestyle. Do they [Christians] try to copy our ways of living ? Christmas and New Year Celebrations are imports from Christian World. Christmas is not our rejoicing or holiday. Koran says do enter using the front door.

United Nations

The General Assembly closed its main session midday Saturday with the adoption of a $5.15 billion United Nations budget for the 2012-2013 biennium and an unexpected intervention by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who commended Member States for having risen to that challenge with “energy, creativity and an indispensable willingness to make the hard choices”.
In a “collective achievement”, United Nations Member States “found savings, while protecting the Organization’s ability to “get the job done”, the Secretary-General said.  “We worked together and made history,” he declared, by approving a budget by the Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary) that was lower than the one for the previous biennium.
“All budgets are tough, but this year was particularly difficult, as Governments and peoples everywhere are struggling in this time of financial austerity,” he said, praising the “compact” between Member States and the United Nations Secretariat and all United Nations staff.  Today, member nations kept their promises — to each other and to the world’s people.  In turn, he gave his pledge, and he would instruct all his managers to do the same, to do more and better with less, to make the most of “our precious resources”.
He would ensure that Member States contributions, and that all mandates given to the Secretariat, were fully and efficiently delivered and at a savings.  “You can count on my commitment,” he said, concluding with his best wishes for a “Merry Christmas and a very healthy and happy New Year” for all.

Michel Teló

Nossa, nossa
Assim você me mata
Ai, se eu te pego,
Ai, ai, se eu te pego

Delícia, delícia
Assim você me mata
Ai, se eu te pego
Ai, ai, se eu te pego



Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Andrew J. Bacevich

“Is America Over?” That question adorns the cover of the latest issue of Foreign Affairs, premier organ of the foreign policy establishment.  As is typically the case with that establishment, Foreign Affairs is posing the wrong question, one designed chiefly to elicit a misleading, if broadly reassuring answer.
Proclaim it from the rooftops: No, America is not “over.”  Yet a growing accumulation of evidence suggests that America today is not the America of 1945.  Nor does the international order of the present moment bear more than a passing resemblance to that which existed in the heyday of American power.  Everyone else on the planet understands this.  Perhaps it’s finally time for Americans — starting with American politicians — to do so as well.  Should they refuse, a painful comeuppance awaits.


The agreement announced between China and Japan to strengthen financial ties and promote yuan-yen trade is a small, but notable, step toward a new global economy. Its immediate practical significance is limited, yet the deal signals that a deeper transformation is under way — and one that the world should welcome.
The plan was a surprise: It marks a warming of relations that had been chilly of late. The accord still lacks a timetable for implementation, but once in force it will let Chinese and Japanese trading companies switch between yuan and yen without converting to dollars first. This will encourage commerce by reducing currency risk and trading costs.
The agreement will let a Japanese-backed institution sell yuan bonds in China, helping to open China’s capital market. In return, Japan will convert some of its foreign- exchange reserves into Chinese bonds. China has signed financial pacts with other nations, mainly in Asia, but the size of China-Japan trade — $340 billion last year, and growing fast — makes this deal the most important by far.
Warmer relations and short-term benefits for regional trade, though, are not the main reasons the agreement matters. China seeks a bigger role for its currency in global markets, and wants power in international forums that is commensurate with its economic might. The sooner its currency is fully convertible and its economy is open to global investment, the sooner this will happen.

Jacques Drillon

Le livre n’a pas attendu d’être numérique pour exister. C’était un objet parfait. L’industrie et le marketing mondialisé en ont décidé autrement. Déjà, dès 1995, avec le cédérom, les ventes d’encyclopédies sur papier s’étaient écroulées. Les revues scientifiques, pourtant chères, ont suivi avec Internet. Et voilà qu’Amazon a annoncé qu’en mai dernier la vente de livres numériques avait dépassé aux USA celle de livres papier (dont la vente a progressé aussi). L’affirmation est invérifiable, mais suffit à raviver les charbons ardents sous les pieds des éditeurs et des libraires.

Associated Press

Johannes Heesters, a Dutch-born entertainer who made his name performing in Adolf Hitler's Germany and was dogged later in his long career by controversy over his Nazi-era past, has died. He was 108.
Heesters was born Dec. 5, 1903, in the Dutch city of Amersfoort, the youngest of four sons of a businessman. His first wife, Dutch actress Louisa Ghijs, died in 1983. The couple had two daughters, Nicole and Wiesje.
Heesters married his second wife, Rethel — a German actress — in 1992.

Sven Torfinn

A rape victim in Mogadishu hid her identity. Aid workers say there has been a free-for-all of armed men preying upon women and girls displaced by famine.

Colum Lynch

The 10 worst U.N. Security Council resolutions ever
  1. The Somalia Swan Song Resolution: 1863
  2. The Condi & Sergei Do-Nothing Iran Resolution: 1835
  3. The "We Command You to Stop Killing Your People ... Please" Resolution: 1706
  4. The Pick Your Terrorist Resolution: 1530
  5. The "Trust Me, He's a Terrorist" Resolutions: 1267 and 1390
  6. The Genocide Rescue Brigade That Never Was Resolution: 912
  7. The Bosnian Unsafe Haven Resolution:  819
  8. The Iraqi Collateral Damage Resolutions: 661 and 687
  9. The "You Say Territories I Say Des Territoires" Resolution: 242
  10. The "What's Bad For the Bolsheviks, Is Bad For the Yanks" Resolution: 82

Deepak Chopra

No matter what the situation, remind yourself "I have a choice."

Tina Rosenberg

Of 6,909 catalogued languages, hundreds are unlikely to be passed on to the next generation. Thornton, who has worked with more than 100 Native American tribes, says that some are already using sophisticated programs to preserve their languages. “Other groups,” he says, “we ask about their language program, and they say, ‘You’re it.’ We look at it from their standpoint — what are the coolest technologies out there? We start programming for that.”
For the vast majority of the world, the cellphone, not the Internet, is the coolest available technology. And they are using those phones to text rather than to talk. Though most of the world’s languages have no written form, people are beginning to transliterate their mother tongues into the alphabet of a national language. Now they can text in the language they grew up speaking. Harrison tells of traveling in Siberia, where he met a truck driver who devised his own system for writing the endangered Chulym language, using the Cyrillic alphabet. “You find people like him everywhere,” Harrison said. “We are getting languages where the first writing is not the translation of the Bible — as it has often happened — but text messages.”

Howcast Media, Inc.

Howcast empowers people with engaging, useful how-to information wherever, whenever they need to know how. Led by a senior management team with deep roots in traditional and new media as well as technology, Howcast has offices in San Francisco and New York.
Known for high-quality content, Howcast streams tens of millions of videos every month across its multi-platform distribution network. Approaching two million downloads across iPhone, iPad, Android, and BlackBerry phones, Howcast is the #1 mobile app for instructional content -- wherever you are.
For brand marketing partners, site publishers, and content providers, Howcast offers a range of services to communicate and interact more effectively with targeted audiences. With expertise in content creation, distribution, and technology services, Howcast provides the perfect solution for our partners' content and communications strategies.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


The First annual Alliance for Youth Movements (AYM) Summit took place in New York on December 3-5, 2008, with representatives of online campaigns.
The Second Alliance for Youth Movements Summit, held October 14–16, 2009 in Mexico City. This Summit explored the role of technology in mobilizing young people working to end violence throughout Latin America and around the world. is a non-profit organization dedicated to identifying, connecting, and supporting grassroots digital activists from around the world. We match members of our global network with necessary resources from the technology, media, private and public sectors in order to help them build capacity. hosts annual summits, regional training events, and an online hub for best practices, lessons learned, discussion and news about the use of new technologies in social movements.
The organization was formed during a December 2008 summit, the Alliance of Youth Movements, that brought together experts in social media with pioneering grassroots movement leaders for the first time in history. Founders of include Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas at Google, Jason Liebman, CEO and co-founder of Howcast, and Roman Tsunder, co-founder of Access 360 Media.

Freedom House

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports the expansion of freedom around the world. Freedom House supports democratic change, monitors freedom, and advocates for democracy and human rights.
Throughout its history, Freedom House has opposed tyranny around the world, including dictatorships in Latin America, apartheid in South Africa, Soviet domination of Central and Eastern Europe, and religiously-based totalitarian regimes such as those governing Sudan, Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Solidarity Center

The Solidarity Center is a non-profit organization that assists workers around the world who are struggling to build democratic and independent trade unions. We work with unions and community groups worldwide to achieve equitable, sustainable, democratic development and to help men and women everywhere stand up for their rights and improve their living and working standards.
  • The Solidarity Center and its union partners promote democracy, freedom, and respect for worker rights in global trade, investment, and development policies and in the lending practices of international financial institutions.
  • Our programs raise public awareness about the abuse of the world's most vulnerable workers.
  • Above all, our programs help the world's workers secure a voice in the developing global economy, and thus in their own future.
In response to partner requests, the Solidarity Center provides a wide range of education, training, research, legal support, organizing assistance, and other resources to help build strong and effective trade unions and more just and equitable societies.


The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, with funding from the US Congress, NED supports more than 1,000 projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.
NED makes more than 1000 grants each year to nongovernmental groups in more than 90 countries. Behind each grant is a story about people who share a common desire to live in a world that is free and democratic, and who are willing to dedicate and often risk their lives to achieve that goal.

Tony Cartalucci

The IMF invasions of the 90's prompted leaders around the world to insulate their nation and its economy from similar attacks in the future. The prospect of using military force by these globocrat elite is also becoming more and more difficult, expensive both politically and economically.
Their proposed solution is staged color revolutions. With the help of their mass media in combination with agitators they themselves have organized via NED, Freedom House, and AYM, they can overthrow nations and install their own puppets who are sure to make favorable reforms. Not only is this accomplished without firing a shot, but it's done under the guise of a "people's power revolution" for democracy and freedom.
The key to balking these nefarious designs is to understand them and raise awareness of them before they unfold. For Egypt it may be too late. For other nations there may still be a chance.


Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Sunday highlighted the need for the US government to use Twitter and other social media to connect with young people amid turbulent change in the Middle East and North Africa.
Following revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt fueled by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube exchanges, the US State Department set up Twitter accounts last week in Farsi, Arabic and other languages to get its message across.
Clinton, making her second major speech on Internet freedom in the past year on Tuesday, announced that the State Department would also begin sending messages in Chinese, Russian and Hindi. ...
In her address, Clinton singled out China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Syria and Vietnam as countries which practice censorship or restrict access to the Internet.
She noted that Syria had lifted a ban on Facebook and YouTube last week but convicted a teenage girl of espionage on Monday and sentenced her to five years in prison for political poetry she wrote on her blog.
Clinton described the Internet as "the public space of the 21st century -- the world's town square, classroom, marketplace, coffee house, and nightclub."
She said protests in Egypt and Iran fueled by Facebook, Twitter and YouTube reflected "the power of connection technologies as an accelerant of political, social, and economic change."

Nina N. Karpova, Anouchka Pickenhagen, Jesse Lindholm, Ettore Tiraboschi, Natalia Kulesskaya, Arna Ágústsdóttir, Hanna Antila, Dina Popova, Yumiko Akamine, Regina Sullivan, René Hen, Liam J. Drew, Eero Castrén

Antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy combined are more effective in treating mood disorders than either treatment alone, but the neurobiological basis of this interaction is unknown. To investigate how antidepressants influence the response of mood-related systems to behavioral experience, we used a fear-conditioning and extinction paradigm in mice. Combining extinction training with chronic fluoxetine, but neither treatment alone, induced an enduring loss of conditioned fear memory in adult animals. Fluoxetine treatment increased synaptic plasticity, converted the fear memory circuitry to a more immature state, and acted through local brain-derived neurotrophic factor. Fluoxetine-induced plasticity may allow fear erasure by extinction-guided remodeling of the memory circuitry. Thus, the pharmacological effects of antidepressants need to be combined with psychological rehabilitation to reorganize networks rendered more plastic by the drug treatment.

World Bank, USAID

The sixth debate of the Emerging Issues in Today’s HIV Response Debate Series titled, "Treatment as Prevention" featured expert panelists arguing for and against the proposition:
"Countries should spend a majority of what is likely to be a flat or even declining HIV prevention budget on 'treatment as prevention'."
Recent studies have shown that persons living with HIV who are on antiretroviral treatment, are much less infectious and therefore much less likely to transmit HIV to others. The HPTN-052 randomised study found a 96% reduction in HIV transmission from an HIV-infected person to his/her sexual partner, for the 76% of cases where intra-couple transmission took place. Results suggesting similar levels of acquisition risk reduction were reported in the 2010 Partners in Prevention study. What do these latest results mean for HIV prevention programming? Should "treatment as prevention" become HIV prevention policy in countries? For all persons or only for adults in long-term sexual partnerships? Does the type of epidemic (i.e. concentrated, mixed, generalized) matter? How feasible are these interventions? Is it ethical not to implement them, given that their efficacy between long-term sexual partners is known? Should prevention resources be diverted away from other interventions, such as behavior change efforts, to fund increased ART? Who will pay for costs of the increased volumes of drugs? Do we know enough about the side-effects or about drug resistance? These questions and others related to treatment as prevention were discussed.

Efraim Kishon

  • Israel is a country surrounded on all sides by enemies, but the people's headaches are caused by the neighbors upstairs.
  • Israel is the only country in the world where "small talk" consists of loud, angry debate over politics and religion.
  • Israel is one of the few countries in the world that truly likes and admires the United States.

Riccardo De Luca



Monday, December 26, 2011



Amy Gutmann

Assuring the President that the current rules for research participants protect people from harm or unethical treatment, domestically, as well as internationally, is at the heart of the Commission’s charge on human subjects protection.

Susan Reverby

They thought "we're in a war against disease and in war soldiers die."
It's too easy to say "Oh, we'd never do anything like that."
We really need to think about what we're doing now that's going to look horrible in 20 years.



University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education

Library of Congress

William N. Grigg

In physics, the term "observer effect" describes how examining a phenomenon can change it, because of the influence of the instruments used to make the observation. Something similar happens to human interactions when cameras are present. The irresistible impulse to play to the lens makes human behavior mannered and self-aware. Every statement becomes a performance, every gesture a pose.

Will Counts Collection, Indiana University Archives

Hazel Bryan and Elizabeth Eckford, Little Rock, Ark., September 1957

Sunday, December 25, 2011


Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.

China Times

John Noble Wilford

In its time and place, the ancient city of Dura-Europos had much in common with today’s most cosmopolitan urban landscapes. Religious, linguistic and cultural diversity characterized much of the city’s life for more than 500 years, starting at the outset of the third century B.C. in what is now Syria.
Greek, Aramaic, Latin, Parthian, Middle Persian and Hebrew — all of these languages were used concurrently throughout the society, according to inscriptions and graffiti uncovered by archaeologists. A temple altar epitomizes the multiculturalism: The inscription is in Greek, and a man with a Latin name and a Greek-titled office in the Roman army is shown presenting an offering to Iarhibol, a god of the migrants from the old Syrian caravan city of Palmyra.
New Yorkers would have felt at home in the grid pattern of streets, where merchants lived, scribes wrote and Jews worshiped in the same block, not far from a Christian house-church as well as shrines to Greek and Palmyrene deities. Scholars said the different religious groups seemed to maintain their distinct identities.


Your data contains a definitive record of your user transactions, customer behavior, machine behavior and fraudulent activity, information that is essential for managing, securing and auditing your environment - whether physical, virtual or in the cloud. This data also enables you to gain end-to-end visibility and insights on to how to better run IT and the business. Start by using Splunk to address one specific solution area. Then leverage Splunk and your machine data to solve other pressing problems over time.
Almost half of the Fortune 100 and more than 3,200 enterprises, service providers and government organizations in more than 75 countries. Troubleshoot application problems and investigate security incidents in minutes instead of hours or days, monitor and alert to avoid service degradation or outages and deliver compliance at lower cost. With Splunk organizations are far more effective—all with far higher productivity, lower costs and with new insights that contribute to both the top line and bottom line.

Malia Wollan

The idea of big data goes something like this: In a world of ever-increasing digital connectivity, ever larger mountains of data are produced by our cellphones, computers, digital cameras, RFID readers, smart meters and GPS devices. The huge quantity of data becomes unwieldy and difficult for companies and governments to manage and understand.
“My smartphone produces a huge amount of data, my car produces ridiculous amounts of really valuable data, my house is throwing off data, everything is making data,” said Erik Swan, 47, co-founder of Splunk, a San Francisco-based start-up whose software indexes vast quantities of machine-generated data into searchable links. Companies search those links, as one searches Google, to analyze customer behavior in real time.

Julian Assange

What are the difference between Mark Zuckerberg and me? I give private information on corporations to you for free, and I am a villain. Zuckerberg gives your private information to corporations for money and he’s Person of the Year.

BVA, Gallup

Matrice de l’optimisme par pays
en matière de situation économique selon le niveau de revenus par habitant

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Randall Stross

The publishers that are holding back are watching for an industrywide approach to gel. But agreement doesn’t seem imminent. David Young, Hachette’s chief executive, says: “Publishers can’t meet to discuss standards because of antitrust concerns. This has had a chilling effect on reaching consensus.”
While many major publishers have effectively gone on strike, more than 1,000 smaller publishers, who don’t have best-seller sales that need protection, happily sell e-books to libraries. That means the public library has plenty of e-books available for the asking — no waiting.
Making those lesser-known books available to patrons renews libraries’ primary function: offering readers a place for discovery.

Davis Merritt

Underage drinking costs Americans $62 billion every year in injuries, deaths and lost work time, according to a tally released Thursday. That's more than three times what the federal government had spent on relief for Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by mid-June.
The highest costs are those associated with rapes, murders, assaults and other violent crimes committed by underage people who have been drinking, which add up to $34.7 billion. The second-highest cost was drunken-driving accidents, totaling $13.5 billion. Researchers took into account immediate costs, such as hospital bills, and long-term damage, such as lost work hours and lowered quality of life.
Dividing the total cost of teen drinking by the estimated number of teen drinkers, the study, from the nonprofit research group Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, estimates that every underage drinker costs society an average of $4,680 a year.
After car crashes and violent crime, the next highest estimated costs of teen drinking were those associated with high-risk sex (nearly $5 billion), property crime ($3 billion) and addiction treatment programs (nearly $2 billion).
"Alcohol kills four times the number of kids that illegal drugs do," Ted Miller, one of the lead researchers. "We're not spending much at all on this problem, despite the size of it."

Larry Beinhart

When the media gets pressure from only one side, they will yield to that pressure.
The left and the mainstream have fought many battles since the fifties.
I would like to suggest that the split is not between right and left but between the faith-based and reality-based communities.
When the right attacks the liberal media, what it is really attacking is objective media, with fact-checking.

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Gossip is uncensored, unmediated, unfiltered, peer-to-peer communication. The term describes the method, not the subject, of communication. In pre-revolutionary France gossip was anarchistic in the sense that it grew and thrived outside of hierarchies and beyond the reach of the state, not that it necessarily advocated or caused the overthrow of the king, although it certainly did contribute. Unmediated and decentralized, gossip was anarchistic in structure if not in content.

Thomas Geoghegan

But I really get goose bumps in this station when I look at all the papers. I mean the big, thick German dailies ... with few if any pictures on the front page.
And then I look at all the racks of books. Though it's changing, it used to be the books had no pictures on the covers. Nothing. One chose a book just for the sake of words! Words, words, words, and no pictures.
According to Facts About Germany, the official government publication, 78 percent of Germans read a newspaper every day for an average of twenty-eight minutes. And while paid circulation has wafted gently down in Germany, it has plummeted in the U.S. Germany has 23 million in paid circulation, while the vastly larger U.S. has only 34 million.

Andrew Meier

Many years ago, when I was still living in the Moscow kommunalka a few blocks from the Kremlin with my friends Andrei and Lera, they took me to visit a dacha far outside town. It belonged to a friend of Lera's, an old Jewish woman, the soft-spoken matriarch of five generations of women. She had lived several lives, had survived the ravages of World War II and Stalinism. If anyone, I thought, she would know.
What was the difference, I asked, between Stalin and Hitler?
"Hitler," she replied without pause, "killed only his enemies."
On June 6, 2002, it officially declared Russia a free market economy. The optimism was shared by few Russians. The poverty line after all still cut through a third of Russia's households. Per capita GDP, at twenty-one hundred dollars in 2001. True, stocks were up again, but who owned stock? The capitalization of Russia's entire stock market, moreover, equaled less than a sixth of General Electric's. True, the fall of the Soviet bloc had opened new markets for the men who now controlled Russia's oil and gas, but the rest o the populace discovered only the downside of globalization: the onslaught of foreign brands and the competitive advantage of exporters East and West.

Matthew Russell Lee

As the UN budget fight whimpered past 5 am on Christmas Eve, the heralded US drive for reform and transparency came down to a desire to cut $7 million rather than $5 million from the budget of the UN Mission in the Ivory Coast, UNOCI ...
Some diplomats lay sleeping on couches on the first and second floors of the North Lawn building; the UN staff required to formalize the votes on Christmas eve waited over cold pizza and hot water without tea bags.
Recorded votes were predicted on the Responsibility to Protect, and the Myanmar item left over from the Third Committee due to Program Budget Implications. "Our colleagues left us the Law of the Sea too," a representative said, predicting a General Assembly vote by 8 am. Others said noon. We'll see.

Nicholas von Hoffman

A fanciful explanation for the two realities is that the United States is the continent-wide set for a large scale reenactment of the movie The Truman Show. The plot of that movie has the well-intentioned but naive hero go about his daily life without any suspicion that he is, in fact, in a gigantic soap opera. His hometown is actually the set for the TV show and from earliest childhood he has been manipulated and controlled by the producer and the director. The enthusiastic acceptance by the American multitudes of teh Iraqi stuff-and-nonsense coming out of the White House would be understandable if we all are living on a stage set in a village called Freedom Island threatened by a town called Evil Axis.
Americans believed, as they usually do when their government and their television tell them something, but the rest of the world laughed every time George Bush or Colin Powell or Dick Cheney or Donald Rumsfeld thought up yet one more scary reason to invade Iraq. The ill-constructed, clumsy untruths were surprisingly crude for people who have had years to practice the craft of mass deception, and they had only to speak their latest falsehood to be cheered by their countrymen and disbelieved by non-Americans everywhere.



Jonathan Chait

Of the many taboos that prevail among conservatives, the one forbidding any serious discussion of inequality is perhaps the strictest. Any forthright examination of this topic will lead one quickly to the realization that American society has been spreading apart rapidly for three decades and that Republican economic policies have without a doubt contributed mightily to this gulf. So conservatives usually ignore the subject of inequality, except perhaps to minimize its scale or importance.
The current predicament is not altogether unfamiliar to America. A century ago, there were vast disparities in wealth and income, and the political system was dominated by a self-serving elite. What finally turned the tide was a wave of labor violence and radical activism, first around the turn of the century and again during the Great Depression. The business and political elite feared that capitalism itself was under siege and might not survive, and in time it embraced the palliative of modern liberal reform in order to safeguard the free enterprise system.
The elite of that generation, like the elite of today, was conservative by temperament. But their conservatism meant something else -- a sense of social responsibility, a commitment to preserving peace between economic classes. The conservatives of today, on the other hand, have redefined conservatism as an expression of their material self-interest, defined in the narrowest and most short-sighted terms. They have forgotten the lessons of their forebears, and if sanity is to be restored to our political order, they must relearn them.

Charles Boix

Realists are right in claiming that democratic life is possible only when certain, mostly material conditions are in place. But, in acting like the drunkard that searches for his lost keys only under the lamppost — that is, by looking at the easy-to-measure variable of income — they have missed the true nature of those conditions. It is, rather, excessive economic inequality, particularly in agrarian countries and in nations rich in oil and other minerals, that exacerbates the extent of social and political conflict to the point of making democracy impossible. In an unequal society, the majority resents its diminished status. It harbors the expectation of employing elections to drastically overturn its condition. In turn, the wealthy minority fears the outcome that may follow from free elections and the assertion of majority rule. As a result, it resorts to authoritarian institutions to guarantee its social and economic advantage. By contrast, in societies endowed with some relative social and economic equality, inhabitants are willing to accept the inherently uncertain results of free elections — that is, they are willing to agree to be temporarily reduced to the status of minority and to be governed by the party they oppose.
Before the irruption of commercial and industrial capitalism in modern Europe, most wealth was fixed in the form of farmland and mines. A few agrarian communities (mountainous Switzerland, Norway, or Iceland) were equal and democratic. But most pre-industrial societies were (and are) characterized by the combination of inequality, authoritarianism and underdevelopment.
Authoritarianism is pervasive in an agrarian economy for a simple reason. In a Hobbesian world infested by bandits and generalized war, autocrats are a standard, reasonable mechanism to enforce peace and to protect the peasant population against plunder and death. Still, the price of authoritarianism is inequality. In exchange for protection against bandits like themselves, rulers such as the Bourbons, the Tudors, or the Sauds seize an important part of their subjects’ assets. For example, at the death of Augustus (14 A.D.), the top 1/10,000 of the Roman Empire’s households received 1 percent of all income. In Mughal India around 1600 A.D., the top 1/10,000th received 5 percent of all income. In fact, the annual income of the Indian emperor was the equivalent of the wage of about 650,000 unskilled workers.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Political Compass

Charles Taylor

We define our identity always in dialogue with, sometimes in struggle against, the things our significant others want to see in us. Even after we outgrow some of these others—our parents, for instance—and they disappear from our lives, the conversation with them continues within us as long as we live.

Alan Watts

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.

Maison Ladurée

Htesorf Enur

If there a bit problem, do not solve it. If solved, a smaller problem will become a big problem.
If there is a dream, do not realize it. If realized, you will simply lose your dream.

Steve Keen

The global economy of the early 21st century looks a lot more like the economic textbook ideal that did the world of the 1950s. Barriers to trade have been abolished or dramatically reduced, regulations controlling the flow of capital have been liberalised, currencies are now valued by the market rather than being set by governments; in so many spheres of economic interaction, the government's role has been substantially reduced. All these changes have followed the advance of economists that the unfettered market is the best way to allocate resources, and that well-intentioned interventions which oppose market forces will actually do more harm than good.
With the market so much more in control of the global economy now than fifty years ago, then if economists are right, the world should be a manifestly better place: it should be growing faster, with more stability, and income should go to those who deserve it.
Unfortunately, the world refuses to dance the expected tune. In particularly, the final ten years of the 20th century were marked, not by tranquil growth, but by crises: ...

Max Borders

There’s a weird symmetry between the Right and the Left. It’s difficult to articulate, but it’s becoming clearer to me now. They’re both Keynesians, only in different domains. The Left are Keynesians about economics, the Right are Keynesians about political strategy. The trouble with either is that Keynesianism doesn’t work very well anywhere it's applied.
Lest I lose my reader straight out of the gate, allow me to explain in simpler terms the defining characteristics of what I’ll call the “Keynesian Model.” This model:
  1. Deals almost exclusively in macro-level aggregates.
  2. Holds that these aggregates are mostly informative.
  3. Information can be successfully used for macro purposes.
For example, in economics, Keynesians want to tweak or “stimulate” the economy by raining largess on particular sectors to stimulate aggregate labor demand, say.
But the trouble with this way of looking at the world is:
  1. The micro-level is where most of the action is.
  2. The devil of the economy is in the details of billions of individual means-ends actions, coordinations and transactions, which makes knowledge mostly local.
  3. These details are far to complex to be reduced to aggregates and manipulated to positive effect.

Edward Friedman, Paul G. Pickowicz, Mark Selden, Kay Ann Johnson

Within the party people took the combination of revolution and reform to mean "left in politics, right in economics."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

P.B. Wignall


David G. Myers

Forget about money. Don't fret about youth. Acting happy is likely to make you happy.

What makes for a happy disposition? Who are these people who stay basically up despite life's downs? There are four important traits of happy people:
  1. Self-esteem: happy people like themselves
  2. Optimism: happy people are hope-filled
  3. Extroversion: happy people are outgoing
  4. Personal Control: happy people believe they choose their destinies

Farhad Manjoo

I didn’t make a lot of friends in the retail and publishing industries last week when I suggested that independent bookstores were the spawn of Satan. I argued that by making it cheap and easy for people to buy a lot of books, Amazon has been a boon for the book industry and “literary culture” in a way that many bookstores can’t match.
Many defenders of bookstores countered that by focusing on dollars and cents, I’d missed the whole point of these establishments. Bookstores, it turns out, don’t primarily exist to sell books—instead, they’re more like bars for readers. ...
If you want bookstores to stick around, you should root for them to improve the way they sell stuff. Booksellers won’t survive the Amazon onslaught by merely wagging their fingers at the retail giant.

Will Doig

On a recent evening in Washington, D.C., Kramerbooks was hopping. Getting inside meant actually shimmying past people who were chatting and poring over the stacks. There’s a restaurant in the back, but on this particular night there was no wait for a table, so it’s safe to say that the vast majority of these people were using Kramerbooks as a place to hang out.
Two doors down, at Beadazzled, a bead and jewelry shop, no such crowd could be found. Both stores are independently owned, well-liked local institutions that have been in D.C. for decades. But Kramerbooks is a hive of ebullient chatter on any given night and Beadazzled isn’t. Why do bookstores so often become magnets for bustling urban activity?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Stuart Elliott

Executives at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt say they do not believe they will sell as many print copies of the new dictionary as they did of previous editions. That is why there is a free companion Web site for the dictionary, at That is also why the dictionary is being made available as an app and for e-readers. (The app is free with the purchase of the print dictionary and $24.99 if bought separately. The app is published by Enfour, to which Houghton Mifflin Harcourt has licensed the rights. The e-reader version, from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, has a suggested list price of $60.)

Mark Rice-Oxley, Ami Sedghi, Jenny Ridley, Sasha Magill

They were three days that shook the world - and shook the Soviet Union so hard that it fell apart.
But for better or worse? Twenty years on from the Soviet coup that ultimately ended Mikhail Gorbachev's political career and gave birth to 15 new states, ...
It was in many senses a traumatic break-up. Like a marriage, there was so much that was jointly owned that it was hard to make a clean break. Industries, military units, whole populations, were scattered across an empire, indivisible. Moreover, the economic crisis that led the USSR to the brink tilted most of the emergent countries into the abyss. GDP fell as much as 50 percent in the 1990s in some republics, Russia leading the race to the bottom as capital flight, industrial collapse, hyperinflation and tax avoidance took their toll. Almost as startling as the collapse was the economic rebound in the 2000s. By the end of the decade, some economies were five times as big as they were in 1991. High energy prices helped major exporters like Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, but even perennial stragglers like Moldova and Armenia began to grow...

The Economist

Short sharp terms make big points clear. But people often prefer to soften their speech with euphemism: a mixture of abstraction, metaphor, slang and understatement that offers protection against the offensive, harsh or blunt. In 1945, in one of history’s greatest euphemisms, Emperor Hirohito informed his subjects of their country’s unconditional surrender (after two atomic bombs, the loss of 3m people and with invasion looming) with the words, “The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage.”
Euphemisms range promiscuously, from diplomacy (“the minister is indisposed”, meaning he won’t be coming) to the bedroom (a grande horizontale in France is a notable courtesan). But it is possible to attempt a euphemistic taxonomy. One way to categorise them is ethical. In “Politics and the English Language”, George Orwell wrote that obfuscatory political language is designed “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable”. Some euphemisms do distort and mislead; but some are motivated by kindness.

Lord Walt

Monday, December 19, 2011



Esther Dean, Mikkel Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Katy Perry, Sandy Julien Wilhelm

You don't have to feel like a waste of space
You're original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow
Maybe you're reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will blow
And when it's time, you'll know
You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July
'Cause baby you're a firework
Come on, show 'em what you're worth
Make 'em go, oh
As you shoot across the sky

Sunday, December 18, 2011


On en se rend pas assez compte de l’énormité qui est advenue il y a 2’000 ans. Dans une société décrite comme très patriarcale et supposément esclavagiste des femmes, l’histoire de Jésus est un grand coup de pied dans ce que la modernité dit du passé.
Selon la théorie on devrait avoir l’image d’un couple dominé par l’homme. L’enfant est censément obéissant, la femme baisse les yeux, l’homme est bouffi d’orgueil et sûr de sa puissance et de sa paternité. Enfin, selon la doxa moderne.
Mais ce n’est pas du tout ce qui s’est passé. La story racontée, vraie ou fausse, réelle ou mythique, est très différente. Même mythique, elle dit quelque chose d’étonnant pour l’époque telle qu’on se la représente.
L’homme travaille le bois. Un métier simple. Pas de brillant social. Pas de position de notable. La femme qui est sa fiancée, Marie, devient enceinte avant même qu’ils se soient «connus» bibliquement.

Daphne Eviatar

Last week, the Senate voted to pass a bill that would codify indefinite detention without trial in the United States, mandate military detention for terrorist suspects, and stop the transfer of even innocent detainees out of the Guantanamo Bay and Bagram military prisons.
If that sounds bad enough, just wait:  As we head into the holidays, the bill could get even worse. This week, the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, goes to conference, where the House and the Senate will try to reconcile a bad bill with a worse one.  Expect an even harsher, broader-reaching and more nonsensical bill ...

Thomas Lin, Jonathan Huang

2012: The high-end microprocessor will be an entire computer on a single chip.
2013: Electronic ink becomes as flexible and thin as paper.
2019: Scientific publishing will move away from the current journal-and-conference model.
2019: Our entire medical history will be collectively combined in one universal system.
2020: Google will provide everyone with the ability to communicate with everyone else.
2021: Computers will be relegated to appliance status like toasters.
2021: More people will enter into romantic relationships with people they met online.
2022: Personalized descriptions of what and who is around you will be available.
2023: The most common forms of cancer will be treated with a personalized therapy.
2024: Freeway car pool lanes will be opened to robot-driven cars.
2026: Reprogrammable tissue and organismal development will arrive.
2031: Most people will own and use a personal life recorder.
2039: New computer viruses spontaneously evolve from bits of code and transcription errors.
2056: Cash will become illegal, replaced with electric currency.
2058: Enhanced intelligence will be available to most people.
2060: More people will use personal air vehicles for their daily commute than cars.
2063: A computer program is created that has all the features of human intelligence.
2076: Your brain will be connected to the Internet.
2114: Humans can restore and backup their memories to the system.
2170: More people will die from computer viruses in a year than from biological viruses.
2259: Old knowledge will not have to be learned; only new one will need to be created.
2267: We'll live forever.
2484: We will be governed by an all-knowing artificial intelligence.

Theodor Holm Nelson

More and more people are looking to computers to save the world, but the people who run them certainly don’t know how. Nobody’s in charge, not even Google, though everyone in the dot-com world pretends.
Nobody imagined the vastness of the Internet, not even the kids who built it, or we wouldn’t be running out of addresses. We are in a world nobody designed or expected, driving full tilt toward — a wall? a cliff? a new dawn? We must choose wisely, as if we could.
On the one hand, we are getting bread and circuses, vast freebies unimaginable scant years ago — free e-mail, phone calls and maps, acres of picture space. On the other hand, somebody or something is reading your mail, and that same somebody or something is looking for new ways to control your future.
Some things are more and more fabulous, some things are more threatening and oppressive, except we don’t all agree on which is which. Are Facebook and Google marvelous ways of communicating, or a threat to our privacy? Yes!
In the face of all this, it is absolutely impossible to say what will happen.

Lauren Morello

Climate change will alter the mix of vegetation on 49 percent of Earth's land surface by the end of this century, scrambling and shifting existing ecosystems, according to a new study.
Researchers at NASA and the California Institute of Technology say the changing climate will also convert 37 percent of the world's land ecosystems from one type -- such as tundra, forest or grassland -- into another by 2100.
Those vegetation shifts are likely to affect animals and insects that have evolved to live among particular plant species and within certain temperature and precipitation ranges.

Carrie Arnold

None of us can stand perfectly still. No matter how hard we try, our bodies constantly make small adjustments, causing us to sway slightly as we stand. A new study finds that people with bipolar disorder tend to sway more than those who are unaffected, which may lead to new ways to treat and diagnose the illness.
Indiana University psychologist Amanda Bolbecker points out that the cerebellum, located at the base of the brain, helps to regulate movement and is also involved in emotional reactions, such as fear and pleasure. In addition, the cerebellum connects to other parts of the brain linked to cognition, mood regulation and impulse control, three areas in which patients with bipolar disorder often have difficulties. If the cerebellum is damaged at the cellular level, it may create problems with both mood and motor control.

A. Francis Dixon

Larry Greenemeier

All of the data in the world—and the amount is growing at a frightening rate—won’t help researchers solve the big problems if they can’t make sense of it. Which is why a team of researchers from Harvard University and the Broad Institute of Harvard and M.I.T. has developed analytical data-mining software that can find an oasis of meaning in a desert of numbers. They’ve used the software to find insights on the socioeconomic impact of obesity, bacteria in the gut and baseball.

David Reshef, Yakir Reshef, Hilary Finucane, Sharon Grossman, Gilean McVean, Peter Turnbaugh, Eric Lander, Michael Mitzenmacher, Pardis Sabeti

Identifying interesting relationships between pairs of variables in large data sets is increasingly important. Here, we present a measure of dependence for two-variable relationships: the maximal information coefficient (MIC). MIC captures a wide range of associations both functional and not, and for functional relationships provides a score that roughly equals the coefficient of determination (R2) of the data relative to the regression function. MIC belongs to a larger class of maximal information-based nonparametric exploration (MINE) statistics for identifying and classifying relationships. We apply MIC and MINE to data sets in global health, gene expression, major-league baseball, and the human gut microbiota and identify known and novel relationships.



Saturday, December 17, 2011


Safeway officials said they are scratching their heads after a bizarre set of circumstances left two Roseville stores unlocked over the Christmas holiday.
Even more surprising, police confirm nothing was stolen even though shoppers had gotten inside.






Mellin de Saint-Gelais

Mieux vaut faire, et se repentir,
Que se repentir, et rien faire.

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur.

François Marie Arouet, dit Voltaire

L'amour est une étoffe tissée par la nature et brodée par l'imagination.

Pierre Cour

Doux, doux, l'amour est doux
Douce est ma vie, ma vie dans tes bras
Doux, doux, l'amour est doux
Douce est ma vie, ma vie près de toi

Bleu, bleu, l'amour est bleu
Berce mon cœur, mon cœur amoureux
Bleu, bleu, l'amour est bleu
Bleu comme le ciel qui joue dans tes yeux

Comme l'eau, comme l'eau qui court
Moi, mon cœur court après ton amour

Елена Преображенская

Представители католичества в силу неплохо развитого в западных странах учения о правах человека вполне могли бы оказаться в авангарде утверждения либерализма и прав человека в качестве соответствующих христианству, если бы не существенное "но": в нашей стране принята политкорректность в отношении политики РПЦ. Католическая иерархия изъявляет своё дружественное расположение к православию путём уважения к мнению РПЦ. Соответственно этому, как и в случае протестантов, голос католиков противоречит голосу РПЦ лишь в тех случаях, когда затрагиваются интересы католиков, когда так или иначе нарушаются их права. В остальных случаях католическая иерархия предпочитает дипломатическое молчание, а молчание, как известно, есть знак согласия.
Таким образом, мы приходим к выводу, что не можем рассчитывать ни на одну из христианских конфессий России в отношении освещения либерализма и прав человека в качестве соответствующих Евангельскому духу. Нам остаётся лишь одно: прекратить уповать на то, что за нас это кто-то сделает, и начать заниматься этим самим.
Именно дух христианства является тем основанием, на котором развилась концепция о равном достоинстве всех людей и свободе, откуда исторически происходит теория либерализма и всеобщих прав человека. Коль скоро, этот факт практически никто не освещает, освещать его должны мы - не иерархия, а простые думающие демократичные верующие люди и интересующиеся религией нерелигиозные (в смысле не практикующие церковно) граждане-демократы.

Александр Храмов

Чем плоха религия, ставшая традицией? А тем же, чем плоха «государственная религия». Если человек становится христианином только потому, что он родился в обществе с христианскими традициями, то это не значит еще, что он стал христианином, т.е. лично пришел к живому Богу, а не только усвоил какие-то традиции. В этом таится очень большая опасность. Ведь от полного безверия к вере ближе, чем от такой полу-веры, когда человек не верит сам, а его лишь сделали верующим. Человеку, осознающему свое безбожие, легче начать верить, чем человеку, который уже считает себя верующим, хотя придерживается веры не потому, что обратился к Богу, а потому, что продолжает традицию. Ему очень сложно осознать свое безверие. К таким «верующим» относятся слова Апокалипсиса ...
Вот такую духовную нищету под маской христианства и православия и хотят насадить в России чиновники от РПЦ, сделавши его государственной религией. Открыто они не хотят признавать такого своего желания, но фактически делают это:  признаваемый ими светский принцип устройства государства воспринимается ими как вынужденный («так в Конституции написано, и пойти против нее не можем»), а не как органически вытекающий из христианского мировоззрения.

Déclaration des Droits de l’Homme et du Citoyen

Les représentants du peuple français, constitués en Assemblée nationale, considérant que l’ignorance, l’oubli ou le mépris des droits de l’homme sont les seules causes des malheurs publics et de la corruption des gouvernements, ont résolu d’exposer, dans une Déclaration solennelle, les droits naturels, inaliénables et sacrés de l’homme, afin que cette Déclaration, constamment présente à tous les membres du corps social, leur rappelle sans cesse leurs droits et leurs devoirs; afin que les actes du pouvoir législatif, et ceux du pouvoir exécutif pouvant à chaque instant être comparés avec le but de toute institution politique, en soient plus respectés; afin que les réclamations des citoyens, fondées désormais sur des principes simples et incontestables, tournent toujours au maintien de la Constitution et au bonheur de tous.

Port Saint Nicolas

C’est au nom de l’Evangile que l’Eglise proclame son enseignement sur les Droits de l’Homme. Pour être plus précis, la conception biblique de l’Homme en fait une image de Dieu : participant de ce fait à la transcendance de Dieu, il ne peut être assimilé à un pur objet, à une chose manipulable. Chaque personne humaine réalise une certaine image de Dieu qui fait sa dignité, cette image se retrouvant, sous des formes diverses, à égalité chez tous.


现实无疑需要我们往前再多走几步。其中之一,便是文化变革,找到一个与现代自由市场经济相适应的文化建构。要做到这一点,或从自己悠久的传统文化中开掘一整套与现代经济相适应的伦理,或通过吸收和引进的方式再造文化基因。漫游于北美广袤的土地,聆听座座教堂发出的深沉的钟声,我不时会想起一位愤怒诗人的诗,并想着要将之改变如下: 敬畏神威 ,敬畏闪电 ,也敬畏天空的惊雷。唯有敬畏,才能得救;唯有信仰,市场经济才有灵魂。


「ヒューマニズム」という語について、『小学館ランダムハウス英和大辞典』には、「人間主義」、「人道主義」、「人文主義」という三つの訳語が載せられ、説明として、「人間的趣味・価値・品位・尊厳がその中心となっている思考(行動)様式」と書かれている。これは一般に認められているヒューマニズムの定義であると思う。そこで、このような意味をもっているヒューマニズムという語に「キリスト教的」という形容詞をつけるのは、いささか意外である。というのは、宗教においては、人間ではなく神か仏、つまり人を越える存在が中心にされるべきだと思われているからである。事実、その理由で、キリスト教的な事柄を中心とするヒューマニズム思想を排斥したのである。キリスト者の間に広まっていたこのような考え方に反発して、19世紀に、ヒューマニズムを主張するためには、キリスト教を退け、神を否定しなければならないと主張する人々が現れたことは、よく知られている事実である。この無神論的なヒューマニズムを提示する人々の代表者として、フォイエルバッハ、マルクス、ニーチェなどの名をあげることができる。彼らによると、ニーチェ風に言えば、人間を立てるためには、神を殺さなければならないのである。  このような無神論的なヒューマニズムが、19世紀から20世紀にかけて世界的な運動になったが、ニーチェの思想からナチズムが生じ、マルクスの思考からスターリン主義が生じて、無数の人の命を奪う人間否定に発展して行ったので、現代では無神論的ヒューマニズムが色褪せてしまい、ヒューマニズムを新たに基礎づけ、それとキリスト教徒の関係を考え直さなければならないという必要性が痛感されるようになったのである。



Will Durant

Consequently, the road to the superman must lie through aristocracy. Democracy — “this mania for counting noses” — must be eradicated before it is too late. The first step here is the destruction of Christianity so far as all higher men are concerned. The triumph of Christ was the beginning of democracy; “the first Christian was in his deepest instincts a rebel against everything privileged; he lived and struggled unremittingly for 'equal rights' "; in modern times he would have been sent to Siberia. "He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant" — this is the inversion of all political wisdom, of all sanity; indeed, as one reads the Gospel one feels the atmosphere of a Russian novel; they are a sort of plagiarism from Dostoievski. Only among the lowly could such notions take root; and only in an age whose rulers had degenerated and ceased ot rule. "When Nero and Caracalla sat on the throne, the paradox arose that the lowest man was worth more than the man on top.”
As the conquest of Europe by Christianity was the end of ancient aristocracy, so the over running of Europe by Teutonic warrior barons brought a renewal of the old masculine virtues, and planted the roots of the modern aristocracies. These men were not burdened with "morals" : they "were free from every social restraint; in the innocence of their wild-beast conscience they returned as exultant monsters from a horrible train of murder, incendiarism, rapine, torture, with an arrogance and composure as if nothing but a student's freak had been perpetrated." It was such men who supplied the ruling classes for Germany, Scandinavia, France, England, Italy, and Russia.

Linda Kulman, Jay Tolson

Way back in February of 1804 President Thomas Jefferson, ever the enlightened rationalist, sat down in the White House with two identical copies of the New Testament, a straight-edge razor, and a sheaf of octavo-size paper. Over the course of a few nights, he made quick work of cutting and pasting his own bible, a slim volume he called "The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth." After slicing away every passage that suggested Jesus's divine nature, Jefferson had a Jesus who was no more and no less than a good, ethical guide.


Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount has been called the most superlative teaching of human ethics ever uttered by an individual. In fact, much of what we know today as “equal rights” actually is the result of Jesus’ teaching. Historian Will Durant, a non-Christian, said of Jesus that “he lived and struggled unremittingly for ‘equal rights’; in modern times he would have been sent to Siberia. ‘He that is greatest among you, let him be your servant’—this is the inversion of all political wisdom, of all sanity.”
Many, like Gandhi, have tried to separate Jesus’ teaching on ethics from his claims about himself, believing that he was simply a great man who taught lofty moral principles. This was the approach of one of America’s Founding Fathers, President Thomas Jefferson, who cut and pasted a copy of the New Testament, removing sections he thought referred to Jesus’ deity, while leaving in other passages regarding Jesus’ ethical and moral teaching. Jefferson carried around his cut and pasted New Testament with him, revering Jesus as perhaps the greatest moral teacher of all time.
In fact, Jefferson’s memorable words in the Declaration of Independence were rooted in Jesus’ teaching that each person is of immense and equal importance to God, regardless of sex, race, or social status. The famous document sets forth, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights …”

Friday, December 16, 2011

Venkatesh Rao

To take the book industry as an example, Amazon took on every part of the supply chain, not just retail. The whole company began, not with an idea, but a data-driven decision. Let’s take inventory of its major moves over the last decade or so.
  1. One-click shopping
  2. Free shipping over $25
  3. Being first to market with a meaningful and usable, but predatory, offering for self-publishers
  4. Creating a used-book marketplace
  5. Fighting a supply-chain battle with on-demand printers
  6. Undercutting Lulu, the pioneering self-publishing operation catering to authors
  7. Booting up the Amazon Affiliate program
  8. Making it brain-dead simple to publish on the Kindle
  9. Creating a margin option structure fr Kindle publishers
  10. Once the traditional supply chain had been sufficiently weakened, ramping up direct relationships with authors
  11. Starting with an eBook experience
  12. Decisively promoting ebooks
  13. All the while, keeping the core shopping experience familiar

Clayton Christensen

An innovation that is disruptive allows a whole new population of consumers access to a product or service that was historically only accessible to consumers with a lot of money or a lot of skill. Characteristics of disruptive businesses, at least in their initial stages, can include: lower gross margins, smaller target markets, and simpler products and services that may not appear as attractive as existing solutions when compared against traditional performance metrics.

Alfred Chandler

The Harvard business historian Alfred Chandler observed that in the evolution of great American businesses, firms have created organizational forms appropriate to new strategies, thus Chandler’s dictum:
Structure follows strategy.

Mike Shatzkin

One bookstore owner I know has been doing a great job; the store held its own despite the overall slide in print. The bookseller told me that this year, through October, sales at the store were down 5%. Not bad. They were down 2% year-on-year last year. They were down 1% year-on-year in 2009. And they had a record year for sales in 2008.
There’s a pattern there. The percentage reduction is doubling each year. When I said, “so you’ll be down 10% next year and 20% the year after that, right?” Bookseller said, “probably.”
Almost no brick store can stand a sales loss of 20% and remain viable. Maybe one could make up the 20% by selling something else in addition to books. But maybe branching out into other lines of merchandise will cost more than it will generate.
Maybe they won’t be able to hold even that 5% reduction through Christmas. And maybe the 20% we see as two years away is even closer.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

National Defense Au- 5 thorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Subtitle D—Detainee Matters
(a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.
(b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:
(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.
(2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.


One prisoner hunger striking at Calipatria’s Administrative Segregation Unit (ASU) wrote:
Men of respect, men of honor, have committed their lives to the struggle. Literally placed their lives on the line in order to put a stoppage to all these injustices we are subjected to day in and day out. People would rather die than continue living under their current conditions. That’s why to me, it is a privilege, an honor to be apart of the struggle, to be apart of history for the betterment of not only “me” but for all those inside these cement walls…I have joined this second hunger strike once again full heartedly with a smile on my face. I will go as far as my body allows me to go.

Linda C. Degutis

That almost one in five women have been raped in their lifetime is very striking and, I think, will be surprising to a lot of people.
I don’t think we’ve really known that it was this prevalent in the population.

The CDC released the results of their National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey and yikes. Extrapolating from the 16,507 people surveyed, 1 in 5 women have experienced rape or attempted rape, 1 in 4 have experienced violence from an intimate partner, and 1 in 6 have been stalked.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011





Ryan O’Connell

Eat bad pizza but trick yourself into believing it’s good because it’s made in New York. Do the same thing with bagels and sex.
Meet people who will be your best friends for three or four months. They’ll help you transition into city life and take you to weird bars in Murray Hill. It will be like the blind leading the blind but once you get a firm grasp on things, you can stop returning their phone calls.
Watch your life in New York go through phases. Spend a summer in Fort Greene with a lover and get to know the neighborhood and its rhythms. Once the fling ends, forget the blocks, parks and restaurants ever existed and don’t return unless you have to.

Lorcan Dempsey

What do I mean by discovery layer? A discovery layer provides a single point of access to the full library collection across bought, licensed and digital materials. Typically, a single search box is offered alongside a range of other navigation features.

Don Tapscott

In 2008, the routine gambles of Wall Street almost brought down global capitalism and yet, so far, nothing fundamentally has changed. Restoring long-term confidence in the financial services industry requires more than individual banks changing their behavior or even governments intervening with new rules. The industry needs a new modus operandi, where all of the key players (banks, insurers, investment brokers, rating agencies and regulators) adopt the three facets of collaboration: integrity, transparency, and embracing the commons.
  • Integrity. Trust is the expectation that the other party will act with integrity -- be honest, considerate, and abide by its commitments.
  • Transparency. One of the reasons companies have to have integrity is that they operate in an unprecedented, hyper-transparent world.
  • Embracing the Commons. Wall Street reform requires restructuring of the industry. Wall Street companies need to overcome their obsession with proprietary ownership of their intellectual property and learn to share certain information.

Mike Lapham

Don’t tell anyone, because they’ll treat you differently. Don’t show that you have wealth. Certainly don’t spend it.

George Carlin

I have certain rules I live by. My first rule: I don't believe anything the government tells me.
One great thing about getting old is that you can get out of all sorts of social obligations just by saying you're tired.
When it comes to God's existence, I'm not an atheist and I'm not an agnostic- I'm an acrostic, the whole thing puzzles me.
Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else, but I’ll tell you what they don’t want. They don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking. They don’t want well-informed, well-educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that. That doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin’ years ago. They don’t want that. You know what they want? They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork. And just dumb enough to passively accept all these increasingly shittier jobs with the lower pay, the longer hours, the reduced benefits, the end of overtime and vanishing pension that disappears the minute you go to collect it.

Ron Paul

Liberty means to exercise human rights in any manner a person chooses so long as it does not interfere with the exercise of the rights of others. This means, above all else, keeping government out of our lives. Only this path leads to the unleashing of human energies that build civilization, provide security, generate wealth, and protect the people from systematic rights violations. In this sense, only liberty can truly ward off tyranny, the great and eternal foe of mankind.
To believe in liberty is not to believe in any particular social and economic outcome. It is to trust in the spontaneous order that emerges when the state does not intervene in human volition and human cooperation. It permits people to work out their problems for themselves, build lives for themselves, take risks and accept responsibility for the results, and make their own decisions.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011




+ Ever dreamed of...
  • Giving a speech without looking down at notes
  • Watching stock tickers throughout the day
  • Playing a video game anywhere in 3D or VR
  • Watching a video or favorite TV show on the go
  • Catching the news while on a break
  • Viewing an email, sms or the internet inconsoiciously during meetings
Taking your vision to the ultimate level
  • Lumus provides a new dimension for the human visual experience.

Alexandra Lamy, Jean Dujardin

Monday, December 12, 2011

Taylor B. Seybolt

Once considered an aberration in international affairs, humanitarian military intervention is now a compelling foreign policy issue. It is on the front line of debates about when to use military force; it presents a fundamental challenge to state sovereignty; it radically influences the way humanitarian aid organisations and military organisations work; and it is a matter of life or death for thousands upon thousands of people.
The modern international system is founded on the premise that sovereign states have a right to non-intervention, to be free from unwanted external involvement in their internal affairs. Yet repeated humanitarian interventions since 1991 have confronted the idea of sovereign immunity in the name of protecting civilians from harm. This human security perspective on the use of force, grounded in the belief that the rights of people, not states, are the bedrock of a just and secure world, has found its voice in the concept that states have a responsibility to protect civilians within their jurisdiction.

Bates Gill

While it is still true that national or state security remains the dominant paradigm, the idea of human security has proven powerful enough to influence major policy decisions, as shown by the repeated practice of humanitarian military intervention. Today, the ‘responsibility to protect’, with its emphasis on protecting civilian populations from state predation, stands in stark contrast to the ‘global war on terrorism’, with its emphasis on protecting states from non-state actors. Advocates for each perspective arrive at very different conclusions about when, why and how to use military force.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Voice of America

The Voice of America (VOA), a dynamic multimedia broadcaster funded by the U.S. Government, broadcasts accurate, balanced, and comprehensive news and information to an international audience.
It started in 1942 as a radio news service for people living in closed and war-torn societies. It has grown into a multimedia broadcast service. VOA now reaches people on mobile devices and Facebook, through Twitter feeds and call-in programs – using the medium that works best for specific audiences.
VOA’s work in all languages and platforms is governed by the VOA Charter, signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976.
The Charter states, in part, that “VOA will serve as a consistently reliable and authoritative source of news. VOA news will be accurate, objective, and comprehensive.” That is why we feature those words on the banner. The Charter also states that “VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussions and opinions on these policies.”

Dharmesh Shah

Tips For Startup Websites That Work
  1. What will you do for me? What does the product do? Why should I care?
  2. Who is it for?
  3. How does it work?
  4. Why your product and not something else?
  5. What does it cost?
  6. How can I try it?
  7. Who’s behind it?
  8. Where are you?
  9. Keep me posted.
  10. Look Alive!
Though all of the above take some thought and effort, it is likely that this investment will pay off very well.

Robert Noyce

Knowledge is power. Knowledge shared is power multiplied.


それには、戦いがなくなった時代に、武士が多すぎたことも関係していた。 。。。
そう信じられた。 。。。

David Meerman Scott, Brian Halligan

Before the Internet, bands promoted their new albums by scheduling tours across the U.S. and around the world. ...
Fans bought albums at their local record store where they would find the list of top albums for that week taped to the wall next to the cash register. ...
Doing concert tours to promote these moneymaking albums was the fundamental business model for bands, the record labels and sundry hangers-on. The Grateful Dead turned this business model on its ear: rather than focusing on selling albums, like other bands, they focused on generating revenue from live concerts, and in doing so created a fan “experience” that was unlike any other.
Because the concert tours themselves were the main source of revenue, the Grateful Dead ran their concerts in a very different way from other bands. ...
Since the concert tour was at the heart of their business model, the Grateful Dead didn't tour periodically to promote an album; with few exceptions, they were permanently on tour. The Grateful Dead invested heavily in their light show and sound systems, both of which were the best in industry, and in doing made the musical experience much more powerful for their fans.
Due to these factors and others, the Grateful Dead developed a following of people who would see show after show. ...
By changing that one fundamental assumption in a typical band's business model, the Grateful Dead created a cascading effect of benefits for themselves and their fans. ...
The Grateful Dead's business model was the exact opposite of every other band's at the time.

John Walcott

RQ-170 Sentinel
... designed to be virtually invisible to radar and carries advanced communications and surveillance gear
... flight controls, communications gear, video equipment and self- destruct, holding pattern, return-to-base mechanisms
... is part of a Secret Compartmented Intelligence (SCI) program, a classification higher than Top Secret ...
...the remains of the RQ-170 could help the Russians, Chinese, Iranians or others develop Infrared Surveillance and Targeting (IRST) or Doppler radar technology that under some conditions are capable of detecting stealth aircraft such as drones and the new Lockheed Martin F-35s.

Associated Press

Republican presidential hopeful Newt Gingrich on Saturday defended his statement that the Palestinians are an “invented” people, brushing aside criticism that he had unnecessarily made the Mideast peace process more difficult.
“Is what I said factually correct? Yes. Is it historically true? Yes,” Gingrich said during a candidate debate in which he drew applause for asserting that it was time someone spoke the truth about the nature of Israel’s struggle with the Palestinians.
“Somebody ought to have the courage to tell the truth. These people are terrorists,” he said. “It’s fundamentally time for somebody to have the guts to stand up and say, ‘Enough lying about the Middle East.’”
Gingrich’s earlier remarks to a cable channel struck at the heart of Palestinian sensitivities about the righteousness of their struggle for an independent state. Applying the label “invented” to Palestinians suggests that their quest for independence is not legitimate, though Gingrich later said he indeed supports the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a settlement with Israel.