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November 27 2012

The clothes they were wearing also came as a shock. It was still generally believed in the 1860s that ancient Roman dress had been a skimpy affair, not merely suitable for warm Mediterranean climes, but flirtatiously flimsy and revealing too.

That idea faded almost instantly when the casts revealed that the victims were heavily clad, wrapped in cloaks and thick dresses, heads covered and some of them even in trousers. (Although I have never quite understood why those 19th Century historians were so certain that the garments people chose to wear in the middle of a volcanic eruption were a good guide to their usual day-to-day attire.)
BBC News - A Point of View: Pompeii's not-so-ancient Roman remains

November 25 2012


Goethe antwortete am 5. September 1798:

"In der Hoffnung Sie morgen zu sehen schreibe ich nur wenig. Die Balladen folgen zurück, sie sind beide sehr gut gerathen... In der Bürgschaft möchte es physiologisch nicht ganz zu passiren sein, daß einer, der sich an einem regnigen Tag aus dem Strome gerettet, vor Durst umkommen will, da er noch ganz nasse Kleider haben mag. Aber auch das wahre abgerechnet und ohne an die Resorption der Haut zu denken kommt der Phantasie und der Gemüthstimmung der Durst hier nicht ganz recht. Ein ander schickliches Motiv das aus dem Wandrer selbst hervorginge fällt mir freilich zum Ersatz nicht ein; die beiden andern von außen, durch eine Naturbegebenheit und Menschengewalt, sind recht gut gefunden."
Die Bürgschaft – Wikipedia

November 22 2012

Wie Bernadette K. arbeiten weit über eine Million Menschen in sozialen Einrichtungen für die Kirchen – in Kindergärten, Krankenhäusern, Schulen und Altenheimen. Sie alle unterliegen einem besonderen Arbeitsrecht.
Doch wo Kirche draufsteht, ist häufig vor allem Staat drin. Denn für die christlichen Einrichtungen zahlt zum größten Teil die Allgemeinheit. Der Kindergarten, in dem Bernadette K. arbeitete, wird zu 100 Prozent aus öffentlichen Geldern finanziert. Bei Caritas und Diakonie finanziert die Kirche selbst nur noch etwa zwei Prozent des Etats, 98 Prozent trägt die Gesellschaft. Die Allgemeinheit zahlt Milliardenbeträge, aber sie hat nichts zu sagen.
Hinweise des Tages | NachDenkSeiten – Die kritische Website
Reposted fromkrekk krekk viaekelias ekelias
Prominent British psychologist J.C. Flugel, in his book, The Psychology of Clothes, called this moment the “Great Masculine Renunciation,” when men “abandoned their claim to be considered beautiful” and “henceforth aimed at being only useful.” The gender divide in fashion became more pronounced. Men had very important things on their minds, and could no longer concern themselves with the frivolity of fashion. Women—bored, empty, and vain creatures that they were—could distract themselves with bustles and crinoline like kittens chasing a ball of yarn. Fashion was cast as a narcissistic, superficial, and ultimately, female pursuit. Men, the story goes, had opted out.
Come as You Are - The Morning News

November 20 2012

Being anxious and fearful is, under some circumstances, a natural and healthy human response to the world. How are we to distinguish between healthy or normal fears — perhaps even fears that are exaggerated but had their origins in an earlier period of our evolutionary history — and pathological forms of anxiety?

Allow too much room for clinical judgment and the goal of standardizing psychiatric diagnosis goes away. Eliminate it and the anxieties that people naturally feel when they’ve survived a bad marriage, recovered from a serious disease, or lived through a war or a disaster like Katrina, are all-too-readily relabeled as illness.

DSM attempted to cope with this problem by insisting that the anxiety had to be “excessive” and “prolonged,” six months in duration or longer, and to be perceived as “abnormal” or disabling by those subject to these emotions. These are inadequate and fallible correctives, but they did something to make it less likely that normal people would be called “mentally ill.”

As the manual went through successive editions, however, and as its categories were simplified to make the job of epidemiologists easier and cheaper, the effect, as Horwitz and Wakefield argue, was steadily to enlarge the numbers of ordinary people drawn into the ranks of the mentally unstable, often to a spectacular degree.

And because of the seemingly scientific basis of the labels, the consistency with which cases were diagnosed, and the translation of human judgment by means of this verbal alchemy into statistics, the multiplication of the anxious and nervous (as with other psychiatric categories) has proceeded in relentless fashion.
Los Angeles Review of Books - Psychiatry’s Legitimacy Crisis

November 19 2012


The trouble though was that every time the BBC interviewers turned up they weren't really that interested in his theory. Instead they wanted to ask him whether he is sending arms to the IRA, and whether he was really planning to torpedo the QE2.

That's what they are really interested in. Not the Third Revolutionary Theory.

Colonel Gaddafi starts off being grumpy about this. But then you can see his face change as he begins to realise what the submarine story is doing for him. That maybe he doesn't need friends - what he really needs are powerful enemies that will make him, and his Third International Theory, infamous, and thus famous.

BBC - Adam Curtis Blog: HE'S BEHIND YOU

Bus plunge stories are a nickname for a journalistic practice of reporting bus mishaps in short articles that describe the vehicle as "plunging" from a bridge or hillside road. The phenomenon has been noted in the New York Times, which once published as many as 14 "bus plunge" stories per year in its foreign news section.

The stories exist not only because of their perceived newsworthiness but because they could be reduced to a few lines and used to fill gaps in the page layout. Further, the words "bus" and "plunge" are short, and can be used in one-column headlines within the narrow, eight-column format that was prevalent in newspapers through the first half of the 20th century.

The adoption of computerized layout tools has reduced the need for such filler stories, but news wires continue to carry them.

Bus plunge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

November 18 2012


This desire to purge culture of both history and politics, Mark Fisher suggests, is as much a product of end-stage capitalism as our inability to see the future:

The power of capitalist realism derives in part from the way that capitalism subsumes and consumes all of previous history: one effect of its ‘system of equivalence; which can assign all cultural objects, whether they are religious iconography, pornography, or Das Kapital, a monetary value. Walk around the British Museum where you see objects torn from their lifeworlds and assembled as if on the deck of some Predator spacecraft and you have a powerful image of this process at work. In the conversion of practices and rituals into merely aesthetic objects, the beliefs of previous cultures are objectively ironized, transformed into artifacts.

Cowardice, Laziness and Irony: How Science Fiction Lost the Future « Ruthless Culture
Reposted bykrekk krekk

November 05 2012

Peter Jäger, the German spider expert who discovered the Heteropoda davidbowie, said that naming spiders after celebrities helped draw attention to the marginal status of many species as human activity destroys their habitats.
Rare yellow spider named after David Bowie - Telegraph
I Sverige har man hittat 19 arter fladdermöss, vilka alla tillhör familjen läderlappar. Samtliga arter av fladdermöss är sedan 1986 fridlysta i Sverige, först enligt jaktlagstiftningen (3:e paragrafen) och numera även enligt artskyddsförordningen.
Fladdermöss - Wikipedia
Recently I was a few chapters into Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer (which belongs alongside On the Road and The Magus in a subcategory of Books You Should Read Before You're 18 or Not at All) when I realised I loathed it and could exile it to the charity shop with a clean conscience. It felt great.
The tyranny of cultural choice is making my brain gasp | Dorian Lynskey | Comment is free | The Guardian
Reposted bybrightbyte brightbyte
In the most heartfelt chapter of his book Retromania, the music critic Simon Reynolds admits to a strange nostalgia for the boredom of his youth. "Today's boredom is not hungry, a response to deprivation; it is a loss of cultural appetite, in response to the surfeit of claims on your attention and time." One of the many ways in which technology leaves the human brain gasping to keep up is in its provision of almost limitless choice, because time remains as limited as ever. "Life itself is a scarcity economy," writes Reynolds. "You only have so much time and energy."

Technology has birthed new versions of the bedside pile of books: the neglected links stacking up in my Twitter Favourites column; the high-minded Netflix queue compiled by a tired parent who has somehow mistaken himself for a film-studies undergraduate; the earnest documentaries waiting in silent accusation on my DVR, like an unused gym membership, until the day the device mercifully crashes. At the same time, the digital buffet can erode your ability to commit to one thing at a time. The main reason I don't own a Kindle or iPad is my suspicion that, without the firm anchor of a physical book, I will get restless and float away in a sea of options.
The tyranny of cultural choice is making my brain gasp | Dorian Lynskey | Comment is free | The Guardian

November 04 2012

Die undurchsichtigen Regeln der Castingshows und deren Anpassungsdruck erinnerten an einen „Staat der absolutistischen Willkür“, schreibt er. Ach, wenn es nur das wäre! Denn nimmt man die permanente Überwachung, die fehlende Gewaltenteilung (die Legislative von GNTM ist die Judikative ist die Exekutive ist Heidi Klum), das Spitzeltum, die Demontage der bürgerlichen Freiheiten, die quasi-militaristischen Übungen und die Verunortung (auf den Malediven oder in der „Modelvilla“) hinzu, dann wären damit die Merkmale eines totalitären Regimes verblüffend exakt benannt. Klum und Bohlen spielen nicht Monarchie. Sie spielen Diktatur. Der Totalitarismus feiert im Fernsehen fröhlich Urständ, und eine ganze Generation will unbedingt dabei sein. Mit Zukunftsangst allein dürfte sich das kaum mehr erklären lassen.
Medientagebuch ǀ Eine TV-Studie wird ignoriert — der Freitag
Reposted fromkrekk krekk
"Süßgräser gehören zu den ältesten Nutzpflanzen und sind seit alters her für den Menschen von lebenswichtiger Bedeutung. Alle Getreide wie Weizen, Roggen, Gerste, Hafer, Hirse, Mais und Reis zählen zu dieser Pflanzengruppe."

UND Zitronengras
UND Bambus
UND Ried
Süßgräser – Wikipedia

Süßgräser haben die Menschen domestiziert. Wir sorgen dafür, dass sie 20% des Planeten bedecken - Fläche stetig wachsend. Sie haben uns völlig abhängig gemacht.

Wo Süßgräser die Ernährung der Menschen von sich abhängig machten, haben natürlich die die höchste Fitness, die sie vertragen und verdauen können. Sprich: Sie züchten uns...
Reposted frommynnia mynnia viabrightbyte brightbyte

October 31 2012


Q: I often make YouTube videos in which I play a ukulele and do ironic covers of popular hip hop songs. Since I'm both being ironic AND quoting/celebrating hip hop culture, is it permissible for me to use the "n word"?

A: Set yourself on fire.

FAQ for White People: When Can I Say The "N Word"?

October 27 2012

‎’Slut’ is attacking women for their right to say yes. ‘Friend Zone’ is attacking women for their right to say no.

(via finedineonmyvegangenitalia)

And “bitch” is attacking women for their right to call you on it.

(via delacroix)

Reposted fromzweisatz zweisatz viawonko wonko

October 25 2012

The pain caused by this insect's sting is purported to be greater than that of any other Hymenopteran, and is ranked as the most painful according to the Schmidt Sting Pain Index, given a "4+" rating, above the tarantula hawk wasp and, according to some victims, equal to being shot, hence the name of the insect. It is described as causing "waves of burning, throbbing, all-consuming pain that continues unabated for up to 24 hours".
Paraponera / 'Bullet Ant' - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This is why I keep a bag of new/clean/dry socks in my truck. Not for field scientists but for the homeless. They suffer from wet feet and have no electricity to lay in front of. I've never had anyone not want a pair or ask for money instead. This might be the best pocket change you could give someone who has to live outside, especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest where it's always damp.
TheOven @ Field biologist describes horrific foot-fungus - Boing Boing
Reposted bybrightbyten0g02mydafsoup-01

October 20 2012


The theories of atemporality and manufactured normalcy and zero history can be short-circuited by just one thing.

Looking around.

Ballardian banality comes from not getting the future that we were promised, or getting it too late to make the promised difference.

This is because we look at the present day through a rear-view mirror. This is something Marshall McLuhan said back in the Sixties, when the world was in the grip of authentic-seeming future narratives. He said, “We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future.”

He went on to say this, in 1969, the year of the crewed Moon landing: “Because of the invisibility of any environment during the period of its innovation, man is only consciously aware of the environment that has preceded it; in other words, an environment becomes fully visible only when it has been superseded by a new environment; thus we are always one step behind in our view of the world. The present is always invisible because it’s environmental and saturates the whole field of attention so overwhelmingly; thus everyone is alive in an earlier day.”

Warren Ellis » How To See The Future
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01
A writer called Ventakesh Rao recently used the term “manufactured normalcy” to describe this. The idea is that things are designed to activate a psychological predisposition to believe that we’re in a static and dull continuous present. Atemporality, considered to be the condition of the early 21st century.

Of course Venus isn’t a green hell – that would be too interesting, right? Of course things like Google Glass and Google Gloves look like props from ill-received science fiction film and tv from the 90s and 2000’s. Of course getting on a plane to jump halfway across the planet isn’t a wildly different experience from getting on a train from London to Scotland in the 1920s – aside from the radiation and groping.
Warren Ellis » How To See The Future
Reposted by02mydafsoup-01 02mydafsoup-01
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