Mirrors should reflect a little before throwing back images.
is forbidden to kill;
punished, unless they
in large numbers and
the sound of trumpets."
eye for an eye leads to a
that is blind. -- Gandhi
we sometimes look...
(Fairness and accuracy in Reporting)
& Letters Daily
we have time...
View from Number 80
Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
we want to return to school...
U's unofficial humanities page
we're looking for
page... (not ready yet)
we want to reread the
18th October 2006
I taught for thirty years in some of the worst schools in Manhattan, and in some of the best, and during that time I became an expert in boredom.
4th November 2005
Do the Right Thing
Cognitive science’s search for a common morality
It is a wonder of the world, the Web. I have facts at hand by the thousands about everything from the different kinds of government to the names of the stars of television shows I've never even seen. I'm smarter, then, with my computer on, but not much deeper. I worry that my knowledge of the world is actually growing shallower
13th October 2005
The daughter (12) has just had her rubella injection and has had to sign a form declaring that she realises she mustn't get pregnant in the next three months.... Then I asked sympathetically if the injection had hurt, and Janet said, 'Just a little prick,' and the daughter shrieked with laughter.
Backward, Christian Soldiers!
Why must intelligent design be stopped? Because this-God forbid-could be the moment when the theocratization of America makes a real advance.
What is the best age to create your masterpiece? Peter Conrad reflects on a time when all the brightest talents died young
The future isn't just evolving, says Ray Kurzweil - it's exploding. We just can't quite see the pyrotechnics yet. That's because change is happening at an exponential rate.
Reckoning with the God Squad
Fundamentalist bullies cannot be appeased. they must be confronted.
By Bill Moyers
10th May 2005
Orhan Pamuk has never needed to travel to extend his imagination. The melancholy splendours and religious complexities of his birthplace, Istanbul, enriched his childhood and continue to inspire him.
...if a glint of light on a barbed wire fence, or the synchronised turn of a flock of starlings, or an eclipse of the moon, or a glance swapped with a weasel, knocks you across the room with its beauty, then you must say so...
8th April 2005
The Chinese have an ancient saying that the wise man speaks but once. I cannot claim the wisdom that this saying presupposes: but I have a feeling that it applies even to the not-so-wise, and perhaps most of all to the foolish.
NEW YORK UNDERGROUND:
The Anatomy of a City
5th March 2005
British scientists have confirmed once again that mathematics has a special place in the human brain.
Despite the fact that humans sometimes fight fiercely among themselves, one of our most distinctive human traits is our willingness to cooperate with others. Why we are like that is one of the really big questions confronting evolutionary psychologists.
Two skulls originally found in 1967 have been shown to be about 195,000 years old, making them the oldest modern human remains known to science.
Neanderthals may have seen their first modern Homo sapiens some 100,000 years ago in what is now Israel. The two people almost certainly came in contact in Europe in the last centuries before the dwindling Neanderthal population was replaced forever by the intruding modern humans.
The evolution of the sense of fairness may have involved the quality of relationships
Cab drivers' grey matter enlarges and adapts to help them store a detailed mental map of the city, according to research.
Jesus Got To Do With It? Absolutely nothing. To those who advance these
atrocities, he would only reply: "I never knew you."
belong to the person who wrote them. There are few simpler ethical notions
than this one...
I'd like you to
read this famous story and think about whether Nietzsche wasn't on to
something when he criticized the naive idea of human equality.
of us never quite recover from our discovery that the world is cruel.
We don't become cruel ourselves; we become cynics.
isn't much of an exaggeration to say "the movies," as an entity, raised
me. It was like listening in to the conversations of the grownups.
you not think of Bush and Ashcroft as Americans?
think of them as an alien army. They have managed to take over everything,
and quite in the open. We have a deranged president. We have despotism.
We have no due process.
Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge by Ambrose Bierce
(read the Vonnegut first...)
epitaph, should I ever need one, God forbid: "The only proof he ever needed
of the existence of God was music."
those now in charge of the federal government are upper-crust C-students
who know no history or geography...
the very instrument used by God to create grandeur out of chaos, can be
misused by us to revert the world back to chaos".
vast and history laden ruin site passes unnoticed, even despised, into
Erdos] refused to slow down, saying "there'll be plenty of time to rest
in the grave".
third theory to explain the link between "alcohol consumption" and "risky
Ostalgie is not new to East Germans, it is contagious and has only recently
spread to West Germans, primarily the young, who have become fascinated
by the history of a Germany they know little about.
If George wasn't driving the world down the road to extinction with his
wars, his environmentally disastrous choices and world alienating policies--"Look
at me, ma, no hands" he says while sitting behind the wheel of our children's
future--I'd think he was almost fascinating.
Welles had made a tragic error. The press and the nation was considerably
unforgiving for a very long time to come.
of Pi' tops Amazon.ca fiction
same-sex marriage becomes the law of the land, who exactly is going to
burn in hell for all time?
we find ourselves in this puzzling, extraordinary universe of pain and
beauty, we will also find ourselves able to explore it, by adopting the
very successful methods of science," he says.
wonder how they began building the first suspension bridge over the Niagara
might seem to be a strange place for a large and important collection
of Egyptian mummies. But it was not quite so strange in the late 1850's,
when Colonel Sydney Barnett, the son of the Museum's founder, Thomas Barnett,
went to Egypt to purchase the Egyptian antiquities that would begin the
stand against Israel is to stand against God. We believe that history
and scripture prove that God deals with nations in relation to how they
deal with Israel" Jerry Falwell,
Christian Zionist Movement
Corrupts. PowerPoint Corrupts Absolutely.
them sick, and then command them to be well? What a mad despot this is,
and how fortunate we are that he exists only in the minds of his worshippers.
Google Image Earthlights
Google Image: Tunick
poet Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote that, in the rapacity that the industrial
revolution created, people first surrendered their minds or the capacity
to reason, then their hearts or the capacity to empathize, until all that
was left of the original human equipment was the senses or their selfish
demands for gratification.
Google Images: santorini
Google Images: jewish museum berlin
fine line that: the difference between failure to teach and failure to
great purpose of school can be realized better in dark, airless, ugly
places.... It is to master the physical self, to transcend the beauty
of nature. School should develop the power to withdraw from the external
men had already begun to dream of good deeds as deserving repayment in
worldly success; and now they heard Life's grim answer to the dream
story of my own childhood is a complicated sentence that I am always trying
you look for poetry, it has an uncanny way of looking for you back.
went on, mentioning the demerits of each poem, then ended with: "We hope
you will not hesitate to stop trying to write poetry. Love Always, The
please, by all means, keep trying. Keep ripping away at the rich dense
frantic fabric of this gorgeous inexplicable life.
insisted that poetry was not "literature" but a performance art.
a profession that seems indifferent to the concerns and delights of ordinary
life, Alexander has always been a humanist, a proponent of window seats,
sunny spots and arcades.
quintessential pairing asks people to choose between a diner-style saltshaker
and a bottle of the best-known brand of ketchup.
makes fear subside like kicking someone's ass and feeling powerful. It
doesn't even matter if they deserve it.
reason and ethics may insist that nothing that causes death and destruction
ever can be truly beautiful, the senses argue otherwise.
has achieved a great deal with limited means.
Little Street (Large)
"wonderful and modest painting which succeeds in evoking such a wide range
of emotions..." and "sings the beauty of everyday life..." seems to defy
Mad monks, intoxicated by the Great Creator and his wonders. Tied to the
rock but given the wings of doves.
Nietzsche: Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen.
Few in pursuit of the goal.
Florentine nobleman knew that to read Dante but ignore science was ridiculous.
The Sun can be equally relevant to a corporate executive and
a young man in prison, then my dream for the magazine is alive and well.
the Buddha is a metaphor for moving past the complacency of belief, for
struggling honestly with the idea of God.
beauty and its graceful sanity, is what makes The River in Winter
matter to someone like me..."
lyrics are like magpies' nests, full of shiny fragments from parts unknown.
squares should include paved surfaces for dancing in the street (pattern
The most important things to
do in the world are to get something to eat, something to drink and someone
to love. Brendan Behan
Ben's Great Virtues
be to God for dappled things
The tyranny of George II
are witnessing a process that increasingly turns a child into a commodity,
with product specification, quality control and rejection of sub-standard
products - the wrong sex, the wrong genes.
playing golf in Florida while his daughter lay under the knife in a hospital
in Texas. What father wouldn't be sweating in the waiting room praying
the doctors knew their business? The father who wouldn't is your president.
one way or another, this is the oldest story in America: the struggle
to determine whether "we, the people" is a spiritual idea embedded in
a political reality - one nation, indivisible - or merely a charade masquerading
as piety and manipulated by the powerful and privileged to sustain their
own way of life at the expense of others.
is no gift I tender,
loan is all I can;
do not scorn the lender;
gets no more from man.
collecting flocks of pigeons in dense clusters, Google is able to process
search queries at speeds superior to traditional search engines, which
typically rely on birds of prey, brooding hens or slow-moving waterfowl
to do their relevance rankings.
by the idea that the country's true heroes might well be locked up in
mental institutions, Kesey wrote his debut novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's
Nest, when his employers thought he was writing up reports on the patients.
Origin of Philosophy:
Why the Greeks?
Founding Fathers Were Not Christians
Artist Painted With Poison
Monastery is the most famous among the numerous rock monasteries that
existed on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast in the 13 - 14 centuries.
go to this monastery as tourists, out of curiosity, or because we are
thirsty for knowledge. But there everything changes.
are monasteries constructed on sheer rock surfaces, where even eagles
have trouble landing, never mind humans.
world of Gehry
strikes me as odd that people seem rarely to see the positive side of
a reliable lie detector,"
Met spotlights Mesopotamia's widespread influence on ancient cultures
with 400 artifacts
success took place in the extremely narrow field of tree-climbing, and
was achieved free of such real-world factors as class, wealth, religion,
before puppet shows, cut scenes, or even on-line trailers, images have
been used to guide people through a narrative storyline.
know that the path of our life is eternal and short, and while still in
my mother's womb I learned to travel this path with love rather than with
hate. -- Marc Chagall
Scoop on Poop: Disposable Diapers for Birds
in Romania knows Vlad Tepes. Nobody knows Count Dracula,"
Body's Beauty: The
Body's Beauty: The
our dogs have joined us in our culture of victimization.
the dark opening of the worn insides of the shoes the toilsome tread of
the worker stares forth.
Gogh's A Pair of Shoes
Bush has Indeed Succeeded in Granting Osama Bin Laden a Wish Beyond his
Wildest Dreams.He's Turned the U.S. into the Most Feared and Disliked
and, in Many Quarters, Hated Country in the World."
18th October 2006
Sept. 28, 2006: Remember the date. It seems to have passed mostly unnoticed. A few editorials, some angry e-mails. No banner headlines. No dramatic footage. No conspiracy theories.
4th November 2005
Some patients suffering chronic pain in their limbs have found an unlikely source of relief – mirrors.
A sovereign nation which was no threat to the United States of America lies in ruins and tens of thousands of its innocent citizens have been slaughtered just for the hell of it. When are we going to stand up as a country and yell a collective: "bull-shit?!!"
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.
13th October 2005
The "hobbits" are real. That's the conclusion of scientists who announce the discovery of the remains of more of the tiny prehistoric humans nicknamed for the diminutive stars of the Lord of the Rings saga.
Nepalese Porters May Be World's Most Efficient Haulers
The centuries-old custom of blood feuds - responsible for thousands of Albanian deaths in the past - has started blighting lives in the Balkan nation again in recent years.
Geneticist Searches for DNA of "Adam," the First Human
10th May 2005
As you may have noticed, right now everyone is talking about Social Security, and nobody is talking about the stunning shift from budget surplus to budget deficit since Bush took office.
8th April 2005
Since the 1980s, as neo-conservatives have captured the Republican Party, America’s business education has also increasingly become contaminated by the robber baron culture of the pre-Great Depression era.
5th March 2005
Evolution takes a back seat in US classes...
the teaching of evolution [is] portrayed not as scientific instruction but as "an assault of the secular elite on the values of God-fearing people."
Freed Italian hostage says US shooting was not justified
We are living today in a science fiction nightmare, a world where, because somebody gave money to a politician, our children are brought into a world where the air is too poisonous for them to breathe.
George W. Bush became the head of the new American Dominionist Church/State
mention of the European Union is met with cynical laughs. People tell
how Hungarians have been forced to raid Romanian grocery stores because
they were priced out of their own when their country joined the union
said the total debt of U.S. households 20 years ago was equal to half
the size of the total domestic economy. Today, it's 85 percent.
Hentoff: ... since Gonzales will be more dangerous to our liberties
than Ashcroft, I will begin here to show how low the standards have become
for the chief law enforcement officer of the nation.
that's right: letter writers from across the nation are united in their
outrage - not that the steely-eyed, smoking soldier makes mass killing
look cool, but that the laudable act of mass killing makes the grave crime
of smoking look cool.
has requested non-U.S. airlines to hand over up to 39 pieces of data for
each passenger, including credit card details, home address and phone
America has yet to hold the Bush junta accountable. They're still calling
the shots. Still lying.
possible to use anything for torture," the president of a U.S. manufacturer
of electro-shock riot shields told Amnesty. "But it's a little easier
to use our devices."
teams of medical personnel carry miniaturized gear - like patient ventilators
or suction machines the size of laptop computers - in backpacks and duffel
bags to stay close to the front where they can sedate, analyze and operate
on a patient almost immediately. In the Marine Corps they are known as
reports of 54 enemy killed [in Samara] will sound great on the home front,
but the greater story is much more disturbing and needs to be told to
the American Public.
is little consensus on how to preserve Nukak culture while still allowing
those who want to integrate into modern society to do so.
``One cannot force a group to conserve itself, like an artifact
in a museum,'' Ruiz said.
something about pregnancy and subsequent exposure to offspring that create
a more adaptive brain, one that's generally less susceptible to fear and
best-known struggle against adversity, however was a self-imposed one:
In 1959, after shaving his head and using drugs and ultraviolet light
to darken his skin, Griffin spent six weeks travelling through the states
of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia posing as an itinerant
black man in order to record a first-hand account of the virulent racism
still prevalent in the Deep South.
makes no difference to America's inability to appreciate that others may
have genuine reasons for their stance. Washington is as clueless about
Ottawa as it is about Timbuktoo.
matter how glorious President Bush paints our Iraq invasion as a mission
to save the world from terrorism, there is no disguising the fact that
in our desperate bid for help, we are dining on a massive helping of crow.
was in effect put up for sale yesterday when the American-appointed administration
announced it was opening up all sectors of the economy to foreign investors
in a desperate attempt to deliver much-needed reconstruction against a
daily backdrop of kidnappings, looting and violent death.
1.7 million people in the United States slid into poverty in 2002
latest trick of the neo-cons is running retired General Wesley Clark for
President as a Democrat.
Russert challenged Vice President Dick Cheney to defend his claim, made
on "Meet the Press'' before the war, that Iraq possessed nuclear weapons.
"Yeah, I did misspeak,'' Cheney admitted. "We never had any evidence that
(Hussein) had acquired a nuclear weapon.''
to the Americans, effective control of Afghanistan has been ceded to most
of the same mafiosi and their private armies, who rule by fear, extortion
and monopolising the opium poppy trade that supplies Britain with 90%
of its street heroin. The post-Taliban government is a facade; it has
no money and its writ barely runs to the gates of Kabul
came from the skies. A building - a symbol of the nation - collapsed in
flames in an act of terror that would lead to the deaths of 3,000 people.
It was Sept. 11. But the year was 1973
the memories of Sept. 11, 2001, President Bush prodded Congress today
to "untie the hands" of law enforcement and enact broader search-and-seizure
powers and wider use of the death penalty to combat terrorism.
the Pentagon's special operations chiefs were reduced to screening a 1965
movie, "The Battle of Algiers," last week, as David Ignatius reported
in The Washington Post , to try to learn why the French suffered a colonial
disaster in a guerrilla war against Muslims in Algiers.
New Mexico burial site won't be full until the year 2030, so no final
decision about its markings has yet been made. But it's a sobering thought:
future civilizations might do just fine without Shakespeare or the Bible
or the Encyclopedia Britannica , but the one message we must pass on to
them is this: we made awful stuff, and it'll kill you if you dig it up.
when the grown-ups are back in charge, they'll have quite a mess to clean
should also be pretty obvious that, tough as it is for both the American
troops and the Iraqis, pinned down in Iraq may be the safest place for
the US army to be.
Have A Long And Dishonourable Tradition Of Smearing The Dead
for providing Bush with political internal security, there is no need
for the Department of Homeland Security; it is a Trojan Horse through
which Bush will unleash his ideological storm troopers...
Wolf wrote that the crucial question for courts was "how large a fraction
of the executed must be innocent to offend contemporary standards of decency."
Pentagon said it had not tried to deceive. It drew a distinction between
traditional napalm, first invented in 1942, and the weapons dropped in
Iraq, which it calls Mark 77 firebombs. They weigh 510lbs, and consist
of 44lbs of polystyrene-like gel and 63 gallons of jet fuel.
Boron Interviews Chomsky
verboten truth is that the unprovoked attack on Iraq and the looting of
its resources is America 's 73rd colonial intervention.
don't the occupation authorities realise that Iraq cannot be "spun"?
is the secret ticking time bomb under the feet of Dick Cheney and George
W Bush. The US has 3% of world energy resources, but uses 28% of those
resources, and the USA is no longer geographically situated to exploit
them. Oil is capitalism's crack cocaine, and the Bush gang is waging a
turf war to keep it coming.
2001 winner of the Nobel Prize for Economics, George Akerlof, went even
further last week in Germany when he told Der Spiegel, "This is the worst
government the US has ever had in its more than 200 years of history...This
is not normal government policy." In describing the impact of the Bush
policies on America's future, Akerloff added, "What we have here is a
form of looting."
sad part is that there is little we can do about that now. We are in a
war and must win it.
Gibson: The "Holy Ghost was working through me on this film,
and I was just directing traffic.
'The Women's Bathhouse' was the first work unconnected to a religious
theme to show naked humans in various positions.
suggested to my boss that if this was as good as it got, some folks on
the Pentagon's E-ring may be sitting beside Saddam Hussein in the war
we are left with are blurred covers of Time and Newsweek where monstrous
figures from Hieronymous Bosch stare out of us, hellfire in their eyes...
act or political assassination?
Who's Unpatriotic Now?
day irony failed
superstar columnist George Will has an impressive vocabulary. Too bad
it doesn't include the words "I'm sorry."
Does the uranium claim indicate a larger pattern of deceptive claims made
about Iraq? At minimum, the following assertions made by the Bush administration
also deserve media scrutiny:
of the war's cost to ordinary Iraqis could also be fueled by the Times
report that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld approved every one of more
than 50 air strikes for which commanders needed his specific clearance
because they thought it likely that they would kill more than 30 civilians.
few days ago, the American forces in Baghdad drove 17 truckloads of rubble
and dirt up to the secret military area of Baghdad airport to air-freight
to the United States.
not sure why anyone would want to "out" him as a Canadian, or how any
of the details of his life could be seen as a "smear."
issue is not about sixteen words in a speech. It is about lies and American
soldiers would empty their bank accounts just for a plane ticket home,"
runs one such letter, quoted last week in the Christian Science Monitor.
military is asking bereaved families to make suggestions for a memorial
service; mine is simply that our Prime Minister and any other MPs with
blood on their hands have the decency to stay away."
Lies About the War
Are From Mars, Italians Are From Venus
campaign to kill [Mr. Hussein] has committed the United States for the
first time to public, personalized, open-ended warfare in the classic
mode of Middle Eastern violence - an eye for an eye, a life for a life.
to become less important as new generation of weapons enables America
to strike anywhere from its own territory
relentless upbeat view of developments in Iraq from the US administration
is at variance with the reality on the ground.
Americans long ago accepted a corporate-driven fast food culture, in Europe
food and culture are deeply entwined.
ain't broke, but George Bush is busy fixin' it.
Back from the "sister act"
vacation... Yes, thanks. A good time was had by all.
Is Lying About The Reason For War An Impeachable Offense?
by John W. Dean
are the Grownups?
fact that the United States now imprisons more of its people than any
other developed or undeveloped country -- even ones run by harsh authoritarian
governments -- should tell us that something isn't working.
riddle ancient Iraqi sites with holes
of Iraq's state-owned companies could be earmarked for privatisation within
a year, it has been reported.
officials are working on plans to provide a courtroom, a prison and an
execution chamber if the order comes to try terror suspects at the base
we knew where it was, why don't we know where it is?
proposals that have been circulated at Space Command and NRO briefings
suggest that access to "near-earth space" may be refused to other nations.
has demonstrated brazen moral corruption by first contributing to the
development of Iraq's weapons, then pushing for a war against Iraq, and
finally profiting from the tragedy and destruction wrought by that war,"
25 men and women have dug up a playground, raided a distillery, seized
a research paper from a failing graduate student and laid bare a swimming
pool where an underground chemical weapons stash was supposed to be.
is breaching what it's preaching
the best case scenario seems to be mere incompetence, investigations
certainly need to be made.
as LifeLog, the project aims to capture and analyze a multimedia record
of everywhere a subject goes and everything he or she sees, hears, reads,
says and touches.
Soviet model disappeared. It could only deliver turnip soup
along with space flight and inherently unsafe nuclear reactors.
'American grand strategy' must be advanced for 'as far into the future
as possible', the report says.
Evidence Distorted for War
many governments to overthrow, so little time
lies that led us into war ...
General John Ashcroft urged Congress on Thursday to expand the new anti-terror
law to permit the government to hold more suspects indefinitely and extend
the death penalty to more people accused of terrorist crimes.
more just political system will develop when people have food in their
stomachs, and their lights work, and they can turn on a faucet and they
can find some clean water - things that Saddam Hussein did not do for
them,'' Bush said.
public was told that Saddam posed an imminent threat. If that claim was
fraudulent, the selling of the war is arguably the worst scandal in American
political history - worse than Watergate, worse than Iran-contra.
Bush has Indeed Succeeded in Granting Osama Bin Laden a Wish Beyond his
Wildest Dreams.He's Turned the U.S. into the Most Feared and Disliked
and, in Many Quarters, Hated Country in the World." -- Noam Chomsky