Sunday, 20 March 2016

Ten trivial items you may enjoy as I did

The True Story of Rupert Brooke
via 3 Quarks Daily: Joanna Scutts at The New Yorker
For a long time, the history of the First World War has been understood via the symbolic transition from Brooke to Wilfred Owen, from posh idiot nationalist to heroic witness. That simple narrative obscures the extent to which Owen worshipped Brooke in the early days and just how long Brooke remained the war’s most famous poet.
Continue reading

Octopus grabs diver’s video camera, swims off with it while it’s recording
via Boing Boing by Xeni Jardin
Their grip is no joke, as anyone who has encountered them while under water can attest. From “Victor’s Videos”, the YouTube uploader:
while trying to get video of a wild octopus, it suddenly dashes towards me and rips my shiny new camera from out of my hands, then swims off, all while the camera is recording! he swam away very quickly like a naughty shoplifter. after a 5 minute chase, I placed my speargun underneath him and he quickly and curiously grabbed hold of the gun as well, giving me enough time to reach in and grab the camera from out of his mouth. I didn’t feel threatened at all during the whole ordeal. he seemed to be fixated on the shiny metallic blue digital camera. the only confusing behavior was how he dashed off with it like a thief haha. cheeky octopus.
And remember, touching, poking, petting, or otherwise bugging marine life while in the sea is not cool.
Have a look at the video

Is Economic Justice In Our Nature?
via Big Think by Jag Bhalla
It’s plausible that something like social contracts run deep in our nature. Along with the “economic justice” they need.
Continue reading (if you follow all the links you will be quite a long time on this but I found it very interesting).

The Paston Letters Go Live
via Research Buzz: British Library Medieval Manuscripts Blog
 A 19th-century view of the ruins of Caistor Castle in Norfolk.
This 15th-century 'castle' was built for a prominent aristocratic family, the Fastolfs.
It passed to the Paston family who occupied it for the next century (British Library KTop XXXI.47)
The collection known as the Paston Letters is one of the largest archives of 15th-century English private correspondence, comprising about 1000 letters and documents including petitions, leases, wills and even shopping lists. They offer a unique glimpse into the personal lives of three generations of the Paston family from Norfolk over a period of 70 years – the family name comes from a Norfolk village about 20 miles north of Norwich. The Pastons rose from peasantry to aristocracy in just a few generations: the first member of the family about whom anything is known was Clement Paston (d. 1419), a peasant, who gave an excellent education to his son William (d. 1444), enabling him to study law. William’s sons and grandsons, two of whom were knighted, continued his relentless quest for wealth, status and land, and their story was acted out against the backdrop of the Wars of the Roses.
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Finding Trollope
via OUP Blog by Dominic Edwardes
Trollope 200 Banner
Finding Trollope is one of the great pleasures of life. Unlike other Victorian authors Trollope is little studied in schools, so every reader comes to him by a different path. It might be a recommendation by a friend, listening to a radio adaptation or watching a TV production that leads to the discovery of Trollope and his world.
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What is the Self? Watch Philosophy Animations Narrated by Stephen Fry on Sartre, Descartes & More
via 3 Quarks Daily: Colin Marshall in Open Culture
If you’ve followed our recent philosophy posts, you’ve heard Gillian Anderson (The X-Files) speak on what makes us human, the origins of the universe, and whether technology has changed us, and Harry Shearer speak on ethics – or rather, you’ve heard them narrate short educational animations from the BBC scripted by Philosophy Bites’ Nigel Warburton. Now another equally distinctive voice has joined the series to explain an equally important philosophical topic. Behold Stephen Fry on the Self.
Watch and learn here

The Hobbit read as the BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast
via AbeBooks by Richard Davies
The BBC Radio 4 Shipping Forecast has always fascinated me. I love the rhythm and cadence of the forecasts for each respective shipping area along with all those memorable names – Dogger, Rockall, German Bight anyone? I even don’t mind when the test match cricket commentary is interrupted by a five-minute break for the Shipping Forecast just as England are about to lose/win the game.
Continue reading and above all listen

The Mr. Mom Switch
via 3 Quarks Daily: Erin O'Donnell in Harvard Magazine
In the mouse world, virgin male mice are not known as nurturers. They’re aggressive and infanticidal, regularly injuring or killing newborn mice fathered by other males. But research led by Catherine Dulac, Higgins professor of molecular and cellular biology, reveals that these murderous mice can be turned into doting dads simply by stimulating a set of neurons, shared by both males and females, that appears to drive parental behaviour.
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3 Emotions Caused by the Internet That There Are No Words For
via MakeUseOf by Justin Pot
3 Emotions Caused by the Internet That There Are No Words For
Sometimes there’s just no word for a particular idea. Shakespeare knew, in those circumstances, to just make one up – which is why we have words like “assassination”, “cold blooded” and “swagger” today.
Continue reading

Broken on the wheel
via 3 Quarks Daily: Ken Armstrong in The Paris Review (via The Browser)
On the night of October 13, 1761, cries rang from the shop of Jean Calas, a cloth merchant who lived and worked in the commercial heart of Toulouse, in the South of France. The eldest of Calas’s six children, Marc-Antoine, a moody, handsome man who was fond of billiards and gambling, had just been found dead. The family said he had been murdered – perhaps stuck with a sword by someone who slipped into the darkened boutique from the cobblestone street.
Continue reading but be aware that the story starts with a gruesome image of a person being broken on a wheel.

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