“Much like the long-running national debates about jumping off a roof, licking electrical sockets, and gargling with thumbtacks, the vexing question of whether children should fire military weapons does not appear headed for a swift resolution.”

Read more: http://nyr.kr/YYouxn

Photograph by SVEN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty

Source: newyorker.com


Brilliant: Open Culture digs up the perfect Japanese word for our “guilt pile” of unread materials. Best approached with another untranslatable Japanese concept, wu-wei.

Source: explore-blog

"To write well about the elegant world you have to know it and experience it to the depths of your being just as Proust, Radiguet and Fitzgerald did: what matters is not whether you love it or hate it, but only to be quite clear about your position regarding it."

Photo Set


Six Months.

Today marks a half year since Austin Tice, a law student and former Marine infantry officer, disappeared in Syria. Austin is an independent journalist; he had used his summer break from studies to try his hand at photography and writing, and contributed to multiple news organizations during a period when very few journalists were inside Syria.  No one has acknowledged detaining him. The video showing him in the custody of armed men raises many more questions than answers. His family awaits word, as do the families of other journalists missing in Syria’s civil war, including the family of James Foley. The @FreeAustinTice twitter feed has been revived. Please follow it, and raise your voice to release all the unlawfully detained men and women in Syria, including our friends.

Source: cjchivers

Towards a leisure society: Animation disruption


Alternative title: How Steve Jobs killed the animator profession.

A very good friend of mine is an animator and it’s thanks to her that I have any insight into the animation industry at all. Though I confess, my insight is marginal to say the least.

Nevertheless it’s due to her that I was…

Source: theleisuresociety


Christopher Parkes (FT 1977-2006) top left

I had been labouring as a freelance in Brussels with O level French for anyone who would buy my copy. At my job interview in early 1977, editor Fredy Fisher told me he was looking for an experienced journalist: “I have many bright young men here, Eton, Balliol and all of that, but none of them can write.”

I doubt now-celebrated novelist James (then Jamie) Buchan and his many talented colleagues would have been pleased.

Minutes later, I was checked over by David Palmer, news editor, in a purple shirt with a white collar and a piercing stare, who demanded: “Which college?”

Salford Tech was the best a Mancunian grammar school chap could offer.

I joined the FT on All Fools’ Day, 1977 as deputy commodities editor writing about coffee futures and the Common Agricultural Policy, buried in a Bracken House cubby hole with no window. John Edwards, my immediate boss, and legendary luncher, took a look at my long curly hair and crazed beard: “You look like a rat stuck in a dead bear’s bum.”

(via sarahlaitner)

Source: financialtimes
Photo Set


Swiss Hand Grenades in Syria.

More data sharing on the arms trade, this time the RUAG OHG92, in which OHG = “offensive hand grenade,” a product of RUAG Ammotec of Thun. 

As described by IHS Jane’s:

  • The RUAG OHG 92 offensive hand grenade has the same circular cross-section body as the HG 85 defensive hand grenade (see separate entry), but the body is aluminium, roughened externally to provide a good grip. The grenade contains 170 g of RDX/TNT 55/45 to produce blast effects only. There are no preformed fragments, and it is claimed no fragments travel further than 10 m from the point of explosion. The same DM 82 CH igniter assembly as that used with the HG 85 is employed. The fly-off lever on the igniter set has been modified, with the lower section now having a spoon-like shape to prevent the unintended safety hazard in other grenades of the insertion of the lower end of the fly-off lever into the ring-pull safety.For training, the EPHG 85 explosive practice grenade, the Mk HG 85 reusable practice grenade and the WURFK HG 85 inert ballasted practice grenade are available.

These grenades were in the possession of the al-Tawhid Brigade in the Aleppo governorate last summer. How the rebels obtained them is at this point unclear.


By the author. Aug. 2012. Tal Rifaat.

Source: cjchivers