ayseltz

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How to think about Islamic State

Islamic State is often called ‘medieval’ but is in fact very modern – a horrific expression of a widespread frustration with a globalised western model that promises freedom and prosperity to all, but fails to deliver<p>Violence has erupted across a broad swath of territory in recent months: wars in …

Michelangelo Antonioni: stately cinematic master or pretentious bore?

The re-release of the Italian director’s 1962 masterpiece L’Eclisse should settle that matter once and for all<p>Is Ozu slow, the punters ask; is Bergman overrated? Is Antonioni pretentious? For me the answer to all three questions is no. With Ozu, you need to slow yourself down, Bergman we can fight …

Activity of entire central nervous system captured on film for first time

Footage recorded using light-sheet microscopy could help scientists understand how the brain and nerve cord interact to generate behaviour<p>The neural activity of an entire central nervous system has been captured in a fairly complex animal for the first time.<p>The video footage shows neurons firing in …

Invisible Atheists: The Spread of Disbelief in the Arab World

Last December, Dar Al Ifta, a venerable Cairo-based institution charged with issuing Islamic edicts, cited an obscure poll according to which the …

Portraits of Famous Artists and Their Cats

What do Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Frida Kahlo have in common? All three are counted among the most famous artists in history, and all three …

Here's What Actually Happens In Shakespeare's Most Famous Plays

"I wasted time, and now time doth waste me" need not apply to your procrastination habits. If you're in need of a quick Shakespeare refresher (say, before watching a modern-day adaptation), consulting a timeline of how events unfolded could come in hand. Does Titania fall in love with Bottom before …

Teenage James Joyce’s Beautiful Letter to Ibsen, His Great Hero

“We always keep the dearest things to ourselves.”<p>One need only look at the canon of quiet champions behind creative icons to be reminded of how deeply and lastingly a young person setting out on a creative path can be touched by a simple word of encouragement from one of his or her heroes — one of …

Study shows humans are evolving faster than previously thought

Results of largest ever genetics study of a single population could also help refine dates for major events during human evolution<p>Humans are evolving more rapidly than previously thought, according to the largest ever genetics study of a single population.<p>Scientists reached the conclusion after …

The Return of the Mercenary

How private armies, and the technology they use, are changing warfare<p>The use of mercenaries in warfare has a very long history—much longer, in fact, than the almost-exclusive deployment of national militaries to wage wars. Before the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 ended Europe's Thirty Years' War and …

War

Science makes mind-blowing sex: How Darwin made your sex life hotter

Who knew evolution could be so orgasmic?<p>In terms of evolution, sex is the bottom line. No sex, no reproduction; no future genes, no evolution. Period.<p>Normally any species that has food, space, health, and peace tends to have lots and lots of sex, and the population expands accordingly, often quite …

A Guy Is Trolling His Local Bookstore With Fake Self-Help Books And They're Hilarious

Yep. Jeff Wysaski is at it again.

Is It Time for the Jews to Leave Europe?

For half a century, memories of the Holocaust limited anti-Semitism on the Continent. That period has ended—the recent fatal attacks in Paris and Copenhagen are merely the latest examples of rising violence against Jews. Renewed vitriol among right-wing fascists and new threats from radicalized …

Israel

The ghost children: In the wake of China’s one-child policy, a generation is lost

The ghost children<br>of China<p>In 1980, China introduced the one-child policy. In the process, it created a lost generation – second and third children who went unregistered, couldn’t go to school, and who continue to live in the shadows. <b>Nathan VanderKlippe</b> explores the human and economic costs of one …

Religious ignorance kills kids: How two Richard Nixon aides sneakily altered a law that still costs children’s lives

Two Watergate villains did something even worse: Twisting a law to protect religiously motivated neglect of kids<p><i>“To cure is the voice of the past.<br>To prevent, the divine whisper of today.”<br>-- British medical journal, 1903</i><p>In the summer of 1874, a woman lay dying of tuberculosis on the top floor of a …

“I realize now that he was sexless”

Much has written about T.E. Lawrence’s sexual preferences. Now, the real story of a deep affection for an Arab boy<p><i>But, propped on beds of amaranth and moly,</i> <i><br>How sweet – while warm airs lull us, blowing lowly –</i> <i><br>With half-dropped eyelid still,</i> <i><br>Beneath a heaven dark and holy,</i> <i><br>To watch the long bright</i> …

Is Islam Hostile to Science?

In the golden age of Islamic science, they weren't doing Islamic science—they were doing science, says author.<p>It's easy to take the wonders of modern science—gene technology, particle physics, robotics—for granted. But it took a long, hard road of experiment and discovery—and failure—to make these …

Physics

The abortion I didn’t want

Afterward, I felt grief, emptiness — and relief. Why don’t we tell stories that are emotionally complicated, too?<p>I’m lying on a table at a women’s health clinic being held down by three young clinicians while a doctor performs the procedure. There are tapestries and Georgia O’Keeffe prints on the …

How your brain heals itself

Groundbreaking research offers new hope for people with chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and more<p>A South African man with Parkinson’s disease, a …

How Ebola Roared Back

The Best Free Workout Videos on YouTube

Now that the holidays are creeping around the corner, you may have to break up with your regularly scheduled sweat sessions, at least temporarily. …

Black Swans

The Stradivarius Affair

It isn’t every day that a street criminal—a high-school dropout with two felony convictions—is accused of stealing a centuries-old violin worth as much as $6 million. But nothing about the heist of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which galvanized the music world last winter, was normal, or even …

Can Apple’s Angela Ahrendts Spark A Retail Revolution?

When the Burberry CEO takes over as Apple’s retail chief this spring, she’ll arrive with a sterling track record and an open, collaborative spirit that’s sure to shake things up in the executive ranks. Meet the woman charged with making Apple shine again–and what she could mean for its legacy.<p>One …

If God Were On Facebook

Nature's Nether Regions

<b>Ahem,</b> everyone: get ready to look closely at some of nature’s weirdest private parts. Or rather, get ready to look at how evolutionary biologists …

Biology

Your Fatwa Does Not Apply Here: Untold Stories from the Fight Against Muslim Fundamentalism

Karima Bennoune is someone who collects nightmares for a living, a woman who makes people weep. With over 20 years of human rights research and activism in her professional experience -- including a period as legal advisor to Amnesty International -- Bennoune has collected stories that most of us …

Feminism

10 Rules for Students and Teachers Popularized by John Cage

Avant-garde composer John Cage started out as a disciple of Arnold Schoenberg. He greatly looked up to the exiled Austrian as a model of how a true …

Incorporated

How extreme isolation warps the mind

When people are isolated from human contact, their mind can do some truly bizarre things, says Michael Bond. Why does this happen?<p>Sarah Shourd’s mind began to slip after about two months into her incarceration. She heard phantom footsteps and flashing lights, and spent most of her day crouched on …

Psychology

Game of Thrones: A Tragic Downfall?

Our roundtable on "Mockingbird," the seventh episode of the fourth season of the HBO show.<p>Spencer Kornhaber, Christopher Orr, and Amy Sullivan discuss the latest episode of <i>Game of Thrones</i>.<p><b>Orr:</b> So long, Lysa! Have a nice trip!<p>This episode, “Mockingbird,” reminded me a bit of the previous one: a …