Morgan McCormack

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Circus Maximus by Andrew Zimbalist review – an Olympic-sized rip-off

A remarkable study that exposes the extraordinary chicanery and dodgy dealing behind staging the Olympics and the World Cup<p>Apart from war, nothing so deranges the political mind as national sports rivalry. It stirs patriotism, ostentation and group hysteria. In Britain, its participants are …

Brazil

Fantastic words with no easy translation in other languages

<i>Warmduscher</i>, in German, refers to a Goldilocks-like person who only takes warm showers, implying that he is a bit of wimp. <i>Gurfa</i>, in Arabic, is the amount of water than can be held in one hand. <i>Nunchi</i>, in Korean, is the art of listening and gauging another’s mood.<p>We have all met these people or felt …

Language

Milk, missiles, and macroeconomics: Highlights from Vladimir Putin’s marathon call-in Q&A show

Aside from the occasional unexplained absence, there is no time when Vladimir Putin seems more comfortable than when he’s on camera, listening to the sound of his own voice. Twice a year, the Russian president takes over the national airwaves to field questions from journalists and the general …

Russia

How He and His Cronies Stole Russia

Putin’s Kleptocracy: Who Owns Russia?<p>by Karen Dawisha<p>Simon and Schuster, 445 pp., $30.00<p>For twenty years now, the Western politicians, journalists, …

Anki's next-generation robotic race cars get modular tracks

Two years ago, Anki introduced itself to the world at the Apple WWDC keynote with robotic race cars that could maneuver around the track all on their own. The company has grown substantially since then thanks to strong initial interest and growing sales -- Anki tells us that it was the …

The Attention Machine

A new brain-scanning technique could change the way scientists think about human focus.<p>Human attention isn’t stable, ever, and it costs us: lives lost when drivers space out, billions of dollars wasted on inefficient work, and mental disorders that hijack focus. Much of the time, people don’t …