Sweden is shifting to a 6-hour work day

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*Packs up life, books plane ticket* BEC CREW – Science alert Despite research telling us it’s a really bad idea, many of us end up working 50-hour weeks or more because we think we’ll get more done and reap the benefits later. And according to a study published last month involving 600,000 people, those of us who clock up a ... Read More »

A Volcanic Eruption That Reverberates 200 Years Later

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In April 1815, the most powerful volcanic blast in recorded history shook the planet in a catastrophe so vast that 200 years later, investigators are still struggling to grasp its repercussions. It played a role, they now understand, in icy weather, agricultural collapse and global pandemics — and even gave rise to celebrated monsters. The New York Times – By ... Read More »

Help for former prisoners good for community, says human rights group

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More money is needed to support prisoners on release, leading to greater public safety and a saving of taxes. The rights group, Liberty Victoria, said this today in welcoming the Victorian Ombudsman’s report into prisoner rehabilitation. Particularly pleasing are recommended changes to the educational opportunities for prisoners, which Liberty has long urged. Liberty told the Ombudsman’s inquiry that prisoners should ... Read More »

C. K. Williams in The New Yorker

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The poet C. K. Williams, who died on Sunday, at the age of seventy-eight, published his first poem in The New Yorker nearly fifty years ago. The New Yorker – By David Haglund * It ran in the April 2, 1966, issue, and was titled, “The World’s Greatest Tricycle Rider.” It begins: The world’s greatest tricycle rider is in my heart, riding like ... Read More »

Greece could sure use a philosopher-king right about now

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Plato’s paradox As Greece approaches yet another election—its fifth in six years—the country’s philosophical forefathers can only be smirking. QUARTZ - Written by Mark Y. Rosenberg Plato and his teacher Socrates famously warned about the pitfalls of democracy: social disorder, economic turmoil and, eventually, a disillusioned turn towards tyranny. As governments based on the will of the masses lurch from ... Read More »

Are Muslims Fatalists?

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“According to God, your age is written on your forehead.” An Arabic proverb “Sit on a beehive and say this is fate.” Another Arabic proverb[1] After a building crane fell into Mecca’s Grand Mosque on Sep. 11, 2015, killing 114 and injuring 394, the mosque’s Imam Abdul Rahman Al Sudais visited the injured and, as he met each one, told ... Read More »

Antigone now: Greek tragedy is the debate we have to have

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When you hear the words Greek tragedy, you might think of white masks, or even the ongoing economic crisis – ancient drama and modern depravity in its most enticing form. These first impressions may seem simple, but within them lays a theatrical form that refuses to die. The Conversation – Christine Lambrianidis, Playwright and theatre researcher at Monash University Maybe ... Read More »

The family who built a cafe just for their son

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A cafe in the Philippines is giving disabled people in the area a chance to succeed in life and break down stigma in the process. BBC - By Aurora Almendral Manila, Philippines Jose Canoy was 12 when his family realised that he would no longer do well in school. He has autism, and his family began to understand that, unlike ... Read More »

When Success Leads to Failure

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The pressure to achieve academically is a crime against learning TheAtlantic Jessica Lahey I’ve known the mother sitting in front of me at this parent-teacher conference for years, and we have been through a lot together. I have taught three of her children, and I like to think we’ve even become friends during our time together. She’s a conscientious mother ... Read More »

Senior Israeli archaeologist casts doubt on Jewish heritage of Jerusalem

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A senior archaeologist at Tel Aviv University has cast doubt on the alleged Jewish heritage of Jerusalem. Israel Finkelstein’s claims have been made in the face of official Israeli and biblical claims to the occupied city. MEM – Professor Finkelstein, who is known as “the father of biblical archaeology”, told the Jerusalem Post that Jewish archaeologists have found no historical ... Read More »

Why you shouldn’t tell children they can be whatever they want

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Instead of telling children they are special and can be superstars, we should emphasise self-control and hard work The Guardian – Tim Lott I return here to one of my favourite themes – the gap between reality and expectation for children. This is prompted by an excellent article in the online magazine, Aeon, headlined You Can Do It Baby – ... Read More »