Arts & Culture

Does Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ Have Lessons for Today?

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The Synetic theater’s bold adaptation of The Trial features the surrealism, disorientation and overwhelming sense of dread that one would expect from Kafka. Matthew Reisener The National Interest Paata Tsikurishvili, the founding artistic director of Synetic Theater in Arlington, Virginia, is famous for his wordless productions of plays ranging from Shakespeare to Moliere to Dante. His cast of actors fuses mime, dance and music to create dramas that may refer to the present but have an artistic merit that also ... Read More »

Archbishop of Canterbury says Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws which have Christian values

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Justin Welby said Sharia law should never become part of the UK legal system His predecessor Lord Williams had said Sharia law could be incorporated Welby said British law had ‘values and assumptions’ rooted in Christian traditions By Steve Doughty Social Affairs Correspondent For The Daily Mail MailOnLine Sharia law should never become part of the British legal system, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday. Justin Welby said the Islamic rules are incompatible with Britain’s laws, which have developed over 500 ... Read More »

Thamkrabok Monastery has a reputation for its cold-turkey detox

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When the morning mist clears from Thamkrabok Monastery, it reveals granite cliffs looming over a sprawling complex of temples and mammoth Buddha statues. By Arthur Nazaryan GlobalPost Sometimes around noon, you can find a group of foreigners sitting on a wooden porch overlooking a pond, talking with monks (some of them also foreign) about destiny, self-reliance and karma. One could mistake this place for a spiritual retreat, but in fact, hardly anyone comes here as a tourist. Most of the people ... Read More »

Mark Cuban says studying philosophy may soon be worth more than computer science—here’s why

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According to billionaire technology entrepreneur Mark Cuban, earning a college degree in computer science might not be the safe investment you think it is. Ali Montag CNBC Today, students who study computer science have a high likelihood of scoring a lucrative job: Glassdoor determined computer science and engineering to be the number one highest-paying major to study in 2017. Meanwhile, students of liberal arts subjects often make far less. But Cuban, also an investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” expects that to change. “I’m going to ... Read More »

William Hill fined £6.2m for ‘systemic social responsibility and money laundering failures’

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William Hill has been fined £6.2million for “systemic social responsibility and money laundering failures”, the Gambling Commission has confirmed. ITV An investigation into William Hill Group revealed that from November 2014 to August 2016 the bookmaker breached anti-money laundering and social responsibility regulations. Their inadequate checks resulted in ten customers being permitted to deposit large sums of money linked to crimes, resulting in £1.2million profit for William Hill. Commission executive director… William Hill fined… Read More »

For what shall it profit a city if it loses its civic soul? A plea to preserve Melbourne’s Fed Square

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For 150 years Melburnians dreamed of a square, a great ceremonial space where people could relax, celebrate, protest or simply enjoy the company of their fellow citizens. Graeme Davison The Conversation They had a word for their dream – a civic square. The word “civic” means “of the city” or “belonging to the citizens”. What they wanted was not a market, a park, an arena or a mall – Melbourne had plenty of those – but a grand piazza where ... Read More »

“We are not used to people thinking we are beautiful”

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With her tent pitched on a local family’s front garden, Cécile Smetana Baudier spent five weeks photographing Costa Chica’s hidden Afro-Mexican community bjp Postcards from Copenhagen gives three photographers the opportunity to travel to Copenhagen on an exclusive group commission. To introduce the competition, British Journal of Photography will profile a number of photographers working out of the Danish capital. Until 2015, the Mexican government failed to officially acknowledge the 1.38 million citizens of African descent living in the country. Despite their eventual ... Read More »

Who Owns the Elgin Marbles?

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“They were created in a short time for all time. Each one of them, in its beauty, was even then and at once antique, but in the freshness of its vigor it is, even to the present day, recent and newly wrought.” Patricia Vigderman The New York Times Thus Plutarch described the buildings on the Acropolis as a showcase of Periclean Athens. Although he was writing half a millennium after the Parthenon was built, he touched on the essence of ... Read More »

Barack Obama wants you to read this book on making smarter decisions

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Former President recommends Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman, which could reshape how you make decisions Chris Weller Business Insider Independent Four years ago, a few months before he was re-elected, President Barack Obama read a book on the science of decision-making that he now considers one of his favourites. The book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, features insights into the pitfalls of human rationality that might just transform how you think about intelligence. Obama’s recommendation comes alongside nine other books on ... Read More »

Malaysian court jails artist for clown caricature of PM

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A Malaysian artist and prominent opposition activist was jailed for a month yesterday for publishing a caricature of Prime Minister Najib Razak looking like a clown, a ruling likely to exacerbate concern about free speech. KUALA LUMPUR – Reuters Hurriyet Southeast Asia’s third-largest economy recently announced plans to amend a law to stamp out fake news, the latest step to broaden enforcement powers and penalties against online posts or content deemed detrimental to public order and security. Artist Fahmi Reza ... Read More »

Museum of Australian Democracy exhibition looks at migration through Holocaust survivors’ eyes

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The story begins with a toy koala – furry, life-sized and huggable – and ends with the poignant reminders of the bottomless traumas of the Holocaust. Sally Pryor The Canberra Times But in exploring the different experiences of migration to Australia, an exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House in Canberra has a single shining theme: human resilience. In 1949, an eight-year-old girl named Isobel Saxelby was presented with a toy koala when she arrived in ... Read More »

‘Lost’ ancient Mexican city had as many buildings as Manhattan, laser map shows

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‘If you do the maths, all of a sudden you are talking about 40,000 building foundations up there’ Jeff Farrell The Independent A “lost” Mexican city built by rivals to the Aztecs has as many buildings as Manhattan and was home to around 100,000 people, according to new research. The sprawling urban centre of Angamuco which was part of the Purépecha empire that peaked in the 16th century was detected by an aerial laser mapping technique called the Lidar system. An aircraft beamed out laser pulses and experts ... Read More »

Pushing back: why it’s time for women to rewrite the story

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Poe, Updike, Roth, Mailer: many male authors have contributed to a culture in which the credibility of women is undermined. It’s time to put a stop to the gaslighting, writes Sarah Churchwell The Guardian In 1938 a play debuted at the Richmond theatre, which opens with a Victorian husband telling his wife that though she has been “very good lately”, she mustn’t “read meanings into everything” or “imagine things”. “Is it possible you’re beginning to see my point of view?” she ... Read More »

Neighbourhood living rooms – we can learn a lot from European town squares

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Australian urban design has historically focused on providing and improving access to public green spaces. As cities increase in density, this is a crucial part of creating healthy, engaged communities. Dina Bacvic The Conversation But Australian urban designers often fail to consider the “other half” of public space – the town square. Public squares or plazas were, and are, the centres of daily public life in many European towns and cities. Today they still influence the perception of place and ... Read More »

When citizens set the budget: lessons from ancient Greece

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Today elected representatives take the tough decisions about public finances behind closed doors. In doing so, democratic politicians rely on the advice of financial bureaucrats, who, often, cater to the political needs of the elected government. Authors: The Conversation Politicians rarely ask voters what they think of budget options. They are no better at explaining the reasons for a budget. Explanations are usually no more than vacuous phrases, such as “jobs and growth” or “on the move”. They never explain ... Read More »

Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice – The Start podcast

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The artist and activist tells how investigating schoolchildren’s deaths in the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 spawned his mammoth installation, Remembering Produced by Eva Krysiak with sound design by Chris Wood and original music by Stephen Fiske The Guardian In 2008, an earthquake devastated Sichuan province in China, claiming the lives of more than 69,000 people. Following accusations from parents that substandard construction caused the collapse of schools across in the region, the artist Ai Weiwei set upon a political investigation that would name every missing student ... Read More »