Arts & Culture

Why College Is Not a Commodity

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What is college for? We typically answer this question by citing a variety of purposes, of which liberal education is only one. Most other goals — marketable skills, moral and social development, learning how to learn — are tied to the demands of employers. Gary Gutting The Chronicle of Higher Education Yes, young people need all of those qualities. But, apart from liberal education, our best colleges — say, the top 100 major research universities and the 50 best four-year ... Read More »

How to overtake cyclists – the video all drivers should watch

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The Highway code requires vehicles to give cyclists at least as much space as a car – but many cars endanger lives by ignoring this. Chris Boardman features in a new YouTube video that aims to help change that Carlton Reid  The Guardian “Socialism,” wrote the 1970s Chilean politician José Viera Gallo, “can only arrive by bicycle.” That’s why Jeremy Corbyn cycles everywhere. And come the revolution, prime minister Corbyn will see to it that this land of ours will ... Read More »

How to Live Wisely

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Imagine you are Dean for a Day. What is one actionable change you would implement to enhance the college experience on campus? RICHARD J. LIGHT The New York Times I have asked students this question for years. The answers can be eye-opening. A few years ago, the responses began to move away from “tweak the history course” or “change the… How to Live… Read More »

The history of British slave ownership has been buried: now its scale can be revealed

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A new BBC documentary tells how a trove of documents lays bare the names of Britain’s 46,000 slave owners, including relatives of Gladstone and… The Guardian The Observer David Olusoga The past has a disconcerting habit of bursting, uninvited and unwelcome, into the… This year history gate-crashed modern America in… The history of… Read More »

Slavoj Žižek: What is freedom today? – video

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Are we free to live our lives as we want? We might think so, but philosopher Slavoj Žižek argues that this apparent freedom is actually governed by a complex series of conditions. With Slavoj Žižek. The Guardian Produced by Nicole Jackson, Ben Marshall, Bruno Rinvolucri, Anetta Jones, Robbie Kilgour and Caterina Monzani, theguardian.com For Žižek, a ‘pathetic, old romantic’, the highest form of freedom is in fact love • The books Absolute Recoil: Towards a New Foundation of Dialectical Materialism by Slavoj Žižek and Comradely ... Read More »

How 1,000 years of Arabic scholarship advanced scientific debate – in pictures

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From the 9th to the 19th centuries, scholars and scribes used Arabic as a lingua franca to debate scientific ideas. Claire Shaw The Guardian Arabic-speaking scholars translated classical Greek, Persian and even Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy. These scholars went far beyond translation and preservation and fostered a unique and vibrant scientific culture within the Arabic-speaking… How 1,000 years… Read More »

Sharia 101: a user’s guide for Jacqui La

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Dear Ms Lambie, I believe you may be having some difficulties with the meaning of Sharia law. Let me see if I can help… Jamila Hussain The Sydney Morning Herald The word Sharia in Arabic means a path or a way and is basically a pathway for Muslims to follow to live their lives in accordance with… It is broader than the usual Western concept of law as it includes religious duties such as prayer and… Sharia 101: a… Read More »

Asian Gambling Addiction

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“We have this saying in Chinese: if you don’t gamble, you don’t know how lucky you are.” —Anonymous Chinese gambler This strong belief in luck, fate, or fortune is part of the driving force behind Asians and gambling. Sam Louie MA, LMHC Psychology Today It’s no coincidence there is such a high proportion of Asians gambling and the deep cultural factors which not only encourage gambling but discourage seeking help when it becomes compulsive or addictive. Research shows Asians in the ... Read More »

Alek Wek: ‘You don’t have to go with the crowd’

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As a teenager, Alek Wek shook up the fashion world – and inspired, among others, a young Lupita… Sali Hughes The Guardian The Sudanese supermodel tells Sali Hughes why quirky is… Alek Wek was 19 when she was approached by a model scout from a top London agency at a fair in Crystal Palace… Her mother, she remembers, was horrified, thinking her… Alek Wek: ‘You… Read More »

Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’

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New law, denounced as ‘anti-Semitism’ by Jewish leaders, comes after country controversially slaughtered a giraffe in public and fed him to lions Adam Withnall Independent Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists. The change to the law, announced last week and effective as of yesterday, has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” ... Read More »

Four Orthodox Christian Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.

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Every January, Americans pause to honor the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who led a civil rights movement that called this nation to see every person as created in the image and likeness of God and worthy of equal treatment under the law. By Andrew Estocin in The Sounding Blog Orthodox Christian Network One of the most beautiful moments in American Orthodox history was when Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America chose to march against racial segregation ... Read More »

What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That is ‘100% Accurate’

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Between 750 BC and 400 BC, the Ancient Greeks composed songs meant to be accompanied by the lyre, reed-pipes, and various percussion instruments. OpenCulture More than 2,000 years later, modern scholars have finally figured out how to reconstruct and perform these songs with (it’s claimed) 100% accuracy. Writing on the BBC web site, Armand D’Angour,  a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University, notes: [Ancient Greek] instruments are known from… What Ancient Greek… Read More »

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

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A lecture explaining why using our imaginations, and providing for others to use theirs, is an obligation for all citizens Authors condemn £4m library fund as a ‘sop’ and a ‘whitewash’ Neil Gaiman The Guardian It’s important for people to tell you what side they are on and why, and whether they might be biased. A declaration of members’ interests, of a sort. So, I am going to be talking to you about reading. I’m going to tell you that ... Read More »

My life of hell in an Afghan harem

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Naive and in love, I married a man from Kabul — only to discover the horrible life of a fundamentalist Muslim wife. Phyllis Chesler New York Post Phyllis Chesler, 72, is a feminist scholar and a professor emerita of psychology and women’s studies at City University of New York. In her 14th book, “An American Bride in Kabul” (Palgrave… My life of… Read More »

Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks are beautiful works of art in themselves

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Leonardo’s notebooks are a fascinating insight into his mind. Now the British Library has published its collection online, it’s even easier to study them – with or without translation Jonathan Jones The Guardian Leonardo da Vinci’s notebooks are the living record of a universal mind. They encompass all the interests and experiments of this self-taught polymath, from mathematics to flying machines. Now the British Library in London has fully digitised its Leonardo manuscript, enabling everyone to freely explore this precious ... Read More »

Theo Angelopoulos: his best films – in pictures

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The Greek director, who died on Tuesday, was celebrated for his beautifully shot and uncompromisingly intellectual cinema. The Guardian Here we look back at his best-known films. Angelopoulos’s Landscape in the Mist is another parable of search without discovery. Two children sneak on board a… Theo Angelopoulos: his… Read More »