Society

‘Sea Slaves’: The Human Misery That Feeds Pets and Livestock

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Men who have fled servitude on fishing boats recount beatings and worse as nets are cast for the catch that will become pet food and livestock feed. IAN URBINA The New York Times SONGKHLA, Thailand — Lang Long’s ordeal began in the back of a truck. After watching his younger siblings go hungry because their family’s rice patch in Cambodia could not provide for everyone, he accepted a trafficker’s offer to travel across the Thai border for a construction job. ... Read More »

How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

A walk in the park may soothe the mind and, in the process, change the workings of our brains in ways that improve our mental health, according to an interesting new study of the physical effects on the brain of visiting nature. By GRETCHEN REYNOLDS Most of us today live in cities and spend far less time outside in green, natural spaces than people did several generations ago. City dwellers also have a… Source: How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain ... Read More »

The end of capitalism has begun

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Without us noticing, we are entering the postcapitalist era. At the heart of further change to come is information technology, new ways of working and the sharing economy. The old ways will take a long while to disappear, but it’s time to be utopian.. The red flags and marching songs of Syriza during the Greek crisis, plus the expectation that the banks would be nationalised, revived briefly a 20th-century dream: the… Source: The end of capitalism has begun | Books ... 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 »

Towards a true democracy with the Apolitical Party

Democracy - IA

With the aim of injecting true representative democracy into Australia’s flawed political system, IA announces the launch of its True Democracy Project and calls for interest in its proposed ‘Apolitical Party’. Oliver de Nicolai Independent Australia Project coordinator Oliver de Nicolai and managing editor David Donovan explain what’s going on. Australia has a… Towards a true… Read More »

Gay Marriage Video: Paddy Manning and Keith Mills – two gay men explain why they’re voting No

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Paddy Manning and Keith Mills have become literally the two most famous gay men in the country. Their story of a heartfelt plea to the Irish public to vote No has gone viral around the world. James Brennan IrishNews TheLiberal Both men are well acclaimed bloggers, but their notoriety for being gay and sticking their heads about the pulpit by publicly saying they’re voting No has made them nationally known public figures. Paddy Manning is from Kilkenny. He’s passionate about ... Read More »

This Billionaire Governor Taxed the Rich and Increased the Minimum Wage — Now, His State’s Economy Is One of the Best in the Country

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The next time your right-wing family member or former high school classmate posts a status update or tweet about how taxing the rich or increasing workers’ wages kills jobs and makes businesses leave the state, I want you to send them this article. C. Robert Gibson  The Huffington Post When he took office in January of 2011, Minnesota governor Mark… This Billionaire Governor… Read More »

Canada’s race problem? It’s even worse than America’s.

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For a country so self-satisfied with its image of progressive tolerance, how is this not a national… Scott Gilmore MacLean’s The racial mess in the United States looks pretty grim and is painful to… We can be forgiven for being quietly thankful for Canada’s more inclusive society, which has avoided dramas like that in… Canada’s race problem… 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 »

Turkey’s Kristallnacht

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Sept. 6, 1955 started just like any other day for the Greeks, Armenians, and Jews of ‎Istanbul—or Constantinople. ‎ Uzay Bulut The Armenian Weekly ‎”I resided in Cengelkoy with my wife and two children back then,” wrote Apostolos Nikolaidis ‎in the book I Nihta ton Kristallon. ‎”Just as protests were starting in Taksim, I left my shop in Karakoy and went home.” Nikolaidis did not know that a horrid ethnic cleansing campaign was on the way. Just like Nikolaidis, ‎thousands ... 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 »

Turkey Exported Key Chemical Weapons Components to Terrorists in Syria

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Figures from Turkey’s statistical institute reveal that Turkey delivered large amounts of a key ingredient of the deadly Sarin nerve gas to terrorists in Syria prior to the… nsnbc Turkey also exported large quantities of chemicals used for the production of… Figures from Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TÜIK), reveal… Turkey Exported Key… 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 »

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

Neil Gainman 1a Robin Mayes LLLL

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 »