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How to Live Wisely

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 »

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

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

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

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

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

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 »

The Great Fire: One American’s Mission to Rescue Victims of the 20th Century’s First Genocide

The harrowing story of a Methodist Minister and a principled American naval officer who helped rescue more than 250,000 refugees during the genocide of Armenian and Greek Christians—a tale of bravery, morality, and… Lou Ureneck amazon The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. ... Read More »

In Washington, the Real Power Lies With the Spooks, Eavesdroppers and Assassins

A review of Michael Glennon’s ‘National Security and Double Government’.. by MATTHEW HARWOOD Almost two months after the first stories about whistleblower Edward Snowden appeared in June 2013, libertarian-minded Rep. Justin Amash — a Michigan Republican — and liberal Democrat Rep. John Conyers, also of Michigan, co-sponsored an amendment to the defense appropriations bill that would have defunded the National Security Agency’s call records program… Source: In Washington, the Real Power Lies With the Spooks, Eavesdroppers and Assassins — War Is Boring 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

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.

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 »

Slavoj Žižek: What is freedom today? – video

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

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 »