aries1988 + story   519

The Diary: Chris Cook | Financial Times
The trip also took in some traditional local culture – notably a taster of Chinese opera (surprisingly unterrible) and massage by blind masseurs (murderously painful). We were taken round the universities that are shooting up across the city. Yang’s plan is that Nanjing should be Boston to Shanghai’s New York – a historic city and world-renowned higher education hub.
nanjing  story 
9 days ago by aries1988
Soju, Beer Pong, and the Romance of Cultural Exchange (or the Cultural Exchange of Romance) – BLARB
As Garam introduced me to Korean food gradually during that first semester, I acquired a taste for the fundamentals. The first meal, and the one we would share most often thereafter at the circular table in her kitchen, centered around dwenjang jigae (된장 찌개), a heartier version of the miso soup you would find in a Japanese restaurant. She served it with rice, a stack of business-card-sized seaweed papers, soy sauce, and a small mound of kimchi. When I saw her meal laid out on the table in eight small dishes for two people, I became ashamed and defensive about my first attempt to cook for her: a deluxe frozen DiGiorno’s pizza. (But it was deluxe!)

Garam was impressed with my chopstick skills, which she claimed were better than hers. I held the chopsticks so they formed a V shape, whereas she held them so they formed an X. She also explained that, while Japanese use cylindrical chopsticks and Chinese use square chopsticks, Koreans use flat ones.
korea  food  usa  love  story  tradition  drinking  home 
6 weeks ago by aries1988
A New Citizen Decides to Leave the Tumult of Trump’s America
Rebecca Mead on the wrenching choice, after decades in New York and securing U.S. citizenship, to return to Britain.
story  british  london  newyork  american  son  culture  uk  immigrant 
12 weeks ago by aries1988
287期:你,为什么离开了中国?- Why did you leave China?

应老朋友友藏的邀请,我们跨越半个地球连线,对谈交流了移民这样的一个话题。大狗熊 2016 年从云南移民来到了新西兰,友藏 2013 年离开北京来到了加拿大,两个人背井离乡究竟是什么原因?对谈当中分享了各自移民的经历、故事和心得,都在这期节目当中。
expat  china  canada  vancouver  story  kiwi  couple  kid  why  success 
july 2018 by aries1988
What’s in my name: tales that cross continents and generations | Life and style | The Guardian

While I didn’t like the English aspect of my name, I was embarrassed by what that double “e” in Sheela symbolised – my own Indian-ness. I was embarrassed by my parents, our food, our language, cringing at the sound of them speaking Bengali to me in public. But as I grew up I began to shed the layers of stigma. I started hanging out with my Bengali friends in west London pubs. I went to college and studied African and Asian studies in the radicalised environment of Sussex University. I started looking back at the world in which I had grown up through a different lens.

Banerjees – upper-middle-class Bengalis – often became quite close to the British. They did business with them, were educated in their schooling system, and taught to speak English (like my father and my grandfather before him). My grandfather was the manager of a company which supplied porters and teashops to the British-owned railways. He remained a devout Hindu all his life, but the influence of the British filtered down to his son, my father, who grew up dreaming of coming to England.

The most significant aspect of my surname, however, is that in India it identifies where I belong in the Hindu caste system. My grandparents were devout Brahmins – the name Banerjee, along with others such as Mukherjee, Chatterjee and Bhattacharjee, signified that they belonged to the priestly class, the highest tier of the Bengali caste system. Their name and their whole way of life was an embodiment of this.

Even further back in time, being a Banerjee, a Brahmin, means that we must have been Aryan invaders who crossed mountains and rivers in central Asia, fought and pillaged our way through harsh terrain and subjugated the original inhabitants of India – the Dravidians.
india  name  story  uk  british 
july 2018 by aries1988
“废柴”的快乐生活 日本青年人:不为国家而活|深度|端传媒 Initium Media

interview  japanese  youth  story 
june 2018 by aries1988
Why I Taught My Son to Speak Russian | The New Yorker
As the psycholinguist François Grosjean stresses, language is the product of necessity. If a child discusses, say, hockey only with his Russian-speaking father, he may not learn until later how to say “puck” in English. But he’ll learn when he has to.

I see friends who came over at the same time as I did but didn’t keep up their Russian raising their kids entirely in English. Sometimes I feel sorry for them and all they’re missing; at other times, envious. They have finally liberated themselves from Russia’s yoke, just as their parents wanted them to. They are free to be themselves around their children, to express themselves with ease. They always know the words for scooter and goat and sheep.

Most of us were more comfortable in English than in Russian, and none of us had any wish to repatriate. Why, then, were we doing this? What did we want to pass on to our children, exactly? Certainly nothing about Russia as it is currently constituted. Perhaps it was fitting that we were listening to children’s songs.
english  russia  language  children  learn  story  song  memory  parents  angst 
june 2018 by aries1988
Delacroix: last of the Old Masters or first of the new?

Romanticism was a cultural movement that began in Britain and Germany in the late 18th century and soon spread to the rest of Europe. It prioritised inspiration and individual experience over the rational values of the Enlightenment.

Delacroix uses visible brushstrokes to convey dynamism: it’s as though he has frozen a single frame and the slaughter could resume at any second. Like “Chios”, “The Death of Sardanapalus” provokes conflicting emotions in the viewer. Do we recoil in disgust or marvel at the vividness?

While she bears her chest, she is not eroticised. Her combination of robust, earthly features and celestial radiance places her somewhere between a woman-of-the-people and a goddess. Delacroix modelled her form on the Venus de Milo, which was discovered in 1820 and arrived at the Louvre the following year.

The “Women of Algiers”, more restrained than his earlier paintings, is a sumptuous depiction of a harem.

Delacroix has been described as “the last Old Master”, his paintings a culmination of four centuries of European art.

Looking at this quickness of the brushstrokes in this painting, it’s clear how Delacroix, although he painted from memory rather than en plain air, laid the ground for the Impressionists.
painting  painter  story  art  XVIIII  leader  français  louvre  comparison 
may 2018 by aries1988
All by Itself, the Humble Sweet Potato Colonized the World
Many botanists argued that humans must have carried the valuable staple to the Pacific from South America. Not so, according to a new study.
agriculture  story  biology  americas  pacific  ocean 
april 2018 by aries1988
A Voyage to the End of the World
Amid the monochromes, the endless black and white and gray, was the jarring blue of glacial ice. No matter the shade of it—the bluish tinge of the growlers bobbing in our wake, the intensely deep blue of the arched and chambered floating ice castles, the Styrofoamish powder blue of calving glaciers—I couldn’t make my eyes believe that they were seeing a color from nature.

the sanatorium in “The Magic Mountain”:

Everybody loves penguins. In the erectness of their bearing, and in their readiness to drop down on their bellies, the flinging way they gesture with their armlike flippers, the shortness of the strides with which they walk or boldly scamper on their fleshy feet, they resemble human children more closely than does any other animal, not excepting the great apes.
antarctic  voyage  story  business  bird  penguin  ship  travel  ocean  from instapaper
april 2018 by aries1988
A Beijing Bookstore Where George Washington Is on the Shelves
The All Sages Bookstore, run by a onetime Tiananmen Square protester, has survived both the capital’s ferocious property market and the censorship of the Xi Jinping era.
beijing  reportage  bookstore  book  love  politics  story 
march 2018 by aries1988
Can Wine Transform China’s Countryside?
the wines produced are mostly Cabernet Sauvignons, Cabernet blends, and Chardonnays.
wine  china  story  success  gansu  region  desert  money  today  from instapaper
march 2018 by aries1988
Notes on Being Very Tall
From there, every inch takes you further from attractive and deeper into a realm of the freakish, toward human spectacle.

If you asked me who I was then, I would say that I was a reader and a writer, the son of an immigrant, an avid traveler, still a bit too much of a talker. But my body always preceded my person, my mind. My height was an identity that I didn’t identify with, one that was imposed on me externally and that only over time did I learn to internalize.

The usher kept coming down the aisle and shining his flashlight into Palmer’s eyes.
story  growup  body  young  tall  aesthetics  self  anecdote  from instapaper
march 2018 by aries1988
Surrounded by Jew-Haters
In the early years of Nazi conquests in Eastern Europe the ravening enthusiasm for pogroms among the indigenous populations of countries such as Poland, Lithuania, and Estonia startled even the SS. However, the detestation of Jews among all levels of Romanian society, particularly intellectuals, was unrelenting.

Sebastian survived the war largely because from early on the Romanian regime shrewdly saw that Germany would be defeated and switched its policy toward the Jews in hopes of placating the victorious Allies. His survival was cut short, however, in a way that is both tragic and banal. The final note in the Journal reads: On 29 May 1945, Mihail Sebastian was hit and killed by a truck in downtown Bucharest.
writer  story  intelligentsia  romania  ww2  jew  genocide  history  from instapaper
march 2018 by aries1988
How Digital Maps Have Changed What It Means to Be Lost
I was curious if others felt the same way, so I set about collecting more of these moments—memories of the last times people felt really, truly lost.

“I can sympathize with that romantic notion that wandering in an unfamiliar place is great because you never know what you might stumble on,” Mathis says. “But in practical terms, as a woman who often is out walking alone, I do have my guard up. I have my city face on. And the technology that we have now does make me feel like I can be self-sufficient almost anywhere. And that’s something I value.”

There are many ways to be lost. Some have declined due to technology; others are newly born. But in every situation, to be lost is to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is frightening, often dangerous, but it also breeds connection—with people, and with places. The maps people carry in their pockets can be a barrier to that connection, but they are also safety nets. And it’s easier to take a leap if you know there’s something at the bottom to catch you.
russia  story  travel  GPS  discovery  safety  street  city  night  lost  female  stranger  from instapaper
february 2018 by aries1988
When You’re a ‘Digital Nomad,’ the World Is Your Office - The New York Times

Roam has evolved into a miniature global corporation, with a dozen staff members, most of them digital nomads themselves, living among its locations, communicating through the chat platform Slack, checking in over weekly conference calls and scanning any print mail that comes in for online dispersal. Roam has no offices and no headquarters except its locations. For its clients and employees alike, the start-up provides a comprehensive structure for a post-place life.
work  digital  office  world  travel  talent  story  from instapaper
february 2018 by aries1988
Love Is Like a Sourdough Starter—It Can Last Forever, or Get Super Smelly and Weird | Bon Appetit
Sourdough bread, made from your own starter and fresh from the oven, tastes so good that it makes you want to launch your own food blog, where you can wax poetic for thousands of words about it. It’s crackly on the outside and soft and hot on the inside; the flavor is punchy and the texture is silky-chewy. Look: I’d love to describe the experience of eating this bread in a way that would make you understand. The best I can do is to say that eating my first slice of self-made sourdough bread felt emotionally exactly like kissing my crush for the first time when I was 16.
break  love  story  blog  cook 
february 2018 by aries1988
Letter of Recommendation: Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ - The New York Times

Even then I knew that my talent fell short of the mastery required for a real performing career, and I didn’t last long as a music major. But the sadness of my failure was mitigated by the promise of other passions. Winter had surpassed itself, leading me toward a life that I never would have had were it not for this random VHS rental.

For now, I am content to listen to recordings while silently following the sheet music, my fingers twitching involuntarily like the post-mortem spasms of a cadaver.
music  bestof  classic  story  moi  winter  from instapaper
february 2018 by aries1988
Meet the pirate queen making academic papers free online
She cared less about the form than the function: she wanted a global brain. To her, paywalls began to seem like the plaques in an Alzheimer’s-riddled mind, clogging up the flow of information.
academia  stans  story  science  piracy  female  leader  russia  today  idea  world  brain  knowledge  share  from instapaper
february 2018 by aries1988
Fear Factors | VQR Online
When I moved to China nearly two years ago, one of the first things I bought was a bicycle. I live on a university campus, where everyone rides, and the bike…
biking  story  china  from instapaper
february 2018 by aries1988
We Know How You Feel
just as the increasing scarcity of oil has led to more exotic methods of recovery, the scarcity of attention, combined with a growing economy built around its exchange, has prompted R. & D. in the mining of consumer cognition. “What people in the industry are saying is ‘I need to get people’s attention in a shorter period of time,’ so they are trying to focus on capturing the intensity of it,” Teixeira explained. “People who are emotional are much more engaged. And because emotions are ‘memory markers’ they remember more. So the idea now is shifting to: how do we get people who are feeling these emotions?”
emotion  business  research  story  egypt  female  scientist  startup  robot  ai  future  from instapaper
february 2018 by aries1988
“Cat Person”
“It was a terrible kiss, shockingly bad; Margot had trouble believing that a grown man could possibly be so bad at kissing.”
love  sex  perception  story  movie  imagination 
february 2018 by aries1988
Kazuo Ishiguro - Nobel Lecture: My Twentieth Century Evening – and Other Small Breakthroughs
As the only foreign boy in the neighbourhood, a kind of local fame followed me around. Other children knew who I was before I met them. Adults who were total strangers to me sometimes addressed me by name in the street or in the local store.

When I look back to this period, and remember it was less than twenty years from the end of a world war in which the Japanese had been their bitter enemies, I'm amazed by the openness and instinctive generosity with which our family was accepted by this ordinary English community. The affection, respect and curiosity I retain to this day for that generation of Britons who came through the Second World War, and built a remarkable new welfare state in its aftermath, derive significantly from my personal experiences from those years.
japan  immigration  gaijin  story  childhood  children  uk  literature  writer  memory  politics  today  world  human  future  manifesto 
february 2018 by aries1988
1789-2018 : les Anglais parmi nous
La présence des Anglais en France est importante et constante depuis le XIXe siècle. Tout en profitant des agréments culturels et des avantages matériels, les Anglais s'efforcent d'y reproduire un univers familier. Ils sont à l'origine d'une "France anglaise" dont l'histoire est méconnue.[...]
british  français  france  immigration  immigrant  story  nation  culture  history  sports  podcast 
february 2018 by aries1988
異鄉人——馬立安:在深圳住了二十多年的美國人類學家,為什麼執迷城中村?|端傳媒 Initium Media
shenzhen  story  gaijin  american 
january 2018 by aries1988
History of the word "tea": How the word "tea" spread over land and sea — Quartz
The map demonstrates two different eras of globalization in action: the millenia-old overland spread of goods and ideas westward from ancient China, and the 400-year-old influence of Asian culture on the seafaring Europeans of the age of exploration. Also, you just learned a new word in nearly every language on the planet.
tea  story  world  trade  language  history 
january 2018 by aries1988
Could you cross the Sahara desert by horseback?
It’s an arduous ride that takes a month to complete the 950kms across the striking Moroccan landscape
travel  story  desert  maroc  horse  female 
january 2018 by aries1988
My father Pete, his dementia and our last year together

There is no cure, as yet. Alzheimer’s disease, the most common cause of dementia, is variously described as having three to seven stages. Whatever. The last one is the shortest and ends in death. Some call the disease the longest goodbye as the average individual may live eight to 10 years after diagnosis.

Reaching and maintaining a state of contentment is the theme that dominates Contented Dementia by Oliver James, a clinical psychologist and bestselling author.
story  father  son  dementia  death 
december 2017 by aries1988

一个西裔女人招待他,拿过来一份菜单。他没有翻开,只问她,Nasi Goreng 有没有。女侍点头。他就说,好吧,就来一份Nasi Goreng, 一罐啤酒。

印尼炒饭,三年前他吃了整整两个月。那是个一月份,他上了一个雅加达的项目,印尼的一个客户寻求国际并购的机会。印尼是穆斯林社会,风气保守,晚上十一点,肚子饿,唯一开着的餐饮是路边大排档。大排档都一式一样,Chicken Satay, Gado Gado, Nasi Goreng. 所以他每个夜晚就吃这三样,烤鸡肉串,加多加多色拉, 印尼炒饭,配一瓶啤酒。他坐在大排档的塑料棚下面,雨点打在棚面响声如雷。店主在一口大锅前不停翻炒,脸上不停滴下水,不知是汗还是雨。老板娘收钱、擦桌子,扫地,兜里的钱票子都是湿的。大排档粗陋,盐不是放多就是放少,还要不就是没调开, 一口淡一口咸,镬气倒是十足,火候好。他就坐在那条塑料板凳上,这三样吃了两个月。

现在他老婆短发,他的发迹线有点太高。第一只猫头鹰已经被女儿睡得太脏。他知道第二个孩子降生时,老婆会兴高采烈地给他拿出第二只猫头鹰,那一只也会无可挽回地变脏、掉毛。那家做猫头鹰的玩具厂已经倒闭,这种玩具再也买不到了;因为Bill Murray而走红世界的日本威士忌,很多牌子已经卖脱销,十几年内不会有新货。想起这两件事情,他有点伤感。

除了加班和带孩子,他们剩下的可怜的空闲时间都用来看新房和谈房贷,孩子越来越大,必须搬到好学区住才行。对于婚姻,他常常想起Before Midnight,那么烦躁,零碎,温吞吞,缓慢地死去,“也许就和化疗一样”,他有一次这么想到。他疲惫不堪,他老婆恐怕更累,却无法不去爱这一切:毕竟,他们用Lost in Translation里猫头鹰的名字命名了两个孩子:Louise 和Luis。

story  douban  love  sex  memory  nostalgia  melancholy  life  marriage  family  man  youth  middle-age  indonesia  food  work  california 
december 2017 by aries1988
FT writers: what I would like to tell you about Alzheimer’s
I have heard Alzheimer’s described as a living death, but I am not sure I agree — certainly not for those close to the victim. Death is horrible but at least it is final. After a period of grief, loved ones live brightly in memory. Alzheimer’s is the opposite: the victim is right here, only their intellect, physicality and character are extinguished.
story  alzheimer 
december 2017 by aries1988
Anthony Bourdain’s Moveable Feast

He fell for Hanoi long before he actually travelled there, when he read Graham Greene’s 1955 novel, The Quiet American, and the city has retained a thick atmosphere of colonial decay—dingy villas, lugubrious banyan trees, monsoon clouds, and afternoon cocktails—that Bourdain savors without apology.

Bourdain believes that the age of the fifteen-course tasting menu is over. He is an evangelist for street food, and Hanoi excels at open-air cooking.

The restaurant’s specialty is bún chả: springy white noodles, smoky sausage, and charred pork belly served in a sweet and pungent broth.

I won’t eat in a restaurant with filthy bathrooms, Bourdain warned. They let you see the bathrooms. If the restaurant can’t be bothered to replace the puck in the urinal or keep the toilets and floors clean, then just imagine what their refrigeration and work spaces look like.

If Bourdain’s show offers a vicarious taste of an intrepid culinary expedition, the market will provide an ersatz consumer experience of his show.

With his chopsticks, he gestured toward a bowl of kimchi between us. Americans want kimchi. They want it on their hamburgers. It’s like when Americans started eating sushi—a huge tectonic shift. The new frontier for American tastes is fermentation, Bourdain continued. That funk. That corruption of the flesh. That’s exactly the flavor zone that we’re all moving toward.

I don’t know anybody who is more a man of the twenty-first century, Richman told me. The way he acts. The way he speaks. His insanity. His vulgarity.

the only way to see Hanoi was on the back of a scooter: To be anonymous, another helmeted figure in the middle of a million little dramas and comedies happening on a million bikes moving through this amazing city—every second is pure joy.
gourmet  vietnam  story  tv  21C  chef  street  food  from instapaper
december 2017 by aries1988
江湖已逝,侠客转行──四个中国调查记者的转型样本(下)|大陆|端传媒 Initium Media
china  journalism  story  journalist  reportage  youth  society  today 
november 2017 by aries1988
Memories of Thanksgivings Abroad and In Between

I remember tweeting into the void about Brussels sprouts and cranberry sauce on the morning of my first Thanksgiving abroad. Nobody who might have cared was up yet.

In it, she writes about realizing, after becoming a foreign correspondent, that the picture she had of America hadn’t been complete—that one hadn’t seen the whole picture of America until one had left the national borders, because the whole picture included foreign interventions, cultural exports, and various modes of thought that were invisible at home.

The agonizing particulars of the Presidential race, which were doubly nerve-wracking to watch from afar, had been hard to explain to inquisitive Spaniards. I craved American company—to be able to dish and spar with some compatriots in the know. So when a group of expats invited me to dinner, I accepted, bringing a bottle of Rioja.

All of these celebrations offered, and birds ritually consumed, have led me to a single, significant conclusion: If it’s true, as my colleague Calvin Trillin long ago suggested, that everything exotic that isn’t chicken tastes like chicken—rattlesnake, ostrich, etc.—the one thing that can be said for certain, on Thanksgiving, is that no matter what you do to it, a turkey will always taste like a turkey.
gaijin  expat  home  festival  nostalgia  work  paris  ukraine  stans  turkey  food  eating  story  from instapaper
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人──胡清心:异议者的修炼,是坚持跟内心黑暗打仗|深度|端传媒 Initium Media

self  learn  politics  thinking  china  story  family  1989 
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人—胡清心:香港,我和你,在最美好的时间点相遇|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media
story  gaijin  hongkong  student  city  china 
november 2017 by aries1988
A Stranger at the Family Table | The New Yorker

fundamentally, we are a traditional Chinese family, and this is no more clearly seen than in the way we interact with one another, in the things we reveal about ourselves. We do not admit weakness or sadness. Romantic heartbreak, depression, existential doubts—those are topics of conversation that belong to different cultures and younger generations, educated people who know about Freud and psychotherapy and organic vegetables. Vulnerability is shameful, even taboo; and in the spectrum of human shortcomings, poverty is the greatest frailty. All that is broken must remain in the past.

With my cousins in rural Perak and Kelantan, I spoke a pidgin of Malay, Mandarin, English, and Cantonese. I became quite skilled quite young at modulating my speech to suit whomever I was speaking to. I knew what proportion of Malay or Mandarin or colloquial English to use, and in what situation, knew when to swear in Cantonese, knew when to be correct, when to be urban-cool, when to be country-direct.
banyan  family  story  children  hardship  immigrant  mentality  grandparent  parents  malaysia  from instapaper
november 2017 by aries1988
异乡人——三浦研一:在中国演了十八年“日本鬼子”的日本人|一周精选|异乡人|深度|端传媒 Initium Media

gaijin  story 
november 2017 by aries1988
New York’s Majestic Passage in the Sky
The Golden Gate, the Verrazano-Narrows, and the George Washington were then the longest suspension bridges in the world. The Bayonne Bridge, at the time of its completion, was the longest arch bridge in the world.
story  bridge  newyork  from instapaper
november 2017 by aries1988
Once-in-a-lifetime Hiking:环勃朗峰(Tour de Mont Blanc)路书 -PART 1
必须指出,环勃朗峰不适合徒步新手。装备和大部分长线徒步一样,但因沿途硬件良好,无需帐篷、睡袋、地垫等扎营设备(2000米以下禁止扎营,此外当然也有不少年轻人体力好愿意一路扎营),所以最重要的几样装备是:一个好的背包、两根登山杖(我的是Black Diamond折叠Z杖,适于托运)、一双好鞋(高帮硬底防水这些就不必说了)、水袋和水壶(两个都要,一个是徒步中喝水方便,一个是机动灵活使用)、雨衣、睡袋内胆(越轻越好,很多Refuge是大通铺,被褥不怎么换)。膝关节不好如我者,建议采购保尔芬护膝,篮球运动员常用,穿上后有类似风火轮的作用。其他如肠胃药、防晒霜、遮阳帽、头灯、转换插头、充电宝什么的就不说了。实际上,很多装备都可以在夏穆尼和库马耶采购,但是鞋还是练一练再上路,不磨脚。

Trekking the tour of Mont Blanc: Complete two-way trekking guide (by 功德无量Kev Reynolds)
公认最权威的TMB徒步指南。由于纸质书不便、路上实际极少掏出来看(主要靠路标),但Day One迷路困惑时靠它指明了方向(救命!),做行程、订住宿、了解次日路程详情(尤其是路线选择、海拔变化、亮点难点)、临时改变计划等等都靠这本书。在夏穆尼和库马耶的书店都可以买到,当然最好还是早早就买上一本读懂读透。
alpes  rando  guide  howto  summer  hiking  story 
november 2017 by aries1988
How Martin Luther Changed the World

If the Ninety-five Theses sprouted a myth, that is no surprise. Luther was one of those figures who touched off something much larger than himself; namely, the Reformation—the sundering of the Church and a fundamental revision of its theology. Once he had divided the Church, it could not be healed. His reforms survived to breed other reforms, many of which he disapproved of. His church splintered and splintered. To tote up the Protestant denominations discussed in Alec Ryrie’s new book, “Protestants” (Viking), is almost comical, there are so many of them. That means a lot of people, though. An eighth of the human race is now Protestant.

Indeed, the horrific Thirty Years’ War, in which, basically, Europe’s Roman Catholics killed all the Protestants they could, and vice versa, can in some measure be laid at Luther’s door. Although it did not begin until decades after his death, it arose in part because he had created no institutional structure to replace the one he walked away from.

The Reformation wasn’t led, exactly; it just spread, metastasized.

Why had God given his only begotten son? And why had the son died on the cross? Because that’s how much God loved the world. And that alone, Luther now reasoned, was sufficient for a person to be found “justified,” or worthy. From this thought, the Ninety-five Theses were born. Most of them were challenges to the sale of indulgences. And out of them came what would be the two guiding principles of Luther’s theology: sola fide and sola scriptura.

Luther’s collected writings come to a hundred and twenty volumes. In the first half of the sixteenth century, a third of all books published in German were written by him.

Luther very consciously sought a fresh, vigorous idiom. For his Bible’s vocabulary, he said, “we must ask the mother in the home, the children on the street,” and, like other writers with such aims—William Blake, for example—he ended up with something songlike. He loved alliteration—“Der Herr ist mein Hirte” (“The Lord is my shepherd”); “Dein Stecken und Stab” (“thy rod and thy staff”)—and he loved repetition and forceful rhythms. This made his texts easy and pleasing to read aloud, at home, to the children.

His goal was not to usher in modernity but simply to make religion religious again. Heinz Schilling writes, “Just when the lustre of religion threatened to be outdone by the atheistic and political brilliance of the secularized Renaissance papacy, the Wittenberg monk defined humankind’s relationship to God anew and gave back to religion its existential plausibility.” Lyndal Roper thinks much the same. She quotes Luther saying that the Church’s sacraments “are not fulfilled when they are taking place but when they are being believed.” All he asked for was sincerity, but this made a great difference.
book  bio  reform  leader  religion  history  europe  medieval  story  printing 
november 2017 by aries1988
Sleeper hit: travelling across America via Amtrak’s trains

Trains were once the most romantic means of travel. They changed our perception of distance, shrinking and expanding the world while offering a moving window on to the grandeur of its landscapes.
travel  train  story  usa  history  american 
november 2017 by aries1988
The Interpreter Friday, November 3, 2017
To me, jazz isn’t so different from other forms of Japanese pop culture. If you’ve ever read a Haruki Murakami novel or watched one of the famous Studio Ghibli movies, you will never forget their impressionistic surrealism. Their mood and structure can be jazz-like in their abstraction, intricacy and embrace of dissonance.
japan  japanese  jazz  music  supermarket  fun  story 
november 2017 by aries1988
The First Time I Met Americans - The New York Times
Children 16 and younger were evacuated to the countryside, separated from their parents. It was not so different from the experiences of British children in London in 1940, but the children of Hanoi endured all of this much longer — from 1964 to 1973 — and our life during wartime was tougher.

I didn’t think we would win a victory like my father’s generation had at Dien Bien Phu, and I also understood that the Americans were many times stronger than the French. But I strongly believed, as did most of my comrades, what President Ho had told us many times — that eventually the United States would give up and go home.

I don’t know the overall survival statistics, but out of the 25 boys from my high school who went to war, 11 were killed. Of the three young men from my apartment building in Hanoi who enlisted with me, I was the only one to return.
story  soldier  vietnam  war  1970s  american  literature  usa 
november 2017 by aries1988
The Chinese-Canadian urban immigrant experience, narrated by a clever pre-teen | Aeon Videos
My Name is Susan Yee, by the Academy Award-winning Canadian director Beverly Shaffer, is a beguilingly straightforward short documentary from 1975 that manages to weave a surprisingly rich set of themes into a chronicle of a young girl’s daily life. Yee, a first generation Chinese-Canadian girl, is gently precocious, frequently funny and an excellent guide through the diverse Montreal community where she lives. The film follows her about as she comments with a child’s frankness on Montreal’s weather, demographics, dramatic urban and social change, and winter leisure-time activities. She’s also an astute observer of family life and the dynamics at school, offering droll observations on her parents’ worries and witty comments about classmates and teachers. Entertaining and insightful in equal measure, this affable film breezes by as it shares the charms and complexities of Yee’s life in the city.
canada  quebec  chinese  immigrant  story  1970s  video  daily  life 
october 2017 by aries1988
China Refuses to Admit It Has a Rape Problem. I Would Know. – Foreign Policy
With China’s opening also came first a trickle, and then a flood, of foreign popular culture. Japanese fashion, Hong Kong magazines, and Hollywood films exposed a mass Chinese audience to ideas of young love, romantic choice, and sexual freedom. When a slightly censored version of The Bridges of Madison County, a movie that portrayed a passionate extramarital affair, opened in Beijing in 1996, it sold 1.3 million tickets on its first weekend there.

In the show’s 10 seasons, the six main characters had a combined total of 85 sexual partners who appeared on screen. The sitcom — and by association, American culture and the entire West writ large — came to embody the sexual freedoms that had revolutionized the Chinese bedroom.
politics  feminism  story  china  american  sex  crime  21C 
october 2017 by aries1988
Have You Ever Tried to Sell a Diamond? - The Atlantic
De Beers proved to be the most successful cartel arrangement in the annals of modern commerce. While other commodities, such as gold, silver, copper, rubber, and grains, fluctuated wildly in response to economic conditions, diamonds have continued, with few exceptions, to advance upward in price every year since the Depression. Indeed, the cartel seemed so superbly in control of prices -- and unassailable -- that, in the late 1970s, even speculators began buying diamonds as a guard against the vagaries of inflation and recession.

To stabilize the market, De Beers had to endow these stones with a sentiment that would inhibit the public from ever reselling them. The illusion had to be created that diamonds were forever -- "forever" in the sense that they should never be resold.

Specifically, the Ayer study stressed the need to strengthen the association in the public's mind of diamonds with romance. Since "young men buy over 90% of all engagement rings" it would be crucial to inculcate in them the idea that diamonds were a gift of love: the larger and finer the diamond, the greater the expression of love. Similarly, young women had to be encouraged to view diamonds as an integral part of any romantic courtship.

"We spread the word of diamonds worn by stars of screen and stage, by wives and daughters of political leaders, by any woman who can make the grocer's wife and the mechanic's sweetheart say 'I wish I had what she has.'"

N. W. Ayer proposed to apply to the diamond market Thorstein Veblen's idea, stated in The Theory of the Leisure Class, that Americans were motivated in their purchases not by utility but by "conspicuous consumption."

The message was clear: diamonds represent a sharp break with the Oriental past and a sign of entry into modern life.

DeBeers devised the "eternity ring," made up of as many as twenty-five tiny Soviet diamonds, which could be sold to an entirely new market of older married women. The advertising campaign was based on the theme of recaptured love. Again, sentiments were born out of necessity: older American women received a ring of miniature diamonds because of the needs of a South African corporation to accommodate the Soviet Union.
business  advertising  jewelry  diamond  marriage  tv  marketing  usa  japan  mentality  psychology  story  success 
october 2017 by aries1988
I'm Finally Ready To Talk About How My Parents Died
Icky’s death was real. From his passing, I learned that death involves recognition of the life that has passed. It brings people together. It follows a logical process. My parents’ deaths did not follow these rules. Rather, it was unexpected, chaotic, and horrifying. It was an explosion that tore through my life and left a film of dusty, smoky particulate in its wake. Immediately after, you are choking and sputtering and gasping for lack of clean air. Eventually, time lets you breathe easier. You think you may have escaped unscathed, but the poison you inhaled settles in any chasm it can find. Let it simmer a good 10 years and it may just become a cancer. Eating you alive all the while without you even knowing it.
killing  crime  murder  death  children  growup  story  memory  parents  loss  love  couple 
october 2017 by aries1988
The Thoughts of Chairman Xi - BBC News
“Tell China’s story well,” he urges people with Chinese roots, wherever they are in the world. He insists that they should “identify with China’s interests” whether or not they are Chinese nationals.

Beijing’s embassies encourage the growing Chinese student bodies on campuses in the West to silence competing narratives.

Under Xi Jinping, dwelling on inconvenient facts of history or insulting revolutionary heroes and martyrs is now a punishable offence called “historical nihilism”.

He wants his citizens to identify with “the motherland, the Chinese nation or race, Chinese culture, and the Chinese socialist road”. He calls these the “four identifications” and has distilled them into two key slogans - the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the Chinese dream.

Richard Nixon had argued: “Taking the long view, we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbours.”

When the door to the West inched open a decade later, some princelings of Xi’s generation took the opportunity to leave.
portrait  mao  2017  china  politics  leader  photo  story 
october 2017 by aries1988
In 1973, I invented a ‘girly drink’ called Baileys
We were, I suppose, unlikely business partners. Hugh Reade Seymour-Davies was a toff. He was a “gentleman copywriter”, educated at Eton and Oxford, and an unapologetic classicist. He could quote all the Latin and Greek greats with real facility and would “get some Latin in” to documents or labels when I felt we needed to impress some of our more intellectual clients. He was steeped in Shakespeare, admired Beethoven and Mozart certainly, but anything written, composed or painted after about 1830 fell into the category of mid-19th century arrivistes.

We went back to the store, searching the shelves for something else, found our salvation in Cadbury’s Powdered Drinking Chocolate and added it to our formula. Hugh and I were taken by surprise. It tasted really good. Not only this, but the cream seemed to have the effect of making the drink taste stronger, like full-strength spirit. It was extraordinary.
history  business  irish  story  invention  idea 
october 2017 by aries1988
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