Memo to Henneberger: The logical thing is to 'hang in there'
I think it was Bernard Shaw who was asked, when he left the church, if he was going to become a Protestant. He answered, "I've lost my faith, not my reason."What I hear you saying is, "I've lost my reason, not my faith."Could this be your personal version of the "dark night of the soul," when nothing human seems to support our faith? The purpose of the dark night is to let us experience our faith as divine by holding on to it when all the human reasons for doing so just don't mean anything anymore. We see the logic in them, but they just don't affect us.When that happens, the only advice anyone can give us is, "Hang in there!" Then we come to understand on a deeper level what faith is.
catholic  scandals  Reporter 
5 hours ago
The Return of Paganism
perhaps instead of secularization it makes sense to talk about the fragmentation and personalization of Christianity — to describe America as a nation of Christian heretics, if you will, in which traditional churches have been supplanted by self-help gurus and spiritual-political entrepreneurs. These figures cobble together pieces of the old orthodoxies, take out the inconvenient bits and pitch them to mass audiences that want part of the old-time religion but nothing too unsettling or challenging or ascetic. The result is a nation where Protestant awakenings have given way to post-Protestant wokeness, where Reinhold Niebuhr and Fulton Sheen have ceded pulpits to Joel Osteen and Oprah Winfrey, where the prosperity gospel and Christian nationalism rule the right and a social gospel denuded of theological content rules the left...This immanent civic religion, Smith argues, is gradually replacing the more biblical form of civil religion that stamped American history down to the Protestant-Catholic-Jew 1950s. Whether in the social-justice theology of contemporary progressive politics or the transhumanist projects of Silicon Valley, we are watching attempts to revive a religion of this-world, a new-model paganism, to “reclaim the city that Christianity wrested away from it centuries ago.”
NYTimes  faith  christian  America 
6 hours ago
Google's CEO explains why a picture of Donald Trump comes up when you search for 'idiot'
"Right now, if you Google the word 'idiot,' under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up."How would that happen? How does search work so that that would occur?" she asked.Here's Pichai's full response:"We provide search today for - anytime you type in a keyword, we as Google, we have gone out and crawled and stored copies of billions of webpages in our index. We take the keyword and match it against webpages and rank them based on over 200 signals, things like relevance, freshness, popularity, how other people are using it. And based on that, at any given time, we try to rank and find the best results for that query. Then we evaluate them with external raters to make sure, and they evaluate it to objective guidelines, and that's how we make sure the process is working." .. it's basically a compilation of what users are generating, and trying to sort through that information."
cyber  technology  corporates 
Dragon's water weapon against India
No country will be more affected by China's dam frenzy than India because of one telling statistic: out of the 718 billion cubic metres of surface water that flows out of Chinese-held territory yearly, 347 billion cubic meters (or 48.3% of the total) runs directly into India. Several major Indian rivers originate in Tibet, including the Brahmaputra, the Kosi, the Sutlej and the Indus.China already boasts more large dams than the rest of the world put together. More importantly, it has emerged as the key obstacle to building institutionalized collaboration on shared water resources in Asia.In contrast to the bilateral water treaties between many of its neighbours, China rejects the concept of a water-sharing arrangement or joint, rules-based management of common resources.India has water-sharing treaties with both the countries located downstream to it: Pakistan and Bangladesh. These treaties govern the Indus and the Ganges.India's treaties with Pakistan and Bangladesh have actually set new principles in international water law. The 1996 Ganges treaty — which coincided with the 25th anniversary of Bangladesh's Indian-assisted independence — set a new standard by guaranteeing delivery of specific water quantities in the critical dry season.The Indus treaty stands out as the world's most generous water pact, in terms of both the sharing ratio (80.52% of the aggregate water flows in the six-river Indus system are reserved for Pakistan) and the total volume of basin waters for the downstream state (Pakistan gets 90 times greater volume of water than Mexico's share under a 1944 pact with the US).
India-China  environment 
Nehru's fear that SC will become third chamber of Parliament might come true: AG Venugopal
"The use of Constitutional morality can be very, very dangerous and we can't be sure where it will lead us to. I hope Constitutional morality dies."He added that if the Constitutional morality still breathes, first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's fear that Supreme Court will become the third chamber of Parliament might come true.As a powerful weapon which surpassed all the powers conferred on the Supreme Court by the Constitution, Article 142 merely permitted the Court to pass such decree or make such order as to do complete justice in any cause or matter pending before the court. But the Article was treated as a Kamadhenu from which unlimited powers flowed to the apex court of the country,"Criticising the judiciary's dependence on Constitutional morality in judgements such as Sabarimala temple issue, he said, "In Sabarimala case, the dissenting judge said we can't interfere with a matter of faith. But other four judges dealt with Constitutional morality. It's one thing for Supreme Court to deal with an individual, but here you're dealing with a whole population. What is this Constitutional morality? If a bench of the Supreme Court speaks in two different voices, one saying Constitutional morality will permit the entry of women and the other one which says no, it's prohibited because of Constitutional morality, which is a very dangerous weapon. You cannot use it. It can result in grave injury without anyone knowing where it's going to end,The Preamble of the Constitution reads, 'we, the people'. We gave to ourselves this Constitution. Are you going to treat the whole of the population as illiterate and not able to think for themselves? I say no. Maybe the illiteracy today is 26 per cent, but even those (people living in the villages and rural areas), they have basic wisdom and they know what is good for them. And therefore, for the court to believe that unless we interfere, the country is doomed, I say no, it can't."
judgements  courts  controversies 
3 days ago
Steve Bannon goes to war with the Pope
His greatest failings outside the spiritual and theological are siding with the globalist elites against the citizens of the nations of the world. Memo to the Pope — if you want to cultivate a media image of working man’s champion, great; but you then actually have to stand up for the little guy, and not with the rich and powerful who drive the UN and the EU in favor of their own internationalist agendas at the little guy’s expense. His attempts to demonize the populist movement in Europe and the United States are beneath contempt.’
catholic  pope  contrarians 
3 days ago
Battle of wills: Tiny order of French nuns takes on Vatican
As the standoff escalated, 34 of the 39 nuns issued an extraordinary public declaration last month saying they had no other choice but to ask to be relieved of their religious vows.“We are not making this sacrifice lightly,” they wrote. “We wish to remain in total communion with the church but we cannot signify more clearly, or more painfully either, our incapacity in conscience to obey what we are commanded to do.”The standoff with the Little Sisters comes amid a continuing free-fall in the number of nuns around the world, as elderly sisters die and fewer young ones take their place. The most recent Vatican statistics from 2016 show the number of sisters was down 10,885 from the previous year to 659,445 globally. Ten years prior, there were 753,400 nuns around the world, meaning the Catholic Church shed nearly 100,000 sisters in the span of a decade.European nuns regularly fare the worst, seeing a decline of 8,370 sisters in 2016 on top of the previous year’s decline of 8,394, according to Vatican statistics.
catholic  controversies  France 
3 days ago
Brexit redux? Lessons for the future from May's deal
The story of how Prime Minister Theresa May reached agreement on how Britain can leave the European Union offers lessons for the future of Brexit, whatever happens when parliament votes on the deal UNITY IS STRENGTH “We could have run round like headless chickens. But we were able to vaccinate member states against the British spin machine we always feared.” - senior EU official after Nov. 14 deal.British diplomats saw early advantage in negotiating as one country against 27. But if “divide and rule” was London’s tactic on the continent in its days of empire, the tables were turned.“We’re not after a unicorn - just a horse with a shell on its head”: British official on a customs deal, December 2018 Efforts to keep trade access after leaving were met with “Barnier’s staircase” - a graphic depiction of levels of access at varying prices, dependent on EU obligations.The issue of the “Irish backstop” emerged as the main block on a deal a year ago. That it took a year to agree and may yet be the issue that breaks the deal in parliament, underlines how far customs terms and triggering the backstop will remain key.Also important is that each side interprets the genesis and future of the compromise differently, suggesting trouble ahead.
EU  Britain  accords 
3 days ago
Duterte to Filipino Catholics: Emulate Virgin Mary’s selflessness
“Let us emulate Mary's qualities as a humble and caring person and remain guided by her faithfulness as we strengthen our devotion and nurture our lives with unconditional love and good deeds that will benefit the Filipino people,” Duterte said in an official statement.“I wish you a happy and meaningful occasion,”Duterte acknowledged the traits of the Virgin Mary, which include “simplicity, kindness, and humility.”“Every year, our thoughts and hearts unite to celebrate the life of Virgin Mary whose simplicity, kindness, and humility we truly adore and admire,” Duterte said.He pointed out how Filipinos, in times of difficulty, have always considered the Virgin Mary as “an epitome of faith.
catholic  oddly  Philippines 
3 days ago
Argentine archbishop: in some dioceses there is a gay priests’ lobby
The Pope has touched a key point, which did not used to be talked about,” he said. “I can assure you that, in some dioceses, the percentage of homosexual priests is high, and that they usually cover for each other; they do not come out of the closet … they constitute a kind of lodge or lobby, even those who are ‘non-practising’.”The archbishop suggested it was a just form of discrimination not to admit gay people to the priesthood. “Fair discrimination is preventing things from being done that should not be done or that people who should not be in such a place be there,” he said. “Well: choosing candidates for the priesthood with full male integrity is an obligation of the Church; otherwise the sense of celibacy is being put at risk.”
catholic  scandals  gender  sexuality 
3 days ago
Pope points to Mary’s trust in God on solemnity of the Immaculate Conception
“Today we look at the beauty of Our Lady, who was born and lived without sin, always docile and transparent with God. This does not mean that life was easy for her. Living with God does not magically solve problems,” “Why not start your days like this? It would be nice to say every morning: ‘Here I am, Lord, today your will be done in me’,”After the Annunciation, the angel departed and Mary’s “problems began immediately,” Mary knew that “she would become the Mother of God, but the angel had not explained it to others,” Francis explained. “Think of her irregular situation according to the law, the torment of St Joseph, the skipped life plans, what the people would say…”“The angel leaves the Virgin alone in a difficult situation… And she trusts,” he said. “We ask the Immaculate to have the grace to live like this.”
catholic  pope  Christmas 
3 days ago
Prepare for One Last Major Market Rally
The past month has seen more 1 percent moves in the market than all of 2016 and 2017 combined. And this year has seen more 2-4 percent moves in than there were at all in 2016 (a handful) and 2017 (zero).Why’s the market so fearful? There are a few reasons, like the ongoing “trade war” with China.But there’s also a yield curve inversion—a technical sign that money is starting to shy away from aggressive behavior..the bottom line is that it’s one of the highest likely indicators that a recession will occur 12-18 months out..if history is any guide, we’re setting up for a monster rally going into 2019. The last two times the yield curves inverted, in 1999 and 2006, stocks made their best profits yet before giving up a major rally.While I doubt this time is any different, we may muddle through with a smaller correction. That’s because this market rally was incubated during a period of historic-low interest rates and record-high government intervention in the financial sector. We don’t know entirely how it will play out—but by following history as a guide, the recent market fears will have to first give way to insatiable greed.So prepare for one last hurrah in the markets.Finally, for a very contrarian take on things right now, I’m starting to get attracted to the cryptocurrency space again. Last year’s bubble is still making new lows in 2018—but in many cases some of the big names are now down 75-80 percent, about the same as the tech stock wipeout of 2000.In this space, the gold standard is Bitcoin—and it’s still getting wider implementation as a currency, despite the massive price decline. I’m also starting to accumulate Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple. If decades of investing have taught me anything, the craziest trades are often profitable ones—and by a wide margin. Cryptocurrencies are a new asset class since the Great Recession, and we’re not entirely sure how that will play out in a major market correction.
3 days ago
A Doctor Says a Woman Died From a Brain-Eating Amoeba After Using a Neti Pot. Are They Safe?
“The reason that you can get brain infections by nasal irrigation, as opposed to swallowing tap water or bathing in tap water, is that the roof of the nose is one of the only parts of the human body where there’s a direct extension of the brain and central nervous system into the outside world,”
Time  medical 
4 days ago
How to End Venezuela’s Nightmare
Venezuela’s problems will not be solved without regime change. And that could – and should – happen after January 10, when the international community will no longer recognize the legitimacy of Nicolás Maduro's presidency.he Venezuelans have been doing their homework and laying the organizational groundwork for change. Political parties, trade unions, universities, NGOs, and the Catholic Church have come together in an initiative called Venezuela Libre. They have organized congresses in each of Venezuela’s 24 states, attended by over 12,000 delegates, and, on November 26, they held a national event to issue a manifesto delineating a path back to democracy. In addition, they have been working on a detailed economic plan, amply discussed with the international community, to overcome the crisis and restore growth.This is an excellent opportunity for the international community to move toward a coordinated solution: an explicit refusal to recognize Maduro after January 10, coupled with recognition of the National Assembly’s decisions regarding the transition government and help implementing them. And a clear message should be sent to the Venezuelan Armed Forces that the National Assembly’s decisions must be respected.
ps-columns  S.America  Venezuela 
4 days ago
My secretary of state was 'dumb as a rock,' Trump tweets
“Mike Pompeo is doing a great job, I am very proud of him,” Trump tweeted. “His predecessor, Rex Tillerson, didn’t have the mental capacity needed. He was dumb as a rock and I couldn’t get rid of him fast enough. He was lazy as hell. Now it is a whole new ballgame, great spirit at State!”Tillerson, who reportedly called Trump a “moron” after a discussion with the president about the country’s nuclear arsenal, was fired in March and replaced with Mike Pompeo.“What was challenging for me coming from the disciplined, highly process-oriented ExxonMobil corporation [was] to go to work for a man who is pretty undisciplined, doesn’t like to read, doesn’t read briefing reports, doesn’t like to get into the details of a lot of things, but rather just kind of says, ’This is what I believe,’” he said of Trump.
4 days ago
Yellow Vest protests: French media is at least as 'treasonous' as American
Gilets Jaunes”: Macron ruined us, broke our business…He wants everything new, digital, the new world, and he did it all without thinking of the cost for us…. example of the disconnect between elite politicians using government to enforce extremist ideologies, and average working people who have to pay the price,” “The level of treason on the part of the press is astounding. Constant pointing the finger at this movement, that it’s anti-Macron, possible neo-Nazi.”
France  protests 
4 days ago
All Songs Considered: The Year In Music 2018
Well, kids, it's been another year of holograms, headlines and big human messes here in Orbit City. At least music brought us together again and again in 2018, whether in the crowd to see Mitski, Janelle Monáe or Brandi Carlile, or surrounded by strangers in bed at Max Richter's SLEEP concert. This Year in Review edition of All Songs Considered is built like a little time machine to move us chronologically through 2018. And although we can't predict the future, many of the songs selected by hosts Bob Boilen and Robin Hilton, joined by NPR Music's Ann Powers and Stephen Thompson, sound a little like dispatches from a moment just around the corner.One of the year's biggest albums, Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer came heralding the marriage of sound and visuals, a trend we're seeing in the work of an incredibly talented new class of artists. Artists like Mitski, Tierra Whack and Childish Gambino are thinking about music as spectacle, as theater, as video and as a showcase of the moving body.
music  lists 
5 days ago
Best Songs of 2018
During a turbulent year rife with personal and political trauma, the most memorable songs pulled no punches in the pursuit of pop. They also arrived from all directions: emerging from longtime partnerships and unlikely collaborations, from fertile local scenes and solitary experiments. In the case of many — including our No. 1 song — they were actually videos, tethered to images we've been unable to shake since. These are the 100 best songs of 2018,...
music  lists 
5 days ago
Best Music Of 2018-Best Albums
Art is identity, scream these best albums of 2018. Even when it's pure invention. The most striking things we heard this year mined personal experiences that could feel intimate as whispers or bold and overstuffed as superhero science fiction. Even in an era where listeners have been primed for the unexpected, genuine surprises arrived steadily across the last 12 months – a cascade of introductions, breakthroughs, revelations and rebirths to reward whatever precious attention you could give
music  lists 
5 days ago
Ex-IB chief: Just 108 of 180m Indian Muslims joined IS
Former Intelligence Bureau director Syed Asif Ibrahim on Friday said only 108 Indian Muslims had joined Islamic State, which is a miniscule portion of the country’s 180 million Muslims, and sought to attribute... “As a result of the Sufistic and non-Salafi nature of Islam in India as well as the existence of a strong and vibrant democracy, only about 108 Indian Muslims joined ISIS which is 0.000058% of India’s 180 million Muslims. Of these 108, 50% of joinees went from the diaspora in West Asia...the ones exposed to Salafi radicals. 40% went from the coastal region in India, which was the recipient of Shafaiyei Islam, which came via the sea,” Noting that Indian heritage of Islam as it evolved in early 12th century had come via land route, the former IB chief who has also been special envoy of the government of India for counter-terrorism said it confronted advanced civilisations like Persia and picked up culture and custom, “from which Indian Islam developed its syncretic and inclusive nature”.
terrorism  Islam  Muslim 
5 days ago
The Best Movies of 2018
MANOHLA DARGIS:1. ‘Roma’ (Alfonso Cuarón) 2. ‘Burning’ (Lee Chang-dong)3. ‘Shoplifters’ (Hirokazu Kore-eda)4. ‘Zama’ (Lucrecia Martel)5. ‘Happy as Lazzaro’ (Alice Rohrwacher)6. ‘BlacKkKlansman’ (Spike Lee)7. ‘First Reformed’ (Paul Schrader)8. ‘The Death of Stalin’ (Armando Iannucci)9. ‘Monrovia, Indiana’ (Frederick Wiseman)10. ‘Colophon (for the Arboretum Cycle)’ (Nathaniel Dorsky)A.O. SCOTT:1. ‘Monrovia, Indiana’ (Frederick Wiseman); ‘Bisbee ’17’ (Robert Greene); ‘Hale County This Morning, This Evening’ (RaMell Ross); ‘Minding the Gap’ (Bing Liu)At a time when we tend to see ourselves and our fellow citizens as sociological stereotypes and ideological clichés, these highly personal films suggest that a different way of telling the American story — the crazy multiplicity of American stories — may still be possible.2. ‘Happy as Lazzaro’ (Alice Rohrwacher)3. ‘First Reformed’ (Paul Schrader)4. ‘Private Life’ (Tamara Jenkins)5. ‘Roma’ (Alfonso Cuarón)6. ‘Let the Sunshine In’ (Claire Denis)7. ‘Can You Ever Forgive Me?’ (Marielle Heller)8. ‘BlacKkKlansman’ (Spike Lee)9. ‘Capernaum’ (Nadine Labaki)10. ‘The Favourite’ (Yorgos Lanthimos)
NYTimes  movies  lists 
5 days ago
The 10 Best Books of 2018
Asymmetry By Lisa Halliday;The Great Believers By Rebecca Makkai;The Perfect Nanny By Leila Slimani ;There There By Tommy range;Washington Black By Esi Edugyan; American Prison By Shane Bauer ;Educated By Tara Westover ;Frederick Douglass By David W. Blight ;How to Change Your Mind By Michael Pollan ;Small Fry
By Lisa Brennan-Jobs Brennan-Jobs grew up shuttling between two starkly different worlds: the bohemian, peripatetic world of her mother, an unstable and impoverished artist, and the luxurious world of her cruel and increasingly wealthy father, Steve Jobs. She provides indelible portraits of both parents, recreating the fraught landscape of her childhood in Palo Alto through the careful accretion of exquisitely granular detail. Her memoir is a work of uncanny intimacy, the debut of a singular literary sensibility. Ultimately, though, it is her portrayal of Jobs as a man prone to mind-boggling acts of emotional negligence and abuse that gives this book its overlay of devastation.
NYTimes  books  lists 
5 days ago
Tennessee executes man on death row for 36 years
Tennessee on Thursday electrocuted a convicted murder who had been on death row for 36 years, in a case that renewed debate on use of the death penalty so long after a crime.The average span between sentencing and execution is 15.5 years, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.The group says these long delays are bad for tax payers and hard on relatives of murder victims and on death row inmates themselves.Lee Standifer's mother, Helen Standifer, told the newspaper The Tennessean that she would not be on hand to watch Miller die."It's taken so long, and I just want it to be finished,"
crime  punishment  laws  statutes  debates 
5 days ago
Seth Meyers Issues Scathing Warning About Mike Pence: 'As Slippery Of A Liar' As Trump
On Wednesday’s broadcast of “Late Night,” host Seth Meyers delivered a stinging rebuke of Vice President Mike Pence for lying.In a segment centered on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investig...
Trump  from notes
5 days ago
Definition of kilogram changed after 130 years
The world's standard definition of the kilogram, the ampere, the kelvin and the mole has been changed, after representatives from 60 countries voted to redefine the International System of Units (SI) for weight, current, temperature and amount of chemical substance. The definition of the kilogram for more than 130 years, the International Prototype of the Kilogram (IPK), a cylinder of a platinum alloy stored at the International Bureau of Weights and Measures (BIPM) in France, will now be retired.It will be replaced by the Planck constant -- the fundamental constant of quantum physics.The new definitions impact four of the seven base units of the SI: the kilogram, ampere, kelvin and mole; and all units derived from them, such as the volt, ohm and joule.Although the size of these units will not change, the four redefined units will join the second, the metre and the candela to ensure that the set of SI base units will continue to be both stable and useful.
measurements  standards 
8 days ago
The problem with “Roma”
“Roma” is one of the most lauded films of the year. Universally praised by critics, it won the Golden Lion, the top prize at Venice, and it is tipped to appear both in the Best Picture and Best Foreign Language Film categories at the Oscars. If there is anything wrong with it, it may be that Mr Cuarón reveres his central character so much that he ends up distancing himself from her. That is, he is so determined to view Cleo as an angel that he doesn’t always view her as a human being. The film is not just beautiful, it is carefully, self-consciously beautiful in a way that seems designed to inspire religious awe. A heart-stoppingly tense scene on a beach ends with Cleo, Sofia and the children huddled together in the sand, with the setting sun positioned precisely behind them. It is a stunning example of Mr Cuarón’s mastery of timing and staging, but the heavenly lighting and the pietà pose turn Cleo almost into a saint. .. patronising portrayal taints Mr Cuarón’s gorgeous and heartfelt film. “Roma” leaves you in no doubt that he worships and adores the self-abnegating woman who was a second mother to him. But as a writer-director, he has a lot in common with the entitled family he depicts: he cannot imagine Cleo wanting to be anything more than a faithful servant.
Economist  movies 
9 days ago
The Internet Uses Rudy Giuliani's Twitter Mistake to Troll Donald Trump
A punctuation error in a recent tweet written by Rudy Giuliani has turned into an opportunity for the Internet to roast Donald Trump.Specifically, he didn’t bother to put a space between the period ending one sentence and the first word of his next sentence — which inadvertently created a hyperlink.As is wont to happen on the Internet, some internet savvy person saw the creation of this link and a golden opportunity to troll Giuliani and the Trump administration. The URL was purchased and then used to send a single message about how they felt about the president, reading: “Donald J. Trump is a traitor to our country.”
Time  Trump  twitter  humour  tweets 
9 days ago
'It's About Right and Wrong.' In Conversation With the Journalist Who Exposed the World's Biggest Corruption Scandal
Clare Rewcastle Brown, 59, had been shining a spotlight on environmental destruction in her birthplace, Sarawak, Malaysia, when she uncovered a trail that eventually exposed billions of dollars being siphoned from a state sovereign fund known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). In all, U.S. Department of Justice investigators believe more than $7.5 billion was embezzled from the fund and spent on items such as Van Gogh paintings and luxury yachts. The sensational fallout from 1MDB has implicated members of leading financial institutions like Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan, led to a change of government in Malaysia and spawned international criminal charges for figures like the playboy financier and The Wolf of Wall Street producer Jho Low.
Time  scandals  Malaysia  books 
10 days ago
Men Are Beside the Point in Two New Films That Give Female Friendship the Royal Treatment
Sisterhood is powerful, but friendships between women can be among the thorniest flowers on earth. We often stand together, and need to do so for survival. But women, like all human beings, have flaws and frailties that sometimes tip into the red zone of defensiveness or distrust. Envy takes root like a weed; competitiveness becomes a blood sport. The complications are even greater for ambitious women making their way in a world dominated by men. Is the woman in the next cubicle your ally or your secret enemy? And if she’s the latter, can she somehow be turned into the former?Long before any of us had careers to build or corporate ladders to climb, there were women trying to untangle these very questions–and they were ruling actual countries. This is the movie season not just of powerful women, but of women in power: Mary Queen of Scots, the film debut of theater director Josie Rourke, and The Favourite, from Greek director Yorgos Lanthimos, both give us women whose crowns, for one reason or another, do not rest easy on their heads...face it: some days, men just seem to be in the way. Both Mary Queen of Scots and The Favourite, as entertaining as they are, end in a place closer to despair than to triumph–not necessarily because the Queens in question rendered poor judgment, but because, in their treacherous worlds, it became impossible to know whom to trust. And, to put it bluntly, men didn’t help.
Time  movies  women 
10 days ago
China’s two-child policy is having unintended consequences
the government’s announcement in late 2015 that it was relaxing the policy, after 35 years, was good news. Yet the two-child-per-couple policy that replaced it may bring different kinds of problems. Officials are encouraging childbirth because they worry that the fertility rate (the number of children a woman can expect to have during her lifetime) has sunk well below 2.1, the level required to keep the population stable in the long term.Decades of being told that small families are glorious has not helped. Helen Gao, a 30-year-old writer who works at China Policy, a think-tank in Beijing, says that having one child has become an ideal in China, just as some Americans might regard a couple with two children and a dog as the perfect-sized unit.75% of companies were more reluctant to hire women after the two-child policy took effect.Over the past two years most Chinese provinces have extended paid leave beyond the 98-day minimum mandated under national law,southern province of Jiangxi became the latest of several local authorities to say that it would start requiring women who are more than 14 weeks pregnant to secure the approval of three doctors in order to procure an abortion. Health officials have taken to discouraging women from having Caesarean sections, arguing that they increase the risk of complications during a second pregnancy. Chinese courts are also beginning to tighten divorce rules by enforcing “cooling-off” periods after applications are filed—including, say critics, in some cases where a woman’s safety might be at risk.Whether the government is restricting family sizes or trying to boost them, “it is always about control,” says Mei Fong, a journalist and the author of “One Child”, a book about China’s family-planning policies.
Economist  China  population  policy 
10 days ago
George H.W. Bush Believed in the Essential Goodness of Americans
History tends to prefer its heroes on horseback, at least figuratively: presidents who dream big and act boldly, bending the present and the future to their wills. There is, however, another kind of hero—quieter, yes, and less glamorous—whose virtues repay our attention. Hero itself comes from the Greek word meaning to defend and to protect, and there is greatness in political lives dedicated more to steadiness than to boldness, more to reform than to revolution, more to the management of complexity than to the making of mass movements. So it was for Eisenhower, and so it was with Bush. Eisenhower’s favorite motto, inscribed on a paperweight he kept on his desk in the Oval Office, was “Gently in manner—strongly in deed.” Bush’s life code, as he once put it in a letter to his mother, was “Tell the truth. Don’t blame people. Be strong. Do your Best. Try hard. Forgive. Stay the course. All that kind of thing.” The farther the country moved from his presidency the larger Bush loomed, and the qualities so many voters found to be vices in 1992—his public reticence; his old-fashioned dignity; his tendency to find a middle course between extremes—came to be seen as virtues. He lived long enough to see the shift, and he appreciated that people were taking a more benign view of his record
Time  leaders  remembrance  obituary 
11 days ago
George H.W. Bush Died Less Than 8 Months After His Wife of 73 Years. Doctors Explain Why That's So Common
George H.W. Bush died in his Houston home on Nov. 30, less than eight months after his wife of 73 years, Barbara. He was 94.While Bush’s cause of death was not immediately known, a range of factors can cause spouses to die around the same time. A 2013 study published in the Journals of Gerontology found that the death of a spouse raises a person’s risk of dying by around 30%, compared to those who are still married. Some estimates are even higher. Some research has shown that in the six months after the death of a spouse, the bereaved face odds of mortality 40% to 70% greater than the general public,..the emotional devastation of losing a life partner can also take a toll, sometimes even causing a potentially deadly condition commonly known as broken-heart syndrome (or by its medical name, takotsubo cardiomyopathy)
Time  longevity  medical  mortality  health 
11 days ago
George H.W. Bush: President, Internationalist, War Hero—Dead at 94
Bush was only the second president, after John Adams, to have a son who would also serve as president. Bush was self-effacing almost to a fault, but his four years in the White House saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War, momentous events that might have prompted any other president to take a victory lap. Bush understood the value of understatement. When he launched what turned out to be a 100-hour war to expel Iraq from Kuwait, he stopped short of ordering troops into Baghdad, producing a victory in the first Gulf War that did not cost any American lives and that propelled him to an 80 percent approval rating.Bush had unquestionable prowess in foreign policy, assembling international support that no president since has rivaled, but he struggled with domestic issues, mainly rising deficits and a slowing economy. Bush later joined with the man who defeated him in a number of philanthropic causes. They have forged such a strong relationship that Barbara Bush has said of Clinton, “I think he thinks of George as the father he never had.” She says her children refer to him as “a brother by another mother,” while Clinton himself jokes, “Barbara began to refer to me as her black sheep son.”
leaders  remembrance  obituary  US 
11 days ago
George Bush, 41st President, Dies at 94
And he achieved what no one had since Martin Van Buren in 1836: winning election to the presidency while serving as vice president. (Van Buren did so in the footsteps of Andrew Jackson.) Mr. Bush, a Republican, was a transitional figure in the White House, where he served from 1989 to 1993, capping a career of more than 40 years in public service. A decorated Navy pilot who was shot down in the Pacific in 1944, he was the last of the World War II generation to occupy the Oval Office.Mr. Bush was a skilled bureaucratic and diplomatic player who, as president, helped end four decades of Cold War and the threat of nuclear engagement with a nuanced handling of the collapse of the Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe.Yet for all his success in the international arena, his presidency faltered as voters seemed to perceive him as detached from their everyday lives. In an election that turned on the economy, they repudiated Mr. Bush in 1992 and chose a relatively little-known Democratic governor from Arkansas, Bill Clinton, a baby boomer, ushering in a generational shift in American leadership.
leaders  remembrance  US 
11 days ago
Saibaba Shirdi trust gives Rs 500-crore loan, blessings to Maharashtra project
70,000 devotees visit the Shirdi temple every day, and during festive season, the number crosses the 3.5 lakh mark .Dalily income is Rs.2 crores,
temples  Maharashtra  India  Hinduism 
11 days ago
Former U.S. attorney indicts Catholic priests
Whenever someone generalizes from the individual to the collective (of a negative nature)—making sweeping statements indicting an entire class of people—it is rightly condemned. Well, not always. This is certainly true of most races, religions, ethnic groups, and sexual orientations, but it is definitely not true of Catholic priests..former U.S. Attorney David Hickton spoke about his experiences at a Pittsburgh suburban Catholic elementary school. He said there were members of the basketball team who were abused by the coach. Hickton didn't stop by commenting on the offending coach. He said that "I don't think my experience is that much different than many people who went to Catholic school."This is a remarkable statement. Was Hickton abused? No, he says he was not. On what basis does he make such a sweeping generalization? He has never done a study of this issue and cannot point to one that would substantiate his claim. One would think that a man of his stature—he is the director and founder of the University Institute for Cyber Law, Policy and Security—would choose his words more carefully.
WilliamDonohue  catholic  scandals 
11 days ago
New Sentences: From ‘Winners Take All,’ by Anand Giridharadas
Anand Giridharadas points to one of America’s central mythologies: We are often encouraged to see business as a kind of master key to the universe. Its tools and skills, we are led to believe, are magically transferable to every other arena of life. We allow business leaders to make or influence our most crucial public decisions: transit, taxation, education, immigration, health care, public safety, city planning and on and on. And we are expected to listen, with a straight face, when candidates proclaim that government itself should be run like a business.Business is as specialized as any other discipline: Its logic and tools are specific to its own needs, just like the logic and tools of library science, pottery, molecular biology, surfing and forestry. Success in one field does not equate to success in any other. Our elevation of business over all other disciplines is pure American hoodoo — a bubbling witches’ brew of bootstraps and sparrows and rags and riches and invisible-finger bones.
NYTimes  books  business  theories 
12 days ago
George H.W. Bush Accomplished Much More as President Than He Ever Got Credit For
When top officers informed him that it might take 400,000 soldiers to liberate Kuwait, a country slightly smaller than New Jersey, Bush’s calm reply was, “Fine, send ’em.” Over they went, camping for weeks on Kuwait’s southern border, waiting as diplomatic negotiations began, stalled, and then failed. The international air campaign bombing Iraqi outposts and defenses began in January 1991 and lasted for 40 days before the multinational ground force liberated the country in 100 hours. And there Bush stopped, declining the chance to go all the way to Baghdad and toss Saddam from power. That action, he and Scowcroft believed, would only bring instability to the region...“I don’t like to see all of those who have written me off right. I was absolutely convinced we would prove them wrong but I was wrong and they were right and that hurts a lot. … Now into bed, prepared to face tomorrow: be strong, be kind, be generous of spirit, be understanding and let people know how grateful you are. Don’t get even. Comfort the ones I’ve hurt and let down. Say your prayers and ask for God’s understanding and strength. Finish with a smile and some gusto and do what’s right and finish strong.”
Time  leaders  remembrance  history 
12 days ago
Madhumala Chattopadhyay, the woman who made the Sentinelese put their arrows down
Anthropologist to friend – the journey of Madhumala Chattopadhyay who first contacted the Sentinelese and Jarawas in Andamans..On 4 January, 1991, more than 1,200 kms from the Indian mainland in the Bay of Bengal, a young Indian woman anthropologist waded waist-deep into the coral reefs to hand over a coconut to a man from the Sentinelese tribe. This was the first-ever friendly contact with this hostile tribe of the Andamans.Perhaps no people on earth remain more genuinely isolated than the Sentinelese, one of the few un-contacted people in the world, who have lived in the North Sentinel Islands of the Andamans for the last estimated 60,000 years, shunning any contact with the outside world. Their antiquity, traced to the Palaeolithic age, makes them the first inhabitants of India. There have been many attempts previously to establish contact with the Sentinelese, which however failed with contact parties being received with arrows, some even finding their mark. Given the hostile nature of the Sentinelese, the contact parties would avoid approaching the tribe directly and watch them from the safety of their ships or leave gifts in remote part of the island.This was the first time a woman was a part of a contact expedition with the Sentinelese, and they put their guard down. The presence of a woman indicated that the contact party meant no harm. This braveheart anthropologist is Dr Madhumala Chattopadhyay, then a researcher with the Anthropological Survey of India. Madhumala is also the first woman to be accepted by another Andaman tribe, the Jarawas, with whom she established a friendly relationship, especially the women folk.
anthropology  Andaman-Nicobar  India  aborigines  Print 
12 days ago
In new book on clergy and religious life, Pope Francis addresses homosexuality
The Strength of a Vocation:“The issue of homosexuality is a very serious issue that must be adequately discerned from the beginning with the candidates, if that is the case. We have to be exacting. In our societies it even seems that homosexuality is fashionable and that mentality, in some way, also influences the life of the Church,” “It’s not just an expression of an affection. In consecrated and priestly life, there’s no room for that kind of affection. Therefore, the Church recommends that people with that kind of ingrained tendency should not be accepted into the ministry or consecrated life. The ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”“have to urge homosexual priests, and men and women religious to live celibacy with integrity, and above all, that they be impeccably responsible, trying to never scandalize either their communities or the faithful holy people of God by living a double life. It’s better for them to leave the ministry or the consecrated life rather than to live a double life.”
pope  catholic  gender  celibacy  sexuality 
12 days ago
Former President George H.W. Bush dead at 94
office :"George Herbert Walker Bush, World War II naval aviator, Texas oil pioneer, and 41st President of the United States of America, died on November 30, 2018. He was 94 and is survived by his five children and their spouses, 17 grandchildren, eight great grandchildren, and two siblings,"He was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Barbara; his second child Pauline "Robin" Bush; and his brothers Prescott and William or "Bucky" Bush." Trump:"Melania and I join with a grieving Nation to mourn the loss of former President George H.W. Bush, who passed away last night," "Through his essential authenticity, disarming wit, and unwavering commitment to faith, family, and country, President Bush inspired generations of his fellow Americans to public service—to be, in his words, “a thousand points of light” illuminating the greatness, hope, and opportunity of America to the world."Along with his full life of service to country, we will remember President Bush for his devotion to family -- especially the love of his life, Barbara," he continued. "His example lives on, and will continue to stir future Americans to pursue a greater cause. Our hearts ache with his loss, and we, with the American people, send our prayers to the entire Bush family, as we honor the life and legacy of 41."
US  obituary  remembrance  leaders 
12 days ago
The Case Against Appendectomies
The appendix is turning out to contain biologically useful tissue that may help prevent nasty gastrointestinal ills.
NYTimes  medical  health 
13 days ago
What the Latest Brexit Agreement Means for Travel and Tourism
travel  tourism  referendums  EU  Britain 
14 days ago
A visit to the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal
The Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, at 140 rue de Bac, Paris, attracts many visitors all bent on expressing their devotion to Our Lady. This is no architectural gem, no awe-inspiring masterpiece of design. It is a simple Convent chapel, beautiful despite its simplicity.The history of the Miraculous Medal is known throughout the world. This fact alone tells of the wonder Our Lady created when she appeared in this little Chapel to Catherine Labouré in 1830.
catholic  France  pilgrimage 
15 days ago
Inside the Unsung Life of the Man Who Was John F. Kennedy’s Most Personal Assistant
On a grim November day 55 years ago, George E. Thomas dressed President John F. Kennedy for the last time. The president’s loyal valet, laboring through his ineffable grief, methodically attended to the man lying before him in a coffin, careful to make one final adjustment to Kennedy’s handkerchief so it would look just the way the president always insisted, with the monogram concealed.On a grim November day 55 years ago, George E. Thomas dressed President John F. Kennedy for the last time. The president’s loyal valet, laboring through his ineffable grief, methodically attended to the man lying before him in a coffin, careful to make one final adjustment to Kennedy’s handkerchief so it would look just the way the president always insisted, with the monogram concealed.

Just a few hours earlier, as JFK departed Air Force One and stepped into the bright Dallas sunlight on Nov. 22, 1963, he had paused to quip with Thomas: “You know, George, I think this is a bigger town than you come from.”Just a few hours earlier, as JFK departed Air Force One and stepped into the bright Dallas sunlight on Nov. 22, 1963, he had paused to quip with Thomas: “You know, George, I think this is a bigger town than you come from.” Kennedy, a bachelor until age 36, was known for his unkempt appearance. Thomas, by contrast, was meticulous, and JFK relied on him to lay out his wardrobe each day. The congressman suffered from a painful spinal condition, aggravated by his WWII injury, so Thomas’ responsibilities included drawing hot baths, assisting Kennedy on stairs, and helping him into his back brace and shoes.Although separated by race, religion, region and class, the two men shared some remarkably similar traits.On one trait, however, they differed dramatically: discretion. Kennedy, an incorrigible womanizer, would have provided an indiscreet valet with enough fodder to write a best-selling memoir. But Thomas took the secrets of Camelot to his grave, never speaking or writing about them.Kennedy’s feelings toward his loyal aide remain unknown, but the look of abject bereavement on Thomas’ face as he stood with JFK’s family at the Arlington burial revealed his profound sense of loss.Suffering from a cardiac ailment, which would take his life in 1980, Thomas broken-heartedly told a friend shortly before his death: “’John F.’ would have cared for me.”
Time  Kennedy 
16 days ago
Ageing Japan
In Japan there are approximately 400,000 more deaths than births every year and over 28% of the population is older than 65, compared with 15% in America. The demographic crunch is creating labour sho...
Economist  Japan  from notes
16 days ago
The Divorce Rate Is Dropping. That May Not Actually Be Good News
Divorce is on the decline and has been since the 1980s in America (when that 50% divorce statistic took hold). Experts now put your chances of uncoupling at about 39% in the U.S...the median age at first marriage in the U.S. is now nearly 30 for men and 28 for women, up from 27 and 25 in 2003. Once considered a starting block for young people, a launchpad to get them underway as they took the plunge, getting married is now more of a high diving board, a platform for publicly demonstrating that they’ve achieved
Time  marriage  relationships  society 
16 days ago
Mandatory registration for Indians working or seeking job in 18 countries
From 1 January 2019, all Indians currently employed or going on new employment to 18 specified countries will have to register with the government online portal, prior to their next departure from India.Failure to register could lead to emigrants being denied permission to board their flights, says a new advisory dated 14 November 2018, from the office of Joint Secretary & Protector General of Emigrants..The Bureau of Immigration at emigration counters in airports will be authorized to verify and confirm registration.
laws  emigration 
17 days ago
Why we misread Suu Kyi and her refusal to demonise the Burmese Army Read more at: //
Suu Kyi shocked the BBC's Kirsty Young, when she told her during an interview in 2012 that she is "very fond of the army" because she has always thought of it as her "father's army". In response, Young recounted the crimes that the same army stands accused of. "Of course!" replied Suu Kyi. "And it's terrible what they have done, and I don't like what they have done at all, but if you love somebody, I think you love her, or him, in spite of not because of and you always look forward to a time when they will be able to redeem themselves." This idea, of not holding any one irredeemable, is central to the Buddhist conception of metta, the unbounded,unconditional loving-kindness for all fellow beings. Metta demands a breadth of compassion that is able to separate a person from their deeds. To see a murderer only as a murderer is to make forgiveness impossible. Without forgiveness, there can be no compassion, and the person remains outside the circle of metta. It is a profound conviction in the inherent goodness of people and a commitment to the power of love as an agent of social change.
The politics of metta may appear at first glance as too high-minded and divorced from the gruesome realities on the ground but, in fact, Suu Kyi's willingness to deal with the army without any baggage allows the space for practical, hard-nosed politics.
persons  Myanmar  Budhism 
18 days ago
How to Make the Perfect Apology
In fact, in order to be truly effective, an apology must contain these six components,.Expression of regret Explanation of what went wrong Acknowledgment of responsibility Declaration of repentance Offer of repair Request for forgiveness
Time  writing  etiquette 
18 days ago
5 books Shashi Tharoor thinks journalists should write before BJP loses 2019
Pride and Prejudice [Jane Austen]: An analysis of the toxic combination of militaristic jingoism and communal bigotry that animates India’s ruling party, the BJP;Great Expectations [Charles Dickens]: A description of the false hopes of “achhe din” raised by the soaring rhetoric and eloquent promises of the dream-merchant who talked his way into becoming the Prime Minister;Money for Nothing [P.G. Wodehouse]: A bestselling romp through the Great Demonetisation Disaster, which deprived honest Indians of their own savings, cost daily-wage workers their earnings, closed small and micro enterprises and set the economy back by 1.5 per cent of GDP, all for – nothing;Fear of Flying [Erica Jong]: A mystery thriller about how the government of India took a deal to buy 126 Rafale aircraft at Rs 540 crore each and assemble them at Hindustan Aeronautics, and converted it into a scam to buy 36 aircraft at three times the price, fully made in France in fly-away condition, with an offset deal to favour a travel companion of the PM’s and no work for HAL; and The Grapes of Wrath [John Steinbeck]: How the despair and anger of India’s impoverished farmers and peasants can turn from tragic suicides to electoral wrath against the callous government that has reduced them to this condition.
Politics-India  book 
18 days ago
‘Network’ in an Age of Fake News and Fury
One recent Friday afternoon, Bryan Cranston came bounding through the downstairs lounge of the Belasco Theater wearing little more than a bathrobe. He broke character briefly, offered a genial smile and calmly declared, “I have to go get crazy.”Then he dashed up the stairs and onto the stage and sat behind a desk there. Resuming the role of a television news anchor who is coming apart at the seams, Mr. Cranston prepared to deliver a fiery monologue in which he urges his viewers, who are as angry and frustrated as he is, to stick their heads out their windows and scream, “I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take it anymore!”This is the most potent moment in “Network,” the prescient, Academy Award-winning 1976 film, written by Paddy Chayefsky, about a fictional last-place television station that has lost its moral compass and staked its future on a deranged anchorman named Howard Beale.[Bryan Cranston Wants More of Us to Get ‘Mad as Hell’]
This scene is no less volatile in the stage adaptation of “Network,” ..about excising a notorious line in which Diana describes herself as having a “masculine temperament” because, she says, “I arouse quickly, consummate prematurely and can’t wait to get my clothes back on and get out of that bedroom.” (A press representative for the production said this scene was cut “not because Diana is candid about her sexual temperament, but because of the way the scenes run together with some other changes.”)
NYTimes  movies  theater 
18 days ago
William Goldman’s Journey From Page to Screen
William Goldman’s first novel, “The Temple of Gold,” was published in 1957. In the part of the timeline of American cultural history devoted to expressions of youthful male restlessness, that’s exactly between “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Goodbye, Columbus” and roughly coincident with “On the Road.” The literature of the period in particular bristles with the energy of young men in revolt against the expectations of their parents and the stultifying conventions of postwar society.Goldman’s protagonist is a smart, horny, confused professor’s son named Raymond whose raging search for authenticity looks, in hindsight, like a fairly standard coming-of-age story. A note from the editors on the back of the first Bantam paperback edition insists otherwise, saying that “an angry library trustee” had called the book “a blueprint for juvenile delinquency” and demanded its removal from the shelves. Hyping a young writer’s shocking candor about sex and his unflinching honesty about life, the blurb promises that the reader of “The Temple of Gold” will confront “the truth about this country’s most controversial generation, told by one of them.”Perhaps, but there’s no doubt that Goldman, who died on Friday at 87, was a member of one of the country’s most formidable literary generations, a near-contemporary of Philip Roth, John Updike, Joan Didion and Toni Morrison.
NYTimes  authors  movies  remembrance 
18 days ago
Nicolas Roeg, director of Don't Look Now and Walkabout, dies aged 90
Roeg is best known for a run of acclaimed movies in the 1970s and early 80s, including horror Don’t Look Now, Australian outback drama Walkabout, The Man Who Fell to Earth (starring David Bowie), and Performance (starring Mick Jagger). He developed his own distinctive film-making style, usually involving puzzle-like, non-linear storytelling, lyrical visual imagery and challenging themes such as sex, death, horror and mental breakdown.His films rarely appealed to mass audiences, but often received critical acclaim, and went on to become cult classics. His influence has been acknowledged by film-makers including Christopher Nolan, Paul Thomas Anderson, Steven Soderbergh and Danny Boyle.
Guardian  filmmakers  obituary  remembrance 
18 days ago
‘The Favourite’: a delicious period tale of women and power
“Love has limits,” says the duchess. “It should not,” says the queen. If one had to distill the sentiments of the deliciously rude, faux-historic black comedy “The Favourite” down to bumper-sticker size, this early exchange might well be the ticket.The ticket? “That’s the ticket!” says Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), echoing Jon Lovitz, who wouldn’t come around for another couple of centuries. We are not exactly in Stuart-era England.So where are we? Strolling the grounds of a facetious not-yet-United Kingdom sprung from the highly inventive and cinematic mind of Yorgos Lanthimos, the Greek director who has delighted and bewildered various audiences most recently with “The Lobster” (2015) and “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” (2017). With “The Favourite,” Lanthimos uses the short but contentious reign of Queen Anne (1701-1707) to construct a film that is, on one hand, the story of a cruel and boisterous love triangle and, on the other, a study of unbridled ambition and ruthless power.
movies  his  history 
18 days ago
How the CIA Helped Prevent the Next 9/11—And Why You Can’t Bring Liquids Onto Planes
Airline travel is a nightmare these days thanks in no small part to the TSA’s exhaustive security measures.. remove shoes prior to boarding..allowed only 3.4 ounces of liquid per passenger, and must thereby purchase extortionate six-dollar bottles of water.It’s all due to a complex terrorist mission known as the 2006 Transatlantic Liquid Bomb Plot. The docuseries Terrorism Close Calls chronicles some of the biggest attempted terrorist attacks that were foiled just under the wire. Its fifth episode is dedicated to the Transatlantic Liquid Bomb Plot, wherein two dozen terrorists planned to smuggle plastic bottles filled with liquid explosives (and other devices) onto seven commercial airliners departing from London’s Heathrow Airport and traveling to North America, assemble the bombs onboard, and detonate them over the Atlantic Ocean.
terrorism  espionage  travel  shows 
18 days ago
The Top 10 Stand Up Comedy Specials of 2018
This year offered much vital humor from comedians we can be thankful for—and hopeful about—in 2019. Despite different ideas of what a comedian should do, or be, right now, no one on this year’s list played it safe.In 2018, comics popped open the release valve viewers needed. In Rape Jokes, Cameron Esposito brilliantly mined rape culture and her personal experience with it. This year’s top pick, Hannah Gadsby’s monumental Nanette, is a boundary-breaking performance from a survivor of sexual violence that fueled a global dialogue about gender and violence.With his special, W. Kamau Bell found optimism in the political climate, and he did it bracingly, theater-in-the-round style. Elsewhere, 2018’s most purely enjoyable sets addressed politics without making it the centerpiece. Two were career-defining: Ali Wong’s Hard Knock Wife is a cathartic bile-fest that makes it clear she’s not going anywhere anytime soon. And with John Mulaney’s observational Kid Gorgeous at Radio City, the storyteller came into his own with his most immaculate show to date. The Problem with Apu:Hari Kondabolu goes all-in with a sharp commentary on injustice. Yet where a lesser voice might have gone polemical, Kondabolu kept it all sublimely playful.
Time  lists  entertainment  usage 
19 days ago
The 10 Best Plays and Musicals of 2018
In 2018, the winds of change howled, blowing the dust off of shows that history had seemly rendered irrelevant. Superstar storytellers held audiences in thrall, and a wizard grew up and showed some new tricks.
Time  lists  entertainment  usage 
19 days ago
Here's How Long You Can Safely Keep Eating Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
The food storage tips, which include such insights as a recommendation to refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours, were issued by, an online portal to food safety information collected by Federal agencies like the The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The information also includes a directive not to store stuffing inside a turkey, to avoid eating leftovers more than three or four days old, and to keep leftovers in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs “if the food is traveling home with a guest who lives more than two hours away.”
Time  food 
19 days ago
Pat Buchanan: Are the Saudis really our friends?
Trump praises Saudi Arabia as a "great ally in our very important fight against Iran."Yet, Iran has not attacked us, does not want war with us and remains in compliance with the nuclear treaty from which we walked away.Trump is president because he promised to extricate us from the Mideast wars into which some of his closest advisers, along with some of our closest "allies," helped to plunge his country.Is President Trump about to replicate President Bush's folly?
Trump  S.Arabia  geopolitics 
19 days ago
What Catholics lose when they leave the Church
The Church proclaims a higher, more demanding teaching than any other religious assembly. Because Catholic aspirations are higher, Catholic sins are always more shocking. Corruptio optimi pessima – or as DH Lawrence put it, “The greater the love, the greater the trust, and the greater the peril, the greater the disaster.” Despite the infamies that rightly enrage them, these ex-Catholics have not been able to shake a residual belief in the Catholic faith, a recognition of the nobility of the Catholic creed. When a woman he loved decided to leave the Catholic Church, Evelyn Waugh inquired: “Did you never think how you were contributing to the loneliness of Calvary by your desertion?” Like so much of Waugh’s writing, this was unkind – and absolutely correct. Christ is the victim who suffered with and for all the world’s victims. His body, the Church, has been lashed and pierced by evil men. Whoever would accompany the suffering must cling to him. Tending to its wounds – to His – and to those of the victims is a single task.
C.Herald  catholic 
19 days ago
The “Kennedy curse
Jackie “made John swear that he would not pursue his pilot’s license.” On her deathbed, Jackie tasked her partner, Maurice Tempelsman, and brother-in-law Ted Kennedy with holding her son to his...
Kennedy  from notes
19 days ago
Iran Burns Trump With ‘Rake’ Jab: ‘Perhaps We’re Also Responsible For California Fires’
Iran’s foreign minister took a swipe at President Donald Trump in a barbed Wednesday tweet. Javad Zarif accused the U.S. of using Iran as a scapegoat to justify his continued support of Saudi Arabia.“Perhaps we’re also responsible for the California fires, because we didn’t help rake the forests — just like the Finns do?” Zarif quipped, a reference to Trump’s bizarre — and debunked — assertion that Finland has managed its wildfire risk by “raking and cleaning.”Zarif’s sardonic tweet was in reaction to a statement issued by Trump on Tuesday in which the president affirmed his continued allegiance to Saudi Arabia ..With 76 people dead and nearly 1,300 unaccounted for and feared dead in California wildfires, President Donald Trump had a word of advice about stopping future blazes: “Raking.”“You’ve got to take care of the floors. You know the floors of the forest, very important,” Trump noted Saturday surrounded by the devastation of the burned town of Paradise in northern California.“I was with the president of Finland and he said, ‘We have a much different —we’re a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation, and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things. And they don’t have any problem. And when they do, it’s a very small problem,” Trump said.Critics were stumped by the raking solution.
Trump  tweets  Iran  usage 
20 days ago
The 10 Best Movie Performances of 2018
It’s a blessing to be able to consider the best performances of the year without having to make any of those wretched, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences-mandated distinctions between “lead” and “supporting”—even if it’s necessary to work out those divisions when you’re handing out statues. But if you’re watching movies for fun, why worry about whether or not John C. Reilly is a “lead” in Jacques Audiard’s wonderful oddball western The Sisters Brothers, or whether Olivia Colman really is the star of Yorgos Lanthimos’ delightfully wicked—yet ultimately moving—semi-historical drama The Favourite? The pleasure of watching actors at work, in big roles and small, at the center of a film or glowing somewhere around its margins, is one of the great privileges of moviegoing. Here are 10 of my favorite performances from 2018.
Time  movies  lists 
20 days ago
The Best Black Friday Camera Deals We've Seen So Far
Black Friday is just around the corner, and for the photographically-inclined, it can be a great time to score a new camera or lens for cheap — or cheaper, anyway.Retailers like B&H Photo, Adorama, Best Buy and Target have all shared some of their Black Friday camera deals already. Here’s a look at some standout offerings, separated out by brand.
gadgets  Time 
20 days ago
FedEx driver who fatally punched man after he hurled racist slurs will not face criminal charges
A FedEx delivery driver who punched a man who shouted racial slurs at him will not face criminal charges after the man later died..Timothy Warren was driving his truck through a Portland, Oregon, neighbourhood when Joseph Magnuson began to shout at him to tell him...Mr Warren, who is black, stepped out of the truck and both men shouted at one another.Mr Magnuson went to punch Mr Warren, who then punched back and hit Mr Magnuson's left eye.The 55-year-old man then fell to the ground and briefly lost consciousness. He died later that evening.Prosecutors have decided not to charge Mr Warren with a crime.He did not intend to kill Mr Magnuson and acted in self-defence during the incident..Mr Magnuson's death from the fall was precipitated by “extremely poor health,”Mr Warren was within his legal right to challenge Mr Magnuson's “racist vitriol,”
crime  laws  mishaps 
20 days ago
In Kolkata, a Love of Literature, Fried Street Food and, Mostly, Sweets
This city is more relaxed than some of its modern Indian counterparts, and residents claim a strong relationship to its colonial past. When traveling solo, I’ll typically rent a room in a family’s home: In many instances, hosts have happily clued me in on things to see and do. I’m more interested in using Airbnb as a cultural exchange than as a hotel..There is a strong spiritual side to the city, as well..Dakshineswar Kali Temple, north of the Nivedita Bridge..The Mother House of the Missionaries of Charity, or just the Mother House..It’s easy to see where Kolkata’s reputation as an educated city comes from: simply visit the College Street Book Market, near the University of Calcutta.I wanted something by the Nobel Prize winner and Kolkata native Rabindranath Tagore, and after asking around, I found a book of his short stories at a shop called Bani Library for just 95 rupees..A deep love of Chinese cuisine pervades the city, as is evidenced by the number of stalls selling 30-rupee plates of fried chow mein noodles.The area around the Hatibagan Market, several blocks of sprawling chaos containing seemingly anything you could possibly want to buy, is another prime area to seek out street food.The tea on the street, however, is frequently kept at a rolling boil, making it safer than some of your other options.Indian street food is a veritable wonderland of flavor and spice. But it’s the humble confection that might distinguish Kolkata, and its cuisine, more than any other food item. The city’s deep love of sweets is demonstrated in the number of shops peddling different varieties of sandesh (made from sweetened curd), coconut-covered cham cham, and mishti doi, a tangy, yogurt-like dessert. An assortment box at Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy..
NYTimes  cities  India  travel 
21 days ago
Trump stands with Saudis over Khashoggi killing
In Mr. Trump’s remarks, our correspondents saw the staking out of a foreign policy in which alliances are transactional and friends are excused for abhorrent acts — a potential blueprint for auto...
Trump  from notes
22 days ago
The Real Way McDonald's Makes Their Money—It's Not Their Food
McDonald’s sells a lot of food.We’re talking enough food to serve more than 70 million people every day, with more than 75 burgers sold every second.But their menu actually isn’t what generates the company’s multi-billion dollar profits. The real best-seller? Real estate.There are more than 36,000 McDonald’s locations worldwide, but only about 5 percent of them are company-owned. The rest are franchised out, meaning they’re run by individuals who McDonald’s has contracted to operate them. In those situations, the company only spends money on the real estate of that location. The franchisee is responsible for all the costs of running the restaurant while also paying McDonald’s for rent (which adds up to an average of 10.7 percent of their sales), a $45,000 franchisee fee, and a monthly service fee equal to 4 percent of gross sales.. "we sell 15 cent hamburgers because they are the greatest producer of revenue from which our tenants can pay us rent.” in 2014, the company made $27.4 billion in revenue, with $9.2 billion coming from franchised locations and $18.2 from company-owned locations. But after you factor in the total costs of running those locations, McDonald’s kept only 16 percent of the revenue from locations it owned directly compared to the 82 percent of the franchise-generated revenue.
food  restaurants  business 
22 days ago
In Extraordinary Statement, Trump Stands With Saudis Despite Khashoggi Killing
V President Trump defied his intelligence agencies and ample circumstantial evidence to declare his unswerving loyalty to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, asserting that the crown prince’s culpability for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi might never be known.In a remarkable statement that appeared calculated to end the debate over the American response to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, Mr. Trump said, “It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”“We may never know all of the facts surrounding the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi,” the president continued. “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”Still, in its 631 words in eight paragraphs, punctuated by seven exclamation points and a casual style that sounded like Mr. Trump’s off-the-cuff musings, the statement was a cogent summary of the Trump worldview: remorselessly transactional, heedless of allies, determined to put America’s interests first and founded on a theory of moral equivalence.In private exchanges with aides, Mr. Trump has rolled his eyes when asked whether he believes the prince could not have been aware of the complex operation to kill Mr. Khashoggi, which involved multiple teams of operatives — some of whom had close ties to the prince — flying to Turkey on private jets and turning a diplomatic facility into a slaughterhouse.
Trump  NYTimes  crime  diplomacy  geopolitics  S.Arabia 
23 days ago
Mexico's axolotl, a cartoon hero and genetic marvel, fights for survival
Mexico’s axolotl salamander can almost magically heal itself, holding the power to regrow its heart and brain. But there is one feat it may not pull off: survive dire threats to the last wild place it calls home.Plagued by polluted water, predatory fish and the steady encroachment of one of the world’s biggest megacities, the tiny amphibian steeped in mythological lore has all but disappeared from its home in the muddy canals of southern Mexico City.Once a mainstay on the banquet tables of Aztec kings, in 1998 there were about 6,000 axolotls per square kilometer in the salamander’s main redoubt, the waterways of the city’s Xochimilco district, a scientific census showed.By 2004, the population had dropped to 1,000 per sq/km, and to less than 35 per sq/km a decade later.By 2020, there may be none, according to one model
Reuters  environment  Mexico  preservation 
23 days ago
From Clockworks to Computers on Our Wrists How Apple beat Swiss watchmakers at their own game
The first watches were conceived by Peter Henlein, a German locksmith in the 16th century: The “Taschenuhren” For more than a century, the design of pocket watches remained relatively unchanged. Then, a range of British innovations - balance spring, horizontal escapement, and the chronometer led Britain to become the most respected watchmaking countries by the end of the 18th century. However, they had one critical design flaw: these early watches were too thick to wear comfortably. It was the craftsmanship and vision of a Swiss master watchmaker, Abraham-Louis Breguet, that inspired the modern wristwatch we know today — large, flat, sleek, and stylish. . . a Japanese company, Seiko, introduced the world’s first battery-based wristwatch in 1969. This moment — after Seiko’s introduction of the Quartz Astron 35SQ watch in 1969 — became commonly known as the “quartz crisis.” Swiss Made watch industry lost more than 60,000 jobs.. over 1,000 watch manufacturers disappeared globally. Nicolas Hayek reinvented the Swiss watch with his newly founded Swatch His mantra was, “Innovation, provocation, fun, forever.” the watch from its core timekeeping function and turned it into a fashion statement. . in 2012, Eric Migicovsky launched a kickstarter campaign for his phone-paired smartwatch called Pebble. On September 9, 2014, right after presenting the iPhone 6, Tim Cook went on to unveil the Apple Watch instead. in September 2017 Cook was kind enough to remind everyone that their smartwatch is thebest selling watch, period.
gadgets  innovations  technology 
23 days ago
4 reasons why Lutyens’ media could be off the mark on state elections
A consensus seems to have emerged among the political observers that the Bharatiya Janata Party may retain Chhattisgarh, the Congress may win Rajasthan, and Madhya Pradesh (MP) remains closely contested with no clear winner in sight.There are at least four problems with such formulations that reduce the process of electioneering in democracies to mere outcomes. Such formulations consider Indian voters as mere pawns in coalition games,..elections in democracies are sites to hold representatives accountable for their actions and inaction. This dictum lies not only at the heart of democratic theory but also of democratic praxis, and the evidence from elections over the past decade indicates a clear shift in voting patterns in India. The habitual anti-incumbency has been tempered. There is a decline in voting patterns purely based on patronage or ethnic considerations.

Thus, to reduce Indian voters as mere emotive beneficiaries of election spoils or reactionaries on identity issues is to miss how their aspirations are playing a larger role than ever in determining election outcomes. It’s time we recognise them as active participants in the functioning of Indian democracy, else we will keep getting surprised after the election results. competitive populism and leadership contests. It assumes that Indian voters are blindly tied to their ethnic identities and rarely reward or punish their incumbents based on governance indicators such as bijli, sadak and paani.
Print  elections-India 
23 days ago
Read this before deciding whether Savarkar was a British stooge or strategic nationalist
“I am not asking for any preferential treatment,” he said, “though I believe as a political prisoner even that could have been expected in any civilised administration in the Independent nations of the world; but only for the concessions and favour that are shown even to the most depraved of convicts and habitual criminals?” It was almost an indirect mockery of British India being uncivilised.“The mighty alone can afford to be merciful and therefore where else can the prodigal son return but to the parental doors of the Government?” Being a Biblical reference, it can well be said that he was appealing to the religious sentiments of his incarcerators.
biographies  Print 
23 days ago
From Fellini to Ferrante: the cinematic vision of My Brilliant Friend
The television adaptation Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend is a reminder of Italy’s strong tradition in the coming-of-age genre, from Life Is Beautiful to Cinema Paradiso..hile Ferrante has become a subject of university study in the UK, there’s more reticence, even snootiness, about her in Italian academic circles. Here, realist plots are often less valued than experimental, highbrow works and some intellectuals sense something soap opera-ish about Ferrante. One Italian literary critic, Stefano Jossa, wrote a polemic recently under the provocative headline: “Ferrante shouldn’t be studied at university”. If she’s going to be studied, he wrote, it should be to analyse and deconstruct the mythography, not to add to it...Costanzo probably felt he was working with many other ghosts beyond Ferrante, because the artistic ancestors of this production are the country’s great neorealist directors: De Sica, Visconti, Rossellini and Fellini.nternational audiences (this is a co‑production with HBO) demand Italianate style: cypress groves and white marble. Inspector Montalbano is so successful, one suspects, less because it’s noir than because it offers the opposite: sunlit escapism. Two Italian Oscar-winners even spaded the aesthetic into their titles (The Great Beauty and Life Is Beautiful) and duly stylised or glamorised despair. Italian directors often struggle to do pure grime or grit: Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah and Dogman) is one of the few who comes close to Ken Loach
Guardian  movies  books  Italy 
24 days ago
Amateur hour at the bishops' conference
But, when the bishops began discussing the proposals on Nov. 13, it quickly became obvious that the proposals were ill-conceived and would have fallen apart on their own, without any help from Rome. Erecting a national oversight commission, at considerable expense and with additional bureaucracy, to monitor 200 bishops, very few of them likely to have broken their vows of celibacy, didn't seem very practical once they began discussing it. The proposed commission would report allegations to the nuncio, but that happens now, and no one had bothered to ask the nuncio if he wanted a commission to help him in his work. The Standards of Conduct seemed poorly framed and vague. The whole thing seemed amateurish.
MichaelSeanWinters  catholic  C.Herald  Reporter 
24 days ago
Why the Congress party should stop apologising about dynasty
The truth is that Indian voters don’t care about dynasty. If anything, it helps voters trust a politician, knowing s/he comes from a political family they have trusted in the past. Why, just look at the number of dynasts who’ve been given tickets by the BJP for the Madhya Pradesh elections.Every fifth winner in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections was a dynast. Across the country, in every state and every party, political dynasties are flourishing. Fifteen of 75 ministers in the Modi’s council of ministers are political heirs.Political dynasts must be bringing something to the table that Indian voters place so much trust in them. You could argue that Indian politics isn’t that open to outsiders, but it is rare to meet a voter who says s/he is not voting for a politician because s/he is a dynast. Instead, one only sees dynasty re-imposing trust. You’ll typically hear people say ‘purane neta they hamare, bohot kiya hamare liye, ab unka ladka aaya hai, us hi ko vote denge’(He was an old leader of ours, he did a lot for us, now his son is contesting. We’ll vote for him).The BJP’s hypocrisy is proof that its attacks on the Nehru-Gandhi family are only meant to put the Congress on the back foot in the narrative wars.Like all influential leaders, the Nehru-Gandhis are a mixed bag of some great achievements and some poor choices. People old enough to remember Nehru, Indira or Rajiv only remember them fondly.It is only by resurrecting Nehru, Indira and Rajiv as icons of modern India that Rahul Gandhi can revel in some inherited glory. Short of achievements in his own CV, Rahul Gandhi can sell himself to voters as the heir of a family identified with India’s freedom, democracy and progress over the decades, warts and all.
dynasty  inheritance  Politics-India  Print 
24 days ago
Michelle Obama's 'Becoming' Is a Book America Needs, From a Woman It Does Not Yet Deserve
It is the perfect blend of the American dream and the American reality.Becoming is inspirational without trying to be. From the first words, the very warmth that permeates its author emanates from the pages. Politics play more of a background role, fitting since Obama makes it clear that the antics of D.C played a huge role in her life, but were not and are not her life. Instead, the book is conversational and welcoming. At times, reading it feels like spending an afternoon in a sunroom with a friend who is sharing her life story. She ties memories from her youth to the events that come later, so that while the reader knows how her story will unfold, she still makes every new development satisfying. At times, her stories overlap so it’s hard to grasp the timeline, but her style makes those moments feel like natural asides. Most of all, even with this coziness, Becoming never shies away from the uncomfortable realities of what it means to be a black woman in America, and more specifically what it means to be the first black First Lady of America.Becoming details the luxuries of living in the White House; the opulence and opportunities that very few are privileged to experience, yet Obama recognizes that for her family, the lens was zoomed in closer than on most.This balance is the heart of the book. This balance is the America I know and that so many marginalized people know. At times, inequality seems as American as apple pie.
Time  books  Obama  memoirs 
25 days ago
Several nations have tried to restore democracy after populist strongmen. It was never the same..utocratic populists erode faith in democracy itself — a faith already damaged in many countries by the failures of democratic politicians to deal with issues like inequality, migration and weak worker protections. In a recent poll from Axios and Survey Monkey, for instance, only half of American respondents said they had confidence in democracy as a political system. Similar declines in faith in democracy can be seen in several hotbeds of autocratic populism. In the Philippines, although public support for democracy is still moderately strong, half the population now has a favorable impression of “rule by a strong leader” — someone who does not really care about democratic niceties. As autocratic populists win power in more and more countries, this erosion of support for democracy is the future
democracy  politics  Wapo 
25 days ago
A question haunting India: Can a central bank really go broke?
Seigniorage , or literally the power of the lord to issue money, a form of zero interest debt, is the central bank's biggest asset, except it's not on its published balance sheet
money  banking  currencies  monetary 
25 days ago
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