Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Lots of interesting links. (Well, interesting to me.)

Clare College - 2012 Alumnus of the Year announced
Alice Welbourn, who has spent her career working to raise the profile of HIV positive women.

Paul Cornell: Social Networking.
I love the internet. I live here. You know at parties how people, if the conversation tends towards the online, will say 'oh, I prefer real human interaction to all this Twitter nonsense'? I stare at them in horror and go 'are you *insane*?! Twitter *is* real human interaction, turned up to the maximum!

The hunt for Britain's ghost trains - This Britain - UK - The Independent
The 11.36 from Paddington to Gerrards Cross is designed to be as inconvenient for passengers as possible. Why?

Regarding Christopher | The Nation
So far, most of the eulogies of Christopher have come from men, and there’s a reason for that. He moved in a masculine world, and for someone who prided himself on his wide-ranging interests, he had virtually no interest in women’s writing or women’s lives or perspectives.

Life in the UK Test website
How much do you know about the British way of life????

Zombie Borders -
June 13th, 1990, was a historic day for weather forecasting in Germany. For the very first time, the weather map on the Tagesschau showed the newly reunited country’s international borders.

Transdniestrian Leader Out Of Presidential Runoff
...and another one bites the dust, as Smirnov comes third in his bid for election; Moscow having dumped him rather publicly.

Last Dictator Standing
Mugabe, Gaddafi and Kim Jong-Il together at last!

NYT: In Kim Jong-il Death, an Extensive Intelligence Failure
Kim Jong-il, the enigmatic North Korean leader, died on a train at 8:30 a.m. Saturday in his country. Forty-eight hours later, officials in South Korea still did not know anything about it - to say nothing of Washington...

Final exam — Crooked Timber
I stopped giving in-class final exams a few years ago. It was a light-bulb moment, brought on by a student who needed a disability accommodation... I asked myself why I was offering in-class final exams in the first place.

Seasonal flame bait - Charlie's Diary
1. The USA is already a functional oligarchy.
2. It's impossible to be elected to high office without so much money that anyone in high office is, by definition, part of the 0.1%
3. Public austerity is a great cover for the expropriation of wealth by the rich
4. Starving poor people with guns and nothing to lose scare the rich
5. Worse, the poor have smartphones.
6. The oligarchs are therefore pre-empting the pre-revolutionary situation by militarizing the police
7. Modern communications technologies (including the internet) provide people with a limitless channel for self-expression
8. So I infer that the purpose of SOPA is to close the loop, and allow the oligarchy to shut down hostile coordinating sites as and when the anticipated revolution kicks off.

No Country for Innocent Men | Mother Jones
There is no formal legal means in Texas to confess to a crime for which someone else has been convicted. "I guess you can contact whatever law enforcement agency handled the case," says Lubbock District Attorney Matt Powell. That, of course, is precisely what Johnson did when he copied his petition to the district attorney in 1995.
"Here you've got a guilty guy saying, 'I did this crime,'" says Jeff Blackburn, chief counsel for the Innocence Project of Texas. "All the ears went deaf and all the eyes went blind."

In the Wake of Protest: One Woman's Attempt to Unionize Amazon - Vanessa Veselka
"to make the case that Amazon is anti-union barely approaches relevance. Most companies are anti-union, that's not important right now. What made Amazon unique was the way in which it was."

Ciaran Barnes, the Boston College Blackguard Outed as Internet Troll | The Broken Elbow
More detail on dubious journalistic practice in Belfast.

Ciaran Barnes: ‘journalistic ethics on a par…’
Journalist trolls popular Northern Ireland political website.

Belgian beer: Brewed force | The Economist
On Belgian beers: "1,131 at the last count. Apart from six Trappist ales and other abbey beers, it churns out lagers such as Stella Artois and its stablemate Jupiler, the more popular brew in Belgium. Tipplers can also choose from an array of wheat beers, brown ales, red beers from West Flanders, golden ales, saison beers based on old farmhouse recipes, and any number of regional brews. Oddest are the austere, naturally fermented lambic beers of Brussels and the nearby Senne valley, a throwback to the days before yeast was tamed. These anachronisms have survived only in Belgium."

The UK and Europe: how much damage did Cameron's veto do? | openDemocracy
Kirsty Hughes, again: "Rather than playing a major influential role to stop a euro-meltdown, or being in a position to lead through the crisis if the euro did implode, Cameron has relegated the UK to the sidelines whichever way the euro crisis plays out. It is a deeply unimpressive result for a country and a government that likes to assert it is still a global player. And it is no way to defend the UK's interests."

More Action, Better Service: How to Strengthen the European External Action Service
"Roughly one year after its establishment, the EEAS still suffers from a number of design flaws. It has an insufficient resource base and there is a lack of genuine buy-in on the parts of both the member states and the European Commission." And one other big problem not named but shown in the picture. Informed but slightly wishful analysis by an insider who I very much respect.

The European Council on Foreign Relations | How to stop the demilitarisation of Europe
European publics feel safe from armed attack; have become disillusioned with the doctrine of liberal interventionism; and are unconvinced by attempts to conjure ‘new threats’ to justify defence spending. Nick Witney suggests that such reactions are understandable, but dangerously short-sighted. <- Excellent piece including some reflections on what armies are actually for.

Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg as promoter of Internet freedom
It was barely a year ago that a web-based collaboration of scientists and citizens demonstrated that Mr zu Guttenberg's doctoral thesis was shamelessly plagiarised from over 130 different sources... Commissioner Kroes justified her choice of consultant saying she wanted "talent, not saints". Yet surely the fact that Mr zu Guttenberg's doctoral thesis is barren of original thought shows that the one thing he lacks is talent... Ultimately, when the commodity you are trading in is trust, Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg is the last person you want fighting your corner.

Doctor Who News: Big Finish: Jago and Litefoot reunited with the Doctor!
Christopher Benjamin and Trevor Baxter will once again reprise the Victorian investigative duo alongside Tom Baker as The Doctor and Mary Tamm as Romana in The Justice of Jalxar. The adventure is written by John Dorney and will form part of the second season of The Fourth Doctor Adventures, to be released in 2013.

Doctor Who Timeline
Lovely graphic of DW history! (though with some inaccuracies)

Living History (Part One) « Ardent Reader
How to make me feel old: "I wasn’t even a year old when Bill Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States, and I was nine when he left office."

What makes us better people? I’m starting to think it’s mostly not our character...
"I am spending a lot of time thinking about what characterises systems that set people up to do well, and systems that set people up to do less well. My current showcase system is single queuing. People behave better when there is a single queuing system in place, and they are much more relaxed. In parallel queues, they twitch in case the other queue is moving more quickly or someone jumps in or they are in the wrong place and will miss their turn. Their behaviour is more defensive and less kind."

BBC News - Morocco's fish fight: High stakes over Western Sahara
MEPs rejected the deal in its current form by 326 votes to 296 on Wednesday, which will lead to its immediate suspension. They voted instead for a new protocol that is economically, ecologically and socially sustainable, and that fully respects international law.
Back in Laayoune, Ismaili Mohamed Barek, 34, had been hoping for such an outcome. He did a six months of work experience on a fishing boat, but said that he and his fellow Sahrawis were offered nothing at the end of it. "Fishing is dominated almost 100% by Moroccans," he said. "Because of this we want to see the pillaging of Sahrawi wealth stop, and we want an end to the agreement with the EU."

Interview: Russell T Davies on shelving US projects, his partner’s cancer diagnosis and coming home
RTD tells all to the Pink Paper.

An intimate look at ancient Rome
When you visit sites of ancient Roman civilization, it's hard to know where to look first: Temples, markets, brothels and baths all draw the eye and the imagination. But if you really want to know what it was like to live in ancient Rome, you may want to consider the humble toilet.

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