Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the fifth-largest city in the world by population, is considered European, yet it occupies two different continents. One part of Istanbul lies in Europe and the other part lies in Asia. Istanbul’s European part is separated from its Asian part by the Bosphorus strait, a 31-km-long waterway that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara, and forms a natural boundary between the two continents. Two suspension bridges across the Bosporus – the Bosporus Bridge and Fatih Sultan Mehmet Bridge, also called Bosporus Bridge II, connect the two sides, yet many tourist prefer to visit the European side of Istanbul because of its historical significance. The European side is also the city’s commercial center with banks, stores and corporations and two-third of its population. The Asian side feels more relaxed, with wide boulevards, residential neighbourhoods and fewer hotels and tourist attractions.
Thirty-five years ago, when the late wordsmith William Safire — a former Nixon speechwriter, and the coiner of the phrase “nattering nabobs of negativism” — began writing “On Language,” a New York Times Magazine column about the changing currents of American speech, he opened with the simple salutation “How do you do.” (Note the lack of question mark, which was his initial, throat-clearing point.) In homage I had wanted to begin this column, “News of the Word,” with the phrase; but in intervening decades, the expression “How do you do” has fallen out of favor, replaced by the more perfunctory “Nice to meet you,” or the slangy “How ya doin’?” or “How’s it goin’?” If you are determined to hear someone say “How do you do,” your best bet is to watch the film My Fair Lady — in which Audrey Hepburn (as Eliza Doolittle) says it repeatedly, with a mannered flourish. These days, though, there is no longer one de rigueur stock phrase of introduction. And so, I’ll just begin, “Hi, folks.”
Question: What do I mean by “folks”?
Don’t call William Gibson an oracle. Sure, he was the first science fiction writer to twig that the semantic zone behind the computer screen might be as vast and compelling as the cosmos. And yes, he gave it a name—cyberspace—a neologism that helped steer our imaginations through the early years of the Internet. For this, he has been lauded as a prophet; his predictions scrutinized for technological feasibility.
Such a sobriquet is intended to be complimentary, of course, but Gibson is so much more than a futurist trend-spotter. He’s a great writer, one of our best. The way he thinks about the future is rooted in a deep and nearly reverent understanding of the past—and a keen awareness that history, in its unknowability and its capacity to adapt to the narrative requirements of whoever controls the way it’s taught, is as speculative as the most science-fictional future.
Seven months on, loved ones of passengers on a missing Malaysian airliner derive what comfort they can going forward from what’s left behind. Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, with 239 mostly Chinese people on board, disappeared on March 8 about an hour into a routine journey from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in the world’s greatest aviation mystery. More than two dozen countries have been involved in the air, sea and underwater search for the Boeing 777 but months of sorties failed to turn up any trace – even after narrowing the search area to the southern Indian Ocean – long after batteries on the black box voice and data recorders had gone flat.
For several millennia, people have worried about whether or not they have free will. What exactly worries them? No single answer suffices. For centuries the driving issue was about God’s supposed omniscience. If God knew what we were going to do before we did it, in what sense were we free to do otherwise? Weren’t we just acting out our parts in a Divine Script? Were any of our so-called decisions real decisions? Even before belief in an omniscient God began to wane, science took over the threatening role. Democritus, the ancient Greek philosopher and proto-scientist, postulated that the world, including us, was made of tiny entities—atoms—and imagined that unless atoms sometimes, unpredictably and for no reason, interrupted their trajectories with a random swerve, we would be trapped in causal chains that reached back for eternity, robbing us of our power to initiate actions on our own.
Revelers kiss each other during the annual “Tomatina” tomato fight in Bunol, Spain. (Alberto Saiz/AP)
Given the choice between going to a bar with Jessica Alba and going to a bar with our same group of friends, most of us would probably pick the date with the onetime “Sexiest Woman in the World” and impresario of eco-friendly baby-products. But perhaps we should rethink that choice and opt for another night of beers with the gang.
A recent study in Psychological Science suggests that unusual experiences have a social cost, in that they alienate us from our peers. “Extraordinary experiences are both different from and better than the experiences that most other people have,” the authors note, “and being both alien and enviable is an unlikely recipe for popularity.”
Work. We all do it to earn a living, pay the bills and hopefully, derive some purpose in life, but have you ever wondered what working life looks like around the world?
Could a new discovery pave the way for a resilience-boosting drug?
16 September 2014
Camp Mackall, North Carolina, is home to the US Army’s ‘survival school’. Here, soldiers take part in survival, evasion, resistance and escape (SERE) training. This is among the toughest of all US military training programmes. Take the resistance component. At a mock prisoner-of-war camp, complete with concrete cells, razor wire and fake graves, ‘prisoners’ are put through simulated interrogations that generate “intense and uncontrollable stress”, in the words of a journal paper by a team led by Professor Dennis Charney and Professor Steven Southwick, of Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Yale University respectively.
By Carl Zimmer…Photographs by Anand Varma…Graphic Novellas by Matthew Twombly
It is as astonishing as it is sad to watch a ladybug turn into a zombie. Normally ladybugs are sophisticated and voracious predators. A single individual may devour several thousand aphids in a lifetime. To find a victim, it first waves its antennae to detect chemicals that plants release when they’re under attack by herbivorous insects. Once it has homed in on these signals, the ladybug switches its sensory scan to search for molecules released only by aphids. Then it creeps up and strikes, ripping the aphid apart with barbed mandibles.
For years, a 12-step program laid out in just 200 words has held a virtual monopoly on the treatment of alcoholism. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is famous, infamous, global and highly influential, and it’s based on giving up booze, completely.
For most people seeking help with alcoholism, abstinence is the only option. That view “is heroic and dangerous, and it doesn’t do anything,” Wim van den Brink, a spirited Dutch psychiatrist with a flop of white hair and glasses, recently told an audience of researchers in Vancouver, British Columbia. Even in the city that is home to North America’s only supervised safe-injection site for heroin addicts, van den Brink’s proposal represents a radical departure: He wants to help alcoholics go on drinking, without all the problems.
So you’d have to share your backyard with a few dozen other souls resting (or not resting) under the ground– minor details! Check out this church up for sale as a home/ retreat in the Catskills, just 90 miles from New York city. With a roomy 2,500 square feet including a working bell tower and organ, it’s a steal at $99,000!
In the optics of law enforcement, there are no wins quite like the ritual display of guns, money, or drugs on a table. When the New York Police Department finally ensnared the graffiti artist Adam Cole, last week, a stack of stickers and a drum of glue sufficed. In the late eighties and early nineties, Cole was astonishingly prolific, blanketing the city with spray-painted stencils and wheat-pasted stickers bearing the name COST (as well as the occasional absurdist in-joke). After a fourteen-year hiatus, Cole’s COST tags reëmerged in 2010, grabbing the attention of the police department’s big-game hunters. Cole’s arrest was a reminder of how much had changed during his years away. Officers briefed by the department’s sophisticated, graffiti-busting Vandal Squad pinched Cole near the meatpacking district, where he had pasted some COST posters above a specialty wine shop.
New York, 1947. “Showgirls get the needle. Dancers from Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe nightclub being vaccinated by Dr. Jack Weinstock.” New York World-Telegram and Sun Newspaper Photo Collection.
Today’s picture shows a migrant worker camp. The picture was taken in the Mississippi Delta in 1939. The workers were brought in to pick cotton. I am not sure when cotton picking became mostly automated, but I can remember in the 1960’s there were still examples of people picking cotton by hand.
Frida Kahlo – Diego and I, 1949. Oil and Masonite on canvas
Robert Capa, [Henri Matisse], 1949
While they were on the Riviera, Capa and Mili stayed at the house in Antibes that Irwin Shaw and his wife had rented for the summer, but they were hardly ideal house guests. The Shaws never knew when the photographers were going to show up for meals or whom they might bring home, for they often picked up girls on the beach and brought them home to spend the night.
That was a historic year in American baseball as Yankees and Dodgers met at the World Series for the first time since 1963, but a more momentous eve=nt has occurred a few months earlier. On July 16th, 1977, Duke Snider, Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, and Mickey Mantle made an appearance together at Old Timer’s day during All-Star Game weekend at Shea Stadium.
As the quartet walked away from the Center Field, an iconic photo was made; the jersey numbers — 4, 5, 24, 7 — were sufficient to convey that this was the group who had staggering 1,964 homeruns among them. A few years later, Terry Cashman, that Balladeer of Baseball, recalled this iconic photo to write his famous song, “Talkin’ Baseball” (itself later immortalized by The Simpsons)
I am a man who regularly visits prostitutes. There are quite a few of us — according to a Business Insider article, as many as one in seven American men will visit a prostitute at some point in their lives. That’s 14 percent, only slightly lower than the percentage of women over 18 who smoke cigarettes (15.8 percent).
—You don’t usually hear from us, though. As much shame as society casts on sex workers, the stigma of the regular client is also strong. Recently, trusted online services were shut down in investigations for alleged child trafficking, so I decided it was time to speak up and tell my story.
—Twenty years ago, my girlfriend died. At the same time, my career was taking off, demanding more time and energy. When I came out of mourning, I was an engineer in Silicon Valley entering the first dot-com boom, and the odds of finding love were long. Santa Clara County was known for having the highest ratio of single men to single women in the country. And let’s face it, tech workers are not the most socially adept.
—Instead of seeking love, I sought success. I helped found a company in 1997, then helped build it to something we sold more than a decade later. In the time others might spend pursuing a relationship, I created a successful enterprise. I tried some popular dating sites, but to little success. To satisfy my physical needs, I turned to professionals.
The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle on the runway during post-landing operations on Dec. 3, 2010, at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California
–The U.S. Air Force has kept an unmanned space shuttle in orbit for the past two years, and it seems no one without security clearance knows what it’s been doing up there.
—The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle, which can enter orbit and land without human intervention, is scheduled to touch down this week—the best guess is sometime on Tuesday—at Vandenberg Air Force Base, northwest of Santa Barbara, Calif. The landing will mark completion of the program’s third and longest mission, which was launched on Dec. 11, 2012. The Air Force has two such spacecraft for these low-earth orbit missions, all of which are classified, as are the precise launch and landing times.
—“The mission is basically top secret,” says Captain Chris Hoyler, an Air Force spokesman. The X-37B program came from technologies developed by Boeing (BA), NASA, the Air Force, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa).
If you’re a black person who has ever visited a place where there aren’t many other black people, then you will be familiar with The Nod. The Nod is just that: An almost imperceptible lowering of the head toward any other black person you might encounter on your travels through, say, Slovakia or Russia.
Yet The Nod is also so much more than that: It’s a swift yet intimate statement of ethnic solidarity. The Nod is saying, “Wow, well, I really didn’t expect to see another one of us out here, but you seem to be doing your thing just fine. More power to you, and all the very best.”
In this creative capture by Casey Coulter, we see a sailboat just off the coast of Maine reflected in a broken piece of mirror.
Dick Winters and his Easy Company (HBO’s Band of Brothers) lounging at Eagle’s Nest, Hitler’s (former) residence. COLORIZED
[...] In recent days we are learning that all of that spying on American citizens that is supposed to be helping in the war on terror… isn’t. None of these domestic spying programs that are horrendous infringements upon our rights as Americans have helped in the War on Terror.
Recently more evidence of that fact played out as a radical Islamic terrorist traveled freely between the Middle East and the USA. Moner Mohammad Abusalha is the first American known to have carried out a suicide attack in Syria when he blew himself up in a restaurant that was popular with Syrian soldiers.
The bombing campaign against ISIL in Iraq and Syria is limited in effectiveness because of the lack of a good informant network in areas ISIL controls. This is largely because most of the territory ISIL controls is populated by Sunni Arabs. ISIL prefers to kill or drive non-Sunnis out of areas they govern. Most Sunni Arabs back the idea of Sunnis, especially Sunni Arabs, being in charge. That belief is so widespread that it’s extremely difficult, and dangerous, for Sunni Arabs to act as an informant against ISIL or any other Sunni Arab leaders.
—This situation is particularly acute in Iraq where most Sunni Arabs believe Iraq will not work if Sunni Arabs are not in charge, as they had been for five hundred years. Despite being a minority, since the 16th century the Sunni Turks (until 1918) relied on the Baghdadi Sunni Arabs to help run things in what is now central and southern Iraq. For about a decade after 1918 the British occupied Iraq and also depended on the Sunni Arabs to keep the peace. Then the British left but had to re-occupy Iraq during World War II because the Sunni Arab government (not the king they brought in as part of a constitutional monarchy) tried to ally itself with the Nazis.
The world in which we live advances fast. Too fast. It forces us to take decisions constantly. The stress that we suffer leads us to doubting on what paths to take….That leads to Anxiety. But we cannot be still. We must go on, break barriers, to see beyond walls and to continue ahead….I hope that you like it.
—Saludos and Feel Free!