February 17, 2008
The Dictionary of Coming to Terms with the Past (Wörterbuch der 'Vergangenheitsbewältigung') examines over 1,000 German words that have Nazi connotations, such as Endlösung (Final Solution) and Selektion, It is featured in a review by der Spiegel. Such loaded words still constitute a minefield for Germans today, as the Archbishop of Cologne discovered last year in a situation analogized to Senator Biden's use of the term "articulate" when referring to Senator Obama. [more inside]
Kosovo is technically part of Serbia, but it's been governed by the U.N. since 1999, after NATO militarily intervened to stop Slobodan Milosevic's brutal suppression and expulsion of ethnic Albanian separatists. Now that it has declared its independence (with US support), the elephant in the room remains: Independent Kosovo? Why Not Vermont? "Why is statehood OK for some people but frowned on for others?" There is no internationally accepted standard for independence. "This is the great hole in democratic theory."
Prince Rupert’s Drops are quickly cooled teardrop shaped glass pieces that have amazing physical properties. While tough on the big end, they will explosively shatter if broken on the small end.
The Subprime Primer. [via] An entertaining, lo-fi, comic-book style explanation of the complex Subprime Mortgage mess.
A Solar Grand Plan: By 2050 solar power could end U.S. dependence on foreign oil and slash greenhouse gas emissions. [Via Gristmill.] [more inside]
Over 2000 classic short stories from American Literature as well as an option to sign up for a short story of the day rss feed. Among the authors on offer are Kate Chopin, Saki, O. Henry, Louisa May Alcott, Ambrose Bierce, H. P. Lovecraft, Jack London, James Joyce, Willa Cather, Guy de Maupassant, Charles Dickens, Herman Hesse, Mark Twain, Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Franz Kafka, Honoré de Balzac, Edith Warton, P. G. Wodehouse, Virginia Woolf, Langston Hughes, Leo Tolstoy, Aldous Huxley, Roald Dahl, Henry James, Katherine Mansfield and I could keep going for a while. The point is, there's over 2000 short stories in there.
Scandinavian Grace's beard cap has inspired the internet. Now plans are available to make your own bearded cap. Have a large head? No problem! Skeleclavas lack a beard, but make warming your head a little more hardcore
Harvard's Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously last week to mandate "Open Access" to published articles - a first at a U.S. university, though the dean will apparently grant a waiver to anyone who wants to opt out. More to follow? Peter Suber's Open Access News is tracking reactions. [more inside]
Where did Lily Allen get her music from? Her own head? Her producer's heads? Her co-writers' heads? No. Lily 'borrowed' liberally from old reggae and ska tracks and even soft porn soundtracks. The music like dirt blog (a find in itself) outlines every sample and influence in 'Alright, Still', and the result is much more interesting than the album itself. Music like dirt provides some brilliant links to classic reggae, ska, calypso, jazz..... [more inside]