From the year 800 AD to 1450 the entirety of Europe’s approach to painting was “It’s impossible to know what an animal looks like, just draw a guy’s head on it.” This is their story. Meanwhile in Byzantium, they're having trouble deciding how to draw Jesus in their painting: absolutely furious or else like his face was a candle and it was melting towards the floor just a little bit.
No matter what time period you are referring to, no matter what country or region of the world you are referencing, there is a single claim that you can make that will always be true and will never be challenged, not even by Malcolm Gladwell himself: the middle class is always in the process of emerging.
Marc Lynch reviews Amaney Jamal's Of Empires & Citizens, which argues that "anti-Americanism has very little to do with cultural resentments or civilizational hatred... Instead, Arab anti-Americanism reflects a deeper rejection of undemocratic political systems in Arab countries, which for decades have been underwritten and supported by the United States."
Weird, funny, surreal, fun, silly, bawdy, macabre, cool and strangely beautiful. The Discarded Image is a Tumblr collection of Medieval illustrations gleaned from various illuminated manuscripts, bestiaries, books describing the cosmology of the Middle Ages, ordered and maintained by a celestial hierarchy. The Discarded Image is also the name of CS Lewis' last book, about the fascinating Medieval mindset and world picture. [more inside]
From the BBC blog of documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis: "Save Your Kisses For Me: How the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and the Israeli Right became co-dependents in an abusive relationship." Includes images / film clips from the BBC news archive. [more inside]
Galleries of old photographs of camels in America, Australia, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, China, Mongolia and India, in war | camel breeds | How the Camel Got His Hump from Camel Tales, Folklore & Legends| baby camels and lots more at this one stop site all about Camels. Previously.
In this nation, capitalism helped but a small group and corporations. A more equitable distribution was demanded by the majority . Their demands are being met. In Israel, there had been a growing disconnect between the few who had so much and the many who were unable to pay rents, live decently, buy food. This led to occupying central spots and setting up tent cities to protest, similar to what is taking place in the United States. The government got the message. Improvements are planned to correct social disparities. Note that like our nation, they too spend a huge amount for defense. Yet there is a recognition that domestic needs are central or there is nothing worthwhile to defend except those at the very top.
Grantland's Bill Barnwell is writing an ongoing series demystifying sports gambling for the newcomer. His first two subjects: how to bet the middle and teaser bets.
Gulf states send forces to Bahrain following protests: authorities urged the population to "co-operate fully and to welcome" the troops.
The destiny of this pageant lies in the Kingdom of Oil: "our satraps are falling, and the people we paid them to control are making their own history – our right to meddle in their affairs (which we will, of course, continue to exercise) has been diminished for ever."
Baltimore area schools are using this Johns Hopkins program In an effort to combat rampant absenteeism and improve graduation rates, several Baltimore area middle schools are adopting the Stocks in the Future program developed by Johns Hopkins University program. Students are paid up to $80 a year based on their attendance and grades, which they are then allowed to invest in the stock market. Upon graduation, students keep their own portfolios (surprisingly, not all of them do). The program allows students to develop some financial literacy and has improved attendance rates.
Octavia Nasr Canned at CNN. CNN's Chief Middle East correspondent for 20 years, Octavia Nasr tweeted “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” She was fired by CNN shortly afterward because they believed "her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward".
What if Akon (the rapper) was from the Middle East? How about 50 Cent? Maybe Britney, The Pussycat Dolls or Shakira?
"The Vital Triangle: China, the United States, and the Middle East"- seeking to understand the effects of the China-Middle East relationship on the United States, the U.S. Middle East relationship on China, and the Sino-American relationship on the Middle East. Book excerpts (Chapter 1) (Chapter 3). Interview with Jon Alterman, co-author. Via the very useful SUSRIS.
Israel not talking. Syria says little. US silent. Syria claimed it chased away the Israeli plane. But since then Syria has said nothing. Nor has Israel. And this news item from BBC says that the intrusion into Syrian airspace is a mystery. But why would N. Korea, Syria, Israel and the US be so reticent to comment? Perhaps because Israel took out a nuke site
One of the few to speak the truth about the Middle East, God-like journalist Robert Fisk holds more international journalism awards than any other foreign correspondent. He has covered every major event in the region for the past thirty years. He rarely gives interviews to anyone, but agreed to talk to edgey/angry youth culture magazine, Vice, about his life in the danger-zone.
Sheik Mohamed, ruler of Dubai, has pledged to donate $10 billion to set up an organization devoted to improving human development in the Middle East. Recognizing that the Middle East lags behind in areas of human development, particularly education, the visionary ruler of Dubai, and avid horse breeder, who has transformed the Persian Gulf port into the financial center for the Middle East and South Asia, has announced one of the largest charitable gifts in history to improve education and human development in the region.
Child prodigies. (Just in case you were starting to feeling content with your middle-aged achievements.) [Warning: YouTube-heavy posting] [Warning: Chopin-heavy posting]
The Children of Húrin is the first complete book by J.R.R. Tolkien in three decades, co-written by his son Christopher. His grandson Adam Tolkein explains how it came about. The Washington Post gives a great review.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali-Infidel from the Middle East Controversial dutch author, film maker, atheist, critic of Islam, and feminist Ayaan Hirsi Ali Has been making the rounds for her book, Infidel. She says: the only way to preserve Islam on the one hand and counter them as moderate Muslims is to say "Well you guys are right. All this stuff is in the Qu'ran. The Qu'ran is written by human beings. And as human beings, endowed with reason, we can change this because we don't think that it's beneficial. Or even if we are not going to change it, we are going to believe that in its context, because the Qu'ran was written in a different time, in a different context, in a different age. We're going to move on; we're going to take from the Qu'ran those things that we think are compatible with human hearts." But the minute you start doing that, that's when hell comes in, and the radicals will say "Oh, but then you are not a believer because you are refuting what God says." Also: "What is going to be left of Saudi Arabia if you take away the Qu'ran and the Shar'ia and the prophet. There's simply going to be no Saudi state. They'll all want secularism; they'll all want democracy."
The Last Jews of Cairo As soon as we saw the guns, we knew we’d arrived at the synagogue. Egyptian policemen thronged behind barricades, white uniforms in the dusk, handguns at their hips. Above them, on stairs, Special Forces soldiers in black with red armbands held machine guns as easily as we did point-and-shoot cameras.
Baker to the rescue Is this guy the most powerful lawyer in the world? And he is now beginning not just to advise Bush but also it seems to dump Israel as an ally in favor of giving various Arab and Muslim groups--including our enemies-- what they have long wished for. As for the tiny democracy called Israel, they can have this for their future. Follow the dough (and oil)
An official comic book adaptation of the 9/11 commission report is due to hit bookstores this month. The U.S. Army seeks an Arabic-speaking comic book creator. Meanwhile, an Israeli blogger suspects a Kuwaiti company of misusing Marvel and DC comics. These are just the latest incidents in a long-running history of using comic books for propaganda purposes, ranging from Mussolini and Hitler to Captain America vs. the Nazi-affiliated Red Skull to anticommunist comics for Catholic parochial schools to a phony Black Panther comic book created by COINTELPRO to a comic book of the American invasion of Grenada. However, my favorite site of comic book propaganda tends to focus on more innocuous domestic issues such as bicycle safety, USDA nutrition standards, and fighting crack cocaine. (OK, that last issue isn't so innocuous, but comic book propaganda about health & safety issues still generally blows.)
IRAQ RADIO: Turkish soldiers Enter Northern Iraq by Chan News Agency: The 1st division comander of Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party (IKDP) Fahmi Sofi, claimed that about 200 Turkish soldiers entered two kelometers into northern Iraq on Wednesday. His statement came from the Voice of Iraqi Radio.......
US plotted to invade Iran: explosive report, Rolling Stone adds new fuel to fire over possible Iran strike. Even before the bombs fell on Baghdad, a group of senior Pentagon officials were plotting to invade another country. Their covert campaign once again relied on false intelligence and shady allies. But this time, the target was Iran. BY JAMES BAMFORD
History of the Israel/Paestinian conflict from a pro-Israel point of view. Like many Americans I have no real idea what's going on "over there." Also like many Americans when I need some "truthiness" in the answers to my questions, I consult Canada and the UK. NPR can be trusted up to a point (drawn from a previous thread), but it's also good to hear from the other side too.
IN THE PARTY OF GOD This is archival from New Yorker but well-worth know in light of events taking place in Middle East.
Emirates Aided Kin of Palestinian Militants The American people, for reasons of possible anti-Arab feelings, made it clear that the Arab Emirates were not to gain control over our ports, despite the statements from the White House that this group is our friend and a partner in the fight against terrorism. Despite our 'friendship," there is now this evidence to the contrary. But will this news be sufficient to prevent Dubai's $1.2 Bln Bid for U.S. Weapons Maker ?
Filthy secrets of medieval toilets: Featuring the Royal Water Closet of French King John the Fearless. "Lesser mortals of course had less sophisticated apparatus... Some were no more than holes built into the wall, others were primitive outhouses perched with wooden supports onto an upper story. A series of mediaeval illuminations at the exhibition shows that accidents in these contraptions were common." Mon dieu!
Look at your hands. Is your index finger shorter or longer than your ring finger? Be careful because according to John T. Manning, those two fingers reveal a variety of characteristics about yourself to the world including assertiveness, attractiveness, reproductive success, hand preference, verbal fluency, autism, depression, health and disease, homosexuality tendancies, musical and sports aptitudes. [via Tigerbunny]
And while you are at it don't forget what the middle finger and a long second toe might reveal.
And while you are at it don't forget what the middle finger and a long second toe might reveal.
Conflict resolution: Western and Islamic Mediation approaches.
"We're press! Don't shoot!" Isn't PRESS on a flak jacket like painting bullseyes on your butt? The Israel Defense Forces have declared Bethlehem, Qalqiliya and Ramallah officially off-limits, and journalists will either be forcibly removed or in some cases shot on sight. The Committee to Protect Journalists is just one of many organizations speaking out against the unethical treatment of First Ammendment fighters throughout the world. Like this is gonna help. Should enemies of freedom be expected to 'play fair' or should we just accept that some journalists are going to die? Is it possible to investigate the truth right now in the West Bank, or are journalists needlessly putting their lives on the line for nothing?