Syria Options Go From Bad To Worse
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought.[more inside]
What makes a sweet street treat even better? Awesome artists. From Southern China, Sugar Painting makes elaborate, edible toffee masterpieces by carefully draping hot sugar onto cool marble. In Chongqing they make super floral sugar floss in a rainbow of colours. This artist from Xian blows hot sugar as if it were glass. From Istanbul, Tarihi Osmanlı Macunu (aka Traditional Ottoman Candy) is made with five different flavors of thick taffy spiraled deftly around a stick, creating a delicious lollipop. Dragon Beard Candy from Thailand is not only tasty but a great way to learn about geometric progression. And while a Thai banana pancake may seem pretty straightforward, there are always ways to jazz it up. [more inside]
Mozart in Turkey is film made of three distinct, but related, elements. First, it is a look into Mozart at the time of his courting Constanze, a bit on his new patron, the "enlightened monarch" Joseph II, and other influences, including the Turkish music and culture, along with thoughts on Mozart's opera as a work created in the Age of Enlightenment, all through the running commentary by opera director Elijah Moshinsky, who also interviews Alev Lytle Croutier, the author of Harem: The World Behind the Veil. Then there is the production of an opera in Turkey, specifically set in and around the Topkapi Palace (virtual tour; Wikipedia). And the last piece is the performance of Die Entführung aus dem Serail, or The Abduction from the Seraglio. You can watch the entire film online on Vimeo, thanks to Directors Cut Films.
Sometimes called the "Alan Lomaxes of India," the founders of Amarrass Records are on a mission to record and revitalize interest in traditional music from India, Turkey, and beyond. Over 100 videos on their YouTube channel chronicle their field recordings and festivals featuring artists like Lakha Khan, the Barmer Boys, Bombino, and many others. [more inside]
Nicholas Victor Artamonoff was a talented Russian amateur photographer who lived, studied and worked in Istanbul from the 1920s to the 1940s. He took many photos, mainly black-and-white, of architecture, archaeology, and street scenes, in Istanbul and also elsewhere in Turkey. A collection of images has now been made available by the Dumbarton Oaks Image Collections and Fieldwork Archives. [more inside]
Iraq, Kurds, Turks and oil - A tortuous triangle The governments of Turkey, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan play a dangerous game [more inside]
Pinar & Viola are two Dutch post-internet artists whose work explores new totalitarian impulses and the decadence of global culture through what they call "ecstatic surface design". Pinar Demirdag and Viola Renate’s latest work takes inspiration from popular culture to lambast the absurdity of contemporary society using beach towels. They also cover Turkey's anti-evolutionist showgirls and interpret Frieze through Instagram. NSFW&Sanity warning before... Our website refers to little gif animations, kittens, lolcats, ‘Welcome to my homepage’, glitter, all the little decorations that make our daily lives more beautiful and joyful.
A Lost Map On The Tramway In Istanbul
In Turkey, there lives a mysterious minority known as the “secret Armenians.” They have been hiding in the open for nearly a century. Outwardly, they are Turks or Kurds, but the secret Armenians are actually descendants of the survivors of the 1915 Genocide, who stayed behind in Eastern Anatolia after forcibly converting to Islam. Some are now devout Muslims, others are Alevis –generally considered an offshoot of Shia Islam, even though that would be an inaccurate description by some accounts–, and a few secretly remain Christian, especially in the area of Sassoun, where still there are mountain villages with secret Armenian populations. Even though Armenian Gypsies wouldn’t strictly qualify as Secret Armenians, they share many traits with the latter, including reluctance or fear to reveal their identity even to fellow Armenians.[more inside]
Maximum gravy: Vi hart, daughter of George & mathemusician at The Khan Academy, cooks mathematical potatoes to go along with a symmetrical Turduckenen. Have a delicious Thanksgiving. [more inside]
It may be the most notorious Thanksgiving promotion of all time. It is the 40th best television episode of all time. It's available in (semi-)entirety on HULU. And the classic TV blog offers an oral history. Happy thanksgiving, and, as God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.
December was Christmas. January was New Years. April was Easter. And the Fourth of July. But now it's Thanksgiving! Which is held on a Thursday, not a Friday.
Perry Anderson's book length three part series on the history of India from the beginnings of its independence movement, through independence and partition into its recent history as a nation-state is the latest in a series of erudite, opinionated and wordy articles in The London Review of Books by the UCLA professor of history and sociology on the modern history of various countries, so far taking in Brazil, Italy, Turkey, Cyprus, the EU, Russia, Taiwan and France. [more inside]
Byzantium1200 is a project to create a 3d digital map of Constantinople and its famous monuments. The Hippodrome and Agia Sophia have been modeled as they would have appeared at their height. You can even watch a video of a Hippodrome race or see the results in book form.
Q: What's the connection between heroin in Glasgow and a dead goat in Turkey? A: Anthrax.
Turkish football fans have probably kept many flare companies in business over the years, but when the Turkish FA banned flares from stadiums, their brand of pyromaniac fun seemed to be over. The fans of Super Lig club Eskisehirspor had other ideas, though. [more inside]
The Swedish Chef (Muppet Wiki) is the incomprehensible preparer of foodstuffs for The Muppet Show. A rather literal variation of the Live-Hand Muppet concept, the Swedish Chef is a humanoid character, with human hands rather than gloves. An annotated list of every televised appearance of the Swedish Chef is after the fold... Børk! Børk! Børk! [Click here to view the thread translated fully into Mock Swedish] [more inside]
Only two buttons from the top: The European Women's Championship in Gaziantep, Turkey is the first where the brand new European Chess Union Dress Code regulations [pdf] apply. The men’s championship, which will take place this month in Plovdiv, Bulgaria will follow. ECU General Secretary Sava Stoisavljevic answers some questions. Players respond. [more inside]
78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside]
Jell-O Turkeyfest - the turkey-shaped Jell-O mold annual competition. David Byrne is a returning participant. (Past winners/entries: 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, and where it all began: 2005.)
The most economically efficient use of a turkey is to use it for conceptual art while others starve. Generalized equilibrium theory wishes you a happy and Pareto-optimal Thanksgiving, via Cosma Shalizi.
"Somebody's turkey might come out better and somebody's turkey comes out worse but just remember: it's just a f*cking turkey." Tante Marie offers last-minute, no nonsense advice on how to make a Thanksgiving turkey. [more inside]
35 days, 2822 miles through 9 states at a cost of $252.51 ($7.21 per day). George 'the Cyclist' Christensen spends a good part of each year bicycling through a different country and wild camping in places like Iceland, Turkey, China, the foot of Mt Fuji and around Lake Victoria; And writing about his travels on his blog from libraries and internet cafés. For the past eight years, too, he has also followed the Tour de France after first watching upwards of 70 films [in 12 days] at the Cannes Film Festival.
I am NOT gettting out of this car because I am SCARED of that TURKEY!
Due to being sanctioned for unruly fan behaviour, the football match between Turkish teams Fenerbahce and Manisaspor was due to be played in an empty stadium. Until someone in the Turkish Football Federation had the idea to only allow women and children under 12 to attend. [more inside]
Join MetaFilter's own TangoCharlie (Tony Cliff) for an illustrated adventure of swordplay and wordplay set in Turkey in the 1800s, in Delilah Dirk and the Turkish Lieutenant (updated on Saturday mornings with four to six new pages). What is currently a full-color serialized graphic novel in four chapters started as a short self-published greyscale comic, which was nominated for an Eisner Award in 2008. As a bonus, Tony shares tips and lessons learned in the making of Delilah Dirk on his blog. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
"We come up with two new mysteries for every one that we solve," he [Schmidt] says. Still, he has already drawn some conclusions. "Twenty years ago everyone believed civilization was driven by ecological forces," Schmidt says. "I think what we are learning is that civilization is a product of the human mind." - Charles C. Mann writes about Göbekli Tepe for National Geographic.
Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
What's a Bigger Draw Than a Camel Fight? A Camel Beauty Contest, of Course To the uninitiated, what makes a camel beautiful isn't exactly obvious. But organizers of the Selcuk championship hope the addition of a pageant will draw new enthusiasts to the sport of camel fighting, which is struggling to stay relevant in an increasingly modern and urbanized Turkey.
Since the very beginning, PRI's This American Life has (every few years) commemorated Thanksgiving in the US with episodes about the exotic mysteries of turkeys, chicken and other fowl. They call it Poultry Slam and episodes from 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2008 are all available for your turkey day and I-refuse-to-even-look-at-a-Walmart day enjoyment.
Mehmet Ali Agca who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981 was released from Prison earlier this year and has now alleged in a Turkish TV interview that the Vatican government had masterminded the move. Originally Agca, who was a member of the Turkish Grey Wolves laid the blame at the door of the Bulgarian Secret Services. Agca's Grey Wolf colleagues were involved in some interesting and nefarious business. Meanwhile the crazy is running strong. (related).
The German Archaeological Institute has a website detailing their excavations at Hattusa, formerly the capital of the Hittite Empire. There is a brief summary of the city's history to get you started, or a somewhat more detailed one if you're feeling keen. [more inside]
"It would seem highly unlikely that this individual was attacked by a tiger as he was walking home from the pub in York 2,000 years ago."
One arm was bigger than the other in many remains—a suggestion that the men were gladiators who trained from a young age with a weapon in one hand. Archaeologists discover the world's best-preserved Roman gladiator cemetery in York, England. [more inside]
In 1969, George Schlatter was riding high as the producer of the high ratings blockbuster, Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. So when Schlatter pitched a show to ABC that was like Laugh In only more so (with faster jokes, faster editing, and even more outrageous topical humor), ABC was willing to let Schlatter have free rein. The result was Turn-On, a show that bombed so badly it was cancelled the very night it aired. [more inside]
Laying bare the gratuitous assumptions of the patriarchal historical narrative. A weblog entry from the Aristasian Empire, of which a history and some kinnies [NSFW]. • Gobekli Tepe [previously] • Aristasia [previously]
The Seljuk Han in Anatolia has tons of information about and pictures of the caravanserai, inns for caravans, built by the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm in what is now Turkey. The Seljuk caravanserai, called hans, were a vital resource for trade from the middle ages to recent times. The website, by Katherine Branning, explains what a han is, their origins, their function in trade, what life there was like and much more. The site also features 39 individual hans, such as the Kadin Han, now a furniture store, Dibi Delik Han, which is undergoing restoration, Zazadin Han, which has been restored already, and the spectacular Sultan Han Kayseri. For an academic survey of Seljuk hans, here's Ayşıl Tükel Yavuz' The concepts that shape Anatolian Seljuq caravanserais [pdf, automatic download].
6 to 8 Black Men. Christmas in the Netherlands as described by David Sedaris (SLYT)
House of Happiness - photos by Rena Effendi of women in the Ferghana Valley, part of central Asia's ancient Silk Route now known as "the heroin highway" - "a geographical and cultural mishmash where three countries and many ethnicities cluster." More about the photos. (Some photos NSFW) [more inside]
NPR fact-check of environmental protest group Plane Stupid's latest commercial featuring polar bears falling from the sky. [Warning: graphic.] This is not the only commercial that has people upset. Enter PeTA's "Grace" which several NBC affiliates predictably refused to air during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.
The Awl wants you to stop being a wuss and bake a pie crust. See also How To Barbecue A Turkey–The Super Easy Way For Morons and Fundamentalist Macaroni and Cheese. Or you can just cook a fucking steak.
The "Last of the Ottomans". Ertuğrul Osman, the grandson of Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II, passed away. [more inside]
FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, has gone on record with her allegations of government corruption and treason. (previously)
Professors Ross W. Boulanger and Dr. James Duncan have put together a Geotechnical Engineering Photo Album, with details of the successes and disasters. The album includes compaction techniques for a highway off-ramp, deep excavation methods, an offshore tank structure, and earthquake hazards of many sorts (mountain landslides, liquefaction damage to ports in Kobe, Japan, surface rupture in Taiwan, and problems with shallow foundations and subsidence in Turkey). (via oi9)
A devastating document is met with silence in Turkey. "According to a long-hidden document that belonged to the interior minister of the Ottoman Empire, 972,000 Ottoman Armenians disappeared from official population records from 1915 through 1916." [more inside]
"Turkey is emerging as the crucial power in the Muslim world." But after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent walkout from a Davos panel discussion and his confrontational words to Israeli leader Shimon Peres, some wonder whether Turkey is forfeiting its role as a peace-broker, attempting to smoke-screen its own oppressive actions against press, intellectuals, and ex-military, and possibly hurting its chances for full EU membership.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: --- The Turbaconducken.
Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple? "Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization."