The Guardian: Syria’s heritage in ruins - before-and-after pictures.
“Across Syria, where a seemingly unstoppable war is about to enter a third year, a heritage built over 5,000 years or more is being steadily buried under rubble.” This is, I will remind folks, not unfamiliar in history. Egypt’s pharaohs used the monuments of the past to gild their reigns. Romans did similar. And more. What is astonishing is, that *anything* of the past survives humankind’s destructive avariciousness.
Destroy Golden Ages so the diminished Present seems ‘better’. Yeah, I’m in one of those moods.
CNN Opinion: Huckabee’s ‘libido’ comment chilling.
Idiot. Excuse my French.
Pacific Standard: Poor People Judge Harm-Doers More Harshly.
“Moral transgressions don’t seem quite so bad if we’re in a financial position to easily deal with their consequences.” It would be interesting to see the percentage dollar threshold trigger for both poor and rich, to see if there’s a common amount.
MetaFilter: Right-Wing Jesus Wants an Oscar.
See Pallas Athena‘s comment, about eight comments down, after reading.
PoliticaySociedad: The First Photo Won a Prize, The Second Made a Controversy Explode.
Guardian.UK: Carthaginians sacrificed own children, archaeologists say.
“Diodorus even said that some citizens who bought children from poor people and reared them specially for sacrifice believed misfortunes had resulted because they had not sacrificed their own offspring.” Ye gods.
SF New Mexican: Lamy residents fighting oil firm’s plan for rail shipments.
“Marketing plans to truck crude oil from the Four Corners area to property in Lamy owned by Santa Fe Southern Railway, where the oil would be transferred to rail cars and shipped to refineries south of Albuquerque.” Last thing we need, is more truck traffic on 285. And the last thing Lamy needs, is oil all over the landscape.
Later: You know, I wondered why, in the wake of the closing of the Legal Tender, the county paved the road from 285 to Lamy. NOW it makes sense.
Vintage Everyday: Old Photos of The Destroyed Berlin in 1945.
We forget that much of Europe had been bombed to rubble in WWII. Whole regions didn’t bounce back until the early ‘60’s. Some never got a square meal for nearly a decade.
NewsObserver: NC fracking panel passes chemical disclosure rule.
“Fracking companies won the right to keep secret the chemical cocktails they pump underground during shale gas drilling in North Carolina under a chemical disclosure rule approved Tuesday by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission.” This frustrates the hell out of me. We live in a nation with hundreds, thousands of media sources … and when industry interests are in play, NONE disseminate needed information. This question of fracking chemicals has come up an untold number of times, and each time, in each ‘new’ region for frackers, it’s treated as if noone’s ever considered the question before. The purposeful ignorance makes me want to bash my head against a brick wall. I point you to the Durango oil worker and hospital staff incident. Keeping these chemicals secret KILLS people.
South China Morning Post: Fire destroys most of ancient Tibetan town of Dukezong.
Horrible. I feel for the firefighters; how on earth do you approach putting out such a conflagration?
NY Times: Saving Relics, Afghans Defy the Taliban.
“But as the war against the Taliban has stretched on, some here see another good reason to keep them on tour. ‘I personally hope they never return,’ Mr. Hakimzada said. ‘At least where they are now, we know they are safe.’” At one time, I thought objects should reside in their home countries, with occasional ‘art tours’ being arranged. After experiencing our century’s giddy delight for war, I can only prefer disseminating works as widely as possible, to preserve our common history.
The New Yorker: We’re Not In New York Anymore - A Free Home for Writers in Detroit?
“In a contemporary, literary twist on old homesteading incentives, a new nonprofit organization called Write a House is refurbishing three two-bedroom houses in Detroit and accepting applications this spring for writers to move in, rent free. Poets, journalists, novelists, and anyone who falls somewhere in between are encouraged to apply. If the writers stay for the required two years and fulfill other obligations, such as engaging with the city’s literary community and contributing to the program’s blog, they’ll even get the deed to the place.” Cool idea.
ArtDaily: Guillotine used for resistance siblings ‘found in Germany’.
Grim and lethal item.
Guardian.UK: West Virginia chemical spill leaves thousands with exposure symptoms.
“The facility is strictly a storage facility, with storage tanks. There is nothing made there. There is nothing processed there. [snip] We don’t inspect that.” Perhaps you might want to start. This is why lined containment pits need to be mandatory.
The Economist explains: What exactly is the “quenelle”?
Noted. A gesture I hadn’t heard of or seen.
AmazonSmile: You shop. Amazon gives.
SF New Mexican: Adding a baby to new health law plans not easy.
“The Obama administration confirms there is no quick and easy way for consumers to update their coverage under the new health law for the birth of a baby and other common life changes.” Oh, for heaven’s sake.
CJR: 2013’s local stories - Where are they now?
It’s been over ten years now, and I’m still asking for a site that correlates local news items into bigger country-spanning trends.
ArtDaily: Keno Auctions in NY to sell rare document discovered at Morris-Jumel Mansion.
“The document, entitled ‘The Twelve United Colonies, by their Delegates in Congress, to the Inhabitants of Great Britain,’ was written by Robert R. Livingston, who on June 3. 1775,was appointed by Congress, along with Richard Henry Lee and Edmund Pendleton, to compose an eleventh-hour petition directly to the people, not the government, of Great Britain. Because the manuscript’s changes and additions are intact, the dignified, proud, passionate and conflicting state of mind of the Colonists at the brink of the Revolutionary War is revealed.” Holy cow. How different things would be. Read the entire history (and context) of this episode, here.
The Economist: Mary and feminism - Sexing divinity.
“That still leaves a hard question for today’s thinkers (including Christian ones): whether it’s in any way possible to reconcile contemporary ideas about gender with the ideal of a woman who is chiefly venerated because of the son she bore.” Parsing myth. Good subject for an academic anthropological paper. Not for The Economist.
WSJ: Paglia, A Feminist Defense of Masculine Virtues.
“‘Primary-school education is a crock, basically. It’s oppressive to anyone with physical energy, especially guys,’ she says, pointing to the most obvious example: the way many schools have cut recess. ‘They’re making a toxic environment for boys. Primary education does everything in its power to turn boys into neuters.’” A bit of cherry-picking over her various statements; stick to what Paglia says, rather than the one-liner ‘analyses’.
Guardian.UK: Horse slaughter industry attempt by New Mexico plant fails legal hurdle.
We loves our horses in NM. Bad choice of state for locating this plant.
SF New Mexican: New Mexico Supreme Court rules same-sex marriage legal.
“… civil marriage ‘shall be construed to mean the voluntary union of two persons to the exclusion of all others. In addition, all rights, protections, and responsibilities that result from the marital relationship shall apply equally to both same-gender and opposite-gender married couples. Therefore, whether they are contained in [state laws], rules, regulations or the common law, whenever reference is made to marriage, husband, wife, spouse, family, immediate family, dependent, next of kin, widow, widower or any other word, which, in context, denotes a marital relationship, the same shall apply to same-gender couples who choose to marry.’” Welcome the 21st Century.
Guardian.UK: Fracking could be allowed under homes in Britain without owners’ knowledge.
“The associated underground extraction takes place very deep below the Earth’s surface, over a wide geographical area. [snip] As a result, it is often not possible to identify the exact route of any lateral drilling.” Oh, come on.
AmericanLiveWire: Dozens of Sailors From USS Ronald Reagan Suffering From Cancer.
“ It looks as though the onboard desalinization systems that take salt out of seawater to make it drinkable, were taking-in radioactive water from the ocean for the crew to drink, cook with and bath-in, before anyone realized there was a massive radiation spill into the ocean.” Boneheaded, if true.