Science Penguin [x]
i enjoy that every single human’s reaction to penguin is unrestrained delight
And penguins lack large terrestrial predators, so their reaction to humans tends to be, “HELLO STRANGE GIANT PENGUINS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? DO YOU HAVE ANY FISH?”
To a lot of people, time travel stories are cool when they’re clever — when all the pieces fit together at the end with a delightful “click.” To me, though, time travel stories are cool when they’re messy. Because life is messy, and stories in general are cooler when they’re rough around the edges.
How Africa Would Look Like if its Borders Were Defined By Ethnicity and Language. By George Peter Murdock,1959Map of African Conflicts on top of George P. Murdock’s map.
Margaret Atwood, “The Female Body,” from Good Bones (via lifeinpoetry)
Bong Joon-ho (x)
Brian Eno, A Year With Swollen Appendices (via volumexii)
A fiscal Eurozone overlord, with the formal authority to wipe the floor clean the national parliaments’ authority over taxation and government expenditure, would signal the end of the pretence that the European Union remains in the liberal democratic tradition.
The European Parliament is the only EU institution that remotely resembles a federal body. Elected directly in pan-European elections, it seems, to the untrained eye, equivalent to the US House of Representatives or to Britain’s House of Commons. However, it only takes a slightly closer look to notice that the European Parliament is nothing like any parliament consistent with liberal democracy. In the latter, all legislative power is vested in the parliament or congress, with the executive-legislature demarcation clearly marked. In the European Union the main legislative organ remains the Council of Ministers which meets and votes behind closed doors and is composed not of legislators but of members of the member-states’… executives.
These revolving doors between legislative power at the centre and executive power in the member-states was designed, purposely, in order to have laws passed without any serious scrutiny by any sovereign Parliament that is vested with the authority of the final arbiter.
The institutions of the EU were designed, back in the 1950s and 1960s, in order to bleach politics out of them. And since nothing is as political, and as toxic, as an attempt to de-politicise a political process, the result was institutions at odds with the concept and practices of a democracy. Europeans understand this better now that the Euro Crisis has brought onto the surface the repercussions of the EU’s institutional design. Thus, they are increasingly treating the Brussels and Frankfurt technocracies as an army of occupation, a little like the French looked at the Vichy administrators.
~ Yanis Varoufakis, "Can Europe escape its crisis without turning into an iron cage?"
Tony Benn [x]
Melvyn Bragg examines the ‘Oresteia’, the seminal trilogy of tragedies by Aeschylus.
Here’s a link to Radio 4’s IN OUR TIME episode which discusses THE ORESTEIA. Well worth a listen.
"one of the few great works that allows us to see emotion in politics intelligently"