"Like the wise man said: you should try everything in life once, except folk dancing and incest." Riku Rantala
“It’s true that Boston never leaves you. It is indeed a city where one comes of age. But it’s scrubby, it’s nasty, it must be possessed. Boylston Street is mine. That shithole in Allston that we almost burned down is mine. The parties and the schizophrenic weather, the cheap cigarettes and the cheap beer, the townie mean girls, the shitty relationships, the shitty flavored coffee, the shitty martinis. And The Marathon. Of course the Marathon. The Marathon is mine.
Boston is mine the way that my tendons and kneecaps are mine.
Boston is not in my blood. It is under my fingernails.”
My experience of Boston lacks just about all of this, except shitty relationships and shitty coffee.
But I appreciate this lovely little piece, which to my mind is not about Boston, but rather about cities and youth. Which I mean as a compliment.
To my mind, it’s how cities and the late-adolescent mind rhyme in some way. They are messy, they are still plastic and they are not-fully-grown by definition. In an adult’s body, but growing still, and the mean girls and the shitty martinis (I had my fill of both): these are not just events but conditions, metabolic conditions through which growth takes place. At the urban scale, and for everyone embedded in it.
“In fact, less than 48 hours after the bombings, police said, Dzhokar was back on campus at UMass, working out in the gym on Wednesday and sleeping at his dorm. “I’m a stress-free kind of guy,” he wrote on Twitter, as investigators furiously worked to track him down.”
“It is bizarre indeed to watch Democrats act as though Graham’s theories are exotic or repellent. This is, after all, the same faction that insists that Obama has the power to target even US citizens for execution without charges, lawyers, or any due process, on the ground that anyone the president accuses of Terrorism forfeits those rights.”
This highly personal piece represents the time when the Egyptian revolution broke out, when Ayman Ramadan felt time was passing him by while he was in his studio in Amsterdam and at the same time was desperately trying to find a way to keep in touch with my family and friends, both in Cairo and rural Egypt.
“#Music will integrate with ITunes, Spotify, and Rdio, with subscribers of the latter two services able to log in with their accounts to listen to full tracks; iTunes users will have to make do with the standard shortened iTunes previews. Regardless of your preferred service, you won’t be kicked out to a different app — you’ll be able to stream songs right through the Twitter #Music app.Twitter also says that it is exploring partnerships with other music services, as well.”
“I watch TV and read the papers like everyone else. We know what we’re going to hear: vague platitudes like “tough vote” and “complicated issue.” I was elected six times to represent southern Arizona, in the State Legislature and then in Congress. I know what a complicated issue is; I know what it feels like to take a tough vote. This was neither. These senators made their decision based on political fear and on cold calculations about the money of special interests like the National Rifle Association, which in the last election cycle spent around $25 million on contributions, lobbying and outside spending. Speaking is physically difficult for me. But my feelings are clear: I’m furious. I will not rest until we have righted the wrong these senators have done, and until we have changed our laws so we can look parents in the face and say: We are trying to keep your children safe. We cannot allow the status quo — desperately protected by the gun lobby so that they can make more money by spreading fear and misinformation — to go on.”
“Promoting progress means that we are always behind: on high-speed internet, on our Facebook updates, on our email inbox. There are always updates to be made; we are the objects of daily masochism and under constant tension.”
Paul Virilio, The Administration of Fear, page 47
“With the phenomenon of instantaneous interaction that are now our lot, there has been a veritable reversal, destabilizing the relationship of human interactions, and the time reversed for reflection, in favour of the conditioned responses produced by emotion. Thus the theoretical possibility of generalized panic.”
Researchers from the UC Berkeley School of Information performed a study where brainwave signals of college students were examined as they were performing a set of repeatable tasks. Three tasks were the same across all students, but four tasks involved personal secrets. Those tasks with the personal secrets involved students focusing their thoughts on individual preferences like favorite songs and activities and such. All of the subjects’ brainwaves were measured with a Bluetooth headset that records detailed Electroencephalographic (EEG) activity. Using software to analyze this activity, scientists discovered that their system could accurately match brain signals to the person who thought them 99% of the time.
“Security cameras will likely hold the key to unraveling the bomb attacks in Boston, experts say. (…) Even without the police cameras, spectator cameras on phones and other devices provide even more evidence.”
The first-ever Palestinian film to be nominated for best Documentary Feature by A.M.P.A.S®, the critically-acclaimed 5 BROKEN CAMERAS is a deeply personal, first-hand account of life and non-violent resistance in Bil’in, a West Bank village surrounded by Israeli settlements. Shot by Palestinian farmer Emad Burnat, who bought his first camera in 2005 to record the birth of his youngest son, Gibreel, the film was co-directed by Burnat and Guy Davidi, an Israeli filmmaker. Structured in chapters around the destruction of each one of Burnat’s cameras, the filmmakers’ collaboration follows one family’s evolution over five years of village upheaval. As the years pass in front of the camera, we witness Gibreel grow from a newborn baby into a young boy who observes the world unfolding around him with the astute powers of perception that only children possess. Burnat watches from behind the lens as olive trees are bulldozed, protests intensify and lives are lost in this cinematic diary and unparalleled record of life in the West Bank.
“…here we are in a world of high information technology — and people think it’s smart, nay cutting-edge, to create a sort of virtual currency whose creation requires wasting real resources in a way Adam Smith considered foolish and outmoded in 1776.”
Moored at a specially constructed dock 100 metres off the coast of Beirut, a huge hulk of a ship rises impressively at dusk against the fading pinks and blues of the western sky. But this is not a US aircraft carrier or foreign warship sent to keep an eye on politically fragile Lebanon; its purpose is more peaceful, but in its way, equally dramatic.
The ship, the Fatmagül Sultan, is the centrepiece of an innovative project to overcome chronic electricity shortages in developing countries struggling to meet expanding demand. Known as a “power ship”, the Turkish-owned and operated vessel with 11 towering steel stacks or chimneys resembles a sort of floating Battersea power station.
It arrived off Beirut earlier this year under a $370m, three-year deal agreed between Lebanon’s government and the Turkish energy company, Karadeniz Holding. After securing a supply of heavy fuel oil and hooking up to Lebanon’s national grid, the ship is delivering 188MW of electricity daily. This total is expected to rise to 270MW in June, when a second Turkish power ship arrives off Beirut.