‘They sang these words most musically…’


We must set aside our Western preconceptions. A better parallel is non-Western folk traditions, such as those of India and the Middle East. Instrumental practices that derive from ancient Greek traditions still survive in areas of Sardinia and Turkey…

via BBC News – How did ancient Greek music sound?.



Here’s a brite.


“It is much worse than we have been led to believe, much worse.”

via BBC News – Fukushima leak is much worse than we were led to believe.


You cannot keep good men down, it says here.


“In those days if you were a femmenella [a slang Italian word for a gay man] you couldnt even leave your home, or make yourself noticed – the police would arrest you,” he said of his home town near Naples. “On the island, on the other hand, we would celebrate our Saints days or the arrival of someone new… We did theatre, and we could dress as women there and no-one would say anything.”

via BBC News – A gay island community created by Italys Fascists.


Put down your panang!


Some samples exceeded the “provisional total tolerable intake” PTTI set by the US Food and Drug Administration FDA by a factor of 120.

via BBC News – US rice imports contain harmful levels of lead.


There soon will be an app to make you less fat.


The chip and cuffs are designed to read and process electrical and chemical signatures of appetite within the nerve. The chip can then act upon these readings and send electrical signals to the brain reducing or stopping the urge to eat.

via BBC News – Electronic implant designed to reduce obesity to undergo trials.


Devotional No. 14

IT’S fantasy, amusing, but as technology closes in upon mimicking God, once again are we up to it? Who shall live, who shall die? We’ll save the pandas and the whales that sing prettily, but, like godlings, we’re playing with fire and water, tides and industry.

via Pity Earth’s Creatures – NYTimes.com.

But the blunt truth is that the living world is a restless, churning enterprise in which nothing endures forever. Astonishingly, almost every life form that has ever existed on the planet has died out.

via BBC News – Why such a fuss about extinction?.

December 2 All the animals in the zoological gardens have been killed except the monkeys; these are kept alive from a vague and Darwinian notion that they are our relatives, or at least the relatives of some of the members of the government, to whom in the matter of beauty, nature has not been bountiful.

via From Zoo to Table – Lapham’s Quarterly.


The restaurant at the bottom of the Mariana Trench.


Surprisingly, these primitive, single-celled organisms were twice as active at the bottom of the trench than they were at a nearby 6km-deep four miles site. They were feasting on a plentiful supply of dead plants and creatures that had drifted down from the sea surface, the decomposing matter becoming trapped within the steep walls of the trench. “The amount of food down there and also the relative freshness of the material is surprisingly high – it seems to be surprisingly nutritious,” said Dr Turnewitsch.

via BBC News – Mariana Trench: Deepest ocean teems with microbes.


Richard Nixon was a bigger jerk than people thought


Publicly Nixon was suggesting he had no idea why the South Vietnamese withdrew from the talks. He even offered to travel to Saigon to get them back to the negotiating table. Johnson felt it was the ultimate expression of political hypocrisy but in calls recorded with Clifford they express the fear that going public would require revealing the FBI were bugging the ambassadors phone and the National Security Agency NSA was intercepting his communications with Saigon. So they decided to say nothing.The president did let Humphrey know and gave him enough information to sink his opponent. But by then, a few days from the election, Humphrey had been told he had closed the gap with Nixon and would win the presidency. So Humphrey decided it would be too disruptive to the country to accuse the Republicans of treason, if the Democrats were going to win anyway. Nixon ended his campaign by suggesting the administration war policy was in shambles. They couldnt even get the South Vietnamese to the negotiating table. He won by less than 1% of the popular vote.

via BBC News – The Lyndon Johnson tapes: Richard Nixons treason.


Quelle Horreur

“Almost all French people go to McDonalds every now and then, but unlike the Americans, who go there at any time of day, the French mostly go at set times, between noon and two, and after seven in the evening.”

via BBC News – The changing face of French lunchtimes.