Childbirth, Futurology, Germany, Charlie Chaplin, David Chang


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Labour Of Love

Kendall Powell | Knowable | 13th April 2018

Why is human childbirth so much longer and more painful than that of other primates? “It’s much more complicated than big baby, little hole. What is unique to humans is that our pelvis changed as we evolved habitual bipedalism. For humans, some of the reason for the tight fit is that our babies have to get through a twisted tube, while other primates just have a ring or a hoop. Our kids have to get through a couple of hoops tied together in different dimensions” (1,700 words)

Thinking Centuries Ahead

Charles Mann | TED | 11th April 2018

The main argument for resisting climate change is that we should preserve Earth for future generations. But how can we know what future generations will want? And should we give their needs equal weight to our own? “Picture Manhattan Island in the 17th century. Suppose its original inhabitants, the Lenape, could determine its fate, in perfect awareness of future outcomes. I suspect the Lenape would have kept their rich, beautiful homeland. If so, would they have wronged the present?” (1,935 words)

Syria Is Not Auschwitz

Christiane Hoffmann & Christoph Schult | Der Spiegel | 16th April 2018

Interview with German foreign minister Heiko Maas. “The US under Donald Trump will not play the same role that it has in the past. Those who practice politics under the America First motto do not see international obligations as a priority. Together with others, we have to consider how to compensate for the American withdrawal and how to redistribute various tasks. The largest challenge is maintaining the multilateral global order: the United Nations, the European Union and NATO” (2,600 words)

Charlie Chaplin Invents Himself

Charlie Chaplin | Lapham's Quarterly | 16th April 2018

Chaplin improvises for Mack Sennett in 1913. “I had no idea what makeup to put on. On the way to the wardrobe I thought I would dress in baggy pants, big shoes, a cane, and a derby hat. I wanted everything a contradiction: the pants baggy, the coat tight; the hat small, and the shoes large. I was undecided whether to look old or young, but remembering Sennett had expected me to be a much older man, I added a small mustache, which, I reasoned, would add age without hiding my expression” (1,200 words)

At Majordomo

Jonathan Gold | LA Times | 13th April 2018

Jonathan Gold gives tough love to David Chang’s first LA restaurant. “That fuming, blackened haunch of meat is the whole-plate short rib, a massive cut rubbed with spices, slapped into a smoker for the better part of a day, carved tableside, and served with enough fermented Korean sauces, herbs and wrappers to feed four starving carnivores. The peppery formula was inspired by Adam Perry Lang, but the shotgun marriage between the barbecue traditions of Texas and Korea is all David Chang” (1,890 words)

Video of the day Matisse

What to expect:

A tribute to Henri Matisse, by Tom Geraedts, for the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (1’03”)

Thought for the day

Happiness is the longing for repetition
Milan Kundera

Podcast Who Faked My Cheese? | Gastropod

Cynthia Graber and Nicola Twilley ask why cheese is so delicious — and why it is so hard to make a vegan substitute
(55m 46s)

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