Food, Privacy, Keneth Clark, Napoleon, Whaling

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Eating Right

David Katz & Mark Bittman | Grub Street | 18th March 2018

Straight answers to all the questions worth asking about food. First up, is a paleo diet any good? Yes, if you do it right, which you probably won’t. “Our ancestors consumed a wide variety of plant foods that gave them up to 100 grams of fiber daily; we, on the other hand, eat an average of 15 grams. They ate lots of insects. And, of course, they ate the meat of only wild animals, since there were no domesticated animals in the Stone Age, with the possible exception of the wolf-to-dog transition” (6,900 words)

Facebook: Why The Outrage?

William Davies | LRB | 25th March 2018

On the Facebook fiasco. “The real villain here is an expansionary economic logic that insists on inspecting ever more of our thoughts, feelings and relationships. The best way to thwart this is the one Silicon Valley fears the most: anti-trust laws. Better a world full of snake-oil merchants like Cambridge Analytica than a world of vast corporate monopolies such as Amazon and Facebook, gradually taking on the functions of government, while remaining eerily quiet about what they’re doing” (2,300 words)

Richard Dorment | New York Review Of Books | 25th March 2018

The television series “Civilisation” made Kenneth Clark “the most celebrated art historian in the world”. Rivals were sniffy about his scholarship, but his approach has held up well. “Clark first asks when and where the work was made, why and under what circumstances, and how it was understood by those who first saw it. He relates an artwork to its historical precedents and assesses the degree to which it conforms to or departs from earlier representations of the same subject” (3,700 words)

Napoleon’s Englich Lessons

Adam Green | Public Domain Review | 24th March 2018

Exiled on Saint Helena, Napoleon had only the occasional English newspaper for information. Not knowing the language, he set about learning it, taught by his companion and biographer, Emmanuel de Las Cases. At night he wrote letters for Las Cases to correct during the day: “Since sixt week j learn the Englich and j do not any progress. Six week do fourty and two day. After this you shall agrée that to study one tongue is a great labour who it must do into the young aged” (1,180 words)

The Last Whalers

Lyndsie Bourgon | Aeon | 21st March 2018

Boys growing up in the Shetland Islands had only one job option, well into the last century: Whaling. They crossed the world to do it. After over-fishing the North Atlantic, they moved to the South Atlantic, then to Antarctica. World wars increased demand for whale products. “Margarine, made with whale oil, replaced butter. Whale-meat extract was a primary ingredient in Bovril. More than half of all whales harvested in Antarctica were hunted after the Second World War” (2,800 words)

Video of the day Life Is Pain

What to expect:

An anthology of small everyday irritations

Thought for the day

Most people like to believe something is or is not true. Great scientists tolerate ambiguity
Richard Hamming

Podcast of the day The Gun Show | More Perfect

The history of gun control in American law, from the Second Amendment to Heller and beyond
(1h 11m 28s)

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