Frauke Petry, Aphasia, Jihad, Frogs, Augmented Reality

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Frauke Petry’s Turbulent Path to the Right

Alexander Osang | Spiegel | 13th April 2017

Five years ago Frauke Petry was a struggling entrepreneur married to a priest. Now, she is the most polarising figure in Germany, a “pop-star for the fearful”, the almost accidental leader of the right-wing AfD political party. “There is her warm smile and ebullient laugh, her somewhat turbulent personal life, her children. She plays organ and speaks fluent English and French. All that makes her seem human — too human, one fears … You could consider it a success story. Or a tragedy” (5,000 words)

What My Stroke Taught Me

Lauren Marks | Nautilus | 6th April 2017

On coping with language loss after a major stroke. “It was not just my external language that was ailing. My inner monologue, my self-directed speech, had also gone almost completely mute. In its place was the radiant Quiet. The nourishing Quiet. The illuminating Quiet. I was experiencing a near-constant sensation of interconnectedness, but my observations often lacked specific categories and dimensions. It was all happening to me and through me, but not necessarily because of me” (4,100 words)

Who Are The New Jihadis?

Olivier Roy | Guardian | 13th April 2017

ISIS terrorists are the Red Guards and the Khmer Rouge of our time — a youth movement fixated on destruction. Their ideology comes “not from the radicalisation of Islam, but from the Islamisation of radicalism”. They are nihilists in everything but name. “The systematic association with death is one of the keys to understanding today’s radicalisation: the nihilist dimension is central. What seduces and fascinates is the idea of pure revolt. Violence is not a means. It is an end in itself” (4,600 words)


Rafil Kroll-Zaidi | Harper's | 14th April 2017

News from the world of science. “Frogs and toads can still see colours when humans can see nothing at all. Male Siamese fighting fish, who usually lead with their right eyes when aggressing, favour their left eyes if they are on Prozac. Frizzy-haired people are more likely to hear the spooky noises preceding a meteor impact. Platinum levels in Greenlandic ice suggest the Clovis people were wiped out by a meteor. Judean jars confirm that Earth’s magnetic field is fluctuating, not weakening” (550 words)

The First Decade Of Augmented Reality

Benedict Evans | 11th April 2017

Augmented reality is on course to be a mass technology within the coming decade; which may sound far-fetched, but no more so than saying in 2000 that everyone on earth would have a phone. Wearing AR glasses, you see the world through tiny computer screens which can place digital objects among real ones. You can watch a film on a wall, play Minecraft on a coffee table. “If your connected home is hacked you’ll have poltergeists, but if your AR glasses are hacked you’ll hallucinate” (2,570 words)

Video of the day: For Approval

What to expect:

Brief surreal scenes involving household objects — eggs, pencils, taps (0’55”)

Thought for the day

Without a gentle contempt for education, no education is complete
G.K. Chesterton

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