Newts, Nukes, Heroin, Books, Souls

Torching For Newts

Anita Roy | Dark Mountain Project | 10th February 2021 | U

All about newts, and their near-magical ability to regenerate severed body parts. The biggest comon newt, the Great Crested Newt, is the size of an adult human hand, with a "lurid orange" underside and striped black-and-orange toes "looking like mittens". One long-suffering newt in a Japanese laboratory had the same eye cut out 18 times in 16 years, and regrew a new eye each time (2,505 words)


Why We Build New Nukes

Elizabeth Eaves | Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists | 8th February 2021 | U

Overview of America's nuclear arsenal, still being modernised and upgraded. The Air Force recently contracted for 600 new land-based long-range missiles costing $100 billion over ten years. Land-based missiles are scattered across the American West in silos that are left "intentionally vulnerable", with a view to attracting and absorbing inbound enemy missiles that would otherwise target cities (9,170 words)


I Am A Heroin User

Mark MacNamara | Nautilus | 17th February 2021 | MP 2/m

Interview with Carl Hart, professor of neuroscience at Columbia University, who presents himself as a "model drug user", and says the dangers of heroin, and of addiction in general, are overstated. “I am now entering my fifth year as a regular heroin user. I do not have a drug-use problem. I pay my taxes, serve as a volunteer in my community on a regular basis. I am better for my drug use” (2,720 words)


Between The State And The Multitude

Sam Popowich | 12th February 2021 | U

Marxist analysis of the free community book boxes that have appeared while state libraries are closed. To some they are an ideal expression of localism and mutual aid, to others a dangerous undermining of government provision. An ideology is at stake: "Under capitalism, the contradiction between local and public goods, between privatisation and state control, cannot be resolved" (1,289 words)


Resurrection Of The Dead

Jeremy Brown | Talmudology | 28th January 2021 | U

An assemblage of esoteric knowledge worthy of Sir Thomas Browne, this essay on resurrection and resuscitation which begins with Talmudic scholarship and advances via an overview of Abrahamic theology towards paediatric medicine, the Society for the Recovery Of Drowned Persons, galvanism, defibrillators, CPR, and the reanimation of decapitated pigs at Yale School Of Medicine (4,340 words)  


Video: Infinite Adam Curtis | Tom Scott. Brilliant parody of Curtis's film-making style, and his habit of exposing or creating conspiratorial views of the world, using loosely-assembled chains of images and assertions (no fixed length)

Audio: The Anti-Vaccine Movement | You're Wrong About. Three journalists debunk the myths perpetuated by today's anti vaxxers and explore how this early example of "fake news" originated (45m 54s)

Afterthought:
"All art is autobiographical; the pearl is the oyster's autobiography."
Federico Fellini


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