Trotsky, Bowling, Marmara, Age, Cryptics

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Trotsky After Kolakowski

Branko Milanovic | Global Inequality | 5th August 2021

Trotsky's early life was one of the most brilliant of the 20th century. How many intellectuals might be "sipping coffee in Café Zentral in Zurich on a Friday", then "leading to victory the largest army of workers and peasants in the world next Monday"? So where did it all go so wrong for Trotsky after Lenin's death? What were the weaknesses that made him so helpless against Stalin? (1,000 words)

Inside Pro Bowling Balls

Stan Horaczek | Popular Science | 27th July 2021

I had no idea the inside of a bowling ball looked anything like this, nor of the physics involved. "The rotational forces generated by the asymmetrical chunky green block inside the Intense wouldn’t be able to influence the orb’s trajectory as well if the cover couldn’t firmly grip the lane. Crushed mica mixed into the surface of this ball increases friction once it hits dry boards near the pins" (585 words)

An Ode To Marmara

Kaya Genç | Eurozine | 5th August 2021

On "sea snot", a suffocating film of organic matter that can develop on the sea's surface. The Marmara Sea in Turkey is badly affected; in a sense, it has stifled the inland lagoon's history. It's a shocking sight. "I first saw it in June, on my way to a ferry: a mirage, as if land began to extend into the sea. All that was liquid had turned solid. It also resembled the skin of a terminally ill patient" (3,315 words)

Podcast Of The Week: The Last Generation To Die

70 Over 70 | Pineapple Street Studios | 6th July 2021

Interview series devoted to people over the age of 70. Although the show resists the impulse to look entirely on the bright side of getting older, there is something uplifting about the way experiences — good and bad — are related without hesitation or fear. This episode features both a Texas barbecue pitmaster and the physicist Michio Kaku, co-founder of string field theory (38m 29s)

Interview Of The Week: Stella Zawistowski In Conversation With Baiqu Gonkar

Browser Interviews | 6th August 2021

Stella is a cryptic-crossword evangelist and puzzle maker for The Browser and the New Yorker. She tells Baiqu how she comes to be "the only person in the world, man or woman, who can say both of those things: that they've solved in New York Times crossword in under five minutes, and can lift 325 pounds"  (19m 22s, or read the transcript here).

“The chief practical use of history is to deliver us from plausible historical analogies”
— James Bryce

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