Newsletter 20


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[2]Studying The Fag Hag
Jesse Bering I Scientific American I 7 June 2010
Psychologist examines concept of women who like men who like men. Finds "fag
hags" exist across cultures, from Mexico to Japan. But why are there so few
straight men who like to socialise with lesbians?
[3]Football Is War
Ian Buruma I Project Syndicate I 7 June 2010
Notion that international sport inspires fraternity is romantic fiction.
Football nationalism is deeply felt, perhaps even useful as outlet for
primitive impulses. It helps to have traditional enemies, old hurts,
humiliations needing redress
[4]Hitchens On Drinking
Christopher Hitchens | Slate | 6 Jun 2010
"I now drink relatively carefully". A whisky, a half-bottle of wine at
lunch, same at dinner. "Not always more, but never less". Great virtue of
alcohol: makes other people less tedious
[5]Totem And World Cup
Tony Curzon Price | Open Economy | 7 June 2010
Short, brilliant blogpost on elite views of World Cup. British equate it
disdainfully with commerce. French recognise it as sacred ritual in which
"the unity of nation becomes visible"
[6]Bernie Madoff, Free At Last
Steve Fishman | New York | 6 June 2010
Long, chatty profile of champion conman in prison. Inmates treat him as
counsellor, celebrity. Alleged quote: "F--k my victims. I carried them for
twenty years, now I’m doing 150 years”
[7]Start Of World War Three
Charles Crawford | Blogoir | 6 June 2010
Perhaps it doesn't take great-power confrontation to start world war.
Convergence of medium-sized problems, exacerbating one another, might do the
trick. In which case: time to worry
[8]Novelists And Dictators
Ilan Stavans | Chronicle Review | 6 June 2010
Previous generation of Latin American novelists attacked, satirised military
dictators. Why doesn't current generation of writers do the same for
left-wing caudillos, such as Hugo Chávez?
[9]What Is A "Law Of Physics"?
George Musser | SciAm Observations | 4 June 2010
Notes from conference of physicists and philosophers. Includes derivation of
theory of quantum mechanics, argument against polytheism, trick for giving
directions to a place you don't know
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