Newsletter 980


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David Lee Roth Will Not Go Quietly

Steve Kandell | Buzzfeed | 12th April 2013

Long and loving profile. If you are of a certain age and disposition, prepare for a treat. "Roth is the ur-rock star, the embodiment of everything splendorous and stupid about that term, as responsible as anyone for establishing, defining, and cementing the debauched libertine, hotel room-trashing, groupie-defiling caricature." He is also an emergency medical technician and a student of Japanese. "I'm the drunk who won the lottery"

The Riddle Of Europe’s Single Currency With Many Values

Wolfgang Munchau | Financial Times | 14th April 2013

European Central Bank survey says Germans have the lowest household wealth in the Eurozone. This is observably untrue. Therefore, something must be wrong with the unit of account: the euro. The German euro is massively undervalued. By definition there can be no exchange-rate adjustment within a single currency area. So the only way to bring economies back into balance is for the Eurozone to come apart (Metered paywall)

Martian Chroniclers

Burkhard Bilger | New Yorker | 15th April 2013

The search for life on Mars enters its sixth decade. Forty spacecraft have gone there without finding one living thing or fossil. Yet we keep on searching, partly because Mars is all that we have to search, at least within reasonable distance. It has sunlight, water, carbon, nitrogen, the building blocks of life. A few billion years ago Mars and Earth had similar prospects for development. Why the difference now? Why us, and not them?

Science, Magic And Madness

Adam Gopnik | BBC | 12th April 2013

Nobody likes to be told that they are wrong. But that's how science advances: through proof and disproof, the experimental method. Galileo learned more from throwing things off towers than John Dee learned from sacred books. "The glory of modern science is that, while only a very few can understand its particular theories, anyone can understand its peculiar approach - it is simply the perpetual assertion of experience over authority, and of debate over dogma"

Australia’s Brand Name For Ferocity, Softened By Time

Matt Siegel | New York Times | 12th April 2013

Profile of Mark Brandon "Chopper" Read, once Australia's most-feared modern criminal. Also painter, author, rap musician, prison baron, and cancer patient. "For the bulk of his career, Mr. Read was what is known as a headhunter, robbing and extorting fellow criminals." Public favourite, despite killing between seven and 19 people. Adept with blowtorch. “He’s like this perfect cross between a complete psychopath and the crazy uncle you’ve got at your barbecue” (Metered paywall)

Life Around A Cancer Hospital

Shyamant Behal | Open | 14th April 2013

"As in other parts of Mumbai, many families live on the footpaths outside Tata Memorial Hospital too. But these are cancer patients and their relatives. If you look closely, you can make this out. A balding child with a mask on his face; a man whose face has been operated upon and has a tube through his nose to consume milk; a woman with a dash of vermillion on her upper forehead even though she has no hair"

Video of the day: Ricky Jay: Deceptive Practices

Thought for the day:

"Music gives meaning to time" — Jacques Attali

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