Palermo, Iran, Crete, Musical Memory, Childlessness

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Boxing Saved Me From A Life Of Crime

Giuseppe Leto | Financial Times | 17th July 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

A Sicilian boxer reminisces. "I retired from boxing when I was 36. The pain in my hands was too much. They used to inject me with painkillers before matches. I found myself in need of money after my business, a pub, was burned down. So I started working as a security guard in a bank. But violence stayed with me. My life changed for ever when three young men walked into the bank I was working in and tried to rob it" (670 words)

The Spinal Tap Stock Market

Michael Pettis | China Financial Markets | 17th July 2015

Diary of China's stock-market crash. "In this market, you buy because you believe that everyone has agreed on the collective interpretation of government signaling. Anything that undermines the confidence you have in the collective interpretation must undermine your decision to buy, and in fact because everyone is watching everyone else, at some point, this can become a collective decision to sell" (5,700 words)


Editorial | Economist | 17th July 2015

The Economist backs the US-led agreement to limit Iran's nuclear programme and end sanctions. "For those who oppose this deal, the alternatives are to wait for a better one, or to go to war. A country of Iran’s size and sophistication will get a bomb if it really wants one. Nothing can change that. But this pact offers the chance of holding Iran back and shifting its course. The world should embrace it, cautiously" (1,040 words)

Crete: Land Of Vendetta

David Patrikarakos | Politico | 16th July 2015

Notes from a road trip through Crete, the "land of vendettas and sheep theft". The "No" vote in last week's referendum was the highest in the country: "We have too much Europe here". Wartime Nazi atrocities are remembered as if they happened yesterday. The Cretans hate Germany, and they assume that Germany hates Greece: "If Merkel were here, I’d throw her off the cliff”. As for Tsipras: “He should be executed” (2,620 words)

What Stays When Everything Goes

Simon Turley | OUP Blog | 16th July 2015

Tests on patients with Alzheimer’s show that music is remembered differently from other forms of knowledge. "Music is remembered implicitly, akin to remembering a complex series of movements, rather than as a discrete entity or specific countable events”. Areas crucial to musical memory are among the least affected by advanced Alzheimer’s, so that music can remain familiar long after names and faces are forgotten (900 words)

The Motherhood Trap

Helen Lewis | New Statesman | 16th July 2015

Women who succeed in politics tend to be childless because they start young, the work is all-consuming, and success brings yet more pressure. There is never enough time. Then comes the trap: Their childlessness is used against them. They are not "normal", they care only about work, they lack family values. “There are lots of ways you can look like you are obsessed with politics and not having children is one of them” (4,950 words)

Video of the day: A Black Hole In Your Pocket

What to expect: Cartoon. How a black hole the size of a one-cent coin would swallow the earth (3'37")

Thought for the day

Punishment is directed primarily at the potentially guilty
Michel Foucault

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