Sandy Denny, Immolation, Germany, Progress, Canada

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Seven And A Half Notes On Sandy Denny

Brian Cullman | Paris Review | 19th April 2018

In memory of the British folk singer. “Sandy knew she was extraordinary, but she wasn’t sure she was any good. Her voice knew far more than she did and kept waiting for her to catch up. The ghosts and spirits she sang about were real and holy and terrifying, and when she sang about Matty Groves, it wasn’t an old folk song anymore but was fresh gossip from the street. It was as if she’d just been drinking with Matty’s sister at the pub and on the way back had torn her skirt” (1,060 words)

Man On Fire

Michael Hall | Texas Monthly | 1st December 2014

What led an 84-year-old preacher, the Reverend Charles Moore, to set himself on fire in a Texas parking lot? He died, in terrible pain, 45 minutes later. Moore had been a courageous and lifelong campaigner for civil rights, and later for gay rights. But if he intended his suicide as an act of protest, he did not announce it as such. Rather, he seems to have imagined it as an act of sacrifice or purification. Four times he prepared for death, then faltered. The fifth time, he went ahead (8,800 words)

The Changing Face Of Germany

Matthias Bartsch et al | Spiegel | 19th April 2018

How recent waves of mass immigration are changing German society. “Almost every fourth child born in Germany in 2016 had a foreign mother. Germany has obviously become a country of immigration — and one that is changing rapidly. People are asking themselves what their heimat, or homeland, will look like in 10, 20 or 30 years. They harbor doubts that the government is able to solve the problems already arising out from the lack of integration among some immigrant groups” (6,300 words)

Is Science Hitting a Wall?

John Horgan | Scientific American | 16th April 2018

Part two of an argument that science has plucked all the low-hanging fruit, and that rates of innovation must slow accordingly. “Ambitious scientists want to come up with revolutionary insights of their own, which show older paradigms to be incomplete or wrong. This feat is extremely difficult, because general relativity, quantum mechanics, evolutionary theory and the genetic code are true, in the sense of being confirmed by mountains of evidence. There will probably never be another Einstein” (1,350 words)

The New Life Of Brian Mulroney

Ira Wells | Walrus | 19th April 2018

Profile of Brian Mulroney, who resigned 25 years ago as one of Canada’s least-loved prime ministers, but whose skills and contacts have made him indispensable to Justin Trudeau’s government. “Mulroney’s re-emergence is tied to the fact that he’s in possession of a set of skills now in short supply — he’s an elder statesman alive in an era that’s forgotten the first principles of the dark art he practices. Like Rocky Balboa, Mulroney has been called out of retirement to remind us of his old winning ways” (2,470 words)

Video of the day Stems

What to expect:

Director Ainslie Henderson explains stop-motion animation techniques. Music by Poppy Ackroyd (2’24”)

Thought for the day

Lottery: A tax on people who are bad at math
Ambrose Bierce

Podcast Talking About Giovanni Bellini | The Iris

Davide Gasparotto and Keith Christiansen discuss paintings of Venice by Bellini at the Getty Museum
(28m 15s)

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