Satan, Debussy, Twitter, Football, Astronaut

The Origins Of Satan

ReligionForBreakfast | YouTube | 23rd February 2021

Satan first appeared in the Book of Job as a "legal adversary in a divine court," but the modern "Prince of Evil" conception may be rooted in Zoroastrianism, which teaches that Ahura Mazda (the divine being) is in a constant battle with Angra Mainyu (the evil being). Given the geographic proximity, it's not hard to see how this idea emigrated from Iran to the Jews (18m 27s)

What Makes Debussy Sound French?

Inside the Score | YouTube | 25th February 2021

For much of music history, composers played by the "Germanic rulebook"—until the French Impressionists, that is, who tossed the book out the window. They preferred "painterly" musical forms (Debussy writes on one of his pieces, "This rhythm must have the sonic character of a sad and frozen landscape") and embraced the beauty of stand-alone dissonance (16m 58s)

Twitter And Empathy

Big Joel | YouTube | 1st February 2020

A tweet with over 200 thousand likes condemned the men in the École Polytechnique massacre for not stepping in and saving their female classmates; a sign, perhaps, of the flawed thinking that Twitter engenders. "The belief that an empathetic gaze is always appropriate, that more empathy is always better, has created a situation where we feel too much" (20m 24s)

Football's Dementia Problem

Tifo Football | YouTube | 22nd February 2021

Alan Shearer "scored 46 of his record-breaking 260 Premier League goals with his head." You can imagine the effect. Conditions are improving, though—children have recently been banned from heading the ball outside of matches, and "the bygone leather footballs often weighed up to 600 grams when wet, a third more than the modern equivalent" (7m 12s, recommended start here)

Quirky Video Of The Week

Sci-fi short: a petty ex-boyfriend has to clarify one final question...

Browser Video Of The Week: Cal Flyn On Detroit And Abandonment

The Browser talks to literary non-fiction writer Cal Flyn, author of Islands of Abandonment. "Once you start noticing abandoned places you see them everywhere around you;" sometimes "you get the sense that if there's just a crack, somehow the blight will get in" (2m 49s)

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