Volcanoes, Russian Propaganda, Hell's Angels, Reality, Rachmaninov, US Tax

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Volcanoes And Climate

Briefing | The Economist | 9th April 2015

If aliens were watching the Earth through telescopes during 1815, they would probably have missed the Battle of Waterloo and the birth of Otto von Bismark, but they would surely have registered the eruption of Mount Tambora. The Earth's atmosphere thickened with dust; the planet cooled; freak climate shifts triggered plagues and famine. Such is Nature. We might do well to prepare for another such catastrophe (3,950 words)

Inside The Kremlin’s Hall Of Mirrors

Peter Pomerantsev | Guardian | 9th April 2015

Russia's international media and propaganda strategy is to maximise doubt and confusion about what is happening in the world. The West cannot formulate an effective counter-strategy because it places a higher value on truth and trust. Russia's aim is not to tell the truth, nor to present Russia as trustworthy, but to undermine the very notion of truth, and to destroy Western nations' trust in one another (5,100 words)

The Motorcycle Gangs

Hunter S. Thompson | Nation | 17th May 1965

With this article Hunter S. Thompson's career took wing. "The Hell's Angels are apolitical and no more racist than other ignorant young thugs. Many affect beards and their hair is usually long and unkempt. Frequently they wear metal belts made of motorcycle drive chain which can be unhooked and used as a flexible bludgeon. The common denominator in identification of Hell's Angels is their filthy condition" (4,460 words)

The Simulation Game

Colin McGinn | Philosophical Fun | 8th April 2015

Thought experiment. What if we find a piece of paper telling us that the whole universe is a simulation, ourselves included, and that the contradictions which trouble philosophers and theoretical physicists are clues left to alert us to the truth once we are intelligent enough to understand them. How would we deal with that information? "It may be that our world is unintelligible simply because it does not exist" (964 words)

Rachmaninov On The Future Of Broadcasting

Sergey Rachmaninov | Gramophone | 1st April 2015

The Russian pianist and composer Sergey Rachmaninov praises the gramophone, derides the radio, in a 1931 interview. "Formerly, the artist was haunted by the knowledge that with him his music also must vanish. Today he can leave behind a faithful reproduction of his art. On this account alone, the great majority of musicians cannot hesitate to acclaim the gramophone as the most significant of modern musical inventions" (1,580 words)

Taxing Americans Abroad

Vanessa Houlder | Financial Times | 9th April 2015 | | Read with 1Pass

America claims the right to tax its citizens anywhere in the world, but in practice most expatriates ignore the tax reporting rules, if they are aware of them at all; a reckoning is coming. US authorities are cracking down on American-held bank accounts overseas, in a drive against money-launderers that will catch tax-dodgers too. “Many are really scared. They are afraid their own banks will turn them in” (1,300 words)

Video of the day: The Making Of Endless Road

What to expect: How Honda's creative team made the world's first never-ending car commercial (2'16")

Thought for the day

Be the first to not do what nobody has ever thought of not doing before
Brian Eno (http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/9a344ea2-e8af-11e2-aead-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2YuWbWNsa)

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