Links van 7 december 2015 tot 17 december 2015

“Cats and Dogs” by H. P. Lovecraft
Between dogs and cats my degree of choice is so great that it would never occur to me to compare the two. I have no active dislike for dogs, any more than I have for monkeys, human beings, negroes, cows, sheep, or pterodactyls; but for the cat I have entertained a particular respect and affection ever since the earliest days of my infancy. In its flawless grace and superior self-sufficiency I have seen a symbol of the perfect beauty and bland impersonality of the universe itself, objectively considered; and in its air of silent mystery there resides for me all the wonder and fascination of the unknown. The dog appeals to cheap and facile emotions; the cat to the deepest founts of imagination and cosmic perception in the human mind. It is no accident that the contemplative Egyptians, together with such later poetic spirits as Poe, Gautier, Baudelaire, and Swinburne, were all sincere worshippers of the supple grimalkin.

The mysterious Islamic movement quietly sweeping the Middle East – CSMonitor.com
An ultraconservative Muslim order that preaches nonmilitancy is gaining followers across the region. Does Dawah represent an antidote to Islamic State or another threat to the West?

‘A tortured heap of towers’: the London skyline of tomorrow | Art and design | The Guardian
The ley lines, the hallowed dome of St Paul’s, packs of hungry dogs – and a tipsy surveyor in the 1930s … these are the invisible forces shaping the City’s skyline

How Elmo Ruined Sesame Street
Sesame Street’s most-marketed character is an over-exposed drag. He has managed, ironically, to make a children’s show too childish. Thanks in large part to Elmo, Sesame Street is now a less sophisticated and less useful tool for kids to learn from. This sentiment may hurt, but it’s time to do something about this furry, red problem.

The Pristine Myth: The Landscape of the
The myth persists that in 1492 the Americas were a sparsely populated wilderness, -a world of barely perceptible human disturbance.- There is substantial evidence, however, that the Native American landscape of the early sixteenth century was a humanized landscape almost everywhere. Populations were large. Forest composition had been modified, grasslands had been created, wildlife disrupted, and erosion was severe in places. Earthworks, roads, fields, and settlements were ubiquitous. With Indian depopulation in the wake of Old World disease, the environment recovered in many areas. A good argument can be made that the human presence was less visible in 1750 than it was in 1492.

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