Michel Vuijlsteke's weblog

Tales of Drudgery & Boredom.

Tag: europe

Links van 29 februari 2016 tot 1 maart 2016

Dissolving the Dead · thewalrus.ca
DALE HILTON can show you fear in a bagful of dust: 160 pounds of once-living human, pressure-cooked, baked, and pulverized into soft white powder fine enough to sprinkle over French toast. The ground bones sit in clear plastic on a counter, next to a pacemaker, a false hip, and a pair of breast implants extracted from some of the eighty bodies Hilton has disintegrated at his bio-cremation facility in Smiths Falls, Ontario, an hour’s drive southwest of Ottawa. “It’s a lovely product,” he says, looking proudly at his handiwork.

The City States of Europe | Big Think
“The 21st century will not be dominated by America or China, Brazil or India, but by the city,” writes Parag Khanna. The author of several books on global strategy, Khanna argues that (some) cities, as islands of good governance in an increasingly unstable world, will become the cornerstone of a new world order.  That new world order won’t be a “global village” of nation states, for globalisation is corroding national sovereignty. Rather, it will be a loose network of semi-independent city states, perhaps resembling the Hanseatic League and other medieval trading alliances.

Who Killed James I? | History Today
The accusation that James I was murdered by his favourite, the Duke of Buckingham, may have been a false one but it was widely believed and helped to justify the execution of Charles I. Alastair Bellany and Thomas Cogswell explain.

Twitter Has Lost More Than $2 Billion in 10 Years
When Twitter went public back in 2013, it was an unprofitable company. More than two years later, that hasn’t changed. In fact, the company revealed in its annual 10-K filed Feb. 29 that it has lost more than $2 billion in total since launching a decade ago.

BBC – Earth – How our ancestors drilled rotten teeth
Long before humans invented writing, the wheel and civilisation, they learned how to drill rotten teeth to relieve the pain of tooth decay

re:Work
Practices, research, and ideas from Google and other organizations to put people first.

Hackathon Be Gone
Last weekend I attended the MHacks: Refactor hackathon on behalf of my company. I acted as a representative of my company as well as a mentor for the hackers. I saw a lot of amazing projects and helped a lot of students. The energy of the students and their output was phenomenal. Needless to say, the entire experience was rewarding. However, the more of these events I attend, the more disgusted I become with the process.

New Korean War Will Lead US to Final Ruin
A touch-and-go situation is now prevailing in the Korean peninsula due to the confrontational hysteria of the US imperialist aggression forces that have deployed in south Korea their special operation troops from all arms and services. Under this grave situation the Supreme Headquarters of the Korean People’s Army announced a crucial statement carrying the fixed will of all servicepersons and civilians in the DPRK to bring the US imperialist aggressors to the final doom. The statement turned the whole country all at once into a scene of towering hatred toward the aggressors.

A Visual Look at 2 Million Chess Games
We’ll take a look at more than 2 million games, taken from the MillionBase PGN database. I ignored any Chess960 games contained, but in total there are 2,197,113 games. I was interested to see what kind of visualizations I can do, and what patterns would be revealed by considering so many games. It was the biggest collection of games I could find, spanning games from 1801 up to 2013, and players with ratings between 215 (wow!) to 2861 (I wonder who that is?). So I think it’s a pretty good representation of chess games all around.

Links van 18 februari 2015 tot 23 februari 2015

The Trouble with Dijsselbloem | Jacobin
For Dijsselbloem, extinguishing Syriza’s promise is imperative. It is a precondition for restoring the stability of the EU that he, his party, and economic elites so desire. But it is as necessary for the continuation of the dreamless, managerial, suit-and-tie progressivism from which he has never strayed.

The dangers of the “Google Analytics-powered Startup”
Let me start off by saying that I am not advocating for people not to use Google Analytics; in fact I use it avidly and consider myself a big fan. With this post, my mission is rather to provide a bit of perspective for the many current and prospective startup founders out there who base (or intend to base) their ‘data-driven work style’ on Google Analytics alone. In my world, Google Analytics should be seen as one advisor of many rather than ‘the one truth’, and here’s a few reasons for that:

Opt Out From Online Behavioral Advertising By Participating Companies (BETA)
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Greece Should Not Give In to Germany’s Bullying | Foreign Policy
Had the Varoufakis plan been put forward by an investment banker, it would have been perceived as perfectly reasonable. Yet in the parallel universe inhabited by Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, such demands are seen as “irresponsible”: Greece must be bled dry to service its foreign creditors in the name of European solidarity.

Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist | News | The Guardian
A Greek or a Portuguese or an Italian exit from the eurozone would soon lead to a fragmentation of European capitalism, yielding a seriously recessionary surplus region east of the Rhine and north of the Alps, while the rest of Europe is would be in the grip of vicious stagflation. Who do you think would benefit from this development? A progressive left, that will rise Phoenix-like from the ashes of Europe’s public institutions? Or the Golden Dawn Nazis, the assorted neofascists, the xenophobes and the spivs? I have absolutely no doubt as to which of the two will do best from a disintegration of the eurozone.

Links van 29 februari 2012 tot 2 maart 2012

Hot buttered sloths in pajamas | Grist
What do you do when orphaned baby sloths are afflicted with mange? Shave them, rub them with lard, and wrap them in sloth pajamas.

Pro-Ana and Pro-Mia – Pro Mia Tips
Use more than one finger, and wiggle them a little to “tickle” the gag reflex. i personally use three…makes me feel like i am choking and everything comes up.

Coilhouse » Blog Archive » Cat Butts Being Semi-Rhythmically Smacked to the Sound of Joy Division.
Nothing more need be said. Gawk in silence

Start Developing iOS Apps Today: Introduction
Creating iOS apps is fun and rewarding, and if you're a new developer you might be wondering where to begin. This road map provides the perfect starting point for iOS app development. On your Mac computer, you can create iOS apps that run on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. Follow this road map to learn where to get the tools you need, understand the major concepts and best practices, and see where to find more information.

Eurozine – Europe invents the Gypsies – Klaus-Michael Bogdal The dark side of modernity
Social segregation, cultural appropriation: the six-hundred-year history of the European Roma, as recorded in literature and art, represents the underside of the European subject's self-invention as agent of civilising progress in the world, writes Klaus-Michael Bogdal.