"
  1. Neither the President nor any official in her government denied Madonna any attention or courtesy during her recent visit to Malawi because as far as the administration is concerned there is no defined attention and courtesy that must be followed in respect of her.

  2. In any case, even if the defined parameters of attention and courtesy existed in respect of Madonna, the liberties of discretion to give or not to give that attention or courtesy would ordinarily and naturally remain the preserve of the host. Attention or courtesy is never demanded.

  3. Granted, Madonna has adopted two children from Malawi. According to the record, this gesture was humanitarian and of her accord. It, therefore, comes across as strange and depressing that for a humanitarian act, prompted only by her, Madonna wants Malawi to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude. Kindness, as far as its ordinary meaning is concerned, is free and anonymous. If it can’t be free and silent, it is not kindness; it is something else. Blackmail is the closest it becomes.

"

— Read the full statement from the government of Malawi here. (via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

"Cosmos, like most pop histories of science, teaches the false narrative that the history of science is that of a few, heroic, lone geniuses doing battle with the masses and forces of institutional darkness.The reality, of course, is that science is a collaborative (and competitive) process, slowly evolving over the centuries thanks to the work of millions of people and supported by large institutions and governments, without which progress would be impossible. Mark Twain put it best in a letter he wrote to Helen Keller:”It takes a thousand men to invent a telegraph, or a steam engine, or a phonograph, or a photograph, or a telephone or any other important thing—and the last man gets the credit and we forget the others.” It’s an important lesson to remember."

Alex Knapp: A Corrective To Cosmos  (via ayjay)

(via ayjay)

silentgiantla:

Animated artwork by Rebecca Mock

Fine, detailed and subtle animated artwork created by New York illustrator Rebecca Mock. Apparently the animated gif back to stay, gradually more and more people are exploring this old format and customers asking for shouting. Several of these illustrations were created for the New York Times or The Warlus magazine.

(via pegobry)

wasbella102:

Autumn Sun by Cathy McMurray

wasbella102:

Autumn Sun by Cathy McMurray

(via pegobry)

"

Some time ago, I was invited to begin some reflections on beauty and conservatism in this forum, in hopes that years in the political wilderness might motivate conservatives to consider cultural matters more seriously. But because of the prominence of the prejudice I myself indulged, this is a harder task than I had imagined. Conservatives frequently tend to trust only tested formulae. This is praiseworthy, to an extent. Traditional patterns should be valued, and they are frequently revelatory, especially now, after their long eclipse.  Still, tradition offers us no guarantee. Beauty does not always obey rules any more than it always breaks them.

Currently, the little energy conservatives tend to devote to contemporary cultural matters seems to be entirely expended in attack. Will conservatives eventually begin to accept and appreciate the new patterns of contemporary architecture? The enduring values in which conservatives believe—beauty among them—are more fecund than we think. We ought to be open to their new and unexpected manifestations. After all, what future is there for a movement without capacity for surprise?

"

Nameless Beauty: Conservatism’s Architecture Problem — by the invaluable Matt Milliner, once more (via ayjay)

"

Remember how Lupin says Harry’s instincts are good and nearly always right? Why are you mistrusting him at this late juncture? In fact, Harry gains infinitely more by choosing Ginevra Weasley over Hermione Granger.

Ginny brings with her the bright, abundant dowry of the things he always wanted in life and never had. He gains a wide wizarding family, full of people he already admires and loves—and even the requisite family priss-pot, somebody about whom everybody else can complain. What does Hermione offer in the way of family? A pair of nice … dentists. A future that means a tiny nuclear group. In the expansive Weasley clan, Harry will be an uncle many times over as well as a father. There, he has a second pair of parents who already care about him. He has big brothers. He possesses a resonant history with them all, and he is attached to the memory of their dead. We can even say that Harry becomes a kind of fraternal twin to make up for the dead Weasley twin, Fred, for he and Ron are the same age and share boyish passion for broomsticks and quidditch. His best friend becomes his brother.

Now then, what about Hermione, his other best friend? (Let’s note here that the books press onward toward the restoration of Harry’s broken world, and that Hermione and others help in that restoration. If you accept that idea, you accept that the thrust of story is not about Hermione—it’s not even about romance or who ends up with whom.) In the context of a Harry-Ginny union, having Hermione marry Ron becomes an added bonus for Harry—she too becomes his family when she marries Ron and becomes his sister. In this way, Harry becomes related to all the living people he loves most. And this is the only way they can all be related, the only way that nobody is left out of the circle of Harry’s deepest loves.

You see? Harry takes home all the toys. The cupboard child who was last is now first.

"

"The cupboard child," an open letter to J. K. Rowling, in which the brilliant and wonderful Marly Youmans explains to our beloved author that the marriages at the end of her Harry Potter books are, among other things, about preserving and strengthening the bonds of friendship. (via wesleyhill)

"A population that does not take care of the elderly and of the children and the young has no future because it abuses both its memory and its promise."

— Pope Francis (via ofmelodiesanddandelionwishes)

(via pegobry)

"While the college life may provide enhanced opportunities, we find that college students’ casual sex experiences do not mirror their peers with lower educational attainment. In fact, we find that individuals attending four year colleges and universities report some of the lowest levels of casual sex regardless of how casual sex is measured. This means that much of the prior literature on casual sex that uses college-based samples are underestimating the prevalence of casual sex behavior."

Casual Sex Among Young Adults: Education Differentials

"

This is where I look at Waldman’s critique of how elite self-interest has contributed to marriage’s decline and see a case study in what liberals are inclined to leave out of this story, and what implications they are unwilling to draw from their own premises. Because if the heart of your social analysis, the core of your conclusion, is the idea that the homogamous new elite’s social behavior is essentially (if perhaps unknowingly) self-interested — that the pursuit of meritocratic success has led the mass upper class to “walk away without a care … from people who in other circumstances, even in the not so distant past, would have been our friends and coworkers, lovers and spouses” — then perhaps you need to apply the same cold-eyed perspective to that elite’s cultural assumptions and attitudes as well, and to the blend of laws and norms those attitudes incline its members to support.

By which I mean … is it just a coincidence that this self-interested elite holds the nearly-uniformly liberal views on social issues that it does? Is it just random that the one idea binding the post-1970s upper class together — uniting Wall Street’s Randians and Harvard’s academic socialists, a left-leaning media and a right-leaning corporate sector, the libertarians of Silicon Valley and the liberal rich of the Upper West Side — is a hostility to any kind of social conservatism, any kind of morals legislation, any kind of paternalism on issues of sex and marriage and family? Is the upper class’s social liberalism the lone case, the rare exception, where our self-segregated, self-interested elites really do have the greater good at heart?

"

Social Liberalism as Class Warfare - Ross Douthat

pegobry:

newyorker:


A cartoon by John Klossner. For more cartoons from this week’s issue: http://nyr.kr/M6FRWb


I actually LOL’d.

pegobry:

newyorker:

A cartoon by John Klossner. For more cartoons from this week’s issue: http://nyr.kr/M6FRWb

I actually LOL’d.

(Source: newyorker.com)