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Friday Poem

Why —After Faiz Ahmed Faiz's Kuttey . Not even dogs Go as quietly as these men Battered and bruised Idle and begging Homeless and hearthless Stabbing each other for scraps Starving in silence Why What myth is it That keeps you Divided Amongst yourselves That keeps you Blind To your strength .

Gravitational waves: a three-minute guide

Davide Castelvecchi in Nature:  More here.

Parents outraged after students shown ‘white guilt’ cartoon for Black History Month

Peter Holley in The Washington Post:  A Virginia school district has banned the use of an educational video about racial inequality after some parents complained that its messaging is racially divisive.

Life as We Write It

Nika Knight interviews Brian Boyd in Guernica: The author on what evolutionary science can teach us about art and literature, his enduring interest in Nabokov, and why a good joke never dies.

How Chris Jackson is building a black literary movement

Vinson Cunningham in The New York Times: On an unnervingly balmy November day, the scene at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn was restless and expectant.

Gravitational Waves Exist: The Inside Story of How Scientists Finally Found Them

Nicola Twilley in The New Yorker: Just over a billion years ago, many millions of galaxies from here, a pair of black holes collided.

Ladies and Gentlemen, LIGO had detected gravitational waves!

Dennis Overbye in the New York Times: A team of physicists who can now count themselves as astronomers announced on Thursday that they had heard and recorded the sound of two black holes colliding a billion light-years away, a fleeting chirp that fulfilled the last prophecy of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

The Incredible Story of LIGO

Paul Halpern in Medium: The LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) project was proposed by physicist Rainer (Rai) Weiss of MIT, along with Kip Thorne, Ronald Drever, Rochus Vogt and other researchers at Caltech.

on the poetry of GALINA RYMBU

Eugene Ostashevsky at Music and Literature: There is a lot of talk now, in the United States at least, about political poetry and even revolutionary poetry, and what these are, and how to write them.

a.o. scott debates with himself about the nature of criticism

A.O. Scott at Literary Hub: Q: So you’ve written a book in defense of thinking? Where’s the argument?

Magic and the rise of science

Diane Purkiss at The Times Literary Supplement: What fascinates Copenhaver is the overlap between magic and science.

Thursday Poem


Israel’s Putinisation

Adam Shatz in the LRB: Ahmad Tibi, a long-standing Arab member of the Knesset, once remarked that ‘Israel is democratic towards Jews, and Jewish towards Arabs.’ For many years, that soundbite nicely captured the contradictions of ‘Jewish democracy’: fair elections, press freedom, cantankerous debate and due process for some; land theft, administrative detention, curfews, assassinations and ‘muscular interrogations’ for others.

Space Jew, or, Walter Benjamin Among the Stars

Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft in the Los Angeles Review of Books: In Delhi and in four other locations across northern India stand the “Jantar Mantars,” clusters of giant astronomical instruments built by an 18th-century Maharaja, Jai Singh II, many of them so tall they seem to challenge the sky.

A Neuroscientist Explains How He Found Out Meth Is Almost Identical to Adderall

Carl L. Hart in Vice: The long subway ride from DC's airport to Silver Spring was unusually pleasant.

Why Economists Don’t Know How to Think About Growth

Eric Michael Johnson interviews Fritjof Capra in Evonomics: The role of systems thinking in economics has grown in prominence throughout the late 20th Century—much of it due to the pioneering work of Fritjof Capra, whose writings and movies have inspired a generation of young scholars and practitioners to view economics and politics through the lens of ecological (living) systems.

how to steal priceless books

Geoff Manaugh at Cabinet Magazine: The books and manuscripts were disappearing from a room no one seemed to be entering.

Piero Manzoni: the artist who got away with merda

Gavin Turk at The Guardian: I first discovered Piero Manzoni when I was, as Gilbert and George call it, “a baby artist cogitating on what art was and what art could be”.

Why the class of '94 still rules British poetry

Fiona Sampson at The New Statesman: In 1994, the “New Generation” of poets was intent on bringing about one of those shifts that periodically redefine a culture.