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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Ten Things of Key and Lock

In Israel, millions of civilians remain within range of rockets from Gaza/AP
  1. The UN Security Council has called for a ceasefire between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as Palestinian deaths continue to mount. Israel says it has warned residents in northern Gaza to evacuate as it prepares to launch fresh air strikes. (Read more)
  2. Russia's global image is increasingly negative, according to a survey from the Pew Research Center. This is despite Russians believing that President Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine would improve the country's reputation abroad. (Read more)
  3. The metal tungsten has the highest melting point of all the elements. We use it to write with, to traverse glaciers, to emit X-rays and to destroy buildings without the use of explosives.
  4. From novel criticism to camaraderie in coffee: American novelist Norman Mailer said that author J.D. Salinger was "the greatest mind to ever stay in prep school", while for Union soldiers, and the lucky Confederates who could scrounge some, coffee fuelled the American Civil War.
  5. A study found that sports drinks work because they activate the pleasure centre of your brain. You don't even have to drink them, just swishing some around in your mouth and spitting it out has the same effect.
  6. Fungi are the reason we have feet.
  7. Thousands of mothers over the past seven years have had successive children removed by family courts in England.
  8. On 13–14 July, the New York City blackout of 1977 affected most areas of the city. There hadn't been a blackout in NYC since 1965 and there wouldn't be another one until 2003. Unlike these two, however, the 1977 blackout was localised to NYC and the immediate surroundings. Also in contrast to the 1965 and 2003 blackouts, the 1977 blackout resulted in city-wide looting and other disorders, including arson.
  9. The Anglish movement has tried since the 19th Century to build a form of English that can discuss science or technology without relying on Latin or Greek roots - which were introduced because for much of the language's history, people thought Germanic languages like English were for peasants.
  10. From crappy co-workers to canny concepts: the Danish concept of "arbejdsglæde" means happiness at work, while the Japanese have accepted the difference between what we mean and what we say, calling them "honne" and "tatemae". The first is reality as you understand it, the second is reality as filtered through what society expects you to say (e.g., when being polite).

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