Berfrois

January 2011

Changing Our Minds

Changing Our Minds

From Wired: Every so often Al Frances says something that seems to surprise even him. Just now, for instance, in the predawn darkness of his comfortable, rambling home in Carmel, California, he has broken off his exercise routine to declare that “there is no definition of a mental disorder....

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A Beat in Bracknell

A Beat in Bracknell

From The Guardian: When you think of the Beats, you think of free sex and flaming sunsets, of bulbous ’49 Hudsons easing towards the horizon on dusty highways that seem to go on for ever. You don’t think about roundabouts, recycling centres and Rover estates. But that’s what you...

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Vectors, Viruses and Victims

Vectors, Viruses and Victims

From American Scientist: Mosquitoes live brief but busy lives feeding on nectar and plant sugars. The females must also find human or animal blood to feast on in order to produce eggs and continue the life cycle, so they live rather longer than the males—several weeks rather than several...

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Derek Beaulieu: A Future for the Novel

Derek Beaulieu: A Future for the Novel

A Christmas Carol, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1938 by Derek Beaulieu It seems hardly reasonable at first glance to suppose that an entirely new literature might one day—now, for instance—be possible. The many attempts made these last thirty years to drag literature out of its ruts have resulted at best, in no...

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Croatia picked the wrong witch

Croatia picked the wrong witch

Picking the Wrong Witch | Richard Byrne

The Common Review

Once upon a time there was a magical empire of letters called Central Europe. Its borders were fuzzy but recognizable....

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Covering and Praying

Covering and Praying

From ResetDOC: In a secular and multi-religious environment, faith is constantly subject to learning and supervision leading to a more rigorous search for piousness and higher awareness of one’s faith. I’ll select three different practices of praying that have provoked a public debate to illustrate the specificity of contesting...

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Morality Begins

Morality Begins

  From Infant Sorrow, Songs of Innocence and of Experience, William Blake, c. 1789 by David Brax Developmental issues in general have, for obvious reasons, been much on my mind lately. It strikes me, as it struck Alison Gopnik thus causing the book The Philosophical Baby to be written,...

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The Occupation of Space

The Occupation of Space

University College London occupation, 2010 by Owen Hatherley Sometimes, the self-referential, apolitical worlds of art and architecture intersect with politics in unexpected ways. One such telling cross-over took place during the winter’s student protests; on the same day as the 30 November demonstration across central London, there was a story in...

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Joseph Spece
Joseph Spece: When Gamers Attack

Like many ugly controversies, the beginnings of #gamergate are linked to the end of love — well, the end of a relationship, at least....

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Jeremy Fernando: Not

A response — Bartleby’s response — foregrounding the fact that it is the “I” that “prefers not to”: not that ‘I cannot’ nor ‘I...

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Owen Vince on HARK

As a poet, you are your grandmother; you are browsing the obituaries with a red pen and an address book in your hand. The...

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Jay Aquinas Thompson Interviews Eric Weisbard

Eric Weisbard wrote twenty years ago, introducing the voluminous, era-summarizing, contrarian and contradictory Spin Alternative Record Guide.

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Collective Destruction by Keith Doubt

What, then, is sociocide? Sociocide resonates with the term demodernization formulated by A. V. Tishkov to account for the consequences of the war in...

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Heather Lang on Fiona Sampson and Sarah Morgan

Poet Fiona Sampson is a former career violinist, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, overt references to music appear in her work.

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Setsuko Adachi: Azalea Exuberance Strikes

In May, in the garden of the elevated house at the bottom of the hill, four shrubs of stunning azaleas come into full blossom....

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Joe Linker
Joe Linker on Li Po

Florence showed me what she called the most famous of Chinese poems. She had made her own translation from a Chinese language newspaper clipping....

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Teresa K. Miller and Gregory Giles Discuss Luc Moullet

To begin at the end: After nearly two hours exploring facets of exploitation in the globalized food system, Luc Moullet closes Genèse d’un repas/Origins...

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Adam Staley Groves: Iowa Nasty

Now it seems the state’s radical conservatives are degrading the historic, populist-provincial mentality of Iowa; they are revising the state’s legacy within the broader...

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Animal Spirits at the Nueva Burdalesa Bakery by Jessica Sequeira

A few years ago all I had was a certain ambition and an understanding, more or less, of how things work in this world....

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Sebastian Normandin
Meaning and Pseudoscience by Sebastian Normandin

The persistence and proliferation of pseudoscientific thinking in contemporary culture demands explanation. Clearly there are some pragmatic reasons for its expanded existence, and people...

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Janice Lee For the Ghost

The memories are like stutters. Sometimes I inhale for air, and exhale a shaking chain of memories. A choking hazard. I for the ghost....

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Edi Rama’s Bunker Mentality by Vincent W.J. van Gerven Oei

As many former Eastern Block countries in the EU display a hardly dissimulated form of racism and religious hatred, Albania, always a little behind...

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