Vincent Van Gogh: The Letters

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam has provided an exceedingly well done Website featuring all 902 letters from Vincent van Gogh, complete with high resolution images, transcriptions and translations, and, best of all, illustrations and annotations. The Quick Guide is a good place to start.

We Are All African

We are all Africans. We originated in Africa. That is proved by the continent’s rich genetic inheritance. Africans are more diverse than the rest of humanity put together, because they are drawn from the pool of humans who did not leave. As Wells points out, two Africans from the same…

Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Digital Cuneiform

Language Hat‘s post about the utterly nifty Knowledge and Power in the Neo-Assyrian Empire site, a site about the Neo-Assyrian capital of Nineveh PGP in what today is northern Iraq, from the middle of the seventh century BCE. Nineveh and the royal court there is the earliest attested site of…

Pornography, Women, and Honesty

Stacia Kane in a thoughtful post about the book Porn for Women from the “Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative,” asks: Isn’t it time we move past this shit? Past the idea that what women really want is hugs’n’chocolate, because sex is just something we do for him? Past the idea that…

Freedom, Sex, and Censorship, as Reported by the Internet

Several news stories and blog posts worth noting, discussing topics that bear discussion and offer the potential of deeply  interesting further developments. And so, with no further ado, here’s the Tuesday round-up. An NPR report about a current lawsuit challenging the Patriot Act as unconstitutional: The U.S. Supreme Court hears…

Gollum: Schizophrenia or Multiple Personality Disorder?

…Gollum displays pervasive maladaptive behaviour that has been present since childhood with a persistent disease course. His odd interests and spiteful behaviour have led to difficulty in forming friendships and have caused distress to others. He fulfils seven of the nine criteria for schizoid personality disorder (ICD F60.1), and, if…

Learn from Man’s Best Friend

Scientific American brings us The Ethical Dog, an interesting and thought-provoking article about the social behaviors and ordered customs of canids. We’ve admired and lived side-by-side with these remarkable animals for thousands of years. These behaviors, including altruism, tolerance, forgiveness, reciprocity and fairness, are readily evident in the egalitarian way…

Sucking the Quileute Dry

To millions of “Twilight” fans, the Quileute are Indians whose (fictional) ancient treaty transforms young males of the tribe into vampire-fighting wolves. To the nearly 700 remaining Quileute Indians, “Twilight” is the reason they are suddenly drawing extraordinary attention from the outside—while they themselves remain largely excluded from the vampire…

The Semicolon: The Most Feared Punctuation On Earth

Everything you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask, explained simply, clearly, and precisely right here by The Oatmeal.

Virus Fossil Bed

Scientists spent thirteen years mapping and sequencing the human genome. The Human Genome Project, though completed in 2003, was only the barest beginning of what we have yet to learn about ourselves, our own DNA, where we’ve come from, and where we’ve yet to go. Hereditary predispositions to disease and…

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