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Sal Mirren
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Sal Mirren

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Rickman Recipe
Brandy
Franchise Pan-global
Snow Cake

Good egg
Kinder egg
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Sal Mirren

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The deceptive simplicity of zooming. Every square, you go 90% of the way you've gone in total.
For zooming in, that becomes: every square, you travel 90% of how much you still have to go.

#zoom   #universe   #dna   #angstrom   #powersof10  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fKBhvDjuy0
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Just for the heck of it, I'm re-sharing this, predominantly for the music, but the outfits are worth a share too, especially if you're really not so used to pure fashion, avant-garde clothes or however it's generally labelled.
 
Watch all the action from our MAN Spring/Summer 2016 show.
‪#‎MANSS16‬
Music written and produced by Dominik Emrich.
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 "Don't sit around talking about it. Just do it." Working film professionals share their best career advice in today's episode of #AcademyOriginals. http://bit.ly/AcadAdvice 
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Sal Mirren

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[witty commentary to be inserted here]
(Nothing to add for now. Just saw this. About to investigate.)
 
The map below shows how ethnic groups are distributed in Africa. Defining ethnic groups is an infamously tricky problem, so this study used a very simple method: it simply asked people which group they belonged to.

One interesting thing they discovered was that circumstances changed the way people answered this question. For example, in Somalia, after the famine and civil war, people shifted to defining themselves by smaller sub-tribes -- e.g., calling themselves Issa rather than Dir. (Dir being a larger group which includes several other clans)

But as the article notes, this isn't the main thing driving the tremendous ethnic diversity on this map: instead, the fine grains here were mostly created by terrain which physically isolates one group from another. Linguistic boundaries tend to match it.

This is similar to the structure of Papua New Guinea, which rather famously has over 800 distinct languages, mostly completely unrelated to one another, for a population of 7.3 million people in an area not much bigger than Germany. There too, terrain makes it surprisingly difficult to get from the home of one tribe to the next. This map gives you an idea of what's involved there: http://www.muturzikin.com/cartesoceanie/imagesoceanie/papou1.png

Another interesting comparison comes from this recent article in Foreign Affairs, which tried to draw a map of the "real" political borders of Africa: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/2015-11-08/real-map-africa The idea here was to use foreign travel advisories to identify regions where governments didn't have effective control. This method is somewhat approximate, but the main thing it shows is that most of the Sahara isn't really part of any government at all; in fact, you could walk from Mauritania to Egypt without once stepping into a place that had a government. (Assuming you somehow survived)

Even within areas which are clearly governed, warfare tends to happen along tribal boundaries. Large-scale wars rarely involve small tribes on their own, of course; instead, tribes align with one another, generally based on some shared property like mutual (often fictive) kinship, shared religion, or shared economic needs. These larger alignments can drive much more long-lasting and difficult wars, such as the perpetual instability in Nigeria between the northern Muslims and the southern Christians, or in Sudan (and now South Sudan) between Muslims, Christians and animists.

This is very similar to the pattern seen in the Middle East, where tribes align along combinations of ethnicity, language, religion, and most of all family relationship.

This leads to complex hierarchies of relationship: Hamas could work with Iran because they're jointly Muslim, even though Hamas was principally Sunni and Arab and Iran is Shi'ite and Persian, because they were both fighting against the Israelis, who are Jews. However, there are lots of Persian Israelis, who thus have long-standing relationships with Persian Iranians, and in fact the countries got along fairly well until a different tribal alliance took over Iran in 1979. And Hamas is wary of Hezbollah, who are Lebanese Shi'ites, and also thus clients of Iran, because Hezbollah is mostly fighting wars against everyone in Lebanon who isn't a Shi'ite, as well as fighting against Israel. So Hamas also works with forces in Egypt, which is Sunni and Arab; except not the Egyptian government, which has an alliance with the Israelis, and so instead they try to work with the (Sunni) Bedouins of the Sinai Peninsula, who are at war with the Egyptians, but who are also closely tied to the Israeli Sunni Bedouins, which are...

Anyway, hopefully you get the picture: each group has a bunch of identifiers, and if two groups have any identifier in common (or can make one up), they can use that as the shared language needed to build an alliance. Sometimes these alliances are for trade, while sometimes they're for the purpose of war against a third group. And these alliances can shift quite easily over time.

This can also be useful in understanding the perspective of these groups on regions such as Europe and the US, since they get interpreted as being tribes as well. As far as most of the world is concerned, the US, Latin America, and Europe are three major tribes in their own right, which are parts of the Protestants, the Catholics, and the generic Christians, respectively. (People's individual beliefs have nothing to do with this: religion is a matter of tribal identity, not faith) Importantly, this means that they're not part of the family of Abraham, which is one of the largest super-tribal designations commonly used in the Middle East, merging Jews and Muslims, including Persian Muslims even though that makes only limited biological sense. That means that entirely different language is needed when making alliances with the western countries, which is particularly difficult because everyone knows what the Christians think of the Jews and the Muslims, and people remember the Crusaders very well.

Yes, this is how the world works. Exciting, isn't it?

h/t to +Anne-Marie Clark for the Foreign Affairs article.
This Harvard University map of ethnic diversity across Africa speaks volumes.
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The Gamechangers, tonight on BBC TWO, is a feature film about the people who made Grand Theft Auto.
 
For those of you in the UK, "The Gamechangers" airs today, Tuesday, at 2100 on BBC2.
This 90-minute factual drama goes behind the scenes of the hit video game Grand Theft Auto, arguably the greatest British coding success since Bletchley Park.In autumn 2013, the game's latest iteration - GTA: V - earned $1bn in just three days, becoming the fastest-selling entertainment product in history. But this drama goes back to 2002, to tell the story of a three year period of intense controversy in the history of this iconic game's develop...
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Arthur Schopenhauer on books and reading:

"When we read, another person thinks for us: we merely repeat his mental process. In learning to write, the pupil goes over with his pen what the teacher has outlined in pencil: so in reading; the greater part of the work of thought is already done for us. This is why it relieves us to take up a book after being occupied with our own thoughts. And in reading, the mind is, in fact, only the playground of another’s thoughts. So it comes about that if anyone spends almost the whole day in reading, and by way of relaxation devotes the intervals to some thoughtless pastime, he gradually loses the capacity for thinking; just as the man who always rides, at last forgets how to walk. This is the case with many learned persons: they have read themselves stupid. For to occupy every spare moment in reading, and to do nothing but read, is even more paralyzing to the mind than constant manual labor, which at least allows those engaged in it to follow their own thoughts. A spring never free from the pressure of some foreign body at last loses its elasticity; and so does the mind if other people’s thoughts are constantly forced upon it. Just as you can ruin the stomach and impair the whole body by taking too much nourishment, so you can overfill and choke the mind by feeding it too much. The more you read, the fewer are the traces left by what you have read: the mind becomes like a tablet crossed over and over with writing. There is no time for ruminating, and in no other way can you assimilate what you have read. If you read on and on without setting your own thoughts to work, what you have read can not strike root, and is generally lost. It is, in fact, just the same with mental as with bodily food: hardly the fifth part of what one takes is assimilated. The rest passes off in evaporation, respiration and the like.

The result of all this is that thoughts put on paper are nothing more than footsteps in the sand: you see the way the man has gone, but to know what he saw on his walk, you want his eyes.

There is no quality of style that can be gained by reading writers who possess it; whether it be persuasiveness, imagination, the gift of drawing comparisons, boldness, bitterness, brevity, grace, ease of expression or wit, unexpected contrasts, a laconic or naive manner, and the like. But if these qualities are already in us, exist, that is to say, potentially, we can call them forth and bring them to consciousness; we can learn the purposes to which they can be put; we can be strengthened in our inclination to use them, or get courage to do so; we can judge by examples the effect of applying them, and so acquire the correct use of them; and of course it is only when we have arrived at that point that we actually possess these qualities. The only way in which reading can form style is by teaching us the use to which we can put our own natural gifts. We must have these gifts before we begin to learn the use of them. Without them, reading teaches us nothing but cold, dead mannerisms and makes us shallow imitators."
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making old computers feel young again, teaching computer skills
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Think different, because I'm worth it.
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I inspired a feature for long videos on YouTube
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