Beautiful but distressing, wildlife photo award, BBC News

Most high art delves in tragedy:

Don’t be a fool, eat the fat!|Life|

Don’t be a fool, eat the fat!|Life|

“A survey of 10 favorite dishes for Chinese, conducted by The Commercial Press, found that Hongshaorou tops the list.”

“The red cubes of marbled pork drew the famous and influential. Shortly after Chairman Mao Zedong announced the establishment of New China, he also declared hongshaorou his favorite dish. “It is the best food for nourishing the brain, especially the fatty meat,” he decreed with confidence. “The intellectual class should eat it more.”

“If anyone could have turned stewed pork cubes into a trend, it would have been Chairman Mao. His fancy for hongshaorou swept the country and this influence has lasted over generations.”

My mom used to make hongshaorou and warned me not to cut the fat. “Eat it! Do you know why Chairman Mao is so smart? It’s because he ate fatty meat. Do you want to grow up a fool?”

Amazon Signs Up Authors, Writing Publishers Out of Deal, NYT

Is Amazon pioneering a radical transformation of the writer-publisher relationship? Or is it a case of paranoid publishers being ‘in love with their own demise’?

Billions and Billions: by Elizabeth Kolbert in The New Yorker

Must there be some limit to human population growth? If so, where does that limit lie? A reflection on Malthus’ predictions as humankind is days away from the 7 billion mark:

Changing Times: Ken Auletta in The New Yorker

Jill Abramson, the first woman editor of the 160-year-old New York Times, faces a formidable challenge as she takes charge:

World Press Trends, 2011

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) introduces the most recent version of its annual publication, World Press Trends.

Newspaper circulation declined in print world-wide last year but was more than made up by an increase in digital audiences.

“Circulation is like the sun. It continues to rise in the East and decline in the West,” the CEO of WAN-IFRA said.

Read the statement here.

Of the 10 highest-circulation newspapers in the world, 5 are from Japan, 2 from India, and one each from China, Germany and the United Kingdom.

See the data summary here.

A nature picture & story to savour and store, BBC News

A ‘criminal’ stone-stealing Adelie penguin has been captured on camera by a BBC film crew:

Unix creator Dennis Ritchie dies aged 70

BBC News – Unix creator Dennis Ritchie dies aged 70.

“Mr Ritchie was one of the creators of the hugely influential Unix operating system and the equally pioneering C programming language.”

EFY Times: “Ritchie built things that technologists were able to use to build core infrastructure that people don’t necessarily see much anymore, but they use everyday”

“Pretty much everything on the Web uses those two things: C and Unix. The browsers are written in C. The Unix kernel — that pretty much the entire Internet runs on — is written in C. Web servers are written in C, and if they’re not, they’re written in Java or C++, which are C derivatives, or Python or Ruby, which are implemented in C. And all of the network hardware running these programs I can almost guarantee were written in C. It’s really hard to overstate how much of the modern information economy is built on the work Dennis did.”

For mystery readers – The Crime Writers Association Dagger Awards

The big three Daggers:

and the rest of the the awards:

Life as an Italian American Sikh female taxi driver in NYC

Chinese herbal garden leads the way – The Hindu

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Chinese herbal garden leads the way

“More than 40 years ago, amidst the upheaval and turmoil of the Cultural Revolution in China, and against the backdrop of the Vietnam war, hundreds of Chinese scientists embarked on an ambitious effort to find a drug that would conquer drug-resistant malaria. The result was the discovery of artemisinin, a compound found in plants, which, with its derivatives, is now widely used around the world to treat the disease.

This year, a highly prestigious Lasker Award went to Youyou Tu, an 81-year-old Chinese scientist who played a key part in that discovery.”

Steve Jobs, 1955-2011

‘Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.’

                — Steve Jobs, introducing the iPad in January 2010

Steve Jobs & Bill Gates together, video & text:


Photos: ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests –

Photos: ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests –


How fast can he cook a chicken?

Mattathias Schwartz reviews ‘Spills and Spin’ by Tom Bergin and ‘A Hole at the Bottom of the Sea’ by Joel Achenbach · LRB 6 October 2011.

From LRB’s blurb:

The standard account’ of the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico last year ‘attributes it to BP’s ruthless cost-cutting and negligent attitude to safety,’Mattathias Schwartz writes. ‘It was as though BP’s senior executives in London had sent their workers into a room full of flammable gasoline vapours with a box of matches and a live chicken, offered prizes to whoever could produce a cooked chicken fastest, then handed the workers safety manuals, closed the door and turned their backs.’ Afterwards, ‘BP behaved like a well-trained Mafioso’: at first denying everything, then accepting what couldn’t be denied, and finally trying ‘to bribe the jury, offering billions of dollars to the US public in the hope that it would turn back the tide of mass opinion and be permitted to continue operating in the Gulf of Mexico’. This seems to have worked. ‘One reason for the oil and gas industry’s quick comeback in the US was the successful packaging of the blowout as a “black swan”, an event of such low probability that it couldn’t have been anticipated,’ Schwartz writes. But the story of the Gulf spill would be better seen ‘as a warning about the way the industry sees the world’

Comparing India and China: Chasing the dragon | The Economist

Comparing India and China: Chasing the dragon | The Economist.

How the Asian superpowers compare on various measures of development.