Explore the Nelson Mandela digital archive, freely accessible

Welcome to this generously shared collection of 1,900 documents, photographs, audio recordings, and films:

Two samples:

From The Guardian:

The Mighty Mathematician You’ve Never Heard Of –

Emmy Noether’s revolutionary theorem united two pillars of physics: symmetry in nature and the universal laws of conservation

James Cameron, filmmaker, plumbs the depths of planet Earth, NYT & Twitter

The maker of ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar’ plunges in ‘a minisubmarine of his own design to the bottom of the planet’s deepest recess, sinking through the dark waters of the western Pacific to a depth of nearly seven miles’. He returns safely to the surface in a ‘faster-than-expected 70-minute ascent’:

Slideshow, Reuters (courtesy Saqib Iqbal Ahmed:!/SaqibReports )!/DeepChallenge!/JimCameron

‘New and updated: how meanings change’, Pratap Banu Mehta in The Indian Express

A new lexicon for India’s political economy, March 26, 2012:

A dictionary for our times, January 27, 2011:

Stung right and proper: don’t miss this video filmed by undercover Sunday Times reporters

‘Two hundred grand to 250 is premier league… what you would get is, when we talk about your donations the first thing we want to do is get you at the Cameron/Osborne dinners. [He said they would be able to ask Prime Minister David Cameron] practically any question you want…If you’re unhappy about something, we will listen to you and put it into the policy committee at number 10 — we feed all feedback to the policy committee.’

— U.K. Conservative Party Treasurer Peter Cruddas, filmed in a sting operation by Sunday Times reporters; Cruddas has since been forced to resign:

David Cameron faces rising pressure over Cruddas cash-for-access boast, Guardian

78 minutes in the life (and near death) of Fabrice Muamba, The Observer

Inspiring: a triumph of well-prepared and perfectly executed teamwork and a bit of luck — and some good journalism:

Non-Alignment 2.0 2.0_1.pdf.

“The views, findings and recommendations of this document are the product of collective deliberation by an independent group of analysts and policy makers: Sunil Khilnani, Rajiv Kumar, Pratap Bhanu Mehta, Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Prakash Menon, Nandan Nilekani, Srinath Raghavan, Shyam Saran, Siddharth Varadarajan. The group’s activities were administratively supported by the National Defence College and Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. This document does not represent the views of either of these institutions, their faculty or their administration. Nor does it represent the views of any of the institutions with which the authors of document are affiliated. All statements of fact and expressions of opinion contained in this document are the sole responsibility of the authors.

Published 2012.

Printed in India.”

An unconvincing document, that begins with (mis)representing Indian foreign policy, both pre- and post-Pokhran II as a continuum based on the  pursuit of “strategic autonomy”, and  bolstered by a one-sided, uncritical view of the global economic order today and the policies of the economic reform era, seeks to define India’s foreign and strategic policy future on that basis..

Some of language in the report (and no doubt the composition of the group of authors too) are likely to confuse the unwary as in

Non-Alignment 2.0 need of the hour

The authors themselves though are clear enough about what they mean,

Shyam Saran: An India allying with none

and the message is understood clearly enough by other experts too,

Nonalignment 2.0: A Foreign and Strategic Policy for India in the Twenty First Century
Ashley J. Tellis, Sadanand Dhume, Richard Fontaine, Teresita Schaffer

What does a company do with a US$ 100 billion cash hoard?

Apple plans to spend nearly half of it to pay a dividend to investors and buy back shares of the company:

Out of Contact by John Terborgh | The New York Review of Books

Out of Contact by John Terborgh | The New York Review of Books.

The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes
by Scott Wallace 
Crown, 494 pp., $26.00 

“On a more philosophical level, do we want to keep people in a “cultural museum,” a time warp as it were? Putting aside the practical questions of how this would be accomplished, is it morally the right thing to do? This is a question of values and some of my anthropologist colleagues would say yes. But the morality of this question has to be considered in the light of our own cultural origins. Once upon a time, the ancestors of each and every one of us lived in a premodern culture. Those cultural origins have now been completely erased from our collective memory. Do any of us regret the loss of this memory? Would any of us prefer to return to our ancestral condition, rather than to live in the modern world? Few, if any, would say yes. To live in isolation is to live a short, hard life in the absence of modern medicine and in complete ignorance of history, geography, science, and art.”

(via Mario D’Souza)

Editor Not Ready to Write an Ending –

Here’s to Bob Silvers, 82, Editor, The New York Review of Books:

The photographers Diver & Aguilar on football

Three interesting portfolios (scroll down for the photographs):

FC Barcelona over the past five years (“In Adoration”)

The current Barca squad

…and studies of home and away colours (“When Saturday Comes”)

An interesting report on access of Indian households to basic amenities

A report, based on data from the 2011 Census of India, on access of Indian households to basic amenities.

The Hindu : News / National : Half of India’s homes have cellphones, but not toilets.

Some highlights:

  • “Only 46.9 per cent of the total 246.6 million households have toilet facilities.”
  • “Just 32 per cent of the households use treated water for drinking and 17 per cent still fetch drinking water from a source located more than 500 metres in rural areas or 100 metres in urban centres.”
  • “Two-thirds of households continue to use firewood, crop residue, cow dung cakes or coal for cooking — putting women to significant health hazards and hardship.”
  • “There has been an 11 percentage point increase in households using electricity, from 56 per cent to 67 per cent.”
  • “Though there has been a nine percentage point jump in the numbers of households who own a two-wheeler, 45 per cent own a cycle, which remains the primary mode of transport.”
  • “The data cast light on the changing character of the media. There has been a 16 per cent increase in the number of households watching television, but a 15 per cent decline in the use of radios and transistors. A total of 47.2 per cent of households own a television; only 19.9 per cent have either radio or transistors.”

More detailed data from the 2011 Houselisting and Housing Census are available here.

Rahul Dravid – India’s genius who could see way beyond the boundary | Rob Smyth, Guardian

Laudatory, deserved:

The disappearing virtual library – Opinion – Al Jazeera English

The disappearing virtual library – Opinion – Al Jazeera English.

The shutdown of is creating a virtual showdown between would-be learners and the publishing industry.

“To the publishing industry, this event was a victory in the campaign to bring the unruly internet under some much-needed discipline. To many other people – namely the users of the site – it was met with anger, sadness and fatalism. But who were these sad criminals, these barbarians at the gates ready to bring our information economy to its knees? 

They are students and scholars, from every corner of the planet.”

“The world, it should not come as a surprise, is filled with people who want desperately to learn. This is what our world should be filled with. This is what scholars work hard to create: a world of reading, learning, thinking and scholarship. The users of were would-be scholars: those in the outer atmosphere of learning who wanted to know, argue, dispute, experiment and write just as those in the universities do.”

(via Mario D’Souza)

The London Olympics and Dow Chemicals

“The IOC and LOCOG now have a stark choice. They can either uphold the view of the Olympics as a positive force, a global moral undertaking — and drop Dow, or they can confirm the view of the Olympics’ detractors that the Games are the plaything of a corporate-dominated, non-transparent old boys’ network.”