Matisse — An old master who loved to learn new tricks | The Independent

Matisse: An old master who loved to learn new tricks

“An exhibition at the Pompidou in Paris shows Matisse’s mastery of form, colour and style to stunning effect, says Adrian Hamilton

It would be almost impossible to produce a bad exhibition of Matisse…You enter a room of his works and your eyes are transformed. It’s the colour of course, those reds and deep greens, always fresh and balanced. And then there’s the rhythm, the curved lines of flesh and flower and the soft straight lines of wall and window. But most of all it is something always uplifting in the way that he seeks and communicates the harmony of life.”

What’s the difference between The Hobbit and the news? | The Guardian

A disconcerting convergence:

How Apple sidesteps billions in taxes,

Read a well-researched article on how the world’s most profitable technology company avoids paying millions of dollars in taxes in California and 20 other U.S. States:

The Murdochs and the Tories: a Faustian pact?

As Rupert Murdoch testifies at the Leveson Inquiry, a trove of emails deposited by his company lands the David Cameron government in Britain in acute embarrassment. Did the Murdochs strike ‘a Faustian pact with a succession of governments: media support in exchange for friendly policies’? Read on:

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Treaties that gave away the store

The Hindu : Opinion / Lead : Treaties that gave away the store.

As India grapples with the Vodafone and 2G fallout, the Bilateral Investment Treaties it signed a few years ago are coming back to haunt it.

A very readable piece on a subject that is usually off the radar of even those who closely follow globalization and liberalization related issues.

Washing enzymes: Please rinse and return | The Economist

Washing enzymes: Please rinse and return | The Economist.

An interesting “Made in India” innovation, of global significance, under way?

“WHEN industrialists use enzymes to speed up chemical reactions, they generally take care to attach those enzymes to solid surfaces and run the chemicals past them. Enzymes are expensive, and not to be thrown away lightly. Yet millions of householders do precisely that whenever they wash their clothes. Lots of washing powders contain enzymes, but these never get recycled. Instead, they are just flushed down the drain.

Chandra Pundir and Nidhi Chauhan, biochemists at Maharshi Dayanand university in Haryana, India, propose to do something about that. They see no reason why washing enzymes should suffer this ignominious fate and, as they report in Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research, they have found there is no reason why they should.”

Rupert Murdoch: myth, memory and imagination, Guardian

Harold Evans on the gulf between Murdoch’s version of history and what happened:

Martin Kettle’s ‘Comment is Free’ piece:

The Crisis of Big Science by Steven Weinberg | The New York Review of Books

The Crisis of Big Science by Steven Weinberg | The New York Review of Books.

“Without adequate funding, in the next decade we may see the search for the laws of nature slow to a halt, not to be resumed again in our lifetimes.”

And from the concluding paragraph:
“It seems to me that what is really needed is not more special pleading for one or another particular public good, but for all the people who care about these things to unite in restoring higher and more progressive tax rates, especially on investment income. I am not an economist, but I talk to economists, and I gather that dollar for dollar, government spending stimulates the economy more than tax cuts. It is simply a fallacy to say that we cannot afford increased government spending. But given the anti-tax mania that seems to be gripping the public, views like these are political poison. This is the real crisis, and not just for science.”

Academic Journals and Corporate Interests: Reed Elsevier and ALEC

Academic Journals and Corporate Interests: Reed Elsevier and ALEC | PSC CUNY.

What do prestigious scientific journals like Cell and The Lancet have to do with union-busting, cutting corporate taxes, or denial of global warming?

The publishing company that owns these journals, Reed Elsevier, has supported all of these goals through its contributions to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

[UPDATE: On April 12, Reed Elsevier announced that it had resigned from ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. It joined a growing list of corporations that are quitting ALEC in response to increased public scrutiny.]

(via Rammanohar Reddy)

The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : For friends of Bangladesh, a walk down memory lane

The Hindu : Opinion / Op-Ed : For friends of Bangladesh, a walk down memory lane.

“India’s eastern neighbour had a difficult birth but there were many who gallantly played midwife, including Indira Gandhi and the Indian Army. They deservedly took the top honours in recent ceremonies in Dhaka.”

The list of those who were honored, though incomplete in this news report, nevertheless makes for fascinating reading.

Captains: Follow Clarke’s lead, Ian Chappell in Cricinfo

He is a rare captain who plays to win:

Scandal at Wal-Mart, NYT

The New York Times exposes a tale of corruption and cover-up. This is of immediate policy relevance to India where the government’s keenness to bring FDI in multi-brand retail has drawn strong opposition:

Gender-based wage gaps in the United States

“A new report released on Equal Pay Day shows that the yearly median pay for women in America is $10,784 less than their male counterparts.”

The wage gap could buy women about 92 weeks of groceries, or 14 months of rent, or 3.7 years’ worth of family health insurance premiums.

“Fifteen million households in the United States are headed by women, and almost 30 per cent of them live below the poverty level.”

See the report in People’s World at:

In Wariness on Economy, Poll Finds Opening for Romney, NYT, April 18, 2012

Early days but the latest New York Times/CBS News poll underlines Obama’s vulnerability in the midst of an economic upturn:

The premiere of Julian Assange’s “The World Tomorrow’ on RT

Assange interviews Hezbollah leader Sayyid Nasrallah – his first interview in 6 years.