“I have always thought Hans Christian Andersen should have written a companion piece to the Emperor’s New Clothes, in which everyone points at the Emperor shouting, in a Nelson from the Simpson’s voice, “Ha ha! He’s naked.” And then a lone child pipes up, ‘No. He’s actually wearing a really fine suit of clothes.” And they all clap hands to their foreheads as they realise they have been duped into something worse than the confidence trick, they have fallen for what E. M. Forster called the lack of confidence trick. How much easier it is to distrust, to doubt, to fold the arms and say “Not impressed”.”—
“The state allows many forms of dangerous recreation, such as hang-gliding, football and mountaineering. And then of course there are those legal, revenue-raising drugs like alcohol (much more likely to be associated with violent crime and aggression than club drugs, incidentally). We would be horrified if the state tried to make these activities as dangerous as possible in order to discourage people from trying them. But this is exactly what is allowed in the attempted enforcement of drug prohibition, which in its present form precludes quality control, puts the drug market in the hands of organised criminals, and threatens users.”—History is made at night: Prohibition and the Pleasure Principle
“Protecting” the games against criticism of any sort is one of the main things the modern Olympics has always been about, giving rise to an intensely secretive and opaque organizational culture. When the games are held in democratic countries, these tensions come to the fore. In more totalitarian or fascistic states, the Olympic movement gets a much more comfortable ride. The history of this tug-of-war is a fascinating and deeply troubling one.”—
“I’m not putting up with accusations of elitism, though: it’s just not true, neither in the book, the blog or my teaching and paper-giving life. This claim just strikes me as a cheap, tired trick, a rhetorical cop-out whenever you think someone might be about to use a long word. I think it is possible to be perfectly clear without being a patronising git, and there’s really no need to make complicated ideas overly simple in the name of some misplaced and misunderstood populism.”—
…and I quote, ” Unusual behaviors have been observed in wild chimpanzees in West Africa in the face of grass fires. The chimps did not panic or flee, and some made ritualistic displays that suggest they understand fire and do not fear it, and they may even be able to control it."
Georgia State University Criminal Justice experts Timothy Brezina, Volkan Topalli and economist Erdal Tekin, have released a unique study that indicates that although young criminals are aware of the risks of violent injury, death or punishment, the possibility of a shorter life span encourages them to focus more on the “here and now.”
"It turns out that if you boil it all down the more you think you are going to die young the more likely it is that you are going to engage in criminality and violence," Topalli said. "This is the opposite of what most people think, because most people think that if you think you’re going to die soon you become depressed and you wouldn’t commit crimes."
“That “21 days to develop a habit” theory you may have heard is probably bunk. The theory was created by a plastic surgeon turned self-proclaimed psychologist who wrote a book called Pyscho-Cybernetics. (The book is the 1960s version of the The Secret.) There’s no hard scientific evidence to back the claim. In fact, a recent study done by actual scientists suggests that it takes on average 66 days to form a habit. The number of days depends on the type of habit you’re trying to form. Easy things like drinking a glass of water in the morning took less time compared to hard things like daily exercise.”—How to Quit Bad Habits and Make Good Ones
“In Europe, Denmark has the biggest homes (houses and flats), with an average floor area of 137sq m, followed by Greece (126sq m) and the Netherlands (115.5sq m). Homes in the UK are the smallest in Europe at 76sq m.”—