Culture

Britain has the lowest rates of litracy and numeracy in the world

  • 31 January 2016 - 10:04
Britain has the lowest rates of litracy and numeracy in the world

The Independent British teenagers are among the least literate in the developed world, according to a new report. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) analysed datafrom a previous report and found that English teenagers aged 16-19 had the worst literacy...

Angela Merkel inaugurates Holocaust art gallery amid anti-Semitic warnings

  • 26 January 2016 - 11:33
Angela Merkel inaugurates Holocaust art gallery amid anti-Semitic warnings

The Guardian German chancellor says refugees from the Middle East, where hatred of Jews is ‘widespread’, must learn about the Holocaust  The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has opened a major exhibition in Berlin featuring works by Jewish concentration camp prisoners, as she...

Politics spoiled language, “The Radicalisation Fraud”

  • 24 January 2016 - 16:34
Politics spoiled language, “The Radicalisation Fraud”

Middle East Forum Towards the end of his too-brief life, George Orwell came to the conclusion that English society had become decadent and that "the English language is in a bad way." It was 1946, several years before introducing the world to "newspeak" with his greatest novel, 1984, when...

Oldest monastery in Iraq destructed bt ISIS

  • 21 January 2016 - 10:14
Oldest monastery in Iraq destructed bt ISIS

  BBC Satellite images confirm that the oldest Christian monastery in Iraq has been destroyed by the jihadist group Islamic State (IS). St Elijah's stood on a hill near the northern city of Mosul for 1,400 years. But analysts said the images, obtained by the Associated Press,...

Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi film is on

  • 14 January 2016 - 09:11
Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi film is on

The Guardian Michael Bay’s bloody bonanza about the 2012 US compound attack is atrocious, shrewdly timed for the presidential race and so scornful of foreign intervention it could be pacifist  Midway through Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, interrupting its...

Gigantic gold Mao statue brought down

  • 12 January 2016 - 09:20
Gigantic gold Mao statue brought down

CNN A giant, golden statue of Mao Zedong, the father of modern China, was demolished because it lacked approval from authorities, state media said. Images posted on Weibo, China's dominant social media service, showed the seated 36.6 meter (120 feet) statue partially destroyed, with a...

The most difficult words to pronounce in English

  • 10 January 2016 - 11:09
The most difficult words to pronounce in English

Independent A hugely popular Reddit thread reveals the words non-native (and sometimes even native) English-speakers struggle to say  “Worcestershire”. “Choir”. “Sixth”. For some, these words may seem relatively normal and everyday – but to others, they represent an...

Chairman Mao gigantic golden statue built by villagers

  • 5 January 2016 - 09:36
Chairman Mao gigantic golden statue built by villagers

  The Guardian Nearly 40 years after the death of China’s “Great Helmsman” a gigantic golden statue of Chairman Mao has been erected in rural China by admiring business people and villagers. The 36 metre tall mega-Mao, which reportedly cost 3m yuan (about £312,000), towers...

Game of Thrones 6 will be out before winter says goodbye

  • 3 January 2016 - 08:48
Game of Thrones 6 will be out before winter says goodbye

  Independent George RR Martin, author of Game of Thrones, has said the latest addition to his popular series will be delayed because “the book's not done”. The release date of The Winds of Winter, the sixth novel in Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire saga, was due to coincide...

Book review: Translating Libya by Ethan Chorin

  • 31 December 2015 - 18:02
Book review: Translating Libya by Ethan Chorin

The National It takes a particular type of American diplomat to master Arabic, fall in love with a country and reinvent himself as a literary archaeologist and translator of fiction. Yet this is exactly what Ethan Chorin has managed to do, and one can only applaud the transformation. Posted...

Simone de Beauvoir Explains “Why I’m a Feminist”

  • 31 December 2015 - 17:23
Simone de Beauvoir Explains “Why I’m a Feminist”

Open Culture In Simone de Beauvoir’s 1945 novel The Blood of Others, the narrator, Jean Blomart, reports on his childhood friend Marcel’s reaction to the word “revolution”: It was senseless to try to change anything in the world or in life; things were bad enough even if one did...

AP’s top albums of 2015

  • 31 December 2015 - 17:20
AP’s top albums of 2015

AP Entertainment More than hit singles, albums are works of art that move you to think, reflect, dance and smile. Here are 10 albums that did that in 2015, according to Associated Press music editor Mesfin Fekadu. "Blue Neighborhood," Troye Sivan: Just as the battle for album of the year...

When is failure a good thing?

  • 30 December 2015 - 21:22
When is failure a good thing?

NY Times Review of Books After more than a half-century of unraveling cognitive biases, the psychologist and Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman feels deeply pessimistic about our ability to change our behavior. In a 2014 Guardian interview, Kahneman told the Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker...

Why We Should Work Less And Live More? Bertrand Russell explains

  • 30 December 2015 - 19:06
Why We Should Work Less And Live More? Bertrand Russell explains

OOpen Culture Why must we all work long hours to earn the right to live? Why must only the wealthy have a access to leisure, aesthetic pleasure, self-actualization…? Everyone seems to have an answer, according to their political or theological bent. One economic bogeyman, so-called...

Kierkegaard on ideals, happiness, and the false allure of the extraordinary

  • 30 December 2015 - 18:56
Kierkegaard on ideals, happiness, and the false allure of the extraordinary

Brain Pickings In a diary entry from November of 1846, he writes: I realize more and more that I am so constituted that I shall not succeed in realizing my ideals, while in another sense, and precisely in the human sense, I shall grow far beyond my ideals. Ordinarily, most people aim...

US school removes Twain’s Huckleberry Finn classic from curriculum over use of the “N-word”

  • 30 December 2015 - 15:04
US school removes Twain’s Huckleberry Finn classic from curriculum over use of the “N-word”

Independent In yet another case of ridiculous censorship, a school in Philadelphia has removed Mark Twain’s classic novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn from the curriculum. Administration at the school ruled that “the community costs of reading this book in 11th grade outweigh...

Most venomous plants on Earth

  • 30 December 2015 - 12:30
Most venomous plants on Earth

  BBC In 2014, a gardener on a country estate in the UK mysteriously died of multiple organ failure. The cause of his death remains unclear, but an inquest heard evidence suggesting he had been killed by a popular flowering plant, a member of the buttercup family. The plant in...

Language is Losing its Potency!

  • 29 December 2015 - 12:50
Language is Losing its Potency!

A lot More than just words.  The Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for 2015 is . It is an emoji. The reaction to this news has varied from  (it is the death of language!) to  (it is a lame publicity stunt). Emojis are not words. That’s something Oxford itself agrees on, defining the...

If You’re A Fan Of ‘Dark Knight,’ You Might Hate This

  • 28 December 2015 - 19:42
If You’re A Fan Of ‘Dark Knight,’ You Might Hate This

Batman did not die at the end of "The Dark Knight Rises." Why is Christopher Nolan not making more "Batman" movies? Somehow there has already been seven "Fast & Furious" movies and yet Nolan has yet to give us even one sequel titled "2 Dark 2night." Why even -- especially when the below...

9 Things You Can Do To Be Happier

  • 28 December 2015 - 17:00
9 Things You Can Do To Be Happier

The Independent 1. List five things for which you are grateful – whether big things or small "For example I live in a country where there’s easy access to clean, running water; I can read and write; it was good to see the shop assistant’s smile this morning; I just caught the post with...