From Europe: reflections and ruminations
Reflections, ruminations, musings and reactions regarding
art, culture, media, politics, science and travel
2:39 pm - Sun, Sep 21, 2014

Thoughts on the Scottish independence vote

As Jason Karaian wrote “the claim that countries are predisposed to secede when offered the choice is spurious. Sure, you can point to the landslide victories of independence votes in restive regions of Ukraine, or Transnistria, South Ossetia, and any number of other places. But if you exclude distant colonies, former constituents of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, and the break-ups of recent forced marriages by colonial powers (as with East Timor-Indonesia, or Eritrea-Ethiopia), the list of genuine, successful secessions through a clean democratic process is exceedingly short”.

Given a free and fair vote on their status, peaceful unions with long histories—like Scotland’s 307-year-old merger with England—have tended to vote against independence. Quebec twice voted against seceding from Canada, in 1980 and 1995.

And yet … some 1.6 million Scots, or 45% of the electorate, voted for independence. What they’ll get instead … it has been promised, it seems … are even greater powers to determine their own affairs, in hopes of avoiding another brush with divorce in the future.

And as the pundits have been quick to point out the the devolution of powers to other parts of the UK is now also likely, making it a “looser and messier” state. A similar solution might satisfy Catalan separatists in Spain.

It was a bizarre spectacle: even the staunchest pro-independence Scots wanted to keep the Queen, use the pound, and belong to the EU, as they did before the vote. When pressed, Catalans might also admit, grudgingly, that membership in the Kingdom of Spain has its merits. And within these long-lived, and not always happy, unions there remains scope for change.

THE NATION-STATE IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE NATION-STATE!

1:34 pm
158,908 notes

malkiewicz:

Synonyms are weird because if you invite someone to your cottage in the forest that just sounds nice and cozy, but if I invite you to my cabin in the woods you’re going to die.

(via contemplatingmadness)

1:32 pm
211 notes
thelandofmaps:

What 16th Century Arabs thought Europe looked like on Top of an Actual Map of Europe [1993 × 1375]CLICK HERE FOR MORE MAPS!thelandofmaps.tumblr.com

thelandofmaps:

What 16th Century Arabs thought Europe looked like on Top of an Actual Map of Europe [1993 × 1375]
CLICK HERE FOR MORE MAPS!
thelandofmaps.tumblr.com

1:26 pm
331 notes
1:25 pm
598 notes

txchnologist:

The world’s first 3-D printed car took to the streets this weekend after being built in an amazingly short 44 hours. The vehicle, called Strati, was designed by Italian designer Michele Anoé, who won an international competition held by crowdsourcing carmaker Local Motors.  It was printed and rapidly assembled by a Local Motors team during a manufacturing technology show held last week in Chicago, then went on a drive on Saturday. 

Strati’s chassis and body were made in one piece out of a carbon fiber-impregnated plastic on a large-area 3-D printer. The machine put down layer after layer of the material at a rate of 40 pounds per hour.

Read More

(via emergentfutures)

7:36 pm - Fri, Sep 19, 2014

The Weight of Mountains

The Imagine Science Film Festival is having the New York premiere of “The Weight of Mountains” on Friday, October 17, 2014.

It is a brilliant film. Very short. But about the processes by which mountains are created and eventually destroyed. It is based upon the work of British geographer L. Dudley Stamp, and was shot in Iceland. For details click here.

7:32 pm
135 notes
"The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth." - Niels Bohr
2:31 pm - Wed, Sep 17, 2014
20 notes

wildcat2030:

See on Scoop.it - Cyborg Lives

The idea is both horrifying and brilliant.

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In a world where economy-class seats are getting thinner and lavatories are shrinking, any flight longer than an hour can feel like a traveling prison. Aircraft manufacturer Airbus is abetting the shift, but a…

2:30 pm
17 notes

wildcat2030:

See on Scoop.it - The future of medicine and health

The U.S. liver organ wait list has grown rapidly, while the number of organ donors has stagnated —- but the true need is almost 10x larger than the official

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Organ-a collective initiative for tissue engineering and regenerative…

2:27 pm
26 notes
Watson Ushers in Era of Analytics for All
Guest, asmarterplanet.com
IBM Big Data and Analytics Vice president Inhi Cho Suh demonstrates Watson Analytics, a new cloud service powered by IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology.By Alistair RennieJust as programmable computing changed the human landscape ov…

Watson Ushers in Era of Analytics for All
Guest, asmarterplanet.com

IBM Big Data and Analytics Vice president Inhi Cho Suh demonstrates Watson Analytics, a new cloud service powered by IBM’s Watson cognitive computing technology.By Alistair RennieJust as programmable computing changed the human landscape ov…

“The mind that lies fallow but a single day sprouts up follies that are only to be killed by a constant and assiduous culture.”
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