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In the News 23.02.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

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In the News 23.02.15 : Today’s Articles of Interest from around the Internets

1. Can Science Tell Us What Beauty Is?

“In The Aesthetic Brain, Chatterjee tells us that our ability to have aesthetic experiences has its origins deep in our brains, in the orbitofrontal cortex and the nucleus accumbens, and is aided by neurotransmitters such as dopamine, opiates, and cannabibens, which control emotional responses. These responses developed, Chatterjee says, because they were useful for survival. But what happens to our aesthetic sense when the demands of survival are removed?”

 
Read the rest of this article at Nautilus

 

 


2. The Rise and Fall of Silk Road, the Dark Web’s Amazon

“Even before he was arrested in October 2013, Ulbricht portrayed himself as more than a drug kingpin—a philosopher kingpin, perhaps. He is ambitious, creative, tech-savvy and a dead-ringer for actor Robert Pattinson. Before he found his inner cartel leader, he was more Haight-Ashbury than Silicon Valley, more ’shrooms than Sand Hill Road, more into Adam Smith than Steve Jobs. He fashioned himself a libertarian, perhaps a younger, hipper version of Mitt Romney in his early days at Bain Capital. A scientist and self-taught programmer, he left digital crumbs recording his progression from grad student to online drug lord on his computer; on YouTube and LinkedIn; and in chats and emails. His fatal error was thinking he could remain anonymous on the Internet—the same Internet that computer security writer Bruce Schneier has called ‘a surveillance state.’”

 
Read the rest of this article at Newsweek

 

 


3. How the Photocopier Changed the Way We Worked—and Played

“For centuries, if you weren’t going to the trouble of publishing an entire book, copying a single document was a slow, arduous process, done mostly by hand. Inventors had long sought a device to automate the process, with limited success. Thomas Jefferson used a pantograph: As he wrote, a wooden device connected to his pen manipulated another pen in precisely the same movements, creating a mechanical copy. Steam-engine pioneer James Watt created an even cruder device that would take a freshly written page and mash another sheet against it, transferring some of the ink in reverse. By the early 20th century, the state of the art was the mimeograph machine, which used smelly ink to produce a small set of copies that got weaker with each duplication. It was imperfect.”

 
Read the rest of this article at Smithsonian.com

 

 


 

 

4. Angela Merkel: The real leader of the free world

“Today, Angela Kasner is Angela Merkel—chancellor of Germany, unofficial leader of Europe during a time of financial turmoil, and the West’s most important asset as it confronts a resurgent and expansionist Russia. On a continent rocked by a debt crisis that now threatens to dissolve the eurozone, she governs a country that is a comparative rock. Germany is the best hope of preventing economic collapse from accelerating in Greece and spreading throughout Europe.”

 
Read the rest of this article at McClean’s

 

 


 

 

5. The White Devil Kingpin

“As Willis lay there beside them, he appreciated how far he’d come. This was what he’d always wanted more than anything: a family and a sense of belonging, even if he had to find them in the most unconventional of ways. Willis was the most notorious gangster in Asian organized crime – and, even more remarkably, the first white man to rise so high in this insular underworld. He was once just another hockey-playing Catholic kid in this working-class Boston neighborhood. But now they knew him here as Bac Guai John. White Devil.”

 
Read the rest of this article at Rolling Stone

 

 


P.S. previous articles & more by P.F.M.

 

 

 

[Images : one // two // three // four // five]

 
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