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How Hitler Brainwashed Germany

When You Put It That Way

I really hope the FBI isn’t monitoring my computer. Since I started reading Erik Larson’s book In the Garden of Beasts I’ve probably spent as much time looking up old Nazi pictures as I have on Facebook. Throughout the book, which came out in paperback last month,Larson fills in readers on what their middle school teachers didn’t mention about World War II. He takes readers behind the scenes from the point of view of William E. Dodd, the American ambassador to Germany, and his family in Berlin during Hitler’s rise to power. Instead of a boring novel those teachers might’ve assigned, In the Garden of Beasts is a tense web of ego, espionage and, most interestingly, brainwashing.

Always a bit of a history nerd, I used to wonder how one guy was able to sway an entire country into such a radical, lethal train of thought. For the life…

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Mike, don’t listen to Bill Nye about philosophy

Footnotes to Plato

Bill NyeOver the last several years we have seen a depressing list of prominent scientists or science popularizers (interestingly, almost exclusively physicists) who have made very public statements about the uselessness of philosophy, while clearly not knowing what on earth they are talking about.

(Here are some examples: Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Lawrence Krauss, Lawrence Krauss again, Stephen Hawking, Steven Weinberg.)

Now Bill Nye has, very unfortunately, joined what can only be characterized as a peculiar anti-intellectual fray. (And no, contra popular opinion, one can be an intellectual and yet behave in an anti-intellectual fashion in certain domains.)

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The House Where You Live Forever

Longreads

Amelia Schonbek | Longreads and The Awl | August 2016 | 28 minutes (7,065 words)

This story was co-published with The Awl and funded by Longreads Members.

On a bright afternoon in October 2013, Madeline Gins walked into the office of her architecture practice, in an unrestored loft building on the edge of SoHo, slightly out of breath. Before she arrived, the space—a large open room occupying the fourth floor of the building—had been so still that it was almost possible to forget about the two architects staring into computer screens near the back windows. Gins entered, and the atmosphere began to buzz.

“Is Joke here?” she called out, referring to her project manager — a Dutch architect named Johanna Post — by her nickname (pronounced yo-ka). Post had stepped out, but another colleague informed Gins that she would return before their next meeting. Gins exhaled and nodded. She and the small staff…

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Oh, My Pop Culture Voodoo: The Princess and the Frog

Lady Geek Girl and Friends

princess-and-the-frog-2-hd (1)The Disney Princess movie franchise has been one of the most dominant cultural forces over the last few decades. Recently Disney has launched a campaign to convince people that there’s more to Disney princesses than a pretty face. The Princess and the Frog, released in 2009, embodies much of this new initiative to provide clear, positive role models for girls (and it also gives us our first African-American princess!).

Set in 1920s New Orleans, the movie follows Tiana, a hard-working young woman who works multiple jobs in hopes of saving up enough money to open her own restaurant. When Tiana kisses a frog claiming to be a prince, she turns into a frog herself, and embarks on a journey to find a way to reverse the curse before it’s too late. Voodoo features heavily in the film, and Disney certainly took some flak for it. While Disney does a…

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Oh, My Pop Culture Vodou: Loa Misrepresentation in American Horror Story: Coven, or Will the Real Papa Legba Please Stand Up?

Lady Geek Girl and Friends

AHS Coven VoodooI have been an avid fan and follower of American Horror Story since Season 1, and it’s been quite the ride watching the never-ending barrage of shocking and offensive moments that this show brings us. When I found out Season 3 was to be subtitled Coven, I was extra excited. I love witches! After all, I consider myself to more-or-less be one. It quickly became clear that American Horror Story: Coven was going to be rather different than Murder House (Season 1) and Asylum (Season 2). While still a psychosexual horror show, it was less The Shining and more Mean Girls with heavy occult influences. So I guess kind of like The Craft. That is loosely the plot of The Craft.

And you thought the Plastics were bad. And you thought the Plastics were bad.

Coven had a lot of potential, but did a lot of things very wrong (like refer to the power…

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Bandcamp, Downloads, Streaming, and the Inescapably Bright Future

Bandcamp Daily

In light of a recent report that Apple will soon abandon music downloads (later denied, but undoubtedly containing a certain amount of inevitability), we thought we’d take a moment to update you on the state of Bandcamp’s business and our plans for the future.

Bandcamp grew by 35% last year. Fans pay artists $4.3 million dollars every month using the site, and they buy about 25,000 records a day, which works out to about one every 4 seconds (you can see a real-time feed of those purchases on our desktop home page). Nearly 6 million fans have bought music through Bandcamp (half of whom are younger than 30), and hundreds of thousands of artists have sold music on Bandcamp. Digital album sales on Bandcamp grew 14% in 2015 while dropping 3% industry-wide, track sales grew 11% while dropping 13% industry-wide, vinyl was up 40%, cassettes 49%… even CD sales…

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Quote on love

Friendly Humanist

This quote appeared in a page-a-day calendar recently.

Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new.

I have been unable to verify who the original author is. The page-a-day calendar credits Ursula K. Le Guin, one of my favorite authors, whose style is certainly consistent with the quote. But in trying to find where she said it, I discovered competingattributions of the same quote to Og Mandino. (There’s even this page, which attributes it to both, though it credits Le Guin with more variants of it.)

I don’t know how to resolve the question. I really wish those sites that deal in quotations would provide more details – where they said it and when, or link to someone who does give those details. After all, I think writers should get appropriate credit for their…

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