Ailurophile A cat-lover. Assemblage A gathering. Becoming Attractive. Beleaguer To exhaust with attacks. Brood To think alone. Bucolic In a lovely rural setting. Bungalow A small, cozy cottage. Chatoyant Like a cat’s eye. Comely Attractive. Conflate To blend together. Cynosure A focal point of admiration. Dalliance A brief love affair. Demesne Dominion, territory. Demure Shy and reserved. Denouement The resolution of a mystery. Desuetude Disuse. Desultory Slow, sluggish. Diaphanous Filmy. Dissemble Deceive. Dulcet Sweet, sugary. Ebullience Bubbling enthusiasm. Effervescent Bubbly. Efflorescence Flowering, blooming. Elision Dropping a sound or syllable in a word. Elixir A good potion. Eloquence Beauty and persuasion in speech. Embrocation Rubbing on a lotion. Emollient A softener Ephemeral Short-lived. Epiphany A sudden revelation. Erstwhile At one time, for a time. Ethereal Gaseous, invisible but detectable. Evanescent Vanishing quickly, lasting a very short time. Evocative Suggestive. Fetching Pretty. Felicity Pleasantness. Forbearance Withholding response to provocation. Fugacious Fleeting. Furtive Shifty, sneaky. Gambol To skip or leap about joyfully. Glamour Beauty. Gossamer The finest piece of thread, a spider’s silk Halcyon Happy, sunny, care-free. Harbinger Messenger with news of the future. Imbrication Overlapping and forming a regular pattern. Imbroglio An altercation or complicated situation. Imbue To infuse, instill. Incipient Beginning, in an early stage. Ineffable Unutterable, inexpressible. Ingénue A naïve young woman. Inglenook A cozy nook by the hearth. Insouciance Blithe nonchalance. Inure To become jaded. Labyrinthine Twisting and turning. Lagniappe A special kind of gift. Lagoon A small gulf or inlet. Languor Listlessness, inactivity. Lassitude Weariness, listlessness. Leisure Free time. Lilt To move musically or lively. Lissome Slender and graceful. Lithe Slender and flexible. Love Deep affection. Mellifluous Sweet sounding. Moiety One of two equal parts. Mondegreen A slip of the ear. Murmurous Murmuring. Nemesis An unconquerable archenemy. Offing The sea between the horizon and the offshore. Onomatopoeia A word that sounds like its meaning. Opulent Lush, luxuriant. Palimpsest A manuscript written over earlier ones. Panacea A solution for all problems Panoply A complete set. Pastiche An art work combining materials from various sources. Penumbra A half-shadow. Petrichor The smell of earth after rain. Plethora A large quantity. Propinquity An inclination. Pyrrhic Successful with heavy losses. Quintessential Mose essential. Ratatouille A spicy French stew. Ravel To knit or unknit. Redolent Fragrant. Riparian By the bank of a stream. Ripple A very small wave. Scintilla A spark or very small thing. Sempiternal Eternal. Seraglio Rich, luxurious oriental palace or harem. Serendipity Finding something nice while looking for something else. Summery Light, delicate or warm and sunny. Sumptuous Lush, luxurious. Surreptitious Secretive, sneaky. Susquehanna A river in Pennsylvania. Sussurous Whispering, hissing. Talisman A good luck charm. Tintinnabulation Tinkling. Umbrella Protection from sun or rain. Untoward Unseemly, inappropriate. Vestigial In trace amounts. Wafture Waving. Wherewithal The means. Woebegone Sorrowful, downcast.
“Both companies ran marketing campaigns before Christmas and at New Year boasting of thousands of price cuts but many consumers will have been unaware that they were also raising thousands of prices in the same period.
Data acquired from third party analysts and published on our website shows that between 9 and 22 December 2009, Asda increased prices on more than 2,000 lines while Tesco upped the price of over 1,500 lines. Professor John Bridgeman, the former director general of the Office of Fair Trading who conducted official inquiries into the supermarket sector, said that in his view the data showed “a cynical attempt to exploit demand in the week before Christmas and force prices up” and “extract maximum profit” from shoppers who were too busy to go elsewhere.
In Asda products that doubled or nearly doubled in price immediately before Christmas included a four-pack of Duracell Plus AA batteries, certain razor blades, gravy pouches, Lemsip, toothbrushes and pickles; Walkers Sensations crisps went up 45%, a 1.25-litre family bottle of Coca Cola went up 37%. In Tesco Nurofen was up 33%, a pack of Warburton’s teacakes up 34.4%, a bottle of Beefeater gin was up 37.6% and various lightbulbs were up over 20%, for example. The must-have toy for girls, the Peppa Pig playset, went up 50% from £19.97 to £29.97 on 19 December.”
The BBC DO pay their ‘talent’ too much but should still keep what they pay their stars a SECRET. It’s their business what they earn plus it will inevitably raise the fees as competitors will try and out bid each other.
The politicians say that the public need to know if they are getting their monies worth. I’m the public and I can tell you now without knowing the exact amount Jonathan Ross makes that it is too much.
Don’t get me wrong Jon boy you’re ok but I’m not paying you millions of pounds simply because you’re a bit rude and crass in font of Hollywood A-listers man. The Beeb could get a ‘talent’ half your age to do what you do. Plus lets face it your jokes are a bit shit.
New York singer/songwriter/musician Elizabeth Seward made an ambitious resolution for the new year: to release a new song every single week. So far, she’s made good on that promise — and she shares these new tracks every Monday on her tumblelog. This is her first track, “Nothin’ Gonna Change,” but be sure to check them all out and follow her progress.
My tumblr came up in a conversation betweeneth myself and my housemate this evening so I now I feel compelled to write something as I haven’t written anything in a awhile. However - I have to be up at 5 o’clock tomorrow and it’s almost gone midnight so all I will do is make an online vow that by this time tomorrow I shall have written a new text post and it will be glorious!
The view that those rights are best honoured by cohesive, co-operative societies based primarily on collective and democratic social organisation and run on the principle of economic and ecological sustainability.
The New Left Project takes the view that the political economy of Britain is - in common with much of the rest of the world - characterised by the undue influence of various concentrations of socio-economic power. The disproportionate influence that these institutions, corporations and elite groups of individuals wield over how our societies are governed elevates the goals of power and profit over the principles of human equality and freedom. Wars, poverty, inequality, potentially catastrophic damage to the Earth’s climate, and other unacceptable constraints and denials of human freedom, rights and welfare are largely caused by these fundamental imbalances in the distribution of political, social and economic power, both in individual societies and across the globe.
We are conscious of the fact that, to the extent that progress has been made over the course of history in addressing power imbalances and challenging injustice, these successes have been won by popular political action, rather than being handed down by the powerful as gifts. The end of the Atlantic slave trade, voting rights, women’s suffrage and the defeat of Apartheid all came for the most part as the result of individuals organising together, campaigning and articulating the case for progressive change.
With this in mind, the New Left Project seeks - via this website - to contribute to and facilitate broad-based campaigning for progressive political change, in line with the values, beliefs and opinions set out above. We will engage with as wide a range of issues as our knowledge and resources will allow; from climate change, to economics, foreign affairs, and many others. Our focus will reflect the fact that we are UK-based, but also that we recognise and value the long-standing internationalist tradition in progressive politics.
We will produce original analysis and comment pieces. We will work to spread useful information and ideas by drawing attention to books, articles, video and events that we believe will inform and interest our readership. We will facilitate debate and conversation between people who broadly share our views and beliefs, with the aim of aiding the development and improvement of progressive politics. In all these activities our goal will be to achieve and maintain a high standard of productive, thought-provoking and informative discussion at all times.
In this way, the New Left Project hopes to make its own contribution to the efforts that are being made by millions of activists in countries across the world to challenge economic injustice, environmental damage, war, imperialism and human rights abuses.
“I just got a phone call from a freshman congressman in Michigan, a good guy, who beat the incumbent Republican in ’08, asking me for a donation for his reelection this year. And I just felt like, why? Because I have—whatever amount of money I could give you, or everybody else in here or people we know could give you, will never ever match what corporate America has. If that’s really the new—if that’s the new rule now, then we’ve already lost. We’ve already lost. So how do we fight this now? Because their propaganda machine that’s funded now with—will have billions of dollars behind this to manipulate an uneducated American public—when I say “uneducated,” I’m talking about an American public, as you know, where we rank in the world, in math and science and literacy, all these things—we’re so far behind so many other countries. We have 40 million functional illiterates in this country, 40 million adults who can’t read and write above a fourth grade level. If you create a country where the education system sucks so bad, where you make it your lowest priority, and then you want to create some propaganda to easily lead them down the path you want to lead them down, it’s a cakewalk at that point, when you have this enforced ignorance, the illiteracy that’s encouraged, the C-minus president who was so proud of himself and encouraging others that that was cool, it was cool to be dumb. And that’s what we’ve just lived through, through this first decade of this century. And now they’re going to have billions of dollars to manipulate our fellow Americans? What are we going to do, Amy? Seriously. I mean, as I sit here, I don’t have the answer.”—
Does anyone else think that Steve Jobs will one day remove a mask to reveal that he was really Freddy Krueger all along? I know he probably is a living saint and only wants to help the technologically meek (at least that’s what the Mac heads I live with constantly say, in a droned out brainwashed sort of way). However my spider senses keep tingling whenever I read about him or hear his name. I feel like he’s going to enslave the human race and become the overlord of Earth or something to that effect.
If Mac could just perhaps loosen the reigns a little and y’know not control EVERYTHING in the future I’d be sound. It’s looking like it’s gonna be either them or Google.
I especially don’t like this ebook thing. I know I know, ebook’s are the future and good for trees and everything is probably going to be fine blah blah blah!
BUT! One thing my Dad always taught me was that the greatest word in the English language is “why” and so now I question almost everything that gives me a “PANG” sensation in my gut (which these days is almost everything).
If a corporation, and I don’t give two sh*ts whether they’re an “ethical” corporation or not, if a corporation owns the monopoly on books, printed language, well then we’re all f**ked.
All I’m saying is that I’m all for progress and new exciting gadgets but if we could not get so excited as to hand the keys to the future over to a bunch of grinning rich white corporation executives I’d appreciate it.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court struck down on Thursday long-standing limits on corporate spending in U.S. political campaigns, such as this year’s congressional races and the 2012 presidential contest.
The ruling was a defeat for the Obama administration and the campaign finance law’s supporters who said that ending the limits would unleash a flood of corporate money into the political system to promote or defeat candidates.
The ruling transformed the political landscape and the rules on how money can be spent in future presidential and congressional elections, which already have broken new spending records with each political cycle.
The justices overturned Supreme Court precedents from 2003 and 1990 that upheld federal and state limits on independent expenditures by corporate treasuries to support or oppose candidates.
I, as an individual, have limits on how much I can spend in the political process. Corporations do not. If we are to regard money as free speech (which was the justification for the majority opinion), this means corporations have more free speech rights than I do under this ruling. Thus we see the utter hypocrisy of the five justices who voted to strike down this law.
This is going to have an impact on a global scale. I don’t know which government is more corrupt America’s or China’s but either way the average human being is screwed. Bring on ecological armageddon! The corporations are running the show now.
“The Supreme Court has finally handed down the decision everyone knew was coming and no one much wanted to think about. In a 5-4 decision the High Court has struck down much of the campaign finance legislation of the past few decades, ruling specifically that neither states nor the Federal Government may restrict political speech of corporations, unions, and other interested parties even during the final days of an election.”—
Very interesting BBC blog by documentary film maker Adam Curtis. I liked the film It Felt Like a Kiss, a nightmarish never ending montage of stock footage from the 1950’s and 60’s and perhaps 70’s (I only got half way through because I realised I was procrastinating again and got back to my job application). The footage is accompanied with atmospheric music and oddly subtitled messages or facts. I think this method really works because I can still remember stuff from it. I usually forget almost every scrap of information from a documentary after 2 minutes and thirty seven seconds precisely.
Girls who didn’t get enough drama when they were younger.
Girls who can’t read. Or think.
Jonathan Safran Foer
30somethings who were cool when they were 20something.
Your mom when she’s at her time of the month.
Boys who don’t read.
Boys who can’t read.
People I would love to hang out with.
Guys I want to date.
Guys I want to sleep with. (The difference between the two Russian authors lies in the fact that I think the Underground Man is sexier than Pierre Buzukhov).
Christopher Buckley (or William F. Buckley)
People who love excess verbiage.
Workaholics seeking validation.
David Foster Wallace
Confirmed 90’s literati.
Jane Austen (or Bronte Sisters)
Girls who made out with other girls in college when they were going through a “phase”.
People who like good music.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
People who can start a fire.
People who used to sleep so heavy that they would pee their pants.
Ninth graders who think they’re going to be authors someday but end up in marketing.
People who like bondage.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
People who drink scotch.
People who drink old fashioneds.
People who get their class from Vanity Fair.
People who don’t use conditioner in their hair.
Edgar Allan Poe
Men who live in their mother’s basements. Or goth seventh graders.
Doctors who went to third-tier medical schools.
Doctors who went to medical schools in the Dominican Republic.
People who used to get lost in supermarkets when they were kids.
Guys who are in the third coolest frat of a private college.
Women who give their boyfriend marriage ultimatums.
People whose favorite day in elementary school was “Grandparent’s Day”.
Women whose favorite color is hunter green.
People who are good at crosswords.
Your drunk stepmother.
Women who are usually constipated.
Men who score a 153 on their LSAT exam.
Girls who keep journals (too easy).
Conspiracy theorists (too easy).
People who are bigger conspiracy theorists than Orwell fans.
People who have read only one book in their life and it was To Kill A Mockingbird (and it was their assigned reading in the ninth grade).
Guys who wear skinny jeans and the girls that love them.
Men who own cottages.
F. Scott Fitzgerald
People who get adjustable-rate mortgages.
Men who use words like ‘dubious’ and ‘tenacity’.
Bret Easton Ellis
Foo Fighters’ fans.
Hunter S Thompson
That kid in your philosophy class with the stupid tattoo.
Men who don’t eat cream cheese.
Pearl S. Buck
Women whose favorite president was Harry S. Truman.
Female high-school English professors who only have an undergraduate degree.
People who used to be fans of J.D. Salinger.
Women who liked the movie “Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” but didn’t read the book.
Women on the East coast who wish they were from the South.
Cougars who went to an urban college in the 80s.
People who liked Gilmore Girls – even in the first season.
Men who argue Neil Gaiman is overrated.
People who have never been dungeons master but still play D&D.
11th graders who peed their pants while watching the movie It.
People who can quote the Comic Book Guy from Simpsons.
Only children with Oedipal complexes.
People who move to Thailand after high school for the drug scene.
Youth group leaders who picked their nose in the 4th grade.
People who know how to perform a “Michigan left”.
Girls who can’t spell “leheim”.
People who bought the first generation Amazon Kindle.
Guys who haven’t convinced their girlfriends to try anal yet.
Alexis de Tocqueville
Political theory and constitutional democracy majors.
People who skipped school by hiding out in the gym.
People who own one straw chair in their house.
Women who have repressed their desire to go to Renaissance Festivals
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Men who can’t lie but will instead be silent if they know you don’t want to hear the truth.
Older women who are surprisingly loud during sex.
Girls who intern at Nylon but end up moving back to the Midwest for their real job.
People who didn’t go to college but do well on crossword puzzles.
Girls who are too frightened to go skydiving.
Women who have an @aol.com email address.
People who own a smart phone which requires a stylus to use it.
No one. Even the police say Clancy before they’ll say Baldacci.
The girl who just turned vegan to cover up her eating disorder.
Andrew Ross Sorkin
People who refer to themselves as “playing devil’s advocate”.
Men who have names like Earl or Cliff and were really close with their paternal grandfather.
Female high-school French teachers who have their master’s degree.
People who hate Ayelet Waldman.
People who own golf head covers.
People who love buying drinks for their friends. See also, people who cringe when they see their bar tab.
Women who live in any area of Brooklyn other than Park Slope, but may end up there someday and if that day comes, they will switch to Barbara Kingsolver fans.
People who don’t mind the color orange.
People who would never dream of owning any type of “toy” breed dog.
People whose parents are divorced.
People who have their significant other grab them under the table in order to shut them up whenever someone else at a dinner says something absolutely ridiculous and wrong.
People who google image search Padma Lakshmi late at night.
People who went to art school after “trying it out” at a public university.
People who played Creep by Radiohead while having sex or smoking pot.
People who do not like John Cusack movies.
Elementary school teacher’s aids.
Jorge Luis Borges
People who took care of their dying grandparents.
People who really like monkeys.
People who can’t resist anything. See also, people who claim they’re going to change but never do.
People who would never dream of owning anything that could be classified as a “knick-knack”.
I don’t know who half these writers are but I still throughly enjoyed this list. For the record I’ve started to read War and Peace.
Ok I may have given up slightly after about a hundred pages but I will definitely go back to it (everyone in it appears to be a prince, I lost track of which prince was which). I just need to finish The Count of Monty Cristo first. Only 880 pages to go! I do finish books, I’ve recently read The Road and The Time Travelers Hussy.
My mate who lives in LA invited me to the pillow fight day in LA on the 3rd of April. I really really REALLY want to go but I am still poor. I really really REALLY need to sort my life out now. I mean it this time. Seriously. Ok? Ok. Good.
Apparently there is gonna be one in London maybe. It just says TBC. Not going to get my hopes high but I’ll keep my eye on this.
Have you heard of the boots diet? You just count your calories, adding all you’ve eaten and putting it in a graph or something at the end of the day. The people I live with are loving it, they’re obsessed with the calorie content of food produces.
My girlfriend is also happy with the program, she thinks I should use it in reverse in order to put weight on. I’m not sure you need to go through all that trouble though, you just need to constantly eat surely.
The trips to Sainsbury’s these days become an educational romp down calorie lane. It’s good to know what your eating but it’s starting to bore me. I think this is becoming the new fad, if it is I think I’m going to mad with all the statistical data and jibber jabber. “Did you know that there’s a hundred million calories in that chocolate but there’s hardly any in this cake that I made out of paper?”
I think I’ll stay behind and live in ignorance of my food a little while longer. I know that it’s better to know but I just don’t give a sit (right now).
In the 1990s, Jaron Lanier was one of the digital pioneers hailing the wonderful possibilities that would be realized once the Internet allowed musicians, artists, scientists and engineers around the world to instantly share their work. Now, like a lot of us, he is having second thoughts.
Mr. Lanier, a musician and avant-garde computer scientist — he popularized the term “virtual reality” — wonders if the Web’s structure and ideology are fostering nasty group dynamics and mediocre collaborations. His new book, “You Are Not a Gadget,” is a manifesto against “hive thinking” and “digital Maoism,” by which he means the glorification of open-source software, free information and collective work at the expense of individual creativity.
He blames the Web’s tradition of “drive-by anonymity” for fostering vicious pack behavior on blogs, forums and social networks. He acknowledges the examples of generous collaboration, like Wikipedia, but argues that the mantras of “open culture” and “information wants to be free” have produced a destructive new social contract.
“The basic idea of this contract,” he writes, “is that authors, journalists, musicians and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising.”
I think there’s something to Lanier’s critique, but only within the current context of capitalism. Culture has become “precisely nothing but advertising” because of commercialization and commodification. The structure of the web that leads to this is the result of broader institutional arrangements- as Marx observed, the distribution is implied by the production. Corporations have leveraged their power to shape the web (at least partially) to their own ends. Integrate the web into a non-capitalist framework and the problems become far less so.
But when Napster and other music-sharing Web sites started becoming popular, Dr. Liebowitz correctly predicted that the music industry would be seriously hurt because it was so cheap and easy to make perfect copies and distribute them. Today he sees similar harm to other industries like publishing and television (and he is serving as a paid adviser to Viacom in its lawsuit seeking damages from Google for allowing Viacom’s videos to be posted on YouTube).
The article continues with a discussion of how piracy has hurt the music industry. Instead of identifying artists as the ones hurt, Tierney talks about the industry as an entity that needs protection. He does this because it’s much more difficult to make the case that piracy has hurt artists- they see very little from record sales and piracy in many cases introduces new people to artists, who sometimes see an increase in concert attendance (which support bands far more than record sales).
“An intelligent person feels guilty for downloading music without paying the musician, but they use this free-open-culture ideology to cover it,” Mr. Lanier told me. In the book he disputes the assertion that there’s no harm in copying a digital music file because you haven’t damaged the original file.
“The same thing could be said if you hacked into a bank and just added money to your online account,” he writes. “The problem in each case is not that you stole from a specific person but that you undermined the artificial scarcities that allow the economy to function.”
Here, Lanier shows us directly the irrationality of the system- he even says that it’s based on manufactured scarcity. If the scarcity upon which a system depends can be undermined so easily, why should anyone be rushing to protect it? It seems like a lost cause from the outset.
Mr. Lanier was once an advocate himself for piracy, arguing that his fellow musicians would make up for the lost revenue in other ways. Sure enough, some musicians have done well selling T-shirts and concert tickets, but it is striking how many of the top-grossing acts began in the predigital era, and how much of today’s music is a mash-up of the old.
“It’s as if culture froze just before it became digitally open, and all we can do now is mine the past like salvagers picking over a garbage dump,” Mr. Lanier writes. Or, to use another of his grim metaphors: “Creative people — the new peasants — come to resemble animals converging on shrinking oases of old media in a depleted desert.”
The fact that huge-selling artists no longer exist is much more a function of the fragmentation of musical tastes and genres (thanks to the web) than an indication that artists are doing badly. Lanier’s metaphor hardly holds up, either- exactly what makes him think that culture is shrinking? Why is the “old media” better than the new, and in what meaningful capacity did culture “freeze”? Were monopolistic intellectual property agreements the only thing driving the creation of culture before the web?
The result is a problem a bit like trying to stop a mob of looters. When the majority of people feel entitled to someone’s property, who’s going to stand in their way?
This is a broken metaphor, because in the case of digital content one person’s ability to use something doesn’t interfere with another’s ability to use it. The property is not the actual data, but the monopolistic exclusive right to that data. Once again, it’s only a problem when viewed in the context of our irrational system.
“The Internet is currently the great leveler: it allows everyone to have access to exactly the same information. Will this ultimately destroy diversity of thought? Or will the tendency of people to form isolated groups on the Internet preserve that all important diversity of thought, so that although scientists all have equal access in principle, there are still those who look at the raw data in a different way from the consensus?”—
Well first you need a computer and an internet connection which, believe it or not, some people don’t have even in this day and age (ok this is a bit of a stupid point but I just couldn’t help myself). Secondly the point about isolated groups preserving diversity, what groups are these? Is it like the group who f*ck about with Wikipedia or the group who uses it seriously? Or did you mean a facebook group? Should I just ask Google?
I think the shear size and amount of information on offer means the internet isn’t about to destroy anyones thought patterns just yet. Unless you’re some massive sado, sitting and staring at your myspace page the entire day, everyday. Then you’re a vegetable.
I did have a day dream recently (about a year and a half ago) about the internet and society. Google had replaced God and churches where now big internet cafes and you couldn’t get a decent cup of coffee anywhere but there was peace on Earth so it we didn’t need coffee anymore anyway.