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Archive for September, 2012

At the pork shop

Sunday, 30 September, 2012

“A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand, is that the two statements are connected by an and not by a but.” John Berger

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The Merry/Mary Go Round of Kacey Musgraves

Saturday, 29 September, 2012

The word “merry” sounds like “Mary” when pronounced by Kacey Musgraves, a 24-year-old singer-songwriter from Golden, Texas, 80 miles east of Dallas. Matters get complicated when Musgraves mixes the two words, as in: “Mary Mary quite contrary / We’re so bored until we’re buried / And just like dust we settle in this town / […]

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Disappearing Shanghai

Friday, 28 September, 2012

“This is a story that sounds familiar, that we think we know or can imagine: old houses torn down for luxury malls, ordinary people poorly compensated, an intimate way of life replaced by highways and high-rises. All of this is happening in Shanghai — and dozens of cities across China and around the world–but it’s […]

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Catalonia is talking the talk

Thursday, 27 September, 2012

Those who thought up the euro never imagined that their beloved project would boost Catalan separatism, but the single currency is a gift that keeps on giving. For radical Catalans, the euro crisis has turned into a Heaven-sent opportunity to point out that the Spanish system effectively transfers funds from their prosperous region to the […]

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The pain in Spain

Wednesday, 26 September, 2012

On the very day that the Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, addressed the UN General Assembly in New York and expressed strong support for the porridge of “multilateralism” and what Spain terms “the Gibraltar dispute“, the New York Times focused on the country’s reality with the headline, “Hunger Rises as Spain’s Economy Worsens“. Readers were […]

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Ten years ago today on Rainy Day

Tuesday, 25 September, 2012

Originally posted on 25 September 2002: Lit a candle last night in one of Europe’s most majestic cathedrals and said a prayer for Mick Upton, my father’s first cousin, who gazed in wonder at the same building 57 years ago, but under dramatically different circumstances. Back then, he was a solider in the 1st US […]

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A close encounter with the anti-Bush kind

Monday, 24 September, 2012

The unbearable smugness of Europe’s petite bourgeoisie enrages the narrator of The Dinner, by the Dutch writer Herman Koch. In this scene, he has been summoned to meet the principal of his son’s school following the submission of an essay by the child that contains views about crime not in keeping with those held so […]

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At the non-diet pastry shop

Sunday, 23 September, 2012

Spanish pastelerias or pastry shops are amazing and it seems that the country has one on every corner. Strolling by, you’ll see a variety of mouth-watering, hand-made pastries. Combined with the aroma, it is impossible not to step in for a closer look and taste.

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Shake those hips with Joan Osborne

Saturday, 22 September, 2012

She was born in Anchorage, but not the Anchorage of Alaska. There’s an Anchorage in Kentucky, too, and that’s where Joan Osborne comes from. She moved to New York City in the late 1980s and formed her own record label, Womanly Hips. Here she blends rock, country, blues and folk in an infectiously danceable cocktail. […]

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Mentioning the “c” word

Friday, 21 September, 2012

As security forces in many Muslim countries are gearing up for a day of protests against the amateur film, Innocence of Muslims, the government of Pakistan has declared a “special day of love” for the Prophet Muhammad, and Pakistani TV is showing President Barack Obama condemning the film in ads paid for by Washington. Time […]

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In the napcab at the aerotropolis

Thursday, 20 September, 2012

Exhausted from crossing time zones? One hour in a napcab at Munich Airport costs €15 by day €10 at night. Developed by a Technische Universität München start up, the cabins contain a bed, a desk and, critically for travellers in need of sleep, free internet access.

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