Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Another miscellany of links

1. Life and Happiness in Siberia’s Cold. Some striking photos, including what seems to be a pet polar bear.

2. Starting a new driving school in France is not easy. (The fact that one chap learned in London makes me think that it would probably easier to arrange to teach French people abroad but in French. Belgium? Switzerland?)

3. Surely this should be a much more well-known story? "After the news [about a New York corruption scandal] broke, the state’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, urged the Legislature to pass a package of anticorruption reforms, including a Campaign Finance Reform Act. The Legislature failed to pass a single measure. That summer, Cuomo announced the formation of a twenty-five-member panel, the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, “to probe systemic corruption and the appearance of such corruption in state government, political campaigns, and elections.” He said, “Anything they want to look at, they can look at: me, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the comptroller, any senator, any assemblyman.”" But then Cuomo shut down the commission. "This spring, while the U.S. Attorney’s office launched an inquiry into the possible corruption of the corruption commission, the Times began its own investigation. Reporters discovered that, after the commission issued a subpoena to a political-consulting firm called Buying Time (“How and where campaigns spend their money on media is more important than ever,” the firm’s Web site reads), Cuomo’s top aide called one of the commission’s co-chairs, told him that Cuomo was one of Buying Time’s clients, and said, of the subpoena, “Pull it back.” The subpoena was withdrawn. (It was later reissued.) The Times report appeared in July. In a thirteen-page response, the Governor’s office insisted that by law the commission had never been independent: “A commission appointed by and staffed by the executive cannot investigate the executive.”" Full story here. (This is 2013 and 2014, by the way.)

4. The Wettest Place on Earth has some interesting bridges.

5. Interesting vignettes of the relationship between India and China: "Persistent racism towards dark-skinned Indians is broken in only one case, by the head of a Chinese modelling agency who says he is fond of Indians who can pull off a “Western look”."

6. 40 maps that explain the Roman Empire.

7. Who are all those Christians in Syria?

1 comment:

  1. I read the same article as you for number 2 and already sent a link earlier today to a Belgian friend saying you should open a driving school...great minds think alike!