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Friday, January 6, 2017

English Is The Language Of Science. That Isn't Always A Good Thing, by Ben Panko, Smithsonian Magazine

"Native English speakers tend to assume that all important information is in English," says Tatsuya Amano, a zoology researcher at the University of Cambridge and lead author on this study. Amano, a native of Japan who has lived in Cambridge for five years, has encountered this bias in his own work as a zoologist; publishing in English was essential for him to further his career, he says. At the same time, he has seen studies that have been overlooked by global reviews, presumably because they were only published in Japanese.

Yet particularly when it comes to work about biodiversity and conservation, Amano says, much of the most important data is collected and published by researchers in the countries where exotic or endangered species live—not just the United States or England. This can lead to oversights of important statistics or critical breakthroughs by international organizations, or even scientists unnecessarily duplicating research that has already been done. Speaking for himself and his collaborators, he says: "We think ignoring non-English papers can cause biases in your understanding."

An Ode To Japanese Curry, by Aaron Gilbreath, The Smart Set

When Western eaters think of Japanese food, most think of sushi and ramen, but the Japanese have transformed India’s comforting curry into a national dish. Introduced by the British navy around 1868, the Japanese kept the standard British-style brown gravy — warm and aromatic, spiced but not spicy, thickened with a roux — and created something wholly their own.

Literary Agents, by Patrick Iber, New Republic

The propriety of such largesse, both for the CIA and its beneficiaries, has been hotly debated ever since. Jason Epstein, the celebrated book editor, was quick to point out that CIA involvement undermined the very conditions for free thought, in which “doubts about established orthodoxies” were supposed to be “taken to be the beginning of all inquiry.” But Gloria Steinem, who worked with the CIA in the 1950s and ’60s, “was happy to find some liberals in government in those days,” arguing that the agency was “nonviolent and honorable.” Milosz, too, agreed that the “liberal conspiracy,” as he called it, “was necessary and justified.” It was, he allowed, “the sole counterweight to the propaganda on which the Soviets expended astronomical sums.”

Book Review: The Nix Is The Fix You Need, by Kelly Knorad, Chicago Now

And, between Laura's Pottsdam's multi-page excuse for a plagarized paper, and, I shit you not, a 10-page single sentence about giving up video games, the story's creativity is off the charts. I loved every delicious moment.

Art's Red Pill: An Appreciation Of Critic John Berger, by Carolina A. Miranda, Los Angeles Times

What Berger taught me is not just how to look at an image — but to look through it and ask why and how.

The Japanese Art Of Grieving A Miscarriage, by Angela Elson, New York Times

I’m not sure if this is the correct way to weather a miscarriage, or even the right way to Jizo. I don’t know how long I’m supposed to crochet new outfits: maybe until I don’t feel the need to, or maybe forever.

I do know that like those parents haunting Mount Koya, Brady and I will always think of that baby who never was. We’ll leave pieces of our love for him wherever we go, hoping Jizo will deliver them to wherever he is.