Wednesday, May 25
The end of men: the controversial new wave of female utopias | Books
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The end of men: the controversial new wave of female utopias | Books

All the men are gone. Usually this is conceived as the result of a plague. Less often, the cause is violence. Occasionally, the men don’t die and the sexes are just segregated in different geographical regions. Or men miraculously vanish without explanation.Left to themselves, the women create a better society, without inequality or war. All goods are shared. All children are safe. The economy is sustainable and Earth is cherished. Without male biology standing in the way, utopia builds itself.I’m describing a subgenre of science fiction, mostly written in the 1970s-90s. It was once so popular it was almost synonymous with feminist SF. In 1995, when the Otherwise Award, a literary prize for “works of science fiction or fantasy that expand or explore one’s understanding of gender”, gave ...
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George Floyd’s murder should have been a watershed, but Britain has learned nothing | Afua Hirsch

yesSince the murder of George Floyd two years ago today, I have been anecdotally observing the phenomenon of African-American refugees: families I have met who have fled racism in the US and sought refuge in Britain. Their journey follows the arc of all that has happened since. This time two years ago, they were traumatized by the possibility of police violence against their own children. Little more than six months later they were tipped over the edge by the Capitol riots. Seeking another English-speaking home where they could obtain visas and avoid armed police, they came here.As they have discovered, Black people here hardly perceive this country as a sanctuary. In the past week alone we were confronted with inquest evidence that Ian Taylor, a 54-year-old asthmatic, was told to ...
Russia is now exposed to a historic debt default: Here’s what happens next
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Russia is now exposed to a historic debt default: Here’s what happens next

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) summit at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia May 16, 2022.Sergei Gunev | Sputnik | via ReutersThe US has announced that it will not extend an exemption permitting Moscow to pay foreign debt to American investors in US dollars, potentially forcing Russia into default.Up until Wednesday, the US Treasury Department had granted a key exemption to sanctions on Russia's central bank that allowed it to process payments to bondholders in dollars through US and international banks, on a case-by-case basis.This had enabled Russia to meet its previous debt payment deadlines, though forced it to tap into its accumulated war chest of foreign currency reserves in order to make payments.However, the Treasury Depar...
Good Pop, Bad Pop: An Inventory by Jarvis Cocker review |  Autobiography and memoir
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Good Pop, Bad Pop: An Inventory by Jarvis Cocker review | Autobiography and memoir

The first memoir from the former lead singer of Pulp would have been better titled A History of Jarvis in 100 Objects. That's what it is: an illustrated guide to the things that make Cocker who he is. He doesn't appear in many of the photos; the great majority show his collection of ephemera: a 20-year-old pack of Wrigley's Extra gum, a fragment of Imperial Leather soap with its old-style label still attached. That's him in a nutshell: driven by a lifelong love of the everyday, perceiving romance and poignance in items that others chuck out. It isn't wrong to say that without this sensibility, there would have been no Pulp, whom he led until 2013, no many-tentacled solo careers and consequently no national treasure status.This isn't the story of his time at the top. The penultimat...
Trump-backed nominees lost in Georgia, but can Republicans escape the specter of Maga?  |  Georgia
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Trump-backed nominees lost in Georgia, but can Republicans escape the specter of Maga? | Georgia

DDonald Trump's big lie lost bigly in Georgia on Tuesday night. Some might take this as proof that his spell over the Republican party has finally been broken, but that is what the Republican party wants people to believe.The former president had been waging a personal vendetta against Georgia's governor Brian Kemp and secretary of state Brad Raffensperger for failing to overturn the 2020 presidential election in his favor.Trump handpicked former senator David Perdue and congressman Jody Hice to challenge Kemp and Raffensperger in the Republican primaries. Both parroted the big lie and both were soundly beaten. It was a tangible sign that even many Trump voters are now weary of “stop the steal” and eager to look forward. It was also a blow to Trump in a primary season where his scat...
Can Stranger Things help put Netflix back on track?  |  stranger things
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Can Stranger Things help put Netflix back on track? | stranger things

WAy back in 2016, when Stranger Things first hit Netflix, the world was a different place. The streaming service itself cost $8, and if you weren't turned on by the prospect of endless, if vastly quality-variable content, there was the small matter of Stranger Things to convince you to hit that subscribe button. It had 80s nostalgia in spades, a soundtrack better than most John Hughes movies, and somehow seemed to do Stephen King better than the writer himself – or at least those film-makers and showrunners who have tried to bring the horror maestro's work to the screen .Flash forward six years and Stranger Thing returns following a three-year break (presumably disrupted by Covid). Now Netflix is ​​no longer the streaming revolution's bright young thing, but a creaking behemoth that ...
Cristina Gómez paints the dome and arches of the Chapel of Health in Esparragalejo
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Cristina Gómez paints the dome and arches of the Chapel of Health in Esparragalejo

Cristina next to the scene of the Virgin and the cowboy. / SG This versatile artist has captured the scene of the apparition of the virgin to the cowboy under the oakThe Esparragalejana painter Cristina Gómez López has made the most important work of her pictorial career in the hermitage of the Virgen de la Salud. She has been in the dome and arches of the country sanctuary, reflecting the legend of the appearance of the patron saint of Esparragalejo in the La Espadaña estate. After making this work known on social networks, the expectation is such that they are considering opening the temple for a few days for visits. The Government Board of the Brotherhood of the Virgen de la Salud told her the idea they had to paint the dome and she made a sketch for them to carry it out. From t...
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Shiny but deadly – ​​don’t throw goldfish in rivers, pet owners told | invasive species

If that lockdown goldfish is starting to lose its lustre, think twice before throwing it in the river or canal – the creatures may look innocent but their voracious appetite, tolerance for cold and have-a-go habits compared with native species can be catastrophic for local wildlife.New research shows that goldfish consume much more than comparable fish in UK waters, eat more than other invasive fish and are also much more willing to aggressively take on other competing species.That means goldfish pose a triple threat, according to Dr James Dickey of Queen's University Belfast, the lead author of the study.“Not only are they readily available, but they combine insatiable appetites with bold behaviour,” he said. “While northern European climates are often a barrier to non-native species ...
Ten years of the Wales Coast Path: a walk around the Llŷn peninsula |  wales holidays
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Ten years of the Wales Coast Path: a walk around the Llŷn peninsula | wales holidays

Porth Neigwl beach, between the craggy headlands of Mynydd Rhiw and Mynydd Cilan at the end of north Wales's Llŷn peninsula, is known as Hell's Mouth, because locals once used its rough waters as a “trapping bay”, luring ships into it then murdering their crews and stealing their cargo. I feel quite safe there today, though, as I climb over grassy dunes and across the soft clifftops of boulder clay, remnants of the last ice age.North Wales mapI'm walking around the peninsula on one of the lesser-known sections of the Wales Coast Path – which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year – basing myself in the fishing village of Aberdaron.Wales was the first country to create a walking route around its entire coastline – 870 miles beginning near Chester and leading down to Chepstow. The pa...