Announcing a new column on District Lit

Originally posted on and yadda yadda :

I’m giddy with excitement to let you know my first feature column went up on District Lit yesterday. “My Time, Your Place” is an ongoing exploration of the boundaries between reality and dream, time and timelessness, place and wandering. (The title is borrowed in part from the Yehuda Amichai poem, “In My Time, In Your Place.”)

I hope you check it out from time to time, and share with your friends if the writing moves you to do so.

As a tribute to Amichai, whose poetry inspires me in so many ways, here is the poem the title references.

In my time in your place

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Watch Viola Davis Explain Her Historic Emmys Speech to Ellen DeGeneres

Watch Viola Davis Explain Her Historic Emmys Speech to Ellen DeGeneres

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Neither Viola Davis nor the Twitterverse at large have gotten over Davis’ Sunday night Emmy win for Best Lead Actress. Appearing on Ellen Thursday, Davis joked that she’s hardly been able to part with the award. “I slept with it last night,” she laughed. “My husband was like, ‘Viola…’ ”

The real victory for Davis, as she explained, was the fact that her win marked the first for an African American in the category. As such, the award afforded her the opportunity to make a profound statement about race in Hollywood—in her fantastic, emotional acceptance speech, Davis stated:

“The only thing that separates women of color from everyone else is opportunity,” and quoted Harriet Tubman: “In my mind, I see a line. And over that line I see green fields and lovely flowers and beautiful white women with their arms stretched out to me to get over that line but I can’t seem to get there no how. I can’t seem to get over that line.”

Host DeGeneres, who complimented Davis’ “perfect” speech, asked the actress the question on all of our minds: Did Davis prep for it beforehand? “Well, you know, sort of,” said Davis. “I love that Harriet Tubman quote, I thought it was so progressive. And I started [quoting] it, and my husband said afterwards: ‘V, I didn’t know where you were going with that. I really didn’t. When you were saying those white women with their arms stretched out over the line, I was like, ‘What is she doing?’ ”

“I was too for a minute,” laughed DeGeneres. “At first I thought you were drunk, maybe.”

Davis—who admitted she did have a bit of Prosecco beforehand—said that after her groundbreaking speech, all she could think about were the McDonald’s fries backstage. “I ate them as if I hadn’t eaten in five years,” she said. “Yeah, well, when you’re drunk you do things like that,” joked DeGeneres.

Gary Clement on the Leap Manifesto

Gary Clement | September 17, 2015 10:19 AM ET
More from Gary Clement | @garyjoelclement

BBC Trust consultation on local radio and news in England

Source: BBC Trust consultation on local radio and news in England



Inside the Nazi labyrinth: Network of tunnels dug under Poland may finally yield secrets and hidden gold

Originally posted on National Post:

The waterlogged tunnel threading its way beneath the hills of Lower Silesia amounts to a relic of one of Hitler’s most grandiose and futile projects.

This subterranean passage, reached through a pair of black gates, was hacked out of the ground by prisoners and slave labourers.

Their task was to build bunkers and factories under the pine forests of what is today southern Poland, constructing a hiding place where a collapsing Third Reich might secrete its war industries – and its treasures.

A tunnel similar to this one may conceal a train laden with looted gold. Last week, the Polish government said that a man who helped bury the train had disclosed its location shortly before his death. The authorities took a ground-penetrating radar to this spot and, sure enough, a train was detected deep beneath the soil.

Yesterday, The Sunday Telegraph was given a tour of a nearby…

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Bioengineering: Big Potential in Tiny 3D Heart Chambers

Originally posted on NIH Director's Blog:

iPS human heartCaption: Heart microchamber generated from human iPS cells; cardiomyocytes (red), myofibroblasts (green), cell nuclei (blue) 
Credit: Zhen Ma, University of California, Berkeley

The adult human heart is about the size of a large fist, divided into four chambers that beat in precise harmony about 100,000 times a day to circulate blood throughout the body. That’s a very dynamic system, and also a very challenging one to study in real-time in the lab. Understanding how the heart forms within developing human embryos is another formidable challenge. So, you can see why researchers are excited by the creation of tiny, 3D heart chambers with the ability to exist (see image above) and even beat (see video below) in a lab dish, or as scientists  say “in vitro.”

iPS heart cells videoCredit: Zhen Ma et al., Nature Communications

To achieve this feat, an NIH-funded team from University of California, Berkeley, and Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease…

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Is Europe The New Palestine?

Originally posted on Jewish Media Agency (JMA):


By David Semple

When we think of Palestine, what is the first image that comes to our mind? An Arab in army dungarees, wrapped in a checkered scarf? A little boy in bare feet throwing stones at old ladies? Today’s Europe, with its Arab Cafes and mass prayer demos on the streets of London? Is Europe the New Palestine?

First Greece, then Europe, then the West. Sound familiar? European, or Western, civilisation, was the merger of our Greek-Roman inheritance with Jewish ethics through the rise of Christianity. This resulted in Britain changing the modern world for the better. The 19th Century was the most peaceful century of the Modern Age and saw the climax of European world supremacy.

One hundred years ago, the Europeans embarked on a World War between the great powers to see which great colonial power was destined to inherit the Earth.

By 1918, continental Europe was utterly destroyed. The German…

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Israel learned the wrong lessons from the Shalit affair

Harold Meyerson: Germany has learned from its history, but not from all of it

Originally posted on National Post:

As the minutes tick down before Sunday’s deadline for Greece to reach an agreement with its creditors or else face bankruptcy, the Greeks and their supporters are accusing Germany, their main creditor, of hypocrisy. After all, in 1953, Germany’s creditors forgave half that nation’s debt so that the fledgling republic could recover from the war Germany had inflicted on those creditors, and thrive economically.

But Germany, which now adamantly declares that adherence to the rules of debt repayment must trump all other considerations, can rightly claim that in at least one crucial instance, it was anything but a hypocrite. As the Great Depression descended on Germany in 1930, its government — a coalition of centrist parties headed by Chancellor Heinrich Brüning — insisted on balancing its budget in order to convince its creditors (the nations to whom it was paying economically ruinous reparations as compensation for World War I) that…

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BBC censors ‘Jewish’ from IS affiliate’s claim of missile attacks

Originally posted on BBC Watch:

Despite its defined purpose of building “understanding of international issues”, the BBC has to date done little to inform its audiences on the topic of the approach to Israel prevalent among the Middle East’s rising force of Islamist Jihadists. Hence, one feature of an article which appeared on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on July 4th under the headline “IS affiliate in Egypt claims rocket attack on Israel” is particularly notable.Sinai attacks

Readers were told that:

“A group affiliated with Islamic State has said it fired three rockets into Israel from Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

The affiliate, which calls itself Sinai Province, said it had acted in retaliation for what it says is Israeli support for the Egyptian army.

Israel said two rockets landed in the south of the country, causing no casualties or material damage.”

Although the third missile was also found in Israeli territory on July…

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