Read — 2012/08/17

by shwolff

Today’s selection of articles includes:

  1. Don’t Waste the Drought“, by Charles Fishman (NY Times). Did you know that 16 percent of transported water is lost into the ground due to leaky pipes? Or that the average American uses 99 gallons of water every day? Among Fishman’s suggestions to combat excessive water use are smart fixtures in the home and clear, simple water bills. An excellent point — how many of us know how much water we’re using?
  2. Ecuador Grants Asylum to Assange, Defying Britain“, by William Neuman and Maggy Ayala (NY Times). Perhaps the most-commented-upon article of the day, an update on Assange’s de facto house arrest in London: Ecuador has granted the WikiLeaks founder political asylum, flouting the governments of Britain and the West.
  3. Pursuing Soft Power, China Puts Stamp on Africa’s News“, by Andrew Jacobs (NY Times). A revealing look at China’s “full-on charm offensive” in Kenya. If the west is to be believed, “[t]he fundamental difference is that Western-style media views itself as a watchdog and a protector of public interests, while the Chinese model seeks to defend the state from jeopardy or questions about its authority”. How this difference plays out in developing nations, as China pitches in while the West bails out, remains to be seen.
  4. Tired Rock Fans Begin Exodus“, by Barnard L. Collier (NY Times, 1969). An historical article from 18 August 1969 chronicling the end of Woodstock. The author’s diction and the interviewed’s responses reveal how the event — and the hippie movement more generally — was viewed by different segments of 60’s society. I particularly enjoyed the quote by Woodstock’s chief medical officer: “There has been no violence whatsoever, which is remarkable for a crowd of this size. These people are really beautiful.”
  5. Celebrate Rice: A Glasscock School Photography Contest. Some lovely photos from Rice University in Houston, Texas.