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A stellar nursery: ESA is mapping out star-forming complex G305

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • The image is of the G305 star-forming complex: a stellar nursery. Cloudy and dusty places that shine brightly in infra-red light, stellar nurseries feature a number of bright, intricate gas clouds. These are heated by the infant stars in their midst, which stand out in the image as a blue tone, contrasting with the red-brownish colour of cooler regions.
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    Summary: Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation Part 12 – After Christianity died, what became the prime civilising force in Europe?

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • If Christianity is dead, and the Romantic Movement killed it, what, if anything, has replaced it as the prime civilising force in Europe? What has civilisation gained or lost in the process? Clark touches on this question in passing, when he criticises the 19th-century bourgeoisie, but then asks what the mocking Romantics could put in place of middle-class morality when “they themselves were still in search of a soul.” This is the hole left in Clark’s narrative, the hole in the French Revolution that it sought, in vain, to fill with a religion that never took root.
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    German politicians losing patience with immigration, even Social Democrats support camp raids to arrest illegals

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • State-politicians demand reforms in asylum policy, as well as in development aid. The Prime Minister of Sachen, Michael Kretschmer (CDU) wants to stop paying aid to countries that do not cooperate with expulsions. He was especially annoyed by the fact that embassies sometimes refuse their country’s nationals the papers they need to be deported.
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    Synergy! The Vatican applies European Space Agency technology to digitalise 80.000 scriptures from the Middle Ages

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • “ESA and the Vatican Apostolic Library share a long history of pioneering work in their respective fields and long-lasting collaboration aimed at the preservation and worldwide accessibility of the respective patrimonies of data and information holdings. The Joint Declaration between ESA, the Library and the EC fosters synergies between the expertise, know-how and resources available through the three institutions, and paves the way for concrete collaboration for the benefit of humankind.”
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    Sweden: Afghan migrants gang-rape 40 y/o woman “with remarkable ruthlessness and cruelty”. Court reaches verdict, third suspect still at large

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • According to 24Kalmar, the two convicted men claimed that the woman had been a willing participant in the gang rape. The court, however, found this unconvincing. Moreover, photographs made during the rape show, according to the court, “the men’s special ruthlessness and cruelty.” More details are only available from Samhällsnytt. Apparently quoting from the verdict (Kalmar District Court case B 3154-17), the article, the only one to do so, gives details about the attack.
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    The pug that roared – A first-hand account of the Free Dankula protest and beyond

  • By: Richard Cunningham
  • “Ethnic jokes serve one purpose; to defuse ethnic tensions by normalising the differences between ethnicities. If we are not free to offend one another, then we are not free to make the kind of ethnic jokes that strengthen the social fabric of this country. Without the freedom to offend, we create a series of armed camps, each watching the others for any signs of transgression, both obsessed with defending the honour of their respective tribe. This can only divide a country by setting us apart from one another and making us strangers to our neighbours.”
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    Summary: Kenneth Clark’s Civilisation Part 11 – The Worship of Nature

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Clark, rather cleverly, sums up Rousseau’s philosophy in the sentence “I feel therefore I am,” calling it a “curious discovery to have been made in the middle of the Age of Reason.” He connects it to David Hume’s work, before noting how Rousseau’s beliefs were extended from nature to man. Rousseau believed that natural man was virtuous, a belief that soon came to be widely accepted. Clark mentions and quotes three detractors of the idea, but it is fair to say that the belief that nature is somehow virtuous, while man is not, is still popular.
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    Post-Brexit EU to raise budget with €300 billion, remaining Member States expected to chip in heavily

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Dutch Newspaper De Telegraaf reports that the annual €13 billion shortfall is going to be compensated by raising the seven-year budget plan from €1000 billion to €1300 billion, amounting to a raise of €300 billion, from 1% of the EU’s GDP to 1.14%. Seven years without the Red Coats amounts to a budget shortfall of €91 billion. So one wonders how they’ll spend the surplus €209 billion this new seven-year budget plan entails. According to EU sources, €30 billion will be spent on “guarding the EU’s outer borders”. How the remaining €121 billion will be spent, is not yet clear.
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    Video. The European Parliament would like to remind you that you owe your clean drinking water to the EU

  • By: Vincent van den Born
  • Maybe if the EU had offered any more information on how the “#EUbudget” made sure everyone in the EU had access to clean water, someone could say anything more substantial about the claim. But Monday-intern didn’t. Oh, well. Maybe they think that Monty Python sketch is some sort of bingo card and the EU has to claim everything on it at least once? The aqueduct? Check. Brought peace? Of course they did!
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    Introducing TOC’s new reporter Eva V – A fresh common sense view on European culture

  • By: Eva Vlaardingerbroek
  • This was one of the first times I hit my head hard against the wall of political correctness that is present in our institutions, universities and our media. Certain opinions, but also entire topics, seem to be off-limits. Any form of criticism directed at immigration, the multicultural society, third/fourth wave feminism, and the European Union, is dangerous territory. With the risk of, at the very least, receiving the usual tiring labels: racist, fascist, nazi, xenophobe etc, the debate is silenced. With this political cramp, it is no surprise to me that a growing number of people are sick of it, and are starting to push back.
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