Pot-pourri

All Work and No Play Make the Baining the "Dullest Culture on Earth" (Psychology Today) [eng.]
"According to Fajans, the Baining eschew everything that they see as “natural” and value activities and products that come from “work,” which they view as the opposite of play. Work, to them, is effort expended to overcome or resist the natural. To behave naturally is to them tantamount to behaving as an animal. The Baining say, “We are human because we work.” The tasks that make them human, in their view, are those of turning natural products (plants, animals, and babies) into human products (crops, livestock, and civilized human beings) through effortful work (cultivation, domestication, and disciplined childrearing).

The Baining believe, quite correctly, that play is the natural activity of children, and precisely for that reason they do what they can to discourage or prevent it."

My Kind of Town  (Architecture Today) [eng.]
"London is the city I know best. I grew up in its unlovely suburbs, in a 1930s Romford semi. Later I was fortunate enough to study (and then teach) in one of the city’s most beautiful areas: Bloomsbury. Sigfried Giedion has said it is an architectural composition the equal of St Peter’s Square in Rome. I agree. Its garden squares form green islands of tranquility amidst the clamour of the modern city. One of my favourites is Russell Square Gardens, a regular way station for me en route to the area’s research libraries. With its green spaces and elegant terraces designed on an impeccably human scale, Bloomsbury is one of my favourite districts in any city."

The Land of Big Groceries, Big God, and Smooth Traffic: What Surprises First-Time Visitors to America (The Atlantic) [eng.]
Foreigners on their first trip to this much-storied country might expect it to be like an episode of Friends but find something quite different.

The Square And The Flair (The New Republic) [eng.]
Interesting portrait of Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s top strategist is a steroid-dabbling, screenwriting bon vivant.

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