Americans over-praise, Germans under-praise


angela-merkel-and-donald-trump

The cultural differences. But, we could already guess this intuitively.

To German team members, this kind of American praise often feels exaggerated, inflationary, or simply unwarranted. The Germans fear a creeping self-delusion. Germans simply don’t use terms like “great”, “fabulous”, “fantastic”, “amazing”. At the same time, German team members receiving feedback from Americans often fail to recognize the criticism that may be carefully wrapped in praise. Even though the American managers feel they have been quite clear, the Germans are often not sure what their weaknesses are and how to improve.

The complete article

John Otto Magee — Handelsblatt Today

Image source

The ‘beautiful love affair’ between Catherine Deneuve and YSL


french-fashion-designer-yves-saint-laurent-and-beautiful-actress-catherine-deneuve-2

At his fashion shows, Deneuve always sat front and centre in the private clients’ row, supporting her friend and wearing his couture designs, which he made especially for her. The star was his first customer at his new Prêt-à-Porter store, Rive Gauche, when it opened in 1967, and remained Saint Laurent’s muse until his death in 2008.

The complete article

Christie’s

Image source

The architects of fantasy


caixoes6

Did you know about “Fantasy Coffins”?

The Ga people used to refer to the coffins as abebuu adekai, which roughly translates as “receptacles of proverbs” or “proverbial coffins.” Put simply, coffins that are imbued with some sort of meaning. The practice of making and using figurative coffins arose from changing colonial and postcolonial policies towards the dead in Ghana—they facilitated (and still do) very public statements about familial identity, ancestral power and status in increasingly competitive environments. The cultural significance of their use has been documented in both popular media and scholarship (see Bonetti 2012; Tschumi 2008). So, attaching the qualifier “fantasy” to these coffins and the associated practices lends an overly simplistic and unrealistic sentiment to death and funerals in Ga culture. They are, in fact, highly emotional and complex.

The complete article

Kristin Otto — Africa is a Country

Image source

Reflections on Warner Bros’ Wonder Woman (2017)


1701

Some will argue that without certain heterosocial tropes——dress-buying with witnesses, slow dancing, melting with some man into a softly-lit chamber——Diana of Themiscyra could not realistically grow her long-term interest in defending human innocents. For my part, a hero driven to joy and follow-through by something like Kant’s sense of duty is feasible for Wonder Woman, and worth wishing for.

The complete article

Joseph Spece — Berfrois

Image source

How to Stop Saying Sorry When Things Aren’t Your Fault


So I did what I thought was right: I said sorry. I’d say sorry when we had to walk too far to carry our groceries home, even though it wasn’t my fault we couldn’t yet afford a car. I’d say sorry for the bad days at work where they were forced to repeat their perfect English in Australian twangs so their colleagues could grant them some level of acceptance. I’d say sorry when they couldn’t resolve arguments they had because my mother felt they were repeating old patterns in a new country, where she was the one looking after the children as my father threw himself into his job. I’d also say sorry at school. I’d apologize to my teacher when I already knew the answers to the basic mathematical lessons he taught since I covered the same lessons in India. I’d say sorry to classmates because I couldn’t yet understand the slang they uncompromisingly spoke to me.

The complete article

Kamna Muddagouni — Catapult

Ten photos that changed how we see human rights


file-20181001-18994-11frsj7

Often, the power of seeing someone very different from ourselves can create a sense of proximity, and the recognition of another’s full humanity. For example, after Frederick Douglass escaped from slavery in Maryland in 1838, he became a leading campaigner in the abolitionist movement in the United States. He believed in the power of his dignified and serious photographic portrait to counter racist caricatures, and became the most-photographed man of the 19th century.

The complete article

The Conversation

Image source

What Did Ancient Romans Do Without Toilet Paper?


1200px-xylospongium

Just plain old curiosity.

In the same way that we use an American-style toilet, a Roman user would sit down, take care of business, and watch number two float blissfully away down the sewer system. But instead of reaching for a roll of toilet paper, an ancient Roman would often grab a tersorium (or, in my technical terms, a “toilet brush for your butt”). A tersorium is an ingenious little device made by attaching a natural sponge (from the Mediterranean Sea, of course) to the end of a stick. Our ancient Roman would simply wipe him- or herself, rinse the tersorium in whatever was available (running water and/or a bucket of vinegar or salt water), and leave it for the next person to use. That’s right, it was a shared butt cleaner. (And of course, there were other means of wiping as well, such as the use of abrasive ceramic discs called pessoi.)

The complete article

Stephen E. Nash — Sapiens

Image source