Book review: Seventeen Contradictions and the End of Capitalism, by David Harvey

If you’re sick of capitalism, here’s some good news. The dogma that has become default could yet collapse in the face of growing popular loathing, according to David Harvey, a distinguished professor at the City University of New York, who highlights “episodic volcanic eruptions of popular anger”, in London (2011), Stockholm (2013), Istanbul (2013) and a hundred Brazilian cities (2013).


Read at the South China Morning Post..

Cloisters and clapsticks

An indigenous Oxford graduate is making her mark in health, writes David Wilson.

Kerrie Doyle has gone far – from the red dirt of West Queensland to snowy Oxford. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Book review: Thanks for the Feedback by Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen

Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen have taught negotiation at Harvard Law School for two decades. Their line is that other consultants over-stress the art of giving feedback, neglecting how to receive it.

Read at the South China Morning Post..

Smart gadgets take to air

Forget conventional remotely piloted airborne drones – the future of zippy, unmanned flying machines may lie with projected Intelligent Autonomous Vehicles (IAVs). In theory, IAVs will be armed with the smarts to perform all kinds of whiz-bang missions off their own bat – just ask University of Newcastle robotics expert Professor Tristan Perez. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

‘Living lava lamps’ her career

Jellyfish may seem an icky field to research, but they are deeply entwined with the fate of the ocean. Just ask CSIRO scientist Dr Lisa-ann Gershwin, the director of the Australian Marine Stinger Advisory Services.

In her dramatic marine biology blockbuster, Stung!: On Jellyfish Blooms and the Future of the Ocean, Gershwin says the sea is becoming jellyfish soup, as rival marine animals die of plastic pollution, heat stress, carbon dioxide-driven acidification and overfishing. On the upside, she says, despite their image, jellyfish are captivating. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Book review: The Locust Effect, by Gary Haugen, Victor Boutros

In 1885, a racist Seattle mayor appointed himself police chief and tasked 100 men to stage an attack on the Chinese community: cue an orgy of murder, looting, forced expulsion and arson.

Today, officially sanctioned civic violence of that intensity is hard to imagine, but it still happens. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Road to riches paved with good habits

So you want to be more than just rich in experience – seriously cashed-up? The obvious ploy is to play the lottery, but the odds of hitting the jackpot are one in 8 million, according to lottery strategist Gail Howard. What is more, with modern medicine, your wealthy parents just might outlive you. So you need an independent investment strategy anchored in canny habits. Here are some that should boost your wealth, if you muster the discipline to adopt them.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..


Book review: the truth about trust

If you claim to be totally trustworthy you are probably bending the truth. Just ask American psychologist David DeSteno.

Read at the South China Morning Post..

Have we reached a tipping point? Tipping: yes or no?

When did you last leave a tip? The outwardly saintly act is widely seen as unwelcome: an awkward American rite that shaves wages and oppresses consumers.

In the United States, whether you are dealing with a waiter or bellman, you must tip, according to financial analyst Jim Miller, who adds that tipping is growing more common globally. That makes tipping topical, he says, but he opposes the trend.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

The truth about Ukraine

Gripping pictures of the second Ukraine revolution bid. Courtesy Ilya Varlamov.




Book review: The Tommy Koh Reader, by Tommy Koh

Professor Tommy Koh Thong-bee’s reputation is enough to make almost anyone feel comparatively inadequate. Described in the foreword of his new self-anthology as “an engaged citizen, and a man of goodwill, modesty and warm generosity”, Koh studied at two top universities: Harvard and Cambridge. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Book review: Perfecting Your Pitch, by Ronald Shapiro with Jeff Barker

Just browsing the everyday anguish addressed by this guide is unsettling. The sticky predicaments it thrusts in the spotlight range from family inheritance spats to sexual harassment and bereavement.. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Statins: the great risk debate

Feed the word “statins” to Google and the three suggestions that roll up are “statins side effects”, “statins and diabetes” and “statins and memory loss”. The search engine’s negative take on the drug designed to tame your cholesterol levels is mirrored by controversy about statins in the medical community. Read at the South China Morning Post..



Keyloggers stay one step ahead of the unguarded

The shadowy steps your fingers take when you key in a password could be exposed through one of the slyest crimes in the digital playbook: “keystroke logging”. Also called “keylogging”, this is the remote, criminal act of recording which computer keys you press, through malware (malicious software).

“Keystroke logging malware is one of the biggest threats to the economic well-being of us all,” says identity theft expert Steven Weisman, author of 50 Ways to Protect Your Identity in a Digital Age.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Book review: Smarter by Dan Hurley

Everyone has foggy “senior moments”: you sometimes mislay your mobile phone; you can’t remember a password. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Book review: Clearer Skies Over China

The mainland’s dire air quality has become a relentlessly disturbing news story.  Read at the South China Morning Post..

Rewind: album – The Gift by The Jam

This swansong from one of Britain’s most-loved bands was unleashed under peculiar circumstances.

Read at the South China Morning Post..


Release your inner Scrooge


Forget blandly generous Santa Claus for a second. Consider the enduring charm of popular culture’s stingiest character: the monstrous Ebenezer Scrooge.


Debuting in the 1843 Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol, Scrooge is a cold, greedy soul, who hates Christmas and jollity generally. Denying himself basic conveniences, Scrooge hoards his assets, embracing a lifestyle of poverty. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..


Learn the seven signs of a bad bank

If there is one thing that riles Australians more than the taxman, it’s banks. Feisty forums, such as Whirlpool, Product Review and, document the resentment, with customers wasting no time making their feelings known.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Rewind film: Cape Fear, directed by J. Lee Thompson

Cape Fear surfaced two years after Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of the macabre, Psycho, but the suspense drama was even edgier: it broke new boundaries by addressing then-taboo subjects. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Book review: Eternal Harvest, by Karen Coates and Jerry Redfern

“Laos is a land steeped in cliché: of gilt temples and golden Buddhas, shimmering rivers and dazzling sunsets,” journalist Karen Coates writes in her guide to the real Laos, grounded in a seven-year-plus investigation. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Houston: we have ideas

Aged just 23, whizz-kid Thomas Cooney has already racked up a singularly sparkling career highlight – the experience of working for the American space agency NASA. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase by Mark Forsyth

How well do you write? Anyone can learn to breathe life into their writing through studying rhetoric, linguist Mark Forsyth says in his new guide. Read at the South China Morning Post.

Jingling pockets could bring on a headache

Money, money, money – how much do you dwell on the stuff? Excessive desire for money robs people of their humanity, according to the famously frugal Pope, who recently suspended a ”bling bishop” for alleged lavish spending.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Man of Mars and opals

Geologist Patrice Rey was a school boy in southern France when Australia appeared to him on his black-and-white television. The show  a documentary about opal mining  captivated the humble son of a plumber and housewife. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Book review: Does Capitalism Have a Future?

First, HSBC chief global economist Stephen King predicted the end of Western affluence in When the Money Runs Out. Now, channelling Great Recession anxiety, five social scientists address whether capitalism is over altogether.

Read at the South China Morning Post..

Grip strength training exercises

Grip strength has a host of applications, and a vice-like grip will boost your performance in everything from weightlifting to baseball to hockey – grip translates to dexterity and strength, the essentials of any sport.

Here are the best training techniques, exercises and workouts to increase grip strength. Read at the Adrenalist..

Ghost post: house-sitting a haunted home in Antigua

Here’s a post from two friends of mind who got more than they bargained for during a house-sitting stint. Frayed Passport reports.



Book: ‘Would You Kill the Fat Man?’ by David Edmonds

This provocatively titled tract opens with a burst of drama that proves philosophy can be exciting. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Tyler McQuarrie takes second place at 2013 Formula Drift

Tyler McQuarrie’s mantra for the 2013 Formula Drift was simple: wreck it or win it – an attitude that secured him second place in the competition. Read at the Adrenalist..

Clean plentiful energy, if…

Hydrogen is the world’s most plentiful element and a touted potential clean power fuel. However, hydrogen rarely appears in its pure form – it must be extracted from its host substances, such as fossil fuels and water. Alas, the process always consumes copious energy. Or it did. Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

Where there’s a will there’s potential for acrimony

Like wedding fights, inheritance spats have a sordid, nightmare quality. A low-rent tussle over the loot can take a terrible toll on family ties.

Read at the Sydney Morning Herald..

V8 supercar vs airplane

Pitting an airplane against a car in a contest of speed might seem unfair, but Jamie Whincup’s V8 supercar gave the Red Bull aerobatic plane a run for its money. Read at the Adrenalist..

Making capitalism fit for society

Political scientist Colin Crouch opens his broadside against neo-liberalism and its apologists in ominous style.

“Income inequality in the United States of America has reached such an extreme point that there are fears that it may damage the economy. These views are not just expressed by the ‘progressives’ who might be expected to have such opinions, but by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),” he writes. Read at the South China Morning Post..

Most dangerous spiders in the US

Arachnophobia is a serious condition, especially for adventurers, but the most dangerous spiders in the U.S. are enough reason to want to avoid arachnids altogether. Read at the Adrenalist..

Dolphins join stand-up paddleboard adventure

Even adventures that have undergone the utmost preparation can be taken by surprise by unforgettable moments – a school of dolphins dropping in on a stand-up paddleboard excursion is just one of those instances. Read at the Adrenalist..

Monofin swimming amps up speed and agility in the water

There’s a reason the undulating movement associated with using a monofin is called a “dolphin kick” – a monofin is a variant of traditional swimfins that enables swimmers to move through the water quicker and with more maneuverability. Read at the Adrenalist..

How zealous psychiatrists are diagnosing quirks as mental illness

Today it seems that almost everyone is certifiably mad. According to critics, amateur and professional psychiatrists are routinely guilty of “diagnostic inflation”: turning normal people into mental patients with alphabet soup diagnoses. In a new book, America’s Obsessives, author Joshua Kendall argues that many great people have been shaped by obsessive compulsive personality disorder. Read at the South China Morning Post.

Best water shoes for men

Backpacking through a rain-soaked trail or running on a beach during high tide requires a sturdy pair of extremely breathable and quick-drying water shoes.

Usually, a water shoe’s main task is to keep the wearer’s feet dry, but they also come in handy if you face a sharp-rocked floor or zebra mussels. Although they are made of mesh, they have a hard sole to prevent cuts and abrasions. Read at the Adrenalist..

Navy SEALs Hell Week: toughest training on Earth

The U.S. Navy SEALs are the United States’ elite special operations force, and becoming a part of the team requires a training regimen so demanding, it has been dubbed “Hell Week.”

Read at the Adrenalist..

Top tree climbing camps in the US

To adventurers, climbing trees is a way to celebrate nature and thank the Earth for everything it has given us to explore and conquer – there is no better way to become one with nature than to climb to the top of a giant tree. Read at the Adrenalist..

Best battle rope workouts

In the gym, rope can be used for more than just the usual jumping workouts. Meet the battle rope, the jump rope’s heavier, thicker cousin. The big, simple piece of equipment is incredibly easy to use and even easier to weave into your workout regime – all you need is a flat empty space and an anchor point to hold the other end. Read at the Adrenalist..

Rangers rappel Mount Rushmore in epic National Parks challenge

Despite the elements, Mount Rushmore stays in mint condition for one reason: sustained aerial maintenance by the park rangers that patch up the massive sculpted rock.

The park rangers rappel from the top of the 86-year-old monument to patch cracks and install strain gauges near the Abraham Lincoln structure’s nose and hairline.

Read at the Adrenalist..

Abaton portable home is the house for mobile adventurers

When adventure calls, no boundaries, restrictions or limitations should hold you back – with the Abaton portable home, there’s no reason not to pick up and go. Read at the Adrenalist..

Dirtsurfing – the new board sport for all-terrain riding

Dirtsurfing keeps board enthusiasts satisfied even without fresh powder to snowboard on or monster waves to surf.

The ground-breaking inline board is a new product targeted at snowboarders and surfers determined to ride when their board of choice isn’t an option. Read at the Adrenalist..

Supersized cooling solution for supercomputer

Anyone who has ever nursed a laptop knows that computers kick out a hell of a lot of heat. So imagine how much is generated by the Pawsey Centre supercomputer: an $80 million mega-science device being built in Kensington, Perth, by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Read at the Canberra Times..

Best Tough Mudder videos

Tough Mudder is trumpeted as the toughest event on the planet, and these videos prove how the extreme obstacle course tests your strength, stamina, teamwork and all-around mental grit. Read at the Adrenalist..

Most dangerous invasive species in the US

When an invasive species is introduced to a new ecosystem, the fallout can be dire, but that hasn’t stopped hundreds of exotic animals and plants from finding their way to the U.S.

Read at the Adrenalist..

Fixie benefits: why you should ride a fixed gear bike

A fixed-gear bike, commonly known as a “fixie,” has a drivetrain with no freewheel mechanism – no freewheeling means an incredible cardiovascular workout every time you pump the pedals. Read at the Adrenalist..

Book review: American Alligator

Given that its brain weighs about 14 grams, the American alligator has done well. Starting out as “shieldcroc” – the last common ancestor of the modern alligator, caiman, crocodile and gharial – it has evolved into the keystone of the southern swamps, according to naturalist Kelby Ouchley. Read at the South China Morning Post..


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