March 14, 2017

Miscellany #61: Discrimination, Irish pubs, Hemingway, sky dancing, Coca Cola, Max Weber and Hitler

The Experience of Discrimination in Contemporary America:

Results from a Nationally Representative Sample of Adults
Key result: 5% of black people (compared to 4% of white people) say they “often” face discrimination; 29.8% of black people (compared to 30.3% of white people) say they “never” face discrimination.

Meet the Companies Literally Dropping ‘Irish’ Pubs in Cities Across the World

It all began with a architecture student Mel McNally who with some classmates analyzed the city's pubs....McNally went on to research the whole of Ireland to establish a definitive playbook of pub varieties, which led to the foundation of a design and manufacturing specialist, the Irish Pub Company [IPC], in 1990. The ambition was to design and build complete interiors of pubs, first domestically, but then for foreign markets, assembling huge shipments of flooring, decorative glass, mirrors, ceiling tiles, light fixtures, furniture, signage, and bric-a-brac, as well as the obvious centerpiece: the bar itself. The group now sells bars in six “styles” that can be selected from a company catalog: Shop, Gastro, Victorian, Brewery, Country, and Celtic.

 Irish Pub.

Designed and prefabricated in Ireland: an export not cultural or theoretical, but actual. The assiduous export and installation of these pre-made Irish bars has been going on for more than 30 years, resulting in a global network of establishments that are interrelated but unrelated....More than 500 bars and 27 years later, it continues to ship the makings of the Irish bar as far afield as Russia and Kazakhstan

McNally, the effective grandfather of the movement, is a formalist, and everything he manufactures and sells is Irish-made...Asked about essential components of an Irish bar, McNally offers, “I think everybody recognizes that good stained glass makes a difference.”

Hemingway Was a Spy

In 1940, as he was preparing to go on a trip to China, the writer agreed to work for the NKVD, the Soviet foreign intelligence agency.  Despite numerous contacts with Soviet agents over a 10-year period, though, Hemingway never did anything of substance for them and, ironically, cooperated far more fruitfully with American intelligence.
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In a letter, he denounced Churchill after his “Iron Curtain” speech as the real threat to world peace, not Stalin, and in another he defended the Soviet purges—the people who “deserved shooting were shot.” He ardently supported Castro and praised the 1959 Cuban Revolution as the fulfillment of his dreams for Spain.

No wonder he was paranoid that the FBI was tapping his phones.  They were.

Will Indoor Skydancing be the next Olympic sport?

A Facebook video of 17 year old Maja Kuczynska has garnered 30 million views in less than a month.  She calls it calls it 'flying'.  She performs in a vertical wind tunnel where the wind speeds can reach 186 miles per hour.  The moves look effortless but staying in control requires enormous strength, flexibility and precision.  YouTube link to the amazing, gravity-defying video.

"'It's such a fast-paced discipline, right now there's no one to teach me....'A couple of different people and I are creating this discipline.'

The Quiet Tragedy Behind The Invention Of Coca-Cola  John Pemberton struggled with addiction for much of his life. Somewhere along the way, this addiction spurred invention.

Before John Pemberton served in the Third Georgia Cavalry Battalion, he made his living as a chemist and a pharmacist. ...at the Battle of Columbus in April 1865, he sustained a saber wound to the chest which nearly killed him. Pemberton survived, but was left to battle a crippling morphine addiction, which caretakers offered to Pemberton as a painkiller to treat his substantial wounds.

The Catholic work ethic.

Max Weber (1864–1920) wrote that Protestantism gave birth to a unique work ethic that spawned capitalism, and thus it is that modernity is a direct result of the Reformation. Even now, Weber’s thesis of the “Protestant work ethic” lives on among sociologists, being recounted in detail in every introductory textbook on the market. ...

The celebrated Fernand Braudel complained that “all historians have opposed this tenuous theory [the Protestant ethic], although they have not managed to be rid of it once and for all. Yet it is clearly false."  Everyone writing on capitalism accepts that it rests upon free markets, secure property rights and free (uncoerced) labour. By this definition, capitalism was a very Catholic invention: it first appeared in the great Catholic monastic estates, way back in the 9th century.

Hitler Was a Socialist

 Hitler Socialist

Adolf Hitler wasn’t “right wing.” If you take nothing else from this post, just remember Hitler was a socialist. With terrible facial hair. There’s an easy way to remember it, too. NAZI stands for National Socialist German Workers‘ Party.
Posted by Jill Fallon at March 14, 2017 1:47 PM | Permalink