Toilet Reading: The Economist

Tagline: It doesn’t have one. The Economist is too mature for taglines.

Price: £5

Who is this magazine for? I’ve subscribed to The Economist for a while. If you asked me why, I’d find it difficult to give you a convincing answer. I might construct a laboured argument about it providing an international perspective you don’t get from the newspapers or the telly. I could contend that the fact it distils a week of news in a style well suited to the time-poor, effort-poor metropolitan lifestyle I claim to lead. But that wouldn’t really be true.

In fact, the reason I started buying The Economist was based on a lie. The mag, you see, has always boasted a jaunty front cover. Nothing funny in the sense that normal people would recognise by laughing, but at best gently satirical in a way that might be rewarded with an ‘aahhh’ and a round of applause from a Radio 3 audience.

The Economist cartoon

The funniest thing in this week’s Economist.

Marvellous, I thought, a substantial but humorous take on the week’s news. It might cost me a fiver, but what could be better for that seven-hour train journey? And then of course, you actually read the mag and realise it’s not funny at all. It’s not even trying! It’s like going on a Match date where the girl who claims to be into Daft Punk and boutique coffee, turns out to be primarily enthralled about her job in business process design.

The Economist has far higher aspirations than being a gag mag. This is a current affairs magazine that courts a readership of influence, doubtless with quite a lot of success. In my day job, I have met some important people, giving them the benefit of my keen insight as I hand them their change and Egg McMuffin.  What these movers and shakers want boils down to two things: to appear clever, and not to look stupid. In acting as both a scout and distiller, The Economist strives to serve them with both, albeit through the eyes of a 28-year old graduate economist who writes with the pen of a bewigged Victorian industrialist.

What did you get for your £5? The Economist has a well-worn roll call of articles. It kicks off with a rattle through the week’s top stories, invariably finishing with one which it considers to be on the ‘lighter side’. This edition’s fluff is riffing off references to ‘Dude, Where’s My Car?’ in relation to Uber, a link that accurately sets the magazine’s cultural compass at fifteen years before the present day.

Persistently sprinkled throughout The Economist are examples of what I’m afraid I’ll have to describe as intellectual whimsy – the kind of witticisms that  are written by people who are desperate to appear in dictionary of quotations one day. This crapulent behaviour tends to jar against the seriousness of the content. If, for example, a well-known hotel near Green Park were bought in a deal of questionable legality by the Russian head of state, the resultant Economist article would – without any shadow of a doubt – be titled ‘Putin on the Ritz’.

The news in brief is followed by a series of leader articles, with most of the magazine split along geographical lines: Britain, Europe, US, Asia, and so on. The mag concludes with finance, science, book reviews and some lovely data tables.

The Economist is venerable enough to have developed some admirable quirks, but two stand out. The first is the lack of bylines. In a digital age where the most inconsequential Buzzfeed guffpiece is accompanied by the gurning mugshot and Twitter handle of some jobbing hack, this is actually rather refreshing.

The second is a tendency to focus thoughtfully on things at the fringe of the public discourse – stuff like the decline of CCTV and the collapse of Argentina’s Kirchner administration – that you’re pleased that someone cares about, even if you can’t quite face reading 2,000 words about it.

Features: Unlike most of the other mags I’ve reviewed here, The Economist has a fairly clear political stance. Insofar as I understand it, libertarianism is the order of the day – smallish state, personal freedoms, big business is OK, and all that jazz.

That angle is applied with great confidence to the issues of the day. Europe is perpetually about to dive headlong down the toilet. Immigration, technology and free markets drive efficiency, so let’s not fiddle with them too much. And for Christ’s sake, let’s not do anything drastic – instability messes with stock portfolios and who wants that?

The problem with The Economist is that if you read it once, you’d think: ‘Goodness, they are smart people, and they’ve used numbers and everything. They must know what they’re talking about.’ The reality is the mag gets stuff wrong all the time. It confidently predicted Greece would leave the Euro. To date it has not, much to the disappointment of everyone who found a handful of drachmas in the crevice of an old suitcase.

In one piece about smartphones, the mag blithely predicts they will dominate global technology for years to come, even though the rise and fall of equally unstoppable PCs is shown on the very same page.

It’s not just bollocks as such – they get some things right too – but it is a function of The Economist’s tendency to follow trend lines with the self-assurance of the totally unaccountable. Being a confident conservative is a perfectly defensible position until things change. Problem is, that tends to happen quite a bit.

AdvertsThe Economist may be the only magazine I’ve read where the adverts are markedly less enticing than the articles. In keeping with their pitch to the ‘movers and shakers’ market, they tend to be for consultancies and investment companies.

The Economist advert

In this case, consultancies that help businesses who find they’ve accidentally ordered 400 of Godzilla’s toilet rolls.

The mag also runs quite a few job adverts. These tend to be for positions of such existential boredom that if you met the jobholder at a party, you would say ‘Oh! Right!.. Mmmm… Well. Say, have you tried the punch?’. Programme Officer, Technical Assistance Unit, I’m looking at you.

Letters pageThe Economist letters page serves one function – for self-important but irrelevant people to contribute their opinions. True of all letters pages you may say, but here the platform is given to those who once moved and shaked. Nobody really reads The Economist’s letters page, but it serves well as a retirement colony for former executives and senior public servants.

This week, the ‘British Ambassador to Russia from 2004 – 2008’, Sir Tony Brenton, gives his views on his former host nation. Or to put it in a shorter, more accurate way, a retired man enjoys a brief rant.

Rating: 7/10

Probably one of the UK’s best newspapers, The Economist has the self-confidence and wit of a polished student politician. And an equal amount of responsibility.

Enjoyed this rubbish? Why not follow Toilet Reading on Twitter. 


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Camping Arrangements

There are only a few camping spaces left so if you would like to camp then you must pre-book by entering online by Wednesday 29th April.

Camping will be at Langstone SC in a marked area (left of the picture), please do not park in the camping area there will be a separate car park area marked (right of the picture).

To access the sailing club building you will need to get a fob, these will be available from Terry Farmer on Friday night at TSC and also from the Langstone SC bar from 8pm – 11pm on Friday night and also on Saturday morning from Jo Gordon 8.30am – 9.30am. Jo will also be around after racing if needed as she is on patrol boat. A small deposit of £5.50 is required for the fob which will be returned to you when the fob is handed back.

lhrw camping


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Sixth-grader’s tear-jerking essay becomes a project to help stray pets across Japan

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Prepare some tissues, then prepare for change.

Back in 2012, when 12-year-old Chika Taniyama wrote her heartfelt essay titled 78 En no Inochi (78 Yen per Life), she probably had no idea of the impact it would still be having four years later.

In her writing, Chika recounts the story of a neighborhood cat she calls Kiki, after the character from Studio Ghibli’s Kiki’s Delivery Service. Kiki first appeared in Chika’s neighborhood as a little black kitten, her friendly nature quickly causing all of those living in the area to fall quite in love with her.

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After a couple of years, Kiki gave birth to her own litter of kittens. Because Kiki was a stray, and she and her kittens had nowhere to go, Chika’s neighbor Ms. Suzuki took them in. Chika would go to visit the kittens nearly every day, growing to love them as if they were her own.

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Until one day, when she went to visit them and found they were no longer there. Her head hung, Ms. Suzuki explained that she had taken the kittens to the animal shelter.

Not really understanding what that entailed, Chika assumed the kittens had been taken to a place where they could find new families and live happily with them. But the next day at school, when she relayed the story to her friend, that friend replied: “To the shelter? They’ll be killed there.”

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Chika didn’t want to believe it, but as soon as she got home after school, she rushed to the computer to look up information about animal shelters, and was shocked by the horrors of reality. Dogs and cats, either lost or abandoned by their owners, would be held for a mere three days. If no one came to claim or adopt them, it meant their death. Ten animals at a time would be stuffed into a gas chamber, which would then fill with carbon monoxide. For minutes the animals would squirm and suffer before finally dying, and their bodies, like trash, would then be thrown into an incinerator and burned.

The cost to do away with each of those lives? 78 yen, or about 70 cents.

Sadly, Chika’s friend had been right, and it shocked Chika even more to find out that each year approximately 200,000 animals met this fate.

“They may be animals, but is it right for humans to so easily take away their lives?” she wondered.

The sound of Kiki’s meowing each day as she called out for her kittens brought back the images of what Chika had seen on the internet. Those thoughts kept her up at night for days on end.

One day, Kiki went missing too, and Chika imagined the worst until she reappeared, her stomach wrapped in bandages. Ms. Suzuki had taken Kiki in to be spayed so she would have no more kittens, and had decided to keep her as her own.

Chika felt relieved, yet jealous at the same time. She loved animals, yet didn’t feel confident she could take on that sort of accountability.

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“Raising an animal is taking absolute responsibility for another life,” she wrote in her essay. “You can’t throw it away like a toy. What I learned is that if you don’t have the confidence to care for them until the very end, you shouldn’t have one.”

Chika’s heart-rending story went on to touch a number of people, including the judges at a competition Toyohashi City in Aichi Prefecture, where it was chosen as best written work. Even today it is being read by children in Toyohashi’s public schools as part of their Ethics curriculum. It has also inspired a group dedicated to eliminating the culling of shelter animals in Japan, who is making the essay into an easy-to-read picture book for children, as well as posters and pamphlets.

The group’s crowdfunding project has already reached 152 percent of its goal, with 1,530,900 yen (over $ 13,600) raised by 232 people, but with the fundraising continuing until 23:59 on March 31 there’s still time to donate here (sorry, site in Japanese only).

Anyone who’s lived in Japan for any amount of time can attest to the problem many areas have with strays — cats in particular. There are a number of groups and individuals working to ease the dilemma, but without a massive change in the way the population as a whole thinks, there likely won’t be an end in sight. With works like Chika’s essay being taught in elementary schools, and picture books for children being made available, there is hope that the change can begin with Japan’s younger generations.

Sources: YouTube/ プロジェクト 78円の命, grape, GREEN FUNDING
Images: YouTube/ プロジェクト 78円の命 via grape 

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Origin: Sixth-grader’s tear-jerking essay becomes a project to help stray pets across Japan
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Guggenheim Master bedroom – Design Challenge

Florence Guggenheim Master bedroom

seberapa sering Anda memiliki kesempatan untuk merancang kamar tidur Florence Guggenheim?

Terinspirasi oleh arsitektur indah dan membawa ruang energi, saya ingin membuat kamar tidur yang mencerminkan satu wanita paling menarik alam dalam sejarah. Shloss Florence Guggenheim lahir September 3, 1863 di Philadelphia, keluarga Yahudi sederhana, menikah Daniel Guggenheim pada usia 20, dan anggota keluarga Guggenheim, menjadi wanita terkaya di dunia.

Dalam masa mudanya ia mencintai kuda dan mencintai berkuda dan golf. Ada seorang wanita dengan banyak talenta dan kemurahan hati yang luar biasa. dia minat dalam seni, khususnya musik, yang kemudian menjadi fokus perbuatan amal. Dia menikmati kehidupan sosial yang sibuk; Dia dan suaminya, Daniel Guggenheim dikenal karena mendukung konser terbuka bebas di Central Park, Columbia University dan New York. Berkat ratusan tahun kemudian, mereka masih menikmati tradisi ini indah.

Florence Guggenheim aktif terlibat dalam urusan Yahudi. Dia adalah bendahara Perempuan Nasional Republik Club, dan ia meninggal pada usia delapan puluh, ia dipuji di koran-koran di seluruh negeri untuk dukungan yang murah hati dari berbagai penyebab dan sumbangan politik yang aktif dan mereka. Florence adalah feminin yang indah. Ruang ini diisi dengan perabotan mewah.

Her elemen Feng Shui bumi, jadi saya memilih dinding kuning-bukti. kamarnya adalah campuran kreatif furnitur berlapis emas neo-klasik dan berat, arsitektur Gothic melunak dengan kain renda. Permadani tekstur yang kaya membuat pernyataan yang kuat tidak ada keraguan sebuah ruangan besar dan meninggalkan preferensi musik kecapi nya

& amp; amp; nbsp;.


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Man City menawarkan untuk membawa Fiorentina kembali Nastasic | transfer | Tribal Football

Manchester City mengajukan tawaran untuk bek Fiorentina Matija Nastasic.Sky Italia mengatakan Kota dalam pembicaraan untuk menandatangani Nastasic untuk € 16 juta ditambah Savic.

Manchester City usulan Fiorentina diajukan Nastasic kembali.

Sky Italia , mengatakan kota dalam negosiasi pada penandatanganan Nastasic untuk € 16m ditambah Savic .

Savic bergabung satu-satunya kota di Juli 2011 untuk £ 6m dari Partizan, di mana dia adalah seorang rekan setimnya dengan Nastasic.


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Cosplaying duo kucing pesona dunia dengan pakaian mereka dan wajah cantik mereka

Fallout Satu pukulan pria , dan tikus yang dikenal sebagai cosplay.

Kami telah melihat cosplaying marmut dan berpakaian-up penguin, tetapi ketika datang untuk mendapatkan sosok kata atau niat pandang, tidak ada yang melakukan lebih baik daripada teman-teman kita di dunia kucing. Kedua kucing dari Amerika Serikat, cosplaying sebagai beberapa karakter akrab dari Jepang dan dunia sebagai manis dengan kostum mereka seperti mereka dengan ekspresi wajah mereka. Mari kita lihat beberapa fitur kreatif mereka, dari lineup lucu karakter anime Jepang mereka

.

▼ Kitty menempatkan pada wajah yang kuat berpose sebagai Saitama, superhero Caped tentara dari anime populer Satu Pukulan Man .

” dalam pertukaran untuk kekuasaan, mungkin aku kehilangan sesuatu yang diperlukan untuk kucing yang “. #OnePunchMan # サ イ タ マ # ワ ン パ ン マ ン #CatCosplay #Saitama #cats #cosplay #neko # # 猫 コ ス プ レ

Sebuah foto diposting oleh Cat cosplay (cat_cosplay) 28 Januari 2016 di 08:10 PT

. ▼ sini ia masuk ke karakter sebagai “Ereneko” versi kucing Eren Serangan di Titan

menghemat Ereneko! The Titans tidak memiliki kesempatan! # 進 撃 の 巨人 #attackontitan #CatCosplay

foto diposting Cat cosplay (cat_cosplay) di 4 Desember 2015 di 05:35 PT

ketika datang untuk menjaga seri hit Pokemon , kucing ini suka berdandan sebagai Gyarados naga seperti.

jangan tertawa, MOVES kami liburan, menggambar, headbutt dan Bite telah melayani kami dengan baik. #Gyarados #Pokemon #CAT #Caturday #CatCosplay # Pokemon #cosplay #CatType #Water #flying #moveset

foto diposting oleh Cat cosplay (cat_cosplay) 2 Januari 2016 di 09:27 PT

video game juga mendapatkan tampilan-in dengan penampilan dan Akuma tajam, yang dikenal di Jepang sebagai Gouki, Street Fighter game. Melihat orang-setan seperti mata

Kapten Catsui Hado tidak ada yang tahu karya nyata akan dilakukan pada hari Jumat … memalukan. #TGIF #CatCosplay #Akuma #Gouki #cats #cosplay # Tekken7 #StreetFighter #AkumaCosplay #thankgoditsfriday #friday

foto diposting oleh Cat cosplay (cat_cosplay) 22 Januari 2016 at 10:28 PST

saluran Kitty dirancang tata letak Emily Kaldwin game yang akan datang penghinaan 2 . rambut indah, serta semua kucing memakai kostum, penuh kasih tangan-dijahit oleh pemiliknya.

” ketika pemerintah takut orang-orang, ada kebebasan ketika orang takut pemerintah, ada tirani “~ Thomas Jefferson #Quotes #RememberRemember #CatCosplay #Dishonored #EmilyKaldwin #cat #cosplay #. CatsinCostumes #government #GuyFawkes #VforVendetta # Dishonored2

Foto diposting Cat cosplay (cat_cosplay) November 5, 2015 at 07:25 PT

Bahkan nama besar Amerika film dan acara TV tidak bisa lepas dari cengkeraman Kitty kaki, dengan tembakan kucing yang dramatis ini, seperti Jon Salju game of Thrones .