Monday, July 26, 2010
Journal Round: Time, Foreign Policy, Rolling Stones
Call me old-fashioned , but I still enjoy reading paper magazines rather than electronic ones, just like I love holding a real book rather than turning pages on a electronic book reader like kindle.
I'll talk about a few topics from this week's magazines.
I never thought about summer vacations, but according to Time's edition this week, summer vacations are harmful. It's a period during which school students forget a lot of things they have learnt in school. The tradition of summer vacation started 100 years ago when school kids had to help in the farm during the growing days, but now it should become obsolete. The writer emphasizes on how students of low-income families are the ones hurt the most from summer vacations. their Maths skills seem to deteriorate following any summer vacation.
Local governments can't add more school days to the calender sue to cost and culture. Also tourism industry won't like it that much.
Time dedicates one page to talking about Panera bread, a restaurant chain that is not asking its customers to pay whatever they want for their sandwiches. It gives a "requested amount" and generous well-off people may pay more than that in order to allow the less fortunate to buy sandwiches at a lower price. It's working well so far although some people seem to be abusing the idea.
This is a wonderful idea, if it works maybe other chain restaurants will start considering it.
Foreign Policy (FP)
This magazine is worth every girsh you pay for it. It provides good analysis of any political problem that's going on, often giving both sides of the story. The articles are written by world intellectuals. If you are a regular reader there is no way your letter will be published in the comment section.
Let me quote something about Lebanon, which might be well-known to a few,
" No one knows who exactly lives in Lebanon. The country hasn't had a census since the French colonial government conducted one in 1932. A census would likely reveal the uncomfortable truth- for Lebanon's Maronite Christians- that their numbers have been slipping as percentage of the population. When Lebanon became independent in 1943, a national pact divided power between Christians and Muslims in a 6-5 ratio based on the 1932 census, later changed to an even split after the brutal 1975-1990 civil war Since then, the Shiite community is believed to have grown faster than any other community, but Christians, despite making up only an estimated quarter of the population, still hold half the parliamentary seats. They'd prefer to keep it that way. "
In the last page, FP writes: Five things you don't know about Ramadan:
1- Ramadan is Big Business
2- After oil, Ramadan is Saudi Arabia' biggest export.
3- Ramadan is a time of peace, but it's also marked by war
4- Globalization has changed Ramadan.
5- Ramadan is a tyrant's best friend.
(Special Collectors Edition)
The Rolling Stone has a special edition of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time
The top ten were:
1- Like a Rolling Stone - Bob Dylan, which by the way never reached number 1 on the charts when released
2- I Can't Get No Satisfaction (Rolling Stones)
3- Imagine (Beatles)
4- What's Going On (Marvin Gaye)
5- Respect (Aretha Franklin)
6- Good Vibrations (Beach Boys)
7- Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
8- Hey Jude (Beatles)
9- Smells Like a Teen Spirit (nirvana)
10- What I'd Say (Ray Charles)
I don't think you'll find 2 people in this world who can agree on the same list, but it's good to run through the top 500 songs in the list. Songs from the 1960s had nearly 40% of the songs on the list.
See you next week