War Tourism, Water Fasting, and Worldwide Capital

The Benefits of a Six-Day Water FastGQ
“On my second day of fasting, I wake up at 4 A.M. in an unforgiving mood. Rise and do not shine. Rise and moan. It’s dark and cold. Once you take digestion out of the equation, you save tremendous energy, which can make you restless at all the wrong times. Like the middle of the night. I take my sad glass of water and weigh myself in the kitchen. I’m down three pounds from yesterday. And then I notice that there is something seriously wrong with the air.”

War Tourists Flock to Syria’s Front Linesthe Daily Beast
“When Tyler Smith visited northern Syria this January, he found himself in a dance-off with Syrian rebels at a training area near al-Bab. “I tried to show them how to do the worm,” the 20-year-old American chuckles. “They taught me how to disassemble and reassemble an AK-47.””

Man UpGrantland
“The Dolphins have, or maybe had, a 24-year-old left tackle named Jonathan Martin. And they have, or maybe had, a 30-year-old left guard named Richie Incognito. Last week, Martin left the team to seek help for emotional issues. Then allegations emerged that Incognito had been bullying him. Hazing him, if that word makes you feel better. Threatening him. Threatening his family. Leaving him racist voice mails. Sending him homophobic texts.”

The Story Behind Why AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Fired an Employee in Front of 1,000 Co-workersBusiness Insider
“Now, the gathered Patch employees expected to hear the depressing details: Making Patch profitable, presumably, would involve mass layoffs — layoffs that would probably include many people in the room.”

All Around the World, Labour is Losing Out to Capitalthe Economist
“A falling labour share implies that productivity gains no longer translate into broad rises in pay. Instead, an ever larger share of the benefits of growth accrues to owners of capital. Even among wage-earners the rich have done vastly better than the rest: the share of income earned by the top 1% of workers has increased since the 1990s even as the overall labour share has fallen. In America the decline from the early 1990s to the mid-2000s is roughly twice as large, at about 4.5 percentage points, if the top 1% are excluded.”

Dell Officially Goes Private: Inside the Nastiest Tech Buyout EverForbes
“So as he strides in front of 350 employees in the glass-enclosed conference room of Dell’s Silicon Valley division a few weeks ago, with celebratory gourmet cupcakes frosted with the company’s blue logo nearby, you can literally feel a weight coming off his chest. “It’s great to be here and to not have to introduce Carl Icahn to you,” says Dell, the parry prompting laughter and cheers.”

Interview with Chris Hadfield NPR
“”There are no wishy-washy astronauts,” Hadfield tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “You don’t get up there by being uncaring and blase. And whatever gave you the sense of tenacity and purpose to get that far in life is absolutely reaffirmed and deepened by the experience itself.””

Photo courtesy of Victor Casale

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