• Arts & Culture

    Reporting from Moscow: Yeltsin to Yanukovych

    When General Secretary Gorbachev  announced the policy of perestroika and the floodgates of glasnost opened in March 1985, the press, and the Western press in particular, suddenly became a functioning unit of Russian civil society. This is not to say that a reporter could not report prior to liberalization, but the deep and intimate research required to understand the anguished Russian situation had been largely impossible. David Remnick, now editor of The New Yorker, arrived in Moscow as a reporter for the The Post in the late 80’s. His time there would become the subject of his Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of The Soviet Empire.”…

  • Sports

    Obscure Sporting: Florentine Football

    At the visceral sound of a small cannon, the sound ricocheting off of Florence’s ancient structures, 27 players rush forward into the lurid brawl which is the sport of Florentine Football. Imagine a strange combination of handball, rugby, and hand-to-hand combat, in a sandy gladiator cage 80x40m, surrounded by jeering fans. This is the revived version of the 16th century Italian sport, calcio, which itself may be a revival of the antique Roman sport of harpastum.   In the Renaissance era, the brutal sport was limited to the most elite. Rich aristocrats played before Lent, and even Popes (Leo XI, Urban VIII) entered the game in the Vatican. The game…

  • Arts & Culture

    Book Review: what is East and what is West?

    In Mathias Enard’s novel “Compass” the elusive specter of the East is fully exposed. However, not in a way that would satisfy the obsessed orientalist. From the opening lines of the follow-up to Enard’s masterpiece “Zone,” “Compass” thrills the reader lyrically and incites debate over the true homogeneity of both Western demography and culture. “We are two opium smokers each in his own cloud, seeing nothing outside, alone, never understanding each other we smoke, faces agonizing in a mirror…” With this exposition, Enard exposes us to his Proust-like prose, while forcing the reader to consider: is the cultural divide between East and West a smoky, impenetrable wall, as many xenophobic…

  • News

    Turkey and US face off in Northern Syria

    In the Northern corner of Syria, bordering Turkey, two million Kurds live in a state of order as compared with the rest of the region. They have democratic and focused governments and a strong security force. Elsewhere, the once glorious cities of the Middle East have been ravaged by evacuating residents, drone strikes, insurgent guerilla fighting, and daily mortar shelling. In Kurd-controlled Syria, the largest ethnic minority in the fighting country lives in a state of order, as the region continues in violence. Kurds speak their own language and maintain a strong sense of self-determination and nationalism for their lands. In Syria, the Kurds have long been a repressed minority,…

  • Opinions

    Apple under Cook has forgotten roots

    Steve Jobs’ death in October of 2011 was a crushing blow to computing, music, media, marketing, communication, and most saliently to style and aesthetic. Apple Computer has forever been associated with the roots of the counterculture forced into the rigidity of the tech world. The name itself conveys the “insanely great” (Steve Jobs’ favorite accolade to describe Apple) company which leads the industry today. Apple, suggesting the organic, the dirty; and computer, with sleek, jazzy, and quick, connotations which are embodied in the brand today, unite to summate the ethos of a company which is now declining. Apple maintains the reputation of a brazen technology company with an inventive spirit,…