"Old people say they love their children, but they send their children to war. Old people never fight in wars. But they always start them. If they really loved their children, old people would find a way to resolve their problems.”
From Beirut to Istanbul: The Rapid Rise of Lebanese Band Mashrou3 Leila
Mashrou3 Leila, sometimes known as Mashrou’ Leila or Leila’s Project, is a seven piece Lebanese band who have been making waves due to their cutting edge sound and satirical, polemical lyrics. Arie Amaya-Akkermans outlines the musical charms of Mashrou3 Leila and the way in which they push cultural and political boundaries in Lebanon and the wider Middle East.
This enormous tornado erupting from the surface of the sun is big enough to swallow the Earth. In fact, it could swallow five Earths.
Discovered using NASA’s Solar Dynamic Observatory satellite, this colossal twisting mass is made up of superheated gas at a temperature of between 90,000 and 3.6 million degrees Fahrenheit.
Over the course of three hours, this behemoth reached up from the sun’s surface to a height of 125,000 miles, or roughly half the distance between the Earth and the moon. The hot gases were whipped up to nearly 186,000 miles per hour. In comparison, the wind speed of terrestrial tornadoes generally reaches a paltry 100 miles per hour.
Scientists have previously seen smaller solar tornadoes with other sun-observing satellites but this one — spotted in September 2011 — is thought to be the first one ever filmed. Since then, researchers have seen at least one more solar tornado, an Earth-sized twister.
These tornadoes often precede events known as coronal mass ejections — huge eruptions of charged particles that blast out of the sun’s surface with tremendous energy. Such flare-ups are thought to be related to interactions among the sun’s magnetic field lines, whose corkscrewing movements also shape the solar tornado.
Oh shit. Ain’t that something.
Becoming a writer in a language that is not yours by birth, though, goes against nature; there is nothing organic in this process, only artifice. There are no linguistic “instincts” to guide you on the path and the language’s guardian angels rarely whisper into your ear; you are truly on your own. Says Cioran: “When I wrote in Romanian, words were not independent of me. As soon as I began to write in French I consciously chose each word. I had them before me, outside of me, each in its place. And I chose them: now I’ll take you, then you.”
Many who shift to writing in a second language develop an unusually acute linguistic awareness. In an interview he gave in 1979, some seven years after he moved to the United States from his native Russia, Joseph Brodsky speaks of his ongoing “love affair with the English language.” Language is such an overwhelming presence for these people that it comes to structure their new biographies. “English is the only interesting thing that’s left in my life,” says Brodsky. The need to find le mot juste starts out as a concern, turns into an obsession, and ends up as a way of life. These writers excel at the art of making virtue of necessity: out of a need to understand how the new language works, they turn into linguistic maniacs; out of a concern for correctness, they become compulsive grammarians.