Odds and Ends 

The Fantastic Gravity Well Marble Machines of Larry Marley

Since 2016, artist and woodworker Larry Marley has been building and designing an annual ‘Gravity Well Marble Machine’. With each successive version, the design gets more ambitious and elaborate. From the satisfying sound of metal on wood to the hypnotizing path from start to finish, these wonderful contraptions are a delight to watch. Most works begin as a series of thumbnail sketches. Once a design is clear, a full size mechanical drawing is made. Then critical dimensions can be measured and entered into a software application he created to process…

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Are You Pound-Proof Yet? The Brexit Endgame Is About to Begin

Time is running out to position for a disorderly Brexit. That’s the chorus growing louder among pound traders and strategists, with Morgan Stanley joining the said to be preparing for a failure to secure an accord on future economic ties with the EU, the European Council meeting in October and the U.K. Parliament vote on the final exit agreement in December or January are potential flash points, according to the U.S. bank. The pound fell to the lowest level in almost a year against the dollar Thursday, with losses deepening…

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Theresa May and the art of the curtsy

Image copyright EPA What’s the issue with Theresa May’s style? Etiquette expert Jean Broke-Smith, who’s been teaching the art of the curtsy for decades, said: “She makes it look very awkward and drops so low. “The knees should be virtually connected but hers are about 10 inches apart. How she didn’t fall over, I don’t know. I was trying it just now and I couldn’t balance.” Image copyright AFP But Ms Broke-Smith, who was principal of the Lucie Clayton finishing and modelling school for 30 years, praised the prime minister.…

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Zimbabwe opposition figure charged after forced return

UN accuses Zambia of violating international law after MDCs Tendai Biti is denied asylum A senior Zimbabwean opposition politician who was refused asylum in neighbouring Zambia and forcibly returned to his own country has been charged over his alleged role in last weeks post-election protests. We will keep on fighting, Tendai Biti told reporters, before being granted bail of $5,000 (3,885) and told to surrender his passport. The UN said it was gravely concerned that Biti, a former finance minister and senior figure in the Movement for Democratic Change, was…

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Australia is deplorably racist, as people of colour are reminded when they speak up | Jack Latimore

There can be no reconciliation until politicians acknowledge the harmful impacts of race baiting Theres no question that Australia is a far more racist country than its political class like to admit. No amount of spin should be capable of disorientating hard facts sufficiently to obfuscate that reality. Yet incredibly I still receive abusive mail ridiculing me for jumping at shadows, protesting it just aint so. I understand how a certain amount of privilege in life provides a buffer to the kinds of racialised discrimination, prejudice and hate speech that…

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Louisianas Democratic governor an ally at influential rightwing conference

Alec, the organization that links corporate lobbyists with state lawmakers to draft laws, holds its annual meeting in New Orleans Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards, the only Democratic governor in the south, might seem like an awkward fit for the 45th annual meeting of the damage to so called critical infrastructure, which in Louisiana includes oil pipelines. Thats a big deal to environmental activists here who see the bill, which several other states have adopted, as a play to crack down on the kind of sustained demonstration that occurred at…

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