Australian politics, society & culture

The Shortlist Daily

The best reads from around the world

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Lead item

Plain packaging: tobacco companies lose Australian court case "Australia's highest court has endorsed cigarette plain-packaging laws that will force tobacco companies to remove branding from their products... The laws, the toughest in the world, are being watched closely by Britain, Norway, New Zealand, Canada and India."

Big tobacco, Health

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

General item

'Economic suicides' shake Europe as financial crisis takes toll on mental health "Perris wrote in an online forum late one night that he had run out of money to buy food and cursed those responsible for the economic crisis in Greece. 'I have no solution in front of me,' he typed. Perris took the hand of his ailing 90-year-old mother. They climbed to the roof of their apartment building and leapt to their death."

Washington Post

Does copyright matter? "Once the immediate family has been protected, availability and celebrity is more important to an author than a revenue stream for descendents he has never met. The lapse of copyright is a concession to the author’s dreams of immortality at the expense of the family." (Tim Parks)

New York Review of Books
Books, Literature

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

General item

Golden ratio discovered in uterus "Dr Verguts was thrilled to discover that when women are at their most fertile, between the ages of 16 and 20, the ratio of length to width of a uterus is 1.6 – a very good approximation to the golden ratio."

Health, Mathematics

Harper's Weekly Review "July was the first month since 2007 in which no attacks by Somali pirates were reported. 'The return on investment is now just too low,' said piracy expert Stig Jarle Hansen. 'Leaders are basically saying that they are getting out of piracy and going into other business, like kidnapping.'"

Harper's Magazine

And finally

Self-portraits done to a different drug every day "Every day, artist Brian Lewis Saunders would take a different drug and draw his self-portrait. Don't try this at home." (Image gallery)