Good New York-style bagels in Tokyo!

Alice Gordenker    アリス・ゴーデンカー

First there was the gold standard. Then the silver standard. Now there’s the bagel standard! I’ve been on a quest to find the best bagel in Tokyo, and for now at least, I’d say the gold standard is Bagel Standard, a little shop that opened in Nakameguro in March 2010. No, I didn’t get the shop name wrong: it is not “Standard Bagel,” it’s “Bagel Standard.” Make a pilgrimage for New York-style bagels that are properly chewy, crusty and weigh in at a respectable 150-160 grams. Plains are ¥180. Sesame, salt and poppy bagels are ¥200 each. They have cinnamon-raisin bagels on Thursday and Saturdays only, at ¥220 each, and berry berry on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, for ¥240. Everythings are ¥220 everyday. My hands-down favorite are the salt bagels.

The shop is located on Yamatedori about a ten-minute walk from Nakameguro station in the direction of Meguro Station, next…

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A dot

“Saganism” Visualized.

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Trump’s dangerous agenda

The first 100 days of the Trump administration have included:

  • President Trump’s approval of Congress’ action rescinding the Alaska National Wildlife Refuges Rule, potentially allowing for extreme killing methods like shooting mother bears with cubs and killing wolves with pups during denning season on national wildlife refuges in Alaska;
  • An Executive Order undermining the Antiquities Act and opening more than a billion acres of protected national monuments up for review in the interest of allowing oil and gas industries and other special interests broader access to public lands;
  • An Executive Order calling for construction of a U.S.-Mexico border wall that could jeopardize the existence of at least 89 endangered or threatened species and 108 migratory bird species;
  • An Executive Order to “review and reconsider” the Clean Water Rule and putting our national health at risk; and
  • An Executive Order instructing the Department of the Interior to “review” offshore drilling restrictions in the Arctic, Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

And these are only a FEW examples of the many terrifying actions we’ve seen by this administration.

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Climate Change Info

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Trump administration is anti-science

There is plenty of evidence that the Trump administration is anti-science. For example:

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Why Wages Have Stagnated While GDP Has Grown: The Proximate Factors

Source: Why Wages Have Stagnated While GDP Has Grown: The Proximate Factors

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keep them happy with drugs and computer games

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Science, religion, and human behavior

Nietzsche famously said that there are not facts, only interpretations. The claim of science is rationality, but scientist are human, and therefore limited on the capacity to perceive reality objectively. The tool used by the scientific discipline to approach objectivity is the scientific method. Science is a belief system and scientist are subject to cultural and individual biases. Yet not all belief systems are religious. In the scientific belief system the predictive power of theory is the ruling consideration. Religious belief are magical and facts or experience are secondary to dogma. A rationalization of facts is necessary to fit them in the religious model.

Atheism per se is not scientific, it might be a religion for some, yet the scientific position cannot be but agnostic. In the human experience there is not factual or theoretical proof of the existence of a supernatural sentient being. If it were, they will be only one religion and the mechanics of how to relate to the supernatural will be common knowledge.

It is hard to define anything. Words like religion are especially hard to define because they are used to mean different things depending of speaker and context. Particularly, in my personal experience most people confuse magic with religion and folk reasons for religion beliefs are actually magic thinking: Means to control or influence reality by magic.

One thing I do not agree with is the statement that religion is puzzling because there is no benefit to it. Humans need meaning and a sense of belonging: Religion is the cultural manifestation of those instinctive needs.

Humans are a singularity, but the underlying mechanisms of behavior are a product of evolution, and as such, are shared among other animals. In any case, behavioral drivers explain group behavior and individual behavior in a statistical sense, as a general patterns. Furthermore, humans are for the most part unaware of their own motivations.

A scientific explanation of human behavior has to be functional and reductionist because the scientific method is analytic and function and behavior can be observed and measure, while meaning is subjective and not directly observable.

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The Sykes–Picot Agreement

The Sykes–Picot Agreement, officially known as the Asia Minor Agreement, was a secret agreement between the governments of the United Kingdom and France,[1] with the assent of Russia, defining their proposed spheres of influence and control in the Middle East should the Triple Entente succeed in defeating the Ottoman Empireduring World War I. The negotiation of the treaty occurred between November 1915 and March 1916.[2] The agreement was concluded on 16 May 1916.[3]

The agreement effectively divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian peninsula into areas of future British and French control or influence.[4] An “international administration” was proposed forPalestine.[5] The terms were negotiated by the French diplomat François Georges-Picot and Briton Sir Mark Sykes. The Russian Tsarist government was a minor party to the Sykes–Picot agreement, and when, following theRussian Revolution of October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement, “the British were embarrassed, theArabs dismayed and the Turks delighted.”

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