Sunday Smack

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Happy Sunday everyone! I hope you are all enjoying a nice spring Sunday! Here in Hungary, we just skipped spring and from winter it turned into summer directly. I am not sure it is fortunate for the things of nature, but we are enjoying the hot weather for now.

A few weeks ago, I posted about MOOCs and online learning, now I would like to recommend one of the courses I just signed up to. I wasn’t quite sure whether I can fit this in to my time schedule since there is one month left from the other course I am already doing on edX. That is HarvardX’s Justice by Michael J. Sandel, if you missed this semester on edX, you can still check out what it is all about here. I strongly recommend this one too, I have to admit, I have never enjoyed philoshophy this much!

The one I am looking forward to right now starts next Wednesday on Coursera: Introduction to International Criminal Law by Case Western Reserve University. If you love international law the way I do, just read the course info and you’ll see why I decided I just can’t afford to miss this. If you got interested or if you have already signed up, or if you are a student or graduate of this university and have more info about the course, I would love to hear from you!

And now, on to the news of this week. This past week was almost slow news week compared to the last one.  There were some interesting issues to follow though, you’ll see.

On world affairs:

Syria crisis: UN to study soil samples for proof of sarin gas

U.S. suspects Syria used chemical weapons, wants proof

Chemical Weapons in Syria: Enough to Justify the Use of Force?

The biggest world news of the week was undoubtedly the confirmation of the use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces. While it is still unclear what the Obama Administration and the international community can and will do in this new situation, the above articles sum up the most important aspects of the question.

Though Times Ahead for New Mali Peacekeeping Mission

The Security Council unanimously approved a new peacekeeping mission in Mali this week. Mark Leon Goldberg in the above post predicts it is going to be the deadliest mission in the history of UN Peacekeeping.

On the legal side:

The Supreme Court Unanimously Rejects Universal Jurisdiction

OK, I could write a whole new post about why this question is interesting even if this one case represents only a small piece of the whole picture. Read it if you are interested in the theoretical questions of international law.

A Preview of Likely Terrorism-Related Charges Against Tsarnaev

Here’s Why Tsarnaev Was Charged With Using a “Weapon of Mass Destruction”

We now know that he is not to be treated as an enemy combatant, he was read his rights and charged by a magistrate judge on Monday. In case you were asleep or offline for most part of the week and missed it, you can read the full transcript of the hearing here. The two above are great articles about the legal base of the charges.

On the sidenote here, am I the only one who finds it disturbing that the mother of these guys, who now keeps saying the whole bombing was staged, was on the FBI’s alleged terrorist threat list alongside with her older son?


Idiocy of the week:

Czech Republic Forced to Remind the Internet that Chechnya Is in Different Country After Boston Bombing

I mean why would Americans care to distinguish all the states of the world? They have 50 of their own to keep in mind. The most annoying thing though is that we don’t just talk about the public, but reporters and media personalities who really should check their facts before spreading them. So, do we think all Eastern Europeans are terrorists now?

Hack of the week:

Twitter Hoax Sparks Swift Stock Swoon


I personally don’t follow the AP account on Twitter. But even if I did, I always keep the “two reliable sources at least” rule before I believe anything. So should the stock market.

President of the week or week of the presidents?

Former US presidents, that is.

George H. W. Bush - George W. Bush Library Dedication Event

While of course George W. Bush opened his Presidential Center this week in Dallas, TX, the news wasn’t all about him.

President Clinton made the headlines by finally joining Twitter. He decided to drop @PrezBillyJeff, although he gained many followers on that account which Stephen Colbert set up for him, and created a new one. If you missed the whole fun with Colbert, you can catch up here. And make sure to follow the real President @BillClinton’s account.

 And President Bush #41 deserves a new headline too:

Fashion politics of the week:




Come on, I feature them both, because I loved the First Lady’s purple dress she wore for the journey to Dallas, but who can beat those socks? For the occasion, this TIME article showcased President Bush’s best footwear from the past:

George H. W. Bush Has the Best Socks

Interesting question of the week:

Why do authoritarian leaders give such long speeches?

I am not quite satisfied with the answer the article gives, if there was supposed to be an answer at all, but still, it is an interesting read.

Dance of the week:

Or honestly, I don’t even know what to call this. The most adorable thing of the week fits too. Here Tilda Swinton Honoring Film Critic Roger Ebert – With a Conga Line. The video went viral almost the moment it happened, so you’ve probably seen it. Either way, watch it again, just to lift your spirits! 🙂

Ebertfest 2013 Dance Along from Ebertfest on Vimeo.

Musical tease of the week:

As a Mariah Carey fan and L4L I cannot leave this out: MC and Miguel will be out with a new single called Beautiful on May 6! Can’t wait! #BEAUTIFUL

If you liked this compilation, you can check out the first one from last week here. And look out for the next! Now have a nice Sunday!

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