"In order that the mind may not be taxed, moreover, by the manifold and confused reading of so many such things, and in order to prevent the escape of something valuable that we have read, heard, or discovered through the process of thinking itself, it will be found very useful to entrust to notebooks ... those things which seem noteworthy and striking."

[Commonplace books: Thomas Farnaby, 17th-century]

Mr. Yudhoyono has also raised eyebrows, not only by becoming Indonesia's first leader to record music while in office, but also by showing an extreme sensitivity to criticism. Early this month, Mr. Yudhoyono banned the presence of water buffaloes in public demonstration after protesters likened him to the beast.

[World leaders: Norimitsu Onishi, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 02.15.2010

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On photographer Platon's comment that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is "a very childlike man....He giggles like a boy. I didn't want to paint a caricature of him: tough and mean. I wanted to show this irony that there's an innocence about his eyes": These pictures are exercises in a stylized neutrality, a willful indifference to everything we know about their subjects. There is not an "innocence" about Ahmadinejad's eyes, or ears, or nose. He is, in his every detail, guilty. He represses his society and subjugates its women and shoots its young people and steals its elections and threatens to incinerate another country. Fuck his giggle.

[World leaders: Leon Wieseltier, The New Republic]

Posted by stronzo on 01.08.2010

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Mr. Marzah, known as Zigzag...became angry as the defense lawyer repeatedly insisted that he had no close contact with Mr. Taylor. Stung, Mr. Marzah blurted out that he and Mr. Taylor belonged to the same secret society and had together eaten human hearts. With that he nervously crossed himself. When the lawyer asked if he crossed himself because he had just lied under oath, Mr. Marzah said he had just broken the secrecy laws of his society.

[World leaders: Marlise Simons, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 07.14.2009

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In recent weeks, North Korean diplomats abroad have been told to begin to pay homage to Kim Jong-un and some schoolchildren have reportedly been including his name in their songs. His rise comes at the expense of his 38-year-old brother, Kim Jong-nam, best known for the moment when he was caught slipping into Japan on a false passport, on his way to Tokyo Disneyland.

[World leaders: David Sanger, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 06.04.2009

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Here would be the climactic face-off: on one side, a young and impulsive modernizer who fancied himself leader of so-called color revolutions that would sweep away unsavory holdover regimes from the Soviet years. On the other, a dour and calculating ex-K.G.B. spy who saw much to like in the old ways and wanted to restore his nation to its proper glory. Only one problem. Mr. Saakashvili at first didn’t show up. He supposedly lost track of time while doing laps in his hotel pool, arriving at the Kremlin half an hour late and leaving Mr. Putin seething, according to three Georgians who were there. “I hope that you had a good time swimming,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Saakashvili.

[World leaders: Week in Review, New York Times]

Posted by stronzo on 04.19.2009

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