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Friday, June 21, 2013


Well, Daily Quoters, tonight marks my final post for about 8 weeks.
Tomorrow morning I have my final exam, which means I am not sleeping tonight.
Twelve hours later I am on a flight to Madrid, Spain - as such, I am somewhat of a mess right now.

I dedicated my incredibly scarce time to this project in December 2012, and since 2 December 2012, I've posted every single day for over six months.
The blog has gained a respectable following, and I am confident that the exponential curve will grow in my favour in the months (or, gasp, years?) to follow.

Feel free to revisit some of the old content - this material never goes out of style, its hardly contextual and the variety means that you have over 150 articles and topics to choose from at your leisure.
I urge you to enjoy this blog to its fullest extent once (most of you) finish your final exams and run into some free time.

I will be back in 8 weeks, with a head full of material (that I will read on the plane) and a fresh mindset with which to spilleth my creative juices unto thee.

Until then, take it easy - and if it's easy, take it.


Thursday, June 20, 2013

20 June 2013

A few days ago, we posted about a fantastic documentary from Vice about the 'winning' of the Afghanistan War, and the subsequent formation of a piece-meal national army.

As for today's edition of Throwback Thursdays, we go back to the end of January, where we put up a very substantial post on the Syrian Civil War. It was another 3-part Vice documentary, but this one was far more provocative.
Some of the footage of this one left me shocked and disgusted. It's quite moving, and there are some pretty graphic images.

Spend a sobering hour on this doco, or just skip to some interesting bits. It's all quite moving, all of it.

21 January 2013

Recently, a coworker received the sudden and crippling news that her first cousin had been shot dead in war-torn Syria. Like a blood-soaked butterfly effect, this supposed civil war is hitting ever closer to home.

Today's Daily Quota is a consolidated collection of a six-part series titled Ground Zero Syria.

This series follows Vice Magazine videographer Robert King and he spends some time with Syrian civilians and rebels, camera in tow.
Those of you who have never heard of Vice are in for an enlightening treat. Their website, and particularly their YouTube Channel, is packed full of interesting stories, documentaries, how-to guides and general shit-talk. Each are bite-sized and very much empathetic towards the short attention spans of the internet proletariat.

I must warn everyone, many of these images are graphic and very distressing, even to my standards. King doesn't hold back on scenes of civilian casualties, especially women and children.

Each episode focuses on a different facet of the anti-Assad movement; ranging from the civilian-run hospitals, to the child victims, to interviews with representatives of the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo.

Readers must also be aware of the heavily anti-Assad position of the publication. There is a lot of conflicting information out there about the Syrian civil war. We must remember that Vice is an American publication targeted at contrarian American audiences.

Below is an episode guide. Each episode is only about 7 minutes long, but you can't stop at one.

part 1 : Assad's Child Victims VICE commissioned renowned photojournalist and videographer Robert King to embed on the front lines with the Free Syrian Army in Aleppo. War-zone chaos ensued. In this episode, Assad forces hit Al Qusayr with a rocket attack while Robert is filming - it was targeted directly.
part 2 : Burning of The Old Souk Amid a fierce battle between Assad's security forces and Free Syrian Army insurgents, fire swept through the old Souk of Aleppo, a historic covered market and World Heritage site. Rebel fighters and activists have reported that the blaze was sparked by the use of incendiary mortar rounds by Assad's forces. 
part 3 :The Atrocities Within Aleppo's Field Hospital  The atrocities and war crimes currently ripping Syria apart at the seams are evident inside a field hospital in Aleppo, the country's largest city. Inside the hospital exhausted doctors indescriminately treat civilians, members of the Free Syrian Army, and captured Syrian Army troops alike.
part 4 : Under Fire for Bread in Alepp Every day the men, women, and children of Aleppo, Syria, must risk their lives to stand in line and hope that they can buy a kilo of bread to survive another day. Many of the bread factories in Aleppo have been destroyed amidst fighting between the Free Syrian Army and Assad's troops. The few that remain are staffed by brave souls who risk their lives every day to ensure the local population has basic sustenance. 
part 5 : The Bombing of Aleppo's Dar al-Shifa Hospital On November 21, Aleppo's Dar al-Shifa Hospital was bombed and destroyed by the Syrian Army. This is the same makeshift hospital where, weeks ago, VICE and videographer Robert King reported on human rights abuses and war crimes against patients (including children) being treated inside. It was completely leveled by the rocket attack, and Robert was on the scene to document the fallout.
part 6 : The Free syrian Army During his time in Syria throughout much of 2012, videographer Robert King followed Aleppo's Al-Tawhid Brigade as he dodged bullets and rocket fire to learn more about the largest brigade of the Free Syrian Army. Somehow Robert managed to track down Haji-Mara, the Al-Tawhid Brigade's commander, for a rare interview, during which the former-businessman-turned-freedom-fighter espouses the many difficulties the rebels face against the alleged brutality of President Bashar al-Assad's regime.


Wednesday, June 19, 2013

19 June 2013

Today we look at a topic that has completely blown out from its niche community and gained enormous interest amongst young and old - mixed martial arts, but in particular, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. 

Today's Daily Quota is a series of videos from some of the titans of the sport. Today's contributor Marko is a long-term trainer, competitor and advocate of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I've seen him talk about this sport with such passion that it's hard to hide your respect for it - even with as little knowledge about it as most.
Check out Marko's contribution below, and watch these videos to gain a better understanding of a sport that we're bound to see a lot more of in the years to follow:

If you have ever seen the UFC or ‘Cage Fighting’ then you have witnessed the evolution of Jiu Jitsu. Originally from Japanese origins, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, as of the last 50 years has been lead by the Gracie family of Brazil. BJJ is a grappling Martial Art, somewhat similar to Judo, Greco Roman Wrestling and Freestyle Wrestling.
Why have all these forms of combat been so valuable to society’s for thousands of years? Martial Arts is one of the only direct forms of contact we have with our ancient ancestors. If you are a Martial Artist you understand the value of constantly developing your mind and body... it’s the time of day where you face reality, you leave your ego at the door and put your skills, training and honour on the line; if you have earned victory then you receive victory, if not... you get your ass kicked. Simple formula with no political influence, no strike of luck and no bullshit.

-  Rickson Gracie is one of the most respected figures in the Martial Arts world, he has been an ambassador of BJJ and a great fighter with over 400 matches under his belt.
-  Kron Gracie is Rickson’s son, he carries his father’s legacy and is a notable figure in the competitive world of BJJ.
-  The final video is one of Joe Rogan giving a speech after receiving his Black Belt from Eddie Bravo; must watch.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

18 June 2013

Long-time Daily Quoters will know that we've discussed Vice in the past, especially their geopolitical pieces on Syria.
Yes, these are turbulent times we live in, and one can be forgiven for holding the notion that the world is turning to absolute dog shit - to put it in eloquent terms.
Source: The American Scholar
Today's Daily Quota jumps back into the Vice archives, albeit a more recent piece. It's called 'Afghanistan - This is what winning looks like' (a cheeky allusion to Obama's famous words, which were, funnily enough, pretty similar to Nixon's 'victory with honour' when the US lost the Vietnam War)

This full length documentary that follows a British journalist behind the scenes of the debauchery and corruption that plagues the US effort to train up a new Afghan Army from villagers and volunteers.
Here's the Vice blurb:
"This Is What Winning Looks Like" is a disturbing new documentary about the ineptitude, drug abuse, sexual misconduct, and corruption of the Afghan security forces as well as the reduced role of US Marines due to the troop withdrawal.
This is a great documentary. It's got some incredible footage, and the viewer can't help but find some of the conduct quasi-comical - especially the culture clash.

Bottom Line : This doesn't look like Winning at all.

Check out the full-length video below:

Monday, June 17, 2013

17 June 2013

One thing that a lot of my Greek friends pride themselves on is ancient Greek storytelling - Homer and his epic stories (see, that time it was used correctly); Aristophanes and his tastefully backhanded insight into gender politics; the philosophical workings of Aristotle, Plato, oh the list goes on.

Ah yes, good times.
However, does every story have a structure? Are we arrogant enough to believe that we can encompass a finite list of ways in which a story can be told? 
Author Kurt Vonnegut seems to think so.

Below we have the rather condensed and rather colourful adaptation of his attempts to graphically depict types of storylines. The original explanation is brilliantly explained by Lapham's Quarterly here, but as you can see, it has been simplified and colourful picture have been inserted to pacify the masses whose next distraction is but a notification away.

Have a look, and maybe even read the article above - it's a great bit it knowledge to have stored in the ol' intellectual piggy bank (which, hopefully, is flourishing!) 
The full resolution image can also be found below.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

16 June 2013

Well Daily Quoters, this is the last edition of Superficial Sundays for almost two months.
Why? Because your faithful and reliable broadcaster is heading to Europe 12 hours after his final exam.

As such, The Daily Quota will be on hiatus till mid August!
Although I don't anticipate anyone missing me too much (one can hope).

Whatever the case, today's trivial Daily Quota is dedicated to all law students who are in the same boat as me - the Procrastination Boat. It's kinda like the Titanic, except its intended destination is a Distinction average. Needless to say, it shares the same fate as the one that was heading to New York City.

The folks over at Survive Law often post funny, informative, and sometimes trivial stuff that law students might find interesting. Today, it posted The Semester Summarised in Memes.
Very appropriate that it will actually proliferate procrastination.

Ah well, set the sails!


Saturday, June 15, 2013

15 June 2013

As if being in my third week of exam mode, and thus third week of 5-hours sleep a night, wasn't enough reason to be sardonic, we reach yet another edition of Sardonic Saturdays on The Daily Quota!
Today's Daily Quota is a super-short film titled Journal of an Epidemic. It's a pretty freaky 3-minute 'timeline' of a global epidemic that has wiped out the human race, short of one man. This video serves as, what appears to be, an introduction to a future series narrated by the (only) protagonist. 

It's chilling, engaging, and for an amateur short film, very, very well done.
The end is nigh, folks.