Daily catch-up: into the rapids of the Greek crisis; and a history of the English

Plus sound effects and even more recommended reading

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The Independent Online

1. General Boles, the anonymous photo-manipulator extraordinaire, is reissuing his greatest hits on Twitter. This, of David Cameron and Angela Merkel in the rapids, hearing the thunder of the waterfall for the first time, is one of his best, and fitting for the present Greek drama.

2. Talking of thunder, this is brilliant. A website that plays the sound of rain. With adjustable settings. Thanks to Stan Carey.

3. Recommended reading:

Janan Ganesh is very good on the question of whether politics or culture comes first, and whether our culture is left wing. 

Glen O’Hara writes on how magical thinking – Greens, UKIP, SNP – now dominates our politics.

Oliver Sacks ponders the news that he has only months to live, via Clive Davis.

4. I went on the pre-election campaign trail with David Cameron last week and wrote about it here.

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5. The English and Their History is a fabulous new book by Robert Tombs. I can’t remember the last time I had the sensation of not wanting to stop reading a book, but I have just felt it again. The first long chapter on how a nation called England, shaped by the church, emerged from the mess of kingdoms, mini-states and invasions before 1066 is thrilling. Perhaps that says as much about me as the book, as I have long been fascinated by how the English language and English identity came to be, but Tombs does broad sweep of narrative history better than anyone.

6. And finally, thanks to Moose Allain for this:

“If I could change one thing about myself it would be the number of things about myself I’m allowed to change.”