Thursday, July 7, 2011

SlutWalks, Chinese Art Bribes, and Misguided Youth (Link Round-Up 7/7/11)

[via Inhabitat]

Kids These Days
Why the children in Canadian-Muslim families have more militant beliefs
I’ve spoken to many parents in the Pakistani and Somali communities who’ve “lost” their children to the jihad. Fathers, in tears, because they haven’t seen their sons for weeks. Convinced their boys have been recruited to Pakistan’s Taliban or Yemen’s faction of al-Qaeda or to Somalia’s al-Shabaab youth movement. Mothers who’ve watched their Canadian-born children turn into angry, militant Islamists.

And here I must stress something: There’s a difference between Islam and Islamism. Islam is a religion, a faith, as beautiful and as flawed as any other, which can be practised as liberally or as conservatively as we choose. Islamism, however, is a doctrine that uses Islam as political ideology, mandating sharia law, armed jihad against all non-Muslims and, ultimately, a domination of Islamism over the West. It’s this Islamism that’s seizing young Muslims.
Termite-based biofuel production?
“People have overlooked the host termite as a source of enzymes that could be used in the production of biofuels,” said Mike Scharf, professor in molecular physiology and urban entomology at Purdue University.

“For a long time it was thought that the symbionts (small organisms in termites’ guts), were solely responsible for digestion,” said Scharf, reports the journal Public Library of Science One.
No Future
The grim prospects of South African youth
She admitted to me she didn't know as much about politics or her own history as she would like, and said that that was true of many in her generation. That's in part because the real history is not taught in any detail in the schools, or shown with any regularity on South African TV stations that are more into selling than telling by pumping out sports and popular culture.

Kids know more abut Mandela than the movement he led, an expression of the celebrity worship that dominates youth culture. On TV here, Oprah is better known than such lionesses of the freedom fight as Albertina Sisulu, revered by many as the Mother of the Nation, who died a month ago.
Art History
The Chinese art of "elegant bribery"
The history of elegant bribery can be traced back to ancient Chinese dynasties, and arguably, it has been an intractable problem since the Ming dynasty (1368-1644). Consider the case of the prime minister Yan Song (1480-1567) and his son Yan Shifan (1513-1565): they were notorious for corruption in general, and they were known to have received elegant bribes in particular. Eventually, the emperor confiscated all of their properties, and over 6000 pieces of invaluable calligraphy and paintings were found— most of them were bribes of their subordinates.
What's In A Name?
The future of SlutWalks
The idea that women’s clothing has some bearing on whether they will be raped is a dangerous myth feminists have tried to debunk for decades. Despite all the activism and research, however, the cultural misconception prevails. After an 11-year-old girl in Texas was gang-raped, the New York Times ran a widely criticized story this spring that included a description of how the girl dressed “older than her age” and wore makeup — as if either was relevant to the culpability of the 18 men accused of raping her. In Scotland, one secondary school is calling for uniforms to be baggier and longer in an attempt to dissuade pedophiles.

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