Saturday, June 9, 2012

Penguin Sex, China, and Skinheads (Link Round-Up 6/9/12)

[via Infozine]

China builds exact replica of Austrian tourist town
The original is a centuries-old village of 900 and a UNESCO heritage site that survives on tourism. The copycat is a housing estate that thrives on China's new rich. In a China famous for pirated products, the replica Hallstatt sets a new standard.
China can use fake parts and cyber-espionage to disable telecommunications
The electronic backdoor capability reportedly could allow the Chinese government through Huawei and ZTE to access information traveling through telecommunications networks or even sabotage electronic devices, Lignet said. With this capability, China would be in a position to sabotage critical U.S. weapons systems and sensitive cyber sites and could include intelligence or systems used by defense contractors doing work on behalf of the U.S. government.
The skinheads at Europe's biggest soccer tournament
“We have all these eastern European and former communist countries that 20 years ago were invisible or mute. Now they can express themselves and they do so with racist behavior. Polish football fans are notorious, and Ukraine is not far behind.”
Penguin sex is too shocking for science
“The pamphlet, declined for publication with the official Scott expedition reports, commented on the frequency of sexual activity, auto-erotic behaviour, and seemingly aberrant behaviour of young unpaired males and females, including necrophilia, sexual coercion, sexual and physical abuse of chicks and homosexual behaviour,” states the analysis written by Russell and colleagues William Sladen and David Ainley. “His observations were, however, accurate, valid and, with the benefit of hindsight, deserving of publication.”
How to overthrow a dictatorship
In this shabby hotel, in a nondescript corner of a Mediterranean island, 20 activists had come to attend a clandestine meeting on revolution: specifically, how to start one. Their instructors in this weeklong course were two former members of the Serbian youth group Otpor, which ousted the dictator Slobodan Milošević in 2000. Today, they work as trainers for an organization called the Centre for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies, otherwise known as CANVAS. The Belgrade-based organization, staffed with veterans from nonviolent democratic struggles in Serbia, Georgia, Lebanon, the Philippines, and South Africa, is one of the leading groups training democratic political movements around the world. In the past nine years, this outfit has advised movements in more than 50 countries. The list reads like a global field manual for the battle between dictators and democrats: Belarus, Bolivia, Burma, Egypt, Georgia, Guatemala, Iran, the Maldives, Tibet, Venezuela, Vietnam, West Sahara, and Zimbabwe. The trainers running this seminar are two of CANVAS’s most experienced instructors; they have run more than 70 workshops between them, in dozens of countries.
US military suicide rate hits average of one per day 
While the reasons for the increase are not entirely understood, the army's own data suggest soldiers with multiple combat tours are at greater risk. But a portion of those taking their own life have never deployed, the figures show. 
Suicide among troops had levelled off during 2010 and 2011, but 2012 has seen the fastest pace since the US war in Afghanistan began in 2001.
Evolution attacked in Turkish higher education
Defenders of evolution have long complained that, during its decade-long rule, the (AKP) government has increasingly downplayed evolution theories in textbooks at the expense of creationist explanations. Officially, teachers are supposed to teach both concepts, but they are given great latitude in their classrooms. 
The national Education and Science Workers' Union (Egitim Sen ) claims that some of its 125,000 teacher-members now face pressure from religious parents, school administrators and Turkey's Ministry of Education not to teach evolution. The union is warning that instruction of evolution theories is now under threat.

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