Thursday, June 01, 2006

He's Trevorywhere!

Praise be for Trevor Phillips! Prepared to wade in everywhere... And now that it's become clear that living near people of different races is an impediment to personal happiness (how long before the Tories pledge to sort that one out?), it's even more essential that, yes, again, Trevor pipes up. Is there really no one else out there (in BBC producers' contacts books)?

He's Trevorywhere!

Praise be for Trevor Phillips! Prepared to wade in everywhere... And now that it's become clear that living near people of different races is an impediment to personal happiness (how long before the Tories pledge to sort that one out?), it's even more essential that, yes, again, Trevor pipes up. Is there really no one else out there (in BBC producers' contacts books)?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

"8. NEPAL SHALL BE A SECULAR STATE."

This proclamation, issued by the House of Representatives of Nepal's new government, has sparked off, with its punchy Article 8, a significant Samudaya.org, the BJP and, somewhat bizarrely, Congress have been getting a bit exercised over the border in India. Uday Bajracharya, writing in the independent Kantipur Online, defends Nepali secularism by saying:
In the case of Nepal, it is mainly the Buddhists that have been asking for secularism. Buddhism and Hinduism have co-existed extremely well in Nepal for centuries. Secularism only means freedom from dominance of one religion by another [...] the people of Nepal have to understand that the path to secularism is not going to be easy. Certain sections of the community that had been benefiting from Nepal being a Hindu state may well resist the change. The secularists mustn’t see the recent event as a ‘victory’ over Hinduism because secularism is not anti-Hinduism.
All entirely admirable, of course, but rendered a little comic by the appearance of "Muslim Brides Dinner Club" in the Google Ads beneath his column.
Meanwhile, the Agape Press wonders whether a newly secular Nepal might offer growth opportunities... which won't help Outlook India, as it examines the RSS's claims that it's all just a Christian conspiracy - and wonders whether this might serve to make Hindutva worse. And the media isn't immune either. Zee News reported that 1700 copies of the Kathmandu Post were burned by Hindu groups in Southern Nepal, during a protest against the government's decision. US papers avoided a similar fate, presumably since the reactionary diaspora issued a call to arms via this letter from "Nepalese living in America". Track Nepal's blogosphere here at the ever excellent Global Voices.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Guardian's Portrait of London wins Amnesty Media Award

Shook the dust out of my whistle, buffed my pate, and chewed my fingernails at the Amnesty Media Awards last week, and, amid the surprisingly lengthy thank yous, Leo Benedictus offered a functional acceptance speech for a really excellent Guardian special report I had unaccountably missed. London: The world in one city pulls together a huge range of statistics with interviews, profiles, and maps to create a portrait of London's much-vaunted diversity. Organised by ethnicity, religion, and omission, it's the outstanding result of what Benedictus called "travelling around on a tube pass and eating nice food". A worthy winner. Link

Friday, September 09, 2005

An Immigration Map of Great Britain (ippr, via BBC, via Observer Blog)

ippr have released a report mapping Britain's immigrant communities in some depth. Mapping country of birth is a good way in, but a more revealing (if infinitely more complex) map might be brought out by mapping grandparents' countries of birth... Free BBC version (thanks to Observer Blog)

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

A Question of Culture - British Academy panel discussion [March 2005]

The British Academy has made available audio of the full 1h56 of this panel discussion (hosted by Queen's University, Belfast) between Professor Adam Kuper, FBA, Brunel University, Professor Fred Halliday, FBA, London School of Economics, and Professor Jytte Klausen, Brandeis University, USA. Culture seems to explain everything at the moment, the way gender once did, or, before that, class, or, a long time ago, race, or, even longer ago, destiny. A decade ago, Samuel Huntington warned that, in future, 'The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural.' According to one commentator after another, celebratory or indignant, every European country is multicultural. Is immigration policy a matter of dealing with cultural difference? Today, these debates are at their most acute as European countries shape policies on 'Muslim' minorities, and confront the intricate crises of the Middle East, and the challenge of terrorism. Link

Personal Genome weblog

I'm obviously a bit slow on the uptake, but I tripped over the clear, unfussy Personal Genome ("Genomics as a medical tool and a lifestyle choice") today. Apart from the massively comprehensive set of links - see his sidebar for a huge range of resources - it's an engaging mix of the personal and the technical. His latest post sees him get his Genographic Project results back. Link

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ellis Island Portraits, Augustus F Sherman

Last week the Sunday Telegraph picked up on Augustus F Sherman's portraits of arrivals at Ellis Island, and paired them with four Ellis Island Stories from Peter Morton Coan's Ellis Island Interviews. The portraits will form the centrepiece of an exhibition in New York this summer, and in 2007, in Liverpool. PBS collates links to Ellis Island resources here, further images can be found here, here and, yes, here, and it's possible to search passenger records of the more than 20 million who passed through Ellis Island here. And a reminder of a different kind of immigration policy. Link [to Vanity Fair's slideshow of the same portraits]

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Ashkenazic genetic diseases and intelligence [3quarksdaily, Futurepundit, NYT, Economist]

The incomparable 3quarksdaily highlights [along with the The Economist, FuturePundit, and The NYT] a recent story provoking considerable debate. A new University of Utah study [pdf] links Ashkenazic genetic diseases and enhanced intelligence.
As to how the disease mutations might affect intelligence, the Utah researchers cite evidence that the sphingolipid [my link] disorders promote the growth and interconnection of brain cells. Mutations in the DNA repair genes, involved in second cluster of Ashkenazic diseases, may also unleash growth of neurons.

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