Sunday, February 28, 2010

From around the interwebs...

Things I've been digesting these last few days...


Don't be fooled: the BNP is really nothing like you
Martin Samuel (better known as a top football writer) gives a stinging reminder of the British National Party's fascistic ways, at a time when their slogan is "People Like You". Interestingly this article appears in The Daily Mail, which not so long ago had the gall to publish this cartoon.

Culture and Genes, People and Places
Razib at Gene Expression looks at how the transmission of genes, culture and language happens differently in different places. Fascinating if you like this kind of stuff. The invading Magyars and Turks brought their language and culture to from Central Asia to Hungary and Turkey respectively, yet without leaving much change genetically. By contrast, other groups like the Romani (Gypsies) held on strongly to their language and culture, yet their genetic makeup changes more the further they get from their homeland in Northern India.

Ethnic minority theme parks draw crowds in China
With the Han Chinese forming around 95% of China's populace, its ethnic minorities are largely confined to the sidelines, and have even become a curiosity for tourist consumption. This article looks at the Dai Minority Park in Yunnan, which has bettered the lives of some of the Dai people but turned them into a commodified oddity in the process. Ironically, the English translations of some of these parks used to read "Racist Park".

Handsome Chinese beggar becomes famous online
I recall a line in Seinfeld to the effect that "you never see any handome homeless." But apparently some Chinese netizens are getting excited about a homeless guy who is not only a looker, but has a certain sartorial shabby style. (Anyone who's seen Zoolander will be thinking "Derelicte" right now.) Of course, being homeless, his story is a sad one. It's an interesting read.

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