Tuesday, April 19, 2011

From around the interwebs...

Links and stuff to ponder. I do not necessarily endorse the content, just present it for your perusal.

Coast bandit given "wok for"
[Apologies for the cringeworthy title]
...As the robber attempted to steal the till, pocket-sized Mr Chung came up from behind with a wok full of scorching chicken chow mein and his ladle. He poured the contents of the wok on to the bandit's back. The armed man, now in agony, struggled from behind the counter as Mr Chung continued to wallop him with the wok, the force causing him to drop the knife. It was quickly picked up by Mrs Chung who, with her husband, chased the man down Universal Drive.

Cultural Differences Are Evident Deep in the Brain of Caucasian and Asian People (at ScienceDaily)
...For decades, psychologists believed that it's natural for humans to see behaviors and automatically link them to personality. "For example, when you see somebody giving a seat to an old man in a train, you might jump to the conclusion that that person is very nice and kind," says Shinobu Kitayama, of the University of Michigan. He co wrote the new study with Jinkyung Na. "But the behavior may be motivated by some other things. For example, maybe his boss at work may be in that same train, or there might be very strong social norms" that led to the younger man giving up his seat

Last two speakers of dying language refuse to speak to each other
...Manuel Segovia and Isidro Velazquezto live less than a kilometre apart in Ayapa village in southern Mexico but according to the Daily Mail, they don't get on. Those close to the men aren't sure what the conflict is about. They're the last two speakers of this remote language but they refuse to discuss how best to preserve their dying language.

Loco loco over Poco-Poco in Malaysia (At Unspun)
...Islamic clerics in a Malaysian state want Muslims to avoid a popular dance they claim has Christian influences. The “poco-poco” is a line dance that is common at social events in Muslim-majority Malaysia. It is widely thought to have originated in Indonesia. Islamic scholars in Malaysia’s Perak state say they believe the “poco-poco” is traditionally a Christian dance and that its steps make the sign of the cross.

5 Chinese drinking habits explained (at CNN Go)
...If you thought shotgunning a beer in under five seconds back in uni was the pinnacle of drinking prowess, you’ve probably never been properly ganbei’d. China’s version of “down the hatch” is a bit like the power hour, involving repeated and prolonged shooting of small amounts of alcohol -- red wine if you’re lucky, baijiu if you’re not.
Though observed in all social circles, ganbei is particularly prominent in China’s formal banquet culture, where business suits and government officials rub elbows, talk business and get completely sloshed.

Why blacks take birtherism more personally (by David A. Love at The Root)
...This is an attempt to strip a visibly black man of his American-ness. To call President Obama an "Arab" or a "Kenyan" or a "Muslim" is merely to highlight the foreignness with which black Americans are still regarded by some segments of the population. This is a slap in the face to the descendants of slaves who have suffered through years of pent-up anxiety and sensitivity because the greater society has failed to accept them.

How I lost faith in multiculturalism (by Greg Sheridan in The Australian)
...It may be that by 2030 we will start to have a much more European-style, polarised society as a result.
Coming to these sombre conclusions marks a crisis of faith for me. All my life I have been, intellectually and as a matter of personal experience, strongly supportive of a big and completely racially non-discriminatory immigration program. This grew out of my convictions, my world view, and also my personal experience.
Mark Latham once remarked that the journalists and commentators who most vigorously support big immigration in Sydney live in the eastern suburbs, the inner city or the north shore. They don't live in the western suburbs where life is much more hard scrabble.

Racism? Or political correctness gone mad? (by Craig Platt in the Sydney Morning Herald)
...So are we too sensitive here in Australia? Jokes on race are probably the last remaining taboo in Australian comedy – it's a free-for-all on pretty much any other transgressive topic you can name (paedophile and incest gags are a dime-a-dozen these days). The exception is when you are a member of that race – you are allowed to ridicule your own people (something Reginald D Hunter compare to minorities 'dancing for the white folks' in his show this year).

The Conversation: Is France right to "ban the burqa"? (in The Guardian)
...Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect party, is opposed, while commentator Yasmin Alibhai-Brown believes the French may be doing the right thing.

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