Tuesday, November 6, 2012

From around the interwebs...

Links and tings.

What does it mean to be Asia-literate?
If this is the Asian Century what does being Asia literate look like for you? Is it learning an Asian language at school? Taking a Vietnamese cooking class or heading to Bali for the hollies? Or perhaps it is about going to live and study in an Asian country? What about for the generations of Asian-Australians?

Moderate Islamic Preachers Gain Followers in Indonesia 
When Mr. Almusawa takes his place, he starts off in a deep, soft baritone before building momentum and pitch as he addresses his subject: How Muslims should shrug off the "Innocence of Muslims" video that spread online. In his climactic thought, Mr. Almusawa calls it a test that Muslims must pass by letting the controversy go. The drums again begin and the congregation's voices swell in praise of the Prophet Muhammad. Speaking later at his home, Mr. Almusawa, a bearlike man with a trim beard and piercing gaze, says Muslims shouldn't allow themselves to be provoked by the Christian group in California that backed the video. "People like them don't understand Islam, so we shouldn't overreact," Mr. Almusawa said. "Otherwise we are just being driven by people who don't love our Prophet and his teachings."

Milk carton 'promoting homosexuality to children' 
Russian authorities are investigating a milk brand after an anti-gay group accused it of promoting homosexuality to children by featuring a rainbow on its milk cartons. The label features a mustachioed milkman and a prancing cow with purple spots under a rainbow. People's Council spokesman Antoly Artukh said the label "immediately put me on alert". "A rainbow appeared on the cartons, a world-renowned symbol of the gay movement."

Rejected as a refugee, accepted as a spinner
AS HE awaits word from Immigration Minister Chris Bowen about his claim for refugee protection, Pakistani asylum seeker Fawad Ahmed has emerged as a surprise figure in Australia's preparation for the Test series against South Africa. Ahmed - who fled Pakistan in 2010 and is living here on a bridging visa - has been plucked from Melbourne club cricket to help Australia's batsmen prepare for South Africa's formidable bowling attack because of his resemblance to Proteas leg-spinner Imran Tahir. Ahmed says he was persecuted by religious extremists in his northern Pakistani province for playing and coaching the sport he loves - receiving death threats for ''promoting Western culture''.

U.S. science fiction used to be fascinated with Japan, from Blade Runner to Neuromancer. Everything Japanese was cooler, sleeker and shinier than our grubby American aesthetic, and Japan was destined to dominate. And then, Japan's futuristic status waned. What happened?

“Multiculturalism is present but seems forced, ” says Ralph Antony, a 24-year-old engineering student. “I think deep down a lot of Australians would prefer less cultural diversity.”

The painful truth about affirmative action
The single biggest problem in this system -- a problem documented by a vast and growing array of research -- is the tendency of large preferences to boomerang and harm their intended beneficiaries. Large preferences often place students in environments where they can neither learn nor compete effectively -- even though these same students would thrive had they gone to less competitive but still quite good schools.

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