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Monthly Archive: January 2012

Jan 29 2012

Like so much garbage

The National Post has a collection of pictures of the Safias – of Rona and Mohammed on their wedding day 30 years ago, of Rona and Mohammed and Yahya on the wedding day of the latter two in 1988, of Sahar, Geeti, Zainab, Rona in 2009. Especially wrenching, there are pictures of all four taken …

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Jan 29 2012

Shafia family guilty in ‘honourless’ murders

Mohammad Shafia, Tooba Mohammad Yahya, and their son Hamed were each found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder in the drowning deaths of Zainab, 19, Sahar, 17, Geeti, 13, and Mohammad Shafia’s first wife, Rona Amir Mohammad, 52. “It’s difficult to conceive of a more heinous, more despicable, more honourless crime,” said the judge. …

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Jan 29 2012

Second-guessing subjective experiences

Mark Vernon wrote a response to Julian’s Heathen’s Progress series. It’s got to do with the fact that cognition is embodied, which Vernon somehow takes to mean that subjective convictions are trustworthy, or something along those lines. …the modern sceptic is suspicious of subjective convictions. They fixate on the many ways in which individuals can …

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Jan 29 2012

Pour rire

Every now and then people spot a search term in their stats that is too funny (and puzzling) not to share. At last I have one. soxs with sandles over them for dogs All the odder because I don’t know any dogs who wear soxs, or sandles either…let alone both at once.

Jan 29 2012

Play up and play the game

It’s always nice to see friendly rivalry among people of similar interests. It keeps their skills honed and their energy high. The right-wing Hindutva student group in India, the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, is competing with the “activists” who shut down Salman Rushdie at Jaipur. The ABVP objected to the screening of a documentary on …

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Jan 29 2012

In an elevator

A week ago a Canadian woman, Sheila Nabb, was found beaten and unconscious in a pool of blood in an elevator at a resort hotel in Mazatlan. Every bone in her face was broken. According to Mexican police, the suspect has confessed. Making him repeat the confession at a press conference is horrendous legal procedure, but his …

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Jan 28 2012

Welcome to Atheist Towers

Hmm, I don’t know. It’s very sweet of Alain de Botton, but I don’t know. A temple to atheism… The philosopher and writer Alain de Botton is proposing to build a 46-metre (151ft) tower to celebrate a “new atheism” as an antidote to what he describes as Professor Richard Dawkins’s “aggressive” and “destructive” approach to …

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Jan 28 2012

One question too many

The New York Times reports on the bullying of Jessica Ahlquist…sort of. A federal judge ruled this month that the prayer’s presence at Cranston High School West was unconstitutional, concluding that it violated the principle of government neutrality in religion. In the weeks since, residents have crowded school board meetings to demand an appeal, Jessica …

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Jan 28 2012

The last afternoon at Jaipur

William Dalrymple tells us what last Tuesday afternoon in Jaipur was like. It was the last afternoon of the Jaipur Literature Festival, of which I am co-director, and more than 10,000 people were milling around the grounds of Diggi Palace, the festival venue, eagerly waiting to hear Salman Rushdie speak by video link from London. …

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Jan 28 2012

The real privilege

Someone commenting on Scofield’s Tikkun post endorses the claim that “new atheists” are totes privileged. The literature, social spaces, and most widely recognized voices of atheism are predominantly populated by Western, white, male, heterosexual, cis, middle class (and above) people…[T]he lopsided demography of our communities tends to draw upon otherwise privileged life experiences, and as …

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