World

How 1,000 years of Arabic scholarship advanced scientific debate – in pictures

From the 9th to the 19th centuries, scholars and scribes used Arabic as a lingua franca to debate scientific ideas. Claire Shaw The Guardian Arabic-speaking scholars translated classical Greek, Persian and even Sanskrit texts on topics such as medicine, mathematics and astronomy. These scholars went far beyond translation and preservation and fostered a unique and vibrant scientific culture within the Arabic-speaking… How 1,000 years… Read More »

Turkey’s Kristallnacht

Sept. 6, 1955 started just like any other day for the Greeks, Armenians, and Jews of ‎Istanbul—or Constantinople. ‎ Uzay Bulut The Armenian Weekly ‎”I resided in Cengelkoy with my wife and two children back then,” wrote Apostolos Nikolaidis ‎in the book I Nihta ton Kristallon. ‎”Just as protests were starting in Taksim, I left my shop in Karakoy and went home.” Nikolaidis did not know that a horrid ethnic cleansing campaign was on the way. Just like Nikolaidis, ‎thousands ... Read More »

Why India Went to Mars

On Wednesday, having travelled four hundred and ten million miles, India’s Mangalyaan probe settled into orbit around Mars. Samanth Subramanian  The New Yorker It will linger there for only six months—about a fifth of the time that it took to build the spacecraft and dispatch it to the Red Planet. The orbiter’s scientific agenda appears to be skimpy. It will send back images of a surface that was first photographed up close by the Mariner 4 spacecraft, in 1965, and it ... Read More »

Sharia 101: a user’s guide for Jacqui La

Dear Ms Lambie, I believe you may be having some difficulties with the meaning of Sharia law. Let me see if I can help… Jamila Hussain The Sydney Morning Herald The word Sharia in Arabic means a path or a way and is basically a pathway for Muslims to follow to live their lives in accordance with… It is broader than the usual Western concept of law as it includes religious duties such as prayer and… Sharia 101: a… Read More »

Asian Gambling Addiction

“We have this saying in Chinese: if you don’t gamble, you don’t know how lucky you are.” —Anonymous Chinese gambler This strong belief in luck, fate, or fortune is part of the driving force behind Asians and gambling. Sam Louie MA, LMHC Psychology Today It’s no coincidence there is such a high proportion of Asians gambling and the deep cultural factors which not only encourage gambling but discourage seeking help when it becomes compulsive or addictive. Research shows Asians in the ... Read More »

The successful 70-year campaign to convince people the USA and not the USSR beat Hitler

In 1945, most French people thought that the Soviet Union deserved the most credit for Nazi Germany’s defeat in World War II — even though the Soviets didn’t play much of a role in France’s liberation, relative to the… Dylan Matthews Vox By 1995 and 2004, however, the French had changed their minds, and were crediting the US as the biggest contributor to victory in Europe: The French blogger Olivier Berruyer put together the above chart using survey data from ... Read More »

Turkey Exported Key Chemical Weapons Components to Terrorists in Syria

Figures from Turkey’s statistical institute reveal that Turkey delivered large amounts of a key ingredient of the deadly Sarin nerve gas to terrorists in Syria prior to the… nsnbc Turkey also exported large quantities of chemicals used for the production of… Figures from Turkey’s Statistical Institute (TÜIK), reveal… Turkey Exported Key… Read More »

Turkey says it will not comply with court order to pay Cyprus compensation

European Court of Human Rights rules that €90m be paid over for Turkey’s invasion of island in 1974 The Irish Times Turkey has no plans to pay €90 million to Cyprus as ordered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu said yesterday. The money was ordered in compensation for Turkey’s invasion of the island 40 years ago. The Mediterranean island has been split since 1974, when Turkey sent in troops after a brief Greek Cypriot ... Read More »

OECD and Pisa tests are damaging education worldwide – academics

In this letter to Dr Andreas Schleicher, director of the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, academics from around the world express deep concern about the impact of Pisa tests and call for a… The Guardian Dear Dr Schleicher, We write to you in your capacity as OECD’s (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) director of the Programme of International Student Assessment (Pisa). Now in its 13th year, Pisa is known around the world as an instrument to rank OECD ... Read More »

Alek Wek: ‘You don’t have to go with the crowd’

As a teenager, Alek Wek shook up the fashion world – and inspired, among others, a young Lupita… Sali Hughes The Guardian The Sudanese supermodel tells Sali Hughes why quirky is… Alek Wek was 19 when she was approached by a model scout from a top London agency at a fair in Crystal Palace… Her mother, she remembers, was horrified, thinking her… Alek Wek: ‘You… Read More »

How we treat the vulnerable is a moral test beyond politics

I was recently invited to give a talk at a private club in a Melbourne suburb. A colleague has been a member for some years and arranged an invitation for me to speak at one of its regular dinners. Asked for a title for my speech, I suggested “Is this really what we are?” Julian Burnside The Conversation I was surprised to receive another email from my colleague which read, in part: Completely out of the blue last week the ... Read More »

Desmond Tutu: Israel Guilty of Apartheid in Treatment of Palestinians

Tutu, the Nobel Peace laureate, criticized Israeli policies toward the Palestinians in the territories as “humiliating.” JPost Desmond Tutu, the noted civil rights leader who became the first black archbishop of Cape Town, compared Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the apartheid regime that discriminated against blacks in his native South Africa. Tutu, the Nobel Peace laureate, told News24, a South African media entity, criticized Israeli policies toward the Palestinians in the territories as “humiliating.” “I have witnessed the systemic ... Read More »

Denmark bans kosher and halal slaughter as minister says ‘animal rights come before religion’

New law, denounced as ‘anti-Semitism’ by Jewish leaders, comes after country controversially slaughtered a giraffe in public and fed him to lions Adam Withnall Independent Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists. The change to the law, announced last week and effective as of yesterday, has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” ... Read More »

Four Orthodox Christian Lessons from Martin Luther King Jr.

Every January, Americans pause to honor the memory of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. who led a civil rights movement that called this nation to see every person as created in the image and likeness of God and worthy of equal treatment under the law. By Andrew Estocin in The Sounding Blog Orthodox Christian Network One of the most beautiful moments in American Orthodox history was when Archbishop Iakovos of North and South America chose to march against racial segregation ... Read More »

What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That is ‘100% Accurate’

Between 750 BC and 400 BC, the Ancient Greeks composed songs meant to be accompanied by the lyre, reed-pipes, and various percussion instruments. OpenCulture More than 2,000 years later, modern scholars have finally figured out how to reconstruct and perform these songs with (it’s claimed) 100% accuracy. Writing on the BBC web site, Armand D’Angour,  a musician and tutor in classics at Oxford University, notes: [Ancient Greek] instruments are known from… What Ancient Greek… Read More »