People & Culture

Anthropology, archaeology, sociology, psychology, and cultural phenomena, including public figures.

The Worst Kind of Free Speech

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture
Westboro Baptist Church at the United Nations ...

Image via Wikipedia

The latest media reports indicate that pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Florida has postponed, but not cancelled, his congregation's planned Qur'an-burning on the anniversary of September 11th, after a phone call from Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, and condemnation from leaders worldwide.

Unfortunately, Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptist Church (of "God Hates Fags" infamy) have vowed to carry out the burning if Dove World doesn't do it.

In the meantime, Dove World has had its website taken down by their hosting providers, Interpol has issued a global alert, and some clever folks have created a parody ad mocking Jones and Phelps.… Continues …

The World's Greatest Threat?

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture
i know it hurts to burn (one)

Tony Blair recently remarked that radical Islam is the world's greatest threat.  Although I agree that radical Islam is threatening, I don't think it's just Islam that's the problem.  I think it's all extremists that we should be concerned with. 

I read today that there's a church in Florida, called Dove World Outreach Center, that's planning to commemorate September 11 with "Burn a Koran Day".  They've created a Facebook page for the event, that states:

"On September 11th, 2010, from 6pm - 9pm, we will burn the Koran on the property of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, FL in remembrance of the fallen victims of 9/11 and to stand against the evil of Islam. Islam is of the devil!"… Continues …

Infographic Tackles Islamophobia

— Filed under: People & Culture

In the midst of all the madness surrounding the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" (which is actually two blocks away from Ground Zero), do sane voices still exist? Sometimes it seems as though all of America has gone crazy with Islamophobia. Where are the rational folks? And how do they convince the irrational and fearful folks that not all Muslims hate them?

I stumbled upon a visual tool that I think could prove handy. Accompanying this infographic is a bit of insight from the author:

"... I think the problem with the New York mosque controversy is that the people who are upset can't tell the little red circle from the blue area or from the larger circle encompassing both. I figured if I drew a picture, they might get it better. The people in the red circle hate the people in OUR circle, including the people in the blue area. If YOU hate the people outside the red circle, you aren't paying attention."

Would you try e-cigarettes?

— Filed under: People & Culture, Science & Technology

World Won't Wait for E-Cigarettes, Spice

— Filed under: People & Culture, Science & Technology
Super-T Manufacturing's all mechanical, wirele...

Image via Wikipedia

The e-cigarette, a new craze that is so strange it's almost comical, is sweeping the world and taking a lot of life-long smokers with it. It's essentially a vaporizer that "vapes" a nicotine-containing liquid called "juice". It gives the user the fix of nicotine without the harmful and carcinogenic side effects that burning brings.

For those wondering whether they could give up the real thing for an electronic alternative, the article linked above claims that many smokers have been able to make a total switch within days.… Continues …

VisitBritain Issues Bizarre Guidelines for Dealing With Tourists

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture
Tourists in London 3

Image by maistora via Flickr

In an effort to prepare the UK's hospitality industry for an influx of foreigners during the 2012 Olympic Games, VisitBritain has issued a comprehensive guide to dealing with difficult tourists. Although the tips were compiled by natives of those countries, and are likely intended to cement Britain's reputation as the politest place on earth, the sometimes-bizarre list may perhaps serve to reinforce stereotypes and even offend the very people they were designed to protect.

Among the gems of wisdom:… Continues …

The Story of the Flight Attendant Who'd Had Enough

— Filed under: Breaking News, People & Culture
steven slater on facebook

Image by ursonate via Flickr

Splashed across the headlines yesterday was the story of a flight attendant who finally got fed up with rude passengers and slid down the emergency chute to escape, but not before cursing out the entire cabin and grabbing a beer or two on the way out. Steven Slater has since been arrested at home, and probably faces several felonies, but in the meantime he has found himself a few thousand fans.… Continues …

Summer of Racism in the United States

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture

Image by maHidoodi via Flickr

A glut of racially-tinged stories seems to be flooding the United States this summer - so many that it has some people wondering what the heck is going on.

The madness was prefaced in March of this year by racial epithets hurled at black members of Congress by people who were protesting the passage of the health care reform bill.

Then Arizona really stirred up the pot. The state passed their now-infamous and highly controversial immigration law, which contains a provision for law enforcement officials to demand immigration documents whenever they have "reasonable suspicion" that a person might be an illegal alien. Opponents of the law claim that it encourages racial profiling.… Continues …

Burqas should be banned in all public areas

— Filed under: Politics & Government, People & Culture

Syria Issues Ban on Face Veils at Universities

— Filed under: Breaking News, Politics & Government, People & Culture

Three women with white niqab

Image by superblinkymac via Flickr

Syria has issued a directive forbidding its female students at public universities from wearing face-covering veils. The reason for this ban is to guard against Islamic fundamentalism. A source who wanted to remain anonymous said that the Minister of Higher Education in Syria told his assistants that "We will not leave our daughters a prey for extremist thoughts." Apparently the minister's edict has been well-received by most Syrians.

With all the uproar in Western Europe about countries banning or attempting to ban the burqa in public schools and elsewhere (in France last week, and currently being debated by Spain's parliament), it's a little surprising to see a Muslim country do it. It's also interesting to hear Syria take such a strong stand against extremist forms of Islam.… Continues …

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