If Google's "auto suggest" feature is any indication, even the folks at Mountain View have a "respectful"* [sic] view of the Religion of Peace. Think I'm kidding? Take a look at this picture and see for yourself. Better yet, why not go ahead and try typing "X is" for any number of religions "X" and see which ones come up curiously empty? Supposedly the people in charge of Google Suggest have claimed that this is just a "bug", but it is rather strange that this particular "bug" should be restricted to one religion whose adherents turn up frequently in the news for all the wrong reasons ...
The New York Times is reporting that James Cameron's "Avatar" is setting records not only in the box office, but on the torrent sites as well. Having seen the movie in the cinema in 3D, I have to say that downloading this particular movie has to count as the daftest act of film piracy ever. Without a Blu-Ray or DVD release anywhere on the horizon as yet, the only way any torrent copies of "Avatar" can have been obtained will have been through individuals taking their shaky little handycams into a movie theatre and pointing them at the screens, the resulting low visual quality of which totally ruins the very thing that is most compelling about the film, namely the stunning and richly detailed visual world James Cameron has managed to conjure up as "Pandora".
I think any adult with half a brain* should know by now that the Daily Mail is hardly to be counted amongst the more objective or thorough news outlets in the English-speaking world. Indeed, this is one of the few periodicals whose Uncyclopedia entry gives a far more accurate idea of what the newspaper is really about than the corresponding Wikipedia article: fear-mongering, sensationalism and fanning the flames of nearly every prejudice under the sun. Still, you'd think the Daily Wail's "journalists" would adhere to a certain minimal level of conscientiousness when spinning their tripe, and that there'd at least be a kernel of truth to whatever outrageous claim they may choose to present to their audience. Unfortunately, any such assumption would be wrong, as this German-language article illustrates [excerpts translated below.] Apparently putting fictitious words in a researcher's mouth is not a problem where the Daily Heil is concerned, especially when it presents an opportunity to indulge one of the primary fascinations of its bigoted readership - Adolf Hitler.
It would seem that the Norwegians, having decided to bestow this year's Nobel Peace Prize on a sitting US President who clearly had done nothing to deserve it - he'd only been in office a month before being nominated! - are now throwing a tiff because the President of the United States has more important things to do with his time than spending three days in Oslo swanning about with the Norwegian figurehead.
As you might have heard, the citizens of Switzerland have just passed a constitutional amendment banning the construction of minarets in their country. In light of the lopsided margin by which the amendment passed (57% voted in favor it), there can be little doubt that it represents the opinion of the majority of Swiss adults in a clearly "democratic" manner; furthermore, it is clear that out of all the world's major religions, Islam presents unique difficulties for any state which wishes to retain the values of enlightenment liberalism and openness: as such, the decision of the Swiss public cannot simply be dismissed out of hand as an act of knee-jerk reaction. And yet, just having said all of the preceding, I cannot allow any doubt to remain on one point, which is that I consider this Swiss resolution to be a colossal act of foolishness.
That's the only thing I can gather from watching this travesty of an advertisement. This is obviously a spot with high production values, shot for use with a mainstream audience, so the fact that its message is thought acceptable says a great deal about how Indians see the world.
Reminds me of the (far from) good ol' days in America: "if you're white, you're all right, if you're brown, stick around, if you're dark, stay back!" Except Indians would seem to be even more restrictive than that, going by this advert: Michael Jackson would probably have been seen as a hero for his (allegedly) vitiligo-inspired transformation ...
I don't have much patience or respect for the United Nations as an organization, nor am I able to take seriously those who insist on giving it primacy in international affairs. The shameful episode below gives one illustration of why I think the way I do.
If you keep your ear out for weird news, you may have heard a thing or two about a dating site meant exclusively for the "beautiful people", and called, naturally enough, BeautifulPeople. Well, the site does indeed seem to take its exclusivity seriously, at least if judged by the number of rejections handed out to date: 1.8 million of them, as opposed to 360,000 new approvals, and this in an already self-selected pool of applicants.
A Brazilian university has publicly expelled a woman who was heckled by hundreds of fellow students for wearing a short, pink skirt to class, taking out newspaper ads today to publicly accuse her of immorality.
The private Bandeirante University in São Bernardo do Campo, outside of São Paulo, said 20-year-old Geisy Arruda disrespected "ethical principles and academic dignity and morality".
Arruda made headlines last month when she had to be escorted away by police after she tried to go to class wearing the mini-dress. She put on a professor's white coat and left amid a hail of insults and curses.
Something isn't right here: one would have thought most young Brazilian adults incapable of batting an eye to something as mundane as a miniskirt, so ordinary a sight it would be for them. There must be another angle to this story that has yet to be told, e.g. is this university some sort of religiously motivated establishment, a Catholic Bob Jones University or something along those lines?