Fact and Fiction
Gregory Johnsen, a former Fulbright Fellow in Yemen, is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University. Johnsen has written for a variety of publications on Yemen including, among others, Foreign Policy, The American Interest, The Independent, The Boston Globe, and The National. He is the co-founder of Waq al-Waq: Islam and Insurgency in Yemen Blog. In 2009, he was a member of the USAID's conflict assessment team for Yemen.
Portions of al-'Awfi's confessions are now on You Tube. Part 1 is here and Part II is here. If anyone has the time, they could have a lot of fun listening in and trying to sort out the fact from the fiction. It could be a bit like the scavenger hunts I used to play as a kid only instead of finding a ball in the barn you could find out, say, if kidnappings really are part of AQAP's plan.
I have listened to the confessions once and given the transcript a quick read over, but I'm not yet ready to post anything. The same still goes for Salih's interview - although I loved how he called out the Washington Post, quoted his favorite proverb and mentioned that Yemen's success rate on rehabilitation was 60 percent. This latter number is much lower than what many have proposed and I would love to get firm numbers and/or names, but this seems a pipe dream given how close al-Hitar and the MOI guard this information, still it was a nice tease.
New research links urban planning and political polarization.
- Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
- Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
- People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
- What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
- Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
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