The Humorous and the Dangerous
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.
Oh, I love this quote by an unnamed (Is there any other kind?) Saudi adviser:
"The orders are not to go physically into Yemeni territory," he said. "We don't want to get bogged down there or inflame any local sensitivities, if there are any, against us."
Yeah, right? Local sensitivities in Sa'dah, c'mon those guys are, well, you know.
This also infuriated me. Nowhere in the piece that Jane Novak is referring to did Muhammad 'Abd al-Rahman al-Rashad call "for Sunni men to join with Yemeni President Saleh's forces in battling the Shiite Houthi rebels." This is a gross misreading of the statement by someone who does not know Arabic. Not only is this misleading, but it complicates an already murky picture and is dangerous to boot. Relying on second-hand media reports to make a damning accusation like this is not at all responsible.
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.
Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.
- 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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