IN 2002 a group of Arab scholars produced a brave report, under the auspices of the United Nations, on the Arab world’s twin deficits, in freedom and knowledge. A salutary debate ensued. Now Timur Kuran, a Turkish-American economist based at Duke University, has written an equally brave book on “how Islamic law held back the Middle East”. One can only hope that the result will be an equally salutary debate.
Monthly Archives: January 2011
Ayn Rand in old age
From Monastic Musings:
I was surprised to read about Ayn Rand’s old age at Gruntled Center. In the face of the cost of treatments for lung cancer, she signed up for Social Security and Medicare using her legal name, Ann O’Connor.
This would not bother me in the least, had she written or said anything to retract her condemnation of those programs. But – in spite of her many tirades against hypocrisy – she quietly accepted government funding while continuing to condemn both the programs and the people who accepted the funding.
The Irish Bail-out
From the Financial Times via Memex and BoingBoing
Monday night Irish class, January 24, 2011
Irish Class, January 24, 2011
Rang Gaeilge, 24ú lá mí Eanáir 2011
Beauty Tips from ancient Rome
I am very beautiful. That’s why they call me Pulchra. Here are some of my beauty tips:
Read them at the Roman Mysteries Blog. Don’t try them at home!
The rise and fall of a bookstore chain
Borders struggles amid rapid changes in book sales
Though only 8 percent of readers surveyed in a recent Harris Poll own e-readers, those owning the devices were nearly twice as likely to buy six to 10 books a year as those who were sticking with print.
More nuts at the Puff Ho
Not content with anti-vaccination nonsense, which I have noted before, you can also find Pseudo-Astronomy at the Huffington Post.
Get the facts at Betelgeuse and 2012 and Will Betelgeuse Really Become a Second Sun in 2012?.
Spring will come!
The temperature outside is 6oF/-14oC, but at the Minneapolis Convention Center peoole are lining up for … Picture behind cut
US university settles religious discrimination case
At Physics World:
A settlement has been reached in a case brought against the University of Kentucky by astrophysicist Martin Gaskell over his claim that the university illegally denied him a staff position on the basis of his evangelical Christian faith. The settlement now requires the university to pay $125,000 to Gaskell and his lawyers, who claimed that the decision meant Gaskell lost income and caused him “emotional distress”. The university admits no wrongdoing in the case, which was due to go to trial on 8 February. Meanwhile, Gaskell has taken a job at Chile’s University of Valparaiso, which he will start in March.
Following up on the Gaskell affair.