Mediawatch World Apr 10: White Tent, Obama, John Cleese, The Last Lecture,Noah Feldman on Sharia, Baghdad, Petraeus -BetrayUs, Chitra Divakaruni,Szep
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic presidential contender will win several state nominating contests in the coming months but has little chance of becoming the party's candidate for the November 2008 election, traders were betting on Tuesday. Traders in the Dublin-based Intrade prediction market gave Democratic front-runner an 86 percent chance of being the Democratic presidential nominee, versus a 12.8 percent for Clinton, the New York senator and former first lady. Results were similar on the Iowa Electronic Markets at the , with traders giving Obama an 82.9 percent chance of winning, versus a 12.8 percent chance for Clinton. BetO'Bama
That was all it took.
Somehow amid the vast clamor of the Web and the bling-bling of million-dollar budgets, savvy marketing campaigns and millions of strange and bizarre videos, the voice of one earnest professor standing at a podium and talking about his childhood dreams cut through the noise.
The lecture was so uplifting, so funny, so inspirational that it went viral. So far, 10 million people have downloaded it.
Diane Sawyer talks to MIT Professor Randy Pausch seven months after he gave his famous "Last Lecture". Click here to read the rest of the story at ABC News. Randy Pausch has also published a book, aptly titled The Last Lecture. Haven't seen the video of his lecture? You should. Check out a shortened version here:
"Last Lecture" Professor Passes Six Month Mark
Magnetic Table Eliminates Need for Kitchen Cupboards
Last month, Rowan Williams, the archbishop of Canterbury, gave a nuanced, scholarly lecture in London about whether the British legal system should allow non-Christian courts to decide certain matters of family law. Britain has no constitutional separation of church and state. The archbishop noted that “the law of the Church of England is the law of the land” there; indeed, ecclesiastical courts that once handled marriage and divorce are still integrated into the British legal system, deciding matters of church property and doctrine. His tentative suggestion was that, subject to the agreement of all parties and the strict requirement of protecting equal rights for women, it might be a good idea to consider allowing Islamic and Orthodox Jewish courts to handle marriage and divorce. Why Shariah? - Noah Feldman
I should try to reply only to substantive objections to my work, not to ad hominem arguments, the fallacy of which should be self-refuting. But how to do it when the criticism relies on vernacular, name-calling versions of once-fashionable jargon (Orientalism, paternalism) without specifying their content or explaining how they may be related to the text under attack? In such circumstances, I suspect, to defend is already to be deflected from what really matters. With that in mind, a few clarifying points are nevertheless in order regarding an essay of mine in The New York Times Magazine that drew on a new book, The Fall and Rise of the Islamic State, out this past month from Princeton University Press. I began the essay with the recent lecture of the Archbishop of Canterbury to frame an irrefutable and I think interesting contrast: in the West, the word shari‘a is treated as radioactive, while in many places in the Muslim world (I quoted statistics from Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan) substantial majorities say they favor making the shari‘a into the source of law. In the essay and the book, I am interested in exploring the basis for the apparent appeal of the shari‘a, which, I argue, is not properly understood as “Islamic law” but as a richer set of associated ideas connected to the constraint of all human beings under a divine justice that applies to all.What we talk about when we talk about shari‘a - Noah Feldman
Eventually, we had to leave our home when my neighbourhood was taken over by Sunni militias - all my Shia uncles and aunts also left their homes with all their belongings. Then came the walls which transformed an ethnically mixed and vibrant city into a series of sectarian ghettos. And can one ever forget the neverending Iraqi civilian casualties. To be honest, I still have no idea how to refer to April 9, 2003. For a while, one of our shortlived early governments called it "Baghdad Liberation Day" but that feels like a contradiction in terms as foreign forces stormed the city and that usually is described as an invasion. On the other hand, I never really could bring myself to describing it as the "Fall of Baghdad". I thought we were never going to let that happen although after five years of mostly death and bloodshed my beloved city is certainly not what it used to be. I don't want to say fallen. But Baghdad is unquestionably and deeply hurt.
Baghdad after Saddam - Salam Pax
General Betray Us? Of course he has. MoveOn.org can hardly be expected to recycle its slogan from last September, when Gen. David Petraeus testified in support of escalating the U.S. war in Iraq, given the hysterical denunciations that worthy group received at the time. But it was right then -- as it would be to repeat the charge now. By undercutting the widespread support for getting out of Iraq, Petraeus did indeed betray the American public, siding with an enormously unpopular president who wants to stay the course in Iraq for personal and political reasons that run contrary to genuine national security interests. Once again, the president is passing the buck to the uniformed military to justify continuing a ludicrous imperial adventure, and the good general has dutifully performed. Petraeus's Betrayal By Robert Scheer,
Her new novel, The Palace of Illusions, will be published by Doubleday in February 2008. Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to the time of the Indian epic The Mahabharat—a time that is half-history, half-myth, and wholly magical. Through her narrator Panchaali, the wife of the legendary five Pandava brothers, Divakaruni gives us a rare feminist interpretation of an epic story. “A rich tale of passion and love, power and weakness, honor and humiliation. Whether or not readers are familiar with the Mahabharat epic, they will enjoy this entertaining, insightful and suspenseful story.” (Library Journal, starred review) Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
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