links for 2011-02-09

  • "Groupon’s 30-year-old CEO Andrew Mason says the spot was simply trying to raise awareness…In an earlier blog post, Mason explained the commercial was intended as 'a parody of a celebrity-narrated, PSA-style commercial.'

    "But not everyone is buying it.

    “'Hooray for exploiting human tragedy in the name of saving a few bucks' wrote 'The people in Tibet are in trouble… but hey, who the hell cares — Groupon is giving you a great deal on some f#$king good-ass grub!' he added."

  • "There are issues surrounding Japanese public memories of the war. But suffice it to say that the way Japanese deal with it is more complex than is usually portrayed. Japan is the only nation that has suffered from nuclear attack; nuclear victim organisations and many other Japanese people feel that their country has a unique perspective on nuclear issues and an obligation to share the memories – especially with countries that possess a nuclear arsenal. For many, opposition to nuclear weapons has played a large role in Japan's postwar identity as a pacifist nation."
  • "Equally importantly, we must not take for granted what we have in common, but work hard to ensure that all citizens recognise themselves in our shared concept of citizenship – imaginatively shaped by our sense of who we are, where we are coming from and where we are going. An out-of-date national story, for example, alienates new communities, who want to be written into the narrative backwards as well as forward. Multiculturalism is incomplete and one-sided without a continual remaking of national identity."
  • "Where is the asthma rate higher: Colorado Springs or Atlanta?

    "I'm sure you guessed right — Atlanta.

    "Why did you guess that? Probably because the majority of Atlanta is black, and our community is three times more likely to die from asthma than the white population.

    "Our chances of living near hazardous industrial pollution sites are 80 percent greater than white Americans, according to 2005 data from the Environmental Protection Agency.

    "But, let me ask another question: Is the asthma rate higher in Detroit or Knoxville?

    "Surprisingly to some, it's Knoxville, which mostly white.

    "The environmental struggle isn't a black issue; it's an economic issue, devastating low-income communities of all races and backgrounds.

    "Put simply: If you're poor, you are at greater risk because pollution and poverty are intricately linked. The sad truth is that living in underserved communities has come to mean accepting exposure to potentially deadly environmental hazards."