What We Are Reading Today: Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide by Ronan Lee

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Updated 11 December 2023
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What We Are Reading Today: Myanmar’s Rohingya Genocide by Ronan Lee

The genocide in Myanmar has drawn global attention  as forced migrations and extra-judicial killings have been witnessed on an enormous scale. This unique study draws on thousands of hours of interviews and testimony from the Rohingya themselves to assess and outline the full scale of the disaster.
About 250 Rohingya refugees, last week, in an overcrowded wooden boat were turned away from western Indonesia and sent back to sea.
The group of around 250 from the persecuted Myanmar minority arrived off the coast of Aceh province but angry locals told them not to land the boat. Some refugees then swam ashore and collapsed with exhaustion on the beach.
Casting new light on Rohingya identity, history and culture, this book will be an essential contribution to the study of the Rohingya people and to the study of the early stages of genocide. This book adds convincingly to the body of evidence that the government of Myanmar has enabled a genocide in Rakhine State and the surrounding areas.


What We Are Reading Today: To Build a Black Future

Updated 28 February 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: To Build a Black Future

Author: Christopher Paul Harris

When #BlackLivesMatter emerged in 2013, it animated the most consequential Black-led mobilization since the civil rights and Black power era.

Today, the hashtag turned rallying cry is but one expression of a radical reorientation toward Black politics, protest, and political thought.

“To Build a Black Future” examines the spirit and significance of this insurgency, offering a revelatory account of a new political culture—responsive to pain, suffused with joy, and premised on care—emerging from the centuries-long arc of Black rebellion, a tradition that traces back to the Black slave.


What We Are Reading Today: Horizon Work

Updated 27 February 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Horizon Work

Author: Adriana Petryna 

As carbon dioxide emissions continue to rise, Earth’s fragile ecosystems are growing increasingly unstable and unpredictable.

“Horizon Work” explores how climate change is disrupting our fundamental ability to project how the environment will act over time, and how these rapidly faltering predictions are colliding with the dangerous new realities of emergency response.

Anthropologist Adriana Petryna examines the climate crisis through the lens of “horizoning,” a mode of reckoning that considers unnatural disasters against a horizon of expectation in which people and societies can act. 


What We Are Reading Today: The Soviet Century

Updated 26 February 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: The Soviet Century

Author: Karl Schlogel

The Soviet Union is gone, but its ghostly traces remain, not least in the material vestiges left behind in its turbulent wake. What was it really like to live in the USSR? What did it look, feel, smell, and sound like?

In “The Soviet Century,” Karl Schlögel, one of the world’s leading historians of the Soviet Union, presents a spellbinding epic that brings to life the everyday world of a unique lost civilization.


Review: ‘Mario vs. Donkey Kong’ is an expensive remake of 2004 puzzler

Updated 26 February 2024
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Review: ‘Mario vs. Donkey Kong’ is an expensive remake of 2004 puzzler

LONDON: Almost two decades after “Mario vs. Donkey Kong” originally landed on the Gameboy Advance, comes a more polished – but almost full priced – remake of the action/puzzle title for the Nintendo Switch.

Widely considered a classic at the time, much has changed in those two decades but for the enmity between Nintendo’s superstar Mario and Donkey Kong. In this instance, Donkey Kong has stolen a bunch of suitable cute “Mini-Mario toys” and has done a runner leaving our erstwhile plumber hero to save the day by setting them free.

To do this, Mario, along with the usual assortment of allies from his gaming universe, must conquer 130 levels of puzzle fun across a variety of worlds. These range from dark volcanic arenas, spooky haunted houses, slippery ice lands, dangerous jungles and more, all presented in the polished colorful graphics you’d expect from a Nintendo platform.

The game advertises itself as suitable for gamers aged three and above but has a choice of “casual” or “classic” style to guide you into a choice of difficulty.

“Observe and act,” advises the game’s marketing team as each puzzle challenges you to think about which switches to hit at the right time to be successful. A generous timer counts down in the top right corner, but it doesn’t feel like there is a huge amount of pressure on you to rush through the arenas. Indeed, when you add in the languid jazzy background music, you get a sense of the game trying to operate at a more relaxed pace than other Mario titles. A nice feature of moving throughout the game is Mario’s gymnastic skills; backflips and walking on his hands to avoid falling hazards from above.

In addition to finding mini-Marios, the game has another nice feature whereby you have to shepherd a gaggle of the tiny red and blue fellows around hazards to get to their toybox. This brings back memories of the famous Lemmings game although far more bite-sized in nature.

Where the game is significantly different from the original is the addition of a two-player local co-op mode. This has been done with considerably thought encouraging genuine challenge for a pair of gamers as opposed to offering the same puzzles with double the human capacity to overcome them.

The format of the game is strong and offers the warm blanket familiarity of iconic characters along with their familiar phrases. There is plenty of quality family fun to be had here, although the cost of the game feels somewhat steep for what is largely a remake rather than a genuinely original.


What We Are Reading Today: Try to Love the Questions

Updated 25 February 2024
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What We Are Reading Today: Try to Love the Questions

Author: Lara Schwartz 

“Try to Love the Questions” gives college students a framework for understanding and practicing dialogue across difference in and out of the classroom.

This invaluable guide explores the challenges facing students as they prepare to listen, speak, and learn in a college community and encourages students and faculty alike to consider inclusive, respectful communication as a skill—not as a limitation on freedom.

Among the most common challenges on college campuses today is figuring out how to navigate our politically charged culture and engage productively with opposing viewpoints.