Engineers have terrorist mindset, says Oxford researcher

first_imgOxford research has claimed that there is a strong link between the “mindset” of engineering students and Islamic extremism.Diego Gambetta, of Nuffield College, and Steffen Hertog, a lecturer at Durham concluded in their paper ‘Engineers of Jihad’ that there is strong relationship between an engineering background and involvement in Islamic terrorist groups. The authors found that graduates from subjects such as science, engineering, and medicine are strongly overrepresented among Islamist movements in the Muslim world, but engineers alone are over-represented among those who gravitate to violent groups. Hertog explained, “We had heard the anecdotal story that engineers are more prone to right-wing and religious thinking than people of other faculties so we checked the educational background of radical actors.  We found that a high proportion had been through higher education and found that among these actors engineers were clearly over-represented compared to actors from other degree backgrounds.”The paper does not suggest that it is engineers’ technical skills that made them more attractive to radical groups. Instead, it says that among engineers there is a  “mindset bias” which is more likely to attract a larger number of them to Islamic extremism.  “Studies have shown that Engineers are more right-wing and religious than other faculties.  There may exist a mind-set bias among engineers towards conservatism, they may be attracted to the predictability, the strong hierarchies, and the desire for a lost order [that is apparent in Islamic extremism],” Hertog said. “There are very few engineers involved in left-wing extremism,” he continued.The research claims that this “mindset” has particular impact when the social conditions endured are tough. “Engineering is considered a very high-status degree in Islamic countries so engineers are more likely to be frustrated by the poor socio-economic conditions and lack of social mobility in their countries,” Hertog said.The authors claim that engineers might have “peculiar cognitive traits and dispositions” which makes a disproportionate number of them open to right-wing traits of “monism”, believing that there is one best solution, and “simplism”, the idea that if only people were rational, remedies would be simple.  A past survey in the United States has shown that there is a higher proportion of engineers who declare themselves to be on the right of the political spectrum than any other disciplinary group.  “We could thus hypothesize that personal dispositions and style of thinking among engineers differ from those of students in other subjects in ways that could make them more prone to become involved in violent forms of radicalization, not just as willing recruits but as prime movers,” the paper states.  However, it adds that its findings are not proof of its mindset theory.“The mindset hypothesis predicts that we should find engineers to have more extreme ideological tendencies than people in other disciplines, and a greater predilection towards joining radical political groups in general,” the research continues.  In addition, the report also argues that engineers might be more present among right-wing and religious groups because of a another “mindset” feature, “preservatism”, the craving to restore a lost order of authority and privilege. “This way we (try to) explain why they’re not present on the left, but present on both the right and among Islamists”, said Hertog.A third-year engineer at Pembroke said,  “I think the ability of an engineer to act in a purely practical and clinical way, removing the element of human feeling to an extent, sits quite well with terrorism.” But he added that an engineering “mindset” alone would not be enough to attract people to terrorism. Octave Oppetit, another third-year engineer, commented, “We believe it is our god-given right to knock down what we have built up in the first place.”Hertog emphasised that the study does not claim that all, or even many, engineers have a quasi-terrorist ‘mindset’, saying, “We do not make generalizations about engineers in general, just about the radical fringe among them.”The authors hope to continue their studies, saying that they want to better explain the over-representation of engineers in extremist Islamic groups. “We want to conduct further psychological cognitive studies on individuals to put our fingers on exactly what it is that explains the over-representation of engineers amongst Islamic radicals,” said Hertog.  “Engineering is merely a proxy for some underlying condition that tends towards right wing and extreme religious views,” he added.Hertog concluded, “There is strong evidence to suggest that nothing predicts a person’s social and political views as well as their faculties, and, at least according to US data, engineers are outliers in their religious and right-wing views.”by Nadya Thormanlast_img read more

Green activists’ Valentine gesture

first_imgOxford’s Vice Chancellor, John Hood, has received at least a thousand cards this Valentine’s Day, as students and University employees petitioned him to improve the University’s green credentials.The campaigners presented Hood with a giant, heart-shaped, “Go Green” card made out of a thousand Valentine’s Day cards, which they draped across the entrance to the University offices.One card read, “Dear VC, please listen to me, and hire a head of sustainability, To ensure this prestigious uni, Goes greener than a block of mouldy cheese! Loving thee.”The Valentine’s Day cards, made from recycled paper and printed with vegetable based ink, were delivered to his office by the campaign committee, although the Vice-Chancellor declined to attend in person.A spokesperson on behalf of the VC said, “the university has offered a meeting with the group at a mutually beneficial time to discuss what it will be doing.”Campaigners have declared the occasion a success. The day before the cards were presented, the University announced it was planning to “make 2010 a greener year” by recruiting a Head of Sustainability and announcing that it is working towards a “comprehensive waste management strategy.”The campaign urged the University to appoint a senior environmental manager, adopt a comprehensive waste management system, and implement an external environmental management system.Sophie Lewis, campaign manager, said the committee were “very happy with the outcome.” But she expressed shock and dismay at seeing the “beautiful array of cards, festoon and petitions” removed from the office head quarters.She commented, “the VC’s secretary has yet to explain where they went, and why.”The spokesperson said, “I don’t know if the cards will be kept in storage, but even if they are not kept, the university offices recycle all of its card and paper. They won’t go to landfill.” Some students have also expressed concern that the gesture itself was not environmentally friendly.Trinity’s JCR environmental representative described the event as “publicly wasteful.” She commented, “while I admire the aims of the campaign, at the same time I think it’s important not to lose sight of the everyday things we can all do to help the environment, such as saving paper or turning off light.”But Daniel Lowe, OUSU environmental and ethics officer, called the event “an incredibly effective way to get our message across.”He said, “it involved 1,000 student, raising the profile of environmental concerns with them. If we continue to press for more efforts to be made, the university will become a more sustainable place.”JCR environment reps have praised the University’s green efforts, but some stressed that individual colleges as well as the University as a whole need to do much more to help protect the environment.Mae Penner, Magdalen’s Environment rep accused Oxford colleges of using words such as “tradition” and “prestige” to “justify actions which frivolously disregard the financial and ethical benefits of increased sustainability.”Stephen Bush, Balliol’s Environment rep added that the “behaviour of some colleges is letting the university down. Some colleges won’t have paper recycling in students’ rooms, for example.”He said the University should “think about its indirect effect upon the environment too; to look again at the impact of its investments upon the environment and the world generally.”Environment JCR reps have also criticised OUSU for not doing enough to support and promote awareness of environmental issues among students.One Environment rep accused the elected Environment and Ethics officials as being “often unresponsive to appeals for information or guidance”, which hindered students who are passionate about the environment from getting involved. She said, “in my experience, they often feel as if they are operating in a vacuum, without any effective Oxford-wide support.”last_img read more

Union Secretary off the hook

first_imgMiles Coates has been cleared to sit as Secretary of the Oxford Union in Michaelmas Term after an official report judged an attempt to dislodge him as an abuse of Union rules and a waste of members’ subscription fees.The Worcester College student was elected to the position of Secretary in Trinity Term’s elections, beating Melanie Pope and Daniel Alphonsus. However after this result a complaint of electoral malpractice was brought against Coates by Alphonsus. In the resulting tribunal Coates was found guilty and was punished by being deposed as Secretary, disqualified from future Union elections and fined £500.Coates was initially found guilty of rule 33(a)(i)(24), which concerns ‘taking part in a conspiracy’ to commit electoral malpractice. The Society’s Appellate Board has now quashed this original verdict. A new electoral tribunal was ordered, but the time limit for this to take place in has elapsed.The Board’s report suspects that the complaint brought about by Alphonsus may be a case of ‘fishing’. This is an underhand practice in which members make vague accusations of electoral malpractice in order to buy themselves time to collect evidence to make more substantive accusations.The report states that the Board ‘deplores this approach’ which is an ‘abuse of process and wasting of the Union’s time’. One piece of evidence submitted to the original tribunal was a voice recording of a conversation between Alphonsus, Coates and main witness Rahul Ahluwalia in the lunch room of Brasenose College three days before the June election. A video clip and a transcript of a Blackberry messenger conversation were also submitted.Under questioning from the original tribunal Ahluwalia claimed to have made covert recordings of a variety of conversations including this one. He said he did this simply because he ‘wished to listen to them again’. The tribunal was critical of the testimony of this ‘evasive witness’, and declared that ‘Mr Ahluwalia had set out to entrap the defendant, but had gone about this in such an incompetent fashion that he had in fact produced evidence that might incriminate him [Ahluwalia].’The original report was similarly scathing about the conduct of Alphonsus, remarking ‘frankly, we should have had some difficulty accepting the Complainant’s evidence to us [even] were it not for the bumbling and shambolic fashion in which he had submitted his complaint.’The Secretary’s job is to take minutes at public business meetings as well as organise the Union’s termly ball. Coates is now at work arranging a ‘New York, New York’ themed event. The third year law student will sit in the chamber next term alongside President Izzy Westbury, Librarian Izzy Ernst and Treasurer James Freeland.Westbury commented, ‘I’m incredibly relieved that all of this mess is now over. It’s always a shame when the Union gets entangled in expensive shenanigans that detract from what the society is really about. Now we can finally move on and look forward to what will hopefully be a great term ahead. I have every confidence in Miles that he will do a superb job, and I’m certainly looking forward to the ball he’s now in the middle of organising!’Union sources estimate that the initial tribunal and subsequent meeting of the Appellate Board have cost members around £1000.last_img read more

Senate Challenger Offers to Engage Pro-Bono on the Legal Case

first_imgSheriff Nolan, Freeholders Thornton and Hayes Ask Testa, Jr. to Aid Legal Fight Against MurphySenate challenger offers to engage pro-bono on the legal caseOctober 4, 2019, Cape May Court House – At the behest of Freeholder Gerry Thornton, Freeholder Marie Hayes, and Cape May County GOP Chairman Marcus Karavan, Cumberland County Attorney, Michael Testa Jr, has agreed to gratuitously help Cape May County contest Governor Murphy’s “Sanctuary State” directive and to maintain the 287(g) agreement that the County currently has with ICE.“The Murphy Administration’s attack on our county threatens the safety of our residents and seeks to compel us to disobey federal law,” said Director Thornton.  “As duly elected officials in Cape May County, we took an oath to uphold the US and NJ Constitutions. We will not allow Governor Murphy and Attorney General Grewal to bully us into becoming a Sanctuary County, not now, not ever. “Testa will aid in Freeholder Thornton in litigation filed by Monmouth and Ocean Counties, that are currently contesting the draconian “Immigrant Trust” directive on the grounds that it violates federal and state constitutional law.Assembly candidate Antwan McClellan whipped-up the crowd with his support of the Sheriff.Chairman Karavan commented “Unfortunately our Cape May County Freeholders and Sheriff have received little by way of actual support from the sitting Senator Bob Andrzejczak. While claiming to be an independent thinker the appointed Senator votes with Governor Murphy 95% of the time, including voting to cut our school aid while giving college tuition aid to illegal immigrants.  Moreover, this is the same Governor who cuts veterans benefits, but created a legal defense fund for illegal immigrants. Strong, immediate action is needed to prevent this injustice from taking root in Cape May County.”“The laws, the facts, and public opinion are on our side, even if our current Democrat state legislators are not,” Testa, Jr. said. “Governor Murphy and Trenton Democrats are not only dead wrong on this policy – but their actions are illegal and unconstitutional.  It violates the U.S. Constitution’s supremacy clause and the N.J. Constitution’s home rule doctrine. I am proud to support Sheriff Nolan and the Cape May County Freeholders and take on this critical fight.”Hundreds of Cape May County residents came out on short notice to show their appreciation for Sheriff Nolan’s efforts.Recently, the Cape May County Board of Chosen Freeholders passed a resolution in support of Sheriff Bob Nolan and the county’s participation in 287(g) with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE).  Last week, New Jersey Attorney General Grewal ordered the counties to stand down, barring state, county, and local law enforcement from cooperating with ICE.“Cape May County families want no part of Governor Murphy’s Sanctuary State,” Hayes stated. “For nearly 29 years, I worked in law enforcement to save innocent children from assault and rape. Now, the Governor is allowing these monsters to be released from jail before ICE can detain them.  They are putting their own twisted political ideology over the safety and we are not going to let it stand.”Sheriff Nolan addressed the crowd and made it clear that his highest priority is the safety of Cape May County. Pictured: Sheriff Bob Nolan, Senate candidate Mike Testa and Assembly candidate Antwan McClellanlast_img read more

Marvellous marbling

first_imgMarbled wedding cakeThis is a cake that is fast to make and looks great, but you do have to realise that it will look different every time you make it and it is important to explain that to the customer.There are several steps to making this cake.1 Filling the sponges: as with the previous cakes, this can be done the day before.2 Applying the marbled ganache: Heat up the white and dark ganache* to 35?c. They should not be any warmer, otherwise they will just slide off the cake as the fresh cream or buttercream melts.The dark chocolate ganache should not be more than 10% of the volume of the white ganache if you want to achieve a good-quality marbled effect.3 Pour the dark ganache into the white ganache in a circular movement but do not stir.4 Next, pour the combined white and dark ganache over the cake and let the excess drip off. You can not reuse the excess ganache for wedding cakes, but it can be used to flavour crèmes or as truffle fillings. Please note that you might find it easier to give the cake a base coating of white ganache only.5 Decorate the cake to your own or the customer’s taste.*You can find recipes for ganache on the Callebaut website or use their “ready to use” Crème Dell’ Artigiano’s. All of the products we have used are available from Bekaert & Dupont.n Igor Bekaert served his apprenticeship and subsequently qualified as a pastry chef and chocolatier in the renowned Patisserie School ’De Groene Poort’ in Bruges. In 1996, after 12 years’ experience Igor, with his wife Ann, moved to London to broaden his skills and knowledge. In February 1996 he began working as a chocolatier in the Patisserie Valerie group. After that, with his wife Ann, he opened a bakery and patisserie ingredients company, Bekaert & Dupont, committed to offering specialised products dedicated to the patissier and baker.last_img read more

Addo Food Group features in BBC’s Inside The Factory

first_imgNottingham-based Addo Food Group has appeared on BBC Two’s Inside The Factory this week.The show follows the production of a range of party food made at Addo’s Riverside site in Nottingham for Marks & Spencer. It showcases the pastry producer’s full manufacturing process, from raw ingredients through to product development to retail.Addo produces goods for UK retailers and under brands including Wall’s Pastry and Pork Farms. Its products include sausage rolls, pork pies, pasties, slices and quiches“The whole Addo Food Group team and I are very excited to be appearing on BBC Two’s Inside The Factory. We were absolutely delighted to have been approached by such a popular prime-time show and to host Gregg (Wallace) and the crew at our Riverside premises,” said Deborah Bolton, CEO of Addo Food Group.The company employs 2,500 people nationwide and 450 people at its Riverside bakery, which features its own specialist manufacturing facility and development team, focused on driving product innovation and quality.“We have six bakery sites across the country but Riverside is one of the busiest – with 42 million quiches being baked on-site each year. As the UK’s largest chilled quiche manufacturer, the festive period is the most demanding time of the year for us – with our hand-working team producing 4.5 million quiches every December.”The episode includes two other Midlands-based businesses, which both appear as part of Addo Food Group’s supply chain: Derbyshire-based haulage company NFT Distribution and West Midlands-based egg supplier Bumblehole Foods.“The businesses appearance on Inside The Factory has created a buzz within the team and I have no doubt will be watched by all this Thursday.”Inside The Factory is available on BBC iPlayer.Cherry Healey, presenter of BBC Two’s Inside The Factorylast_img read more

Professor connects justice, Islamic law states

first_imgThe relationship between Islamic law states and the nternational courts of justice is one that international relations scholars have attempted to understand in order to promote more peaceful conflict resolution, especially over the past decade.Emilia Powell, assistant professor of Political Science, presented her research in a lecture titled  “Islamic law states and the peaceful resolution of territorial disputes,” which covered both the characteristics of Islamic law states and how they accept decisions from international courts of law.“There are many ways in which I try to capture how much Islamic law is incorporated in the official legal system [of Islamic states],” Powell said.Powell defined an Islamic law state as a “state whose official law system incorporates Islamic or Shari’a principles.”Powell said factors included in categorizing a country as an Islamic law state include reference to Shari’a — the moral code and religious law of Islam, reference to Holy Oath — the method of faithfulness to Allah required of public officials, the presence of Shari’a in educational systems and how religious principles have shaped state law.She said the character of the education system is particularly indicative of a given state being an Islamic law state.“To me, if education in Islamic law states is based very strongly on Shari’a, it means that the country is more likely to be traditionally Islamic, because education in schools is the main venue through which legal traditions carry through,” she said.Powell’s work centered on historical analysis of Islamic constitutions dating from 1945 to the present. The research included analysis of over seventy constitutions and several qualitative in-depth interviews with Islamic law scholars about the history and substance of law and the Islamic legal system. With this data, she identified over 25 countries where Islamic law or Shari’a is present, including Egypt, Malaysia, and Qatar among others.Powell’s findings suggest Islamic law states that incorporated fewer principles from international courts and presented more traditional elements of Islamic law were less likely to agree with or accept decisions made by the International legal system.“Islamic law states feel slightly uncomfortable with international law,” Powell said.Powell’s lecture highlighted how International courts of justice tend to misjudge Islamic law states and how little mention they give Islamic law.“International courts rarely mention Islamic law,” she said. “When they do, it is mentioned in a negative light.”Powell said, though Islamic law states are apprehensive about international courts of law, they are open to agreements when their legal system is mentioned more positively.“Islamic law states are different from each other. You cannot say that they all act in a certain way,” she said. “However, in international relations scholarship, what I often saw was ‘no, all Islamic law states act the same.’”Powell said her research aimed at helping people notice variation in Islamic law states and contributing to strategies of conflict resolution.“This research can help bring more peaceful conflict resolution in Islamic law states,” Powell said.Tags: Emilia Powell, International Courts, Islam, Islamic law, Shari’alast_img read more

Ellicott Police Make Arrest In Village Of Falconer Vehicle Larceny Spree

first_imgFALCONER – Town of Ellicott Police say a 17-year-old has been arrested in connection with a vehicle larceny spree in the Village of Falconer.In an update on social media, detectives say they held a special detail last weekend in an attempt to catch the subjects responsible for the crimes.On Sunday morning police say the youth was arrested after he allegedly entered unlocked vehicles. The teen is now scheduled to appear in family court.Furthermore, police say additional charges are expected against others who may be involved in the thefts. Last week police sent a notice to residents asking them to lock their vehicles after a large amount of larcenies took place in the village.Anyone with home surveillance was asked to contact the department if they have video of people attempting to enter vehicles or doing anything suspicious on their property. Pixabay, Skiddie2003 / Wikipedia Stock Image. Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window),Wonder if they are the ones that stole my wallet and everything in it. And old beat up sunglasses and cologne out of my carlast_img read more

No Power?

first_imgWhen the lights went out all over Georgia, many people learned how dependent they’d become on their stoves and microwaves. How do you fix your food without electricity? Here’s a list of easy foods to stock up on, Harrison said, for the next time the power fails: And while you’re at the store, she said, make sure you have the other things that make powerless cooking work, like plenty of starter sticks for the fireplace, a hand-operated can opener and fuel for the camp stove or grill. Canned meats. Ham, chicken and turkey are available. Look for them on the same grocery aisle as canned tuna in most stores. Packaged pasta mixes or rice mixes. You can even mix these with the canned meat or tuna to create a quick-to-fix “camping meal.” You can easily prepare it in your fireplace, camp stove or gas grill. Hard cheeses. Hard cheddar, Swiss, provolone or mozzarella can be kept even without refrigeration for several hours before they lose quality. And don’t forget the crackers. Canned soups or dehydrated soup mixes. Soup or water can easily be heated in the fireplace or on a camp stove. Fruits. Fresh, canned or dried, fruits are healthful and don’t have to be cooked. Vegetables. Fresh or canned veggies are nutritious and also require little or no cooking. Cereals. Cold cereals can make a meal or a great snack for the kids. And nothing is more soothing on a cold winter morning than a steaming bowl of oatmeal. Be sure to get instant, and just add hot water, straight off the fire or your camp stove. Peanut butter and jelly. Who doesn’t like peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches? And what could be easier to “cook”? “A one- or two-burner camping cook stove can come in very handy when the power goes out,” she said. “But you’ll have to go outside to use it.” How and What to Cook Harrison said many packaged food products work well, too. “A boxed macaroni-and-cheese mix cooks in 10 minutes,” she said, “and is great with the beans and wieners.” Easy Foods When Power’s Out Packaged Foods, Reminders “Don’t plan to cook a 12-pound turkey, even if it will fit in your fireplace,” she said. “When you head to the store, think simple. Think, ‘What can I cook in minutes over a roaring fire or outside in a blowing wind — and with the children ‘helping’?'” You certainly don’t have to go hungry, says a University of Georgia expert. You just have to be prepared. Even gas or charcoal grills can be handy in a pinch. The key, Harrison said, is to be smart when you buy the food you’ll have to prepare. “You can cook in the fireplace if you need to,” said Judy Harrison, an Extension Service nutritionist and food safety specialist with the UGA College of Family and Consumer Sciences.last_img read more

GOP Senators Back Solar, Seek Exemption From Trump Tariff

first_imgGOP Senators Back Solar, Seek Exemption From Trump Tariff FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享PV Magazine:On May 9th, eight Republican U.S. senators from strong solar states, and a couple of aspirants, signed a letter requesting that ‘utility-scale’ 72 cell, 1500-V solar modules be exempted from the 30% Section 201 solar panel tariff.The eight Republican U.S. senators are Thom Tillis (NC), Dean Heller (NV), Jerry Moran (KS), Cory Gardner (CO), Lindsey Graham (SC), Richard Burr (NC), Pat Roberts (KS), and Tim Scott (SC). North Carolina and Nevada are solar heavyweights, and Colorado also has a healthy solar market. South Carolina has recently seen the public turn toward solar with its ongoing $9 billion nuclear boondoggle, and Kansas is really just getting started with solar.If this tariff were to be effectively rescinded for utility-scale customers the results could be significant in terms of total volume relative to the whole of the United States, as the utility scale sector is bearing the greatest consequences of this solar panel tariff. GTM Research estimates just short of 600 MW in cancelled installations as a result of the tariff in 2018, but a jump to about 1.6 GW in 2019. For comparison’s sake, the residential and commercial solar markets were about 2 GW each in 2017.The reason the utility-scale solar power sector suffers so much versus other sectors is that the solar panel itself represents a much greater part of final installation costs. In a $1/W, utility-scale installation, a 30¢/W solar panel is 30% of system costs. That same panel in a $3/W residential install is 10% of system costs. Thus the 30% Section 201 tariff, with its 9¢/W tax, increases the cost of a utility scale project by 9%, but a residential system only 3%. Same amount of money – different effect.That utility-scale solar panels weren’t being manufactured in the United States was brought up during the original hearings when the Section 201 tariff was being debated. This argument did not seem to sway trade officials.More: Republicans Request Utility-Scale Solar Panel Tariff Exemptionlast_img read more