A&S in the News: March 25–31

The Tahri That Binds: How A Sweet Rice Dish Connects A Woman To Her History

National Public Radio – March 28

I have always found it difficult to explain my family’s syncretic faith traditions to both white Americans and to other South Asians. We are Hindu Sindhis, originating from an area around the Indus River, in what is now modern southeast Pakistan. On our home altar, familiar Hindu idols — Lakshmi, Ganesh, Krishna — share space with images of the 10 Sikh gurus and Jhulelal. Jhulelal, a river deity, is not only the patron saint of Hindu Sindhis, but is also revered by Sufi Muslims. For many, my religion is an outlandish concoction of incompatible faiths. But one thing that brings it all together is our traditional foods. . . . Jhulelal is known by various names and worshiped in many forms; his shrine in Pakistan receives both Hindu and Muslim pilgrims. But this white-bearded saint who sits on fish and whose image is found in nearly all Sindhi homes was originally a marginal deity for a particular group of Sindhis who prayed to the Indus River, according to Steven Ramey, associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Alabama and author of Hindu, Sufi or Sikh: Contested Practices and Identifications of Sindhi Hindus in India and Beyond.

What Is the Alt-right and Has It Made Its Way Into the White House?

USSA News – March 27

In an interview for the Washington Post, George Hawley, a University of Alabama professor who studied the movement, described typical alt-right followers as white millennial men, either in college or with a college degree who are secular, perhaps atheist, and are not interested in the conservative movement at all … The 2016 U.S. presidential election was unprecedented in many ways. Among these was the emergence of a movement known as the alt-right. What many Americans don’t understand is where it came from, who its adherents are and how it is influencing the course of our nation.

University of Alabama chemistry professor earns honor

Tuscaloosa News – March 30

A University of Alabama chemistry professor is among the recipients of the 2017 SEC Faculty Achievement Awards named Wednesday. The annual awards honor a faculty member from each school in the Southeastern Conference. A news release states that each recipient demonstrates an outstanding record of teaching, research and scholarship. Arunava Gupta, Distinguished University Research Professor of Chemistry, is UA’s recipient.

Mysterious cosmic explosion surprises astronomers studying the distant x-ray universe

Space Daily – March 31

A mysterious flash of X-rays has been discovered by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory in the deepest X-ray image ever obtained. This source likely comes from some sort of destructive event, but it may be of a variety that scientists have never seen before … This X-ray source in the CDF-S has different properties from the as yet unexplained variable X-ray sources discovered in the elliptical galaxies NGC 5128 and NGC 4636 by Jimmy Irwin of the University of Alabama and collaborators. In particular, the CDF-S source is likely associated with the complete destruction of a neutron star or white dwarf, and is roughly 100,000 times more luminous in X-rays. It is also located in a much smaller and younger host galaxy, and is only detected during a single, several-hour burst.

Also making headlines:

Opera Review: Opera Birmingham: ‘The Elixir Of Love’ – March 26 – Paul Houghtaling

Science Says Tattoos Could Be Good for Your Health – March 25

Does the Religious Right’s Decline Help the Alt-Right? – March 30 – George Hawley