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January 12, 2011 - Image 2

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2A - Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com I

2A - Wednesday, January12, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

In Other Ivory Towers Questions on Campus Professor Profiles Campus Clubs Photos of the Week
The accidental sociologist

Sociology lecturer PJ
McGann became involved in
her field on a whim.
"I took this intro sociology
class just for the hell of it. The
professor was boring, but the
material was intriguing," she
Arriving at the University in
2001, McGann has taught sever-
al topics ranging from sexuality
and gender to deviance.
"At first I was a little nervous
to teach a 100-level course - I
hadn't done that since '95, but
then I realized that first-year
students have so much growth
in them and are so engaged. It's
a very rewarding experience,"
she said.
Like her classes, McGann's
research projects also span
many topics within the field.
Working with Rackham student
David Hutson, she is currently

in the final stages of completing
a book about the sociology of
medical diagnoses.
"The book about the sociol-
ogy of diagnosis is a brand new
book for a brand new field,"
McGann said. "What we hope
to do is set the initial terms of
the debate."
McGann is also working on
the Ponytails Project, a study
with the University of Southern
California regarding the image
and gender norms of female
student-athletes. Addition-
ally, she's writing a book about
tomboys titled, "The Ballfields
of Our Hearts: Tomboys, Femi-
ninity, and the Gendered Body,"
which is an original topic in the
area of study.
McGann said she hopes her
research will have a lasting
impact on the field of sociology
and that The Ponytails Project

can have an impact on athletic
policies concerning gender.
Concentrating in emergency
medical care and athletic train-
ing, McGann received a bach-
elor's degree and a master's
degree from Minnesota State
University. ShOe completed her
Ph.D. at Brandeis University.
McGann said her passion
for teaching stems from many
inspirations, including her edu-
"On a personal level, college
transformed me, and I love to
lea-n, so to me, loving teaching
is an extension of loving learn-
ing," McGann said. "On a more
social level, I truly believe that
education can be a force for
good in society. It is so reward-
ing to help a student reach that
'a ha' moment when they finally
understand a concept."

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Peeper gets a No ink trail for IFC mass
peak, gets away missing toner meeting
WHERE: Northwood I WHERE: Medical Science WHAT: Universit
WHEN: Monday at about Unit II dents interested in
10:30 a.m. WHEN: Monday at about 9 an fraternity withi
WHAT: A female University a.m. Interfraternity Coi
student called police after WHAT: Two toner cartridges invited to meet stu
observing a man staring in last seen on January 7 were IFC chapters and I
her window, University Police reported missing by a staff the recruitment pr
reported. Police searched the member over the weekend, WHO: Office of Gr
area but were not able to locate University Police reported. WHEN: Today at7
the man. WHERE: Ballroon

y stu-
in in the
uncil are
dents from
earn about
reek Life
7:00 p.m.

Failure to stop a
Door to the head .
crashing success

WHERE: North Quad
WHEN: Sunday at about 11:30
WHAT: A male student
was taken to MWorks for
treatment after being hit in
the head by a door, Univer-
sity Police reported. It is not
known whether the student
was hurt in the incident.

WHERE: Lot NW-10, 2153
WHEN: Monday at about 9:30
WHAT: A driver was cited for
failure to stop after causing a
minor traffic accident in which
nobody was injured, Univer-
sity Police reported.

Michigan Union
for Haiti
WHAT: Members of the
NSBE will be collecting
funds on North Campus for
Haitan earthquake victims
to commemorate the first
anniversary of the disaster.
WHO: National Society
of Black Engineers
WHEN: Today from
9 a.m. to 5 a.m.
WHERE: North Campus

WHAT: Trombonist Vincent
Chandler, an 'U' Alum, will
be performing in a quartet
that includes three 'U' Jazz
department students.
WHO: Museum of Art
WHEN: Today at 8 p.m.
WHERE: Forum,
Museum of Art
Chillin' on
the Diag
WHAT: Students are
invited to kick off the water-
themed semester with an
ice percussion concert.
WHEN: Today at 12 p.m.
WHERE: The Diag
" Please report any
error in the Daily to

According to research
conducted by Citigroup,
the rate of decline of the
amount of smokers in the Unit-
ed Kingdom could result in the
disppearance of the habit by
2050, The Telegraph reported.
Smoking has been shown to be
on the decline since the 1960s.
Today, the Michigan
men's basketball team is
looking to avenge last sea-
son's buzzer-beater loss to the
Buckeyes at 6:30p.m. at Crisler
Arena. It will be the Wolver-
ines' second straight contest
against a top-5 opponent.
Despite the use of elec-
tronic sales tracking sys-
tems and buying limits
in drug stores, the metham-
phetamine epidemic has not
slowed, the Associated Press
reported. The increased track-
ing is believed to have brought.
more people into the trade.

Religious crackdown results inI P
arrest of 70Christians inIran

Grass-roots 'hard-
liners' targeted by
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
(AP) - Iran has arrested about
70 Christians since Christmas in
a crackdown that demonstrates
the limits of religious tolerance by
Islamic leaders who often boast
they provide room for other faiths.
The latest raids have targeted
grass-roots Christian groups Iran
describes as "hard-liners" who
pose a threat to the Islamic state.
Authorities increasingly view
them with suspicions that range
from trying to convert Muslims to
being possible footholds for for-
eign influence.
Christian activists claim their
Iranian brethren are being per-
secuted simply for worshipping
outside officially sanctioned main-
stream churches.
Caught in the middle is the small
community of Iranian Christians
who get together for prayer and
Bible readings in private residenc-
es and out of sight of authorities.
They are part of a wider "house
church" movement that has taken
root in other places with tight con-
trols on Christian activities such
as China and Indonesia.
Iran's constitution gives pro-
tected status to Christians, Jews
and Zoroastrians, but many reli-
gious minorities sense growing
pressures from the Islamic state
as hard-edged forces such as the
powerful Revolutionary Guard
exert more influence. There
are few social barriers separat-
ing Muslims and Iran's religious
minorities such as separate neigh-
borhoods or universities. But they
are effectively blocked from high
government and military posts.
Iran has claimed as a point of
pride that it makes space for other
religions. It reserves parliament
seats for Jewish and Christian
lawmakers and permits church-
es - Roman Catholic, Armenian
Orthodox and others - as well as
synagogues and Zoroastrian tem-
ples that are under sporadic watch
by authorities. Religious celebra-
tions are allowed, but no political
messages or overtones are toler-
In past years, authorities have

staged arrests on Christians and
other religious minorities, but the
latest sweeps appears to be among
the biggest and most coordinated.
In the West, the followers are
drawn to house churches because
of the intimate sense of religious
fellowship and as an alternative
to established denominations. In
places such as Iran, however, there
also is the effort to avoid monitor-
ing of sanctioned churches from
Islamic authorities - who have
kept closer watch on religious
minorities since the chaos after
hard-line President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad's disputed election
in 2009.
Groups monitoring Christian
affairs in the Islamic world say
Iranian authorities see the unreg-
ulated Christian gatherings as
both a potential breeding ground
for political opposition and sus-
pect they may try to convert Mus-
lim in violation of Iran's strict
apostasy laws - which are com-
mon throughout the Muslim world
and have at times fed extremist
violence against Christians and
Tehran Governor Morteza
Tamadon described the Christians
as "hard-line" missionaries who
have "inserted themselves into
Islam like a parasite," according to
the official Islamic Republic News
Agency. He also suggested that
the Christians could have links
to Britain - an accusation within
Iran that refers to political oppo-
sition groups Tehran claims are
backed by the West.
The crackdown by Iran reso-
nates forcefully across the Middle
East at a time when other Chris-
tian communities feel under siege
following deadly attacks against
churches in Egypt and Iraq -
bloodshed that was noted Monday
by Pope Benedict XVI in an appeal
for protection of religious minori-
The suicide blast in Egypt's
Mediterranean port of Alexandria
on Jan. 1, which killed 21 Coptic
Christian worshippers, followed
threats by al-Qaida in Iraq over
claims that Coptic leaders forced
two women who converted to
Islam to return to Christianity -
allegations that church leaders
"It's the nature of the house
churches tha worries Iran. It's

all about possible converts," said
Fleur Brading, a researcher for
Middle East and North Africa at
Christian Solidarity Worldwide,
a British-based group the follows
Christian rights issues around the
world. "It's a very specific and pin-
point strike by Iran."
Iran's religious minorities rep-
resent about 2 percent of the pop-
ulation and include communities
with deep connections to their
faiths. Iran's ethnic Armenian
minority dates back to early Chris-
tianity, and the Jewish celebration
of Purim is built around the story
of the Persian-born Esther.
Even Iran's Islamic Revolution
could not stamp out the influence
of the pre-Muslim Zoroastrian
faith, including its new year's holi-
day Norooz in March.
The wave of arrests began
Christmas morning and since
then, opposition websites have
reported 70 Christians arrested,
including those regarded as pas-
tors in the house church move-
ment. Many were later released,
but the reports say more than a
dozen remain in detention and
officials have hinted more raids
are possible.
It's still unclear what charges
could be brought against the jailed
Christians. But allegations of try-
ing to convert Muslims could
bring a death sentence.
Brading, however, expects Ira-
nian authorities could opt for
political charges rather than reli-
gious-linked allegations to soften
a possible international outcry.
Iran is already struggling against
a campaign opposing the death-
by-stoning for an Iranian woman
convicted of adultery as well as
international pressure over its
nuclear program.
"The use of the word mission-
aries instead of evangelicals is an
intentional move by the govern-
ment," she said. "As evangelicals,
they are a group entitled to their
faith. As missionaries, they are
enemies of the state seeking to
corrupt its people."
In recent months, some mem-
bers of Iran's Armenian commu-
nity also have been detained on
unspecified allegations of working
to undermine the state, the Irani-
an Christian News Agency report-
ed. Iranian officials have not given
details of the reported detentions.

A local resident walks past a flooded building as the Brisbane river burst its banks to cause widespread flooding in Brisbane,
Australia, yesterday. Eastern Australia has been hit by weeks-long flooding that has left farmland and small towns devastated.
20 killed, over 90 missing in
deadly Australian flash floods

Flooding has
devastated the
country since Nov.
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) -
For weeks, the flooding in eastern
Australia has been a slow-motion
disaster, with drenching rain dev-
astating wide swaths of farmland
and small towns. Now, rivers are'
rising in Brisbane, the country's
third-largest city, forcing people
to flee both suburbs and skyscrap-
Flooding that has unfolded
since late November across the
waterlogged state of Queensland
turned suddenly violent Monday,
with a cloudburst sending a rag-
ing torrent down the Lockyer Val-
ley west of Brisbane. Hundreds
had to be rescued by helicopter
Greg Kowald was driving
through the center of the town of
Toowoomba when the terrifying
wall of water roared through the
streets, carrying away cars and
"The water was literally leaping,
six or 10 feet into the air, through
creeks and over bridges and into
parks," Kowald, 53, told The Asso-
ciated Press yesterday. "There was
nowhere to escape, even if there
had been warnings. There was just
a sea of water about a kilometer (a
half-mile) wide."
The flash flood killed 10 people
and left more than 90 missing,
Quensland Premier Anna Bligh

said today. That raised to 20 the
number of confirmed dead in all
the previous weeks from high
Helicopters and other emer-
gency vehicles were moving into
the worst-hit towns in the valley
today, and Bligh warned that the
death toll would likely rise.
Windows exploded, cars
bobbed in the churning brown
water and people desperately
clung to power poles to survive in
Toowoomba. Queensland Police
Commissioner Bob Atkinson
described it as "an inland instant
"What we saw in Toowoom-
ba was the water rise at light-
ning speed. Mother Nature has
unleashed something shocking
out of the Toowoomba region and
we've seen it move very quickly
down the range," Bligh said.
In Brisbane, 80 miles (130
kilometers) east of Toowoomba,
Mayor Campbell Newman said
almost 20,000 homes in low-'
lying areas of the city of about
2 million were expected to be
swamped by tomorrow, when the
river system is expected to crest
near the levels of a devastating
1974 flood.
"This is a truly dire set of cir-
cumstances," Prime Minister Julia
Gillard told Australian Broadcast-
ing Corp. television.
The Brisbane River broke its
banks yesterday and was continu-
ing its rise today - partly con-
trolled by a huge dam upstream
that has had its floodgates opened

because it is brimming after weeks
of rain across the state. Some
streets and riverside parks were
covered with water, though no
major flooding was reported early
The city of Ipswich, home to
about 15,000 people, was being
hit by the water heading Bris-
bane's way. Floodwaters reached
the awnings of stores in the town,
where some 3,000 properties were
expected to be swamped, Mayor
Paul Pisasale said.
To the west, a deluge of up to
6 inches (150 millimeters) in a
half-hour fell over a concentrated
area Monday, sending a 26-foot
(eight-meter), fast-moving torrent
crashing through Toowoomba
and smaller towns. The flash
flood dropped as quickly as it
came, leaving debris and cars
piled together.
"There was water coming down
everywhere in biblical propor-
tions," Toowoomba council mem-
ber Joe Ramia told the AP.
When the flood struck, he
parked his car and ran for higher
ground while watching the car-
nage below: cars turned into scrap
metal and flung into a railway line;
giant metal industrial bins tossed
about as if made of paper; a man
clinging desperately to a power
pole as the relentless tide surged
around him.
A rescuer pushed through the
churning water and yanked the
man to safety as Ramia watched.
Others, including five children,
were swept to their deaths.

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