It is the greatest mass extinction since the dinosaurs. Population by population, species by species, amphibians are vanishing off the face of the Earth. Despite international alarm and a decade and a half of scientists scrambling for answers, the steady hemorrhaging of amphibians continues like a leaky faucet that cannot be fixed or a wound that will not heal.
Allison Argo, the filmmaker behind “Frogs: The Thin Green Line,” discusses the making of the PBS series in this Web-exlusive video. From the construction of an artificial pond set, to seeing the effects of the chytrid fungus first-hand, Allison describes the challenges she encountered in this project. With one-third of amphibian species threatened with extinction, Allison thinks the story of frogs “is probably the most important environmental story of our time.”
UNESCO has just launched a new website, the 'World Digital Library' with thousands of historical records, maps, art and abundant information about each object - in any of seven different world languages.
Easy to navigate by geographical location, and filled with treasures of the world.
NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- The bodies of the nine suspected Pakistani terrorists -- all believed to have been involved in the attacks on Mumbai -- are still lying in a hospital morgue almost five months after the attacks occurred.
The public prosecutor trying the lone surviving suspected gunman in the Mumbai attacks told CNN the dead suspects have not been buried because no one has come to claim them and local Muslim officials are refusing to bury the men in Mumbai's Muslim graveyards. .....
So, if the terrorists/martyrs bodies have not been buried according to Muslim religious custom, they just might be on shaky terms with Allah, and may not be granted their 72 virgins. Too fucking bad. What a screwed up religious dogma that awards virgins in Paradise for murdering people [infidels]. And I thought Christianity was schizophernic.
According to an Islam tradition, Muslim martyrs will go to paradise and marry 72 black-eyed virgins. But some Koran scholars point to a less sexy paradise. While beautifully written, Islamic texts are often obscure. The Arabic language was born as a written language with the Koran, and growing evidence suggests that many of the words were Syriac or Aramaic.
Specifically, the Koran says martyrs going to heaven will get “hur,” and the word was taken by early commentators to mean “virgins,” hence those 72 concubines. But in Aramaic, hur actually meant “white” and was commonly used to specifically mean “white grapes.”
The philologist "Christoph Luxenburg", (who always uses a pseudonym for security reasons) notes that grapes would actually make more sense, because the text compares them to crystal and pearls, and because historic Muslim accounts have paradise abounding with fruit, especially white grapes.
Now that just might infuriate any recently dead terrorist, newly arrived in Paradise, to have Allah offer him a bunch of grapes when he was lustfully looking forward to his quota of virgins. Hardly worth the trouble of blowing yourself up.
Have spent the weekend immersed in the world of Brade Runner. Personal opinion of course, but I consider it one of the finest fims ever made. Recently got the four disk 25th anniversary DVD edition of Blade Runner. What a visual, auditory treasure - from the novel by Phillip K. Dick [Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep], Blade Runner combines the artistic talents of film director Ridley Scott, an exceptional cast, and the haunting music by Vangelis.
Was somewhat amused to find this online admonition from an obvious fan: "If you don't own "Blade Runner", then go out RIGHT NOW and buy the four-disc Collector's Edition. No, don't stop to shut down your computer. DO IT NOW !!!"
In Blade Runner's dystopian near future, replicants, or genetically engineered humanoids, do the hard work on off-world colonies. After a bloody mutiny, the androids are forbidden from coming to Earth — on pain of death. So when six rogue replicants return home, they must be "retired" — hunted down and killed — and Rick Deckard, once a top replicant hunter, or "blade runner," is pulled out of his own retirement to do the job.
"Like Tears in Rain"
The line "like tears in rain" was never scripted. Rutger Hauer ad libed this line while filming, and yet because of these four words, and exceptional acting, it became one of the most famous scenes in movie history.
Homophobic Christians have given the world a wonderful tool to play with - NOM's The Gathering Storm. I first posted about it a week ago, Fearful Christians. I never cease to be amazed a how much of the Christian religion is based on fear, but I guess that when you have a certifiably psychotic god to deal with on a daily basis, shitting your pants regularly may be a natural response.
WHAT would happen if you crossed that creepy 1960s horror classic “The Village of the Damned” with the Broadway staple “A Chorus Line”? You don’t need to use your imagination. It’s there waiting for you on YouTube under the title “Gathering Storm”: a 60-second ad presenting homosexuality as a national threat second only to terrorism. .... Far from terrifying anyone, “Gathering Storm” has become, unsurprisingly, an Internet camp classic. On YouTube the original video must compete with countless homemade parodies it has inspired since first turning up some 10 days ago. None may top Stephen Colbert’s on Thursday night, in which lightning from “the homo storm” strikes an Arkansas teacher, turning him gay. A “New Jersey pastor” whose church has been “turned into an Abercrombie & Fitch” declares that he likes gay people, “but only as hilarious best friends in TV and movies.” Yet easy to mock as “Gathering Storm” may be, it nonetheless bookmarks a historic turning point in the demise of America’s anti-gay movement. .....As marital equality haltingly but inexorably spreads state by state for gay Americans in the years to come, Utah will hardly be in the lead to follow Massachusetts, Connecticut, Iowa and Vermont. But the fact that it too is taking its first steps down that road is extraordinary. It is justice, not a storm, that is gathering. Only those who have spread the poisons of bigotry and fear have any reason to be afraid.
Yet another parody of the NOM 'Gathering storm' video
47 Year old Susan Boyle wows the judges, and audience, with her spectacular performance in the auditions for Britains Got Talent, singing 'I dreamed a dream' from Les Miserables.
As soon as Boyle started singing, the audience cheered with amazement as her strong voice took over the theater. After a breathless silence during the beginning of Boyle's performance, the audience burst into a standing ovation. Piers Morgan, one of the judges, admitted that he was impressed and said, "That was the biggest surprise I have had in three years of the show."
Spectacular performance Embedding has been disabled, so you will have to check it out on YouTube. [Which, by the way has had over 6,778,000 hits in two days — amend that to: 20,000,000 [and counting] hits in three days
Sort of reduces American Idol to its proper perspective of screechy, gawky adolescents.
Having spent many years teaching, including one decade at a university system in Mexico, I thought that I had been exposed to just about every possible method of cheating on exams. In fact some students spend more time divising elaborate methods for cheating, than if they had actually spent that amount of time cracking open a book and studying.
A finger, or pen, tapping method was a favorite for multiple choice questions, but a teacher with good hearing is always on guard for this one. I remember once during an exam that several of my students seemed to have developed severe facial tics which included grimaces and a regular fluttering of the eyelids. It soon became evident that they were involved in a somewhat sophisticated means of morse code. Making the offenders change seats so they were not in line of sight resolved that problem.
Now it has become high tec with computers, labels, notes and printers [but now that it has been exposed, guess the students will just have to study. . .]
Here is the video "2nd Foundational Falsehood of Creationism" with a logical examination of why ALL of humanity's 'sacred books' may be literature, but are from the same source, i.e. the creative pen of man and were in no way, shape or form written by any of the multitude of 'gods' that man has created.