Cluster Map

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Pollyanna cheers the end of the fighting

Pollyanna is back and would like to share a view of a monster storm on Saturn
with you
Two Looks at the Turbulent Saturn Storm
This set of images from NASA's Cassini mission shows the turbulent power of a monster Saturn storm. The visible-light image in the back, obtained on Feb. 25, 2011, by Cassini's imaging camera, shows the turbulent clouds churning across the face of Saturn. The inset infrared image, obtained a day earlier, by Cassini's visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, shows the dredging up of water and ammonia ices from deep in Saturn's atmosphere. This was the first time water ice was detected in Saturn's atmosphere. The storm, first detected by Cassini's radio and plasma wave subsystem in December 2011, churned around the planet in a band around 33 degrees north. Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SSI/Univ. of Arizona/Univ. of Wisconsin
For starters, let us refer you to the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights action blog. Over a year has gone by without Miriam and we continue to realize what we have lost. She got us into the human rights struggle. Please act on behalf of people who are so much in need of support in their trials and tribulations at the hands of oppressive regimes and corporations.

This week Pollyanna gets to choose a charity. Her choice is Reporters Without Borders, who fight to protect freedom of expression and freedom of the press everywhere. You are invited to donate via their Web site and while you are there, get an idea of the scope of their work and activity. They have opened a tribute page for their colleague James Foley who was so brutally murdered last week by the jihadis in Iraq.

IN MEMORIAM Yehezkel Braun 1922-2014

The famous Israeli composer died on Wednesday at age 92. He composed in a great variety of genres and was widely performed. He wrote symphonies, chamber music, choral compositions and solo  pieces. A Hebrew obituary is in Haaretz.  He was much loved and admired by the music community and by the public.  A special concert was held for his 85th birthday.  Then Haaretz wrote "Yehezkel Braun, who as he himself says, "always refused to compose contemporary music," considers himself better suited to have been born in the 18th century. His melodies and harmonies, the superlative vocality that dominates his compositions, the colors of the sound and the formal program - all of this draws inspiration from the classical styles. It forever relies on tradition and heritage, looking back at the past. Even when he tried to adopt avant-garde composition techniques, he once said about himself, the result was classical. After that, he stopped trying. " May he rest in peace and we shall continue to love and enjoy his music.


Pollyanna salutes the editorial board of the Washington  Post who have decided to cease the use of the name Redskins to mark the NFL  team of the city. We note however that this has not yet percolated to the sports pages of the journal. Let this piece of racism be relegated to the  dustbin of history.

In India where rape and sexual abuse of women are rampant, many incidents go unreported because of shame and the cavalier way the police, mostly men, treat the victims. A new system, a la ATM, is being introduced for the submission of such complaints. Pollyanna applauds.
Manju Mitra uses the ICLIK machine to file a police complaint in New Delhi. (photo: Amrit Dhillon/The Star)
Manju Mitra uses the ICLIK machine to file a police complaint in New Delhi. (photo: Amrit Dhillon/The Star)
She also cheers the brave women in Spain who are standing up to the machismo of the police and  León de la Riva, the mayor of Valladolid. He is not the only sexist in the country and the uprising aka "the bra revolution" is gaining pace.
Residents of Valladolid tie a chain of bras around the entrance to the town hall
More than 500 protesters have tied a chain of bras across the entrance of a town hall in the Spanish city of Valladolid.
The hashtag #NoEstasSola, which translates as "You are not alone", has been used more than 40,000 times since Wednesday, and 5,500 times in the last 24 hours.  It is meant as a message of support for the woman who made the initial accusations. 

The Gaza war seems to be on hold and since no one can be called a victor, it is obvious that both sides lost, whatever spin the respective  sets of leaders choose to put on it. The degree of wanton cruelty shown by both sides will leave scars for a long time to come. Gideon Levy comments on the reaction to the killing of an Israeli child"Suddenly the death of a little  boy has meaning, suddenly it is shocking. It is human, understandable and moving. It is also human that the killing of an Israeli boy, a child of ours, would arouse greater identification than the death of some other child. What  is incomprehensible is the Israeli response to the killing of their children." When three Israeli yeshiva boys were killed by vile Hamas terrorists, we were all up in arms. When an Arab teenager was burnt alive by vile Jewish terrorists, most of us shrugged shoulders and the police arrested and beat up members of the victim's family. 

One result of the situation is the conclusion  that liberal Zionism is dead  and buried. As Antony Lerman writes in the NYTimes:"The only Zionism of any consequence today is xenophobic and exclusionary, a Jewish ethno-nationalism inspired by religious messianism. It is carrying out an open-ended project of national self-realization to be achieved through colonization and  purification of the tribe."  We indeed realize that the reign of the Rabbi Kings is just around the corner, but in good conscience we cannot give up the fight. Of course, it has been said that liberal Zionism is a romantic oxymoron.  As Asher Schechter puts it, "... all along, “liberal Zionism” was nothing more than a silly romantic notion. But the Middle East has never been a good place for romantics. The last one who tried to get romantic around here ended up getting crucified." Yet we silly romantic liberals will support Meretz, go to futile demonstrations, write letters to the editor that are not published and watch the best and the brightest of the younger generation vote with their feet.  We note that no right-wing journalist needs bodyguards as does Gideon Levy, no left wing group has ever disrupted a right wing demonstration, no Reform Jews have ever desecrated an Orthodox synagogue--the evil violence and hatred are the property of the right and the Orthodox. It should give food for thought.

In the early hours of 7 August 2012 Claudia Medina woke to the  frightening sound of marines breaking into her home in Veracruz City, Mexico. With her hands bound and a blindfold covering her eyes, the mother of three,  who makes a living as a natural medicine salesperson, was taken to a local naval base.

Over the next few days, Claudia suffered terrible torture at the hands of government forces, including electric shocks and sexual abuse, being wrapped in plastic, beaten and kicked. Her torturers even forced chili sauce up her nose with a syringe.  Join the global movement to get justice for Claudia. Claudia reported her torture, prompting a federal judge to request an  investigation. But almost two years later the investigation is yet to happen.

vitamin K

Vitamin K is a critical compound in our bodies that allows blood to coagulate. Infants are naturally low in it and are at risk for terrible problems that can be otherwise prevented with a simple shot.
Photo by Shutterstock/Natalia Karpova
The latest nutty twist on anti-vaxxing is the refusal of parents of newborns to give their babies vitamin K injections. As Phil Plait tells us ... Babies across the U.S. are suffering from horrific injuries—including hemorrhages, brain damage, and even strokes (yes, strokes, in babies)—because of parents refusing a vitamin K shot. This vitamin is needed to coagulate blood, and without it internal bleeding can result.

Vitamin K deficiency is rare in adults, but it doesn’t cross the placental barrier except in limited amounts, so newborn babies are generally low in it.  That is why it’s been a routine injection for infants for more than 50  years—while vitamin K deficiency is not as big a risk as other problems, the  shot is essentially 100 percent effective, and is quite safe.

Pollyanna is the opposite of glad, she is distressed. It couples in with the  antivax, "natural mothering" and all the other crap that people who should know better are promulgating.

Pollyanna is outraged over the report that a 9-year old girl  who was being trained to use an Uzi submachine gun killed her instructor by accident. She agrees that there is nothing wrong with teaching kids about firearms, but they should be older and the weapons single-shot to avoid a  burst of automatic fire from a child who cannot control the recoil. Nuts and  irresponsible all around.

ISIS aka ISIL is continuing to rampage while the world dithers. Obama frankly  admits to having no strategy to deal with them and the slaughter goes on. The fate of women in their hands is another frightful atrocity. Sale as cheap wives or rape and murder are the order of the day. Yes, Mr. President, the main task should devolve to the local powers, but you and Europe must put on much more pressure. It is only a question of time before this terror spreads to Europe and the United States.

We live in a bubble. Our whole solar system appears to do so, say space scientists, who published work last month corroborating its existence. And, oh, what a bubble it is: About 300 light years long (about 1,764,000,000,000,000 miles), and its walls are made of hot gas. How hot? About a million degrees.


What If? asks: Could a person walk the entire city of NY in their lifetime?
(including inside apartments)

Asaf Shamir: It works out quite nicely, thank you.

Randall also offers an astronomy lesson for those who have problems with the
google app on their handhelds:
Abusive Astronomy
WUMO  shows what herbal diets can cause. We hope they will forgive us this copyright violation:
Wumo Cartoon for Aug/26/2014

Welcome to Hollywood, yes they are all the same more or less:
Barney & Clyde Cartoon for Aug/27/2014

Finally it came to be:

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