Cluster Map

Friday, October 10, 2014

Pollyanna is enjoying the holiday season

Pollyanna is back and would like to wish all her Jewish readers and friends a Happy Succot holiday. This is holiday time, but we are still trying to keep the blogs coming. Why should you get a reprieve?

For starters, let us refer you to the Miriam Shlesinger Human Rights action blog. Nearly two years have 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 Excellence on the Horizon. This is an Israeli program designed to help and support Children with Blindness or Visual Impairment. We quote the Web site "The demand for the program is huge and we need your support. Last school year we had 45 children in the program, and we would like to increase the number this year to 60 children. Help us to finance 10 children in the program during this school year! "
On the site there are various options for donating or investing in the program. Please help out. This program is administered by someone whom Pollyanna loves dearly, our own Yael.
Shlomo Lahat in 1972
Shlomo Lahat in 1972. (photo credit:PR)
 SHLOMO "CHICH" LAHAT 1927-2014 died October 1 of lung disease in Tel Aviv. He had a long and varied career including the army, but he was best known as the mayor of Tel Aviv who served the city for 19 years, 1974-1993, completely transforming a sleepy city into a vibrant metropolis. He built up the art and culture infrastructure of Tel Aviv, to a great extent through deficit financing and sheer chutzpa. As a result we have what he defined as the "non stop city." Rest in Peace Chich. A biography is at Jewish World and the JPost has a complete obituary and tribute.

Killing the Hydra
Pollyanna is guffawing at a publication from Russia in which Putin is compared to the mythical Hercules. We are given his 12 tasks each of which is compared to one of the 12 tasks of Hercules. What is really funny is that this is not a spoof. Who would dare to spoof the great man in Russia? This is a panegyric by some admirer of the President. Pollyanna thinks it is too funny for words and would like to share it with you. Thanks to Yosefa for calling it to her attention. 

The UN has adopted a document supporting the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. It was ratified at a special UN General Assembly meeting of more than 1,000 delegates and heads of state for the first-ever World Conference on Indigenous Peoples on Sept. 22 and 23. On day one, nations voted on the adoption of the document – the first vote of its kind after the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was introduced in 2007. Only one country in the world opposed, Canada. The US had opposed it in the past, but President Obama reversed that position. Shame, Canada. To quote the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples on the issue “The well-being gap between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada has not narrowed over the past several years; treaty and aboriginal claims remain persistently unresolved; indigenous women and girls remain vulnerable to abuse; and overall there appear to be high levels of distrust among indigenous peoples towards the government at both the federal and provincial levels.”



A huge tomb dating from the 4th century BCE, the time of Alexander the Great, has been found in the Greek city of Amphipolis. While it cannot be the tomb of Alexander himself, who is buried in Egypt, there are several candidates, including his mother and others close to him who were murdered after his death.
2014 1004 alex st
Detail of the Alexander Mosaic, c. 100 BC, originally from the House of the Faun in Pompeii, currently in Naples National Archaeological Museum. (Image: Museu Nacional Arqueológico de Nápoles)
 The find has aroused great interest. Read more..


Scientists were excited to discover clear skies on a relatively small planet, about the size of Neptune, using the combined power of NASA's Hubble, Spitzer and Kepler space telescopes.   Before now, all of the planets observed in this size range had been found to have high cloud layers that blocked the ability to detect molecules in the planet’s atmosphere. 
A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b
A plot of the transmission spectrum for exoplanet HAT-P-11b, with data from NASA's Kepler, Hubble and Spitzer observatories combined. The results show a robust detection of water absorption in the Hubble data. Transmission spectra of selected atmospheric models are plotted for comparison.
Image Credit: 

The clear planet, called HAT-P-11b, is gaseous with a rocky core, much like our own Neptune. Its atmosphere may have clouds deeper down, but the new observations show that the upper region is cloud-free. This good visibility enabled scientists to detect water vapor molecules in the planet's atmosphere.


India has a spacecraft in orbit around Mars. It was done for only $74 million. It is small and has simple sensors, but its main purpose, to outdo China, was achieved. Cheers we say to our Indian friends. We hope their work enhances our knowledge of Mars.


Good for your body, great for your brain: A new Sweden study has suggested that engaging in regular exercise can help protect against depression.
Good for your body, great for your brain: A new Swedish study has suggested that engaging in regular exercise can help protect against depression. Credit Fotolia
Exercise not only feels good, it protects the brain from depression. A Swedish study has found that
exercise increases the production of a of a protein known as PGC-1(alpha)1. This protein helps to rid the body of a stress-induced amino acid called kynurenine that has been associated with mental illness. So put on your sneakers and head for the gym quickly. If not, WuMo give you a forecast of what awaits us. We give a link only because of dire copyright warnings.


Pollyanna is doing something a bit different, presenting a discussion of a book  written by the author of the book decades after publication. The dystopian novel The Handmaid's Tale has been a major topic of interest since published in 1985. It describes a future world in which nearly all the women have become infertile, so the few who can still have babies have been rounded up, brainwashed, and assigned to powerful men in a twisted attempt to restore the human race. Read what the author, Margaret Atwood has to say of her creation.
The Handmaid's Tale, English National Opera
The book appeared in Canada in the fall of 1985 to baffled and sometimes anxious reviews' … the English National Opera production of The Handmaid's Tale, 2003. Photograph: Tristram Kenton


What If? asks:When I was about 8 years old, shoveling snow on a freezing day in Colorado, I wished that I could be instantly transported to the surface of the Sun, just for a nanosecond, then instantly transported back. I figured this would be long enough to warm me up but not long enough to harm me. What would actually happen?

AJ, Kansas City

Interesting question and answer--not bad for an 8 year old.


Pollyanna and Titan have always been sympathetic to persecuted minorities. One of their closest associates belongs to four of them in Israel:
  • He comes from an English-speaking country
  • He belongs to a Reform congregation
  • He is a human rights activist
  • He is a peace activist
As you can see, there are other persecuted minorities:
For example take wolves:
Wizard of Id Cartoon for Oct/09/2014 
or poor children:
Barney & Clyde Cartoon for Oct/09/2014


The Sake of Argument


Wizard of Id Cartoon for Oct/08/2014

No comments:

Post a Comment