Posts tagged know.
Félix Faure was president of France from 1895 until his death in 1899. His presidency is famous for the Franco-Russian alliance and the Dreyfus affair. It is his death, however, that has spread Faure’s name outside of France. Faure died after suffering an apoplectic episode whilst in bed with his mistress, Marguerite Steinheil, with rumors surfacing that he died while receiving oral sex from her. While the actual event is, of course, shrouded in gloom, it has become an infamous example of political scandal. His tomb shows him draped in cloth (the flag?), though some have seen it as him reclining in his death bed. George Clemenceau gave Faure the epitaph ‘Il voulait être Céwar, il ne fut sue Pompée.’ You can translate that as either ‘He wanted to be Caesar, he ended being Pompey’ or ‘He wanted to be Caesar, he ended being pumped.’
(Video: Message From Anonymous To The American Congress)
Anonymous fights Internet censorship by opposing the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA).
Those claiming to represent the international Internet hacktivist collective known as Anonymous has issued a threat to the U.S. Congress if they pass the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) currently being considered in the U.S. House of Representatives.
SOPA , also known as the Internet censorship bill, would radically restrict Internet freedom in an attempt to protect intellectual property rights. Critics claim the bill, if passed, would cripple the Internet as we know it.
Indeed, growing concern with the Stop Online Piracy Act has generated a great deal of buzz with the online community. Some of the biggest websites and brands in the world are actively encouraging their users to protest the bill, including: AOL Inc., eBay Inc., Facebook Inc., Google Inc., LinkedIn Corporation, Mozilla Corp., Twitter, Inc. and Yahoo! Inc.
You all remember Tumblr’s ‘Take action against Internet Censorship’, well not long after the loud and roaring opposition by the public and internet the SOPA hearing comes right back and this time, unfairer than ever:
It’s time to take action.
Ladies and gentleman, I sincerely wish you spread any news from this topic like wildfire. We really don’t need for-profit businesses dictating every action in our lives. And we don’t need them trying to tell us that information is rightfully subject to censorship, because it isn’t. Information should always be free.
— Retired New York Supreme Court Judge Karen Smith, working as a legal observer after the raids on Zucotti Park this Tuesday, via Paramilitary Policing of Occupy Wall Street: Excessive Use of Force amidst the New Military Urbanism (via seriouslyamerica)
[UK] State schools will be told to teach the classic English novels they currently ignore in a radical overhaul of what is taught in the classroom.
The move comes after a survey carried out for ministers found state secondary schools tend to teach children aged 11 to 14 works by contemporary writers such as Louis Sachar and John Boyne, rather than classic authors such as Jane Austen and William Golding.
Ministers now want to see more challenging texts introduced in state schools to mirror what is taught in private schools, where pupils are much more likely to read dead authors whose work has stood the test of time. (via Teach Jane Austen, state schools to be told - Telegraph)
Is pizza a vegetable?
“In January the Agriculture department had this crazy idea to improve nutritional standards for federally-subsidized school lunches. It proposed limiting ‘starchy vegetables’ (read: fries) to one cup per week ‘to encourage students to try new vegetables.’ It also proposed changing the way schools met daily requirements for fruits and vegetables by limiting—not eliminating, merely limiting—the use of tomato paste (read: pizza) to meet that requirement.”
- Timothy Noah, “Saving School Pizza”
Refugee camps in Ethiopia are currently home to roughly 130,000 refugees from Somalia, the majority of whom have fled an ongoing food crisis and conflict. In recent weeks the number of people crossing the border into Ethiopia has increased to approximately 300 per day, up from 90 per day in September and October.
“At the moment, the capacity to receive more people and provide the necessary food, nutritional care, medical care, drinking water, sanitation and more, is grossly insufficient,” said Wojciech Asztabski, MSF project coordinator in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia. Read more
Photo: Ethiopia 2011 © Jenny Vaughn
As if it was possible, the hunt for Extraterrestrial life just got even more interesting.
It seems planets don’t need a big satellite like Earth’s moon in order to support life, increasing the number on which life could exist.
In 1993, Jacques Laskar of the Paris Observatory in France and colleagues showed that the moon helps stabilise the tilt of Earth’s rotation axis against perturbations by Jupiter’s gravity. The researchers calculated that without the moon, Jupiter’s influence would make the current tilt of some 23 degrees wander chaotically between 0 and 85 degrees. That could cause huge climate swings, making it hard for life to survive, especially large, land-based organisms like us.
The result was taken by many to imply that complex life is rare in the universe, since Earth’s large moon is thought to have coalesced from the debris of a freak collision between a Mars-sized planet and Earth. Less than 10 per cent of Earth-sized planets are expected to experience such a trauma, making large moons a rarity.
But a study now suggests moonless planets have been dismissed unfairly. “There could be a lot more habitable worlds out there,” says Jack Lissauer of NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California, who led the research.
Laskar’s 1993 study did not determine how fast these changes in tilt would occur. “The astrobiology community has taken it to mean there will be these really wild variations, and we wanted to test that,” says Lissauer. He and his colleagues simulated a moonless Earth over 4 billion years, about the age of the Earth today. They found that our planet’s tilt varied between only 10 and 50 degrees, a much smaller range than implied by the earlier study. There were also long stretches of up to 500 million years when the tilt was particularly stable, keeping between 17 and 32 degrees.
Full Article: Aliens don’t need a moon like ours
José Ferreira ‘Trash Land’
Trash Land is an impressive photo documentary by Portuguese photographer José Ferreiraabout the harsh life of the people that live on ‘Huléne dump’ in Maputo, the capital of Mozambique.
A group of people that can be divided in two groups, a group that is called ‘the garbage collectors’, that consists of around 700 people and ‘the others’, with the first group forming gangs that search for objects of value and trading or selling them in order to earn some money for food, and the second group just depending on the food and left overs they find on the dump.
Find more here.
Cudjoe Lewis is believed to be the last African born on African soil and brought to the United States by the transatlantic slave trade. He was a native of Takon, Benin, where he was captured in 1860 during an illegal slave-trading venture. Congress outlawed the importation of slaves in 1808. Together with more than a hundred other captured Africans, he was brought on the ship Clotilde to Mobile, Alabama. Cudjoe and 31 other enslaved Africans were taken to the property owned by Timothy Meaher, shipbuilder and owner of the Clotilde. 5 years later slavery was over so Cudjoe and his tribespeople requested to be taken back to Africa, but it was left ignored. He and other Africans established a community near Mobile, Alabama which became called Africatown. They maintained their African language and tribal customs well into the 1950s. He died in 1934 at the age of 94. Before he died, he gave several interviews on his experiences including one to the writer Zora Neale Hurston. During her interview in 1928, she made a short film of Cudjoe, the only moving image that exists in the Western Hemisphere of an African transported through the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
The floods that first struck Pakistan in July 2010 devastated villages and communities across the country. Some 100,000 people fled to Karachi, the country’s largest and richest city, though one with an already enormous slum population. The people who arrived in Karachi between July and October 2010 received help from community-based organisations and authorities who responded quickly to the floods. However, after October, little assistance was available to people who were trying to survive. Those sorely in need of basic necessities like clean water and medicine were left largely to fend for themselves.
Urban Survivors is a multimedia project by Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in collaboration with the NOOR photo agency and Darjeeling Productions, highlighting the critical humanitarian and medical needs that exist in slums the world over.
Photo: © Alixandra Fazzina/NOOR
And here we are, still whining about Pluto being demoted, here’s a planet that might have been completely exiled from our Solar System’s unfriendly circle of planets:
Astronomer David Nesvorny from the Southwest Research Institute in Texas believes that the solar system might have once contained a fifth gigantic planet, which was ejected deep into the galaxy in a moment of cosmic turmoil.
By looking at the population of the Kuiper belt — the icy-cold ring of asteroids beyond Neptune — and by studying the historical fingerprints left on the craters of the Moon, Nesvorny was able to piece together clues about our solar system’s adolescence.
He found that a dynamic instability, which occurred about 600 million years into the solar system’s life, greatly affected the orbit of our giant planets and scattered smaller bodies. Some moved into the Kuiper belt and others traveled inwards, marking their course as impacts on the Moon and planets.
But that scenario has a flaw. Slow changes in Jupiter’s orbit would have had a large effect on the orbits of the terrestrial planets. All hell would have broken lose, and the Earth could have collided with Mars or Venus. Something had to change.
“Colleagues suggested a clever way around this problem,” says Nesvorny in a press release. Instead of a slow movement, Jupiter’s orbit could have quickly changed, which would have altered the outer solar system but been less harmful to the inner planets.
Unfortunately, this too caused problems. Computer simulations, ran thousands of times, showed that Jupiter’s quick jump had the intended effect, but Uranus or Neptune was always knocked out of the solar system. “Something was clearly wrong,” Nesvorny explains.
So perhaps, instead, the early solar system could have had five giant planets instead of four. By plopping an additional giant planet with a mass similar to that of Uranus or Neptune the simulation worked as planned. Jupiter jumped into place, the inner planets remained unharmed and the outer planets stayed behind.
“The possibility that the solar system had more than four giant planets initially, and ejected some, appears to be conceivable in view of the recent discovery of a large number of free-floating planets in interstellar space, indicating the planet ejection process could be a common occurrence,” says Nesvorny in the release.
Moina Michael (1869-1944) left her teaching position at the University of Georgia when the US entered World War I to volunteer with the YWCA. After the war, she returned to the University of Georgia where she taught a class ofdisabled veterans. Inspired by Canadian John McCrea’s poem In Flanders Fields, Moina decided to sell silk poppies to raise funds for disabled veterans. In 1921, red poppies were adopted by American, Australian, British, Canadian, and New Zealand organizations to remember the Great War and raise funds for disabled veterans.
Today poppies are sold every November by the Veterans of Foreign Wars (US), the Royal Canadian Legion, the Royal British Legion, PoppyScotland, Returned and Services League of Australia. They are also sold in April by the Royal NZ Returned and Service League Association.
Two subspecies of rhinoceros have been declared extinct this month, highlighting the problem of poachers who kill the beasts only for their horns. The West African black rhino was officially wiped out as it has not been spotted in the wild since 2006, and none live in captivity. The Javan rhinoceros of Vietnam was declared extinct just a few weeks earlier. Read more.