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Thursday, September 30, 2010

French chamber of parliament approves ban on face veils

I know it's a little late but thoughts on this? personally I'm with banning the things as i see it as oppressive to women and demeaning in a sense, I have nothing against the religion however just how they treat certain people. What do you think

PARIS – France's lower house of parliament overwhelmingly approved a ban on wearing burqa-style Islamic veils Tuesday, part of a determined effort to define and protect French values that has disconcerted many in the country's large Muslim community.

Proponents of the law say face-covering veils don't square with the French ideal of women's equality or its secular tradition. The bill is controversial abroad but popular in France, where its relatively few outspoken critics say conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy has resorted to xenophobia to attract far-right voters.

The ban on burqas and niqabs will go in September to the Senate, where it also is likely to pass. Its biggest hurdle will likely come after that, when France's constitutional watchdog scrutinizes it. Some legal scholars say there is a chance it could be deemed unconstitutional.

The issue has been debated across Europe, and Spain and Belgium have similar bans in the works. In France, which has Europe's largest Muslim population, about 5 million of the country's 64 million people are believed to be Muslim. While ordinary headscarves are common in France, only about 1,900 women are believed to wear face-covering veils.

The main body representing French Muslims believes such garb is not suitable in France, but it fears the ban will stigmatize all Muslims.

Malika Hamidi, director general of the European Muslim Network think tank, said she is very worried. The ban's backers are "playing up a feeling of fear of Islam" at a time when Europe is concerned about its changing identity, struggling to manage its diversity and dealing with an economic crisis, she said.

In Tuesday's vote at the National Assembly, there were 335 votes for the bill and just one against it. Most members of the main opposition group, the Socialist Party, walked out and refused to vote, though they in fact support a ban. They simply have differences over where it should be enforced, underscoring the lack of controversy among French politicians on the issue.

The bill passed Tuesday bans face-covering veils everywhere that can be considered public space, even in the street, but the Socialists only want it in certain places, such as government buildings, hospitals and public transport.

France's government has insisted that assimilation is the only path for immigrants and minorities, and last year it launched a grand nationwide debate on what it means to be French. The country has had difficulty integrating generations of immigrants and their children, as witnessed by weeks of rioting by youths, many of them minorities, in troubled neighborhoods in 2005.

At the National Assembly, few dissenters spoke out about civil liberties or fears of fanning anti-Islam sentiment.

Legislator Berengere Poletti, of Sarkozy's party, said face-covering veils "are a prison for women, they are the sign of their submission to their husbands, brothers or fathers."

The niqab and burqa are also seen here as a gateway to extremism and an attack on secularism, a central value of France for more than a century.

Discussions in France have dragged on for more than a year, since Sarkozy declared in June 2009 that the burqa is "not welcome" in France.

There has been some concern the bill could prod terror groups to eye France or its citizens as potential targets. Following Sarkozy's comments, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb issued a statement on Web sites vowing to "seek vengeance against France."

The legislation would forbid face-covering Muslim veils in all public places in France and calls for euro150 ($185) fines or citizenship classes, or both.

Socialist Senator Bariza Khiari, one of France's few Muslim politicians, fears some women targeted "will withdraw into themselves, stay in the house, and instead of doing education projects, we're doing a ban, which I regret."

The bill also is aimed at husbands and fathers — anyone convicted of forcing someone else to wear the garb risks a year of prison and a euro30,000 ($38,000) fine, with both penalties doubled if the victim is a minor.

Officials have taken pains to craft language that does not single out Muslims. While the proposed legislation is colloquially referred to as the "anti-burqa law," it is officially called "the bill to forbid concealing one's face in public."

It refers neither to Islam nor to veils. Officials insist the law against face-covering is not discriminatory because it would apply to everyone, not just Muslims. Yet they cite a host of exceptions, including motorcycle helmets, or masks for health reasons, fencing, skiing or carnivals.

In March, France's highest administrative body, the Council of State, warned that the law could be found unconstitutional. It said that neither French secularism nor concerns about women's equality, human dignity or public security could be legal justifications.

Anticipating a ban on the veils, an entrepreneur who tried to run for president in 2007, Rachid Nekkaz, is creating a fund to pay the fines of anyone caught wearing a niqab or burqa.

While he says he opposes the full veils, he says a ban would be anti-democratic, and he is creating the fund "so that my country is not the disgrace of the whole world."

In Cairo, Islamic scholar Abdelmotie Bayoumi said a French ban would not violate Islamic law, but would violate personal freedoms.

"The niqab has no strong legitimacy based on the Quran or in examples from the Prophet's life that makes it a religious imposition on women. A Muslim woman wears the niqab not because of religious duty, but as a personal freedom," said Bayoumi, whose books include "Contemporary Testimonies," about the full-face veil. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

50 Interesting Science Facts

A bunch of facts that I found really interesting, enjoy =D

1 – The speed of light is generally rounded down to 186,000 miles per second. In exact terms it is 299,792,458 m/s (equal to 186,287.49 miles per second).

2 – It takes 8 minutes 17 seconds for light to travel from the Sun’s surface to the Earth.

3 – 10 percent of all human beings ever born are alive at this very moment.

4 – The Earth spins at 1,000 mph but it travels through space at an incredible 67,000 mph.

5 – Every year, over one million earthquakes shake the Earth.

6 – When Krakatoa erupted in 1883, its force was so great it could be heard 4,800 kilometers away in Australia.

7 – Every second around 100 lightning bolts strike the Earth.

8 – Every year lightning kills 1000 people.

9 – In October 1999 an Iceberg the size of London broke free from the Antarctic ice shelf .

10 – If you could drive your car straight up you would arrive in space in just over an hour.

11 – Human tapeworms can grow up to 22.9m.

12 – The Earth is 4.56 billion years old…the same age as the Moon and the Sun.

13 – The dinosaurs became extinct before the Rockies or the Alps were formed.

14 – Female black widow spiders eat their males after mating.

15 – When a flea jumps, the rate of acceleration is 20 times that of the space shuttle during launch.

16 – If our Sun were just inch in diameter, the nearest star would be 445 miles away.

17 – Astronauts cannot belch – there is no gravity to separate liquid from gas in their stomachs.

18 – The air at the summit of Mount Everest, 29,029 feet is only a third as thick as the air at sea level.

19 – One million, million, million, million, millionth of a second after the Big Bang the Universe was the size of a …pea.

20 – DNA was first discovered in 1869 by Swiss Friedrich Mieschler.

21 – The molecular structure of DNA was first determined by Watson and Crick in 1953.

22 – The first synthetic human chromosome was constructed by US scientists in 1997.

23 – The thermometer was invented in 1607 by Galileo.

24 – Alfred Nobel invented dynamite in 1866.

25 – Wilhelm Rontgen won the first Nobel Prize for physics for discovering X-rays in 1895.

26 – The tallest tree ever was an Australian eucalyptus – In 1872 it was measured at 435 feet tall.

27 – Christian Barnard performed the first heart transplant in 1967 – the patient lived for 18 days.

28 – An electric eel can produce a shock of up to 650 volts.

29 – ‘Wireless’ communications took a giant leap forward in 1962 with the launch of Telstar, the first satellite capable of relaying telephone and satellite TV signals.

30 – The Ebola virus kills 4 out of every 5 humans it infects.

31 – In 5 billion years the Sun will run out of fuel and turn into a Red Giant.

32 – Giraffes often sleep for only 20 minutes in any 24 hours. They may sleep up to 2 hours (in spurts – not all at once), but this is rare. They never lie down.

33 – There are 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body.

34 – An individual blood cell takes about 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.

35 – On the day that Alexander Graham Bell was buried the entire US telephone system was shut down for 1 minute in tribute.

36 – The low frequency call of the humpback whale is the loudest noise made by a living creature.

37 – A quarter of the world’s plants are threatened with extinction by the year 2010.

38 – Each person sheds 40lbs of skin in his or her lifetime.

39 – At 15 inches the eyes of giant squids are the largest on the planet.

40 – The Universe contains over 100 billion galaxies.

41 – Wounds infested with maggots heal quickly and without spread of gangrene or other infection.

42 – More germs are transferred shaking hands than kissing.

43 – The fastest speed a falling raindrop can hit you is 18mph.

44 – It would take over an hour for a heavy object to sink 6.7 miles down to the deepest part of the ocean.

45 – Around a million, billion neutrinos from the Sun will pass through your body while you read this sentence.

46 – The deepest part of any ocean in the world is the Mariana trench in the Pacific with a depth of 35,797 feet.

47 – Every hour the Universe expands by a billion miles in all directions.

48 – Somewhere in the flicker of a badly tuned TV set is the background radiation from the Big Bang.

49 – Even traveling at the speed of light it would take 2 million years to reach the nearest large galaxy, Andromeda.

50 – A thimbleful of a neutron star would weigh over 100 million tons.

Monday, September 27, 2010

God not needed for creation?

I know this is a touchy subject and I don't want this turning into some sort of flame war, but I'm curious what your opinion is on whether their is a god or not.
Stephen Hawking has lately stated that there was no need for a God to start creation.

British physicist and mathematician Stephen Hawking says no, arguing in his new book that there need not be a God behind the creation of the universe.
The concept is explored in "The Grand Design," excerpts of which were printed in the British newspaper The Times on Thursday. The book, written with fellow physicist Leonard Mlodinow, is scheduled to be published by Bantam Press on Sept. 9.
"The Grand Design," which the publishers call Hawking's first major work in nearly a decade, challenges Isaac Newton's theory God must have been involved in creation because our solar system couldn't have come out of chaos simply through nature.
But Hawking says it isn't that simple. To understand the universe, it's necessary to know both how and why it behaves the way it does, calling the pursuit "the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything."
"We shall attempt to answer it in this book," he wrote. "Unlike the answer given in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy,' ours won't be simply '42.'"
Hawking, who is renowned for his work on black holes, said the 1992 discovery of another planet orbiting a star other than the sun makes "the coincidences of our planetary conditions ... far less remarkable and far less compelling as evidence that the Earth was carefully designed just to please us human beings."
In his best-selling 1988 book "A Brief History of Time," Hawking appeared to accept the possibility of a creator, saying the discovery of a complete theory would "be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God."

My personal opinion is that while there may be a higher power or 'God' they didn't have anything to do with creating us and they don't need our prayer to praise them constantly.
What do you guys think?

Also 150 followers =D

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Immortal Animal?

Most of you have already seen this but for those who haven't check this out, the immortal jellyfish.

The turritopsis nutricula species of jellyfish may be the only animal in the world to have truly discovered the fountain of youth.
Since it is capable of cycling from a mature adult stage to an immature polyp stage and back again, there may be no natural limit to its life span. Scientists say the hydrozoan jellyfish is the only known animal that can repeatedly turn back the hands of time and revert to its polyp state (its first stage of life).
The key lies in a process called transdifferentiation, where one type of cell is transformed into another type of cell. Some animals can undergo limited transdifferentiation and regenerate organs, such as salamanders,which can regrow limbs. Turritopsi nutricula, on the other hand, can regenerate its entire body over and over again. Researchers are studying the jellyfish to discover how it is able to reverse its aging process.
Because they are able to bypass death, the number of individuals is spiking. They're now found in oceans around the globe rather than just in their native Caribbean waters.  "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion," says Dr. Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute.

Scary stuff huh, imagine the whole ocean just teeming with these bad boys not something i want. Anyway cya later guys

New blog

Made a new blog you guys should check it out
Electronic Dance Music

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Yayy Century mark

Just wanted to thank you guys for following me and taking an interest in the stuff I post it is much appreiciated.

I'll do my best to keep up the quality content like I have so far
Thanks guys

Friday, September 24, 2010

Mind Blowing

I stumbled across this while surfing the net and while it may not be true it is still really interesting in my opinion.

Also nearly 100 followers =D

A new study from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute suggests that the human visual system is equipped with the ability to foresee the future.

Assistant Professor Mark Changizi says that it takes nearly one-tenth of a second for the brain to perceive what the eyes see.

To compensate for such neural delays, he claims, the visual system has developed the ability to generate perceptions of what will occur one-tenth of a second into the future. Changizi says that it is due to this quality of the visual system that when an observer actually perceives something, it is the present rather than what happened one-tenth of a second ago.

Building on his “perceiving-the-present” hypothesis, Changizi was able to systematically organize and explain more than 50 types of visual illusions that occur because the brain is trying to perceive the near future.

“Illusions occur when our brains attempt to perceive the future, and those perceptions don’t match reality. There has been great success at discovering and documenting countless visual illusions. There has been considerably less success in organizing them,” says Changizi, who is the lead author on the research paper.

“My research focused on systematizing these known incidents of failed future seeing into a ‘periodic table’ of illusion classes that can predict a broad pattern of the illusions we might be subject to,” he adds.

The new organization of illusions presents a range of potential applications, including more effective visual displays and enhanced visual arts.

It especially may help constrain neuroscientists aiming to understand the mechanisms underlying vision, says Changizi who conducted his research during a fellowship in the Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology at the California Institute of Technology. The study has been published in the journal Cognitive Science.