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Sir Nicholas Winton is a humanitarian who organized a rescue operation that saved the lives of 669 Jewish Czechoslovakia children from Nazi death camps, and brought them to the safety of Great Britain between the years 1938-1939.
After the war, his efforts remained unknown. But in 1988, Winton’s wife Grete found the scrapbook from 1939 with the complete list of children’s names and photos. Sir Nicholas Winton is sitting in an audience of Jewish Czechoslovakian people who he saved 50 years before.
This post gained more than 100,000 notes in over a day. One of the most powerful things I ever posted.
This is short but amazing. I’m thankful for humans like this, and the ones who worked to put this together and make him known.
It is 20 years since Tony Blair took over as leader of the Labour Party. There has been much comment about his legacy, a great deal of it uncomplimentary. But it could have been so different…
This is the article I was hoping would appear in the aftermath of MH17. There are quite a few conflict zones between the Black Country and Australia.
A Mashable investigation shows that aircraft from many nations, including the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, routinely fly at high altitudes over tense conflict zones such as Ukraine, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. In the wake of the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on Thursday, such overflights may be reexamined.
According to data from the flight-tracking company FlightRadar24, there were 55 planes that flew over eastern Ukraine around where Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 was hit on Thursday, including those from Qatar, Emirates, Etihad, Austrian Airlines, Thai Airways, Jet Airways and Pakistan International Airways.
MH17’s flight plan was approved by Eurocontrol, who are responsible for determining civil aircraft flight paths over European airspace. Pilots rarely overrule aircraft dispatchers unless there is a weather issue enroute.
The issue of commercial aircraft flying over conflict zones is not limited to the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. Data shows that U.S. airlines and many others routinely fly over Iraq, where fighting has been fierce in recent weeks and some Iraqi Air Force aircraft have been downed. They also fly over Syria, where rebel fighters have repeatedly downed Syrian Air Force jets using missiles and other ordinance.
For example, on July 16, Delta Airlines Flight 8 from Atlanta to Dubai (also a Boeing 777) avoided Ukrainian airspace, but flew over both Syria and Iraq on its way to its final destination, according to records from FlightAware.com, another flight-tracking company.
Some airlines were avoiding Ukrainian airspace before the Malaysia Airlines disaster. For example, British Airways Flight 11, from London Heathrow to Singapore, has been alternating between routes to the north and south of the country in recent days. However, it has flown over Afghanistan and the tribal areas of Pakistan, which are both areas beset by conflict.
Avoiding conflict zones entirely could cost airlines millions in fuel costs, since they prefer to fly the most direct routes possible. However, the cost of nearly 300 lives lost could amount to billions of dollars in liability claims, in addition to incalculable grief and suffering.
See also: Flightaware.com where you can track flight paths. You could spend a long time browsing that site.
Israelis and Palestinians both have the right to exist. We must all accept that. The past is gone, the people, the present is now. Israelis (especially those in the Southern communities) have the right to live without fear of constant rocket attacks. The Palestinians have the right to live in security and socio-economic prosperity in their own state without fear of Israeli strikes.
And so I’ve realised a few things:
1. We MUST stop arguing the moral high ground and pointing fingers. Everyone has a claim to this land. Everyone feels attacked, and afraid. Trying to decipher who is justified/right/entitled is an impossible and fruitless task.
2. You can be Pro-Israeli, and Pro-Palestinian, but anti-Hamas. As a Israeli-Arab woman told me herself, the Palestinians suffer as much if not more under Hamas than anyone else. Hamas must be dismantled. They are a terror organisation intent on death and destruction (even in their own words) who wreak violence upon Israelis, but also invite it thousand-fold upon their own people and (by their own admission) use them as human shields, encouraging them to stay put in houses despite Israeli warnings and to face death and “martyrdom” whilst they live a life of luxury and hide in their own private bomb shelters.
3. Israel are NOT the people to dismantle Hamas. Their violent attempts to do so will serve only to drive more Palestinians to support Hamas, and gain them international sympathy and finance.
4. The only way to oust Hamas and the other violent militant factions is to win the HEARTS and MINDS of the Palestinian people, and to give them hope for a real future.
5. Israel should instead shower the Palestinian people with love and respect. Fire missiles filled with flowers and notes of Israeli’s hopes for peace and love at the Palestinian people. Perhaps, after a few months of this, the Palestinian people might truly believe Israeli’s are not monsters out to murder them, that Israelis WANT them to have peace and prosperity, and they will see Hamas for what they are and drive them out themselves.
6. You will think that I’m naïve, and that my last suggestion is ludicrous, but is it really any more ludicrous that the endless cycle of violence and lives lost?
Neither Israel nor Hamas will ever get what they want long term by shooting at each other. Let’s hope they both realise that before too many more people die.
In the meantime let’s keep communicating. The more Palestinians and Israelis actually talk to each other (without the middle men of media or governments) the better we will understand that we are all the same. That we all want, and deserve peace. And look! The tide is indeed turning. A recent poll in Palestine showed that the majority want Hamas out, and for their moderate leader Abbas to resume control and talk peace with Israel. Let’s keep working to turn each others’ hearts and minds. Join up on Facebook with “Israel loves Palestine’ or with “Palestine loves Israel” and speak to each other, share stories of good will of hope. Only then can the people beat the powers that be and earn themselves and each other the peace they all deserve.
Of course it would be silly to deny that we at least try to be rational. There are rationalist aspects to what we do. Human beings are at least partly motivated by selfish interest. But this very narrow view of human nature has actually created a kind of poor society in the sense of everything being reduced to monetary value. Now people are asking why we need subjects like anthropology or history of art or sociology when all we need is making money. That makes for a very poor society.
You are seeing arguments that we should commercialise the BBC so that they can make more things that people can watch without realising that the BBC is the envy of the world for its ability to produce very high quality cultural programmes. So that kind of worldview has made societies very poor in terms of cultural diversity and things like that. But more importantly it’s created this society where being bad, if you like, is considered something good or even being clever. You are actually a sucker if you don’t cheat.
Once you begin to understand the world in this very narrow, impoverished way then you will create a society which is actually very inefficient. Then you will have to say well everyone’s out to cheat and promote their own self-interest so we have to monitor everyone all the time, and then who’s going to monitor the monitors? We have to hire monitors who can monitor the monitors and so on and so on. Society becomes very inefficient not to speak of being very unpleasant.
|—||Ha-Joon Chang, Why Everybody Should Know Some Economics|
Silmarillion Movie Posters
Created by maastricitan using these sources:
oh please please please please please
New Pictures from Russian “Crater”
Ok, I’m officially even more stumped about what the heck this thing is now that I’ve seen it at person scale. This is the “crater” we posted about last night (http://tinyurl.com/qxuh46n). A team of Russian scientists has arrived and Siberian Times has their first photos.
The feature on the Yamal Peninsula is smaller than was estimated from the air, is about 70 meters deep, has a significant quantity of ice in it, and has water at the bottom and cascading down the walls.
Click the link for lots of images ^^
|—||For more, see Adam Minter, “Coke Pays Employees to Breathe China’s Air,” Bloomberg View (16 July 2014)|
New technique can predict flood conditions nearly a year in advance
In 2002, NASA launched the GRACE mission: a pair of satellites that would orbit the Earth together and enable scientists to measure the planet’s gravity field.
Earth’s gravity is constant enough for us to not notice any differences, but there are tiny variations across the globe, reflecting the presence of things like mountain ranges, oceans, rivers, lakes, ice-caps, anomalies within the mantle, and so on.
The GRACE satellites measure these tiny variations in Earth’s gravity by measuring changes in their orbit. The distance between the satellites can be measured with extreme precision, allowing small orbital changes to be measured and for those changes to be converted into details about Earth’s gravity.
When there is a flood, there is a lot of extra mass in an area for a short time because of all the extra water. The GRACE satellites have measured these effects previously, but a new technique led by a scientist at UC Irvine/JPL found that there was even more that could be done with this data.
A flood doesn’t just happen by chance; it takes literally months of the proper conditions. The ground must first be saturated, there must be long-periods of above-average precipitation, and then eventually the conditions become primed for a major flood.
Some of these variables, like snowpack and rainfall, can be measured weeks to up to 2 months in advance, but even then that’s a fairly small warning to prepare for a major flood.
But, by using data from the GRACE mission and the 2011 Missouri River flood as a test, Dr. Reager found that the anomalous signal in gravity began appearing as far as 11 months before the actual flood.
Having the right conditions for a flood doesn’t mean one is guaranteed to happen, but an 11-month warning in advance of potential flood conditions could be huge. It could allow heavy and valuable equipment to be moved or for levees to be reinforced for seasons that are at high risk with a substantial lead-time.
Floods cause billions of dollars worth of damage worldwide every year. This satellite mission, launched over a decade ago, might well have a new use in cutting those losses down.
Image credit: http://www.soil-net.com/album/Water/Flooding_Erosion_Deposition/slides/Stamford%20Bridge%20Flood.html
Press release: http://www.nasa.gov/jpl/grace/clues-to-flood-danger-20140710/#.U8Vv0o1dXzY
Europe, Equipopulous, Big Think.
The 28 member states of the E.U. together add up to a population of 506 million. The ideal average would therefore be a member state with just over 18 million inhabitants. Basing himself on existing administrative borders, Mr. Gunn came up with this map which, if nothing else, provides a good view of the more and less densely populated areas of the E.U.
But the joyous, or infuriating (if you’re the Daily Mail) central attraction of this map is its eradication of national borders, replacing the tired old sameness of existing states with a fresh new batch, without the ballast of presumed prejudice and historical injustice. Not that all states are entirely new: a few have names and locations that have a familiar ring to them.+
Anglo-Mercia till I die
Back in January 2012, the now-departed education secretary Michael Gove said, “ICT in schools is a mess”. He went on to argue that what was needed was a rigorous computer science curriculum. Now, from…
Bit worrying that so few ICT teachers know about Boolean logic and logical thinking…
Tracking the first Russian newsagency reports of the downing of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, with the loss of nearly 300…
With the heartbleed bug forcing us to change many of of our passwords, I think it’s appropriate to bring back this comic.
Yes!! Hate the standard sheep rules of enforcing 8 digits including caps, numbers and punctuation.
Passphrases are so much better. Some easily memorable suggestions off the top of my head:
- magpie novel trapdoor block
- funny table horrible sweetcorn
- make blanka scrabble guru
- red llama punched cubans
- maps hungry at royal anger
Two fantastic discussions about this password scheme on StackExchange: