Thursday, July 31, 2014

Words for the Day

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UN official breaks down over Gaza

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, succumbs to his emotions during a live interview with Al Jazeera. Gunness was being interviewed about an attack on a UN school shelter in which at least 15 people, mostly women and children, were killed.
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Stand against Putin: eat apples, drink cider

In Poland, an apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, it is now a political statement.

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What does it mean to say someone is cool?

Sounds like a simple question, doesn’t it? Everyone knows it when they see it, but defining what exactly makes someone cool is trickier than it seems. Is it the aloof restraint Miles Davis maintained while belting out brilliant tunes on the trumpet? Or the boundary-pushing spectacles and outfits Madonna put on? Maybe it’s the raw emotion Johnny Cash poured into his lyrics and performances?When Joel Dinerstein and Frank H. Goodyear III curated American Cool, an exhibit that’s up now at the National Portrait Gallery, they tried to identify exactly what makes for a legacy of cool.

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Three German Students Surprise a Homeless Guy In The Most Epic Way.

How many times have we seen people walk past the homeless and just ignore them? These three German students decided to do something amazing.. They spotted a homeless man and asked if they can borrow his bucket. The homeless man agreed and the magic started.
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The KGB Welcomes You to Estonia’s Hotel Viru. Please Mind the Hidden Bugs

With the Iron Curtain solidly drawn around it, Estonia was struggling to make tourism ends meet in the decades after World War II. That is, until both its Soviet overlords and sightseeing industry found the perfect solution: They would outfit the increasingly accessible nation with a luxury hotel that unwittingly brought together a vacationing crowd and the USSR’s most vigilant gatekeepers. At the classy Hotel Viru in the city of Tallinn, well-heeled travelers arranged business transactions, gossiped, and traded information about what lay beyond the Soviet bloc. Between 1972 and 1991, the imposing hotel in Estonia’s capital was filled with foreign travelers and Estonians visiting from abroad. Boasting a foreign currency exchange, Western alcohol and goods, and a bustling restaurant, the hotel entrapped visitors into occupying themselves within its premises rather than seeking entertainment outside. This was all in line with the plan of the KGB agents who listened in to every syllable and watched every step taken from their listening room hidden on the secret top floor of Hotel Viru.

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Israel to 'destroy all Gaza tunnels'

Israel will not stop its operation in Gaza until all the tunnels constructed by Hamas have been destroyed, PM Benjamin Netanyahu has said. Speaking ahead of a cabinet meeting, Mr Netanyahu said Israel was determined to destroy the tunnels "with or without a ceasefire" agreement. Earlier Israel called up 16,000 reservists, bringing the total mobilised so far to 86,000. Some 425,000 people in Gaza have been displaced by fighting, the UN says. The UN says it is sheltering 225,178 Palestinians in 86 shelters across Gaza, with 200,000 more thought to be sheltering with friends or family. The total number displaced amounts to 25% of all of Gaza's 1.7 million inhabitants. Israel began Operation Protective Edge on 8 July. Since then at least 1,360 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

OK, We’ll Watch “Lassie.” Again.


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Li Wei’s Flies Through the Air In His Photographs Without The Help Of Photoshop

Chinese artist Li Wei’s photographs defy gravity with himself often at the helm. 
They are the documentation of reality that involves sometimes-dangerous stunts that the artist says aren’t doctored by computers. Instead, he uses mirrors, wires, acrobatics, and more to give the illusion that people are flying and have transcended above cityscapes.

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The Perfect Birthday Card

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Storm hit Zagreb

more photos here

  So what happened to summer?

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Heavy rain and storm hit Zadar


Thunderstorms and heavy rain flooded the streets of Zadar this morning.

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Supercell Over Kansas

Photograph by Colt Forney, National Geographic Your Shot

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The deadliest Ebola outbreak in history

The Ebola virus has now hit four countries: Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia, and recently Nigeria, according to the country's ministry of health. The virus — which starts off with flu-like symptoms and often ends with horrific hemorrhaging — has infected 1,201 people and killed an estimated 672 since this winter, according to the numbers on July 23 from the World Health Organization. Ebola is both rare and very deadly. Since the first outbreak in 1976, Ebola viruses have infected thousands of people and killed roughly 60 percent of them. Symptoms can come on very quickly and kill fast. Journalist David Quammen put it well in a recent New York Times op-ed: "Ebola is more inimical to humans than perhaps any known virus on Earth, except rabies and HIV-1. And it does its damage much faster than either." So why is Ebola doing so much damage right now?
Here's a primer on what's going on.

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Palestinian Artists Transform Photographs Of Rocket Explosions Into Powerful Human Images

Images and news of the Israel-Palestine conflict have been circulating media for a few weeks now. The photographs that emerge out of this war are tragic and graphic. A handful of Palestinian artists have been transforming images of smoke and fire from the attacks on Gaza into portraits that reveal the very real and human cost of these rocket explosions. By inscribing faces and bodies onto images of destruction, these artists are reminding people from all sides that war takes its toll on an individual, human level, a fact that is often erased when the media creates its narratives. These simple, yet powerful, illustrations give these Palestinian artists a voice that they might otherwise not be given, a voice that tells a different story than the ones represented in the original photographs.

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Why bad news dominates the headlines

When you read the news, sometimes it can feel like the only things reported are terrible, depressing events. Why does the media concentrate on the bad things in life, rather than the good?
 And what might this depressing slant say about us, the audience?
 It isn't that these are the only things that happen. Perhaps journalists are drawn to reporting bad news because sudden disaster is more compelling than slow improvements. Or it could be that newsgatherers believe that cynical reports of corrupt politicians or unfortunate events make for simpler stories.
But another strong possibility is that we, the readers or viewers, have trained journalists to focus on these things. Many people often say that they would prefer good news: but is that actually true?

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33 Pictures Taken at Just the Right Moment

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Women should not laugh in public, Turkish deputy PM says

Women should not laugh out loud in public, Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç has said while complaining about “moral corruption” in Turkey. Speaking during an Eid el-Fitr meeting on July 28, Arınç described his ideal of the chaste man or woman, saying they should both have a sense of shame and honor. “Chastity is so important. It is not only a name. It is an ornament for both women and men. [She] will have chasteness. Man will have it, too. He will not be a womanizer. He will be bound to his wife. He will love his children. [The woman] will know what is haram and not haram. She will not laugh in public. She will not be inviting in her attitudes and will protect her chasteness,”
  Arınç said.

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Burning Man – festival survival guide

Attending the Burning Man festival in Nevada is like landing on another planet: a vast desert populated by a peaceful, friendly, out-there people, with a culture all its own. If you’ve been lucky enough to bag tickets, what’s the next step?

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I don't want to ask

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