World Radio Day

February 13 is World Radio Day, which celebrates the radio as a way of educating people, providing information, and promoting freedom of expression across cultures.

Vintage radios that served their purpose during times of peace and war.

Celebrate World Radio Day

Each year the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates World Radio Day by planning activities with broadcasters, organizations and communities around the world.

Public Life

Radio Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

About World Radio Day

Despite being over 100 years old, the radio is one of the most popular ways to exchange information, provide social interchange, and educate people all over the world. It has been used to help people, including youth, to engage in discussions on topics that affect them. It can save lives during natural or human-made disasters, and it gives journalists a platform to report facts and tell their stories. The first World Radio Day was officially celebrated in 2012.

World Radio Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type Where it is Observed
Mon Feb 13 2012 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Wed Feb 13 2013 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Thu Feb 13 2014 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Fri Feb 13 2015 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Sat Feb 13 2016 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Mon Feb 13 2017 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Tue Feb 13 2018 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Wed Feb 13 2019 World Radio Day United Nations observance
Thu Feb 13 2020 World Radio Day United Nations observance

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Gravitational Wave Detection Heralds New Era of Astronomy

Sky & Telescope

LIGO scientists have announced the direct detection of gravitational waves, a discovery that won’t just open a new window on the cosmos – it’ll smash the door wide open.

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Galaxies Hidden Behind the Milky Way

Sky & Telescope

Astronomers have detected hundreds of galaxies lying hidden behind our galaxy’s disk, many of which belong to the so-called Great Attractor.

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Mirror Assembled for Hubble’s Successor

Sky & Telescope

NASA has assembled the primary mirror for the James Webb Space Telescope, a big step on the way to the telescope’s October 2018 launch.

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Dark Matter Makes Galaxy Clusters Clump

Sky & Telescope

Observations of nearly 9,000 galaxy clusters support the idea that fast-forming clusters huddle together more.

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Stars Form in Turbulent Times

Sky & Telescope

New images of four disks around forming stars known as protostars suggest that the star formation process is much more violent than previously thought.

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This Week’s Sky at a Glance, February 12 – 20

Sky & Telescope

Learn how to spot the Winter Hexagon and see the first-quarter Moon for Valentine’s Day.

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Overlooked Wonders In Orion’s Shadow

Sky & Telescope

The Orion Nebula gets a lot of attention from observers and rightly so, but we sometimes pass by a host of other deep-sky objects and double stars right at its doorstep.

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S&T‘s Astronomy Podcast for February 2016

Sky & Telescope

This month’s audio sky tour starts before dawn, when you can spot all five bright planets by eye, and moves to the sparkling stars seen on winter evenings.

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Planet Hunter Wins Amateur Research Award

Sky & Telescope

Amateur astronomer Daryll LaCourse has discovered several new exoplanet candidates and more than 100 eclipsing pairs of stars.

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AAS Adopts WorldWide Telescope

Sky & Telescope

The largest national association of astronomers is now the new home of a virtual observatory known as the WorldWide Telescope.

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Brazil’s First Dark Skin Globeleza Carnival Queen Was Stripped of Her Title Because She Was ‘Too Black’


globeleza-2014Brazil may be home to the largest population of people of African descent outside of Africa but that doesn’t mean it isn’t rife was racism. Like most of South America, beauty standards favor fair skin and long, straight blonde hair, something many in Brazil work hard to attain.

Despite the country’s persistent racism and lack of positive media images of Black men and women, many thought Brazil was ready to turn the page and be more inclusive when Nayara Justino was picked to be the Globeleza carnival queen in 2013.

Carnival is huge in Brazil, and Globo, the biggest TV network in the country, names its own carnival queen, launching the career of one lucky young woman.

Justino dreamed of being the Globeleza since was six-years-old, and jumped at the chance to apply when it was time to pick a new queen. The actress and dancer wowed the judges with her beautiful personality and Samba skills, taking home the coveted title. But soon, her dreams turned into a nightmare.

In a video interview with the Guardian, Justino and others detail the threats and racism she faced after being named Globeleza.

Justino was called everything from a monkey to a darkie, and told she didn’t deserve to be the Globeleza because she was “too Black.” What hurt most, though, were that many Black Brazilians also thought she was unfit for the title because of her dark skin.

“Black people in Brazil are ashamed of being Black,”  Neusa Borges, a Black actress explains in the video. “There are very few who will stand up and say, ‘I am Black.’”

As a result of the backlash, Justino was stripped of her title without much notice.

“They called me and said, ‘You’re not going to be Globeleza anymore. Thanks for your participation,’” she recalls.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 5.22.59 PM

Soon after, Globo announced Erika Moura, a lighter skinned “mulata,” would be the new Globeleza without even taking a public vote. Although Globo issued a statement to the Guardian saying it doesn’t “base its contracts on skin color,” Justino was never given a reason for her sudden termination.



Surprise, surprise.

Ms. Justino won the title, therefore she should have kept the title.

No where in the article does it say that she committed some transgression against any carnival rules that would have caused her to forfeit the crown.

Just because of her dark skin she was denied a right to what she won.

But, nothing shocking about this sad situation.

The love of light/white skin has been destroying minds for over 500 years, and that such a travesty could occur in 2016 is not even unusual or new. That the carnival’s organizers crumbled due to protestor’s anger over Ms. Justino’s crowning shows them to be such craven cowards for not sticking to their guns.


“Although Globo issued a statement to the Guardian saying it doesn’t “base its contracts on skin color,” Justino was never given a reason for her sudden termination.”

Does not “base its contracts on skin color”.


Well, a picture does not lie, and the side by side photos of Ms. Justino and the newly-crowned queen, Erika Moura, certainly speak otherwise.

For more on the story, click on the video below.

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Four Arrests at Oregon Refuge End 41-Day Standoff

Four antigovernment occupiers at an Oregon wildlife refuge peacefully surrendered Thursday, a day after the movement’s patriarch Cliven Bundy was arrested on federal charges upon his arrival at Portland’s airport.

Three of the final holdouts at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Sean and Sandy Anderson, a couple from Emmett, Idaho, and Jeff Wayne Banta, of Elko, Nev., surrendered shortly after sunrise to FBI agents who brought evangelist Franklin Graham and Nevada politician Michele Fiore to the 187,756-acre Malheur National Wildlife Refuge south of Burns, Ore.

The fourth occupier, David Lee Fry, of Blanchester, Ohio, initially didn’t surrender and made suicidal threats over a live Internet feed for almost two hours before finally walking out with his hands raised.

“I declare war against the federal government. Right now,” Fry said in a streaming YouTube conversation with antigovernment activist Gavin Seim, who lives in Ephrata, Wash. and self-described constitutional educator KrisAnne Hall.

Fry said he was armed, pointing a gun at his head, and didn’t agree with his other three occupiers who surrendered to Nevada politician Michele Fiore and evangelist Franklin Graham.

“I can’t come out, guys,” Fry said. “I’m actually pointing a gun at my head. I’m tired of living here. You guys take everything away from me for doing nothing wrong.” He requested marijuana and pizza before finally surrendering to an FBI negotiator.

The four arrests capped months of antigovernment activism by extremists who were emboldened in the two years following an armed standoff between antigovernment extremists at the Bundy ranch near Bunkerville, Nev., in April 2014.

There were no arrests immediately after that standoff two years ago, leading to the widespread belief that the inaction by federal authorities emboldened the Bundy clan and its militia-fueled followers, eventually becoming the catalyst for the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge near Burns, Ore., that began Jan. 2.

Behind the scenes, however, court documents show that the FBI was conducting an active investigation. It now appears federal authorities had drafted criminal charges and merely were waiting for an opportunity to arrest Cliven D. Bundy, 74, who left his Nevada home on Wednesday, intending to go to the refuge. Bundy passed through an airport metal detector to board his flight, proving he was unarmed during his flight, and an FBI SWAT team was waiting for him as he deplaned in Portland.

Cliven Bundy faces six federal felonies detailed in a 32-page criminal complaint filed Thursday in the District of Nevada, identifying four other unidentified co-conspirators in the 2014 Bunkerville standoff. They likely include his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, whose roles in the Oregon refuge takeover led to indictments accusing them  of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States.

In a criminal complaint filed Thursday in Las Vegas, the elder Bundy is accused of masterminding a “massive armed assault against federal law enforcement officers” in 2014 near his ranch near Bunkerville, Nev.

The assault was carried out, the complaint alleges, so Cliven Bundy could “extort the [federal] officers into abandoning approximately 400 head of cattle that were in their lawful care and custody.”  The officers were attempting to round up Bundy’s cattle that were grazing on public lands, administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, because he had not paid the U.S. Government more than $1 million in grazing fees.

Cliven Bundy will face a removal hearing in Portland and be returned to Nevada where is  charged  conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States; assault on a federal law enforcement officer; use and carrying a firearm in relation to a crime of violence; obstruction of justice; interference with commerce by extortion and aiding and abetting.

After the final arrests, Billy J. Williams, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon, issued a statement saying the 41-day occupation of the refuge “has been a long and traumatic episode for the citizens of Harney County and the members of the Burns Paiute tribe.”

He gave no indication when a dozen U.S. Fish & Wildlife employees, who work year-round at the refuge, would be allowed to return to the facility or when it would be re-opened to the public.

“Much work is left to assess the crime scene and damage to the refuge and tribal artifacts. We are committed to seeing the job done and to pursue justice for the crimes committed during the illegal occupation,” Williams said. “It is a time for healing, reconciliation amongst neighbors and friends, and allowing for life to get back to normal.”

The FBI scheduled a press conference for Thursday afternoon.

Cliven Bundy had urged the last four holdouts to stay put after his sons, Ammon and Ryan Bundy, and other activists were arrested on Jan. 26 at an FBI roadblock encounter that resulted in the shooting death of Bundy ally Robert LaVoy Finicum.

After he was arrested, Ammon Bundy contradicted his father, issuing a jailhouse statement urging the holdouts to surrender. But he later flip-flopped on that position.

Like the others previously arrested, holdouts Sean Anderson, 48, and his wife, Sandra Lynn Pfeifer Anderson, 47, both of Riggins, Idaho; and Jeff Wayne Banta, 46, of Elko, Nev., and David Fry were expected to be taken 200 miles for booking on federal charges at the Multnomah County Jail in Portland.

Fourteen other defendants, including the last four holdouts at the refuge, were indicted on Feb. 4 in the District of Oregon on single charges of conspiracy to impede officers of the United States.  Most of them remain in the Multnomah County Jail in Portland, where records show Cliven Bundy was booked at 10:54 p.m. Wednesday.

His arrest came as the FBI, including members of its elite Hostage Rescue Team, further tightened their perimeter around the refuge where the four final occupiers remained camping on the ground in makeshift tents.

After a screaming encounter with FBI agents on Wednesday, broadcast live on the Internet, the holdouts promised to walk out at daybreak. But the planned 8 a.m., Thursday, surrenders were delayed by the late arrivals of Fiore and Graham, who had to be escorted through heavily guarded police roadblocks by FBI agents.

“I have been talking with the last four holdouts in the #Oregonstandoff at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge every day by phone for the last week at their request and at the request of the FBI. Last night I was on the phone with them for several hours, was able to have prayer with them and they have said they would come out today.  I am on my way there …” Graham wrote on Facebook at 5 a.m.

The FBI released a statement saying that at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, one of the “occupiers rode an ATV outside the barricades established by the militia at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. FBI Agents attempted to approach the driver, and he returned to the encampment at the refuge at a high rate of speed.”

“At this time, the FBI has moved to contain the remaining occupiers by placing agents at barricades both immediately ahead of and behind the area where the occupiers are camping. Negotiations between the occupiers and the FBI continue,” the statement said.

“It has never been the FBI’s desire to engage these armed occupiers in any way other than through dialogue, and to that end, the FBI has negotiated with patience and restraint in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully,”  said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

“However, we reached a point [Wednesday] where it became necessary to take action in a way that best ensured the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who are on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in this area,” said Greg Bretzing, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon.

(Banner Image Credit: KGW-TV of Portland, Ore.)



Forty-one days.

Forty-one days of leniency. Bending over backwards. Giving these….things…. patience and restraint to resolve this situation.

Understandable that restraint was involved to ensure the safety of those on the refuge, the law enforcement officers who were on scene, and the people of Harney County who live and work in that area. Their safety and protection was the only thing uppermost in my mind as well.

But, if these were Black women who took this refuge hostage, they would not have been given such patience and restraint.

LEOs would have given them no time window to surrender and vacate the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon, and they would definitely have not been able to hold-out for six weeks.


LEOs would have charged in with guns blazing, smoke bombs, concussion bombs, all the while, straffing the area with whatever caliber of guns they could empty into the lifeless bodies of Black women.

White men and women who hate the government under which they live can get away with murder, kidnapping, sedition and treason.

But, let a Black woman even think about pulling this shit, and their dead, mutilated and mangled bodies would be lying in a morgue.


These lowlifes had no right to occupy public land that my tax dollars (and every other U.S. citizen) pay for.

Now, Bundy and his ilk will occupy a small cell for their criminal activities. Let’s see them attempt to call the shots and lord things over anyone in a jail cell.

Double-standard/favouritism rules in the United States of America, and those of the likes of Cliven Bundy and his thug-rapping, gangsta, gang bangers will always be given more value than any of the lives of law-abiding Black women citizens of this nation.

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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Unfortunately, women and girls continued to be excluded from participating fully in science. According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%.

In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly adopted A/70/474/Add.2 declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Commemorating the very first observance of the day, a High-Level Forum will be held on 11 February 2016 at the United Nations Headquarters by The Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) and DESA-DSPD. You can register here.

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World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day is a global observance that helps raise people’s awareness of cancer and how to prevent, detect or treat it. This event is held on February 4 each year.

There are different symbols that help promote awareness of different types of cancers. For example, the pink ribbon symbolizes breast cancer awareness.
© rocksunderwater

What Do People Do?

People, businesses, governments and non-profit organizations work together on World Cancer Day to help the general public learn more about the different types of cancer, how to watch for it, treatments and preventative measures. Various activities and events include:

  • Television, radio, online and newspaper advertisements and articles that focus on the fight against cancer.
  • Nationwide campaigns targeted at parents to help them minimize the risk of cancer within their families.
  • Breakfasts, luncheons or dinners aimed at raising funds for cancer research or projects that help to fight cancer. Many of these events feature keynote speakers or video presentations.
  • Public information booths featuring information kits, fact sheets, booklets, posters and other items that promote the cancer awareness, prevention, risk reduction, and treatment.

Some countries use World Cancer Day to promote campaigns on various cancer issues, such as breast cancer, lung cancer, skin cancer, and cancer in children. Much focus goes towards awareness and risk reduction.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the United Nations’ (UN) directing and coordinating health authority, works with organizations such as the International Union Against Cancer (UICC) on this day to promote ways to ease the global burden of cancer. Recurring themes over the years focus on preventing cancer and raising the quality of life for cancer patients.

Public Life

World Cancer Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.


Cancer is a leading cause of death around the world, according to WHO, which estimates that 84 million people will die of cancer between 2005 and 2015 without intervention. Low-income and medium-income countries are harder hit by cancer than the high-resource countries. It is essential to address the world’s growing cancer burden and to work on effective control measures.

World Cancer Day is part of the World Cancer Campaign, which responds to the Charter of Paris adopted at the World Summit Against Cancer for the New Millennium on February 4, 2000. It called for a strong alliance between researchers, health-care professionals, patients, governments, industry partners and the media to fight cancer.

The Charter of Paris designated February 4 each year as World Cancer Day. UICC is responsible for coordinating World Cancer Day globally. It receives support from various partners and organizations, including the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and other international bodies. UICC organized the first World Cancer Day in 2006.


There are different symbols that are used to help promote the fight against different types of cancers. For example, the pink ribbon is a global symbol of breast cancer awareness, while the orange ribbon is associated with child cancer awareness. Another example is the daffodil, which the American Cancer Society sees as a symbol of hope that people share for a future where cancer is no longer a life-threatening disease.

2016 Theme: ‘We can. I can’

World Cancer Day Observances


Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type Where it is Observed
Thu Feb 4 2010 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Fri Feb 4 2011 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Sat Feb 4 2012 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Mon Feb 4 2013 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Tue Feb 4 2014 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Wed Feb 4 2015 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Thu Feb 4 2016 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Sat Feb 4 2017 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Sun Feb 4 2018 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Mon Feb 4 2019 World Cancer Day United Nations observance
Tue Feb 4 2020 World Cancer Day United Nations observance

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Maurice White, the founder and leader of the legendary R&B group Earth, Wind & Fire, has passed away at the age of 74. He is known for creating the eclectic sound behind dance hits like ‘September’ and ‘Boogie Wonderland.’ USA TODAY

For any fan of R&B music — any fan of music, period, really — it is impossible to think of the 1970s and early ’80s without recalling the shiny, groovy, exuberant sounds of Earth, Wind & Fire. And no man played a greater role in carving out that band’s gems than founding member Maurice White, who died Thursday at 74.

Shining Star, That’s The Way of the World,  September,  Sing A Song,Fantasy,  Reasons: White helped write all of these hits. The onetime sessions drummer, who played with Ramsey Lewis’s jazz trio in the ’60s, also served as principal producer of EWF’s music — steeped in jazz and funk as well as Latin influences, but as luxuriantly pop-savvy as any AM radio classics of the time. His guidance let the band segue seamlessly into the disco era, and eventually embrace electronic textures.

The group incorporated the flashy visuals associated with the latter movements — along with hallmarks of old-school showmanship, like coordinated dance moves — into its performances, dazzling audiences with lighting, sartorial glitz and other tricks and effects, some nodding to the band’s astrologically inspired name.

That flamboyance was, of course, grounded in a soulful virtuosity that no one could deny. EWF’s bright, horns-infused arrangements, infectious melodies, ebullient grooves and distinctive vocals — White shared leads with Philip Bailey, whose hearty falsetto was another key element  — appealed to pop and R&B fans equally, and made the group favorites among both club crowds and the dance-phobic, bridging racial and cultural gaps in the process.

Inclusiveness and harmony were not just musical ideals for White and his colleagues. In a quote featured in the history portion of the band’s official site, he said, “We were coming out of a decade of experimentation, mind expansion and cosmic awareness. I wanted our music to convey messages of universal love and harmony without force-feeding listeners’ spiritual content.”

White, who released a solo album in the ’80s, worked with numerous other artists as a producer, among them Barbra Streisand, Jennifer Holliday and Deniece Williams, and collaborated with acts ranging from Cher to Weather Report. Though a battle with Parkinson’s Disease forced him to stop touring in the ’90s, White, whose many subsequent honors have included induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (with EWF) and Songwriters Hall of Fame, remained a creative force in the following years and guarded its legacy devotedly.

“Expanding awareness and uplifting spirits is so important in this day,” he is quoted as saying, on EWF’s site. White did that and much more, giving us music that joyfully defied all boundaries, and will continue to do so.

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