Monthly Archives: November 2013

SKYWATCH: COMET ISON UPDATES, ODDBALL PULSARS, AND MORE

Observing
Comet ISON's sweep past the Sun

NASA / ESA / SOHO Consortium

Latest Updates on Comet ISON

November 29, 2013                                                                  | Researchers are still trying to sort out how much of Comet ISON survived its close passage around the Sun. The comet’s head dwindled out, but after perihelion a headless ghost of the comet continued on its way, even seeming to brighten. > read more

Comet ISON Becomes a Nail-Biter

November 25, 2013                                                                | Is the comet dying, just three days before its closest pass by the Sun? There are signs that its nucleus has stopped producing anything. > read more

Can You Spot Comet ISON at Perihelion?

November 22, 2013                                                                | It won’t be easy by a long shot, but it just might be possible to spot the comet in broad daylight as it passes nearest the Sun. > read more

Tour December’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

October 27, 2013                                                                  | December’s crystal-clear skies offer Venus low in the west after sunset, a “tower of brilliance” (including Jupiter) rising in the east, and the prospect of a nice showing by Comet ISON in the predawn sky early in the month. > read more

News

Black hole binary

Jingchuan Yu

Downsizing a Black Hole

November 27, 2013                                                                | Astronomers have revealed a supposedly monster black hole to be rather ordinary in size. > read more

Oddball Pulsar Origin?

November 26, 2013                                                                | A few whirling neutron stars might get their start as very different objects, at least if a new analysis is correct.  > read more

Community

Comet ISON Photo Contest

Announcing the Comet ISON Photo Contest

October 24, 2013                                                                | Sky & Telescope is now accepting submissions to the Comet ISON Photo Contest! > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Dawn view, Dec. 3. Use Saturn and Mercury to find the right spot to examine with binoculars. Good luck.

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

November 27, 2013                                                                  | After swinging through perihelion on November 28th, what’s left of Comet ISON may emerge into the dawn sky as previously scheduled. Meanwhile, the rest of the heavens continue going about business of their own. > read more

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE: NOVEMBER 29, 2013

 

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF SOLIDARITY WITH THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is annually observed on November 29.

Local names

Name Language
International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People English
Día Internacional de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Palestino Spanish
Welttag der Solidarität mit dem palästinensischen Volk German

Alternative name

Solidarity Day

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2014

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is annually observed on November 29. The day is also known as Solidarity Day.

November 29 is the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, also known as Solidarity Day.

This illustration is based on artwork from ©iStockphoto.com/Joel Carillet & ©iStockphoto.com/Benoit Roussseau

What do people do?

Special meetings may be held to observe Solidarity Day in some UN offices, councils, government bodies and organizations that have a special interest in the issues encompassing the event.  The day may also be publicized through newspapers, magazines, radio and television news, and online media.  Some topics that may be publicized or discussed include the status and plight of Palestinian refugees, as well as general information on Palestinian culture and society.

Public life

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine (resolution 181 (II)). On December 2, 1977, it was recorded that the assembly called for the annual observance of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (A/RES/32/40 B). On December 1, 2003, the assembly encouraged member states to continue to provide support and publicity to observe the day. So the day was observed on December 1 in 2003.

The assembly also requested that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights of the Secretariat should continue to organize an annual exhibit on Palestinian rights or a cultural event with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations.

Symbols

The UN logo is often associated with marketing and promotional material for this event. It features a projection of a world map (less Antarctica) centered on the North Pole, inscribed in a wreath consisting of crossed conventionalized branches of the olive tree. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map depicts the area of concern to the UN in achieving its main purpose, peace and security. The projection of the map extends to 60 degrees south latitude, and includes five concentric circles.

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Thu Nov 29 1990 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Fri Nov 29 1991 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sun Nov 29 1992 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Mon Nov 29 1993 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Tue Nov 29 1994 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Wed Nov 29 1995 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Fri Nov 29 1996 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sat Nov 29 1997 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sun Nov 29 1998 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Mon Nov 29 1999 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Wed Nov 29 2000 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Thu Nov 29 2001 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Fri Nov 29 2002 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Mon Dec 1 2003 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Mon Nov 29 2004 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Tue Nov 29 2005 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Wed Nov 29 2006 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Thu Nov 29 2007 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sat Nov 29 2008 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sun Nov 29 2009 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Mon Nov 29 2010 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Tue Nov 29 2011 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Thu Nov 29 2012 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Fri Nov 29 2013 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sat Nov 29 2014 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sun Nov 29 2015 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Tue Nov 29 2016 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Wed Nov 29 2017 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Thu Nov 29 2018 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Fri Nov 29 2019 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance
Sun Nov 29 2020 International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People United Nations observance

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THANKSGIVING DAY: NOVEMBER 28, 2013

I originally wrote this prayer of thanks on November 26, 2008.

It still holds dear to my heart today as it did then.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

******************************************************

Our Father in Heaven, and Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
I come before you this day to give thanks to you for all that you have given me in this life. I thank you for the many people, known, and unknown, who have so profoundly touched my life in so many enriching ways:
I thank you for the many people who have made America a place worth living in. I thank you for all those who devoted their lives in the struggle for freedom, and who stood up for justice, fairness, and right, even when it cost them their lives.
I thank you for the many people who refused to stand by and see wrong, after wrong, after wrong occur.  I thank you for the many women and men who believed that America should be a better country, and refused to give up on that belief.
I thank you for Crispus Attucks, who fought for his freedom, and died, believing that no man had the right to enslave another, while championing their own freedom;
I thank you for the Grimke sisters, Angelina and Sarah, who were sisters in body, word, action, and spirit, for they refused to allow their Black sisters to languish in the cruelty of slavery, and who spoke up for them, boldly, and resolutely;
I thank you for Frederick Douglas who was a beacon of reason and steadfastness, as he pricked the conscious of a nation that would rather have turned away from the cries of her enslaved Black children; Frederick, who would rather unite with anybody to do right than with nobody to do wrong.
I thank you for Harriet Tubman, who was a general in every way, leading so many of her fellow enslaved Black people out of bondage, at great risk to herself;
I thank you for Denmark Vesey, Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, who struck a blow against the humiliation and hypocrisy of slavery; who fought against a country that would allow a system of enslavement of one group of people, but, allow freedom to another group of people, because of their different race and skin color;
I thank you for David Walker, whose fiery words spoke to the rights of Black people to live freely and abundantly in a country that only gave lip service to its ideals of freedom and equality;
I thank you for John Brown, who refused to turn away from the suffering of his fellow sisters and brothers who were enslaved; John Brown, whose body lies a mouldering in the grave, but, whose soul is still marching on.
I thank you for W.E.B. Dubois, who eloquently gave voice to the voiceless, who chronicled the history of his Black people to leave a legacy behind that spoke of the fortitude, the will, the desire of recently freed Black people who walked, ran, and went whatever way they could to get the education so long denied them in slavery; W.E.B. who spoke of the infamous “Veil” that  shrouded the true lives that so many Black people lived in the American South:
I thank you for Langston Hughes, who, too, sang America.
I thanks you for James Weldon and Rosamond Johnson, who lifted every voice and sang, ’til earth and Heaven rang;
I thank you for Zora Neale Hurston, who was too busy sharpening her oyster knife to let the world beat her down or hold her back; Zora, who spoke of mules and men; Zora who spoke the truth bluntly and succinctly, and opened a door and gave the rich culture of Black Americans to the world, through their folklore;
I thank you for Lorraine Hansberry, who wrote of dreams deferred; dreams that would die like a raisin in the sun if those dreams were continually crushed;
I thank you for The Harlem Renaissance.
I thank you for Darlene Clark Hine, Alice Walker, Ann Petry, Phyllis Wheatley,
I thank you for James Baldwin, who warned America of the fire next time; James Baldwin who spoke of the blues for mister charlie, and who exhorted the white man (and woman) to listen!
I thank you for Ida Wells-Barnett, who fought the lynchers who burned and tortured defenseless Black citizens;  Ida , who revealed the red record of Southern barbarity against it most helpless citizens;
I thank you for Medger Evers who knew that every day would be his last, but, kept on registering Black people to vote, Black citizens who had a right to exercise their Constitutional rights as U.S. citizens;
I thank you for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was thrust onto the world stage, a young preacher who spoke of his dream that one day all would be judged by the content of their character, and not the color of their skin; a dream that is yet to ring true, from the mountaintops, from the hills, from every valley—–in America;
I thank you for Malcolm X, who spoke brilliantly and beautifully, for Black Americans to live safely and rightfully in their country, free from malicious harm and injustice; Malcolm, who gave his life for his Black sisters and brothers; Malcolm, who fought the haters and destroyers, by any means necessary;
I thank you for Fannie Lou Hamer, who even after she was brutally beaten by racists cops, even after she and the MFDP were refused seats at the 1964 Democratic Convention, even after she was jailed—Fannie who refused to let the light and fire in her go out;  Fannie, who would take that little light of hers, and let it shine—-let it shine—-let it shine—–so brightly that her legacy still shines like a lighthouse to the world;
I thank you for Sister Rosa Parks—-for she would not be moved;
I thank you for Sister Shirley Chisholm, who would blaze a path for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton; for Shirley who made the way smooth for them; for Shirley, who remained unbought, and unbossed—–to the end.
I thank you for the Southern Tenant Farmers Union: black men—and white men, men who came together for a common cause to see a decent life, and an end to their stolen labors, men who fought against the aggressive repression of brutal sharecropping;
I thank you for the unheralded and unsung Black women of the South who took in Freedom Riders and Civil Rights workers; Black women, who at great risk to themselves, sheltered, fed, and protected those who came from across the South, and from outside the South, to help Black people who wanted a better life, a better day, for their future children, and children’s children; Black women who knew that their lives could be destroyed by segregationists, but, who knew that their lives were being obliterated, bit, by bit, by bit, from the devastation of Jane Crow segregation; Black women who would not take nothing for their journey, because their eyes were on the prize;
I thank you for Sojourner Truth, Elaine Brown, Kathleen Cleaver, Assata Shakur, Angela Davis, Flo Kennedy, Mrs. Silas McGhee, Unita Blackwell, Dovie and Winsome Hudson, Ella Baker, Lucy Parsons, Mamma Harris, “Mama” Dolly Raines, the Black Washerwomen of 1866;
I thank you for all the children of the Civil Rights Movement; children bowled over by fire hoses turned on them; children who braved police dogs that attacked and  bit them, dogs that tore into their tender, young flesh; children who saw that life would remain the same for them if they did not challenge the racist status quo that annihilated them and their families, on a daily basis;
I thank you for Chief Joseph, of the Nez Perce; Chief Joseph, who would fight no more, forever;
I thank you for Caesar Chavez, who organized migrant farm workers into a force to be reckoned with;
I thank you for the Black Panthers who said power to the people because the people were the strength and life force of America;
I thank you for Jane Elliot, who through her class divided helped her students, and many adults, see the gross injustice of inequality, and to see the most basic inner humanity in us all;
I thank you for Grace Lee Boggs, who devoted her life to speaking truth to power against racism;
I thank for all the many women and men who strived, suffered, bled, worked, gave their lives so that America could truly live up to its constitutional creed:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

I thank you, Our Father in Heaven, for so many I have not mentioned, not out of disrespect, but, know, that they are loved, honored, and respected, in my heart.

But, most of all, I thank you for my father (deceased), my mother (deceased), my siblings, my many extended kinsfolk, and all those who have had a positive and uplifting effect on my life, for such are those who have come before me who given me much to enable me to question, think, decide for myself and live my life in a way that they would be proud of.

In the name of the Father and the Son, I thank you for these many gifts I have received through your bountiful blessings.

Amen.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: NOVEMBER 25, 2013

 

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women raises public awareness of violence against women in all countries around the world and at all levels of society. It is observed each year on November 25.

Local names

Name Language
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women English
Día Internacional de la Eliminación de la Violencia contra la Mujer Spanish

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2013

Monday, November 25, 2013

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2014

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise public awareness of violence against women. It has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000.

Violence against women is an issue that UN and many others take seriously.

©iStockphoto.com/funky-data

What do people do?

Various activities are arranged around the world to draw attention to the need for continuing action to eliminate violence against women, projects to enable women and their children to escape violence and campaigns to educate people about the consequences of violence against women. Locally, women’s groups may organize rallies, communal meals, fundraising activities and present research on violence against women in their own communities.

An ongoing campaign that people are encouraged to participate in, especially around this time of the year when awareness levels for the day are high, is the “Say NO to Violence Against Women campaign”. Through the campaign, anyone can add their name to a growing movement of people who speak out to put a halt to human rights violations against women.

Public life

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On November 25, 1960, three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters fought hard to end Trujillo’s dictatorship. Activists on women’s rights have observed a day against violence on the anniversary of the deaths of these three women since 1981.

On December 17, 1999, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the UN General Assembly. Each year observances around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women concentrate on a particular theme, such as “Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles” (2008).

Symbols

Events around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women are coordinated by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The logo of this organization consists of “UNIFEM”. The letters “U” and “N” are in blue and the letters “I”, “F”, “E” and “M” are in a darker shade of this color. An image of a dove surrounded by olive branches is to the right of the word. The image of the dove incorporates the international symbol for “woman” or “women”. This is based on the symbol for the planet Venus and consists of a ring on top of a “plus” sign.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Nov 25 2000 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sun Nov 25 2001 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Mon Nov 25 2002 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Tue Nov 25 2003 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Thu Nov 25 2004 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Fri Nov 25 2005 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sat Nov 25 2006 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sun Nov 25 2007 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Tue Nov 25 2008 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Wed Nov 25 2009 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Thu Nov 25 2010 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Fri Nov 25 2011 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sun Nov 25 2012 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Mon Nov 25 2013 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Tue Nov 25 2014 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Wed Nov 25 2015 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Fri Nov 25 2016 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sat Nov 25 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sun Nov 25 2018 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Mon Nov 25 2019 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Wed Nov 25 2020 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 11-24-2013

REV. T.J. JEMISON, CIVIL RIGHTS PIONEER

By

Published: November 22, 2013

  • The Rev. T. J. Jemison, a civil rights pioneer who organized a 1953 bus boycott in Baton Rouge, La., that foreshadowed the one set off by Rosa Parks in Montgomery, Ala., and who went on to lead the nation’s largest black Baptist organization into liberal political activism, died on Nov. 15 in Baton Rouge. He was 95.
 

Associated Press

Rev. T. J. Jemison, center, was known for his political skills in the early days of the civil rights struggle.

 

His son, Theodore J. Jemison Jr., confirmed the death.

Mr. Jemison was one of a handful of black clergymen recognized as a leader of the first generation of the civil rights movement. He was a founding member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, along with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rev. Ralph Abernathy and the Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth.

As president of the National Baptist Convention U.S.A. from 1982 to 1994, Mr. Jemison ushered into being the World Baptist Center in Nashville, the first national headquarters of a predominantly black church in the United States. But in 1991 he lost much of his church-based support by speaking out in defense of the boxer Mike Tyson after he was charged with rape.

Mr. Jemison was known for his political skills in the early days of the civil rights struggle, displaying a mix of charm and toughness that served him well in leading what historians say was apparently the movement’s first large-scale bus boycott.

Appointed pastor of the Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge in 1949, Mr. Jemison led voter registration efforts, beginning in 1950, that resulted in improved municipal services and the construction of a dozen new schools for black citizens.

In 1953 he persuaded the Baton Rouge City Council to abolish a public transportation rule barring blacks from sitting in the first 10 rows of public buses. When bus drivers went on strike to protest the change, Mr. Jemison led an eight-day boycott, starting on June 20.

Blacks accounted for 80 percent of the city’s bus ridership, and they were tired of having to stand up while some or even all of the first 10 rows went empty, Mr. Jemison said. “We were not necessarily interested at that time in ending segregation,” he said in an interview in 1993. “We were after seats.”

The dispute ended in a compromise: Only the first two rows would be reserved for whites.

Dr. King, the young pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, contacted Mr. Jemison in late 1954 for advice on managing a citywide bus boycott.

“Knowing that Jemison and his associates had set up an effective private car pool, I put in a long-distance telephone call to ask him for suggestions for a similar pool in Montgomery,” Dr. King wrote in a 1958 memoir, “Stride Toward Freedom.” Mr. Jemison’s tutorial was “invaluable” in winning that fight, Dr. King added.

The yearlong Montgomery bus boycott, set off by Ms. Parks’s refusal to give up her seat to a white person, was the beginning of the end of separate-but-equal accommodations in the South.

The National Baptist Convention, with 26,000 member congregations and seven million congregants, had been a nonpolitical organization when Mr. Jemison was elected president in 1982 (his father, the Rev. David Jemison, had been president from 1940 to 1953). But Mr. Jemison quickly began staking out firm, liberal positions on race-related issues, accusing President Ronald Reagan of giving “respectability to racism,” supporting the presidential candidacies of the Rev. Jesse Jackson in 1984 and 1988 and, in 1991, opposing the Persian Gulf war, which he called “a fight over oil.”

When Desiree Washington, an 18-year-old Miss Black America contestant, accused Mr. Tyson of rape in 1991, Mr. Jemison described him as a victim of racial stereotyping, prompting other church leaders and women’s groups to criticize his support as insensitive to Ms. Washington. They also accused of him of being prejudiced by Mr. Tyson’s offer (never received) of $5 million toward the building of the convention’s $12 million headquarters in Nashville.

Mr. Tyson was convicted and served three years of a six-year prison sentence.

Mr. Jemison was later indicted, though never tried, on federal perjury charges in connection with an alleged attempt to bribe Ms. Washington to drop the charges.

After stepping down as president of the Baptist convention in 1994, he told interviewers that he was especially proud of his role in building the group’s headquarters because it fulfilled a dream of his father’s.

Theodore Judson Jemison was born on Aug. 1, 1918, in Selma, Ala., the youngest of the six children of Henrietta and David Jemison. His father was also the pastor of Selma’s Tabernacle Baptist Church. The younger Mr. Jemison attended segregated public schools and graduated from the historically black Alabama State University in Montgomery before earning a divinity degree at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Va.

He remained the pastor of the Mount Zion First Baptist Church in Baton Rouge for 54 years. He retired in 2003.

Besides his son, Mr. Jemison is survived by two daughters, Dianne Jemison Pollard and Betty Jane Wagner, and nine grandchildren. His wife, Celestine Catlett Jemison, died in 2006.

Anthea Butler, an associate professor of religion and African studies at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a telephone interview that Mr. Jemison’s contributions to the civil rights cause were never widely known primarily as a result of a decision he made in 1961 as secretary of the Baptist convention.

That year, the group’s president, the Rev. Joseph H. Jackson, and Dr. King were bitterly divided over the organization’s role in the civil rights struggle; Mr. Jackson opposed involving the church in it, and Mr. Jemison sided with him.

His decision secured his place in the church hierarchy — he remained secretary for the next two decades — but forced him to reduce his role in the movement, though he said he disagreed with Mr. Jackson’s views and would eventually change the organization’s policies after succeeding Mr. Jackson in 1982.

“It’s felt that he had a sense of loyalty to the organization because of his father’s association with it,” Professor Butler said.

SOURCE

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MAVIS BATEY, ALLIED CODE BREAKER IN WORLD WAR II

By

Published: November 22, 2013

  • After Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939, Mavis Lever, an 18-year-old British university student, volunteered to be an army nurse. Instead, because of her expertise in the German language, she was referred to the intelligence services.
 

Ian Jones

Mavis Batey with a German Enigma code-scrambling machine. She was assigned to one of the war’s most secret operations.

 

“This is going to be an interesting job,” she recalled thinking, “Mata Hari seducing Prussian officers.”

But playing the role of temptress was not what the military had in mind for her. She was assigned to one of World War II’s most secret and important operations, an ambitious Allied effort to decipher secret codes used by the Axis powers — chiefly Nazi Germany’s mind-boggling one, aptly given the name Enigma. She was ordered to report to the unit’s headquarters, at Bletchley Park, a Victorian estate in southeastern England.

There, Miss Lever — one of the few women in the operation — was critical to at least two major successes in the war effort, including a British victory at sea in the Battle of Cape Matapan, off the coast of Greece, in March 1941, when an Italian convoy was ambushed and three heavy cruisers and two destroyers carrying 3,000 sailors were sunk.

When asked years later, after she had married and became Mavis Batey, she could hardly say why she, while still a teenager, was chosen for such a top-secret enterprise. But she did know that Dillwyn Knox, known as Dilly, a top code breaker at Bletchley Park, selected her for his team. In a largely masculine environment, Mr. Knox, an eccentric classicist by training, liked to hire women, especially pretty ones, and give them considerable responsibility.

Whatever the case, Mrs. Batey, who died on Nov. 12 at 92, more than justified her selection. The evening of the Cape Matapan success, John Godfrey, director of naval intelligence, called Mr. Knox at home and left a message: “Tell Dilly that we have won a great victory in the Mediterranean, and it is entirely due to him and his girls.”

The team at Bletchley Park — 12,000 people, including Americans, worked there at one time or another during the war — was composed, among others, of mathematicians, linguists, crossword mavens and an assortment of acknowledged eccentrics. Its existence was kept secret until the mid-1970s. Sir Francis Harry Hinsley, official historian of British intelligence during World War II, has said that the operation’s code-cracking work shortened the war by two or more years.

One of its chief challenges was decoding messages scrambled by what the Allies called Enigma machines. The device, used by the Germans and other Axis powers and resembling an oversize typewriter, used a series of electrical rotors to scramble messages in an astronomical number of ways; each letter could appear in more than 150 million million million permutations.

The messages, sent by radio using Morse code, were intercepted by spies and sent to Bletchley Park, where code breakers had access to their own Enigma machines, originally obtained by Poles and given to the British. A principal tool they used was a computerlike device, made by the genius mathematician Alan Turing, connecting a series of Enigma machines.

But Mr. Knox preferred to work through linguistic cues, which required thinking in sometimes counterintuitive ways. In his book “Enigma: The Battle for the Code” (2000), Hugh Sebag-Montefiore wrote that a question Mr. Knox asked potential recruits was which way the hands of a clock go around. Everyone, of course, said clockwise. A delighted Mr. Knox would reply, “Not if you’re inside the clock.”

One of Mrs. Batey’s hunches that proved accurate in deciphering code allowed the British to read a long, detailed message on Italian naval plans in the Mediterranean, paving the way for the Cape Matapan victory. The plans, she recalled, revealed “how many cruisers there were, and how many submarines were to be there, and where they were to be at such and such a time.”

“Absolutely incredible that they should spell it all out,” she said.

In December 1941, Mrs. Batey collaborated with her colleague Margaret Rock to decipher a small segment of a message by the German secret service. Not until years later did they know the effect: It helped British spies to learn that German generals believed that Allied forces would invade at Calais, France, not Normandy, on D-Day in June 1944.

Making a play on the names of his code breakers, Mr. Knox said, “Give me a Lever and a Rock and I will move the universe.”

Mavis Lilian Lever was born on May 5, 1921, in South London to a postal worker and a seamstress. Inspired by a vacation to Germany with her parents, she went on to study German Romanticism at University College, London.

But when the war broke out and she was assigned to intelligence duty, any thoughts of working as a spy were quickly dispelled. “I don’t think my legs or my German were good enough,” she told the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph in 2001, “because they sent me to the Government Code and Cipher School,” the official name for the Bletchley Park operation. It was also called Ultra and Station X.

At Bletchley Park, she fell in love with another code breaker, Keith Batey. They married in 1942. Mr. Batey, who died in 2010, went on to be the chief financial officer at Oxford.

And Mrs. Batey went on to write books about Mr. Knox and the experience of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels, as a code breaker at Bletchley Park. A longtime president of Britain’s Garden History Society, she also wrote books on the landscapes of Jane Austen and the gardens of Oxford.

Her survivors include her daughters, Elizabeth and Deborah; her son, Christopher; and several grandchildren. The children knew nothing of their mother’s wartime exploits until files about the Bletchley Park operation were declassified.

In the 2001 movie “Enigma,” Kate Winslet at least partly molded her portrayal of the code breaker Heather Wallace on Mrs. Batey, with whom she had tea before shooting the film. Like Mrs. Batey, the Heather character falls in love with another code breaker and marries him.

Some Bletchley Park veterans criticized the film as inauthentic. Mrs. Batey’s criticism was that its women appeared “scruffy” compared with the originals. As she told another British newspaper, The Daily Record, in 2008, “We borrowed each other’s pearls, so we always looked nice.”

SOURCE

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THOMAS REES, PLASTIC SURGEON WHO TREATED AFRICA

By

Published: November 22, 2013

  • Dr. Thomas D. Rees, an innovative New York plastic surgeon who helped found the Flying Doctors Service of East Africa, a charity that employs a fleet of small planes to provide medical care and save lives deep in the African bush, died on Nov. 14 at his home in Santa Fe, N.M. He was 86.
 

AMREF USA

Dr. Thomas D. Rees, a New York plastic surgeon, on an outreach mission with his neediest patients, in Africa in an undated photo.

 
 

AMREF USA

Dr. Rees in an undated photo.

His daughter, S. Elizabeth Rees, said the cause was liver cancer.

New York magazine once referred to Dr. Rees as “one of the fathers of aesthetic surgery in New York,” and he is credited with helping to elevate cosmetic surgery from something one did not really discuss to almost a status symbol. “Teenagers were given a ‘Rees nose’ for Christmas,” he wrote in 1993.

But it was in Africa that he found his neediest patients, an endeavor inspired by a trip he took there in 1956 while on a fellowship in London. A colleague with a farm in Tanzania had invited him down for the warm sun and the chance to see African wildlife.

But while there, as he related in a memoir, he found himself treating a warrior holding his intestines in place with an old blanket after being gored by a charging rhino. Dr. Rees had few instruments with him and no general anesthetic, no antibiotics and no blood plasma. He also had no choice but to operate on the man immediately; there was to be no plane service for a medical evacuation until the next day. The man survived.

“I wasn’t sure why, but I knew my life’s direction had been permanently altered” by the experience, Dr. Rees wrote in the memoir, “Daktari: A Surgeon’s Adventures With the Flying Doctors of East Africa,” published in 2002.

He went on to join Dr. Michael Wood and Dr. Archibald McIndoe in 1957 to found the Flying Doctors. It now operates in 11 countries, offering, among other services, emergency care, vaccinations, surgery to repair congenital deformities and airlift evacuations of critically ill patients.

The Flying Doctors’ founders also set up an umbrella organization called the African Medical and Research Foundation, which has become one of Africa’s largest public health initiatives. In 2005, it was awarded the Gates Award for Global Health.

Dr. Rees wrote 140 medical articles and six medical texts, including “Aesthetic Plastic Surgery,” a two-volume standard. In an interview on Tuesday, Dr. Sherrell Aston, the chairman of the plastic surgery department of Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, called Dr. Rees “one of the true giants in the specialty.”

Dr. Aston said that Dr. Rees, himself a former chairman of the hospital’s plastic surgery department, was one of the first to “openly teach plastic surgery to other plastic surgeons” in the late 1960s and ’70s. To polish his profession’s image, he also seized opportunities to speak to the news media, an activity more conservative physicians disdained.

“There was a time when cosmetic surgery was looked at as being rather frivolous,” Dr. Aston said.

Thomas Dee Rees was born in Nephi, Utah, on Feb. 3, 1927. His father, Don, was head of the biology and zoology departments at the University of Utah, which Thomas entered at 16. He graduated in an accelerated course when he was 19 and earned his medical degree two years later. He served two stints as a Navy officer, one in 1945 and the other in 1957-58.

Dr. Rees trained in general and plastic surgery at the Genesee Hospital in Rochester and New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. He was then chosen for a prestigious fellowship in London with Dr. McIndoe, who had advanced plastic surgery with ingenious treatments for injured British airmen during World War II. Dr. McIndoe worked with his cousin Dr. Harold Gillies, considered the father of plastic surgery.

It was during Dr. Rees’s fellowship in 1956 that Dr. McIndoe said he was planning his annual visit to Africa, where he had a farm near Mount Kilimanjaro. He asked Dr. Rees to come along, and maybe see some animals.

“Archie said it was time to escape the beastly English winter and feel the warmth of the African sun,” Dr. Rees wrote.

There, they met up with Dr. Wood, a colleague from London, who was just starting a plastic surgery practice covering a huge section of East Africa by air. Within five years, the organization they founded had drawn support from Albert Schweitzer, the Aga Khan, Edward R. Murrow and Arthur Godfrey, the radio and television personality, who donated its first plane.

For many years, Dr. Rees spent a month in Africa every year, his daughter said.

Dr. Rees was a professor at the New York University School of Medicine and a former president of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He organized an annual symposium that attracts more than 1,000 plastic surgeons from around the world. This year’s event is scheduled for the first week of December.

Dr. Rees’s wife of 63 years, the former Natalie Bowes, an early fashion model with the Ford agency known as Nan Rees, died last year. His son David died in 1990. In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his son Thomas Jr. and his brother, J. Richard.

Dr. Rees retired to Santa Fe in the mid-1980s because of osteoarthritis. He became a sculptor, finding inspiration in African people and animals.

SOURCE

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AFRICA INDUSTRIALIZATION DAY: NOVEMBER 22, 2013

AFRICA INDUSTRIALIZATION DAY

Quick Facts

Africa Industrialization Day aims to stimulate the international community’s commitment to the industrialization of Africa.

Local names

Name Language
Africa Industrialization Day English
Día de la Industrialización de África Spanish

Africa Industrialization Day 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Africa Industrialization Day 2014

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Africa Industrialization Day is celebrated on November 20 each year. It is a time when governments and other organizations in many African countries examine ways to stimulate Africa’s industrialization process. It is also an occasion to draw worldwide media attention to the problems and challenges of industrialization in Africa.

Africa Industrialization Day themes have focused on business and technology in previous times.©iStockphoto.com/bonnie jacobs

What do people do?

Various events are held to mark Africa Industrialization Day. Many of these involve local and national leaders and representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations. A special effort is made to unite leaders or representatives of as many African countries as possible to stimulate discussion on the industrialization of Africa and assess the progress made in the past year. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) plays an important role in coordinating events on or around Africa Industrialization Day.

In addition, statements are delivered at UNIDO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria. These statements are from leaders from the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa, and the UN. It is hoped that these parties will raise global consciousness of the importance of industrialization in Africa and remind the international community that more than 30 of the world’s 50 least developed countries are located in Africa

Public life

Africa Industrialization Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 1989. During this session, November 20 was declared to be Africa Industrialization Day. On December 22, 1989, the UN General Assembly also proclaimed this date to be Africa Industrialization Day. It was first observed on November 20, 1990.

Each year events around Africa Industrialization Day concentrate on a particular theme. In the past the themes have been: “New information and communication technologies” (2002); “Acceleration of Africa’s integration in the global economy through effective industrialization and market access” (2003); “Strengthening productive capacity for poverty reduction within the framework of NEPAD” (2004); “Generating African competitiveness for sustainable market access” (2005); “Reducing poverty through sustainable industrial development” (2006); “Technology and innovation for industry: investing in people is investing in the future” (2007); and “Business through technology” (2008).

Symbols

A common symbol of Africa Industrialization Day is a geographical representation of the continent, including the island of Madagascar. Flags of international organizations in Africa, such as the African Union, or a selection of national flags may also be displayed.

Africa Industrialization Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Tue Nov 20 1990 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 1991 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 1992 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sat Nov 20 1993 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 1994 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 1995 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 1996 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 1997 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 1998 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sat Nov 20 1999 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 2000 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2001 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2002 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2003 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sat Nov 20 2004 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2005 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 2006 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2007 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2008 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2009 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sat Nov 20 2010 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2011 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2012 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2013 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2014 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2015 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2016 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 2017 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2018 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2019 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2020 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance

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SKYWATCH: SPOT COMET ISON THANKSGIVING DAY, MAVEN HEADS TO MARS, AND MORE

News
MAVEN Mars mission

NASA / GSFC

MAVEN Heads to Mars

November 18, 2013                                                                | NASA’s next orbiter has successfully launched and is en route to the Red Planet. When it arrives, it will pry into the secrets of Mars’s climate, both past and present, and hopefully reveal how the cold, dry world lost most of its ancient atmosphere. > read more

Monster Gamma-Ray Burst Challenges Theories

November 21, 2013                                                                | Observations of one of the most powerful supernovas ever recorded suggest that the standard model for gamma-ray bursts might be missing a piece of the puzzle. > read more

Cassiopeia A in 3D

November 20, 2013                                                                | Explore a supernova remnant with this fun interactive simulation, created from detailed space- and ground-based observations in multiple wavelengths.  > read more

Observing

Blocking the Sun

S&T: Alan MacRobert

Can You Spot Comet ISON at Perihelion?

November 22, 2013                                                                | It won’t be easy by a long shot, but it just might be possible to spot the comet in broad daylight as it passes nearest the Sun. > read more

Latest Updates on Comet ISON

November 22, 2013                                                                  | Will ISON put on a naked-eye show in the dawns of early December? Astronomers everywhere are following it closely as it approaches the Sun! > read more

Tour November’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

October 31, 2013                                                                  | Returning at last to standard time, you’ll find Venus low in the west at sunset, Jupiter rising in late evening, and the winged horse Pegasus galloping across the November night sky. > read more

Community

Viewing the Sun

S&T: Sean Walker

Arizona Astronomy & Science Expo

November 19, 2013                                                                | New gear, hands-on demos, and renowned speakers awaited visitors to last weekend’s astronomy expo in Tucson, Arizona. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

November 24, looking very low in bright dawn

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

November 22, 2013                                                                  | Comet ISON is the news of the week, as it dives toward its November 28th hairpin barbecue pass around the Sun. Can you still detect it low in the dawn? Mercury and Saturn point the way. > read more

            SkyWeek Television Show
Watch SkyWeekAs seen on PBS television stations nationwide

Sponsors: Meade Instruments Woodland Hills Camera & Telescope

Click here to watch this week's episode

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