Monthly Archives: September 2017

SKYWATCH: FOURTH GRAVITATION WAVE EVENT DETECTED, OSIRIS-REX IMAGES EARTH DURING FLYBY, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

Fourth Gravitational Wave Event Detected

Sky & Telescope
Teaming up with LIGO, Europe’s Virgo detector has bagged its first gravitational waves. The three-observatory detection enabled scientists to better pinpoint the merging black holes’ location. Read more…

Some Damage to Arecibo Observatory; Stormy Times Ahead

Sky & Telescope
Arecibo and its team rode out the largest storm in its history, but it’s still unclear what the moderate damage will mean for the radio observatory’s future. Read more…

Iconic Radio Telescope Begins 7-year Search for New Objects

Sky & Telescope
A new survey promises the most complete map of radio-emitting celestial sources ever made. It will reveal thousands of new objects after seven years of observation. Read more…

Osiris-REX Images Earth During Flyby

Sky & Telescope
The asteroid-bound OSIRIS-REX mission took time during last Friday’s gravity assist maneuver to look back at its homeworld. Read more…

First Black Holes Maybe Had Supersonic Help

Sky & Telescope
Gas flows in the early universe may have kept clouds from collapsing too soon, enabling them to grow into massive black hole seeds. Read more…

Hawai’i Gives Go-Ahead to Thirty Meter Telescope

Sky & Telescope
After protests and a judge’s ruling brought the colossal Thirty Meter Telescope project to a halt, a state panel has cleared the way for its construction atop Mauna Kea to proceed. Read more…

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, September 29 – October 7

Sky & Telescope
This week look for Altair, Arcturus, and Capella in the night sky — read to find out what other objects should have excellent viewing this week. Read more…

Ride “Big Blue” to Places You Never Knew

Sky & Telescope
What does the sky look like through a 36-inch telescope? I found out at Ohio’s Hidden Hollow Star Party last week. Here’s my report and a few observing targets to share. Read more…

Tour October’s Sky: Saturn in the Southwest

Sky & Telescope
October’s astronomy podcast helps you track down Saturn after sunset and offers a peek at what’s in view before dawn. Read more…

NGC 7331: Odd One Out

Sky & Telescope
Can you spot this Binocular Highlight from Mathew Wedel – spiral galaxy NGC 7331? Grab your binoculars and find a nice dark sky spot. Read more…

COMMUNITY

An Ancient Eclipse in Ithaca

Sky & Telescope
During the author’s May 2017 trip to Kefalonia he learned of an ancient eclipse on the neighboring island of Ithaca with ties to the Odyssey. Read more…

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WORLD RABIES DAY: SEPTEMBER 28, 2017

World Rabies Day

Many people around the world observe World Rabies Day (WRD), which raises awareness about the impact of rabies and how the disease can be prevented. It is held on September 28 each year. is an annual event on April 7 to draw attention to particular priorities in global health.

Smiling Asian children with their pet dogs.
Awareness issues, such as the importance of pet vaccinations for children’s safety, are brought to attention on World Rabies Day.
©iStockphoto.com/Zhang Bo

What Do People Do?

Many communities and organizations around the world, including the World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health, and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control (GARC), actively promote various activities and events that center on World Rabies Day.

Many government agencies and disease control centers that support World Rabies Day produce media kits, including posters, pamphlets, and press releases, to increase awareness about rabies and preventing the disease. Symposiums are also held on or around this time of the year to remember researchers who were pioneers in finding a rabies vaccination. Some associations and clinics offer free pet vaccinations and some organizations host competitions, such as t-shirt design contests to promote the event’s message.

Public Life

World Rabies Day is a global observance but it is not a public holiday.

Background

Rabies is widely distributed across the globe. More than 55,000 people die of rabies each year. About 95 percent of human deaths occur in Asia and Africa, according to WHO. Most human deaths follow a bite from an infected dog. About 30 to 60 percent of dog bite victims are children under the age of 15. There are safe and effective vaccines available for people who have been bitten by an animal that might have the disease, but usage in developing countries is low due to the high cost.

World Rabies Day, which is founded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and GARC, aims to unite relevant partners to address rabies prevention and control. With the initial goal of engaging 55,000 people to take action, one for each person who dies each year from rabies, the inaugural campaign saw nearly 400,000 people from at least 74 countries participating on September 8, 2007. The event was held again in 2008, but on September 28 instead of September 8, and September 28 has been used as the date to promote the event from that year onwards.

More than 393,000 people participated and rabies education messages reached more than 50 million people on World Rabies Day in 2008. The result of this event was that there were enough funds to start grass-roots education and control projects in five countries. Various partners, including WHO and the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, support World Rabies Day, which highlights the impact of human and animal rabies and promotes how to prevent and stop the disease by combating it in animals.

Symbols

The World Rabies Day logo features a globe in blue and green, and the green shapes in the globe are that of a bat (left), human (center), and dog or canine figure (right).  The words “World Rabies Day” and the event’s date (month, day and year), typed in black, circle the outer part of the globe. These elements are kept within a black ring, completing the logo.

World Rabies Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Tue Sep 28 2010 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Wed Sep 28 2011 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Fri Sep 28 2012 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Sat Sep 28 2013 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 28 2014 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Mon Sep 28 2015 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Wed Sep 28 2016 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 28 2017 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Fri Sep 28 2018 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Sat Sep 28 2019 World Rabies Day United Nations observance
Mon Sep 28 2020 World Rabies Day United Nations observance

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HATEWATCH: HEADLINES FOR 9-29-2017

Hatewatch Headlines 9/29/2017

Infighting derails Charlotte alt-right rally; ADF at the nexus of anti-LGBT industry; Bundy’s request to represent self in court denied; and more.

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Talking Points Memo: Planned far-right torch rally in Charlotte, N.C., derailed after infighting.

Newsweek: The alt-right is claiming Tennessee church shooting is a ‘reverse Dylann Roof’ story, but they’re nothing alike.

Media Matters: Hate group Alliance Defending Freedom is at the center of an anti-LGBT industry.

New York Times: An interview with the young Swedish reporter who went undercover with the alt-right.

Right Wing Watch: Inside the White House: ‘If we can get even one more like Neil Gorsuch, we’re talking about overturning Roe v. Wade.’

Review-Journal (Las Vegas, NV): Judge rejects Cliven Bundy’s request to represent himself at his federal trial.

The Intercept: A Facebook flame war may have just led to a major breakthrough on Confederate monuments in Georgia.

Oregonian: Oregon’s Secretary of State calls gays ‘immoral,’ and critics question his ability to perform his job.

Raw Story: ‘Get out!’ Lt. General rains hell on Air Force Academy after racist messages were left on black cadets’ rooms.

Associated Press: Tampa neo-Nazi group founder pleads guilty to explosives charges.

Salon: Why is this brutal murder of a trans teen not being handled as a hate crime?

Chicago Maroon: Neo-Nazis fliers case ends with misdemeanor charges; police had sought hate-crime charge.

Journal Times (Racine, WI): Restaurant owner faces backlash after posting ‘Execute them’ rant about protesting NFL players.

Colorado Independent: Meet Redneck Revolt, the leftist militia where ‘you can do guns and you don’t have to be racist.’

ProPublica: How the bankruptcy system is failing black Americans.

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AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT. . . .”COPS AS PIGS” PAINTING

 

Untitled #1” 2016, by David Pulphus. A high school student in St. Louis, Missouri depicts the unrest that occurred after the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Originally hung in a hallway on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., due to outburst of rage over the painting from some Republicans (who constantly removed the painting on different occasions), the painting was permanently removed and now hangs on the wall of the office of Rep. W. Lacy Clay (Dem-St. Louis).

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FROM THE ARCHIVES: FOR BLACK WOMEN, POLICE BRUTALITY AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT GO HAND IN HAND

The long history of police brutality, race soldier savagery, and slave paddyrollers started for defenseless Black women from day one in this nation.

Race soldier viciousness against Black women has been occurring for over four hundred years.

The cases of Cpl. Eric Casebolt racist beating done to a little Black girl at a pool party in McKinney, Texas and Marlene Pinnock, monstrously attacked and pummeled by a lowlife being in a Halloween costume, are nothing new, nor surprising, nor out of the ordinary.

This is the normative behavior of brutish White men who have nothing but sadistic sexualized racist gendered hatred of Black women and girls.

Through 1619, through indentured servitude, through American race-based slavery, through the destruction of Reconstruction, through Jane Crow segregation and into the present—-the condoned and sanctioned brutality and racist sexist attacks on Black women and girls is as American as apple pie.

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For Black Women, Police Brutality And Sexual Harassment Go Hand In Hand

The absurdity, of course, lies in how unnecessary and over-the-top Casebolt’s behavior is (earlier in the YouTube clip, he barrel rolls across a lawn for no reason in particular). But the horror emerges from the undertones of sexual violence in that instant. Casebolt pulls the girl by her hair, forces her face against the ground and presses his knee into her back — all while she pleads for him to stop. Here’s a grown man, forcing a young girl into submission against her will. The video acts as a prime example of the inherent reality of both physical and sexual harassment against black women and girls at the hands of cops.

The scene is reminiscent of a video that went viral last year. The clip featured 51-year-old Marlene Pinnock being punched repeatedly by California Highway Patrolman Daniel Andrew. Equally as problematic as his brute force was the compromising and dehumanizing position the patrolman had her in. Andrew straddled Pinnock as he beat her, with her torso and bra exposed. Pinnock later reached a settlement in the case, with Andrew never charged, and his sexual harassment never acknowledged.

You can view the video below.

Online campaigns like #sayhername and #blackwomenslivesmatter have attempted to highlight the discrimination black women face from police. And yet, while awareness is growing, a meaningful discussion has yet to begin about the oft-present undercurrents of sexual harassment.

It’s unsurprising, as there has been very little research about the connection between police brutality and sexual assault. According to the Cato Institute, over nine percent of the reported police misconduct in 2010 was sexual assault — second only to the use of excessive force. Of that percentage, women of color are undoubtedly impacted.

For example, stop-and-frisk, the controversial policy that’s been overwhelmingly viewed as a form of racial profiling, has affected black women just as it has affected black men. In 2012, Harlem Heights resident Crystal Pope relayed to theGrio the deep embarrassment and confusion she felt while being frisked by cops who stopped her while searching for a rapist on the loose.

“They patted around my waistline and butt. They were so aggressive,” Pope said. “It was all so intense and very upsetting.”

It’s that same deep embarrassment that’s painfully visible on the face of the teen girl in the McKinney video. Casebolt’s behavior, as in all cases of police brutality, was not about protecting and serving. It was about dominance, ego, and authority, and when confronted with a young black girl it manifested itself through a sexual and physical aggression that was patently inappropriate — but unsurprising. There are some who will say that it is a “reach” to accuse Casebolt of sexual assault. But in the case of a grown man physically dominating a 15-year-old girl, it’s hard to see how else it can be described.

Black female bodies have long been sites of trauma, carrying not only the weight of the past, but present stereotypes that dehumanize and sexualize young girls before they even hit puberty. Casebolt did not think he was restraining a helpless teenaged girl, but a “black woman,” with all the stereotypes and stigma that includes. This, it seems, was justification enough for her treatment.

As the investigation continues, it remains to be seen of Casebolt will even be charged. But as outrage spreads, it’s important that the victimization, humiliation, and inherent sexual harassment that takes place in the video does not go unchecked. Even now, supporters have come out for both the police force in McKinney and Casebolt, who has been suspended —- with pay. Owners of the pool where the incident occurred put up signs thanking the police for keeping them safe.

But what about the safety of the teenagers at the pool, for the young girl who was brutally restrained despite having nothing to do with the initial disturbance? We should show concern for them, too.

SOURCE

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS: SEPTEMBER 26, 2017

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

On September 26, the United Nations (UN) promotes a special day that calls for all countries to get rid of nuclear weapons.

Hiroshima’s Atomic Bomb Dome is a reminder of the city’s bombing destruction in 1945.
©Bigstockphoto.com/budgetstockphoto

17,000 Nuclear Weapons Worldwide

Nuclear weapons are explosive devices with a destructive power that comes from nuclear energy being released. More than half the world’s population live in countries that have nuclear weapons or are members of nuclear alliances. There are at least 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today.

One single nuclear device can destroy a whole city and eliminate the natural environment and lives of future generations. They have already destroyed entire cities, like Hiroshima in Japan, where at least 150,000 people were killed or wounded after the city was bombed during World War II.

A World Without Nuclear Weapons

One of the UN’s oldest goals is to achieve worldwide nuclear disarmament – in other words, to see the world free of nuclear weapons. In December 2013, the UN decided to create a day to inform people and push governments to see the social and economic benefits of not having nuclear weapons. The Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is one of the UN’s efforts to seek more action on nuclear disarmament.

What’s Open or Closed?

The day is a global observance and not a public holiday so it’s business as usual.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Fri Sep 26 2014 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons United Nations observance
Sat Sep 26 2015 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons United Nations observance
Mon Sep 26 2016 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons United Nations observance
Tue Sep 26 2017 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons United Nations observance
Wed Sep 26 2018 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons United Nations observance
Thu Sep 26 2019 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons United Nations observance
Sat Sep 26 2020 International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons United Nations observance

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SKYWATCH: NEW MAP OF WATER IN MOON DUST, KEPLER DISCOVERS PULSATIONS IN THE PLEIADES, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

New Map of Water in Moon Dust

Sky & Telescope
A new analysis maps out water across the lunar surface, revealing how its abundance changes with latitude. Read more…

An Atmosphere of Heavy Metals

Sky & Telescope
Researchers have found strong evidence of titanium oxide in the atmosphere of a hot giant planet, adding new insights to the complex motions of these planets’ extreme atmospheres. Read more…

Kepler Discovers Pulsations in the Pleiades

Sky & Telescope
The exoplanet-hunting Kepler satellite has long monitored thousands of stars, but the brightest ones have largely remained out of its reach — until now. Read more…

OSIRIS-REX to Fly by Earth on Friday

Sky & Telescope
NASA’s ambitious OSIRIS-REX asteroid sample return mission swings by Earth this Friday for a gravity assist en route to asteroid 101955 Bennu. Read more…

Supermassive Black Holes Discovered in Close Tango

Sky & Telescope
Astronomers have found what could be the closest known pair of supermassive black holes detected via direct imaging, orbiting each other only a light-year apart. Read more…

Some Cosmic Rays Come from Outside the Galaxy

Sky & Telescope
Astronomers have detected more extremely energetic cosmic particles coming from one side of the sky than the other. Read more…

Puffed-Up Hot Jupiter Is Surprisingly Dark

Sky & Telescope
Researchers have found that a football-shaped, ultra-hot gas giant that’s being devoured by its host star is also one of the least reflective exoplanets ever discovered. Read more…

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, September 22 – 30

Sky & Telescope
This week’s equinox marks the start of a new season. Titan should also be visible this week through even a small telescope. Read more…

How to See and Photograph Geosynchronous Satellites

Sky & Telescope
Dozens of satellites are busy day and night, beaming your favorite TV and radio programs from more than 35,000 kilometers away. Here’s how to tune into them. Read more…

Tour September’s Sky: Saturn Time!

Sky & Telescope
In September’s astronomy podcast, you’ll learn what’s special about the ringed planet Saturn, now visible in the evening sky. Read more…

S&T Webinar: When’s the Next Solar Eclipse?

Sky & Telescope
If you loved seeing August’s solar eclipse and are eager to see another one, don’t miss this live webinar on upcoming total and annular solar eclipses. Read more…

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HATEWATCH: HEADLINES FOR WEEK OF 9-23-2017

Hate in God’s Name: Part V

September 22, 2017

The ideology behind violent anti-abortion extremism

September 20, 2017

Federal prosecutors say they will ask a judge to send polygamous cult leader Lyle Jeffs to prison for five years and make him repay the U.S. government $1 million for fraudulently obtained food stamp funds.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY: SEPTEMBER 15, 2017

International Day of Democracy

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Democracy is annually held on September 15 to raise public awareness about democracy. Various activities and events are held around the world to promote democracy on this date.

Definition of democracy typed on a typewriter.
The International Day of Democracy aims to raise public awareness about democracy – its meaning and importance.
©iStockphoto.com/Richard Goerg

What Do People Do?

Many people and organizations worldwide, including government agencies and non-government organizations, hold various initiatives to promote democracy on the International Day of Democracy. Events and activities include discussions, conferences and press conferences involving keynote speakers, often those who are leaders or educators heavily involved in supporting and endorsing democratic governments and communities.

Leaflets, posters and flyers are placed in universities, public buildings, and places where people can learn more about how democracy is linked with factors such as freedom of expression and a tolerant culture. Organizations, such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), organize activities such as public opinion surveys about democracy and political tolerance.

There has been a campaign, known as the Global Democracy Day Initiative, which involves a petition being made to the UN and heads of states to officially adopt October 18 as Global Democracy Day to support International Day of Democracy.

Public Life

The International Day of Democracy is a UN observance day, however, it is not a public holiday.

Background

The UN strives to achieve its goals of peace, human rights and development. It believes that human rights and the rule of law are best protected in democratic societies. The UN also recognizes a fundamental truth about democracy everywhere – that democracy is the product of a strong, active and vocal civil society.

The UN general assembly decided on November 8, 2007, to make September 15 as the annual date to observe the International Day of Democracy. The assembly invited people and organizations, both government and non-government, to commemorate the International Day of Democracy. It also called for all governments to strengthen their national programs devoted to promoting and consolidating democracy. The assembly encouraged regional and other intergovernmental organizations to share their experiences in promoting democracy.

The International Day of Democracy was first celebrated in 2008. The UN general assembly recognized that the year 2008 marked the 20th anniversary of the first International Conference of New or Restored Democracies, which gave people a chance to focus on promoting and consolidating democracy worldwide.

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, enclosed by olive branches. The olive branches symbolize peace and the world map represents all the people of the world. It has been featured in black against a white background.

International Day of Democracy Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Wed Sep 15 2010 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Thu Sep 15 2011 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Sat Sep 15 2012 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Sun Sep 15 2013 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Mon Sep 15 2014 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Tue Sep 15 2015 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Thu Sep 15 2016 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Fri Sep 15 2017 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Sat Sep 15 2018 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Sun Sep 15 2019 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Tue Sep 15 2020 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY: SEPTEMBER 8, 2017

International Literacy Day

The United Nations’ (UN) International Literacy Day annually falls on September 8 to raise people’s awareness of and concern for literacy issues in the world.

UN International Literacy Day
International Literacy Day highlights the importance of literacy in areas such as health and education.
©iStockphoto.com/Emrah Turudu

What Do People Do?

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and its partners promote the day to underline the significance of literacy for healthy societies, with a strong emphasis on epidemics and communicable diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis and malaria.

In countries all over the world, including the United States and the United Kingdom, the day raises people’s awareness of and concern for literacy problems within their own communities. Activities such as letters to the editor in newspapers, as well as news reports about the concerns for low literacy levels, have occurred as a result of this increased awareness. Other activities include literacy day projects, particularly with regard to technology and literature, which are promoted by various organizations including reading associations.

Public Life

The UN’s International Literacy Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

According to UNESCO, about 774 million adults lack the minimum literacy skills. One in five adults is still not literate and two-thirds of them are women. About 75 million children are out-of-school and many more attend irregularly or drop out. However, literacy is also a cause for celebration on the day because there are nearly four billion literate people in the world.

The UN General Assembly proclaimed a 10-year period beginning on January 1, 2003, as the United Nations Literacy Decade. The assembly also welcomed the International Plan of Action for the Decade and decided for UNESCO to take a coordinating role in activities at an international level within the decade’s framework. On International Literacy Day each year, UNESCO reminds the international community of the status of literacy and adult learning globally. This day was first celebrated on September 8, 1966.

Symbols

UNESCO’s banners for the event feature the words “Literacy is the best remedy”. These banners have been produced in English, French, and Spanish. UNESCO’s logo features a drawing of a temple with the “UNESCO” acronym under the roof of the temple and on top of the temple’s foundation. Underneath the temple are the words “United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization”. This logo is often used in promotional material for International Literacy Day.

International Literacy Day Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Wed Sep 8 2010 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 8 2011 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Sat Sep 8 2012 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 8 2013 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Mon Sep 8 2014 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Tue Sep 8 2015 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Thu Sep 8 2016 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Fri Sep 8 2017 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Sat Sep 8 2018 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Sun Sep 8 2019 International Literacy Day United Nations observance
Tue Sep 8 2020 International Literacy Day United Nations observance

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