SKYWATCH: URANUS VISITS A STAR, JUPITER’S BELT UPHEAVAL, AND MORE

Observing
Uranus in late September 2012

Uranus’s Rare Close Encounter

September 18, 2012 | The planet Uranus is spectacularly close to an almost identically bright star throughout late September. > read more

Big Breakout on Jupiter

September 17, 2012 | One of the big planet’s iconic dark belts has been roiling with activity, rewarding observers with the most dramatic eruptions there since 1926. > read more

Tour September’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

August 31, 2012 | Some of this month’s sky sights are low down along the horizon: Saturn and Mars in the west after sunset, the first-quarter Moon in the south, and Jupiter when it rises around midnight in the east. > read more

News

Dark Energy Camera

Fermilab

Four Mammoth Cameras Take On the Sky

September 20, 2012 | The Dark Energy Camera is one of four new cameras that started taking images of big chunks of the night sky this past month. > read more

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

Dawn view

This Week’s Sky at a Glance

September 21, 2012 | Waxing from first quarter to full this week, the Moon steps across the evening constellations from south to east. To observe Jupiter, you no longer have to set an alarm clock. And don’t miss the weekend conjunction of Uranus and a similar star. > read more

SkyWeek Television Show
View SkyWeek as seen on PBS click here to watch this week’s episodeSponsored by Meade Instruments

September 17 - 23, 2012 Powered by TheSkyX from Software Bisque

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COLORLINES: RINKU SEN: “CULTURE MATTERS IN THE IMMIGRATION DEBATE”

Immigrants Are Losing the Policy Fight. But That’s Beside the Point

When reform advocates begin to win a profoundly racialized cultural fight over the nation’s identity, our politics will follow.

Rinku Sen explains.

Mitt Romney’s ‘47 Percent’ Remarks Have Everything To Do With Race

Mitt Romney didn’t use the word “black” in his ‘47 percent’ remarks. He didn’t have to. Imara Jones says the nature of Romney’s economic smear took care of it all.

At Towson Univ., A Student Makes His Case for a White Student Union

If black students can have their own, why can’t white students? Julianne Hing looks at how a Maryland university is tackling thorny questions of race and privilege.

What Kind of House Does an Imprisoned Man Dream About? Herman Wallace is a 70-year-old man who’s spent every day of his life in prison since he was convicted of bank robbery in 1967. A new film examines an unexpected friendship and his uncanny escape to freedom.

Study: Latino Stereotypes Thrive in the Media, Negative Attitudes Dominate An important new study has confirmed many of our hunches about how negative media narratives and portrayals of brown people play out in the minds of non-Latinos.

Pa. Supreme Court Doubts State Can Comply With Its Own Voter ID Law From the voters’ perspective, the Court’s unresolved issue is rooted in the age-old conundrum best expressed by Mos Def: “Why do I need ID to get ID? If I had ID, I wouldn’t need ID.”

Romney Asked Four Times If He’ll Get Rid of Deferred Action, No Clear Answer Romney first criticized President Obama for failing to pass immigration reform and then pledged to do the job himself but evaded the actual question.

Latina Voter Schools Romney in New Political AdThe ad includes Romney’s ’47 percent’ remarks and a response from a Latina voter who points out that the reason the GOP candidate is losing among Latinos isn’t because of his race.

More Asian Models at N.Y. Fashion Week, But the Industry Is Not Post-Racial As fashion labels see increasing opportunities for sales growth in Asian countries they’re filling up runways with Asian models. But not everything is as beautiful as it seems.

Newsweek Muslim Rage Cover Inspires Parodies The Twitter community responds to Newsweek’s “Muslim Rage” cover with their own sensible rage and humor.

Black Gay Comedian Wanda Sykes: ‘Only Way GOP Could Hate Me More’ Is If I Rolled Around in Pile of Welfare Checks Black, gay and female comedian Wanda Sykes says the only way the GOP could possibly hate her more is if she sent them a video of her “rolling around on a pile of welfare checks.”

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE: SEPTEMBER 21, 2012

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Peace is annually held on September 21 to recognize the efforts of individuals, organizations and governments to end conflict and promote peace.

Local names

Name Language
International Day of Peace English
Día Internacional de la Paz Spanish

Alternative name

Peace Day

International Day of Peace 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

International Day of Peace 2013

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Peace is celebrated on September 21 each year to recognize the efforts of those who have worked hard to end conflict and promote peace. The International Day of Peace is also a day of ceasefire – personal or political.

UN International Day of PeaceThe dove is a symbol often associated with the International Day of Peace. ©iStockphoto.com/Sue McDonald

What do people do?

On the International Day of Peace, also known as Peace Day, people around the world take part in various activities and organize events centered on the theme “peace”. Events vary from private gatherings to public concerts and forums involving large audiences. Activities include:

  • Interfaith peace ceremonies.
  • A toast for peace.
  • A peace choir.
  • Lighting candles.
  • Peace prayers.
  • A peace convoy of vehicles.
  • Tree planting for peace.
  • Art exhibitions promoting peace.
  • Picnics for peace.
  • Peace walks.

Organizations such as Roots & Shoots, an international environmental and humanitarian program for youth, show their support for the event on an annual basis. Young people involved in Roots & Shoots may engage in activities such as crafting giant peace dove puppets from re-used materials and flying the doves in their communities. People from diverse religious and spiritual backgrounds also commit to organizing an International Day of Peace Vigil. Some groups observe a minute of silence at noon in every time zone across the world on Peace Day.

Public life

The UN’s International Day of Peace is a global observance and not a public holiday. It is a day when nations around the world are invited to honor a cessation of hostilities during the day.

Background

A UN resolution established the International Day of Peace in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the UN General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in 1982 and was held on the third Tuesday of September each year until 2002, when September 21 became the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. The assembly decided in 2001 that the International Day of Peace should be annually observed on September 21 starting from 2002. By setting a fixed date for the International Day of Peace, the assembly declared that the day should be observed as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.

By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged people to work in cooperation for this goal. Since its inception, Peace Day has marked personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people worldwide and many events are organized each year to commemorate and celebrate this day.

Symbols

The peace dove flying with an olive branch in its beak is one of the most commonly featured symbols for the day. In Judaism, Christianity, and Islam a white dove is generally a sign for peace. The dove can also represent “hope for peace” or a peace offering from one person to another, hence the phrase “to extend an olive branch”. Often, the dove is represented as still in flight to remind people of its role as messenger.

External links

International Day of Peace: September 21

International Day of Peace Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Tue Sep 21 1982 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 20 1983 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 18 1984 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 17 1985 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 16 1986 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 15 1987 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 20 1988 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 19 1989 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 18 1990 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 17 1991 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 15 1992 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 21 1993 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 20 1994 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 19 1995 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 17 1996 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 16 1997 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 15 1998 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 21 1999 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 19 2000 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 18 2001 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Sat Sep 21 2002 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Sun Sep 21 2003 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 21 2004 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Wed Sep 21 2005 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Thu Sep 21 2006 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Fri Sep 21 2007 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Sun Sep 21 2008 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Mon Sep 21 2009 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Tue Sep 21 2010 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Wed Sep 21 2011 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Fri Sep 21 2012 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Sat Sep 21 2013 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Sun Sep 21 2014 International Day of Peace United Nations observance
Mon Sep 21 2015 International Day of Peace United Nations observance

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HATEWATCH: VALUES VOTER SPEAKERS MOSTLY AVOID INCENDIARY ANTI-GAY RHETORIC

Values Voter Speakers Mostly Avoid Incendiary Anti-Gay Rhetoric

by Heidi Beirich  on September 14, 2012

For the social conservatives who gathered in Washington, D.C., today for this year’s Values Voter Summit, the first day’s speeches must have been a bit disappointing. There was hardly a peep about the LGBT people who are so often the target of vicious rhetoric and false propaganda used by the summit’s host, the Family Research Council, and some of its co-sponsoring groups.

In fact, the star attraction, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, stuck mostly to foreign policy and the economy – as did House Majority leader Eric Cantor.

That clearly frustrated American Family Association’s (AFA) Bryan Fischer, an unrelenting gay-basher who has blamed gay men for orchestrating the Holocaust and claimed that the HIV virus doesn’t cause AIDS.

“The biggest mistake is they put a bag over Paul Ryan’s head,” he told Talking Points Memo. Fischer added that he was “deeply disturbed” that the congressman from Wisconsin did not even mention his campaign’s opposition to gay marriage. “I got to believe that there was some kind of directive from the top of the campaign: We don’t want you to deal with this issue.”

There may be some truth to what Fischer says – though that would be a rarity.

In his speech, Tim Wildmon, Fischer’s boss at the AFA, told the crowd he “had to stick to his script” and “stay on message.” As a result he read from prepared remarks that mostly involved discussions of historical figures.

It seems everyone wanted to be on their best behavior.

Even Muslim-bashing appeared to be off-limits, perhaps because of the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya and the spreading anti-American violence triggered by an anti-Islam propaganda film made in the U.S. that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad in particularly offensive ways.

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann couldn’t help herself, though. She warned of looming speech codes enforced by Muslims and of a 10-year plan led by an international Islamic institute to install Shariah law in America

Meanwhile, Terry Jones, the Koran-burning pastor of the tiny Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., had planned an anti-LGBT protest outside the White House tomorrow, perhaps timed to take advantage of the social conservatives who be in town for the summit.

Jones is among the extremists who promoted “The Innocence of Muslims,” the amateurish film that triggered mob violence across the Middle East this week. Earlier, his burning of a Koran led to deadly riots in Afghanistan.

But on Thursday, Jones released a press release saying his protest had been postponed “due to the current international events.”

Maybe he got the memo, too.

SOURCE

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ROMNEY AND THE 47 PERCENT

Color edit toon Romney 47 percent.jpg

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE OZONE LAYER: SEPTEMBER 16, 2012

 

INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE PRESERVATION OF THE OZONE LAYER

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer focuses on the importance of protecting human health and the environment.

Local names

Name Language
International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer English
Día Internacional de la Preservación de la Capa de Ozono Spanish

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated on September 16 every year. This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987.

UN International Day for the Preservation of the OzoneThe earth’s ozone layer plays an important role in protecting human health and the environment. ©iStockphoto.com/Stephen Strathdee

What do people do?

On this day primary and secondary school educators throughout the world organize classroom activities that focus on topics related to the ozone layer, climate change and ozone depletion. Some teachers use educational packages from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that have been specifically tailored to address topics about the earth’s ozone layer.

Other activities that are organized by different community groups, individuals, schools and local organizations across the world include: the promotion of ozone friendly products; special programs and events on saving the ozone layer; the distribution of the UNEP’s public awareness posters to be used for events centered on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer; and the distribution of awards to those who worked hard to protect the earth’s ozone layer.

Public Life

The UN’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

In 1987 representatives from 24 countries met in Montreal and announced to the world that it was time to stop destroying the ozone layer. In so doing, these countries committed themselves, via the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to rid the world of substances that threaten the ozone layer.

On December 19, 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16 to be the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date when the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. The day was first celebrated on September 16, 1995.

Symbols

Many promotional items used for the day feature images of the sun, sky, or earth’s natural environment to represent the ozone’s importance in protecting the environment. Selected winning paintings from the 1998 Children’s Painting Competition, which was part of UNEP’s public awareness campaign at the time, have since been reproduced on posters, calendars, publications, and other material.

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday type Where it is observed
Sat Sep 16 1995 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Mon Sep 16 1996 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Tue Sep 16 1997 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Wed Sep 16 1998 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Thu Sep 16 1999 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Sat Sep 16 2000 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Sun Sep 16 2001 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Mon Sep 16 2002 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Tue Sep 16 2003 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Thu Sep 16 2004 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Fri Sep 16 2005 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Sat Sep 16 2006 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Sun Sep 16 2007 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Tue Sep 16 2008 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Wed Sep 16 2009 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Thu Sep 16 2010 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Fri Sep 16 2011 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Sun Sep 16 2012 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Mon Sep 16 2013 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Tue Sep 16 2014 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance
Wed Sep 16 2015 International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer United Nations observance

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INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY: SEPTEMBER 15, 2012

 

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF DEMOCRACY

Quick Facts

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Democracy is observed on September 15 each year.

Local names

Name Language
International Day of Democracy English
Día Internacional de la Democracia Spanish

International Day of Democracy 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

International Day of Democracy 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

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 but 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 Where it is observed
Mon Sep 15 2008 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
Tue Sep 15 2009 International Day of Democracy United Nations observance
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

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