Showing posts from April, 2005

The Agony of War

The Agony of War By Bob Herbert Nothing is so beautiful and wonderful, nothing is so continually fresh and surprising, so full of sweet and perpetual ecstasy, as the good." — Simone Weil "There's no doubt in my mind that the good Lord has his hands full right now." — The Rev. Ted Oswald at the funeral Mass for Marla Ruzicka In a horrifying incident that occurred in the spring of 2003, an Iraqi woman threw two of her children, an infant and a toddler, out the window of a car that had been hit accidentally in an American rocket attack. The woman and the rest of her family perished in the black smoke and flames of the wreckage. The toddler, whose name was Zahraa, was severely burned. She died two weeks later. The infant, named Harah, was not badly hurt. She was photographed recently on the lap of Marla Ruzicka, a young humanitarian-aid worker from California who was herself killed a little over a week ago in the flaming wreckage of a car that was destroyed in a suicide

Forgotten Holocaust

Turkey's offer to check the historical documents from the first world war era in both Armenia and Turkey is a prudent step. However, the on going denial of responsibility of possibly systematic killings of as hign as millions of Armenians by the old Ottoman Turks is not conducive. There should also be serious investigation on British role when the British ships anchored in the port but did not intervene in the massacre. Regards, Sohel Forgotten holocaust It is not every day that there is a chance to ponder the significance of events that happened in the distant past, so tomorrow's 90th anniversary of the start of what Armenians call their genocide at the hands of the Turks should not pass unnoticed. This subject cannot be tackled without negotiating a minefield of claim, counter-claim and fury. Many historians believe that between 1915 and 1923 the Ottoman Turkish authorities orchestrated the killing of 1.5 million Armenian Christians. Turkish governments ha

Guilty Until Proven Innocent

Dear Readers, In Ian McEwan's recently published novel "Saturday", the protagonist explores his feelings in this contemporary world, "Have his anxieties been making a fool of him? It's part of the new order, this narrowing of mental freedom, of his right to roam. Not so long ago his thoughts ranged more unpredictably, over a longer list of subjects. He suspects he's becoming a dupe, the willing, febrile consumer of news fodder, opinion, speculation and of all the crumbs the authorities let fall. He's a docile citizen, watching Leviathan grow stronger while he creeps under its shadow for protection." (Page 180) Many predicts the current crisis in our world to last at least one hundred years, that is a hundred year war, far exceeding most of our contemporary world citizenry's life span, even most of the next generation descendants' lives will be near the end before the "war" ends or transmutes into something else, into more wa

One Hundred Years of Uncertainty

One Hundred Years of Uncertainty By BRIAN GREENE UST about a hundred years ago, Albert Einstein began writing a paper that secured his place in the pantheon of humankind's greatest thinkers. With his discovery of special relativity, Einstein upended the familiar, thousands-year-old conception of space and time. To be sure, even a century later, not everyone has fully embraced Einstein's discovery. Nevertheless, say "Einstein" and most everyone thinks "relativity." What is less widely appreciated, however, is that physicists call 1905 Einstein's "miracle year" not because of the discovery of relativity alone, but because in that year Einstein achieved the unimaginable, writing four papers that each resulted in deep and formative changes to our understanding of the universe. One of these papers - not on relativity - garnered him the 1921 Nobel Prize in physics. It also began a transformation in physics that Einstein found so

Mallam Sile -- a Story by Mohammed Naseehu Ali

This is a story that reads like a pure joy, with its depiction of life of a tea seller, short in stature but tall in heart, and his wife who was like an "elephant", protecting, and caring her too "humane" hubby, confrontations with bullies and the poignant truth it tells regarding standing up on one's own feet against the "evildoers" in Zongo Street of Ghana. A must read. Regards, Sohel MALLAM SILE by MOHAMMED NASEEHU ALI Issue of 2005-04-11 Posted 2005-04-04 He was popularly known as mai tea , or the tea seller. His shop was situated right in the navel of Zongo Street—a stone’s throw from the chief’s assembly shed and adjacent to the kiosk where Mansa BBC, the town gossip, sold her provisions. Along with fried eggs and white butter bread, Mallam Sile carried all kinds of beverages: regular black tea, Japanese green tea, Milo, Bournvita, cocoa drink, instant coffee. But on Zongo

Arsenic Rooted From Water

This can be an "affordable solution" for Bangladesh and other nations those are facing acute problems of arsenic contaminiation in water. Regards, Sohel Arsenic Rooted From Water Powdered water hyacinth roots rapidly remove arsenic from water MICHAEL FREEMANTLE ARSENIC SPONGE The abundant water hyacinth could provide an inexpensive water purification material. USDA PHOTO BY TED CENTER One of the most problematic weeds in the world could prove useful for cleaning up water supplies contaminated with arsenic. Principal lecturer Parvez I. Haris and coworkers at De Montfort University, Leicester, England, have shown that dried roots of the water hyacinth, Eichhornia crassipes , rapidly reduce arsenic concentrations in water to levels less than the maximum value for drinking water recommended by the World Health Organization ( J. Environ. Monit., published online March 7, ). Naturally occurring arsenic contaminates drinking water in

A Mystery of Body and Soul

A Mystery of Body and Soul By Philip Clayton Sunday, April 3, 2005; Page B01 In these strangely subdued days since the news of Terri Schiavo's death, I've begun to understand more clearly why her case transfixed a nation. It isn't only that Schiavo's dilemma has confronted us all with questions about how we will make life-and-death decisions for ourselves or our loved ones. It's that her last days force us to reflect on the very nature of human identity and the value of an individual life. The backdrop for that reflection is the conflict that underlies so many debates these days -- between science, with its amazingly accurate data and testable theories, and religion, with its focus on the moral and spiritual qualities that make us people in the first place. And, unlike the battle between evolution and creationism, where extreme positions have been staked out, Schiavo's personal story has left many of us feeling tugged both ways. As a philos