Israelis destroying historic Muslim cemetery to build a park


Ahmad Gharabli/AFP

A few metres away from the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound’s eastern walls lies the centuries-old Al-Yousufiya Cemetery, also known as the Bab al-Asbat (Lion’s Gate) Cemetery.

Over the past few weeks, videos and images of Palestinians clinging to their family members’ graves as Israeli forces arrest, beat, and attempt to forcibly pull them away have widely circulated on social media.

Israeli occupation authorities in Jerusalem have been moving ahead with plans to build a Jewish “national park” set to open in mid-2022 over parts of the cemetery, which spans more than 14 dunams (1.4 hectares) of land.

Three weeks ago, workers from the Israeli-controlled Jerusalem municipality and the Israel Nature and Parks Authority exposed human remains during excavations, causing outrage and unleashing continuous protests and prayers at the site.

Since then, Palestinians have been increasing their presence at the graveyard, including those going to protect their dead, and confronting Israeli forces, which responded with tear gas, stun grenades, physical beatings, arrests, temporary bans on individuals from visiting the cemetery.

People may debate whether the Israeli forces are committing a sin or a crime. No matter what you call this, it must stop. Since the political clown show in Washington is the major prop to the Israeli government, communicating rejection of this ongoing desecration to our own elected officials is worth doing. If for nothing else – a call for justice.

An earthquake lasted 32 years and ended in disaster

An 8.5-magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra in February 1861, shook the earth and caused a wall of water to wash away the nearby banks and kill thousands of people…Now it seems that the tragic incident was not an isolated incident: the truth is that It was the end of the longest documented earthquake to date, which occurred over a span of 32 years. These types of earthquakes, known as slow slip events, can occur over days, months, or years. But the recently described phenomenon lasted more than twice as long as the previous record holder, as stated in an article published in natural earth sciences…

Like fast phenomena, slow earthquakes release energy stored by the movements of tectonic plates. But instead of releasing it into an earth-shaking storm, slow earthquakes release tension little by little over time and are not a danger on their own. However, subtle changes below the surface can increase pressure in adjacent areas along the fault, which could increase the risk of a larger nearby earthquake…

In 2016, Reshav Malik from Nanyang Technological University analyzed coral reef data with fresh eyes. By modeling the physics of the subduction zone and the movement of fluids along the fault, the researchers discovered that the rapid change was caused by the release of accumulated stress – the onset of a slow earthquake…

Understanding these slow phenomena is critical to understanding the potential risks they pose in causing larger tremors. Slow landslides preceded many of the strongest earthquakes documented to date…“It’s a hot topic in this area,” says Noel Bartlow, a slow seismic geophysicist at the University of Kansas who was not involved in the study. But proving that slow slip events can cause major geological earthquakes has been difficult. Not all slow earthquakes cause a large earthquake…“The evidence is growing, but it is still limited to a few case studies…”

Worth learning about. Of course. As our knowledge and research technology improves, we find more to research…in addition to what prompted study in the first place.

Trump’s wall sucks big time!

Gate in bollard-style fencing…along the U.S.-Mexico border. The gates remain open during the summer, with strands of barbed wire to prevent cattle from crossing the border.

Ha ha ha. Donald Trump’s impermeable wall ain’t so impermeable, after all. Not even these high walls of racist fury can withstand good ol’ Mother Nature: The Washington Post reported Thursday that the president’s beloved border wall between the U.S. and Mexico would need to leave portions wide open every summer to prevent flash floods from knocking it over…

In the Southwest, monsoon season comes around from June to September. Arizona and New Mexico receive up to half of their annual rainfall during these months. Though these storms—often accompanied by roaring thunder and lightning—can be healthy for the vegetation in need of some water, it’s no good for infrastructure in the area. This phenomenon is a result of the land and the Pacific Ocean warming up, but because the land warms faster than the ocean, the air pressure begins to affect the wind. This air, which is full of moisture, eventually makes its way from northern Mexico into the Southwestern U.S., where it pours.

What’s worse, climate change is making this monsoon season worse, according to a 2017 study. If the president wants to build this ridiculous wall, he may have to come to terms with the reality of climate change. That, or risk it being washed away by worsening storms. Or, as we’re already seeing, falling due to high winds. Nature is just as over this goddamn wall as I am.

Mother Nature couldn’t care a rat’s ass for all the concerns about borders, nationalities, legal/illegal crossings that occupy the tiniest of brain cells in police, pimps, so-called patriots and prigs.

5 (of 120) Women Photograpers


Consuelo Kanaga, by Annie Mae Merriweather, 1935

A new show opened July 2nd at the Metropolitan Museum of Art continuing recent efforts to reinsert women into the history of photography. Organized by Andrea Nelson and Mia Fineman with Virginia McBride, “The New Woman Behind the Camera” features 120 women photographers working during the 20th century. Its focus is not only Western artists who are already well-known, such as Dorothea Lange and Claude Cahun, but also under-recognized artists from other parts of the world whose work has been influential.

Look at five under-recognized artists included in the Met show, which is slated to travel to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. after its run in New York.

One of those rare moments when I regret leaving the metropolitan Northeast. Quite rare. But, I don’t travel well, anymore. Too much of that as part of earning a living much of my life. Perhaps someone will produce something in video or print recording the experience of wandering through this show.

How a train wreck in the 19th Century was recreated for a film…


Gare de l’Ouest train wreck – 1895
This extraordinary accident occurred on October 22, 1895 at Montparnasse, then known as Gare de l’Ouest. The driver of the express train from Granville to Paris, hoping to make up time for its 131 passengers, increased the train’s speed and the air brake failed…Smashing through the track buffers, the express careered across the station concourse, broke through the station wall, and crashed to the street below, where it remained for four days drawing crowds of curious onlookers.

For Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, New Deal Studios created a 1:4 scale train and station facade and street to recreate the 1895 Gare Montparnasse train derailment in Paris…

And here is how they did it.

[As soon as the final crash ends at 4 minutes 24 seconds, hit the cancel button at the bottom … unless you’re interested in several more short train-related videos. The video carries on into that link automagically.]

A guide to hate symbols at the Capitol riots


Roberto Schmidt/AFP

The sweatshirt, spotted amid the mob that stormed the U.S. Capitol, seemed designed to provoke fear.

“Camp Auschwitz,” it read, along with the message “Work brings freedom” — a rough translation of the message that greeted Jewish prisoners at the infamous Nazi concentration camp.

The back of the shirt said “Staff.”

A photo of the man wearing the sweatshirt was just one of the images of hateful symbols that have circulated from the mob, whose violence led to four deaths and wreaked havoc on Congress. Confederate flags and nooses were among the overt hate signs that the insurrection brought into the Capitol…

Other slogans — on flags, clothing or signs — were code for a gamut of conspiracy theories and extremist ideologies. Here’s what you need to know about them and the far-right movements they represent.

Click the link up top, first two words of this post, and carry on through the entire piece. Many of you may know of the detail and depth of Nazi arrogance these criminals embrace. My peers in movements against racism, bigotry, fighting for international peace…never forget. Some of you may need to learn.

It’s been about 50 years since I visited Auschwitz. An international memorial, now, to the millions, who died at the hands of fascist Germany. I was there with a woman a couple decades older than me. Her husband, her two sons, were murdered there. She escaped to the Soviet Union – and then courageously went back into Poland, into the Underground Resistance, to help organize more escapes from that pit of death and torture.

One of the bravest people I’ve ever known.

Fences affect environments around the world…rarely studied or regulated


Marian Deschain

What is the most common form of human infrastructure in the world? It may well be the fence. Recent estimates suggest that the total length of all fencing around the globe is 10 times greater than the total length of roads…

On every continent, from cities to rural areas and from ancient to modern times, humans have built fences. But we know almost nothing about their ecological effects. Border fences are often in the news, but other fences are so ubiquitous that they disappear into the landscape, becoming scenery rather than subject.

[In fact]…compiling studies from ecosystems around the world…research shows that fences produce a complex range of ecological effects.

I love articles that jog my brain into looking at my own life’s landscape to examine/re-examine the subject matter. Living where barbed wire rules, here in the American Southwest, you have to think about fences anywhere you roam.