Thursday, June 25, 2009

Dylan Rosser's art

Beautiful lovers

Sign Avaaz Petition for Human Rights in Iran!

Dear Friends,

Iranian activists have appealed to the world to oppose the violent crackdown on their protests. Massive new protests are planned, the regime is divided. A united global outcry of 1 million voices could help stop the violence. Call on world leaders to unite against the crackdown:

Sign the petition
Today, the hearts and hopes of people around the world are with protesters facing awful risks on the streets of Iran. Regardless of who won the election, the question now is one of fundamental human rights.

Top Iranian leaders are divided, so every bit of pressure matters. With massive new protests imminent, Iranian activists are urgently appealing for a united international response to oppose the violent crackdown.

Sign the petition below calling on ALL governments to condemn the crackdown and withhold recognition of any Iranian government until election concerns are peacefully addressed. Then forward this email to friends and family -- let's build a massive global outcry of 1 million voices against the crackdown:

We'll deliver the petition directly to the leaders of Iran's largest trading partners and the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the UN, and other international groups respected in Iran. A united international response will puncture the regime's spin that the US and UK alone are behind global criticism.

People power is sweeping global politics. But where leaders respond violently to nonviolent protest, from Burma to Zimbabwe to Iran, global solidarity is needed to show governments that repression weakens their rule, rather than strengthening it.

Avaaz means "voice" in Farsi, the Iranian language. Let's show the people of Iran that, whoever they voted for, we support their right to have their voices heard. Click below to sign the petition, and spread the word by forwarding this email:

With hope and determination,

Ricken, Ben, Milena, Paul, Raluca, Brett, Iain, Pascal, Raj, Graziela, Taren, Paula, Margaret, Veronique and the whole Avaaz team.

PS - For more information on the Iranian elections and protests see these news sources:

BBC -- "Iran silences protesters":

Associated Press -- "Struggle amongst Iran's clerics bursts into the open":

Al Jazeera -- "Iran's Mousavi urges defiance" :

The Huffington Post -- Iran Live blog:

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Golden Pride

Too sexy

The real meaning of "Hate Crimes"

Why is the theory of "Hate Crimes" legislation so difficult to understand? Is it because of the name "Hate Crimes"? Or, is it just willful ignorance and an unwillingness to learn?

The theory behind hate crimes legislation is that the protected groups are victims of crimes, not because they are hated on a "personal" level, but because the group they belong to is hated. The only reason they are attacked is because they are a part of that hated group. And, the attack is not intended to just hurt the person who was attacked. It is also intended to send a message to the rest of the members of the group. The attacker is also sending the message that you better "stay in line" or you'll be next.

Hate crimes legislation also allows the federal government to get involved in the investigation of a crime when the local government can't or won't investigate. When the "local yokel" sheriff doesn't investigate because the victim was gay and they deserved what they got.

What do you think "lynchings" and "cross burnings" in the south were all about. They were to scare the shit out of the rest of the black community. And, how often did the local authorities look the other way and not investigate and/or prosecute the crimes?

That's what Hate Crimes legislation is designed to take care of.
It doesn't mean "some people are more protected", it means "some reasons for crime are more heinous".

Friday, June 5, 2009

Loving gay couples

Alessandro Michetti, alias INSY LOAN

Voglio parlarvi di una persona meravigliosa che ha scritto un libro spassoso, leggero e profondo allo stesso tempo: il libro la cui copertina vedete sopra. E' la vita di un ragazzo dei nostri tempi, che, per caso, è gay. Insy racconta questa sua vita con un tono simpaticamente scanzonato, con una deliziosa autoironia, raccontando episodi buffi e drammatici (o tutti e due) che gli sono capitati tra l'adolescenza e la vita adulta, la scoperta di essere gay, le oprime esperienzw, gli studi, il servizio militare come agente di polizia, il primo vero amore per un ragazzo molto particolare,che gli farà scoprire cosa vuol dire amare sul serio. Ma Imsy racconta anche episodi non privi di drammaticità con un'arte narrativa deliziosamente soft. Sentendo parlare questo giovane uomo di 30 e x anni me ne sono innamorato. Spero che leggeremo altre opere di Insy Loan. Sono felice che sia venuto nella mia città, Brescia, e gli auguro di diventare l'Armistead Maupin italiano. E' un libro delizioso, che raccomando a gay e ad etero.E' spassoso, ma fa anche confidenza...Ale dal vivo è CARINISSIMO!

Thursday, June 4, 2009



Why to be islamophobic


Exposing the Islamophobes

“Nothing in our faith says it’s OK to kill anyone.”
(Ahmed Bedier of the Council on American-Islamic Relations)

"Slay the unbelievers wherever ye find them..."
(The 'Holy' Qur'an, Verse 9:5)

Islamophobe (is-slahm-o-fohb) - A non-Muslim who knows more than they are supposed to about Islam.

Islamophobia is a fear of losing life or liberty to Islamic rule merely because the laws, sacred texts, and modern practices of Islam demand the submission of culture, politics, religion and all social expression. It tends to afflict those most familiar with the religion, while sparing the more gullible.

In Muhammad's day, Islamophobia was treated with a practice known as beheading. Since this is now impractical outside of the Muslim world, the condition is best addressed by means of prevention. Such preventive measures include willful ignorance - which is best assisted with a strong dose of taqiyya.

The fact is that when Islam checks in, a lot of folks wind up checking out... permanently. Therefore Islamophobes are a pretty broad group.

Islamophobes include:

Hindus, Christians, and Jews who don’t want to be forced into a political system in which they are treated as third-class citizens. (Islamic teaching)

Atheists who want the freedom to live openly as such and publicly challenge religious orthodoxy. (Islamic teaching)

Women who don’t want to be draped in black bags. (Islamic teaching)

Heterosexual males who don’t want to see women draped in black bags. (Islamic teaching)

Drinkers (this one's important). (Islamic teaching)

Artists (not quite as important). (Islamic teaching)

Homosexuals who don’t want to be beaten to death. (Islamic teaching)

Anyone else who believes that consenting adults should not be killed or tortured over sexual practices. (Islamic teaching)

Liberals who don’t believe that cultural and moral values should be established by a state-sponsored religion. (Get past The Religion Barrier, for god's sake)

Dog lovers. (Islamic teaching).

Mothers who don’t want their daughters killed over a man’s “honor.” (Islamic teaching)

Intellectuals who value freedom of conscience and public dissent. (Islamic teaching)

Feminists who believe that women should not be made subordinate to men by a religion which openly insists that females are the intellectual and legal inferior of males. (Islamic teaching)

Anyone else who objects to a religion in which a woman’s identity is defined by her relationship to a man. (Islamic teaching)

The left-handed (Islamic teaching).

Conservatives who believe in preserving the Western heritage responsible for the civil freedom, political liberty and economic success which has attracted the flood of immigrants from Muslim nations, where such values are conspicuously lacking. (Islamic teaching)

Muslims who would like the freedom to leave Islam. (Islamic teaching)

And many more...

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

L'arte di sadao Hasegawa


China,Peking,Tian an Men Square, fourth of June 1989: they were students, citizens who pleaded for freedom and justice. The communist government massacred them, slaughtering them pitilessly. They demanded freedom. They received death.
Even now the Chinese government shamefully tries to suppress the memory of this heinous crime against its own people.
Honor to Chinese Freedom Martyrs.
May Justice and human Rights prevail

Monday, June 1, 2009

Discovery: Even Tiny Stars Have Planets

By staff

posted: 28 May 2009
02:01 pm ET

A Jupiter-like planet has been discovered orbiting one of the smallest stars known, suggesting that planets could be more common than previously thought.

This exoplanet finding is the first discovery for a long-proposed tool for hunting planets, called astrometry.

"This is an exciting discovery because it shows that planets can be found around extremely lightweight stars," said Wesley Traub, the chief scientist for NASA's Exoplanet Exploration Program at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "This is a hint that nature likes to form planets, even around stars very different from the sun."

Long-awaited success

Astrometry was first attempted 50 years ago to search for planets outside our solar system, but the method requires very precise measurements over long periods of time, and until now, has failed to turn up any exoplanets.

The technique involves measuring the precise motions of a star on the sky as an unseen planet tugs the star back and forth.

A team of two astronomers from JPL has, for the past 12 years, been mounting an astrometry instrument to a telescope at the Palomar Observatory near San Diego. After careful, intermittent observations of 30 stars, the team has identified a new exoplanet around one of them.

"This method is optimal for finding solar-system configurations like ours that might harbor other Earths," said team member Steven Pravdo of JPL. "We found a Jupiter-like planet at around the same relative place as our Jupiter, only around a much smaller star. It's possible this star also has inner rocky planets. And since more than seven out of 10 stars are small like this one, this could mean planets are more common than we thought."

The discovery will be detailed in the Astrophysical Journal.

The newfound exoplanet, called VB 10b, is about 20 light-years away in the constellation Aquila (a light-year is the distance that light travels in a year, about 6 trillion miles or 10 trillion kilometers). It is a gas giant, with a mass six times that of Jupiter, and an orbit far enough away from its star to be labeled a "cold Jupiter" similar to our own.

In reality, though, the planet's own internal heat would give it an Earth-like temperature.

The planet's star, called VB 10, is tiny. It is what's known as an M-dwarf and is only one-twelfth the mass of our sun, just barely big enough to fuse atoms at its core and shine with starlight.

Mini solar system

For years, VB 10 was the smallest star known — now it has a new title: the smallest star known to host a planet. In fact, though the star is more massive than the newfound planet, the two bodies would have a similar girth.

Because the star is so small, its planetary system would be a miniature, scaled-down version of our own.

For example, VB 10b, though considered a cold Jupiter, is located about as far from its star as Mercury is from the sun. (In contrast, so-called "hot Jupiters" orbit so close to their stars that their surfaces are thought to be scorching.) Any rocky Earth-size planets that might happen to be in the neighborhood would lie even closer in.

"Other known exoplanets around larger M-dwarf stars are also similar to our Jupiter, making the stars fertile ground for future Earth searches," said team member Stuart Shaklan, also of JPL. "Astrometry is best suited to find cold Jupiters around all kinds of stars, and thus to find more planetary systems arranged like our home."

Tiny movements

Two to six times a year, for the past 12 years, Pravdo and Shaklan have bolted their Stellar Planet Survey instrument onto Palomar's five-meter Hale telescope to search for planets.

The instrument, which has a 16 megapixel charge-coupled device, or CCD, can detect very minute changes in the positions of stars. The VB 10b planet, for instance, causes its star to wobble a small fraction of a degree. Detecting this wobble is equivalent to measuring the width of a human hair from about 1.8 miles, or three kilometers, away.

Other ground-based planet-hunting techniques in wide use include radial velocity and the transit method. These methods have discovered more than 300 extrasolar planets to date.

Like astrometry, radial velocity detects the wobble of a star, but it measures Doppler shifts in the star's light caused by motion toward and away from us.

The transit method looks for dips in a star's brightness as orbiting planets pass by and block the light. NASA's space-based Kepler mission, which began searching for planets on May 12, will use the transit method to look for Earth-like worlds around stars similar to the sun.

Naked Tarzan