Thursday, June 28, 2012

Black and white kiss

Why "Sin" Needs to be Taken Out of Homosexuality, from the blog of Michael In Norfolk

As anyone reading this blog for any time period knows, I have absolutely no use for those who hang onto a few passages from the Bible to support their ignorant and bigoted view that homosexuality is a "sin." Especially since EVERY legitimate medical and mental health association in the country says it's something natural and not a "choice." Thus one can selectively cling to the myths authored by ignorant, uneducated Bronze age herders (who authored all kinds of other batshitery that the pious ones now conveniently ignore) or one can accept objective fact and scientific knowledge. Unfortunately, we know which option the Christofascists, the Catholic Church leadership and the professional Christians have chosen. And this deliberate decision to make sinful what is not has deadly consequences. I've known young gay men who ended their own lives because they could not deal with this "sin" which they never sought out. In an interview, Tyler Clementi's parents seem to belatedly discovered the deadly consequences of putting religious based ignorance and prejudice ahead of knowledge and decency towards others. Here are highlights from Rock Center with Brian Williams: Tyler Clementi’s parents, Jane and Joe Clementi, and his older brother James told Rock Center exclusively that Tyler was struggling with many issues before his death. But they believe Ravi’s decision to spy on Tyler during a sexual encounter with another man in his dorm room played a role in the suicide. They also say they have changed their views on homosexuality in the wake of their son’s death. ‘Whatever underlying depressions or pains that were going on with [Tyler], that was straw that broke the camel’s back and that was the thing that pushed him to the breaking point,” James Clementi told NBC’s Lester Holt in an interview scheduled to air Thursday, June 28 at 10pm/9c. “I think it was – it was the humiliation that his roommates and his dorm mates were watching him in a very intimate act and that they were laughing behind his back,” said Jane Clementi. “The last thing that Tyler looked at before he left the dorm room for the bridge was the Twitter page, where Ravi was announcing Tyler's activities.” Last week, Ravi walked out of a county jail after having served just 20 days. To the Clementis, the punishment was far too lenient. “I think the judge sent a clear message to other prosecutors,” said Jane Clementi. “This isn't worthwhile. There are no consequences for these actions.” But the Clementis also say they realize their son was wrestling with demons unrelated to the spying incident. Just weeks before he left home to attend Rutgers he told his mother he was gay. She says the news “shocked” her, in part because of her strong Christian faith. Since then she says she’s gone from “point A” in her beliefs “to point B.” “Was that point A, the point of "homosexuality is a sin?" asked Holt. “Well, yes,” Mrs. Clementi answered. “And of trying to just accept it.” She said she also realizes that Tyler may have misread her reaction during their conversation. He later texted a friend that his mother had rejected him after he came out to her. “It just was like a dagger,” Mrs. Clementi said. “And that took me a long time to process. Because I did not think I had rejected him.” Now, Jane Clementi says she and her family are trying to help gay teens win greater acceptance through the foundation they’ve started in Tyler’s honor. Clementi’s parents say they hope The Tyler Clementi Foundation will discourage cyber bullying and the notion that they themselves once held that homosexuality is a sin. “Sin needs to be taken out of homosexuality,” said Joe Clementi. “Our children need to understand – and adults need to understand – that they're not broken.” What's truly broken are religions that seem obsessed with condemning others and Christians who make the term "Christian" a filthy word best associated with hate and bigotry. As for parents, if your religion condemns your child, you need to immediately find a new religion.

Black& White couple


Blond buddies

Androgynes are cool

Donelan's humour

Good morning, love

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Yaoi lovers

How NOT to solve the financial crisis

A) Losing time bickering to decide who is to blame more. It's all those who indebted themselves beyond their means fault. It's all the USA banks'fault. It's all Europe's fault. It's all financial speculators' fault. So what? Who cares? We need solutions and trust between nations,historians will decide the "blame" issue. B) Putting one's nations interests before the common salvation. We're all in the same boat, fellows. we need a solution to save the economy of the world, of europe, and pushing one's interests to the cost of compromising the necessary measures to save economy is pure folly.

Sea love

Beach boys

Friday, June 22, 2012

Super-Sized Alien Version of Earth --New Discovery by Kepler Planet Sleuths, from daily Galaxy Blog

Super-Sized Alien Version of Earth --New Discovery by Kepler Planet Sleuths (image by yours truly) A research team led by astronomers at the University of Washington and Harvard University has discovered a bigger version of Earth locked in an orbital tug-of-war with a much larger, Neptune-sized planet as they orbit very close to each other around the same star about 1,200 light years from Earth. The planets occupy nearly the same orbital plane and on their closest approach come within about 1.2 million miles of each other – just five times the Earth-moon distance and about 20 times closer to one another than any two planets in our solar system. But the timing of their orbits means they'll never collide, said Eric Agol, a UW astronomy professor and co-lead author of a paper documenting the discovery published June 21 by Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science. "These are the closest two planets to one another that have ever been found," Agol said. "The bigger planet is pushing the smaller planet around more, so the smaller planet is harder to find." Orbiting a star in the Cygnus constellation referred to as Kepler-36a, the planets are designated Kepler-36b and Kepler-36c. Planet b is a rocky planet like Earth, though 4.5 times more massive and with a radius 1.5 times greater. Kepler-36c, which could be either gaseous like Jupiter or watery, is 8.1 times more massive than Earth and has a radius 3.7 times greater. The larger planet was originally spotted in data from NASA's Kepler satellite, which uses an instrument called a photometer to measure light from distant celestial objects and can detect a planet when it transits, or passes in front of, and briefly reduces the light coming from, its parent star. The team wanted to try finding a second planet in a system where it was already known that there was one planet. Agol suggested applying an algorithm called quasi-periodic pulse detection to examine data from Kepler. Joshua Carter, a Hubble fellow at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and the other co-lead author of the Science paper, used the algorithm to begin methodically checking planetary systems already in the Kepler data and saw a clear signal in the Kepler-36a system. "We found this one on a first quick look," Carter said. "We're now combing through the Kepler data to try to locate more." The data revealed a slight dimming of light coming from Kepler-36a every 16 days, the length of time it takes the larger Kepler-36c to circle its star. Kepler-36b circles the star seven times for each six orbits of 36c, but it was not discovered initially because of its small size and the gravitational jostling by its orbital companion. But when the algorithm was applied to the data, the signal was unmistakable. "If you look at the transit time pattern for the large planet and the transit time pattern for the smaller planet, they are mirror images of one another," Agol said. The fact that the two planets are so close to each other and exhibit specific orbital patterns allowed the scientists to make fairly precise estimates of each planet's characteristics, based on their gravitational effects on each other and the resulting variations in the orbits. To date, this is the best-characterized system with small planets, the researchers. They believe the smaller planet is 30 percent iron, less than 1 percent atmospheric hydrogen and helium and probably no more than 15 percent water. The larger planet, on the other hand, likely has a rocky core surrounded by a substantial amount of atmospheric hydrogen and helium. The planets' densities differ by a factor of eight but their orbits differ by only 10 percent, which makes the differences in composition difficult for the scientists to explain using current models of planet formation. The team also calculated specific information for the star itself, determining that Kepler-36a is about the same mass as the sun but is just 25 percent as dense. It also is slightly hotter and has slightly less metal content. The researchers concluded that the star is a few billion years older than the sun and no longer burns hydrogen at its core, so has entered a sub-giant phase in which its radius is 60 percent greater than the sun's. More information: "Kepler-36: A Pair of Planets with Neighboring Orbits and Dissimilar Densities," by J.A. Carter; M.J. Holman, Science Express, 2012. Journal reference: Science The Daily Galaxy via University of Washington Image credit: Kepler-36c as it might look from the surface of Kepler-36b. Credit: David Aguilar, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

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Summer dance