Showing posts from July, 2013

Men should be allowed sex slaves and female prisoners could do the job

- and all this from a WOMAN politician from Kuwait -

A Kuwaiti woman who once ran for parliament has called for sex slavery to be legalised - and suggested that non-Muslim prisoners from war-torn countries would make suitable concubines.

Salwa al Mutairi argued buying a sex-slave would protect decent, devout and 'virile' Kuwaiti men from adultery because buying an imported sex partner would be tantamount to marriage.

And she even had an idea of where to 'purchase' these sex-salves - browsing through female prisoners of war in other countries.

The political activist and TV host even suggested that it would be a better life for women in warring countries as the might die of starvation.

Mutairi claimed: 'There was no shame in it and it is not haram' (forbidden) under Islamic Sharia law.'

Malaysia's Crucial By-Election

It may look like an obscure election in an obscure state, but nobody else thinks so

Two and a half months after arguably the most divisive election in Malaysian history, the ruling Barisan Nasional is going toe to toe with the opposition and spending a whopping RM19,000 per voter to ward off the Pakatan Rakyat coalition in a seemingly inconsequential state assembly by-election in the rural northeastern state of Terengganu.

The election, to be held tomorrow, may look meaningless, political observers say, but in addition to creating a hung assembly if the opposition Parti Islam seMalaysia candidate wins, it is crucial to Najib Tun Razak's ambitions to hold onto his position as prime minister following the Barisan's loss of the popular vote in the 13th general election held on May 5.

It is crucial for PAS to demonstrate it remains a viable political party after failing to hold up its leg of the three-member opposition coalition in that race, winning only 21 of the 73 parliamentar…

How I missed Brazil's revolution

By: Gabriel Elizondo

Street protests that turned Brazil upside down for nearly two weeks have forced this journalist to re-think his approach

As the tear gas canisters careening through the streets of Brazil finally roll to a stop near the curb and the nationwide protests subside, I now find myself reflecting on a simple question: "How did I not see this coming?"

How did I not expect or foresee or envision the most widespread (not to be confused with largest) civil unrest to hit Brazil in my lifetime? How was I taken so off guard?

I don’t critique other journalists work, it’s just not my thing. But I do my own.

And I have always believed the Brazilian youth – those between 15 to 25 year old – are the least reported on aspect of Brazilian society. They have a lot more to say than the space they are given in the mainstream media by journalists like myself.

I never gave enough serious time to simply walking up the street to busy Av. Paulista in Sao Paulo on any given afternoon a…

The family that social networks together stays together

Adolescents who maintain social media connections with their parents not only tend to have better relationships with them offline, but also show fewer behavior issues, a recent study suggests.

Researchers at Brigham Young University noted this pattern after looking into the social media habits and relationships of 491 adolescents and their parents. They asked questions to assess depression, anxiety, delinquency, relational aggression and the like.

Only about half of the adolescents had social networking connections with their parents. Of those, 19 percent reported that they interacted with their parents on social media multiple times per month, while 16 percent said that they used social networking sites with their parents every single day.

The family that tweets together stays together, one might cheekily suggest after discovering that "joint use of social networking sites was associated with heightened connectivity between adolescents and parents."

By communicating via so…


By. Sri Kanchi Paramacharya

Aadi (kadaga maasa) marks the beginning of the Dakshinaayana kaala or the night time of the devas. It is the 4th month of the Hindu calendar. Dakshinaayana literally means southern journey. Between Kadaga maasa to Danur maasa, the sun is seen to move southwards during noon. Dakshinaayana is defined as the period between the Autumnal and Vernal Equinoxes, when there is midnight sun at the South Pole. This period is also referred to as Pitrayana (with the Pitrus (i.e. ancestors) being placed at the South Pole).It seems to accentuate the idea that we are entering the darker part of the year – less sun, more rain, longer nights.
Below is an article from Kanchi Paramacharya which I wish to share on the start of Dakshinayana Punyakaala

"Hindu sastras are all nonsensical, " exclaim critics of our religion. "They say that north of the earth is the Meru mountain, that our one year is one day for the celestials res…

Frequent smart phone use linked to poor fitness

Perhaps it was inevitable, but it appears that cell phones, the devices that allow us to sit and text, email, play video games, watch TV or read, anytime, anywhere, may follow the television as the 21st century's death-to-health device. New research at Kent State University has linked high cell phone use to poor fitness in college students.

The researchers were curious about the relationship between smartphones and fitness levels because, unlike the television, phones are small and portable, thereby making it possible to use them while doing mild to moderate physical activity. But what the researchers found was that the phone's mobility contributed to a sedentary lifestyle for some subjects. (You don't even have to move to experience some of the effects of physical activity.)

More than 300 college students in the Midwest were surveyed on their cell phone use and activity level. Of those students, 49 had their fitness level and body composition tested. Results showed that…

The anger of Ganga

Could it be that last month's deadly floods in India were the result of a god's wrath?

There is plenty of time to reflect when you are covering natural disasters. As we drive through the mountain roads in Uttarakhand, the valleys open up and disappear when the road turns a corner. Below, the Ganges and its tributaries roar furiously.

One can even say that story of Ganga, the goddess associated with the river Ganges has a lot to do with the way the river is behaving. Ganga lived in Bramhalok, the mythical abode of the Gods. She was needed on earth, but so powerful was she that if she just jumped from Brahmalok to earth, the earth would rip apart. So Shiva decided to soften the blow by trapping her in his locks.

In Rishikesh, a large statue of Shiva sat in the middle of the Ganges. Then came the floods and the iconic picture of the Ganges swirling around Shiva’s neck. The angry Ganga then swept away the statue. Is it that the river does not want to be tamed?

Along the banks, wha…

World prepares to go wild for Will and Kate's royal baby

Niagara Falls plans to light up pink -- or blue -- depending on the gender of the British royal baby after the child is born.

The royal birth, expected any day now in London, has generated interest far beyond the British Isles where the child may one day serve as monarch.

Nations across the world plan to honor the first child of the Duke and the Duchess of Cambridge through light shows, baby showers and various other displays of support.

New Zealand plans to illuminate more than 20 national buildings and landmarks, including Auckland’s Sky Tower and the Oamuaru Opera House, in pink or blue hues once the new British heir arrives.

Not to be outdone, Canada has plans for a light show of its own. Both the CN Tower and Niagara Falls will glow blue or pink after the royal baby’s birth. Park officials at the Falls are encouraging people to guess the gender (the Duke and Duchess swear they don’t know) and giving fans a preview on its Facebook page. So far, 62 percent say the baby will be a gi…

The unfair advantage

Investigating fraud in the vatican

An Auditors Perspective

The Daily Mail reports that Pope Francis has launched an inquiry into the Vatican bank in the wake of corruption and money laundering scandals. The announcement came after prosecutors in Salerno, Italy, placed senior Vatican official Monsignor Nunzio Scarano under investigation for alleged money laundering. Scarano has been suspended temporarily from his position in one of the Vatican’s key finance offices, the Administration for the Patrimony of the Apostolic See.The bank’s administration continues to function as normal, as does a new Vatican financial agency that has supervisory control over it. The commission will report back to the pope — presumably with both information and recommendations — and then will be dissolved. Lessons Learned
This case offers auditors many points for learning, but perhaps the most important is the constant need for auditors to assess, observe, and make recommendations regarding weaknesses in the governance, risk, and control framew…

What's the right age to have a baby?

When it comes to having a child, there’s so much for women to consider: Biological clocks, suitable partners, career ambitions and fertility factors.

Some say they’re glad they became pregnant in their 20s. Alicia Harper, a dean of students at a charter school in New York City, found herself staring at a positive pregnancy test at 23.

“Being a graduate student while being a single mother was a challenge,” Harper wrote in The New York Times this week in a column titled, "I’m a Young Mom With No Regrets."

“But there’s something about the situation that makes me smile. My son saw me grow into a professional. He was able to see me start from the bottom and work my way up. I’m able to grow with him, and I’m able to work my life and my career around motherhood, as opposed to trying to shove motherhood into my career.”

But Harper is not exactly typical these days. While the mean age at first birth in the U.S. is just over 25, according to the CDC, many women can’t imagine having a…

Apple: Game over or room to grow?

Watching Apple stumble is a little like witnessing a just-over-the-hill prizefighter wobbling on his feet or a once-eloquent orator stammering for the right word. But there's no question: Apple has lost a step since the death of Steve Jobs. That this observation is as inevitable as the effects of gravity doesn't make it any less shocking or lamentable.
How has Apple fallen? Let us count the ways. It has been three years since the release of the iPad, the company's last breakthrough product. The latest version of its mobile software reminds design critics more of the edgier features of Google's Android or Microsoft's Windows Phone than anything associated with Apple's penchant for leapfrogging-the-competition boldness. Apple's management is defensive, its people are less committed, and its competitors are resurgent. Apple's ferocious profit growth has stalled, and investors have lost faith in its ability to restart that engine. Apple's stock price i…

Why Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash was survivable

The attention into the crash of Asiana Airlines Flight 214 is now shifting to two areas.

One, why did the incident happen? They will be looking at things like instrument landing systems, the glide slope, the approach of the Boeing 777, the way the pilot flew the aircraft and other key aspects.

Secondly, they will be looking at the onboard training to get the passengers off as fast as they can.

Video from passengers after the crash landing show slides deployed and people exiting well before fire really took hold of the aircraft.

Asiana have confirmed there were 291 passengers plus 16 cabin crew onboard flight OZ214. Looking at video of the burned out wreckage and of smoke and fire soon after the crash, some may be surprised the casualty figures are so low considering there were more than 300 onboard.

This is very reminiscent of an incident in Toronto in August, 2005 when an Air France plane crashed. Although there was a large fire in that crash, all 309 passengers and crew on the Airb…

Why you really should take off work on Friday

Got your PTO yet? If not, chances are you will soon.

More than half of all companies offer employees PTO, or paid time off, instead of a set number of vacation days, sick days, and so on. If you're never quite sure how to count time off for religious holidays or children's soccer tournaments, this promises to simplify your life.

If you're hankering for a long weekend (in US July 4 happens to fall on a Thursday this year - it's a public holiday there.) taking off July 5 suddenly looks a lot easier.

Paid time off may have another effect, though. If your sick days, personal days, and vacation days all draw down your bank of free time, you may be less likely to take a day off when you are a little under the weather. That could boost your productivity – but it could also put you and your co–workers at risk of getting truly sick.

"Employees are making choices before they decide to call in sick," said Evren Esen, manager of the Society for Human Resource Management…

Contact lenses bestow telescopic vision!

Researchers have created contact lenses which, when paired with special spectacles, bestow telescopic vision on their wearers.

The lens has a telescopic element that focuses light on to the retina

The contact-lens-and-spectacles combination magnifies scene details by 2.8 times.

Polarising filters in the spectacles allow wearers to switch between normal and telescopic vision.

The telescopic sight system has been developed to help people suffering age-related blindness.

Age-related macular degeneration is one of the most common forms of blindness and damages the part of the eye, the macula, that handles fine detail. As this area degenerates, sufferers lose the ability to recognise faces and perform tasks, such as driving and reading, that rely on picking up details.

Precise control
The contact lens created by the researchers has a central region that lets light through for normal vision. The telescopic element sits in a ring around this central region. Tiny aluminium mirrors scored with a…

Remembering Princess Diana on her 52nd birthday

Thousands of flowers were left to honor Princess Diana in the wake of her death.

Diana, the late Princess of Wales, would've celebrated her 52nd birthday today. As her son prepares to have a child of his own, we remember the life and legacy of the "people's princess."

"She will always be remembered for her amazing public work, but behind the media glare — to just two loving children — she was quite simply the best mother in the world," Prince Harry said at a royal memorial service for his mother in 2007.

In honor of Diana, who remains much-missed, take a look at this slideshow celebrating her memory.

See images from key moments in the life of Britain's Diana, the 'people's princess'.

Is hosting worth it?

Protests at the Confederations Cup in Brazil show problems behind the honour of staging a World Cup.

Brazil. World Cup hosts, Olympic hosts. 2014-2016.

What an opportunity, what an honour, what a privilege and a pleasure.

But during a fraught fortnight off the pitch at the Confederations Cup, the Brazilians - and FIFA - have been reminded that hosting is a double-edged sword. Underestimating the power of the public can have major consequences, whether or not their ire is deserved and whether or not the event is actually the cause of the trouble.

There was a lazy perception of Brazil as being so full of fun and samba, carnival and beach volleyball that they are automatically the perfect country to embrace a sports event. That the people would be grateful.

And let's be clear many millions do welcome the biggest two events on earth coming to Brazil.

But the scale of the unrest in major cities initially surprised, then alarmed, then gave cause for discussion, debate and disagreement. …