Earth Hour is a unique opportunity for you to become more sustainable and do something positive for the environment. It’s been the source of inspiration for millions of people taking steps towards a cleaner, safer future. It’s not just about saving energy for one hour, it’s about going Beyond the Hour with lasting, behaviour-changing actions for a sustainable planet.
There are lots of ways you can take action for Earth Hour. Whether you’re a social media fan or a hands-on organiser, you’re sure to find some inspiration right here! Read full story at earthhour.org
Arts & Entertainment:
Documentaries: The Witches of Gambaga and Sweet Crude
Earlier this week I watched two really interesting documentaries that I thought I’d share with you here briefly. The first is Witches of Gambaga by Yaba Badoe (mentioned here at Amy Reads previously as she wrote True Murder and was featured in African Love Stories). This short film (at 55 minutes) talks about the Gambaga witch camp in Northern Ghana where women go for sanctuary who are accused of witchcraft. Read full story from amckiereads.com
Zimbabwe: It’s Time to Destroy Witchcraft
Witchcraft can be defined and described by people depending on their life experiences. Different contextual, cultural experiences and understandings have led to the classification of witches into black, white and red witches with different functions attached to their names.
The Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary defines the word witch as one who practices black art, or magic or possessing evil supernatural or magical power backed by demons and works in league with the devil or a sorcerer or sorceress.
My life experiences have informed me that witchcraft is an enemy that hates progress with perfect hatred. Witches have an ugly and nasty agenda for people, communities and nations. Therefore witchcraft can supervise personal and also national disasters. Besides this, witchcraft is an evil force that quenches people’s destinies and national destinies. Read full story from allafrica.com
NYC schools ban on dinosaurs, Halloween
NEW YORK — In a bizarre case of political correctness run wild, New York educrats banned references to “dinosaurs,” “birthdays,” “Halloween” and dozens of other topics on city-issued tests.
That is because they fear such topics “could evoke unpleasant emotions in the students.”
Dinosaurs, for example, call to mind evolution, which might upset fundamentalists; birthdays are not celebrated by Jehovah’s Witnesses; and Halloween suggests paganism. Read full story from myfoxny.com
The Dartmouth Anomaly Research Team investigates strange phenomenon in historic places, like the Yankee Pedlar. They were joined by other investigators from Worcester Paranormal. They are at the 121-year-old Torrington hotel in part because of the recent movie, “The Innkeepers,” which told a fictional story of hauntings at the hotel and was filmed on location at the Torrington landmark. Read full story from courant.com
Exorcism victim’s last moments
Four women and a 15-year-old minor accused of the “satanic” murder of an uMlazi teenager, were all released from custody on Thursday after being granted bail at the uMlazi Magistrate’s Court.
Sinethemba Dlamini, 15, was found dead by police on March 10 with her intestines lying next to her at her home in uMlazi.
Fundiswa Faku, 29, Lindela Jalubane, 38, her daughter, Nokubonga Jalubane, 18, Nonhlanhla Mdletshe, 21, and the 15-year-old minor all pleaded not guilty.
On Thursday, Magistrate Anesh Sukdeo granted each accused bail of R500 and released the minor into her father’s custody.
He said the accused had satisfied the court by presenting it with exceptional circumstances to be granted bail. Read full story from iolnews.co.za
Ginger Strivelli, who practices Witchcraft, a form of Paganism, said she was upset when her 12-year-old son [who did not wish to be photographed for this article] came home from North Windy Ridge intermediate school with a Bible.
The Gideons International had delivered several boxes of the sacred books to the school office. The staff allowed interested students to stop by and pick them up. Read full story from foxnews.com
More about Pendulum dowsing
We look at this anicent method, which was used by the Romans, Greeks and also by Nostradamus to predict the future Melissa D’costa
The practice of pendulum dowsing is not a new phenomenon and dates back to the anicent Romans and Greeks who used it to predict the future. It is said that ‘scrying’ (another word for dowsing or divination) was a common practice during that time and was even used by Nostradamus. Read full story from indiatimes.com
Finding spirituality through shamanism
In this fast-paced world, many seek deeper peace through spirituality, meditation and religious devotion. For some, a course on shamanism offered by the anthropology department can expand spiritual knowledge. Bonnie Glass-Coffin, an anthropology professor, teaches such courses, including cultural anthropology, spirit and health, and shamanism.
Glass-Coffin said a survey was taken by the Higher Education Research Institute (HERI) in 2004 in which freshmen from public and private institutions were asked if they were religious or spiritual and if they considered this aspect to be a significant part of their lives. Read full story from usustatesman.com
Helix’s central star once resembled the Sun, but its outer layers of gas and dust sloughed off. The resulting planetary nebula, located some 700 light-years from Earth, is what telescopes now see. Read full story from wired.com
Demand for uranium threatens Grand Canyon biodiversity
The natural beauty and unique species of the Grand Canyon are “in the crosshairs” because of renewed interest in the region’s uranium reserves. That is the warning from critics of the mines, ahead of the release of a government report on Friday on the potential impact of fresh mining.
Mining has been banned within the Grand Canyon national park since President Roosevelt declared it a national monument in 1908. But since 2003, foreign companies have submitted 2,215 claims to prospect on the edge of the canyon.
Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, temporarily withdrew 1m acres of land from exploration in 2009 to allow time for an environmental assessment. Salazar must decide by July whether to ban “mineral entry” for two-thirds of the claims for the next 20 years.
Uranium deposits mineralise in 2,000-feet deep “breccia” pipes, a geological feature common to the world-famous golden brown sedimentary rock in the canyon. When left alone, the uranium is not harmful. But once dissolved in water, it can leach into springs and aquifers that then feed into the Colorado river, which ultimately supplies 18 million people in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. The water can remain contaminated for decades after a mine shuts. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
How a ‘teen witch’ found the Church
My parents bought me a cauldron for my 16th birthday. Providing no explanation, I had asked for that and a chalice. At a loss, mum suggested it would look nice outside with the geraniums.My interest in Wicca began as I entered my teens. Wicca and Witchcraft: Understanding the Danger, the booklet I wrote recently as part of the Catholic Truth Society’s Explanations series, condenses – after some factual basics about the philosophy and practice of “white” witchcraft – the conversations I had with a Catholic friend and her family that eventually led to my conversion to the Catholic faith. The booklet has caused controversy on the blogosphere: it sold out on Amazon.com and cropped up on the websites of the Telegraph and Daily Mail. What began as a small document to inform Catholics about the realities of Wicca – eg that it isn’t Satanism – appears to have re-ignited the persecution complex among Wiccans that I was hoping to diffuse.
I am concerned that as a culture, perhaps as a Church, we can too easily dismiss the spiritual needs of young people. In my family, religion was something to explore and debate. Both my parents are Oxford graduates and historians, my father a Doctor of Maths and Philosophy. His atheism prevailed over my mother’s Anglicanism, and neither I nor my sister were baptised. Read full story from catholicherald.com
It’s also known as a “mysterious school of the ancient Celts, one that has been successfully revived by modern practitioners,” say organizers of a Druid workshop and ceremony series happening this weekend.
Its connection with nature is part of what drew Annie Caskey of Grand Junction to study the ancient tradition for the past three years.
She and her husband are “ovates” the second level of study, between a bard and a druid. Read full story from gjfreepress.com
The museum’s world-renowned collection was burgled and several artifacts went missing last month, including statues of King Tutankhamun and Pharaoh Akhenaton — and many of the looted antiquities have been returned or discovered, the Supreme Council of Antiquities said.
In addition to the Akhentaon statute, the missing Heart Scarab of Yuya was recovered near the museum gardens, where wooden fragments belonging to a damaged coffin were also found. A search team found one of the eleven missing shabtis of Yuya and Thuya underneath a showcase. Fragments belonging to the statue of Tutankhamun being carried by the goddess Menkaret have been found; all the located fragments belong to the figure of Menkaret. Read full story from foxnews.com
What caused the revolution in Egypt? When interpreting something like the Egyptian upheaval, people tend to project their own passions on to the screen. The twitterati see a social media revolution, the foodies see food price hikes at its core, others see a hunger for democratisation, human rights groups see a backlash against routine torture and abuse. So I thought I’d try to pull together and categorise the full range of different “drivers of change” involved in bringing about a revolution.
First, consider the demographics: an explosive mix of high population growth, leading to a “youth bulge”, combined with urbanisation, jobless growth partly linked to structural adjustment, and the rapid expansion of university education has produced what the BBC’s Paul Mason calls “a new sociological type, the graduate with no future”. Two-thirds of Egyptians are under 30, and each year 700,000 new graduates chase 200,000 new jobs. Read full story from guardian.co.uk
These “coronal mass ejections” will slam into the Earth’s magnetic shield.
The waves of charged solar particles are the result of three solar flares directed at Earth in recent days, including the most powerful since 2006.
The biggest flares can disrupt technology, including power grids, communications systems and satellites.
The northern lights (Aurora Borealis) may also be visible further south than is normally the case – including from northern parts of the UK.
“Our current view is that the effect of the solar flare is likely to reach Earth later today (Thursday GMT), possibly tomorrow morning,” said Alan Thomson, head of geomagnetism at the British Geological Survey (BGS). Read full story from bbc.co.uk
In a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, the two-term Democrat cited his authority as governor to uphold citizens’ rights “to protect their property and to continue to enjoy Montana’s cherished wildlife heritage and traditions.”
Schweitzer said he was driven to act out of an urgent need to assist ranchers and sportsmen left unable to control wolves posing a serious threat to livestock and elk herds.
“If there is a dang wolf in your corral attacking your pregnant cow, shoot that wolf. And if its pals are in the corral, shoot them, too,” Schweitzer told Reuters in a telephone interview. Read full story from reuters.com
Delivered in a Daydream: 7 Great Achievements That Arose from a Wandering Mind
The ability to concentrate on a task is a prized skill—the secret to success, many claim. But recent research suggests that intense focus on a problem does not always usher the fastest progress or, at least, such focus is not always sufficient for the necessary brainstorm. Insights often occur subconsciously while the mind wanders, reports Josie Glausiusz in the March/April Scientific American MIND. Albert Einstein, for example, came up with his theory of relativity only after letting his thoughts stray from the mathematics itself. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
MPM brings mummies to life: Better than zombies?
The Milwaukee Public Museum is hosting what is considered the largest exhibition of mummies and related artifacts ever assembled.The purpose of the exhibition is to show viewers the various processes of mummification, and how and why today’s researchers study mummies. Throughout the exhibit, several scientific techniques are described, such as the use of MRIs, radiocarbon dating, and rapid prototyping, a process that allows three-dimensional replicated models of the specimens to be created. These tools help researcher study the dead without disturbing their natural state.
Representatives of U.S. religious, university, and medical organizations assisted in developing the exhibition. The mummies and artifacts on display are from 20 museum and university collections around the world, according to information provided in the exhibit. Read full story from thedigitalnp.com
Freshwater officially fired
On January 10, 2011, the Mount Vernon City Schools Board of Education voted 4-1 to terminate the employment of John Freshwater. A middle school science teacher in Mount Vernon, Ohio, Freshwater was accused of inappropriate religious activity in the classroom — including displaying posters with the Ten Commandments and Bible verses, branding crosses on the arms of his students with a high-voltage electrical device, and teaching creationism. After a local family sued Freshwater and the district in 2008, the board voted to begin proceedings to terminate his employment in the district. Finally, after administrative hearings that proceeded sporadically over two years, the referee presiding over the hearings issued his recommendation that the board terminate his employment with the district. Read full story from ncse.com
The Mass will be held at 7 p.m. (9 p.m. ET) at St. Odiilia Church in Tucson, Arizona – where 9-year-old shooting victim Christina Green had her First Communion a year ago.
“Right now it is important as a community to pull together and to reach out in care and concern to all who have been affected by this tragedy,” Bishop Gerald Kicanas wrote Monday in a letter to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tucson. Read full story from cnn.com
Religion Today and Spell Craft
Many people are religious such as a few friends of mine are. I have religious friends and not so religious friends and Wiccan and Pagan friends as well. I used to be in a coven of witches and liked the faith I was in, but for some reason or another, I decided to become a solitaire witch and sometimes I cast good spells for myself as well as for family and friends.
I would say I been practicing witch magick since I was teen and my one aunt did not like me reading ghost stories or witch craft books so she made me burn them and ask God for forgiveness. There maybe a Supreme Being but I am like my uncle, as he does not feel God is tangible. There maybe many Gods and Goddesses whom control us and our minds, or aliens from another planet that control the universe, for all I know. Read full story from modernghana.com
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured an image of a green cloud of gas about 650 million light-years from Earth. It’s been named Hanny’s Voorwerp, Dutch for Hanny’s Object. Read full story from cnn.com
English Heritage and Channel 4 have recreated a villa urbana – a townhouse used as a country retreat by upper class Roman families – using traditional Roman methods at Wroxeter Roman City in Shropshire. Read full story from culture24.com
Now two-thirds of American pet owners say they can relate — their pets have a sixth sense about bad weather. Forty-three percent say the same about bad news, according to an Associated Press-Petside.com poll.
Seventy-two percent of dog owners said they’ve gotten weather warnings from their pets, compared with 66 percent of cat owners.
For bad news, 47 percent of dog owners and 41 percent of cat owners said they’ve been alerted by their pets, according to the poll conducted by GfK Roper Public Affairs and Corporate Communications. Read full story from chron.com
Dying Wolf Given Stem Cells Stuns Vets With Recovery
Along a stretch of highway in central Brazil, a female wolf was hit by a truck and left to perish on the roadside. Death seemed imminent for the animal when it was discovered by a compassionate passerby and rushed to the veterinarian at a nearby zoo. With the wolf in a near-coma and suffering from a severely broken leg, animal care workers opted to try an untested method in hopes of saving it — treating a wild animal, for the first time ever, with stem cells. Within hours after surgery, the animal was on its feet. Within days, it had broken free of its enclosure and escaped back into the wild. Read full story from treehugger.com
Jared Loughner: Focus on delusions, not politics FRANCISCO — Posting strange and paranoid messages on the Internet and fixating on the end of the world, accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner appeared to be more driven by a delusional mind than a real interest in politics, mental health experts said Sunday.
“I doubt people who say this is about politics have a good understanding of mental illness,” said Dr. Bob Dolgoff, medical director of Alta Bates Summit Medical Center‘s mental health division. “It could be conspiracy theories or men from outer space. The important thing here is, why wasn’t he in treatment?” Read full story from sfgate.com
The action, according to House spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, is in direct response to a controversial church’s announcement that it will picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was among six people killed during Saturday’s attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona. Read full story from cnn.com
Some ads will cite barbaric excerpts from the Bible and the Koran; others will quote famous non-believers, like Albert Einstein. Reporter Laurie Goodstein wrote that the groups are trying to recruit the “untapped” people who identify themselves as having “no religion.” About 15 percent of American adults claim no religion, according to a study quoted in the article. Read full story from clevland.com
Where the legends rest
It’s overgrown and old, and it’s the type of place you’d only be seen dead in. It’s a cemetery. It’s not any cemetery though. It’s Highgate Cemetery. This iconic resting place in London probably has more famous dead people per square metre than anywhere else in the world. What’s more the place is a monument to Victorian era tombstone culture.
I first visited Highgate Cemetery in the mid-1980s, when Margaret Thatcher was taking on the last bastion of organised militant labour, the mineworker’s union, led by its dyed in the wool Marxist leader Aurther Scargill. There was more than a hint of left wing radicalism in the air, so it seemed quite apt to visit the grave of Karl Marx. To my surprise, however, I found the cemetery to have a lot more going for it than just Marx’s tomb. Read full story from deccanherald.com
WRITERS WRITE: Grandma’s secret life, hidden in an old box
As I probed further, I discovered that Grandma Mary had led a secret life. She had put herself in the hands of a mail-order psychic. This Christian pillar of the church was involved in psychic readings and astrological charts. I was more than a little shocked. This was not the grandma I had known.
I learned that by subscribing to the New York Magazine of Mysteries, the Exalted Mystic would send a pamphlet which would teach her how to tell the names of people she had never seen before. Read full story from wiscnews.com
The sacred Hindu text is making its way into nightstands across the country through a campaign to spread the scripture and awareness about Lord Krishna, the deity believed to have spoken the philosophical teachings millennia ago. Read full story from nbcdfw.com
Facebook-banning NJ pastor acknowledges threesome
NEPTUNE TOWNSHIP, N.J. – A pastor who said Facebook was a “portal to infidelity” and told married church leaders to delete their accounts or resign once testified that he had a three-way sexual relationship with his wife and a male church assistant.
The Rev. Cedric Miller confirmed the information reported Saturday by the Asbury Park Press of Neptune, which cited testimony he gave in a criminal case in 2003. The relationship had ended by that time. Read full story from yahoo.com
Angle was widely ridiculed for citing Frankford, Texas (a town that no longer exists), and Dearborn, Mich. (with a large population of Arab-Americans living under American law), as examples of the imposition of Islamic or sharia law. Read full story from firstamendmentcenter.org