Pagan prisoners given time off to worship the Sun God
Hundreds of criminals are to be given four days a year off prison work – to celebrate pagan festivals.
Prison governors have been issued with a list of eight annual pagan holidays and told pagan inmates can choose four to celebrate.
The festivals include Imbolc – The Festival of the Lactating Sheep – which falls on February 1 and is dedicated to the goddess Brighid. Read full story from dailymail.co.uk
Kinky pagan has appeal rejected by rights tribunal
The man who claimed Vancouver police discriminated against him and refused to give him a chauffeur’s permit because he was a pagan whose sexual practices included bondage, domination, sadism and masochism has lost his appeal to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
Peter Hayes had filed a complaint against the Vancouver Police Board and Const. Kevin Barker after Barker refused to give him the permit needed for his employment as a limousine driver in May 2005.
Hayes said he was denied the permit on the grounds of his religion and sexual orientation. Read full story from edmontonjournal.com
“Wonders in the Sky”: Why we’ve always been obsessed with UFOs
UFO skeptics take note: Strange flying objects have been haunting our planet for much longer than many people think. Over 3,000 years ago, in the Egyptian Nile Valley, a man reported looking into the sky to see a “shining disk” descend and tell him to build a new city. On Sept. 11, 1787, in Edinburgh, Scotland, a group of people reported, “a fiery globe larger than the sun” moving eastward in a horizontal direction and dipping below the horizon before exploding behind a cloud. Eight years later, in the Quangxi province of China, a “large star” rose and fell three times, followed by another star that “crashed in a village.”
According to Jacques Vallee, the French-born astronomer and co-author (with Chris Aubeck) of the hypnotic new book “Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times,” these stories are important not only because they show that flying things have been capturing our imagination for centuries, but because of what they say about our most cherished beliefs and deepest fears. In the book, Vallee and Aubeck list 500 claims of sightings, in chronological order, between the years 1460 BC and 1879, and argue that the commonalities — references to light, round shapes, erratic flight and terror in the observer — offer us real insight into human behavior and our need to find explanation for things we cannot explain.
Salon spoke with Vallee from his home in San Francisco about our religious connection to UFOs, the controversy surrounding his own work — and our endless cultural obsession with flying objects. Read full story from salon.com
Has Environmentalism Lost Its Spiritual Core?
Environmentalism began as a religion. Certainly that’s how paleo-greens like John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club, would have seen it. Muir was awakened to nature when he first explored Yosemite in the 1860s, and he felt it in a religious way — he called what would become one of the nation’s first national parks “the grandest of all special temples of Nature.”
Muir’s biographer, Donald Worster, has written that Muir saw his mission as “saving the American soul from total surrender to materialism.” David Brower, a spiritual successor to Muir who would found Friends of the Earth, would say of his staunchest green allies that they had “the religion.” Environmentalism — rooted in nature and the outdoors — was an antidote to secular, technological modern life. Read full story from time.com
“Swamp Loggers” Stumble Upon Bigfoot Nest?
According to the Bigfoot research team, Discover Bigfoot, on one of the latest episodes of the reality television show Swamp Loggers, the crew stumbles upon a Bigfoot nest out in the forests of North Carolina. Some of the crew members from the show photographed their find. The photos show matted grass and large mounds of scat surrounding the nest. The Discover Bigfoot team makes an argument about the similarities of gorilla nests and these so-called Bigfoot nests. Read full story from ghosttheory.com
Ocean Acidification Threatens Global Fisheries
Ocean acidification is likely to threaten the world’s fisheries without sharp cuts to carbon dioxide emissions produced by human activities, the U.N. Environment Programme said Friday.
As CO2 emissions have risen, largely from the world’s increasing appetite for burning fossil fuels, oceans have absorbed more and more of the greenhouse gas. That has shifted the chemistry of the seas, which are now 30 percent more acidic than they were before the start of the Industrial Revolution. Read full story from scientificamerican.com
Oriental hornets powered by ‘solar energy’
The Oriental hornet has a unique ability to harvest solar energy, scientists have discovered.
The large wasp species has a special structure in its abdomen that traps the sun’s rays, and a special pigment that harvests the energy they contain.
The discovery helps explain why these hornets have a large yellow stripe across their body and why they become more active as the day gets hotter.
It also changes our understanding of how insect metabolism can work. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
‘If I am deported to Nigeria I will face death for witchcraft’
Campaigners are fighting the deportation of a Nigerian woman who claims she could be killed for witchcraft after her one-year-old daughter died.
Cynthia Owie came to Britain on Boxing Day 2008 with her baby daughter, Daniella. She was given leave to remain when Daniella contracted meningitis and required hospital treatment.
Ms Owie was told she would be deported after her daughter died last year, as she had no grounds to extend her stay. Read full story from thisislondon.co.uk
Brave Atheist Activists Illegally Arrested, Later Vindicated
A recent episode at the Hawaiian Capitol is stirring public consciousness on the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which calls for a separation of Church and State. Atheist activists Mitch Kahle and Kevin Hughes stood up in protest when the Hawaiian Senate president introduced a reverend to say an invocation prayer. Kahle bravely declared the following,
“I object. My name is Mitch Kahle and I object to this prayer on the grounds that it’s a violation of the first amendment of the constitution of the United States. I object”
Guess what happened next? Read full story from ISSA