Dig deeper to find the real news
As voted by the Religion Newswriters Association’s members, among the year’s most consequential religion newsmakers were Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Pope Benedict XVI, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, and the U.S. bishops.
How would you have ranked them? Has their influence been harmful or constructive? What issue or person do you expect to have the biggest impact in the year to come?
Many of the noted figures making the biggest waves in the world of religion journalism in 2010 have a troubled, sometimes hostile, relationship to religious minorities in general, and modern Paganism in particular. Their prominence and influence are a constant reminder that our freedoms are sustained by secular ideals of a separation between church and state, a concept under constant attack by those who would prefer a “Christian America,” or at least one that gave special dispensation to their majorities. This tension is often characterized as a mere difference of opinion, but this is a fundamental disconnect that allows outlandish statements and associations to be ignored by mainstream media outlets. Read full story from washingtonpost.com
Berwyn Mountains “UFO” mystery deepens
THE mystery behind the famous Berwyn Mountains “UFO” incident has deepened after a document revealed a major military operation was underway that night.
Dubbed the “Welsh Roswell”, on January 23 in 1974 locals reported hearing a huge bang, felt earth tremors and saw a brilliant light in the sky over the Berwyn Mountains.
Now a document from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency has surfaced, which reveals a military operation – codenamed Photoflash – was scheduled for that evening.
It involved about 10 military aircraft and a series of powerful flashes across the North Wales coast and Liverpool Bay. Read full story from dailypost.co.uk
Ice Sheets Act as Giant Solar Mirrors Controlling Future Climate Change
Recent Antarctica research may provide critical clues to understanding one of the most dramatic periods of climatic change in Earth’s history – and a glimpse into what might lie far ahead in the planet’s climate’s future.
The giant ice sheets of Antarctica behave like mirrors, reflecting the sun’s energy and moderating the world’s temperatures. The waxing and waning of these ice sheets contribute to changes in sea level and affect ocean circulation, which regulates our climate by transporting heat around the planet Read full story from dailygalaxy.com
Year in Review: Top Stories of July 2010
As the year 2010 draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on some of the top stories we’ve seen here at About Pagan/Wiccan. There were archaeological discoveries, tales of religious discrimination, news stories about church/state separation issues, and more. Let’s take a look at some of the most significant stories of 2010, and see how July played out for us. Read full story from Patti’s Paganism / Wicca Blog
Image of the Year: Billion-Year Old “Black Widow” Pulsar Ripping Through Milky Way at 1 Million KPH
The “Black Widow” pulsar is zipping through the galaxy at a speed of almost a million kilometers per hour. A bow shock wave due to this motion is visible to optical telescopes, shown in this image as the greenish crescent shape. The pressure behind the bow shock creates a second shock wave that sweeps the cloud of high-energy particles back from the pulsar to form a cocoon.
The Black Widow, a class of extremely rapid rotating neutron stars called millisecond pulsars, is emitting intense high-energy radiation that appears to be destroying a companion star through evaporation. Read full story from dailygalaxy.com
Atheists Excluded from Mayoral Prayer Service
Atheists Excluded from Mayor-Elect Gray’s Inauguration Humanist Celebrant Denied Equal Time at Ecumenical Prayer Service
For Immediate Release Contact: Amanda Knief, Government Relations Manager Phone: 202-495-9974 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
December 28, 2010 (Washington, D.C.) – Atheists, agnostics, humanists, and other nontheistic Washington, D.C. residents will have no representation at Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray’s first official inaugural event—an ecumenical prayer service entitled “One City … Praying Together” at 8 a.m. Sunday, January 2, 2011.
“We would prefer that a government function such as an inauguration not be entwined with religion,” said Amanda Knief, a Humanist Celebrant and government relations manager for the Secular Coalition for America (SCA). “However, we find it overtly discriminatory when we request to be part of an ecumenical prayer service that is supposed to unite the entire city and are told there is no place for nontheists.” Read full story from richarddawkins.com
Archaeologists to probe Sherwood Forest’s ‘Thing’
A team of experts hope to shed new light on one of Nottinghamshire’s most mysterious ancient monuments.
A ‘Thing’, or open-air meeting place where Vikings gathered to discuss the law, was discovered in the Birklands, Sherwood Forest, five years ago.
In January 2011 experts plan to survey the hill and see if they can detect signs of buried archaeology and the extent of the site. Read full story from bbc.co.uk
Celebrate the New Year with Intoxicated Animals
When someone starts getting a little too sloshed at a New Year’s Eve party, you can tell them to stop acting like an animal, literally. Many animals seem to enjoy getting a good buzz on just as much as humans.
In fact, some animals may have introduced humans to a number of drugs, including psychedelic mushrooms, alcohol, caffeine, and cocaine.
Even the legend behind Santa’s flying reindeer may have its roots in a psychedelic experience.
Reindeer are known to feed on the fly agaric mushroom (Amanita muscaria), then stumble about, twitching and making strange noises. The mushrooms contain the hallucinogen muscimol. Read full story from discovery.com
World Religion Day offers spiritual party
World Religion Day will be held Jan. 23 at The Highland Center. As a treat for many locals, keynote speaker will be neurosurgeon Dr. Anil Nanda.
Nanda will represent the Hindu faith.
“I don’t think faith is something you wear on your arm,” Nanda said. “Thomas Jefferson said faith is how you treat other people.”
Each year at World Religion Day there are upwards of 17 different religions represented along with educational services about the different religions. Read full story from shreveporttimes.com
Planet 100: Is it Time to Solar the Sign? (Video)
The White House may have plans to reinstall solar panels on its roof but across the country another of the world’s iconic landmarks is perfectly positioned to harness the energy of the sun.
Situated high in the Hollywood Hills, the Hollywood sign has been a cultural landmark since it’s erection back in 1923. Now a group of environmentalists are hoping to light the sign using solar energy. Read full story from treehugger.com