Monday, January 12, 2015

Monday Post

(see footnotes)

After separate terrorist attacks killed twenty people in France, Unity marches were held all across Europe, the largest one being in Paris.

French President Francois Hollande asked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to attend the Unity rally in Paris. Netanyahu did anyway.

(insert Hebrew word for "honey badger" here)

The Islamist-in-Chief, Obama, elected not to go. There were basketball players he wanted to meet.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper did not attend the Unity rally. Instead, he paid homage to Canada's first prime minister this week-end. But, as one is reasonably certain he is no Islamist supporter, his sympathies are not at all in question.

After all is said and done, this love-fest must be punctuated with the strongest response to seventh-century cultural retardation the post-modern West can manage. A German newspaper office was bombed for printing pictures of Mohammad. Where is the solidarity on the part of the popular press? Surely they are fearless. Let's publish more pictures.

A Kashmiri representation of Mohammad destroying idols at the Kaaba. He is said to be in the top right mounted on a camel. It seems even history would like to blot him out.
Mohammad riding a horse and receiving a submission of the Banu Nadir, a Jewish tribe he defeated in Medina (representation circa 1314-15)

Let's name Islamism as the enemy. Let's challenge Muslims' sense of what they think is right. Why shouldn't Islam be criticised or even mocked? Any other institution is. What makes Islam so special?

In other news, twin Canadian converts and a third man are charged with terrorism-related offenses:

Mounties have charged a third Ottawa man in a terror investigation that included the arrest of 24-year-old twin brothers on Friday.

Police arrested Suliman Mohamed, 21, on Monday and charged him with participating in the activity of a terrorist group and conspiracy to participate in a terrorist activity.

Carlos Larmond was picked up Friday at Montreal's Trudeau airport, where police say he was planning to travel overseas to take part in terrorist activity.

His twin Ashton was arrested in Ottawa and is charged with facilitating terrorist activity, participation in the activity of a terrorist group, and instructing to carry out activity for a terrorist group.

Children in Nigeria are being used as suicide-bombers:

Two suspected child suicide bombers blew themselves up in a market in north-east Nigeria on Sunday, witnesses said, killing three people in the second apparent attack in two days using young girls strapped with explosives. 
The blasts struck around mid-afternoon at an open market selling mobile phones in the town of Potiskum in Yobe state, which has frequently been attacked by the jihadist group Boko Haram. 
A trader at the market, Sani Abdu Potiskum, said the bombers were about 10 years old. "I saw their dead bodies. They are two young girls of about 10 years of age ... you only see the plaited hair and part of the upper torso," the trader said. 
A source at the Potiskum general hospital said three people had been killed, excluding the bombers, while 46 were injured.

No word on any rallies or hashtags.

Divers have located the black box from Air Asia flight QZ8501:

Divers retrieved the cockpit voice recorder from the wreck of an AirAsia passenger jet on Tuesday, MetroTV said quoting a transport official, a key piece of evidence for investigators to determine the cause of the crash that killed 162 people.

The cockpit voice recorder, which records conversations between the pilots and with air traffic controllers, was found close to where the flight data recorder was recovered from the bottom of the Java Sea on Monday, the report said.

Two government officials with knowledge of the matter said divers had recovered an object, but could not confirm what it was until after its serial number was verified. 

Indonesia AirAsia's Flight QZ8501 lost contact with air traffic control in bad weather on Dec. 28, less than halfway into a two-hour flight from Indonesia's second-biggest city of Surabaya to Singapore. There were no survivors.

The black boxes contain a wealth of data that will be crucial for investigators piecing together the sequence of events that led to the Airbus A320-200 plunging into the sea.

The cockpit voice recorder was now on board an Indonesian navy vessel and expected to be sent to the capital, Jakarta, for analysis...

And now, a new prehistoric creature was found in Scotland:

Scotland has its very own prehistoric marine reptile - and, no, we're not talking about Nessie, the mythic Loch Ness monster.

Scientists have announced the discovery of the fossil remains of a dolphin-like seagoing reptile on Scotland's Isle of Skye that lived about 170 million years ago and was about 14 feet (4.3 meters) long.

The creature, named Dearcmhara shawcrossi, is a member of a group called ichthyosaurs that were among the dominant marine reptiles when dinosaurs ruled the land. Ichthyosaurs, some of which reached monstrous proportions rivaling all but the largest of today's whales, thrived for more than 150 million years until disappearing about 95 million years ago.

Dearcmhara, a moderate-sized ichthyosaur, swam in warm, shallow seas during the Jurassic Period, eating fish and squid. Its remains are incomplete but the shape of a bone in its front flippers suggests it may have been an especially strong or fast swimmer, the researchers said.

"It is from Scotland, and is the first uniquely Scottish marine reptile ever discovered and studied," said University of Edinburgh paleontologist Steve Brusatte, one of the researchers in the study published on Monday in the Scottish Journal of Geology.

"Many other marine reptile fossils have been found in Scotland, but the vast majority of these have disappeared into private collections or been sold. This new specimen finally breaks the impasse: it was found by a private collector who did a great thing, donated it to a museum and worked with scientists," Brusatte added.

Amateur fossil hunter Brian Shawcross found the fossils on a beach in the northern part of the Isle of Skye in 1959 and donated them in the 1990s, researchers said. The genus name Dearcmhara (pronounced "jark vara") is Scottish Gaelic for "marine lizard." The species name honors Shawcross.

"It is important to emphasize how grateful we are that Brian donated the bones he found all those years ago," added paleontologist Neil Clark of the University of Glasgow's Hunterian Museum, which received the fossils.

The discovery sheds light on a span of the Jurassic regarded as nearly a black hole in the marine reptile fossil record, Brusatte said. Scotland is one of the few places with fossils from that time.

Almost.... ominous...

No comments: