Collar Necklace, ca. 1900
Mellerio dits Meller
via The Smithsonian
"A morsel [of food] in the belly of a hungry person is better than building a mosque"
Thehas abandoned a secretive program that dispatched plainclothes detectives into Muslim neighborhoods to eavesdrop on conversations and built detailed files on where people ate, prayed and shopped, the department said.
The decision by the nation’s largest police force to shutter the controversial surveillance program represents the first sign that, the department’s new commissioner, is backing away from some of the post-9/11 intelligence-gathering practices of his predecessor. The Police Department’s tactics, which are the subject of two federal lawsuits, drew criticism from civil rights groups and a senior official with the who said they harmed national security by sowing mistrust for law enforcement in Muslim communities. […]
The Demographics Unit, which was renamed the Zone Assessment Unit in recent years, has been largely inactive since Mr. Bratton took over in January, the department’s chief spokesman, Stephen Davis, said. The unit’s detectives were recently reassigned, he said.
“Understanding certain local demographics can be a useful factor when assessing the threat information that comes into New York City virtually on a daily basis,” Mr. Davis said. “In the future, we will gather that information, if necessary, through direct contact between the police precincts and the representatives of the communities they serve.” […]
The future of those [surveillance] programs remains unclear. The former police commissioner,, has said his efforts were lawful and helped protect the city from terrorist attacks. Last month, a federal judge in New Jersey dismissed a lawsuit over the department’s surveillance there, saying Muslims could not prove they were harmed by the tactics.
Two other federal lawsuits continue to challenge the department’s tactics. One legal claim has been brought under a civil rights case that dates back to the Police Department’s surveillance of student groups and protesters in the 1960s and 1970s. Martin Stolar, one of the lawyers who brought that claim, maintains that the post-9/11 surveillance programs violate the court order in that case. A judge has not yet ruled on that question.
Like Muslim community leaders, Mr. Stolar said he wanted to see exactly what the department had planned. Police officials have changed the name of the program before, he said.
“I want them to say that they’re getting rid of not just the unit, but the kind of policing that the unit did,” Mr. Stolar said. “Is it still going to be blanket surveillance of where Muslims hang out? Are they going to stop this massive surveillance?”
Gellért Baths — Budapest, Hungary
Inside the thermal baths and a view of the ceilings.
Woman carrying eggs, Senegal. (Jessica Anatola)
Folded in its cover, it measures 5 x 5 cm, fully expanded it is 63 cm long. It contains pictures of the months, with chores typical for that. In circles next to the pictures, red lines mark the bright hours of the day, black ones dark. In addition, the calendar has an overview of the holidays and saint’s days for the whole year, each one marked with a little figure illustrating the commemorative day; e.g. a lion for the feastday of St. Mark.
It is kept in the National Library of Denmark
The first mention of Basque whaling was made in 1059, when it was said to have been practiced at the Basque town of Bayonne. The fishery spread to what is now the Spanish Basque Country in 1150, when King Sancho the Wise of Navarre granted petitions for the warehousing of such commodities as whalebone (baleen). At first, they only hunted the whale they called sarda, or the North Atlantic Right Whale, using watchtowers (known as vigias) to look for their distinctive twin vapour spouts. By the 14th century they were making “seasonal trips” to the English Channel and southern Ireland.
image: Right whale by Michelle
A joint international research team led by the University of Oxford, in collaboration with the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities (SCTA), has discovered a giant tusk in the Arabian Desert.
The two pieces of tusk, which together measure six feet (2.25m) in length, are thought to have belonged to a now extinct genus known as Palaeoloxodon (the so-called ‘straight-tusked’ elephants).
An elephant’s carpal bone located five metres away from the pieces of tusk was also recovered from the same sand layer at an excavation site in the Nefud Desert. The sand layer was dated to around 325,000 years before the present day in recently published work by a Swiss team (Rosenberg et al in 2013), and the Oxford team says this suggests that the elephant remains found there are also about that age.
The research team also discovered other animal remains in the same sand layer, including a big cat, thought to be a now-extinct jaguar, and the remains of a member of the horse family, as well as oryx – antelope species which are still native to the Arabian Peninsula today.
Project leader Professor Mike Petraglia, from the School of Archaeology at the University of Oxford, said: ‘The discovery of the elephant tusk is significant in demonstrating just how much the climate could have changed in the Arabian Desert. Elephants would need huge quantities of roots, grasses, fruit and bark to survive and they would have consumed plenty of water too.
'Although the sand dunes in the Nefud Desert carry on for miles in the present day, indeed across an area the size of England, around 325,000 years ago it seems the landscape would have been very different.'
The findings were revealed at the Green Arabia conference at Oxford University, at which scientists are examining the latest evidence on how early humans and animals are likely to have been affected by past climate change in the Arabian Peninsula.
A woman reacts as she listens to a fortune telling machine at a beach along the Arabian Sea in Mumbai on April 2, 2014. (Danish Siddiqui/Reuters)
This has been asked a few times, so PSA: I make no guarantee that I will translate everything here into English. This could be:
- because I can’t do the original text justice
- because I don’t have the time or the energy
- because I don’t feel like it
It is disappointing to be left out, but you don’t get to be a part of every conversation. This expectation isn’t unique to English-speakers, but you know your language has a fair amount of dominance when you feel justified in walking up to someone in a public place and asking them to tell you what they’re saying to their friend. Tumblr is a semi-public place, but the people here still have boundaries, like people anywhere.
If you really want to participate, you may have to learn the language well enough to take part - and even then, you don’t have a place in every single conversation.