Jews, Muslims mark holy days

first_imgIn a rare occurrence, the start of two major religious holidays – Rosh Hashana and Ramadan – are being brought together this year, with the Jewish High Holy Days beginning today and Islamic officials declaring the start of their holiest time Thursday. Along with prayers at temples and synagogues, large Islamic centers and masjids, Jews and Muslims will devote the next several days to introspection, acts of generosity, forgiveness and personal renewal. With the holy days so close together, this “is a special time that comes about coincidentally,” said Amir Hussain, professor of religious studies at Loyola Marymount University. “It’s a fascinating time for people to see commonalities in each other.” Beginning at sundown today, Jews in Los Angeles will join those around the world in observing Rosh Hashana, the start of the high-holidays period that ends 10 days later with Yom Kippur. And after the new moon has been spotted by special committees in London and in the Middle East, the monthlong Ramadan observance will begin. Because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the start of Ramadan moves up 10 days every year. Some years it runs through summer. Ramadan is observed by abstaining from food and drink from sunrise to sunset. No cursing, lying, act of anger or other hurtful behavior is allowed. After sundown, Muslims participate in iftar, or a meal to break the fast, with family and friends. Rosh Hashana, which loosely translated means “head of the year” in Hebrew, is ushered in with the blowing of the shofar, which is made of a ram’s horn. On Yom Kippur, Jews will fast, refrain from work, attend services, atone for past sins and resolve not to repeat them, and seek forgiveness. “I’m focusing on the whole issue of dreams that are sometimes not achieved and the need to reflect back on what we thought we wanted, what we hoped to achieve when in reality, we didn’t,” said Rabbi Richard Camras of Shomrei Torah synagogue in West Hills. Camras said he is using the 60th anniversary of the state of Israel as a metaphor for what can be achieved, and for the struggles still ahead. “It’s a message of hope,” he said. “Life is not always as we imagined, but often it is beyond our control. “Rosh Hashana reminds us that the world was created for each one us. Each one of us is given this marvelous opportunity for our life. Each year gives us new hope and possibility.” Perhaps more noteworthy, the two holy times coinciding can be used to continue the dialogue between the two communities that are often at odds in the Middle East, local religious leaders said. “This is an opportunity for moderate-thinking Jews and moderate-thinking Muslims to celebrate their respective faiths and respect the paths of God that others have chosen,” said Rabbi Jim Kaufman of Temple Beth Hillel in Valley Village. “My wish for the coming year is that the people of this country will once again reassert themselves as smart, caring and assertive lovers of freedom.” That the two holiest of times for Jews and Muslims fall nearly on the same day brings a deeper, spiritual meaning, said Aref John Abedi, director of the Islamic Center of Reseda. “We must be kind and generous to all human beings regardless of race or color, and we should not keep any hatred That message of inclusion will be presented this week at services within the Jewish and Muslim communities. Rabbi Richard Flom of Burbank Temple Emanu El will speak about charity, about helping others at a time when many are suffering. “We as Jews and as Americans have become complacent, not just with charitable contributions, but in our day-to-day lives. We tend to turn away from things we don’t like to see. Sometimes it’s easier to avert our eyes.” As for the timing of the holidays, Flom wondered if there was more to it than just coincidence – if maybe God brought the two cultures together on purpose. “It’s a time for introspection,” he said, “when we should be thinking about each other.” [email protected] (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Striker left out of QPR’s squad for visit to Germany

first_imgJay Bothroyd has been left out of QPR’s pre-season trip to Germany.The striker, who has attracted interest from Celtic and a number of Championship clubs, has fallen further down the pecking order at Loftus Road this summer.Former England midfielder Owen Hargreaves will travel with the squad and is expected to feature in at least one of Rangers’ friendlies.Summer signing Ryan Nelsen is also scheduled to fly out following his involvement with New Zealand’s Olympic team.Mark Hughes’ side play Turkish club Trabzonspor on Saturday and Augsburg seven days later.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img

Kevon Looney likely sidelined for NBA Finals while Klay Thompson staying hopeful

first_imgClick here if you’re unable to view the photo gallery on your mobile device. OAKLAND — The Warriors might lose one of their most dependable shooters. The Warriors definitely lost one of their most dependable role players.Warriors reserve forward Kevon Looney will be out indefinitely for the NBA Finals after an MRI and CT scan revealed a non-displaced first costal cartilage fracture, according to league sources. The Warriors consider Klay Thompson as questionable for Game 3 of the NBA Finals …last_img

Students Need to Argue Science, Not Memorize It

first_imgA professor of science education has a radical idea: teach science through argumentation, because that’s the way scientists do it.If you were bored in science class having to learn a bunch of facts, you might have perked up if your teacher taught it the way Jonathan Osborne recommends: argue a position from available evidence.  PhysOrg introduced its article by saying, “Teaching students how to argue based on available evidence engages them in the scientific process and provides a better idea of how science actually works.”Earth orbits the sun. Microorganisms cause infectious disease. Plants use carbon dioxide to grow. Most of us know these scientific truths from our earliest school days. They’re accepted facts. But astronomers, microbiologists and botanists once fought for these concepts using arguments based on evidence. Science, it seems, arrives at its tenets through argument.Science education should follow suit, says Stanford education Professor Jonathan Osborne. Teachers should help students learn to argue a position from available evidence, he says, helping them learn why we know what we know.In short, Osborne wants students to think about evidence, not just be told conclusions.  “In science, people argue for their ideas, in terms of the evidence that they have,” he said. “There should be more opportunities to look at why some ideas are wrong, as well as what the right ideas are.”The concept of “justification” for “right” ideas is lacking in science education, Osborne believes.  His recommendations were published in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. 50:3, March 2013.  The only hard part is training science teachers to change their ways.The article led to a flurry of argumentation in the comments about what constitutes a legitimate scientific theory.  Osborne was mentioned in our 5/21/2012 entry where he promoted “collaborative discourse” in the science class.Osborne’s ideas are good, but he doesn’t go far enough.  Indoctrination into a consensus is still possible under his model, if the concepts of “evidence” and “justification” are not unpacked.  This is another good time to remind readers of the course on Philosophy of Science offered by The Teaching Company, where you can see how difficult it is to justify even the simplest of scientific truths.  Another worthwhile course (though flawed when it discusses intelligent design) is Science Wars: What Scientists Know and How They Know It.  (Reader tip: these go on sale for 70% off from time to time).It’s not clear from the article if Osborne understands the problems with peer review and consensus.  Does he have a Popperian view of science, or a Kuhnian view?  How about the view of Feyerabend, Cartwright, or van Fraasen? Lakatos or Polanyi?  What is even meant by science these days, when it covers everything from sociology to string theory? Students should learn not just to argue evidence, but to argue philosophy of science.  They can’t study science without knowing what it is.  Yes, normal science includes argumentation, but it can also include social pressure.  Students need to know that scientific institutions, made up of fallible people who don’t know everything, can enforce conformity within popular paradigms, which regulate what questions are important and what is meant by “evidence.”Dead ideologies can be dangerous.  Positivism and scientism still parade through high schools, like zombies, without students realizing they’re dead.  Let them learn to beware the zombie science teachers who say, “Scientists now know….”(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Origin of Life: A Field of Ignorance

first_img(Visited 573 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The origin of life field is characterized by speculation about dumb molecules that could not possibly have organized themselves into living beings.[Note: CEH is taking a break this week. These news items are presented for those who wish to follow up on them.]Mazur interviews all the leading lights in the materialist origin-of-life field.A new synthetic molecule may solve a paradox about life’s origin (New Scientist).Scientists crack how primordial life on Earth might have replicated itself (Science Daily). Might doesn’t make right.Scientists’ discovery in Yellowstone ‘extremely relevant’ to origin of life ( Uh, Mr. Scientist, the microbes are already living.How Did Life Begin? (Nature). Leading OOL researcher Jack Szostak starts with the Miller Myth then pushes his imaginary RNA world again.Why formamide may have been early life’s alternative to water (Astrobiology Magazine).New study reveals secrets of evolution at molecular level ( your hand at being a CEH reporter! Read and analyze the claims above. You can use our Back Issues for assistance; click on the Origins drop-down menu on the front page, and look for previous entries about Origin of Life. You can also use the search bar for particular keywords.last_img read more

Groundspeak Weekly Mailer– January 4, 2012

first_imgTeach Someone about Geocaching in 2012Each New Year, millions of people around the world resolve to change something in their lives.Common resolutions include: getting in shape, stressing less, traveling more, and spending more time with family. You can put someone on the road to accomplishing all these things simply by introducing them to geocaching.If you are an educator, group leader, or facilitator, consider introducing geocaching to your group. Not only will they have fun going on an outdoor treasure hunt, but they will also learn about teamwork, problem-solving, navigation, and more along the way.Visit our new Geocaching and Education page to read more on how to engage groups through geocaching.Share with your Friends:More SharePrint RelatedGroundspeak Weekly Newsletter – September 21, 2011September 21, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – March 10, 2011March 10, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”Groundspeak Weekly Newsletter – March 3, 2011March 2, 2011In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”last_img read more

Germany’s Energy Revolution

first_imgIn Germany, the cost of electricity is risingThe cover of a recent issue of Der Spiegel caught my eye: “Luxury Power — Why energy will become increasingly costly, and what politicians must do to prevent it.” Aha, I thought: Germany has generally been the poster-child for the broad implementation of renewable power, and this article will provide insights into the downside of this transformation.The article certainly does lambaste many aspects of the Energiewende, focusing particularly on the relatively high cost of electricity. But the sensational language employed and the apparent lack of context for some of the assertions had me wondering about the article’s balance.There’s no doubt that the German government’s support for the development of renewable energy — particularly wind turbines and photovoltaic systems — has been expensive. These costs appear as a surcharge in the monthly electricity bills that most Germans pay. The article contends that this surcharge disproportionately penalizes low- and fixed-income citizens, who are, according to the article, increasingly at risk of having their electricity cut off.The German government’s energy regulations were designed to exempt businesses and industries that compete internationally from having to pay the electricity surcharge. This exemption represents a potential loophole that some businesses have exploited. It also increases the cost of power for those businesses that do not qualify. Andrew Dey’s background includes carpentry, contracting, and project management. For the past six years he has provided construction consulting services to clients in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. He is passionate about retrofitting existing buildings — including his own house — for greater energy efficiency. His blog is called Snapshots from Berlin. Replacing fossil fuels with energy efficiencyThe Der Speigel article’s most significant omission, in my opinion, relates to efforts to reduce demand for energy. Energy efficiency is a cornerstone of the Energiewende, yet it is hardly mentioned in the article. Wind generators and solar panels lend themselves to simplistic critiques; insulating existing buildings and installing better building control systems are not attention-grabbing subjects. My understanding is that Germany is making steady progress in the arena of energy efficiency, but that there remains tremendous potential for additional gains.What was most striking to me about the article in Der Spiegel is that it does not fundamentally question the need for an Energy Transformation; rather, it argues that the current path is flawed, and that alternatives should be explored. Public opinion polls in Germany consistently show broad support for the goals of the Energiewende. Coming from the U.S., a country that lacks a comprehensive, coherent energy policy, I am inspired to see people here in Germany debating the “how,” rather than the “what” or the “why.” Renewable energy sources require grid improvementsThe article contends that the main driver of increased electricity costs is the “haphazard” expansion of wind and solar energy. It describes the difficulties in bringing off-shore wind parks cost-effectively into operation, the need to upgrade the grid to transport energy from where it is produced to where it is needed, and the challenges posed by providing reliable back-up power during periods of peak demand.The article points out the uncomfortable fact that Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions actually increased by 2% in 2012. This was presumably the result of the shut-down of eight aging nuclear power plants in 2011 following the Fukushima nuclear disaster, and the resultant need for Germany to use lignite coal-fired plants to pick up the slack.The article concludes that Germany might be better off with a system based on market-driven incentives, similar to that which has been enacted in Sweden, rather than relying so heavily on government support.These critiques all have some merit, but reasonable arguments can be made in defense of the Energiewende’s policies and their implementation. Cogent responses to the concerns raised in this article can be found in in various articles available on the web, including in the publication “Energy Transition — the German Energiewende,” produced by the Heinrich Boell Foundation. Chapter 6, Questions and Answers, addresses head-on many of the issues raised in the Der Spiegel article. RELATED ARTICLES An Energy-Efficiency Conference in GermanyA German Deep-Energy RetrofitGermany’s Plus-Energy TownGetting Off Fossil FuelsVäxjö, Sweden, is a Model of SustainabilityCombined Heat and Power in Swedencenter_img These goals include:Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 40 percent by 2020, and by 80 percent by 2050 (as compared to 1990 levels)Phasing out the use of nuclear power by 2022Reducing primary energy consumption by 20 percent by 2020, and 50 percent by 2050 (compared to 2008 levels)Expanding the use of electric vehicles: 1 million by 2020, and 5 million by 2030Increasing the percentage of energy from renewable sources to 18 percent by 2020 and 60 percent by 2050A serious attempt at achieving these goals will require increasing the energy efficiency of all market sectors (housing, transportation, industry, etc.), dramatically expanding the use of renewable energy, and shifting energy-related attitudes and behaviors to a new paradigm.One of my motivations for spending a year in Germany was to learn more about the Energiewende — to dig more deeply into the program specifics, and to find out how it is working. My wife and I decided several years ago to spend a year living in Germany. I wanted finally to become fluent in German, after having been married for many years to a German engineer.I was also interested in learning about the materials, methods, and systems being used to make buildings more energy-efficient in Germany. We knew it would be educational for our two daughters to be immersed in a foreign culture, and we looked forward to spending more time with my wife’s family in Germany.We are now about six weeks into what will likely be a year-long adventure. I’ve started a blog to share with family and friends some of the experiences we are having in Berlin. I have also been posting information related to construction and energy efficiency. A nation tries to lower its carbon emissionsI have seen numerous newspaper and magazine articles in the past few weeks focused on the allegedly high cost to the German people of the country’s ambitious plan to restructure its energy systems. These articles have not been confined to Germany; they have also appeared in outlets such as The Guardian and The New York Times.Der Spiegel is a weekly German news magazine whose gravitas I might have placed somewhere between Newsweek and The Economist. However, a recent cover story about Germany’s “Energiewende” — an article which exemplifies the strained tone of other recent articles — did not strike me as particularly impartial or objective.Energiewende translates literally as “energy turn,” but it is more typically expressed as “energy transition,” “energy transformation,” or “energy revolution.” This program has its roots in the environmental movement that formed during the 1970s in Germany. In 2011, the German government formalized the Energiewende in its current configuration with the goal of achieving specific energy-related and carbon-reduction goals within the next forty years.last_img read more

DSLR Video Shooting in Low Light & Nighttime Conditions

first_imgNighttime Shooting with a DSLRDirector of photography and popular online educator Philip Bloom shares his tips for Vimeo’s Video School. For nighttime DSLR shooting he uses lenses with low F stops and raises his ISO. A few good takeaways here:DSLR: Low Light Shooting StrategiesRich Harrington and Robbie Carmen team up for to share their thoughts on low light DSLR shooting. Good info on camera/lens settings and lighting: DSLR cameras shoot better in low light than traditional video cameras. So, how can you get the best nighttime shots from your DSLR?Having the right equipment, and most importantly knowing the right camera settings and shooting techniques, is key to getting high quality night time and low light video footage with your DSLR.In the following video tutorials, 3 industry pros explain their process and optimal settings for getting the best DSLR low light shots.Low Light: DSLR Filmmaking TutorialIn this video tutorial by Moritz Janisch, he shares his top rules for getting noise-free nighttime shots. His guide for shooting in low light:To avoid noise never go higher than ISO 1600Keep your shutter speed between 1/30s and 1/50sAperture should be between F/1.2 and F/5.6Use your camera’s native picture style and turn contrast downlast_img read more

High Demand for CMU Graduates

first_img In an interview with JIS News, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, said that approximately 95 per cent of the crews that are provided in Jamaica for international shipping lines are CMU graduates. Admiral Brady made specific reference to Exmarr, a shipping line that specialises in the carriage of liquefied natural gas (LNG), indicating that they have made their preference for CMU-trained personnel clear through their recruitment drive. Story Highlights Graduates of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) are highly sought after by international shipping interests to man their vessels. Graduates of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) are highly sought after by international shipping interests to man their vessels.In an interview with JIS News, Director General of the Maritime Authority of Jamaica, Rear Admiral Peter Brady, said that approximately 95 per cent of the crews that are provided in Jamaica for international shipping lines are CMU graduates.Admiral Brady made specific reference to Exmarr, a shipping line that specialises in the carriage of liquefied natural gas (LNG), indicating that they have made their preference for CMU-trained personnel clear through their recruitment drive.“The company has looked at the quality of the seafarers that the CMU produces. They have found them to be very professional and they have, over the last three to five years, recruited up to about 120 male and female graduates,” he noted.“They are a very mature-minded company, and all of the reports that come from Exmarr point to the excellent performance of the Jamaican cadets and the seafarers that they have employed, and they are beginning now to outfit their ships with a large number of Jamaicans, because of their reliability and their professionalism,” he added.According to the Director General, it has been a success story for Jamaica, and it also opens up the pathway for promotion to the highest levels (Captain and Chief Engineer) in that company, which is European.“That bodes very well for Jamaica, because it shows that we are as good as any in this world of shipping,” he said. Admiral Brady explained that Jamaica, through its geographical location, is a strategic place for ships that trade on the north south and east west shipping lanes.He said crewing is just one of a number of auxiliary services that Jamaica provides for ships going to their various ports of call in the hemisphere. These include ship repair and bunkering.The Director General pointed out that Jamaica’s location has given rise to the provision of these services to facilitate ships that require a one-stop-shop facility at a port and that this in turn makes the port very attractive to vessels that are traversing the hemisphere.last_img read more

TCI Government praised for support during Beaches Resort rebuilding

first_img Related Items: Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp#TurksandCaicos, December 19, 2017 – Providenciales – Gordon Butch Stewart is a true Caribbean son, as the founder and builder of a chain of world renowned resorts which are all – at this time anyway – set up in the Caribbean.   Among the regional countries where Stewart has established a Sandals or Beaches resort is the Turks and Caicos.An appreciation luncheon was on Friday hosted by the Chairman of SRI, and the comments by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness, who was here for that luncheon – received robust applause from the near 60 attendees at the function.   In addition to many thank yous and kudos, there were statistics and a description given about the job of work which had to be done following the ferocious Hurricane Irma.The Hurricane, which tore up Beaches Resort and forced a 90 day closure of the property, Stewart said it’s the worst he has seen in decades.“… spend that kind of money on damage, I have to thank the government, the government was exceptional in that we needed A huge amount of builders, the operational side, retraining the staff, managing the work permits, seeing that our lead got his spaces on the project side of things, that’s why we are open today.”The bill to rebuild at the 75-acre property on Grace Bay, Providenciales is put at $50m by the Chairman.   The luncheon was held at his Key West Village.last_img read more