It’s going to be quite a while before I can share the DSLR photographs I took in Iceland with you, so for the meanwhile, here are some of my favourite Instagram shots taken during 5 days in this most magical of places. I cannot wait to return, and explore this treasure of a place even further… If you’d like to see more you can visit me @hellopoe on Instagram!
A Health Ministry inspector poured bleach over pots full of food in a Sudanese restaurant in Tel Aviv Sunday night.
The inspector, from the ministry’s district office for Tel Aviv, was participating in a raid by police and municipal inspectors on illegal businesses owned by African migrants. Altogether, the raid shut down 10 businesses in the city’s Neveh Sha’anan neighborhood, confiscating their equipment and welding the doors shut. The equipment was then loaded onto vans by other African migrants who had been hired as contract workers.
Many diners saw the inspector pouring bleach on the food, and one, asylum-seeker Aladin Abaker from Sudan’s Darfur region, posted photos of the incident on his Facebook page. He also described his feelings of humiliation.
“Everyone − except the destroyers − was in tears from the humiliation,” he wrote. “The waitress told us, ‘I’ve seen very harsh things in my life, like torture in Sinai, but this humiliated me more than what happened to me in Sinai.”
Abaker accused the inspector of “insensitivity to people and their culture, which sees food as a sacred thing that must be respected,” and said the raid was aimed at “embittering our lives so we’ll return to Africa ‘voluntarily.’”
Altogether, he said, more than 200 kilograms of meat, chicken and fish and over 500 prepared meals were destroyed.
The inspectors said they didn’t know where the meat came from and therefore feared for the diners’ health, Abaker wrote. “We told them: But this is the only place we’ve eaten all our meals for four years now, and none of us ever had stomach problems. Even whites eat here.”
The Health Ministry responded that inspectors had discovered “deplorable sanitary conditions, food stored under unsuitable conditions and temperatures, and food from unknown sources. In order to preserve the public’s health and that of the diners themselves, it was decided to destroy the food immediately. As part of the process of destroying the food, chemicals suitable to this purpose are used. It should be noted that this was a routine process of food destruction that is no different from other destructions of food/meat.”
Tel Aviv’s deputy city manager, Ruby Zelof, said the raids were carried out “to eradicate the undesirable phenomenon of businesses operating illegally, with sanitation and safety problems and illegal connections to electricity and water, and sales of alcoholic beverages without permits.”
Haaretz | Photo credit: Aladin Abaker
Knesset Member Miri Regev — a member of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud Party — called the refugees “a cancer in our body” and Danny Danon — also a Likud Knesset Member — wrote on his Facebook page referring to the Africans as “infiltrators”. Interior Minister Eli Yishai said the African asylum seekers threaten “the Zionist dream,” adding, “Jobs will root them here.”
- Why is the birth rate in Israel’s Ethiopian community declining? Ethiopian women who immigrated to Israel were coaxed into agreeing to injections of long-acting birth control drugs, or told they would not be allowed into the country
- Israeli woman has her photo taken with Africans, titles the Facebook album: “Late night tour of the Tel Aviv Safari”, captions the photo: “There are no signs forbidding taking pictures with the animals. There were no signs that forbid feeding, but we passed on that.”
Part of a disclaimer added by Paramount to the film Noah in an attempt to avoid offending or alienating Christian audience members.
The disclaimer was, apparently, requested by the National Religious Broadcasters, who felt (at least according to one board member) that the film is “historically inaccurate.”
Historically inaccurate. The story of Noah and the flood that wiped out everything on Earth except for the people and animals on a giant boat. Roll that around in your head for a bit.
NASA plans a robotic mission to search for life on Europa | io9
It looks like it’s finally going to happen, an actual mission to Jupiter’s icy moon Europa — one of the the solar system’s best candidates for hosting alien life.
Yesterday, NASA announced an injection of $17.5 billion from the federal government (down by $1.2 billion from its 2010 peak). Of this, $15 million will be allocated for “pre-formulation” work on a mission to Europa, with plans to make detailed observations from orbit and possibly sample its interior oceans with a robotic probe. Mission details are sparse, but if all goes well, it could be launched by 2025 and arriving in the early 2030s.
This is incredibly exciting. Recent evidence points to a reasonable chance of habitability. Its massive subsurface ocean contains almost twice as much water as found on Earth. The water is kept in liquid state owing to the gravitational forces exerted by Jupiter and the moon’s turbulent global ocean currents. The good news is that a probe may not have to dig very deep to conduct its search for life; the moon’s massive plumes are ejecting water directly onto the surface.
- by Alexander Binsteiner
"Microscopic investigations on the world famous statuette from the Gravettian period (30,000 to 22,000 years ago) carried out at the Natural History Museum in Vienna revealed three incredible insights, and when taken together tell a secret story of this Palaeolithic figurine and her creators.
- The limestone from which the 11cm high Venus had been carved, comes almost certainly from the region around the Moravian city of Brno 136km to the northeast of Willendorf.
- The source of the flint blades discovered with the figure was North Moravia, a further 150km to the north.
- The Venus had once been completely painted with red ochre, and given the ritualistic associations of this material meant that the figure was more than likely a cultic object.
The limestone of Stránská Skala in Brno
After an extensive programme of comparison of a large dataset of various limestone types, the proverbial needle was located in the haystack. The limestone rock from which the Venus of Willendorf could have been made, came from an unexpected location. The limestone is often called 0olite, and is composed of millimetre-sized calcoliths (skeletons of tiny sea creatures). Only on the Stránská Skala, a limestone massif in the city area of Brno (Brünn), can an identical rock type be found. This places the origin of the stone for the Venus at this precise location.
Nordic flint from the moraines region of Moravia
Analysis of the flint tools from the Ice Age camp of Willendorf, along with a detailed lithic provenancing examination showed that up to one third of the blades that are typical of the Gravettian culture were made from what is known as northern flint. This raw material was never available on the Danube, but must have been brought from the northern moraines region to Willendorf. The long narrow blades from this high-quality flint are exceptional, however, it is what is not present that opens up a window onto its origins and the movement of the people themselves. The Willendorf site contains no suitable cores to makes these blades, which can only suggest that they were already complete when they arrived at the Danube and the cores were left at the site of extraction and production far to the north.
These findings appear to represent evidence of long range seasonal migrations of the Ice Age Gravettian people moving from summer and winter camps between 30,000 - 27,000 years ago. The group would have spent the warmer seasons in the cool highlands, while in winter they would settle in the area of the Danube valley. This route would take them through the area where they could gather the material to carve the limestone figurine, and collect the flint nodules in the moraine deposits of the Nordic Ice sheets from the northern flint glacial region of Moravia where they would make the tools, before carrying them all the way to the Danube during the harsher winder months” (read more).
(Source: Past Horizons)