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Two teachers have harnessed the power of the sun — and provided an insanely cool science lesson in the process.

Charles Dazzo and Gerard D’Ambrosio serve as the mentors of the Green Tech Team at Staten Island’s Tottenville High School, which built a solar-powered car that scored second place in a national competition last year.

“I’m a firm believer that education — hands-on education — really works very well,” said Dazzo, 64, a social studies teacher.

That’s especially true when the hands-on lesson involves building a futuristic ride that looks like a speedboat on wheels.

Last year, they came close to winning it all at the Solar Car Challenge in Texas. This year, the team of eight kids will enter again, with what they hope is an even faster and more efficient car — one that looks like it came straight out of “The Jetsons.”

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While last year’s solar speedster was just a frame, the new one has a sleek, carbon-fiber body, complete with “Solar Pirates” emblazoned on the front bumper. It can travel more than 300 miles on a single charge and reach speeds above 70 mph.

Watch video:  http://nydn.us/1kug0Cm

“It’s a beautiful looking machine,” Dazzo said.

D’Ambrosio, 47, an automotive technology teacher, said seeing the students’ finished product on the racetrack is one of the most rewarding aspects of his job.

“The competition for me, is one of the greatest things,” said D’Ambrosio, of New Jersey. “And working with all the kids has been a pleasure.”

Dazzo, who handles fundraising for the after-school program that has about 20 participants, added that Tottenville High is the only city school represented at the elite competition.

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“We’re very proud to represent New York City,” said Dazzo, who lives in the Prince’s Bay neighborhood of Staten Island.

For teaching students mechanical, environmental and engineering skills, along with the joy of competition, D’Ambrosio and Dazzo have been nominated for Daily News Hometown Hero in Education awards.

D’Ambrosio, who provides guidance on how to build the car, said several former students have pursued degrees in environmental engineering.

 

* BY  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The top-grossing 7-Eleven in the United States is an unassuming storefront — whose sign is lit from above by a single lamp — near the easternmost tip of Long Island in Montauk, where surging demand from tourists and astute business strategies have driven sales.
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In fact, Long Island 7-Elevens dominate the top ranks of the chain-store franchiser’s U.S. business. Last year, eight of 7-Eleven Inc.’s top 10 locations by sales were in Suffolk County, according to the Dallas-based company. A unit of Seven & I Holdings Co. in Tokyo, it has 208 stores on the Island among about 7,800 locations in the United States.
Many franchisees have credited coffee as the biggest draw for customers and the best product in terms of margins. The chain’s peddling of coffee actually has its roots on the Island, where 7-Eleven purports to have introduced coffee-to-go to the mass market in the 1960s.
 
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Coming out of the USSR could be a disorienting experience, as then- Graduate Student Extreme found out in 1979 after seven months here as a guide-interpreter on a cultural exhibit: in my first encounter with an automatic bank teller back in the States, the newfangled “ATM” took my card, scanned it and then asked if I wanted to continue our transaction (a) in English or (b) en español. What? In Spanish?!?

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Who would choose a Spanish option in suburban Washington, DC? Had Zorro taken over the neighborhood? After the prolonged suspended animation of Soviet life, it was hard to resist an Extreme impulse to to look defiantly into the camera of this big-brotherish machine and ask, “Are you KIDDING, amigo?”

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Flash forward a decade to 1989, when Instructor Extreme is showing the first group of Soviet high-school exchange students a popular U.S. film, “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986), as part of their orientation: the hero drives an expensive sports car into a Chicago parking garage, where he asks the smiling but non-responsive attendant, “Do you speak English?” – only to receive the taken-aback reply “What country do you think this is?”

This gets a big laugh from the young Russians, just as it had in theaters around the States. It’s America, so people speak English, of course – always have, always will.

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Wrong and wrong, it so happens. If in 1979 and 1989 there was still little doubt about Anglo-hegemony, by 1999 the party was over for a homogeneous English-only national culture – and the new millennium has seen this transformation quicken its pace.

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Spanish was spoken in the Americas long before English: the Columbus trip was a Spanish project, and was followed by many more Hispanic forays north and south in the New World. While the young United States emerged as an Anglophonemajority state, it did so without adopting an official language – and does not have one today.

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It does have a new fastestgrowing segment of the population, however: today every sixth U.S. citizen is Hispanic, the census bureau tells us, and three decades from now non-Hispanic whites will be a minority – a situation utterly unthreatening to such utterly American icons as Bart Simpson, whose trademark exclamation is ¡Ay, caramba! (Oh gosh!/Wow!/etc.) and Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose Terminator famously wished usHasta la vista, baby! (See you later!), coining one of the most famous lines in Hollywood history.

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In short, Spanish is the second most used language in the United States, spoken by some 45 million Hispanophones and six million language students, comprising the largest national Spanish-speaking community anywhere outside of Mexico. Little wonder that the 2000 U.S. presidential election saw both major candidates – the resolutely white bread/mayonnaise/Anglophone- gringos George W. Bush and Albert Gore – deliver campaign speeches in Spanish. Votes are where you find ‘em, señor.

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So you are very likely to encounter Spanish and Spanish-speakers in American films, literature and on your trip to the United States – but your English textbooks haven’t factored this in yet, have they? “No problemo!” (which is actually popular pseudo-Spanish for no hay problema). Here’s Prof. Extremo’s Hispanic Starter Kit: The Top 10 Spanish Words/Phrases/Usages you’ll see/hear throughout the US – often occurring in otherwise exclusively English contexts:

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1. adios [ah-dee-OHS] – goodbye

2. amigo [uh-MEE-goh], amiga [uh- MEE-guh] – friend (masc., fem.)

3. barrio [BAHR-ee-oh] – neighborhood, usually a heavily Hispanic area

4. bueno [BWE-naw] – good, all right, OK; buenos días – good morning/day

5. Comprende? [kuhm-PREN-dey] – Understand? Got it?

6. gracias [GRAH-see-uhs] – thank you

7. hombre [OM-brey] – man, guy

8. nada [NAH-duh] – nothing, zilch; de nada – you’re welcome

9. por favor [PAWR fah-VAWR] – please

10. señor [seyn-YAWR], señora [seyn- YAWR-uh], señorita [seyn-yuh- REE-tuh] – Mr., Mrs., Miss/Ms.

Hundreds of Spanish words and phrases have become dual-language terms – which is why all of the above now turn up in English dictionaries – and both the total number and their “lexical share” of the general American dialogue are growing as you’d expect: at a pace that parallels that of the Hispanic population.

So get ready to rumba, hombre. Bart Simpson’s still ahead of you! 

Text by Mark H. Teeter at 11/03/2013

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(Mark H. Teeter is an English teacher and translator based in Moscow)

Check this Link:

http://www.gap360.com/learning-spanish-in-peru

Here’s a selection of photos and videos you may have missed posted on UN social media accounts from around the UN system over the past few weeks and shared with our social media team. Thank you to all who contributed!

Fred Tissandier ‏@ftissandier 16h On vaccine trail with Kiaku. 22 km biking to deliver vaccines to children of Kizulu Sanzi #sud-Congo

Bicycles are used to deliver vaccines to children in Congo. Thanks to Fred Tissandier of GAVI Alliance for posting this photo on Instgram.

Peacekeepers from Jordan recently hosted a free medical clinic for 350 students in Liberia. Thanks to our UN Mission in Liberia (@UNMILNews) colleagues for posting this photo on their Twitter account.

A group of young graduates recently received their certificates after a training cycle on life skills for ‘out of school youth’ at a technical school for boys in Darfur. Thanks to the UN Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) for posting this and more on their Facebook page.

As part of Malala Day on July 12, UNICEF Africa tweeted this photo of young people in Democratic Republic of Congo standing up to support Malala’s fight for the right to education for all. Thanks to @UNICEFAfrica for posting this and more on their Twitter account.

 

Check out the highlights from the 51st Graduate Study Programme, one of UN’s flagship educational programmes, which took place in Geneva this summer on the theme of “Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.” Thanks to our colleagues in Geneva for posting this and more on their YouTube account.

UN Special Envoy on Youth Ahmad Alhendawi is scooting away at UN Headquarters! In his own words, this is part of what happens when young people get an office at the UN. Thanks to @AhmadAlhendawi for posting this and more on his Twitter account.

At the ECOSOC Humanitarian Fair in Geneva earlier this month, the UN Refugees Agency presented these prototype solar-powered shelters to the audience. Thanks to UNHCR United Kingdom (@UNHCRUK) for posting this and more on their Twitter account.

At the Economic and Social Council Humanitarian Fair in Geneva earlier this month, the UN Refugee Agency presented these prototype solar-powered shelters to the visitors. Thanks to UNHCR United Kingdom (@UNHCRUK) for posting this and more on their Twitter account.

Students at a technical school in Lebanon were taught the secrets of making pasta when a visting chef came to visit their Italian cuisine course recently. See more photos and read about the event here. Thanks to United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) for posting this and more on their website.

* UN, Jul 21, 2013

Fourteen-year-old Katelyn Norman doesn’t have much time left. Doctors say osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, will soon take the Tennessee teen’s life. But it hasn’t stolen all her chances to experience the joys of being young — including the prom.

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Katelyn hoped she’d be well enough to attend a personalized prom at her school Tuesday night, but that afternoon she had trouble breathing and had to be hospitalized. Her friends and family rallied, bringing the event to her hospital room, where her date presented her with a corsage and a “Prom Queen” sash.

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Katelyn insisted that the prom at school proceed without her: “She contacted me and said prom must go on — that’s her, and you can’t help but feed off that energy, that life,” said the organizer.

 

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http://www.wate.com/story/21802744/teen-fighting-cancer-checks-prom-off-her-bucket-list?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=8713178

LAFOLLETTE (WATE) – There wasn’t a fancy dress or even a dance floor, but on Tuesday night family and friends helped cross off the number one thing on a teen with terminal cancer’s bucket list.

Katelyn Norman, 14, has been fighting bone cancer for months, last week she got word her chemotherapy treatments were no longer working. Katelyn made a bucket list that included going to prom, and the Campbell County community pitched into make it happen.

But Tuesday afternoon, Katelyn was having difficulty breathing and was rushed to Children’s Hospital. When she couldn’t go to the dance, they brought the dance to her.

In stable condition and in high spirits, Katelyn was able to have a make shift prom in her room.

The hospital staff decorated the room and her date gave her a corsage and a special sash. Family and friends gathered outside with candles.

Meanwhile, in Campbell County, the celebration of Katelyn was taking place.

The music was blaring, the decorations were hung, it was meant to be Katelyn’s perfect night, and she wanted it to go on, even if she wasn’t there.

“She contacted me and said prom must go on, that’s her, and you can’t help but feed off that energy, that life,” said Sharon Shepard, an instructor at Katelyn’s school and organizer of the prom.

The night was a celebration of Katelyn, featuring all her favorite things.  But most important, the people she loves most.

“Once you meet her your life will never be the same, she has such an impact,” Shepard said.

And despite her absence her friends passed along messages of hope and love.

“Tell her that I love her and she’s my hero,” said friend McKayla Pierce.

“If I could say anything to her I would say hold on, she’s fighting hard,” said another friend, Brandi Marsh.

Her courage even prompted the mayor to declare Tuesday Katelyn Norman day.

“We wanted to try to make this day, and this time in her life, special to her because she makes it special for people in Campbell County,” said Mayor William Bailey.

That was more evident than ever as thousands of people lined Highway 63 in honor of Katelyn.

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“I think she’s a hometown hero for all of us and a great inspiration to everybody,” said Seirra Ames, who came to hold a candle in Katelyn’s honor.

For more than a mile, candles in hand, the Campbell County community came together to light the night all for a teen that has touched so many.

“It amazes me that an individual has that much impact on people,” Shepard said. “But that’s just Katelyn.”

When Hugo Chavez’s embalmed body is laid in a glass casket sometime next week, he will join at least eight other world leaders whose remains are on display for all eternity … or at least for as long as their keepers can preserve them.

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Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced Thursday that Chavez’s body would be on permanent display at the Museum of the Revolution so that “his people will always have them.” While that idea may sound grotesque, it’s also not particularly novel.

The Russians, arguably the ones who perfected the practice, have put both Vladimir Lenin and Joseph Stalin on long-term display. Lenin’s body has been embalmed in a large tomb near the Kremlin since shortly after his death in 1924, preserved by a steady 61 degree temperature and a strict regimen of mild bleachings and soaks in glycerol and potassium acetate.

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Lenin’s body in 1991, the first time it was photographed in 30 years. (AFP/Getty Images)

According to Time, Stalin’s embalmed body also laid near Lenin’s for about 10 years, but was hastily reburied under cover of darkness when the government tried to squash his cult of personality in the early ’60s.

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Stalin laying in state in Moscow in 1953. (AFP/Getty Images)

The Russians seem to have inspired the North Koreans to similar displays. In 1994, a Russian team helped preserve the body of Kim Il-sung, North Korea’s founding president, the New York Times reports.

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Kim Il-Sung lies in state in 1994. (AFP/Getty Images)

When Kim Jong Il died in late 2011, Russian scientists again went to Pyongyang to assist in the embalming; the late leader lies in a glass sarcophagus with filtered lights to keep his face looking rosy.

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An image of Kim Jong-Il in the memorial palace, taken from Korean TV in 2011. (AP)

But Kim Jong Il and his father were by no means the first Asian leaders to get the Chavez treatment. The Vietnamese revolutionary Ho Chi Minh, who died in 1969, is displayed in a mausoleum in Hanoi modeled after Lenin’s. Since “Uncle Ho” died in the midst of the Vietnam War, his embalmers had to work in a cave in the North Vietnamese jungle, the New York Times reports.

One of the scientists who worked on him told the Times: “Not every expert is allowed to restore such treasured historical objects, like a Raphael or a Rembrandt. Those who do it, we tremble. I feel a great responsibility in my hands.” This video shows the changing of the guard outside Ho Chi Minh’s tomb.

Socialist leader Mao Zedong has lain in state in a mausoleum on Beijing’s Tiananmen Square since May 1977. According to Time, Soviet-Chinese tensions forced Mao’s embalmers to ask the Vietnamese, not the Russians, for advice — a plan that misfired slightly when the Vietnamese could not explain how to build an air-tight coffin.

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A 1976 photo from China’s official news service shows party and state leaders standing vigil by Mao Zedong. (Xinhua/AFP/Getty Images)

The exiled Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who died in 1989, has lain embalmed in a public mausoleum in the northwest Philippines since the government allowed his body back into the country in 1993. His widow, Imelda Marcos, has battled the government for permission to bury him in the country’s presidential cemetery, the New York Times reports. She posted for photos kissing the crypt in 2010.
 

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Chavez will be only the second Latin American leader to be preserved for all eternity. Embalmers emptied water from the cells of Eva Peron, the wife of Argentinian president Juan Peron, and replaced them with wax — an unusual technique that basically “turned her into a candle,” Egyptologist Bob Brier told the Post’s Monica Hesse in 2012. She’s now also missing a finger — when the junta overthrew Peron’s husband and took over their house, they cut one off to see if the body was fake.

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Chavez’s body will, presumably, get better protection than that. AFP reports that Marcos’s embalmer has already offered up his services and is urging the Venezuelans to start the process before it gets “more difficult.”
 
“I will process anyone, anywhere,” he said, helpfully.

 

By Caitlin Dewey on March 8, 2013 (Washington Post)

A four-year-old who can already add, subtract, draw figures, write in sentences and read advanced books has become one of the youngest members of Mensa.

Heidi Hankins sat an IQ test after nursery teachers said they were struggling to find activities to keep her challenged.

The average IQ score for an adult is 100 but the exceptional youngster achieved a staggering 159 points – just one mark shy of scientist Albert Einstein.

She beat number cruncher Carol Vorderman (154 points) and is only slightly behind Big Bang physicist Stephen Hawking (160 points).

Heidi’s father Matthew, from Winchester, Hants, is hoping she can skip a year when she starts school to ensure she does not become bored.

The Southampton University lecturer, 47, said: “We always thought Heidi was bright because she was reading early. I was curious about her IQ and the results were off the scale.

“I got her the complete set of the Oxford Reading Tree books when she was two and she read through the whole set of 30 in about an hour. It’s what you would expect a seven-year-old to do.”

He said Heidi is a head taller than her classmates, and at 115cm (3ft 10in) more physically resembles an average six-year-old.

Dr Hankins added: “We don’t push Heidi at all. She has taken up everything herself and teaches herself.

“In fact, if we try and tell her to sit down and do something she says ‘no’ and goes off to do her own thing.

“In every other way she is like a typical youngster, who likes to play with other children.

“She is not precocious, she is just a little girl who likes her Barbies and Lego but then you will find her sitting down and reading a book.”

John Stevenage, chief executive of British Mensa, congratulated Heidi’s parents for identifying her “great potential”.

“We wish them well and are pleased that they have chosen to join the Mensa network for support,” he said. “We aim to provide a positive environment for younger members to develop.”

Sometimes a picture says a thousand words; sometimes a word says a thousand letters.  There are a few instances in the English language where a word is not constructed for the sake of communication so much as to break a world record, for spectacle’s sake.  In that way, the English language is much like the Olympics; here are ten words that really go the distance.

Note: the following are words in the non-strictest sense, being that some are technical terms, some have been coined, while others actually appear in the dictionary.  Depending on which school of thought you subscribe to, lists may very on the basis of “what constitutes a word” (and some may argue simply that letters constitute a word).

Additional note: tying for the #7 spot is the word “hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian.”  It also contains 30 letters.  Let its omission be justified by saying this list, in and of itself, is hippopotomonstrosesquipedalian (i.e. “that which pertains to extremely long words”).

 

10.  Honorificabilitudinitatibus

This 27-letter word coined by Shakespeare, in his comedy Love’s Labour’s Lost, is a testament to the Bard’s own intralexiconic skills. Meaning “the state of being able to achieve honors,” the word is the longest one in the English language with alternating consonants and vowels (Take a look for yourself….yep.).

9.  Antidisestablishmentarianism

Containing 28-letters, antidisestablishmentarianism is the longest proper word, consisting of proper and compatible root and affix attachments.  After all the Lego blocks have been snapped together, the word comes to mean “the movement or ideology that opposes disestablishment (i.e. the separation of church and state, as in the movement that took place in 1860’s England).”  The word has a dated relevance, or else is the greatest living thing in a world history nerd’s vocabulary.

8.  Floccinaucinihilipilification

This 29-letter word, pieced together from Latin stems, means simply “the deeming of something to be trivial.”  One letter more than antidisestablishmentarianism, and just as big of a mouthful, it is a valid dictionary entry with a usefulness that is much greater than anything it might be placed beside contextually.  Some readers might even be able to maintain a floccinaucinihilipilification for this list.

7.  Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism

This 30-letter word is a technical one for a type of inherited disorder.  An individual with such a disorder resembles someone with Pseudohypoparathyroidism Type 1A, but doesn’t possess a deficiency in calcium or PTH levels (which mark the essential differences between Pseudohypoparathyroidism 1A and Hypoparathyroidism).

To put it far more basically, the word is much more fun to say than to have.

6.  Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

This 34-letter word, which was coined by song-writers Richard and Robert Sherman in the musical film Mary Poppins, is completely made-up, the sum of word parts that don’t even follow proper prefix/suffix placement protocol; the “-istic” following “fragil-” is a suffix, which should signify a word’s end.  However, it is followed by the prefix “ex-,” where a new, separate word should begin.  Nonetheless, it is just another example of a phrase being irretrievably carried off by and imbedded within the culture into which it was born.  Just as how words are invented all the time in rap culture, and swallowed up by a constantly-evolving (or devolving) language system.

The word, containing definable roots, means something like “Atoning for educability through delicate beauty.”  Miss Poppins, however, would insist the word means “something to say when you have nothing to say.”

5.  Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

The term refers to a kind of lung disease caused by a finely-powdered silica dust.  This word, containing 45 letters, does appear in the dictionary, but was created primarily just for the sake of a long word.  An equivalent of what the word is going for, albeit by taking the long way home, is a condition simply called silicosis.  Any doctor diagnosing the former is obviously getting paid by the hour.

4.  Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic

http://www.xtranormal.com/xtraplayr/12412110/hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia

This 52-letter word was engendered by Dr. Edward Strother in order to describe spa waters of Bath, England in a single word.  The sum of individually-meaningful parts, the word altogether means roughly, “equally salty, calcium-rich, waxy, containing aluminum and copper, and vitriolic.”  Of course this word has very few applications elsewhere.  Unless maybe you were talking about some kind of 9V-battery-powered robotic chicken wing.

3.  Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphioparaomelito-katakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoio-siraiobaphetraganopterygon

This word, which shan’t be uttered twice, is a transliteration of a word coined by Greek author Aristophanes in his comic play Assemblywomen.  Containing 171 letters, it is the longest word appearing in literature and refers to a fictional dish; the word quite literally is just the smooshing together of the 17 ingredients contained within (including sharks, pigeons, honey, and various unappetizing animal parts).  Don’t expect to see this listed on any menu, as there surely wouldn’t be enough room to list anything else.

2.  Methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucylphenyl-
alanylalanylglutaminylleucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutamyl-
glycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolylphenylalanylvalylthreonyl-
leucylglycylaspartylprolylglycylisoleucylglutamylglutaminyl-
serylleucyllysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisoleucylglutamy-
lalanylglycylalanylaspartylalanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylisoleucyl-
prolylphenylalanylserylaspartylprolylleucylalanylaspartylglycylproly-
lthreonylisoleucylglutaminylaspfraginylalanylthreonylleucylarginy-
lalanylphenylalanylalanylalanylglycylvalylthreonylprolylalanyl-
glutaminylcysteinylphenylalanylglutamylmethionylleucylalany-
lleucylisoleucylarginylglutaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleucyl-
prolylisoleucylglycylleucylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginy-
lleucylvalylphenylalanylasparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartyl-glutamylphenylalanyltyrosylalanylglutaminylcysteinylglutamylly-sylvalylglycylvalylaspartylserylvalylleucylvalylalanylaspartylvalyl-prolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylalanylprolylphenylalanylarginyl-glutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhistidylasparaginylvalylalanyl-prolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcysteinylprolylprolylaspartylalanyl-aspartylaspartylaspartylleucylleucylarginylglutaminylisoleucylalanyl-seryltyrosylglycylarginylglycyltyrosylthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylseryl-arginylalanylglycylvalylthreonylglycylalanylglutamylasparaginyl-arginylalanylalanylleucylprolylleucylasparaginylhistidylleucylvalyl-alanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylasparaginylalanylalanylprolyl-prolylleucylglutaminylglycylphenylalanylglycylisoleucylserylalanyl-prolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalanylisoleucylaspartylalanyl-glycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylserylglycylserylalanylisoleucyl-valyllysylisoleucylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylhistidylasparaginy-lisoleucylglutamylprolylglutamyllysylmethionylleucylalanylalanyl-leucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalylglutaminylprolylmethionyllysylalanyl-alanylthreonylarginylserine

What you just stared at is the 1913-letter chemical name for tryptophan synthetase, a protein (an enzyme, to be exact) with 267 amino acids.  Of course, it’s completely impractical to actually utter this prankster’s approach to making huge words (the largest one in print), and just looking at it for too long might even lead you to believe there are words and phrases hidden in there like a word search (if you look closely the word “party” shows up a few times, as does something resembling “asparagus”).  Of course, when you cut-and-paste such a word (rather than risk missing even a single letter, for accuracy’s sake), you risk looking like an ass by not thoroughly combing through that contrived brick-o’-letters.

1.  [Titin’s Chemical Name]

This 189,819-letter word shall not be printed in its entirety, partially because it is literally too big to print (without filling the space of a short novella that is), and would be a waste of time and hard drive space.  Along the same lines as the last example, it is a derivation of the chemical components that comprise the protein; abridged, the word is “Methionylthreonylthreonyl…isoleucine,” really not worth seeing sprawled-out if for a single-purpose novelty (the only real purpose a chemical name could possibly serve).

Written By Ryan Thomas

Read more: http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-longest-words-in-the-english-language.php#ixzz1sJrG8BP5

Peru is expected to receive over a million and a half visitors the final stages of the Dakar Rally, which is being held in the country.

“Just to give you an idea: in Argentina almost 3 and a half million people attended the 2011 Dakar Rally; in Chile, just over 1 million. And Peru is expected to host more than 1 million and a half supporters,” said Rosemary Hernandez, project manager at PromPeru.

2012 is the fourth year the Dakar Rally will travel to South America, and the first time it will run through Peru. The race will begin in Mar del Plata, Argentina, cross Chile, and end in Lima.

“Promperú and other institutions have done a pretty arduous works, but we are very happy. We are in charge of all promotional activities before and during the race. You can already feel Peruvian’s expectation, ” she said to Andina.

The Rally will consist of fourteen stages and will cover a total of 9,500 kilometers.

The Huacachina oasis is hot, day and night

The Huacachina oasis (Photo: Carlos Salas/PromPerú)

It is a bit like a dream, standing on the shores of the beautiful Huacachina oasis, contemplating the blue-green water and the immense sand mountains surrounding it all. There is no doubt that it is beautiful, and for that reason it attracts young crowds of both tourists and locals for prolonged weekend stays.

I did not enjoy the 5 hour bus ride with Cruz del Sur from Lima to Ica very much, however. It seems to me that Cruz del Sur doesn’t represent the good deal which it once did. The comfort just is not there, partly due to seat comfort- if the person in front of you leans back his seat, you will virtually get crushed- but in particular because of the never-ending show of videos with high volume thundering from the central speakers. This simply destroys the amazing scenery traveling along the southern Peruvian coast from Lima to Ica. On the way back, I traveled on Soyuz; it wasn’t any better, but at least it was cheaper.

When you arrive to Ica, the change of transportation to a taxi is very smooth, allowing you to arrive to Huacachina within 15 minutes for around S/. 6. Huacachina has an abundance of hostels and guest houses, and they practically all offer the same traditional sand buggy rides and sandboarding. I stayed at Carola del Sur, a sister hostel to Casa de Arena with the same owner, without the lush swimming pool and nightclub of Casa de Arena, but also without the noise.

The Carola del Sur. Photo by author.

Carola del Sur also offers great, spacious and clean rooms at very reasonable prices. The staff is very friendly and easy-going, and is at the same time well organized and secure. 
Before going out on the sand dune tours, I went on a classic city tour to Ica, visiting the main square of Ica and a pisco bodega, which gave a nice impression of this colonial town as well as some basic knowledge of the pisco distillation process. And of course, I got to taste some different piscos, with the opportunity to buy special and original Ica pisco, a good way of ensuring quality.

Sandboarding. Photo by author.

In the afternoon, I went on an awesome roller coaster ride in the buggies, bumping up and down in incredible sand dunes for a couple of hours. It is a thrilling and fun experience, which is a must do, as is the sandboarding which is a very cool and unique activity in Peru. However, it takes some practice to get the most of out it, and be careful – even though sand sounds like a soft surface, it is not so soft when you fall of a board in high speed descending a tall sand dune. But these buggies are just amazing, and it is absolute mandatory to go for such a thrilling ride.

A dune buggy. Photo by author.

I spent the entire evening at Casa de Arena, where I joined a barbecue buffet and free drinks for only S/. 50, a heck of a bargain, which you won’t find at many places. The food was great, and there was plenty of it. Later the nightclub opened, and this remodeled meeting place, combining rustic and modern design, is a spectacular spot for everybody (but in particular young people) in and around Ica.

The grounds of the Casa de Arena. Photo by author.

The place is huge, and there is room for many hundreds of people, and in fact it almost fills up on the weekends. The ground floor is an impressive large dance floor with two bars, and a big stage separates this floor from the VIP zone on the second floor.

The nightclub at Casa de Arena. Photo by author.

You can choose to sit down and talk, to go dancing to reggaeton rhythms, or simply hang around enjoying the environment from a distance – each level has the feeling of an exciting meeting place, as the place to be on a Saturday night. The place opens around 11pm, and fills in around 1am, and continues until the early morning, around 5am. This is indeed the place to be on a Saturday evening in Huacachina.

I had a fantastic prolonged weekend stay in Ica and Huacachina, and 3 days is just exactly enough to get something out of the trip, considering the almost 5 hour bus drive back and forth.
By Morten Bruun Jensen , January 2, 2012

 Morten Bruun is the co-founder and Chief Operations Manager for the Peru Experience travel agency.

All the cool kids seem to be doing it so I figured I’d compile a year-end list of my own favorite posts from this past Year of Blogging Shamelessly.

I Like Coffee, I Like Tea. All about interactive coasters, the physics of coffee rings, how to make siphon coffee (basically using pressure to create a vacuum during the brewing process), and how Fick’s laws of diffusion apply to brewing the perfect cup of tea.

Dueling Dualities. We tend to think of dualities as two different polar opposites, but in theoretical physics, it represents the notion that two seemingly different things might just be two different ways of looking at something. I was responding to Amanda Gefter’s wonderful Edge essay responding to the question, “What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?” As she wrote,

Embracing the physicist’s meaning of duality… can provide us with a powerful new metaphor, a one-stop shorthand for the idea that two very different things might be equally true. As our cultural discourse is becoming increasingly polarized, the notion of duality is both more foreign and more necessary than ever. If accessible in our daily cognitive toolkit, it could serve as a potent antidote to our typically Boolean, two-valued, zero-sum thinking — where statements are either true or false, answers are yes or no, and if I’m right, then you are wrong. With duality, there’s a third option. Perhaps my argument is right and yours is wrong; perhaps your argument is right and mine is wrong; or, just maybe, our opposing arguments are dual to one another.

Ticket to Ride. All about the “Euthanasia Coaster” invented by Julijonas Urbonas, a designer, artist, engineer and PhD student specializing in “gravitational aesthetics.” Yes, a coaster designed in such a way probably could kill you.

And the Oscar Goes To…. A fond look back at some of the best nods to physics in the films of 2010.

Driven to Diffraction. The physics of diffraction gratings, or why your DVDs work.

Babble-Onia. How nifty new speech recognition algorithms might one day solve “the cocktail party problem.”

Rubber Band Man. The physics of “shrinkage” in rubber, whether it be dildos or space shuttle o-rings. Special video appearances by the late Richard Feynman, and the very present Brian Cox giggling at a tabletop LHC model built entirely out of adult “toys.” [Mildly NSFW]

Bring Back Your Dead. The physics of cryogenics, and why it’s the unthawing process that’s the real killer when it comes to reviving cryogenically frozen folks.

Thrown for a Curve. Responding to a terrific post at Wired by my pal David Dobbs, I explore the physics of the curve ball, including the seminal experiments conducted at NIST by a man named Lyman Briggs.

So You Want to Be a Science Consultant. Advice for scientists with stars in their eyes about consulting on Hollywood movies and TV series. tl;dr: Don’t quit your day job.

Drunken Masters of Lingua Franca. At an acoustics conference in June, Abby Kaplan, who works in the linguistics department at the University of Utah, had some interesting things to say about drunken speech patterns — namely, whether it’s harder to pronounce certain sounds or words when intoxicated. I’m betting she had a lot of volunteers for the drunken group. Bonus: why it’s harder to understand foreign accents, and a bit of drunken boxing, courtesy of Jackie Chan.

What Woody Woodpecker Can Teach Us About Football. The high incidence of concussion and long-term brain damage in professional football has scientists lining helmets with high-tech sensors to better understand the forces at work in producing such injuries. They’re also looking into new materials to reduce the impact of those forces, and drawing inspiration from Mother Nature — specifically the humble woodpecker and why it never gets a headache.

Yodel All the Way. Why yes, there’s a science as well as art to yodeling. Features “Lonelly Goatherd” plus a video duet of “Nessun Dorma” between a human tenor and an operatic robot called Pavorobotti.

Flushed With Pride. The sound of one toilet flushing can be very loud indeed. That’s why acoustics researchers study how to reduce toilet flushing noise in adjacent offices. It’s science!

I also blog about the latest space, astrophysics and particle physics research over at Discovery News. Here’s a few of my favorite posts from the past year in that venue.

Solving the Mystery of Frankenstein’s Moon. An astrophysicist and “forensic astronomer” at Texas State University named Donald Olson has concluded that there is no good reason to doubt Mary Shelley’s account of being inspired after experiencing a “waking dream” as moonlight streamed through her bedroom window.

Physicists Bid Farewell to the Tevatron. After a spectacular 28-year run, Fermilab’s Tevatron is shut down, signaling the end of an era in particle physics.

Reality Check: What are Those Naughty Faster-Than-Light Neutrinos Really Up To? “I’m sorry to report that, for all the hoopla, the general consensus that has emerged over the last couple of days is that (a) it’s a really interesting, potentially exciting result, but (b) it probably won’t hold up over time.”

Einstein’s Anti-Gravity Underwear and Other Weighty Matters. An 1879 issue of The London Punch credited Thomas Edison with the invention of antigravity undergarments. It was satire, of course, but prompted a blog post looking at some of the most infamous anti-gravity schemes in recent history.

Higgs Field Makes a Cameo on SyFy’s Eureka. One of my favorite sci-fi series on TV had a bit of fun with anti-gravity, too, thanks to a fictional “Higgs field disruptor” that causes various objects in Eureka start to lose mass and float away. I indulge in a bit of nerd-gassing and examine the underlying science.

Oh Pioneer! Mysterious Anomaly May Finally Be Solved. A flurry of recent papers could lay to rest once and for all a longstanding mystery in astrophysics: the so-called “Pioneer anomaly,” an as-yet-unexplained deceleration of NASA’s Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 spacecraft in their wanderings beyond our solar system. A follow-up postoffered further evidence that the culprit is more likely to be heat than something more exotic (like modified gravity).

Physicists Observe Neutrino “Quick Change” in Japan. In June, the Japanese T2K (Tokai to Kamioka) experiment announced the first evidence (PDF) of a rare form of neutrino oscillation, whereby muon neutrinos turn into electron neutrinos. And this, in turn, gives physicist a potential clue to a critical mystery in cosmology: why there is something in the universe, rather than nothing. Fermilab’s MINOS experimentconfirmed the observation the next month.

The Soviet Particle Accelerator that Time Forgot. Back in the late 1980s, the USSR started building what would have been the largest particle accelerator in the world in a town called Protvino. And an enterprising group of urban spelunkers rediscovered it and took some pretty impressive photographs.

Fermilab’s Bump Hunters See Hints of New Particle. Okay, it wasn’t the Higgs boson, but in June there was a flurry of excitement over a slight bump in the data from Fermilab’s CDF experiment that offered compelling evidence for a possible new particle. Alas, the sister detector, D-Zero, weighed in shortly after and put the kibosh on all the excitement: they didn’t see the same signal.

What Happens to Snails in Space? A new paper by a team of US and Russian scientists that appeared in April on PLoS investigated the effects of microgravity on, well, snails.

On the Trail of Magnetic Monopoles. In the season 2 finale of The Big Bang Theoryeveryone’s favorite socially challenged physicist, Sheldon, accepts an invitation to spend three months at the North Pole searching for magnetic monopoles. He figures finding a magnetic monopole would put him on the fast track for a Nobel Prize. And he would be right. But he shouldn’t count on finding one right away; magnetic monopoles have eluded our best scientists for centuries.

Finally, a propos of nothing in particular, here’s one of my favorite physics-y songs, by The Cat Empire. Enjoy! And here’s to another year of bloggy goodness in 2012.

Jennifer OuelletteAbout the Author: Jennifer Ouellette is a recovering English major turned science writer who loves to indulge her inner geek by finding quirky connections between physics, popular culture, and the world at large.
The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Nearly every woman I know can recall one or more instances in which she was sexually assaulted, harassed, threatened, inappropriately touched or even raped.


Yet few told anyone about it at the time, or reported it to the police.
I have clear memories of three such episodes from my childhood, one of which involved a man who owned a store in my neighborhood. Not knowing at age 11 anything about reproduction (in 1952, expectant teachers had to take leave when they “showed”), I was terrified that I could become pregnant from having been forced to touch his penis.

I had trouble sleeping, and I avoided the block where the store was. Yet, fearing that the assault was somehow my fault, I said nothing to my parents.
Experts on sexual assault and rape report that even today, despite improvements in early sex education and widespread publicity about sexual assaults, the overwhelming majority of both felony and misdemeanor cases never come to public or legal attention.

It is all too easy to see why. More often than not, women who bring charges of sexual assault are victims twice over, treated by the legal system and sometimes by the news media as lying until proved truthful.
“There is no other crime I can think of where the victim is more victimized,” said Rebecca Campbell, a professor of psychology at Michigan State University who for 20 years has been studying what happens legally and medically to women who are raped. “The victim is always on trial. Rape is treated very differently than other felonies.”

So, too, are the victims of lesser sexual assaults. In 1991, when Anita Hill, a lawyer and academic, told Congress that the Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas had sexually harassed her repeatedly when she worked for him, Ms. Hill was vilified as a character assassin and liar acting on behalf of abortion-rights advocates.

Credibility became the issue, too, for Nafissatou Diallo, an immigrant chambermaid who accused the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, of forcing her to perform fellatio in a Manhattan hotel room.Prosecutors eventually dropped the case after concluding that Ms. Diallo had lied on her immigration form and about other matters, though not directly about the encounter with Mr. Strauss-Kahn.
When four women, two of whom identified themselves publicly, said they had been sexually harassed by Herman Cain, the Republican presidential hopeful, they, too, were called liars, perhaps hired by his opponents.

Charges of sexual harassment often boil down to “she said-he said” with no tangible evidence of what really took place. But even when there is DNA evidence of a completed sexual act, as there was in the Strauss-Kahn case, the accused commonly claim that the sex was consensual, not a crime.
“DNA technology has not made a dramatic change in how victims are treated,” Dr. Campbell said in an interview. “We write off a lot of cases that could be successfully prosecuted. It’s bunk that these cases are too hard to prosecute.”

Victims must be better supported with better forensics, investigations and prosecutions, Dr. Campbell said. “This is a public safety issue. Most rapists are serial rapists, and they must be held accountable.”

In one study, published in 1987 in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 126 admitted rapists had committed 907 rapes involving 882 different victims.
Rapists are not the only serial sexual offenders. Witness the all-too-frequent revelations of sexual abuse of children involving multiple victims and persisting for decades even when others in positions of authority knew it was going on.

In the latest such scandal, an assistant football coach at Penn State University stands accused of molesting 10 boys. The charges led to the firing of a revered head coach, Joe Paterno, and forced the resignation of the university president for failing to take more immediate action.
The Risks

Last year, according to the Department of Justice, 188,280 Americans were victims of sexual violence.

Among female victims, nearly three-quarters are assaulted by men they know — friends, acquaintances or intimate partners, according to federal statistics.
But fewer than 40 percent of rapes and sexual assaults are reported to the police. Underreporting is more common among male victims and women raped by acquaintances or domestic partners. Only one-quarter of rapes are committed by strangers.

The result of underreporting and poor prosecution: 15 of 16 rapists will never spend a day in jail, according to the network. Dr. Judith A. Linden, associate professor of emergency medicine at the Boston University School of Medicine, reported in The New England Journal of Medicine in September that in the United States, “fewer than half of rape cases are successfully prosecuted.”

Victims may be reluctant to report a rape because they are embarrassed, fear reprisals and public disclosure, or think they won’t be believed. “Victims often think they somehow brought it on themselves,” said Callie Rennison, a criminologist at the University of Colorado in Denver. “Rape is the only crime in which victims have to explain that they didn’t want to be victimized.”

These feelings are especially common among college women who may have been drinking alcohol or taking illicit drugs when raped by a date or acquaintance.

Victims may not realize that any form of sexual behavior that is not consented to and that causes discomfort, fear or intimidation is considered sexual assault in most jurisdictions. That includes indecent exposure, unwanted physical contact (including kissing and fondling) and lascivious acts, as well as oral and anal sex and vaginal rape, whether with a body part or an instrument.

A minor — in general, 16 or 17, depending on the state — can legally consent to sexual activity. A person of any age who is forced or threatened, developmentally disabled, chronically mentally ill, incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, unconscious or preparing to undergo a medical procedure cannot legally consent to sexual activity.

Among young children, girls and boys are equally at risk of being sexually abused. But as they age, girls increasingly become targets; among adults, women represent about 90 percent of cases.

Experts have long debated whether rape should be seen as an act of aggression and control or the product of an irresistible sexual urge. To the victim, the distinction is moot.

The consequences can include pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease; feelings of helplessness, hopelessness and low self-esteem; self-blame and depression; substance abuse and eating disorders; fears of intimacy; numbness;post-traumatic stress disorder (nightmares, flashbacks, anxiety attacks, difficulty functioning); borderline personality disorder; unexplained physical problems; and even suicide.

Thus, even if rape victims choose not to report the attacks, prompt medical attention and psychological counseling can be critically important to their long-term well-being.

 

* Text by JANE E. BRODY, NYT, December 12, 2011

A Peruvian court has authorized American Lori Berenson who spent 15 years in jail over her ties with leftist guerrillas to go to the United States for the holidays, after her 2010 release on parole.

Berenson will be allowed to travel to the United States any time through January 11, an appeals court ruled Thursday, overturning a lower court’s decision, her husband and lawyer Anibal Apari told local media.

New York-born Berenson, 42, was sentenced to 20 years in prison in 1995 for having collaborated with the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) leftist guerrilla group.

Berenson was convicted of participating in a foiled MRTA plot to seize control of Peru’s congress and take lawmakers hostage. She allegedly used her press credentials to gather information used to prepare for the takeover.

Despite her support for the MRTA, Berenson has repeatedly denied she was involved in any acts of violence.

She was released on parole last year after spending 15 years in prison, but Peruvian law requires Berenson to live in Lima for the remainder of her sentence.

The appeals court granted Berenson’s request for holiday leave, saying her travels to the United States “would not prevent her from serving the remainder of her sentence.”

Anti-terror prosecutor Julio Galindo denounced the ruling, saying, “There is no guarantee that this former MRTA member will return to Peru.”

Berenson’s 2010 release sparked a public outcry in Peru, where she is remembered as a defiant foreigner raising her fist and chanting leftist slogans during her trial in 1995 — a tirade broadcast on television.

The MRTA has since disintegrated, with most of its members either dead or in prison following a fierce government crackdown on leftist guerrilla groups in the 1990s under then president Alberto Fujimori.

It gained notoriety for taking over the Japanese ambassador’s Lima residence in December 1996, taking 72 hostages. The standoff lasted four months until a raid that left 14 rebels and one hostage dead.

MRTA was less well known than the Shining Path, another guerrilla group that has largely been eliminated.

* AFP, 12/16/2011

 

An Al Jazeera English video report on Saturday’s violence in Cairo includes footage of soldiers beating and shooting at protesters and of the country’s new prime minister denying that the military had used any force at all.

As our colleague David Kirkpatrick reports from Cairo, Egyptian soldiers chased down and beat unarmed civilians on Saturday, even while the prime minister appointed by the military “was denying in a televised news conference that security forces were using any force.”

While Egyptians who rely on state-run media outlets might have accepted the official explanation, video shot by activists and independent journalists clearly showed that uniformed soldiers attacked protesters.

Photographs and video of soldiers beating a female protester whose traditional hijab veil had been stripped off caused particular outrage. Several activists, including Mohamed ElBaradei, responded with anger to a Reuters photograph of the attack on the woman, which showed a soldier kicking her bare midriff.

After video broadcast by the private channel CBC appeared to show some of the incident, activists pointed to this edited footage which showed the woman being beaten in more detail, even though she might have been unconscious the whole time.

As the Egyptian blogger who writes as Zeinobia reported, the military apparently took steps to make sure that there would not be much video evidence to contradict the official narrative. She wrote that when troops stormed Tahrir Square on Saturday, members of the military police also raided apartments with views of the square used by local and foreign television channels and confiscated cameras.

A freelance photographer who managed to record this video of the soldiers sweeping through Tahrir Square, Tom Dalewrote on his Vimeo channel: “Several journalists’ cameras were confiscated and destroyed today. The army missed this one.”

Mr. Dale provided his footage to Mosireen, an activist collective dedicated to documenting events in Egypt. Another Mosireen filmmaker recorded this scene, of soldiers carrying the body of a man who was either unconscious or dead.

A third clip posted on Mosireen’s YouTube channel on Saturday showed a graffiti artist painting a portrait of one of the protesters killed the night before, as fire tore through the Egyptian Scientific Institute in the background.

While there was a dispute about how the building had caught on fire, the independent Cairo daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reported that eyewitnesses said that a Molotov cocktail aimed at soldiers throwing rocks from a nearby building had struck the institute by mistake. Soon after the fire started, activists rushed to save ancient books stored inside it.

As Al-Masry Al-Youm explained, the institute was established in 1798 by Napoleon Bonaparte after the French invasion of Egypt and “its library contains more than 200,000 books.”

One of the activists who was present, Adel Abdel Ghafar, reported on Twitterthat even as protesters were fighting with soldiers nearby, the two sides were “cooperating to save what’s left of the books.” Minutes later, however, he posted an update explaining that the activists working to save the library had come under renewed attack from soldiers hurling rocks and glass.

DESCRIPTION
Adel Abdel Ghafar, via YfrogAn Egyptian activist who rushed to save books from a burning library in Cairo on Saturday reported: “I just came out with this batch of old books, all early 19th century.”

Perhaps responding to the flood of video evidence of brutality by soldiers, Egypt’s military rulers, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, tried to push back online by posting footage of its own on YouTube that appeared to show some civilians engaged in what looked like vandalism during the unrest.

While activists posted a number of photographs and video clips of men in plain clothes hurling rocks at protesters, the blogger and activist Gigi Ibrahim reported on Saturday night that “thugs” interviewed on Egyptian state television claimed that they had been paid by protesters to wreak havoc.

 

By ROBERT MACKEY and ELIZABETH HARRIS, December 17, 2011

The FBI estimates that each year more than 100,000 underage American girls are exploited for commercial sex

Underage prostitution in the US is organized crime’s third biggest money-maker after guns and drugs. But the kids get blamed instead of the criminals. Young girls are put behind bars for walking the streets, with no offer of rescue or help.

The US State Department regularly puts out reports on how horrific human trafficking is in other countries.
Yet for the home country, the FBI estimates that each year more than 100,000 underage American girls are exploited for commercial sex. The average age is 13 years old. But the usual treatment the children get, when arrested, is either jail time or probation.

In the US, prostitution laws do not exempt minors from prosecution. The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention reported 1,600 juveniles were arrested for prostitution within just one year.
But lawyers say in the US, the paradox of the system is that the children are prosecuted for crimes for which they cannot legally give consent.

“We say that this child is a victim and yet we send them to jail. Somewhere along the line, there’s something wrong with that and we need to take a look at ourselves and a look at the fact that we have made detention, and law enforcement, and the criminal justice system, and juvenile justice system a default setting for what happens to these kids. And we just kind of lock them up and shove them away. And that’s the end of our response to these issues, this system. We wanna make sure that these kids are treated as victims,” says Raychel Lloyd from Girls Educational and Mentoring Services.

But treating the victims and providing for their recovery requires funding.
“There’s no federal money for US victims of trafficking,” says Tina Frundt who works with a non-profit group in Washington, which helps the children to get their lives back providing them with housing and medical treatment. She herself was trafficked at the age of 13.

Tina says it is easier for the government to label the children as prostitutes, charge them and send them to detention centers, rather than fund shelters and invest in their future.

“There’s not enough housing for sex trafficking victims at all. So what they’re saying is that for their safety we will arrest them and put them in jail. Then we charge the victim. We don’t put rape victims in jail, why would we put victims who were trafficked in jail?” asks Frundt.

Almost all of the victims of child trafficking remember being constantly raped and abused both by pimps and clients.
“Many of the young people we served have been incarcerated and charged as an adult under the age of 16. So they have this lengthy 15, 20, 30, 40 arrests both as a juvenile and as ‘an adult’ for prostitution. When they go to apply for public housing, they are not eligible for that. When they go to do certain employment, that pops up in a background check and they are booted out of an employment training program,” says Raychel Lloyd.

The past of such children is already scarred as it is. And the non-profit organizations that help victims of sex trafficking say by prosecuting the children and by not investing in their recovery it is the government that scars their future.

Published: 16 April, 2011

The Rev. Pat Robertson turned heads with his appearance on The 700 Club on Wednesday when he blamed Haitian history for Tuesday’s devastating earthquake. In short, Robertson claimed that the quake was divine retribution for a pact with the devil that was sworn long ago, a statement he was audacious enough to make while the 800 number for disaster relief scrolled at the bottom of the broadcast. Here’s the clip:


“And you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French, you know, Napoleon the Third and whatever, and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, ‘We will serve you if you’ll get us free from the French.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘O.K., it’s a deal.’ “

So what was Robertson referring to? The theory that Haiti is a nation built on a pact with the devil has circulated on a number of websites, each tracing back to an apocryphal tale of Haitian voodoo priests sacrificing a pig and drinking its blood in 1791 in order to secure Satan’s aid in expelling the French occupation. In return, the priests are said to have promised Haiti to Satan for the next 200 years. The French were soon beat back, and in 1804, Haiti became an independent nation. But even if you believe the story (something many historians doubt), Satan’s lease on the tiny island nation should have expired in 1991.

This isn’t the first time that Robertson has shocked people by speaking off-the-cuff. After then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffered a stroke in January 2006, Robertson posited that it was punishment from God. He urged the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez in 2005, and hosted the Rev. Jerry Falwell on The 700 Club in 2001, when Falwell made comments suggesting that gays and feminists, among others, were responsible for bringing the 9/11 attacks on the U.S. He has also become famous for his woeful prognostication, after promising a disastrous tsunami in America in 2006 and a terrorist attack on U.S. soil in 2007, both of which (thankfully) failed to materialize.

* By Dan Fletcher, Time-CNN, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2010

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