Friday, September 21, 2012

Iran pulls Quds back to "neighboring states", sinkhole still getting bigger, global blasphemy law

Some news for you at this week's end. Have a wonderful weekend everyone. Our home is in heaven, and what a day that will be! Meanwhile, there's kids to feed and a dog to walk!

Iran’s Supreme Guide orders Quds Force to focus on neighboring states: source
"Iran’s Supreme Guide Ali Khamenei gave his instructions to the country’s Revolutionary Guard, and all its affiliated units, especially the Quds Force, to stop their activities worldwide, especially in Africa and Latin America, and to focus on the neighboring countries, Al Arabiya reported on Friday, citing a source at the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. The Quds Force, an elite special operations unit, is an arm of the Guard that is active abroad. The Quds Force is tasked with carrying out operations outside Iran -- official and clandestine. It has several thousand members, and it is especially active in the Middle East, according to Western analysts. The source, who talked to Al Arabiya on the condition of anonymity, explained that the Supreme Guide fears a possible military strike against Tehran by Israel, on the one hand; and the grave financial effects of the international sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program, especially regarding the funds provided to the Revolutionary Guard and its affiliated units."

Deep-focus quakes at Fiji:

Two quakes occurred at Fiji that were of the deep-focus variety. Deep focus quakes are earthquakes that occur at depths where they should not be able to occur. Geologists didn't even know deep-focus quakes existed until 1922 until HH Turner of Oxford England provided evidence that they do indeed occur. Confirmation came in 1931. It was only in the lifetime of a person in one generation that seismology was turned upside down with the evidence that quakes are occurring "in diverse places," lol.

I've written about deep-focus quakes before, when several happened in quick succession in the Philippines in 2010. I'd quoted then from a scientific article:

"Geophysicists are really not certain what causes the very deep quakes, because at 640 kilometers rocks are so hot that they flow rather than snap under geological stresses. The more common, shallow earthquakes are generally created when rocks snap and fracture." (source)

Wikipedia explains the depth levels,

The majority of tectonic earthquakes originate at the ring of fire in depths not exceeding tens of kilometers. Earthquakes occurring at a depth of less than 70 km are classified as 'shallow-focus' earthquakes, while those with a focal-depth between 70 and 300 km are commonly termed 'mid-focus' or 'intermediate-depth' earthquakes. Deep-focus earthquakes may occur at much greater depths (ranging from 300 up to 700 kilometers).

Here is the quake data-
Friday: magnitude 4.7, South of the Fiji Islands, 572.0 km deep
Thursday: magnitude 5.7, 35km ESE of Ndoi Island, Fiji 544.2 km deep

The sinkhole in Louisiana is still percolating and expanding. Concerned residents met last night. The emergency has been going on for four months.

Assumption group still seeks answers
"PIERRE PART — Residents and evacuees along with environmental groups and others worried about a large sinkhole, tremors and natural gas releases in the Bayou Corne area detailed on Thursday their concerns about the emergency dating four months with the appearance of mysterious bubbles in waterways."

The movie "Innocence of Muslims" sparked violent protests his week all over the world. The subsequent publication by French media of Muhammad cartoons fueled it. Did you know that for several years now, Muslims have been pushing for a Global Blasphemy Law? Well it died (again) last year but the notion has again been revived.

The Muslim News has the story:

Saudi Arabia: World Islamic body pushes global blasphemy law
The world Islamic body signaled on Wednesday that it will revive long-standing attempts to make insults against religions an international criminal offense. The bid follows uproar across the Muslim world over a crude Internet video clip filmed in the United States and cartoons in a French satirical magazine that lampoon the Prophet Mohammad. But it appears unlikely to win acceptance from Western countries determined to resist restrictions on freedom of speech and already concerned about the repressive effect of blasphemy laws in Muslim countries such as Pakistan. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), said the international community should "come out of hiding from behind the excuse of freedom of expression", a reference to Western arguments against a universal blasphemy law that the OIC has sought for over a decade. He said the "deliberate, motivated and systematic abuse of this freedom" were a danger to global security and stability."

A crazy thing is happening now in a small town of Haren in the Netherlands. A 16-year old girl organized a party, posted the invites to Facebook, but forgot to turn it to private. Thousands showed up to her party and a riot ensued. At least 20 people are hospitalized and riot police had to be called in from all environs to quell the violence. Even the journalists covering the riot were in turn attacked by the attackers. It still isn't under control, the Haren mayor says. More here, and it is a really weird story.

A man has ended up in a tiger's den in the Bronx Zoo. He had jumped the zoo's monorail ride. No one knows why he jumped. He got his leg eaten off for his troubles.

People are acting C-R-A-Z-Y! Really! I don't want to do a 'back in my day' kind of speech, but man, back in my day...people didn't riot when they turn up uninvited to some teenager's party, jump off a zoo ride and hurl themselves at a tiger, and riot when a cartoon is published. I never thought I'd say it but the 1960s are starting to look tame compared to all this.

Here are some recommended essays:

Ask for Tolerance
"If you’re placed in a situation where you suspect your convictions will be labeled intolerant, bigoted, narrow-minded, and judgmental, turn the tables. When someone asks for your personal views about a moral issue—homosexuality, for example—preface your remarks with a question..."

Weird Stuff People Do on Facebook By : Jordan Hall
Have you done any of them that are listed? LOL, I have.

Kittehs!

Interview: Photographer of World's Cutest Kitten

Because who doesn't need a cute kitten picture at the end of a long week?!

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