Archive for May 13th, 2008

Interesting Facts About Jellyfish Stinger Cells

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

I thought this was really interesting. Take a moment to watch the video.

A jellyfish’s stinger cell, called a nematocyst, contains a sharp dart spring-loaded into the cell by a tightly packed collagen structure. When the tentacle comes in contact with prey and the lids of the nematocysts open, the dart is hurled forth with a pressure of seven billion Pascals—roughly equivalent to the force of a gunshot wound and strong enough to pierce the hard shells of mollusks. The poison is then injected through the dart via osmosis, resulting in searing pain and a ruined vacation if you’re human, or instant paralysis and lunch status if you’re not.

Original Link.

German Archaeologist on Trail of Ark of the Covenant

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

BERLIN — It is only a breathless Hollywood script: treasure-hunter Indiana Jones races with German archaeologists to track down the fabled Ark of the Covenant, the chest that held the stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments were etched.

Now German researchers claim to have found the remains of the palace of the Queen of Sheba — and an altar that may have held the Ark.

The discovery, announced by the University of Hamburg last week, has stirred skeptical rumblings from the archaeological community.

The location of the Ark, indeed its existence, has been a source of controversy for centuries.

Regarded as the most precious treasure of ancient Judaism, it is at the heart of a debate about whether archaeology should chronicle the rise and fall of civilizations or explore the boundaries between myth and ancient history.

Professor Helmut Ziegert, of the archaeological institute at the University of Hamburg, has been supervising a dig in Aksum, northern Ethiopia, since 1999.

“From the dating, its position and the details that we have found, I am sure that this is the palace,” he said.

The palace, that is, of the Queen of Sheba, who is believed to have lived in the 10th century B.C.

After she died, her son and successor, Menelek, replaced the palace with a temple dedicated to Sirius.

The German researchers believe that the Ark was taken from Jerusalem by the queen — who had a liaison with King Solomon — and built into the altar to Sirius.

“The results we have suggest that a Cult of Sothis developed in Ethiopia with the arrival of Judaism and the Ark of the Covenant, and continued until 600 A.D.,” an announcement by the University of Hamburg on behalf of the research team said.

Sothis is the ancient Greek name for the star Sirius.

The Ark was made, according to the Bible, of gold-plated acacia wood and topped with two golden angels. It is said to be a source of great power. In about 586 B.C., when the Babylonians conquered the Israelites, the Ark vanished.

For many centuries finding it has been one of the great quests — inspiration not only for the 1981 film “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” but also for countries seeking to position themselves in the mainstream of ancient civilization.

Many archaeologists believe that their profession should not be in the business of myth-chasing. Even if the Ark were found, it would be impossible to establish scientifically whether it was the original receptacle for the Ten Commandments.

Iris Gerlach of the German Archaeological Institute in Sanaa, Yemen, believes the religious centre of Sheba is in present-day Yemen.

Although she does not go head-to-head with her colleague Professor Ziegert, the message is clear: A relic such as the Ark would have been stored in an important religious city rather than in Aksum.

Quest goes on

— The location of the Ark has been put in Egypt, Zimbabwe and even Ireland, where the Hill of Tara was excavated

— The Ethiopian holy town of Aksum is regarded as a more credible site

— Ethiopians believe that it is defended by monks in the church of St. Mary of Zion and is seen only by the guardian of the Ark, making it impossible to verify.

Original Link.

Pali Terrorist Rocket Attack Kills Elderly Woman

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

The “brave” Palestinian “freedom fighters”, “militants” or whatever the mainstream media is calling them this week in order to avoid the calling them the terrorist they are, have “heroically” killed a 70 year old lady with a rocket attack.
I look for the Pali’s to spill into the streets in celebration, complete with candy for the kids.
So much for “brave”.

An elderly woman was killed by a Kassam rocket that scored a direct hit on a western Negev community Monday evening, hours after Israeli leaders said they were leaning toward accepting an Egyptian cease-fire deal with Hamas.

Shlomit Katz, 70, of Kibbutz Gvar’am, was killed while visiting Moshav Yesha in the Eshkol Regional Council. The deadly attack came four days after a mortar shell barrage killed Jimmy Kedoshim, 48, a father of four, as he stood in the yard of his house in Kibbutz Kfar Aza in the Negev.

Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for Monday’s attack, after which certain defense officials warned against accepting the Egyptian-proposed cease-fire with Hamas and called for a military response to the continued rocket fire. A half-dozen rockets fell in the western Negev area Monday, including one that landed in Ashkelon.

Despite the escalation in violence, officials close to Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel was leaning toward accepting Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman’s truce offer, which was presented to the defense minister during a breakfast meeting at Barak’s Tel Aviv home earlier in the day. Israel plans to first gradually accept the offer and later turn it into a full-fledged cease-fire following Gilad Schalit’s release.

Original Link.

Muslim Threats Force Out Disabled Teacher with Dog

Tuesday, May 13th, 2008

What happens when two politically correct hot topics go head to head? The one that threatens violence wins every time.
Now Muslims are beating up on disabled persons in the name of Islam.
Notice that the school never even considered punishing the students who threated the dog.
How many more examples of the violence that is Islam is it going to take to shut down the proponents of “tolerance” toward what is clearly a violent group?

A Muslim high school student’s intolerance for a service dog needed by a student teacher with a disability has reportedly prompted the student teacher to abandon the last 10 hours of his scheduled assignment at Technical High School in St. Cloud, Minn.

The St. Cloud Times online said the situation developed with student teacher Tyler Hurd, 23, of Mahtomedi, who hopes to teach special education.

He’s a student at St. Cloud State University, and was assigned to Technical High School in the St. Cloud district for his 50 hours of student teaching, and took with him his service dog, Emmitt.

The newspaper said Hurd needs a service dog because of a childhood injury that leaves him with seizures, sometimes happening as often as weekly. The black lab is trained to protect Hurd when he has a seizure.

The school district told the newspaper it wasn’t really a threat.

“I think it was a misunderstanding where we didn’t really prepare either side for possible implications,” Julia Espe, curriculum director for the public schools, said.

Hurd, however, reported a student threatened to kill his dog. He said the threat came from a Somali student who is Muslim. Minnesota has a large Somali population, mostly Muslim, and they have been involved in issues over their religion in the past.

At the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, many taxi drivers are Somali Muslims and they have raised objections to carrying passengers with liquor. Airport officials finally threatened to remove from the cab drivers’ line waiting for fares anyone who refused a passenger over the issue.

WND also has reported on the dispute over a taxpayer-funded school in a Minneapolis suburb serving mostly Somali Muslim students and accusations that Islam is being taught at the public facility.

Islam forbids its adherents from touching dogs.

Hurd earlier spent some time student teaching at Talahi Community School, where he said his experience was good. He told the newspaper Somali students there even petted his dog, although they used paper to keep their hands from actually making physical contact.

But at Tech, Hurd reported, students taunted his dog, and he left when he was told a student threatened the animal.

University officials said they waived the remaining 10 hours of work that Hurd was supposed to have finished.

“We came up with a solution because I felt threatened by it,” Hurd told the newspaper.

A meeting was set up involving Kate Steffens, the dean of education at St. Cloud State, and assistant principal Lori Lockhart of Tech, in order to avoid future problems.

“We certainly welcome (Hurd) in our district, and we hope we can get this all resolved so he feels welcome and his dog is welcome,” Espe said.

The college places about 1,000 students in 240 regional schools to help them get ready for careers in teaching.

On the newspaper’s forum, “scorpionthoughts” said: “The last time I checked this is the United States of America!!!!! So many people are getting shipped over here and expect to be treated like they and their beliefs are better …. If you don’t like the way things are in this country – stay in your own … place of origin!!!”

Original Link.