Daily Archives: October 20, 2017

Deep Space – The Largest Black Holes In The Universe…


Date: October 20, 2017

01) Deep Space – The Largest Black Holes In The Universe

“A black hole is a region of the spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole.[2][3] The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon. Although the event horizon has an enormous effect on the fate and circumstances of an object crossing it, no locally detectable features appear to be observed. In many ways, a black hole acts like an ideal black body, as it reflects no light. Moreover, quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit Hawking radiation, with the same spectrum as a black body of a temperature inversely proportional to its mass. This temperature is on the order of billionths of a Kelvin for black holes of stellar mass, making it essentially impossible to observe.”


24 & ready to die – The Economist…


Date: October 20, 2017

01) 24 & ready to die – The Economist

“Emily is 24 years old and physically healthy. But she wants her doctors to end her life.

24 & ready to die is the tragic case of Emily, a young Belgian woman granted the right to a doctors help to end her own life because of her persistent, severe depression.

Belgium and the Netherlands are the only countries which permit doctor-assisted dying for those experiencing unbearable mental suffering.

Several American states allow doctor-assisted dying for the terminally ill, including, from next year, California.

Majorities in 13 of the 15 countries polled by The Economist and IPSOS MORI in June support doctor-assisted dying.

The Economist has championed doctor-assisted dying in articles and editorials since the 1990s, including most recently a cover story in June this year. The Economist ran a video advert in London in September and Berlin asking: Could you live a life like this? to encourage people to start talking about the right to die.

Support for doctor-assisted dying is growing globally. Bills have recently been debated in Britain and Germany, and a ruling in Canada Supreme Court means that country will soon have legal doctor-assisted dying too. California governor signed an assisted-dying bill into law in October.

A recent poll by Ipsos-MORI for The Economist found majorities in support of doctor-assisted dying laws in 13 out of 15 countries surveyed including the United States, Britain, Australia, Canada and Germany. But only in Belgium and the Netherlands were majorities in favour of allowing doctor-assisted dying in cases of unbearable suffering that is mental, rather than physical.

The Economist supports the introduction of legalised doctor-assisted dying around the world. Zanny Minton Beddoes, editor-in-chief of The Economist, says: For The Economist, the case for allowing doctor-assisted dying relies on personal choice and individual autonomy. Our liberal values and respect for human dignity mean that for this paper, doctor-assisted dying is a cause worth championing.”

I really disagree with this form of assisted suicide…though, I do understand the mental place where this young lady was at…It’s an incredibly dark one…

I lived with this problem, for much of my life…I never cut myself…But depression and thoughts of suicide started for me, when I was…thirteen…fourteen…

…A large portion of my life was personally harrowing…And the worst part, was never being able to pull out of the bleakness and dead energy funk…This is psychological hell, when it stretches on for years, relentless.

…I finally beat this thing, when hitting rock bottom…after everything had been sapped out of me…

…I came back, triumphantly, as “Steve Diamond”…The man who would not be hurt, any longer…

…My anger and fury, made me live once again.


The Phantom of the Opera…


Date: October 20, 2017

01) Librivox: The Phantom of the Opera

“LibriVox recording of The Phantom of the Opera, by Gaston Leroux.

An old theatre under new management; a diva who thinks she can sing; a young ingenue who really can; a masked man who wreaks havoc if he doesn’t get his own way. Secrets, intrigues, falling chandeliers! The Phantom of the Opera is here! (Summary by Karen Savage)”


Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Islam–Mecca vs Medina?…

Date: October 19, 2017

01) Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Islam–Mecca vs Medina?

“We discuss Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s recent paper for the Hoover Institute, The Challenge of Dawa (http://hvr.co/2xLuz6e), her conceptualization of Mecca vs Medina Islam (roughly the distinction between peaceful and militarized/expansionist), and the possibility of rapprochement between Islam and the JudeoChristian world.

We turn from that to the role the Saudis play in accommodating their radical Wahhabi clergy– propagandizing and destabilizing Western and Islamic societies alike. Like Qatar, Kuwait and Iran, the Saudis are waging a long-term ideological war against the West, which we are too arrogant and too naïve to take seriously.

We also discuss the failure of Western women to stand up and demand that the denial of women’s rights and restrictions of freedoms that characterize those countries come to a halt—or at least that they demand that our political leaders consider that issue of utmost international importance.

Ali notes that Western feminists, in their obsession with European patriarchy, refuse to discuss the issues of oppression of women by non-European men outside of the West, and accept the doctrines of multi-culturalism and cultural relativism (and that such acceptance is a catastrophic for women internationally). In consequence, regarding them as more committed to their world-view than the rights of genuinely oppressed women in many non-Western countries, she does not consider them feminists at all.

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is the author of four books, The Caged Virgin (2004) (http://amzn.to/2xLH168), the autobiographical Infidel (2006) (http://amzn.to/2gIQVuH) and Nomad (2011) (http://amzn.to/2xJWWgk), and her latest (2015) Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now (http://amzn.to/2glwkQ2).”