Muslim prayer in American national cathedral

Muslim prayer in American cathedral

The Washington National Cathedral, considered the United States’ “national prayer house,” hosted a Muslim service Friday, the first such event in the sanctuary’s history.

Muslim prayer rugs were laid and “the Arabic call to prayer echoed among the vaulted stone arches,” which the dean of the cathedral, the Very Rev. Gary Hall, called “a beautiful sacred language in a beautiful sacred space,” according to The Washington Post.

Welcoming the worshipers, director of liturgy Rev. Canon Gina Gilland Campbell said, “Salaam, shalom, peace. You are all so very welcome here.” She also used the occasion to issue an impassioned call for interfaith understanding, saying, “Let us stretch our hearts and let us seek to deepen mercy for we worship the same God.”

Christian and Muslim leaders also spoke about the need for religious dialogue and harmony, including South Africa’s Muslim Ambassador to the U.S. Ebhraim Rasool, co-organizer of the event. Rasool used the sermon, or Khutba, to call for the protection of Christians in the Middle East, as well as greater Muslim tolerance for other religions, saying: “I think that we must return to the Muslim prophetic tradition in which the Prophet, may peace be upon him, invited Christians to his own mosque that he established in Medina – and said to them, you can pray here.”

Islam is the third-largest religion in the United States, behind Christianity and Judaism, and with at least 2.6 million adherents, constitutes approximately 0.8% of the country’s population.

 

North America to scale on various planets

The vast majority of objects out there in the universe are pretty big…moons, planets, stars, galaxies, so it can be difficult sometimes to get your head round their actual size.
With the huge continent of North America dwarfed by Jupiter’s storms, the universe seems an even larger place. In the other direction, Mars looks so much more human-scaled.
This is how North America looks like in relation to Jupiter, one of the giant planets:
planet size-USA
But this is what it lookslike on Mars:
planet size-USA Mars
Read more about it here:
http://astronomycentral.co.uk/astronomy-the-size-of-stuff/

Philea robot lands on comet

Philae_landing

Congratulations, European Space Agency, you’ve made history! After departing from the Rosetta orbiter this morning, touchdown of the robot named Philae onto Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was confirmed at 16:05 GMT. This is a momentous occasion for space exploration as it marks the first time that a spacecraft has ever landed on the surface of a comet.

The Rosetta mission was dreamt up in the ‘80s, but it was not until 1993 that the $1.6 billion (€1.3 billion) project was approved and construction of the crafts could be initiated. That means the probes were fabricated using some systems that were undoubtedly invented in the 1980s, making the mission’s accomplishments even more remarkable.

Rosetta’s rocky voyage began in 2004 after two ditched launch attempts. It took a decade to reach the comet in August this year, a journey that covered six billion kilometers (3.75 billion miles) of our inner solar system.

More on IFL Science.

90-year-old man arrested for feeding homeless people

(CNN) — Arnold Abbott handed out four plates of food to homeless people in a South Florida park. Then police stopped the 90-year-old from serving up another bite.

“An officer said, ‘Drop that plate right now — like I had a weapon,'” Abbott said.

Abbott and two pastors in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were charged for feeding the homeless in public on Sunday, under a new ordinance banning public food sharing.

Now they face possible jail time and a $500 fine.

“Just because of media attention we don’t stop enforcing the law. We enforce the laws here in Fort Lauderdale,” Mayor Jack Seiler said.

He defended the law in an interview with the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.

“I’m not satisfied with having a cycle of homeless in the city of Fort Lauderdale,” Seiler said. “Providing them with a meal and keeping them in that cycle on the street is not productive.”

“These are the poorest of the poor. They have nothing. They don’t have a roof over their head,” Abbott said. “Who can turn them away?”

It’s a battle Abbott has fought before. In 1999 he sued the city for banning him from feeding homeless people on the beach — and won.

He said the threat of charges won’t stop him from doing it again.

“I’m not afraid of jail. I’m not looking to go, but if I have to, I will,” he said.

On Wednesday, Abbott said he’ll be at Fort Lauderdale Beach, ready to serve another meal.

▶ Officer: 'Drop That PLATE, Right Now' – recalled 90-year-old Man Arrested for Feeding Homeless – YouTube.

A dying wish to say goodbye… to her horse

Sheila Marsh’s dying wish was to say goodbye to the horse she loved for 25 years. Staff at Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan wheeled her bed to the car park. Nurse Gail Taylor explains what happened next: “The horse, Bronwen, walked steadily towards Sheila. Sheila gently called to Bronwen and the horse bent down tenderly and kissed her on the cheek as they said their last goodbyes.” Sheila passed away hours later.
dying horse farewell

Halloween spider web made of trash bags

trashbag-spider-web
Materials Needed:

black plastic trash bags
scissors
clear tape

trashbag-spider-web 1

1)Trim garbage bags into rectangles

Begin by laying a trash bag out flat. Trim off the sides and bottom so you’re left with two big rectangles of plastic. Cut each piece into an approximate square.

2) Fold the triangles twice

Fold one of the squares in half diagonally to form a triangle. Fold that triangle in half two more times. This is slippery stuff, so use a few pieces of tape to fasten the layers together. It will help hold the shape together when you’re cutting.

3) Cut out into spiderweb shape

trashbag-spider-web 24) Unfold and hang in the window!

By Jessica Jones

Queen Elisabeth gives Angelina Jolie medal

Jolie receiving DCMG

Ms. Angelina Jolie was received by The Queen when Her Majesty presented her with the Insignia of an Honorary Dame Grand Cross of the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George.

This honour was awarded her in recognition of Angelina Jolie’s campaigning against sexual violence in war zones. Angelina Jolie is a United Nation special envoy. She is also the best-paid American actress, famous for her role as Lara Croft.

Angelina Jolie’s husband, actor Brad Pitt, and their six children, went to Buckingham palce with her and met the Queen too.

Kurdish women fighters against IS

kurdish women fighters

“We either die or win. No fighter is leaving,” Esmat al-Sheikh, leader of the Kobani Defence Authority, told Reuters. “The world is watching, just watching and leaving these monsters to kill everyone, even children…but we will fight to the end with what weapons we have.”

Some people have more motivation than others. Those people include women. A very large percentage of the YPG fighters are  women. (YPG: the Kurdish People’s Protection Units)

I asked her about YPG’s women’s wing, the YPJ (Women’s Protection Units), and the women fighters coming from Turkey. She said Kurdish women were as equally involved in defense affairs as in social services. “We have set up training camps for women in all three cantons. Women are active in all fronts,” she said. “Of the first 20 martyrs we had when IS attacked Kobani, 10 were women. Last year, of our 700 YPG martyrs, 200 were women…”

I reminded Nimet of the legends we hear of IS militants fearing to encounter women fighters. She replied, “This is not a myth but reality. I personally met IS fighters face-to-face. They believe they won’t go to paradise if they are killed by women. That is why they flee when they see women fighters.”

From The AlterNet