Boys speaking up for their sisters with Down Syndrome

When their house got spray-painted with hate grafiti, this family reacted to make people understand that their handicapped girls are NOT “retards”, an ugly word that we must stop to use…
If their story moved you, please click this link to go and pledge not to use that word yourself.
http://www.r-word.org

The Hollis Boys, 6 and 7, “Speaking up for our sisters” with Down Syndrome – YouTube.

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.

 

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.

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

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi awarded Nobel Peace Prize

▶ Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi Awarded Nobel Peace Prize – YouTube.

Malala Yusafsai is the youngest ever Nobel Peace prize winner, whereas Kailash Satyarthi is in his sixties. She comes from Pakistan, he comes from India: their countries are close neighbors yet have often been at war since the Partition of India in 1947. She is a woman, he is a man, but both fight for the rights of children (all children!) to freedom and education. She is a Muslim, he is a Hindu: the proof that different religions can agree and work together towards a humanitarian goal that is common to both. Their joint prize is a message of hope for the world!

Easy lemon bars recipe

▶ Lemon Bars – Easy Lemon Meringue Bars Recipe – YouTube.

Ingredients for 16 Small Lemon Bars:
 
For the shortbread crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup room temp unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp salt
Bake crust at 350 degrees F. for 22 minutes
 
For the lemon layer:
2 large whole eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 25 minutes
Garnish with powdered sugar; or top with meringue (the extra egg white whipped with 1 tablespoon of sugar) and brown with torch.

 

How 6-pack packages can be dangerous to animals

animal protection cut packagings

Plastic six-pack harnesses, used to hold cans of soda and beer, are a great hazard to birds, fish and other wildlife. The harnesses are especially dangerous in water where they are practically invisible. Birds fishing or feeding in the water can easily entangle their bills and necks in the strong plastic rings. This usually leads to strangulation or starvation. Pick up any plastic six-pack holder you find and cut or pull apart the rings and recycle it. If possible, avoid buying products wrapped in these holders; most beverages are available with other packaging.