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Sunday Roundup: Sudan, particles, Gil Scott-Heron


New Visual Evidence of Government of Sudan War Crimes in Abyei. Here we are, again. Al-Bashir is back, alive and kicking. Hard. Again. And unlike in #Darfur, this time we have proof of what is happening right now, thanks to the Satellite Sentinel Project: ‘The Satellite Sentinel Project (SSP) has released new visual evidence that the Government of Sudan has committed grave violations of the Geneva Conventions and other war crimes, some of which may also constitute crimes against humanity. The totality of evidence from satellites and ground sources points to state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of much of the contested Abyei region, says SSP. The evidence is being conveyed to the International Criminal Court and the UN Security Council.’

Many articles are being published about the situation in Abyei, so you can know exactly what is happening. I received many emails last week about #Sudan and I will post about it very soon.

If we fear for the safety of women and children in the region of Abyei, in #AfghanistanTaliban gunmen have killed the headteacher of a girls’ school near the Afghan capital after he ignored warnings to stop teaching girls, government officials have said‘, The Guardian reports. ‘Khan Mohammad, the head of the Porak girls’ school in Logar province, was shot dead near his home on Tuesday, said Deen Mohammad Darwish, a spokesman for the Logar governor.’ It seems educated women can be a threat to men, that’s surprising. ‘Education for women was banned by the Taliban government from 1996 to2001 as un-Islamic. There are periodic attacks against schoolgirls, their teachers and school buildings.’

Women are courageous, and some men too. And some others, well… Is explaining why rape is the right thing to do in front of a camera, courageous? Or is it lack of guilt? Whatever it is, one thing is certain, it’s definitely shocking, awful to hear and even harder to watch for almost 4 minutes, so much indifference and insensibility. #Congo soldiers explain why they rape in this video. Remember: forty-eight women are raped every hour in Congo. Video tweeted by @safeworld4women and retweeted by Lisa Goldner @goldlis.

Now, abuse in #Burma. We don’t get many video from the country but things are not getting better, on the contrary according to U.N. envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana in an article posted on the Time: ‘The United Nations’ human rights envoy to Burma said the country’s nascent civilian government has done little to address widespread abuses, including forced labor and extrajudicial killings, since replacing the ruling junta in March […] Quintana said violence continues along Burma’s eastern border region, and ethnic minority groups there are victims of “land confiscation, forced labor, internal displacement, extrajudicial killings and sexual violence.”

I am still naive enough to wonder why ‘we’ intervene in some countries and not in others. This policy of double standards discredits any action ‘we’ could take, and it fuels all the speculations about the so-called Right of Intervention / Responsibility to Protect  (R2P) accused to be only motivated by the interest of the intervening countries.

Talking about interest and double standards policy: #China. Last November, I wrote about the total hypocrisy of our foreign policy regarding China in: China’s Fabulous Deals: Curb Your Enthusiasm. Human rights, you say? Even in the virtual world of a video game, human rights are denied. I use to play a lot at #World of Warcraft and I have ‘seen’ many Chinese spending uncountable hours ‘gold farming’. The Guardian explains how China used prisoners in lucrative internet gaming work. ‘As a prisoner at the Jixi labour camp, Liu Dali would slog through tough days breaking rocks and digging trenches in the open cast coalmines of north-east China. By night, he would slay demons, battle goblins and cast spells‘.

Again, let’s not bring up contentious issues!

Hopefully, video games can have a much more interesting side. Omer Pesquer @_omr tweeted about an article titled:  When video games meet the string theory. Unfortunately, it is in French. I say unfortunately because it is one of the most interesting article I’ve read in a while and if you don’t speak French, you may not understand a word. As a gamer with a keen interest in particles, #dark matter (don’t miss my post: Dark Matter(s) Explained by PhD Comics) and the M-theory, I read this article by Alexis Blanchet with a real enthusiasm!

Science again. CMS observes hints of melting of Upsilon particles in lead-nuclei collisions. It’s about the Y (Upsilon) particle. Very specific but so fascinating… Almost as fascinating as Your Music. Played Through Lightning. What are these people doing? ‘We are a fun-loving group of people looking to share our joy of musical tesla coils. These are devices that shoot out big bolts of electricity that are tuned so they actually produce musical notes. It sounds like this video here. We have two of these giant musical tesla coils, and on May 14th we want to hear your original songs played on these things. Just send us your song, we’ll turn it into lightning for you.‘ Fascinating, I told you. I want to play with tesla coils since I’m a teenager… My dream may come true, eventually!

About dream. I read on DVICE: $1 billion Star Trek resort promises 23rd century experiences. Any Star Trek fan would dream to spend some time in this resort. And guess what, I am a Star Trek fan! The 184-acre themed entertainment resort located in Aqaba, Jordan, is being creatively developed by Paramount Recreation. The themed entertainment destination will also serve as a model for green energy. But the Star Trek resort isn’t expected to be finished until 2014. I will mention it again around this time then 😉

I would like to conclude with a tribute to a musician, a poet and a spoken-word artist known as the ‘godfather of rap’ who died this week: Gil Scott-Heron. One of his most well-known composition ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised‘ is among my favorite songs and each time I listen to it, it brings back many memories just like Grandmaster Flash, Seen, Jordans… Remembering the good old days! If you don’t know Scott-Heron’s music yet, you have missed something huge. He fought for civil rights, he was a committed artist and influenced generations of rappers. He is a true legend.






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