Drone video shows the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp as it is today – 70 years after it was liberated by Soviet troops. The camp in Poland is now maintained as a World Heritage Site and is visited by thousands of tourists and survivors every year. Auschwitz was the largest camp established by the Germans during World War II. More than a million people – the vast majority of them Jews – died there between 1940, when it was built, and 1945, when it was liberated by the Soviet army.
The Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY) has issued a memo saying staff should not address people by the terms “Mr.,” “Miss,” or “Mrs.” According to the memo, addressing people in what historically is a term used to be polite and demonstrate respect may now be deemed as “gender discrimination.”
We kid you not.
The directive pertains specifically to administrators’ written interactions with students and prospective students, said Tanya Domi, a school spokeswoman.
But the memo says the policy should be “interpreted as broadly as possible” and was sent to all faculty at the Graduate Center.
“My interpretation was that I was being asked to adhere to this policy, as were the other professors who received the letter,” said Juliette Blevins, a linguistics professor at the school.
The policy goes into effect during the Spring 2015 semester at the Manhattan public university, where some 5,000 students study in doctoral and master’s programs.
The memo, signed by interim Provost Louise Lennihan, calls the policy part of the Graduate Center’s “ongoing effort to ensure a respectful, welcoming and gender-inclusive learning environment…and to accommodate properly the diverse population of current and prospective students.”
Apparently the idea behind this new policy is to not offend those who may identify with a different gender than the professor may expect. In other words, it is better to not risk offending a single individual (who can correct the professor or ask to be addressed in a certain manner) rather than showing respect and being polite to the vast majority of people.
January 27, 2015 was given official notice as the “Holocaust Memorial Day.” The day marks 70 years since the liberation or Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp.
The Auschwitz concentration camp complex was the largest of its kind established by the Nazi regime. It included three main camps, all of which deployed incarcerated prisoners at forced labor. One of them also functioned for an extended period as a killing center. The camps were
located approximately 37 miles west of Krakow, near the prewar German-Polish border in Upper Silesia, an area that Nazi Germany annexed in 1939 after invading and conquering Poland. The SS authorities established three main camps near the Polish city of Oswiecim: Auschwitz I in May 1940; Auschwitz II (also called Auschwitz-Birkenau) in early 1942; and Auschwitz III (also called Auschwitz-Monowitz) in October 1942.
On January 27, 1945, the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Monowitz and liberated around 7,000 prisoners, most of whom were ill and dying. It is estimated that the SS and police deported at a minimum 1.3 million people to Auschwitz complex between 1940 and 1945. Of these, the camp authorities murdered 1.1 million.
One point one million people.
We have always been interested in history, especially the American Revolutionary War, the US Civil War, and World War II. Our interest in the first two was motivated by the area in which we grew up in. There were plenty of sites, museums, and battlefields to visit on the weekends. Out interest in WWII was mostly due to our dad serving in the Marines during that time.
In 10th grade, we were assigned an 900 page book on one of the other Nazi concentration camps named “Treblinka.” (more…)
Another one of those “max the screen and crank up the sound” videos showing what an amazing and beautiful world in which we live.
Aurora australis and aurora borealis (northern lights) as viewed from the International Space Station. Auroras are caused by charged particles entering the atmosphere from above causing ionisation and excitation of atmospheric constituents as they collide with the earth’s magnetic field.
There’s a storm brewing, well, maybe more like a volcano erupting, on the north end of Cocoa Beach.
It seems someone in our local city government gave FPL permission to remove all of the tall Washingtonia palms that have greeted residents from the center median for decades on N. Banana River Drive, the road running parallel and to the west of A1A.
To say that local residents are outraged they weren’t notified in advance, nor given any opportunity to make their voices heard on the issue would be a huge understatement.
It’s the hot topic in local grocery stores. Social media forums are exploding with comments by outraged citizens and accusations are even being hurled by some who seem to have a political ax to grind. Others, like us, have taken to blogging.
The big mystery is, who made this decision?
In a TV interview last Friday night, which included concerned citizens, Commissioner Skip Williams stated the decision was not made by the city commission as it was never brought before them and that it should not have been executed without resident approval.
We scoured the city website and finally discovered this notice from January 6, 2015 posted in the archives of Cocoa Beach News Network (CBNN, the city’s e-newsletter by subscription), that the palm trees would be “trimmed”.
Then, on January 15, another notice appeared stating only that FPL would be “trimming” the trees.
Five days later, on January 20, a notice was posted at 4:27pm that the tall, skinny palms were being “removed… today and over the next few days” and that FPL was picking up the tab. (more…)
From the files of the “Mind Blowing, Head Shaking, WTF?” comes this from the Washington Post:
Over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods containing DNA”
A recent survey by the Oklahoma State University Department of Agricultural Economics finds that over 80 percent of Americans support “mandatory labels on foods
containing DNA,” about the same number as support mandatory labeling of GMO foods “produced with genetic engineering.” Oklahoma State economist Jayson Lusk has some additional details on the survey. If the government does impose mandatory labeling on foods containing DNA, perhaps the label might look something like this:
WARNING: This product contains deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA). The Surgeon General has determined that DNA is linked to a variety of diseases in both animals and humans. In some configurations, it is a risk factor for cancer and heart disease. Pregnant women are at very high risk of passing on DNA to their children.