Category Archives: adventure


Artist’s impression of the planet Proxima b orbiting the red dwarf star Proxima Centauri, the closest star to the Solar System. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser

by   shared with thanks

For years, astronomers have been observing Proxima Centauri, hoping to see if this red dwarf has a planet or system of planets around it. As the closest stellar neighbor to our Solar System, a planet here would also be our closest planetary neighbor, which would present unique opportunities for research and exploration.


So there was much excitement when, earlier this month, an unnamed source claimed that the ESO had spotted an Earth-sized planet orbiting within the star’s habitable zone. And after weeks of speculation, with anticipation reaching its boiling point, the ESO has confirmed that they have found a rocky exoplanet around Proxima Centauri – known as Proxima b. Continue reading HABITABLE TERRESTRIAL EXOPLANET ‘Proxima B’ CONFIRMED AROUND NEAREST STAR!

Common ancestor of all wildlife, new research


Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video says about itself:

Scientists Reveal LUCA – Common Ancestor Of All Living Things On Earth

26 July 2016

Many scientists believe that all living entities on Earth originated from an ancient organism called Luca which stands for the Last Universal Common Ancestor. Now, a team led by William F. Martin of Heinrich Heine University has released a new study which aims to “reconstruct the microbial ecology of LUCA.”

Many scientists believe that all living entities on Earth originated from an ancient organism called Luca which stands for the Last Universal Common Ancestor. The single-celled being likely lived around 4 billion years ago and is thought to have eventually spawned two distinct groups of uni-celled life–bacteria and archaea.

Now, a team led by William F. Martin of Heinrich Heine University has released a new study which aims to “reconstruct the microbial ecology of LUCA.” For the research…

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Pokémon Go Get Em: Opportunities for radicals

Pokemon Go

from Kate Aronoff, Waging Nonviolence, with thanks 

If you happen to have been living under a rock this past weeks, there’s a good chance someone turned it over looking for Pokémon. Pokémon Go, Nintendo’s free augmented reality app, has been as ubiquitous in the news as the presidential election in EEUU.poke-lexternal

For the uninformed: Game designers have placed Pokémon and in-game items at specific hot spots around the country, encouraging users to venture out into their neighborhoods or others, and to contest for “gyms,” where they can challenge other players for control of a particular location……GO GO anti HATE

…..The long-term viability of Pokémon-based campaign strategies remain to be seen — only time will tell if the game is a passing fad or something with a longer shelf-life. But so long as rare Pokémon continue to send stampedes into Central Park, can it be used for good?

180px-Pokemon-go-blmAs Dylan Matthews points out for Vox, Pokémon Go one-ups social media’s ability to draw people out, given that it actually gets bodies moving and to a particular location. Rather than retweeting or liking a post, players have to physically flock to lures. It’s why the Clinton campaign has been so eager to put it to use registering voters, turning up to Poké Stops and gyms. Anyone can place Pokémon “lures,” which attract creatures to a certain area, up around a city — and even more so if you happen to be working with a budget.

Even before the Clinton campaign started using it, NextGen Climate, an environmentally-focused voter turnout organization, had begun trying to put the app to work. “In each of our states, r1267_nat_rnc_v-53e58476-6dcb-46ad-a3ea-66dc238c3345NextGen Climate will be dropping Pokémon Go lures in strategic locations, which means we’ll release rare Pokémon in a specific location at a specific time,” said Suzanne Henkels, the group’s press secretary….

NextGen has held Pokémon-themed events across New Hampshire, Ohio and Iowa, complete with lures and recharging stations. In Nevada, they hosted a “real life Poké Stop” and had refreshments alongside “organizers there to register attendees to vote and educate them about the importance of electing climate champions in November.”…

…..But its uses, some . go. b.eyond the ballot box as well. Brandon Holmes — a civil rights organizer with the community organizing outfit Vocal New York — identified several ways the app could bolster grassroots movements.

1116003“The more players you have in an area, the more rare Pokémon will show,” he said, suggesting that players “build a large occupancy somewhere like Trump Tower or divestment targets and constantly attach lures to stops.” Organizers, Holmes added, could even plan marches that route through different Poké Stops, though he saw a challenge in “keeping the attendees captivated and not buried in their phones during speeches or chants … You would need some serious marshaling and the world’s best energy team.”CoEgLIYWEAAjlzW

The Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward [County, Florida] held an event yesterday at a Fort Lauderdale supermarket “looking for new ways to engage the community around the issues surrounding the movement for black lives,” encouraging participants to bring “water, friends” and “lures.”

Another set of activists are also looking into how the game might bring people out to fossil fuel infrastructure sites within their communities, though opted not to be named in this article as the effort has yet to launch.westboro-189558

One model Holmes saw as instructive was at the famously bigoted Westboro Baptist Church, the site of a gym where a Clefairy (“fairy-type”) Pokémon named “LOVEISLOVE” beat out Westboro faithfuls for control. “If we could find gyms that are solid targets, we could nickname Pokémon after our campaign messaging and organize enough folks to train the gym to be virtually unstoppable,” he said. “We could also name them after our organizations.”

Pokémon might also come in handy for fundraising efforts. After a Long Island pizza shop paid to have a rare Pokémon sent to their store front, sales jumped 75 percent by day’s end. “We could host a campaign-specific fundraiser where [a certain percentage] of the funds go directly to Pokémon Go for a rare Pokémon and the rest go to a specific campaign/action,” Holmes said, noting that this could involve lobbying Nintendo and Niantec, the game’s creator, for the ability to purchase rare finds.

Pokemon Go in Gaza. (Twitter / @Nawajaa)

Pokemon Go in Gaza. (Twitter / @Nawajaa)

Jeremy Gong, of the Sierra Club’s San Francisco chapter, was more skeptical.   “I imagine that one can only do rather shallow organizing with Pokémon Go — like Facebook events, the game could be great for a quick turnout, but there’s no guarantee those Poké-hunters are in it for the long haul,” he warned. “I don’t imagine a lot of people saying, ‘I came for the Snorlax, but stayed for police reform.’”

Like any other new app or new technology, Pokémon Go is no replacement for the day-to-day work of community organizing and well-timed mobilization.

But it might offer a few more pieces to an activist toolbox that — in 2016 — has never needed to be bigger.

Wyatt Burnett, 22, Staten Island, student,, Alexis Gines, 26, a real estate agent, Katherine Hulit, 32, Brooklyn, actress, catches a Pinsir Pokemon in Union Square Monday, July 11, 2016, in New York.  Ref: SPL1317591  110716   Picture by: NY Post / Splash News Splash News and Pictures Los Angeles:310-821-2666 New York:	212-619-2666 London:	870-934-2666
This story was made possible by our members. Become one today.   photos added  by The Free

Soaked against Sexism: Vallecas holds massive Water Battle against Gender Violence

Vallecas barrio gets Wet to oppose Gender Violence
     #Nosqueremosvivas._DSC8642 copia
This year, the wettest party invited Vallecas to ‘jump in the deep end’ against gender violence. The annual water battle this year toured the neighbouthood, visiting one of the apartment blocks occupied (‘liberated’) by the Platform of People Affected by Mortgage evictions (PAH) of Vallekas.

La Batalla naval toma las calles de Vallecas from Diagonal on Vimeo.

The PAH is also demanding the suspension of the eviction of the building of Sierra de Llerena, the first occupied by the group in this neighborhood.
Pirate banner demands. WE WANT THEM ALIVE
Pirate banner demands. WE WANT THEM ALIVE

… Any weapon is good enough if it can be used to pour, squirt or bomb water. Over 20,000 people splashed into action in the annual Naval Battles in Vallecas Naval, the Queen of the Festival of Karmela, Continue reading Soaked against Sexism: Vallecas holds massive Water Battle against Gender Violence

All-Women Feminist Comic Book Classics: Extracts and History

The Radical Story Behind The First All-Women Feminist Comic Book Series

How “Wimmen’s Comix” turned the boy’s club of underground comix inside out.

 by Priscilla Frank, from The Huffington Post, with thanks


In 1954 the Comics Magazine Association of America formed the Comics Code Authority to regulate and often sanitize self-published mainstream comics. Depictions of violence, sex and drugs, as well as socially progressive content, were strictly prohibited.

Around 1968, an underground comix movement began bubbling beneath the surface of the squeaky clean comic realm, dominated by superheroes and their hapless side chicks. The movement, led by artists like Robert Crumb, Jack Jackson and Gary Panter, dodged the watchful eye of the Comics Code by selling their work in head shops as opposed to regulated comic stores. In doing so, they were free.
Wimmens comix 1975
Wimmens comix 1975

What did this new, unprecedented freedom mean for the unruly bunch of talented, defiant, and yes, resoundingly male artists? Well, among other things, it resulted in a bunch of fictional naked ladies undergoing degradation, humiliation, rape, torture and murder. And the most horribly frustrating part? It was all a big joke, and any woman who’d dare protest just wasn’t smart or cool enough to get it. Continue reading All-Women Feminist Comic Book Classics: Extracts and History

French Uprising and Nuit Debout amazing photo essay

Nuit Debout: Other voices..

from Julius Gavroche  with thanks

The Nuit Debout movement in France takes on no single form, even behind the ritual of the general assemblies in Paris and now other cities.  It is plural, chaotic, fed by the multiple protests against the country’s new proposed labour law and a diversity of organisations and collectives coming from other social movements.  Yet it is precisely in this absence of order that the square occupations become spaces of convergence and of proliferation (rather than of enforced collective decision making), susceptible of generating lines of resistance/creation beyond State-Capital.

The events multiply and the voices speaking also become many.  We share below two texts that contribute to further understanding, the first from The Acorn (number 23 – 08/04/2016) and the second from open Democracy (08/04/2016), by Geoffrey Pleyers …

1. March 39 and counting… Nuit Debout and the new French uprising
Protesters amidst the teargas in Nantes on April 5 – otherwise known as March 36

The spirit of resistance has captured the imagination of a new generation in France, as youth-led opposition to neoliberal labour “reforms” has spiralled into full-on rejection of the whole capitalist system on the street and squares.

The situation took on a new dimension after the general strike and day of action on Thursday March 31. There was a call for people not to go home afterwards but to stay on the streets, beginning a wave of overnight “Nuit Debout” occupations that has spread from Paris across France and into the Iberian peninsular, Belgium and Germany.

“Let nobody enter here who is not in revolt”

The March 31 “moment” has also been symbolically extended by the renaming of the following days of the mobilisation as March 32, March 33 and so on. Continue reading French Uprising and Nuit Debout amazing photo essay

SuperMouse Religion takes off! Praise The Squeaky Lord!

The all-powerful god of Dinkoism is a… supermouse! Dinkaluyeah!dinkopism

 from Harish C Menon with thanks       India’s rent-an-outrage industry has given birth to a whole new faith—complete with an omnipotent god, mythology, scriptures, fanatic believers, and, of course, a short fuse when it comes to fickle religious sentiments.

In this video, Dinkoist Amy Watson explains why her faith is the world’s greatest.

This new “religion”—Dinkamatham or Dinkoism—made its presence known in January this year at Kochi in the southern Indian state of Kerala. Believers, called Dinkoists, protested against a Malayalam film star, Dileep, for acting in a movie titled Professor Dinkan.
This was in keeping with the best traditions of hurt sentiments in India.
Over the last few years, the country has witnessed a pathological rise in the number of instances where followers of various faiths and members of communities have outraged over stray remarks, cartoons, books, movies or songs that even tangentially broach issues pertaining to them.

Dinkoists, on their part, were angry that the holy name of their beloved lord—Dinkan—was being used for a movie character who is a mere mortal. The film will be released in 2017.
Dinkan, according to their faith, is the saviour of the world, swooping in from nowhere to protect everyone, particularly children. Once abducted by aliens, who then gave him his superpowers, Lord Dinkan is just about anywhere and anytime the needy, well, need him!

He flies, he fights, he comforts. And if you had any doubts about his supremacy, beware: he wears his red underwear over his tight-fitting yellow costume that shows rippling biceps; not to forget the flowing red cape.

But if you are imagining a regular comic book hero with super-human abilities, perish the thought. Dinkan is no flying spaghetti monster either. He is far beyond man, superman, or super-pasta.

The all-powerful god of Dinkoism is a… supermouse! Dinkaluyeah!

Does this sound like a parody? That is because it is. This fledgling movement is said to be a product of rising manifest bigotry and tightening of regressive norms in Kerala. The whole idea, according to one observer who didn’t want to be named, is to hold up a mirror to established religions and expose their vacuousness.
But ask Dinkoists themselves about it, and all you get is pretend-zeal.

“Transcendental” religion12751467_473143416223060_384116971_n

“Dinkoism has existed from time immemorial. It was the first religion. Some people, who lost their way, formed other religions. Everything that the modern world knows today is based on Dinkoism,” Prashant Appul, a freelance video editor based in Kochi, Kerala, told Quartz in mock earnestness.
Delving into Dinkoism’s profundity, 35-year-old Appul said the Big Bang Theory itself is actually based on his religion’s Big Laughter concept, according to which the universe came into being with Dinkan’s first guffaw. Similarly, they knew about black holes in space long before science could even imagine them. After all, Dinkan the mouse is adept at chewing holes, says Appul, an ardent Dinkoist since 2011.

A native of the imaginary Pankila forest, Dinkan was first heard about in the early 1980s when a children’s magazine, Balamangalam, gained popularity in Kerala. However, Appul says, “Dinkan in his true form is cosmic vibrations. Some people made it easy for themselves by imagining Dinkan as yellow-clad mouse. And that became popular.”
He draws a parallel: “Before Raja Ravi Varma began painting Hindu goddesses in sarees, nobody really imagined the goddesses in sarees. This is like that.”
Today, Balamangalam is one of Dinkoism’s “holiest” books. Another such text is the “Pankilasmrithi” or the Chronicles of Pankila, Dinkan’s native forest. This book even has Sanskrit shlokas such as:

Dinkan will protect the children!
Dinkan will protect the youth!
Dinkan will protect the elderly!

Holy origins

Dinkoism first emerged around 2007-08 on social media. This was a time when Malayalam (Kerala’s native tongue) bloggers were coming of their own and began commenting on and discussing social issues. The term Dinkoism was referred to as a joke back then to ridicule established religions. But soon people were identifying themselves as Dinkoists, sometimes jokingly, sometimes in mock seriousness.dinkan trust

Chants like “Oh my Dinkan, please protect me” came into regular use. As his following swelled, two groups on Facebook—The Freethinkers and The International Chalu Union—began giving Dinkan a lot of currency.
However, it was actor Dileep’s Professor Dinkan that finally pushed them out into public gaze and prompted them to openly proclaim their “faith.” They even formed a group called Mooshikasena (The rodent’s army) to troll the movie on social media. With such moves, Dinkoists are showing up the absurdness of such protests by adherents of other religions.

Open source religion

Since the January event, Dinkoists have begun meeting regularly to give form and structure to their new faith. The idea is to present their mock religion as a legitimate one and seek official recognition. The next logical step would be to claim minority status and right to run educational institutions just like other organised faiths. If they can, why not us—this seems to be the guiding spirit.

“Dinkoism is an open source religion. But when religions in India enjoy so many undeserving privileges, we also demand them for Dinkoism. And we plan to work towards that end,” said Sukhesh Vadavil. Owner of a digital media marketing firm in Kochi, 33-year-old Vadavil became a Dinkoist after he was fed-up of traditional religions’ power structures and brazen business orientation.
These, in fact, were some of the demands Dinkoists voiced at the “mega religious meet” in Kozhikode on Sunday (March 20). Around 450 attended this event. Dinkoism’s Facebook page has more than 6,250 “likes”. Besides, Dinkan’s followers are not restricted to just Kerala or India.

Observers, though, say that in a state like Kerala—often referred to as God’s Own Country—a movement such as Dinkoism has the potential to attract followers.
“This phenomenon is a result of the acute pressure brought in on the youth by extremist religious forces. The vacuum created by the decline of ideology is now sought to be filled by religious fundamentalism, be it Hindu, Christian or Islamic,” said Joseph Antony, senior journalist with the Malayalam daily Mathrubhumi’s online version.

Speaking to, Kozhikode district collector Prashant Nair said, “Dinkoism is a religion where you learn to take things lightly and become tolerant to things that you don’t appreciate otherwise… Dinkoists use humour to send the message. Humour is something that everybody appreciates. Therefore, it makes sense to promote this religion.”
Clearly, some of the claims and rituals of this parody religion have irritated the established ones.
For instance, at a Kochi meet in February, Dinkoists “demonstrated” their lord’s power to treat ailments, which did not go well with sects of Christianity that believe in faith healing.

Here a woman suffering from a “deadly disease”—she feels the heat when the air-conditioner is switched off—is shown getting “cured” following fervent prayers by a Dinkoist healer.

Of course, there are certified Dinkoist priests, too…
Certificate of ordination.(Facebook/Holy DInkan religion)
Similarly, a peculiar ritual of stoning jackfruits, which the Dinkoists perform, has annoyed sections of Muslims who claim that it mocks the all-important stoning of the devil that all pilgrims to Mecca must see through.

Lastly, Dinkoists believe the primeval sound of the universe is call “Embakkaar”—Dinkan’s belch. Now, that is naughtily close to the Hindus’ revered “Omkar”.
But nothing is about to stop Dinkoists.
Their next target is Akshaya Tritiya, an auspicious day for Hindus to start new ventures. Broadening its meaning, Akshaya Tritiya has been extensively marketed in the past few years as a day when one can usher in good luck by just buying gold or gold ornaments.
Dinkoists claim the Hindus have hijacked their concept of Akshaya Jettiya—a day when they symbolically pass good luck to laymen in the form or red jettis (underwears).

If the Dinkoists’ plans fructify, this May 9 could see a minor battle between precious ornaments inside jewellery showrooms in Kerala and Dinkan’s red underwears, worn and sold, outside.
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 from Harish C Menon with thanks