Daily Archives: May 11, 2015

On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’

By Ann Schneible

Pope Francis meets with children at the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall on May 11, 2015. Credit: Daniel Ibàñez/CNA.

Vatican City, May 11, 2015 / 01:31 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- This question was part of a special question and answer session with the Bishop of Rome touching on a wide range of themes – from the link between greed and war, to arguments with siblings, and the role of religion in promoting peace in the world.

“Religion helps us because it makes us walk in God’s presence,” the Pope said: “it helps us because it gives us the Commandments, the Beatitudes.”

Above all, religion helps us learn “to love our neighbor” – and this is a commandment that all religions have in common, he said.

It is this “love of neighbor” which helps everyone make peace, and “to go forward in peace.”

Pope Francis made these remarks on May 11 during during a encounter with 7,000 children in the Vatican’s Paul VI hall. The meeting was sponsored by the Fabbrica della Pace – the Peace Factory – an initiative which uses education to promote integration, cross-cultural and multi-ethnic understanding.

In prepared remarks, the Pope lauded Peace Factory for its work in building “a society without injustice and violence, in which every child and youth may be welcomed and grow in love.”

Saying there is need for more “peace factories,” the Pope lamented the number of “war factories” in existence.

“War is the fruit of hate, of selfishness, of the desire to possess more and more, and to dominate others.”

In contrast, members of the Peace Factory are committed to “defending the culture of inclusion, of reconciliation and of encounter.”

During the Q&A with the children, the Pope touched on a wide range of subjects, from personal and individual to global.

One little girl asked if the Pope argues with his family like she argues with her sister: He replied that we all argue, but said we should never conclude the day without making peace.

Another asked: “If a person does not want peace with you, what would you do?”

The Pope responded by saying he would respect that person’s freedom, never seeking revenge against him. In fostering peace, he said: “respect for persons is always, always first.”

Pope Francis also spoke about peace in more serious contexts, touching on themes such as greed in countries torn by war and conflict.

“Why do many powerful people not want peace?” the Pope asked, responding to a question posed by an Egyptian child as to why the powerful do not support schools. “Because they live on war!”

Such persons benefit from the sale of weapons – which he described as “the industry of death” – and decried the evil brought about by the greed for more and more money.

“And it is for this reason that many people do not want peace,” he said: “They benefit more from war!”

Pope Francis then touched on the theme of equality, having been asked if everyone is equal today.

“We are all equal – everyone!” he said, but there are those who do not recognize this equality, and that we all have the same rights. A society which does not see this, he said, “that society is unjust… and where there is no justice, there is no peace.”

Tags: Pope Francis

via On Monday, a little boy asked Pope Francis: ‘What is peace?’ :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Saint of the Day for Monday, May 11th, 2015: St. Ignatius of Laconi

today’s holiday: Frost Saints’ Days

Frost Saints’ Days

These three consecutive days in May mark the feasts of St. Mammertus, St. Pancras, and St. Servatus. In the wine-growing districts of France, a severe cold spell occasionally strikes at this time of year, inflicting serious damage on the grapevines; some in rural France have believed that it is the result of their having offended one of the three saints, who for this reason are called the “frost saints.” French farmers have been known to show their displeasure over a cold snap at this time of year by flogging the statues and defacing the pictures of Mammertus, Pancras, and Servatus. More… Discuss

quotation: Agatha Christie

Most successes are unhappy. That’s why they are successes—they have to reassure themselves about themselves by achieving something that the world will notice.

Agatha Christie (1890-1976) Discuss

today’s birthday: Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)

Frederick Russell Burnham (1861)

Burnham was an American adventurer whose outdoorsmanship helped inspire the founding of the international scout movement. He was born on an Indian reservation to a missionary family and became a horseback messenger for Western Union Telegraph Company at age 13 and soon after a scout and tracker. After two decades of ranging in the Southwest and Mexico, he moved to Africa to become the British army’s chief of scouts during the Boer War. His tracking skills earned him what nickname in Africa? More… Discuss

Dust Bowl: Dust Storm Hits Great Plains (1934) (Watch the documentary!)

Dust Bowl: Dust Storm Hits Great Plains (1934)

In the 1930s, severe drought conditions in the Great Plains region of the US and decades of farming without crop rotation led to a series of devastating dust storms. The storms, called “dusters” or “black blizzards,” caused widespread ecological and agricultural damage. In May 1934, one of the worst storms to hit the Dust Bowl blew massive amounts of Great Plains topsoil all the way to the East Coast and dumped the equivalent of how many pounds of debris on Chicago, Illinois? More… Discuss

Stinging Dust & Forgotten Lives: The Dust Bowl (2008)

Uploaded on Aug 30, 2011

Ponder for a moment that you are huddled around a dimly lit lamp in a vast dusty room with your family. All eyes have a look of fear from the gusty winds shaking your home. The next morning, after the storm blows over, you look outside to find your house, barn, animals, fence, and water well have all been buried by feet of soil. All is lost. You must live…but how?

Over a hundred years ago people left the American east to find a better life. They migrated and established homestead throughout the Great Plains. There, they would prosper with fields of plenty, until, they exhausted the land. Again, they migrated westward to find a better life and provide opportunities for their starving children. STINGING DUST & FORGOTTEN LIVES presents the effects of the Dust Bowl on humanity during the 1930s. Meteorological conditions are often the first to blame, however, it was economic gain of the nation that doubled the unfortunate fate of the dusters.

For more information visit tcpfilms.com/​sdfl

Copyright 2008 by Cameron Douglas Craig and Kevin Harker Jeanes

The Zimmermann Telegram

The Zimmermann Telegram

This secret note, sent by German foreign secretary Arthur Zimmermann to the German ambassador to the US, said that in the event of war, Mexico should be asked to join as a German ally in return for Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. British intelligence intercepted and deciphered the note and sent it to President Wilson. This helped turn US public opinion against Germany during WWI and strengthened advocates of US entry into the war. What was the British dilemma in disclosing the note to the US? More… Discuss

word: mnemonic


Definition: (noun) A device, such as a formula or rhyme, used as an aid in remembering.
Synonyms: aide-memoire
Usage: The students came up with a mnemonic to help themselves remember the colors of the rainbow. Discuss.

Disease-naming advice issued by WHO

Disease-naming advice issued by WHO http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-32655030

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most read Stories: Hopelessness and heroin – what fueled the Baltimore riots and what now? :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Baltimore on May 1, 2015. Credit: Addie Mena/CNA.

Baltimore riots and what now?

By Matt Hadro and Adelaide Mena

Baltimore, Md., May 10, 2015 / 05:17 pm (CNA).- As Baltimore works to recover from riots and protests after the death of 25 year-old Freddie Gray, the Church is working to reach a wounded community with a long history of pain and little hope.

Baltimore “is a place of many strengths, a lot of beauty, a lot of goodness, but it also has long-standing systemic problems,” Archbishop William E. Lori told CNA.

The city erupted in anger after Freddie Gray, an African American, died April 19 of severe spinal and neck injuries sustained a week before while in police custody. His death sparked mass protests and some violent riots, but those who live in the city say that rather than being an isolated tragedy, it was the climax of decades of social and economic turmoil.

Interviews with Baltimore residents, former residents, volunteer workers, and Catholic leaders produce a mosaic of anger, hurt, and frustration. Many citizens say they are fed up with unemployment, drugs, poor housing and education, racism, policing tactics, and child hunger.

Baltimore has the fifth-highest murder rate of any major city, according to the FBI’s statistics on crime and as the Baltimore Sun reported. The child poverty rate is 36.5 percent, according to a 2014 report by Catholic Charities of Maryland.

Deep-rooted social problems have poisoned Baltimore’s heart, and residents on the fringes who suffer the most doubt if anyone is listening, if anyone cares.

Catholics provide many services to the needy in the city, including employment training, food banks, education, and housing. Yet they openly admit there is a very long way to go to cure the city’s ills.

“I think we need to reassess our priorities of what we’re investing in currently,” Bill McCarthy, executive director of Catholic Charities Baltimore, acknowledged to CNA.

For instance, many families rely on schools and Head Start programs to provide food for their children during the day. With school closings, hunger is becoming an issue, and one that is “overlooked,” he says.

Baltimore is sometimes described as two different cities. The downtown glistens with high-rise office buildings, hotels, restaurants, an indoor market, an attractive waterfront, and clean parks.

A few subway stops away is what locals call the largest open-air heroin market in the country. Abandoned houses abound. Drug deals take place in broad daylight on street corners. The grocery stores sell food that spoils the next day. High unemployment keeps men on the streets and mass incarcerations change the trajectory of many young men’s lives.

What is this tale of two cities? And why? A trip to Sandtown, epicenter of the violent April 27 riots, might provide some answers.

MORE via Hopelessness and heroin – what fueled the Baltimore riots and what now? :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

Most read Stories: Vatican archives shed light on tragedy of Armenian genocide :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

Armenians being deported. Credit: Narek via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0).

By Andrea Gagliarducci

Vatican City, Mar 20, 2015 / 11:14 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Ahead of Pope Francis’ Mass commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, newly released historic documents confirm the Holy See’s broad commitment to helping the Armenian people at a time when few others would.

The Italian Jesuit-run magazine La Civiltà Cattolica stressed that newly published documents “prove how the Holy See, always informed about events, had not remained passive, but was strongly committed to face the issue” of the Armenian Genocide. “Benedict XV was the only ruler or religious leader to voice out a protest against the ‘massive crime’.”

The Armenian Genocide is considered to have begun April 24, 1915 with a massacre of Armenians in Istanbul. Over the next eight years, 1.5 million Armenians would be killed and millions more displaced.

However, such killings were perpetrated before, when much of the region was still under Ottoman rule.

For instance, a March 27, 1896 letter by the Franciscan Father Domenico Werson, who was serving as a missionary in Aleppo, recounted the massacre of Christians in Marasc and vicinities.

Most of the documents in the newly published series are from the archive of the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. They have been published in a series of four books by the Jesuit priest Father Georges-Henry Ruyssen. In advance of the series’ March 21 release date, the latest edition of La Civiltà Cattolica has published a summary.

The documents on the “Armenian Question” date from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th century.

The collection of documents includes letters from Popes and to Ottoman sultans; documents and dispatches by Vatican Secretaries of State and prefects or secretaries of other Vatican dicasteries; documents and reports by the Apostolic delegates; and letters by Armenian patriarchs and bishops with firsthand information.

There are also reports by eye witnesses that clearly describe what was going on.

The documents note the actions of Pope Benedict XV, who sent two personal letters to Sultan Muhammad V Reshad on Sep. 10, 1915 and March 12, 1918, respectively.

The Pope’s effort was the climax of several attempts at mediation carried forward by the Holy See to help Armenians. Pope Leo XIII tried a mediation beginning in 1859. The Holy See sought to be a mediator with Djemal Pashà, commander of the Turkish army in Syria, for the freedom of 60 Armenians sentenced to death in 1917. Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, the Vatican Secretary of State, mediated with Mustaphà Kemal Pashà in 1921 for the safeguard of the lives and the goods of surviving Christians in Turkey.

The Holy See did not only work in diplomacy, but also sought to assist surviving refugees.

The Holy See, La Civiltà Cattolica writes, “mobilized a continual flow of financial aid and supplies in an era when there were no other international humanitarian organizations beyond the Red Cross and the Near East relief.”

The Holy See especially assisted orphans, and founded “many orphanages” open to people of every religious confession. Young orphan Armenian girls were also hosted in the orphanage in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo, near Rome.

The documents record the reasons why countries did not take any stance on the genocide and did not defend the Armenian people when the first signs of genocide were visible.

La Civiltà Cattolica underscored that in the late 19th century, the question of the future of the Armenians “was forgotten step by step,” because the “gradual passivity of European diplomacy” worked to “preserve at every cost the integrity of the Ottoman empire.”

Archbishop Augusto Bonetti, the apostolic delegate to Constantinople from 1887-1904, summarized the international situation.

France and Russia both aimed to preserve “the integrity of Turkey.” France had made major capital investments in the region, while Russia wanted Turkish relations to be dormant so it could focus on the Far East.

In Archbishop Bonetti’s view, Germany had a material interest in the continuation of the war between the Greeks and the Turks, while England had “important political interests in Turkey.”

On the eve of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, the publication of these documents may shed light on the reasons why this genocide was perpetrated in the midst of a general political indifference.

As for Pope Francis, he will celebrate a Mass marking the centenary of the genocide in St. Peter Basilica on April 24.

Tags: Violence, Genocide, Armenian genocide, Vatican archives

via Vatican archives shed light on tragedy of Armenian genocide :: Catholic News Agency (CNA).

From Ada to Brill: Why have we always dissed women in tech? – CNET

This story is part of Solving for XX, a CNET special report exploring what people and companies are doing to make the tech industry more diverse, more equitable and more welcoming to women.

Yvonne Brill was a rocket scientist. Literally. In the 1970s, she invented a propulsion system that kept satellites from wandering out of orbit. Today’s satellites still rely on the technology. Her work was so important, President Barack Obama awarded her the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011, the highest honor the United States can give a citizen for contributing to technological progress.

But when The New York Times wrote Brill’s obituary in March 2013 — an honor reserved only for the most influential newsmakers — the first mention was of her “mean beef stroganoff,” followed by a comment about her following her husband from job to job and taking off eight years from work to spend time with her family. A list of Brill’s professional accolades didn’t come until later.


Readers recoiled, taking to Twitter, Facebook and emails to accuse the newspaper of gender bias. The New York Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, who comments on the paper’s approach to writing stories, said the piece “had the effect of undervaluing” Brill’s work. The Web version of the story was changed.

via From Ada to Brill: Why have we always dissed women in tech? – CNET.

Invasive ants are extreme excavators

Invasive ants are extreme excavators http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32609797

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Himalayan ‘drop after Nepal quake’

Himalayan ‘drop after Nepal quake’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-32625431

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Nigeria in pictures: Lagos facelift

Nigeria in pictures: Lagos facelift http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-32556640

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Lawrence of Arabia and the crash helmet

Lawrence of Arabia and the crash helmet http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32622465

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Funds sought for tiny £6 computer

Funds sought for tiny £6 computer http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32690000

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Australia in corporate tax crackdown

Australia in corporate tax crackdown http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-32687822

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‘Thousands’ stranded off Thailand

‘Thousands’ stranded off Thailand http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-32686328

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EU refugee quotas to be proposed

EU refugee quotas to be proposed http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32685942

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Colombia to ban coca herbicide

Colombia to ban coca herbicide http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-32677411

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Sweden rejects Assange appeal

Sweden rejects Assange appeal http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-32688063

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The hitchhiking snakes of the Caribbean

The hitchhiking snakes of the Caribbean http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32662173

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Will Gaudi be made a saint?

Will Gaudi be made a saint? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-32665526

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