Daily Archives: July 25, 2016

Today’s Holiday: RAGBRAI

Today’s Holiday:

A bicycle ride (not race) across the state of Iowa, RAGBRAI is billed as the oldest, longest, and largest bicycle-touring event in the nation. The sponsor from the start has been the Des Moines Register, and RAGBRAI stands for Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa. The field is limited, and participants are chosen through a drawing. The ride began in 1973 and was intended as a one-time event, but interest was such that it continued the next year, and the next, when it got the RAGBRAI name. The route is different each year but always runs from west to east.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Today’s Birthday: Carl Jung (1875)

Today’s Birthday:
Carl Jung (1875)

Jung was a Swiss psychiatrist and the founder of analytical psychology. Early in his career, he worked with psychiatrist Eugen Bleuler, who studied and named “schizophrenia.” Jung wrote a book on the illness, which led to a meeting with Sigmund Freud, and the two formed a close relationship for a number of years. However, Jung’s criticism of Freud’s emphasis on the sexual basis of neuroses ended their collaboration, and a formal break came when Jung published what revolutionary book?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

This Day in History: The Battle of Edgecote Moor (1469)

This Day in History:
The Battle of Edgecote Moor (1469)

The Battle of Edgecote Moor was an important turning point in the series of dynastic civil wars for the English throne known as the Wars of the Roses (1455-1485). The battle pitted the forces of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, against those of King Edward IV. Warwick had once been loyal to Edward and had even helped put him on the throne, but Edward began to resent him and suppress his influence. Angered, Warwick allied with Edward’s brother, George, and rose in rebellion. Who won the battle?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: Jane Austen

Quote of the Day:
Jane Austen

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like!: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Cargo Cults

Article of the Day:
Cargo Cults

First appearing in the late 19th c. but particularly prevalent after WWII, when many Pacific Islanders witnessed airdrops of supplies, cargo cults are the unorthodox religious movements that appeared in tribal societies after interaction with Westerners. Believing fallen cargo came from divine spirits who would send more upon seeing rituals based on the foreigners’ behavior, the tribes built straw airplanes, radios made of coconuts, and other pseudo-Western items. Do any cargo cults exist today?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: befuddled

Word of the Day:

Definition: (adjective) Perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements; filled with bewilderment.
Synonyms: bewildered, confounded, baffled, mixed-up, bemused, lost
Usage: The audience was befuddled by the speaker’s contradictory statements.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

All life is sacred

All life is sacred

France 24 : Erdogan extends post-coup crackdown, meets opposition leaders

Erdogan extends post-coup crackdown, meets opposition leaders


Turkey’s government on Monday continued its crackdown on those suspected of supporting a failed coup last week as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made overtures to the political opposition.

Turkey ordered the detention of 42 journalists on Monday, broadcaster NTV reported, as part of a sweeping purge that began immediately after the unsuccessful military coup of July 15.
The crackdown has already targeted more than 60,000 people, drawing fire from the European Union.
The arrests or suspensions of soldiers, police, judges and civil servants have raised concerns among rights groups and Western countries, who fear Erdogan is capitalising on the failed coup to consolidate his grip on power.

The well-known commentator and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicack was among the 42 journalists subject to arrest warrants, NTV reported.
Meanwhile, the state-run Turkish Airlines said it had fired 211 employees, citing suspected links to US-based preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan has blamed for the attempted putsch.
Turkish Airlines said their contracts were terminated due to “the non-fulfilment of performance criteria and in line with the necessary actions we are taking against the FETO structure”, an acronym used by Ankara for Gulen’s movement. Gulen has denied any involvement in the attempted coup.
Erdogan nevertheless made overtures to Turkey’s political opposition on Monday, inviting some of their leaders to meet with him in the presidential palace.

He held a three-hour meeting with Kemal Kiliçdaroglu of the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP). In a rare show of unity, Kiliçdaroglu said it had been a “positive meeting”.
Erdogan also met with Devlet Bahceli of the right-wing Nationalist Movement Party (MHP).
He did not invite the leader of the left-wing pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP), Selahattin Demirtas, who Erdogan has referred to as a “terrorist” in the past.
The Turkish president has declared a nationwide state of emergency, which allows him to sign new laws without prior parliamentary approval and limit rights as he deems necessary.
The government has said these steps are needed to root out supporters of the coup and won’t infringe on the rights of ordinary Turks.

France 24 : French government hits back at Nice security allegations

French government hits back at Nice security allegations


The French government hit back on Monday at accusations by a policewoman that the interior ministry had pressured her to change a report into security at the Bastille Day massacre in Nice.

The allegations came amid widespread anger at the government over alleged policing failures during the festivities in Nice, where 84 people were killed after Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel ploughed a 19-tonne truck into revelers gathered to watch fireworks on the city’s famed Promenade des Anglais.
Policewoman Sandra Bertin, who is in charge of Nice’s video surveillance network, said she was “harassed” by an interior ministry representative to report that national police had been deployed at two different points at the celebration, in addition to local police forces.
“The national police were perhaps there, but I couldn’t see them on the video,” Bertin told French weekly the Journal du Dimanche in an interview published on Sunday.
Bertin’s claims echoed remarks by conservative regional president and former Nice mayor Christian Estrosi, who has accused the government of lying about security at the time of the attack.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, however, immediately rejected the allegations, saying he would sue for defamation.
Prime Minister Manuel Valls backed Cazeneuve, describing the scandal as a “political polemic aimed at destabilising the government” on Monday, while President François Hollande said there was no room for “controversy and confrontation” and that an investigation would uncover the truth.
Since then, several French media outlets have questioned the veracity of Bertin’s account after obtaining a copy of the email containing her report, and identifying its recipient as a police commissioner with the National Police Information Centre (Centre d’information de la police nationale) – not an interior ministry representative.
“The inconsistencies in Sandra Bertin’s version of events,” read the headline of a story on French magazine Nouvel Observateur’s website on Monday afternoon. “Nice: No, the policewoman did not deal with a member of Cazeneuve’s cabinet,” declared the title of another article on Europe 1 radio’s website.
‘Very bad for the Socialist Party’
Despite the doubt now surrounding Bertin’s claims, the scandal has dealt a serious blow to Hollande, fueling the perception his government did not do enough to prevent the attack.
“What is happening weakens Hollande, Valls and Cazenueve a lot. Hollande is the head of state, he’s the one from whom we demand safety,” Thomas Guénolé, a political scientist and lecturer at Sciences Po university in Paris, told FRANCE 24.
“For Valls and Cazeneuve it’s different because for years they’ve embodied in the public sphere what I call ‘securitism’. They have built a tone, speech and character based on security. I don’t think it’s still the case after the Nice attack, because the public debate about whether or not there were security mistakes hits at their entire character of security,” he said.
With the country’s next presidential elections less than a year away, the controversy will likely hurt voter confidence in Hollande and his Socialist government, according to François Bernard Huyghe, a senior research fellow at the French Institute for International and Strategic Affairs.
“It’s very, very bad for the Socialist Party, which is divided,” Huyghe told FRANCE 24, whatever the outcome of the inquiry. “It’s a difficult situation [for the government] because there will always remain these allegations that they hid something… What do you do when people start disbelieving what you say?”
Guénolé agreed with Huyghe, pointing to Hollande’s already abysmal ratings. The president is the least popular leader in recent French history, with the latest polls putting his approval at between 17 and 19 percent.
“When you’re so low on potential voters, you don’t make it to the second round [of the presidential elections]. But now, there’s also an idea in the public that they can’t handle the terrorist threat,” he said.
“I was already saying that the [Socialist Party] was done before the attack in Nice. I wouldn’t bet on it [winning] now even if you paid me.”

BBC News: Japan Sagamihara knife attack: At least 15 dead, reports say

Japan Sagamihara knife attack: At least 15 dead, reports say – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-36890655

Masivul Piatra Craiului




Masivul Piatra Craiului este un lanț muntos calcaros aflat la sud-vestul Carpaților Orientali, dar care aparține lanțului Carpaților Meridionali, găsindu-se în nord-estul acestora.

Watch “The Octopus and the Beer Bottle” on YouTube

Watch “octopus steals my video camera and swims off with it (while it’s Recording)” on YouTube

NO MORE PHOTOS Thomas Selig, the photographer, writes “the tripod is lost, the camera was still functioning the lens was broken.”



Thomas Selig, the photographer, writes “the tripod is lost, the camera was still functioning the lens was broken.” Lion in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya.



Ce vor tinerii Români?


Today’s Holiday: Puerto Rico Constitution Day

Today’s Holiday:
Puerto Rico Constitution Day

Puerto Rico Constitution Day is the anniversary of the day on which Puerto Rico changed from a territory to a commonwealth and adopted its new constitution in 1952. Sometimes referred to as Commonwealth Day, July 25 is a legal holiday throughout the island. It is celebrated with parades, speeches, fireworks, and parties.

Today’s Birthday: Louise Brown (1978)

Today’s Birthday:
Louise Brown (1978)

Brown was the first baby to be conceived by in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure used to overcome infertility in which a woman’s eggs are removed, fertilized with sperm outside the body, and then inserted into the uterus. Now a commonplace procedure, IVF was developed in the 1970s by British medical researchers Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards and was subject to much criticism before Brown’s birth. Who was the first woman conceived through IVF to give birth naturally to a baby of her own?

This Day in History : Savitskaya Becomes the First Wom an to Perform a Spacewalk (1984)

This Day in History:
Svetlana Savitskaya

Savitskaya Becomes the First Woman to Perform a Spacewalk (1984)

Savitskaya is a former Soviet female aviator and cosmonaut who flew aboard Soyuz T-7 in 1982, becoming the second woman in space some 19 years after Valentina Tereshkova. She logged nearly 20 days in space during her career, including three and a half hours spent outside the Salyut 7 space station in 1984, when she became the first woman to perform a spacewalk. Before becoming a cosmonaut, she was a test and sport pilot and a parachutist. What world records did she set?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Quote of the Day: L. Frank Baum

Quote of the Day:
L. Frank Baum
There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The True courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Article of the Day: Greek Fire

Article of the Day:
Greek Fire
Produced using a secret formula that remains a mystery to this day, Greek fire was a burning-liquid weapon used by the Byzantine Greeks, Arabs, Chinese, and Mongols. Early on, it took the form of a burning cloth ball fired with a catapult. Later advances produced a flamethrower-like device that discharged a stream of burning fluid which, according to many historical accounts, water could not extinguish. What are some of the ingredients thought to have been used in the production of Greek fire?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Word of the Day: floorshow

Word of the Day:
Definition: (noun) A series of entertainments presented in a nightclub.
Synonyms: cabaret
Usage: The floorshow was spectacular and loud, and the next morning, he had a splitting headache.: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Primul Episcop, numit prin acelaşi act papal, a fost Ignatius Paoli, care, din 1870, era Episcop de Nicopole si Administrator Apostolic al Valahiei.



Catedrala St. Iosif din București

Ignatius Paoli de fapt Feliciano Paoli, (n. 25 iulie 1818, Florența – d. 27 februarie 1885, Viena) a fost ctitorul Catedralei Catolice Sfântul Iosif și primul episcop, apoi arhiepiscop al Arhidiecezei Romano-Catolice de București.

Paoli a fost cel care l-a încoronat pe primul rege al României, Carol I al României, la 14 martie 1881.

Acum 133 de ani, la 27 aprilie 1883, Papa Leon al Xlll-lea semna scrisoarea apostolică „Praecipuum munus”, prin care ridica Vicariatul Apostolic al Valahiei, la rangul de Arhiepiscopie, cu reşedinţa la Bucureşti.

Primul Episcop, numit prin acelaşi act papal, a fost Ignatius Paoli, care, din 1870, era Episcop de Nicopole si Administrator Apostolic al Valahiei.

BBC News: Iraq car bomb kills 17 in Khalis, in attack claimed by IS

Iraq car bomb kills 17 in Khalis, in attack claimed by IS – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-36881823

France 24 : Germany suicide bomber ‘pledged allegiance’ to IS group

Germany suicide bomber ‘pledged allegiance’ to IS group


A Syrian man who blew himself up outside a music festival in Ansbach, Germany had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) group in a video recorded on his mobile phone, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann revealed on Monday.

Herrmann said the video recorded before Sunday’s attack – in which the suspect died and more than a dozen people were wounded – showed that the incident was a terrorist attack.
“A provisional translation by an interpreter shows that he expressly announces, in the name of Allah, and testifying his allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, a famous Islamist leader, an act of revenge against the Germans because they’re getting in the way of Islam,” Hermann said at a news conference.

“I think that after this video there’s no doubt that the attack was a terrorist attack with an Islamist background,” he added.
Police found violent videos and bomb making-material during a raid on the 27-year-old man’s home.
German police nevertheless called into question if the Ansbach attack was meant as a suicide mission, noting that the attacker had enough materials to build another bomb.
Moments later, the IS group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Amaq mouthpiece, saying that one of its fighters had carried out the bombing in the southern German town.
“He carried out the operation in response to calls to target countries of the coalition that fights Islamic State,” the jihadist movement said in a statement.
Germany has ordered an increased police presence in sensitive places after the attack in Ansbach, the fourth in a spate of violent attacks in the country in less than a week.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere on Monday said he would boost the country’s police presence at airports and train stations and carry out stop and search operations close to border areas.
“What seems particularly important to me at the moment is an increased police presence in public spaces,” de Maiziere told a news conference in Berlin.
“I have therefore ordered that the federal police visibly increase their presence at airports and railways stations and that there are random checks, which are not visible but very effective, in border areas,” he said.

France 24 : Transcripts of WhatsApp messages reportedly exchanged by a group of Turkish coup plotters reveal a chilling tick-tock of how the July 15-16 putsch unfolded, from a smooth start to a harrowing finish.

Transcripts of WhatsApp messages reportedly exchanged by a group of Turkish coup plotters reveal a chilling tick-tock of how the July 15-16 putsch unfolded, from a smooth start to a harrowing finish.

If the recent Turkish coup attempt was effectively foiled on FaceTime, when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned to social media to issue his call on Turks to take to the streets, the putsch plot appeared to have unfolded on WhatsApp.
A transcript of WhatsApp chats obtained by Al Jazeera Turk reveals how the coup plotters launched their bid to seize power on July 15 and at which point, during that long, fateful night, the plot started to unravel as the tide turned against the plotters.

The posts on the mobile messaging application were gleaned from video footage and still photographs obtained by the Qatar-based TV station’s Turkish channel shortly after the failed coup. They were translated from the original Turkish language and analysed over the weekend by the UK-based open source investigative website, bellingcat.com.

At 9.15pm local time on Friday, July 15, a Turkish military officer, Major Murat Celebioglu, creates a WhatsApp group named “Yurtta sulh”, which literally means, “peace at home”.

The group’s name is a reference to a maxim by Turkey’s founding father, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, which as every Turkish schoolchild knows, goes, “Yurtta sulh, cihanda sulh” — or “Peace at home, peace in the world”.

A putschist statement released that fateful night was signed by a group calling itself, the “Yurtta Sulh Konseyi” — or “Peace at Home Council” — in an indication that the coup attempt was launched by hardline Kemalists within the Turkish military.

Erdogan has blamed his arch Islamist foe, Fetullah Gulen, for the attempted coup, a charge the Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric has denied.

The Yurtta sulh group appears to have been created to enable a communication exchange between pro-coup military officers commanding units in Istanbul. Celebioglu appears to be coordinating the Istanbul operations with fellow plotters in the capital of Ankara. However, the Yurtta sulh chat provides no details on communications between putschists operating in Istanbul and Ankara.

The WhatsApp posts reveal a measure of planning that has not been credited to the July 15-16 coup plotters, who have been widely dismissed as feckless and badly organised.

It also reveals how Erdogan’s FaceTime interview with CNN-Turk changed the tide of history and more importantly, how unarmed Turks, by heeding the Turkish leader’s call to take to streets, succeeded in overpowering the putschists.

‘Tell our police friends: I kiss their eyes’

“I’m Maj. Celebioglu,” reads the first post immediately after the WhatsApp group was created July 15, “I’ll be making public announcements from here.”

It was the first of an incredible exchange — from coldly confident to exulting and then despondent — detailing how the coup plot unraveled.

Kicking off with traffic plans to handle Istanbul’s famously gridlocked streets, the plot unravels at high speed when the order is given for instructions to be “taken immediately”.

As army divisions — at least three of them from Turkey’s NATO Rapid Deployable Corps — start to take key sites, including Istanbul’s Bosphorus Bridge and a military academy, the plot appears to be running fairly smoothly.

Police units and chiefs, stunned by the extraordinary turn of events, initially comply with the putschists, leading to grateful posts such as “police are following orders…no problem,” and, “Tell our police friends: I kiss their eyes.”

The media is the message

But the “police friends” prove to be far from compliant in the end, with a police unit, at one point, apprehending the putschists and calling in a prosecutor in the dead of night.

By far the biggest failure was the coup plotters’ attempts to control the media.

From the start, the plotters experience problems broadcasting their message to the Turkish people.

While a military unit reaches the offices of the national public broadcaster, TRT (Turkish Radio and Television) before 10pm, the plotters encounter unforeseen hurdles. “They are urgently requesting help from the technical team of the Air Force to cut off broadcasting,” messaged Col. Kaya at 9.56pm. “They are trying themselves, but are unable to do it.”

But while the plotters succeed in finally taking over TRT and getting an anchor to read out the coup message, the proliferation of private TV stations poses a major challenge.

CNN Turk was under particular pressure since the channel broadcasted a statement by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildrim at 11pm on July 15, a development that is noted by the WhatsApp group with a terse, “Prime Minister is making a statement.”

The coup-busting Erdogan interview, conducted by a CNN Turk journalist via FaceTime shortly after midnight, however was never mentioned by the Yurtta sulh group.

But the effects of that critical TV appearance are evident in the WhatsApp communication as pro-coup military units struggle to contain the crowds heeding Erdogan’s call.

That’s when the WhatsApp communication takes on a desperate, brutal tone revealing disturbing insights into the bloody end of a coup attempt that claimed more than 300 lives.

‘Nonessential photos’ – followed by an emoji

“I’m planning to open fire on provincial police HQ. There’s no other choice,” messages a desperate Maj. Akkaya as the crowds pour onto the streets of the Turkish commercial capital. Near Istanbul’s Kuleli Military High School, another Turkish army major notes, “We have shot 4 people who were resisting…Everything is fine.”

But everything was not fine, especially in the city’s Acibadem neighbourhood.

At one point, an army official, Maj. Mehmet Karabekir, shoots a mukhtar — or headman responsible for a neighbourhood — at point blank range. He then proceeds to share two photos, neglecting to mention that a civilian has just been shot.

“Mehmet, let’s not share nonessential photos,” Maj. Celebioglu chides, to which Karabekir responds with an emoji.

Despite the admonishment, Karabekir appears to be carrying out his putschist duties with alarming enthusiasm, posting some of the most violent messages on the chat group. “Don’t dare hesitate, hit them,” he rallies at one point, followed by a more explicit, “Crush them, burn them, no compromise.”

As the crowds start to overpower the pustchists, the messages get increasingly desperate. “Our men at the governorship have been overrun by the crowd, they are handing them over to the police. The police are trying to prevent the crowd but it is hard,” texts a desperate lieutenant-colonel, to which, the insatiable Karabekir replies with an inevitable, “Crush them, burn them, no compromise.”

Once again, another officer chides him with a, “C’mon Mehmet,” but by then the coup plotters are getting desperate.

“Passing on an order,” messages a lieutenant-general before proceeding in all-caps: “CROWDS THAT HAVE GATHERED WILL BE FIRED ON.”

‘Stay alive, commander. The choice is yours’

But still, the crowds just keep spilling onto the streets, overpowering the putschists in a daring display of public will.

“IMKB (Istanbul Stock Exchange) is about to fall. They’ve broken the doors,” says a colonel before pleading, “Need help.”

As units believed to be on the side of the putschists flip sides and the crowds at Taksim Square start swelling, the plotters desperately call for planes to fly low over the landmark Istanbul site.

“Taksim are saying they cannot take anymore,” says a colonel, to which, a colleague responds, “For as long as our strength holds on, friends.”

But that’s not for long. The final messages are an almost novelistic description of how a coup plot fizzles and dies.

“We’re quitting??” asks a major.

“Which operation, all of it?” shoots a colonel.

“Yes quit, commander,” replies Major Celebioglu, the man who set up the WhatsApp group just hours earlier.

But the message is still not clear to commanders on the ground. “Meaning?” asks a colonel tersely.
“Yes, commander, operation aborted,” answers Celebioglu.

Seconds later, after the colonel asks, “Shall we escape?” he receives a fatalistic reply: “Stay alive, commander. The choice is yours. We have not decided yet. But we have left our position. I’m closing the group. Delete the messages if you want.”

The chat transcripts reveal member after member leaving the Yurtta sulh group. Not all of the coup plotters succeeded in deleting the messages and the group chat will no doubt return to implicate them in the tumultuous days to come.

Hiram Bingham III Locates Machu Picchu (1911)

Hiram Bingham III Locates Machu Picchu (1911)
Bingham was an American archaeologist who explored the Inca ruins of Machu Picchu, which he incorrectly identified as the “lost city” of Vilcabamba, bringing them to the attention of the outside world for the first time. Ironically, he was also the first modern explorer to reach Espiritu Pampa, found 60 mi (110 km) east of Machu Picchu, a site now widely recognized as the actual remains of Vilcabamba. A Yale University lecturer, Bingham may have been the inspiration for what fictional character?

Today’s Birthday
Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald (1900)
Zelda Sayre was an aspiring writer when she married F. Scott Fitzgerald in 1920. A glamorous and witty couple, they lived an extravagant life in New York City that F. Scott unsuccessfully attempted to support with his writing. They eventually moved to Europe, where they became part of a celebrated circle of American expatriates known as the Lost Generation. After 1930, Zelda was intermittently confined to sanatoriums for schizophrenia but still managed to publish short stories and what novel?: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tfd.mobile.TfdSearch

Downtown Big Bear in 1944. | Death Valley Jim – Guide to the Mojave Desert, Death Valley, Joshua Tree

A wonderful article with several great videos about the desert past!

Indiferent unde sunt plecați, sașii au o singură patrie… Siweberjen.



Indiferent unde sunt plecați, sașii au o singură patrie…

Peaceful lake in Germany


Peaceful lake in Germany

O cugetare dea mea: True suffering is silent. True joy is jubilant!

True suffering is silent.
True joy is jubilant!


My pot with flowers Engraving today





Canibad Beach, Samal Island, Philippines.


Canibad Beach, Samal Island, Philippines.

Duomo di Milano


Duomo di Milano


Amaizing photos


The truth about history


The truth about history

Vatican City Rome


Vatican City Rome

Cetatea Făgăraș – 4K on Vimeo

Cetatea Făgăraș – 4K on Vimeo