Daily Archives: January 28, 2017

Giovanni Battista Barbarini, Cappella della Passione (Cremona, Sant’Agostino) – 1666.

Giovanni Battista Barbarini, Cappella della Passione (Cremona, Sant’Agostino) – 1666.

Ștefan Luchian Vas cu garoafe

Ștefan Luchian Vas cu garoafe


L’unica cosa importante quando ce ne andremo, saranno le tracce d’amore che avremo lasciato.A. Schweitzer

My Chakra today 

My Duck today no.2

My Duck today no.2

My Duck today no.2

My Duck today no.2

My Duck today no.1 

My Duck today no.1

My Duck today no.1 


” Portrait of a Lady ” C.1550Artist : Pieter de Kempeneer ( Flemish )Period : Northern Renaissance Location: Städel Museum , Frankfurt, Germany

Santa Maria del Fiore ( the virgin of the Flowers ) in 1412, a clear illusion to the Lily , the symbol of the city of Florence.

Santa Maria del Fiore ( the virgin of the Flowers ) in 1412, a clear illusion to the Lily , the symbol of the city of Florence.

” Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore ” ( Duomo )

Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio , considered as the third largest Church in the world ( after St. Peter in Rome and St. Paul in London ) and was the largest church in Europe when it was completed in the 15th century . it is 153 meters long, 90 Meters wide at the crossing , and 90 metres high from the floor to the bottom of the lantern. It was dedicated to Santa Maria del Fiore ( the virgin of the Flowers ) in 1412, a clear illusion to the Lily , the symbol of the city of Florence.

France 24 : Girls as young as six see men as more capable, intelligent

Girls as young as six see men as more capable, intelligent


Girls as young as six can be led to believe that men are inherently more intelligent and talented than women, according to a study published this week in the journal “Science”.

“As a society, we associate a high level of intellectual ability with males more than females, and our research suggests that this association is picked up by children as young 6 and 7,” said Andrei Cimpian, associate professor in the psychology department at New York University. Cimpian co-authored the study, which looked at 400 children aged between five and seven.

In the first part of the study, girls and boys were told a story about a person who is “really, really smart” and then asked to identify that person among the photos of two women and two men.

The people in the photos were dressed professionally, looked the same age and appeared equally happy.

At the age of five, both boys and girls tended to associate brilliance with their own gender, meaning that most girls chose women and most boys chose men.

But as they became older and began attending school, the children studied started to endorse gender stereotypes.

At six and seven years old, girls were “significantly less likely” to pick women. The results were similar when the youngsters were shown photos of children.

Interestingly, when asked to select children who look like they do well in school overall, as opposed to simply being clever, girls tended to pick girls, which means that their perceptions of success are not based purely on academic performance.

“These stereotypes float free of any objective markers of achievement and intelligence,” Cimpian said.

Differences in aspirations

In the second part of the study, children were introduced to two new board games, one described as an activity “for children who are really, really smart” and the other one “for children who try really, really hard.”

Five-year-old girls and boys were equally likely to want to play the game for smart kids, but at age 6 and 7, boys still wanted to play that game, while girls opted for the other activity.

“There isn’t anything about the game itself that becomes less interesting for girls, but rather it’s the description of it as being for kids that are really, really smart,” the study said.

As a result, believing that they are not as gifted as boys, girls tend to shy away from demanding university degrees, leading to big differences in aspirations and career choices between men and women.

“These stereotypes discourage women’s pursuit of many prestigious careers; that is, women are underrepresented in fields whose members cherish brilliance,” the authors wrote.

It is still unclear where the stereotypes come from. Parents, teachers, peers and the media are the usual suspects, Cimpian said.

Achieving intellectual potential

But it is evident that action must be taken so that these biases don’t curtail girls’ professional aspirations.

“Instill the idea that success in any line of work is not an innate ability, whatever it is, but rather putting your head down, being passionate about what you are doing,” Cimpian said, adding that exposure to successful women who can serve as role models also helps.

Toy companies like Mattel, maker of the Barbie doll, have taken steps to try to reduce gender stereotypes.

Mattel’s “You can be anything” Barbie campaign tells girls that they can be paleontologists, veterinarians or professors, among other careers. The campaign also holds out the possibility that a girl can imagine herself to be a fairy princess.

Rebecca S. Bigler, professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, described Cimpian’s study “as exceptionally nice work”.

She suggested that the stereotypes develop in early elementary school when students are exposed to famous scientists, composers and writers, the “geniuses” of history, who are overwhelmingly men. Bigler said it is important to combine that knowledge with information on gender discrimination.

“We need to explain to children that laws were created specifically to prevent women from becoming great scientists, artists, composers, writers, explorers, and leaders,” Bigler added. “Children will then be … more likely to believe in their own intellectual potential and contribute to social justice and equally by pursuing these careers themselves.”

(FRANCE 24 with AP)

France 24 : Veteran British actor John Hurt dies at 77

Veteran British actor John Hurt dies at 77


Veteran British actor Sir John Hurt, Oscar-nominated for his star turn in “The Elephant Man” and his supporting role in “Midnight Express”, has died after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, a representative said on Saturday. He was 77.

Hurt, who had starred in more than 200 films and television series over a career spanning six decades, revealed in 2015 that he was suffering from the early stages of pancreatic cancer and that he was receiving treatment.

His death was confirmed to Reuters via email by Charles McDonald, a British-based representative for the actor’s Los Angeles talent manager, John Crosby. The BBC, citing the actor’s agent, also reported that Hurt had died. Further details of the circumstances of his death were not immediately available.

Hurt said at the time of his cancer diagnosis that he intended to continue working. He most recently starred in the Sundance TV crime series “The Last Panthers” and in the Oscar-nominated film “Jackie”, playing a priest who consoled the newly widowed wife of slain U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

Hurt, a native of Derbyshire in England, garnered his first Academy Award nomination for his supporting role as Max, an inmate who befriends the imprisoned drug smuggler Billy inside a Turkish jail in the gripping 1978 drama “Midnight Express”.

He earned greater acclaim, and an Oscar nomination as best lead actor, for his memorable portrayal of John Merrick, a grossly disfigured Victorian-era man struggling to project his humanity while enduring the indignities of life as a side-show freak. With his face obscured behind the character’s deformity, Hurt’s performance rested largely on the expression of the actor’s signature raspy voice.

His roles in both “The Elephant Man” and “Midnight Express” won him Britain’s top film award, the BAFTA. He was bestowed an honorary BAFTA in 2012 for his outstanding contribution to cinema.

Hurt also played a key role in the original 1979 sci-fi thriller “Alien”. His character, Kane, became the first member of a space merchant vessel crew to fall victim to a fearsome life form, encountered on a distant moon, when a deadly parasitic creature burst from his chest.

Other notable credits include supporting parts as a village doctor in Greece whose daughter falls in love with an Italian military officer during World War Two in the 2001 film “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, and as the eccentric wand-maker Mr. Ollivander in the “Harry Potter” movie franchise.


France 24 : ‘Not the time to build walls’, Iran’s Rouhani tells Trump

‘Not the time to build walls’, Iran’s Rouhani tells Trump


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani criticised his US counterpart Donald Trump on Saturday, saying now was “not the time to build walls between nations”.

“They have forgotten that the Berlin Wall collapsed many years ago. Even if there are walls between nations, they must be removed,”Rouhani said at a tourism convention in Tehran.

His remarks came after Trump ordered construction of a wall along the US-Mexico border and imposed tough new controls on travellers from seven Muslim countries, among them Iran.

Rouhani did not comment directly on the visa ban, but said Iran had “opened its doors” to foreign tourists since the signing of a nuclear agreement with world powers in 2015.

With more than a million Iranians living in the United States, many families are deeply concerned about the implications of Trump’s visa ban, which also affects citizens from Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

On Thursday, one of Iran’s most popular actresses said she would boycott next month’s Academy Awards in protest at the ban.

“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the #AcademyAwards 2017,” tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in the Oscar-nominated “The Salesman”.

No visas will be issued for migrants or visitors from the seven countries for at least 90 days, a restriction which can be extended if the countries in question do not provide extensive information on individuals seeking to enter the United States.

Quizzed on the street, many Iranians said they were baffled by the move.

“Americans themselves are mostly immigrants. To pick out a few countries and call them terrorist is not logical,” said Mohsen Najari, a 33-year-old resident of the Iranian capital.

Tehran and Washington have not had diplomatic ties since students stormed the US embassy in 1980 following an Islamic revolution that toppled the US-backed shah.

“It’s got nothing to do with terrorism. Iran and the US just don’t have good ties. The US has good relations with Saudi Arabia so it doesn’t matter how many terrorists come from Saudi Arabia,” said Sima, a 27-year-old.


France 24: Trump suspends US refugee programme, bans Syrians

Trump suspends US refugee programme, bans Syrians


President Donald Trump on Friday put a four-month hold on allowing refugees into the United States and temporarily barred visitors from Syria and six other Muslim-majority countries, saying the moves help protect Americans from terrorist attacks.

The order limiting entry on visitors from Syriaand six other Muslim-majority countries is for 90 days. The six other countries are: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, the White House said.

“I’m establishing new vetting measures to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States of America. Don’t want them here,”Trump said earlier on Friday at the Pentagon.

“We only want to admit those into our country who will support our country and love deeply our people,” he said.

Civil rights groups condemned the measures as discriminatory, and said they would strand refugees in dangerous places and would tarnish the reputation of the United States as a land welcoming of immigrants.

The details of the order – which had been rumored for days – were not available until Friday evening, leaving people affected scrambling to figure out what it meant.

The impact was immediate, causing “chaos” for Arab-Americans who had family members already en route for a visit, said Abed A. Ayoub, legal and policy director for the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

Ayoub said the order could affect traveling green card holders, students, people coming to the United States for medical care and others.

The order is already affecting refugees and their families, said Jen Smyers of the Church World Service, a Protestant faith-based group that works with migrants.

Smyers said she spoke to an Iraqi mother whose twin daughters remain in Iraq due to processing delays. “Those two 18-year-old daughters won’t be able to join their mother in the U.S.,” she said.

Syrian refugees

Trump had promised the measures – called “extreme vetting” – during last year’s election campaign, saying they would prevent militants from entering the United States from abroad.

The rise of Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, which fueled a flood of migrants into Europe, combined with a series of attacks in France and Belgium heightened concerns in the United States about taking in refugees from Syria.

Trump’s order suspends the Syrian refugee program until further notice, and will eventually give priority to minority religious groups fleeing persecution. Trump said in an interview with a Christian news outlet the exception would help Syrian Christians fleeing the civil war there.

Stephen Legomsky, a former chief counsel at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Obama administration, said prioritizing Christians could be unconstitutional.

“If they are thinking about an exception for Christians, in almost any other legal context discriminating in favor of one religion and against another religion could violate the constitution,” he said.

But Peter Spiro, a professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law, said Trump’s action would likely be constitutional because the president and Congress are allowed considerable deference when it comes to asylum decisions.

“It’s a completely plausible prioritization, to the extent this group is actually being persecuted,” Spiro said.

Trump’s order had been expected to include a directive about setting up “safe zones” for Syrian refugees inside the country, but no such language was included.

“President Trump has cloaked what is a discriminatory ban against nationals of Muslim countries under the banner of national security,” said Greg Chen of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.


France 24 : France and Germany united in criticism of Trump’s refugee ban

France and Germany united in criticism of Trump’s refugee ban


France and Germany voiced disquiet on Saturday over U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to limit immigration and refugees from some Muslim countries, and they reaffirmed a firm line on Russian sanctions.

Speaking at a joint news conference in Paris with his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said many of Trump’s decisions worried the two U.S. allies, including new immigration restrictions.

Trump on Friday signed an executive order that will curb immigration and refugees from some Muslim-majority countries and he separately said he wanted the United States to give priority to Syrian Christians fleeing the civil war there.

“This can only worry us, but there are many subjects that worry us,” Ayrault said, adding that he would soon invite his future American counterpart Rex Tillerson to Paris to explain Europe’s interests, values and vision of the world.

“Welcoming refugees who flee war and oppression is part of our duty,” Ayrault said.
Germany has taken in more than one millionrefugees and migrants, mainly from the Middle East, since 2015.

Although traditionally open to asylum seekers, France has taken in far fewer refugees than Germany since the migrant crisis erupted. Some in the French government, mostly ex-premier Manuel Valls, criticising Berlin’s open-door policy, as has Trump.

“The United States is a country where Christian traditions have an important meaning. Loving your neighbour is a major Christian value, and that includes helping people,” said Germany’s Gabriel, who was on his first trip abroad since his nomination as foreign minister.

“I think that is what unites us in the West, and I think that is what we want to make clear to the Americans.”

The two countries also reiterated their position on Russian sanctions, saying they could only be lifted if progress was made in the peace process for eastern Ukraine, where a pro-Russian separatist insurgency began in 2014.

They joined British Prime Minister Theresa Mayin cautioning Trump against premature moves on the issue.

“Let’s not forget there was a war, that Russia sought to take over parts of Ukraine,” Ayrault said.

Trump said on Friday he was only in the early stages of considering whether to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia, but insisted he wanted to follow through on his campaign pledge to pursue better relations with Russia.

The French and German ministers also said the United Nations remained the best framework to lead peace talks about Syria in the aftermath of Russian-led efforts in the Kazakh capital Astana that some diplomats say might undermine the UN process.

Separately, Germany and France are also continuing to work on creating a joint tactical airlift pool of Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J military transport planes, a spokesman for the German defence ministry said on Saturday.

He could not confirm a report in Der Spiegel newsmagazine that the two countries expected to complete work on the deal and present it to U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis at a meeting of NATO defence ministers in Brussels next month.

The magazine said German Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen hoped to present the joint airlift as evidence of Germany’s willingness to contribute more to NATO.

Trump has criticised many European countries for not meeting a NATO target of spending 2 percent of gross domestic product on defence.


BBC News: Lancaster, Pennsylvania: America’s refugee capital

I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Lancaster, Pennsylvania: America’s refugee capital – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38776233

BBC News: Trump’s refugee and travel suspension: World reacts

I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Trump’s refugee and travel suspension: World reacts – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38781973

BBC News: Trump executive order prompts Google to recall staff

I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:

Trump executive order prompts Google to recall staff – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-38781420