Archive for April, 2012


Alex Aan’s trial begins Thursday

Via:- Maryam Namazie

Alex Aan‘s trial begins tomorrow, Thursday, with the first prosecution witnesses being called, according to Rafiq Mahmood. Alex is the 30 year old Indonesian civil servant who has been charged with ‘insulting’ Islam in an atheist group in Facebook.

Rafiq says:

This isn’t just for Alex but for all of us. There have been far too many “blasphemy” cases which have just slipped by. We have to stop it if we have a chance and Indonesia is a very good place to make a stand.

And a stand we must make.

The Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain and the Atheist Alliance International are collecting money towards Alex’s case. If you want to support his case financially, you can send a donation to the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. Just make sure to earmark it for Alex Aan.


New iPad 3, iPhone 5 and Android to hurt Nintendo more?
 

Smartphones and tablets hurting Nintendo? Report revealed that Japan’s popular gaming company posted its first ever operating loss this week.

Last month, Apple unveiled its first ever high-definition tablet computer with a 5-megapixel camera, a dual-core CPU and with a quad-core graphics that is reportedly capable of delivering better gaming experience. In fact, Apple’s exec said during the product’s press conference that the new iPad, or the iPad 3, is the perfect gaming device despite the lack of physical controllers, and gamers are reportedly “in love” with it.

Aside from Windows laptops and computers, Apple’s tablet computer is also targeting the lucrative gaming market, which is headed by Japan’s pride, Nintendo. But the bad news came this week from the Mario Bros. maker. According to the New York Times, Nintendo reported on Thursday its first ever operating loss amounting to $460 million for the year ending March 31.

One analyst told the newspaper that smartphones and tablet computers are hurting Nintendo, particularly involving consumer electronics market which is the actual target of Apple’s widely publicized “Post PC” revolution that brags portability, intuitive user interface, and vibrant ecosystem courtesy of the growing applications list featuring high-end games.

Nintendo’s chief, Satoru Iwata, is reportedly not satisfied with the numbers. He specifically mentioned his company’s handheld gaming device, the Nintendo 3DS, despite the continuous price drop just to convince customers to buy one.

The next coming quarters could be more challenging for Nintendo. Apple, according to reports, will introduce a new smartphone before the holiday season, the iPhone 5, while Google Android’s top phone maker, Samsung, is scheduled to unveil its new Samsung Galaxy S3 which will boast a quad-core chip, supporting more games with heavy graphics and special effects.

To protect its business, and also its brand, Nintendo is widely expected to announce  its successor to the Wii, the so-called Wii U, which features a tablet controller and according to rumors, Nintendo will launch an app-store like online store that will retail “simple games” and non-gaming apps.


Angelina Jolie And Jennifer Aniston‘s Bikini Battle (PHOTOS)

Angelina Jolie Jennifer Aniston

http://www.celebuzz.com:

It’s a feud that the public loves to fuel. Angelina Jolie, 36, and Jennifer Aniston, 43, have been at odds (in the media at least) ever since Brad Pitt, 48, divorced Jen and shacked up with Angelina.


Film banned for blasphemy to be released after two decades

The only film ever banned in Britain for being blasphemous is to be released   in its original, uncut form after more than two decades.

Visions-of-Ecstasy

In, 1996, Nigel Wingrove, the director, took the case to the European Court of Human Rights arguing that the ban violated his freedom of expression
Jasper Copping

The 1989 production Visions of Ecstasy was considered so shocking that   the Government even fought a successful battle at the European Court of   Human Rights to uphold the ban.

But the film is now to be released in its original, uncut form after the   British Board of Film Classification overturned its original decision. DVDs   of the film will go on sale tomorrow, at the start of Holy Week.

It comes at a time when many British Christians believe their faith is being   increasingly undermined, over issues such as the wearing of crosses at work   and gay marriage.

The low-budget, arthouse production is about St Teresa of Avila, a sixteenth   century Spanish nun and mystic who had visions of Christ, which lasted   almost uninterrupted for two years. The 18-minute film is an interpretation   of these visions and includes sexual scenes involving St Teresa and another   woman, who represents her psyche. These are intercut with shots of the nun   lying on Christ, who is still nailed to the Cross, and caressing him. The   film was inspired by St Teresa in Ecstasy, the statue by Gian Lorenzo   Bernini, the seventeenth century baroque sculptor, which is located in Rome.

James Ferman, the then BBFC director, ruled that the film’s sexual nature   would inflame Christians and make it liable to prosecution under the   blasphemous libel law.

The furore at the time was such that one Conservative MP, Sir Graham Bright,   called for the film negatives to be destroyed as part of the banning order.

However, the film, which featured three little known actors and music by Steve   Severin of 1980s band Siouxsie And The Banshees, became a cause   célèbre among anticensorship campaigners, among them Salman Rushdie and Fay   Weldon, the authors, and Derek Jarman, the late filmmaker.

In, 1996, Nigel Wingrove, the director, took the case to the European Court of   Human Rights arguing that the ban violated his freedom of expression. But in   a rare victory for the British government, he lost.

Although the court did not consider whether the video itself was blasphemous,   it ruled that the UK’s blasphemy laws were consistent with the European   Convention on Human Rights.

However, in 2008, the laws were abolished by the Criminal Justice and   Immigration Act which meant they could no longer be considered in the   board’s deliberations.

Last December, Mr Wingrove resubmitted the film for approval, after clips   started to appear on the internet. It will go on sale in high street shops   from tomorrow, on DVDs which will also feature two other films by Mr   Wingrove, as well as a gallery of national and international press cuttings   from the time of the ban and a booklet on the subject. It will have an 18   certificate.

Mr Wingrove, who went on to set up a company which specialised in horror   films, said the release was a “victory for freedom of expression”   but that he has “mixed feelings” about the film itself.

“Although there are bits I like about it, there are bits I don’t,”   he added. “I did not make it to hurt or mock and I wasn’t trying to be   over the top.

“At the time, blasphemy was a very big issue and I think the film was caught   up in it. But looked at now, it is very tame and of its time. The imagery is   no different from what you see in many films and pop videos today.”

He said the film was intended to have been launched last month and was only   being released in Holy Week because of a delay in preparing the accompanying   booklet.

However, David Burrowes, the Conservative MP for Enfield Southgate and member   of the Christians in Parliament group, said: “The law may have changed   in the last 20 years, but the potential for this film to offend has not and   it is a shame that a film like this is being released at such a time. The   timing seems particularly provocative.”

The Rev Sally Hitchiner, curate of St John’s, Ealing, said: “I think it’s   interesting that religion continues to fascinate artists and film makers.

“The arts have always be used to express controversial ideas about a whole   range of topics that may be taken as anti-religious but this has never   stopped people using the arts to worship God as they will be in thousands of   special Easter services and events this week.”

The BBFC said that without any possible breach of the law, it had no grounds   on which to refuse classification.

It said it “recognised the content of the film may be deeply offensive to   some viewers”, but that the decision to pass it “reflected the   clear view of the public that adults should have the right to choose their   own viewing, provided that the material in question is neither illegal nor   harmful”.

The BBFC, which is in its centenary year, has refused classification to nearly   1,000 films.


Quote of the Day: Modern Conservatism

Via:- Mario Piperni

No More Mister Nice Blog:

…the unreported story of our times is that birtherism isn’t an isolated example of paranoid lunacy taking hold of a disturbingly large segment of the population — in fact, modern conservatism is driven by multiple lunatic theories that are precisely as delusional as birtherism.

True…but the mulitple lunacies have been reported time and time again. The problem is that the people who should be paying attention aren’t listening to anyone whose first name isn’t Rush, Glenn or Sean.

The theories:

  • Birtherism
  • Obama is a Muslim
  • Obama is a Communist
  • Obama is the anti-Christ
  • Obama eats little white babies on Tuesdays (made that one up…but not by much)
  • Tax cuts for the rich creates jobs
  • Homosexuality is a perversion and can be cured with prayer
  • The Tea Party is a grassroots movement
  • Corporations are people
  • Bush, Palin and Bachmann have functioning brains
  • Abstinence education prevents teenage pregnancies
  • Climate change is a hoax
  • The GOP in its current state is a serious political party
  • FOX News is fair and balanced
  • The Affordable Care Act creates death panels
  • Creationism is science
  • Evolution is a flawed theory

And on it goes…the delusional theories of a self-destructing political party.

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For fans of Jailbreak, news just in of progress made toward a Jailbreak 5.1 unthered solution for Iphones and Ipads!

Pod2g Has Bypassed ASLR, One Step Closer to the Jailbreak

In an exciting bit of news earlier today, pod2g announced that he has overcome yet another barrier that was preventing him from finishing the jailbreak. ASLR (Address Space Layout Randomization) is a security measure introduced by Apple in recent versions of iOS. One result of this new method of security is difficulty in developing jailbreaks. Therefore, since Apple has begun implementing this new feature, it has been the effort of jailbreakers to bypass it.

Now, the battle has been won, and we are moving forward to another untethered jailbreak. We still don’t have an ETA, but this has been a long awaited step in the jailbreak community, and will hopefully make future jailbreaks that much easier.

Be sure to check back frequently for updates on the situation, and you can like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or subscribe to our newsletter below to be notified of any new information.


FIR against rationalist for questioning ‘miracle’

Man files complaint against Sanal Edamaruku who dismissed water dripping from Jesus statue as due to capillary action, saying he had made statements against the Church

Jyoti Punwani

Mumbai was the birthplace of the Indian   Rationalist Association (IRA), founded in 1930 by Mumbaikar R P Paranjpe.   Almost a century later, it has also become the first city to have an FIR filed against the President of the IRA.

The FIR has been filed by another Mumbaikar, Agnelo Fernandes, President of the Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum.

CR 61/2012, Juhu Police Station, has been filed against miracle-buster Sanal Edamaruku, who is also founder-president of the Rationalist International,   which has scientists such as Richard Dawkins in it.

The FIR has been filed under IPC Sec 295A: Deliberate and malicious acts, intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs. The offence is cognizable and non-bailable.

The whole story began on March 5, when during a TV programme in Delhi, Sanal  dismissed reports that the “dripping cross” outside Vile Parle’s Velankanni   church was a miracle. TV-9 asked him to investigate and flew him down on   March 10. Sanal visited the spot and took pictures.

Born to rationalist parents, Sanal has, for the last 30 years, travelled across the country demonstrating the science behind supposed miracles. He has exposed the man-made nature of the ‘divine flame’ at Sabarimala, and successfully challenged Hindu godmen on TV.

Later on March 10, Sanal attributed the water dripping from the Jesus statue   to capillary action of underground water near the cross. His photographs,   displayed on TV-9, showed seepage on the wall behind the cross and on the   ground near its base. “I removed one of the stones covering a canal for dirty   water nearby, and found that water had been blocked there. Once water is   blocked, it will find an outlet, if not downwards, then upwards. Every student knows that trees get water through capillary action.’’

Sanal said that when he reached the spot, a priest was leading a prayer on the road near the cross; water from the cross had been collected in a bucket   and was being distributed to those gathered there. He was given a photograph of the statue dripping water with the word ‘miracle’ written on it. He said   he was not allowed to take a sample of the water for chemical analysis.

During the subsequent TV discussions in Delhi and Mumbai, Sanal accused the Catholic Church of “miracle mongering’’. Interestingly, in Mumbai, Archbishop Agnelo Gracias, who joined the discussion, categorically stated that the   Church had not described the event as a miracle and would do so only after   conducting investigations. The Archbishop also claimed that the Church was not anti-science and, in fact, it had established the Pontifical Academy of   Sciences, of which Galileo had been a member.

At that point, Sanal pointed out that the Church had imprisoned Galileo, and burnt scientist Giordano Bruno at the stake, and Pope John Paul II had even apologised for it. He also asked the Archbishop what he had to say about the   Vatican indulging in exorcism, to which the Archbishop replied that though he   had not come across any case of “possession’’, he could not rule it out.

All through the discussion, the other panelists kept warning Sanal that they would file FIRs against him if he didn’t apologise for his allegations against the Church.

The discussion ended with Sanal declaring that the Church’s intolerance had resulted in the Dark Ages in Europe. “Don’t try to bring the Dark Ages to India,” he said.

Fernandes lodged a complaint against Sanal at Juhu Police Station on April 10. Another complaint was lodged at the MIDC Police Station. In his complaint, Fernandes states that statements made against the Church and the   Pope by Sanal had hurt his religious feelings.

Sanal, who lives in Delhi, said, “The Indian Constitution enjoins me to develop scientific temper. Let them arrest me, I’m not going to stop doing my fundamental duty.’’

A Sanal Edamuruku Defence Committee has been convened by lawyer N D Pancholi.   Meanwhile, Mumbai police have called him here for questioning.

Support the Sanal Edamaruku Defence Fund with your donation.