Archive for June, 2006

must you be masters of the world?

June 26, 2006

It was Lucius, the ambitious staff centurion of the Roman general Marcellus who visited Archimedes to lure him over from the Greeks to work for the Romans. To disarm the great man, Lucius applauded the catapults and mirrors built on his design. Had it not been for these ingenious weapons, Syracuse would have fallen in a month instead of the two years that it took to repel the Roman armada. He conveyed the high regard that his fellow warriors had for the ingenuity of the weapon, in a manner of camaraderie that is shown by retired officers from both sides of the Indo-Pak border when they meet for their powwows.

Archimedes brushed aside the congratulations and responded that what he had come up with were ordinary mechanisms for throwing projectiles — mere toys. They were of no great importance from a scientific point of view, he said. Here the similarity ends with the nuke weapons designers. These proud makers of weapons of mass destruction lapped up the praise that their countries showered on them, although their bombs also largely required engineering competence, and not any significant advance in science.

Why should he join the Romans, asked Archimedes? Because he lived in Sicily, of which Syracuse was a city state, and the Roman wanted to occupy Sicily, said Lucius. But why Sicily, he enquired. To which came the condescending reply, that the Roman wanted to be the masters of the Mediterranean, and whoever was the master of that would be the master of the world. What follows is a paraphrase of an account of the exchange, I read, between these two.

And must you be masters of the world?’ asked Archimedes.

‘Rome’s mission is to become that, and it is going to achieve its goal’.

‘Possibly, but I wouldn’t advise it, Lucius. To be the master of the world you are going to have an awful lot of defending to do. That’s going to be very troublesome.’

‘That doesn’t matter as we shall have a great Empire.’

‘If I draw a small circle or a large circle, it’s still a circle. But a larger circle acquires a large frontier that needs to be defended.’

‘You are juggling with arguments, Archimedes. We have got to be stronger than anyone else in the world.’

‘Why?’ asked Archimedes.

‘To keep our position. The stronger we are, the more enemies we get. And to guard against them we need to be the strongest.’

‘But to guard your strength you have to expend a lot of it merely defending it. Then one day it will all become too much.’

Getting a bit tired of this philosophising, Lucius repeated his bait about Archimedes being invited to build the strongest war machine for the Romans. ‘That a man like you would want to acquire mastery over the world.’

‘You mustn’t be offended, but I’ve something more important here. Something more lasting.’

‘What’s that?’

‘It’s the method of calculating the area of a segment of a circle!’

That’s a lesson that leaders, military and civilian, as well as the people need to learn. It is such distilled truth that our great writers need to get across to us so that it can be truly internalised instead of the noise that so often fills the media.

The author is a physicist and environmentalist with an interest in education, information and science policy. Email: daudpota @gmail.com


Demolishing circles of domination

Q Isa Daudpota

Demolishing circles of domination

of Lava Houses & Underground Cities

June 14, 2006

Underground cities of Turkey

google search for the underground city of Derinkuyu

unicity

Lava Houses

google search for goreme

more pics of Turkey

People once lived in Lava houses. Look and marvel:

Cappaducia


goreme

Sunken City

and they built underground cities over 4000 years ago:

Derinkuyu


Stone door to an underground city


An underground pottery factory

Turkey: ancient civilisations:

Yosemite

world travel:

worldtravel.com


Ephesus – kuretes – The Arcadian Way (marble)


Ephesus – The Domitian Temple


Ephesus – Theater

underground cities and civilisations:

google search underground cities

Triple suicide at Guantanamo

June 11, 2006

الســـلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

What torture and despair must have driven the three Guantamao inmates to suicide, if it is suicide. They must have known that suicide is haraam.

Triple suicide at Guantanamo

Yet the Guantamao torturers have the nerve to say that these “suicides” are acts of war!

It is murder either direct or through torture.

May Allah (swt) forgive the brothers and grant them the status of martyrs

aameen!

Independent Media in a Time of War

June 3, 2006

Independent Media in a Time of War

Amy Goodman:

journalists, mainly unembedded reporters like those at the Palestine hotel. Everyone knew where the Palestine hotel was and it was packed with hundreds of reporters who are packed in like sardines when the U.S. military shelled the hotel, killing a Ukrainian cameraman. Killing a Spanish cameraman and then there was Tareq Ayub (sp), who is the Palestinian Jordain reporter who had just come in from Jordan and was at his office at Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera had given the coordinates to the office repeatedly to the Pentagon and maybe that was their first mistake.

NEWS CLIP: We gave them the exact location in terms of longitude and latitude. The height of the building from the ground.

AMY GOODMAN: Because the Pentagon dropped a missile on the Al Jazeera offices and killed the 34-year-old journalist. His wife, wailing in Amman at the funeral said, “hate breeds hate.” The U.S. said they were doing this to route out terrorism, who’s engaged in terrorism now? Abu Dabi TV, which was right next door, their competitor, the reporters were still broadcasting as the tanks surrounded them and they knew that they had already bombed the Al Jazeera offices, pleaded with anyone to help save them as the tanks surrounded and shelled their offices. In this country, there has hardly been a peep from the establishment mainstream media objecting to what the U.S. military has done. Pentagon spokesperson Victoria Clark, she was in charge of the Washington office in the first gulf war when that 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl gave that heart-rending testimony before the Human Rights Caucus about how she watched Iraqi soldiers drag Kuwaiti babies out of incubators. Turned out it was all a hoax, she was never there. She’s the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador. Well the Pentagon was very impressed and she’s now their spokesperson.

The two Spanish journalists who died. Two, Jose Cousa from Telecinco. He was a cameraman and also the Spanish reporter who died, Julio Anguita Perado (ph), a reporter for Spanish newspaper El Mundo. When this happened the Spanish reporters, back in Spain, said “no” and they engaged in a one day strike. When the Prime Minister of Spain came to the Spanish Parliament, they laid down the tools of their trade, they put down their cameras, their pens and their pencils, they laid down the cables and the microphones and they turned their backs and said “Shame”, that they would not record the words of the powerful who have condoned these acts. And then they went outside, hundreds of media workers. These were the elite journalists of Spain and they stood outside the U.S. Embassy, they blocked the intersection and they chanted “murderer, murderer”.

As the press in this country, unfortunately people like Ann Garrells of NPR, said that Tareq Ayub should have known better than to be in his office. The Agence France-Presse reporter in New York was outraged as he listened to this report. They got calls from all over, “How dare you blame the victim” and she a reporter herself and I watched on CNN as Aaron Brown asked General Wesley Clarke why this happened and he said, “well this was clearly a mistake”. And Victoria Clark is put on saying that “they should know Baghdad is dangerous and they should not be there”. I believe that’s the role of reporters to go to where the silence is, to bring us the voices of people who are at Ground Zero. Now it’s one thing if they were killed by others but they were killed by Victoria Clark’s own troops and she never apologized. The pentagon has yet to do that and now 14 journalists are dead.

It is a very strong message that is being sent to the world’s reporters now that this embedding has become such a success. And that is you’re in bed with the military or well, think about the Palestine hotel.

Independent Media in a Time of War

“Change the channel”

June 3, 2006

These pics are so graphic, I can’t even bear to look at them, so I will just post the link. This is a US gift to Afghanistan, and Iraq.

US gift to children of Afghanistan

advice from Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt’s to Iraqis who see TV images of innocent civilians killed by coalition troops “Change the channel