No sign of life in universe

Search for advanced civilizations beyond Earth finds nothing obvious in 100,000 galaxies

April 14, 2015

Source: Science Daily , Penn State

This is a false-color image of the mid-infrared emission from the Great Galaxy in Andromeda, as seen by Nasa’s WISE space telescope. The orange color represents emission from the heat of stars forming in the galaxy’s spiral arms. The G-HAT team used images such as these to search 100,000 nearby galaxies for unusually large amounts of this mid-infrared emission that might arise from alien civilizations.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/WISE Team

After searching 100,000 galaxies for signs of highly advanced extraterrestrial life, a team of scientists using observations from NASA’s WISE orbiting observatory has found no evidence of advanced civilizations in them. “The idea behind our research is that, if an entire galaxy had been colonized by an advanced spacefaring civilization, the energy produced by that civilization’s technologies would be detectable in mid-infrared wavelengths — exactly the radiation that the WISE satellite was designed to detect for other astronomical purposes,” said Jason T. Wright, an assistant professor of astronomy and astrophysics at the Center for Exoplanets and Habitable Worlds at Penn State University, who conceived of and initiated the research.

The research team’s first paper about its Glimpsing Heat from Alien Technologies Survey (G-HAT), will be published in the Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series on April 15, 2015. Also among the team’s discoveries are some mysterious new phenomena in our own Milky Way galaxy.

“Whether an advanced spacefaring civilization uses the large amounts of energy from its galaxy’s stars to power computers, space flight, communication, or something we can’t yet imagine, fundamental thermodynamics tells us that this energy must be radiated away as heat in the mid-infrared wavelengths,” Wright said. “This same basic physics causes your computer to radiate heat while it is turned on.”

Theoretical physicist Freeman Dyson proposed in the 1960s that advanced alien civilizations beyond Earth could be detected by the telltale evidence of their mid-infrared emissions. It was not until space-based telescopes like the WISE satellite that it became possible to make sensitive measurements of this radiation emitted by objects in space.

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Children who survived Holocaust

Looking Back at the Holocaust, Through a Child’s Eyes


Reprinted from New York Times

Dolls on display at a new exhibit at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem. Credit Uriel Sinai for The New York Times


JERUSALEM — Jakov Goldstein survived the Holocaust as a child by hiding alone for two years in a narrow attic, sustained by the books delivered each day by the eldest daughter of the Polish family that shielded him. Eliyahu Rozdzial turned 13, hidden alone in the forest and farms around his hometown, Dzialoszyce, Poland, after his family had been killed. He observed his bar mitzvah by digging an imaginary synagogue from the earth and filling it with upright twigs to serve as a silent congregation.

And 4-year-old Martin Weyl survived life in the Terezin ghetto and camp, also known as Theresienstadt, just north of Prague. Forced there with his family, he drew a picture of a jeep that brought a Red Cross delegation to visit the ghetto, which had been showcased by Adolf Hitler to fool the world into believing that Jews were being treated humanely.

These and other children — some who lived, many who died — are being featured in a new exhibition, “Children in the Holocaust: Stars Without a Heaven,” which opened this week at Yad Vashem, the official Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem, for Yom Hashoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day, on Thursday.

About 1.5 million children were killed during the Holocaust. The few thousand who survived the concentration camps and other horrors generally did not manage to keep any of their belongings. Some of the stories are illustrated by items from Yad Vashem’s collections of artifacts, art and archives, like the simple, precise drawing of the jeep ferrying the Red Cross. In other cases, only the memories remain.

“Children are the most vulnerable group in any society,” said Avner Shalev, the chairman of Yad Vashem. “They are innocent and symbolize in any given society the future, the hope.”

Nazi ideology did not differentiate between adults and children, and the plan was to wipe out the Jewish people in its entirety, meaning, according to Mr. Shalev, that “the children were doomed to be destroyed.”

As Israel observes Remembrance Day it is also introducing a program developed by Yad Vashem and the Education Ministry to help teachers approach the subject of the Holocaust with children as early as kindergarten age, and will expand Holocaust studies to schools in the Arab sector for the first time.

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US dropped its red lines

5 key demands US dropped in Iran talks

Reprinted from The Hill


By Kristina Wong – 04/11/15 , The Hill

The framework deal on Iran’s nuclear program has come under heavy scrutiny as the Obama administration seeks to sell the agreement to skeptical lawmakers.

Many of the terms mark a shift from President Obama’s stated goals at the start of negotiations 18 months ago.

Democrats and the White House say those changes are the result of tough negotiations and are calling for time to allow diplomats to finalize the accord. 

But Republican critics say the administration made concessions that go too far and secured little in return. 

Here are five areas where the administration shifted course during negotiations:

1. Banning uranium enrichment

Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment.

The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use. 

“Zero enrichment” had been a key demand since 2009, said Michael Singh, a senior fellow and managing director at The Washington Institute. “We basically went from zero to a number that kept going up.” 

The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

Omri Ceren, senior adviser for strategy at the Israel Project, said the administration started “sliding” on zero enrichment after talks began. 

But U.S. officials have suggested that halting all enrichment was never a realistic goal, and instead a key bargaining chip to secure other concessions from Iran.

“As soon as we got into the real negotiations with them, we understood that any final deal was going to involve some domestic enrichment capability,” a senior U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal last week. “But I can honestly tell you, we always anticipated that.” 

Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council and a former State Department official, said the U.S. had to budge on this demand for the talks to advance.

“It was the icebreaker. It was what allowed these negotiations to take root,” he said. 

He said it led to key concessions from Iran, including unprecedented inspections of nuclear facilities.

“It’s the single most important point in my opinion, in terms of getting negotiations off the ground,” he said. “Once that position softened, it allowed the Iranian position to soften.”

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Arab turmoil dangerous for Israel

The Middle East Turmoil and Israel’s Security

by Efraim Inbar
International Relations and Security Network (ISN)
April 13, 2015


The Middle East is in great turmoil. The statist order that underpinned the region for a century has collapsed. Several states have lost their monopoly over the use of force and are no longer able to provide law and order. This is especially true of Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, and Syria. Even Egypt, the only historic Arab state, has had difficulties effectively enforcing its sovereignty over its territory.

Many of the militias challenging these state entities have a radical Islamist ideology, reflecting the rise in appeal of political Islam in the Arab world. In contrast to the leaders of these states, who are inefficient and corrupt, the Islamists actually deliver services to the people and have a reputation for being brutal but honest. However, the likes of Al Qaida in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or the so called Islamic State (IS) are hardly the proper agents for modernizing their environments and their popularity dooms the Arab world to continuous ignorance and poverty.

For this and other reasons, Israel will need to remain vigilant in the years ahead.

Outside Looking In

The statist order that underpinned the region for a century has collapsed.

The decline of the Arab world has been paralleled by the rise of non-Arab Muslim powers – Turkey and Iran. Both countries fare better on development indices and display nowadays an ambitious foreign policy fueled by imperial and Islamist impulses. Under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his ‘zero problems’ approach to foreign policy, Turkey has gradually distanced itself from the West. In 2003, for example, Ankara rejected the United States’ request to open a “northern front” against Iraqi forces. More recently, Turkey has opposed sanctions levied by the United Nations and the West against Russia and Iran.

For its part, Iran has successfully advanced its nuclear program despite the displeasure of the international community. Comparatively, recent developments in the Middle East and beyond have also allowed Tehran to establish a ‘Shiite Crescent’ stretching from Tehran to the eastern Mediterranean. This has provided Iran with countless opportunities to project power into the Middle East and Balkans, much to the chagrin of Saudi Arabia and others. Indeed, the successes of Iranian Shiite proxies in Baghdad, Beirut, Damascus and Sanaa underscore the Tehran quest for hegemony in the Middle East.

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Israeli food is healthy for you

For healthy heart, include pomegranate-date combo in your diet

  • AFP |
  • Updated: Apr 08, 2015, Hindustan Times

Pomegranate juice and dates make a dynamic duo in the war on heart disease. (Photo: Shutterstock)


A four-ounce glass of pomegranate juice with three dates could protect against the buildup of lipids on the arterial walls by as much as 33%, reducing chances for a heart attack, according to researchers in Israel.

Pomegranate juice and dates make a dynamic duo in the war on heart disease because their respective phenolic antioxidants work differently, according to lead author Professor Michael Aviram.

The key ingredients in pomegranate juice, he says, are plant-derived polyphenolic antioxidants that slow the body’s oxidation process, thereby reducing oxidative stress.

Dates contain phenolic radical scavenger antioxidants, which hinder the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LCL) cholesterol, also known as “bad-cholesterol.”

These scavenger antioxidants found in dates also stimulate the removal of cholesterol from arterial cells that come into contact with lipids, according to Professor Aviram.

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Israel deserves our support

Israel Deserves our Unconditional Admiration

Israel’s enemies mean what they say.


Published: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 , Arutz Sheva

Giulio Meotti

The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly…

► More from this writer

We live in “a world turned upside down”, to mention Melanie Phillips’ beautiful book. A world in which people feel that they are more anti-imperialistic by railing against Zionism, in total ignorance of what it really is all about. It was to have happened in a few days in Southampton University, the British élite public college which was planning to host a conference questioning Israel’s right to exist.

It would be a grave mistake to take the words of Israel’s enemies as a mere outburst of hysteric demagoguery. Thus, at the time, was the Western mistake with Hitler and Stalin, who confiscated the freedom and independence of many European states. Today it is the never turned off dream of seeing Israel sinking. Barack Obama, the insane appeaser, is delivering Israel to its mortal enemy: the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Hatred of Israel is a pre-political judgment, a moral one which arises from the depths of consciousnes…
Meanwhile, Arab-Islamic governments are always forgiven by the West, who find Benjamin Netanyahu’s words about the Arabs more outrageous than Ayatollah Khamenei’s promise to liquidate the Jews: the police organized by former Nazi war criminals, the farhud of Jews in Baghdad, the massacres of Kurds and Sudanese blacks, the fanatical nationalism, the destruction of ancient heritages of humanity.

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Yemen is important

Why Yemen Matters

Middle East hands rightly scoffed in 2009 when Barack Obama and his fellow naïfs expected that by leaving Iraq, smiling at Tehran, and trying harder at Arab-Israeli negotiations they would fix the region, permitting a “pivot” to East Asia. Instead, the incompetents squatting atop the U.S. government cannot keep up with fast-moving, adverse events, many of its own creation (anarchy in Libya, tensions with traditional allies, a more bellicose Iran).

by Daniel Pipes
Washington Times
March 28, 2015


The Middle East witnessed something radically new two days ago, when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia responded to a plea by Yemen’s president and led a 10-country coalition to intervene in the air and on the ground in the country. “Operation Decisive Storm” prompts many reflections:

Saudi and Egypt in alliance: Half a century ago, Riyadh and Cairo were active in a Yemen war, but then they supported opposing sides, respectively the status-quo forces and the revolutionaries. Their now being allies points to continuity in Saudia along with profound changes in Egypt.

Arabic-speakers getting their act together: Through Israel’s early decades, Arabs dreamt of uniting militarily against it but the realities of infighting and rivalries smashed every such hope. Even on the three occasions (1948-49, 1967, 1973) when they did join forces, they did so at cross purposes and ineffectively. How striking, then that finally they should coalesce not against Israel but against Iran. This implicitly points to their understanding that the Islamic Republic of Iran poses a real threat, whereas anti-Zionism amounts to mere indulgence. It also points to panic and the need to take action resulting from a stark American retreat.

Arab leaders have a long history of meeting but not cooperating. From the right: King Hussein of Jordan, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt, Yasir Arafat of the PLO, and Muammar Qaddafi of Libya in September 1970.

Yemen at the center of attention: Yemen played a peripheral role in the Bible, in the rise of Islam, and in modern times; it’s never been the focus of world concern – until suddenly now. Yemen resembles other once-marginal countries – the Koreas, Cuba, the Vietnams, Afghanistan – which out of nowhere became the focus of global concern.

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Obama doesn’t understand Middle East

‘Arab-Israel Alliance’ Leaving Obama Isolated

By: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Published: March 27th, 2015, The Jewish Press

Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman.
Netanyahu and Saudi King Salman.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has jabbed President Barack Obama with a stinging remark that although Israel and the United States are friends, fears of Iran and the ISIS have forged a “new partnership” of Israel and “many of our Arab neighbors.”
Netanyahu took the opportunity of being charged with the responsibility to form a new government to say:

We very much appreciate, and will take care to preserve, our alliance with the best of our friends, the United States; however, we will continue to work to prevent the agreement with Iran, an agreement that endangers us, our neighbors and the world. We see eye to eye with many of our Arab neighbors regarding the danger posed by Iran and we also view positively the benefit that this new partnership could have for the region.

The chaos in Yemen has once again embarrassed the Obama administration by exposing another colossal foreign policy failure that has made President Obama increasingly isolated in the region. Continue reading

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