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Swansea, Wales, United Kingdom
Ex Media Studies student at Swansea University. This blog is a collection of links, articles, academic reference and random thoughts.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Storm to bring Northern Lights to Britain

“Britain should experience spectacular Northern Lights displays from Thursday due to a large solar storm which could disrupt communication networks, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

“Since February 13 three energetic solar flares have erupted on the sun and spewed clouds of charged plasma called coronal mass ejections (CMEs) out towards the earth,” a BGS geomagnetic storm warning said.

“Already one CME arrived on the 14th sparking Valentine’s Day displays of the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) further south than usual.

“Two CMEs are expected to arrive in the next 24-48 hours and further…displays are possible some time over the next two nights if skies are clear.”

The strongest storm in four years is expected to interfere with satellites and electrical networks, with astronomers in southern China already reporting disturbances to radio communications.

The BGS Wednesday published geomagnetic records dating back to the Victorian era which it hopes will help in planning for future storms.

“Life increasingly depends on technologies that didn’t exist when the magnetic recordings began,” Alan Thomson, BGS head of geomagnetism said.

“Studying the records will tell us what we have to plan and prepare for to make sure systems can resist solar storms,” he added.”

Read more at Yahoo News

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Gypsies: tramps and thieves?

Interesting article

Gypsies: tramps and thieves? | Columns | Progress
Paul's week in politics
Paul Richards

Gypsies: tramps and thieves?

Channel 4's My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding reveals C4's descent into yellow press journalism, but also our continued misunderstanding of travelling communities, the plights they have faced, and prejudices that have endured for centuries.

I was taught at school that ‘gypsy' was a derivation of the word ‘Egyptian', used in Elizabethan England to describe the feared, misunderstood, dark-skinned nomads who lived on the outside of society. I fear the sum of our understanding, 400 years on, has not been enhanced by My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, currently airing. Despite Barbara Flynn's sonorous narration, the reaction to the programmes has been little more sophisticated than that of the Georgians paying to poke the mentally ill in Bedlam. Viewers have gawped at the vast, illuminated wedding dresses, been appalled at the subjugation of teenage girls, and speculated out loud, with a barely concealed subtext, about the source of the cash to pay for the lavish nuptials.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Mubarak resigns: world reactions

Story from The Global Post

What world leaders and key figures in the Egypt uprising had to say in the press and on social media such as Twitter.

Hosni Mubarak quit the Egyptian presidency and handed power to the military on Friday, a day after declaring he would stay in power until September. Mubarak reportedly left Cairo for the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Here's what world leaders and key figures in the Egypt uprising had to say in the press and on social media such as Twitter:

Mohamed ElBaradei, opposition figure and Nobel laureate (via BBC News)

"This is the greatest day of my life. The country has been liberated"

And: "Well I can't even to begin to describe my reaction. It's a joy, exhilaration, total emancipation for 85 million people. For the first time Egypt has been liberated and has put its feet on the right track to towards a country of democracy and social justice."

Ayman Nour, Egyptian opposition figure (via Al Jazeera)
"The heart of Egypt beats again"

Muslim Brotherhood, opposition Islamist group (via AFP)
Hailed Mubarak's resignation and "thanked the army, which kept its promises."

Wael Ghonim, opposition figure (via Twitter)

"The real hero is the young Egyptians in Tahrir square and the rest of Egypt #Jan25"

President Barack Obama (via media reports)

Due to make a televised statement about Mubarak's resignation at 1:30 p.m. Friday, the White House said.

Joseph Biden, U.S. Vice President

"This is a pivotal moment in history... the transition that's taking place must be an irreversible change"

Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader (via Twitter)
"Young people leading #Egypt towards democracy-their energy changed Egypt, their actions are an inspiration to the world."

Catherine Ashton, EU foreign policy chief (via Reuters)

Ashton said the EU stood ready to help Egypt, Reuters reports.

Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (via Agence France-Pressse)
Welcomes Mr Mubarak's exit as a "historic change."

David Cameron, UK Prime Minister (via BBC)
"What has happened today should only be the first step. Those who now run Egypt have a duty to reflect the wishes of the Egyptian people. In particular, there really must be a move to civilian and democratic rule."

Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkish Foreign Minister (via Twitter)
"Congratulations to the Egyptian people. And we hope that a system meeting the expectations of the Egyptian people will emerge."

Amr Moussa, Egyptian Arab League head (via Reuters)
"I look forward to the future to build a national consensus in the coming period."

Iranian Government (via AFP)

Egyptians achieved "great victory"

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri (via Reuters)
"The resignation of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is the beginning of the victory of the Egyptian revolution."

"We call upon the new Egyptian leadership to take an immediate decision to lift the blockade of Gaza and open Rafah [border] crossing permanently to allow people's free movement and in order for the reconstruction process of Gaza to begin."

Carl Bildt, Swedish Foreign Minister (via Twitter)
"Let's hope this is the beginning of a new renaissance for Egypt and the Arab world!"

Qatari Government (via Reuters)

"This is a positive, important step towards the Egyptian people's aspirations of achieving democracy and reform and a life of dignity."

Professor Fawaz Gerges, London School of Economics (via BBC 5Live)
"They should be concerned about what's going to happen in the next four to eight months, not just 48 hours," he says.

Samir Radwan, Egypt's finance minister (via BBC)

"Hosni Mubarak will never leave Egypt, he will die in Egypt. It is his right."

Wikipedia (via Twitter @Shady Samir)

Wikipedia article on #Mubarak already edited saying he WAS the president of Egypt! #jan25"

Here's a complete text of the Vice President Omar Suleiman's statement, published by the BBC:

"In the name of God the merciful, the compassionate, citizens, during these very difficult circumstances Egypt is going through, President Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down from the office of president of the republic and has charged the high council of the armed forces to administer the affairs of the country. May God help everybody."

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