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section: Cryings »» tag: History

Convention on Cluster Munitions

03.12.2008 tags [ anger | press-mess | history ]

Between 1964 and 1973, the US Air Force dropped 260 million cluster bombs on Laos... »»

Norway - which played a key role in hammering out the worldwide ban on using, producing, transferring and stockpiling cluster munitions - was the first country to sign. Laos, the country most affected by cluster bombs, was the second nation to sign Wednesday's treaty at Oslo city hall.

Between 1964 and 1973, the US Air Force dropped 260 million cluster bombs on Laos, or the equivalent of a fully-loaded B-52 bomber's payload dropped every eight minutes for nine years.

98% of people hit by cluster bombs are civilians. About one quarter of them are children.
Of course, the treaty would have been a stronger instrument if we had the US, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan and India onboard. No doubt about it...

Nuclear weapons, Cluster Amunition?
You get'em from these goverments: USA, Russia, China, Israel, Pakistan or India - what a shame!!!

The History of Valentines Day

21.02.2008 tags [ knowledge | history ]

According to Christian tradition St. Valentine was a priest living near Rome in about 270 A.D.... »»

As early as the fourth century B.C., the Romans engaged in an annual rite for the passage of young men to the God Lupercus. Names of the teenage women were placed in a box and drawn at random by adolescent men; thus, a man was assigned a woman companion for the duration of the year, after which another lottery was staged. After eight hundred years of this practice, the early Christian leaders sought to end it... They found the answer in Valentine, a bishop who had been martyred some two hundred years earlier.

According to Christian tradition St. Valentine was a priest living near Rome in about 270 A.D. At that time the Roman Emperor was Claudius-II who had issued an edict forbidding marriage.
This was around when the heyday of Roman Empire had almost come to an end. Lack of quality administrators led to frequent civil strife. Learning declined, taxation increased, and trade slumped to a low, precarious level. And the Gauls, Slavs, Huns, Turks and Mongolians from Northern Europe and Asia increased their pressure on the empire's boundaries. The empire had grown too large to be shielded from external aggression and internal chaos. Thus more capable men were required to be recruited as soldiers and officers. When Claudius became the emperor, he felt that married men were more emotionally attached to their families, and thus, would not make good soldiers. So to assure quality soldiers, he banned marriage.

Valentine, a bishop, seeing the trauma of young lovers, met them in a secret place, and joined them in the sacrament of matrimony. Claudius learned of this "friend of lovers," and had him arrested. The emperor, impressed with the young priest's dignity and conviction, attempted to convert him to the Roman gods, to save him from certain execution. Valentine refused to recognize Roman Gods and even attempted to convert the emperor to Christianity, knowing the consequences fully.

On February 24, 270, Valentine was executed.

"From your Valentine"
While Valentine was in prison awaiting his fate, he came in contact with his gaoler, Asterius. The gaoler had a blind daughter. Asterius requested him to heal his daughter. Through his faith he miraculously restored the sight of Asterius' daughter. Just before his execution, he asked for a pen and paper from his gaoler, and signed a farewell message to her "From Your Valentine", a phrase used ever after.

Valentine thus became a Patron Saint, and spiritual overseer of an annual festival. The festival involved young Romans offering women they admired, and wished to court, handwritten greetings of affection on February 14. The greeting cards acquired St.Valentine's name, the senders™ real name being kept secret.

The Valentine's Day card spread with Christianity, and is now celebrated all over the world. One of the earliest cards was sent in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was a prisoner in the Tower of London. The card is now preserved in the British Museum.