BuzzFlash.com's World Media Watch
by Gloria R. Lalumia
WORLD MEDIA WATCH FOR DECEMBER 31, 2001
1//The Toronto Star, Canada--TOMORROW, JUPITER AT ITS BRIGHTEST ("On New Year's Eve, if you raise your glasses high enough, you'll see more than a nighttime tapestry of tiny stars.")
2//The Japan Times, Japan--STARTING ANEW THROUGH THE AGES ("Jan. 1, the date most commonly recognized today, was set by the Julian calendar drawn up in 45 B.C. by order of Julius Caesar.")
3//The Hindustan Times, India--TEAM TO VISIT KABUL TO FIT 'JAIPUR FOOT' TO MAIMED AFGHANS ("'The Union Government is sending the team under a humanitarian venture in Afghanistan,' Mehta said. 'Our team has already served the Afghan people twice in the past by organising similar camps in 1996 and 1997 fitting foot to landmine victims,' he said.")
4//The Guardian, UK-- Riddle of the Pyramids: WHY DE MILLE DIDN'T NEED ALL THOSE SLAVES ON SCREEN ("But French architects and scientists believe they are nothing more than weathered concrete blocks, moulded on the spot,.")
5//The Moscow Times, Russia--ARMY EYES PETS ("Under the proposals, donkeys, horses, camel, reindeer and sled-dogs will have to be registered at local military commandant offices across the nation, the report said.")
6//The Pioneer, India--IT'S A MAN-EAT-DOG WORLD ("South Korean lawmakers on Thursday put forth a bill to legalise the commercial slaughter of dogs in a bid to stem international criticism and protect the custom of eating dogmeat.")
Toronto Star Dec. 30, 2001. 01:00 AM
JUPITER AT ITS BRIGHTEST
Jupiter, the largest planet of the solar system, will be at its brightest. The planet reaches opposition tomorrow night, meaning it reaches a point in the sky opposite that of the sun. And that puts it so close to Earth - a mere 635 million ilometres way - that it'll appear super-bright. Only the sun and the moon are brighter.
Japan Times Sunday, December 30, 2001
The world's most universally observed festival, New Year is also its most diverse, with timing, inspiration and celebration differing among countries, cultures and religions. For some, it is an occasion on which to give thanks for another year of survival; for others it's a vantage point from which to look forward to the coming year; while for still others, it is a "thin place" -- a moment when the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead flickers and fades.
Sowing or harvest, the phases of the sun or moon, religious festivals and civic events, all have served as the year's pivot -- and though Christmas comes but once a year, the dawn of a new year is celebrated somewhere every month of our 12.
1, the date most commonly recognized today, was set by the Julian calendar
drawn up in 45 B.C. by order of Julius Caesar. However, it wasn't until
the calendrical reform of Pope Gregory XII in 1582 that European countries
formally recognized the day as the beginning of the new year. Even then,
Protestant countries took longer to come round: Germany in 1700, Britain
in 1752. Japan adopted the Western calendar in 1873, and China followed
suit in 1912; while among later
Perhaps the dry secular reasoning behind the choice of Jan. 1 (the day when newly elected consuls took up their appointments throughout the Roman Empire) set the desultory tone of much modern-day merrymaking -- bargain-hunting at the sales, or TV specials and day-long sports coverage swept along on a tide of alcohol.
By comparison, countries and cultures that have best maintained their native new year traditions -- among them the colorful lantern festivals of China (late Jan./mid Feb.), the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, or Head of the Year (early/mid Sept.) and India's Diwali, or Festival of Lights (early Nov.) -- are those where the event is not tied to the civil calendar but to the rhythm of natural or spiritual cycles.
The civilization of Babylon (in present-day Iraq) was the first to divide the four seasons as we do today, and a Mesopotamian record of 2,000 B.C. contains the earliest known reference to a new-year festival. The Babylonians quartered the year along the summer and winter solstices, when days are at their longest and shortest respectively, and the autumn and vernal equinoxes, when night and day are of equal duration. The new year was observed at the start of spring (mid-April), with the sighting of the first crescent moon after the vernal equinox.
No longer customary in the West, fortune telling remains a key new-year ritual in many Asian countries. Shortcuts to securing a favorable fortune abound: Chinese smear the lips of their kitchen god with honey, to ensure he carries sweet reports of them back to heaven; Cambodians jostle to secure a paper talisman smeared with the blood of a shaman known as the "Pig God," who cuts his tongue with a razor blade at the start of the ritual; Vietnamese leave a whole chicken on a platter outside their door at midnight to entice the new year, mua xuan, into the house bringing fortune.
skeptical in the West, people try to improve their lives by making New
Nowadays, Americans make on average 1.8 resolutions each -- that's upward of 400 million nationwide, or an awful lot of disappointment in store when resolve breaks down. For some, the stress of new-year expectations is all too much. One survey in the mid-1990s that examined U.S. government records of suicides found that although Thanksgiving and Christmas recorded daily rates below the 34-per-million average, New Year's Day saw a jump to 41-per-million -- a statistic made all the sadder because, whatever its particular timing or traditions, New Year has principally been a time for celebrating life itself.
TO VISIT KABUL TO FIT 'JAIPUR FOOT' TO MAIMED AFGHANS
A 20-member team, led by well-known orthopaedic surgeon M K Mathur, is visiting Kabul for organising a camp to fit artificial limbs ('Jaipur Foot'), to the Afghans maimed in war.
Mathur, professor and head of the Rehabilitation Research Centre of the S M S Medical college and hospital here, and his team would be fitting about 1,000 artificial limbs to Afghans during their stay in Kabul, Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahayata Samiti (BMVSS) secretary S R Mehta said here today.
The unique feature of the composition of the team is that more than half the technicians are themselves limb-less persons fitted with the Jaipur Foot.
"The Union Government is sending the team under a humanitarian venture in Afghanistan," Mehta said. "Our team has already served the Afghan people twice in the past by organising similar camps in 1996 and 1997 fitting foot to landmine victims," he said.
and aesthetically the Jaipur Foot is considered as one of the best appliances
of the Pyramids
Webster in Paris
millions of tourists, from the Ancient Greeks on, the Blairs may have
the uninitiated eye, the 2.3 million blocks of stones rising to a 146-metre
peak on the
The theory, being explored by scientists at Montpellier University, has thrown Egyptology into turmoil. It could destroy thousands of years of speculation on the greatest of all riddles of the sands, one that has fascinated Hollywood and made fortunes for novelists such as Christian Jacq. Researchers believe that only the reluctance of the Egyptian authorities to allow more samples to be examined stands between them and final proof.
Bertho, an architect and specialist in trompe-l'oeil, used his expert
Egyptians had mastered many techniques of plaster and mortar and knew
theory, set out in a book called La Pyramide Reconsti tuée (Unic),
is largely based
ARMY EYES PETS (Full article)
(MT) -- The Defense Ministry, which this month announced it would commandeer
Russian-made jeeps in the event of war, is considering enlisting pets
as well, TV6 reported.
deputy military commissar, Mikhail Prostodushev, was quoted as saying
Some dogs are bred to be eaten in South Korea, notably in poshintang, literally "body preservation stew", which, advocates say, is good for the health.
But while culinary canines rank third as commercial livestock in South Korea behind cattle and pigs, dogs raised for food fall outside the Livestock Processing Act.
Unregulated slaughter has spawned abuses including burning, beating and boiling of live dogs - drawing sharp criticism from overseas animal activists in the run up to next year's world cup soccer finals, which Korea will co-host with Japan. The bill to bring dogmeat under commercial livestock laws, proposed by 20 ruling and opposition legislators, follows a bitter spat pitting French actress-turned-activist Brigitte Bardot against angry South Korean dogmeat defenders. Bardot touched off a nationalistic outcry in Korea when she told local media she would distribute protest pictures depicting the torture of dogs before next year's world cup soccer finals.
Her campaign drew a torrent of attacks and threats, with anti-Bardot web sites launched carrying Korean profanities and pornographic references to Bardot's fame as a cinema sex symbol.
"Foreign criticism of dogmeat reflects lack of understanding of our nation's ancient culture -- it is blasphemy, not criticism," conservative lawmaker Kim Hong-Shin told Parliament.
But other advocates of the legislation said it would help the government impose more stringent checks to enforce laws that ban cruelty to animals.
South Korea has received a letter from FIFA, the sport's world governing body, urging it to be sensitive to foreign public antipathy to the practice of eating dogs.
But Seoul world cup organisers say dogmeat is not a matter for FIFA.
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otherwise noted, all original