The 2019 Christmas Annular Solar Eclipse

A rare annular solar eclipse will happen on December 26 this year. Visibility will be from Eastern provinces of Saudi Arabia early in the morning, then the totality will rush to Qatar, Abu Dhabi and Oman and then into the Arabian Sea and India.

I expect a spectacular show in Doha where the sun shall rise already partially eclipsed and the totality may be seen about half an hour after sunrise.

Some readers may remember that I have had a quite traumatic experience when a total solar eclipse was visible, or rather not, in Germany in August 1999. So, let’s hope there are clear skies in the Middle East. Eye protection was ordered!

19 October 2019 @ 11:20 am

Last modified October 19, 2019

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“No person in this country is so high that he is above the law”

Mueller

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s heavily redacted report last page concludes,

Because we determined not to make a traditional prosecutorial judgment, we did not draw ultimate conclusions about the President’s conduct.  The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment.  At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough Investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state.  Based on the Facts and the applicable legal Standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.  Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.

Devastating.

19 April 2019 @ 1:59 pm.

Last modified April 20, 2019.

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A Smile of the Beyond

Smile

Is this what British guitarist John McLaughlin had in mind on his 1974 album Apocalypse with a reorganized and, then and now, largely disappointing Mahavishnu Orchestra? God as a smiley?

What happens inside the black hole? Well, it’s safe to say: nothing. As there is no time or space or spacetime anymore. Unthinkable.

Studying black holes is like studying hurricanes with an important difference. Black holes won’t harm any of us, hurricanes will.

11 April 2019 @ 6:52 am.

Last modified April 11, 2019.

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“Why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes?”

Well, that’s a good question. Donald Trump answer doesn’t satisfy, though. They do that because they have lost contact to their subjects, not because they love those inside the wall. It’s a sign of lacking democracy or frank dictatorship.

walls

Walls are erected for keeping other people out. For starving them. For separating them. They are ugly.

Apart from terrible flaws, hubris and self-enhancement, and despite strongly submitting to law and order, Americans have usually been a welcoming nation. A multicultural melting pot.

In that sense, Trump’s childish insistence of his “wall” is racist and utterly un-American.

10 January 2019 @ 6:59 am.

Last modified January 10, 2019.

 

 

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Peace in the Qur’an

Cole

In his latest book on Muhammad, Juan Cole, Professor of History at Michigan University in Ann Arbor, has suggested interesting theories about the overall peaceful intent of the Qur’an. In times of intensified Islamophobia not only in the US his revision of certain key surahs in the context of geopolitical events in the 7th century are most welcome.

I had to think of the utter ignorance and cluelessness of former Catholic Pope Benedict XVI when he spurred one of his first scandals addressing an auditorium in his alma mater, University of Regensburg, on 12 September 2006. The topic of his lecture was about faith and reason, and Benedict wanted to make a point here: the novelty that Christianity has brought to mankind was reason. After couple of minutes Benedict attacks,

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