Armenians Remember First Modern Genocide

Armenians are remembering what they deem the first modern genocide, 100 years ago at the hands of the Turks, reports USA Today. Needless to say, Turkey doesn’t see it quite the same way:

Armenians from around the globe are in Istanbul for Friday’s commemoration of what’s been called the first genocide of modern times, when up to 1.5 million Armenians died in the massacres and deportations that began in 1915.

Armenians marched by Turkish soldiers, 1915.png

Armenians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Turkish soldiers. Kharpert, Armenia, Ottoman Empire, April, 1915

 

A century later, the bitterly contested history is hardly a thing of the past. Turkey continues to insist that the wartime killings were not genocide, while Armenians say Turkey’s denial is an affront to a core part of their national identity.

“There is a question of political recognition of the genocide, but ultimately, it’s about the Armenian story and history being incorporated into the collective memory of the countries where we live,” said Nicolas Tavitian, director of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, who flew in from Brussels for the centennial.

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Al-Namrood album artwork

Way More Metal Than You Are.

Do you know what’s totally metal? Being in a Black Metal band, but being unable to perform. Because if you do play a gig, you could wind up with your head chopped off.

That’s what the metal lifestyle is like in Saudia Arabia, as this Vice interview with ‘Mephisto’  from Black Metal band Al-Namrood attests. Read on, headbangers:

Black metal bands have never been keen on religion. However, in parts of the world where religion can actually be oppressive, bands inspired by Bathory and Mayhem and Burzum are few and far between.

That’s presumably because it’s a lot easier to be in an anti-Christian metal band in the US, than in an anti-Islamic metal band in Saudi Arabia. In America, your obstacles extend to overhearing your mom tell a friend you’re just “going through a phase.” In Saudi Arabia, you face social ostracism and the possibility of imprisonment or death.

With that in mind, you’ve got to give it to Saudi Arabia’s only black metal band, Al-Namrood, whose lyrics include all sorts of things that could get them executed.

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The ‘Kingsman’ Scene That Could Shock and Awe Audiences

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In a highly suspenseful scene in the new blockbuster action and spy-parody film, Kingsman: The Secret Service, an interlude occurs just before the final fight sequence. This interlude is quite memorable because it depicts the actions of Obama and several other world leaders.

Warning: Major plot spoilers ahead.

Sony’s The Interview will go down as one of the most controversial films ever produced, given the firestorm over its plot about the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. So we are curious to watch how the world — and the U.S. in particular — reacts to Fox’s new action movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service.

(Seriously, stop reading here if you don’t want any of the film’s plot spoiled for you.)

The film stars newcomer Taron Egerton as Eggsy, a rebellious teen recruited into the titular U.K. spy agency by Harry Hart (Colin Firth). Meanwhile, a billionaire named Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) pledges to give every citizen of the world free cellular and Internet service for life via phones his corporation distributes.

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Hillary Clinton is Not a Feminist

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Sophie Stephenson writes at CounterPunch:

Hillary Clinton says she’s a feminist, and claimed, astonishingly, while promoting her book “Hard Choices” last year:

“Women and girls … [are] central to our foreign policy,” saying that countries that value the rights of women are “less likely to breed extremism.”

However this statement is completely at odds with her actions as Secretary of State, such as with Libya – of which it has been said was her own project rather than Obama’s – where she put her own vile agenda ahead of the rights of the nation’s women, which were until that point light-years ahead of most other Middle Eastern countries. Since the death of Gaddafi, the rights of Libyan women have been rolled back by decades, with them now having to leave the house covering their heads, if not also their faces. It should be noted that the leader of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) – Abdelhakim Belhadj – whose group was backed by NATO air strikes and who afterwards had his photograph taken with Washington’s leading warmongers John McCain and Lindsey Graham, is now said to be leading ISIS in Libya.

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Sprawl devours the planet.

A fantastic collection of street art about uncomfortable truths.

Are there any truths that aren’t uncomfortable? Increasingly street art is one of the only ways for people in the overdeveloped world to declare ‘Enough’ and thanks to the internet, we can hear them loud and clear.

From CSGlobe.com:

As the world moves to cities, so does art. And just as art can inspire political action and resistance, so too do the walls of the city become canvases for important street art messages.

And in the dense thicket of apartment buildings, skyscrapers, and public plazas, exterior walls of concrete buildings become the perfect canvas to display such messages. As shown below, simple slogans and provocative images can do a lot to inspire people to action, or at least remind them about the important issues they might be missing.

These people have names and addresses.

Your papers, please.

 

We're flushing the future down the drain.

Down the drain.

Feed our leafy friends.

If you don’t- who will?

Miserably trapped zoo animals.

Everybody loves the zoo. Mostly.

 

Sprawl devours the planet.

Shitting little houses made of ticky tacky.

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Shooting Your Computer Is Just ‘Glorious’

Surely anyone who’s had the misfortune of owning a Windows PC has fantasized about getting rid of the damn thing. Permanently, possibly with some violence. Fulfilling that fantasy for us, a Colorado man was so peeved with his Dell computer that he shot it, eight times, with his 9mm pistol. He told the Los Angeles Times that it was sooooo worth getting a ticket for shooting his gun within city limits:

A Colorado man finally had enough of his troublesome computer Monday and did what pretty much everyone has fantasized about: He shot and killed it.

Photo: Colorado Springs Police Dept.

Photo: Colorado Springs Police Dept.

 

Lucas Hinch, 37, was issued a summons by Colorado Springs police after he shot his 2012 Dell XPS 410 eight times in an alley, police said.

“He was fed up with fighting his computer for the last several months,” according to the police log.

Under most circumstances, it is illegal to fire a gun in Colorado Springs, which is about 60 miles south of Denver.

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Project Elysium: VR to revive deceased loved ones

A development screenshot from Project Elysium.

A development screenshot from Project Elysium. Paranormal Games.

Mark Walton via Ars Technica:

How far is too far when it comes to pushing the boundaries of virtual reality? As VR devices grow ever more sophisticated—and the tools to create software for them ever more accessible—where do we draw the line between what’s ethically acceptable in the real world and what’s ethically acceptable in the virtual world?

One of the developers putting this question to the test is Australia-based Paranormal Games. Project Elysium, its entry into the upcoming Oculus VR Jam 2015, treads some shaky moral ground by promising to create a “personalized afterlife experience,” reuniting people with loved ones who have passed on. Exactly how the developer hopes to do this isn’t clear at this point (it will be required to showcase screenshots by April 27, followed by video footage the week after to be eligible for the jam’s grand prize), although a screenshot from Project Elysium’s development does show a friend of the studio being transformed into a 3D model.

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Vast Magma Reservoir Found Under Yellowstone National Park

Do you remember that one of the 2012 end times predictions was an eruption of the supercaldera under Yellowstone National Park? Needless to say, that didn’t happen, but that’s not to say it never will. Scientists have discovered a vast reservoir of molten magma under Yellowstone. Really vast. New Scientist reports on the implications:

A massive chamber holding enough magma to fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times over is hiding beneath the steaming volcanic system of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming.

Yellowstone magma chamber.jpg

Yellowstone magma chamber

We knew of a smaller magma chamber closer to surface, holding some 10,000 cubic kilometres of magma and feeding heat upwards. The newly discovered reservoir sits under it and has a volume of 46,000 cubic kilometres. Together, the two form the largest known magma reservoir in the world.

“We can’t say definitively that this is the biggest magma reservoir in the world, but we currently don’t know of any other that has been imaged that is as large as the two we see beneath Yellowstone,” says Fan-Chi Lin of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City.

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