1) Pictures of daily life in Pakistan & Afganhistan.

An Afghan refugee girl stands with others in an alley of a slum on the outskirts of Islamabad. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

From a slide show on the Boston Globes Big Picture Blog “Daily Life In Pakistani”
http://tinyurl.com/4omw56b

Pakistani children gather by a vendor on a bicycle selling balloons on the outskirts of Islamabad. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press

2) From a Los Angeles Times slide show of winners of the World Press Photo Awards.
http://tinyurl.com/4nshhvx

I could add a warning label, and then just link to the following picture. I won’t because this blog is about my world view, which I feel needs to include both the best and worst of what we humans do to each other.

An 18-year-old Afghan woman whose nose and ears were cut off by her abusive husband, with Taliban approval, as punishment for running away. (By Jodi Bieber)

3) From NASA

This oddly colorful nebula is the supernova remnant IC 443 as seen by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE. Also known as the Jellyfish Nebula, IC 443 is particularly interesting because it provides a look into how stellar explosions interact with their environment.

Like other living creatures, stars have a life cycle — they are born, mature and eventually die. The manner in which stars die depends on their mass. Stars with mass similar to the sun typically become planetary nebulae at the end of their lives, whereas stars with many times the sun’s mass explode as supernovae. IC 443 is the remains of a star that went supernova between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. The blast from the supernova sent out shock waves that traveled through space, sweeping up and heating the surrounding gas and dust in the interstellar medium, and creating the supernova remnant seen in this image.

What is unusual about the IC 443 is that its shell-like form has two halves that have different radii, structures and emissions. The larger northeastern shell, seen here as the violet-colored semi-circle on the top left of the supernova remnant, is composed of sheet-like filaments that are emitting light from iron, neon, silicon and oxygen gas atoms, in addition to dust particles, all heated by theblast from the supernova. The smaller southern shell, seen here in a bright cyan color on the bottom half of the image, is constructed of denser clumps and knots primarily emitting light from hydrogen gas and heated dust. These clumps are part of a molecular cloud, which can be seen in this image as the greenish cloud cutting across IC 443 from the northwest to southeast. The color differences seen in this image represent different wavelengths of infrared emission.

The differences in color are also the result of differences in the energies of the shock waves hitting the interstellar medium. The northeastern shell was probably created by a fast shock wave (223,700 miles per hour), whereas the southern shell was probably created by a slow shock wave (67,100 miles per hour).

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/UCLA

4) Words of Love

a) From a letter by John Keats to Fanny Brawne, written in 1819 –
http://tinyurl.com/6jo9acw

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv’d but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain.”

b) Lullaby by W.H. Auden

Lay your sleeping head, my love,
Human on my faithless arm;
Time and fevers burn away
Individual beauty from
Thoughtful children, and the grave
Proves the child ephemeral:
But in my arms till break of day
Let the living creature lie,
Mortal, guilty, but to me
The entirely beautiful.

Soul and body have no bounds:
To lovers as they lie upon
Her tolerant enchanted slope
In their ordinary swoon,
Grave the vision Venus sends
Of supernatural sympathy,
Universal love and hope;
While an abstract insight wakes
Among the glaciers and the rocks
The hermit’s carnal ecstasy.

Certainty, fidelity
On the stroke of midnight pass
Like vibrations of a bell,
And fashionable madmen raise
Their pedantic boring cry:
Every farthing of the cost,
All the dreaded cards foretell,
Shall be paid, but from this night
Not a whisper, not a thought,
Not a kiss nor look be lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies:
Let the winds of dawn that blow
Softly round your dreaming head
Such a day of welcome show
Eye and knocking heart may bless,
Find the mortal world enough;
Noons of dryness find you fed
By the involuntary powers,
Nights of insult let you pass
Watched by every human love.

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