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02/22/2012

Kabul, Marie Colvin and Ash Wednesday

 

Violent clashes in Kabul have been a very hot topic on Twitter this morning.   NATO troops burned copies of the Quran. 

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According to U.S. officials, the Qurans were "inadvertently" put in an incinerator at Bagram airbase after being confiscated from Taliban prisoners, who they said may have been using the books to pass messages to each other.   Local laborers found the charred remains of the books, setting off a furious display of anger and outrage.   The U.S. Embassy in Kabul was placed under lockdown as police and protesters clashed.   Twitter users there tweeted updates and photos from the scene.

Journalist Marie Colvin, a Long Island native reporting for The Sunday Times of London, and French photographer Rémi Ochlik have been killed in Syria. 

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(AP Photos)

Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad bombed the building where they were staying.  Colvin, 55, won numerous awards for her writing covering conflicts in the Middle East, the Balkans and Chechnya.   She wore a distinctive black eye patch after losing an eye covering the civil war inn Sri Lanka.   Colvin appeared on Britain's Channel 4 News on Tuesday night, hours before her death.  Anchor Jon Snow called her "the most courageous journalist I ever knew and a wonderful reporter and writer."

It's Ash Wednesday, so don't tell anyone they "have dirt on their forehead" today.  Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Christian season of Lent.  It is a season of penance, reflection and fasting ahead of Easter Sunday.  The ashes are made from the blessed palms used in the Palm Sunday celebration from last year.   They symbolize penance and contrition.  Foreheads marked with ashes also remind us that life passes away on Earth.

Space.com reports that scientists have discovered a new type of alien planet.   Observations from NASA's Hubble Space Telescope suggest the planet is a steamy water world that is larger than Earth but smaller than Uranus.   To date, astronomers have discovered more than 700 planets beyond our solar system and another 2,300 candidates as possible planets. This one is located about 40 light years from Earth.

Today's Google Doodle looks more like a heart monitor in an operating room than the company's logo.  It celebrates the 155th birthday of Heinrich Rudolf Hertz.  

Googledoodle

If you own a computer, smart phone or tablet, the processors have a heartbeat expressed in hertz, megahertz or gigahertz.

The last version of Edvard Munch's masterpiece The Scream still in public hands is headed for the auction block this spring in New York.   Sotheby's estimates the work will sell for $80-million.  

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The drawing is one of four versions created by the Norwegian artist in 1895.   The image of a man holding his head and screaming under a streaked, blood-red sky has become a modern icon for human anxiety.

You have to wonder if Denver will resign quarterback Brady Quinn after some comments attributed to him in Sports Illustrated.  Tim Tebow leapfrogged him to replace Kyle Orton as the Broncos quarterback after a 1-4 start.  "I felt like the fans had a lot to do with that," Quinn said in the article. "Just ‘cause they were chanting his name. There was a big calling for him. No, I don’t have any billboards. That would have been nice."   Quinn also said in the article that the way Tebow expresses his faith doesn’t "seem very humble to me."   After the article was published on Tuesday, Quinn took to Twitter to set the record straight, writing, "deserves a lot of credit for our success and I'm happy for him and what he accomplished. Most importantly, he is a great teammate."

Adele had another big night, this time at the U.K.'s Brit Music Awards.  The soulful songstress took home prizes for album of the year and best British female solo artists.   She also flipped the bird after the show's cut off her acceptance speech.  Afterward, she stressed that the obscene gesture was not intended for the audience.  "I'm sorry if I offended anyone but it was the suits that offended me," Adele said. "Thank you all very much and thanks to my fans. I don't want them to think I was swearing at them."

With the Oscars on Sunday, the Academy has rolled out a refresher course on Oscar etiquette with Academy Award winner Kevin Kline and Mike Myers.

 

If you like watching stuff blow up, here's a view of the Fort Steuben Bridge blowing up.  The bridge once provided an essential path to and from Steubenville, Ohio and Weirton, West Virginia.

 

A guy with a dashcam is showing off its value.   The video shows another driver stopping in the middle of a highway, and then backing into his vehicle in what the poster says was an attempted scam.

 

Then there's this guy in England (we think) who tried to cross a frozen canal that wasn't quite frozen.

 

And that's the trend!

Have a great day,

 

Bob

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