Animal Communication

December 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

tufailA discipline within the field of animal behavior that focuses upon the reception and use of signals. Animal communication could well include all of animal behavior, since a liberal definition of the term signal could include all stimuli perceived by an animal. However, most research in animal communication deals only with those cases in which a signal, defined as a structured stimulus generated by one member of a species, is subsequently used by and influences the behavior of another member of the same species in a predictable way (intraspecific communication). In this context, communication occurs in virtually all animal species.

The field of animal communication includes an analysis of the physical characteristics of those signals believed to be responsible in any given case of information transfer. A large part of this interest is due to technological improvements in signal detection, coupled with analysis of the signals obtained with such devices.

Information transmission between two individuals can pass in four channels: acoustic, visual, chemical, and electrical. An individual animal may require information from two or more channels simultaneously before responding appropriately to reception of a signal. Furthermore, a stimulus may evoke a response under one circumstance but be ignored in a different context.

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Ali Khademhosseini Wins Presidential Award

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

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BOSTON, MA–Ali Khademhosseini, an associate professor of medicine at Harvard University, has won the   Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers. He received the award because his contributions to micro-engineering, such as the generation of controlled micro-scale environments and regulation of cell behavior and fabrication of tissue-like structures, according to a release.
“Our research is based on generating biological tissues that can be transplanted into patients to treat various diseases,” Khademhosseini said. “The ability to generate tissues outside the body can be used to alleviate the challenge in a lack of organ donors. We combine cells and materials to develop tissues that mimic the function of the natural organs.”

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Terry Jones Denounced by Muslim and Christian Leaders

April 28, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

By Adil James, TMO

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Reverends and imams speak at the ICA press conference at 10:30AM Friday April 22, 2011.  At center is Imam Qazwini of the ICA, to his right Imam Elahi and Imam Mardini, respectively.

Dearborn–April 22–The overcast morning of Friday April 22 was one that began with the ominous likelihood of violence.  Despite the religious significance of the day (Easter to Christians) “Pastor” Terry Jones had planned to burn the Qur`an directly in front of the biggest mosque in the United States as an act of provocation.  As the day turned out, however, Jones was prevented through last-minute legal wrangling from going through with what would have been an incendiary act on several levels.  The city of Dearborn feared an outbreak of violence, as evidenced by the police presence at the mosque.

But as the day began, religious leaders from the community did not know the burning would be prevented–they thought that Jones might go through with his plan, and they spoke en masse in the auditorium of the Islamic Center of America, speaking one by one against Jones’ message of hate, bigotry, and intolerant ignorance.

Present were many news channels and outlets–the ICA room chosen for the press meeting teemed with reporters, looking a little bit like the White House briefing room.

The speakers one by one spoke a message of tolerance–and the theme of all their speeches was that Terry Jones is in fact an extremist and his act of burning the Qur`an is rooted in his deep ignorance, and his behavior stands in stark contrast to the behavior and message of Jesus (as).

The symbolism of Jones’ attempt to burn the Qur`an on Good Friday was not lost on the Christian reverends who spoke–all of them expressed their dismay at such an act of hatred being committed on a day which should represent the directly opposite message.

Imam Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America functioned as the moderator of the event, one by one introducing the many speakers who (literally) joined hands to protest Jones’ planned act of hatred.

The mayor of Dearborn, Jack O’Reilly, spoke very fluently about the event, pointing out the need to balance the rights of people against one another–while a man in America has a right to protest, the churches local to ICA  (which have stood where they are for 50 years) also had a right to perform their Good Friday services in peace.  He pointed out Jones’ attempts through internet advertising to bring hundreds if not thousands of people to his planned protest, which contradicted his application for a permit to protest which listed only five or six protesters.

The mayor gave perhaps the strongest Christian argument against Jones’ planned behavior, citing the Pope’s decree that Islam is a valid religion, and that  Catholics should treat their Muslim brothers and sisters with respect.  O’Reilly also cited Bible passages which he said described Jones’ behavior, of inciting fear in people and then asking for money, which Jones had done.

Most of the Christian ministers and reverends who spoke questioned Jones’ title of “pastor,” pointing out the nature of his message as being contrary to the essential teachings of his religion.

One reverend said “Today is Good Friday… the message of today is about love, not exclusive love, but unconditional love.  Love God with all your heart and soul, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
He pointed out that the deeper issue in Jones’ protest is the issue of racism.

Mustapha Turk of IONA said that if Jones had read the Qur`an he would not burn it because the Qur`an has praises of Jesus (as) on almost every page.
One reverend begged the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan not to react with violence to whatever scene might unfold later in the day.

Several of the Christian ministers pointed out the burning of churches during the civil rights struggle as being similar to Jones’ attack on Islam.

Imam Qazwini perhaps put it best when asked whether he had tried to communicate with Jones.

“I met [him] last night at Channel 2 where we were both guests, and I invited him not to protest, but to come inside and have a dialog with Muslim leaders.”

“I don’t think he is sincere, or logical,” said Imam Qazwini.

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Warren Buffett’s Investment Advice for You

March 4, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Buffett Says Consumer Behavior May Be Forever Changed by Recession

By Katie Escherich and Bianna Golodryga

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett believes that the U.S. will emerge from the current economic recession “stronger than ever,” but he said the behavior of the American consumer may be forever changed.

“We were on a binge before,” the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway told “Good Morning America” in an exclusive interview. “I mean, we are not saving extraordinary sums now but the savings behavior has changed. … I don’t necessarily think that we will go back to behaving the way that we were two years ago.”

The man known as the “Oracle from Omaha” because of his history of successful investments, shared his top three pieces of advice for average Americans who want to grow their savings and keep their money safe.

Number one: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Number two: “Always look at how much the other guy is making if he is trying to sell you something.”

Number three: Don’t go into debt.

“Stay away from leverage,” he said. “Nobody ever goes broke that doesn’t owe money.”

The “binge,” he said, was fueled largely by over-borrowing by both individuals and companies.

“The U.S. public as a whole has gotten into problems from leverage, financial institutions have gotten into problems through leverage,” he said. “A long, long time ago a friend said to me about leverage, ‘If you’re smart you don’t need it, and if you’re dumb, you got no business using it.’”

At a time when many college graduates face uncertain futures and are struggling to find jobs, Buffett said he still believes that “investing in yourself is the best thing you can do. Anything that improves your own talents. And I always advise students to do that, high school students, college students and obviously investing in your children is, in some ways, investing in yourself.”

No matter what happens in the economy, “if you have true talent yourself, and you have maximized your talent, you have a terrific asset.”

Warren Buffett on Budget Deficit

Buffett showed some support for the idea of a second economic stimulus package, but cautioned that it should be handled differently to restore the American public’s confidence.

The number of earmarks included in the bill were “part of what has affected the American psyche,” he said. “When we go on and we talk about earmarks and that sort of thing, and then we get the kind of behavior we’ve got, I mean, that is not reassuring to the American public.”

He called the first stimulus “like taking half a tablet of Viagra and having also a bunch of candy mixed in, you know, as if everybody was putting in enough for their own constituents.”

He also cautioned that the American public will have to be patient and give the economy time to recover, particularly when it comes to the surplus of houses on the market that resulted from overbuilding.

“The American public will get disappointed, but it is going to take time to work through the overhang of houses, for example,” he said. “You can’t cure that in a day or a week or a month, so a stimulus doesn’t cure that.”

Buffett also expressed confidence in Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and dismissed rumors that the Fed chief may not return once his current term is up at the end of the year.

“Well, I think he should keep his job,” he said. “And as to what people say, well they are going to say something, they have always talked about Fed chairmen when their terms are coming up. But taking Bernanke out of the lineup would be like if you had the Ryder Cup, taking Tiger Woods out of it. It just doesn’t make any sense.”

Buffett acknowledged that the actions taken by the government will lead to an even bigger budget deficit. “It will happen and I worry about it, but I would worry more if we weren’t doing anything right now.”

He compared the current situation to “a friend that is sinking in quicksand.”

“You throw them a rope and they tie it around themselves and a car pulls them out, they may dislocate a couple of shoulders but it’s still the right thing to do. And we are doing things which will have negative consequences down the road, but they are still the right thing to do to get us out of this particular economic quicksand that we are in.”

Warren Buffett on Health Care Reform

Asked if he agreed with President Obama that passing health care reform would help limit the ballooning budget deficit, Buffett replied, “I really don’t think that I’m an expert on health care,” but said the system needs to be drastically changed.

“I think it’s a moral imperative that everybody have access to health care,” he said. “It’s a terrible problem.”

Despite the pressing economic concerns, he said he would be in favor of the government devoting resources to devising a plan for health care reform “if there’s a well-thought-out program that actually promises to bring down the cost of health care.”

“We are spending 2 trillion plus on health care a year,” he said. “If we could come up with something that even maintains the present cost and promises not to have a greater-than-inflation rate of gain in the future, and brings health care to the people that aren’t getting it now, then I think that will be a huge improvement. I don’t think that is an easy task.”

In anyone’s lifetime, “you will see many recessions, some bubbles,” he said, but he’s optimistic about the future.

“If we sat down here [at the] start of the 20th century, and I said there is going to be the panic of 1907, there is going to be a world war. It will be followed by a Great Depression with 35 percent unemployment, and then we will have another war that it looks like we are going to lose, and then we are going to have a nuclear bomb like no one has ever seen … by the time I got through, you’d be crying. But the Dow went from 66 to 11,497 during that same century, and the average person’s standard of living went up 7 to 1. We have a system that unleashes human potential like nobody has ever seen, and it has done it in the past, it will do it in the future. So I’m a huge bull on America — it does let people like you and me do far more than we could have done 200 years ago.”

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Harun Yahya – Secrets of the Hypocrites

September 17, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

They Mock the Believers

Another of the actions they engage in is mockery. The inferiority complex and tension that hypocrites suffer because of the strength of believers emerges by means of mockery. Taking advantage of believers’ good intentions, they disparage them and seek to belittle them in others’ esteem, as a result of their unconquerable anger. Allah informs us of this in their own words:

. . . But then when they go apart with their satans, they say, “We are really with you. We were only mocking.”

Al-Baqara: 14

But in fact, they cannot do believers any harm, neither with their mockery nor with other forms of oppression. Allah is aware of and sees all their behavior. In the Qur’an, He tells us that it is actually the hypocrites who are mocked and belittled:

But Allah is mocking them, and drawing them on, as they wander blindly in their excessive insolence.

Al-Baqara: 15

Since hypocrites envy believers, all their behavior is aimed at not letting that hatred show. Since they expect certain advantages from believers, hypocrites take great pains not to make their hatred apparent. Subconsciously, however, their enmity always shows its face. Mockery is a secret sign of the rage and hatred that hypocrites feel in their hearts, which boils to the surface through their words, looks and facial expressions.

The verses clearly describe the behavior that hypocrites engage in solely because believers have faith. Since they regard themselves as superior and far removed from the Hereafter, they attach no significance to what others do for Allah and therefore, can mock a life devoted to Him and the Hereafter:

Those who did evil used to laugh at those who believed. When they passed by them, they would wink at one another.

Al-Mutaffifin: 29-30

Allah also describes how this behavior will be rewarded in the Hereafter:

So today those who believe are laughing at the disbelievers.

Al-Mutaffifin: 34

Since hypocrites act with the cunning cleverness of satan, they do not openly engage in this behavior aimed against believers. They are careful to conceal it afterwards. But subsequently, when their malice does emerge and their mockery is thrown in their faces, then their hypocritical logic manifests itself. In the event of such an event, hypocrites maintain that they harbored no bad intentions and have been misunderstood. They will do all they can to prove their so-called innocence:

If you ask them they will say, “We were only joking and playing around.” Say: “Would you make a mockery of Allah and of His signs and of His messenger?”

At-Tawba: 65

They Slander the Faithful

Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah or denies His signs? The wrongdoers are certainly not successful.

al-An‘am: 21

Since they aim to weaken the messenger and the faithful and to prevent the dominance of religious moral values, they make groundless accusations against believers, just as they do against the messenger. One of the main ways that hypocrites attack believers is to utter slanders against them. In this way, they imagine that they can show themselves different from believers and therefore, that the truth is on their side. According to that assumption, they will be cleared and believers will lose prestige in others’ eyes. The fact is, however, that the slanders they make will not lead to events detrimental to believers. On the contrary, they will always prove detrimental to such slanderous individuals:

. . . Who could do greater wrong than someone who invents lies against Allah thus leading people astray without any knowledge? Allah does not guide the people of the wrongdoers.

Al-An‘am: 144

The most significant feature of these slanders is that they are generally aimed at the messenger. Various accusations, employing the exact same methods and referred to in the Qur’an and quoted here previously, have been made throughout the course of history. The deniers, who have always existed and who are named in the Qur’an, have accused the messengers sent to them as being madmen or magicians. Despite the passage of centuries, their actions remain unaltered, and their accusations are always made in the same way. None of their initiatives ever achieves its aims.

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