According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for
this world to recreate, reclaim, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater
Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of
explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger
Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton
I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. - anon
Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII
Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut
Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest
People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. - anon
... Certainly God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater
An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater
Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann
Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument.
There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is
irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a
power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner
Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14)
Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton
The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table
to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens we show to the world what love, justice, peace,
reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants
us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. - anon
The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

Sunday, April 27, 2014

EarthSpeak Series - NASA Sees Earth From Orbit: 2013



NASA Sees Earth From Orbit: 2013
http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/nasa-sees-earth-from-orbit-2013-0/#.U1y2KfldX9z

April 21, 2014

A fleet of orbiting satellites monitors Earth constantly. The satellites from NASA and other space agencies give us a fresh, wide perspective on things that we can see from the ground – and things that we can’t.

A look back at Earth in 2013 from the viewpoint of orbit reveals the kind of data gathering and technical achievement that are the reason NASA puts Earth-observing satellites in space. A visualization of satellite and computer model data shows how a cloud of dust from the Chelyabinsk meteor moved around the world. NASA satellites measured the intensity of wildfires, the salinity of the oceans and rainfall around the globe – whether it was too little or too much.

Satellites also helped bring us discovery – like the “mega-canyon,” longer than the Grand Canyon, found under a mile of Greenland ice. Meanwhile, far from the world’s ice sheets, scientists used a new technique to measure the fluorescence of plants. The visualized result shows a glowing world that is both awe-inspiring and instructive.

The satellite view of Earth allows for everything from the terrifying to the peaceful. Satellites gave us imagery of typhoon Usagi rapidly intensifying and they gave us humbling images of a storm that spawned tornadoes in Oklahoma. Satellites also showed us how the seasons change, and how the world looks from above, on the International Space Station, as the Earth spins and night turns to day.

NASA works to better understand and protect our home planet. Our data and research helps improve environmental prediction and prepare for natural hazards and climate change. In 2014, five NASA missions are launching to space – the most active year for NASA Earth science in more than a decade.

To learn more about NASA’s Earth science in 2014, please visit: www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow


NASA Sees Earth From Orbit: 2013
A highlight reel of some of the best images and data visualizations
of the planet in 2013 from NASA and partner agency satellites




Earth Right Now: Your planet is changing. We're on it.

Five new NASA Earth science missions are launching
in 2014 to expand our understanding of Earth’s changing
climate and environment.

Dune movement around Aorounga, Chad


Close-up of flooding in Mozambique


Alaska's Pavlof volcano seen erupting in 2013





Published on Apr 21, 2014
A fleet of orbiting satellites monitors Earth constantly. The satellites from NASA and other space agencies give us a fresh, wide perspective on things that we can see from the ground -- and things that we can't.

A look back at Earth in 2013 from the viewpoint of orbit reveals the kind of data gathering and technical achievement that are the reason NASA puts Earth-observing satellites in space. A visualization of satellite and computer model data shows how a cloud of dust from the Chelyabinsk meteor moved around the world. NASA satellites measured the intensity of wildfires, the salinity of the oceans and rainfall around the globe -- whether it was too little or too much.
To learn more about NASA's Earth science in 2014, please visit: www.nasa.gov/earthrightnow

Imagery used in this video, in order:
Views of a Distant Earth
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

Earth and Moon
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/...

Current Earth Observing Fleet
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a030000/...

Term3_ISS From Night to Day to Night Again
http://eol.jsc.nasa.gov/Videos/CrewEa...

Astronaut View of Fires in Colorado
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Natu...

Extensive Ice Fractures in the Beaufort Sea
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

Dune Movement Around Aorounga
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

San Francisco Region at Night
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

Whiting Event, Lake Ontario
http://earth.jsc.nasa.gov/debrief/ISS...

Dust Plumes over the Mediterranean
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Natu...

Mt. St. Helens
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

El Paso
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

Close-Up of Flooding in Mozambique
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

Drought Dries Elephant Butte Reservoir
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

Oklahoma Tornadoes
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Natu...

Floods in Colorado
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Natu...

Pavlof Volcano
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Natu...

Swirling Sediment Reveals Erosive Power of New England Storm
http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD...

Never at Rest: The Air over Los Angeles
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/...

Measuring Soil Moisture from Space
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a030000/...

Antarctic Bedrock
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/...

Seeing Photosynthesis from Space
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/...

Greenland's Mega Canyon
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/...

Chelyabinsk Bolide Plume as seen by NPP and NASA Models
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a000000/...

Narrated Distributed Water Balance of the Nile Basin
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/...

NEO Observations (various)
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/advs...

This video is public domain and can be downloaded at:http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/goto?11525

Like our videos? Subscribe to NASA's Goddard Shorts HD podcast:
http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/iTunes/f...

Or find NASA Goddard Space Flight Center on facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/NASA.GSFC

Or find us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/NASAGoddard


Planet Earth At a Glance

Planet Earth At a Glance


Nine Myths about Hinduism Debunked


Hinduism

9 myths about Hinduism — debunked
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/04/25/9-myths-about-hinduism-debunked/

By Moni Basu, CNN Belief Blob
April 25, 2014

Suhag Shukla knows that’s how some people outside Hinduism see her religion. As the head of the Hindu American Foundation, Shukla, 42, clarifies misconceptions all the time.

Hinduism is ancient, though there is no specific date for when it was formed. The name is a Sanskrit word; Hinduism and Hindu were coined by invaders who used the terms to refer to the people they encountered when they crossed the Hindu Kush mountains and arrived at the Indus River.

In America, Hinduism’s profile was elevated by Indian immigrants who brought their customs and rituals with them and perhaps most recently, by the growing popularity of Hindu teachings like yoga and meditation.

Hinduism is the world’s oldest living religion and the third largest – behind Christianity and Islam – with more than 1 billion followers. Some argue that Hinduism is more a way of life than religion. It has no common creed or church. Nor is it based on the teachings of a founder or holy book.

And it remains a mystery for many.

Myth No. 1: There are 330 million Hindu gods.

Reality: There is one supreme God that cannot be fully known or understood.

Hindus are encouraged to relate to God in the way that suits them best, like worshipping many deities who are believed to be manifestations of God. The trimurtior three main deities are Brahma, the creator; Vishnu, the preserver; and Shiva, the destroyer. That’s why Hinduism is often thought of as polytheistic. It is not.

But there’s debate on the proper terminology for Hinduism. Some call it a monistic religion, derived from the belief that everything in the universe is part of one substance or nature. Some, including Shukla, say Hindusim is henotheistic, which is the worship of one god without denying the existence of other gods. Others, say it is monotheistic.

Myth No. 2: Hindus are idol worshippers.

Reality: Hindus worship a reminder of God.

No Hindu will say he or she is worshipping an idol. Instead, Hindus believe a physical representation of God – in the form of an idol - helps them focus on an aspect of prayer or meditation. For instance, a person who has just opened up a new business may worship Ganesh, the elephant god who represents success.

Myth No. 3: Hindus worship cows.

Reality: Hindus do not pray to cows but they do regard all creation and all life as sacred.

Hindus believe every living thing has a soul. It is true, however, that cows hold a special place in Hindu society. That’s why Hindus refrain from eating beef. Cows are seen as gentle, maternal figures that are providers of milk and other forms of sustenance. They are honored for their value.

Myth No. 4: All Hindus are vegetarians.

Reality: A majority of Hindus eat meat.

But about 30 percent do not. That stems from a fundamental belief in ahimsa, the principle of non-violence. Since all living things are manifestations of God, violence against them is considered contrary to the natural balance of the universe.

Tourists flock to Varanasi to experience its intense spirituality. Many tour the Ganges River to witness
the activities along the city's ghats, the wide steps that lead to the water. - Hotel Death by CNN

Myth No. 5: Hinduism supports a discriminatory caste system.

Reality: Caste discrimination is rooted not in religion but culture.

Caste was an ancient system of occupational class delineated in Hindu texts that over the years developed into a rigid social hierarchy. The lowest castes, or untouchables, were marginalized and faced persecution. But many modern Hindus have argued that caste-based discrimination is not intrinsic to Hinduism and should not be thought of as religiously sanctioned.

Myth No. 6: Women are subservient in Hinduism.

Reality: Not because of religion.

Actually, one attribute that differentiates Hinduism from say, Christianity or Islam, is that it recognizes forms of god as feminine. Hindus revere Shakti, or the personification of God's energy through a female figure.

Some of the most commonly worshipped goddesses are Parvati, a primary form of Shakti; Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom; and Lakshmi, goddess of prosperity.

Women in India may not be equal with men but again, that is not because of religion but culture, [in addition to people in general] using religion to keep women down. This is akin, perhaps, to Islamic societies forcing women to cover up from head to toe.

“I don’t think there is a basis to disregard women in our religion,” Shukla says. “The Vedas (scripture) don’t give those instructions.”

Myth No. 7: Hindu women wearing ‘red dots’ on their foreheads are married.

Reality: Sometimes.

A red dot was once a symbol of marriage for Hindu women. Today, the dot, or bindi, is largely decorative. Girls and women – married and single - wear bindis of all colors as fashion statements.

Myth No. 8: The Bhagavad Gita is like the Bible.

Reality: There is not one central, authoritative book in Hinduism.

But Hinduism is rich in scripture with a vast collection of ancient religious writings. Hindus believe god revealed truths to wise men who passed them on for thousands of years through a rich oral tradition. The scriptures include the Vedas, the Upanishads, the Puranas and the Bhagavad Gita, or Song of God.

Part of the epic tale, Mahabharata, the 700-verse Gita is the world’s longest poem and takes the form of a dialog on a battlefield between a prince, Arjuna, and Krishna. It captures the core beliefs of Hinduism but not all Hindus read the Gita.

Myth No. 9: Karma is fatalistic.

Reality: Everyone has the ability to choose life’s actions.

This is the theory behind karma: for every action a person sets in motion, there is a corresponding reaction. Hindus believe they have to face the consequences of past actions. Each person creates his or her destiny with deeds. The ultimate goal is to have karma that will free a soul and gain moksha, or liberation from the cycle of rebirth.

Sources: Hindu-American Foundation, Hinduism Today, and Vasudha Narayanan, associate editor of Brill’s Encyclopedia of Hinduism


for further reference -