Full explanation of Blue Eyes by Within Temptation (Afghani Girl and Islam)

Among all the bands I usually listen to, Within Temptation has been a favorite.

They have true music and the band spends a lot of time working for a single album, from the lyrics to the music and the cover pictures.

In a previous post, I mentioned that the members of the band are pagans. For all those who are not familiar with pagans, or with stereotypes against pagans, I have to clarify that paganism is not devil worshipping. Pagans consider nature as their mother, their God. And this is very clear from Within Temptation’s first albums “Mother Earth” with very paganism-obvious songs as “Ice Queen” and “Never Ending Story”.

Today, I will not be writing about their believes or principles. Instead, I want to shed light on a curios song for them. Its name is “Blue Eyes”.

Here are the lyrics for the song:

“Blue eyes just smile to the world
Full of dreams and with fascination
Too soon she saw that her hands were chained and pulled without any freedom
It’s always the same, the fear no way out
I cannot break it
I can take it no more

It’s burning me up inside
Lost all my tears, can’t cry
No reason, no meaning
Just hatred
No matter how hard I try
You fear the beast inside
It’s growing, it’s waiting
Just to hurt you

This heart was hurt by the light and
I see your world that tries to deny us
Now everything that I love has died or has been shattered to pieces
It’s always the same, they fear no way out
I cannot break it
I can take it no more

It’s burning me up inside
Lost all my tears, can’t cry
No reason, no meaning
Just hatred
No matter how hard I try
You fear the beast inside
It’s growing, it’s waiting
Just to hurt you

Just to hurt you
Just to hurt you

Can’t you see their eyes, what lies inside
They’ve given up, they no longer shine
Too soon they close with one last cry
Before they turn to white

Just to hurt you

It’s burning me up inside
Lost all my tears, can’t cry
No reason, no meaning
Just hatred
No matter how hard I try
You fear the beast inside
It’s growing, it’s waiting
Just to hurt you

Just to hurt you.”

For the first time you read the lyrics, you will assume that the song is about love, peace, pain, and innocence.

But what if I tell you that there is a “sheikh” chanting an Islamic quote in the beginning. Does it make any sense to you? No! It does not.

Now let’s try to find out the true meaning of the song.

As a first step, I want you to look at the below image.

Actually, this is the picture for an Afghani girl in 1984 captured by the photograoher Steve McCurry and it made it to National Geographic’s cover picture. The picture summarizes all the pain, hope, and despair that people suffered during the war between the Russians and Talban in Afghanistan.

The girl has blue eyes, doesn’t she?

So now go back to the song and try to join all the points together. Does it make sense now?

The song talks about her life, and all the pain she had passed through. It also tackles the fears that the muslim extremists have from women. How they perceive women as lower creatures and beasts that should be always tamed and kept in captivity.

“No reason, no meaning
Just hatred
No matter how hard I try
You fear the beast inside
It’s growing, it’s waiting
Just to hurt you”

Do you want to see how the girl looks now? Here is another recent picture for her!

Finally, I want to share with you another picture that I came across on Facebook last few days ago. It also tells how the situation is in Afghanistan after the extremists have ruled.

558921_629922750366489_1365869549_n

I guess it is self-explanatory.

In the end, I believe each religion has its own dark ages. Will Islam’s dark ages take us to the end of everything?

Only time will show.

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Disney Bans Kids Under 14 From Entering Parks Alone

Disney theme parks will soon require anyone under the age of 14 to be accompanied by someone who is older than 14, a Disney spokeswoman said Saturday.

The new policy will take effect March 23 at all U.S. Walt Disney World and Disneyland resorts and parks.

“If a cast member who is working at the front gates sees a guest who appears to be younger than 14 without someone who appears to be older than that, they will engage in a conversation with the guest,” Disney spokeswoman Suzi Brown said.

The employee will verbally determine whether the guest is too young to enter on his or her own, since children that age typically do not carry identification with them, she said. The child’s parent or guardian would then be contacted if the visitor is underage, and that adult would need to physically come accompany the child into the park.

Disney chose the age of 14 after the company surveyed its guests and reached out to organizations that deal with child welfare, Brown said. She said both the organizations and visitors agreed on the new age limit.

“That was the age they felt was appropriate,” she said. “That’s also the age the Red Cross recommends for babysitting.”

No particular incident triggered the change in policy, Brown added.

“We regularly review all of our policies, and we identified an opportunity to provide a consistent age of admission and address a question we occasionally get from parents, ” Brown said. “The question is just if we have a minimum age.”

The Disneyland parks did not previously have a set age for solo admission, and the age rules at Walt Disney World Resort varied among the parks, she said.

“This was a move to bring a consistent age policy across our domestic resorts,” Brown said.

Your Facebook Likes Reveal More Than You Probably Like

Facebook users‘ Likes on the social network may be unintentionally revealing more about their personality traits, sexual orientation, and intelligence, according to a new study.

By studying the Likes of 58,000 Facebook users on the social network, researchers at the University of Cambridge say they were able to determine users’ IQ, gender, sexual orientation, political and religious beliefs, and even substance use, with an accuracy rate of more than 80 percent

Users’ expressions of approval on the social network for things such as photos, friends’ status updates, as well as pages for sports, musicians, and books were analyzed by researchers employing a model that reduced the number of random variables under consideration. When compared with user-provided demographic profiles and other psychometric tests, researchers learned they had correctly predicted sexual orientation 88 percent of the time, ethnicity 95 percent of the time, and political leanings in 85 percent of the cases.

“This study demonstrates the degree to which relatively basic digital records of human behavior can be used to automatically and accurately estimate a wide range of personal attributes that people would typically assume to be private,” researchers said in the study, which was published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PDF).

“Likes represent a very generic class of digital records, similar to Web search queries, Web browsing histories, and credit card purchases,” researchers said. “In contrast to these other sources of information, Facebook Likes are unusual in that they are currently publicly available by default.”

While recognizing that predicting attributes and preferences could be used to improve a wide range of products and services, researchers noted that there were considerable negative implications to the predictability model, especially when digital records are analyzed without individuals knowledge or consent.

“Commercial companies, governmental institutions, or even one’s Facebook friends could use software to infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, or political views that an individual may not have intended to share,” researchers concluded. “One can imagine situations in which such predictions, even if incorrect, could pose a threat to an individual’s well-being, freedom, or even life.”

Child Born With HIV Is ‘Functionally Cured’

For the first time, doctors are reporting that a child born with HIV and put on an unusually aggressive treatment regimen has been functionally cured of the infection.

Now 2 years old, the Mississippi girl has only trace amounts of HIV in her bloodstream and has been able to keep the virus that causes AIDS in check without the help of medication, doctors said Sunday at a medical conference in Atlanta.

If researchers demonstrate that the same treatment can work in other children, it could drastically alter the lives of the estimated 1,000 babies born with HIV every day, most of them in Africa, doctors said.

“If there is a trial that shows this can happen again, then this will be very important,” said Dr. Karin Nielsen, a pediatrician who specializes in infectious diseases at UCLA‘s David Geffen School of Medicine who was not involved in the girl’s case. “You’ll be able to treat people very intensively and reverse the disease.”

Attempting to replicate the results in other HIV-positive infants is “our next step,” said Dr. Deborah Persaud, a virologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center who described the Mississippi patient at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections. She and others are to make a formal presentation during the conference’s scientific program Monday.

Details of the unusual case have not yet been published in a medical journal so that other doctors and researchers can assess it. It’s possible that the girl — although at high risk for contracting the virus from her mother — was not actually infected herself, skeptics said.

Researchers who have examined her case extensively say they believe she did have the virus but was able to knock it back before it had time to establish itself in parts of the immune system where it can remain dormant and strike again after drug treatments are stopped. Such viral reservoirs are essentially impossible to treat once they have been established.

“Is it possible the child was not infected? Yes. Is it likely? No,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases. The virus probably could not have remained in the baby’s body as long as it had if she had not been infected, he said.

In the United States and other developed countries, more than 98% of babies born to mothers with HIV do not get the virus thanks to preventive treatments that begin before birth and last up to six weeks afterward. In this case, the girl’s mother did not know she had HIV until she took a screening test after she was already in labor, said Dr. Hannah Gay, the pediatric HIV specialist at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson who treated the baby.

Instead of giving the newborn just one antiretroviral drug, Gay opted for a three-drug regimen that is sometimes given as a long-term treatment for infected babies, she said. The first infusion was begun when the girl was only 30 hours old — several days before blood tests confirmed she was HIV-positive at birth, Gay said.

With continued treatment, it took less than a month for the girl’s viral load to become undetectable with standard clinical tests, Gay said.

The treatments continued normally for about 15 months, then became sporadic. When the girl was 18 months old, her mother stopped bringing her to the doctor and she didn’t receive her medications.

Five months later, the girl returned to the clinic and had her blood drawn. Gay said she expected to find that her viral load was high. Instead, her HIV levels were still undetectable. Additional tests a few days later confirmed the results, Gay said.

That’s when Persaud and Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga, an immunologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, began studying the girl’s blood. Using the most sensitive tests available, they were able to find tiny amounts of HIV “particles” but no virus capable of replicating, the research team reported.

The analysis was funded by the National Institutes of Health and amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.

Among adults with HIV, a lucky few — less than 1 in 200 — are able to keep the virus at bay without the help of medications. But this girl is not one of these “elite controllers,” Fauci said, because in her case doctors could not detect the presence of any virus capable of replication at all.

“You can always isolate virus from elite controllers,” he said. “It’s just that they control it so well, it doesn’t replicate.”

The case of the Mississippi patient is unusual because doctors would not stop a patient’s treatment intentionally to see how he or she would fare without antiretroviral drugs. It is also unusual, Fauci said, because most pregnant women in the U.S. who are HIV-positive receive prenatal treatment to fight the virus, which dramatically decreases the risk of transferring the infection to the baby.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that fewer than 200 babies in the nation were infected with HIV at birth in 2010.

But in developing regions — including sub-Saharan Africa, the site of two-thirds of the world’s HIV infections — it’s a different story. Every year, 300,000 to 400,000 babies are born infected with HIV, Fauci said.

More than half of those children die within the first year, said UCLA’s Nielsen, who conducts research on HIV infection in infants and children. If the triple-drug treatment is proved in clinical trials, the therapy could be a boon for these babies.

Fauci suggested that in addition to such trials, researchers might want to take another look at children who have been on antiretroviral therapies since shortly after birth to see whether any of them had the disease cleared from their bodies.

“You don’t want to recommend stopping therapy, but you do want to go back and look very carefully,” he said. “It may be that we cured them and we don’t realize it.”

The Mississippi girl is the second patient in the world known to be functionally cured of HIV. The first was Timothy Brown — better known as the Berlin patient — who had not only HIV but also acute myeloid leukemia. When oncologists gave him a bone marrow transplant in 2007, they selected a donor who had a rare genetic mutation that blocks the HIV virus from entering cells. As a result, Brown is now immune to the virus and remains HIV-free without taking any medication.

Time Magazine’s Pistorius Cover

This week’s Time magazine has one of those striking cover images that bears all the hallmarks of being one that will live on for years to come.

Though “Man. Superman. Gunman” refers, quite obviously, to Oscar Pistoriusthe very lengthy article considers the wider topic of South Africa‘s culture of violence

The magazine’s Africa bureau chief, Alex Perry, takes an in-depth look at the country’s complicated history with race relations, inequality and violence.

It also happens to be Time’s 90th anniversary: it was launched on 3 March 1923. Joel Stein wishes the magazine a, sort of, happy birthday here.

Witch Burning: 20-Year-Old Mother Slayed After Witchcraft Accusations

Papua New Guinea police, Sydney, charged two people on Monday with the grisly killing of a woman after being accused of witchcraft.
Kepari Leniata, a 20-year-old mother who was stripped, tortured with a hot iron rod, doused in gasoline and set alight on a pile of car tires and trash.
Janet Ware and Andrew Watea are both charged with the murder of Leniata. 40 people were detained last week in connection with the slaying, but the police released them due to the lack of enough evidence. However, police sources declared that more arrests will happen in the near future.
In such rural areas, witchcraft is blamed for unexplained misfortunes. But what happened with Mrs. Leniata caused outrage in the whole South Pacific Island. And this dragged the attention of the police, diplomats, and the prime minister.
Papua New Guinea Police Department said that hundreds of onlookers witnessed Leniata’s slaying, most of which were children and teenagers. Furthermore, several police officers were at the scene during the crime, but could not do anything as they were outnumbered.
Stay tuned for more updates.

Brookhaven Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider Should Be Closed

In a narrowly decided vote, an advisory panel to federal nuclear science agencies has recommended closing a particle collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., rather than eliminating other costly facilities. The reason: federal budget woes are hitting all types of government funding from classroom education to highway repair.

At a meeting this week of the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee, which provides guidance to the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, physicist Robert Tribble of Texas A&M University in College Station unveiled the findings of an effort he led to identify priorities for an increasingly frugal U.S. nuclear science program. From the outset of the Tribble panel’s investigation, it appeared that one of three major projects would face elimination, and on January 28 Tribble announced that Brookhaven’s Relativistic Heavy-Ion Collider, or RHIC, had drawn the short straw.

Tribble explained that under flat budgets or even with annual increases for inflation, it would not be possible to operate RHIC while also building the planned Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) at Michigan State University and completing upgrades to the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in Virginia.

The Tribble panel recommended finishing the CEBAF upgrades as the highest priority, and RHIC lost in a narrow runoff with FRIB for second place. “The subcommittee vote, while closely split, resulted in a slight preference for the choice that proceeds with FRIB,” Tribble reported.

The possibly soon-to-be-shuttered RHIC smashes gold ions or protons together at high speed to generate new particles or new states of matter. And although RHIC is much smaller than the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Europe, and much less powerful, nuclear physicists argue that the U.S. machine has the capability to address science questions that are inaccessible anywhere else. “If we close RHIC now, we lose all collider leadership—not just the high-energy frontier—to CERN,” Tribble said, referring to the European particle physics laboratory that operates the LHC. After a series of closures in the past five years, RHIC stands as the only remaining particle collider in the U.S. The project, which costs the Department of Energy about $160 million a year to operate, employs some 750 people.

“It’s the most versatile collider in the world,” says Steven Vigdor, who recently stepped down as Brookhaven’s associate laboratory director for nuclear and particle physics. RHIC can accelerate and smash together beams of protons with aligned spins, much like two spiraling footballs colliding in midair. “That enables a program that is absolutely unique for trying to understand how the spin of the proton arises from its constituents, the quarks and gluons,” Vigdor says. The collider also may help determine how the hot, primordial soup of quarks and gluons produced in particle collisions condenses into the protons and neutrons that make up our world. “One would like to understand where the transition is between normal matter and quark–gluon matter,” Vigdor says, adding that some aspects of that transition “can only really be studied in the RHIC energy range.”

In his presentation, Tribble noted that closing any of the three large nuclear physics facilities would leave a gaping hole in the field. “If we are dealing with no-growth budgets, it’s pretty clear that we will lose a major facility that supports or will support more than a quarter of the nuclear science workforce,” he said. “We’ll leave on the table many discoveries that we hope to make in the next decade in our field.” Speaking for himself and not for the subcommittee, Tribble added that he felt such action would spell “disaster.”

“Nuclear physics is not in the position where we have a facility that’s a large facility that has pretty much done what it wants to do,” he said. “It may be a blessing and a curse that we’re in that mode, but we have a very, very vibrant program ahead of RHIC, we have a very vibrant program ahead of CEBAF and we have a very vibrant program that requires FRIB. There are no easy choices.”

His subcommittee therefore endorsed a “modest growth” budget scenario, under which all three programs could continue, albeit at a diminished level. “If we can avoid having to cut off an arm or a leg, then I think we’ll be much better off,” he said. It falls to elected officials in Washington to determine whether such growth can be accommodated within federal science budgets.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, scientists associated with the facility in New York State are still hoping they could get a reprieve. “I think that it’s not clear yet what these recommendations will ultimately mean for Brookhaven or RHIC’s future,” says Doon Gibbs, Brookhaven’s interim laboratory director, adding that the directors of all three labs have agreed to work together to stave off cuts to nuclear physics. “This was a call to arms not just for RHIC but for the nuclear physics community.”