Sikhism, the world’s fifth most popular religion, emerged more than 500 years ago in Punjab, in what is now India. It was founded by Guru Nanak, a non-practicing Hindu who was against rituals and praying to idols.
It is a monotheistic faith that believes in equality and service to others.
Doing good deeds is important for you to be with God after death, says Raghunandan Johar. Sikhs believe that if you don’t live a life full of good deeds you will be reborn and repeat the circle of life and death.
At a typical gurdwara (temple), the doors open up at 6 a.m. for prayers. A formal service includes the singing of hymns and a team of leaders who have studied the faith reciting from the Guru Granth Sahib, Sikhism’s holy scriptures. That book, more than 1,400 pages long, includes writings from Sikhism’s 10 gurus as well as writers from other religions.
Most Sikh men don’t cut their hair and wear turbans and beards. Many American Sikh women dress like other Westerners or wear the salwar kameez, a traditional north Indian garment of a long shirt and loose-fitting pants.
Learn more: CNN – Explainer: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?
Continue reading Be Informed: Who are Sikhs and what do they believe?
In the movies the Dark Knight does not always save his lady, but in the Aurora theater the story unfolded differently. The male instinct to rescue and protect kicked in the way it does in less complicated superhero tales. At least three of the 12 victims of the shooting died because they were physically protecting the women they came to the movie with. Alex Teves, 24, used his body as a shield to cover his girlfriend. He was shot, and she survived. Matthew Robert McQuinn threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler. He too was killed, and she was pulled to safety by her brother, Nick Yowler. Jonathan Blunk, 26, pushed his girlfriend, Jansen Young, under a seat. Again, he was killed, and she got out after the shooting was over. Young crawled out and realized she and her boyfriend were alone in the theater, only he was really wet, and she couln’t believe what had happened, so she tried to convince herself that someone must have thrown a water balloon. (Here is Young in one of the saddest Today show videos ever, her trying to match the steady upbeat tones of the format while talking about gruesome stuff: “I think John just took a bullet for me,” she says. “He provided me the opportunity to survive.”)
Source: Slate – In the Aurora Theater the Men Protected the Women. What Does that Mean?
Continue reading 3 of the 12 victims in the Aurora shooting died protecting their ladies
Bulgarian archaeologists are showing off two centuries-old skeletons that they say were pinned down through their chests with iron rods to keep them from turning into vampires — a trend that was all the rage in medieval Europe.
The “vampire” skeletons were excavated recently near the Black Sea town of Sozopol, according to reports from The Associated Press and AFP. Bozhidar Dimitrov, head of Bulgaria’s National History Museum, was quoted as saying that corpses were regularly treated this way in some parts of the country until the beginning of the 20th century.
About 100 similar burials have been found in Bulgaria over the years.
Bulgarian archaeologist Petar Balabanov has found a number of nailed-down skeletons near the eastern town of Debelt, at gravesites dating as far back as the 1st century. According to custom, the bodies had to be pinned down just in case they tried to rise from the grave.
Of the many explanations for this Vampire myth, the one I found most interesting is the plague. During which thousands of people were dying with no explanation, and that sounds an awful lot like all the vampire movies!
Even the symptom of the plague, the buboes, could look like some nasty bite…
Continue reading Vampire bones dug up in Bulgaria
Pixar’s “Toy Story 3” is the highest-grossing movie of all time in Mexico, where the animated adventure tale collected $59 million at the box office in 2010.
The follow-up from “Toy Story 3” director Lee Unkrich and producer Darla K. Anderson is also likely to have strong appeal with Mexican audiences — and to boast more authentically Latino characters than a Spanish-speaking Buzz Lightyear doll.
The duo’s next movie is a still-untitled project about Día de los Muertos, the Mexican holiday of the dead, which Disney and Pixar first announced at CinemaCon last month.
On the Day of the Dead, which has its roots in indigenous Aztec culture, families in Mexico and many Latin American countries pay tribute to deceased loved ones by creating graveside altars with treats like candy and bottles of Coca-Cola, and donning elaborate skull masks and costumes for processionals.
“This is a very different view of death than the American one,” said Unkrich. “It’s not spooky. It’s celebratory.”
via The Envelope
Continue reading Pixar’s newest movie – Día de los Muertos
The California Office of Traffic Safety celebrated their fifth year of consecutive declines in traffic related fatalities.
In 2010, the number of fatalities in the Golden State dropped to 2,715. That is nearly a 12 percent drop from 3,081 traffic deaths in 2009. And since the peak in 2005, with 4,333 deaths, California’s numbers have declined by more than 37 percent.
The number of traffic fatalities in California have not been this low since 1944, when only one-tenth the number of vehicles were on the road, driving only one-sixteenth the number of miles California drivers traveled in 2010.
via The Official Blog of the U.S. Secretary of Transportation
A very, very big deal considering that driving is one of the top killers in the U.S.:
- Heart disease: 599,413
- Cancer: 567,628
- Automobiles: 359,000
- Chronic Respiratory: 137,353
- Stroke: 128,842
Statistics from 2009 reports by the CDC and U.S. Census.
Another report claims that the drop could be due to new cellphone bans, “deaths blamed on drivers using hand-held cellphones were down 47 percent.” via Huffington Post
How did a 153-year-old magazine — one that first published the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and gave voice to the abolitionist and transcendentalist movements — reinvent itself for the 21st century?
By pretending it was a Silicon Valley start-up that needed to kill itself to survive.
The Atlantic is on track to turn a tidy profit of $1.8 million this year. That would be the first time in at least a decade that it had not lost money.
Getting there took a cultural transfusion, a dose of counterintuition and a lot of digital advertising revenue.
“We imagined ourselves as a venture-capital-backed start-up in Silicon Valley whose mission was to attack and disrupt The Atlantic,” said Justin B. Smith, president of the Atlantic Media Company.
What that meant more than anything else was forcing one of the nation’s oldest magazines to stop thinking of itself as a printed product.
via NY Times
The article is from December, 2010, but still worth reading if the topic interests you (death of newspapers, magazines).
It’s worth noting that The Atlantic is continuing its heroic transformation:
For the 12th consecutive quarter, The Atlantic is reporting gains in print and online revenue. In third quarter 2011, overall advertising revenue is up 19 percent. – Folio
The Atlantic‘s online ad revenue exceeded its print ad revenue for the first time…even more interestingly, October’s 51% digital advertising share doesn’t come from a decline in print revenue. According to Lauf, The Atlantic sold more ads in the October issue of the magazine than it had since 1999. – The Next Web
Learn how the rest of the industry is faring – Newspapers are losing $25 billion in revenue in 2011 – The digital divide – newspapers are completely lost.