Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bahá’ís celebrate 200th anniversary

Inspired by the life and teachings of Bahá’u’lláh, millions of people worldwide have been celebrating the 200th anniversary of His birth on the 21st and 22nd of October 2017.
According to the Bicentenary website:
"Bahá’u’lláh was born in Tehran in 1817. Two centuries later, the day of His birth is celebrated around the world alongside the birth of the forerunner of His Revelation, the Báb, born in 1819 on the day before the birth of Bahá’u’lláh according to the calendar used in Persia. These Twin Holy Birthdays are celebrated by Bahá’ís and their friends as one annual festival where the closely interwoven lives and missions of these two Divine Luminaries are remembered together."
The website contains many great reports and pictures of these activities from around the world.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

So what's going on with AI (Artificial Intelligence)?

There have been a number of scare stories about AI recently. This article from Hackaday (a techie news site) attempts to put it into perspective:
"AI techniques include matching natural language to predefined templates. That’s really all these devices are doing today. Granted the neural nets that allow for great speech recognition and reproduction are impressive. But they aren’t true intelligence nor are they even necessarily direct analogs of a human brain."

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Baha'i Bicentennial 2017

Mansion of Bahji
For Baha'is a major event is coming up in October - the bicentennial of the birth of Baha'u'llah in 1817. This occassion will be celebrated world-wide nationally and locally.

Here is some background information from Huffington:
"As 2017 begins, over 5 million Baha’is worldwide are preparing for major upcoming celebrations. On October 22, 2017, in some 100,000 localities worldwide, they will celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of Baha’u’llah, the Founder of the Baha’i Faith."

And another background article from BWNS mentions a tribute from the President of India:
"In India, as preparations advance, the Baha’i community has received from the President of India—His Excellency Pranab Mukherjee—a moving tribute honoring this bicentenary year."

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The seas are warming and more

According to an article in the Guardian:
"Although there’s some uncertainty in the distribution among Earth’s ocean basins, there’s no question that the ocean is heating rapidly."

And from Nature:
"Revised tallies confirm that the rate of sea-level rise is accelerating as the Earth warms and ice sheets thaw."
And from the BBC:
"Scientists are "very worried" that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet could accelerate and raise sea levels more than expected.
They say warmer conditions are encouraging algae to grow and darken the surface.
Dark ice absorbs more solar radiation than clean white ice so warms up and melts more rapidly.
Currently the Greenland ice sheet is adding up to 1mm a year to the rise in the global average level of the oceans."
Note - this darkening of the ice is not a major problem as yet.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

And a quick word on climate change

"Nearly nine in 10 people say they are ready to make changes to their standard of living if it would prevent future climate catastrophe, a survey on global threats found Wednesday.
The survey of more than 8,000 people in eight countries – the United States, China, India, Britain, Australia, Brazil, South Africa and Germany – found that 84 percent of people now consider climate change a "global catastrophic risk"."
From the Guardian:
"New study confirms the oceans are warming rapidly"