Future

Starry, Starry Night: Watch Geminid Meteor Shower's Crazy Celestial Show

LA STAMPA (Italy), BBC (U.K), NASA, CHRISTIAN POST, LATIN TIMES (U.S.A.)

Worldcrunch

HUNTSVILLE- Every year around this time in December the real Christmas lights, aka the Geminid meteors, come out to light up the night sky. The BBC explains that the celestial shower occurs as the Earth passes through the path of an asteroid called 3200 Phaethon that leaves the burning debris for us earthlings to marvel at.

Star gazers were out late to watch last night as the shower peaked at around 2 a.m. Those in the southern hemisphere didn't miss out as NASA is live streaming the event from its Marshall Space Flight Centre in Huntsville, Alabama each night during the shower.

According to the Christian Post, the Geminids meteor shower was first recorded as being seen during the 1830s, making it one of the relatively newest showers. At that time about 20 meteors per hour were seen, however, that has increased significantly over recent times and the Geminids are expected to reveal as many as 80 to 120 meteors per hour at its peak.

This year, the shower co-incided with a new moon phase, allowing for ample darkness and maximum viewing says the Latin Times and possibly, the best shower yet. And another coincidence: the last Apollo mission landed back on Earth exactly 40 years ago (Dec. 14 1972) notes La Stampa.

Video: Armando expand=1] Perez via YouTube

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Society

Iran To Offer Master's And PhD In Morality Enforcement

For those aiming to serve the Islamic Republic of Iran as experts to train the public morality agents, there are now courses to obtain the "proper" training.

Properly dressed in the holy city of Qom.

Iran will create new "master's and doctorate" programs to train state morality agents checking on people's public conduct and attire, according to several Persian-language news sources.

Mehran Samadi, a senior official of the Headquarters to Enjoin Virtues and Proscribe Vices (Amr-e be ma'ruf va nahy az monkar) said "anyone who wants to enjoin virtues must have the knowledge," the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported, citing reports from Iran.


The morality patrols, in force since the 1979 revolution, tend to focus mostly on young people and women, particularly the public appearance for the latter. Loose headscarves will send women straight to a police station, often in humiliating conditions. Five years ago, the regime announced a new force of some 7,000 additional agents checking on women's hijabs and other standards of dress and behavior.

A woman in Tehran walks past a mural of an Iranian flag

The traffic police chief recently said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes

Rouzbeh Fouladi/ZUMA

New academic discipline

Last week, for example, Tehran police revealed that they had "disciplined" agents who had been filmed forcefully shoving a girl into a van. Such incidents may increase under the new, conservative president, Ibrahim Raisi.

Speaking about the new academic discipline, Samadi said morals go "much further than headscarves and modesty," and those earning graduate degrees would teach agents "what the priorities are."

Iran's Islamic regime, under the guidance of Shia jurists, continuously fine tunes notions of "proper" conduct — and calibrates its own, interventionist authority. More recently the traffic police chief said women were not allowed to ride motorbikes, and "would be stopped," Prague-based Radio Farda reported.

Days before, a cleric in the holy city of Qom in central Iran insisted that people must be vaccinated by a medic of the same sex "as often as possible," and if not, there should be no pictures of mixed-sex vaccinations.

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