The importance of celebrating IDAHOT in Lebanon

hummus for thought

idahot event

To speak of fighting homophobia in Lebanon might strike as an odd thing to do for some of you. After all, what decency might be found in some parts of Lebanon, mostly in and around Beirut, is dwarfed by the overwhelming discrimination suffered in the rest of the country.

The Current Situation

Lebanon’s LGBTIQ population can be legally targeted under the now-notorious Article 534 which states that sexual relations “contradicting the laws of nature” are punishable offenses. Of course, anyone with a basic understanding of sexuality knows that there is absolutely nothing unnatural about homosexuality. There is literally not a single evidence suggesting so, and a mountain of evidence suggesting the opposite.

In fact, that’s exactly what a judge ruled on January 28th 2014. When an unnamed transgender woman was accused of having sex with a man, Judge Naji El Dahdad of Jdeide Court rejected the case, stating that:

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Insult to injury in Turkey in the aftermath of the Soma Tragedy

Cannot “like” this burtality but it does show Erdogan’s contempt for people

Human Rights in Turkey


If the “woman in the red dress” has become the central image of the Gezi protests, it seems likely that images of Yusuf Yerkel, an aide to Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan, brutally kicking a demonstrator will become one of the key symbols of the Soma mining disaster and the government’s subsequent response.

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Mangroves could save Guyana’s shrinking coastline

Repeating Islands


Desmond Brown writes about Guyana’s shrinking coastline and the importance of preserving the mangroves, especially in the context of global warning and climate change.

[. . .] [C]hief executive officer of the National Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (NAREI), Dr. Oudho Homenauth, warns that climate change is robbing Guyana of some of its prime agricultural land.

Homenauth explained that “the land will have to be left for over a period of time until that salinity is lost” and as the authorities move to protect the agricultural land and also its population, most of whom live along the coasts, Homenauth told IPS that Guyana has come to recognise the importance of mangroves, especially for coastal areas. He said the country has been on an intensive campaign to protect and restore its coastal mangroves.

Approximately 90 percent of Guyana’s population lives on a narrow coastline strip a half to one metre below…

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The Bag Lady

Night Owl Poetry - Dorinda Duclos

Photo via Photo via

Displaced, job lost, she takes
to the streets in search of the

A wheel squeaks on a cart
as she pushes, the basket
filled with boxes and bags

A treasure trove
of all she has left, memories
of a life left behind

Picking through the garbage can
She looks for a bite to eat, a piece of
bread, a tossed apple, hoping for
a scrap

Finding nothing,
she continues, afraid to stop
moving forward toward a destination

As the skies rain down
She finds no protection
from the elements that pound
her unprotected body

Talking to herself, she asks
why, as leering eyes
wait in anticipation, an opportunity
to take all that is left

And in the darkening night
a street lamp gives no comfort
only a soft glow illuminating
the eyes of a lost soul

©2014 Dorinda Duclos All Rights Reserved

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Jennifer Lopez, Shakira, and Ricky Martin at the Billboard Music Awards 2014

Repeating Islands


The Billboard Music Awards will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas Nevada (home of the awards show since 1997). The award show will air live this Sunday, May 18, at 8:00pm on ABC. Apparently, Shakira (a six-time winner of the Billboard Music Awards), Ricky Martin, and Jennifer Lopez (who will be awarded the Icon Award) will all take the stage that evening. See full article by Melissa Vargas in the link below; here are excerpts:

Shakira will join the stage this Sunday, May 18, along with some of the biggest names in music at the 2014 Billboard Music Awards; she’s the latest to confirm her performance for a total of 17 performances that night. It’s no surprise that the Colombian singer was invited to take the stage, as she has placed first on the top Latin Album chart five times and is a six-time winner of the Billboard Music Awards.

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MERS: Updated Charts

Mens et Manus

UPDATED: 5.18.14, 0300 EST
Temporal data indicates date of onset, hospitalization, diagnosis, or public reporting.
Data Sources:
Please Note:
Data are highly imperfect and subject to change.

Want more information? I’ve aggregated all of my MERS-related content on my Tumblr landing page.

Analysis & commentary on predecessors of these charts can be found at the following locations:
1. MERS: Healthcare Workers
2. MERS: Mortality Over Time
3. MERS: Comorbidities Over Time
4. MERS: Impact of comorbidity on mortality and disease severity
5. MERS: If not a mutation, then what?
6. MERS: Impact of comorbidity on mortality
7. Why we ought to care about MERS in healthcare workers
8. MERS: Mortality & comorbidity in symptomatic cases

9. Asymptomatic MERS + Ablution = Transmission?
10. MERS: Historical Variability of Comorbidity & Mortality

Find out more about MERS in America here and here.

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Meet UKIP’s PR officer doing a spot of public relations:

That’s their main message, is it not? Screw everyone we figure are not true English

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the UKIP!)

Meet Janice Atkinson – she’s UKIP’s PR officer.

Here she is doing a spot of PR:



Well done Janice.

Now we know what UKIP really thinks of the public.


Read the full story behind this photograph via Maria Pizzey on Facebook.


Please feel free to comment.


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