Bill Maher talks about the Republican candidates' public hatred of blue states, large cities, and their liberal college professors, museums, recycling, books, public transport, and interest in foreign languages and international travel.
Special Guest historian Dr. Richard Carrier joined the audience for a for Q&A and a look at the real-life history behind Agora (2009).
2009 R 127 minutes
Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, Agora stars Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, a female mathematician, philosopher and astronomer in 4th century Roman Egypt who investigates the flaws of the geocentric Ptolemaic system and the heliocentric model that challenges it. Surrounded by religious turmoil and social unrest, Hypatia struggles to save the knowledge of classical antiquity from destruction. Max Minghella co-stars as Davus, Hypatia's slave, and Oscar Isaac as Hypatia's student Orestes, prefect of Alexandria.
The story uses historical fiction to highlight the relationship between religion and science amidst the decline of Greco-Roman polytheism and the Christianization of the Roman empire. The title of the film takes its name from the agora, a gathering place in ancient Greece, similar to the Roman forum. The film was produced by Fernando Bovaira and shot on the island of Malta from March to June 2008. Justin Pollard, co-author of The Rise and Fall of Alexandria (2007), was the historical advisor for the film.
Agora was screened out of competition at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival in May, and opened in Spain on October 9, 2009 becoming the highest grossing film of the year for that country. Although the film had difficulty finding distribution, it was released country by country throughout late 2009 and early 2010. Agora received seven Goya Awards in Spain, including Best Original Screenplay, and it was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Feature Film Prize at the Hamptons International Film Festival.
Dr. Carrier's site: http://www.richardcarrier.info/
http://jungleapocalypse.com The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the "Saudi Arabia of lithium," a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.
The vast scale of Afghanistan's mineral wealth was discovered by a small team of Pentagon officials and American geologists. The Afghan government and President Hamid Karzai were recently briefed, American officials said.
While it could take many years to develop a mining industry, the potential is so great that officials and executives in the industry believe it could attract heavy investment even before mines are profitable, providing the possibility of jobs that could distract from generations of war.
"There is stunning potential here," Gen. David H. Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command, said in an interview on Saturday. "There are a lot of ifs, of course, but I think potentially it is hugely significant."
The value of the newly discovered mineral deposits dwarfs the size of Afghanistan's existing war-bedraggled economy, which is based largely on opium production and narcotics trafficking as well as aid from the United States and other industrialized countries. Afghanistan's gross domestic product is only about $12 billion.
"This will become the backbone of the Afghan economy," said Jalil Jumriany, an adviser to the Afghan minister of mines.
American and Afghan officials agreed to discuss the mineral discoveries at a difficult moment in the war in Afghanistan. The American-led offensive in Marja in southern Afghanistan has achieved only limited gains. Meanwhile, charges of corruption and favoritism continue to plague the Karzai government, and Mr. Karzai seems increasingly embittered toward the White House.
So the Obama administration is hungry for some positive news to come out of Afghanistan. Yet the American officials also recognize that the mineral discoveries will almost certainly have a double-edged impact.
Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.
The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan's minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. The minister has since been replaced.
Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts. Afghanistan has a national mining law, written with the help of advisers from the World Bank, but it has never faced a serious challenge.
"No one has tested that law; no one knows how it will stand up in a fight between the central government and the provinces," observed Paul A. Brinkley, deputy undersecretary of defense for business and leader of the Pentagon team that discovered the deposits.
At the same time, American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan's mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.
Another complication is that because Afghanistan has never had much heavy industry before, it has little or no history of environmental protection either. "The big question is, can this be developed in a responsible way, in a way that is environmentally and socially responsible?" http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/14/world/asia/14minerals.html?no_interstitial WARNING WARNING WARNING
Chavez Says Gas Platform Sinks Off Venezuelan Coast (Update4)
May 13, 2010, 3:05 PM EDT
with toxic levels coming from BP oil rig. With this rig sinking THEY MUST BE ONE! This is a mega fault. that goes 4 ways. BP hit that gas vain, and it runs up to Utah. Hydrogen sulfide Benzene, or benzol, is an organic chemical compound with the molecular formula C6H6, Dichloromethane (DCM or methylene chloride) is the organic compound with the formula CH2Cl2. smells like rotten eggs and the other stuff is linked to JAVA which was a oil rig fault caused by drilling.
http://RevolutionNews.US -- My name is Rick Simpson. I have been providing people with Hemp Oil medicines, at no cost, for about three years. The results have been nothing short of amazing. Throughout man's history hemp has always been known as the most medicinal plant in the world. Even with this knowledge, hemp has always been used as a political and religious football. I want this knowledge out there for everyone to learn! Watch the documentary Run From The Cure to understand more about using cannabis as a cure for cancer and other medical problems!
The current restrictions against hemp were put in place and maintained, not because hemp is evil or harmful, but for big money to make more big money, while we suffer and die needlessly. Look at a proposal such as this; if we were allowed to grow hemp in our back yards and cure our own illnesses, what do you think the reaction of the pharmaceutical industry would be to such a plan?
Many large pharmaceutical companies that still exist today sold hemp based medicines in the 1800's and early 1900's. They knew then what I have recently found out. Hemp oil if produced properly is a cure-all that the pharmaceutical industry can't patent.
To learn more about my and hemp oil, visit http://PhoenixTears.ca and watch the documentary Run From The Cure. Below the posted videos you will find more studies and research about cannabis curing cancer!