Can you imagine A Day Without News?
One year ago, legendary correspondent Marie Colvin and photojournalist Remi Ochlik were killed in Homs, Syria. Evidence from eye witnesses suggests that the journalists were targeted by the Syrian regime in an attempt to limit exposure of the war’s atrocities. Their deaths struck an industry still reeling from a string of tragic losses, including the deaths of photojournalists Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington in Misrata, Libya, in April 2011.
“It is unacceptable that those looking to report objectively from conflict zones around the world are deliberately singled out, targeted and murdered with impunity, with those responsible for their deaths not facing any repercussions. Without these journalists bearing witness, atrocities committed in war would go unremarked and it is an equal cruelty that their deaths go without justice. This is a situation that has to change. We are heading towards a day when it will be too dangerous for journalists to enter into or report from war zones.” - Aidan Sullivan, Vice President, Photo Assignments, Editorial Partnerships and Development for Getty Images and founder of A Day Without News?
A Day Without News?, launching today, will raise awareness of the risks faced by journalists and photojournalists in war zones, and lobby governments and tribunals to pursue and prosecute those who harm members of the news media. Many media professionals find themselves deliberately targeted when attempting to cover conflicts, and, while it is considered a war crime to do so, there has been little to no enforcement of this international humanitarianlaw. Over the past decade, 945 photojournalists and correspondents have been killed while covering conflict zones, 583 of these without any resulting prosecutions as war crimes. Ninety journalists were killed in 2012 alone, the deadliest year on record.
Please visit A Day Without News? to learn more and to add your name in support.
Often, in times of conflict, we forget that the soldiers are not the only heroes.
A Meadow of Frost Flowers
Just before dawn broke one morning over the Arctic Ocean, the temperature dropped and University of Washington graduate student Jeff Bowman spotted something otherworldly from his ship—little icy flowers, blooming up from the frozen sea. They were like snowflakes, delicately protruding up from the thin ice “like a meadow spreading off in all directions,” Bowman recalls. “Every available surface was covered with them.” These are called frost flowers, though they’re not really flowers—they’re natural ice sculptures that form when the air is colder and dryer than the thin layer of ice covering the sea. The air teases up moisture from imperfections in the ice, which becomes supersaturated and condenses back into ice, creating frosty, feathery spikes that blossom like flowers. The flowers are about three times saltier than the ocean below, yet each one houses around a million bacteria. This is rare for such incredibly salty, brutally cold conditions, but it’s strangely beautiful—each delicate frost flower is essentially a temporary ecosystem, until the sun rises and melts them away again.
(Image Credit: Jeff Bowman)
Today’s Google Doodle celebrates Nicolaus Copernicus, a Renaissance mathematician and astronomer who proposed that the Earth is not at the centre of the solar system, as people had believed for hundreds of years. Instead, he formulated the heliocentric model of the solar system that we know today, which correctly demonstrates that the planets, including Earth, revolve around the sun.
I honestly don’t need a reason to post this, but I have one nonetheless—did you know that NASA has used music to awaken astronauts in space ever since the Apollo Program? Astronauts returning from the moon were serenaded by their colleagues in mission control, and several crews have awoken on their last day in space to Dean Martin’s song “Going Back to Houston.”
On the 12th of February, 2010, the shuttle space crew were awoken with the Ballad of Serenity—the theme song of Firefly.