Friday, December 23, 2005

No Bravery

There are children standing here,
Arms outstretched into the sky,
Tears drying on their face.
He has been here.
Brothers lie in shallow graves.
Fathers lost without a trace.
A nation blind to their disgrace,
Since he's been here.

And I see no bravery,
No bravery in your eyes anymore.
Only sadness.

Houses burnt beyond repair.
The smell of death is in the air.
A woman weeping in despair says,
He has been here.
Tracer lighting up the sky.
It's another families‚ turn to die.
A child afraid to even cry out says,
He has been here.

And I see no bravery,
No bravery in your eyes anymore.
Only sadness.

There are children standing here,
Arms outstretched into the sky,
But no one asks the question why,
He has been here.
Old men kneel and accept their fate.
Wives and daughters cut and raped.
A generation drenched in hate.
Yes, he has been here.

And I see no bravery,
No bravery in your eyes anymore.
Only sadness.

Korea stem cell success 'faked'

(News Agencies):

A South Korean cloning pioneer has admitted fabricating results in key stem cell research, a colleague claims.

At least nine of 11 stem cell colonies used in a landmark research paper by Dr Hwang Woo-suk were faked, said Roh Sung-il, who collaborated on the paper.

Dr Hwang wants the US journal Science to withdraw his paper on stem cell cloning, Mr Roh said.

Dr Hwang, who is reported to be receiving hospital treatment for stress, was not available for comment.

Science could not confirm whether it had received a request to retract the paper.

Dr Hwang's paper had been hailed as a breakthrough, opening the possibility of cures for degenerative diseases.

Mr Roh, chairman of the Mizmedi hospital and a co-author of the report, told South Korean TV and newspapers that Dr Hwang had admitted major flaws in the research, published in June to international acclaim.

Last month, Dr Hwang resigned from his main post as head of the World Stem Cell Hub, after it emerged that some of the eggs used in his research were donated by his staff - in contravention of international guidelines.

Now it is some of the research itself which is being called into question.

"Professor Hwang admitted to fabrication," Mr Roh told South Korea's MBC television network after visiting him in hospital.

Dr Hwang's paper claimed to have produced 11 stem cell lines from cloned human embryos.

But Mr Roh has said that a scientist working in Dr Hwang's laboratory was pressured into doctoring results to make the embryos look like clones.

Transatlantic doubts

Mr Roh's comments came shortly after the lead US author of the published paper appealed for his name to be removed from the paper, citing doubts over the accuracy of the work.

University of Pittsburgh biologist Gerald Schatten said he recommended that Dr Hwang and all other co-authors ask for a formal retraction.

In a statement, Science said that all authors of a paper would need to agree to make a retraction possible.

The BBC's Charles Scanlon in Seoul says the revelations have sparked a furious debate in the South Korean media.

Leading companies have pulled their advertisements from the television station that first revealed the reported problems with Dr Hwang's work.

Many commentators said it was unpatriotic to challenge someone who had given the country a lead in such a promising new area.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Sad Times

You should know that you have reached the lowest form of humanity when you celebrate the death of a fellow human being, let alone a citizen of your country, let alone a person who has his pen as his only weapon, let alone a man who has a family.
You know you are sick when you see justice served in burning a body to death, when you see the face of God when someone you disagree with is mutilated.You know you are an islamist, not a moslem; a crusader not a christian; a zionist not a jew; a beast not a human being.
You should know all that when you believe that the oppressed and victimized have the right to oppress and victimize others.You are a coward not a martyr, a sheep in the herd not an individual, and a pervert not a fighter when the notion of right and wrong is a point of view: your point of view.
You have to go live on an island, meditate as a human not a "believer", as an individual not a number, and a seeker of truth, not approval. Because time will not turn around to accomodate you, no matter the hatred you hold inside.
The dark ages are gone, doesn't matter how much you cling to them. And freedom, liberty, democracy and independence will prevail, no matter how much you call me a traitor, no matter how many times you burn your "witches" on a stick, or crusify heretics on the cross. No matter what, the best days are coming, not because God is on our side, it is because the justice and the truth are always stronger. It is just how things are.Hariri, Fleihan, Samir, Hawi, and Tueini will live forever, they are not the first and won't be the last...

Saturday, December 03, 2005

5-minute break

I'm in a coffee shop studying for the final. Everything is irritating me, I can't stand anyone or anything. Maybe it's the large coffee I had. Maybe it's the noisy environment. Maybe it's me missing Takla so much, or the continuous fighting with my parents. Maybe it's just the exam, or the Developmental Biology articles I am reading. Maybe people are actually annoying and unbearable, what the heck, ofcourse they are... most of the time. Or is it all of the above? I don't know... when I take a break I read about Buddhism (or Buddhists) in National Geographic, how ironic!! By the way, I watched "Life is Beautiful" two days ago. It is a masterpiece, very touching, and very impressive. Roberto Benigni got enough credit for it I think, several Oscars; they were well-deserved though. You have to see it if you haven't. Such a great movie. I always wanted to see it, I don't know what took me so long. I want to watch "Paradise Now", it is showing in a theater very close to where I live. I hope I don't miss it, since I have no time to do anything this week.


Syrian "witness", former (and current) Syrian intelligence agent, Hussam Hussam: "..and they gave me a thyme pie, meat pie and a rented car as a bribe"

Coming soon: "Chicago, days 2 and 3"... but I have a final exam on Monday, so that can wait.