Tuesday, May 02, 2006

letter for amnesty

Your Excellency,

We, a student chapter of Amnesty International at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia, in the United States of America, are writing this letter in response to the detainment of journalist Elham Afroutan, member of the Writer’s Association, who has been imprisoned with other journalists whose names have been withheld, in connection with the publication of an article comparing the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and the advent of Ayatollah Khomeini to AIDS. We would like to stress to you that Afroutan herself said that she had not written the article, but had found it on the internet and published it in an attempt to fill a blank space in a page. Additionally, Afroutan said that “there was neither any ill intention nor any pre-conceived plot behind the publication of the article.” She also stated that the publication of the article was an “unintentional mistake.” We are aware that journalist Elham Afroutan is no longer being held in solitary confinement, and we are pleased of this news. However, we are conscious of the fact that there are up to six additional journalists being detained along with Afroutan as a result of the publication of the aforementioned article, and we are calling upon you to inform us of the identities of these additional prisoners. Additionally, we are deeply concerned that the prisoners detained in this case are prisoners of conscience, being held solely for the peaceful exercise of their internationally recognized right to freedom of expression. Based upon this, we request that these prisoners be released immediately. We would also like to request that you urge the authorities involved in this matter to grant Afroutan and the additional prisoners immediate and regular access to lawyers of their own choosing, communication with their families, and any medical treatment that they may require. Finally, we ask you to remind authorities of the fact that Iran is a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, of which Article 19 states that everyone has the right to freedom of expression. We are writing to you not out of any political motivation, but simply because we are deeply concerned with the dignity and welfare of human beings worldwide. As such, our group would greatly appreciate a response, at your earliest convenience, to our inquiry into the identities of the prisoners involved in this matter and what steps the Iranian authorities are taking in delivering these prisoners lawyers, communication with family, medical attention, and freedom. We thank you for your time and assistance in this matter, and hope that this letter finds you well.


Monday, May 01, 2006

Interrelationships in Earth/Space Systems
1.6 The student will investigate and understand the basic relationships between the sun and the Earth. Key concepts include
a) the sun is the source of heat and light that warms the land, air, and water; and
b) night and day are caused by the rotation of the Earth.

· The sun is a star that produces both heat and light.
· The sun does not move its position.
· The sun gives us energy.
· We need energy to live.
· It also helps grow food, make weather, and keep things alive.
· The sun affects the water, soil, and air temperature.
· Temperatures are lower in shaded areas and higher when in direct sunlight.
· Earth is the planet that we live on; it is the only planets with conditions that allow humans to live.
· Earth rotates on its axis in a counterclockwise motion once a day.
· An axis is an imaginary line that the earth rotates around that you cannot see.
· It takes a full 24 hours to complete this rotation and this is why we have 24 hour days.
· It runs from the North Pole to the South Pole and rotates on it from west to east.
· We are rotating with the Earth constantly, but we cannot feel it.
· As the Earth rotates on its axis, the part that faces the sun goes through daytime and the part away from the sun goes through night time.
· As the Earth begins to rotate toward the sun we experience morning and when it begins to rotate away from it we experience afternoon, times in the middle of day and night.
· Because the sun is a source of heat, when we are closest to it (daytime) it is the warmest, whereas at night time it is furthest away from the heat source producing colder temperatures. This is also why it is darker at night time.
· When it is daytime on one side of Earth, the other side is experiencing night time.
· The relationship between daytime and night time is an opposite relationship.
· Earth is the third planet out of nine planets from the sun.
· The order of the planets is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto
· The planets all circle around the sun in a counterclockwise motion just as the Earth does around its axis.
· It takes a 365 days for Earth to travel around the sun completely, this is why we have 365 days in a year.
· The sun rises in the East and sets in the West.
· This is called sunrise and sunset.
· The sun is at its highest point at 12:00 pm, directly in the middle of the sky.
· At times before 12 pm, the sun will always be more towards the east and at times after 12pm it will always be more towards the West, allowing you to see the general time without looking at a clock.