Pakistan fighter pilot wins battle of sexes, now she’s ready for war
With an olive green head scarf poking out from her helmet, Ayesha Farooq flashes a cheeky grin when asked if it is lonely being the only war-ready female fighter pilot in Pakistan.
Farooq, hailing from Bahawalpur, is one of 19 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade – there are five other female fighter pilots, but they have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat. (complete article)
Why Finnish babies sleep in cardboard boxes (Helena Lee)
For 75 years, Finland’s expectant mothers have been given a box by the state. It’s like a starter kit of clothes, sheets and toys that can even be used as a bed. And some say it helped Finland achieve one of the world’s lowest infant mortality rates.
It’s a tradition that dates back to the 1930s and it’s designed to give all children in Finland, no matter what background they’re from, an equal start in life.
The maternity package - a gift from the government - is available to all expectant mothers.
It contains bodysuits, a sleeping bag, outdoor gear, bathing products for the baby, as well as nappies, bedding and a small mattress.
With the mattress in the bottom, the box becomes a baby’s first bed. Many children, from all social backgrounds, have their first naps within the safety of the box’s four cardboard walls. (complete article)
How religions change their mind (William Kremer)
Once upon a time, animal sacrifice was an important part of Hindu life, Catholic priests weren’t celibate and visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammad were part of Islamic art. And soon some churches in the UK may be marrying gay couples. How do religions manage to change their mind? (complete article)
The Satan and the Coca Cola, 1953 Mecca (Saudi Arabia), originally published in National Geographic.
Was getting out of house for work earlier today and found an old man in ragged clothes, thick spectacles, carrying a beggar’s bowl and wearing lot of ornaments around his neck in the garage. He apparently got hosted by the live-in maid and her husband. Seeing me he grabs my hand brings me close and says, “Your things will get all right today, just don’t get angry on people”.
Then he holds my hand and kisses it and asks me, “are you married?”, “yes”, “got any girl or boy (kid)?”, “umm no”. He takes two red short strands of wide thread and put them on my hand and ask me to squeeze them and recite Kalma (religious chant) and then asks me to open my hand. Interestingly the red short strands of wide thread are now a ball of thin thread. He opens it up in my hand and tells me that I should ask my wife to put that in milk and then throw the thread away but drink the milk and we will have kids (we are not even thinking, let alone trying!).
Anyway then as I am about to leave (was getting late from work) he asks me to give him something because he has given me so much. I gave him some money on which he tells me that he doesn’t need that much money I should give him money to feed a hundred people. To cut it short, maid and her husband came to my rescue, but I could see their level of reverence for the old man.
Personally I do not believe in such superstitions and his last act was a pretty classic thing for such men. But it was interesting someone telling you in the morning that your day will be turn out to be good and to be reminded to keep the anger in control.
Stradivarius trees: Searching for perfect musical wood (By John Laurenson)
Switzerland is home to some of the best violin makers in the world. But how do they know which tree will make a top quality violin? A wander through the forest with a master tree picker gives an idea of the enormous experience and instinct required.
Just any tree will not do when combing a forest in Switzerland for the perfect musical wood - its age, the weather and even the position of the moon help to craft the warmest, fullest notes.
Lorenzo Pellegrini shook his head and walked away, knee-deep in snow. (Complete article)
There is even something very musical about the article! And this article is not even about instrument making, it is about Lorenzo.
Rakae Jamil - Lahori (Instrumental / 2013)
The Great British class calculator: What class are you?
Traditional British social divisions of upper, middle and working class seem out of date in the 21st Century, no longer reflecting modern occupations or lifestyles.
The BBC teamed up with sociologists from leading universities to analyse the modern British class system. They surveyed more than 161,000 people and came up with a new model made up of seven groups. To find out where you fit in use this calculator below.
Interestingly when I only changed the detail that I own a house it put me in Established Middle Class with the point that I went to University!
Give it a try.
Muslims in Sri Lanka have voiced concerns about a growing number of anti-Muslim protests and attacks, carried out by hardline Buddhist groups.
It comes four years after the army in this mainly Sinhalese Buddhist country defeated Tamil separatists. (video)
Walima- wedding reception, from the stage. #log #Photos #notes #Pakistan #Islamabad #culture (at Khiva Event Lawns)
What mehndi looks like from the stage. #log #notes #Pakistan #Islamabad #culture
Dholki. #log #photos #notes #Pakistan #Islamabad #culture
janay kab kaun kisay mar day kafir kah kay,
shahar ka shahar Musalmaan hoa phirta hai.
(Trans: Not knowing when someone might kill someone calling them Infidel, whole city has become Muslim).
In wake of burning and looting of poor Christian houses in Lahore after a false Blasphemy rumour yesterday, a homeowner in the area has placed a notice outside his home explaining to the rioters that he is a Muslim!
These “lovers of Prophet” make no sense to me. They claim to be doing these atrocities in the name of the same Prophet who said that on the day of Judgement he will stand as a foe to anyone who harmed a non-Muslim.
Unlike many people who are willing to dismiss these as misguided idiots or lunatics, I say they are there only because of either our action or inaction. We the common citizens are the reason for all this to be happening today in Pakistan.