For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”
(Romans 1:20)

The Invisible Things

Dear Friends,

Greetings! We wanted to start this week by republishing an article that first appeared in Ben Shapiro's publication TR. The article is titled “Artist Makes Millions Selling Invisible Art, It may look like a blank wall, but no, it's art”. Larry O'Connor 9.26.2014

A 27-year-old New York artist has invented something called "invisible art" and she is making millions selling it to people who absolutely must have it.

A documentary team from the Canadian Broadcasting radio network traveled to Lana Newstrom's empty studio to learn more about her art that isn't there.

"Just because you can't see anything, doesn't mean I didn't put hours of work into creating a particular piece," Newstrom told the CBC. "Art is about imagination and that is what my work demands of the people interacting with it. You have to imagine a painting or sculpture is in front of you."

The most amusing aspect of the story is the image of snobby art collectors walking through an empty studio studiously staring at blank walls with track lighting properly illuminating the nothingness on display. Some of the art afficianados actually stop and soak in the lack of art that is not hanging on the blank wall and tilt their heads in a deeply thoughtful way as if to project their profound understanding of the message sent by the brilliant young artist and her stunning ability to not create anything.

Newstrom's agent, who is undoubtedly raking in a nice commission by his client's ability to not do anything, says, '"When she describes what you can't see, you begin to realize why one of her invisible works can fetch upwards of a million dollars."'

Does this remind you of anything you remember reading from your childhood? How about “The Emperors New Clothes”? When we read “The Emperors New Clothes” we can remember our reaction to the story back then and the complete and total absurdity of trying to pull off this scheme today and that moment when the one young boy blurted out the obvious truth, the Emperor is naked!

To state the obvious, “The walls are naked, there are no paintings there.” It's a fairy tale!

So, these “snobby art collectors” are helping to fulfill the verse, “Professing themselves to be wise, they become fools.” Romans 1:22

Interestingly in the same chapter of Romans, it talks about invisible things.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.” Romans 1:20

There is so much evidence of God in His creation that there can be no doubt whatsoever that He exists, and that those who deny His existence “are without” excuse.

The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork.” Psalm 19:1

Colossians 1:15-16, tells us very plainly how this invisible God manifested Himself to us. “Who (Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible.”

Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” John 14:9 Jesus was God the Father in human form.

In 1Timothy, chapter one, we read, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever.”

And what about Moses, he forsook all the wealth of Egypt and the throne by being able to see what was invisible. “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Hebrews 11:27

The Bible is pretty blunt about unbelief in God! “The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.” Psalm 14:1

There are several instances in the Bible of invisible beings appearing out of seeming nowhere. Here are just a few examples. We are sure you can find more.

And behold, there appeared unto them (Peter, James, and John) Moses and Elias talking with him, (Jesus). Here are two men, long dead, appearing from the invisible world to Peter, James, and John.

Here's another one. “The earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Matthew 27:51-53 Wow, that must have been something, this time a whole bunch of dead people coming from the invisible world and appearing unto many!

One last example is found in the book of John, chapter twenty, verses nineteen and twenty-six.

Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, “Peace be unto you. And after eight days again his disciple were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.”

Jesus seemed to appear out of nowhere, but not really, He appeared in the midst of them from the unseen invisible world.

Unseen invisible art work from the secular world, no, the invisible unseen God, seen and manifested in His Son Jesus, yes.

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2Corinthians 4:18.

If thou shalt call to wisdom, and utter thy voice for understanding; and if thou shalt seek it as silver, and search diligently for it as for treasures; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” Proverbs 2:3-5

Have a great week ahead as we head out of the temporal and into the eternal!



Isis Threat to Crucify Lebanon's Christians as Islamic State Prepare to Cross Syria Border

By Jack Moore 
September 30, 2014 16:16 BST

A woman reacts during a sit-in organised by families of the Lebanese soldiers who were captured by Islamist militants in Arsal, demanding their release in the Lebanese town of Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley(Reuters)

Christians in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley have begun arming themselves in preparation for an Isis (now known as the Islamic State) offensive as it seeks to expand its territorial control outside of Syria.

Up to 3,000 militants from the Islamic State and other jihadists occupy the mountain range between Lebanon and Syria near the Sunni town of Arsal.

As IS seek to grab land outside of the mountain caves and farms they currently control, Christian volunteers have now created village defence forces to protect against the Sunni militants who have taken up to 21 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hostage.

"We are a minority and we are under threat by the jihadists," Rifaat Nasrallah, a commander of the volunteer guards in the Greek Catholic town of Ras Baalbek, said.

"It wasn't the idea of anyone in particular," Nasrallah says of the formation of defence units. "The whole village felt in danger so we all agreed it was necessary."

"We don't shoot if we see someone or something moving in the mountains," said one of the watchmen. "We just call the Army and they investigate."

Ras Baalbek has a population of 15,000 and is separated from the flashpoint town of Arsal by a range of hills.

"Imagine if Islamic State makes it into Ras Baalbek and they crucify a Christian. It will set Lebanon alight," a western diplomat in the Lebanese capital of Beirut, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Times.

There are approximately 2.4m Chrisitans in Lebanon, 20pc of the total population.

The terror group has continued to crack down on religious freedom since the announcement of its Islamic "caliphate", straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border.

The Sunni jihadists have taken over Iraq's largest Christian town of Qaraqosh causing thousands of residents to flee towards Kurdistan region.

They also issued an ultimatum to Christians in the city of Mosul to convert to their radical form of Islam or be forced to either pay a tax, leave the city or be harmed for refusal to convert.

The city is now reportedly empty of Christians as hundreds of families fled following the ultimatum of death or a historic contract ‒ known as "dhimma"‒ where non-Muslims can receive protection if they pay a fee known as a "jizya".


Did UFOs Invade Renaissance Art?

Posted on September 27, 2014

Author: Paul Darin

The Middle Ages and Renaissance periods of Western civilization created some of the most iconic and defining works of art in recorded history. The work grew more impressive through the years as artists refined their skills and passed those skills on to their apprentices. Even today, artists and museum visitors alike look to these pieces for inspiration and appreciation.

But, could these paintings which hold so much importance in the history of Western civilization possibly contain something otherworldly, something which pervades the popular culture of modern people, like flying saucers and other UFOs?

Many of the paintings in question are religious in nature, which was very common for the era. In many of these paintings flying saucers, UFOs, laser beams, and men in aircraft seem to be depicted flying overhead observing religious events such as the birth of Jesus, or his crucifixion.

One of the most iconic and referenced examples is “The Madonna With Saint Giovannino,” painted by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the 15th century (see image above); it is currently hanging in the Palazzo Vecchio Museum in Florence, Italy. The painting is a depiction of Saint Mary and baby Jesus, but in the distant background a man looks to the twilit-like sky with his companion, a dog. Both seem to be staring at an object in the sky that looks remarkably like a modern depiction of a flying saucer emanating golden radiant energy.

Several saucer-like apparitions pervade religious paintings from this era, such as “The Annunciation” by Carlo Crivelli (1486) currently on display at the National Gallery of London. This painting depicts a circular object emanating a narrow beam of radiant energy down upon Saint Mary.

This painting is another heavily cited example by supporters of the ancient aliens hypothesis. Artistic scholars and UFO skeptics say that this was an artistic representation of God encircled by his angels.

People who believe these objects could depict UFOs seen in the Middle Ages, say the people of the day may have mistook the appearance of alien aircraft as religious events. This may explain the incorporation of these objects into religiously significant scenes. Others say the depicted objects are simply spiritual in origin and have nothing to do with flying saucers.

They call attention to other paintings representing similar characters and settings, only with clearly defined angels and religious figures. Such paintings include the 15th century painting “Adoration of the Christ Child” by Vincenzo Foppa. The painting is very similar to “The Madonna With Saint Giovannino,” including a figure in the background staring at the sky. The object he is looking up at in this case, however, isn’t a flying saucer, but a winged angel emanating light.

There’s An ‘Impossible’ Lunar Eclipse Happening This Week

Posted on October 7, 2014 by Soren Dreier

Not all lunar eclipses are created equal, and this Wednesday, Oct. 8, you’ll get the chance to see one of the rarest types, called a selenelion or horizontal eclipse. But you have to be quick, because you’ll only have between two and nine minutes to catch this crazy light trick.

Most of the time, a lunar eclipse will occur well before sunrise, but that won’t be the case on Wednesday morning. The Earth will pass between the sun and moon, eclipsing the moon in the process, which will begin at 6:25 a.m. EST and last through sunrise, but only on the east coast.

That means during a brief window, in this case between two and nine minutes, people on the east coast of the country will be able to see the sun rise and moon set at the exact same time. This rare event is referred to as a selenelion or horizontal eclipse.

There are plenty of times when both the sun and moon are visible during the day at other times of the year. But during a lunar eclipse the chance to see both the sun and moon simultaneously is extremely rare. This is because, geometrically speaking, this kind of phenomenon should not be possible.

During a lunar eclipse is one of the only times that the moon and sun are exactly 180 degrees apart on Earth’s sky, which means that right after the moon sets, the sun should rise, making it technically impossible to see both at once.

But a simple trick of the light changes everything and as a result crafty observers can see this wild, and otherwise impossible, event.

Observers in Australia, western Asia, islands in the Pacific Ocean, and much of North America will get the chance to observe this unusual eclipse.

Because Earth’s atmosphere refracts, or bends, light at a certain angle near the horizon, it creates an optical illusion that both the sun and moon appear slightly higher in the sky and therefore less than 180 degrees apart. As a result, we get a tiny window where we can see both celestial orbs simultaneously.

Unless you’re or atop a mountain or sailing in the middle of the ocean, however, you might be hard pressed to catch this trick of the light. You need to be in a spot where you can clearly see both the east and west horizons. But if you are in such a spot, you’ll catch an especially rare sight of a setting eclipsed moon with a rising sun.

Furthermore, we are in a rare series of lunar eclipses. This lunar eclipse is the second of a series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses. The first total lunar eclipse was April 15, 2014, and the next two will be on April 4 and September 28 of next year. This series of total lunar eclipses is rare and the next series of four consecutive total lunar eclipses will not occur until the year 2032.

Sky watchers in the USA will see the Moon turn a beautiful shade of celestial red and maybe turquoise, too.



Warns airspace over Syria under protection of Moscow

Published: September 28, 2014


Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-34

TEL AVIV – Russia has delivered a behind-the-scenes threat to retaliate if airstrikes carried out by the U.S. or its allies target the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Middle Eastern security officials told WND.

The security officials said Russia complained Sunday in quiet talks with United Nations representatives that the Obama administration’s current aerial campaign against Islamic State fighters in Syria is a violation of international agreements regarding control of Syrian airspace.

The officials said Russia warned it could potentially retaliate if U.S. or Arab airstrikes go beyond targeting Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, and instead bomb any Syrian regime targets.

The officials told WND they do not have any information about the seriousness of the Russian threat or whether Moscow meant it would retaliate directly or aid Assad’s air force in a military response.

The officials said Russian diplomats asserted terms regarding Syrian airspace were agreed upon last September as part of a sweeping deal to disarm Syria’s arsenal of chemical weapons by the middle of 2014.

At the time, the international community feared Assad could target chemical weapons inspectors acting in Syria. That fear in part lead to a deal in which Moscow says it was provided with significant responsibility over the skies of Syria, purportedly to insure against Assad’s air force acting against the international disarmament effort.

The officials further said that both the Russia and Iranian militaries are on heightened alert amid the ongoing situation in Syria.

On Saturday, U.S.-led coalition warplanes for the first time reportedly struck ISIS targets in Syria near the Turkish border as well as positions in the country’s east, according to activists and a Kurdish officials speaking to the Associated Press.

Nawaf Khalil, a spokesman for Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, told the AP the strikes targeted Islamic State positions near the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani.

U.S.-coalition strikes also reportedly targeted a local ISIS headquarters in the northern Syrian town of Tel Abyad along the Turkish border, setting an oil refinery ablaze.

“Our building was shaking and we saw fire, some 60 meters (65 yards) high, coming from the refinery,” local businessman Mehmet Ozer told Time Magazine.

Time reported the strikes were also confirmed by the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and were reported by Turkey’s Dogan news agency.


The Washington Post

Ebola-stricken Liberia is descending into economic hell

By Fred Barbash September 30

People hold up signs as they protest for jobs to deal with the Ebola virus outbreak, outside the health ministry in Monrovia September 29, 2014. (James Giahyue/Reuters)

Liberia, the West African nation hardest it by Ebola, has begun a frightening descent into economic hell.

That’s the import of three recent reports from international organizations that seem to bear out the worst-case scenarios of months ago: that people would abandon the fields and factories, that food and fuel would become scarce and unaffordable, and that the government’s already meager capacity to help, along with the nation’s prospects for a better future, would be severely compromised.

They are no longer scenarios. They are real. While these trends have been noted anecdotally, the cumulative toll is horrific.

The basic necessities of survival in Liberia — food, transportation, work, money, help from the government — are rapidly being depleted, according to recent reports by the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The FAO says that food is in increasingly short supply. Fields in some regions have been abandoned in part because people perceive Ebola may be coming from them or from the water used to irrigate them.

“People are terrified by how fast the disease is spreading,” Alexis Bonte, FAO Representative in Liberia, said in a statement. “Neighbors, friends and family members are dying within just a few days of exhibiting shocking symptoms, the causes of which are not fully understood by many local communities. This leads them to speculate that water, food or even crops could be responsible. Panic ensues, causing farmers to abandon their fields for weeks.”

The International Monetary Fund said in a separate report that restrictions on public transport, internal travel and trade are burdening the country’s ability to distribute the food that is available.

The combination is driving up food prices rapidly, said the IMF even as “panic buying” is boosting demand, according to the World Bank. The IMF is projecting an inflation rate of 13.1 percent by year’s end, compared with 7.7 percent before the Ebola epidemic started taking its toll.

Transportation has been badly disrupted, one indicator being a drop of between 20 and 35 percent in fuel sales.

The services sector, about half of Liberia’s economy, employing about 45 percent of the work force, has experienced a drop in turnover of 50 to 75 percent, the World Bank says.

According to the World Bank report, Liberia’s single-most important agricultural export, rubber, has been severely “disrupted by both the reduced mobility of the workforce and the difficulty in getting the products to the ports due to the quarantine. Rubber exports which were initially expected to be about $148 million in 2014 are estimated to drop 20 percent,” it said.

Palm oil, another big industry in Liberia, has also been hard hit. According to the World Bank, Sime Darby, the world’s largest producer of palm oil, is mostly now focusing on simple maintenance of its facilities because of the “evacuation of managerial and supervisory personnel.” It put on hold the construction of a new $10 million palm mill that was to be completed in 2015.

Outside of agriculture, the World Bank said a major mining company, China Union, closed its operation in August. It had projected production of about 2.4 million tons of iron ore in 2014.

Savings and loan programs, called “susu,” that finance “micro-trade” and small businesses — especially those run by women — have been “completely depleted,” with participants no longer able to pay their debts, said the FAO.

Projections for short-term and long-term economic growth are getting ratcheted downward, with the worst-case estimates nothing short of catastrophic. The World Bank, looking at 2014 alone, projected a reduction in growth in Liberia from 5.9 percent to 2.5 percent, a plunge that would be considered calamitous in any country. In 2015, under its most dire but altogether realistic scenario, Liberia’s output could decrease by nearly 12 percent in 2015.

Projections for inflation are moving upward, with the IMF estimating an inflation rate of 13.1 percent by year’s end, compared with 7.7 percent the year before.

On top of it all, the revenue coming in to the Liberian government has dropped sharply, by 20 percent, Liberia’s foreign minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan told the United Nations earlier this week. “Consequently, our ability to provide for basic social services and continue to fund key development projects are significantly diminished.”

“As we and our many international partners struggle to douse the wildfire caused by Ebola, we have been left with inadequate resources, time and personnel to attend to other routine illnesses like malaria, typhoid fever and measles, thereby causing many more tangential deaths. An increasing number of pregnant women are dying in the process of bringing forth life. In short, our public health system, which totally collapsed during years of conflict and was being gradually rebuilt, has relapsed under the weight of the deadly virus,” said Ngafuan.A

The death toll from the West African Ebola outbreak is at least 3,091, according to the latest figures, which are regarded as signficantly lower than reality because of underreporting. The number of deaths in Liberia, 1,830, is about three times more than either of the other two most affected countries, Guinea and Sierra Leone.

All the countries hit by Ebola are in bad shape, to be sure, but Liberia does indeed appear to be the worst of the lot.

“The Ebola epidemic is washing away years of progress and hard work,” said the FAO in its Sept. 23 report.

“With the highest number of new and cumulative Ebola cases recorded to date, Liberia is the country most affected by the epidemic in West Africa,” said IMF officials in a statement on Sept. 29 recommending more aid to the country. “In addition to exacting a heavy human toll, the Ebola outbreak is having a severe economic and social impact, and could jeopardize the gains from a decade of peace.”



Fukushima Worker: “All sorts of troubles going on in plant”; Officials won’t tell public what really happens — People should worry, it’s not under control — Employees wear disguises over fear of retaliation — Reporter: Tour of plant “was very strange… feels completely dead… not many people”



US Gov’t: Fukushima an “unprecedented wide-area” disaster — Nuclear power threatens human existence — Japan “profoundly impacted” by radiation, scale of damage is “extraordinary”


The New York Times

In Japan, Fear and Panic as a Revered Peak Explodes


Japanese soldiers and firefighters searched near the peak of Mount Ontake in central Japan on Wednesday. So far, 47 bodies have been found after Saturday’s eruption.

OTAKI, Japan — Gaku Harada remembers it as a perfect day for hiking. A clear blue sky drew hundreds of weekend climbers to Mount Ontake, one of Japan’s most celebrated peaks, to see the first tints of autumn in the leaves.

Then, without warning, the top of the mountain exploded.

Mr. Harada, a professional climbing guide, was leading a local television crew up the mountain to film a nature show. One moment, the peak was clearly visible about a mile in front of them. The next, it vanished into a dark, billowing cloud as a thundering wall of gray ash raced down the slope toward them.

Unable to process what he was seeing, he said he froze, then snapped out of it when a companion yelled, “Eruption!” Within minutes, his group was engulfed in ash so thick it blotted out the sun and began to fill their mouths. They groped their way down the mountain in the unnatural darkness as the sickening, rotten-egg stench of sulfur filled the air. But it was the sounds, he said, that scared him most: the thunder from the eruption, and the thud of boulders crashing into the slope behind them.

“I thought it was the end of the world,” said Mr. Harada, 38, who helped lead the group to a lodge on the mountainside. “I had only seen volcanic eruptions in movies and never dreamed I’d experience one in real life.”

Four days after the worst volcanic disaster in its recent history, Japan is still struggling to count the dead — and come to terms with a tragedy that caught both experienced mountaineers and locals who revere the mountain by surprise. While 47 bodies have been found so far, officials remain unsure how high the total could rise because they do not know how many people were on the mountain in central Japan on Saturday, when it erupted in a six-mile-high shower of hot ash, flying rocks and poison gases.

On Wednesday, the levels of those toxic gases dropped low enough to allow rescue efforts to resume after a day’s hiatus. Military helicopters ferried soldiers and rescue workers to the peak to search for survivors and collect the bodies of the dead.

At least 230 hikers are known to have survived, many straggling down the mountain hours or even a day after the eruption, dazed and covered with ash. They, and the residents of the tiny villages at the foot of Mount Ontake, are only beginning to come to terms with the unexpected eruption that turned an idyllic alpine peak crowded with weekend adventurers into a moonscape littered with the dead.

“Mount Ontake has always been a reassuringly protective presence for us,” said Katsunori Morimoto, 51, an official here in Otaki, a hamlet of 865 residents whose wooden homes and tidy rice paddies nestle in an emerald valley at the foot of the mountain. “Never in our wildest dreams did we think it could kill.”

Mr. Morimoto and other villagers said the mountain, which looms above Otaki, has long been a source of spiritual strength as well as economic sustenance for the village. Mount Ontake, whose name means “august peak,” has been revered since the eighth century as a sacred dwelling site of gods in Japan’s native Shinto religion, and it is still visited by pilgrims wearing white clothes and straw hats. Many pilgrims stay in Otaki’s inns, which also cater to the 65,000 hikers who pass through the village every year.

Mr. Morimoto said the last time the mountain had a large eruption was in 1979, but no one died. There was also a smaller one in 1991. The latest eruption has turned the sleepy village into a military camp. Hundreds of soldiers with trucks and helicopters are using Otaki as their base for retrieving bodies from the mountain, whose still smoldering peak offers a constant reminder of the recent tragedy.

Most of those who died were found near the top of the 10,062-foot mountain, buried in a foot or more of ash that blanketed the ground like snow, their arms still protectively clasped about their heads. Early autopsies show that many died from being struck by falling rocks, or from suffocating as they breathed in searing hot ash.

Among the dead was Kotomi Ito, an energetic 18-year-old high school student who ran to the summit ahead of her father, who survived. Yusuke Asai, 23, an avid climber who posted a photo of himself near the peak two hours before the eruption, also died, as did Naoki Masuda, 41, a sports-loving salaryman who served as a torch bearer in the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano. His last known words, spoken in a desperate call to his mother, were: “There are rocks falling on me. I’m in trouble.”

Survivors came back with tales of fear and bewilderment, but also of courage and heroism.

Yuriko Hiramatsu, 41, said she and eight friends had stopped for lunch when she saw the gray cloud surging into the blue sky. A novice hiker, she did not know that was a sign of imminent danger and began snapping photos with her phone.

Then the ash started to fall on her group, followed by a shower of small rocks that stung when they struck. Panicked, the group ran down the mountain until they came to one of several “yamagoya,” bare-bones lodges on the mountain’s upper reaches where climbers can spend the night.

A worker at the lodge called to them to come in for shelter. Inside, they joined about 40 other refuge-seekers. The lodge workers kept them calm while a hail of rocks pelted the metal roof above their heads, and they handed out surgical masks, which are common in hygiene-conscious Japan.

When the eruption seemed to subside, the lodge workers gathered the group and led them down the mountain. Ms. Hiramatsu said she never would have made it alone; the blanket of ash had erased all signs of the trail, and formed a slippery surface that made the descent dangerous. “They didn’t have to, but they led us to safety,” said Ms. Hiramatsu, a clerk in the Otaki village hall.

Down in the village, Fumie Tashiro, 80, said she felt vaguely responsible for the events on a mountain that she feels is like a member of her village. She said the disaster would not stop her from praying to the mountain first thing every morning, as she has done since she was a child.

“We grew up revering Mount Ontake, and now it suddenly erupts,” said Ms. Tashiro, as she pushed a wheelbarrow full of freshly harvested rice along a narrow road busy with military vehicles. “Nature can be both majestic and dangerous. We need to live with both faces.”

Hisako Ueno contributed reporting from Otaki, and Makiko Inoue from Tokyo.



Catalonia president orders independence referendum on Nov. 9

Published time: September 27, 2014 08:58

Edited time: September 27, 2014 12:22

The president of Catalonia, Artur Mas, has signed a decree calling an independence referendum for Nov. 9. The secessionist drive of the Spanish region has been rebuked by Madrid, which vowed to block the vote.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has called a government meeting Monday that is expected to provide a legal response to Barcelona’s announcement. Madrid plans to challenge the vote in the constitutional court.

READ: Catalan parliament approves November independence vote

Last week the Catalan parliament voted to hold an independence referendum in November, with 106 MPs in favour and 28 against.

Support in Catalonia for seceding from Spain grew in the relatively prosperous northeast province over years of economic hardships and austerity measures. A recent opinion poll by the Omnibus Opinion Studies Center showed that almost 60 percent of Catalans would vote for independence.

Madrid insists that holding a referendum would be illegal and unconstitutional.

Following Mas’s statement, Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria said the Madrid government will hold an emergency cabinet meeting within days and that the referendum will be challenged in the Constitutional Court.

This referendum will not be held because it is unconstitutional,'' she said during a press conference on Saturday.



NASA: There Is A Giant Square Structure Hidden Under The Moon

The Huffington Post UK | By Michael Rundle

Usually when someone on the internet writes about 'geometric forms' found on the Moon, it's a crazy UFO hunter who doesn't understand pixelation of composite images taken at high altitudes.

This is different.

Scientists report that rifts across large areas of the Moon's surface actually forms an enormous rectangle.

The area in question is the Ocean of Storms, an enormous and obvious feature of the Moon which was once thought to literally contain an ocean.

In the modern era of astronomy it has been understood - of course - that the 'Ocean' is actually just another area of basalt rock (the technical term is 'maria', which is just Latin for 'sea').

But it had always been assumed that the shape was a 2,000-mile-wide crater caused by an asteroid impact - and represented a lucky escape for Earth.

Now they're not so sure. In fact a new study suggests that the ocean was actually caused by cooling lava on the early Moon - and that the satellite was actually far more active and dynamic than we used to think.

The discovery was made using data from NASA's GRAIL mission, which mapped the gravity of the Lunar surface in exquisite detail. The images revealed that the topography of the surface in the area is almost a perfect rectangle - indicating it formed as the Moon's surface moved apart from itself.

"GRAIL has revealed features on the moon that no one anticipated before we had this data in hand," said lead study author Jeffrey Andrews-Hanna, a planetary scientist at the Colorado School of Mines, according to "One can only wonder what might lie hidden beneath the surfaces of all of the other planets in the solar system."

Above: the Moon as we know it normally (l) and the images resulting from the GRAIL mission (r)

Andrews-Hanna added that the "pattern of gravity anomalies on the moon is so strikingly geometric and in such an unexpected shape that it is forcing us to think in new and different ways about the processes operating on the moon".

The working theory is that the early molten moon cooled in a similar way to the early Earth, where lava tends to cool in hexagonal columns. This happens because where three cracks intersect, they tend to do it at 120-degree angles - and a hexagon is the only shape on a flat surface where all the angles can be 120 degrees.

But on the Moon, in the Procellarum region, the surface is curved not flat - and a rectangle can form with 120 degree corners. Hence the square-like structure.

So no, it's not a giant space station under Lunar surface. But it's interesting and unexpected anyway, and could lead to lots of new interesting ways of thinking about the Moon and other planets.



Until next week...keep on believing.
Almondtree Productions

And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.”
(Colossians 3:23)