Austria: Muslim Taxi Drivers Refuse to Transport Guide Dogs For the Blind
Paul Watson writes
Muslim taxi drivers in Austria are refusing to transport blind people with guide dogs because dogs are seen as being unclean in Islamic culture.
Tiroler Tageszeitung reports on how a former board member of the Association for the Blind, who is totally blind herself, ordered a taxi to drop her off at Innsbruck airport.
However, when the taxi arrived, the driver refused to take her dog.
Taxi operators Anton Eberl and Harald Flecker apologized for the incident but stressed that they only mediate calls and do not own the taxis.
“We try to make it clear to the drivers again and again that this is not the case for us and that these trips have to be carried out exactly like any other job. Unfortunately, at the moment we are not in a position to solve this problem satisfactorily, ” said Flecker, adding that drivers had to be told “again and again” about the rules.
According to the Tiroler Tageszeitung newspaper, “80 percent of drivers now have a migrant background – and Muslims traditionally often regard dogs as “impure”.
Gabriele Jandrasits also tried to order a taxi to transport her and her Beagle-Jack Russell dog to the airport. Despite the fact that the dog was contained inside a transport cage, she was told that “most drivers would refuse to take dogs for reasons of faith.”
Local laws state the drivers must accept guide dogs for the blind, although many of them simply seem to be ignoring this mandate.
Meanwhile, diversity continues to be a strength. How do we know? Cindy keeps on telling us.
An amateur astronomer in Texas captured a rare sight earlier this
week when an apparent meteor slammed into Jupiter’s thick upper
On Wednesday local time, amateur astronomer Ethan Chappel was on the lookout for Perseid meteors, reports ScienceAlert. But his telescope was trained on Jupiter with the camera running. Later, after feeding the data into a software program designed to detect impact flashes, Chappel was alerted to the event.
Looking at the footage, Chappel saw a brief but discernible flash
along the western portion of Jupiter’s Southern Equatorial Belt, or SEB.
Later that day, Chappel announced his discovery in a tweet: “Imaged Jupiter tonight. Looks awfully like an impact flash in the SEB.” Chappel released a sharper version of the impact on Thursday, along with a colourised view of the apparent impact.
The flash appeared at at 4:07AM UTC (2:07PM AEST) and lasted no longer than a second and a half, said astronomer Bob King in his coverage at Sky & Telescope. The impact still needs to be confirmed by other astronomers, but it certainly bears the hallmarks of a meteor strike, and not something that might be produced by Jupiter’s lightning flashes or auroras.
“It expanded from a pinpoint to a small dot before fading away —
telltale signs of a possible impact based on previous events observed at
Jupiter,” noted King.
Looking at the flash, the size of the explosion seems small, but it’s important to remember that Jupiter is the largest planet in the solar system. The meteor had to have been quite big to produce a flash of such prominence.
In a tweet, astronomer Heidi Hammel, a scientist working on the James Webb Space Telescope and a board director at the Planetary Society, said the impact won’t likely “leave dark debris like SL9 [Shoemaker-Levy 9] did 25 years ago”.
In July 1994, Hammel was on the Hubble team that chronicled this momentous event, when 21 cometary fragments of Shoemaker-Levy 9 slammed into Jupiter over the course of several days. The collisions created a dramatic, albeit temporary, atmospheric scar.
We asked Hammel why this impact is unlikely to leave a smudge.
“In 2010, a flash on Jupiter with a somewhat similar brightness was
spotted, and we so looked at Jupiter with both NASA’s Hubble and NSF’s
Gemini telescope, and another team looked with ESO’s VLT,” Hammel told Gizmodo.
“We saw no impact site. Bottom line: From an analysis of the brightness and duration of the 2010 flash, we can infer the impact energy, and [discern] when such bolides are likely to create detectable effects.”
To which she added: “My tweet was based on my visual inspection of
the recent video, compared with my knowledge of past Jupiter bolide
impacts since 2010,” including a similar impact in 2012.
Analysis of the 2010 impact estimated the size of the bolide at
between eight and 13m in diameter, which released around four
quadrillion Joules of energy, or roughly one megaton of TNT. By
comparison, the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was 15 kilotons.
Yesterday, Hammel emailed with Ricardo Hueso Alonso, an astronomer at
Universidad del País Vasco in Spain, who confirmed her preliminary
Based on his own evaluation of Chappel’s new video, he wrote: “From
an energy point of view the flash did not saturate the [telescope]
detector and seems smaller than the impact in 2012 and similar to the
one in 2010.”
Writing in his Sky & Telescope post, King said any scar left behind from the August 7 impact would be blown westward due to Jupiter’s prevailing winds.
“When I learned of the news yesterday evening, I immediately set up
my 10-inch Dob [25cm telescope] for a look, but I was unable to make out
any dark scar such as those left in the wake of previous Jupiter
strikes,” wrote King.
“Several other observers with better skies and much better cameras
have similarly recorded nothing obvious at the site since the impact,
but that could change. That’s why it would be wise for all amateurs to
monitor the site to look for an impact scar or changes in Jovian cloud
Since 1994, astronomers have recorded an additional seven impacts on
Jupiter, according to King, though nothing quite on the scale of
That said, Jupiter is pounded by meteors on a regular basis — somewhere between 2000 to 8000 times the rate of impacts experienced on Earth, reports ScienceAlert. Unlike the impact on August 7, however, the vast majority of these impacts are too small to detect from Earth.
Hopefully confirmation of this latest impact will come soon, along with more details about what must have been a truly large object.
One wonders why we on earth are not subject to the same level of bombardment from these visiting objects
The Norwegian Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority on Thursday said “tiny amounts of radioactive iodine” had been detected at an air-filter station, one week after a mystery-shrouded explosion at a Russian military test range.
“Tiny amounts of radioactive iodine [have] been measured in air at our air filter station in Svanhovd in Northern Norway,” the statement read.” The level detected is very low and poses no harm to people nor the environment.”
The statement added that the sample was taken during the period of 9-12 August.
It comes after a missile test went awry at a test range in northern Russia, killing at least five nuclear specialists on August 8.
Rosgidromet, the Russian meteorological agency, reported that radiation levels in the vicinity spiked four to 16 times higher than normal background levels.
The Norwegian agency had previously said there was “no health impact” after the brief radiation spike in Russia’s Arkhangelsk region.
“The measurement result is comparable to earlier measurements,” Thursday’s statement said.
“Norwegian monitoring stations detect radioactive iodine about 6-8 times a year and the source is usually unknown. When no other radioactive substances than iodine is detected, the source is most likely releases from production facilities for radioactive pharmaceuticals containing iodine.”
The statement added: “At present it is not possible to determine if the last iodine detection is linked to the accident in Arkhangelsk last week.”