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April 10, 2008

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The Stanford prison experiment

The Stanford prison experiment was ostensibly a psychological study of human responses to captivity and its behavioral effects on both authorities and inmates in prison. It was conducted in 1971 by a team of researchers led by Philip Zimbardo of Stanford University. Undergraduate volunteers played the roles of both guards and prisoners living in a mock prison in the basement of the Stanford psychology building.

Prisoners and guards rapidly adapted to their roles, stepping beyond the boundaries of what had been predicted and leading to dangerous and psychologically damaging situations. One-third of the guards were judged to have exhibited “genuine” sadistic tendencies, while many prisoners were emotionally traumatized and two had to be removed from the experiment early.

Ethical concerns surrounding the famous experiment often draw comparisons to the Milgram experiment, which was conducted in 1961 at Yale University by Stanley Milgram, Zimbardo’s former high school friend.

Tom Peters and Robert H. Waterman Jr wrote in 1981 that the Milgram Experiment in the 1960s and the later Zimbardo Experiment were frightening in their implications about the danger which lurks in the darker side of human nature.

For further films look here

Film Almouftinoun

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Under attack: The owner of a house struck five times by meteorites fears aliens are targeting him

10th April 2008

meteorFear: Radivoje Lajic believes he is under attack from outer space

A Bosnian man whose home has been hit an incredible five times by meteorites believes he is being targeted by aliens.

Experts at Belgrade University have confirmed that all the rocks Radivoje Lajic has handed over were meteorites.

They are now investigating local magnetic fields to try and work out what makes the property so attractive to the heavenly bodies.

But Mr Lajic, who has had a steel girder reinforced roof put on the house he owns in the northern village of Gornja Lamovite, has an alternative explanation.

He said: “I am obviously being targeted by extraterrestrials. I don’t know what I have done to annoy them but there is no other explanation that makes sense.

“The chance of being hit by a meteorite is so small that getting hit five times has to be deliberate.”

The first meteorite fell on his house in November last year and since then a further four have smashed into his home.

The strikes always happen when it is raining heavily, never when there are clear skies.

He said: “I did not know what the strange-looking stones were at first but I have since had them all confirmed as meteorites by experts at Belgrade University.

“I am being targeted by aliens. They are playing games with me.

“I don’t know why they are doing this. When it rains I can’t sleep for worrying about another strike.”

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Original comments here

Deir Yassin : April 9 1948

Sixty years ago today, early in the morning of April 9th 1948, commandos of
the Irgun (headed by Menachem Begin) and the Stern Gang attacked Deir

Yassin, a beautiful Arab village with cut stone houses located on the westside of Jerusalem.

It was several weeks before the end of the British Mandate and the declaration of the State of Israel. The village lay outside the area to be assigned by the United Nations to the Jewish state; it had a peaceful reputation; it was even said by a Jewish newspaper to have driven
out some Arab militants.

But it was located on high ground in the corridor between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and with the knowledge of the mainstream Jewish defence force, the Haganah, it was to be conquered and held.

In spite of being better armed, the two Jewish gangs were at first unable to
conquer the village. But after they elicited the help of a small band of
Palmach troops (the elite fighters of the Haganah), Deir Yassin soon fell.
The Palmach soldiers left; it was then that the massacre began.

That evening, over tea and cookies in the neighbouring Jewish settlement of Givat
Shaul, gang members told foreign correspondents that over 200 Arabs were
killed and forty taken prisoner.

This was reported in the New York Times the very next day (4/10/48, p.6). The terrorists claimed to have lost four of their own forces. They boasted of the “battle” but made no mention of the male Palestinians whom they had loaded onto trucks, paraded through some
Jewish sections of Jerusalem, and then taken back to a stone quarry between
Givat Shaul and Deir Yassin and shot to death.

On April 13th the New York Times reported that 254 Arab men, women, and children had been killed at Deir Yassin; there was no mention of prisoners.

The official Zionist leaders of the Haganah denounced the dissidents of the
Irgun and the Stern Gang accusing them of massacre, robbery, looting and
barbarism. Ben Gurion even sent an apology to King Abdullah.

But this horrific act served the future state of Israel well. As Begin said, “Arabs
throughout the country, induced to believe wild tales of ‘Irgun butchery’
were seized with limitless panic and started to flee for their lives. This
mass flight soon developed into a maddened, uncontrollable stampede.

The political and economic significance of this development can hardly be
over estimated.” (The Revolt, p.164) While modern historians argue that
Begin’s claims were exaggerated and that the actual number of Arabs killed
was closer to 100, they all agree that the massacre at Deir Yassin marked
the beginning of the depopulation of over 400 Arab villages and the exile of
over 700,000 Palestinians.

In spite of protests by Martin Buber and other noted scholars, within a year
the village was repopulated with orthodox Jewish immigrants from Poland,
Rumania and Slovakia. Its cemetery was bulldozed and its name was wiped off
the map.

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