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Muslims Are Expected to Rival Christians by 2060

A Pew study two years ago found that Islam is the world's fastest growing religion and could overtake Christianity by the end of this century.

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Source : Wikimedia

April 10, 2017: The Pew Research Center says Muslims are soon to rival Christians as the largest religious group worldwide, with higher birth rates among Muslim families predicted to increase the Muslim population to a number ties with Christians by 2060.

Pew said in a study released Wednesday that by 2060 Muslims will make up about 31 percent of the world population, with about 3 billion people, while Christians will make up about 32 percent, or 3.1 billion people.

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A Pew study two years ago found that Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion and could overtake Christianity by the end of this century. The analysis is based on 2,500 censuses, survey and population register from around the world.

Pew experts say they allowed for conversion rates, but maintain that birth and death rates will have a far larger impact on religious populations.

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Other religious groups such as Hindus and Jews are expected to grow to larger total numbers by 2060, but not at pace with total population growth. And the number of people who profess no religion is expected to shrink, given current birth rates. VOA

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Musicon: A Rotating Wooden Drum developed by a Polish Musician to help Educate Children

Musicon is not only music, it is only a tool for learning, for development

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Musicon, an analog wooden musical instrument based around a rotating drum, resembles a giant music box. VOA
  • Musicon is not a music instrument but a learning device
  • It has been created by a Polish musician
  • It can help with autism and Asperger syndrome

Warsaw, June 6, 2017: A Polish musician has created an unusual interactive instrument – a larger-than-life music box bristling with xylophones and drums – that he says can help educate children and aid their development through musical play.

The Musicon comprises a rotating wooden drum fitted with removable smaller instruments. Children play notes by placing pegs in holes on the rotating drum’s surface – much like a music box – but one that allows children to play any melody they like.

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“Musicon is not only music, it is only a tool for learning, for development,” said Kamil Laszuk, who invented the instrument and has developed it with the help of a team of close friends. “There is also programming here, learning physics, cooperation in a team and also the development of manual skills. Music is the reward.”

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Laszuk developed the instrument for a project during his industrial design studies at Warsaw’s Academy of Fine Arts.

Following a positive reaction to his creation, his parents sold their house to help fund its development.

Warsaw’s Synapsis Foundation, which helps children with autism and Asperger syndrome, suggested the instrument could be enjoyable for children suffering from those conditions.

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“It is very important that there is no possibility of failure, that they can freely experiment in their own way,” psychologist Joanna Burgiell said.

The instrument is due to go into production by the end of 2017.(VOA)

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Around 100,000 Children in peril in Mosul due to fight between ISIS and Iraqi Forces: UN

Children are being killed, injured and used as human shields and "are experiencing and witnessing terrible violence that no human being should ever witness

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Children in Iraq and Syria are being rashly used as human shields by ISIS. Wikimedia
  • About 100,000 girls and boys remain in extremely dangerous conditions in the old city and other areas of west Mosul
  • Children are being used as a shield to protect themselves by the Islamic Group
  • Hospitals and other medical facilities are also under attack

Mosul, June 6, 2017: Around 100,000 children are in peril in beleaguered west Mosul and some have reportedly been killed trying to flee fighting between Iraqi forces and Islamic State jihadists, which is worsening hour to hour, the United Nations’ children agency said on Monday.

“An estimated 100,000 girls and boys remain in extremely dangerous conditions in the old city and other areas of west Mosul,” said Unicef’s Iraq representative Peter Hawkins.

He did not give a specific number for killed children.

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“Many (children) are caught in the crossfire and hospitals and other medical facilities have reportedly come under attack,” Hawkins said.

Children are being killed, injured and used as human shields and “are experiencing and witnessing terrible violence that no human being should ever witness,” he added.

“In some cases, they have been forced to participate in the fighting and violence,” he said.

Unicef urged all sides in the fighting in Mosul to respect their obligations under humanitarian law protect children at all times and cease “attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure including hospitals, clinics, schools, homes and water systems should stop immediately”.

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At least 26 bodies of “blindfolded and handcuffed” men were found in government-controlled areas and around city since the operation to re-take Mosul from IS militants started in October, US group Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

Fifteen of the men were executed by Iraqi government forces who were holding them on suspicion of being affiliated with IS, raising concerns about government responsibility for the killings, HRW said. (IANS)

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Communication of Coral Eating Starfish can save Coral Reefs: Scientists

This crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals

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Coral reefs can be prevented by understanding communication of starfish. VOA
  • The communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral
  • The crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals
  • The presence of this species, referred to by the locals as onihitode or demon starfish in Japan 

Tokyo, June 5, 2017: Japanese and Australian scientists have discovered the communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral.

This discovery, the scientists hope, will help in the preservation of the coral reefs as a single specimen of the crown-of-thorns starfish consumes up to 10 sq. metres of coral meat per year and is responsible for between 37 per cent to 99 per cent of the decrease in live coral cover, Efe news reported.

This crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals, Ken Baughman, one of the authors of the study by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, said on Monday.

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The presence of this species, referred to by the locals as onihitode or demon starfish, in the waters off the coast of the Japanese village of Onna in the Okinawa island was first reported in 1957.

A native of the Indo-Pacific region, this species is experiencing a boom in population that has resulted in tens of thousands to millions of starfish in population densities of 150,000 per sq.km.

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Normally, reefs only have a few, says Baughman, adding But in recent decades the population outbreaks have tripled.

Baughman’s team and Australian researchers analysed the starfish’s genome, which for the first time has been completely sequenced.

It is kind of like an instruction manual for how to build a starfish. We can better understand crown-of-thorns starfish biology and consequently its behaviour, Baughman explained. (IANS)