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Source:
The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

TANABATA – this Japanese festival is based on a Chinese legend of parted lovers who are identified with two of the brightest stars in the night sky: Vega, representing a weaver-princess, who is permitted by the king to marry the simple cowherd, Altair. On the seventh day of the seventh month, the lovers are able to meet. The festival is observed throughout Japan, with people hanging colourful strips of paper on bamboo branches outside their homes. It is an especially colourful occasion in Sendai, where it occurs a month later, on August 6-8. The whole city is decked out with paper streamers and works of origami.
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HAVE you ever had a dream in which you felt frozen or unable to move? Well, the experience may actually have been real. Sleep paralysis is a condition characterized by temporary paralysis of the body shortly after waking or before falling asleep. Paralysis occurs normally during the sleep cycle to prevent the body from acting out dreamt movements; occasionally, this paralysis can persist as a person passes into a waking state.
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WHEN Mary Surratt was hanged for conspiring to assassinate President Abraham Lincoln, she became the first woman executed by the US federal government. Today, her execution is generally considered to have been a gross miscarriage of justice. During her trial, prosecutors failed to establish that she knew of John Wilkes Booth’s unsuccessful plot to abduct Lincoln, and it is now widely believed that she was not a party to the assassination plans either.
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AN Italian physician and cytologist, Camillo Golgi devised a way to stain nerve tissue and, using the technique, was able to clearly observe a neuron, now called a Golgi cell, along with its axon and dendrites branching off. The discovery led to the identification of the neuron as the basic structural unit of the nervous system. He also discovered the Golgi tendon organ and the Golgi apparatus. He shared the 1906 Nobel Prize with Santiago Ramón y Cajal.
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THIS week Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr — a joyous three-day holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.Many start Eid al-Fitr — or “breaking-of-the-fast festival” — by performing special morning prayers known as Salaat al-Eid. Families and friends then traditionally dress in new outfits and get together to feast on special sweets and pastries and exchange gifts.
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QUOTE of the day: You’ve got to create a dream. You’ve got to uphold the dream. If you can’t, then bugger it. Go back to the factory, or go back to the desk. – Eric Burdon
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