TV Psychic Will Not Be Beheaded for Witchcraft After All
Admit it, skeptics, you were hoping this story was going to be about Uri Geller. I know I was. The Independent reports that Lebanese TV psychic Ali Sibat will not be put to death after all. Saudi Arabia sentenced Sibat to death by decapitation for witchcraft after he was apprehended in the kingdom during a pilgrimage to Mecca in 2008. Didn't see that coming, did he?
This oddball story highlights a serious human rights issue. Saudi Arabia persecutes anyone whose lifestyle conflicts with its interpretation of Islam. Sibat is just one of scores of people prosecuted for witchcraft, sorcery and other "occult" offenses in Saudi Arabia every year.
Thanks to some diplomatic sleight of hand, Sibat's life will be spared. No word on when, or if, the 49-year-old father of 5 will be allowed to go home.
Photo credit: Lindsay Beyerstein.
Scientists have developed new ways of understanding how the biological forces of death drive important life processes.
- Researchers have found new ways on how decomposing plants and animals contribute to the life cycle.
- After a freak mass herd death of 300 reindeer, scientists were able to study a wide range of the decomposition processes.
- Promoting the necrobiome research will open up new areas of inquiry and even commerce.
What do we see from watching birds move across the country?
- A total of eight billion birds migrate across the U.S. in the fall.
- The birds who migrate to the tropics fair better than the birds who winter in the U.S.
- Conservationists can arguably use these numbers to encourage the development of better habitats in the U.S., especially if temperatures begin to vary in the south.
Explore how alcohol affects your brain, from the first sip at the bar to life-long drinking habits.
- Alcohol is the world's most popular drug and has been a part of human culture for at least 9,000 years.
- Alcohol's effects on the brain range from temporarily limiting mental activity to sustained brain damage, depending on levels consumed and frequency of use.
- Understanding how alcohol affects your brain can help you determine what drinking habits are best for you.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.