Terrorist attack at Istanbul airport leaves at least 36 dead

Terrorist attack at Ataturk international airport

The management team of Face Activities extends our condolences to the victims, and their families, of the Istanbul airport attack. 

Following a horrific terrorist attack at Istanbul’s Ataturk international airport, at least 36 are dead (earlier reports soared to as many as 50) and dozens were injured, possibly as many as 147. At this time official sources indicate ISIS terrorists are most likely to blame, though there’s been speculation that Kurdish separatists could be responsible.

Three attackers used automatic weapons to assault airport travelers in the bustling airport, but when police returned fire, they detonated explosive devices, killing themselves and many innocent bystanders. The police may have stopped the terrorists before they entered an even more crowded part of the airport, which could have lead to even greater casualties.

Learn about Istanbul airport attack (BBC)



Photo: by Josef Moser, (Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International)


Pat Summitt, Greatest College Basketball Coach, Dies at 64

Pat Summitt dies at 64

The world of college athletics has lost a true giant. Pat Summitt, a college basketball coach with 1,100 wins spanning a 38-year-long career, has passed away. In 2011 Summitt announced that she’d received a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s disease, and in 2012 she retired from the game.

Described as legendary, she started coaching at the incredibly young age of 22, and by the time she retired, she had the winningest record in college basketball, of any coach, male or female. And her student athletes, who completed eligibility, had a 100% graduation rate.

Learn more about the career of Pat Summit (CNN)



Photo: by aaronisnotcool,  (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)


New study: how do ordinary people turn into terrorists?

ISIS Territory

The uncompromising extremism, and willingness to both kill and die for their cause, are characteristic of ISIS fighters, and terrorists. Though their barbarity is unconscionable, their will to fight is remarkably strong, rivaled only by the kurds, who meet them in battle with minimal weaponry, and an equal zeal for victory. But why are they so willing to go to such lengths ?

A study in Iraq, lead by anthropologist Scott Atran of the University of Michigan, attempts to get to the bottom of this vexing question by studying the will to fight on both sides of the conflict. The researchers identified two crucial components: closely held “sacred values” that a fighter is willing to die for, and a strong collective identification with his fighting group, often greater than the fighter’s own family.

These powerful motivators are present both in ISIS extremists, and defending kurds who have opposed them successfully in battle. They are noticeably absent, or present at much weaker levels, in a sample group of Europeans that Atran studied. It’s important to note that the sacred values can be negative, apocalyptic values, like those that drive terrorists to enslave others, or the positive, life-affirming values of defenders like the kurds, who possess a strong faith that they are right to protect their homes from invasion–a sacred charge.

There have been relatively few serious studies of the characteristics and motivations of those who join extremist and terrorist groups, but more are necessary. It’s vital to understand the motivations and tipping-points of those who join ISIS, who are often ordinary people from middle or upper class homes with no previous signs of radicalization, in order to help curb the spread of these violent jihadist organizations.

Learn more about study researching jihadist motivations (Science News)

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Will Scotland seek independence, now?

Nicola Sturgeon on Brexit

During a heated 2014 referendum, Scotland voted against independence from the UK, opting to stay. But now, following the results of the Brexit referendum, in which Her Majesty’s Subjects chose to leave the European Union by a narrow but definitive margin, experts believe Scotland will likely call a second referendum for independence, and then pursue EU membership on its own.

The UK comprises England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland, and 62% of Scotland’s people voted to stay in the EU. In addition, the current party in power in Scotland, lead by first minister Nicola Sturgeon, had vowed to revisit the issue of independence in the event their EU status was jeopardized. With such a dramatic socio-economic change looming, the Scotts will want to return to the poles to reevaluate their status as members of the UK.

The remain camp had wide-spread support throughout the nation, particularly among younger voters, but at the end of the day didn’t have quite enough clout to pull off a win. Older voters were much more likely to vote in favor of the leave proposition. National pride, jingoism, and the fear and loathing of immigrants have all been cited by the disappointed opponents to Brexit.

Following the historic vote, droves of UK citizens searched the internet for clues regarding the future under Brexit. Many even googled “What is the EU,” triggering sarcastic swipes at the public’s general competence, by pundits and social media enthusiasts alike.


Photo: Wikimedia Commons, Crown copyright, released by the Controller of HMSO

The Hitch-Hiker, a film by Ida Lupino, 1953

The Hitch-Hiker, 1953

The Hitch-Hiker, 1953

A film by Ida Lupino

If you and your friend are driving along and decide to pick up a hitch-hiker–don’t! That’s what the guys in this film noir did. But he turned out to be a demented, escaped convict, with a gun. Don’t you hate it when that happens? By the way, it’s a true story, so be careful out there!  (Browse our Movie Archive)

Live Coverage: the UK votes to leave the EU

UK votes on leaving EU

It was a close vote, but it appears the leave campaign has won, and the United Kingdom will leave the European Union: the first country to do so since its inception. And in the wake of this revelation, the pound has fallen in relation to the dollar to its lowest level since 1981. Watch live coverage of the unfolding political drama on this live BBC feed!

Watch Live coverage: UK votes to leave the EU (BBC.com)


Photo: BBC (screen capture)

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