Now this is strange...

by factfinder 21 Replies latest jw friends

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    AWAKE! 2014-10


    Watching the World

    United States

    A GPS-trackable device attached to a vehicle

    Some police are using technology to make car chases less dangerous. One approach being tried involves compressed-air launchers fitted into the grills of patrol cars. These fire GPS-trackable devices that stick to vehicles being pursued. Suspects can then be tailed at a safe speed.


    An Indian woman

    It is estimated that every hour, a woman is killed because of a dispute over dowries. Though the custom of giving and receiving such payments is officially prohibited, in 2012 more than 8,200 women were murdered because a groom or his family believed his bride’s dowry to be insufficient.


    An alpine swift

    Tiny sensors attached to three alpine swifts at their breeding site have shown that the birds flew nonstop for more than 200 days while migrating to Africa. Previously, such sustained activity in motion had been reported only in marine animals.

    Horn of Africa

    A graph showing hijacking and ransom statistics

    Pirates hijacked 179 ships off the coast of the Horn of Africa between April 2005 and December 2012. Those criminal acts yielded up to $413 million (U.S.) in ransom money for the pirates, estimates a World Bank study

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    AWAKE! 2014-10

    A boy walks away from a girl who asked him for his phone number



    How to Resist Temptation


    “Sometimes girls ask me for my phone number and offer to ‘hook up’ with me. I refuse and walk away. But in the back of my mind, there’s a lingering thought, ‘What if I had given her my number?’ Honestly, some of those girls are very attractive. It’s easy to think, ‘Why not?’”—Carlos,* 16.

    Do you, like Carlos, struggle with temptation? If so, you can win the battle.


    A mouse being tempted by a piece of cheese in a mousetrap

    If you give in to temptation, you will only get hurt

    Everyone is vulnerable to temptation—even adults. After all, temptation can take many forms. The apostle Paul was not young when he wrote: “I really delight in the law of God . . . , but I see in my body another law warring against the law of my mind and leading me captive to sin’s law.” (Romans 7:22, 23) Despite the pressure, Paul resisted the urge to give in—and so can you! Really, why be a slave to your desires? (1 Corinthians 9:27) Learning to resist temptation while you are young will set you free from much anxiety now and will also prove to be a vital skill that you will need in adulthood.

    The media fuels temptation. The Bible speaks of “youthful desires,” which are strong enough as it is. (2 Timothy 2:22) But movies, TV, music, and books marketed to young people often intensify those desires by conveying the impression that surrendering to temptation is acceptable. For example, if two characters in a movie are ‘in love,’ it is all but certain that they will have sex with each other at some point in the story. However, the Bible says that real men and women have the power to “keep abstaining from fleshly desires.” (1 Peter 2:11) That means you can choose to resist temptation. But how?


    Know your weaknesses. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Likewise, your resolve to do what is right is most likely to break in the areas in which you are most vulnerable. Which areas do you need to guard against?—Bible principle: James 1:14.

    Anticipate temptation. Think of situations where you are likely to face temptation. Mentally rehearse how you will resist if such temptation occurs.—Bible principle: Proverbs 22:3.

    Strengthen your convictions. The Bible says that when tempted to engage in sexual immorality, Joseph said: “How could I commit this great badness and actually sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9) The phrase “how could I” shows that Joseph had strong convictions about what was right and wrong. Do you?

    Find supportive friends. You can remove much temptation in your life by choosing as associates those who share your moral convictions. The Bible says: “The one walking with the wise will become wise.”—Proverbs 13:20.

    Avoid circumstances that will make temptation harder to resist. For example:

    • Do not allow yourself to be alone with a member of the opposite sex.

    • Avoid using the Internet at a time or a place that might make it tempting for you to view pornography.

    • Stay away from people whose speech and conduct make wrongdoing look attractive.

    Which guidelines could you set for yourself to help you avoid being brought into temptation?—Bible principle: 2 Timothy 2:22.

    Pray for help. Jesus told his disciples: “Pray continually, so that you may not enter into temptation.” (Matthew 26:41) The fact is, Jehovah God wants you to resist temptation, and he can help you to do so. The Bible says: “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, but along with the temptation he will also make the way out so that you may be able to endure it.”—1 Corinthians 10:13.


    ^ par. 4 Name has been changed.


    • “Each one is tried by being drawn out and enticed by his own desire.”—James 1:14.

    • “The shrewd one sees the danger and conceals himself.”—Proverbs 22:3.

    • “Flee from youthful desires.”—2 Timothy 2:22.



    “When I face temptation, I reject it immediately. I find it best not to dwell on the what-ifs or the idea that maybe it wouldn’t be so wrong. Letting the mind dwell on the possibilities is what gets you into trouble in the first place.”



    “Remove yourself from situations where you’re more likely to face temptation. Surround yourself with friends who encourage you to do what is right. Resisting temptation trains you to deal with tougher situations that you might face in the future.”

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    AWAKE! 2014-10

    Belize coastline



    A Visit to Belize

    Map of Belize

    BELIZE packs variety into a small space—from tropical forests to turquoise waters surrounding a multitude of islands along its coast. But diverse geography is only the beginning of the wonders of Belize.

    Hundreds of bird and animal species can be found in this country. Among its wildlife are the brightly colored keel-billed toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) and the Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii)—a rubbery-nosed relative of the rhino that can move quickly on land and under water! There is also the solitary jaguar (Panthera onca). In fact, Belize boasts the world’s first jaguar preserve.

    A jaguar

    Belize boasts the world’s first jaguar preserve

    Belize was once part of the Maya civilization. Spanish conquistadores arrived in the 16th century but did not fully defeat the Maya. Later, the British wrested control of the area and in 1862 officially declared it to be the colony of British Honduras. In 1981, Belize gained independence.

    Belizeans are as colorful as their surroundings. Some of the primary ethnic groups are Creole, East Indian, Garifuna, Maya, and Mestizo. The people are friendly and courteous. When children speak to adults, they often use the terms “Miss” or “Mister” and answer by saying, “Yes, ma’am” or “No, sir.”

    Belizean women at a market

    Marketplace in Belize City

    In Belize, there are congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses in American Sign Language, Belize Kriol, English, Low German, Mandarin Chinese, Maya (Mopán), and Spanish. In 2013, about 1 in every 40 people in Belize joined the Witnesses in attending the Memorial of Christ’s death.

    DID YOU KNOW? Belize’s coral reef is over 180 miles (290 km) long. It is part of the second largest barrier reef in the world after Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

    Belize’s coral reef

    Belize’s coral reef is part of the second largest barrier reef in the world


    • Population: 333,000

    • Capital: Belmopan

    • Government: Parliamentary democracy

    • Languages: Belize Kriol, English, Spanish

    • Climate: Subtropical

    • Land: The mainland is made up of mountains, tropical forests, and swamps. Hundreds of islands and islets with mangrove trees can be seen in the shallow coastal waters

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    AWAKE! 2014-10

    A fruit bat eats fruit from a tree


    Airborne Gardeners of the Tropical Rain Forest

    AS ANY gardener knows, successful cultivation depends on sowing seeds in the right place at the right time. Strange as it may seem, however, some of the most effective sowing in the rain forest is done at night—and from the air. The airborne gardeners doing the sowing are Old World fruit bats—some of which are known as flying foxes.*

    Spreading the Seed

    Most fruit bats fly around at night, scouring the forest for trees that offer them tasty fruit or flowers rich in nectar. As they go about their aerial foraging, the bats digest fruit and expel undigested pulp and seeds. To complete their gardening work, they also pollinate flowers while sipping the nectar they enjoy so much.

    Since fruit bats may cover long distances during the night, they can disperse seeds over a wide area. And because the bats pass some seeds through their digestive tract, they also provide “fertilizer” that encourages seed growth. Not surprisingly, a variety of plants in the rain forest depend on bats to pollinate their flowers or disperse their seeds.

    Since they range far and wide, fruit bats have to have navigational skills and exceptional eyesight. In poor light, they can see better than humans. They can even distinguish some colors. And they are not at all averse to flying by day as well as by night.

    Family Life

    A fruit bat

    DID YOU KNOW? Unlike many other bats, fruit bats locate their food, not by echolocation, but by sight and smell. Their large eyes are well-suited to their nocturnal activity

    The Samoan flying fox (Pteropus samoensis) species mates for life. As observed in some species, the female bat cares well for her offspring, carrying it with her for a few weeks and suckling it almost to adulthood. In the case of two species of fruit bat, the female may even get the services of a “midwife” to assist her during birth.

    Sadly, many fruit bats are threatened with extinction, partly because of the destruction of their habitat. In the islands of the South Pacific, the disappearance of fruit bats would be catastrophic because some plant species of these islands seemingly cannot be pollinated without bats. Clearly, the work of these airborne gardeners should never be taken for granted.


    ^ par. 2 Old World fruit bats are found in Africa, Asia, Australia, and some of the Pacific Islands.


    A baobab tree

    Baobab tree blossoms have at most a 24-hour life span. But that is enough time for fruit bats to locate the large blooms full of nectar and transfer the pollen to other baobab trees

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    AWAKE! 2014-10

    A woman holds rosary beads and prays to a statue of Mary






    Millions of sincere people venerate images as part of their worship. But is the practice endorsed in the Bible? Does it please God?

    Did faithful Jews of Bible times venerate images?

    “You must not make for yourself a carved image or a form like anything that is in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters under the earth. You must not bow down to them nor be enticed to serve them.”—Exodus 20:4, 5.

    The veneration of images is consistently condemned in the Hebrew Scriptures, commonly known as the Old Testament


    According to the New Catholic Encyclopedia, the Jews had an abundance of images associated with their worship “and these representations were honored, reverenced, and venerated.”* As examples, that encyclopedia cites the numerous engravings of fruits, flowers, and animals that adorned the temple in Jerusalem.—1 Kings 6:18; 7:36.


    Contrary to what the New Catholic Encyclopedia asserts, faithful Jews did not venerate any of the engravings or figures associated with the temple. In fact, nowhere in the Bible do we read of a faithful Israelite using an image for worship.


    “I give my glory to no one else,” God said through the prophet Isaiah, “nor my praise to graven images.”—Isaiah 42:8.

    Did the early Christians use images in their worship?

    “What agreement does God’s temple have with idols? . . . Quit touching the unclean thing.”—2 Corinthians 6:16, 17.

    “The early Christians would have looked with horror at the bare suggestion of placing images in the churches, and would have considered bowing down or praying before them as nothing less than idolatry.”—History of the Christian Church


    “The use of images in early Christian worship cannot now be reasonably questioned,” says the New Catholic Encyclopedia. “The Christian catacombs are veritable galleries of early Christian art. . . . Even mythological figures adorn the holy chambers of sacred worship and burial.”*


    The oldest images found in these catacombs—underground passages used as burial places—date back only to the third century. That was some 200 years after Jesus died. Therefore, what the New Catholic Encyclopedia calls “early Christian worship” is not the earliest Christian worship—that which was practiced by first-century disciples and described in the Christian Greek Scriptures, commonly known as the New Testament. The fact that such images were in the catacombs merely shows that by the third century, nominal Christians had adopted the pagan custom of using images, likely to attract converts.*


    “Flee from idolatry.”—1 Corinthians 10:14.

    Should images be used simply as an aid to worship?

    “Guard yourselves from idols.”—1 John 5:21.

    Veneration of images is a religious practice that has no support in the Bible. For that reason, Jehovah’s Witnesses do not venerate images, nor do they have religious images in their homes or in their places of worship


    “Since the worship given to an image reaches and terminates in the person represented,” says the New Catholic Encyclopedia, “the same type of worship due the person can be rendered to the image as representing the person.”


    When Jesus taught his followers how to pray, he did not tell them to use images. The very idea of using an image to worship the true God cannot be found in the Christian Greek Scriptures.


    “It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.”—Matthew 4:10.

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    AWAKE! 2014-10

    Horses galloping



    The Horse’s Leg

    A HORSE (Equus caballus) can gallop at a speed of up to 30 miles per hour (50 km/h). Although this involves considerable mechanical work, relatively little energy is spent. How is this possible? The secret is in the horse’s legs.

    Consider what occurs when a horse gallops. Elastic muscle-tendon units absorb energy when the leg steps onto the ground, and much like a spring, they return it, propelling the horse forward.

    Furthermore, at a gallop the horse’s legs vibrate at high frequencies that could injure its tendons. However, the muscles in the legs act as dampers. Researchers call this structure a “highly specialized muscle-tendon design” that provides both agility and strength.

    Engineers are trying to imitate the design of the horse’s legs for use in four-legged robots. However, according to the Biomimetic Robotics Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the complexity of this design cannot be easily duplicated with current materials and engineering knowledge.

    What do you think? Did the structure of the horse’s legs come about by evolution? Or was it designed?

  • factfinder

    Thank you Splash! How did you obtain all of that?

  • Oubliette

    Splash, the link in the articles you posted do not work.

    I get one of two error messages: Access Denied or a 404 Error, File not Found.

  • Splash

    The posts above were sourced from an internet archive which had captured the Awake while it was briefly online. The links are still pointing to the live location that was removed in This is why the links will not work. I've only replicated the main articles from the Contents page.


  • Mum

    Can one get disfellowshipped for computer semi-literacy which causes him to screw up the online magazine? Maybe reproof will be sufficient if this is the first offense. The WT encouraged computer illiteracy for so long that maybe it's payback time. How many high tech gurus want to work for the publishing corporation that doesn't pay anyway?

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