Sunday, August 13, 2006

Iran's Supreme Leader Got Some Splainin' to Do!

In reviewing the Iranian President's blog (UPDATE: which may have been either hacked or taken down already) for the article below, I followed the link to the official English language site of The Office of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei. Purusing the site, I found this featured article of interest, in which the Supreme Leader commends Iranian scientists (here reprinted in it's entirety):
The Islamic Revolution Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Sunday commended a team of specialists who made a breakthrough in medical science to cure spinal injuries. The Islamic Revolution Leader said that the medical breakthrough is very significant in terms of developing scientific theories and making progress in research studies.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that those who are involved in hard work of research studies to help the nation overcome backwardness imposed on Iran for many years, would be rewarded by the Almighty.
Ayatollah Khamenei said that research studies in the field of basic sciences and developing theories need extra investment that should be provided by the government. In a reception for the team, the Leader appreciated the services of Dr. Saberi, the Executive Director of the Team of Researchers on Methods for Curing Spinal Injuries and Mrs. Firouzi, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at Tehran University. The Iranian researchers have made a breakthrough in helping the patients with spinal injuries with culture of schwann cells enabling those suffering from paralysis to move.
Named after the German Physiologist Theodore Schwann, the Schwann cells are a variety of neuroglia that mainly provide myelin insulation to axons in the peripheral nervous system of jawed vertebrates.
I was not entirely sure what a Schwann cell was and did a Google search. Stumbling into a Wiki entry, I was surprised to see the following first sentence of the Wiki article (here reprinted with original Wiki links in place):
Named after the German physiologist Theodor Schwann, Schwann cells are a variety of neuroglia that mainly provide myelin insulation to axons in the peripheral nervous system of jawed vertebrates.
Hmmm, sound familiar? As I see it, the Supreme Leader has two problems. One, he stole the Wiki entry without making the required attribution, and therefore violates Wiki's copyright interests. Two, and more seriously for him, Wiki is, together with most of the rest of the extra-Iranian internet, banned in Iran. You see, it is a crime there to access "non-Islamic" sites.

So, not only did the Supreme Leader rip off an internet entry, he ripped off an illegal "non-Islamic" internet entry. tsk. . .tsk . . . tsk . . .

Funny, I didn't think the Supreme Leader looked anything like Captain Renault!


Fred Wickham said...

Great piece of investigative journalism. Thanks.

A Big Fat Slob said...

Hey, thanks for noticing!