Archive for the ‘News’ Category

One day we will run out of oil

Independent has published an interview with Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris where he said that the public and many governments appeared to be oblivious to the fact that the oil on which modern civilisation depends is running out far faster than previously predicted and that global production is likely to peak in about 10 years – at least a decade earlier than most governments had estimated.

“One day we will run out of oil, it is not today or tomorrow, but one day we will run out of oil and we have to leave oil before oil leaves us, and we have to prepare ourselves for that day,” Dr Birol said. “The earlier we start, the better, because all of our economic and social system is based on oil, so to change from that will take a lot of time and a lot of money and we should take this issue very seriously,” he said.

“The market power of the very few oil-producing countries, mainly in the Middle East, will increase very quickly. They already have about 40 per cent share of the oil market and this will increase much more strongly in the future,” he said.

Super Computer Jaguar

According to Oak Ridge (TN) National Laboratory has increased computing power of its Cray supercomputing system (shown here) to 54 teraflops, or 54 trillion mathematical calculations per second, placing it among the most powerful open scientific systems in the world.

The computer, dubbed Jaguar, is the largest in the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and is the major computing resource for DOE’s Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment, or INCITE, program. The system is available to all scientific researchers and research organizations, including industry, through an annual call for proposals. Three of the four companies — Boeing, DreamWorks Animation and General Atomics — awarded INCITE grants for 2006 are doing their work at ORNL.

“With the expansion of the leadership computing resources at Oak Ridge, the Department of Energy is continuing to deliver state-of-the-art computational platforms for open, high-impact scientific research,” said Michael Strayer, director of DOE’s Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research. “The expanded system will be instrumental in addressing some of the most challenging scientific problems in areas such as climate modeling, materials science, fusion energy and combustion.”

Chinese Super Space Drive

Chinese are in the process of “impossible” space drive, world press agencies report and going to release a demonstration version soon. As Chinese researchers say, they found the value that will open the new possibilities for space exploration. If they’re right, it will give the Chinese a decisive military advantage in space.

As it is reported the drive, called the EmDrive ((short for “electromagnetic drive”) supposedly works by converting electrical energy to thrust using microwaves. “It is well known that Roger Shawyer’s ‘electromagnetic relativity drive’ violates the law of conservation of momentum, making it simply the latest in a long line of ‘perpetuum mobiles’ that have been proposed and disproved for centuries,” wrote John Costella, an Australian physicist. “His analysis is rubbish and his ‘drive’ impossible.”

“NPU started their research program in June 2007, under the supervision of Professor Yang Juan. They have independently developed a mathematical simulation which shows unequivocally that a net force can be produced from a simple resonant tapered cavity,” Shawyer tells Danger Room. “The thrust levels predicted by this simulation are similar to those resulting from the SPR design software, and the SPR test results.”

However, if Chinese pull this off, no doubt they will get a giant advantage in the space race.

Phoenix Landed on Mars.

Phoenix spacecraft landed in the northern polar region of Mars on May 25, 2008 to begin three months of examining a site chosen for its likelihood of having frozen water within reach of the lander’s robotic arm, NASAreports.

Radio signals received at 4:53:44 p.m. Pacific Time (7:53:44 p.m. Eastern Time) confirmed the Phoenix Mars Lander had survived its difficult final descent and touchdown 15 minutes earlier. The signals took that long to travel from Mars to Earth at the speed of light.

Mission team members at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver; and the University of Arizona, Tucson, cheered confirmation of the landing and eagerly awaited further information from Phoenix later tonight.

Last 3 Days Earthquakes.

It became known that yesterday at least six people were killed when a shallow, 5.6-magnitude earthquake hit Colombia, destroying homes and shaking buildings in the capital Bogota, where panicked residents fled into the streets. The quake blocked a highway out of Bogota and flattened ten houses and a church near the epicenter, authorities said.

Francisco Gomez, a geology professor at the University of Missouri who has studied the New Madrid Seismic Zone in southeast Missouri and other “intraplate” zones that cause mid-continent earthquakes, said the quake was strong, but it doesn’t necessarily mean there are more to come.

“There always is the concern with something like this that there may be the potential for larger earthquakes in the Wabash River Valley,” he said of the Indiana-Illinois region. “But there’s also the high probability that this is just a moderate earthquake that happened and now they’ll return to the normal level of activity which is pretty infrequent.”

He added: “Does this mean there’s a big one yet to come? Well, not necessarily.”

Gomez said intraplate quakes like this and the massive 7.5-magnitude events that struck Missouri in 1811 and 1812, levelling buildings in St. Louis and reportedly causing the Mississippi River to flow backwards, are very “enigmatic.” They can’t be easily explained or monitored like California earthquakes, which occur when tectonic plates push against each other.

“There are different possibilities. Some of it has to do with the fact that the crust of the earth in continental areas is old and it has a lot of old fractures and cracks within it,” said Gomez. “Sometimes stress gets concentrated and it produces an earthquake. But what causes stress to build? That’s one of the big debates right now.”

As is generally known earthquakes as a natural phenomenon is everyday occurrence. Here you can check the list of Worldwide Earthquakes that happened only in the Last 3 Days.

25-MAY-2008 09:34:09 33.07 104.96 4.9 10.0 GANSU, CHINA
25-MAY-2008 08:21:48 32.58 105.46 5.8 10.0 SICHUAN, CHINA
25-MAY-2008 05:45:12 15.24 -91.70 5.0 193.1 MEXICO-GUATEMALA BORDER REGION
25-MAY-2008 04:27:06 31.92 104.50 4.6 10.0 SICHUAN, CHINA
25-MAY-2008 04:17:06 14.51 -91.43 4.3 82.8 GUATEMALA
25-MAY-2008 03:25:40 46.52 153.32 4.7 39.3 KURIL ISLANDS
25-MAY-2008 02:07:52 -12.76 -14.66 4.8 10.0 SOUTHERN MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
24-MAY-2008 23:23:07 44.24 -129.31 4.6 10.0 OFF COAST OF OREGON
24-MAY-2008 23:20:39 44.33 -129.76 4.2 10.0 OFF COAST OF OREGON
24-MAY-2008 22:29:15 18.37 -105.37 4.2 10.0 OFF COAST OF JALISCO, MEXICO
24-MAY-2008 19:48:12 -23.45 -179.71 4.9 530.7 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
24-MAY-2008 19:20:42 4.45 -73.63 5.7 3.6 COLOMBIA
24-MAY-2008 13:24:11 -7.27 156.02 5.9 67.1 SOLOMON ISLANDS
24-MAY-2008 13:21:28 -0.31 -19.01 5.1 10.0 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
24-MAY-2008 10:28:43 -19.32 169.51 5.1 281.6 VANUATU ISLANDS
24-MAY-2008 09:24:05 -22.11 -179.53 4.9 591.8 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
24-MAY-2008 08:18:18 71.49 -3.06 4.5 10.0 JAN MAYEN ISLAND REGION
24-MAY-2008 07:40:39 -8.78 124.03 5.3 45.6 TIMOR REGION, INDONESIA
24-MAY-2008 06:53:32 -42.01 -71.77 4.7 83.4 S. CHILE-ARGENTINA BORDER REGION
24-MAY-2008 06:26:31 -41.90 -71.81 5.0 69.7 S. CHILE-ARGENTINA BORDER REGION
24-MAY-2008 04:58:19 42.44 -30.55 5.5 10.0 AZORES ISLANDS REGION
24-MAY-2008 02:43:46 -41.95 -71.88 5.3 78.9 S. CHILE-ARGENTINA BORDER REGION
24-MAY-2008 01:59:35 53.13 172.69 4.4 75.1 NEAR ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
23-MAY-2008 22:50:30 -7.03 129.57 5.7 62.2 BANDA SEA
23-MAY-2008 20:46:18 -22.59 -68.55 5.0 99.8 NORTHERN CHILE
23-MAY-2008 19:35:35 7.26 -34.88 6.4 10.0 CENTRAL MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE
23-MAY-2008 16:10:22 32.25 105.10 4.5 10.0 SICHUAN, CHINA
23-MAY-2008 12:27:16 -23.60 178.99 5.0 524.2 SOUTH OF FIJI ISLANDS
23-MAY-2008 11:42:14 65.21 -133.94 4.1 5.0 NORTHERN YUKON TERRITORY, CANADA
23-MAY-2008 03:35:06 -8.03 106.89 4.9 10.0 SOUTH OF JAWA, INDONESIA
23-MAY-2008 03:33:07 51.69 177.92 5.2 35.0 RAT ISLANDS, ALEUTIAN ISLANDS
23-MAY-2008 01:07:46 -20.46 -179.34 5.1 652.5 FIJI ISLANDS REGION
23-MAY-2008 00:13:11 7.59 -78.07 4.4 10.0 PANAMA
23-MAY-2008 00:05:06 31.26 103.95 4.6 10.0 SICHUAN, CHINA

Ecologically Better Way Construction.

Five designs have been shortlisted in a competition to create an iconic visitor centre for a Lancashire wildlife haven. Lancashire Wildlife Trust has won the race to save Brockholes Wetland, a former gravel extraction site near Preston. The first phase will include the restoration of the wetlands, creation of ponds, seeding of meadows, planting new hedgerows and trees, making access paths and building proper bird watching hides.

It is hoped that the most urgent works can be completed in about three months, when there will be a grand opening by the Partners. However, this will only be the beginning of a project that will be measured in years. Local people will be encouraged to become involved in the reserve, trained and assisted by Wildlife Trust staff on site.

Brockholes will be an inspirational visitor attraction: a mosaic of lakes, reed beds, flower-rich grassland and woodland. It is encircled by the River Ribble, where otters are returning and is bordered by the largest ancient woodland in Lancashire, where badgers and bluebells thrive. It is already one of the finest sites for bird watching in the North West of England.

Critically, the development of Brockholes will also have a significant economic impact at both a local and regional level – dramatically enhancing a key gateway into the region (the site sits along side the M6), driving increased investment into the area through the extensive visitor and tourism facilities that will be developed on site and by providing an attractive and well managed area of green space for local people.

It is already home to a fantastic variety of birdlife including Lapwing, Sand Martin and Kingfisher, together with more vulnerable species such as Whimbrel, Skylark and Reed Bunting. The rich diversity of wildlife will include Great Crested Newts, bats, dragonflies and damselflies.

Mars Rover program is Continuing.

On Monday we’ve head that scientists plan to put one of the twin Mars rovers to sleep and limit the activities of the other robot to fulfill a NASA because their budget was being cut by $4 million.

But on the next day NASA says that it has absolutely no plan to turn off either of the Mars Rovers because of budget cuts. It has rescinded a letter that recommended budget cuts in the Mars Rover program to cover the cost of a next-generation rover on the Red Planet.

The agency’s administrator, Michael D. Griffin, says NASA needs the money to keep the space shuttle fleet aloft, complete the International Space Station and build a new crew exploration vehicle to replace the shuttle and but as was saying in a statement Tuesday neither of the rovers will be shut down.

Bio-Electromagnetic Weapons.

At the beginning of February the U.S. Navy test fired an incredibly powerful new big gun designed to replace conventional weaponry aboard ships. New weapon uses electromagnetic energy instead of explosive chemical propellants to fire a projectile farther and faster. The railgun, as it is called, will ultimately fire a projectile more than 230 miles (370 kilometers) with a muzzle velocity seven times the speed of sound (Mach 7) and a velocity of Mach 5 at impact.
The test-firing, captured on video, took place Jan. 31 in Dahlgren, Va., and Navy officials called it the “world’s most powerful electromagnetic railgun.”

“I never ever want to see a Sailor or Marine in a fair fight. I always want them to have the advantage,” said Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Gary Roughead. “We should never lose sight of always looking for the next big thing, always looking to make our capability better, more effective than what anyone else can put on the battlefield.”

What is Bio-electromagnetic Weapons?
This is an ultimate weapon system that operates at the speed of light; they can kill, torture and enslave; but the public are largely unaware that they exist, because these weapons operate by stealth and leave no physical evidence. Electromagnetic weapons have been tested on human beings since 1976 and according to “Science in Society” this weapon was being deployed in Iraq.

There is only one electromagnetic spectrum. Nuclear weapons release a great deal of ionizing radiation in the high frequency range above visible light, where the energy of the radiation is capable of breaking chemical bonds. The beginning of working up started in 1959 when Saul B. Sells, a professor of social psychology at a minor US university submitted a proposal to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to build for them the most sophisticated electroencephalography machine that would have an integral computational capacity to analyze and, hopefully, make sense of the brain waves it recorded. In other words, the professor proposed to make a machine that could tell the CIA what a person was thinking, whether or not the person wished to disclose that information. In 1973, Joseph C. Sharp, an experimental psychologist at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research performed an experiment that was pivotal to the development of the torture equipment being shipped to Iraq today. He had James Lin set up equipment in his laboratory which converted the shape of sound waves into microwave radiation that enabled him to hear himself vocalize the names of the numbers from one to ten in his head, by-passing the mechanism of his own ears. This particular experiment was never published but is mentioned in Lin’s book, Microwave Auditory Effects and Applications, published in 1978.

Today after the weapon test we can definitely say that the inevitable has occurred! But what is in store for us in future? I don’t thing it will be something good. Any weapon wants to be used.

Blue Eyes

“Blue eyes
Baby’s got blue eyes
Like a deep blue sea
On a blue blue day
Blue eyes”
It appears that beautiful blue eyes is the result of a genetic mutation that likely occurred between 6,000 and 10,000 years ago, researchers say. Scientists believe they have tracked down the cause of the eye colour of all blue-eyed humans on the planet today.

“Originally, we all had brown eyes”, said Prof Hans Eiberg from the University of Copenhagen, who led the team. Blue eye colour most likely originated from the near east area or northwest part of the Black Sea region, where the great agriculture migration to the northern part of Europe took place in the Neolithic periods about six–10,000 years ago.
“That is my best guess,” he said. “It could be the northern part of Afghanistan.”

The mutation affected a gene called OCA2 and “literally ‘turned off’ the ability to produce brown eyes”, he says. OCA2 is involved in the production of melanin, the pigment that gives colour to hair, eyes and skin. The mutation in the adjacent gene does not switch off the OCA gene entirely but limits its action, reducing the production of melanin in the iris of the eye – “diluting” brown eyes to blue.

If the OCA2 gene had been completely turned off, those who inherited this mutation would be without melanin in their hair, eyes or skin colour – albino. For the study, Prof Eiberg’s team examined DNA in blue-eyed individuals in countries as diverse as Jordan, India, Denmark and Turkey.

His findings are the latest in a decade of genetic research, which began in 1996, when Prof Eiberg first implicated the OCA2 gene as being one of those responsible for eye colour.
“They have all inherited the same switch at exactly the same spot in their DNA. From this we can conclude that all blue-eyed individuals are linked to the same ancestor,” said Prof Eiberg, who reports the work in the journal Human Genetics.

Do We Have a Future?

Recent scientific researches argued that a new epoch in the planet’s geologic history has begun. It seams that we have to say goodbye to the 10,000-year-old Holocene Epoch and hello to the Anthropocene. Our world is in trouble.
Among the major changes heralding this two-century-old man-made epoch:
Vastly altered sediment erosion and deposition patterns.
Major disturbances to the carbon cycle and global temperature.
Wholesale changes in biology, from altered flowering times to new migration patterns.
Acidification of the ocean, which threatens tiny marine life that forms the bottom of the food chain.
In the February issue of the journal GSA Today, a publication of the Geological Society of America, Jan Zalasiewicz and Mark Williams of the University of Leicester and colleagues at the Geological Society of London argue that industrialization has wrought changes that usher in a new epoch, livescience.com. reports. Scientists of the future will have no trouble deciding if the proposal was timely. All they’ll need to do is dig into the planet and examine its stratigraphic layers, which reveal a chronology of the changing conditions that existed as each layer is created. Layers can reflect volcanic upheaval, ice ages or mass extinctions.
“Sufficient evidence has emerged of stratigraphically significant change (both elapsed and imminent) for recognition of the Anthropocene — currently a vivid yet informal metaphor of global environmental change — as a new geological epoch to be considered for formalization by international discussion,” Zalasiewicz’s team writes.
Up to half of Earth’s land has been transformed by human activity, wrote Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer of the University of Michigan. They also noted the dramatic increase in greenhouse gases and other chemicals and pollutants humans have introduced into global ecosystems.

As early as the late 1800s scientists were writing about man’s wholesale impact on the planet and the possibility of an “anthropozoic era” having begun, according to Crutzen, who is credited with coining the term Anthropocene (anthropo = human; cene = new) back in 2000. That year, Crutzen and a colleague wrote in the scientific newsletter International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme about some of the dramatic changes:
“Urbanization has … increased tenfold in the past century. In a few generations mankind is exhausting the fossil fuels that were generated over several hundred million years.”
Up to half of Earth’s land has been transformed by human activity, wrote Crutzen and Eugene F. Stoermer of the University of Michigan. They also noted the dramatic increase in greenhouse gases and other chemicals and pollutants humans have introduced into global ecosystems.
The epochal idea has merit, according to geologist Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University.
“In land, water, air, ice, and ecosystems, the human impact is clear, large, and growing,”Alley told ScienceNow, an online publication of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. “A geologist from the far distant future almost surely would draw a new line, and begin using a new name, where and when our impacts show up.”

Calling things by their right the main and only cause of dramatic change is a critical mass of humanity that influences change at a global scale. What is the solution?