Tags: 2030, earth, two planets
The ecological footprint of humanity, which assesses its consumption of natural resources, has already exceeded 30% of the planet’s capacity to regenerate, says the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2008.
The pressure of humanity on the planet has doubled in the past 45 years for two reasons, by population growth and the increase of individual consumption, says the report.
This is over-depleting ecosystems and waste accumulate in the air, land and water, said. As a result, deforestation, water shortages, the decline of biodiversity and climate chaos, caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, “placed increasingly at risk the welfare and development of all nations,” explains WWF.
The “Living Planet Index”, a calibrated instrument to measure the evolution of global biodiversity, and that includes 1686 species of vertebrates in all regions of the world, has decreased almost 30% over the past 35 years, states the report.
In view of the decline of this index, “it appears increasingly unlikely that we will reach the goal, however modest, pointing to the Rio Convention on Biodiversity: to reduce the erosion of global biodiversity by 2010”, the inference WWF.
In addition to the global ecological footprint and the Living Planet Index, the report presents a third measuring instrument, “the footprint of water”, which assesses the resulting pressure of consumerism on the water resources at national, regional and global levels.
The problem is that water is distributed unevenly across the world. Thus, some 50 countries are currently facing a moderate or severe water stress, stresses the WWF. And the number of people suffering from shortages of water, either all year or seasonally, will increase due to climate change, he adds.
(Comment from Oscar Granda)
Urgent measures must be adopted around the world, between others … more birth control, more resource-saving, more efficient, more education … less pollution, less waste, less pets (seriously), less inequality … to achieve a sustainable planet.
Source Click Here
Tags: Kardashian, Kim, Kim Kardashian, kims
Kim Kardashian is as known for her long brunette locks as she is for her enviable curves, but today she hit the streets of N.Y.C. with dramatically lighter hair! The reality star had taken to her Twitter page earlier in the day hinting at the hair color change, writing “Hey everyone I have a drastic new look! I’m gonna twitpic it later today!” And several hours later, a photo did appear as promised with a new note, “I WENT BLONDE!!!! Do u like it?” So help Kim out and let her know what you think of her newly lightened do. UPDATE: Kim took her to her blog later to reveal that the new look is just a wig, but she’s contemplating the change! She writes, “I did a fabulous photo shoot this weekend and they put this hair piece on! I haven’t taken it off since, because I’m really loving the look.”
Tags: beautiful mountain, himalaya, kailash parvat, manasasarovar, most beautiful mountain in world
Tags: Barack Obama, John McCain, November 4, presidential election of 2008, United States, United States presidential election
The United States presidential election of 2008, scheduled for Tuesday November 4, 2008, will be the 56th consecutive quadrennial United States presidential election and will select the President and the Vice President of the United States.
The Republican Party has chosen John McCain, the senior United States Senator from Arizona as its nominee; the Democratic Party has chosen Barack Obama, the junior United States Senator from Illinois, as its nominee. The Libertarian Party has nominated former Congressman Bob Barr, the Constitution Party has nominated pastor and radio talk show host Chuck Baldwin, and the Green Party has nominated former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney. Ralph Nader declined to seek the Green Party nomination and is running as an independent candidate.
The 2008 election is particularly notable because it is the first time in U.S. history that two sitting senators will run against each other for president, and because it is the first time an African American is a presidential nominee for a major party, as well as the first time both major candidates were born outside the continental United States—Hawaii for Obama and the Panama Canal Zone for McCain. Since the Republican nominee for vice-president is a woman, the eventual winning ticket is very likely to be historic, as neither an African American nor a female has achieved either office. Also, the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain, would be the oldest first-term president and the Democratic nominee for vice-president, Joe Biden, would be the first Roman Catholic vice president.
The election will coincide with the 2008 Senate elections in thirty-three states, House of Representatives elections in all states, and gubernatorial elections in eleven states, as well as various state referenda and local elections. As in the 2004 presidential election, the allocation of electoral votes to each state will be based partly on the 2000 Census. The president-elect and vice president-elect are scheduled to be inaugurated on January 20, 2009.
Tags: chandrayaan, india mission, india moon mission, lunar mission, mission moon
CHANDRAYAAN-1: India’s first mission to the Moon
India is all set to reach the moon and that too in its own way, literally! The first Moon mission, an unmanned remote-sensing satellite called Chandrayaan-I , is set for launch. The results of this initiative is which would a long way in realizing the value of our closest celestial body and the emergence of new possibilities. Few facts on Chandrayaan * This spacecraft weighs 1304 kg (590 initial orbit mass and 504 kg dry mass) * The estimated costs for this ambitious project would be INR 3.8 billion * The power generation would be through a canted single-sided solar array to provide required power, 700 W at peak. * During eclipse the spacecraft will be powered by Lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries. * The spacecraft carries propellant for a mission life of 2 years. The mission aims to carry out high resolution mapping of topographic features in 3D, distribution of minerals and elemental chemical species, and look for water ice in its polar regions. ISRO hopes to launch Chandrayaan-1 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre near Shriharikota this year.
“THE MOON” with the history of the early solar system etched on it beckons mankind from time immemorial to admire its marvels and discover its secrets. Understanding the moon provides a pathway to unravel the early evolution of the solar system and that of the planet earth.
Through the ages, the Moon, our closest celestial body has aroused curiosity in our mind much more than any other objects in the sky. This led to scientific study of the Moon, driven by human desire and quest for knowledge. This is also reflected in the ancient verse. Exploration of the moon got a boost with the advent of the space age and the decades of sixties and seventies saw a myriad of successful unmanned and manned missions to moon.Following this, a hiatus of about one and a half-decade followed. During this period we refined our knowledge about the origin and evolution of the moon and its place as a link to understand the early history of the Solar System and of the earth.
However, new questions about lunar evolution also emerged and new possibilities of using the moon as a platform for further exploration of the solar system and beyond were formulated. Moon again became the prime target for exploration and a new renaissance of rejuvenated interest dawned. All the major space faring nations of the world started planning missions to explore the moon and also to utilize moon as a potential base for space exploration.
The idea of undertaking an Indian scientific mission to Moon was initially mooted in a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1999 that was followed up by discussions in the Astronautical Society of India in 2000. Based on the recommendations made by the learned members of these forums, a National Lunar Mission Task Force was constituted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Leading Indian scientists and technologists participated in the deliberations of the Task Force that provided an assessment on the feasibility of an Indian Mission to the Moon as well as dwelt on the focus of such a mission and its possible configuration.
The task force recommended that given the technical expertise of ISRO it will be extreme worthwhile to plan an Indian Mission to the Moon. It also provided specific inputs such as the primary scientific objectives of such a mission, plausible instruments to meet these objectives, launch and spacecraft technologies that need to be developed and suggested the need for setting up of a Deep Space Network (DSN) station in India for communication with the lunar orbiting spacecraft. The team also provided a provisional budgetary estimate.
The Study Report of the Task Team was discussed in April 2003 by a peer group of about 100 eminent Indian scientists representing various fields of planetary & space sciences, earth sciences, physics, chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics and engineering and communication sciences. After detailed discussions, it was unanimously recommended that India should undertake the Mission to Moon, particularly in view of the renowned international interest on moon with several exciting missions planned for the new millennium. In addition, such a mission will provide the needed thrust to basic science and engineering research in the country including new challenges to ISRO to go beyond the geostationary orbit. Further, such a project will also help bringing in young talents to the arena of fundamental research. The Academia, in particular, the university scientists would also find participation in such a project intellectually rewarding.
Subsequently, Government of India approved ISRO’s proposal for the first Indian Moon Mission, called Chandrayaan-1 in November 2003.
Tags: Fish Pedicures, Hair Nail Salon, Skin Treatment, SPA, Yvonne Le, yvonne salon
Fish pedicures are creating something of a splash in the D.C. area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, who runs the Yvonne Hair and Nails salon with his wife, Yvonne Le, said 5,000 people have taken the plunge so far.
“This is a good treatment for everyone who likes to have nice feet,” Ho said.
He said he wanted to come up with something unique while finding a replacement for pedicures that use razors to scrape off dead skin. The razors have fallen out of favor with state regulators because of concerns about whether they’re sanitary.
Ho was skeptical at first about the fish, which are called garra rufa but typically known as doctor fish. They were first used in Turkey and have become popular in some Asian countries.
But Ho doubted they would thrive in the warm water needed for a comfortable footbath. And he didn’t know if customers would like the idea.
“I know people were a little intimidated at first,” Ho said. “But I just said, ‘Let’s give it a shot.’ ”
Customers were quickly hooked.
Tracy Roberts, 33, of Rockville, Md., heard about it on a local radio show. She said it was “the best pedicure I ever had” and has spread the word to friends and co-workers.
First time customer KaNin Reese, 32, of Washington, described the tingling sensation created by the toothless fish: “It kind of feels like your foot’s asleep,” she said.
The fish don’t do the job alone. After 15 to 30 minutes in the tank, customers get a standard pedicure, made easier by the soft skin the doctor fish leave behind.
Ho believes his is the only salon in the country to offer the treatment, which costs $35 for 15 minutes and $50 for 30 minutes. The spa has more than 1,000 fish, with about 100 in each individual pedicure tank at any given time.
Dennis Arnold, a podiatrist who four years ago established the International Pedicure Association, said he had never heard of the treatment and doubts it will become widespread.
“I think most people would be afraid of it,” he said.
Customer Patsy Fisher, 42, of Crofton, Md., admitted she was nervous as she prepared for her first fish pedicure. But her apprehension dissolved into laughter after she put her feet in the tank and the fish swarmed to her toes.
“It’s a little ticklish, actually,” she said.
Ho said the hot water in which the fish thrive doesn’t support much plant or aquatic life, so they learned to feed on whatever food sources were available — including dead, flaking skin. They leave live skin alone because, without teeth, they can’t bite it off.
In addition to offering pedicures, Ho hopes to establish a network of Doctor Fish Massage franchises and is evaluating a full-body fish treatment that, among other things, could treat psoriasis and other skin ailments.
Ho spent a year and about $40,000 getting the pedicures up and running, with a few hiccups along the way.
State regulations make no provision for regulating fish pedicures. But the county health department — which does regulate pools — required the salon to switch from a shallow, tiled communal pool that served as many as eight people to individual tanks in which the water is changed for each customer.
The communal pool also presented its own problem: At times the fish would flock to the feet of an individual with a surplus of dead skin, leaving others with a dearth of fish.
“It would sometimes be embarrassing for them but it was also really hilarious,” Ho said.
Tags: Google, Google Android phone, Google os, i phone, iphone, t-mobile
The Google Android phone is here!
On Tuesday, T-Mobile and Google announced the first-ever handset with Google’s new Android operating system.
Called the T-Mobile G1, it has both full touch-screen functionality, a QWERTY keyboard, a trackball for one-handed navigation, plus access to mobile Web applications like Google Maps Street View, Gmail, YouTube, and more.
The G1 is available for pre-order now in the US in limited quantities fot T-Mobile registered users.
It will be available in retail stores from October 22, for $179 with a two-year voice and data agreement.
It will be available in the UK beginning November and across Europe in early 2009.
The Android provides the phone’s operating system as well as a platform for the phone to run a variety of software programs.
Google wrote Android using open-source software, which means any programmer has access to the source code that makes Android tick and can write software that runs on any mobile phone using Android.
Unlike the iPhone, the G1 features a mini QWERTY keyboard, which is accessed by sliding the touch screen to the side. When the keyboard is used the screen’s orientation changes from vertical to horizontal. The G1 can open files created using Microsoft Word and Excel.
With Google Maps G1 users can instantly view maps and satellite imagery, as well as find local business and get driving directions, all from the phone’s easy-to-use touch interface.
The T-Mobile G1 also includes Google Maps Street View, allowing customers to explore cities at street-level virtually while on the go.
Not just this, Google Maps feature syncs with the built-in compass on the phone — an industry first — to allow users to view locations and navigate 360 degrees by simply moving the phone with their hand.
Communicating on the go:
The T-Mobile G1 features a rich HTML e-mail client, which seamlessly syncs your e-mail, calendar and contacts from Gmail as well as most other POP3 or IMAP e-mail services.
The T-Mobile G1 multitasks, so you can read a Web page while also downloading your e-mail in the background. It combines Instant Messaging support for Google Talk, as well as AOL, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger in the US.
With access to high-speed Web browsing and a 3-megapixel camera with photo-sharing capabilities, the T-Mobile G1 is ideal for balancing a busy lifestyle.
Embracing user-generated content: Customers can use the G1’s 3G and Wi-Fi connection to attach and share pictures over e-mail and MMS or download music from their favorite Web sites.
Built-in support for YouTube allows customers to enjoy YouTube’s originally created content.
You can’t play iTunes music files on the G1. Instead, T-Mobile is offering its own music service through Amazon Music, which gives customers easy access to Amazon MP3, Amazon.com’s digital music download store.
G1 customers will also able to search, sample, purchase and download music from Amazon MP3 directly.
The T-Mobile G1 will be the first device with the Amazon MP3 mobile application pre-loaded.
The T-Mobile G1 is the first phone to offer access to Android Market.
When the phone launches next month, dozens of unique, first-of-a-kind Android applications will be available for download on Android Market.
Tags: Add new tag, ram sethu, ram setu, save ram sethu, setu project, setu samudram, sri ram
Ram Sethu, also Known as Rama’s Bridge and Adam’s Bridge, Bridges Dhanushkodi, the southern most tip of India and Talaimannar, the northern most tip of Sri Lanka.
This is our heritage, this is not only an Indian heritage, it should be treated as world heritage site.
We have to preserve this bridge at any cost, indeed, we may need to explore this and bring out the pictures and learn about the science and art of bridge making during the time of Rama. How did they fill the dirt in the ocean, what material they used.
It brings reality to the story of Hanuman going over to Lanka. This is world heritage, this our heritage, and we need to preserve it.
There are links below, that will give you crisp clear pictures of the bridge. More details and Videos below
Tags: largest rail tunnel, rail tunnel, world largest tunnel
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra Wednesday conducted an aerial survey of the upcoming 10.96-km Pir Panchal rail tunnel, which is set to become the world’s longest railway tunnel.
Considered the longest in the Indian Railway network, the tunnel from Banihal in the Jammu region to Lower Munda in the Kashmir Valley is estimated to cost Rs.24 billion (Rs.2,400 crores). About 95 per cent of the work is complete and around Rs.22 billion has been spent.
The railway project comprises three sections – Udhampur-Katra, Katra-Qazigund and Qazigund-Baramulla, taken up at a cumulative cost of Rs.110 billion (Rs.11,000 crores).
The Qazigund-Baramulla section in the valley will have 15 stations and the Srinagar (Nowgam) station is billed to be, architecturally and aesthetically, the most beautiful station of the Indian Railways.
After the aerial survey, Vohra reviewed the progress of the Jammu and Kashmir railway project at a meeting of officers here.
When he asked about the job opportunities the project would provide to Kashmiri youth, Northern Railway authorities told Vohra that once completed, it would generate direct employment for 3,900 people in the valley, apart from many opportunities for indirect employment.
Railway officials told the governor that appointment letters had already been issued to 120 candidates, who were now undergoing training in different parts of the country.
Vohra was informed that a trial run on the Kakapora-Pampore-Nowgam-Badgam track in the Qazigund-Baramula section had already been conducted. The train has air-conditioned coaches with heating system and push-back seats.
The Katra-Qazigund segment of the project will have the third highest bridge in the world over the Chenab river at Arnas in Jammu region. The special feature of this section is that 80 per cent of the 148-km track would be covered by tunnels and 12 per cent by bridges, thus leaving only eight per cent open.
For ensuring adequate security for the railway project, the state government Wednesday sanctioned the appointment of 2,637 security personnel.
Tags: Arctic Sea, arctic sea ice melt, globalisation, holes in ozone, ice melting, National Snow and Ice Data Center, NSIDC
We have news from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). they Say The melt is over. And we’ve added 9.4% ice coverage from this time last year. Though it appears NSIDC is attempting to downplay this in their web page announcement today, one can safely say that despite irrational predictions seen earlier this year, we didn’t reach an “ice free north pole” nor a new record low for sea ice extent.
Here is the current sea ice extent graph from NSIDC as of today, notice the upturn, which has been adding ice now for 5 days:
Here is what they have to say about it:
The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era. While above the record minimum set on September 16, 2007, this year further reinforces the strong negative trend in summertime ice extent observed over the past thirty years. With the minimum behind us, we will continue to analyze ice conditions as we head into the crucial period of the ice growth season during the months to come.
Despite overall cooler summer temperatures, the 2008 minimum extent is only 390,000 square kilometers (150,000 square miles), or 9.4%, more than the record-setting 2007 minimum. The 2008 minimum extent is 15.0% less than the next-lowest minimum extent set in 2005 and 33.1% less than the average minimum extent from 1979 to 2000.
Overlay of 2007 and 2008 at September minimum
The spatial pattern of the 2008 minimum extent was different than that of 2007. This year did not have the substantial ice loss in the central Arctic, north of the Chukchi and East Siberian Seas. However, 2008 showed greater loss in the Beaufort, Laptev, and Greenland Seas.
Unlike last year, this year saw the opening of the Northern Sea Route, the passage through the Arctic Ocean along the coast of Siberia. However, while the shallow Amundsen’s Northwest Passage opened in both years, the deeper Parry’s Channel of the Northwest Passage did not quite open in 2008.
A word of caution on calling the minimum
Determining with certainty when the minimum has occurred is difficult until the melt season has decisively ended. For example, in 2005, the time series began to level out in early September, prompting speculation that we had reached the minimum. However, the sea ice contracted later in the season, again reducing sea ice extent and causing a further drop in the absolute minimum.
We mention this now because the natural variability of the climate system has frequently been known to trick human efforts at forecasting the future. It is still possible that ice extent could fall again, slightly, because of either further melting or a contraction in the area of the pack due to the motion of the ice. However, we have now seen five days of gains in extent. Because of the variability of sea ice at this time of year, the National Snow and Ice Data Center determines the minimum using a five-day running mean value.
Ongoing analysis continues
We will continue to post analysis of sea ice conditions throughout the year, with frequency determined by sea ice conditions. Near-real-time images at upper right will continue to be updated every day.
In addition, NSIDC will issue a formal press release at the beginning of October with full analysis of the possible causes behind this year’s low ice conditions, particularly interesting aspects of the melt season, the set-up going into the important winter growth season ahead, and graphics comparing this year to the long-term record. At that time, we will also know what the monthly average September sea ice extent was in 2008—the measure scientists most often rely on for accurate analysis and comparison over the long-term.
It will be interesting to see what they offer in the October press release. Plus we’ll be watching how much ice we add this winter, and what next year’s melt season will look like. Hopefully we won’t have a new crop of idiots like Lewis Gordon Pughtrying to reach the “ice free north pole” next year.