‘Nature’s revenge’: Huge sinkholes burst open on banks of Dead Sea as water dries up


Environmentalists say mismanagement of water resources around the Dead Sea has produced more than 3,000 sinkholes.
The saline lake — bordered by Jordan, Israel and the West Bank — is evaporating at nearly four feet per year, which leaves behind the salt pockets responsible for the dangerous sinkholes, reported ABC News.

A sink hole filled with water is seen in this aerial view of the Dead Sea December 5, 2011.

A sink hole filled with water is seen in this aerial view of the Dead Sea December 5, 2011.

Gidon Bromberg, the Israeli director of EcoPeace Middle East, told the news site that the sinkholes are “nature’s revenge.”
The organization of Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists is dedicated to preserving their shared environmental heritage.
EcoPeace says the construction of dams, storage reservoirs and pipelines has caused the unique salt lake to dry up at a distressing rate. Water simply is not flowing in as freely as it once did from the typical sources, the Jordan River and various tributaries.
“They could develop overnight or over time,” Bromberg said to ABC News, “making them unpredictable and very dangerous.”
The first sinkhole appeared in the 1980s, but new ones appear every single day. They grow in groups and collapse into one another to create massive craters, according to Bromberg.
In 2005, Smithsonian magazine said that roughly 1,000 sinkholes had been reported. The new 3,000-plus figure indicates that they have been appearing at an accelerated rate in recent years.

Sink holes filled with water are seen in this aerial view of the Dead Sea December 5, 2011.

Sink holes filled with water are seen in this aerial view of the Dead Sea December 5, 2011.

Bromberg fears that an overnight sinkhole might cause Route 90, which runs along the lake, to collapse.
“If nothing is done, it’s only a matter of time until someone dies,” he said.
Haaretz reports that Israel’s Transportation Ministry closed down a nearly 1,000-foot stretch of the highway in January after several meters on its eastern side sank roughly five centimeters.

Source: YAHOO

This Powerful Apology By A Group Of Men Is What Every Woman In India Needs To Hear


Domestic violence, rape, sex selective abortions, dowry, female infanticide, everyday we hear stories of crime & hate against women. India is the world’s second most unsafe place for women in the world. How did we land up here? We have become a country that worships its goddesses & hurts its women. And it’s just shameful.

Here’s a powerful apology by these men to every woman in India. This might not justify the crime but it sure is an initiation.

How old is the moon? True age is finally revealed


Moon is 4.47 billion years old, a new study has revealed.

Moon is 4.47 billion years old, a new study has revealed.

A new study has revealed the moon is 4.47 billion-years-old, after a team of planetary scientists discovered it was formed 95 million years after the birth of the solar system.

This makes the Earth’s moon up to 60 million years younger than some previous estimates, a study published on Wednesday found.

Researchers used a new way to calculate the birthday of the planet’s only natural satellite.

Astronomer John Chambers, with the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington DC, said the mega-asteroid that smashed into Earth, launching debris that later became the moon, occurred about 95 million years after the birth of the solar system.

“We think that the thing that hit Earth and ended up forming the moon, the lion’s share of it stayed on Earth,” he explained.

“A small fraction of its mass and some material from Earth was pushed off into space to form the moon. That was probably the last big event,” he added.

The study, published in the journal Nature, is based on 259 computer simulations of how the solar system evolved.

The programs simulate the crashes and mergers of the small bodies until they meld into the rocky planets that exist today.

Earth’s last big chuck came from a Mars-sized body that hit about 95 million years after the solar system’s formation when measured by that geologic clock, the study showed.

At 99.9 per cent accurate, the study disputes some previous estimates that the moon-forming impact occurred as early as 30 million to 40 million years after the solar system’s formation.

The results also open another even bigger mystery about why some planets, like Mars, form relatively quickly, while others, like Earth and possibly Venus, take far longer.

Analysis of Martian meteorites and the computer simulations indicate Mars was finished in just a few million years.

(Additional reporting by Reuters)

How We Stopped Light


Most of us probably know a few basic facts about light: nothing can travel faster than it, it comes in forms that we can’t see (such as x-ray and infrared), it can give you a nasty sunburn or a super cute tan (which will inevitably make you look like old leather), and it can be slowed down. If you didn’t know the last one, allow me to explain.

The speed of light is a constant. It travels at an amazing 186,282 miles per second (299,791km/sec). However, this speed only applies in a perfect vacuum where light will not encounter any other atoms. In a non-vacuum (which exists pretty much everywhere), bits of light smash into other objects. These objects absorb the photon and then re-emit it. In this respect, the slowing of light is an illusion. The photons still travel from at the same speed, but they make a few stops along the way as they are absorbed and refracted by various atoms. And light is absorbed and emitted more slowly through certain substances. For example, diamond makes light travel from A to B significantly slower.

But we can use these principles to essentially stop light. In all likeliness, many of you have already heard about the scientists in Germany who stopped light for a full minute. I’d like to offer a breakdown of how they accomplished this feat.

(a) APS/H. de Riedmatten; (b) G. Heinze et al. [1] Figure 1: (a) Energy-level scheme for EIT experiments: two ground states (|g〉 and |s〉) are connected to one excited state (|e〉) by an optical transition. To reach the EIT condition, the frequency difference between the input and control beams must be equal to the splitting between |g〉 and |s〉. (c) Output pulse energy and storage efficiency as a function of the storage time, as measured by Heinze et al. [1] for three coherence times (T2) obtained under different sequences of radio frequency pulses. The inset shows a three-stripe image retrieved from the memory after different storage times

(a) APS/H. de Riedmatten; (b) G. Heinze et al. [1]
Figure 1: (a) Energy-level scheme for EIT experiments: two ground states (|g〉 and |s〉) are connected to one excited state (|e〉) by an optical transition. To reach the EIT condition, the frequency difference between the input and control beams must be equal to the splitting between |g〉 and |s〉. (c) Output pulse energy and storage efficiency as a function of the storage time, as measured by Heinze et al. [1] for three coherence times (T2) obtained under different sequences of radio frequency pulses. The inset shows a three-stripe image retrieved from the memory after different storage times

To begin with, the scientists took an opaque crystal (something that light is not able to penetrate) and fired lasers into it. This caused the quantum states of atoms within the crystal to become disturbed. Ultimately, the scientists were able to make it so that a specific frequency of light could pass through this previously opaque object by altering the crystal in such a say so that the atoms within it had two quantum states.

Next, the researchers shot a laser beam (which corresponded to the specific frequency) through the newly transparent region. Then they turned off the laser beam that was altering the quantum states of the atoms within the crystal. This made the material once more opaque. The result of this was that the second laser beam was halted within the material. The beam was held in place for a whole minute. They were also able to store and retrieve an image using the same technique.

Of course, things are not quite this simple. For starters, the crystal that was frozen to less than negative 450 degrees Fahrenheit (-267C). But the aforementioned is a basic breakdown of the technique. For those interested in more technical information, see this source. Here, I will offer a brief passage which conveys the specifics:

“Light can be slowed down to the point that it comes to a halt: by switching off the control beam when the light is within the sample, the photons can be converted into collective atomic spin excitations (so called spin waves). The spin waves can be stored in the atoms for as long as the coherence between the two spin levels survives, before being converted back into light by turning on the control pulse again. The scheme thus allows the coherent storage and retrieval of light. How long can the storage time be? Since the light is stored in atomic coherences, the limit is given by T2, quantifying the lifetime of the coherence between the two relevant atomic spin states (how long the two spin states can remain in a coherent superposition).”

California’s wildfire woes: In pictures


The Powerhouse wildfire in California’s Lake Hughes area, has threatened more than 1,000 homes and has already charred 19,500 acres. To add to that, shifting winds have hampered fire-fighting efforts

Asteroid 2012 DA14 to pass close by Earth tonight, scientists rule out possibility of collision


A large asteroid approaching the earth at great speed. Scientists, sitting in a control room, keeping a close eye on its trajectory on large screens before them.

asteroid-1_350_021513082143

After a few hours and ground-based maneuvering, they finally manage to deflect the rogue body and save the planet earth from a catastrophe. This familiar sequence from sci-fi films may be enacted in control rooms of space agencies on Friday when an asteroid, designated 2012 DA14, about half the size of a football field flies past the earth. The only difference, however, is that scientists have ruled out any possibility of a collision with earth.

asteroid_660_021513082118

Nevertheless, it is a close call. THe nearest the flying object will come to the earth is 27,600 km. It is indeed close shave in astronomical terms, because some of our communication satellites fly above this mark at 36,000 km.

“The trajectory was analysed and we see no danger to our satellites”, a spokesperson of the Indian Space Research Organisation said. The closest approach as seen from Delhi will be between 1 am and 2 am on February 16, at a point where the asteroid will be seen near Virgo constellation, according to C.B Devgun of amateur astronomy group SPACE India.
Read more at: http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/asteroid-2012-da14-earth-isro-collision-scientists/1/250302.html