Monday, October 14, 2013

Perfect crimes-Only Unsolved Crime in US Aviation History

Dan “DB” Cooper - $200,000 US – Only Unsolved Crime in US Aviation History 

He's the world's most famous fugitive. On the night before Thanksgiving, November 24, 1971, a passenger by the name of Dan Cooper boarded a plane in Portland, OR bound for Seattle. Clad in a suit and raincoat, wearing dark glasses and carrying a briefcase, he sat silently in the back of the plane. After calmly lighting a cigarette, he ordered a whiskey from the stewardess and then handed her a note. It read, 'I HAVE A BOMB IN MY BRIEFCASE. I WILL USE IT IF NECESSARY. I WANT YOU TO SIT NEXT TO ME. YOU ARE BEING HIJACKED.'

He demanded $200,000 and four parachutes delivered to him in Seattle. When the plane landed, he released all the passengers, save for the pilot, co-pilot, and stewardess. Once the money was delivered in the middle of the brightly-lit tarmac, Cooper demanded the pilot take off for Mexico, flying at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Shortly after takeoff, over the mountains northwest of Portland, the six-foot-tall Cooper strapped on a parachute and jumped. He was never heard from again. Did he survive? In 1980, roughly $6000 was found of the money in bundles on a beach, but no signs of a body. The case remains open and is the only unsolved crime in US aviation history.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Amazing facts-Supercomputer

The Supercomputer That Houses an Entire Universe 

Over a span of two weeks in October, the Mira supercomputer will crank away nonstop, processing quadrillions of operations every second—something that few other machines are currently capable of. It will simultaneously track trillions of particles as they move, expand, and react to each other according to the laws of physics. This simulation will have to use everything mankind has learned about the movement of objects. If successful, it will not only confirm what we've suspected, but will also give us a deeper understanding of how the cosmos came to be. Mira, in short, is simulating the history of our universe. According to the Atlantic, the advent of Mira (along with the more powerful Sequoia and K supercompters) is the first time that machines have been powerful enough to run a simulation of this scale. A normal computer available today simply could not complete the calculations. And when you consider the specs of the Mira, you realize just how massive this undertaking is. Built around IBM's BlueGene technology, Mira is powered by 768,000 cores spread across 48 blade racks. (This thing is big! Just like other supercomputers!) It has 8 petaflops of processing power, and at its peak theoretical performance, is able to perform 10 quadrillion floating point operations per second. Oh, and it has nearly a petabyte of RAM. 

So what, exactly, will Mira simulate in this experiment? Essentially, as the Atlantic explains, researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory are interested in seeing exactly how stars—and entire galaxies—expand, clump together, and form the filament structures. The behavior has led scientists over the years to compare the universe to a web-like structure. The simulation will begin with the universe shortly after the big bang, then it will simulate a time lapse lasting 12 billion years to see if our theories of astrophysics hold up. Supposing that the experiment does validate centuries of research, we can then begin to move forward. As our understanding increases and supercomputers become more powerful, we can begin to explore crazier ideas, like the possibility that there's more than one universe out there (*mind explodes*). And the Mira supercomputer? Over its lifespan, it will be operational for 5 billion computing hours a year. The vast majority of its time will be spent cranking out simulations of DOE-sponsored initiatives and challenges. It will reserve a chunk of its time for projects of "immediate need," (such as the Deepwater Horizon oil crisis). It's safe to say this machine will stay busy, even when it's not deciphering the origins of our existence.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Strange facts-Parts of Canada missing gravity

How can parts of Canada be 'missing' gravity?

For more than 40 years, scientists have tried to figure out what's causing large parts of Canada, particularly the Hudson Bay region, to be "missing" gravity. In other words, gravity in the Hudson Bay area and surrounding regions is lower than it is in other parts of the world, a phenomenon first identified in the 1960s when the Earth's global gravity fields were being charted.

Two theories have been proposed to account for this anomaly. But before we go over them, it's important to first consider what creates gravity. At a basic level, gravity is proportional to mass. So when the mass of an area is somehow made smaller, gravity is made smaller. Gravity can vary on different parts of the Earth. Although we usually think of it as a ball, the Earth actually bulges at the Equator and gets flatter at the poles due to its rotation. The Earth's mass is not spread out proportionally, and it can shift position over time. So scientists proposed two theories to explain how the mass of the Hudson Bay area had decreased and contributed to the area's lower gravity.
One theory centers on a process known as convection occurring in the Earth's mantle. The mantle is a layer of molten rock called magma and exists between 60 and 124 miles (100 to 200 km) below the surface of the Earth . Magma is extremely hot and constantly whirling and shifting, rising and falling, to create convection currents. Convection drags the Earth's continental plates down, which decreases the mass in that area and decreases the gravity.

A new theory to account for the Hudson Bay area's missing gravity concerns the Laurentide Ice Sheet, which covered much of present-day Canada and the northern United States. This ice sheet was almost 2 miles (3.2 km) thick in most sections, and in two areas of Hudson Bay, it was 2.3 miles (3.7 km) thick. It was also very heavy and weighed down the Earth. Over a period of 10,000 years, the Laurentide Ice Sheet melted, finally disappearing 10,000 years ago. It left a deep indentation in the Earth.
To get a better idea of what happened, think about what happens when you lightly press your finger into the surface of a cake or a piece of really springy bread. Some of it moves to the sides and there's an indentation. But when you remove your finger, it bounces back to normal. A similar thing happened with the Laurentide Ice Sheet, the theory proposes -- except the Earth isn't so much "bouncing" back as it is rebounding very slowly (less than half an inch per year). In the meantime, the area around Hudson Bay has less mass because some of the Earth has been pushed to the sides by the ice sheet. Less mass means less gravity.
So which theory is correct? It turns out that both of them are. Convection and the ice sheet's rebound effect are both causing some of the decrease in gravity around Hudson Bay. First, we'll consider the ice sheet theory.

To calculate the impact of the Laurentide Ice Sheet, scientists at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics used data gathered by the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites between April 2002 and April 2006. The GRACE satellites are highly sophisticated machines, orbiting about 310 miles (500 km) above the Earth and 137 miles (220 km) apart. The satellites can measure distances down to a micron, so they can detect minor gravitational variations. When the lead satellite flies over the Hudson Bay area, the decrease in gravity causes the satellite to move slightly away from the Earth and from its sister satellite. This shift in distance is detected by the satellites and used to calculate the change in gravity. Any shifts detected can also be used to create maps of gravitational fields.
The GRACE data allowed scientists to create topographical maps approximating what Hudson Bay looked like during the last ice age, when it was covered by the Laurentide Ice Sheet. These maps revealed some interesting features about the area, including two bulging areas on the western and eastern sides of Hudson Bay where the ice was much thicker than the rest of the sheet. Gravity is now lower there than in other parts of the gravity-depleted bay.
Another important finding came from the GRACE data: It turns out that the ice sheet theory only accounts for 25 percent to 45 percent of the gravitational variation around Hudson Bay and the surrounding area. Subtracting the "rebound effect" from the area's gravitational signal, scientists have determined that the remaining 55 percent to 75 percent of gravitational variation is likely due to convection.

The Hudson Bay area is going to have less gravity for a long time. It's estimated that the Earth has to rebound more than 650 feet to get back to its original position, which should take about 5,000 years. But the rebound effect is still visible. Although sea levels are rising around the world, the sea level along Hudson Bay's coast is dropping as the land continues to recover from the weight of the Laurentide Ice Sheet.

While the mystery surrounding Canada's gravitational anomalies has been put to rest, the study has wider implications. Scientists involved in the Harvard-Smithsonian Center study were amazed that they were able to see how the Earth looked 20,000 years ago. And by isolating the influence of the ice sheet's rebound effect, researchers better understand how convection affects gravity and how continents change over time. Finally, the GRACE satellites have provided scientists with data on many ice sheets and glaciers. By examining climate change that took place thousands of years ago, scientists may gain a better understanding of how global warming and rising sea levels are affecting our planet today and what impact they will have on our future.


Friday, October 11, 2013

Cliff diving

Divers throw themselves into the Atlantic Ocean from a 100 feet (30 m) rock in the Portuguese islands of the Azores.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Countries you probably never heard about

Countries you probably never heard about.

You really have to be a geography freak to know about these countries from the list. It’s irrelevant to us how recognized they areas countries but they surely look at themselves like that. Of course a special thanks to Wikipedia for the article’s research.

10. Vanuatu, 90% of Vanuatu people household and consume fish, and 80% are living in rural, isolated villages with their own gardens and food supplies. Scuba diving is a very popular tourist attraction here. Tsunamis are not a rare thing in Vanuatu, and earthquakes have a negative affect on the country’s economy.
9. Nauru, a former German Empire colony is alsoknown as Pleasant Island of the South Pacific. The people of Nauru are collecting rain water during monsoon rains between November and February because they are very limited on natural fresh water. The most popular sport in this country is Australian rules football, and they have football league with seven teams.
8. Tuvalu, is a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as head of state. They don’t have regular military forces, and spend no money on defense. Tuvalu is the 4th smallest country in the world. The first inhabitants of the country were Polynesian people.
7. Comoros is African island nation in the Indian Ocean between Mozambique and Madagascar. The island is an old French colony, and today there is about 300 000 Comorians living in France. 98% of the population is Islamic.
6. Guernsey is under the responsibility of the United Kingdom but they don’t count as a part of the U.K, as well as the European Union. Guernsey is located in the English Channel on the coast of Normandy. They have complete autonomy over internal affairs, and they are discussing total independence from the British Crown.
5. Isle of Man, also known as Mann, is self-governing British Crown Dependency, with a location in the Irish Sea between the islands of Great Britain and Ireland. They are not a part of the European Union. Isle of Man economy is based on offshore banking and tourism. The island has been inhabited since before 6500 BC.
4. Tokelau, is a non-self-governing territory of New Zealand that consists of three islands. The name Tokelau is a Polynesian word that means “north wind”. The island has the smallest economy of any country in the world that makes them almost completely dependent on subsidies from New Zealand. 96% of the population is Christians and 57% of these are women.
3. Cook Islands, are a self-governing parliamentary democracy. With over 90 000 tourists per year, tourism is their far best industry and their leading element of the island economy, far ahead of offshore banking, marine, pearls and fruit exports. Cook Islands got named by the British navigator Captain James Cook when he arrived the islands in 1773.
2. Pitcairn Islands, officially named the Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands, are a group of four volcanic islands that are formerly a British colony, the last remaining in the Pacific. The population’s language is a mix of English and Tahitian. In recent years the church has been closed because only 8 islanders have been visiting it regularly. There is only one CafĂ© and Bar on the island, and the Government Store is selling alcohol and cigarettes. They used to have moral strict laws which prohibited dancing, smoking and consummation of alcohol.
1. Nagorno-Karabakh Republic is the independent republic located between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Nagorno Karabakh is one of the most heavily mined regions of the former Soviet Union because of the 1991-1994 Nagorno-Karabakh War. They are still not recognized by any state, including Armenia. 95% of the population is Armenian, and the rest are Greeks and Kurds. Their tourism are basically directed to Armenians that live in Western countries.


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