The Lyrid Meteor Shower Should Offer Quite A Nighttime Show

lyrid meteor shower above earth

April 22nd marks the height of the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower, one of the brightest such shows.


This week marks the height of the annual Lyrid Meteor Shower, one of the brightest shows in our cosmic neighborhood. The Earth will be passing through the trail of a comet discovered in 1861. This latter’s remaining pieces will come shooting through the sky in what always promises to be a good show. Considering the fact that the moon will be a crescent, there will likely be little interference in areas with clear skies and away from cities.

How Best To View the Lyrid Meteor Shower

The rules to having the best view of the meteor shower are similar to those for viewing any other such event. Avoid congested areas like cities and lit parks. Find isolated places with little light pollution. You will also want to avoid a cloud cover, if possible.This particular shower is best seen in the Northern Hemisphere from April 18 through April 24. However, the best times to see it will be early Saturday and Sunday morning. The show can usually be best seen just before sunrise. As many as ten to twenty meteors may break through the atmosphere during every hour of the spectacle.

2017 promises nine major meteor showers, including the more popular Perseid and Geminid events.  However, not all of these will have a good viewing. Several will occur during the full moon, which outshines the “shooting stars”, interfering with the observer’s view. The Orionid shower in October will likely provide the next best view of such an event for the entire year.For the Lyrid Meteor Shower, you will want to look to the northeast to find the radiant point from which the shooting stars will emerge. This is the actual path of the comet. The meteors will then radiate from that point in every direction as they catch the atmosphere, lighting up as they burn out in a fiery end to their long, cold stay in space.

“It would be best to face towards the northern half of the sky with the moon at your back.” At least according to an AMS recommendation.
Image Source: Wikimedia

Coral Bleaching Reportedly Reached The Point Of No Return

great barrier reef coral bleaching

The Great Barrier Reef seems to have reached a new critical point in its fight against coral bleaching

There has been much talk in the news about the Great Barrier Reef and the different attempts to save this ecosystem from the damages brought on by coral bleaching.

The Great Barrier Reef is considered the biggest living structure on our planet. However, the latest analysis shows that it seems to be nearing its end. Scientists just announced that many reef portions are dying and that they have now reached the point of no recovery. This is likely to lead to more negative effects than initially believed.

The Mass Coral Bleaching May Lead To Seemingly Unavoidable Problems In The Ecosystem

The Great Barrier Reef hosts a great variety of species, from mollusks to sharks and, of course, corals. All of the above and below sea creatures depend and rely on these structures. Over the past 20 years, the Great Barrier Reef has gone through 3 massive coral bleaching events and is currently in the middle of its fourth.

This latest one is also seen as the gravest one yet, as it directly followed the third such event, which took place just a year ago. Although specialists, as well as nature lovers, have been trying to save it, the coral bleaching degradation has reportedly reached a point of no return.

If the water will start cooling down, at least some of the coral reefs will have a chance at recovery. But if the temperatures continue to rise, they will most likely continue to bleach and fade away for good. This event is expected to continue as the global temperatures are increasing as well.

The latest survey showed that 932 miles out of the total 5,000 miles of the Great Barrier Reef are now completely bleached. Presently, the corals are still alive, but they will most likely start fading if left unpopulated.

Coral bleaching takes place as the waters start warming. As they do so, the corals start ejecting a symbiotic alga that is essential for their survival and which live in their tissues.

Image Source: Pixabay

The United States and China joined the Paris Climate Accord

The Paris Climate Accord will help us reduce the greenhouse emissions.

The United States and China are ready to join the Paris Climate Accord

The United States and China signed the Paris Climate Accord

President Barack  Obama said on Saturday that the United States and China joined Paris Climate Accord. The agreement these two countries signed is  an important step in motivating other nations to join the Accord. They want to make reductions in the greenhouse gas emissions and reduce global warming. Things are going for the better, but there has to be more investment in eco-friendly technologies if we want things to change.

Unfortunately, there are Republican members of the United States Congress who do not agree with this actions to reduce the greenhouse emissions. This makes things difficult for the President, as he wants this country to be an example of how to deal with global warming.

The Republicans are against Barack Obama’s plans

The Republicans did not threat to take down the law. They just released states arguing that the global agreement will not have any results. Moreover, they said that Barack Obama just wants to give the impression he can achieve its climate agenda, although the Congress did not agree with his plans.

The United States promised to cut emissions and make more actions to protect the world from climate change. President Barack Obama things that they can achieve their goal with the Congress, but the future president should be involved in this issue. However, there are people who think this would mean bad news for the United States economy and they are not ready to do these changes in the future.

The United States and China joined the Paris Climate Accord on Saturday after they met in Paris with leaders of the most important countries in the world. They are all trying to cut the emissions and develop plans against climate change.

The world tries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Republicans are not expected to do something about the President’s decision, especially when they are focused on the elections. We will see who will be the future President and if he/she will continue to support the Paris Climate Accord. The fact that the United States joined this agreement is important for the world. There are countries that will follow its example and will try to reduce the greenhouse emissions.

The Paris Climate Accord is one of the most important agreements. Global warming is a threat and even there are people who do not want to see it, our world is changing and will be more dangerous for us to live in some areas and enjoy our life.

Image source: Wikipedia


Kung Fu Panda 3 Could Change Hollywood

"kung fu panda 3"

One would be surprised to know, but Kung Fu Panda 3 could change Hollywood and its usually understandable attitude toward early year releases. January and February are famously two months of the year that are littered with cheap horror flicks and comedies that certainly won’t be winning any Oscars.

The budgets are usually restrained for those releases and it’s not expected that they will shatter a lot of records. When a majorly well crafted movie of exquisite performances and brilliant directing like The Revenant enters the scene in late December, most of flicks in the following two months would fall behind it. That is why the epic survival movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio is still ahead of the pack at the Box Office.

This year, there have been little exceptions in terms of quality. While The Forest was notably titled as a good entry for January, it still fell short of shattering any records or making a mark in Hollywood history. However, maybe Kung Fu Panda 3 will. The third installment of the animated series from DreamWorks Animation will officially launch on Friday, January 29th, 2016.

And, with it, could arrive a major change in Hollywood.

However, it won’t be tied with expectations of a jaw-dropping story or incredibly refreshing humor. While the movie will feature colorful characters voiced by actors such as Jack Black, Seth Rogen, Dustin Hoffman, Bryan Cranston, Angelina Jolie, and many more, it won’t be the cast that will bring the flick to success. It will likely be the timing of its release and partnership struck between Chinese and Hollywood studios. The theme will certainly play a major role as well.

While the beginning of the year is marked by bad movies in the U.S., the Chinese are celebrating their New Year. With it, people opt to spend time with their families, flocking to the cinemas, and rising sales tickets to a level where American theaters will never get during that time of the year. However, censorship  has always been a strong factor. The Chinese government needs to approve every single entry, and don’t often allow a Hollywood movie to slip through during the Chinese New Year.

Access to the Chinese market during the New Year

Kung Fu Panda 3 is, in fact, a production that resulted from a partnership between DreamWorks Animation and several Chinese companies. That opened up the gates for a simultaneous release both in the U.S. and China at the beginning of the year. The movie will more easily get past government censors and, due to its Chinese theme, will better appeal to the local audience. That puts forth an important notion that might change the way Hollywood handles early year releases.

If Kung Fu Panda 3 does well, perhaps it will prompt more studios to develop partnerships that will allow their flicks to be shown in the Chinese New Year. That will boost sales, and might even prompt some movies to purposefully release during the ‘barren months’. Of course, there are certain rules that will have to be adhered to.

Lions Gate Entertainment Corp signed a co-production deal a Chinese TV company. According to their attorney, Sky Moore, one of the conditions is that there can never be a Chinese bad guy in the movie.

If all conditions are well accomplished, then perhaps Kung Fu Panda 3 could be the catalyst of future deals between Hollywood and Chinese studios. It could mean better movies at the beginning of the year if studios believe they can enter the Chinese market and turn a profit with bigger productions during the first two months.

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Italian Navy Rescues 320 Migrants from Smuggling Boat Crossing the Mediterranean

alt="Migrants Crossing the Mediterranean in Smuggling Boats"

Tragedy stroke again among the migrants who try to cross the Mediterranean Sea while fleeing from Libya, with 40 deaths confirmed on Saturday. According to the Italian navy commander of the rescue ship, the people travelling on the overcrowded smuggling boat apparently died because of fuel fumes.

This year alone, tens of thousands of migrants have been putting their lives in danger by starting a perilous journey over the Mediterranean. Most of them are in search of asylum in Europe, and smugglers have taken grave advantage of their poor situation.

Whether they were fleeing from poverty, war or persecution, the 320 migrants were thankfully saved by Cmdr. Massimo Tozzi. Even though a formal investigation has yet to take place, first responders reported that “from inhaling exhaust fumes” seems to be the chief cause of death.

Reports from the navy ship Cigala Fulgosi describe a dreadful situation of what was happening on board of the smuggling boat; the bodies of the dead were found in the hold, “lying in water, fuel, human excrement.”

A final death toll of the tragedy is yet to be released, but Tozzi said children and women were among the survivors, who were crying for the tragic death of their husbands and children who didn’t make it in the crossing.

Survivors were eventually brought to an Italian port, after being transferred to a ship working with the Frontex mission, a European initiative that aims to save the lives of migrants crossing the Mediterranean.

Unfortunately, this event is not singular, as desperate people all over the Mediterranean are trying to reach safety by all means, even if it comes in the shape of an inflatable dinghy that can be sunk so easily. A group of Turkish migrants spent a dramatic night this way, trying to stay alive, in an attempt that paints a picture of desperation for the safety of Europe.

According to a report released by the International Organization for Migration, more than 2,300 migrants have perished at sea this year alone during a crossing. Most of them turn to smugglers for help, which often proves to be a matter of misplaced trust.

Rescue organizations might never be able to report all the casualties, as many smuggling boats are believed to have sunk without rescuers knowing. With the number of migrants attempting to reach Europe hitting a record this year, a universal call is being issued to all European countries to come together and lend a hand of hope.
Image Source: Star FM Online

AC/DC Ex-drummer Phil Rudd Arrested Again

ex-drummer Phil Rudd Arrested Again

Phil Rudd, the ex-drummer of legendary rock band AC/DC has been arrested once again by New Zealand Officials. He was picked up from his home in Tauranga (New Zealand) this past Saturday, but details about the context and charges remain sketchy for the time being.

When approached by Fairfax Media and asked to give a statement, Craig Tuck, Rudd’s lawyer, said that all he can is that Phil Rudd has been arrested and is set to appear in the Tauranga District Court, at 10am, on Monday. He went on to stress that this is only thing he can share for now and that anyone calling him will receive the exact same answer.

Police official aren’t much more willing to share any information either. Kim Perks, communications manager for the Bay of Plenty Police, answered reporters that Phil Rudd’s lawyer has indicated to the police before that media attention does nothing to help the case. The police department refused to comment in the circumstances until after the court appearance passes.

The former rock star is no stranger to conflicts with the law as the new arrest comes just roughly a week after Rudd was sentenced to spend eight (8) months in home detention. The sentence was a consequence of him threatening to kill one of his employees, as well as for drugs (methamphetamine and cannabis) that the New Zealand Officials found in his home in 2014. The ex-drummer did not deny these charges.

Rudd was previously sentence in the Tauranga District Court, earlier this month, on July 9, 2015. Judge Thomas Ingram had no sympathy for the ex-drummer and warned him that he would end up in prison if he didn’t respect the terms of his sentence.

Rudd was monitored 24 hours a day, seven (7) days a week during his detention and any further indiscretions could have easily been spotted.

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Fifty Tons of Love Locks Removed from Pont des Arts Bridge, Paris

alt="Locks of Love Removed from Paris"

Paris is well-known for being dubbed the City of Love, and one of the ways it showed that was through the footbridge Pont des Arts. We’ve seen the pictures, or maybe even visited the bridge of love in person, but the “padlocks of love” have been removed from the city’s landmark today.

The decision of removing the locks isn’t a sign of the city recanting its love for love, but a response to a 50-ton weight threatening the bridge’s core structure. For years on end, lovers from all around the world have reinforced the tradition of attaching metal locks to the sides of the bridge in a gesture of sealing their love.

But after a 200-kilo grate broke down under the immense weight last year, the city’s authorities have decided it was better to remove the locks, a decision which cost the city hall thousands of euros in man hours.

According to a spokesperson for the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, tourists should understand that even though the city might be a symbol of love, the bridge of Pont des Arts is both a symbol and a monument, which should be preserved, not damaged.

Last month, the city’s tourism office released a report estimating that nine million foreign tourists set foot in Paris last year, maintaining its position at the top of world’s most-visited cities.

The mayor’s office announced that the Pont des Arts footbridge, which is located between the Louvre museum and the Saint-Germain-des-Pres neighborhood will remain closed for a week.

Instead of the heavy locks, an art installation will be displayed for several weeks, but only temporarily, as the plan is to install glass walls in order to stop people from attaching new locks.

Even though the love-lock trend, which has been going on for more than ten years, has unclear origins, it has become a global phenomenon and a sign of expressing one’s unending love.

You can see the symbolic locks all around the world, starting from the Great Wall of China to the Brooklyn Bridge in New York, and from Stockholm’s bridges to the Millennium Bridge in London.

Even though the trend has its romantic vibe, there is nothing romantic about a crumbling bridge that threatens pedestrians and boats cruising under it on the Seine River.

The city will set surveillance on other sites as well, as locks seem to appear on Pont Neuf by the statue of Henry IV and at a site by the Alma bridge, close to the place where Princess Diana died.
Image Source: The Guardian