Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Scientists Develop New Strain Of H5N1, Avian Influenza, That Could Kill Millions

What is Avian influenza?

Avian influenza is flu infection in birds. The virus that causes the bird infectin can change (mutate) to infect humans. Such mutation could start a deadly worldwide epidemic.

Thanks again for our great scientist who had create another new virus strain instead of curing one,my question to the people out there is HOW LONG ARE WE SAFE? Because it escapes or gets into the hands of bioterrorists, it has the potential to become a pandemic and kill millions around the world.

But this isn't the latest summer blockbuster. According to New Scientist magazine, researchers in the Netherlands studying H5N1 -- commonly referred to as the bird flu or avian influenza -- have created a strain of the virus that's easily passed between mammals, and it's just as lethal as the original virus.
According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the H5N1 virus has infected more than 500 people in more than a dozen countries and is known to kill around 60 percent of those that become infected.
Ron Fouchier, a researcher at the Erasmus Medical Centre in Rotterdam, led the team that successfully created the mutation. Fouchier presented the findings at a conference in Malta in September and, according to NPR, is now seeking publication of his results.

But some in the scientific community are debating whether or not that's a good idea.
"It's just a bad idea for scientists to turn a lethal virus into a lethal and highly contagious virus. And it's a second bad idea for them to publish how they did it so others can copy it," Dr. Thomas Inglesby, the director and CEO of the Center for Biosecurity at the University of Pittsburgh, told NPR.

Nagas of India

Nagas and Naginis, while the same species, look different. Naginis, female Nagas, are usually very beautiful. They are human to their waist and have the body and tail of a cobra from the waist down. Nonetheless, they have lovely faces and beautiful eyes, and they have the ability to transform themselves into beautiful women or cobras. It is common to hear of a mortal man being lured into the Naga domain by a Nagini.
Nagas, the Nagini's male counterpart, are not so attractive. They, too, are human from the waist up and cobra from the waist down, but they have slate-colored skin.1 In addition, they have snake-like eyes, and they are the reason why people have nightmares about snakes.
Regardless of sex, the Nagas and Naginis covet things, especially jewelry. Some are also reported to have multiple heads.


 Nagas and Nagini are said to be a tribe of snake deities in the mythology of India, and they were the descendants of Kadru and Kasyapa. Some live in underwater palaces in Bhagavati, their city, while others live in Nagablea, which was under the Earth.

For the most part, it is hard to say what the Naga's relationship with humans was. In others, they were helpful and benevolant. Therefore, it false to say that Nagas were feared. As a matter of fact, in Indian mythology, there are no tales of the Naga being slain by heros. However, that's not to say that Nagas were peaceful. They had one avowed enemy, the Garuda Bird.
Since Nagas lived underground, they would also travel underground, sometimes coming to the surface for air.With their travels, they created the great underground caverns and tunnels of South-East Asia.
Like the Eastern dragons, the Nagas were also said to have divine pearls.

Naga Kings

 The Nagas had rulers; one of the major ones being Ananta-Shesha,another Naga king, Muchalinda, protected Buddha during a storm by transforming himself into a cobra and wrapping himself around Buddha.2 In Hindu mythology, Karkotaka was the king of the Nagas who could control the weather, especially the rain fall.

In the epic Mahabharata, the Naga king Takshaka was said to aid in revenge. A hermit was insulted by Parikshit, a Raja; the monk's son sought out the Naga king and begged him to avenge the offense made to his father. The Raja was not afraid, however, as his fortress was in the middle of a lake, where he thought the Naga king could not reach him.
Monks attended the fortress, bringing gifts of fruit for the Raja. When the very last fruit was opened, an insect rose from it. It was a strange insect, as it had red eyes. It proceeded to transform into the Naga king, who then strangled the Raja in his coils.
Kings Of Nagas

Sesha, the Endless

History: Ananta is the thousand-headed serpent of Hindu Mythology. It created amrita, the elixir of immortality. Amrita was created by the churning of the Ocean. Vishnu, the god of life, sleeps on this creature's back as it floats through a "sea of milk". Ananta only sleeps, however, during the between the periods of creation... that is to say, when the Lord of Creation sleeps, during the night of Brahma, Brahma is reborn. In addition, Ananta spews fire to destroy of creation as a part of the cylce of creation.
Symbolism: Ananta has a sort of dual nature: it allows the god of life to sleep on its back, but it also destroys creation.


History: Muchalinda is said to be the King of the Nagas in India. He is a gigantic cobra snake being who could transform himself into a human being if necessary. He saw that Buddha, while meditating under a Bo tree, was going to be in trouble, as a thunderstorm was about to start. So, the King of the Nagas transformed himself into a full cobra form. With this, he wrapped himself around the tree and Buddha seven times, thus giving him shelter in his time of need.
Symbolism: Muchalinda is seen as a protector of Buddha and someone who gives shelter.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Dictators Of the Modern World

Benito Andrea Amilcare Mussolini
Country: Italy
Tenure: 1925-1945

Notorious for: During the second Italo-Abyssinian war, Italian troops commited atrocites such as the use of mustard gas, the bombing of Red Cross hospitals and ambulances, the execution of captured prisoners without trial, the Graziani massacre, the killings at Dabra Libanos monastery, and the shooting of 'witch-doctors' accused of prophesying the end of fascist rule.

During the Italian occupation of Yugoslavia in WWII, Italian troops used draconian measures to intimidate the native Slavic population into silence, such as summary executions, hostage-taking, reprisals, internments and the burning of houses and villages.

How he died: Captured at the end of the Second World War. He and his mistress were shot and hanged upside down

Adolf Hilter
Country: Germany
Tenure: 1934 to 1945

Notorious for: Once in the saddle, Hitler moved with great speed to outmanoeuvre his rivals, virtually ousting the conservatives from any real participation in government by July 1933, abolishing the free trade unions, eliminating the communists, Social Democrats and Jews from any role in political life and sweeping opponents into concentration camps.

Hitler ordered the annexation of Austria and the Sudetenland in 1938. Hitler's army invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, sparking France and England to declare war on Germany. A Blitzkrieg (lightning war) of German tanks and infantry swept through most of Western Europe as nation after nation fell to the German war machine.

In 1941, Hitler ignored a non-aggression pact he had signed with the Soviet Union in August 1939. Several early victories after the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, were reversed with crushing defeats at Moscow (December 1941) and Stalingrad (winter, 1942-43). The United States entered the war in December 1941. By 1944, the Allies invaded occupied Europe at Normandy Beach on the French coast, German cities were being destroyed by bombing, and Italy, Germany's major ally under the leadership of Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, had fallen.

By 1945, an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews, were murdered at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

How he died: Committed suicide

Pol Pot

Country: Combodia
Tenure: 1963 – 1998

Notorious for: He acknowledged having massacred the defeated Lon Nol government's leaders and troops, defending his actions by insisting that "this strata of the imperialists had to be totally destroyed."

Ethnic Vietnamese, ethnic Thai, ethnic Chinese (except for those already prominent among the Khmer Rouge themselves), ethnic Chams (Muslim Cambodians), Cambodian Christians, and the Buddhist monkhood were the demographic targets of persecution. As a result, Pol Pot was sometimes described as 'the Hitler of Cambodia'.

Following their leader Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge imposed an extreme form of social engineering on Cambodian society -- a radical form of agrarian communism where the whole population had to work in collective farms or forced labour projects. In terms of the number of people killed as a proportion of the population (estimated 7.1 million people, as of 1975), it was the most lethal regime of the 20th century.

How he died: Reportedly cardiac arrest

Muammar Gaddafi
Country: Libya
Tenure: 1969-2011

Notorious for: The Libyan leader's name has always featured in most of the 'terrorist attacks' that have affected the West. The 1986 Berlin Discotheque bombing, the 1988 bombing of the Pan-Am Jet over the Scottish town of Lockerbie, the 1984 killing of a British Police woman in London, the Rome and Vienna airport attacks of 1985, etc.

He imposed laws based on the political ideology he had formulated, called the Third International Theory and published in The Green Book (it rejected modern liberal democracy, free press, and capitalism)

Gaddafi supplied weapons to the Provisional Irish Republican Army, a listed terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom and other countries

According to the International Criminal Court, at the start of the revolution in Libya, he orrdered his security forces to open fire at unarmed peaceful protesters, use rape as well as 'systemic arrests, torture, killings, deportations, enforced disappearances and destruction of mosques' as a weapon.

How he died: Shot dead by revolutionaries

Saddam Hussein
Country: Iraq
Tenure: 1979-2006

Notorious for: During an uprising in 1993, America supported the opponents of Saddam, but then deliberately left them to be killed by Saddam; 250,000 people were killed. The absence of Saddam would have meant that there would be no excuse for America to remain in the Gulf

He is believed to have used chemical weapons against Iran and against his own people while he was getting support from America.

How he was died: Overthrown, tried and executed

Laurent Kabila
Country: Congo DR
Tenure: 1997-2001

Notorious for: He took control of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1997 after a bloody war in which his supporters and Rwandan and Ugandan allies killed tens of thousands of civilians. In a second civil war, Kabila's forces, like those of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Congolese rebels allied with them, engaged in indiscriminate attacks on civilians, extrajudicial executions, rape, and destruction of property, with the result of massive displacement of population.

During his nearly four years in power, Kabila regularly and ruthlessly violated the human rights of the Congolese people, killing, torturing, imprisoning, and causing the "disappearance" of any who he thought threatened him or his regime.

In 1997 the UN Secretary-General sent a team to investigate war crimes committed by all parties during the first Congo war. Kabila blocked their work, but the investigators returned with enough information to conclude that combatants in the first Congo war had committed crimes against humanity and perhaps genocide.

How he died: Shot by one of his bodyguards, Rashidi Kasereka. Died in a hospital in Zimbabwe

Idi Amin
Country: Uganda
Tenure: 1971-1979

Notorious for: Amin's rule was characterised by gross human rights abuse, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings, nepotism, corruption, and gross economic mismanagement. The number of people killed as a result of his regime is estimated by international observers and human rights groups to range from 100,000 to 500,000.

Despite international outcry, in November 1995 the Nigerian government hanged writer and dissident Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others. Saro-Wiwa, a member of the Ogoni ethnic group of southern Nigeria whose Niger River delta land has long been exploited for its oil deposits, had brought the plight of the Ogonis to the attention of the international media.

How he died: Died at King Faisal Specialist Hospital in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from kidney failure

Country: Pakistan
Tenure: 1977-1988

Notorious for: His reign is often regarded as a period of mass military repression in which hundreds of thousands of political rivals, minorities, and journalist were executed or tortured, including Pakistan Army's senior general officers convicted in coup d'etat plots against his regime.

General Zia authorised secret funding and expansion of intelligence operations in Pakistan and abroad, initially focusing on anti-communist operations. He was described by some as a "fundamentalist Sunni dictator"

Zia handpicked a dummy Prime Minister to show the world that he is restoring democracy. Muhammad Khan Junejo who could not breath without the General's permission was sacked in 1988.

He imposed his policies in the name of Islamisation to get support from religious schools. This Islamisation was directly imported from Washington and was based on violence for serving American interest in the name of Islam and Jihad in Afghanistan.

How he died: Plane crash

Slobodan Milosevic

Country: Serbia and Yugoslavia
Tenure: 1989-1997

Notorious for: In 1992, with Milosevic's backing and the aid of Yugoslav Army troops, Bosnian-Serb militias led by Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic forcibly seized territory, taking control of two-thirds of Bosnia-Herzegovina. The conflict soon spills into Croatia.

As the war escalates the Bosnian-Serb militias attempt to expel Bosnia's Muslim and Croat population from the Serb-held territories in an orchestrated program of "ethnic cleansing."

Muslims and Croats are either forced into exile as refugees, held as hostages for use in prisoner exchanges, or placed in concentration camps. Many are summarily executed. An estimated 20,000 Muslim women and girls are thrown into rape camps.

In 1995, Bosnian-Serb militias aided by Yugoslav Army troops take the UN "safe area" of Srebrenica in July. Over 40,000 Bosnian-Muslims who had sought safety there are expelled. Between 5,000 and 8,000 are executed, allegedly on the order of Ratko Mladic. The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina cost up to 200,000 lives. As many as three million were driven from their homes and tens of thousands were missing.

How he died: Found dead in his cell on March 11, 2006, in the UN war crimes tribunal's detention centre, located in the Scheveningen section of The Hague, Netherlands

Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov

Country: Turkmenistan
Tenure: 1990-2006

Notorious for: President Niyazov became a substitute for the vacuum left by the downfall of the communist system, with his image replacing those of Marx and Lenin. He renamed the town of Krasnovodsk "Turkmenbashi" after himself, and renamed schools, airports and even a meteorite after himself and members of his family. His many, sometimes erratic decrees, and the doting actions of the official Turkmen media gave rise to the clear appearance of a "cult of personality."

Niyazov tolerated no dissent, and there is no political opposition and free media. Many opponents fled abroad to highlight the abuses.

How he died: Cardiac arrest

Monday, November 21, 2011

Clownfish (Amphiprion) is a genus of the Pomacentridae family. They inhabit coral reefs. The genus consists of 29 species, widespread in the Pacific and Indian Ocean:
This four-inch-long (10-centimeter-long) fish shares an amazing partnership with another sea creature: the anemone . The partnership benefits both participants, and the close relationship led to the fish being named an anemonefish.
The female anemonefish passes over the nest site several times. Each time she swims over it she releases eggs—in the end they number from 100 to more than 1,000. The male follows her closely and fertilizes the eggs. It can take more than two hours for this whole process to be completed.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Father Of Guns: The Schwerer Gustav

Schwerer Gustav (English: Heavy Gustaf, or Great Gustaf) and Dora were the names of two massive World War II German 80 cm K (E) railway siege guns. They were developed in the late 1930s by Krupp for the express purpose of destroying heavy fortifications, specifically those in the French Maginot Line. They weighed nearly 1,350 tonnes, and could fire shells weighing seven tonnes to a range of 65 kilometres (40 mi). Designed in preparation for World War II, and intended for use against the deep forts of the Maginot Line, they were not ready for action when the Wehrmacht outflanked the line during the Battle of France. Gustav was used in the Soviet Union at the siege of Sevastopol during Operation Barbarossa. They were moved to Leningrad, and may have been intended for Warsaw. Gustav was captured by US troops and cut up, whilst Dora was destroyed near the end of the war to avoid capture by the Red Army.

It was the largest calibre rifled weapon in the history of artillery to see actual combat, and fired the heaviest shells of any artillery piece.It is only surpassed in calibre by the French Monster Mortar (36 French inches; 975mm), the British Mallet's Mortar (36 inch; 914 mm) and the American Little David mortar (36 inch; 910 mm).

In February 1942, Heavy Artillery Unit (E) 672 reorganized and went on the march, and Schwerer Gustav began its long ride to the Crimea. The train carrying the gun was of 25 cars, a total length of 1.5 kilometres. The gun reached the Perekop Isthmus in early March 1942, where it was held until early April. A special railway spur line was built to the Simferopol-Sevastopol railway 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) north of the target, at the end of which four semi-circular tracks were built specially for the Gustav to traverse. Outer tracks were required for the cranes which would have assembled Gustav.

The siege of Sevastopol was to be the gun's first combat test. Installation began in early May, and by 5 June the gun was ready to fire. The following targets were engaged:
5 June
Coastal guns at a range of 25,000 m. Eight shells fired.
Fort Stalin. Six shells fired.
6 June
Fort Molotov. Seven shells fired.
"White Cliff" aka "Ammunition Mountion": an undersea ammunition magazine in Severnaya ("Northern") Bay. The magazine was sited 30 metres under the sea with at least 10 metres of concrete protection. After nine shells were fired, the magazine was ruined and one of the boats in the bay sunk.[4]
7 June
Firing in support of an infantry attack on Sudwestspitze, an outlying fortification. Seven shells fired.
11 June
Fort Siberia. Five shells fired.
17 June
Fort Maxim Gorki and its coastal battery. Five shells fired.

By the end of the siege on 4 July the city of Sevastopol lay in ruins, and 30,000 tons of artillery ammunition had been fired. Gustav had fired 48 rounds and worn out its original barrel, which had already fired around 250 rounds during testing and development. The gun was fitted with the spare barrel and the original was sent back to Krupp's factory in Essen for relining.

The gun was then dismantled and moved to the northern part of the eastern front, where an attack was planned on Leningrad. The gun was placed some 30 km from the city near the railway station of Taizy. The gun was fully operational when the attack was cancelled. The gun then spent the winter of 1942/43 near Leningrad.

Then it was moved back to Germany for refurbishment. Despite some claims, it was never used in Warsaw during the 1944 uprising,[citation needed] though one of its shells is on display at the Polish Army Museum there.

The gun then appears to have been destroyed to prevent its capture sometime before 22 April 1945, when its ruins were discovered in a forest 15 kilometers (9.3 mi) north of Auerbach about 50 kilometres (31 mi) southwest of Chemnitz.

High Explosive
Weight of projectile: 4.8 t (4,800 kg)
Muzzle velocity: 820 m/s
Maximum range: 48 km
Explosive mass: 700 kg
Crater size: 30 ft (10 m) wide 30 ft (10 m) deep.

AP Shell

The main body was made of chrom-nickel steel, fitted with an aluminium alloy ballistic nose cone.
Length of shell: 3.6 m
Weight of projectile: 7.1 t (7,100 kg)
Muzzle velocity: 720 m/s
Maximum range: 38 km
Explosive mass: 250 kg
Penetration: In testing it was demonstrated to penetrate 7 metres of concrete at maximum elevation (beyond that available during combat) with a special charge.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Amazing Transparent Church by Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

Reading between the Lines is a project by the duo Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, a collaboration between young Belgian architects Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh.

The church is 10 meters high and is made of 100 layers and 2000 columns of steel. Depending on the perspective of the viewer, the church is either perceived as a massive building or seems to dissolve – partly or entirely – in the landscape. On the other hand, looking at the landscape from within the church, the surrounding countryside is redefined by abstract lines.

The design of the church is based on the architecture of the multitude of churches in the region, but through the use of horizontal plates, the concept of the traditional church is transformed into a transparent object of art.