Thursday, 21 June 2012

Panasonic’s first Android-based ‘toughpad’ unveiled in Asia

A promoter displays the 'tough pad' during the CommunicAsia telecom expo and conference - AFP
A promoter displays the ‘tough pad’ during the CommunicAsia telecom expo and conference – AFP
SINGAPORE: Panasonic’s first Android-based computer tablet designed for tough
environments such as battlefields was unveiled Tuesday at a major
regional telecom fair in Singapore
It was the first time the “Panasonic Toughpad A1” was showcased in Asia, where company officials said there is a huge demand for such a rugged device.

It has already previewed in the United States and production will start later this year, company executives said.

Satoshi Mizobata, a director at Panasonic’s Toughbook Asia Pacific Group, said the device is the firm’s first rugged tablet computer using the Android operating system.

Previous Panasonic “toughpads” use Windows.

“It’s military-type,” Mizobata told AFP at the Panasonic booth at the CommunicAsia telecom trade expo that opened Tuesday. “It is water-proof, dust-proof and shock-proof.”

The device weighs 0.97 kilogrammes and its 10.1-inch LCD display allows the user to read even under the sun while it is tough enough to withstand being dropped from a height of four feet (1.21 metres). It also has a nine-hour battery life.

Amos Tio, Southeast Asia general manager for Toughbook Asia Pacific Group, said the gadget will launch in the region in September and in the United States in August.

Source: Dawn News

Traffic noise ups risk of stroke

Traffic noise increases the risk of a stroke, a study finds.
Traffic noise increases the risk of a stroke, a study finds.
Working on the links between traffic noise and health, a new study has found that people exposed to louder traffic sounds run a greater risk of suffering a heart attack.

By analyzing more than 50,000 participants aged between 50 to 64, Danish researchers discovered that the risk of a heart attack goes up by 12 percent for every 10-decibel increase of noise from traffic.

To produce accurate results, the study was conducted in Copenhagen and Aarhus, two of the largest cities in Denmark, and kept track of many aspects of the participants’ health for almost a decade.

Commenting on the outputs of the research, Dr. Mette Sorensen, the study’s lead author said, “We think traffic noise during the night is especially dangerous, because it disturbs sleep.”

She added that most people do not realize that they are exposed to noise pollution, but when the quality of their sleep is looked into in a lab it becomes clear that their “sleep stages have been disturbed.”

Sorensen also noted that, according to the findings of the study, almost 4 percent of all heart attacks in Denmark are related to traffic noise.

Published in the journal PLoS ONE, the research recommends that people choose a room with low exposure to traffic noise to sleep in.



Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Microsoft Unveils Touchscreen Tablet

Software giant Microsoft has joined its rival Apple in the world of touchscreen tablets with the launch of the Surface.
The Surface looks similar to the iPad - launched in 2010 - but has a more cinematic screen ratio.
The device also features an optional slimline tactile keyboard built into the tablet's case, as opposed to a standard touch keyboard.

There are two versions of the Microsoft Surface - one powered by an Intel Ivy Bridge chipset for a "full windows experience" and a thinner, lighter but less powerful Windows RT version.

The Windows RT tablet is 9.3mm thin, weighs 680g and has a 10.6inch (27cm) display and built-in stand, while the more powerful version has the same display, is 13.5mm thick, weighs 860g and supports the high-speed USB 3 interface.

Both have front and rear-facing cameras.
The more powerful version of the Surface will run the latest Windows 8 Pro operating system.

Both have what Microsoft described as a unique vapor-deposited (PVD) magnesium case, with the Windows RT version coming with 32 or 64GB of memory, and the Intel version coming with 64 or 128GB.

The more powerful Intel version also features "digital ink" handwriting support through a pen that magnetises to the case.

Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows division, called the device a "tablet that's a great PC - a PC that's a great tablet".

No details on pricing were mentioned, except that it would be "comparable" with current ARM tablets and Intel-powered Ultrabooks.

"Microsoft founders Bill Gates and Paul Allen made a big bet - a bet on software - but it was always clear that we had to push hardware in ways that sometimes manufacturers hadn't envisioned," Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said at Monday's launch event.

"We believe that any intersection between human and machine can be made better when all aspects, hardware and software, are working together."

Launching its own tablet potentially throws Microsoft - which has much more experience as a software than a hardware company - into direct competition with its closest hardware partners such as Samsung and Hewlett-Packard.

It is hardly surprising Microsoft wants a piece of the tablet market - sales of the devices are expected to triple in the next two years, topping 180 million a year in 2013, easily outpacing growth in the flatlining traditional PC market.

Apple has sold 67 million iPads since the device's launch.

Apple, which makes both hardware and software for greater control over the performance of the final product, has revolutionised mobile markets with the launch of the iPhone and then the iPad.
Largely thanks to the iPod, iPhone and iPad, Apple's stock became more valuable than Microsoft in 2010. It is now worth twice as much as its old enemy.

Of the biggest tech companies, just Google has yet to throw its hat into the tablet ring.
But the search engine monolith splashed out on phone maker Motorola Mobility earlier this year for $12.5bn, so it may be only a matter of time until it announces a tablet of its own.

Source: SKY News

BP message to Scouting

Friday, 15 June 2012

Australia to create marine haven

Corals are seen at the Great Barrier Reef in this January 2002 file handout photo. – Reuters
Corals are seen at the Great Barrier Reef in this January 2002 file handout photo. – Reuters
The Australian environment minister unveils plans for the world's largest network
of protective marine parks.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Five-year-old limbos her way to skating record

A flexible five-year-old from Maharastra in Indian has whizzed her way into the record books after setting a new benchmark for the farthest distance limbo skating under cars.

Kindergarten student Shreeya Rakesh Deshpande skated under 27 cars, covering a whopping distance of 48.2 metres (158ft 2in) during a successful world record attempt last week in Kolhapur.

GWR representative Nikhil Shukla was on hand to confirm that a new record had been set and presented Shreeya with her well-earned certificate as local press and her proud parents looked on.
An event celebrating Shreeya's achievement was organised later the same day in her hometown, with well-wishers once again treated to a demonstration of her amazing talent for limbo skating.

Shreeya's feat beats the previous record of 38.68 metres (126 ft 11 in) set by Rohan Ajit Kokane in February in Mumbai last year during filming for the TV show Guinness World Records - Ab India Todega.
Watch footage of Shreeya's moment of glory below.

Quitting smoking helps even older patients live longer

Quitting smoking will reduce the risk of mortality even in older patients, a new study found.
Quitting smoking will reduce the risk of mortality even in older patients, a new study found.
A recent report has revealed that quitting smoking would help older patients live longer as the researchers linked smoking to increased all-caused mortality in senior patients.

The report, obtained from an analysis of medical literature, said that smoking cessation will reduce mortality even in older patients.

The study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine on Monday, said in its background that smoking is considered as a risk factor for chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and cancer. But that the epidemiological data regularly depends on research carried out among middle-aged people.

Meanwhile, the recent study provided a thorough analysis and review of studies assessing the influence of smoking on mortality in older patients of 60 years and older, Carolin Gellert from the German Cancer Research Center said in the study.

She also said that the study paid particular attention to “the strength of the association by age, the impact of smoking cessation at older age, and factors that might specifically affect results of epidemiological studies on the impact of smoking in an older population.”

The German researchers analyzed 17 studies from seven countries-- including China, England, the US, Australia, Japan, Spain and France-- which were released between 1987 and 2011. The studies took from 3 to 50 years to be completed and the number of their participants ranged from 863 to 877,243 people.

While summarizing the outcomes from the 17 studies, the German team noted an 83-percent increased relative mortality for current smokers and a 34 percent increased relative mortality for ex-smokers than those who have never smoked.

"In this review and meta-analysis on the association of smoking and all-caused mortality at older age, current and former smokers showed an approximately 2-fold and 1.3-fold risk for mortality, respectively," the study read.

"This review and meta-analysis demonstrates that the relative risk for death notably decreases with time since smoking cessation even at older age."


Iranian student helps advance quantum computers

Kamyar Saeedi (L) pictured with SFU physicist Mike Thewalt showing a sample of highly enriched silicon
Kamyar Saeedi (L) pictured with SFU physicist Mike Thewalt showing a sample of highly enriched silicon
Iranian grad student Kamyar Saeedi, together with Professor Mike Thewalt of Simon Fraser University (SFU), Canada, have taken a fresh step in advancing quantum computers through the distinctive properties of highly enriched and purified silicon.

Quantum computers are mainly considered as futuristic machines as they currently exist in physicists’ concepts and theoretical studies. The computers will be able to function much faster than today’s fastest super computers.

Quantum computers could connect the powers of atoms and sub-atomic particles (ions, photons, electrons) to carry out processing tasks, due to their extraordinary sub-atomic properties.

Saeedi, the Iranian PhD candidate at the SFU in Canada, has been on the quantum computers’ designing team led by physicist Thewalt. The team has found that their unique silicon allows processes to occur and be monitored in a solid state that researchers formerly thought needed a near-perfect vacuum.

Thewalt regarded the achievement a record in solid-state systems, which appeared to be impossible a few years ago.

“It opens new ways of using solid-state semi-conductors such as silicon as a base for quantum computing,” Thewalt said.

“You can start to do things that people thought you could only do in a vacuum. What we have found, and what wasn’t anticipated, are the sharp spectral lines (optical qualities) in the 28Silicon we have been testing. It’s so pure, and so perfect. There’s no other material like it,” he added.


Monday, 11 June 2012

Scientists capture ant images in 3D

The team takes several highly magnified images of the different aspects of the species and then combines the pictures into one final image.
The team takes several highly magnified images of the different aspects of the species and then combines the pictures into one final image.

Scientists at the California Academy of Sciences have developed a project to capture three-dimensional (3D) images of every known ant species in the world.

The team has been taking photographs of the ant species in museums around the world by using a technique that allows them to capture images revealing microscopic anatomical detail of the insects' bodies.

"Our goal is to image 10,000 a year," the lead researcher Brian Fisher told the state-funded BBC.

There are about a total number of 30,000 ant species in the world, 15,000 of which have been formally described in science. Fisher and his team have captured images of 8,000 species so far.

Scientists take several highly magnified images of the different aspects of the species and then combine the pictures into one final image.

Fisher added that, "You can zoom in and see fine hairs, the eyes, all of this detail.”

"So this is actually the first time, as a scientist, I get to see this ant in 3D. It's very useful for scientists," he noted.

Scientists aim to provide a tool for scientists as well as anyone else by putting all the images in an online catalogue called Antweb.

The team is hopeful that their efforts would bring the ant world out of museums and reveal diversity of ants to the public.

"Many people don't know the amazing creatures that live in their back yards," Fisher explained.

He concluded that, "This project will mean that anybody, anywhere at any time will have access to these specimens that we hide in museums."


Sunday, 10 June 2012

FAST University Admission Open

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IQRA University Admission Open

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Admissions to IQRA programmes are announced before the beginning of each semester i.e.
Spring January to May
Summer June to August
Fall August to December
Announcement of Admissions campaign is declared in the leading news papers nation-wide two months before the commencement of classes.

Admissions at IQRA University are based 100% on merit. Students applying for different disciplines must clear the admission test and the interview. Admission test is split into four sections:
Quantative Analysis, English Language, General Knowledge, IQ, Drawing Test (Only for Media Science Students)
TOEFL IBT with 90 or TOEFL CBT with 570 or IELTS with Band 6 and SAT-1 with 1200, Drawing Test (Only for Media Science Students)

Qualifications required for Bachelor’s Programme:

  • Applicants should have minimum 2nd division in Higher Secondary School Certificate or equivalent from a recognized Institute/Board.
  • Applicants having “A” levels or other foreign qualifications must provide an equivalence certificate issued by Intermediate Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC).
  • For admission in B.E. an applicant must have:
    • At least 60% marks in Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSC) Pre-Engineering Examination. An applicant having a combination of Physics, Mathematics and Computer Sciences is also eligible.
    • Or, GCE (A levels) in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. Applicants having A levels or other foreign qualifications must provide an equivalence certificate with at least 50% marks, issued by Intermediate Board Committee of Chairmen (IBCC).
    • Or, At least 60% marks in Diploma of Associate Engineering Examination, for admission against reserved seats in the same discipline of Engineering in which he or she has passed the Diploma Examination.
    • Or, first division in B.Sc. (pass) Examination from an HEC recognized institution with Mathematics, Physics, and one optionalcourse selected from Chemistry or Statistics.
(The minimum threshold is subject to revision as per Government Policy).
  • The number of credit hours needed to be completed for the award of a degree will be according to the policies of the Higher Education Commission.
Fee Structure
Description BBA, Media BS CS/TEL BE MBA, MS CS/TEL M.Phil Certificate Course
Tuition Fee Per Course 8,500/- - - 8,450/- 8,450/- 10,000/-
Tuition Fee Per Credit Hour - 2,400/- 1,918/- - - -
Student Council Fee Per Sem. 500/- 500/- 500/- 500/- 500/- 500/-
Sports Fee Per Sem. 250/- 250/- 250/- 250/- 250/- 250/-
Registration Fee Per Sem. - - - - - -
Security Deposit Per Sem. (Refundable) 1000/- 1000/- 1000/- 1000/- 1000/- 1000/-
ID Card Fee 100/- 100/- 100/- 100/- 100/- 100/-

Step 1: Request Admission Application Form (click here)
Step 2: Fill the Form and submit it to IU Admission Department with the following:
  • Six passport size photographs.
  • 2 Attested photocopies of Matriculation Marks sheet/ O’ levels Marks sheet.
  • 2 Attested photocopies of Matriculation Board certificate.
  • 2 Attested photocopies of Intermediate Mark sheet Certificate/ A’ levels Mark sheet.
  • 2 Attested photocopies of Intermediate Board Certificate.
  • 2 Attested photocopies of Equivalence certificate issued by IBCC (in case of foreign qualifications).
  • Pay order of Rs. 1000/- only in the name of Iqra University
  • Undertaking in case of result awaiting student (format of undertaking is available)
Application form without above documents will not be entertained.
Download Sample Paper here (Sample Test Paper )

Saturday, 9 June 2012

City children more prone to food allergies: Study

The findings indicate that children in big cities are more than twice as likely to have allergies compared to rural communities.
The findings indicate that children in big cities are more than twice as likely to have allergies compared to rural communities
A recent study has suggested that children who live in urban centers are more likely to have food allergies than those living in rural areas.

"We have found for the first time that higher population density corresponds with a greater likelihood of food allergies in children," said lead author Ruchi Gupta.

Researchers studied more than 38,000 children aged 18 and younger. The results showed that 9.8 percent of children in urban centers have food allergies compared to 6.2 percent in rural areas.

The findings indicate that children in big cities are more than twice as likely to have allergies compared to rural communities.

"This shows that environment has an impact on developing food allergies. Similar trends have been seen for related conditions like asthma. The big question is -- what in the environment is triggering them? A better understanding of environmental factors will help us with prevention efforts," Gupta added.

According to researchers, about 2.8 percent of children in urban centers have peanut allergy compared to 1.3 percent in rural areas. The study also showed that shellfish allergies are more common in city centers than in rural areas.

Food allergy is one of the growing health problems as a severe allergic reaction could cause death by leading to a drop in blood pressure, trouble in breathing and swelling of the throat.

Scientists have warned that food allergies are serious and severe regardless of where a child lives.

The new findings will be published in the July issue of the journal Clinical Pediatrics.


Friday, 8 June 2012

Shakespeare’s Curtain Theater remains found in London

Archaeologists say the newly-found Elizabethan theater remains belong to the place where some of William Shakespeare's plays were first performed.

A team from the Museum of London Archaeology (Mola) stumbled upon remains of the Curtain Theater in Shoreditch, east of the Briish capital of London.

"This is a fantastic site which gives us unique insight into early Shakespearean theatres," the state-funded BBC quoted lead archaeologist Chris Thomas as saying.

Opened in 1577, the venue was immortalized by Shakespeare as "this wooden O" in the prologue to his Henry V.

The new discovery includes parts of the playhouse's yard and gallery walls.

"This is one of the most significant Shakespearean discoveries of recent years," said a spokesman for Plough Yard Developments, which owns the site.

"Although The Curtain was known to have been in the area, its exact location was a mystery.

"The quality of the remains found is remarkable and we are looking forward to working with Mola, [the] local community and Shakespearean experts to develop plans that will give the public access to the theatre remains as part of a new development."

The Curtain was run by James Burbage and was home to Shakespeare's Company, the Lord Chamberlain's Men, from 1597 until The Globe opened two years later.

Experts believe many famous plays premiered in the Curtain such as Henry V, Romeo and Juliet and Ben Jonson's Every Man in His Humor.

"I look forward to touching the mud and stone, if not wood, and feeling the presence of that space where Shakespeare's early work, including the histories, made such a lasting impact," said Royal Shakespeare Company’s artistic director Michael Boyd.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Robot Competition in Sir Syed University

Robot Competition in Sir Syed University Karachi. Many of the Students Participate and show their experience and inventions. They compete with the high spirit.

Good Luck to them, and I suggest them to make more.


The Great Wall of China longer than thought: Survey

The Chinese State Administration of Cultural Heritage has officially announced that the country’s Great Wall is longer than previously thought.

According to Xinhua news agency, latest state survey results show that the wall is 21,196.18 km long. A preliminary study released in 2009 estimated the wall to be 8,850 km long.

The State Administration of Cultural Heritage released the definitive figure based on an archaeological survey done since 2007.

This is the first time that an exact figure has been announced as the length of the wall. Previous estimates were mainly based on historical records.

The Great Wall of China, which was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987, was built to keep out Mongols and invaders and protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire.

The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, originally built to protect the borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by nomadic groups.

Several walls have been built since the 5th century BCE, which were rebuilt and maintained through the 16th century. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220-206 BCE by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang.

The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east, to Lop Nur in the west, and archaeological studies. It was listed as a UNESCO world heritage site in 1987.



Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Quaid-e-Azam's Everlasting Message on Scouting

Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah is known as a founder of Pakistan and first Governor General of Pakistan. He died on 11th September 1948 and buried in Karachi, Pakistan.

"Scouting can play a very vital role in forming the character of our youth, Promoting their physical, mental and spiritual development and making them well disciplined, useful and good citizen. 

We are living in a far from perfect world .Despite the progress of civilisation, the law of the jungle, unfortunately, still prevails. Might is considered right and the strong do not refrain from exploiting the weak. Self advancement, greed and lust for power sway the conduct of the individuals, as that of nations.
If we are to build a safer, cleaner and happier world, let us start with the individual, catch him young and inculate in him the Scout motto of servide before self and purity in throught, word and deed. if our young people learn to be friend of all, to help other people at all times and subordinate personal intersts to the welfare of others, eschew violence of thought, word and action. I am sanguine that the attainment of universal brotherhood will be possible and within our reach. I wish you god speed."

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Pilot sets off on first solar-powered intercontinental trip

Crew members of an experimental solar-powered airplane check the jumbo jet-size Solar Impulse plane before taking off at Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The zero fuel airplane arrived in Madrid on May 25, 2012 from Payerne, Switzerland, and now goes on to Rabat, Morocco on its first transcontinental trip. The mission is described as the final dress rehearsal for a round-the-world flight with a new and improved aircraft in 2014. (AP Photo/Alberto Di Lolli)
Crew members of an experimental solar-powered airplane check the jumbo jet-size Solar Impulse plane before taking off at Barajas airport in Madrid, Spain, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The zero fuel airplane arrived in Madrid on May 25, 2012 from Payerne, Switzerland, and now goes on to Rabat, Morocco on its first transcontinental trip. The mission is described as the final dress rehearsal for a round-the-world flight with a new and improved aircraft in 2014.    — Photo by AP
MADRID: A Swiss adventurer took off Tuesday into the night skies above Madrid and headed for Rabat on the world’s first intercontinental flight in a solar-powered plane.
Bertrand Piccard, 54-year-old psychiatrist and balloonist, piloted the Solar Impulse plane, a giant as big as an Airbus A340 but as light as an average family car, on the daring voyage from Europe to Africa.
He guided the experimental plane almost silently aloft from Madrid-Barajas airport at 5:22 am.
As sun rose, an onboard camera relayed pictures of the sun-bathed valleys south of the Spanish capital stretched out below the aircraft, which has 12,000 solar cells in the wings turning four electrical motors.
“For one hour I had the full moon on my right and I had the sunrise on my left and that was absolutely gorgeous. I had all the colours of the rainbow in the sky and also on the ground,” Piccard told AFP in an interview from the cockpit.

“The question is not to use solar power for normal airplanes,” he added.

“The question is more to demonstrate that we can achieve incredible goals, almost impossible goals with new technologies, without fuel, just with solar energy, and raise awareness that if we can do it in the air of course everybody can do it on the ground.”

Piccard gradually piloted the plane towards 3,600 metres as he headed to Seville in southern Spain at about 40 kph.
 He was then to cross the Strait of Gibraltar at 8,500 metres, enter Moroccan airspace over Tangiers and land at Rabat-Sale airport some time after 11 pm.

All that, without using a drop of fuel.
Each of the motors on the carbon-fibre plane charges 400-kilogram lithium polymer batteries during the day, allowing the aircraft to carry on flying after dark.

“I think the challenge is really the first intercontinental flight on solar power,” Piccard said.
“We will leave Europe to enter into Africa crossing the Strait of Gibraltar and also bringing a message of inspiration for the Moroccan agency for solar agency which is preparing a huge and very ambitions solar energy programme for Morocco.”

Organisers said the trip, 2,500 kilometres overall, is timed to coincide with the launch of construction on the largest ever solar thermal plant in Morocco’s southern Ouarzazate region.

Piccard, who made the world’s first non-stop round-the-world balloon flight in 1999 together with Briton Brian Jones, took over the controls from project co-founder Andre Borschberg, a 59-year-old Swiss executive and pilot.

Borschberg flew a first leg from Payerne in Switzerland, landing in Madrid on May 25.
The voyage also is intended as a rehearsal for the plane’s round-the-world flight planned for 2014.
The aircraft made history in July 2010 as the first manned plane to fly around the clock on the sun’s energy.

It holds the record for the longest flight by a manned solar-powered aeroplane after staying aloft for 26 hours, 10 minutes and 19 seconds above Switzerland, also setting a record for altitude by flying at 9,235 metres.

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Bronze Age fridge found in Scotland

Archeological excavations at a housing development site at Dunstaffnage have yielded new evidence showing that British homes had cold storage larders 4,000 years ago.

Cold storage larders, found at the Bronze Age site, are said to be some of the country’s earliest - precursors to the fridge.

The larders were found during an investigation process of six roundhouses - an early form of refrigeration used to keep milk and meat from going off.

“This is a new design, not recognized or seen before in Scotland,” said head of the archeology team Dr. Clare Ellis.

“The general consensus was that ring ditches occur outside the roof supports of roundhouses, but still within the roundhouse structure, and were erosional features where animals were kept.”

Ellis said the roundhouses are the first north of the Border to have ring ditches inside, adding that “these are inside the roof support area and the theory is that they are low cellars that would have had wooden floors over them.”

According to Ellis, the discovered structures are the precursor to banana-shaped cellars of the Iron Age and were used to keep cheeses, milk, dried meat, salted fish and grain.

The team also found air vents coming out of the ring ditches and the hearths.

“These channels coming out are wood-lined vents to let air through and to allow the washing out of some of the ring ditches occasionally,” Ellis explained. “This is a new design that’s not really been recognized or seen in Scotland before.”

Ancient burial pits and pottery were also among the finds along with a pock-marked hammerstone, dating back to about 4,000 years ago, which would have been used for mashing up vegetable matter.

“They were probably just ordinary people living here, but I think, in relative terms, it could have been quite a populated landscape,” said Dr. Ellis.

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Anticipating the Venus transit

This June 8, 2004 file photo shows the transit of Venus, which occurs when the planet Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun, is pictured in Hong Kong. Venus will cross the face of the sun on Tuesday June 5, 2012, a sight that will be visible from parts of Earth. This is the last transit for more than 100 years. – AP Photo
PARIS: Following is a fact-file on Venus, which will align with Earth and the Sun from the evening of next Tuesday, a “transit” that will next occur 105 years from now.

Name: Dubbed after the Romans’ Goddess of Love. Also known as the Evening Star or Morning Star, thanks to the bright light it reflects from the Sun early and late in the day. Virtually all the features on Venus are named after women of legend.

Orbit: Second planet from the Sun. No moon. Orbits at a mean distance from the Sun of 108.2 million kilometers (67.2 million miles). The Venusian “year”is 224 Earth days, while its rotational period (the time it takes to complete one revolution on its axis) is 243 days.
In other words, its year is longer than its day.

Diameter: 12,100 kms (7,520 miles).

Gravity: Nine-tenths that of Earth. Atmospheric pressure is 90 times that of Earth’s at the surface.

Topography: No oceans, no sign of water and a surface that is apparently more arid than the driest desert on Earth. Landscape comprises 70 percent rolling uplands, 10 percent highlands and 20 percent lowland plains. Few signs of asteroid impacts, mainly because space rocks burn up in the dense atmosphere before they can reach the surface.

Climate: Mean surface temperature of 457 C (855 F) — hot enough to melt lead and even hotter than Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun. Atmosphere is 96 percent carbon dioxide. Venus is blanketed by thick yellowish clouds comprising sulphur and sulphuric acid droplets, driven by hurricane-force winds.

Enigmas: Venus rotates in the opposite direction to other planets: there, Sun rises in the West and sets in the East. One theory is that in its infancy it revolved in the same direction as Earth, but was hit by a huge piece of space debris, which caused it to spin the other way. Another puzzle is why Venus is so hot. It may have been caused by a runaway greenhouse effect, something that is relevant to climate change on Earth.

Venus Transit: One of the rarest predictable viewing phenomena, in which Venus slides between Earth and the Sun, appearing through the lens as a black dot traversing the solar face.

In this June 8, 2004 file photo, amateur astronomer Jody McGowen looks through a telescope to watch the transit of Venus from Sydney’s Observatory Hill. Venus will again cross the face of the sun on Tuesday June 5, 2012, a sight that will be visible from parts of Earth. This is the last transit for more than 100 years. – AP Photo

Only six transits have ever been observed (in 1639, 1761, 1769, 1874, 1882 and 2004) because the transit is invisible without magnification. The next will not take place until 2117.

Graphic shows where the Transit of Venus will be visible around the world. – AP Photo

Further information and tips for safe viewing:

Source: Dawn News

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Faintest distant galaxy discovered

False color image of the galaxy LAEJ095950.99+021219.1 .
False color image of the galaxy LAEJ095950.99+021219.1

Astronomers at Arizona State University have located a remote and faint galaxy, which is one of the ten most distant known objects in the space.

The team used the IMACS instrument on the Magellan Telescopes in Chile and identified the galaxy ‘LAEJ095950.99+021219.1’ that is about 13 billion light-years away from the Earth.

"This galaxy is being observed at a young age. We are seeing it as it was in the very distant past, when the universe was a mere 800 million years old," said James Rhoads.

He added that, "This image is like a baby picture of this galaxy, taken when the universe was only 5 percent of its current age. Studying these very early galaxies is important because it helps us understand how galaxies form and grow."

According to the report published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, the located galaxy is extremely faint and the astronomers had to use a special filter fitted to the telescope camera to catch the light of narrow wavelength ranges.

"We have been using this technique since 1998 and pushing it to ever-greater distances and sensitivities in our search for the first galaxies at the edge of the universe," explained Sangeeta Malhotra.

"Young galaxies must be observed at infrared wavelengths and this is not easy to do using ground-based telescopes, since the Earth's atmosphere itself glows and large detectors are hard to make," she added.

Malhotra further noted that, "With this search, we've not only found one of the furthest galaxies known, but also the faintest confirmed at that distance. Up to now, the redshift 7 galaxies we know about are literally the top one percent of galaxies. What we're doing here is to start examining some of the fainter ones -- thing that may better represent the other 99 percent."

Imam Khomeini, pioneer of Islamic revival

Muslims in Iran and around the globe are preparing to honor the memory of a great leader who united the people and led them through one of the greatest revolutions of the 20th century.

Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini, who came to be known as Imam Khomeini was born in the small town of Khomein on September 24, 1902 coinciding with the auspicious birth anniversary of Fatima Zahra (PBUH), the daughter of the holy Prophet of Islam Mohammad (PBUH).

His ancestors had migrated from the Iranian city of Neyshabour to Lucknow in northern India. His parental grandfather left Lucknow in 1830 on a pilgrimage to the tomb of Imam Ali in Najaf, where he met a prominent citizen of Khomein and moved there.

Imam Khomeini’s father Seyyed Moustafa began his religious education in Isfahan and continued his studies in Najaf and Samarra. Losing his father when he was five months old, Rouhollah Khomeini was left in the care of his older brother, Seyyed Morteza, when his mother passed away in 1918.

Coming from a family of scholars, the young Rouhollah began to study the Qur’an and elementary Persian at the age of six. He was then sent to the city of Arak (1920-21) to continue his religious studies under the leadership of Ayatollah Abdul Karim Haeri Yazdi.

He then followed Ayatollah Haeri Yazdi to the Qom seminary in 1923 to continue his studies of Islamic law (Sharia), jurisprudence (fiqh), philosophy and mysticism.

He pursued his interest in philosophy under the guidance of Mirza Ali Akbar Yazdi, Javad Aqa Maleki Tabrizi, Rafi'i Qazvini and Mirza Mohammad Ali Shahabadi. He was also influenced by Sufi mystics such as Mulla Sadra and Ibn Arabi.

Ayatollah Khomeini was also interested in literature and poetry and his collection of mystic, political and social poetry was published posthumously.

During the 1930's, Imam Khomeini did not engage in political activities, as he believed that the leading religious scholar of the time, Ayatollah Haeri, should have leadership of political activities. Instead, he dedicated his time to teaching Islamic jurisprudence in Qom, gathering around him students such as Ayatollahs Morteza Motahari and Akbar Hashemi-Rafsanjani and Hojjatoleslam Mohammad Bahonar, who would later become important figures in spreading his message and in the movement, which led to the fall of the Pahlavi dynasty.

As a leading Shia scholar, he taught political philosophy, Islamic history and ethics focusing on the importance of religion in dealing with practical social and political issues of the day.

Ayatollah Khomeini became a Shia Source of Emulation with the passing of Grand Ayatollah Boroujerdi in 1961 and gradually entered the political arena.

When in 1962, the government enforced new election laws, which negated the former requirement for newly elected officials to be sworn into office on the holy Qur'an, Ayatollah Khomeini warned the Pahlavi monarch, Mohammad-Reza Shah, against violating the laws of Islam and the Iranian Constitution of 1907.

He cautioned the second Pahlavi that such a move would only lead to a protest campaign headed by the clergy.

Mohammad-Reza Shah announced his White Revolution program of reform in January 1963. The six-point program was an American-inspired package of measures designed to give the Pahlavi regime a liberal and progressive facade.

Ayatollah Khomeini issued a declaration on January 22, 1963 denouncing the Shah and his reform plan.

Imam Khomeini also issued a manifesto listing the various ways in which the Shah had violated the constitution. The manifesto that also bore the signatures of eight other senior scholars condemned the spread of moral corruption in the country, and accused the Shah of comprehensive submission to his American and Israeli masters.

Imam Khomeini delivered a fiery speech at the Feyziyeh School of Islamic Studies on June 3, 1963, warning the Shah that if he did not change his ways the day would come when people would celebrate his departure from the country.

Shah ordered his secret service, SAVAK, to arrest Imam Khomeini two days later and transfer him to the Qasr Prison in Tehran. Masses of angry demonstrators were confronted by tanks and paratroopers after the news of his arrest broke on June 3, in Qom, Tehran, Shiraz, Mashhad and Varamin. It took six days for the Pahlavi regime to restore order and the uprising marked a turning point in Iranian history.

After nineteen days in the Qasr prison, Ayatollah Khomeini was moved first to the 'Eshratabad' military base and then to a house in Tehran where he was kept under surveillance.

He was released on April 7, 1964, and returned to Qom.

Imam Khomeini continued his anti-Pahlavi activities and delivered a speech to denounce the agreement with the United States that provided immunity from prosecution for all American personnel in Iran and their dependents.

He said the agreement was a surrender of Iranian independence and sovereignty, made in exchange for a USD200 million loan that would be of benefit only to the Shah and his associates. He also called all parliament members who voted in favor of the agreement traitors saying that the government lacked legitimacy.

Ayatollah Khomeini was again arrested on November 4, 1964, and taken directly to Tehran’s Mehrabad airport for immediate exile to Turkey. Imam Khomeini left Turkey for Najaf in Iraq on September 5, 1965 where he spent the next thirteen years of his life teaching fiqh.

It was in Najaf that he delivered his famous lectures on Providence of the Jurist, the theory of governance and Islamic leadership.

His exile, however, did not diminish Imam Khomeini’s religious and spiritual influence among the masses. In January 1978 a furious mass protest took place in Qom after an offensive article was published in the semi-official newspaper Ettelaat.

The protest which was suppressed by the security forces was the first in a series of popular confrontations that turned into a vast revolutionary movement, demanding the overthrow of the Pahlavi regime and the installation of an Islamic government.

Ayatollah Khomeini was informed that his continued residence in Iraq was contingent on his abandoning political activity, a condition he rejected.

He left Iraq for Kuwait on October 3, but was refused entry at the border. Ayatollah Khomeini embarked for Paris after a period of hesitation and settled down in the suburb of Neauphle-le-Chateau in a house that had been rented for him by Iranian exiles in France.

Journalists from all around the globe made their way to France, spreading the words of Ayatollah Khomeini in world media.

Imam Khomeini refused to return to Iran until the Shah left the country on January 17, 1979. Two weeks later, he returned to Iran on a chartered Air France airliner on February 1, 1979 and was welcomed by a crowd of at least six million as estimated by ABC News reporter Peter Jennings, who was reporting the event from Tehran.

He introduced Mehdi Bazargan as interim prime minister on February 5, and ordered defiance of the curfew on February 10. The Supreme Military Council withdrew its support from Shah’s appointed Prime Minister Shapour Bakhtiyar on the next day and Shah’s regime collapsed on February 12, 1979.

A nationwide referendum held on March 30 and 31, 1979, resulted in a massive vote in favor of the establishment of an Islamic Republic and Ayatollah Khomeini proclaimed the next day, April 1, 1979, as the "first day of God's government".

The founder of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, first settled in Qom but was brought to Tehran to receive heart treatment on January 23, 1980. After thirty-nine days in hospital, he settled in the north Tehran suburb of Darband, and on April 22 of the same year he moved into a modest house in Jamaran, from where he governed the country for the rest of his life.

Ayatollah Khomeini passed away on June 3, 1989, eleven days after he was taken to hospital for an operation to stop internal bleeding in May 1989.

As the author of more than 40 books and religious preaching, Imam Khomeini’s ideology reached many across the world.

Millions of mourners gather at the final resting place of the late Imam Khomeini to mark the anniversary of his demise every year. Iranians from across the country travel to the outskirts of the Iranian capital to be part of the commemoration ceremony at the mausoleum of the Founder of the Islamic Republic.

Muslims around the world also hold ceremonies to uphold his call for supporting the oppressed and his efforts to end conflict among Muslims.


Iran marks 23rd anniversary of Imam Khomeini's passing

The late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini
The late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Seyyed Ruhollah Khomeini
Iran marks the 23rd anniversary of the passing of the late founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Seyyed Rouhollah Khomeini.

Iranians across the country and outside Iran have held mourning ceremonies to mark the departure of Imam Khomeini.

Meanwhile, a large number of people and officials are to attend a ceremony at Imam Khomeini's mausoleum in the south of the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei will address the gathering on Sunday.

Imam Khomeini’s grandson, Seyyed Hassan Khomeini, will also deliver a speech during the ceremony.
"Every year, millions of Iranians from across the country travel to Tehran to pay tribute to the late founder of the Islamic Republic."
Rouhollah Mousavi Khomeini, who came to be known as Imam Khomeini, was born in the small town of Khomein on September 24, 1902.

Coming from a family of scholars who for generations had devoted their lives to offering religious guidance to the hungry-for-knowledge population, young Rouhollah began his education by memorizing the holy Qur'an and was later sent to Arak (1920-21) and finally to Qom (1923) to complete his religious studies.

During the 1930's, Imam Khomeini did not engage in political activities. Instead, he dedicated his time to teaching Islamic jurisprudence in Qom.

In 1961, Ayatollah Khomeini became a Shia Source of Emulation and gradually entered the political arena. He began anti-Pahlavi activities in January, 1963, when Pahlavi monarch Mohammad-Reza Shah announced his White Revolution program of reform.
"Imam Khomeini changed the lives of Iranians and inspired countless others in the world by guiding one of the greatest revolutionary movements of modern history to victory."
Ayatollah Khomeini passed away on June 3, 1989, eleven days after he was taken to hospital for an operation to stop internal bleeding in May 1989.



Saturday, 2 June 2012

Turkey pays homage to late Imam Khomeini

Imam Khomeini
Pictures say a thousand words. The late founder of modern day Iran, was not just a figure of strength for Iranians, but for many who believed in his vision.Many devout Muslims came out in Istanbul to commemorate the life and lessons of the man known to his followers as Imam or great spiritual leader.

Imam Khomeini’s criticism of Iran’s Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Israel, and the United States galvanized many, you­­ng and old.

After being expelled from Iran in 1964, he first came to the Turkish city of Bursa and the Turkish people here still feel that connection.

The author of more than 40 books and religious preaching, his ideology reached many across the world.

Time magazine named Imam Khomeini man of the year in 1979. Scholars revere him as a "champion of Islamic revival" and he has been described as the "virtual face of Islam in Western popular culture."

The depth of emotion and intellectual conversation taking place here in Istanbul shows that Imam Khomeini’s Influence and inspiration extends far beyond Iran and to devout Muslims all around the world.
"Sunday marks the 23rd anniversary of the death of Iran’s former leader Ayatollah Khomeini. While events are taking place across Iran, on Friday, neighboring Turkey saw many gather in Istanbul to pay homage to Imam Khomeini and his writing."

‘Dark chocolate heart healthy’

The daily consumption of 100 grams of chocolate with a 70 percent or higher cocoa content every day could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
The daily consumption of 100 grams of chocolate with a 70 percent or higher
cocoa content every day could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
A recent study has suggested that daily consumption of dark chocolate could prevent heart attack and stroke in high-risk patients with metabolic syndrome.

By using mathematical models, researchers in Australia examined the long-term health effects of daily dark chocolate intake on more than 2,000 people at high risk of heart disease.

The results showed that the daily consumption of 100 grams of chocolate with a 70 percent or higher cocoa content every day could help reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.

Researchers also found that consuming dark chocolate could avert 70 non-fatal and 15 fatal per 10,000 people treated over 10 years.

"We've predicted significant health benefits of eating 100 grams of dark chocolate every day over a 10-year period," said lead researcher Ella Zomer.

"Our findings indicate dark chocolate therapy could provide an alternative to or be used to complement drug therapeutics in people at high risk of cardiovascular disease," Zomer added.

The authors, however, have stressed that they assessed only non-fatal stroke and non-fatal heart attack in their study and the potential effects on other cardiovascular events, such as heart failure, are yet to be examined.

Scientists have warned that excessive consumption of dark chocolate could be harmful as it could lead to obesity which is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), accounting for 30 percent of all global deaths, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide.

The study has been published in the British Medical Journal.


Friday, 1 June 2012

King of Fruits, Mango

•    Mango is known as the ‘king of fruits’ throughout the world.

•    Mango is a member of the Anachardiaceae family. Other distant relatives include the cashew, pistachio, Jamaica plum, poison ivy and poison oak.

•    The name ‘mango’ is derived from the Tamil word ‘mangkay’ or ‘man-gay’. When the Portuguese traders settled in western India they adopted the name as ‘manga’.

•    Mangos originated in East India, Myanmar and the Andaman Islands bordering the Bay of Bengal. Persian traders took mango to the Middle East and Africa, from there the Portuguese brought it to Brazil and the West Indies. Mango cultivars arrived in Florida in the 1830s and in California in the 1880s.

•    Many Southeast Asian kings and nobles had their own mango groves; with private cultivars being sources of great pride and social standing, hence began the custom of sending gifts of the choicest mangoes.

•    Burning mango wood and leaves is not advised — toxic fumes can cause serious irritation to eyes and lungs.

•    Mango leaves are considered toxic and can kill cattle or other grazing livestock.

•    Mangos are bursting with protective nutrients. The vitamin content depends upon the variety and maturity of the fruit, when the mango is green the amount of vitamin C is higher, as it ripens the amount of beta carotene (vitamin A) increases.

•    Every part of mango is beneficial and has been utilised in folk remedies in some form or another. Here are some of the many medicinal properties and purported uses attributed to the mango tree: anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-septic, anti-tussive (cough), anti-asthmatic, expectorant, cardiotonic, contraceptive, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative, stomachic (beneficial to digestion).

•    Mangiferin — rich in splenocytes, found in the stem bark of the mango tree has purported potent immunomodulatory characteristics — believed to inhibit tumour growth in early and late stages.

•    A mango contains as much vitamin C as an orange.

•    A mango stored at 55 degrees will last for up to two weeks. Do not refrigerate.

•    Mangoes are some of the best sources of beta carotene; they contain 20 per cent more than cantaloupe and 50 per cent more than apricots. — Compiled by The Surfer

Source: Dawn News - Inpaper Magazines