Earth

Turning CO2 Back Into Coal. Is That Even Possible?

As we know, the world has a bit of a problem with CO2 particles. While useful for things like plants, too much CO2 going into the air is simply going to get trapped. However, this then leads to problems like dirty air and a drop-off in living standards.

Science, though, might be in a position where they could finally overcome this problem. How so? A team of scientists at RMIT University, Australia, have managed to take a CO2 gas and turn it into solid carbon particles.

This would be a solution for helping to combat problems with greenhouse gases. It would be a safe solution, too, and could be the groundbreaking solution that we need to try and overcome the CO2 problem in the air.

Presently, we use a solution that captures carbon and tries to compress the CO2 into a form of a liquid, then injecting it back underground. Engineering issues and the economic cost of production, though, has seen progress halt on this move.

Now, though, it’s likely that, thanks to the work of Dr. Torben Daeneke and co. that this problem could be solved. The much more cost-effective and easily managed system developed down under could be the ideal solution to this problem.

This could become a more sustainable approach, according to Dr. Daeneke, who said: “While we can’t literally turn back time, turning carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it back in the ground is a bit like rewinding the emissions clock.

‘To date, CO2 has only been converted into a solid at extremely high temperatures, making it industrially unviable. By using liquid metals as a catalyst, we’ve shown it’s possible to turn the gas back into carbon at room temperature, in a process that’s efficient and scalable. While more research needs to be done, it’s a crucial first step to delivering solid storage of carbon.’

An important step forward in environmental sustainability

This is a huge step forward and has been a major boon for the science community. Using an electro-chemical technique developed by Dr. Dorna Esrafilzadeh, they are able to take atmospheric CO2 and turn it into a solid form of carbon.

The process itself sounds very interesting and could be an essential step forward in our ability to combat the man-made problems hurting our environment. This could be used in various ways; it could even be turned into electrodes and used in other formats. This is very interesting and could become a breakthrough moment in modern science.

Produced in the Nature Communications journal, this groundbreaking study was put together by people from the University of Munster, Nanjing University and the North Carolina State University alongside RMIT and other Australian groups.

While it might be some time until it can be used in a viable circumstance, this could be a genuinely life-changing solution to the problems we face on this planet.

As we know, the world has a bit of a problem with CO2 particles. While useful for things like plants, too much CO2 going into the air is simply going...

Science

Solving The Mystery Of Green Icebergs

Since long before the 1900’s, explorers and sailors around Antarctica have been greeted by the sight of beautiful, but strange,  green icebergs.  Researchers have been perplexed for decades by the unusually colored ice formations.

The mystery may finally be laid to rest, however.  A recent publication released in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans reports that the brilliant emerald green colorations occur because of mainland Antarctica’s rock dust is heavy in iron oxides.  The findings were revealed by a University of Washington glaciologist team, headed by Stephen Warren.

In a Newsweek report, Warren explained that the green icebergs wouldn’t have been seen before 1774’s discovery of the Antarctic Ocean by James Cook’s expedition.  In fact, a famous poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Coleridge, describes the phenomenon:
“Ice, mast high, came floating by, as green as emerald.”  It seems this was based on fact, not poetic license.

Warren went on to explain that a German expedition in 1903 noted the green icebergs, and they made the scientific headlines in 1921.  The novelty has been spotted on occasion by a number of sea captains and explorers.

When ice breaks apart from an ice shelf or a glacier, it forms an iceberg. Layers and layers of snow will pile onto the iceberg, gradually becoming solid.  These formations will contain light reflecting air pockets.  The iceberg absorbs less blue light than red, giving them a bluish appearance.

Layers Of Different Ice

The emerald green icebergs in the Antarctic Ocean contain layers of frozen ocean water under the ice shelf.  This marine ice lacks air pockets, making the icebergs look darker and more clear than normal icebergs.  According to Warren, one percent of all icebergs have this layer of visible marine ice.

The theory behind the green icebergs was traditionally that they were formed out of marine ice, not glacier ice.  The iceberg, it was thought, would take on a greenish hue because of dead marine animals or plants trapped in it as it froze. When this organic material began to break down, it took on a yellowish tinge as it produced organic carbons.  The green color, accordingly, was as elementary as this yellow marine ice mixing with the blue tinged glacier ice.

Warren, however, found that the same amounts of organic materials were found in both blue ice and the green.  This 1990’s discovery torpedoed the long-standing theory.  Something else had to be at work within the green icebergs.

A recent discovery by Tasmanian researchers found that an ice sample taken from the Antarctica Amery Ice Shelf had a significantly higher iron content at its base than was produced by the glacier ice above.  In fact, there was nearly 500 times more iron at the base of the core sample.

Rocks and soils that have heavy iron oxide content will be red, yellow or orange in color.  Warren began to consider that perhaps this is why the icebergs in Antarctica were green. The researchers theorized that when ocean water mixes with the mainland rock of Antarctica, the result was green marine ice.  If the ice turned over as it was breaking away from the main ice sheet, the green bottom layer would be exposed and create a green iceberg.

Scientists are considering the uses of this information and suggest that these icebergs play an important role as a delivery system of iron nutrients to the Southern Ocean.  Tiny marine plants at the bottom of the food chain, known as phytoplankton, need iron to survive.

Warren believes that the green icebergs are responsible for delivering iron directly to the phytoplankton that use it.  This means that green icebergs are more than just a bizarre fluke of nature, they are, in fact, very important to marine life.

Currently, Warren is teaming up with colleagues from the Hobart, Australia Antarctic Center for more testing.  They are hoping to gather more iceberg samples of all colors to check iron content and prove the theory.  The Australian team specialize in measuring the levels of iron in seawater and sea ice.

Warren says, “If our project is approved, we will travel by ship to the Australian Antarctic stations close to the Amery Ice Shelf, where green icebergs are commonly found. The iron analyses will be done in Australia. Spectral reflectance of icebergs will be measured by others of our group. We have submitted a proposal to do this work.”

Since long before the 1900’s, explorers and sailors around Antarctica have been greeted by the sight of beautiful, but strange,  green icebergs. ...

City Life

Google Maps Will Tell You About Speed Traps

Who hasn’t been rolling along, not paying much attention to your speeds, and seen the familiar blue lights or the flash of a speed trap camera?  Now you’ve got a speeding ticket, complete with fines and points on your license.  While posted speeds are law, we frequently treat them like suggestions and pay the price.

Google has decided to give the average driver a hand with its new feature; it displays the speed limit of any road you are on as well as just how fast you are traveling.  These guides will be shown on the lower left side of your Google map app.

Want more?  Google has devised a way of warning drivers audibly that they are approaching a speed trap, giving them time to tap the brakes and slow down before they see the flashing lights behind them.

The Google feature isn’t a new concept, but it was provided exclusively to certain locales, such as Rio De Janeiro and the San Francisco Bay areas, who have enjoyed the tech for a year.

Available In These Countries:

Mashable has researched a claim first leaked by the Android Police and can confirm that speed limit and speed traveled alerts will be available in Denmark, the US, and the UK.  Speed camera alerting will be available for drivers in India, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Indonesia, Russia, the US, Mexico, and the UK.

Google has historically had to rely on drivers to send speed trap alerts, but this new Maps offering will allow drivers to see them in real time while using the app.

Waze is a popular mapping app that offers speed trap alerts, making it more user-friendly than Google maps. Google took over Waze in 2013, buying the company for around $1 billion USD.   Users wished that Google maps had the feature, but for nearly five years, they didn’t seem inclined to incorporate the upgrade.

These alerts will not only save drivers from costly speeding mistakes but will also keep the roads safer for everyone.

Who hasn’t been rolling along, not paying much attention to your speeds, and seen the familiar blue lights or the flash of a speed trap camera? ...

Health

Research: New Hope For HIV Cure

A patient has been diagnosed as being in remission from the HIV virus, according to an article released in the Nature journal.  The patient was the second who was reported to be cured in twelve years, using the same therapies as the previous patient.

While this is a hopeful leap for the treatment and eventual cure of HIV, the approach isn’t quite ready for broad use.

The treatment plan, released by scientists at Seattle’s Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections, involved bone marrow transplants.  The transplants were not initially intended to cure the HIV, they were a treatment modality for treating cancer.  The side benefits?  Placing the HIV virus into remission.

Bone marrow transplant has many side-effects and is a risky procedure, so it’s questionable if the therapy will be a widely accepted treatment plan for HIV.  More likely, physicians will stick with the medications traditionally used to fight the disease.

Modified Immune Cell Replacement

Scientists are turning their focus away from treating the disease and looking at the role of modified immune cell replacement of infected cells.  These cells will be modified to be resistant to HIV.

Dr. Annemarie Wensing, a University Medical Center virologist at Utrecht, Netherlands explains that the discovery will provide hope for people; a cure is within reach.  Dr. Wensing is the co-leader of a group of European scientists that focused their studies on using stem cell transplants for the treatment of an HIV infection.

AMFAR, an American AIDS research group, has been behind the team of successful IciStem scientists, the second group of researchers to cure an HIV patient.

The first reported patient cured of HIV was revealed twelve years prior at the conference by a German physician who used bone marrow treatments as a cure for the patient’s leukemia.  The doctor was amazed to find that the patient’s HIV was cured as well.

Researchers tried to imitate the procedure, hoping for success but to no avail.  The patients either died of their cancers or after they stopped their anti-retroviral meds the virus returned.

Researchers have isolated immune cells with a mutated variety of a standard CCR5 protein.  This mutation keeps the HUV virus from infecting cells by blocking the virus from attaching to white blood cells.

This treatment was nearly fatal to the first patient who tried it, but the process has been streamlined to be safer.  The second patient fared better when he received a bone marrow transplant for his Hodgkin’s lymphoma.  The donor had the mutated CCR5 in their donated cells.

The second patient also fortified the treatment with a cycle of immunosuppressive drugs until 2017.  He then stopped taking the anti-retroviral medications and has remained free of HIV to date.

A patient has been diagnosed as being in remission from the HIV virus, according to an article released in the Nature journal.  The patient was the second who was...

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Cool Stories

Watch: Artist Creates Purr-Fect Mural

When a person loves something with all their being, they tend to show that off. This is especially true for cat lovers and they can be the worst. Cats on their clothes (no, we don’t mean the hair), cats on their jewelry, cats on their eye glasses, even on their walls!

What is great about that is it can be a form of art that will stay with you forever. Some like it painted on a canvas and framed in a delicate, ornate frame. Others like it as a mural, directly on the wall.

One such mural was painted by freelance illustrator and graphic designer Stephanie Ho. The Temasek Polytechnic graduate worked as an in-house designer with two different companies before heading out on her own path, so that she can design things like this big little project.

A cat-loving couple from Singapore commissioned a mural from Stephanie that will demonstrate just how much they love cats. Armed with Nippon Odorless All-in-One paint, Stephanie took a total of six hours to draw a meowtain of cats next to a big window in their Build-to-Order apartment.

The couple had one special requirement for the meowtain though – that it would include the Labrador from the husband’s family and the Shih Tzu that the wife used to have.

Stephanie took due diligence to record her creative process as she begins drawing the cats from the ground up. Each cat has her own personality, just like in real life! We think it’s meowvellous, and looks completely worth the S$1,000 the couple paid for it!

When a person loves something with all their being, they tend to show that off. This is especially true for cat lovers and they can be the worst. Cats on their clothes...

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TooCool

Bizarre Spinning Ice Disk In Middle Of City

Along the banks of Maine’s Presumpscot River, surprised spectators snapped pictures of a spinning circle of ice. The strange phenomenon is being called the Westbrook Ice Disk.

The spinning ice disk is estimated to measure just over 90 meters in diameter, and reminds the residents of Westbrook, Maine of a floating moon.  Estimated at just past 90 meters in diameter, officials aren’t entirely sure exactly when the disk formed, but based on reports from onlookers, it seems to have formed overnight or during the wee morning hours of Monday, January 14.

The disk has been compared to everything from the moon, on the city’s social media pages, to alien calling cards.  Doug Bertlesman explained to the Portland Press, “It kind of looks like a crop circle.  It’s pretty wild to look at.”

Slow Whirlpool

This isn’t the first spinning ice disk to be seen in Maine, and the phenomenon happens more frequently than you’d think.  It happens when a block of ice is swept along a flowing river, bashing up against the banks as it is swirled in the current.  This area of the Presumpscot River has a circular current, which results in a naturally forming whirlpool.

According to drone footage, the disk was spinning very slowly in a counter clockwise direction.  The Press Herald interviewed some of the onlookers.  Rob Mitchell, Westbrook resident, claims that several ducks had settled on the spinning disk, calling it a “big duck-go-round.”

As can be imagined, social media lit up with the phenomenon.  Comments have been humorous: “The aliens have stationed a large rotating disk of ice in the middle of the Presumpscot River in Westbrook, Maine.”

Another comment draws a startling conclusion: “Circles and ice? Do we really have to spell it out for you? Mother Nature is a hockey fan.”

The residents of Westbrook, Maine had good reason to predict the end of the world; the phenomenon came in the same week that the moon turned blood red in a “super blood wolf moon” alongside a lunar eclipse.

Along the banks of Maine’s Presumpscot River, surprised spectators snapped pictures of a spinning circle of ice. The strange phenomenon is being called the Westbrook...

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Tech News

USB-4 – Get Thunderbolt Speeds

What if a USB cable could provide the same smooth, fast data transfer speeds as a Thunderbolt port?  If that excites you, wait until you meet the USB4, the next generation of mobile devices and PCs.

USB4 will deliver data at incredible speeds when it’s connected via USB cables on compatible devices:  up to 40 Gigabits per second.  Intel has created the Thunderbolt 3 for the USB group, and USB4 bases its technology on Intel’s advanced tech.  Thunderbolt 3 will be available to use royalty-free.

USB Implementers Forum released a press release explaining that they’re built in; this next logical step for the Universal Serial Bus tech will mean that Thunderbolt will become a more affordable tech for manufacturers to include in their devices.

5K Support

Android Central  explains that the sky is the limit; devices could include 100 watts of on-demand power, support for up to eight lanes of DisplayPort data, and 40Gbps transfer rates.   Two 4K HDR displays, at 60 HZ each, or a 5K display could be supported fully.

This will mean that two 4K HDR displays at 60 Hz or one 5K display would be fully supported.  If the tech becomes more affordable to include n devices, it will definitely bring down purchasing costs for devices supporting USB4.

As Jason Ziller, Intel’s General Manager of Client Connectivity explains, “Releasing the Thunderbolt protocol specification is a significant milestone for making today’s simplest and most versatile port available to everyone. By collaborating with the USB Promoter Group, we’re opening the doors for innovation across a wide range of devices and increasing compatibility to deliver better experiences to consumers.”

To fully benefit from the max data transfer speed, you will need to have cables that are 40Gbs-certified; these are USBC to USBC only.  The USB4 will be fully compatible to all Thunderbird 3 devices and all USB specifications.

Microsoft, HP, Intel, and Apple are among the 50 tech companies that are going to be taking part in a final review of USB4 tech. They will release the specs around mid-year. The exciting part of these companies taking part in the testing is that it is predicted that they will use these new specifications when they do become available.

The USB4 is expected to be released next year.

What if a USB cable could provide the same smooth, fast data transfer speeds as a Thunderbolt port?  If that excites you, wait until you meet the USB4, the next...

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Cool Stories

Get Smart With St. Patty’s Day Facts

With March being Irish Heritage month, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test.  How many of these St. Patrick’s Day facts did you already know?

St. Patrick’s Day was founded as a religious holiday:  The holiday honored St. Patrick, a fifth-century saint who brought Christianity to the Emerald Isle.

There have been parades for a long time:  On March 17, 1762, New York City threw the first recorded St. Patrick’s Day parade.  The parade was for Irish soldiers who had served in the English military.

Presidents enjoy a parade: President Harry S. Truman attended the St. Patrick’s Day parade in 1948.

March is Irish-American Heritage Month: Congress began recognizing March as American-Irish Heritage month in 1991.  The month highlights the contributions and achievements of the Irish in America.

Lots Of Irish-Americans

Large percentages of Irish Americans:  In 2014, Massachusetts claimed an Irish-American residency of 21.5%.  Following closely behind Massachusetts is New Hampshire, claiming 20.9%.

The total number of reported residents of Irish ancestry in the US is 10.4%, just over 33.1 million.  In America, this is the second highest percentage of ancestry, topped only by German Americans.

More educated:  Those claiming Irish heritage have a high rate of college and high school completion.  In fact, 93.7% of Irish Americans have high school diplomas and 35.6% of those over 25 have a bachelor’s degree.

Overall in America, only 86.9% have high school diplomas, while only 30.1% hold a bachelor’s degree.

Higher paying jobs:  Irish American households report median incomes of over $62k while the average overall salary in America is just under $54k, according to a 2014 study.

Homeowners:  Irish Americans are more likely to own their homes, with just over 68% homeowners compared to the national average of 63.1% of Americans claiming home ownership.

Find an Irish classic at a restaurant near you:  A survey taken in 2014 revealed that on St. Patrick’s Day, 235,701 restaurants offered the classic corned beef and cabbage, while just over 41,580 bars served up drinks for St. Patrick’s Day.

Many places across the United States honor the Irish: Oklahoma, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, and Missouri all have towns named after the shamrock and there are 16 towns named after the capital of Ireland, Dublin. Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and South Carolina all boast towns named Clover, and Minnesota also features the city of Cloverleaf.

Stocking up for St. Patrick’s Day:  In 2014, a survey revealed that 2.2 billion pounds of cabbage and 40.3 billion pounds of beef were provided farmers across the United States.

Make Your Own Irish Stew

If you want to enjoy an easy recipe for corned beef and cabbage this St. Patrick’s Day, it doesn’t mean hours over a hot stove.  Here is the best way to make this Irish classic using your crock pot:

  • Fill the slow cooker with water
  • Add the corned beef and seasonings (pickling spices)
  • Cook meat all day
  • Cut up cabbage and cook over the stove for ten to fifteen minutes

With March being Irish Heritage month, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test.  How many of these St. Patrick’s Day facts did you already know?

St. Patrick’s Day was founded as a religious holiday:  The holiday honored St. Patrick, a...

Health

Sharks Could Be The Secret Of Winning Cancer

Scientists mapping great white shark DNA have stumbled across something unexpected and exciting; a mutation that can be the key for fighting cancers and age-related diseases.

Scientists working at Nova Southeastern University in Florida in the Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Research Center have, for the first time, mapped out the DNA of these magnificent apex predators.

Along the way, the discovered some abnormalities in their genetic code that appears to help sharks fight illnesses, like cancers. Unstable genes in humans can cause illness, but sharks have a hard-wearing genetic structure that has contributed to their evolutionary success.

Nature’s Way To Stabilize Genes

Co-leader of the study, Dr. Mahmood Shivji, states, “Genome instability is a very important issue in many serious human diseases. Now we find that nature has developed clever strategies to maintain the stability of genomes in these large-bodied, long-lived sharks.”

While scientists admit that there is still much to be learned about these marvels of evolution, such as clarification on exactly how the research can be used to fight illness and cancer and help with the treatments of wounds in humans.

In addition, researchers say, the information they have uncovered can help conserve threatened species of sharks.

Overfishing has contributed widely to the decline of several species of shark, and the hope is that decoding the genome of the white shark will help scientists find a way to reverse the endangered members of the shark family.

Genetic conservationist from NSU, Steven O’Brien, is excited for the possibilities, explaining, “The genome data will be a great asset for understanding white shark population dynamics to better conserve this amazing species that has captured the imagination of so many.”

Scientists mapping great white shark DNA have stumbled across something unexpected and exciting; a mutation that can be the key for fighting cancers and age-related diseases.

Scientists working at Nova Southeastern University in Florida in the Save Our Seas...

Science

Israel Joins Space Club

On Thursday, February 21, Space X launched its 70th completed mission, making company history. At 8:45 EST, Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station successfully sent the Nusantara Satu Mission into the atmosphere, hauling several payloads.

SpaceX is a private space exploration corporation with several spacecraft to its name, including the Nusantara Satu satellite, the Air Force Research Laboratory S5 spacecraft, and the Beresheet lunar spacecraft.

The Indonesian Nusantara Satu satellite has been launched to provide internet access to its citizens.  Israel’s Beresheet is set to make Israel the fourth country to have ever landed on the moon.

Beresheet will take almost two months to reach the moon and will be the first spacecraft from Israel as well as the first privately-owned spacecraft to ever reach the moon.  It will take photos and video for scientific research, explains SpaceX, the owner of the spacecraft.

SpaceX released high-resolution pictures of the launch immediately after it happened.  The test launch had occurred on Monday for Thursday’s planned launch, and a back-up plan of a Friday launch was scheduled in case of complications.

Reusable Rocket

SpaceX is well known for using reusable rockets; in fact, this payload was launched on a Falcon 9 rocket while the first stage rocket had been used to launch Iridium 7 in July of 2018 and SAOCOM 1A in October of 2018. SpaceX successfully recovered first stage booster again after the launch on Thursday night.  The mission makes the 70th one for SpaceX, and the 20th successful launch reusing a booster.

Nusantara Satu was successfully launched to a geosynchronous transfer orbit and was expected to work soon after. SpaceX, still riding high from its successes, is scheduled for another launch in March in its partnership with NASA.  The unmanned test launch will demonstrate the possibility of sending astronauts into space in the future.

 

On Thursday, February 21, Space X launched its 70th completed mission, making company history. At 8:45 EST, Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station successfully sent the Nusantara Satu Mission into the atmosphere, hauling several payloads.

SpaceX is a...

Tech News

Microsoft Brings An End To Fake News?

Social media feeds are positively choked with fake news sources from all sides, leaving readers and viewers distrustful and confused.  Now, a new app from the Microsoft Edge browser called NewsGuard claims to weed out the false news sources.

The app will use color coding, with “red” indicating a high probability of being a false news source and “green” being a safe site. The app will come pre-installed in its browser.

Fake news as a recognized term has only been around for a few years, but the concept of fake news predates the term by centuries. It has been known by the term “yellow journalism,” and has always involved spreading propaganda and self-serving information to the masses.  In fact, yellow news has been credited with getting the US involved with the Spanish-American War.

The NewsGuard App

NewsGuard, according to Microsoft, isn’t intended to be a way to censor news or infringe on free speech.  The intention is to give readers the information they need to properly understand the reliability of what they are reading and help them decide if they should share the news source on social media, per Microsoft’s corporate vice president of security and trust, Tom Burt.

The app itself isn’t new, but it was something that had to be manually downloaded and installed by its users.  It allows flexibility for its users to set up their own filters while maintaining its warning color system.  The app currently only works for US and large international news sources and sites.

Wall Street Journalist and publisher Gordon Crovitz is now a CEO of NewsGuard.  He explains, “We’re delighted to be able to reach millions of people through Microsoft Edge for mobile, giving news consumers more information about the sources of news they see online based on basic journalistic criteria of credibility and transparency.”

NewsGuard uses experienced journalists to vet companies and their news articles.  They work with The Information founder, Jessica Lessin, General Michael Hayden, former CIA director, and other highly seasoned professionals.  The news sources are broken down and labeled according to their content, credibility, ownership, and sources of financing.

A few examples of how various cites would be labeled include:

RT: This Russian news site is a well-known source of Russian propaganda.  NewsGuard will label this as “proceed with caution.”
The Daily Mail:  This is a British news source, and NewsGuard warns its readers that it has had to pay damages for false reporting on several high-profile stories.
The New York Times:  This is an American news source that is well known for having influence on public debate and will be labeled this way by NewsGuard.

This tool is one of the first of its kind, but with the bombardment of fake news all over social media, it’s likely that NewsGuard will be the prototype for many more.

Social media feeds are positively choked with fake news sources from all sides, leaving readers and viewers distrustful and confused.  Now, a new app from the Microsoft Edge browser called NewsGuard claims to weed out the false news sources.

The app will...

Animals

Watch: Swan Icebreaker Plows The Way For Ducks

A heartwarming video has emerged of a swan using its body to break the ice and swim through a frozen lake. A group of ducks is seen following swan’s lead, as he struggles to break the ice by paddling through the frozen lake, making a swimming path!

These ducks receive some unexpected help from a generous swan as it helps break up the ice for them to swim. Teamwork makes the dream work! Footage shows a group of ducks following swan’s lead as he breaks the ice in front of him, while paddling through a frozen lake. Amazing!

The filmmaker noticed a brave swan paddling through a slight break in the ice of a frozen lake, struggling to make a path for ducks to swim. He watched as the swan and ducks moved mesmerizingly through the unfrozen water! Incredible!

Follow Me!

This ice-cool swan was captured on camera smashing his way through a frozen lake. The graceful bird moves so tenaciously through the cold water and breaks the ice like he is a cutting knife trying to slice a piece of cake!

This is a short video of a tenacious swan doing his best to break the ice in front of him and lead a group of ducks through an icy lake. Apparently, ducks used this swan to be their personal icebreaker and he didn’t mind lending a helping hand! He is their hero, and he is our hero too!

A heartwarming video has emerged of a swan using its body to break the ice and swim through a frozen lake. A group of ducks is seen following swan’s lead, as he struggles to break the ice by paddling through the frozen lake, making a swimming path!

These...

Science

Space: Ultima Thule Is Flat!

Recent discoveries had given a surprising new perspective to 2014 MU69, which has been the most distant object ever explored by NASA. Ultima Thule, in the Kuiper Belt, seems to be a lot less round than originally thought.

According to footage captured by a January 1 New Horizons flyby, Ultima Thule is more of a deflated beach ball than an air-filled one.  The photo above shows Ultima Thule with a crescent shape in an image shared ten minutes after the capsule crossed paths with the entity.

Ultima Thule is a tiny world that is over 4 billion miles from planet earth. Southwest Research Institute’s Principal investigator Alan Stern confirmed, “Nothing quite like this has ever been captured in imagery.”

A Change In Point Of View

The pictures shared a surprising piece of scientific evidence: Ultima Thule’s segments aren’t round, as expected. NASA describes the largest of the lobes as pancake shaped and the smallest lobe carries more of a dented walnut shape.

Prior to this clear image, everything science understood about Ultima Thule was based on a very limited mount of photos transmitted during a flyby, but nothing as informative as this one.  Stern has admitted that they have had to rethink what they understood about Ultima Thule and compare it to a pancake rather than a basketball.

While the bottom image in this picture most closely represents NASA’s current understanding of Ultima Thule’s shape, there is still a fair amount of uncertainty because the images transmitted didn’t include areas of the entity that were hidden from view and not lit by the sun.  Scientists speculate that Ultima Thule could be shaped more like the dotted blue line depictions, flatter than expected or not as flat as the pictures indicate.

Stern explains, “The new images are creating scientific puzzles about how such an object could even be formed. We’ve never seen something like this orbiting the Sun.”

The images taken by New Horizons on departure revealed the object from a different angle than scientists had previously studied.  Fast flybys aren’t entirely an accurate way of understanding the actual shape of Ultima Thule, but the latest images have given scientists a greater, more accurate view that opens new possibilities regarding the formation of planets in the solar system.

Originally, scientists had theorized that Ultima Thule was single entity with two separate lobes.  Now, they understand that it is actually two separate stars who are so close together that they are touching, perhaps even merging, called a “contact binary.”

Ultima measures approximately 12 miles across, while Thule measures around nine miles across.  It is theorized that the two celestial bodies merged during the solar system’s formation at a speed and force only as comparable as two vehicles in a fender bender.

Recent discoveries had given a surprising new perspective to 2014 MU69, which has been the most distant object ever explored by NASA. Ultima Thule, in the Kuiper Belt, seems to be a lot less round than originally thought.

According to footage captured by a...

Cool Stories

You’ll Love This 101-Year-Old Mom Playing In The Snow

When you think of sledding, snowmen and snowball fights, you most likely picture kids in mittens and knit caps.  What you may not be expecting is that one of the kids playing in the snow is anything but; she is 101 years young and full of appreciation, spunk, and a wicked snow ball throwing arm.

Armand Foisy took his 101-year-old mother for a day trip in Lillooet, British Columbia.  When Armand was going to turn around and avoid the snow, his mother begged him to take her straight to the heart of the snowfall.  Armand may have been curious, but he couldn’t have predicted Albini’s next move.

When he pulled over for a view of the peaceful snowfall, Albini had something else in mind altogether.  She left the warm, snug car and bounded outside to frolic in the fluffy snow.  Luckily for all of us, Armand had his camera ready and captured this adorable footage of his 101-year-old mother playing in the snow like a jubilant child.

Armand uploaded his footage to Facebook with the caption “Here’s proof that if you find pure joy in the simple things you can live 100 years.”

Let Your Inner Child Come Out

The holiday season brings out the youth in all of us, no matter how old we are.  Albini proves that aging gracefully means staying in touch with your inner child and carrying a spirit of youth with you throughout your life.  She is living proof that people can find joy, no matter what their age.

While kids are the ones we usually see building snow forts and having snowball battles while the adults shiver in cold misery,  Albini reminds us that we can still enjoy winter no matter our age and revel in its beauty like the kids we all should still be at heart.

We are so lucky that Armand had his camera and was able to capture this inspiring footage of Albini as she frolicked happily through the cold, wet snow like any kid, perfecting her skills making snowballs.

We may consider ourselves to be cool and hip adults, but one thing’s for sure; until you’ve played in the snow while being just over a century in age, you’ll never be quite as cool as the joyful, sweet and fun-loving Albini.

When you think of sledding, snowmen and snowball fights, you most likely picture kids in mittens and knit caps.  What you may not be expecting is that one of the kids playing in the snow is anything but; she is 101 years young and full of appreciation...

Earth

Second Impact Crater Found Buried Under Ice In Greenland

In November of 2018, scientists revealed that they had discovered a 19-mile wide impact crater below the ice in Northwest Greenland, called the Hiawatha impact crater.  The crater was the first of its kind, found under one of the earth’s continental ice sheets.

Scientists have now uncovered another impact crater underneath a mile of ice about one hundred miles from the Hiawatha crater, according to a study led by NASA glaciologist Joseph MacGregor that was recently released in Geophysical Research Letters.

 Joseph revealed in the study that it has become very rare to find any previously undiscovered impact craters on Earth, much less to find one buried so deeply under the ice.

This particular crater has a diameter of twenty two miles, making it even larger than its neighbor, the Hiawatha.  It’s not certain that this is, in fact, an impact crater but researchers feel confident enough in the site’s shape and geophysical makeup to categorize it as one.

If this crater was made by a falling meteorite, it will be the second of its kind to be found under ice sheets in Greenland or Antarctica.   It will be the 22nd largest impact crater currently known on Earth.

Astro-Geology

Both craters were discovered with the help of MacGregor, who stated that he was excited that new discoveries were still possible after having surveyed the earth at length from space, air and land. Prior to discovering Hiawatha, it had historically been believed that any impact craters in Greenland would have been destroyed by the moving and eroding forces of ice.

When the team discovered Hiawatha, they decided it was possible that more craters may exist under the ice. The scientific team studied the topography of the terrain under the sheets of ice in Greenland and compared them with the ice surfaces in data gathered by satellite.

One hundred and fourteen miles to the southeast of Hiawatha, they discovered a circular pattern and suspected it may have been an impact crater.  MacGregor asked himself if his research and findings could support the idea; having already discovered one crater below the ice was amazing enough, but to find two was unheard of.

Initially, MacGregor considered the idea that the circular area was a collapsed volcano, but he realized that all volcanic activity in Greenland was hundreds of miles from the site.  He was also unable to see any evidence of positive magnetic anomaly that typically accompanies volcanic sites.

In November of 2018, scientists revealed that they had discovered a 19-mile wide impact crater below the ice in Northwest Greenland, called the Hiawatha impact crater.  The crater was the first of its kind, found under one of the earth’s continental ice...