Tag Archives: science

How Tall Is Mount Everest? The Fascinating Story of a Mountain’s Moveable Measurements

Gaming Club Casino: Mount Everest
Gaming Club Casino: Mount Everest
Source: ABC NewsStock PhotoGetty

Ever wondered how many poker chips you need to stack to reach the height of Mount Everest? If you go by the long-accepted measurement of 8848 metres, you might need to adjust the number of poker chips because measuring a mountain is no static achievement.

Nepal and China have been debating the actual height of Mount Everest since 1955. Although an Indian survey in 1955 pegged the mountain’s height up to the top of its snowy peak a whopping 8,848 meters (29,029 feet), China has always debated that Everest’s rock height is only 8,844.43 meters. Nepal has always agreed with the survey’s measurements.

This week a crew of Nepal government officials have begun to the scale the mountain for an updated measurement, hopefully putting to rest the debate of how tall Mount Everest actually is.

Measuring the Mountain

Gaming Club Casino: Mount Everest summit
Source: Revista Blog de Escalada

This mysterious, towering wonder of the Himalayas is hands down the tallest peak in the world. Known as Sagarmatha in Nepali and Chomolungma in Tibetan, Mount Everest received its English name in 1865. Andrew Waugh, Surveyor General of India, requested the name of the Royal Geographical Society. Waugh wanted to name the mountain after Sir George Everest, his predecessor, who was the Surveyor General until 1843. However, it was Waugh who conducted the first measurement of Everest.

Measuring the mountain back in 1856 was no small task. Factors that obfuscated Waugh’s calculations included atmospheric refraction and political issues. Atmospheric refraction occurs when the bending of light across large expanses creates a mirage-like effect. This can skew the real size and distance of objects, like huge mountains. Political issues also made it hard for Waugh’s crew to approach the mountain too closely, putting most of the crew’s calculations at 100 miles away.

Yet, even back in 1856, Waugh and his team spent a year calculating an astonishingly accurate number – one that has been considered the true measurement until present day. Without GPS or altimeters, he employed triangulation and trigonometry to accomplish the monumental feat. He first planted several observers at several different vantage points to examine the peak. After discerning the distance from these points to the mountain, they used basic trigonometry to measure an angle from Everest’s peak to their individual observation points, basing this equation off sea level elevation. With all these factors, good science and math prevailed, making his figure of 29,029 feet, or 8,848 metres, the height still generally accepted in the world.  

In May of 1999, an American expedition challenged this number using GPS technology and measured 8,850 metres. Although this new figure is used by the US National Geographic Society, most of the world, including Nepal, has not yet accepted this number.

Can Everest Change Its Height?

Gaming Club Casino: Path to Everest base camp
Source: Temple Tiger Nepal

In 1999 it appeared that perhaps the mountain had grown two metres. Is this possible? Can a mountain shift and grow? Factors that that make calculating Everest’s height today a challenge include the shifting of tectonic plates and fluctuating snow and ice. The Eurasian and Indian tectonic plates shift, creating a potential quarter of an inch increase every year. Snow and ice also complicate matters, making the exact measurement difficult to pinpoint.

However, those shifting tectonic plates that give the mountain its height may also be to blame for the mountain potentially shrinking. In 2015, Nepal was struck by a massive 7.8 earthquake. This deadly quake claimed almost 9,000 lives and injured tens of thousands.

After the earthquake damage was cleared, scientists viewed irregularities in the landscape that may point to the fact that Mount Everest actually shrunk after 20 seconds of ground-shaking devastation.

But can a mountain actually shrink? Since the claims were made, scientists have debated and speculated on the reality of the situation. Many experts deny an earthquake could actually impact the impenetrable mass of Mount Everest. Yet, enough people still were curious that talks began in 2017 to remeasure the mountain and find out, once and for all, what the current height of the geological giant is.

A New Day for Nepal and Everest

Gaming Club Casino: Climbing Mount Everest
Source: Pixabay

That plan to remeasure Everest took two years to put together an expedition, but it’s now in place. On Wednesday, April 10th, 2019, four government officials from Nepal struck off to clinch this exciting moment in history. The team members are Khimlal Gautam, Rabin Karki, Suraj Singh Bhandari, and Yuvaraj Dhital. Along with the Nepali survey team, the National Geographic Society is also making an Everest expedition. They will be planting five automatic weather stations along the climbing route to measure weather, atmospheric conditions, and changing climate to gain data for climate research. According to Nepali Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, “It will be the authentic data regarding the height of the tallest peak once you come up with the report.” A win for Nepal, it will be their own survey party that calculates the official height, giving this marginalized country a chance to finally take part in the measuring of its own mountain.

What Element Are You? How Traditional Chinese Medicine Describes You From the Inside Out

woman experiencing acupuncture
Source: Medical News Today

Ancient philosophers in China believed everything in the world is connected to five elements or phases, including our organs, cells, character traits, physical features, and behaviors. Known as the Five Elements, these phases are wood, fire, earth, metal, and water. Based on a holistic healing approach, Traditional Chinese medicine (or TCM) seeks to treat the whole person by balancing these elements. To live enriching lives, we can look to these elements, along with TCM practices like cupping and acupuncture. Other options to keep your yin and yang in balance are yoga, tai chi, or simply playing an online roulette game.

The Five Elements And What That Means For You

A little bit of each element exists in all of us, but everyone has a dominant element. This element is known as your Five Element Type. Which element type are you?

Wood

a forest of trees
Source: Diana Markosian

Like trees in a forest, wood types aggressively compete for success in life. A wood type is determined and excels under pressure.

Physical Characteristics

The physical body of a wood type is thin and lean, with a long face and a distinct, straight nose.

Personality Type

Wood types thrive on having a defined purpose. However, feeling too much drive throws them off balance, leaving them frustrated and irritable.

Taking Care of Yourself

Too much stress in the wood type manifests as PMS, high blood pressure, muscle pain, and headaches. Wood people might also turn to alcohol or other vices to self-medicate the stress.

Fire

multiple fire flames
Source: Kishko Vladimir

A flickering flame attracts other people and sparks joy. As do fire types, encompassing many extroverts in society.

Physical Characteristics

Fire types have flushed complexions, narrow faces, and well-proportioned builds. They may also have red hair and emit a lively energy.

Personality Type

A fire person is talkative and bubbly. One might describe them as charismatic, optimistic, and creative. They also tend to feel extreme joy and may be absent-minded.

Taking Care of Yourself

When imbalanced, a fire type might become overly sensitive and excitable. Health problems may include anxiety disorders or heart problems.

Earth

farm land and soil
Source: Pixabay

Grounded and nurturing, earth types enjoy caring for others and cultivating their communities.

Physical Characteristics

Earth types are rounder in shape, with strong jaws and big smiles and curvy or thick bodies.

Personality Type

Those who resonate with the earth are practical and compassionate people. They want to feel harmony and connection and tend to be environmentalists or enrolled in care or arbitration professions.

Taking Care of Yourself

As the “caretaker” of the elements, earth people tend to overthink and worry, which can lead to excess stress. Earth types may also be drawn to sweets and frequently suffer from digestive issues and fatigue.

Metal

gallium crystals
Source: Foobar Photography

A metal type is brave, sharp, and a perfectionist. They are usually highly self-disciplined, with a proclivity for success.

Physical Characteristics

People who are associated with metal tend to be strong, fit, and have broad shoulders. They also tend to have oval-shaped faces, distinct cheekbones, and pale skin.

Personality Type

Metal people are righteous, organized, and faithful, driven by a chiseled purpose. They tend to be good at solving problems and make good lawyers, teachers, or counselors. Metals also prefer smaller groups of friends to large social situations.

Taking Care of Yourself

People guided by the metal element may experience asthma and skin problems. They also might be haunted by grief, leading to depression.

Water

waterfall
Source: Gaia

Strong yet fluid, a water type adapts to changes but also perseveres to accomplish tasks. People guided by the water element are determined and self-sufficient.

Physical Characteristics

Water types tend to have an ashy complexion, full faces, and soft bodies. They also may have larger heads and smaller shoulders. When not feeling balanced, they may acquire dark rings under their eyes.

Personality Type

Enigmatic and mercurial, water people thrive on anonymity and introspection. They may appear wise beyond their years or pensive.

Taking Care of Yourself

Water types may experience urinary tract infections, back pain, or metabolic issues. Fear can also grow out of imbalance, leading to timidity and indecision.

How To Stay Healthy With Your Element Type

Now that you know your Five Element Type, you can investigate acupuncture or cupping to restore balance. Typically, medical professionals using Chinese medicine will treat the person based on what element is prominent and which weak ones need strengthening.

Before you try these techniques, we suggest the following tips:

  • Use TCM if you have multiple symptoms with no clear cause or are suffering from drug side effects
  • Choose TCM if you have used Western medicine, but are looking for more answers
  • Avoid TCM if you have a more serious illness like cancer or liver disease
  • Use caution if you are pregnant, elderly, scheduled for a procedure, taking prescribed medication, or are treating a child

Along with TCM and knowing your element, you can restore peace and balance to your life. What works best for you is a personal choice, and your options are vast with a little studying and common sense.  

Is It Too Late To Stop Climate Change?

factories polluting
Source: Pexels.com

Have you noticed the latest weather reports? Las Vegas, a city known more for its neon lights in the desert than white snowflakes, saw five days of the wintery stuff in February, a once-in-a-decade-event. Luckily, visitors to the city were able to continue to stroll the strip, ducking into casinos to warm up and enjoy a game of roulette or their favorite slots. Meanwhile, the UK and other parts of Europe had record-breaking temperatures at the end of February – 21.2C in London on February 26! This could be considered a nice change from the usual cloudy and rainy weather, but, it’s one more indication that the climate is changing. And this is worrisome.

Can It Be Stopped?

The Earth has already seen major climate changes due to human activity, but even more has been set in motion and we don’t yet know the effects. There is a time lag between what we humans do and when it affects us. Even if we stopped greenhouse gas emissions now in 2019, global warming would continue for decades or even centuries. The carbon dioxide will linger in the atmosphere and the planet will need time to readjust. And if we do nothing to reduce emissions? Studies show that the global temperature will rise by an average of 6C. We are well on the way to passing tipping points, or potentially irreversible changes, such as an ice-free Arctic post-summer melt season.

This does not mean steps cannot be taken to avoid the worst effects. A two-level response is needed. First, greenhouse gas emissions MUST be reduced – known as “mitigation.” Second is the “adaptation” phase when humans learn to live with the new changes made. The key is that this response and these changes must be on a global level and not just individually.

What Solutions Are There For Climate Change?

wind turbines in field
Source: Pexels.com

Entire infrastructures must be overhauled, particularly the energy and waste sectors. A worldwide global warming treaty would go a long way in achieving this, but is it plausible? Non-profit and governmental organizations are working to build up knowledge about and solutions to this alarming issue.

A move to renewable energy sources, such as wind, water, and solar power, and away from fossil fuels, is key. When it comes to fuel for cars and airplanes, biofuel has been proved to reduce particle emissions. Electrical cars are an even better option, but only if the electricity used to recharge them is clean as well.

While a global response is necessary, it is also important that changes be made on smaller, local scales. Cities should not wait for their country to adopt a climate policy but start working on ways to solve their own problems now. Examples are building flood defenses, creating plans for heatwaves, and emphasizing green spaces, or at least water-permeable pavements, over too much asphalt and concrete.

What Can I Do?

hybrid car
Source: CarProUSA

Although an international government-level change is primordial for the mitigation and adaptation response, individuals can make a difference. When people around you see and hear about the changes you’re making, they are more likely to adjust their own habits.

Change your daily commute

Try to move away from individual gasoline or diesel-burning cars and choose public transportation, riding a bike, walking, or carpooling. The less you drive, the less you will emit and the more money you will save. Getting rid of your car can reduce your CO2 emissions by 2.5 tons!

Invest in renewable energy

Take advantage of grants and local aid to invest in solar and wind power when you can. The price of these renewable sources of energy is going down, with for example a 73% drop in the cost of utility-scale solar panels since 2010. In some countries, solar energy is now the cheapest source!

Reduce your energy usage

Even with renewable sources, the less energy you use, the better for the world and your wallet. Simple changes such as unplugging electronics when you aren’t using them, washing clothes in cool or warm water rather than hot, and winterizing your home all help.

Change your diet

mass beef farming
Source: Science

Eat less animal protein, particularly beef. Cows produce a lot of methane and are fed with grains that could be eaten by humans and take a lot of water to grow.

Shop local and less

Try to reduce the amount of goods you consume as much as possible to reduce waste. And the goods you do purchase ideally should come from nearby so you can reduce their carbon footprint from the producer to you.

Attend a conference to learn more

There are several conferences on climate change and global warming held around the world. A few of the big ones in 2019 include:

  1. 6th World Congress on Climate Change and Global Warming in Vancouver, Canada, April 24-25, 2019
  2. 8th World Climate Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, May 10-11, 2019
  3. 6th World Conference on Climate Change in Berlin, Germany, September 9-11, 2019
  4. 9th International Conference on Environment and Climate Change in Johannesburg, South Africa, November 18-19, 2019
  5. Check out https://www.conferenceseries.com/ for more options closer to home.

New Black Hole Theory Will Suck and Blow Your Mind

Wormhole
Source: Pikabay

Science has a funny way of coming around and messing with our heads every once in a while. This is one of those whiles, because I’ve just read that stuff that gets sucked into black holes doesn’t stay there forever.

It felt a bit like that time we had all that ruckus about Pluto. Pluto was a planet, and then scientists upset a whole lot of people by saying it wasn’t. There was such an outcry, the scientists then said it was a sort-of planet, and blamed the error on a dodgy calculator or something.

When I was a kid, anything sucked into a black hole was never seen again. As I got older, my classmates and I learned that black holes are where time and space warp, causing gravity so powerful, even light is sucked into it. Einstein’s theory of general relativity says the mass of many stars is crushed into a zero-size volume at the centre of the holes. Now, I’m being told I, along with almost everyone else, will have to rethink what I learned about them.



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Cosmic Recycling Plants?

Papers published in the Physical Review Letters and the Physical Review D journals challenge the accepted theory about the inner lives and workings of black holes. The research is based on a new theory of gravity, which, the authors argue, is necessary when dealing with very small sizes.

Louisiana State University’s Parampreet Singh, and Pennsylvania State University’s Abhay Ashtekar and Javier Olmedo, took the loop quantum gravity theory and applied it to a black hole-scenario. According to their findings, still theoretical, of course, Einstein was wrong – there is no singularity at the centre.

Instead, a strong space-time curve means it continues somewhere into the future, where it becomes a white hole, where all the stuff that got sucked in, light included, gets shot out. It can be tempting to think of it as a Star Trek-style worm-hole, but that’s not the case. Instead, one theory says the curve makes matter bounce, and the powerful gravitation field in black holes slows down time, which is why the process takes so long. Basically, if their maths is right, black holes across the universe are one day going to start vomiting up everything they ever swallowed.   

Recycle
Source: Pikabay

Possibly Explaining the Unexplained?

The new theory may even explain some unexplained phenomena. Scientists have observed high amounts of radio energy over short periods of time, known as radio bursts. They have also observed high-energy cosmic rays that collide with the atmosphere of the earth.

Neither of those phenomena are fully understood, but, if the research papers are correct, both could be evidence of a black hole turning into a white one. Is it possible that the matter that will be shot out of white holes could be the seeds of new solar systems? Could those scientists be seeing the universe recycling itself?

A Closer Look?

One reason so many scientists are unconvinced there is a singularity at the centre of black holes is because of the theoretic infinite density of objects that have mass, but no size. The theory sounds good, until you realise there are no such infinities in nature.

What nature does have, however, are various circumstances. Newton’s law of gravity applies only to objects that are far from our planet. The closer an object gets to earth, the more it weighs. However, bring it too close, or take it to the centre of the earth, and things change. The only way to understand those changes in behaviour is to use equations more complex than Newton’s. They need to accommodate factors such as the planet’s actual mass distribution. 

The smaller objects get, the more differently gravity behaves, which is why quantum gravity theory was developed. If this is expanded into loop quantum gravity, space-time needs to be understood as evolving, latticed spin networks, which are mathematical ways of describing how things relate to one another. First Pluto, and now black holes. My religious aunt talks about prophecies of a new heaven and a new earth. I’m starting to wonder if she isn’t on to something.


Why Changes to the Kilogram Are a Weighty Issue

Changing the kilogram
Source: Pixabay

From the 20th of May 2019, the way the kilogram is measured and standardised is going to change. The difference is so tiny that it won’t change the way you do anything. But it’s a huge deal because it will affect every scientific and technological industry and enterprise. So, why all the fuss and effort?

In the Beginning: Establishing Standards

Hundreds of years ago, we had no uniform way to measure anything. Think about what that must have been like. If you ventured into another village, it would almost be like trying to speak another language. As humans moved around trying to connect with each other and share knowledge, this was clearly not going to do.

The obvious solution was to standardise measurements. In the late 1700s, the metric system was established to do just that. The International System of Units had 7 basic measurements, with the idea being to make them “for all times, for all people” according to Stephan Schlamminger, head of the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States.

The 7 measurements are the meter, the second, the mole, the ampere, the Kelvin, the candela and, of course, the kilogram. They made our functional, physical world possible. Without them, trains wouldn’t run on time and we literally wouldn’t even know it if they were.

Up until now, the reference for the kilogram has been Big K, or Le Grande K, a piece of iridium and platinum that is kept in a temperature-controlled vault in the International Bureau of Weights and Measures, located in Sèvres, France.

Big K Isn’t Constant Enough

The thing about physical reference points is that they change and degrade, depending on where they are in the world, and what elements they are exposed to. Apparently, this is always true, even when something is in a vault, with temperature control, and nestled under 3 glass bell jars.

Over time, all the measurements in the International System of Units have been replaced with constants that have been determined by physicists. A lot of us are only learning about this now, but the kilogram is actually the last to go.

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Replacing the actual weight with a constant figure that is the same everywhere makes sense anyway, but it has become imperative. Big K has only been removed and measured a few times, but its mass has lessened by 50 micrograms.

That’s the size of a grain of salt, which is tiny in our day-to-day lives but could have a massive impact in industry and research settings. Besides this, if the constant reference point is not, well, constant, we’re not really going to know what we’re doing.

The 2011 Resolution

In 2011, the General Conference on Weights and Measures passed a resolution to redefine the kelvin, the ampere, the mole and the kilogram. Now, at last, it is the kilogram’s turn. For the past 7 years an international team of scientists, including Schlamminger and many other noted thinkers, has been working on this new definition. The fundamental factor that it will now be based on is known as Planck’s Constant.

What is Planck’s Constant?

This constant was discovered by a physicist called Max Planck and, essentially, put the Quantum into Quantum Physics. Planck determined that the photons of all atoms vibrate at a certain frequency, or whole-number multiples of that frequency. He named that frequency h, and this is what has become known as Planck’s Constant.

Applying this to the current Big K problem, the Kibble Balance is used. This is like a measuring scale, but instead of knowing how much one side weighs and then comparing it with another until they balance, the multiple of Planck’s Constant can be determined. The amount of atoms that is present in a 1-kilogram silicon sphere has also been determined, and through calculations can be converted to Planck’s Constant.

By triangulating these two methods, the project’s researchers have been able to refine kilogram measurement to within a certainty of 1 part in 100,000,000. This is about the quarter of the weight of an eyelash. On 16 November 2018, the General Conference on Weights and Measures met in Versailles, and representatives from more than 60 countries voted that this was good enough.

The smooth co-operation and adoption of this new system is heartening, and shows that people can co-operate to make daily life work better for us all. Perhaps some of our current politicians should take a leaf out of the scientific community’s book!

What Does Your Blood Type Reveal?

What your blood type reveals
Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Did you know that in the 1930’s the Japanese military studied blood types? Why, you’re wondering? Because they believed that specific blood types were linked to specific personality traits. They believed that, via a process of merging desirable personality traits, they could create ideal soldiers. It isn’t clear if these studies and practices were actually put into action, and blood type created soldiers sent onto the battlefields, but the study has remained a topic of much interest in many Asian countries.

Though, there is no strong scientific link between blood types and personality, there is a great deal of research that can be read through. It should probably be taken with a pinch of salt, but the results are, never the less very interesting. Take a look at what blood types are said to reveal in terms of personality traits and see how they stack up for you!

Type A – The Farmers

In the Japanese studies, type A blood is said to belong to those who would make perfect farmers. This is because the blood type is associated with those who are calm, loyal, peace loving and organised. So, not great for creating those ideal soldiers we already mentioned.

On the other hand, those with type A blood type are also said to be stubborn, obsessive, and pessimistic. What a curious combination of character traits. Apparently even those who are peace loving and calm can likewise have a glass half empty kind of outlook on life.

As an added little bonus, here are a few people who have type A blood. You might notice a few flaws in the blood study personality traits as Jet Li, George Bush, Adolf Hitler and Britney Spears are all A’s!

Type B – Hunters

Referred to as the hunters, type B blood owners are apparently strong, creative, expressive and cheerful. The studies reported that the individuals were extremely determined when focusing on a goal, perhaps even to beyond the point of reason if a goal is completely beyond reach. Though, the hunters are also not great at taking orders. So, once again, not prime soldier material.

On the negative side, being moody, erratic, and impatient are also hunter characteristics. So if your soldiers are going to have this blood type, it’s probably best to put them through temper management courses in advance. Famous personalities with type B blood include Leonardo DiCaprio, Paul McCartney and Jack Nicholson.

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Type AB – Humanists

Blood type AB is fairly rare, and its owners are, according to the studies, intelligent, rational, and highly analytical. Interestingly enough, however, the studies claimed that those with AB blood type might show a combination of characteristics seen in both A and B type blood. Which means, of course, that the humanists can be extremely unpredictable. Are any blood types good soldier material?

Negative humanist traits include, besides those inherited from A and B, being forgetful, critical and indecisive. Though serious analysis would probably have to be done just to try and pick up what pot pourri of traits were adopted. Famous faces with this blood type include Marilyn Monroe, Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

Type O – The Warrior

Apparently those with type O blood are honest to a fault, and even tend to dislike those who dare hide the truth from others. They are born leaders, possessing powerful personalities and would do well at the front of a battle. At least, according to the Japanese studies. So do we have our born soldiers?

Only if being vain, arrogant and unpredictable are also desirable traits in a solider. We all know, after all, how a born leader should also have the known characteristic of being vain and arrogant. A real treat for those he or she is leading into battle. Some famous faces with this type include Al Capone, Elvis Presley, Paul Newman and John Lennon.

So, it seems, no blood types are really perfect for the battlefield, which is perhaps why there was a drive to try and breed soldiers that had only the positive characteristics of each blood type. As this study was conducted in the 1930’s it could of course be said to be out of date, but as yet, not further studies have been conducted so we can only draw conclusions from what’s already been assessed.