Oct 312014

Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo crashed during its test flight shortly after separation from transport vehicle WhiteKnightTwo (scroll for video). The accident, which emerged above the Mojave Desert, occurred due to a “serious anomaly”, the company said.

A Virgin Galactic spacecraft designed and built for space tourism crashed during a test flight in California on Friday. Following impact, one person died and another was seriously injured, according to NBC News. The victims are believed to be the pilots of the plane.


SpaceShipTwo crashed during in-flight anomaly (Image Credit: Mars Scientific/Clay Center Observatory)

During the flight, SpaceShipTwo vehicle appeared to have suffered a serious malfunction and fell from the sky. WhiteKnightTwo, the aircraft used to convey the space plane into the sky, landed safely on the ground. “Our main concern is the situation of the pilots. So far we have no information over their condition,” said Virgin Galactic.

SpaceShipTwo cabin accommodated two pilots who were equipped with parachutes and ejection gears. According to witnesses, parachutes were seen around the Mojave Air Space Port base in California, where the spatial vehicle took off.

Virgin Galactic has struggled for long to promote trips in which SpaceShipTwo takes passengers about 100 kilometers up above Earth – near the edge of space – and lets them enjoy some moments of anti-gravity before getting back to ground.

“Virgin Galactic’s partner Scaled Composites carried out a powered test flight of SpaceShipTwo earlier today. During the test, the vehicle suffered a serious anomaly resulting in the loss of the vehicle,” according to a statement released by Virgin Galactic. “…We will collaborate closely with the authorities to find out the cause of the accident and deliver updates as soon as we are able to do so.”

Richard Branson and Virgin Galactic
The tragic crash seems to cause delay in Sir Richard Branson‘s dream of flying humans to the limit of the outer space. As for the company, wikipedia writes that “Virgin Galactic is a British commercial spaceflight corporation part of the Virgin Group with plans to deliver suborbital space trips to space tourists, suborbital launches for space science missions, and orbital launches of small satellites. Further in the future, Virgin Galactic intends to provide also orbital human spaceflights. Virgin Galactic’s spacecraft “Space Ship Two” is air deployed from a “partner” mother ship and launch-platform airplane named “White Knight Two”.

This incident comes just three days after Orbital Sciences Rocket Antares exploded dramatically during liftoff destroying its Cygnus Spacecraft and NASA’s cargo. The mission had aimed at supplying food and equipment to the International Space Station ISS.

Video: Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo space place crashes

Oct 302014

It has been finally revealed that Ebola can also be spread by air, namely by particles spread after an infected person’s sneeze of cough. The claim emerged ​​in a public release of the Centers for Disease Control CDC, cited by the NY Post.

Ebola can be transmitted more easily than health officials had predicted – and can be contracted by toughing a door handle contaminated by the sneeze of an infected person, even if object’s contamination occurred a few hours ago.

Ebola Virus

Ebola can be spread when coughing or sneezing (public domain)

“If you cough or sneeze, you generate microorganisms that lie on different things in a room. If someone touches them, then that person could become “infected,” said Dr. Meryl Nass, from the Institute of Public Accuracy in Washington, DC.

Nass made reference to a poster published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on its website unveiling that the notorious Ebola virus can be disseminated through “droplets of saliva.”

“The spread of the virus occurs when germs inside droplets released by infected people who cough or sneeze, get into the eyes, nose or mouth of a healthy person.”

CDC criticized for contradiction.
“The CDC had initially said that Ebola does not spread through the air at all, but they popped up on Friday with this release,” said Meryl Nass. “Now they confirm that these particles or droplets can get on the surrounding objects such as doorknobs, and Ebola can be transmitted by mere touch.”

Doctor Rossi Hassad, a professor of epidemiology at Mercy College, warns people that the dropplets may remain active for up to a day, but it depends on the moist conditions. It is pretty known that Ebola has a shorter lifetime in dry environment.

“A shorter period for dry surfaces such as a table or handle, and longer durations in a moist environment,” said Hassad.

Oct 302014

Apple CEO Tim Cook made ​​public revelations with respect to his personal life, saying he is “proud to be gay”.

Cook made ​​the disclosures in order to provide support for people who are experiencing an identity crisis, he wrote in an article for Bloomberg Businessweek.

He said he had nothing to hide on this aspect of his intimacy, but at the same time he tried to keep his personal life within certain limits of confidentiality.

Tim Cook

Apple CEO Tim Cook opens up about his private life (pic: Valery Marchive Wikimedia)

Cook also addressed his home state of Alabama to convey a message about the rights of gays and transgenders.

“I don’t consider myself an activist, but I realize how much I’ve benefited from the sacrifice of others,” he wrote.

“So if hearing that the CEO [chief executive officer] of Apple is gay can help someone struggling to come to terms with who he or she is, or bring comfort to anyone who feels alone, or inspire people to insist on their equality, then it’s worth the trade-off with my own privacy,” he added.

Mr. Cook has confirmed that he opened up about his private life to several people, such as Apple colleagues, but he admitted that “it was not a simple task” to make public such an announcement.

He also cited civil rights activist Martin Luther King, saying, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”

Oct 292014

Tens of thousands of people marched last night along Budapest’s streets in protest against the government decision to introduce an internet tax. According to EUobserver, about 100,000 people rallied in the Hungarian capital.

Similar mass gatherings took place in other eight cities around Hungary, and a march was announced in front of the Hungarian embassy in Warsaw, Poland.

Viktor Orban

Viktor Orban’s internet bill causes mass unrest in Hungary (pic: Wikimedia)

“We won’t allow this!” chanted the demonstrators who gathered in the streets for the second time in the past three days, despite extremely low temperature.The project proposed by Viktor Orban’s government would charge people 150 forints (EUR 0.50) per gigabyte transferred, an amount that Orban’s party has promised to limit at 2 euros per month for home users.

The opposition believes that the tax aims at restricting the criticism against Orban’s government – often accused of authoritarianism especially in online media. They denounce also its negative impact on small businesses as well as on access to information and education in poor regions.

European Commission unhappy!
The European Commission has long criticized the project, while the Hungarian opposition claims the bill will restrict the right for free information and expression.

European Commission slammed Hungarian government’s proposal to implement world’s first internet tax.
The spokesman of the European Commissioner for Digital Agenda, Ryan Heath, said the tax on data traffic is part of the government’s strategy to limit people’s freedoms.

“It’s a model that confines freedom or attempts to obtain benefit without economic or social interest,” he added. He also warned that the internet tax might cause ire among senior EU officials because it creates a precedent for other countries which would decide to implement similar rules.

Oct 292014

NATO has carried out several interventions in the last 48 hours, in the context of intensified aerial activities of Russia over the Black Sea, Baltic Sea and the North Sea. It becomes pretty much obvious that Putin’s forces flex their muscles by testing the readiness and reaction of their Western opponents. NATO aircraft took off [READ MORE...]

Oct 292014

News sources in Poland and Belarus have released the information that Russian President Vladimir Putin has cancer. For several months, rumors have been circulating the European press that Vladimir Putin is suffering from bone marrow cancer. In fact, news outlets from Belarus and Poland launched this rumor, claiming that the Kremlin leader was diagnosed with [READ MORE...]

Oct 292014
Video: Antares rocket explodes after launch from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia

Orbital Sciences Antares rocket blew up during the launch on Tuesday (October 28, 2014), making NASA lose the cargo. The private scientific cargo mission to the International Space Station saw a dramatic failure just seconds after rocket’s lift off the launch pad. Antares exploded during its early climb from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia [READ MORE...]

Oct 282014
Television Russia Today to launch UK news channel

RT News Television known as Russia Today and considered the voice of the Kremlin, is set to launch a channel on Thursday dedicated to the UK audience. The new RT subsidiary will “analyze the implications of major international developments for British audiences,” according to The Guardian. The station will come into service despite the fact [READ MORE...]

Oct 272014
VIDEO: New skydiving world record set by Google exec Alan Eustace after jump from stratosphere

After being lifted to the edge of space, a Google executive broke the world record for a freefall jump from the highest altitude (scroll for video). On October 24, 2014, Google’s vice president Alan Eustace, reached supersonic speeds after he leaped into empty space from more than 40 km somewhere over New Mexico State, thus [READ MORE...]

Oct 272014
Viral Hoax Set to Let Earth in Total Darkness for 6 Days in December 2014

“NASA confirms Earth will experience six days of total darkness in December 2014″. This is the article which sparked hysteria and went viral around the globe, but in fact it’s nothing else than another well elaborated HOAX. The fake story which originates from website Huzlers.com, claims that from 16 to 22 December 2014, the world [READ MORE...]