Feb 272017
 

About 5,000 Romanians have created the European Union flag during an anti-Government protest at the Victory Square in central Bucharest on Sunday.

romanian protests eu flag

Creative Romanians form EU flag at anti-graft rally in Bucharest (screengrab Digi24)

The crowd marked the 27th consecutive day (& night) of rallies since January 31 when Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu’s cabinet passed the controversial emergency decree decriminalizing the corruption offences. The decree was meanwhile retracted under the street pressure but people are still staging protest as they lost confidence in country’s government.

The demonstrators have created a giant flag of the European Union using blue & yellow-colored paper illuminated from beneath by flashlights of their mobile phones. They chanted “Europe!” and sang the national anthem while carrying pins with the emblematic hashtag label “#Rezist”.

“Tonight we are sending out a message to Europe. We are pro-European Union and the Union must be with us,” said a participant. Another protester said he joined the rallies for the 16th night and “certainly won’t be the last one”, he assured.

Hundreds of people gathered also in other major cities across the country including Cluj-Napoca, Timisoara, Brasov and Sibiu to express solidarity with their country fellows in Bucharest. They shouted various slogans such as “Justice! No corruption”,”We don’t give up!”, “Resignation!”, “You thieves” and “This crooked government must leave”.

When it comes to anti-graft protests, Romanians seem to develop a strong culture and creativity as they previously formed also the country’s tricolor flag during a massive gathering earlier this month.

According to Reuters, Transparency International ranks Romania among the EU’s most corrupt countries and Brussels keeps its justice system under a special monitoring system called MCV. The EU has praised prosecutors and magistrates for their struggle to crack down on corruption, but has noted a trend in parliament to weaken the anti-graft law.

Video: Romanians form EU flag at anti-government rally in Bucharest

Feb 262017
 

TRAPPIST-1 life and human habitation. NASA announced the discovery of a new solar system, called TRAPPIST-1, located at a distance of “just” 39 light years from us, and the news of the existence of seven potentially-habitale Earth-like planets sparked numerous assumptions and discussions. Because many people dream of travelling to these alien worlds, the big question is: how would Trappist-1 life be different than life on Earth?

trappist-1 life sky view

Artistic impression of Trappist-1 sky view (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Astounding sky views
One of the upside of living on a habitable planet of Trappist-1 is the night-sky view which would be spectacular because of the other six planets constantly looming in the vicinity. “You wouldn’t see them [other 6 planets] like we see Venus or Mars, like dots of light. You would see them really as we see the moon. A neighboring planet might appear twice as large as the full moon seen from Earth,” said Belgian astronomer Michaël Gillon quoted by Space.com.

The very short distance between the orbits of the seven planets is caused by the fact that their parent star is an ultracool dwarf star. It’s about 2,000 times dimmer than the sun, and only slightly larger than the planet Jupiter.

Sunset-like view
Despite orbiting close to their star, the natural lighting on TRAPPIST-1 planets would appear very dim to a human visitor.

Ultracool dwarf stars produce significantly less radiation than sun-like stars, and most of TRAPPIST-1’s light is radiated in the infrared wavelengths rather than visible wavelengths, according to Amaury Triaud of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in England, a co-author on the paper describing the discovery.

Short years and long-lasting days and nights
Planets of the Trappist-1 system need just a few days to complete a full orbit around the dwarf star, with the most distant planet finishing this cycle in about 20 days.

While the years are much shorter, the days & nights are extremely long – almost eternal, due to the tidal block which means that same side of each planet will always be exposed to light from the star, just as the Moon always shows the same face to Earth. The Trappist-1 planets rotate but so slow that the days & nights last “forever”.

The initial enthusiasm that the seven planets could host life seems to fade away in front of the 40-light-years distance. Transporting people to Trappist-1 requires development of new groundbreaking technologies that go beyond the horizon of application of physics and engineering known so far.

Trappist-1 night sky view

Planets in TRAPPIST-1 system would definitely offer amazing night sky views (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

Feb 262017
 

A Pakistani airline is under investigation after a passenger who flew from Karachi to Medina (Saudi Arabia), claimed that a number of additional passengers were standing along the aisle during the 4 hour flight!

Pakistan Airlines standing passengers

PIA carried 7 passengers standing during international flight to Medina (public domain)

The Dawn newspaper revealed that Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK-743 carried 416 passengers on January 20, despite the fact that the Boeing 777 aircraft had a capacity of 409 including jump seats.

Taking seatless passengers is seen as a risky job because they wound have no access to oxygen masks and would block the evacuation of others in case of an emergency situation. According to preliminary investigations, the standing passengers had handwritten tickets (!!!), while their names did not appear in the official list delivered by the airport staff to the flight crew.

The safety breach is now shared between the pilots and the cabin personnel who blame each other. Chief flight attendant Hina Turab says she warned captain Anwer Adil that there will be chaos because of extra passengers and was replied that people must be allowed aboard because they paid their tickets. Moreover, the captain accuses the stewardess for closing aircraft’s doors despite knowing that there are additional passengers aboard.

PIA spokesman Danyal Gilani said the company is probing the case, promising that all those responsible will be sanctioned.

The airline had been previously accused of taking two additional passengers in the toilet of a plane during another flight from Lahore to Karachi.

In December 2016, a plane flying from Chitral to Islamabad crahsed killing all 48 people on board. According to the newspaper Pakistan Today, PIA has suffered eight fatal aviation accidents since 1996 with a total of 327 fatalities.

Feb 262017
 

Former UKIP party leader Nigel Farage, posted a Twitter phone with the caption “Dinner with The Donald”. It was apparently the last meeting between the US president Donald Trump and the British politician who is known as a vehement critic of conservative Prime Minister Theresa May.

dinner with the donald nigel farage

Nigel Farage (wikimedia commons)

Farage, who contributed to the victory of the Brexit campaign in June last year, is keen on strengthening ties with Trump, after he resigned last year from his leading position of the anti-EU party UKIP.

The photograph entitled “Dinner with The Donald” shows a very happy Farage smiling to the camera, while US President and four other people are seated around a table at the Trump International Hotel in Washington DC on Saturday night.

Farage was practically in the company of Donald Trump, his daughter Ivanka, her husband and senior White House adviser, Jared Kushner, and the Florida governor, Rick Scott.

Journalist Benny Johnson, the creative director of online news outlet Independent Journal Review, wrote on Twitter: “Farage was not invited to this dinner. Squeezed in at last minute.”


Feature photo credit: By Euro Realist Newsletter [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Feb 252017
 
NASA ISS live stream video shows UFO???

A NASA ISS live stream unveils unidentified objects flying in the dark background of the outer space (scroll for photo and video). In a mysterious twist of the situation, the video, streamed live from the International Space Station, is interrupted suddenly every time the unidentified objects seem to enter camera’s viewing angle. The footage shows […]

Feb 252017
 
IPhone 7 Plus catching fire triggers Apple investigation (VIDEO)

Apple has opened an inquiry into an iPhone 7 Plus “explosion” after the incident was filmed and posted on Twitter. “So my IPhone 7 plus blew up this morning, was not even using it, literally no explanation for this”, wrote Brianna Olivas (username Bree) who captured the situation on tape. She subsequently uploaded two photos […]

Feb 242017
 
Donald Trump lashes out at fake media during CPAC 2017 speech: Reporters "should not" use sources unless they use names (VIDEO)

During a speech at the annual meeting of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC 2017) in Maryland on Friday, the US President Donald Trump used the occasion to attack once again the fake media which according to him, is the enemy of the state. “We are fighting with false news. They are the enemies of […]

Feb 242017
 
US President Donald Trump slams FBI for being unable to prevent information leaks to media

US President Donald Trump expressed his harsh criticism against the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in a message posted on Twitter shortly after the agenvy would have rejected a request from the White House to deny reports about possible ties between the Republican campaign staff and Russian services before the November 2016 presidential elections. Trump […]

Feb 242017
 
VIDEO: Strong crosswind blowing big truck on top of police car in Wyoming

A video footage from a dashcam shows the frightening moment a huge truck is blown over by strong crosswind before smashing a police car parked at the side of the Interstate I-80 highway! The accident emerged on 7th of February near Elk Mountain in the US state of Wyoming which was affected by severe storm […]

Feb 242017
 
VIDEO: FlyBe Flight Crash-Landed at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as Plane's Landing Gear Collapsed

FlyBe Crash Landing Amsterdam: An aviation incident emerged at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport where a passenger plane operated by the British airline FlyBe crash landed in extreme weather conditions Thursday afternoon after part of its landing gear failed. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured in the incident, Dutch media reported. The Bombardier Dash8 Q400 aircraft was […]