Dec 15, 2016

Hong Kong’s Kowloon Park

The area which was formerly the site of the Whitfield Barracks of the British Army was developed into a park in 1970. More than 70 buildings were demolished to make way for the park. The first stage of the park was officially opened on 24 June 1970 by the then Governor of Hong Kong, Sir David Trench. The first phase comprised 18 acres out of a planned 26 acres. It featured a floral clock as well as a Chinese garden set within an English landscape, which a government spokesman called "a reminder of Hong kong's cosmopolitan cultural heritage." The remaining three stages of the park development were completed by 1989.

The park houses an indoor sports centre and a large aquatics centre. The pool complex is the most heavily used in Hong Kong, serving over 2000 swimmers daily. It includes four indoor heated pools, including an Olympic sized 50-metre main pool. The swimming complex opened on 12 September 1989 and can accommodate a maximum of 1530 swimmers, and has an annual attendance of more than 1 million visitors.

One preserved historic barrack is used as a warehouse of Hong Kong Museum of History. Three other preserved buildings of the former barracks are used as museums. 
(Adapted from Wikipedia)

Nov 24, 2016

1889 Persia: Qajar Kings maintained the threefold functions of government, legislative, executive, and judicial

Fath-Ali Shah and his sons
In theory the king may do what he pleases; his word is law. The saying that ‘The law of the Medes and Persians altereth not’ was merely an ancient periphrasis for the absolutism of the sovereign. He appoints and he may dismiss all ministers, officers, officials, and judges. Over his own family and household, and over the civil or military functionaries in his employ, he has power of life and death without reference to any tribunal. The property of any such individual, if disgraced or executed, reverts to him. The right to take life in any case is vested in him alone, but can be delegated to governors or deputies. All property, not previously granted by the crown or purchased—all property, in fact, to which a legal title cannot be established—belongs to him, and can be disposed of at his pleasure. All rights or privileges, such as the making of public works, the working of mines, the institution of telegraphs, roads, railroads, tramways, etc., the exploitation, in fact, of any of the resources of the country, are vested in him, and must be purchased from him before they can be assumed by others. In his person are fused the threefold functions of government, legislative, executive, and judicial. No obligation is imposed upon him beyond the outward observance of the forms of the national religion. He is the pivot upon which turns the entire machinery of public life.

Nov 9, 2016

Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) - designed to guarantee equal rights for women: Initiated in 1916 was finally approved by US Congress in 1972

Alice Paul
A proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States to provide for the equality of sexes under the law. The central language of the amendment states: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” The ERA would have made unconstitutional any laws that grant one sex different rights than the other.

In 1916 Alice Paul, a leader in the suffragist movement, founded the National Woman's Party (NWP), a political party dedicated to establishing equal rights for women. Paul viewed equality under the law as the foundation essential to full equality for women. Along with her colleagues, Paul began to work on constitutional amendments recognizing equal rights for women at both state and federal levels. In 1921 various groups, which two years before had been close allies of the NWP, fiercely opposed the NWP's proposed language banning “political, civil or legal disabilities or inequalities on account of sex, or on account of marriage unless applying alike to both sexes.” Labor organizers and others fighting for women's economic welfare believed this push for legal equality threatened legislation that had been passed to protect exploited women working in factories. While Paul was not opposed to improving oppressive conditions in industry, she and other like-minded women argued that the laws designed to protect women could be used to restrict their employment opportunities.

Oct 31, 2016

Madeleine Albright: The first woman to become US Secretary of State

On January 23, 1997, Madeleine Albright, who had earlier served as U.S. ambassador to the UN, assumed under President Bill Clinton the office of secretary of state, becoming the first woman to hold that cabinet post. She was the 64th United States Secretary of State. 
(Encyclopedia Britannica and Wikipedia)

Oct 24, 2016

Kava – The root of Relaxation

Native to the South Pacific islands, kava root was traditionally brewed into a drink for royalty. Over time it was taken medicinally to relieve anxiety, combat fatigue, alleviate weakness, and treat chills and colds. In the 1770s, it was introduced to explorer Captain James Cook, who in turn introduced it to Europe. Predominately used to relieve tension and anxiety, kava has been subjected to rigorous clinical trials and shown to be as powerful as prescription antianxiety drugs. Kava is consumed throughout the Pacific Ocean cultures of Polynesia, including Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia and some parts of Micronesia for its sedating effects.

Oct 15, 2016

Mysterious Winds of the Mediterranean

Winds have carried mariners across the seas since before recorded time. They so affected early seafaring that ancient sailors personalized them with names and built legends around them. And still today, of course, because winds influence weather on both a local and global scale, they affect our everyday existence.

Wind Belts
Great belts of wind encircle the Earth. These bands of global winds and lulls are created by the uneven way in which the Sun heats the Earth, and by the mixing of air between the equator and the poles. Winds follow several general patterns within certain zones, or belts. The northeast trades and the southeast trades blow between 15 and 30 degrees latitude, the  westerlies between 45 and 60 degrees latitude, and the polar northeasterlies and polar southeasterlies between 60 and 90 degrees latitude.

Between the wind belts lie zones of still air - the horse latitudes between 30 and 45 degrees latitude, and the equatorial doldrums, which cover the area extending 15 degrees north and south of the equator. In the equatorial latitudes, the Sun's rays are nearly perpendicular to the Earth's surface, while in higher latitudes, the Sun's rays strike the Earth at an angle. The result is a greater concentration of solar energy per unit area in the tropics than in the polar regions, and therefore greater warming in the tropics.

Oct 1, 2016

What are mosquitoes good for?

There are approximately 3,500 species of mosquito just a few rank among the deadliest creatures on Earth. They include Anopheles gambiae, which transmits the malaria parasite that kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. Historians believe the mosquito arrived in the New World on slave ships from Africa in the 17th century, bringing with it yellow fever, which has killed millions of people. Today the mosquito also carries dengue fever, which infects as many as 400 million people a year, as well as such increasingly threatening pathogens as chikungunya, West Nile virus, and Zika.

Mosquitos, like all other life forms, are part of a complex food web. Many fish feed on mosquito larvae, which are aquatic, and plenty of birds and spiders and other insects feed on the adults. Dragonflies and damselflies love mosquitoes. Frogs eat adult mosquitoes, tadpoles eat the larvae.

There isn't much love lost between people and mosquitoes. At the very least, these bloodthirsty insects are major annoyances, biting us with a persistence that can be maddening. If insects can be credited with evil intent, mosquitoes seem determined to wipe the human race out. As carriers of deadly diseases, mosquitoes are the deadliest insect on Earth. Each year, millions of people die from malaria, dengue fever, and yellow fever after being bitten by a disease-carrying mosquito. Mosquitoes also carry diseases that pose serious threats to livestock and pets.

Sep 20, 2016

Ancient bathing – up to about 10th Century

Archaeological evidence suggests 5,000-yearold bathing facilities in Gaza. Soaplike material found in clay jars of Babylonian origin has been dated to about 2800 B.C. From before the time of Abraham in Middle Eastern desert climes, custom dictated that hosts offer washing water to dusty-footed guests. But one of the first known and indisputable bathtubs comes from Minoan Crete. Supposedly built for the legendary King Minos around 1700 B.C. and found in the great palace at Knossos, it's of a shape similar to modern tubs. Even more impressive is the palace plumbing system that served the royal tub. Interlocking pieces of terra-cotta pipes-each tapered at one end to give water a shooting action to prevent the buildup of clogging sediment -- were jointed and cemented together. Their technology put Minoans in the hydrological vanguard.

Egyptians
Although the ancient Egyptians didn't develop such plumbing, they had a penchant for hygiene, evident in their use of fresh linens and body ointments, skin conditioners and deodorants of the day. As described in the 1500 B.C. Ebers Papyrus, these ancients washed, and treated skin diseases with a soapy material made of animal and vegetable oils and alkaline salts. From bas-reliefs and tomb excavations, there's evidence that Egyptians sat in a shallow kind of shower bath while attendants poured water over the bather.

Sep 6, 2016

Who Discovered the Panda?

Until 1869, few had heard of the giant black-and-white creatures hiding in China’s forests. Decades later, pandamania gripped the world.

Though today giant pandas are known and loved worldwide, it wasn’t always so.

Ancient Chinese texts rarely mention the native animals. Westerners first learned of them in 1869 when French missionary Armand David, while in China, laid eyes on a distinctive black-and-white pelt and then bought a complete, dead specimen from local hunters. A zoologist in Paris wrote up the official description of Ailuropoda melanoleuca (literally, “cat foot, black and white”).

In 1929 Chicago’s Field Museum put two mounted pandas on display courtesy of the Roosevelt brothers, Theodore Jr. and Kermit. The two were sons of the 26th U.S. president, whose love of sport hunting ultimately propelled major conservation reforms. With the help of Sichuan Province locals, they brought home the first panda shot by white men for the museum’s new Asian Hall. Their feat prompted copycat expeditions funded by other museums.

Aug 3, 2016

Families work and live at site – a factory in Myanmar

At a brick factory on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar, a swaddled baby sways in a makeshift hammock. The child’s mother works at the kiln, where she’s paid for each brick she manufactures. Many families work—and live—at the site. (National Geographic magazine)

Jul 18, 2016

Nasir'd-Din Shah - King of Persia 1831-1896

Nasir'd-Din Shah in London at the Garden-Party given at Hatfield House in 1889
(The Illustrated London News May 16, 1896)

Jul 2, 2016

Fath- ‘Ali Shah - King of Persia 1797-1834

Fath-‘Ali Shah (1771-1834) whose reign coincided with rivalry among France, Great Britain, and Russia over eastern affairs, ruled Iran from 1797 to 1834. Under him, Iran became involved in a war with Russia in 1804 concerning the sovereignty of Georgia, whose ruler had transferred his allegiance from Persia to Russia. Fath- ‘Ali Shah purchased peace by abandoning his claim in 1813, after several years of war. He also lost Dagestan and Baku to Russia. In 1826 he took advantage of the recent death of Tsar Alexander I to renew the war but was compelled by the peace of 1828 to make an additional cession of territory acknowledging Russian sovereignty over the entire area north of the Aras River, present-day Armenia and Azerbaijan. 
(Adapted from Encyclopedias Britannica and Encarta)

Jun 27, 2016

How Hurricanes Form

Tropical cyclones (hurricanes, typhoons) form and grow over warm ocean water, drawing their energy from latent heat. Latent heat is the energy released when water vapor in rising hot, humid air condenses into clouds and rain. As warmed air rises, more air flows into the area where the air is rising, creating wind. The Earth’s rotation causes the wind to follow a curved path over the ocean (the Coriolis effect), which helps give tropical cyclones their circular appearance.

Hurricanes and tropical cyclones form, maintain their strength, and grow only when they are over ocean water that is approximately 27°C (80°F). Such warmth causes large amounts of water to evaporate, making the air very humid. This warm water requirement accounts for the existence of tropical cyclone seasons, which occur generally during a hemisphere’s summer and autumn. Because water is slow to warm up and cool down, oceans do not become warm enough for tropical cyclones to occur in the spring.

Oceans can become warm enough in the summer for hurricanes to develop, and the oceans also retain summer heat through the fall. As a result, the hurricane season in the Atlantic Basin, which comprises the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico, runs from June 1 through November 30. At least 25 out-of-season storms, however, have occurred from 1887 through 2003, and 9 of these strengthened into hurricanes for at least a few hours.

Jun 15, 2016

Sperm whales exhibit cultural component to their lives

New ways to grab dinner, the trick to using a tool, and learning the local dialect. These are behaviors that animals pick up from each other. Killer whales, chimpanzees, and birds seem to have a cultural component to their lives. Now a new study suggests that sperm whales should be added to that list.

The ocean around the Galápagos Islands hosts thousands of female sperm whales and their calves that have organized into clans with their own dialects. (Mature males congregate in colder waters near the poles.) How these clans form has been something of a mystery until now.

A study published recently in the journal ‘Nature Communications’ suggests that culture—behaviors shared by group members—keeps these sperm whale clans together. Specifically, these deep-diving whales have a distinct series of clicks called codas they use to communicate during social interactions.

Sperm whales with similar behaviors spend time together, and they pick up vocalizations from each other. Scientists call this social learning. Whales that "speak the same language" stick together, giving rise to the clans that researchers have observed for more than 30 years.

Jun 10, 2016

Theodore Roosevelt - 26th President of the United States (1901-1909)

(October 27, 1958 – January 6, 1919)
A writer, naturalist, and soldier. He expanded the powers of the presidency and of the federal government in support of the public interest in conflicts between big business and labour and steered the nation toward an active role in world politics, particularly in Europe and Asia. He won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1906 for mediating an end to the Russo-Japanese War, and he secured the route and began construction of the Panama Canal (1904–14).

Roosevelt was the second of four children born into a long-established, socially prominent family of Dutch and English ancestry; his mother, Martha Bulloch of Georgia, came from a wealthy, slave-owning plantation family. In frail health as a boy, Roosevelt was educated by private tutors. From boyhood, he displayed intense, wide-ranging intellectual curiosity. He graduated from Harvard College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, in 1880. He then studied briefly at Columbia Law School but soon turned to writing and politics as a career. In 1880 he married Alice Hathaway Lee, by whom he had one daughter, Alice. After his first wife's death, in 1886 he married Edith Kermit Carow (Edith Roosevelt), with whom he lived for the rest of his life at Sagamore Hill, an estate near Oyster Bay, Long Island, New York. They had five children: Theodore, Jr., Kermit, Ethel, Archibald, and Quentin.

Jun 5, 2016

Clouds

Clouds are condensed form of atmospheric moisture consisting of small water droplets or tiny ice crystals. Clouds are the principal visible phenomena of the atmosphere. They represent a transitory but vital step in the water cycle, which includes evaporation of moisture from the surface of the earth, carrying of this moisture into higher levels of the atmosphere, condensation of water vapor into cloud masses, and final return of water to the surface as precipitation.

The formation of clouds caused by cooling of the air results in the condensation of invisible water vapor that produces visible cloud droplets or ice particles. Cloud particles range in size from about 5 to 75 micrometers (0.0005 to 0.008 cm/0.0002 to 0.003 in). The particles are so small that light, vertical currents easily sustain them in the air. The different cloud formations result partly from the temperature at which condensation takes place. When condensation occurs at temperatures below freezing, clouds are usually composed of ice crystals; those that form in warmer air usually consist of water droplets. Occasionally, however, supercooled clouds contain water droplets at subfreezing temperatures. The air motion associated with cloud development also affects formation. Clouds that develop in calm air tend to appear as sheets or stratified formations; those that form under windy conditions or in air with strong vertical currents have a towering appearance.

May 10, 2016

Europeans initial contact with North America

When the glaciers retreated at the end of the last Ice Age, about 25,000 B.C., Indians and Eskimos (Inuit) gradually made their way across the land bridge that once connected Asia and North America (where the Bering Strait now separates the Soviet Union from Alaska).

Europeans did not voyage to the North American continent until the 11th century A.D. About the year 1000 the Viking, Leif Ericson, came across the Atlantic Ocean and probably landed at L' Anse aux Meadows in what is now northern Newfoundland. Another 500 years passed before any permanent European settlements were made in Canada.

In 1497, Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot), an Italian explorer, set out in an English ship, the Matthew, to find a western route to Asia. Instead he discovered a "New Found Land," teeming with fish. Cabot had stumbled on the great cod fisheries of the Grand Banks off Newfoundland.

Throughout the 1500's, fishermen from England, France, Spain, and Portugal ventured in ever-growing numbers to fish in Newfoundland's waters. The French and English set up permanent bases on shore. They salted and dried the cod so it would not spoil on the voyage to Europe. French fishing stations spread out toward the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The English tended to remain in eastern Newfoundland. Sir Humphrey Gilbert, an English explorer, formally claimed that territory for England in 1583.

Trading with the local Indians developed at the fishing stations. In exchange for pots, axes, knives, and other implements, the natives offered various furs, particularly beaver pelts. Soon shiploads of beaver skins were bound for Europe. As the fur trade developed in the New World, it spread westward, eventually reaching both the Arctic and the Pacific coasts. 
(Grolier New Book of Knowledge Encyclopedia)

May 1, 2016

Threat to the survival of Greater Adjutant storks

Indian Greater Adjutant storks sit on garbage as waste pickers collect usable goods from a garbage dumping site on the eve of the World Environment Day on the outskirts of Guwahati city, Assam, India, on June 4, 2016. Fast vanishing wetlands in and around Guwahati city have now become a major threat for the survival of Greater Adjutant stork. (MSNBC)

Apr 24, 2016

Snowy Oal

Snowy Owl lives in the upper latitude of North America, Europe, and Asia. (National Geographic 2016)

Apr 2, 2016

What is Time?

Time is conscious experience of duration, the period during which an action or event occurs. Time is also a dimension representing a succession of such actions or events. Time is one of the fundamental quantities of the physical world, similar to length and mass in this respect. The concept that time is a fourth dimension—on a par with the three dimensions of space: length, width, and depth—is one of the foundations of modern physics. Time measurement involves the establishment of a time scale in order to refer to the occurrence of events. The precise determination of time rests on astronomical and atomic definitions that scientists have established with the utmost mathematical exactness.

Physicists agree that time is one of the most difficult properties of our universe to understand. Although scientists are able to describe the past and the future and demarcations such as seconds and minutes, they cannot define exactly what time is. The scientific study of time began in the 16th century with the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei. In the 17th century English mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton continued the study of time. A comprehensive explanation of time did not exist until the early 20th century, when German-born American physicist Albert Einstein proposed his theories of relativity. These theories define time as the fourth dimension of a four-dimensional world consisting not just of space but of space and time.

Several ways to measure time are in use today. Solar time is based on the rotation of Earth on its axis. It makes use of the Sun’s apparent motion across the sky to measure the duration of a day. Sidereal time is also based on Earth’s rotation, but uses the apparent motion of the “fixed” stars across the sky as Earth rotates as the basis for time determination. Standard time, the familiar clock time most people use in everyday life, is based on the division of Earth’s sphere into 24 equal time zones. Dynamical time—formerly called ephemeris time—is the timescale of astronomy. Astronomers use the orbit of Earth around the Sun, as well as the orbital motions of the Moon and the other planets, to determine dynamical time. Atomic time is based on the frequency of electromagnetic waves that are emitted or absorbed by certain atoms or molecules under particular conditions. It is the most precise method for measuring time. 
(Encarta Encyclopedia)

Mar 26, 2016

Insects

We live in an age of insects. About half of all known animals are insects. Scientists have found about 1 million species (kinds) of insects so far. There are more species of insects than of any other animal in the world. Bees, flies, ants, grasshoppers, beetles, and butterflies are some of the insects that might live near you.

Insects buzz in the air. They crawl over stones. They hop through grass. They dig tunnels underground.

Some insects are helpful. They do important jobs to help plants grow. They help get rid of wastes and dead plants and animals. Some insects are harmful. They bite or sting. They carry diseases or destroy crops.

What Makes an Insect an Insect?
Insects are invertebrates, or animals without backbones. They breathe air through holes in their bodies. The body of an insect has three main parts called the head, thorax, and abdomen.

Insects go through life stages and have very different forms in each stage. Adult insects usually have three pairs of legs, one pair of antennae, and two pairs of wings.

Mar 13, 2016

Mathematics

Mathematics is a way of describing relationships between numbers and other measurable quantities. Mathematics can express simple equations as well as interactions among the smallest particles and the farthest objects in the known universe. Mathematics allows scientists to communicate ideas using universally accepted terminology. It is truly the language of science.

We benefit from the results of mathematical research every day. The fiber-optic network carrying our telephone conversations was designed with the help of mathematics. Our computers are the result of millions of hours of mathematical analysis. Weather prediction, the design of fuel-efficient automobiles and airplanes, traffic control, and medical imaging all depend upon mathematical analysis.

For the most part, mathematics remains behind the scenes. We use the end results without really thinking about the complexity underlying the technology in our lives. But the phenomenal advances in technology over the last 100 years parallel the rise of mathematics as an independent scientific discipline.

Mar 6, 2016

Male Brain – high-level summary functions of various areas and gender differences

  • 1 --> Medial Preoptic Area (MPOA): This is the area for sexual pursuit, found in the hypothalamus, and it is 2.5 times larger in the male. Men need it to start an erection.
  • 2 --> Temporal Parietal Junction (TPJ): The solution seeker, this "cognitive empathy" brain hub rallies the brain's resources to solve distressing problems while taking into account the perspective of the other person or people involved. During interpersonal emotional exchanges, it's more active in the male brain, comes on-line more quickly, and races toward a "fix-it-fast" solution.
  • 3 --> Dorsal Premammillary Nucleus (DPN): The defend-your-turf area, it lies deep inside the hypothalamus and contains the circuitry for a male's instinctive one-upmanship, territorial defense, fear, and aggression. It's larger in males than in females and contains special circuits to detect territorial challenges by other males, making men more sensitive to potential turf threats.

Feb 27, 2016

Louis Leakey (1903-1972) proved that human evolution was centered in Africa, and not Asia, as proposed earlier

Kenyan archaeologist and anthropologist whose fossil discoveries in East Africa proved that human beings were far older than had previously been believed and that human evolution was centered in Africa, rather than in Asia, as earlier discoveries had suggested. Leakey was also noted for his controversial interpretations of these archaeological finds.

Born of British missionary parents, Leakey spent his youth with the Kikuyu people of Kenya, about whom he later wrote. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and began his archaeological research in East Africa in 1924; he was later aided by his second wife, the archaeologist Mary Douglas Leakey (née Nicol), and their sons. He held various appointments at major British and American universities and was curator of the Coryndon Memorial Museum in Nairobi from 1945 to 1961.

Feb 20, 2016

The Earth is warming up

The Earth has warmed 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit on average since the late 19th century. Most of the warming has occurred since 1960, the period covered on this map. It reveals the regional variety buried in the global average. A few areas, most near the Antarctic, actually have gotten colder since 1960, while some parts of the Arctic have warmed as much as 15 degrees. Natural climate cycles explain why the warming has happened unevenly and fitfully, but not the warming trend itself, which has overwhelmed the cooling effect of the ash from volcanoes. It has coincided over the past half century with a surge in carbon emissions from rapidly industrializing world. Finding a way to stop those emissions – a climate change – is the challenge for the next half century. 
(National Geographic, November 2015)

Feb 14, 2016

Nuclear Power Plants Worldwide

As of June 2015 there were 438 reactors operational with 67 power plants under construction.
(European nuclear society: https://www.euronuclear.org)

Feb 7, 2016

New 'Superman' crystals can store data for billions of years

Researchers in the U.K. have developed a way of storing digital data inside tiny structures contained in glass. The storage technology is so stable and safe that it can survive for billions of years, scientists at the University of Southampton said this week. That's a lot longer than your average computer hard drive.

Sadly, the human inventions don't look like the glittering crystals that Superman uses to generate holograms of people from his home planet. Instead, they take the form of small glass discs that have already been used to store historic documents, like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Bible."This technology can secure the last evidence of our civilization: all we've learned will  not be forgotten," said Peter Kazansky, a professor at the university.

Each disc can hold up to 360 terabytes of data -- the equivalent of 22,500 basic iPhones.

The wizardry involved is invisible to the human eye. The scientists use a sophisticated laser to encode the information into minuscule formations, known as nanostructures, inside fused quartz. The structures alter the way light travels through the glass, allowing the data to be read by special optical devices.

The researchers call the data storage 5D, because the information is translated into five different dimensions of the nanostructures — their height, length, width, orientation and position.

The scientists from Southampton, who are presenting their research at an international conference in San Francisco on Wednesday, say they are looking for industry partners to further develop and commercialize the technology. 
(CNN)

Jan 30, 2016

1930s: Ancient Persian palace in Tehran, Iran - belonging to Qajar dynasty

The home of the Shah's harem, where each wife and favorite has her own household establishment, thus forming a big family of several hundred women. (1939 National Geographic)

Jan 16, 2016

Heavy Traffic

Every year the Earth loops through a solar system crowded with other bodies, there’s a chance it could run into trouble.

So far more than 5400 asteroids and comets have been spotted flying within 121 million miles of the sun – close enough to our planet for astronomers to classify them as near-Earth objects. Those that measure more than 4600 feet across and pass within 4.6 million miles of Earth’s orbit are considered potentially hazardous. As of April 2008, astronomers had cataloged more than 950 such bodies (red tracks in the above picture) – including Apophis, an asteroid that will come within 21000 miles of Earth in 2029. But observers are constantly monitoring their positions, recalculating their orbital paths and the impact risks they represent – and searching nearby space for new threats. 
(National Geographic)

Jan 2, 2016

2016: India has the world’s largest youth population

With 356 million 10-24 year-olds, India has the world’s largest youth population despite having a smaller population than China, a latest UN report said on Tuesday.

China is second with 269 million young people, followed by Indonesia (67 million), the U.S. (65 million) and Pakistan (59 million), Nigeria with 57 million, Brazil with 51 million, and Bangladesh with 48 million, the United Nations Population Fund’s (UNFPA) State of the World’s Population report said.

It said that developing countries with large youth populations could see their economies soar, provided they invest heavily in young people’s education and health and protect their rights.

Within this generation are 600 million adolescent girls with specific needs, challenges and aspirations for the future, the report said.

The report titled ‘The power of 1.8 billion’, said 28 per cent of India’s population is 10 to 24 year-olds, adding that the youth population is growing fastest in the poorest nations. Global number of youths is highest ever.

As the world is home to 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 year, 9 in 10 of the world’s young population live in less developed countries.

“Never before have there been so many young people. Never again is there likely to be such potential for economic and social progress. How we meet the needs and aspirations of young people will define our common future,” the report said.