Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2015

Beautiful Karner Blue Butterfly on Brink of Revival

Karner blue butterfly

Formed nearly 12,000 years ago by a receding glacial lake, the Albany Pine Bush Preserve in New York hosts a rare ecosystem, one of only 20 inland pine barrens in the world. Its sand dunes hold a unique variety of habitats, yet nutrient-poor soils, that support a diverse range of plants and animals that thrive in an environment too barren to support competing species. This unusual landscape, surrounded by development, also holds within it an equally rare species: the endangered Karner blue butterfly, named by lepidopterist (and "Lolita" author) Vladimir Nabokov in 1944. And yet this U.S. National Natural Landmark seems always on the brink of destruction. In the face of large-scale development in the area, grassroots organizations like Save the Pine Bush have had to repeatedly rescue the park — and the blue lupine flowers that feed the local community of Karner butterflies — from annihilation. July 29;…

MH370 search: Reunion debris 'very likely' part of plane

Saint-Denis, Reunion Island (CNN)When investigators get an in-person view of a wing component that likely came from a Boeing 777, they'll be looking for not only a serial number but clues as to why the part broke off the Boeing 777. One group of independent observers said Thursday that the damage to the component -- a right wing flaperon -- should give authorities a good indication that the piece came off while the plane was still in the air. Boeing and Australian officials are confident the debris -- found Wednesday (July 29) off the coast of a remote island in the west Indian Ocean -- came from a Boeing 777 -- and might be from Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a 777 that disappeared in March 2014 with 239 people on board. Jul 31

The discovery of a wing component  that likely came from MH 370 took place on the shores of  Reunion Island, a remote island in the Indian Ocean.  A chart for the Full Moon of  Jul…

India’s chart and the Yakub Memon hanging

Hercules battling the Hydra

India has executed Yakub Memon, the man convicted of financing the deadly 1993 Mumbai bombings, the Maharashtra state government has confirmed. Memon was hanged at a prison in Nagpur at 6:35 am on July 30. As expected the execution has polarized India on communal lines.  Many commentators have linked the Mumbai bomb blasts to the Mumbai riots following the demolition of the Babri Masjid  by right wing political outfits. The action-reaction attacks and counterattacks have plagued India since its partition in 1947.

To analyze the event let us begin with the chart for the hanging of Yakub Memon [ July 30; 6:35 am IST; Nagpur].  On the Ascendant [16le] is Mercury [13le] which aligns perfectly with the Saturn-Pluto [13le] conjunction in India’s Independence Chart. 

What follows below is an abbreviated extract from Nick Fiorenza’s excellent article  “The Saturn-Pluto Synodic Cycles - A Historical Exploration 1851 – 2020” [1]. Here we are interested in the Saturn-P…

X-Ray Reveals Mysterious Component of Human Hair

Coma Berenices Berenice's Hair

A new and surprising component of human hair has just been discovered, according to research that will be presented today at the annual meeting of the American Crystallographic Association, held in Philadelphia. Human hair has been extensively studied for decades, but until now, a complete understanding of its structure had proven elusive. "Hair traditionally has been constituted of three regions: medulla (central part of the hair), cortex (biggest volume fraction of the hair) and the cuticle (external part of the hair)," project leader Vesna Stanic, a scientist working at the Brazilian Synchrotron Light Source, told Discovery News. July 29

In this post we will see yet another example of how eclipses continue to create events on earth long after they are gone.  A chart for the lunar eclipse of October 8, 2014 at Philadelphia is shown here. Notice tha…

Cecil the lion's killer revealed as American dentist

Hercules battling the Nemean Lion

Cecil the lion – the most famous creature in one of Zimbabwe's national parks – was killed by an American hunter who has boasted about shooting a menagerie of animals with his bow and arrow, The Telegraph can reveal. Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, is believed to have paid £35,000 to shoot and kill the much-loved lion with a bow and arrow. The animal was shot on July 1 in Hwange National Park. Conservation groups in Zimbabwe reacted angrily to the news that the 13-year-old animal had been killed: partly because the lion was known to visitors and seemingly enjoyed human contact, and partly because of the way in which he was killed. He was lured out of the national park and shot.

The incident occurred on July 1 in Hwange National Park which is close to the town of  Dete in Zimbabwe [1]. On July 1, there was a Venus-Jupiter [21le] conjunction in Leo which was prominently placed on the Ascendant at Dete. Venus-Jupiter…

Psychological well-being and empathy

Empathy is having its moment. The ability to feel what another person is feeling, from that person's perspective, generates lots of press as the ultimate positive value and the pathway to a kinder, less violent world. Schools across the country are teaching empathy to children, and myriad books explore it from every possible angle: how to get it, why it makes you a better person, how its absence can breed evil. Empathy is exalted by thinkers from Zen Buddhist monk Thích Nhâ't Hąnh to British writer Roman Krznaric, who just launched an online Empathy Museum where you can virtually step into someone else's shoes. Established scientists like primatologist Frans de Waal and developmental psychiatrist Daniel Siegel explore the deep roots of empathy in animals and its essential nature in humans. Even the business world exalts empathy as a way to ensure the success of companies and their products, with design firm IDEO leading the charge. We are exhorted to examine our empathic c…

Skeletons Of Napoleon's Soldiers Show Signs Of Starvation

Ary Scheffer, The Retreat of Napoleon’s Army from Russia in 1812

As snow lashed across their faces, archaeologists quickly excavated a mass grave in Vilnius, Lithuania.  The jumbled bones, haphazardly oriented, were punctuated with finds of shoes and clothing. Buttons revealed the identity of the dead: over 40 different regiments were represented, all from Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Archaeologists had found the final resting place of over three thousand men who perished during Napoleon’s retreat from Moscow in 1812. Now, new chemical analyses of the bones are revealing where these soldiers hailed from and just how difficult it was to find enough to eat. Napoleon’s exploits are well-known from history. In an attempt to prevent invasion of Poland by Russian Czar Alexander I, Napoleon decided to invade Russia first. He started out with around 675,000 men who came from all over Europe; French, Germans, Polish, Lithuanians, Spanish, and Italians, however, made up the majority. This Grande Arm…

Abdul Kalam, India’s “Missile Man”, Dies

SHILLONG:  India's 11th President APJ Abdul Kalam died on Monday evening at a hospital in Meghalaya, where he had gone to deliver a lecture. He was 83. The former President, who was in office from 2002 to 2007, had collapsed during the lecture at the Indian Institute of Management, Shillong, around 6.30 pm. He was taken to the Bethany hospital. Doctors said he had suffered from a massive cardiac arrest. July 27

Abdul Kalam (15 October 1931 – 27 July 2015) was an Indian scientist who served as the 11th President of India from 2002 to 2007. Kalam was born and raised in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu and studied physics and aerospace engineering. He spent the next four decades as a scientist and science administrator, mainly at the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) and was intimately involved in India's civilian space p…

Largest (balloon) dog structure created

Canis Minor The Lesser Dog

LEHI — Records are made to be broken. Thanksgiving Point has been celebrating its 20th anniversary all summer long with special events, like its "Wonders of the World" exhibit. There, Jeremy Telford and several other balloon artists have assembled massive balloon structures which resemble the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. In a week, Telford and the team will assemble the Modern Wonders of the World, but before that, Telford had a record to break. Since Monday, (July 20) Telford has been assembling about 9,000 bright pink balloons into a massive balloon animal in an attempt to break the world record for largest balloon structure created by an individual. July 25

A chart for the current New Moon of July 15 will help explain this news. At Lehi, Utah the New Moon is  significant  since it is square the meridian. It is also in hard aspect to Neptune (gases). The New Moon [23cn] is conjunct the star Procyon [26cn]. Alpha (α Canis …

Delhi polluted air claims 80 lives a day

NEW DELHI:  Government has said it was not right to believe an international report which claimed that air pollution kills 80 people in Delhi everyday and added that it will come out with a detailed correction of the answer on Monday. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar had yesterday (July 24) said that an international study released recently has claimed that foul air is killing up to 80 people a day in Delhi and the numbers of premature deaths given in the study are based on the constructive estimates and extrapolations of data. July 25

The news comes to us on the First Quarter Moon of July 24. A chart for the Moon phase at Delhi is shown here. The Sun [1le] is  conjunct the  Rotten Egg Nebula (Calabash Nebula) [1le] [1]. Dim stars of Hydra’s poisonous breath are here so that Diana Rosenberg lists “air contamination and bad odors” among events in…

Chinese toddler recovering after "brain-shrinking" surgery

Chinese surgeons have successfully replaced a 3-year-old girl's skull with a 3D-printed titanium alloy substitute in a 17-hour-long operation. The girl had suffered from hydrocephalus, which had swelled her head up to 4 times the normal size. The surgery was performed at the Second People's Hospital in Hunan province. The doctors used 3D data and a computed tomography scanner to print three pieces of titanium mesh to replace the entire top portion of the child's skull. The first stage of the surgery was to detach the girl's scalp from her head. Then the surgeons inserted drainage tubes and pumped out the brain fluid before putting in the transplants. The girl, named Han Han, suffered from hydrocephalus, also known as "water on the brain." People with this illness have cerebrospinal fluid accumulating in their brain cavities. July 17

According to th…

Most Kissing Is Non-Sexual, Killjoy Researchers Discover

In life as in movies, a good kiss is indelible. It’s love and desire and unfettered happiness: wives and girlfriends embracing soldiers returned from war; Ingrid Bergman crying out to Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, “Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time!” At least that’s what we’ve been taught.But a new study published in American Anthropologist has found that kissing isn’t the universal expression of romantic love we all thought it was.

The research paper by anthrpologists  from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas was published on July 6. On the very same day Sun was opposite Pluto and a chart drawn for the event at Las Vegas had the combination in aspect to the meridian with Pluto in the mundane 5th house that is associated with romance, lovemaking and sex [1].  Sexual taboos or that which is shunned or forbidden by a culture come under the domain of Pluto. On those day…

Roosters Crow in Pecking Order by Seniority

Roosters crow in order of seniority, the top cock announcing daybreak while juniors patiently wait their turn, said a study Thursday which revealed a long-guarded secret of chickendom. We are all familiar with that first pre-dawn "cock-a-doodle-doo", quickly followed by others within hearing distance. But how do cockerels decide who goes first?They pull rank, according to a set of experiments with captive birds reported in the journal Scientific Reports (July 23). "The top-ranking rooster always started to crow first, followed by its subordinates, in descending order of social rank," wrote the Japanese authors of the study. July 23

The journal Scientific Reports is published from London. Shown here is the chart for the First Quarter Moon of July 24 at London. The Sun is conjunct the Ascendant and forms a Grand Trine with the MC and Saturn. It is also conjunct Mercury and the aste…

The surprising danger of becoming an expert in your field

Here's a trick you can try at the next party you attend: Come up with a completely bogus money term and then ask your financial expert friend to explain it to you. Chances are he'll make a fool of himself when he assumes it's a real concept and claims to know all about it. That's according to new research, which suggests that self-proclaimed experts are more susceptible to the "illusion of knowledge." In other words, people who believe they know a lot about a particular topic are more likely to claim they know about fake concepts related to that topic. This phenomenon, called "overclaiming," could easily undermine you and work, making you look like an arrogant idiot or leading you to offer bad advice to others seeking your expertise. The study, led by Stav Atir, a graduate student at Cornell University, tested this phenomenon among self-proclaimed experts in fields like personal finance, biology, and literature.…

Ottawa, the city fun forgot, tops on infidelity website

Canada's prim capital is suddenly focused more on the state of people's affairs than the affairs of the state. One in five Ottawa residents allegedly subscribed to adulterers' website Ashley Madison, making one of the world's coldest capitals among the hottest for extra-marital hookups - and the most vulnerable to a breach of privacy after hackers targeted the site. Hackers threatened to leak details including the credit card information, nude photos, sexual fantasies and real names of as many as 37 million customers worldwide of Ashley Madison, which uses the slogan: "Life is short. Have an affair." The one bright spot for millions of Ashley Madison's nervous clients is that the hack appears to be an inside job, according to police and intelligence sources. Avid Life has also said it is convinced the hackers were formerly connected to the company. That means, for now at least, the perpetrators are driven by ideological and not commercial motives. The hac…