Wednesday 5 April 2017

Volvo Plans to Take on Tesla

Volvo plans to launch its first all-electric vehicle by 2019. The Swedish automaker, which is now owned by Chinese company Geely, wants to compete with Tesla's Model 3 in terms of price.
When electric vehicles were first introduced, people weren’t quick to buy into the idea due to fears of limited mileage on a single charge. EVs were also generally more expensive compared to gas-powered cars. But all that is changing.
EVs can now compete with other cars in terms of price, and a single charge can support a much greater range. Traditional car manufacturers are quick to adapt these new technologies to develop their own EVs, and among them is Volvo. The Swedish company, now owned by Chinese manufacturer Geely, has just revealed their first all-electric car.
It’s not clear yet whether Volvo’s new concept will be a sedan or an SUV, but reports do indicate that it will be able to cover roughly 402 kilometers (250 miles) on one full charge. The vehicle is expected to be priced between $35,000 and $40,000, putting it in the same range as Tesla’s Model 3. No word yet if this concept EV will also be equipped with Volvo’s autonomous driving system.
In any case, the vehicle will be made at the company’s factory in Luqiao, China, and is set to go into production in 2019. The Swedish car manufacturer is also planning to build a larger EV for 2019, making that a big year for Volvo EVs.
Volvo has said they expect to sell one million EVs by 2025, and this new all-electric vehicle will likely put a big dent in that goal. As more EVs like it hit the roads, we should be able to put a dent in the carbon emissions currently wreaking havoc on our planet as well.

Tuesday 4 April 2017

Volocopter- Flying to the Future

Who doesn’t love flying cars? Almost every science-fiction flick that’s set in the future features flying vehicles, which shows just how much people want flying cars.
Fortunately, the wait for these futuristic vehicles may soon be over, thanks to companies like German startup E-volo. The company has been working on a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft since 2011. Now, it is confident that it can bring its VTOL into a commercial setting.
E-volo’s latest multicopter, the Volocopter 2X, is its ticket into this future. The electric aircraft is designed for two passengers and can take off using a simple joystick. Its 18 rotors allow the Volocopter to fly very, very silently.
Specs-wise, the Volocopter can reach top speeds of roughly 100 kph (62 mph), but only for a limited amount of time and across not-so-long distances. This VTOL comes with nine batteries — it’s electric and clean — that give it enough power to fly at a cruising speed of 69 kph (43 mph) for a good 17 minutes.
E-volo plans to try out a flying taxi service with the Volocopter 2X by 2018. For this first planned taxi flight, the VTOL will be manned by a pilot. However, E-volo has put sensors in the Volocopter that could allow it to eventually fly autonomously.
E-volo also plans to get international approval in the near future to fly the Volocopter in the rest of Europe and in the United States. For now, this VTOL has been classified in Germany as an ultralight aircraft. In principle, anyone with a license as a sport-pilot in Germany would be able to fly the Volocopter.

Monday 3 April 2017

A New Hyperloop System is Slated to Connect European Cities by 2021

It looks like the Netherlands would soon join Slovakia, and the Czech Republic as the next European country to have a Hyperloop. A Dutch team from the Technical University of Delft (TU Delft) won this year’s edition of SpaceX’s competition to develop this next generation, super-fast transport technology, and they’re already setting up a full-scale testing center.
The Dutch team’s idea will be realised by tech startup Hardt Global Mobility, in partnership with TU Delft, the Dutch national railway NS, and construction company BAM. Building the 30 meter (98 foot) tube is the first step.
“In this facility we will test all systems that don’t require high speeds,” Hardt CEO Tim Houter told Reuters. “So think about the levitation system, but also the propulsion system, but really important, all the safety systems will be tested in this low-speed but full-scale testing facility.” The initial round of testing has already received $675,000 in funding. More would be needed for a high-speed test line by 2019 to accomplish their goal of setting up a Hyperloop system between Amsterdam and Paris by 2021.
First proposed in 2013 by SpaceX’s founder and CEO Elon Musk, the Hyperloop is transportation system for people and cargo that features pods traveling through tubes — or possibly tunnels — at roughly 1,126 k/h (700 mph). Apart from the European sites mentioned, other Hyperloop projects are already at work in Canada, Los Angeles, and Dubai.
References: Ap, Reuters

Sunday 26 March 2017

Secret of Our Life

The true secret to life does not lie within your DNA, but rather within the mechanisms of your cell membrane.
Each cell membrane has receptors that pick up various environmental signals, and this mechanism controls the "reading" of the genes inside your cells. Your cells can choose to read or not read the genetic blueprint depending on the signals being received from the environment. So having a "cancer program" in your DNA does not automatically mean you're destined to get cancer. Far from it. This genetic information does not ever have to be expressed...
What this all means is that you are not controlled by your genetic makeup. Instead, your genetic readout (which genes are turned "on" and which are turned "off") is primarily determined by your thoughts, attitudes, and perceptions!
The major problem with believing the myth that your genes control your life is that you become a victim of your heredity. Since you can't change your genes, it essentially means that your life is predetermined, and therefore you have very little control over your health. With any luck, modern medicine will find the gene responsible and be able to alter it, or devise some other form of drug to modify your body's chemistry, but aside from that, you're out of luck… The new science, however, reveals that your perceptions control your biology, and this places you in the driver's seat, because if you can change your perceptions, you can shape and direct your own genetic readout.

Friday 17 March 2017

`Supermassive' black hole rocketing through space at 5 million miles per hour: 

`Supermassive' black hole rocketing through space at five million miles an hour, Nasa reveals Hubble Space Telescope image shows it being pushed around galaxy by gravitational waves eight billion light-years from Earth Black holes are the big bullies of space. They're so massive that their gravity doesn't let any light escape.The biggest black holes, called “supermassive“, weigh as much as a billion suns. Looming at the centre of seemingly every galaxy, including the Milky Way, they control the formation of stars and can deform the fabric of space-time itself. It takes a lot to push a black hole around.
But eight billion light-years from Earth, in a galaxy called 3C 186, astronomers have discovered a supermassive black hole that got kicked off its throne. Now it's rocketing through space at a speed of almost 5 million miles an hour. There's one thing that could unseat a supermassive black hole in this manner, the researchers say: gravitational waves.
First predicted by Albert Einstein more than 100 years ago, gravitational waves are ripples in space-time caused by the universe's most cataclysmic events ­ just as concentric circles form on the surface of a pond after you toss in a heavy rock. Last year, researchers at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) showed that this phenomenon exists when they detected gravitational waves produced by the merger of two black holes. In a paper that will publish next week in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics, Marco Chiaberge and his colleagues say that the weird behaviour of the black hole in galaxy 3C 186 is likely the result of gravitational waves from another pair of colliding black holes.
The roving black hole was detected in an image taken by Nasa's Hubble Space Telescope. The fuzzy splotch that was galaxy 3C 186 contained an incredibly bright spot, a quasar. This wasn't unusual: a quasar is the nucleus of a galaxy, and it's bright because of the disk of gas that surrounds the black hole at its centre.
What caught Chiaberge's eye was the quasar's location, 35,000 lightyears from the centre of its galaxy.“We were seeing something very peculiar,“ he said in a Nasa release.
Chiaberge, who works at the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) and Johns Hopkins University, asked fellow astronomers for their observations from a range of other instruments, including the Chandra space observatory and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's telescope in New Mexico. The former measures X-rays, the latter specialises in detecting redshift, the stretching of light that is detected as something travels through space. Their observations confirmed the Hubble finding. They also helped pin down the black hole's mass (equal to that of a billion suns) and the speed at which the gas around it was travelling (4.7 million mph).

Thursday 23 February 2017

Trump takes a complete U-turn on BREXIT: - Donald Trump says he is ‘totally in favour’ of ‘wonderful’ European Union

Donald Trump has described the European Union as “wonderful” and said he is “totally in favour of it”, despite having in the past praised Britain as “smart” for pursuing Brexit.
The US President, who has made no secret of his dislike of the Brussels bloc, said he had “very good relations with the EU, but I thought that the UK would pull out of Brexit and I was right”.
“The EU, I’m totally in favour of it. I think it’s wonderful, if they’re happy. If they’re happy – I’m in favour of it,” he said.
Mr Trump’s about-turn follows previous criticisms levelled at the 28-member bloc for acting as a “vehicle for Germany”.
He has also predicted that other member states would leave the EU. Mr Trump said during an interview in January: “You look at the European Union and it’s Germany. Basically a vehicle for Germany. That’s why I thought the UK was so smart in getting out.”
White House chief strategist and close aide to Mr Trump Steve Bannon is also understood to be an ardent Eurosceptic, reportedly telling one German diplomat during a recent meeting that the EU was a flawed concept.
He also suggested the US under Mr Trump favoured conducting bilateral negotiations.
But Vice President Mike Pence has attempted to strike a different tone, saying during a recent visit to Europe that he and the President looked forward to working with the EU to “deepen our political and economic partnership”.
Leaders of the EU have raised their own concerns about Mr Trump’s suspicion of Brussels, with Martin Schulz, the former president of the European Parliament, describing his election victory as a “very difficult moment” for the continent.

Sunday 22 January 2017


Our bodies need healthy levels of cholesterol to function. Cholesterol is a fatty substance made by the liver and distributed throughout the body. It allows our bodies to make vitamin D and hormones, and makes up bile acids. We also get less than 25 percent of our body’s cholesterol from the foods we eat, especially animal fats.
High cholesterol means you have a lot more cholesterol in your blood than you need. Most people who have high cholesterol don’t have any obvious symptoms. A simple blood test can tell you if you have high cholesterol. If you do have high cholesterol, dietary changes, exercise, and targeted medications can help lower it and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Circulatory System

Cholesterol moves through your bloodstream via lipoproteins. There are two kinds of lipoproteins, and we need them both. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) transport cholesterol around to where it’s needed. If there’s too much cholesterol, it may be deposited into the arteries. LDL is commonly referred to as “bad cholesterol.” High-density lipoproteins (HDL) take the extra cholesterol from your tissues and cells and return it to your liver for repurposing. That’s why HDL is called “good cholesterol.”
The job of the arteries is to move blood from your heart to other parts of your body. Too much LDL and not enough HDL makes it more likely that your arteries will develop plaque, a hardened mixture of cholesterol, fat, and other elements.
As coronary arteries narrow, it’s harder for blood to make it through to your heart. If an area of plaque breaks open, it can result in a blood clot, which can block blood flow altogether. This puts you at great risk of having a heart attack. Symptoms of reduced blood supply to the heart include chest discomfort, pressure, and pain (angina). You may also have pain in your jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, or back. Angina can be mistaken for indigestion.
If blood flow to one section of heart muscle is blocked, the result is a heart attack. That means the heart muscle is dying. Blood flow has to be restored fast, or there’s a risk of permanent heart damage or death.
When plaque builds up in the arteries that carry blood to your brain, your brain is deprived of oxygen. Brain cells quickly become damaged and start to die (stroke). Symptoms include sudden weakness and numbness. Depending on the area of the brain involved, you may have trouble speaking, seeing, or moving your limbs. A stroke can cause brain damage, disability, or death.
Plaque can also build up and interfere with blood flow to your arms and legs (peripheral arterial disease). If the blood supply to your limbs is blocked, you may feel numbness or pain. There’s an increased risk of infection in those limbs. Lack of blood can cause tissue death (gangrene).

Digestive System

High cholesterol can create a bile imbalance, leading to gallstones. According to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse, more than 80 percent of gallstones are cholesterol stones.
A buildup of plaque in your arteries can also block blood flow to your kidneys and stomach. Intestinal ischemic syndrome is when there’s a blockage in arteries leading to the intestines or bowel. Symptoms include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and bloody stools.

Sunday 15 January 2017

What is the first impression means.....!

A Harvard psychologist says people judge you based on 2 criteria when they first meet you!
People size you up in seconds, but what exactly are they evaluating?
Harvard Business School professor Amy Cuddy has been studying first impressions alongside fellow psychologists Susan Fiske and Peter Glick for more than 15 years, and has discovered patterns in these interactions.
In her new book, "Presence," Cuddy says that people quickly answer two questions when they first meet you:
Can I trust this person?
Can I respect this person?
Psychologists refer to these dimensions as warmth and competence, respectively, and ideally you want to be perceived as having both.
Interestingly, Cuddy says that most people, especially in a professional context, believe that competence is the more important factor. After all, they want to prove that they are smart and talented enough to handle your business.
But in fact, warmth, or trustworthiness, is the most important factor in how people evaluate you.
"From an evolutionary perspective," Cuddy says, "it is more crucial to our survival to know whether a person deserves our trust."
It makes sense when you consider that in cavemen days it was more important to figure out if your fellow man was going to kill you and steal all your possessions than if he was competent enough to build a good fire.
But while competence is highly valued, Cuddy says that it is evaluated only after trust is established.And focusing too much on displaying your strength can backfire.
She says that MBA interns are often so concerned about coming across as smart and competent that it can lead them to skip social events, not ask for help, and generally come off as unapproachable.
These overachievers are in for a rude awakening when they don't get a job offer because nobody got to know and trust them as people.
Cuddy says:
If someone you're trying to influence doesn't trust you, you're not going to get very far; in fact, you might even elicit suspicion because you come across as manipulative. A warm, trustworthy person who is also strong elicits admiration, but only after you've established trust does your strength become a gift rather than a threat.

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Why do flights take longer to fly West than East?

The flights take 5 hours to go West-East on this journey, but is taking about 7 East-West. The reason for the difference is an atmospheric phenomena known as the jet stream. The jet stream is a very high altitude wind which always blows from the West to the East across the Atlantic. The planes moving at a constant air speed thus go faster in the West-East direction when they are moving with the wind than in the opposite direction.
Every planet/moon has global wind that are mostly determined by the way the planet/moon rotates and how evenly the Sun illuminates it. On the Earth the equator gets much more Sun than the poles. resulting in warmer air at the equator than the poles and creating circulation cells (or "Hadley Cells") which consist of warm air rising over the equator and then moving North and South from it and back round.
The Earth is also rotating. When any solid body rotates, bits of it that are nearer its axis move slower than those which are further away. As you move north (or south) from the equator, you are moving closer to the axis of the Earth and so the air which started at the equator and moved north (or south) will be moving faster than the ground it is over (it has the rotation speed of the ground at the equator, not the ground which is is now over). This results in winds which always move from the west to the east in the mid latitudes.

Sunday 8 January 2017

Eggs and cholesterol

There are some facts about cholesterol that the majority of the public does not know and even some doctors seem to have forgotten because it has been so long since they learned about them in the early years of medical school.
a) cholesterol is an animal product from the catabolism of heamoglobin. As plants do not have blood, they produce phytosterols which inhibit cholesterol absorption in the guts. The claim "no cholesterol" on labels of plant-base food is non-sense, a commercial trick.
b) Human body needs quite a lot of cholesterol and manufactures about 1g daily (with a total body amount of 35g), and mother Nature gives us the ability to recycle most of the cholesterol from the guts.
c) cholesterol is produced by the liver and secreted into the gallbladder, stored there under the form of bile salts. When the stomach content moves down to the upper portion of the small intestine, it triggers a contraction of the gallbladder which forces the bile into the guts. The bile salts (with their cholesterol component) are water soluble and can be easily absorbed through the blood vessels in the intestine wall, then into the blood.
d) on the other hand, the cholesterol in the food are under the esterified forms, not water soluble and not easily absorbed through the intestine wall. Most of them ends up to be food for the gut bacteria.
d) consequently, most of the cholesterol in our blood comes from ourselves, less than 20% come from food.
e) go ahead and enjoy egg, butter, crustaceans (crab, shrimp, lobster ...) because the recommendations about them the last 50 years concerning cholesterol have been wrong on biochemical and physiological basis.
*** for people who want to lower cholesterol but don't know what to believe, these are other tidbits:
a) as the largest source of cholesterol comes from bile. the most logical way to reduce cholesterol is to prevent the bile salts from being absorbed.
b) soluble fiber in grains and fruits is the most effective and SAFE weapon to do that because the bile salts adsorb (with a d, not b) onto the fiber, cannot be released to be absorbed (with a b) and will be eaten by the bacteria or .... pooped out.
c) this is the caveat: as bile is not secreted into the guts all day long but only in spurts (especially during meals high in lipid), eating high fiber in the form of oat meal or high fiber cereal once a day in breakfast is non-sense, mainly because that breakfast is fat-free, that is without egg, bacon, butter!
So, the best way to lower cholesterol inexpensively, without a doctor visit or a prescription is to go to the pharmacy, ask for one of the fiber caplet or pill available OTC and take one of them three times daily WITH EACH MEAL.
If your blood cholesterol does not drop in few weeks, you can think about asking your doctor for extended-released niacin or a statin. 50% of my patients did not need anything beyond a high fiber diet and only 30% more needed a fiber supplement.
Further reading
Daily egg consumption in hyperlipidemic adults - Effects on endothelial function and cardiovascular risk. Valentine Njike, Zubaida Faridi, and David L Katz