An estimated 1.3 million tons of lethal devices from world wars one and two remained buried in France. The former front line is littered with old bombs and chemical shells that continue to pose a threat to people and the environment. Since many formerly vacant lots are now residential or industrial areas, bomb-removal squads receive thousands of call each year. Still, hundreds of accidents have occurred, and over 600 experts have been killed in the line of duty between 1945 and 1985. At the present rate, according to specialists, it could 700 years to dispose of this arsenal!
There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life. This slogan has been displayed on 200 buses in London, England; on another 600 countrywide; and on two giant screens in London’s Oxford Street, reports The Guardian newspaper. The originators say that their campaign is in response to religious advertising that condemns non-believers to hellfire. The word “probably” is used in order to meet the rules of Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority, since it is impossible to prove that God does not exist. One objective of the campaign is to encourage more atheists to come out to reveal their views.
In the United States, more and more infants are delivered early –by induced labor or by cesarean section –out of convenience. However, the last weeks of pregnancy are more important than once thought. A study of some 15,000 newborns showed that for every week a baby remained in the womb between the 32nd and 39th weeks, there was a 23 percent drop in seizures, jaundice, respiratory distress, and brain hemorrhages. Infants born at 32 to 36 weeks had increased risk of mild behavioral and cognitive problems. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists thus recommends that babies not be delivered before 39 weeks unless there is a medical reason to do so.
A reef is a living wall formed by colonies of carnivorous animals called coral polyps, which have a hard external layer of calcium carbonate, or limestone. Live corals build upon the dead skeletons of past generations. Microscopic algas [zooxanthellas] live in the tissues of reef corals in a symbiotic relationship, giving off oxygen and nutrients, which the polyps utilize, and absorbing the carbon dioxide given off by the polyps. Sensitive to changes in water temperature, the polyps begin expelling the algas when the temperature rises, causing a loss of chlorophyll pigment that results in a bleached appearance. In this weakened, corals are vulnerable to disease and death. However, coral reefs are resilient and can recover when protected.
It has long been thought that happy and positive people tend to be generally healthier than stressed, hostile, or pessimistic people. In one recent study, researchers concluded that people with upbeat moods have lower levels of cortisol –a stress hormone that may contribute to a range of ills when it is chronically elevated. Such people also have lower levels of two proteins that indicate widespread inflammation in the body. According to Dr. Andrew Steptoe of University College, London, mood states are not just a matter of heredity, but depend on our social relationships and fulfillment in life.
For hundreds of years, Muslims have scanned the skies for the first sliver of the new moon that ends the month of Ramadan and begins the feast of fast breaking. Traditionally, in some areas that sighting had to be made with naked eye, after which a religious leader would make an announcement to the faithful. Within the past few years, however, some clerics have sanctioned high tech methods. Iranian astronomers, accompanied by clerics who verify their sightings, now use high definition telescopes, night-vision equipment, and even planes loaded with sensitive observation equipment. An early sighting means early start to the holiday.
Babies as young as six months develop social judging skills before they could talk, says researchers in Yale University, U.S.A. Babies aged six months to ten months watched a large-eyed toy try to climb hills, while other toys either helped it or pushed it backward. The children were then presented with the toys to see which they would play with, explains the Houston Chronicle. Nearly every baby picked the helpful toy over the bad one. So to some extent, even infants can tell the difference between naughty and nice playmates, and know which to choose.