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David Rose
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Watch out BA!

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Yao Ming, one of China's top basketball players (7ft 6in!), is visiting Kenya this week. Hosted by +WildAid and +Save the elephants he is raising awareness of the increase in poaching in Africa driven by the demand for illegal products in China. Having worked with +Richard Branson before he obviously flew to Kenya on +Virgin Atlantic! Do read his blog below:

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Well that will be my evenings occupied for a while... Thankfully it's a restricted website at work!

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A fitting and topical rewording!
BALDRICK: "What I want to know, Sir is, before there was a Euro there were lots of different types of money that different people used. And now there's only one type of money that the foreign people use. And what I want to know is, how did we get from one state of affairs to the other state of affairs"
BLACKADDER: "Baldrick. Do you mean, how did the Euro start?"
BLACKADDER: "Well, you see Baldrick, back in the 1980s there were many different countries all running their own finances and using different types of money. On one side you had the major economies of France , Belgium , Holland and Germany , and on the other, the weaker nations of Spain , Greece , Ireland , Italy and Portugal . They got together and decided that it would be much easier for everyone if they could all use the same money, have one Central Bank, and belong to one large club where everyone would be happy. This meant that there could never be a situation whereby financial meltdown would lead to social unrest, wars and crises".
BALDRICK: "But this is sort of a crisis, isn't it Sir?".
BLACKADDER: "That's right Baldrick. You see, there was only one slight flaw with the plan".
BALDRICK: "What was that then, Sir?"
BLACKADDER: "It was bollocks".

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I love the fact that the two Voyagers are still going strong - and the distance they've travelled is just mind-bogglingly huge!
Voyager Points to Interstellar Future

Humanity's first emissary to interstellar space is on the edge of Solar System

Data from NASA's +Voyager 1 spacecraft indicate that the venerable deep-space explorer has encountered a region in space where the intensity of charged particles from beyond our solar system has markedly increased. Voyager scientists looking at this rapid rise draw closer to an inevitable but historic conclusion – that humanity's first emissary to interstellar space is on the edge of our +Solar System

"The laws of physics say that someday Voyager will become the first human-made object to enter interstellar space, but we still do not know exactly when that someday will be," said Ed Stone, Voyager project scientist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. "The latest data indicate that we are clearly in a new region where things are changing more quickly. It is very exciting. We are approaching the solar system's frontier."

The data making the 16-hour-38 minute, 11.1-billion-mile (17.8-billion-kilometer), journey from Voyager 1 to antennas of NASA's Deep Space Network on Earth detail the number of charged particles measured by the two High Energy telescopes aboard the 34-year-old spacecraft. These energetic particles were generated when stars in our cosmic neighborhood went supernova.

"From January 2009 to January 2012, there had been a gradual increase of about 25 percent in the amount of galactic cosmic rays Voyager was encountering," said Stone. "More recently, we have seen very rapid escalation in that part of the energy spectrum. Beginning on May 7, the cosmic ray hits have increased five percent in a week and nine percent in a month."

This marked increase is one of a triad of data sets which need to make significant swings of the needle to indicate a new era in space exploration. The second important measure from the spacecraft's two telescopes is the intensity of energetic particles generated inside the heliosphere, the bubble of charged particles the sun blows around itself. While there has been a slow decline in the measurements of these energetic particles, they have not dropped off precipitously, which could be expected when Voyager breaks through the solar boundary.

The final data set that Voyager scientists believe will reveal a major change is the measurement in the direction of the magnetic field lines surrounding the spacecraft. While Voyager is still within the heliosphere, these field lines run east-west. When it passes into interstellar space, the team expects Voyager will find that the magnetic field lines orient in a more north-south direction. Such analysis will take weeks, and the Voyager team is currently crunching the numbers of its latest data set.

"When the Voyagers launched in 1977, the space age was all of 20 years old," said Stone. "Many of us on the team dreamed of reaching interstellar space, but we really had no way of knowing how long a journey it would be -- or if these two vehicles that we invested so much time and energy in would operate long enough to reach it.”

Launched in 1977, Voyager 1 and 2 are in good health. +Voyager 2 is more than 9.1 billion miles (14.7 billion kilometers) away from the sun. Both are operating as part of the Voyager Interstellar Mission, an extended mission to explore the solar system outside the neighborhood of the outer planets and beyond. NASA's Voyagers are the two most distant active representatives of humanity and its desire to explore.

The Voyager spacecraft were built by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., which continues to operate both. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology. The Voyager missions are a part of the NASA Heliophysics System Observatory, sponsored by the Heliophysics Division of the Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
Explanation of the image from:
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Any review has to include all options however politically distasteful, that's just common sense! Let's have a little more transparency in the Government's Aviation Policy

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One of the best Google Doodles I've ever seen is on today, and here's a video that shows you how to use it and what all the various buttons actually do.. Clearly I'm far too young to have used a Synthesizer before!

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These cufflinks are incredible! Although they cost over $32,000...

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That's not much water!
All the world's water! This picture from the United States Geological Survey shows the size of a sphere that would contain all of Earth's water in comparison to the size of the Earth. I think that puts things into perspective.

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House costing a lot to build? I've always thought it would be great to build one from containers... so cheap you could change it if you got bored or the family grew!
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