Canada and US Back Together Again

Ever since US Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins flubbed Canadian Geography 101 during a live CBC interview in 2005, relations between the two countries have been a little awkward.

But the lovefest for Obama in Ottawa today banished all memories of the Bush appointee's inability to remember the names of major Canadian cities from his extensive travels in the country. Supporting an election time poll which rated Obama more popular in Canada than in the US, the hardy were out in force to welcome Obama on his first foriegn trip. On the agenda for Obama and PM Harper were two items that have bedeviled Canadian-American policy in recent years: oil and NAFTA. There is a strong push from the environmental lobbies in both countries to find a more low-impact way to extract oil from Canada's tar sands and Harper is reportedly miffed at the Buy American clause buried in the stimulus bill. Obama for his part did not ask the PM to reconsider his decision to withdraw Canadian troops from operations in Afghanistan.

Elon Musk's SpaceX approved to launch 7,518 Starlink satellites into orbit

SpaceX plans to launch about 12,000 internet-providing satellites into orbit over the next six years.

Technology & Innovation
  • SpaceX plans to launch 1,600 satellites over the next few years, and to complete its full network over the next six.
  • Blanketing the globe with wireless internet-providing satellites could have big implications for financial institutions and people in rural areas.
  • Some are concerned about the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbit.
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Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
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How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.