China Becomes 3rd Nation to Dock Spacecraft in Orbit
China has become just the third nation to dock spacecraft in orbit. The country's progress in space technology has been rapid despite being excluded from the International Space Station.
What's the Latest Development?
As the spacecraft Shenzhou-9 docked with the small space lab Tiangong-1, China became only the third country ever to dock two crafts in space. Perhaps more impressive is that the process was completely automated and overseen by China's missions control. "Astronauts will live and work in the module for several days doing medical experiments along with studies of live butterflies, butterfly eggs and pupae. This first mission is just the beginning of China’s preparations for having a permanently manned space station, which they hope to have built by 2020."
What's the Big Idea?
At the instance of the US, China has been excluded from the International Space Station and has no presence aboard the project. Despite that, China's progress in developing space vehicles and successfully completing orbital missions has been rapid. The station to be completed in 2020 "will weigh about 60 tons and be about one-sixth the size of the 16-nation International Space Station, and just slightly smaller than NASA’s Skylab that was operational in the 1970s." Perhaps as a result of its exclusion from the ISS, China has been reluctant to cooperate with outside powers in plannings its space missions.
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Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.
- Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
- As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
- If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
- Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
- By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive
Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.
- America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
- Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
- Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Christmas has many pagan and secular traditions that early Christians incorporated into this new holiday.
- Christmas was heavily influenced by the Roman festival of Saturnalia.
- The historical Jesus was not born on December 25th as many contemporary Christians believe.
- Many staple Christmas traditions predated the festival and were tied into ancient pagan worship of the sun and related directly to the winter solstice.
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