Life And Death In The Mogadishu E.R.

Yesterday was World Health Day, and we would be remiss to let it pass without mentioning what is perhaps the most determined team of doctors in the world, the group delivering care at Mogadishu's Benadir University Medical College.

Shelling, patient kidnappings and gunmen-directed surgeries are just part of the daily routine in Mogadishu's only functioning medical facility. Director-General Mohamed Yusef told IRIN News Service "I stay because I believe that I will only die when my time comes. But more importantly, I truly believe that I am needed here, and I will not be able to live with myself if I abandon those who depend on my services and the services of doctors like me."

Amazingly, Benazir graduated its first class of doctors in November of last year after an eighteen year gap. This was at the same time Al Shabab rebels were closing in on Mogadishu from the south and the frail transitional governement was struggling to provide even basic protection to citizens.

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.

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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China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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