Faster and Faster we go ...

San'a is denying that it has any intention of starting a new round of fighting with al-Huthi supporters, according to al-Jazeera. Meanwhile, al-Sahwa is reporting new clashes today.

Trey weighs in with his own take on the potential for escalation.

This is the point in the process that one of the sides needs to take a step back from the brink, or failing that (and it will likely fail) an outside power needs to step in and bring both sides back. But that doesn't look too likely either. Saudi Arabia has an interest in the conflict and in preventing other regional powers (Qatar) from becoming too heavily involved. The US also has a pretty poor record of mediation and observation of the nearly five year conflict.

If both of these fail, then, I think we are looking at the beginnings of a process that will likely end in another round of fighting. The last round, which ended July 17, was particularly destructive and I have little hopes that any future fighting will do little to minimal damage.

There is, in my opinion, still time to avoid another round of fighting but it will take a level of foresight and institutional intelligence that none of the actors have exhibited to date.

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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