Monday, August 29, 2016

Nearest star has Earth-sized planet

Big excitement over the latest exoplanet data. One report on the BBC says:
"Its data suggests Proxima b has a minimum mass 1.3 times that of Earth and orbits at a distance of about 7.5 million km from the star, taking 11.2 days to complete one revolution.
The distance between the star and its planet is considerably smaller than Earth's separation from the Sun (149 million km). But Proxima Centauri is what is termed a red dwarf star. It is much reduced in size and dimmer compared with our Sun, and so a planet can be nearer and still enjoy conditions that are potentially as benign as those on Earth."
I would expect we will hear much more about this planet in the coming years. Sorry no picture yet - those in the media are pure speculation but they do look interesting...

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Guyana's Energy Sector

Just came across this useful review of Guyana's energy sector in Kaieteur News. It is definitely incomplete but there is a problem getting documentation in many areas.

There have been many solar panels put in place in the hinterland but how many are still functional and in use is a question. A learning experience.

There are plans to increase hydropower but not yet on the scale needed. The future of the Amaila hydropower project is still being considered.

A useful page is that at the Caricom Energy Program which has links to further resources.
The GEA has a Strategic Plan for 2014-2017 on its web site - more on this later.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Near-Death Experience

According to an article in Atlantic "Near-death experiences have gotten a lot of attention lately" and

"All of this makes NDEs perhaps the only spiritual experience that we have a chance of investigating in a truly thorough, scientific way. It makes them a vehicle for exploring the ancient human belief that we are more than meat. And it makes them a lens through which to peer at the workings of consciousness—one of the great mysteries of human existence, even for the most resolute materialist."

What are NDEs? That is too much to attempt here. Try this BBC news item.

This phenomena seems almost unknown here in Guyana. Perhaps because there are fewer recoveries from cardiac arrests. But I feel it is very important and that it is likely we will experience more as our health services are updated.

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Flock of scarlet ibis

One of my daughters took this picture of a flock of scarlet ibis at MonRepos, ECD.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Global campaign on anniversary of arrest of Iranian Baha'i leaders

Earlier this month a campaign (Enough! Release the Baha’i Seven) was launched by the Baha'i community to bring attention to the continued unjust detention of Iranian Baha'i leaders. This met wide-spread support. More details here.
In Iran some clerics also called for an end to the persecution of the Baha'is, the largest minority religion in the country.

Following this, much controversy followed from a simple meeting between friends, one of the Baha'is concerned who was allowed a brief home visit and the other a former cellmate, the daughter of the Prime Minister of Iran.

Many significant articles appeared in major news sites. From the BBC:
"A political storm has erupted in Iran after the daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani visited a leader of the persecuted Bahai religious minority while she was on leave from prison."
Let us pray that this senseless persecution will soon come to an end. Iran needs the contributions of all its citizens.