QUAKE ISL AND D i d n ot e x i st a f e w days ag o
and could disappear within a year
Quake Island On the 24th September 2013 an earthquake measuring 7.7 on the Moment Magnitude Scale [M] struck the remote Southwestern Pakistani province of Balochistan killing hundreds and injuring many more. A surprising result of this seismic was the appearance of Zalzala Jazeera [or ‘Quake Island’] rising from the ocean. The small isle, composed of sea bed sediments, mud and methane gases, almost circular in form and measuring approximately 175.7m on its long axis by 160m on the short axis [with a total area of 22,726 sq m] and a height of around 30 foot has become a landmark attraction, visitable by boat at a short distance of only around half a kilometre, to many Pakistanis living on or nearby to the southern port city of Gwadar. Numerous images have been circulating the Internet, taken by both the Pleiades satellite, primarily a French national space
project, owned and built by Astrium, Europe’s largest space initiative, and NASA’s Advanced Land Imager: Earth Observer-1 satellite. Despite being a rare phenomenon the appearance of this isle is in fact not totally unique, it is the third of its kind emerging from the ocean along the Jhanda coastline in the last fifteen years. Additionally prior to this a collection of three small islands, one named ZalZala Koh, were produced, in around the same region, by another earthquake in December 1945 disappearing back into the ocean in a matter of weeks. Scientists are predicting that the mysterious Zalzala Jazeera will quickly be eroded by the oncoming monsoon season and repeated movement of the Arabian Sea meaning that the island potentially may only exist for up to a year at most. The most commonly accepted theories deliberate that the island was initially
formed by the movement of plates shaking and in turn pressurising sediment and trapped gas, during the recent quake. The pressure then releases forcing sediment, gas and rock to the surface in a mud volcano. Current speculation is that the island could in fact still be active as a mud volcano and potentially dangerous after videos and images have been leaked onto the Internet showing visitors setting volatile gases, emanating from the isle’s surface, alight. Scientists have confirmed that methane, a highly explosive gas, is leaking from the island’s surface at levels dangerous to humans and loud enough to be heard, whether this gas has contributed to most of the island’s surface being covered with deceased aquatic life is yet to be proved. Certainly the concept of a newly erected land rising out of the ocean, its existence limited to only a few months, is an interesting one.
I 3 : 5 5 MI T IS NU F MI TES IVE DN T IGH O T 2
Five Minutes to Midnight
The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face, representing an ominous oscillating countdown to worldwide nuclear fallout. The closer the clock reads to midnight the closer to the danger of global disaster mankind may be considered. This metaphorical clock has been established and maintained since 1947 by the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. Allegedly the hands have been adjusted closer and further from midnight a total of twenty times since the clock’s inception. Originally the clock was conceived as an analogy to represent man’s fragile existence in the face of growing concerns around political unrest and global nuclear war. Though, since 2007, it has also become an indicator of climate change, global warming and new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm on the Earth and the human race.
Previously the closest the clock has come to approaching midnight was in 1953, set to a time of 11:58pm. In this year the United States of America and the Soviet Union of Russia both tested thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another, just
four years after the nuclear arms race began in 1949 when the soviets tested their first atomic bomb.
— Higg’s Boson — Atom — LHC
As of 2012 the clock currently reads 11:55pm, or five minuted to midnight, with a brief rationale for the given time;
— Covalent — Particle
The challenges to rid the world of nuclear weapons, harness nuclear power, and meet the nearly inexorable climate disruptions from global warming are complex and interconnected.
— Nuclear — Mass
— Energy — Split
In the face of such complex problems, it is difficult to see where the capacity lies to address these challenges.
— Matter — State
— Dark-matter — Singularity
Political processes seem wholly inadequate; the potential for nuclear weapons use in regional conflicts in the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and South Asia are alarming; safer nuclear reactor designs need to be developed and built, and more stringent oversight, training, and attention are needed to prevent future disasters; the pace of technological solutions to address climate change may not be adequate to meet the hardships that large-scale disruption of the climate portends.
— Unknown — Ethics
— Molecule — Bomb
— Structure — Pairing — Proton — Electron — Neutron — Charge — Inert — Diagram
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [ACA or Obamacare] is a United States federal statute signed into law by United Stated president Barack Obama, it represents the most significant overhaul of the American healthcare system since Medicare in 1965. Obamacare aims to increase the quality and afford-ability of health insurance, lower the uninsured rate by expanding public and private insurance coverage, and reduce the costs of healthcare for individuals and the government. However the passing of this bill has been met by increasing controversy in the American media and leading to a shutdown of US congressional government. In turn a variety of conspiracy theories have emerged regarding the healthcare reform, ranging from the plausible suggestions of transference of power to the absurd, such as depictions of Obama as the anti-Christ described in The Bible’s book of revelations.
One particularly prevalent and for the most part possible theory states that the bill will eventually force private insurance companies out of business, and put all citizens into a government run system.
Consequently all decisions about personal health care will ultimately be made by federal bureaucrats. Hospital admissions, payments to physicians, and allocations of necessary medical devices will be strictly controlled by the government. The conclusion being that the ACA in fact has no intention of providing affordable healthcare but is instead a cover up for “the most massive transfer of power to the Executive Branch of government that has ever occurred”, violating intrinsic parts of the Constitution of the United States.
Further theories involving the implanting of microchips, carrying sensitive medical information, into every American citizen have been suggested, hinting at a ‘Big Brother’ surveillance state whereby the movements and actions of the American people could be carefully monitored. These theories have, however, been persistently refuted.
— Cover — Hide
A S — Defining
ONE MILLION COSMIC PARTICLES Cosmic Rays In 1912 the physicist Victor Hess discovered that the Earth is under constant bombardment from extraterrestrial radiation. These so called cosmic particles or rays of matter have been known to cause damage to satellites and electronic devices on Earth, although most are absorbed by our atmosphere. The study of these particles led to the emergence of particle physics as a new discipline of science and the effects of this high energy radiation have led to major break-throughs in particle physics. Many questions about cosmic rays still remain completely unanswered. Though it is known that they are electrically charged and may be traveling at huge speeds, sometimes up to almost the speed of light, from as far away as distant neighbouring galaxies. This speed of travel is attributed to a vast amount of energy that each particle carries.
Additionally it is thought that at any one time it is likely that anywhere from 10 – 100 particles may be passing through a person’s body. This exposure to constant flux of radiation equates to roughly the same as two doses of medicalised x-ray per year. It is generally accepted that most particles are originated from solar winds from our own sun though higher energy particles most likely come from the explosions of supernovas in nearby galaxies. Originally it was assumed that the rays may be photons. However it has now been proven that they constitute in majority electrons or the atomic nuclei of hydrogen atoms, though there are some amounts of helium and smaller heavier elements up to iron, in addition to minuscule trace amounts of anti-matter.
— Ex. Terrestrial
pass through you eVery night
WE’RE LUCKY TO BE LIVING WHEN WE ARE —
THINGS ARE GOING TO GET WORSE
In a recent interview, on Tuesday 10th September 2013, with The Radio Times, respected television personality, British broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough voiced his personal opinions on the future of the human race. Attenborough now ages 87 asserted that he believes that the human race has transcended Darwin’s model of physical evolution. He further explained that if the main mechanism of evolution is natural selection then we as a species have managed to surpass this from the moment we became able to rear 95 – 99 percent of our young successfully. In a contemporary world where survival of the fittest need not apply our only nature of progression or evolution exists in the cultural sphere. Of the future Attenborough warned that although he did not see much chance of mankind’s extinction, because of our resourcefulness, he feared that our outlook is becoming rather bleak and that “things are going to get worse”. Sir David suggested future remedies to the issue; speaking on China’s one-child
policy and saying “We may reduce in numbers; that would actually be a help, though the chances of it happening within the next century is very small. I should think impossible, in fact”. He concluded by saying that “we’re lucky to be living when we are, because things are going to get worse … in another 100 years people will look back at a world that was less crowded, full of natural wonders, and healthier.
Figures published in the UN document; World Population Prospects 2012 count the current human population at 7.2 billion. At the beginning of the 20th century the population stood at 2 billion and it took until 1960 for that to rise by a billion. Yet the leap from 6 to 7 billion took only 12 years. Future projections predict the population to steadily increase to 8.1 billion in 2025, 9.6 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion by 2100. Supporting this scale of life has colossal impact on the natural wealth of the Earth. As the human enterprise continues to expand so our destruction of our environment will increase.
THE BURKA PARADOX Culture clash The status of the Burka’s legibility in British society has become a controversial of hot debate over the past couple of months. A recent Yougov poll states that 61% of the British public would agree with a decision to ban the Burka in public. However a decision of this magnitude must be made for the right reasons; as a message that women have the same right to expression as men and not a public damning of a Islamic culture often portrayed unfavourably by the media and in British society.
In contrast the underlying axiom of the Burka, that women need to demonstrate modesty in public is chauvinistic, sexist and redundant in Western society. However, this does not make the Burka oppressive or degrading by definition, that can only be decided by the women wearing them. Banning the Burka deals with a symptom but not the cause of the issue. The Burka cannot and should not be used as an excuse to launch a twisted assault on a culture that we are consistently manipulated to fear.
The anti-Burka contingent are keen to voice their opinions, articulating concerns around the Burka as a symbol of intimidation, oppression and carrying antisocial connotations. This argument can be considered flawed purely on the basis that intimidation is not quantifiable but relative to each individual and doesn’t justify a nationwide ban.
The Burka may be out of sync with British and Western ideals but banning it would contradict the cornerstone on which British society is built freedom of expression. Therein lays the crux of the Burka’s paradoxical existence in British society, to ban it contradicts freedom of expression whilst tolerating it is to oppose equality and heed the archaic principles that we strive to eradicate.
OVER 9/10 OF YOUNG BRITONS USE FACEBOOK AND TWITTER EVERYDAY EVERYDAY EVERYDAY EVERYDAY EVERYDAY Social profile
Recent statistics have shown that Britons are the second most prolific Facebook and Twitter users in Europe. The population of British users has doubled since 2006 and almost half of the 33 million current UK Internet users use social media networks on a daily basis.
Further studies found that the majority of UK users are aged between 16 and 24 with nine out of ten of these users logging onto Facebook and Twitter on a consistent daily basis. This data represents a new obsession between the individual and the online personality. A recent viral video ‘The Innovation of Loneliness’ by Shimi Cohen at the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design cites loneliness as the most common ailment of the modern Western world. It is highly possible that our obsession with social networking has weakened social fabric and led us to disregard our
original intentions of connectivity in favour of a Western ideal of individualism and capitalist self actualisation. Britons have become addicted to a fantasy of digital socialisation, replacing conversation with mere connection, primary social contact with statuses, updates and tweets. Our sense of popularity and connectivity from a digital society feeds our ego and self actualisation, fulfilling our fantasies that we will always be heard and never have to be alone. This addiction is becoming a powerful and dangerous force in Western society, ironically serving to disassociate us from others rather than bringing us together.
S CR ATCH AN A LTR UIST HYPOCRITE A
S D LEE B
Is self-less altruism possible?
Positive — Gain — Personal — Society — Benefit — Gift — Selfless — Gesture — Help — Honest — Communal —
Philosophers have long debated whether or not the idea of truly self-less altruism is in fact possible. Whether we are conscious of it or not the fact remains that in most instances and act of giving can have a positive impact just us much on the giver as the receivers. Altruism can be immensely fulfilling, neuroscience studies have shown that acts of self-less giving can activate reward centres in the brain and possibly even promote the release of endorphins. Equally acts of giving can enhance an individual’s reputation and prompt reciprocal gifts. Costly displays of prowess, evolutionary scientists have demonstrated, can even serve to attract mates, some scientists arguing that acts of altruism have evolved as costly signal meant to impress prospective mates. For these reasons its is difficult to justify that any act of selflessness can truly be altruistic.
A study of Barbary macaque monkeys by Stuart Semple and colleagues at London’s Roehampton University discovered that monkeys who were groomed a lot by other didn’t have particularly low stress hormone levels. In contrast the monkeys that were performing the grooming tasks did show significantly lower hormone stress levels. In other monkeys species, too, grooming commonly decreases behavioural marker of anxiety predominantly in the groomer. However, equally it could be argued that a grooming monkey is privy to a supply of edible parasites from another monkey’s fur whilst also building beneficial social networks in its community.
——Contented ——Defining ——Unselfish ——Motion ——Independent
Ultimately the issue remains a hot topic of debate in psychological, philosophical and the behavioural sciences. Whilst unselfish regard for other doesn’t come always come naturally, many believe that we are evolutionarily hard-wired for empathy since co-operative behaviours have allowed our ancestors to survive in communities under harsh, trying and oppressive conditions.
Anonymity — Belief — Karma — Optimism —
——Decision ——Cyclic ——Better ——Affect ——Conscious ——Decision ——Care ——Co-operative ——Rare ——Decent
GENDER STAB L E NAT I ON Rwanda’s political system Rwanda’s governmental structure represents a new standard of political gender equality. The national genocide in 1994 culled such a high proportion of the male population that the task of rebuilding the country domestically fell to the female community. The country made history in 2008 when 45 women were elected out of 80 members of parliament. Women now hold 56% of seats in Rwanda’s parliamentary system, by far the highest percentage of female MPs in any nation of the world. The post-genocide constitution, introduced by the ruling RPF party, ensures a 30% quota for female representation in ‘decision-making organs’ and also stipulates equal rights for both genders in education, land and finance. Women lead one third of Rwanda’s ministries, including foreign affairs, agriculture and health, and every police office has a ‘gender desk’ to take reports of violence against women.
Everyone — All —
Integration — Spread — Even — Medium —
——Acceptance ——Contented ——Chemical ——Immigration
As a result of Rwanda’s balanced and equal model society one million Rwandans have emerged from poverty in the last five years, with poverty rates falling from 56.7% in 2005/6 to 44.9% in 2009/10. Additionally the country boasts equal literacy rates for male and female children. Alphonsine Mukarugema is head of the Rwanda Women Parliamentary Forum. First elected in 2003, she is an MP in the Commission of Politics and Gender.
Our great number [of women in parliament] helps a lot with pro-women legislation. We initiated a number of laws, namely to fight against genderbased violence, and made amendments of existing laws that had some injustice in them. So today, girls are able to inherit the property of their parents, including land, currently a rarity in many parts of Africa. We influence activities in parliament and make sure that the laws being passed are gender-sensitive.
Brilliant failure Failure is an aspect of the creative thought process which is hammered out of us from an increasingly young age by the regimental and very linear academic teaching curriculum. Despite this an increasing number of entrepreneurs, creative professionals and prolific individuals cite failure as a defining force in their eventual success. An uninhibited will to try, fail and repeat is more often than not the most valuable way to learn important lessons and gain experiences from which an individual may draw in the future. Unfortunately for the most part there is very little tolerance for failure in Western capitalist society. By the time we have aged and progressed into a career path we are expected to have made and learnt from our mistakes, and perform consistently.
——Mistake ——Mishap ——Process ——Result ——Repeat ——Success ——Intensity ——Conviction ——Courage ——Strengthen ——Human ——Downfall ——Attempt ——Drive ——Fallacy ——Learn
The institute of Brilliant Failures in Holland’s Amsterdam seeks to embrace failure in a more plausible and open manner. The institute was founded on Paul Iske’s research as a professor in business innovation. Iske was studying the effects of bankruptcy on business people in Holland for one of the Netherlands’ largest banks, ABN-AMRO. Iske says that he found many who went through bankruptcy were so traumatised, and stigmatised, that they never tried to start a business enterprise again. However, those that did, Iske noted, often succeeded because their failures had taught them something. Iske says:
——Stronger ——Organic ——Integral ——Positive ——Educate ——Shame ——Again ——Try ——Fear ——Discouraged ——Stigmatised ——Common ——Adjust
FA I LU R E
Kaythryn Schulz, author of ‘Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error’ calls our current perspective of failure a ‘wrongness zeitgeist’. Schulz states that we need to learn to grapple with the emotional, financial and material consequences of our failures. ——Err
What we define as a brilliant failure is something that has been tried with very good intentions. And at the moment people had to make decisions, and of course they experienced something very different from what they tried to achieve. That’s the failure part. The brilliant part is that we can learn something from it, and in the worst case scenario you learn well, this is not the way to do it. And in the best case you learn something that you didn’t even expect.
NOT AN N O I T OP 10
02 Quantum Mechanics
05 Malthusian Catastrophe
T E N H V A E E R R R Y A D T A I Y V E
Of, relating to, or limited by time. From or relating to the material world; worldly. Lasting only for a time; not eternal; passing.
The branch of mechanics, based on the quantum theory used for interpreting the behaviour of elementary particles and atoms.
An agreement or secret plan between two or more persons to commit a crime or harmful act through illegal action.
The branch of astronomy that deals with the physical properties of celestial bodies and with the interaction of matter and radiation.
Theory foreseeing a forced return to subsistence-level conditions once population growth has outpaced agricultural production.
BBC News [28–09–2013] Pakistan earthquake: Visiting an island that did not exist a few days ago bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24315820
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists  The Doomsday Clock thebulletin.org/timeline
USA Hitman, Conspiracy News [08–06–2012] The Truth About Obamacare From Someone Who Actually Read It usahitman.com/ttaocfswri/
BBC Radio 4 – In Our Time [16–05–2013] Cosmic Rays bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01sdnkg
The Independent [10–09–2103] Sir David Attenborough sounds population warning independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news
A paradox is a self-contradictory or counterintuitive statement, object or argument.
The Huffington Post [22–09–2013] The Burka Paradox huffingtonpost.co.uk/chris-godfrey/the-burka-paradox_b_3972683.html
The state of being obsessed with something. An idea or thought that continually intrudes or preoccupies a person’s mind.
The Daily Mail [13–06–2013] The meteoric rise of social networking in the UK dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2340893/Britons-second-prolificFacebook-Twitter-users-EUROPE-fifth-aged-65.html
The belief in the principle or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the welfare of others.
A state in which opposing forces or influences are balanced. A state of equality and physical or social balance.
An unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing. The state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective.
The Wall Street Journal [27–09–2013] The Monkey Business of True Altruism online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304213904579093173306431860.html
BBC News [27–12–2012] The job of rebuilding Rwanda fell to us women bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-20727127
Public Radio International [18–04–2011] Brilliant failure pri.org/stories/2011-04-18/brilliant-failure
Newsprint publication detailing ten topical news stories of interest to self directed study