Sunday, 30 April 2017

SpaceX postpones 'secretive' US military launch for 24 hours


Due to a sensor issue, SpaceX on Sunday has postponed the launch of a secretive US governmnent payload untill Monday.
"Out of an abundance of caution we have decided to scrub today`s launch," a SpaceX spokesman said, describing the issue as relating to the first stage of the Falcon 9 rocket.

Another opportunity for launch opens Monday at 7:00 am (1100 GMT).
The payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the United States, will be the first military launch for the California-based aerospace company headed by billionaire tycoon Elon Musk.
"As a matter of policy and because of classification, NRO does not provide information about our contracts," a spokeswoman told AFP.
Until now, the US military has spent billions per year exclusively with United Launch Alliance, a joint operation of aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to launch government satellites.
SpaceX in 2014 protested the US Air Force`s practice of using only ULA, saying it unfairly awarded billions of dollars to a single company for national security launches.
SpaceX was selected to launch NROL-76 "after a competition," said the NRO spokeswoman.
She said she did not know when the contract was awarded. It was first announced last year.

China 'putting pressure' on North Korea, says Donald Trump

Donald Trump thinks Chinese President Xi Jinping is "putting pressure" on North Korea, the US president said in an interview to air on Sunday, as tensions mount over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.
 Donald Trump thinks Chinese President Xi Jinping is "putting pressure" on North Korea, the US president said in an interview to air on Sunday, as tensions mount over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes.
If North Korea carries out a nuclear test "I would not be happy," Trump told the CBS television network's "Face the Nation" programme.
"And I can tell you also, I don't believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either," Trump said in excerpts of the interview released yesterday.
Asked if "not happy" signified "military action," Trump answered: "I don't know. I mean, we'll see."
North Korea test-fired a missile over the weekend in apparent defiance of a concerted US push for tougher international sanctions to curb Pyongyang's nuclear weapons ambitions.
The latest launch, which South Korea said was a failure, came just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the UN Security Council of "catastrophic consequences" if the international community -- most notably China -- failed to pressure the North into abandoning its weapons program.
Trump assailed the failed launch as a show of disrespect toward its ally China.
"North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
North Korea is seeking to develop a long-range missile capable of hitting the US mainland with a nuclear warhead.
China, Pyongyang's number one trade partner, has repeatedly called for a return to talks on denuclearization but has been reluctant to use economic pressure that could destabilise North Korea. 

The Oil Rig Graveyard of Cromarty Firth

In a remote sheltered harbor guarded by two precipitous headlands, in the North of Scotland, dozens of oil rigs are sitting idle, some for more than a decade, quietly waiting for offshore oil drilling to become profitable again.

The Cromarty Firth Port Authority (CFPA) was established in 1972 as a dry dock for repair and fabrication of oil platforms operating in the North Sea. This region, which includes the shallow waters of the U.K., Norway, Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, is one of the world’s most active offshore drilling region with hundreds of actively drilling rigs, but its days of prime are long past. With oil prices steadily declining for the last couple of years, many oil companies have decided to suspend operation, but they are still hopeful that prices will bounce back again.
Instead of disassembling their oil rigs, these companies have towed them away from the deep sea and into the safe harbor of Cromarty Firth, where they could remain on stand-by and ready to go out to sea again as soon as the economy turns in their favor. Some of these rigs are “hot-stacked”, meaning they still have a skeleton crew on board, looking after the expensive machines and power is still on. Others are shutdown completely. A couple of them were already towed away to be scrapped.

According to Bloomberg, only 63 percent of oil and gas rigs in the U.K. North Sea were being used as of January 2016, with the crash in energy prices forcing drillers to abandon more costly projects. One industry analyst predicts that almost 150 more oil platforms could be taken out of UK waters within the next 10 years.

While thousands of people in the oil industry have lost their jobs, the scrapping of more oil rigs could eventually benefit Cromarty Firth. The port has recently spent £25 million on a new quay, where ageing North Sea platforms, as well as rigs, could be dismantled generating attractive employment opportunities for locals.






South Korea, US conduct military drills despite Pyongyang threats


The massive "Foal Eagle" drill, which the defence ministry in Seoul said was ending as scheduled on Sunday, involved around 20,000 South Korean and 10,000 US troops.
South Korea and the United States wrapped up their annual large-scale military drills on Sunday, but continued a separate joint naval exercise that has triggered dire threats from nuclear-armed North Korea.
Tensions on the Korean peninsula have been running sky- high for weeks, with signs that the North might be preparing a long-range missile launch or a sixth nuclear test -- and with Washington refusing to rule out a military strike in response.
The massive "Foal Eagle" drill, which the defence ministry in Seoul said was ending as scheduled on Sunday, involved around 20,000 South Korean and 10,000 US troops.
Another annual joint exercise known as "Key Resolve" ended last month.
Both play out scenarios for a conflict with North Korea, but Seoul and Washington insist they are purely defensive in nature, despite Pyongyang's claims that they are provocative rehearsals for invasion.
Their conclusion normally signals a period of relative calm in North-South tensions, but this year the situation looks set to remain highly volatile.
US President Donald Trump has warned of a possible "major conflict" while Pyongyang has carried out a series of failed missile tests, including one on Saturday, and a massive live- fire military exercise.
The South Korean defence ministry confirmed Sunday that a joint naval drill with a US strike group, led by the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, was still ongoing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea).
The exercise, aimed at verifying the allies' capability to track and intercept enemy ballistic missiles, is expected to continue until sometime next week.
Through state media, North Korea has threatened to attack the Carl Vinson, and a state-sponsored website on Sunday also warned of a possible strike against a US nuclear-powered submarine despatched to the area.
China is "putting pressure" on its ally North Korea to curb its weapons programmes, Trump told the CBS television network's "Face the Nation" programme.
If North Korea carries out another nuclear test "I would not be happy," he said.
"And I can tell you also, I don't believe that the president of China, who is a very respected man, will be happy either," Trump said in excerpts of the interview released yesterday.
Asked if "not happy" signified "military action," Trump answered: "I don't know. I mean, we'll see."
Pyongyang's show of defiance included a failed missile test on Saturday that came just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned the UN Security Council of "catastrophic consequences" if the international community -- most notably China -- failed to pressure the North into abandoning its weapons programme.
Military options for dealing with the North were still "on the table", Tillerson said.
China has repeatedly pushed back at the idea that it alone holds the solution to curbing the North's nuclear ambitions, and warned that any use of US force would only lead to "bigger disasters".
Pope Francis this weekend called for negotiations to resolve tensions over North Korea.
"There are plenty of mediators in the world who are putting themselves forward. Norway, for example which is ready to help," he said.
The tensions have also triggered some friction between Seoul and Washington, with Trump suggesting in a recent interview that the South should pay for the $1.0-billion dollar THAAD anti-missile system that the US is deploying on its ally's territory.

Colonies on Mars to be made out of these home-made bricks?


Remarkably, the technique requires only that the red-hued building blocks be compressed in a precise way – no additives or baking required.
Space agencies around the world are an ambitious lot and one of the primary goals for all of them is to conquer Mars with a manned mission to the planet. Space agencies like NASA and SpaceX are already preparing for their respective missions.
In early January this year, scientists at NASA revealed their plans of creating inflatable igloo-like domes covered in ice for astronauts to live and work in on the Red Planet, which will ensure them the requisite protection from extreme temperatures and high-energy radiation.
Now, however, scientists have revealed their latest creation that they say could help astronauts with their housing during their stay on Mars.
On Thursday, scientists said that they have manufactured tiny bricks out of artificial Martian soil anticipating the day when humans may construct colonies on the Red Planet.
Remarkably, the technique requires only that the red-hued building blocks be compressed in a precise way – no additives or baking required.
"The people who will go to Mars will be incredibly brave, they will be pioneers and I would be honoured to be their brick maker," said Yu Qiao, a professor at the University of California San Diego and lead author of a study in Scientific Reports.
Structural engineers used a dirt mixture concocted by NASA that mimics Martian soil to make hundreds of 3 millimetre-thick (0.1 inch), disc-shaped bric
By accident, they had discovered that high-pressure compression hardened the artificial soil into rock-solid structures stronger than steel-reinforced concrete.
Once the stuff of science fiction, human habitation of Mars has captured the collective imagination, and inspired governments and billionaires to explore the feasibility of making the Red Planet a home away from home.
In March, the US Congress passed a bill – signed by President Donald Trump – directing NASA to send a manned mission to Mars in 2033.
Qiao believes real Martian soil could be compacted layer by layer to form a wall or shaped into larger bricks.
Previous ideas for how to make construction materials on Mars involved building nuclear plants to fire bricks, or hauling large quantities of polymer – a kind of glue – from Earth.
Professor Qiao's proposed masonry, on the other hand, would be 100 percent made-in-Mars and require minimal resources.
"All the previous methods involved energy intensive heating or pretty significant space transportation from Earth for additives," the researcher told AFP.
Iron oxide – the component that gives Mars its reddish hue – is thought to be the "cementing agent" that makes the soil so malleable.
Whether real Martian soil would react in the same way is still uncertain, Qiao concedes – only on site tests would tell for sure.
But he hopes his approach will be given a hearing.
Qiao initially set out to use lunar soil to make cement. When he applied the same technique to Martian-like soil, he discovered its exceptional properties.
NASA's Curiosity rover collected samples of Martian dust and sand for the first time in 2012, analysing its composition in a laboratory inside the mobile robot.
The soil was found to contain a complex chemistry of water, sulphur, and chlorine substances but no traces of organic carbon compounds that could indicate signs of life.

Climate change and sparrows: PM Modi's Mann Ki Baat was all about the environment – Here's what he said


Merely four months into the year, the people of India are already experiencing what seems like peak summers.
The discourse on global warming and climate change has taken over a larger domain in the last few years and its rapidly growing effects have raised questions on Earth's habitability in the future.
Needless to say, the phenomenon of climate change is making its magnanimous presence felt in a bigger way, every day, every month.
Climate change and global warming are gradually wreaking havoc over the planet and the negative effects can be seen on various levels.
India, for one, can definitely feel the heat which seems to be increasing every day. Merely four months into the year, the people of India are already experiencing what seems like peak summers.
Elaborating more on this, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke at length about climate change and how it seems to be affecting people, during today's Mann Ki Baat, saying that this could also be a chance to be sensitive.
He noted that the mercury levels are rising and said that it didn't come as a surprise when people wrote to him about it when he asked for Mann Ki Baat suggestions.
"Nature is changing its rules now, the summer heat we used to face in the month of May and June has shifted to March and April... many people who send their suggestions to me point out what should we do amid such heat," he said.
With such a situation at hand, he urged people to offer water to those who visit our doorstep while working in the sun, like postmen, milkmen, vegetable vendors, etc.
"Ask for a glass of water for the postman who arrives at your house in the scorching heat to deliver a letter... keep water in balcony for the birds," Modi said.
Besides climate change, PM Modi also touched upon the topic of 'Save the Sparrow'. Once found in huge numbers across the world, the small bird is slowly making its way to the endangered list.
He recalled how Mr Jagat Kinkhabwala wrote to him about his efforts regarding the same and how such efforts must be encouraged.
Encouraging people to sensitise their children through bird feeders, Modi also pointed out a community's effort in Gujarat towards sparrow conservation.

Watch Out! 5 Unhealthy Additives May Be Hiding in Your Food

The home-cooked meal is dying a rather sad death as more of us turn to processed foods to satisfy our appetites. This can spell bad news for your health. Apart from the obvious problem of consuming too many calories and too much fat, these eats can also make you crave sugar more than ever and destroy your relationships.
Sadly, avoiding high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats isn’t enough to make packaged goods any better for you. When you swap these ready-to-eat foods for whole ones, you end up consuming significantly less fiber. Time reported this can negatively change your gut bacteria, leading to obesity and other diseases. What’s more, the story went on to say the ingredients added to processed foods to boost the fiber content simply don’t have the same positive effect on your body as the kind that comes from real food.
Additionally, packaged products are brimming with food additives. While the FDA has given many of them the green light, at least in certain quantities, many of them have been linked to some less-than-desirable outcomes. The next time you see one of these five unhealthy additives on a food label, you may want to rethink your diet.

1. Monosodium glutamate 

Perhaps the most famous and hotly debated food additive, monosodium glutamate (MSG) is the secret ingredient that makes many of our favorite takeout foods so savory and delicious. You’ll even find recipes calling for it in the ingredient list. Though the flavor might be great, MSG has been linked to a number of health problems.
For starters, MSG consumption may contribute to an expanding waistline. One study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported, after adjusting for all other lifestyle factors, ingesting MSG was associated with being overweight. And the bad news doesn’t end there. MSG has been linked to headaches, nausea, and chest pain. One rodent study even found the additive can wreak havoc on your liver and kidneys.
If you know and love the savory flavor MSG brings to the table, you’ll be happy to know certain foods can give you the same taste without the consequences. Try adding mushrooms and soy sauce to your next stir fry.

2. Sucralose 

In effort to cut back on sugar, many people turn to artificially sweetened beverages and foods. The problem with this strategy is the sugar substitutes don’t lead to the same dopamine release that the real stuff does. In simpler terms: Sugar makes you feel good and sugar substitutes don’t. Some research suggests those who regularly consume these sweeteners may be at a greater risk for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, weight gain, and cardiovascular disease.
More commonly known as Splenda, sucralose is one of the most popular sugar substitutes. Whether it’s any worse than other sweetener is a matter of debate, but you might want to know just how saccharine it is. According to CBS News, sucralose is a whopping 600 times sweeter than table sugar.

3. Allura red 

Have you ever wondered why products bearing cherry, fruit punch, and strawberry flavors are so astoundingly red? It certainly isn’t because they’re brimming with fresh fruit. The secret ingredient is food dye, allura red in these instances. Aside from giving foods a vivid red hue, this ingredient adds absolutely no nutritive value to foods. It could actually be doing more harm than good.
Many of the products that boast such bright colors, like breakfast cereals, juice drinks, and candy, are targeted toward kids, and they’re suffering for it. Research has linked the additive to increased incidence of ADHD. It sort of seems silly to risk it just so your child can enjoy a cherry ice pop.

4. Palm oil 

After the backlash food companies endured when consumers got wind of how bad trans fats are, many began a mad rush to switch partially-hydrogenated oils to something less offensive. For many, palm oil is now the fat of choice. The thing is it’s still high in saturated fat. Though some studies have suggested saturated fat isn’t as evil as we once believed, there’s still plenty of research that’s demonstrated ingesting this type of fat can lead to cardiovascular disease.
There’s also the health of our planet to consider. The sudden interest in switching to palm oil is driving an alarming rate of deforestation. According to The Guardian, this clear-cutting contributes to 12% of the greenhouse gases behind climate change.

5. Sodium phosphate 

Restaurant chefs manage to keep meat wonderfully moist by perfecting their cooking techniques. Mass production facilities do it by pumping their cold cuts with sodium phosphate. Eat This, Not That! explained phosphates are a necessary nutrient in our diets, but it’s easy to go overboard with processed foods. According to one review, consuming too much of this additive can contribute to cardiovascular disease. You can find meats without sodium phosphate, but you definitely have to do a thorough search.

7 of the Worst Fruits and Vegetables You Can Eat

Most people don’t need much convincing in the way of the many health benefits of produce. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, you know a wide array of goods are delivered more times than not. But few things in life can be 100% perfect, 100% of the time, and fruits and veggies are no different. While upping your intake of fresh, whole foods is certainly recommended, there are a few you may want to steer clear of, or at least not overindulge in too often. While we’re not recommending you cross these seven fruits and veggies off your grocery list, we’re simply suggesting keeping an eye out for times you’re tempted to finish an entire bowl.

1. Pineapple 

The relaxing sounds of Hawaiian music begin to lull in the back of your mind every time you take a bite of this sweet, succulent fruit. The sweetness can be chalked up to its sugar content — one cup of solid chunks contains 16.2 grams of sugar. Available year-round, pineapples can be tough to stay away from (pineapple pizza, anyone?). Thankfully, they’re only ripest during a few months a year. Phew. After all, there’s a reason pineapple upside-down cake is a thing.

2. Cherries 

Cherries might be the perfect accompaniment to your cocktail, but we recommend you don’t eat too many. While a bag of cherries definitely makes for a great midday snack, just keep in mind that their addicting nature exists for good reason. In just one cup of cherries with pits, you’re getting 17 grams of sugar.

3. Pomegranate 

Figuring out the best way to crack open a pomegranate is hard enough, so once you’re in there, it’s likely you’ll want to fully enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun very much intended). But did you know that a whole pomegranate has 39 grams of sugar? This is why it’s sometimes better to retrieve the seeds and eat them as is, or as a topping in your yogurt.

4. Mango

  
A common ingredient in smoothies, sushi rolls, and guacamole (and pretty much anything else you’d want to eat), this juicy fruit sure is tough to stay away from. Mangoes are full of sweet, sweet goodness, so it’s no surprise one cup of sliced mango has 23 grams of sugar, making them the perfect addition to most tasty things in life.

5. Potato

  
You guessed it — potatoes are probably the most cautioned of all veggies. While they’re an absolute necessity (in any form) on Thanksgiving, the starchy vegetable isn’t exactly the most revered when it comes to your choice of a healthy side. The main deterrent is the 36 grams of carbs that are packed into one potato. So, eat these starchy veggies in moderation.

6. Winter squash 

Winter squash, which includes butternut, acorn, and spaghetti, comes with its fair share of health benefits, but in the grand scheme of the vegetable world, it might not top the charts. Averaging around 21 grams of carbs per cup of winter squash, the entire veggie packs a seriously carb-heavy punch.

7. Jicama 

A farmer’s market favorite, jicama is a sometimes undiscovered root vegetable. But in the overall scheme of things, it’s also one that ranks high in the carbohydrate department: One cup of slices has 10.6 grams of carbs. Its crunch is alluring, and its juicy consistency is similar to that of a savory apple. It’s yummy, but also worth noting it’s not the best veggie to go overboard on if you’re counting carbs.

8 Health Benefits and Uses for Garlic

Garlic lovers already know how good this food tastes, but they might not know just how amazing it is for their health. Here are some of my favorite health benefits and uses for garlic.

ANTI-VIRAL AID

According to James Duke, PhD, botanist and author of The Green Pharmacy, several compounds found in garlic, including allicin, have antiviral activity against colds and flu.

SYSTEMIC INFECTION SOLUTION

Countless studies over the last few decades have demonstrated the antibacterial activity of garlic against both gram positive and gram negative strains of bacteria. New research in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology found that garlic is one of the most potent antibacterial herbs. Of the 83 herbs tested, compounds in garlic and juniper showed the highest antibacterial action, including against drug-resistant infections like S. aureus and E. coli. S. Aureus (the bacteria that is involved in MRSA infections) can cause systemic infections of the blood, heart, spinal cord or bones. 

ULCER AID

Garlic is such a superb antibacterial agent, it is of little surprise that more and more research links it to destroying infections that even antibiotics cannot address. Recent research in the Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine found that raw garlic showed potency against H. pylori—the antibiotic-resistant bacteria linked to conditions like stomach ulcers.

URINARY TRACT INFECTION ALLEVIATOR

Anyone who has ever had a urinary tract infection knows how difficult they can be to treat. The Journal of Parasitic Diseases concluded that garlic was effective against bacteria linked to urinary tract infections, even when antibiotics failed.

TUBERCULOSIS TAMER

Research in the International Journal of Mycobacteriology found that garlic was one of fifteen plants that showed effectiveness against tuberculosis.

CANCER FIGHTER

Allicin is not only a natural antibiotic, it is also an antioxidant that helps to prevent the cell damage that can be a precursor of cancer. Researchers have concluded that garlic has the ability to inhibit different types of tumors and lower the risks of esophageal, stomach and prostate cancer. Research has also shown that allicin can not only slow the proliferation of human gastric cancer cells, but also cause cancer cell death.

HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND HEART DISEASE REMEDY

Many studies have demonstrated garlic’s heart-healing ability over the last few decades. A recent study similarly concluded that garlic can help reduce high blood pressure and the risk for heart disease. The researchers also found that garlic supplements did not interfere with medications used to treat these conditions. Other research found that garlic significantly reduced triglycerides, high levels of which are linked to heart disease.

DIABETES AID

Exciting new research in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that aged garlic extract was effective at reducing some markers for diabetes and may offer hope in the treatment of diabetes.
Using Garlic
There are very few savory dishes that don’t benefit from the addition of garlic. You can add it to soups, stews, stir-fries, curries, sauces and pastas.
When supplementing with garlic, follow package directions as there is a large variation in dosages and active ingredients between products.

The Healthy Fat You Should Eat Daily. It fights cancer and diabetes

The deeper one looks into nutrition, the more complex it becomes.  Balancing the numerous priorities we are told we should have, such as eating foods that are high in antioxidant levels, they need to have the right fats in the right amounts, they need to provide us with energy but also help us recover from workouts, etc.  It is very hard to pinpoint the right foods to cover all these bases, however, there are a couple of basic principles you should ask yourself in order to determine if a particular food should be consumed; does it have a TV commercial and/or would my great-great grandmother recognize it? 
 
If the answer to either of these questions is yes, stay away!  If you apply this test to Lard, it passes!  But haven’t we all heard it’s bad?  The name itself sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen.  Why?  It’s a interesting story.  In the early 1900’s the major U.S. company Procter & Gamble was in the business of growing cotton… it was very profitable for them.  However, there was a bothersome by-product, cottonseed.  Procter & Gamble made the smart business decision to investigate if they could do anything with cottonseed to turn this by-product into a revenue stream.  They found that after intense processing they could extract an oil from the seed (it easily turned rancid and was a very unstable fat)… so they hydrogenated it and found that it now had a long shelf life and when it cooled it looked and acted like lard.  They decided to call it Crisco.  Unfortunately, Crisco is not lard but got lumped into it an became synonymous (very undeserved). 

Lard is simply pig fat taken from any area of the pig that has a high concentration of fatty tissue.  Lard (in its natural form) has no trans fats, is high (50%) in mono-saturated fat and contains (40%) saturated fat.  Saturated fat was once the enemy of nutritionists, however, more recent study’s have turned that on its head with modern research pointing out that saturated fat (when combined with a low carb and sugar diet) can raise HDL cholesterol.  If cholesterol is still a concern of yours, the amount of cholesterol in lard should be put into perspective; lard contains about one third the amount of cholesterol as butter.  You would need to consume a whole cup of lard to equal the cholesterol from just one egg.
  
The below chart compares the level of Saturated fat, Mono-saturated fat and poly-saturated fat in Olive oil, Lard, Butter and Coconut oil.  You will notice that two of the most fashionable oils right now in nutrition are polar opposites. Olive oil is almost all saturated fat with almost no mono-saturated fat.  Conversely, Coconut oil is almost all mono-saturated fat with almost no saturated fat.  Lard is the only one to offer both of these healthy fats in moderation.
Fat Graph

  
One of the biggest benefits of lard verses other oils is its high smoke point, creating lower levels of aldehydes (which are a concentration of chemicals that are produced when oil is heated up an starts to break down).  This high smoke point results in less free-radicals being consumed into our body.  Lard is also a good source of vitamin D, which about 42% of U.S. adults are deficient in.
One important thing to remember is how to identify real lard from the imitations: Lard that is solid a room temperature and/or does not need to be refrigerated DOES have trans fat and does NOT have vitamin D.
Most farmers who raise pigs can help you get lard, but if you don’t happen to live next to pig farm, lard is easy to make!  Ask your butcher for some back fat, leaf lard or simply use any pork bacon or pork belly, cut off the fat and render it by cooking it slow over the stove (very low temperature) or in a 250 degree oven for about 6-7 hours.  Strain and chill.  You now have lard!

Saturday, 29 April 2017

US carrier Carl Vinson stages war drills with South Korean Navy


The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier on Saturday started a joint naval drill with the South Korean Navy in the East Sea amid heightened tensions from North Korea`s failed ballistic missile launch earlier in the morning, defence officials here said.
"South Korea and US strike forces began a drill in the East Sea from 6 p.m. today against the backdrop of the current security situation," the South Korean Navy said.
No specific schedule for the rendezvous was released to the media yet, but the exercise is expected to continue until sometime next week, Yonhap news agency reported.
At the core of the naval exercise lies the missile warning informational link exercise (LINKEX) that monitors, traces and intercepts any intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) from North Korea.
"The exercise is the follow-up of the naval exercise in the Yellow Sea between the two navies on Tuesday. It is aimed at deterring North Korea`s provocations and strengthening the military readiness of the Korea-US alliance," the Navy said.
It would mark the Vinson`s second operation in South Korean waters in less than two months, an unusual move that comes amid military tensions in Korea.
The nuclear-powered flattop reportedly carries almost 100 aircraft. Its strike group also includes guided-missile destroyers and cruisers.
Earlier this week, the Vinson had joint drills with Japan`s naval forces.
North Korea is said to be fearing the powerful US strike group but its state media publicly claimed the Communist nation`s troops are ready to sink the aircraft carrier with a single strike.

Antarctica's 'Blood-falls': Scientists finally decode more than century-old mystery!


One of the oldest mysteries that has kept scientists completely baffled is more than a century old – the Antarctica's famous 'blood-falls'.
The blood-red waterfall was first discovered by an Australian geologist who theorized that it was made up of red algae.
In 2003, this theory was overlapped with one that believed that the water was coloured red by oxidized iron and perhaps the last remnants of a five million year old salt water lake.
Now, however, a new study carried out by the University of Alaska and Colorado College has questioned any previous theories made on the blood-falls, arguing that the water flows from a large lake of salty water that has been trapped under ice for one million years.
According to The Sun, scientists were able to track the path of the water under the glacier using echolocation technology.
As per the Fox News, much like the echolocation used by bats, the technique the scientists used to send and receive electrical signals in "grid-like patterns" through the glacier's ice led them to a find previously thought impossible: flowing liquid water existing in a frozen glacier.
‘We moved the antennae around the glacier in grid-like patterns so that we could ‘see’ what was underneath us inside the ice, kind of like a bat uses echolocation to ‘see’ things around it,’ co-author Christina Carr wrote.
While confirming that the glacier has its own water system, the researchers were nonplussed to find that the lake hadn't frozen despite being enveloped in a layer of ice for so long.
As water releases heat when it freezes the surrounding water continued to flow.
The discovery now opens the doors to "understanding the role of liquid water—salty or fresh—in other extremely cold glaciers or permafrost environments," co-author Jessica Badgeley adds, per a Colorado College press release, Fox News reported.

French astronaut Thomas Pesquet captures the rising moon in all its stunning glory from the ISS! - See pic


 French astronaut Thomas Pesquet totally needs to take up photography as a side business. The photographs adorning his Twitter feed are all no less than stunning and we can't wait for more!
Although, the view that presents itself to him everyday is worth capturing, so we can't really blame him for getting tempted. We love the images, anyway.
In his first stint in space as a part of Expedition 51, Pesquet has been enjoying his role as a flight engineer for the International Space Station (ISS).
His excitement is pretty much credible as much as it is palpable to be gliding 250 kilometres above the Earth and that comes forth through the lens of his camera.
Even though, all the images he has shared till now have been absolutely mesmerising, his latest post is truly one of a kind and no, this time it is not the Earth.
Because, according to Pesquet, sometimes you need to 'look away from the Earth' to admire the beauty that is the universe.
Thomas Pesquet has captured the rising moon in all its glory and the end result is incredibly stunning!
He wrote: “The moon rising! Sometimes I look away from earth to admire the beauties space has to offer.”

Donald Trump says he's avoided New York City because it's expensive for US

President Donald Trump says he hasn't returned to his New York City home because "going back is very expensive for the country."
Trump tells Fox News in an interview Friday that he feels "guilty" when he returns to Trump Tower because authorities close surrounding streets and "I hate to see the New Yorkers with streets closed."
He says he goes to his clubs instead because they have "hundreds of acres" and streets stay open.
But Trump says he's always accused of "having fun" or playing golf at his clubs; he says he's always working.
The White House rarely acknowledges when Trump plays golf. 
Photos on social media sites are often the only clue that Trump has hit the links.
Trump is scheduled to visit New York City on Thursday.

SpaceX scheduled to make its first military launch on Sunday!


 In an effort to make rocket parts recyclable, rather than jettisoning the costly components after each launch, California-based space company SpaceX is all set to make its first military launch on Sunday, April 30.
The launch will take place with a classified payload for the National Reconnaissance Office, which makes and operates spy satellites for the United States.
No details were made public about the payload, known only as NROL-76, which was first announced last year.
A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket is poised to blast NROL-76 into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida during a two-hour launch window which opens tomorrow at 7:00 am (1100 GMT).
About 10 minutes after launch, the tall portion of the rocket, known as the first stage, will power its engines and fly back toward Earth to make a controlled landing on solid ground at SpaceX's Landing Zone 1 at Cape Canaveral.
SpaceX, headed by Internet entrpreneur Elon Musk, has already made several successful landings on solid ground and on platforms floating in the ocean, thus establishing a pioneering image for itself in the space world.
Until now, the US military has spent billions per year exclusively with United Launch Alliance, a joint operation of aerospace giants Boeing and Lockheed Martin, to launch government satellites.
SpaceX in 2014 filed suit against the US Air Force, saying it unfairly awarded billions of dollars to a single company for national security launches.
SpaceX also has a pair of launch contracts coming up for the Air Force to send GPS satellites into orbit.
If tomorrow's launch is postponed for any reason, another launch window opens on May 1.

8 Incredible Health Benefits and Uses for Rosemary

INCREASE BLOOD FLOW TO THE BRAIN

Shakespeare’s Ophelia stated “there’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember.” New research shows that she was right. Rosemary has been found to increase blood flow to the brain, which in turn helps to oxygenate the brain. This could be one of the reasons why it is known to boost memory and concentration.

HELPS MEMORY FORMATION

Research in the journal Fitoterapia found that rosemary’s ability to prevent the natural breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, a critical brain communicator which tends to happen as we age, could hold an important key in the prevention and treatment of dementia. Acetylcholine is involved in the formation of new memories, so ensuring adequate amounts can be helpful for both short-term and long-term memory.

REDUCES PLAQUE BUILDUP IN THE BLOOD VESSELS

Research in the Journal of Medicinal Food found that regular consumption of rosemary can help to reduce the risk of heart disease, heart attack and stroke. 

BOOSTS HAIR GROWTH

Excessive testosterone can cause hair thinning in both men and women. In an article published in the journal Phytotherapy Research, scientists found that applying an extract made of rosemary leaves improved hair regrowth in animals affected by excess amounts of testosterone. Scientists found that the rosemary extract appears to block dihydrotestosterone, an active form of testosterone, from binding to androgen receptor sites. In doing so, rosemary encouraged hair regrowth.

HELPS PREVENT AND TREAT PROSTATE CANCER

According to preliminary research published in the online journal PLoS One, one of rosemary’s many active compounds known as carnosic acid demonstrated selective activity against prostate cancer cells, as opposed to healthy cells. Obviously more research needs to be done, but this study suggests that rosemary extract may hold promise in the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer.

REDUCES INFLAMMATION

Rosemary contains numerous anti-inflammatory compounds that make it an excellent choice to help with inflammatory conditions, which most are.

IMPROVES DIGESTION

Rosemary also contains compounds that boost digestion.

PACKS A SERIOUS PUNCH TO SUPERBUGS

Rosemary essential oil, as part of a blend of essential oils including cinnamon and oregano, has been found to have potent antibacterial and antiviral actions, including against the H1N1 virus as well as the antibiotic resistant bacterial infections S. aureus and S. pneumoniae.

Using Rosemary

COOKING

You can use the dried needles in your cooking. Rosemary is great in soups, stews and in roasted potatoes.
Add fresh sprigs or finely minced fresh rosemary needles to tomato sauces, omelettes and vegetable dishes, particularly roasted vegetables.

ROSEMARY HAIR TONIC

In a medium pot, bring one quart (or one liter) of water to a boil. Add two or three sprigs of fresh rosemary or two tablespoons of dried rosemary, turn off the heat and cover. Allow to sit for at least 20 minutes. Allow to cool then remove the rosemary sprigs and pour the liquid into a bottle. Store in the refrigerator up to one week. Pour the liquid over your scalp and leave it in your hair as it dries. Alternatively, spritz on your freshly washed, towel-dried hair daily. For best results continue daily for one to two months.

ROSEMARY TEA

Add two teaspoons of dried rosemary needles or a 4-inch sprig of fresh rosemary to boiled water, and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain and drink three cups daily.

ROSEMARY TINCTURE

Follow package instructions for the alcohol-extract you choose. A typical dose is 30 drops three times daily.

ROSEMARY ESSENTIAL OIL

Choose a high quality, undiluted product and follow package instructions for use.