On May 20, the moon will pass between the Earth & the Sun, creating a brilliant annular solar eclipse for some viewers & an equally amazing partial solar eclipse for many others. An annular solar eclipse happens when the moon is at a certain distance from the Earth, so that it appears relatively smaller than the sun; in a total eclipse, the moon appears to be the same size as the sun. This happens because the moon’s orbit around the Earth isn’t a perfect circle but rather is an ellipse, putting it sometimes a bit further from the Earth than others. Not everyone will be able to see it. Only a relatively small number of people will be in just the right spot. Some of the major cities & places that lie along the path of best viewing for this annular eclipse include Tokyo; in the US-Alaska’s Aleutian Islands; Redding, California; central Nevada; southern Utah; northern Arizona; & Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you live in East Asia & near the Pacific Ocean, you’ll also be able to see the partial eclipse. The eclipse will begin on the west coast of the US at 6:30 pm PDT on May 20. (Read more at Mashable)
So cute but no spark. Tian Tian (Sweetie, female) & Yang Guang (Sunshine, male) had a window of just 36 hours to mate & despite "natural sparks" flying between them, they did not. The 8-year-old pair arrived in Scotland from Ya'an reserve in Chengdu, China, on December 4 last year. They went on show to visitors for the 1st time December 16. Keepers at Edinburgh Zoo - which will be their home for 10 years - opened a "love tunnel" between their enclosures after tests showed the time was ready; they met 5 times on Tuesday & several times again yesterday & had shown signs of attraction to each other.
Tian Tian had "called out incessantly to Yang Guang" & pressed her paws & nose up to the grate separating them. Both were keen to mate & have both bred before with other pandas, but their inexperience together showed. Keepers say that while a baby panda would have been a "bonus", it is only the 1st attempt in a 10-year project. They are the 1st giant pandas to live in the UK for 17 years. (Read more at The Independent-Watch Pandacam HERE)
Pakistan has banned India's James Bond, outlawing a high-octane Bollywood action flick in which an Indian secret agent thwarts Pakistani spies from detonating a nuclear bomb in Delhi, stating "The film contains anti-Pakistan material". Agent Vinod, which grossed US $9.7 million on its opening weekend, shows an Indian agent jetting around the world, dodging assassins to save his country from nuclear Armageddon & colluding with Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistani terror group which was blamed for the 2008 Mumbai attacks that left 166 people dead & ruptured peace talks between India & Pakistan for 3 years. Saif Ali Khan, an Indian & its producer & star, has defended the film saying "Our film shows there are good Pakistanis & bad Pakistanis. We have shown both the sides". The `Bollywood' Bond comes at a sensitive time for Pakistan's intelligence service, still dealing with the fact that al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden spent years living in the garrison city of Abbottabad. India & Pakistan have fought 3 wars since partition in 1947 & came to the brink of nuclear conflict in 2002. (Read more at The Sun Daily)
(Video: RT via National Geographic Society)
National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence James Cameron completed a record-breaking dive to the lowest point of the Mariana Trench, when his "vertical torpedo" sub broke the surface of the western Pacific, some 200 miles (322 kilometers) southwest of Guam. (See raw video above). Cameron emerged from the pilot's capsule around noon, local time (10 p.m. ET March 25th). The Mariana Trench's `Challenger Deep' - the deepest point on Earth - "looks as bleak & barren as the moon", according to Cameron. After a descent that took roughly 2 1/2 hours, Cameron spent about 3 hours in the trench, filming, before making an even quicker than expected 70-minute ascent to the surface. (Read more at NatGeo)
Titanic filmmaker & ocean enthusiast James Cameron has become the 1st solo explorer to reach the deepest point of the world - the western Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench - just east of the 14 Mariana Islands (11"21' North latitude; 142" 12' East longitude) near Japan. The deepest part of the Mariana Trench is called `The Challenger Deep', so named after the British exploratory vessel HMS Challenger II, a fishing boat converted into a sea lab by Swiss scientist Jacques Piccard, which 1st pinpointed & surveyed the trench's deepest point, giving it the name, "The Challenger Deep".
Only 4 descents have ever been achieved. The 1st manned descent was by Trieste in 1960. In March of 1995, the Japanese unmanned submarine Kaiko - a sophisticated vessel with a highly accurate positioning system - allowed scientists to gather important data without the need to endanger a human diver.
Cameron took his own custom built submarine - the lime green `Vertical Torpedo' - almost 7 miles down - leaving the ocean's surface at approximately 2:00am local time, touching down in the Mariana Trench at 7:52am (5:52pm EDT) according to a statement from the National Geographic Society, which is sponsoring the expedition. In the trench Cameron is experiencing total darkness at 36,000 ft. below the surface & is expected to spend 6 hours collecting samples & filming in 3D. Cameron tweeted: "Just arrived at the ocean's deepest pt. Hitting bottom never felt so good. Can't wait to share what I'm seeing w/ you @DeepChallenge".
Stories: Turkish women face discrimination, violence, illiteracy despite small gains
Discrimination, violence, unequal power relations, lack of education and child marriage are still problems that Turkish women face on this year's March 8, International Women's Day, which is being marked by several events highlighting the worrying issues women have to deal with instead of joyful celebrations. “Aren't you ashamed?” asked the Association for Education and Supporting Women Candidates (KA.DER)which has been keeping track of the number of women in public offices for the last five years. (READ MORE at Today's Zaman)
MORE STORIES: 'Let's Make a Commitment to Education' from The Guardian; 'IWD 2012 Marks Little Progress Worldwide in Women's Health and Education' from The Toronto Star;'Celebrating International Women's Day 2012: UNESCO's efforts for Rural Women' here