A girl was found living among monkeys in an Indian forest. How she got there is a mystery.

7 Abril 2017

Amid a troop of monkeys in the Katraniaghat forest range in northern India roamed a naked human girl, playing with the primates as if she were one of them. She looked emaciated, her hair disheveled. But she appeared to be in a comfortable state, until the police arrived.

A group of woodcutters had alerted authorities after spotting the girl, believed to be 10 to 12 years old. When police approached her, the monkeys surrounded the girl, protecting her as one of their own, and attacking an officer as the girl screeched at him. After rescuing the girl, the officer sped away in his patrol car, the monkeys chasing him.

She was soon admitted to a state-run hospital in Bahraich, a city in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, where she has remained for the past two months. Doctors believe the girl had been raised by monkeys for quite some time, and her story has so far mystified authorities, sending them searching through reports of missing children in an attempt to identify her.

In the Indian press, the girl has also drawn comparisons to Rudyard Kipling’s Mowgli, a child from Seoni, India, featured as the prominent character in Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.”

Based on her behavior, it appears she could have lived among the primates since she was an infant. When the girl arrived at the hospital, she had wounds all over her body.

The thin, weak girl looked like she had not eaten for many days. Although she was capable of walking on her feet, she would sometimes suddenly drop down on all fours.

The way she moved, even her eating habits were like that of an animal. She would throw food on the ground and eat it directly with her mouth, without lifting it with her hands. She used to move around using only her elbows and her knees.

Now, doctors are tasked with teaching her how to transition to life as a human, a task that initially proved difficult because of her aversion to human interaction.

She behaves like an ape and screams loudly if doctors try to reach out to her. Another doctor treating her said the girl struggles to understand anything, and makes apelike noises and facial expressions.

But over the past two months, the girl’s health and behavior have improved significantly, doctors say. She has begun to walk normally by herself and eat food with her own hands. She is still unable to speak, and has begun to use gestures to communicate. Occasionally, she smiles.

Introducing Zealandia

2 Marzo 2017

Resultado de imagen de zealandia                                      Resultado de imagen de new zealandia continent

Scientists think New Zealand might be part of a lost underwater continent.

New Zealand is made up of many small islands, but geologists say they’re all connected by one underwater continent.

A group of geologists believes New Zealand and several surrounding islands, including New Caledonia, should be reclassified as part of an eighth continent called Zealandia. The archipelago, or group of islands, is currently grouped with Australia in the Australasia region. But scientists think there is enough geological evidence to give New Zealand its own continent designation.

The islands are connected by submerged continental crust. That crust, or outermost layer of earth, is separate and distinct from Australia and Antarctica. About 94% of that 1.9 million-square-mile land mass  is underwater. Still, the geologists argue that the area should count as its own continent.

The geologists spent more than two decades gathering enough data to make the case for Zealandia.

They argue that if Earth’s surface was mapped the way other planets have been—that is, without massive oceans to obscure landforms - Zealandia would long ago have been recognized as a continent.

Indian children died after eating lychees on empty stomach

1 Febrero 2017

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USA and Indian scientists say a mystery illness that killed more than 100 children a year in northern India was caused by eating lychees on an empty stomach.

For more than two decades, apparently healthy children in a region of Bihar suffered sudden seizures and lost consciousness.

Almost half died, baffling doctors.

New research now suggests they were poisoned by the fruit.

Hypoglycin

Most of the victims were poor children in India’s main lychee-producing region who ate fruit that had fallen on to the ground in orchards, the journal said.

Lychees contain toxins that inhibit the body’s ability to produce glucose, which affected young children whose blood sugar levels were already low because they were not eating dinner.

They woke screaming in the night before suffering convulsions and losing consciousness as they suffered acute swelling of the brain.

Researchers examining sick children admitted to hospital in Muzaffarpur between May and July 2014 found a link to an outbreak of sickness that caused brain swelling and convulsions in children in the Caribbean.

That outbreak was caused by the ackee fruit, which contained hypoglycin, a toxin that prevents the body from making glucose. Tests then showed that lychees also contained hypoglycin.

This led health officials to tell parents to make sure young children got an evening meal and limit the number of lychees they were eating.

Children suffering symptoms associated with the outbreak should be rapidly treated for hypoglycaemia, or low blood sugar, officials said.

The number of reported cases of the sickness has since fallen from hundreds each year to about 50.

Swedish Taxi-pod

8 Enero 2017

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Students in Goteborg’s busy city centre do not need to take a bus or a traditional cab to travel through the city anymore. They can use a new service – a Taxi-pod, a three-wheeled yellow slightly miniature and battery-powered car.

The company Burst was founded in November 2014 with the idea to beat traffic. The idea is to solve the problem for traffic in centres in big cities. The company would like to provide a perfect service for short trips within the city from A to B. The idea is also to reduce vehicle emissions in central areas.

People using the bus travel probably for longer distances, they do not need to be in a hurry, and they do not need to get straight to their final destination. But for lots of people, traveling quickly is very important.

However, it is not just speed that concerns the makers of these cars, but improving the quality of air. They see a huge potential for solving congestion problems and problems with air quality in pretty much all cities across the globe.

One of the passengers finds that the Taxi-pods are environmentally friendly, cheap, easy to get by in the city and fun.

 

Leonard Cohen’s Speech - Prince of Asturias Awards 2011

1 Diciembre 2016

Leonard Cohen

Italy earthquake: Why did no-one die in the latest disaster in Norcia?

2 Noviembre 2016

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When Italy suffered its strongest earthquake in decades on Sunday, multiple buildings collapsed and a number of people were injured. Yet so far there have been no reports of any fatalities.

So why did the villagers in central Italy escape relatively unscathed, even though many lost their homes and belongings?

The magnitude 6.6 quake was far stronger than the 6.0 disaster on 24th August that claimed 298 lives, many of them in the town of Amatrice, an hour’s drive from Norcia.

Thirty-six years earlier, in 1980, a 6.9 magnitude quake near Naples left almost 2,500 people dead, with many more injured and homeless.

The answer, according to a seismologist, is memory and fear.

There was no such gap for Norcia, which has felt the devastating effects of two large earthquakes - including a 6.1 magnitude earthquake that hit the Umbria and Marche regions in 1997 - in the past 40 years. Each time, its buildings were strengthened, its residents reminded of the devastation the earth could cause.

By the time the quake struck Norcia at 07:40 on Sunday, there was no-one in the area who did not remember.

The region has been rocked by four aftershocks since 24th August - two in the last week alone.

Thousands of people have already fled to the safety of relatives’ homes, shelters and hotels on the coast, far away from the towns filled with historic - and more vulnerable - buildings. Others were living in their cars, terrified of their homes collapsing on them as they slept.

Undoubtedly, this will have saved lives. In the village of Ussita, just north of Norcia, a man watched the buildings around him collapse from the safety of his car.

But there is also one other, so far unexplained, reason. Despite registering as a stronger earthquake than the one in August, it may have actually been weaker.

Geologists are trying to work out exactly why.

“Granny-sitter wanted” ad gets huge response

2 Octubre 2016

A London couple has been inundated with responses to their advert looking for help caring for their elderly grandmother in return for free accommodation in the capital.

“Granny-sitter wanted” the advert on a website reads. It appeals for a big-hearted soul with caring experience and a musical talent to help look after Margaret, 93, who has a love of crosswords, baking and singing old drinking songs.

Ross Elder, 40, and his partner Sofie, 32, posted the unusual advert in the hope of finding someone able to grandma-sit three days a week in return for living rent-free in their swish city apartment overlooking the Thames on London’s Southbank.

“I want to spend more time with Margaret,” grandson Ross says. “We have a lot of fun and we really enjoy her company.

“She’s had a really busy and active life but two years ago she had a stroke and when we realized she couldn’t live independently any more we had to move her into a care home.”

Since then Ross has made the journey from London to the home in Staffordshire every Tuesday to visit Margaret. “They do a great job there,” he says, “but I just became struck by a sense of loneliness in her.

“The staff doesn’t have time to spend one-on-one with every resident and she’s not the type who would just join a group activity.

“I felt I wanted to do something more and so we decided to look at moving her in with us.”

The couple realized they would need to make some life changes in order for Margaret’s move to work. Their third-floor flat in trendy Shoreditch with no lift or accessible amenities was not an option.

“We decided to rent a place overlooking the river that was much better for nearby walks and getting around,” Ross says. “We organized some professional care as we realized it would be a challenge but I wanted someone to be with her all the time.

“She has occasional memory loss and mild dementia and she needs someone to always be around.

“I want to spend a lot of time with her but it’s during those extra few hours each week or if she gets up in the night that we know someone is flexible and can be here.”

The idea for a live-in granny-sitter came after they read about a nursing home in the Netherlands which allows university students to live rent-free alongside the elderly residents, as part of a project aimed at warding off the negative effects of aging.

In exchange for small, rent-free apartments, the Humanitas retirement home in Deventer requires students to spend at least 30 hours per month acting as “good neighbours” doing a variety of activities with the older residents, including watching sports, celebrating birthdays and offering company.

“It planted a seed in my head and we decided to put out an advert,” Ross says. “We wanted someone who would bring more life into the house and just hoped we could find someone who was looking for a place to live with some caring experience and a love for music to help keep Margaret entertained.

“We didn’t really know what to expect but we’ve been really overwhelmed with the response.”

Over 200 emails later and the couple are now holding a host of interviews.

“It wouldn’t work for everyone as they need to be flexible with their time, he says.

“We’ve had lots of musicians and actors get in touch who have periods without work and who supplement their income working part-time in bars and some people who have experience of living with a grandparent or caring for an older relative.

“We’ve even had a lot of messages just wishing us well and saying even though they could not take up the offer they would love to come and play music for Margaret in lieu of cakes she would love to bake for them.

“It has given me such faith in the kindness of people and I feel much more positive now that it could really work.”

Ross, an internet entrepreneur, says he realizes he is in an unusually fortunate position.

“I sold my property website four years ago which has freed me up to only have to work part-time on my own projects. I’m in a good place financially and I have the time and resources to be able to do this.”

But he says he hopes it encourages and inspires people to think about more innovative ideas for elderly care.

“Loneliness is a huge problem and I never really realized the impact it can have. There are issues around safety to consider but young and old people cohabiting can help older people be more independent and even stay in their own homes.

“I love the idea that they can have a gossip together and offer each other so much in companionship.”

Johannes Stötter Art

1 Septiembre 2016

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Why the earthquake in Italy was so destructive?

25 Agosto 2016

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The earth beneath Italy’s Apennine Range — where a magnitude-6.2 earthquake struck early Wednesday — is a tangle of fault lines and fractured rock.

The mountains, which run the length of Italy like the zipper on a boot, were formed about 20 million years ago as the African plate plowed into Eurasia, crumpling crust like a carpet. Now things are moving in the opposite direction. The crust on the northern side of the range is pulling away from the south at a rate of three millimeters per year, causing the earth to shudder along the spider web of minor fault lines that run beneath the surface.

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That, in part, explains why Italy is so earthquake-prone, and why Wednesday’s temblor was so destructive. The town of Amatrice, near the epicenter, was almost entirely reduced to rubble. Thousands of people were left homeless.

Seven years ago, the target was L’Aquila, a city about 30 miles south of Amatrice. That earthquake killed more than 300. A century ago, it was Avezzano, where about 30,000 people died. Medieval Italians wrote of temblors that shook the mountain ranges and set church bells ringing as far away as Rome.

Earthquakes in this region are modest in magnitude — hundreds of 6.2 quakes happen around the world every year. Within hours of the Italian quake, a 6.8-magnitude temblor hit Burma. But that earthquake was much deeper, which means it was less destructive. According to journalists, relatively few buildings collapsed, though three people were killed, including two children.

David Cameron resigns as British Prime Minister in wake of Brexit vote

1 Julio 2016