Sunday, April 15, 2012

Will The Dead Sea Die Again ?

Rapidly dropping water levels of the Dead Sea, the lowest point on the earth’s surface heralded for its medicinal properties, has been a source of ecological concern for years. Now a drilling project led by researchers from Tel Aviv University and Hebrew University reveals that water levels have risen and fallen by hundreds of meters over the last 200,000 years.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years.

Directed by Prof. Zvi Ben-Avraham of TAU’sMinerva Dead Sea Research Center and Prof. Mordechai Stein of the Geological Survey of Israel, researchers drilled 460 meters beneath the sea floor and extracted sediments spanning 200,000 years. The material recovered revealed the region’s past climatic conditions and may allow researchers to forecast future changes.

Layers of salt indicated several periods of dryness and very little rainfall, causing water to recede and salt to gather at the center of the lake. During the last interglacial period, approximately 120,000 years ago, the sea came close to drying up entirely, the researchers found, with another period of extreme dryness taking place about 13,000 years ago.

Today, the Dead Sea lies 426 meters below sea level and is receding rapidly. Despite this historical precedent, there is still cause for concern, says Prof. Ben-Avraham. In the past the change was climate-driven, the result of natural conditions; today, the lake is threatened by human activity.

“What we see happening in the Middle East is something that mimics a severe dry period, but this is not climate-enforced, this is a man-made phenomenon,” he warns, caused by increasing amounts of water being taken from rivers for irrigation before it reaches the Dead Sea. Ultimately, this prevents the refilling of the sea by the waters of the Jordan River.

For the full story on the Dead Sea drilling project, see the CBS News story:

Black and white twins Really Rare and incredible

Parents in Germany are welcoming a very rare set of twins, the first baby was born is called Ryan, and he has light skin and blue eyes like his father. His brother, Leo, has dark skin with brown eyes like his mother.

“None of us could believe it,” the maternity ward’s head doctor, Birgit Weber, told one news source. “Both kids have definitely the same father.”

Ryan, has light skin and blue eyes. His brother, Leo, is dark-skinned with brown eyes.

Stephan Gerth is German and white. His wife, Florence Addo-Gerth, is from Ghana and has dark skin.
It was “a real surprise,” Gerth told the German newspaper Die Welt, adding that the most important thing to him isn’t color, but that everyone is healthy.

Doctors say that the odds are one in a million to get twins with different skin color, but they have  also said it can happen due to genetic soup in our backgrounds.

The twins are in a good health condition and live in Berlin, Germany.

World Most Smartest People

These smartest people were picked based on their IQ (Intelligence quotient) test. IQ, is a score derived from one of several different standardized tests designed to assess intelligence. The purpose of the test is measure the mental ability and horse power of the brain for any person. I have noticed that many of these people are Chess players and champions. I don’t know if there is any link between intelligence and chess, but this is my observations. Many of my resources confirmed the name and the IQ score for each of the people on the list. There were couple of other names with high IQ score but I couldn’t really confirm that 100%. Note: All these people are still alive as of 2010. IQ scores reflect general capacity for performing intellectual tasks, such as solving verbal and mathematical problems.

The average IQ score is 100.  The standard deviation of IQ scores is 15.  So, this means:

    * 50% of people have IQ scores between 90 and 110
    * 2.5% of people are very superior in intelligence (over 130)
    * 2.5% of people are mentally deficient / impaired / retarded (under 70)
    * 0.5% of people are near genius or genius (over 140)

Genius IQ is generally considered to begin around 140 to 145, representing ~.25% of the population (1 in 400). Here’s a rough guide:

    * 115-124 – Above average (e.g., university students)
    * 125-134 – Gifted (e.g., post-graduate students)
    * 135-144 – Highly gifted (e.g., intellectuals)
    * 145-154 – Genius (e.g., professors)
    * 155-164 – Genius (e.g., Nobel Prize winners)
    * 165-179 – High genius
    * 180-200 – Highest genius
    * >200 – “Unmeasurable genius”

So, here is what I came up with. Please comment of you have any suggestions.

1. Kim Ung-Yong – IQ = 210

Yong is a Korean child prodigy.  He showed his intelligent ability since he was little. He started speaking at 6 months, he was able to read Japanese, Korean, German, English and many other language by his third birthday. At age 3, he was able to solve complicated calculus equations easily with no problems. He got his Ph.D. in physics at Colorado State University when he was 16 years old. Kim has the highest score in the planet, he was listed in the Guinness Book of World Records under “Highest IQ”; the book estimated the boy’s score at over 210.

2. Christopher Michael Langan – IQ = 195

“The Smartest Man In America“, thats what the media called him when he scored 195 on the IQ test. Langan was born in San Francisco and spent most of his early life in Montana. He began talking at six months, taught himself to read before he was four, and was repeatedly skipped ahead in school. During high school he started teaching him self, advanced physics, math, philosophy, Greek and Latin. Then he went to college but dropped out because he thought he could teach the professor more than they could teach him. for over 20 years he worked several jobs, he worked as construction worker, cowboy, forest service firefighter, and farmhand. In 2004, Langan moved with his wife Gina (née LoSasso), a clinical neuropsychologist, to northern Missouri, where he owns and operates a horse ranch. On January 25, 2008, Langan was a contestant on NBC’s 1 vs. 100, where he won $250,000.

3. Philip Emeagwali – IQ = 190

Emeagwali was born in Akure, Nigeria on 23 August 1954. He dropped out of school in 1967 because of the Nigerian-Biafran war. He became an engineer and computer scientist/geologist who was one of two winners of the 1989 Gordon Bell Prize, a prize from the IEEE, for his use of a Connection Machine supercomputer to help analyze petroleum fields. in 1991, He was studying for his PhD degree, but his thesis was rejected by committee of internal and external examiners and thus he was not awarded the degree.

4. Garry Kasparov – IQ = 190

Garry Kasparov is the World Chess Champion. He was born on April 13 1963 in Russia. Kasparov became the youngest ever undisputed World Chess Champion in 1985 at the age of 22. He held the official FIDE world title until 1993, when a dispute with FIDE led him to set up a rival organization, the Professional Chess Association. He continued to hold the “Classical” World Chess Championship until his defeat by Vladimir Kramnik in 2000. Kasparov announced on March 10, 2005, that he would retire from serious competitive chess. He cited as the reason a lack of personal goals in the chess world. Garry wasn’t only an excellent chess player, he wrote several books related to chess.

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