Hand Sanitizer Made by Prisoners

As the Corona Virus takes over the world, there is one way to battle it. It is by washing our hands regularly and using sanitizer to kill bacteria. This has, however, led to shortages of sanitizers all over the country and people have started to overstock items. As officials have ordered social isolation, people have begun to stock up on their supplies. However, some have gone so overboard that they have taken months worth of supplies including hand sanitizers. Because of this shortage the Governor of New York, Andrew M Cuomo, decided to use prison inmates to urgently produce more sanitizers.

His plan to use the prisoners was met with protest, however, because of the situation the world currently finds itself in, he has decided to proceed with his original idea. He unveiled the sanitizer made by Corcraft, a prison-based product company, last week, and it will be displayed in every store and supermarket across the country. He did warn online retailers, however, to not use the sanitizer for their own benefit or sell it overpriced because of the high demand.

He even believes that the product is better those currently on the market because of the high alcohol content, meaning it works more efficiently, and the better fragrances it comes with. He also emphasized that it was cheaper to make at just $6.10 per gallon.

Soon after his sales pitch he was criticized heavily by lawmakers and criminal justice reform groups. Some believed that prisoners should be given minimum wage like the rest if they are being relied upon in such a health crisis. In New York, inmates are often paid up to 60 cents an hour, which is way below minimum wage. This is why last year a bill was introduced to make the minimum wage for prisoners 3 dollars per hour.

Another thing that concerned people is that even though these prisoners might be making the sanitizer, they will not be able to use it because of the alcohol content within it which is forbidden in prison, as well as being threatened with solitary confinement if they refuse to work.

However, Corcraft, the prison-based company responsible for the manufacturing of the sanitizer, claims that job training and learning new skills are part of prison life and an essential skill for their development, helping them get back on their feet and giving them a way to earn.

What Would Happen in a Nuclear War?

With talks of another world war in the news, it is a frightening thought of what actually would happen if the United States were to become involved in a war with Russia or Iran. As we live in the modern age, wars have changed greatly compared to the last world war. We have better-developed weapons, we have better ammunition, and worst of all, many of the world’s countries have nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons have the ability to kill substantial portions of the population of a country or state. The thought of such a war happening is heartbreaking and frightening.

Historians and climatologists have tried to map out exactly what would happen if a nuclear war were to occur and as expected the results were horrendous. They believe that the people within a specific radius of the bomb would be obliterated immediately, but the impact would not stop there. Every part of the world would feel the impact of the bomb, including the oceans and wildlife.

They refer to the nuclear bomb as the sun coming to the surface of the Earth for a flash of a second and destroying everything with fire and storm. The nuclear bombs dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima proved just how devastating they can be at ground zero. Those two nuclear bombs contained 15 kilotons of ammunition and incinerated everything in the two cities.

Scientists report that in a nuclear war that there would be so much smoke and dust generated that it could block the Sun’s light for up to 5 years. They believe that not only would it be much colder with a significant lack of sunlight, but also there will be excess UV rays as the ozone layer would become damaged or even destroyed during a nuclear war. Lower temperatures, due to smoke and dust blocking the sun would result in freezing, even in the summers, destroying fruit, vegetable and grain crops.

The impact of nuclear war on the Earth’s climate would not be limited to the land areas of Earth. Increasing the carbon dioxide content of the Earth’s air would mean that the air absorbed by water would turn the water acidic. The water would become acidic enough to dissolve shelled creatures and kill aquatic plants resulting in the extinction of marine life.

With a little study, it is obvious that there would be no winners in a nuclear war. All of humanity and Earth as we now know it would be lost.

Deep Space Signal

The question of whether alien life exists or not has been debated, pondered and experimented upon for decades. People have been trying to find a sign or a signal that will indicate life beyond our planet. Now, a Harvard professor believes we might be receiving a signal that may prove that aliens do exist.

In Canada, researchers discovered a very powerful radio signal that they believe could be coming from another distant galaxy. This signal seems to repeat itself every 16 days. A Harvard professor, who is the chair of the Harvard Astronomy Department, believes that this signal could be a sign of an alien civilization. However, he does acknowledge that signals could also be generated through young neutron stars or another phenomenon that is not familiar to us yet. The signal is called a fast radio bust or FBR.

He believes that a possibility could be that alien life could be using a beam of energy to transport something within space. The signal that is being received by the Canadian researchers is the energy or radiation that is being leaked from that. However, the amount of energy needed for such a beam would be equivalent to the energy needed to sustain Earth, which seems unlikely.

The Canadian researchers do not seem to have the same point of view as the Harvard researchers and have said that non-professionals claim it as extraterrestrial life when they do not believe so. However, the Harvard professor is insistent that it is a possibility that needs to be considered and should be looked into with detail, with regards to possible natural causes and phenomena.

If we think about how our lives will change if alien contact is made, the thought itself is staggering. When the news of this signal spread, some people began to express their worry and fear while others wanted to know more. Scientists believe that actual contact with such life are close to impossible, because traveling in space is too difficult for them to come to Earth, or for humans to meet them where they are situated.

At times, such news may show some signs of extraterrestrial life and may have researchers excited for what they may discover; however, there has never been any substantial proof of whether life exists beyond Earth.

Cyborg Jellyfish

When we consider jellyfish, we never think of them as cyborgs. They are fish in the sea that are usually transparent and sting when you get near their tentacles, sometimes powerful enough to kill a human. However, scientists have created cyborg jellyfish to explore the ocean in a more efficient way.

A team of scientists and researchers from world-class universities such as Caltech and Stanford decided to attach microelectronics that are low powered onto Jellyfish. These electronics will enable the jellyfish to swim three times as fast as the original, creating a bio-hybrid jellyfish.

The reason that researchers have done this is to enable themselves to look within area of the ocean where humans have been unable to explore. If we consider submarines, they are able to cover certain depths, however there is a limit to which they can go down. The jellyfish will be installed with sensors that will enable scientists to look and explore the depths of the oceans.

In the trials that were conducted by the scientists, the researchers were able to shock the jellyfish with the electronic device they had installed and it led to the jellyfish swimming faster and more efficiently. Hence proving to the researchers that exploring the oceans through jellyfish may actually be a very real possibility.

They claim that they have shown that jellyfish can move much faster with the help of the technology the scientists have installed without any effect to their metabolism. Normally jellyfish do not have the need to swim fast, but do hold the capability to swim much faster than their usual speed.

The simplicity of the electronics that have been designed by the researchers is such that the electronics use very little power, even less than aquatic robots, which is what makes them so efficient and well suited.

This discovery could revolutionize the way oceans are explored. Scientists believe they can take this electronic device a step further by making modifications to the design to allow measuring of temperature and depth, as well as directing and controlling the jellyfish.

This would change the way we see oceans. We will be able to see creatures that live far deeper than we’ve ever explored before and better understand life beneath the waves.

Magnetic North Pole Movement

Like all the other known planets that neighbor earth in our spiral galaxy, our planet also has a magnetic field around it of its own. This field has two known poles – the north magnetic pole and the south magnetic pole. The north magnetic pole has recently caught the attention and interest of scientists because of an interesting shift they observed in its movement over the past few years.

The North Pole Movement in Past

Generally, the north magnetic pole has been observed to constantly wander around the northern hemisphere. First discovered in 1831, scientists kept on observing the same trend in the North Pole’s movement for years until a deviation was noticed a few years ago.

The northern pole’s magnetic movements slowly changed position over time due to the changes that occurred in the magnetic core of the Earth. It was found that the North Pole was moving in loops that made it travel around 50 miles in 24 hours. The actual location of these loops, however, varies at a pace of around 25 miles in 365 days. Constant observation during the last one and a half century has seen the north magnetic pole travel a total distance of around 685 miles or 1102Kms. The movement of the south magnetic pole, has also been observed and it is no different than that of its northern counterpart.

An unexpected change has been observed in the North Pole’s movement

The north magnetic pole was previously moving nearer to Russian with a speed of around 35 miles per year. The expected movement pattern for the north magnetic pole was for it to move in a steady speed around Canada. However, now this pole is frantically moving from Canadian Arctic towards Siberia since it has drifted away from its previous place of stay – the Canadian Arctic. Over the past 20 years, scientists have observed the pole moving towards Siberia, even crossing the prime meridian, something that was not expected. The prime meridian is an imaginary divide that is accepted as the standard time zone of the world. The crossing of the meridian by the north magnetic pole has happened for the first time after its discovery and this has led scientists to try and predict the future.

What will happen next?

Now the pace of the north magnetic field is making it difficult to track its path since it has been rapidly increasing over the past few years. This rapid increase in speed of the north pole’s movement is expected to void our conventional compass systems. It is also being feared that the nature of the north pole’s movement will affect the famous aurora borealis.

Iranian Cyber-attack

A cyber-attack is a type of aggressive operation, which targets computer systems, infrastructures, computerized networks, or personal computer devices. The cyber attackers aim to access data, functions, or other important areas of the hacked system illegally. A cyber-attack can be carried out by an individual person, group of people, a country or some terrorist organizations as well.

Editorial credit: saeediex / Shutterstock.com

Before discussing the Iranian Cyber-attack, it is important to know the event that shaped the probabilities of Iranian cyber-attack to a serious extent. On 3rd January 2020, The United States killed Iran’s military general Qassim Suleimani. Shocked by the death of their beloved General, the Middle East declared payback for the murder.

Although the internet broke the news that world war-III was about to take place, but soon it started to speculate that the matter would not turn into a physical battle, rather would turn into a cyber-one which too is as serious as a physical attack. Jon Bateman, a fellow of cyber security for International peace said that a cyber-attack is expected in vengeance for Suleimani’s murder.

The next day, the United States’ department of homeland security in a bulletin warned Iran that the nation is capable of carrying out its own attack supported by a robust cyber program. When experts came to know about these warnings, they seemed to believe that the Iranian cyber-attack was impending.

Sergio Caltagirone, Vice President of Threat Intelligence said that when countries use cyber-attacks, a lot of the time the attacks are against civilian targets rather than military targets. He also said that, it looks like civilians and innocent people all around the world, including Iranians, Americans, and Saudis, will have to bear the effect of these attacks. Similarly, if Iran initiates a cyber-attack against the United States, the local residents of both the countries would suffer.

Iran and the United States have already been engaged in a cyber war for many years. The U.S has been blamed for using computers and computer viruses to disturb nuclear facilities and infrastructure in Iran. Iran was also held responsible for the 2018 cyber-attack that badly affected the government and residents of Atlanta. Chances are that this time Iran might hack the American Water system and power networks.

The one and only benefit of a cyber-attack over a physical battle is that it is generally anonymous. This means that a country can attack their enemies without letting them know who is responsible for all the damage.

To conclude, it can be said that the news of the assassination of Suleimani shocked many people, and will result in retaliations. The daughter of General Qassim Suleimani, Zeinab Suleimani, directly threatened the U.S. military by saying that “…the families of the American soldiers in western Asia… the west will spend their days waiting for the death of their children…”