Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Solar Flare


NASA - March 10, 2006: The sun was quiet. The sun has already reached its minimum whereby the Sun spots had all vanished and Solar flares are nonexistent. Like the quiet before the storm.


A team of Researchers lead by Mausumi Dikpati of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) announced that a storm of the most intense solar maximum in 50 years is coming. The next sunspot cycle will be 30% to 50% stronger than the burst of the historic Solar Max of 1958.

Dikpati realized years ago that the key to this mystery is a conveyor belt on the sun which was described to be similar  to the Earth's which is called the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt.  It is a network of currents that carry water and heat from ocean to ocean.  If the conveyor belt stopped this will bring the weather in chaos.

The sun's conveyor belt is a current of electrically conducting gas that flows in a loop from the sun's equator to the poles and back again. The solar conveyor belt controls weather on the sun, specifically, the sunspot cycle. It takes about 40 years for the belt to complete its loop with varying speeds anywhere from a 50-year pace (slow) to a 30-year pace (fast).

"The top of the conveyor belt brush the surface of the sun, gliding up the magnetic fields of old, dead sunspots. The 'corpses' are dragged down at the poles to a depth of 200,000 km where the sun's magnetic dynamo can amplify them. Once the corpses (magnetic knots) are reincarnated (amplified), they become buoyant and float back to the surface." Then, sunspots appear!

History shows that big sunspot cycles are faster than the small ones.


NASA - Juune 21, 2011:  The earth experienced the most powerful storms on the eve of September 1859. The most energetic protons in half -a-millenium set telegraph offices on fire and sparked Northern lights over Cuba and Hawaii. Researchers still aren't able to categorize the unusual underlying flare. The "Carrington event" of 1859 (named after astronomer Richard Carrington witnessed the instigating flare) would tell us that even when the underlying cycle is seemingly weak strong storms can occur .  

What the forecasters are saying is that the sun is once again on th eve of a below-average solar cycle as 2011 advances.

Compared to the ill effects of the 1859 solar flare, the situation of today would be more serious.  With the modern technology that surrounds our life, blackouts could last for weeks to months; affecting banking and financial networks. Air and water transports could no longer trust GPS units for navigation. According to a 2008 report from the National Academy of Sciences, a century-class solar storm could have the economic impact of 20 hurricane Katrinas.  "Modern society depends on high-tech systems such as smart power grids, GPS, and satellite communications--all of which are vulnerable to solar storms."

NASA researchers a few miles away are actually doing something about it:

"We can now track the progress of solar storms in 3 dimensions as the storms bear down on Earth," says Michael Hesse, chief of the GSFC Space Weather Lab and a speaker at the forum.  "This sets the stage for actionable space weather alerts that could preserve power grids and other high-tech assets during extreme periods of solar activity."

A fleet of NASA spacecraft that goes around the sun made the monitoring possible by analysts  at the lab and feed the information into a bank of supercomputers for processing. A 3D movie showing where the storm will go is produced within the hour of a major eruption showing which planets and spacecraft it will hit and predicting when the impacts will occur. This is truly a pathbreaking  for interplanetary forecast in the short history of weather forecasting.

Antti Pulkkinen, a researcher at the Space Weather Lab says, "This is a really exciting time to work as a space weather forecaster. The emergence of serious physics-based space weather models is putting us in a position to predict if something major will happen."

To pinpoint transformers in greatest danger of failure during any particular storm, an experimental project named "Solar Shield" was created and led by Pulkkinen. Any electrical currents flowing in the Earth soil produced by a solar storm can now be predicted with the aid of some sophisticated computer models. These currents can do the most damage to power transformers.  "Disconnecting a specific transformer for a few hours could forestall weeks of regional blackouts," says Pulkkinen.

Another SWEF speaker, John Allen of NASA's Space Operations Mission Directorate said that, "Astronauts are routinely exposed to four times as much radiation as industrial radiation workers on Earth," he says.  "It's a serious occupational hazard." Being on the frontline, Astronauts are exposed of a stormy weather. Therefore, they are carefully monitored and all activities are being accounted for to ensure safety.


NASA - July 11, 2011:  On June 7, 2011,  A flash of X-rays coming from the western edge of the solar disk were being detected by Earth-orbiting satellites . Registering only "M" (for medium) on the Richter scale of solar flares, the blast at first appeared to be a run-of-the-mill eruption--that is, until researchers looked at the movies. "We'd never seen anything like it," says Alex Young, a solar physicist at the Goddard Space Flight Center. "Half of the sun appeared to be blowing itself to bits."

"IN terms of raw power, this really was just a medium-sized eruption," says Young, "but it had a uniquely dramatic appearance caused by all the inky-dark material. We don't usually see that."

Solar physicist Angelos Vourlidas of the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC calls it a case of "dark fireworks."

"The blast was triggered by an unstable magnetic filament near the sun's surface," he explains. "That filament was loaded down with cool plasma, which exploded in a spray of dark blobs and streamers."

As NASA explained, "Plasma blobs are funneled toward sunspots by magnetic fields. The plasma blobs were as big as planets, many larger than Earth. They rose and fell ballistically, moving under the influence of the sun's gravity like balls tossed in the air, exploding "like bombs" when they hit the stellar surface. Some blobs, however, were more like guided missiles."

 "In the movies we can see material 'grabbed' by magnetic fields and funneled toward sunspot groups hundreds of thousands of kilometers away," notes Young.

NASA also explained, "SDO also detected a shadowy shock wave issuing from the blast site. The 'solar tsunami' propagated more than halfway across the sun, visibly shaking filaments and loops of magnetism en route. Long-range action has become a key theme of solar physics since SDO was launched in 2010. The observatory frequently sees explosions in one part of the sun affecting other parts. Sometimes one explosion will trigger another ... and another ... with a domino sequence of flares going off all around the star."

"The June 7th blast didn't seem to trigger any big secondary explosions, but it was certainly felt far and wide," says Young. He estimates that the cloud massed about 4.5 x1015 grams, placing it in the top 5% of all CMEs recorded in the Space Age. For comparison, the most massive CME ever recorded was 1016 grams, only a factor of ~2 greater than the June 7th cloud.2 The amount of material that fell back to the sun on June 7th was approximately equal to the amount that flew away, Vourlidas says. As remarkable as the June 7th eruption seems to be, Young says it might not be so rare. "In fact," he says, "it might be downright common."

Only time can tell.

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Reference: NASA

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Pray, Hope and Don't Worry

Padre Pio was born to Grazio Mario Forgione (1860 - 1946) and Maria Guiseppa de Nunzio (1859 - 1929) on May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina Southern Italy. He was baptized day after he was born in the nearby Castle Church with the name of his brother who died in early infancy, Francesco.  He has an older brother named, Michele and three younger sisters: Felicita, Pellegrina and Gracia. Two other children died as infants.

Religion was the center of life for the family and Pietrelcina. Attended the daily mass, prayed the rosary every night and would fast three days a week from meat in Honor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. Deep piety was evident in early childhood. At the age of five, he consecrated himself to Jesus. He also commented that in his younger years he had conversed with Jesus, the Madonna and his guardian angels. His parents learned of his desire to become priest in 1897.

He was tutored privately until his entry into the Capuchin Friars at the age of fifteen. He took the habit of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin on January 22, 1903.  On the day of his investiture, he took the name of Pio in honor of St. Pius V, the patron saint of Pietrelcina. He was called fra (for brother) until ordination of priesthood.  On January 22, 1904,  Fra Pio knelt the altar and made his first profession of the Evangelical Counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience.  He took his final vows in 1907 and at the age of 23 and by grace completed his studies and was ordained priest in 1910 by Archbishop Paolo Schinosi at the Cathedral of Benevento. His first celebration of the Mass was done four days later at the Parish Church of Our Lady of the Angels. Within the month of ordination, Padre Pio was praying in the Piana Romano on September 7, 1910 when Jesus and Mary appeared to him and gave him the wounds of Christ, the Stigmata. He asked Jesus to make it invisible, "I do want to suffer, even to die of suffering, but all in secret." The wounds went away and supernatural life remained a secret for awhile.

From the end of 1911 - 1916 Padre Pio was separted from his religious community due to on going health issues. He returned to his community life on September 4, 1916 and was assigned to San Giovanni Rotondo.  There were only 3 friars left at Our Lady of Grace on the outbreak of the war. His responsibility included teaching at the seminary and spiritual director of the students. He later on became in charge of the college when another friar was drafted into war. Padre Pio was also inducted into the service in August 1917 and was assigned to the 4th Platoon of the 100th Company of the Italian Medical Corps. He became a spiritual director on return to San Giovanni after he was dismissed in March 1918. He had observed five rules for spiritual growth: weekly confession, daily communion, spiritual reading, meditation and examination of conscience. Padre Pio's motto, "Pray, Hope and Don't Worry" is the synopsis of his application of Theology into his daily life.

Betwen August 5 - 7, Padre Pio had a vision of Christ. As a result, Pade Pio experienced a "transverbaration" or piercing of the heart indicating the union of love with God.

As his spiritual influence increased, so did his detractors. Accusations against him led to restricting public access to Padre Pio. His celebration of mass was varied each day without any announcement to diminish the crowds. Despite though of these restrictions and controversies, his ministry continued to flourish. Various statements were made to deny supernaturality of Padre Pio's phenomena. He was also ordered to desist all activities except the celebration of the mass which was to be made private. It was only Pope Pius XI who reversed its ban on public celebration of mass on early 1933.

The health of Padre Pio deteriorated in the mid-1960s, however, he continued his daily mass and hear 50 confessions daily. He was almost bedridden by July of 1968. On the 50th anniversary of the stigmata, he celebrated mass, attended public recitation of the Rosary and benediction. In the early morning hours of September 23, Padre Pio called his superiors to make his confession. He renewed his vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. Padre Pio died in his cell at 2:30 AM. He lived sick but died healthy with the stigmata healed, as he foretold.


The most remarkable gift attributed to him was the phenomenon of Bilocation which enables a person to be present in two places at the same time. Bilocation must not be confused with omnipresence - being present everywhere at the same time belongs only to God.

Click the link  The Bilocation for testimonies on this topic.


The prayer of his profound desire to identify with Christ crucified not only by participation in the priestly apostolate but in some mysterious way in that supreme immolation of Our Lord on Calvary (cf. Le Stimmate di P. Pio, G. Cruchon, SJ, Colana "Spiritualità", No. 1, p. 102). "I am dying of pain because of the wound and because of the resulting embarrassment which I feel deep within my soul. . . Will Jesus who is so good grant me this grace ? Will he at least relieve me of the embarrassment which these outward signs cause me" (Ep., V. 1, p. 1904).

Click the link  The Stigmata.


Millions of souls climbed to Mt. Gargano to the Capuchin Friary of Our Lady of Grace seeking for his intercession with God. Majority of these souls though were not of the living but that of the poor souls of the dead confined  to Purgatory for the expiation of the temporal punshiment due to their forgiven sins.

Click the link  The Poor Souls.


God granted him the vision of his guardian angels and also of others. It was through the guardian angel of a person that their need was brought  to Padre Pio's attention, who then prayed for this person. Padre Pio never abandons his spiritual child . Even if he did not visit them personally, they would receive help through his guardian angels no matter what danger they were in.

Click the link Guardian Angels.

Resource:  Thanks to EWTN.COM.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Beware of Mobile Hacking

Like any other computer, some phones can be fairly easy to crack!

Security experts say the growth of smartphones will lead to more sophisticated breaches.

Former News of the World staffers say that reporters use tricks to gain access to voice mail inboxes and gather a great deal of information from British celebrities and the royal family. An illegal method called Pretexting are used to obtain the PIN codes to access those accounts.

Another mechanism in mobile-phone carriers' system allows people to access voice-mail messages remotely from any phone. Together with the growth of more advanced cell phones, sophisticated intrusions also advanced their technology to gain easy access on these pocket computers as they have multiple avenues of entry point available to them.

Beware of installing poison applications or even opening of malicious links in your phone browsers as this is a trick commonly used by any form of hackers because software makers provide few safeguards against these kinds of attack.

You might be thinking that you are a nobody and that no one would take interest in hacking your mobile device. True enough! Though ordinary people we are, we have to protect ourselves from mobile attackers with malicious intent. Some people just want to earn a living the easy way and with no sweat. Therefore, we must protect our hard earned money from such mobile device attacks. Just like you would on a computer, be wary of addresses or communications with which you're not familiar with.  If there are cyber thieves, I am sure there are mobile thieves around the globe finding ways and means on how to crack and steal important information such as your back accounts and credit cards. If they can hack big corporations who have all the money to purchase sophisticated software to protect them then how else can we protect our interests?

Resource: CNN
Image Courtesy of: freefoto.com

Monday, July 4, 2011

Horn of Africa: The Worst Drought In 60 Years

Have you read the news about the worst drought in 60 years hitting Horn of Africa? It is said that more than 10 million people are now affected in drought stricken areas of Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda and the situation is not at all improving even until 2012. Children being the most affected due to scarcity of food. Malnutrition rate is increasing in the worst affected areas. Though no figures to toll, it was reported that there is a high mortality rate among children. I can't help but think how poor these innocent children are. They're so helpless to alter their current situation and it is truly heart breaking.for mothers to see their children suffer from the intense result of the drought. How would you feel if you are living in one of these areas? And you see your kids losing health, strength and energy? What are you going to do?

Families and children are walking for weeks to reach refugee camps. Some were separated from their parents en-route to the refugee camps - barefooted and feet bleeding, exhausted and dehydrated. They are being driven there by one of the worst droughts in 60 years to hit the region. What's more, the war in Somalia brought food prices to soar unbelievably high and famine is just an arm's reach. An organization spokesperson said: "Some families have walked for over a month through sand and searing heat in search of food, water and shelter. Many discarded the few possessions they had along the way." SCF's Kenya programme director, Catherine Fitzgibbon, said: "Children have made long journeys in terrifying conditions, often losing their families along the way and arriving at the camps in desperate need of security, healthcare and a normal life."

How lucky we are that we live elsewhere and not there. How lucky we are that we can feed our children and pamper them with so many things. We all have the comforts you can think of. More often, we serve food on the table more than the whole family can consume. And then what? Throw the leftovers without realizing that somewhere in Africa people are suffering from an empty stomach and children dying because of hunger and malnutrition.

Let us hug our family and be thankful of what we have. Hug our children and teach them not to waste food and be contented of what we can give them. 

Share Your Blessings!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

France First E Coli Death Since Outbreak

France confirmed first E Coli death victim since the outbreak.

The Regional. Health agency said that a 78 year old  woman died of an E coli infection in Bordeaux, France. She was in an intensive care since June 24 at Bordeaux University Hospital. The strain detected on her was said to be different from that of the strain that caused 50 lives in Europe. Seven more people suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) still remained in the same hospital where the reported septuagenarian died. The said syndrome is a rare kidney condition that develops in patients infected with E coli.  Six of the seven patients were confirmed to have been suffering from the same E coli strain that claimed the life of the woman.

Up to this date, no one can tell where this virulent strain originated from. Cucumbers, bean sprouts and other vegetables were speculated to be the culprit. A lot of producers are losing business due to said speculations. German authorities believed that the origin of the outbreak was Hamburg. They remained to be in the dark of  the outbreak’s exact source after ruling out earlier suspicions about Spanish cucumbers. The suspicions prompted a mass recall of Spanish vegetables across the Continent that caused huge losses for Spanish farmers and considerable political upset in Madrid.

The public should be made aware that the symptoms are from mild diarrhea to bloody diarrhea, then kidney failure and bleeding disorders. With proper medical treatment, the vast majority of people will recover, Dr McNamara said. People are urged to seek immediate medical attention should they experience these symptoms. With what's being reported, I guess, we all need to be very careful and cautious in preparing our food. We still do not have the information with regard to its source and what's worse is that our government hasn't come up yet on how to control this new strain of E Coli. 

For more information please see German E coli O104:H4 Outbreak.
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