news highlights of the week

From Bansky-like wood artists to making fire from ice

This week you shouldn´t miss out on marvelous tree carvings created by an anonymous Bansky-like guerrilla artist. You are also invited to get to know a “magnetic boy” called Bogdan and learn about the recently discovered waterworld planet GJ1214b. Besides, it´s time to feel sorry for all Haitians. Last but not least, you might want to know how to start a fire with ice. Check out this week´s news highlights.

Bansky-like wood artist in North Yorkshire

Residents of a British market town have been left stumped by mysterious, up to 20 feet high tree carvings thought to have been created by an anonymous Banksy-style guerrilla artist. Whole trees have been transformed into a dragon, a ghost and a marvelous diving kingfisher. A citizen incidentally discovered the artwork in a forest and no one has ever seen the artist. The mysterious story has attracted many tourists who want to take a closer look at the beautifully carved tree trunks. Click the kingfisher on the cloud at the end of this post to check out the carvings yourself.


Magnetic boy Bogdan

A 7-year-old Serbian boy named Bogdan is making international news for an apparently paranormal (though not terribly useful) ability: Bogdan claims to be magnetic. Pictures showing microphones, knives and pots to the boy´s skin serve as evidence Unfortunately, Bogdan´s family also demonstrates non-ferrous plates and remote controls to cling to the boy´s skin. There goes the magic… The overweight boy´s skin is simply hairless and elastic thus conforming the objects it comes in contact with. Sweat is a useful adhesion tool, too. Nevertheless, Bogdan´s fairytale made it into the news around the world….


Hubble Reveals a New Class of Extrasolar Planet

Observations by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have come up with a new class of planet, namely GJ1214b. It’s smaller than Uranus but larger than Earth and mainly consits of water. Even though the planet was discovered back in 2009, the assumption of GJ1214b being a waterworld enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere could only recently be proven with the help of Hubble’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3) when the planet crossed in front of its host star. During such a transit, the star’s light is filtered through the planet’s atmosphere, giving clues to the mix of gases. Since the GJ1214b’s mass and size are known, astronomers can calculate the density, of only about 2 grams per cubic centimetre. Water has a density of 1 gram per cubic centimetre, while Earth’s average density is 5.5 grams per cubic centimetre. This suggests that GJ 1214b has much more water than Earth does, and much less rock. In case you are interested in the story, here is the link to the corresponding scientific publication.


Haiti Prime Minister resigns

The prime minister of Haiti, Garry Conille, has resigned after a power struggle within the government. His resignation is likely to set back efforts to re-build the country after the January 2010 earthquake which devastated the capital Port-au-Prince. Ex Prime Minister Conille had promised to create thousands of jobs by attracting foreign investment to help rebuild the country…yet another promise that hasn´t been kept in Haiti.


Making fire from ice

Even though winter is almost over, cold times will return sooner or later, so better be prepared. Just in case you get stuck in the middle of nowhere it might pay to know how to start a fire using ice: First, you need to find a 4-inch-thick piece of transparent ice. A knife is needed to shape a big chunk into a disk and smooth the edges with the warmth of your hands. Then you can use the ice as a magnifying glass to set timber or dry leaves on fire. So from now on never leave the house without a knife and hope for a sunny winter =)


My Highlights of the Week

Here is my corresponding LinkCloud, which guides you to the corresponding articles described in this post. Just click the picture associated with the news you are interested in and the link will open in a new tab. I generated this cloud using the free, live-synched and device-independent service myLinkCloud.

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