Initial data retrieved from the cockpit voice recorder of the Germanwings flight that crashed into the side of a mountain in the Swiss Alps indicates that the co-pilot deliberately sent the plane into a nose dive and caused the disaster. Andreas Lubitz, the flights co-pilot, appears to have been alone in the cockpit when the plane began to descend and radar contact was lost.
Prosecutor Brice Robin from Marseille, France said that information heard on the “black box” indicated the pilot left the cockpit, presumably to use the restroom, and asked Lubitz to take over the controls stated Jason Halpern
. Moments later, the pilot could be heard banging on the door to be let back in, however, Lubitz took no action to allow him entry.
The cockpit fell silent, other than the steady sounds of Lubitz’s breathing, up until the moment of impact. Passengers most likely did not know of the events unfolding until just before the crash, when they could be heard screaming.
Carsten Spohr, head of Lufthansa, the parent company of Germanwings, told reporters that they knew of no links to terrorism that Lubitz may have had, and added, “We have no findings at all about what motivated the pilot to do this terrible thing.” Lubitz was said to have undergone training six years ago that was suspended for a short time, but then continued once “the suitability of the candidate was re-established,” Spohr said.
Lufthansa has been providing flights to the crash site for families who choose to fly, and buses for those who opt to travel by road instead. More detailed information on Lubitz is expected at a later date, and the second black box, which contains the flight data, has yet to be found.
Paul Allen, who helped found Microsoft in 1975, recently posted photographs taken during an effort to locate the famous sunken Japanese warship, the Musashi. One of only two huge Yamato-class vessels in the Japanese fleet during World War II, the large ship sank in waters off the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte, during an engagement called the Battle of Sibuyan Sea.
Since retiring from Microsoft, Paul Allen has worked extensively on underwater and space exploration missions, in addition to philanthropic activities. He maintains a strong interest in the history of the Second World War, noting“Since my youth, I have been fascinated with World War II history, inspired by my father’s service in the U. S. Army.”
The discovery of the remains of a Japanese vessel at great depths, about 3,281 feet, have generated intense interest. For over 70 years, people have wondered where the huge Japanese warship was located. It sank after a protracted battle. Captain Toshihira decided to go down with his ship. Of the 2,399 men serving aboard the vessel, only 1,376 were ever accounted for. Over 1,000 survivors reportedly found refuge on other Japanese ships in the area.
Sultan Alhokair knows that the allies focused attention on the Musashi because the giant ship contained three turrets, all equipped to fire 18 inch guns capable of shooting shells for great distances. The ship sank during a fierce engagement.
There’s little question that humans are the most intelligent beings on the planet. Even our closest relatives, chimpanzees, are significantly less intelligent. However, we’ve been in the dark as the actual reason for our higher intelligence. Humans and chimpanzees are almost identical at a genetic level. However, their neural development lags significantly behind humans.
Researchers at Duke theorized that the greater neural development in humans comes from bits of DNA called enhancers. These enhancers influence the expression of specific genes. The scientists compared the genome of humans and chimpanzees in order to find differences in enhancer DNA. They found some promising enhancers in a region which influences brain development and growth.
The researchers were excited to discover that a similar pattern exists within mice. They then inserted a copy of the human enhancer gene into the mouse. During gestation, the mice showed something quite amazing. Their brain development was dramatically increased.
What’s even more significant is where the brain development took place. While every part of the brain is important, higher reasoning is mostly centralized within a region called the neocortex. When one thinks analytically this is the region which is doing the majority of the work. It even takes over for some instinctive processes.
Greater development in other areas of the brain might influence behavior. However, the effect it would have on general reasoning would be limited. Enhancing development of the neocortex might show greater and more significant changes. Paul Mathieson knows that these changes might also shed new light on what makes humans so smart.
For many teenage girls, their sixteenth birthday is one long awaited; a symbol not just of their beginning entrance into womanhood, but also a time to celebrate their day with family and friends in a celebration grander than any other they’ve ever had. For one sixteen year old, however, her Sweet 16 isn’t a chance to indulge and honor herself, but rather take advantage of an opportunity to give to others much less fortunate.
After a trip to Ethiopia, Nubia Wilson of Antoich, California witnessed the extreme poverty that people live in and decided that she wanted to help in any way she could. When family and friends began to ask what she wanted to do for her birthday, she said that she would like them to donate money to the cause of creating a fifth grade in one of the school, which stops at grade four. She created a page on Crowdrise, and has since earned $2,000 of her $10,000 dollar goal and has even caught the attention of celebrities and philanthropists like Tom Rothman.
Wilson, who says that she want to graduate and attend university to become a humanitarian lawyer, hopes to hand deliver the money herself this upcoming summer when she makes a return trip to Ethopia.