Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Watch the Earth Change before Your Eyes


Landscapes/Features of Earth Undergone Dramatic Change

Several of the landscapes and features of the Earth have undergone a dramatic change since 1984. Google has made its prime update to Time-lapse with addition of four years of imagery, big amounts of new data together with a sharper view of the Earth from 1984 to 2016.

Latest images by Google’s Time-lapse application portrays how the features comprising of Alaska’s Columbia glacier and Dubai’s extensive cityscape tend to have drastically progressed in the last 32 years. Its Time-lapse visualisation of Earth, had first been released by Google in 2013, offering the most comprehensive image of our changing planet, made available to the public.

The communicating time-lapse experience permits people in exploring changes to the surface of the Earth like never before from observing the sprouting of Las Vegas strip to the retreat of Alaska’s Columbia glacier. Moreover, it enables user in exploring a variety of compelling locations much further than 1984. For instance, in London, one can make out the progress of the City Airport and the Olympic stadium in Stratford. On zooming in on the Aral Sea it portrays how it has been drying since the 1960s owing to Soviet irrigation programmes.

New Time-lapse Show Sharper View of Planet

If the date is moved to 2007, the volume of the Aral Sea seems to be reduced to about 10% of its original size. For the time being, over the past three decades, Alaska’s Columbia Glacier is observed to have retreated over 12 miles.Another city which has undergone drastic changes since 1984 is New York.

 In comparison to 1984 to 2016, it shows how much progress has been made around the Central Park area and Brooklyn. Programme Manager at Google Earth Engine, Chris Herwig, had commented that `in leveraging the same techniques were used in improving Google Maps and Google Earth back in June, the new Time-lapse showed a sharper view of our planet, with truer colours and less distracting artefacts’.

He further informed that using Google Earth Engine, they had combined over 5,000,000 satellite images, approximately 4 petabytes of data in creating 33 images of the complete planet, one for each year. He added that for the latest update, they had access to more images from the past due to the Landsat Global Archive Consolidation Program together with fresh images from two new satellites, namely Landsat 8 and Sentinel-2.

USGS/NASA - Landsat

The 33 new terapixel global images were then encoded into just over 25,000,000 overlapping multi-resolution video tiles, making interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon CREATE Lab’s Time Machine library, which is a technology in creating and inspecting zoomable as well as pannable time-lapses over space and time.

In order to explore the feature, one could type in the name of a place in the search bar and move the timeline towards the bottom in opting for the year one would prefer to view. Images had been initially collected as part of constant joint mission between the United States Geological Survey –USGS and NASA known as Landsat.

 The Landsat mission’s satellites since the 1970s had been observing the Earth from space. The images have been sent back to Earth and archived on USGS tape drives which is an achievement that is much stress-free with the present digital technology than with analog tape in the 1970s. In order to make this historic archive of earth imagery available online, Google began working with USGS in 2009.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Asian Highways in India You Probably Do not Know About

Asian Highway

Asian Highway – 1 - Asian Highway Network – Longest Route

One of Asian Highway Network longest route is the Asian Highway 1- AH1 which tends to run 20,557 km from Tokyo, Japan through Korea, China, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia, Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran towards the border between Turkey and Bulgaria, west of Istanbul, joining end on with the European route E80.

Also known as the Great Asian Highway, the Asian Highway is said to be a cooperative project between countries in Asia and Europe together with the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific – ESCAP, for improvement of the highway systems in Asia. It is also one of the three pillars of the Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development – ALTID project, endorsed by the ESCAP commission in 1992, of its 48th session, including Asian Highway, Trans-Asian Railway – TAR as well as facilitation of land transport projects.

Thirty-two countries had signed the contracts enabling the highway to cross the continent as well as to reach Europe wherein some of the countries who had been part of the highway project comprised of India, Sri Lanka Pakistan, China, Japan, South Korea and Bangladesh. Several of the finance had been from higher, advanced Asian nations such as Japan, India and Chine together with international agencies like Asian Development Bank.

Asian Highway_India


Maximum Use of Prevailing Highways

The intentions of the project is to make the maximum use of the prevailing highways of the continent in order to prevent the construction of new ones unless in instances where missing routes would be essential for construction. An Asian infrastructure news website – Project Monitor has remarked that `early beneficiaries of the Asian Highway project are the planners within the national land transport department of the participating countries, since it assists them in planning the most cost-effective and efficient routes in promoting domestic as well as international trade. Non-coastal areas that have often been negligible are the other beneficiaries’.

But towards the mid-2000s, some of the transportation experts had been sceptical regarding the possibility of the project considering the economic and the political climate in South as well as South-East Asia. The Asian Highway Network would be taking over two projects where one would be the AH 45 while the other would be the new AH 45A. The AH 45A will be the new highway all across Asia from Tonghua to Sana’a

Promoting Development of International Road Transport

The AH project had been introduced in 1959 by the United Nations with the intention of promoting the development of the international road transport in the state, During 1960-1970, the first phase of the project extensive progress had taken place though it slowed down in 1975, when the financial support had been suspended.

A number of projects had been conducted by ESCAP in 1992, in collaboration with AH member countries in details after the endorsement of ALTID. Intergovernmental Agreement on the Asian Highway Network- IGA had been implemented on 18 November 2003 by the Intergovernmental Meeting.

The IGA comprises of Annexe I tends to classify 55 AH routes between 32 member countries amounting to around 140,000 km and Annex II - `Classification and Design Standards’. In April 2004, the IGA treaty was contracted by 23 countries during the 60th session of the ESCAP Commission at Shanghai, China and 29 countries had approved the agreement by 2013.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Charfield Railway Disaster

Charfield Railway Disaster

The Charfield Railway Disaster – Disastrous Train Crash

The Charfield railway disaster is said to be a disastrous train crash that had taken place in 1928 on 13 October in the village of Charfield in the English county of Gloucestershire. In the early hours of that fateful day, the night mail train from Leeds to Bristol had crashed beneath the road bridge at Charfield station.

The carriages had been blown up due to the
gas cylinders which were used in lighting the carriages and the fire had been so severe that those who had met their fate had been badly decomposed wherein their relative had to accept the offer of the railway company of a mass grave, which is noticeable in a corner of the village churchyard till date.

It is on the memorial stone that the mystery prevails, that after recording 10 names together with their places of origin, it tends to end with `Two Unknown’. However in spite of various theories of the true identity, they seemed to be yet unknown. The Western Daily Press has launched an appeal to anyone who would be capable of eventually revealing the mystery which had shrouded the crash for decades,as the 80th Anniversary of the tragedy tend to draw near.

Distant Signal – Misunderstood

Over 50 passengers had been on the train on that fateful night when it headed towards Charfield at around 5.30 am in thick fog. Henry Button had accepted the train from the Berkeley Junction and had put the distant signal to danger, according to some sources which should had stopped the express till a freight train had retreated into sidings.

Unfortunately driver Henry Aldington and his fireman, Frank Want had read the distant signal as a clear one rather than of danger and went ahead which ended in a calamity.

The goods driver had nearly cleared the line when he noticed the mail train coming down on him and the express crashed into the goods tender, ploughing off the line, hitting another empty goods train head on. One of the coaches had been thrown over the bridge that had crossed the line though worse seemed to follow.

Firemen Combatted for Five Hours

The express’ engine had fallen on its side among the splintered wagons where hot ashes had scattered from the firebox surrounding the line. Gas that has powered the lights in the coaches had escaped from the supply pipes which had been broken due to the impact and as they came in contact with the hot ashes it had turned the worn-out coaches into an inferno.

Surprisingly the driver and fireman seem to survive from the ordeal and together with the villagers woke up by the noise of the crash. Passengers who had climbed clear had made great efforts to save those who had been trapped by the inferno. Within a span of 20 minutes, the flames had leapt by 50 feet high above and rescuers had managed to bring down the fire.

Firemen had come from Bristol, Gloucester and Stroud who combatted with the blaze for five hours before eventually bringing it under control. However, it was many hours thereafter when they could search through the smouldering wreckage and recover the bodies of those killed. In total there were 15 people who had died and 23 who had been severely wounded.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Murder of Cathy Wayne

Cathy Wayne

Cathy Wayne – Shot – 22-Caliber Bullet

Cathy Wayne an Australian singer had been killed in 1969,by a single .22-caliber bullet when she was onstage in a military base in Vietnam. She was only 19 years old when she died. She had breathed her last in the arms of her boyfriend who played the drums for the band she sang – Sweethearts on Parade.

Catherine Anne Warnes, an entertainer was born on December 7, 1949 at Arncliffe, Sydney and was the second child of three children of George Alfred Warnes, an English-born motor mechanic and his wife Nancy Starnes, from Sydney Cathy had attended Athelstane Public and Arncliffe Girls’ High School and had great interest in performing arts.

 When she was in the primary level she had participated in singing and dancing lessons. Towards the age of 12 she began performing on stage in the local community as well as school concerts. She had been spotted by a talent scout and offered a permanent spot, dancing on television station TCN-9’s programme `Opportunity Knocks’ and at 16, she had won the second prize for singing in the talent quest of Starflight. The competition had been directed by another well-known Channel 9 show `Bandstand’ where she became a steady performer.

F.A.C.E – An Opportunity to Perform

Cathy Wayne started performing in clubs in spite of being under legal age of performing in these premises; she recorded advertising jingles for radio as well as television. Thereafter she joined the `pop’ singer Col Joye on many concert tours across Australia. She used the stage name `Cathy Wayne’. She had travelled with the other entertainers to the Republic of Vietnam – South Vietnam, towards the first half of 1967 on a wartime concert tour that had been sponsored by the Australian Forces Advisory Committee on Entertainment. Since Cathy Wayne was not 18 years it had been essential for the organizer of the tour, Bruce Webber to obtain approval of her parents to take part in the concert. She had leapt at the opportunity to go to South Vietnam. At that time members of F.A.C.E concert parties were not given any payment for their services though were given daily living allowances together with security guarantee.

Lead Singer – Sweethearts on Parade’

Towards mid-1969, Warnes had returned to South Vietnam as the lead singer in `Sweethearts on Parade’ an Australian pop group wherein the tour had been arranged privately by Ingrid Hart, a performer as well as a promoter and was not under the supports of the Australian government That year, on 20 July, at Da Nang, Warnes had been on stage in a club for non-commissioned officers of the United States Marine Corps when she was shot from outside the club which has passed through the insect-screen of an open window.

The bullet had hit her in the chest killing her instantly. Her body had been sent back to Australia and was cremated with Anglican rites. James Wayne Killen, a US Marine had been found guilty of killing her while trying to shoot someone else. He was found innocent after a retrial and released. Don Morrisson, another musician was of the belief that he was aware who had shot her but due to lack of evidence was unable to reveal the name of the person. Wayne’s killer till date remains unknown and anonymous.