Biodiversity on Earth is declining

GLAND, Switzerland (UPI) — The WWF, also known as the World Wildlife Fund, says more than a quarter of the Earth’s wildlife has been lost during the last 35 years.

The organization’s Living Planet Index — produced for the WWF by the Zoological Society of London — shows populations of marine species, such as swordfish and scalloped hammerhead, were particularly hard hit, falling by 28 percent between 1995 and 2005. Seabird populations have suffered a 30 percent decline since the mid-1990s.

The index said land-based species’ populations fell by 25 percent between 1970 and 2005, and populations of freshwater species by 29 percent between 1970 and 2003.

Scientists said habitat destruction and wildlife trade were among the major causes of population declines but climate change is expected to become an increasingly important factor.

“No one can escape the impact of biodiversity loss,” said James Leape, WWF’s director general, “because reduced global diversity translates quite clearly into fewer new medicines, greater vulnerability to natural disasters and greater effects from global warming.”

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

from Arcamax Science and Technology e-zine, 05-19-2008

Hayden Panettiere sure is cool…

I never thought she could sing until I’ve read it from a local magazine. I’ve watched her Bring It On: All or Nothing but I didn’t notice her voice in one of the songs in the movie – they say, she and Solange have a song in the movie’s soundtrack. I’ve watched her in Heroes but I never thought so. Well, she sings good.

Check this:

Girls, bonus, the guy at the 3:14 is cute. Does anyone know him? Please, tell me!

Creative Boredom

“We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.”1

“A young boy complained to his father that most of the church hymns were boring to him—too far behind the times, tiresome tunes and meaningless words. His father put an end to the discussion by saying, ‘If you think you can write better hymns, then why don’t you?’ The boy went to his room and wrote his first hymn. The year was 1690. The teenager was Isaac Watts. ‘When I Survey the Wondrous Cross’ and ‘Joy to the World‘ are among almost 350 hymns written by him. Feeling Bored? Let the world remember you for 300+ years!”2

I recall reading about a lady who said to Evangelist Dwight L. Moody, “I don’t like the way you preach,” to which Mr. Moody replied, “I don’t either. How do you do it?” I recalled Moody’s response when the president of a denominational college (seminary) in Australia was questioning the value of our outreach work and asked, “And how do you handle your follow-up?” So I asked him how he handled his. He replied, “I don’t. I teach.” A businessman once asked me the same question so I said to him, “If you give us the needed financial support we’ll develop the best follow-up program.” He walked out without saying a word.

Constructive criticism is fine—providing we are prepared to do something about what we are being critical about—rather than just being negative and becoming a part of the problem.

Suggested prayer: “Dear God, please deliver me from having a negative critical attitude always looking for the faults and weaknesses in what others do. However, when I see a need for improvement in any area, please help me so that any criticism I give will be constructive—and help me to be willing to do what I can to help fix what needs to be fixed. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus’ name, amen.”

from Daily Encounter, 02-14-2008

Part of cosmos’ missing matter is found

PARIS (UPI) — The European Space Agency says its orbiting X-ray observatory XMM-Newton has uncovered part of the missing matter in the universe.

Scientists say all matter in the universe is distributed in a cosmic web-like structure. At dense nodes of the cosmic web are clusters of galaxies. Astronomers suspected the low-density gas permeates the filaments of that cosmic web.

An international team of astronomers, using XMM-Newton were observing a pair of galaxy clusters about 2.3 billion light-years from Earth when they saw a bridge of hot gas connecting the clusters.

“The hot gas that we see in this bridge or filament is probably the hottest and densest part of the diffuse gas in the cosmic web, believed to constitute about half the baryonic matter in the universe,” said Norbert Werner of the Netherlands Institute for Space Research and leader of the research team.

“This is only the beginning,” added Werner. “To understand the distribution of the matter within the cosmic web, we have to … ultimately launch a dedicated space observatory to observe the cosmic web with a much higher sensitivity than possible with current missions.”

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

from Arcamax Science and Technology e-zine, 05-08-2008