Earth Day - Appreciate what we have

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So, today's April 22, Earth day. I'm a bit confused, because there are several Earth days. This one, apparently, was founded in the U.S. I'm guessing you have already seen Google's Earth day exclusive picture. If you're reading this a bit too late, this is what it looked like: Google's Earth day picture.

Quite pretty, isn't it? Makes you want to forget about modern life and appreciate the raw land, that gives us food and shelter (houses are built on ground, aren't they?). But, then again, what would humanity be without progress? We'd be living in stone castles at best, as the invention of gunpowder marked the coming of a new age. It's like history is divided into periods by what weapons people used to kill each other: sharp sticks, sticks with sharp stones attached to them, swords and axes, muskets, rifles, automatic weapons, nukes, sharp sticks again.... But back to Earth day, it's nice that there's a whole day dedicated to increasing people's awareness about global warming, pollution and other dangerous environmental issues. Though in my opinion, awareness isn't nearly enough. You need to encourage people into stopping pollution, for example: bring us recyclable plastics, get your name mentioned in the newspaper, be granted a title "tree-hugger" in your passport or something. Maybe these kind of programs are already running in the society, i don't know. If you'd like to learn the history of Earth days, refer to the Wikipedia article.

And on a side note, April 22 is also Lenin's birthday. The man, who wanted to create a perfect society where every man is equal and depends on other men. Maybe he aimed too high. Making hundreds of millions of people working for a "better future", for one goal, is impossible. Some want to start their own businesses, be better than others, they start to behave disorderly and have to be "suppressed". Maybe communism would work amongst robots?

New images taken by the Hubble

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59 new images of colliding galaxies. Our dear friend Hubble space telescope. He has been searching the skies for 18 years now, and as a gift for this anniversary, 59 new images were released. Each showing colliding galaxies. In fact, this is annoucned as the largest collection of Hubble's pictures released to the general public at one time. 59! Without further ado you can download these images from Spacetelescope.com. At the lower-right part of the screen, under the "Downloads" you can (obviously) download the pictures. They are all actually merged into one file, so if you want high quality, you'll have to download either the 88MB .JPEG, or the original 181MB .tif.

So, you may still have one question. Galaxies collide? Well, they do! In fact, many relics of galaxies devoured by our Milky Way can be found in space. Scientists say that now Milky Way is absorbing the Saggitarius galaxy. Alas, our aggresive space-mother is on a collision course with our neighbour - the Andromeda galaxy, which is much more massive. 500.000 km/h is the speed of the galaxies drifting towards each other. Thus Earth's home in 2 billion years will be "Milkomeda". Why such a long time? Galaxies are huge, and it will take them millions of years to become one, larger galaxy. Another thing that popped up in my mind is what if Sun collides with an another star? Apparently, since empy space takes up most of the cosmos, there is little chance that we'll be devoured by an another gas giant. Besides, stars depend on each other's gravitational pull. So that means if a giant star passes nearby us, Sun might get caught in it's gravitational pull and either we're cooked or have a lot of daytime.

So, we find out that continents were moving around Earth. Similarly, galaxies are moving around space. What's further? The black empty mass? Or maybe something we haven't discovered yet...

Nuclear power could help us

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Although hazardous, nuclear power plants are more environmentally friendly than coal power plants. Currently, most of the electricity we use come from fossil fuel power plants. Coal is and always has been the main source of power. Tons of coal are burnt in each power plant every day, in order to supply power for our daily needs. By 2030 the consumption will rise by 60%, with 85% of the whole world's power being produced in fossil fuel power plants. Can you imagine the environmental impact? How much carbon dioxide will be emitted into the air? An excess of sulphur in the air will cause acid rains, destroying forests and pushing the cataclysm one step further. So what could we do to stop this? Nothing, in my opinion, but some environmentalists turn their attention to nuclear power.

Nuclear has always meant disaster: Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Tsar bomba (that could have fractured the Earth), Chernobyl. A single mistake made the whole zone inhabitable for decades, killed hundreds (the liquidators). But we simply can not cower and neglect nuclear power because of one accident, no matter how devastating it was. The only world-wide damage that could be done is if dozens of Nuclear power plants exploded in a chain-reaction. But what are the odds of that happening? And, after all, nuclear power plants do not emit as much carbon dioxide as coal plants. The only problem that the researchers see is uranium's price rising as known deposits are emptied out. As it is a dangerous material, prospecting for new deposits will require a lot of resources. But, in my view, it's still better than black clouds of soot above what could be a beautiful park, full of dogs and hippies.