What will happen when Earth’s north and south poles flip

Did you know that Earth has two North Poles? There’s the geographic North Pole, which never changes. And there’s the magnetic North Pole, which is always on the move. And right now it’s moving faster than usual.

Over the past 150 years, the magnetic North Pole has casually wandered 685 miles across northern Canada. But right now it’s racing 25 miles a year to the northwest.

This could be a sign that we’re about to experience something humans have never seen before: a magnetic polar flip. And when this happens, it could affect much more than just your compass.

Alanna Mitchell: Right now on the surface of the planet, it looks like it’s just a bar magnet. Our compasses are just pointing to one pole at a time because there’s a dominant two-pole system.

But sometimes, Earth doesn’t always just have a single magnetic North and South Pole. Evidence suggests that, for hundreds to thousands of years at a time, our planet has had four, six, and even eight poles at a time. This is what has happened when the magnetic poles flipped in the past. And when it happens again, it won’t be good news for humans.

Now you might think, eight poles must be better than two. But the reality is that: Multiple magnetic fields would fight each other. This could weaken Earth’s protective magnetic field by up to 90% during a polar flip.

Earth’s magnetic field is what shields us from harmful space radiation which can damage cells, cause cancer, and fry electronic circuits and electrical grids. With a weaker field in place, some scientists think this could expose planes to higher levels of radiation, making flights less safe.

This could also disrupt the internal compass in many animals who use the magnetic field for navigation. Even more extreme, it could make certain places on the planet too dangerous to live. But what exactly will take place on the surface is less clear than what will undoubtedly happen in space.

Satellites and crewed space missions will need extra shielding that we’ll have to provide ourselves. Without it, intense cosmic and solar radiation will fry circuit boards and increase the risk of cancer in astronauts.

Our modern way of life could cease to exist. We know this because we’re already seeing a glimpse of this in an area called the South Atlantic Anomaly. Turns out, the direction of a portion of the magnetic field deep beneath this area has already flipped! And scientists say that’s one reason why the field has been steadily weakening since 1840.

As a result, the Hubble Space Telescope and other satellites often shut down their sensitive electronics as they pass over the area. And astronauts on the International Space Station reported seeing a higher number of bright flashes of light in their vision, thought to be caused by high-energy cosmic rays that the weaker field can’t hold back.

Since experts started measuring the Anomaly a few decades ago, it has grown in size and now covers a fifth (20.3%) of Earth’s surface, with no signs of shrinking anytime soon. This is so extreme that it could be a sign we’re on the brink of a polar flip, or we may already be in the midst of one!

But scientists remain skeptical, mainly because …

Mitchell: They don’t know. The last time the poles reversed was 780,000 years ago so it’s not like we have a record for this.

Turns out 780,000 years is over double the time Earth usually takes between flips.

Mitchell: In the past 65 million years since the last mass extinction there have been reversals roughly every 300,000 years.

So what gives? Well, scientists haven’t figured it out yet. It’s unnerving to think that our modern way of life — banking, the stock exchange, missile tracking, GPS— relies on the outcome of something we can neither predict, nor control. One study went so far as to estimate that a single, giant solar storm today could cost the US up to $41.5 billion a day in damages.

And that’s with Earth’s magnetic field at its current strength. It’s frightening to imagine the devastation a storm would bring to an Earth with a magnetic field only 10% as strong.

We may not be able to stop a polar flip, but we can at least start to take measures to minimize the damage. The first step? Figure out what’s going on with this whacky field.

On the hunt are the European Space Agency’s SWARM satellites, which are collecting the most precise data on the strength of Earth’s magnetic field. Right now, they could be our greatest hope for solving this riddle.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This video was originally published on April 9, 2018.

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Kelsea Ballerini Adds A Silky Country Touch To Shawn Mendes’s ‘Lost In Japan’

Do you got plans tonight? Because Kelsea Ballerini covered Shawn Mendes‘s lovesick bop “Lost In Japan,” and it’s all you’re going to want to listen to for the rest of the day (or week or month or year).

Recorded in Nashville for Spotify Singles, Ballerini’s cover doesn’t stray too far from Mendes’s funky original, though there are a couple key differences. For one, she replaces that dramatic piano intro with some romantic strings that make the prospect of a casual international hang even more enticing. The whole thing has a subtle country vibe, though Ballerini makes a case for herself as a potential crossover queen by leaning into the breezy pop beat and flaunting her gorgeous falsetto on the “let’s get lost tonight” bridge. Mendes hasn’t publicly commented on the cover yet, but we’ve gotta think he’d approve.

Speaking about her cover choice, Ballerini gushed, “When Shawn’s record came out, ‘Lost In Japan’ immediately was my favorite. I love the soft, flirty nature of the lyrics and thought it would be fun to put a stripped, country feel to it.”

Along with that tune, Ballerini’s Spotify Singles session included a re-recorded version of “Miss You More,” from her Grammy-nominated second album, Unapologetically. Give that a listen here.

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from Viral News Bulletin http://bit.ly/2srk578

The feminist knitting circle in India upending patriarchal norms

Uttarakhand, India – When seven women in the remote mountain village of Ranikhet first met Mala Srikanth, they stood with their heads down.

Srikanth was a divorcee, retired doctor, ex-military, single mother of two daughters – and wore jeans. In this northern Indian community, all of this was unfathomable. 

The women had come from poor backgrounds and were there to knit.

In recent years, a quiet matriarchal revolution has been building at the foothills of the Himalayas, reshaping a system that has long dictated the lives of women. The change in Ranikhet and surrounding villages stems from a knitting circle.

Since forming five years ago, 14 women now meet every Wednesday morning in Srikanth’s home and knit perfectly – a feat achieved through months of training. 

“They now come in their nicest clothes, heads held high and they walk with confidence,” said Srikanth.

For her, it is not enough to knit an item that will be sold with pity by an NGO, if at all – you knit to the highest standards, standards that she believes every woman should hold themselves to in their daily life as well.

As knitting needles flash between fingers, the women waste no time talking up a frenzy, interrupting each other and occasionally drowning out the chatter with laughter. 

Since forming five years ago, 14 women now meet regularly to for a knitting session [Maria de la Guardia/Al Jazeera]

When the language changes from Hindi to local Garhwali, the topic becomes more serious. Conversations address taboo subjects, from birth control and alcoholism to sex and domestic violence. 

“I have talked about things with these women that I have never told anyone before,” said knitter Gudiya Khan. “We wait the whole week for Wednesday to come so that we can meet everyone and share our experiences, our ups and downs in life.”  

At home, she sits with old family photos strewn across her bed.

One shows her wedding day. Her grandmother’s hand rests on her blue veil before turmeric was applied to her forehead in a traditional ritual. 

Married at 16 to a cousin twice her age, her life changed forever within months. As her alcoholic husband became increasingly abusive, his addiction pushed them deeper into poverty. Within a year, she gave birth to a baby boy in a nearby village home, underage and therefore unable to go to a government hospital. 

Her health, her pain and her fears were forfeited to protect her husband.

The Uttarakhand State Commission for Women reports that one in two women are victims of domestic violence.

Suhela Khan, programme coordinator for UN Women India MCO, said: “Women’s rights are only considered to be women’s issues and are not being seen as a matter of human rights.” 

In Ranikhet, though, female leadership is challenging patriarchy.

Gudiya Khan became a widow and single mother after her husband died from a brain haemorrhage resulting from alcohol abuse. 

Twenty kilometres away, in a region where alcoholism is common among men, a used rum bottle sits on the bedside table of knitter Mamta Pandey, inside it, a clipping from a green-leafed plant struggles to grow. 

Gudiya Khan and Pandey are two knitting circle members who became breadwinners for their families and are financially independent.

Transparency and independence

The group is independent of any organisation or NGO and sales are largely by word-of-mouth.

An online shop is planned for early 2019. Srikanth helped each member to open a personal bank account where their monthly salary is deposited; an amount summed up in neat hand-writing on lined, yellow pages of a hardback notebook kept that keeps a record of how much each woman produces weekly. 

In an effort to encourage transparency, formal banking further eliminates any interference by husbands or male family members who attempt to claim the women’s earnings.

“Knitting has completely changed my life, said Gudiya Khan as she works on an oatmeal-coloured cushion cover.

Since meeting Srikanth five years ago, her single-room shack has been extended three-fold and sits atop the highest peak in her picturesque village. 

Her sons, aged 19 and 17, are excelling in their education, paid for by the income her knitting has generated, and have vowed to never touch alcohol. 

“Research shows that women spend 90 percent of what they earn on the health and education of her children and within her family. So thereby, they not only contribute to the betterment of their families but in turn contribute to the development of communities and society at large and generations to come,” said Suhela Khan of the UN programme. 

There is little difference between sons and daughters today, with both contributing equally in everything, including earning money.

Deepa Bhatt, knitter

The Ranikhet knitting circle has led to multigenerational change. 

At the session, with wide eyes and raised eyebrows, the knitters discuss the gender of babies.

In India, a central factor in femicide is the cost burden associated with daughters when it comes to dowries and marriage. 

“There is little difference between sons and daughters today, with both contributing equally in everything, including earning money,” said knitter Deepa Bhatt. 

Tongue in cheek, Neeru Srivastava added: “I have a son, but sometimes I feel it would have been better had I had a daughter.”

A day later, Pandey reflected on her abusive and confusing upbringing.

Through tears, she said: “I am now able to talk with my daughter openly about everything, which mothers were not able to in my generation.” 

Her daughter has been guided on the changes her body will undergo during puberty, including periods, something Pandey had to learn about on her own. “Things I could not imagine discussing are now the new norm.” 

With the exception of a young newlywed, none of the knitters has gotten pregnant since taking control of their bodies through the use of contraception and rates of domestic violence have been quelled. 

“Now that I feel empowered and confident, I help others in my community and village as much as I can. I advise and guide, and they do listen,” Gudiya Khan said. “They go back and continue to help other women. There has been a chain reaction.” 

With more women expressing interest in the group, Srikanth plans to initiate 16 additional knitters into the circle in 2019 [Maria de la Guardia/Al Jazeera]

Pandey estimates that half of the women in her village, who are not part of the knitting circle, have become more outspoken and confident as a result of her example. “They think about the future and they think about the bigger picture – about saving more and doing something for themselves.”

The knitters have been able to send their children to school, extend and improve their homes and buy furniture and jewellery. 

Each woman also contributes 200 rupees ($2.80) a month to a collective saving scheme. “If anyone is ever in need, they will loan out the money to that person on minimal interest rates,” said Gudiya Khan.

Suhela recognises that there have been backlashes in India against women who become financially independent and outspoken.

“It is not a simple issue. Despite progressive legislation and despite awareness for gender equality there is still a lot to be done,” she said.

The knitting circle has been spared from criticism or threats. Instead, women from the villages are embracing their newfound voices.

The greatest challenges came in the first few weeks of the circle forming. 

Hindu women wouldn’t sit next to a Muslim, while those on their period were banished and higher castes refused tea made by lower castes. Srikanth made it clear that all women are equal. Today, there is a sense of an unbreakable sisterhood. 

Gudiya Khan, the only Muslim in the knitting circle, said: “The life of a Hindu or a Muslim woman is the same because when you cry the tears are the same, the difficulties are the same. So, the life of a woman, no matter what religion, is the same.” 

With more women expressing interest in the group, Srikanth plans to initiate 16 more individuals into the circle in 2019, recruited in sets of eight to ease the training period – all to be taught and overseen by the established members. 

Srikanth said she had never intended to empower anyone or cause an uprising, she simply wanted to lead great knitters. 

“We are equals. There is no ‘she versus us’,” says Srikanth, who has gone from being called “madam” to “didi”, or big sister.

The knitters have been able to send their children to school, extend and improve their homes and buy furniture and jewellery [Maria de la Guardia/Al Jazeera]

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How the Larry Nassar scandal has affected others

Interested in Larry Nassar?

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Michigan State University’s governing body plans to name a new interim president following resignation of interim President John Engler — the latest development stemming from the sexual assault investigation of now-imprisoned gymnastics doctor Larry Nassar.

A special board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, amid criticism over comments Engler made about victims of Nassar. Engler, the state’s Republican governor from 1991 through 2002, said in a letter Wednesday to the chairwoman of Board of Trustees that he was resigning next week at the trustees’ request.

He took over at the school on a temporary basis after the previous president quit in the wake of fallout from the scandal.

Numerous people have been charged, fired or forced out of their jobs during the investigations into the once-renowned sports doctor. He was sentenced to decades in prison after hundreds of girls and women said he sexually molested them under the guise that it was medical treatment, including while he worked for Michigan State and Indiana-based USA Gymnastics, which trains Olympians.

Here’s a look at some of the individuals and organizations that have been affected:


— Lou Anna Simon: The university president and school alumna resigned last January amid growing pressure. She denied any cover-up by the university. The governing board later hired Engler. The school has settled lawsuits totaling $500 million. Simon is charged with two felony and two misdemeanor counts of lying to a police officer in connection with the investigation.

— Mark Hollis: The athletic director called his departure last year a retirement, but he, too, faced pressure to leave.

— Kathie Klages: The former head gymnastics coach resigned in 2017 after she was suspended for defending Nassar over the years. Klages was charged with lying to investigators. If convicted, she could face up to four years in prison. She has denied allegations that former gymnast Larissa Boyce told her that Nassar had abused her in 1997, when Boyce was 16.

— Brooke Lemmen: The former school doctor resigned in 2017 after learning the university was considering firing her because she didn’t disclose that USA Gymnastics was investigating Nassar. A state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs investigation cleared her of any violations in November.

— William Strampel: The former dean of the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is awaiting trial after being charged in March amid allegations that he failed to keep Nassar in line, groped female students and stored nude student selfies on his campus computer. Strampel, who has also been named in lawsuits, retired June 30, even as Michigan State was trying to fire him.

— Bob Noto: The university in February announced the departure of its longtime vice president for legal affairs. The school called it a retirement. Noto had been Michigan State’s general counsel since 1995.


— Rhonda Faehn: The former senior vice president of the organization was dismissed this month by the University of Michigan after working for just a few days as a coaching consultant for its women’s team. She was fired after an outcry over her hiring. USA Gymnastics parted ways with Faehn as senior vice president in May after she was criticized by Nassar’s victims for not contacting authorities about potential abuse concerns.

— Valeri Liukin: The coordinator of the women’s national team for USA Gymnastics announced in early February that he was stepping down, less than 18 months after taking over for Martha Karolyi. Liukin said that while he wanted to help turn around the program, “the present climate causes me, and more importantly my family, far too much stress, difficulty and uncertainty.”

— USA Gymnastics said last January that its entire board of directors would resign, as requested by the U.S. Olympic Committee. The USOC last month took steps to decertify the gymnastics organization that picks U.S. national teams, and USA Gymnastics filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition last week as it attempts to reach settlements in the dozens of sex-abuse lawsuits it faces and to forestall its potential demise at the hands of the USOC.

— Steve Penny: The former president and CEO of the organization resigned under pressure in March 2017. He was replaced by Kerry Perry, who took over in December 2017. Penny pleaded not guilty in October to a third-degree felony alleging he ordered the removal of documents relating to Nassar from the Karolyi Ranch in Texas.

— Less than a year after being hired as USA Gymnastics’ president and CEO, Perry resigned in September after the USOC questioned her ability to lead the scandal-rocked organization.

— Former California U.S. Rep. Mary Bono was hired in October as the interim president for USA Gymnastics only to resign four day later. Bono said she felt her affiliation with the embattled organization would be a “liability” after a social media post by Bono criticizing Nike and former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick drew widespread scrutiny within the gymnastics community. Six-time Olympic medalist Aly Raisman also questioned Bono’s association with a law firm that advised the organization on how to handle portions of the Nassar scandal.

— Ron Galimore: The longtime USA Gymnastics chief operating officer resigned in November but denied any wrongdoing in the Nassar scandal. The Indianapolis Star reported in May that an attorney hired by USA Gymnastics directed Galimore to come up with a false excuse to explain Nassar’s absence at major gymnastic events in the summer of 2015. The organization was looking into complaints against Nassar at the time.


— John Geddert: The owner of the Michigan club was suspended last January by USA Gymnastics and announced his retirement. He was the U.S. women’s coach at the 2012 Olympics. Geddert has said he had “zero knowledge” of Nassar’s crimes.


— USA Gymnastics said last January that the Texas ranch where a number of gymnasts said Nassar abused them would no longer serve as the national training center. Owners Martha and Bela Karolyi have since sued the USOC and USA Gymnastics, seeking damages for a canceled sale of the property. They also have been named in lawsuits.

— Debra Van Horn: Texas prosecutors in June filed sexual assault charges against Nassar and Van Horn, a trainer who worked at his side at the Karolyi Ranch and also worked at USA Gymnastics for 30 years. She was charged with second-degree sexual assault of a child. The local prosecutor said Van Horn was charged with “acting as a party” with Nassar.


— Scott Blackmun: The CEO resigned in February, citing difficulties with prostate cancer and the federation’s need to move forward to deal with the sexual abuse scandal. There had been calls for his departure.

— Alan Ashley: The USOC fired the chief of sport performance last month in the wake of an independent report that said neither he nor Blackmun elevated concerns about the Nassar allegations when they were first reported to them.


For more stories on Larry Nassar and the fallout from his years of sexual abusing young women and girls: http://bit.ly/2FFxuQH

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8 cloud computing startups to bet your career on in 2019

If you’re looking to take your career to the next level, it might be time to bet on cloud computing. Startups in the cloud market are garnering massive funding and massive interest.

That’s not surprising. Cloud computing is expected to become a $300 billion market by 2021, according to analyst firm Gartner.

The cloud computing market consolidates around Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Over the last three years, job postings with key words on cloud have skyrocketed, and employer interest for “cloud engineers” has risen 31%, according to Indeed.

A growing number of startups are creating tech that helps companies better use the cloud.

We looked at a variety of factors when selecting this list including the experience of leaders and founders, the reputations of investors and the amount of funding raised along with valuations, based on data from online finance database Pitchbook, keeper of such records.

Here are 8 cloud computing startups to bet your career on in 2019:

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from Viral News Bulletin http://bit.ly/2HhlZ4u

Robert Pattinson And André 3000 Star In Erotic Space Thriller High Life — Watch The Trailer

Robert Pattinson is back in the spotlight with High Life, a movie that Vanity Fair describes as “an eerily sexy space thriller.”

Joined by André 3000 (credited as André Benjamin), Mia Goth, and Juliette Binoche in filmmaker Claire Denis’s English-language debut, Pattinson stars as Monte, the last adult survivor on a mission into deep space. The crew, comprised of death-row inmates, and the doctor in charge have disappeared, leaving Monte alone to care for his baby daughter as the mystery of what happened to everyone else unravels.

The trailer opens with Pattison’s character sweetly interacting with his baby. “We’re scum. Trash. Refuse that didn’t fit into the system. Until someone had the bright idea of recycling us to serve science,” he narrates.

Glimpses of the prisoners on the spaceship are interspersed with Binoche’s character readying her mad sexual/reproductive experiments for said prisoners. (According to early reviews, her scientific developments include a machine called “The Fuckbox,” which is, apparently, exactly what it sounds like.)

To cap off the creepy preview, Pattinson warns, “Break the laws of nature, and you’ll pay for it.” Check out it out below.

High Life first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September to promising reviews from critics. It hits theaters April 12.

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from Viral News Bulletin http://bit.ly/2RXHb3K

England in West Indies: Stuart Broad takes hat-trick in warm-up game

Stuart Broad finished with 4-19 from 10 overs
Warm-up match, Three Ws Oval, Barbados (day two of two):
England 317-10: Root 87, Stokes 56, Charles 5-90, C Holder 3-67
CWI President’s XI 203-19: Anderson 4-12, Broad 4-19, Root 3-12
Match drawn

Stuart Broad took a hat-trick as England’s bowlers claimed 19 wickets on the final day of their first warm-up match in the West Indies.

The seamer took the ninth, 10th and 11th wickets against a Cricket West Indies President’s XI, with the rules allowing the hosts to continue batting.

Batsman Jermaine Blackwood then fell to give Broad four wickets in five balls.

The two-day game ended in a draw as the hosts closed on 203-19 in reply to England’s 317-10 in Barbados.

Captain Joe Root hit 87 and Ben Stokes 56 for England at the Three Ws Oval on Tuesday.

England start another two-day tour game on Thursday before the first Test of the three-match series against West Indies gets under way in Barbados on 23 January.

Root, James Anderson and Jack Leach will be rested for the final warm-up game, with Jos Buttler captaining the team.

Left-arm seamer Sam Curran opened the bowling alongside Anderson instead of usual partner Broad, with both taking two early wickets to reduce the hosts to 13-4.

Slow left-armer Leach and seamer Chris Woakes struck before off-spinner Moeen Ali claimed two wickets as the President’s XI slumped to 110-8.

Broad removed Alzarri Joseph and Bryan Charles with the last two deliveries of his ninth over before trapping Miguel Cummins lbw with the first ball of his 10th on the stroke of tea.

Two balls after the resumption, Blackwood edged to Jonny Bairstow at second slip.

“The most important thing for me was the rhythm of my new, shorter run-up feeling good,” said Broad.

“In my second spell I tried to ramp up the intensity, and how I bowled in the afternoon was as good as I’ve felt in a long time.”

Broad has taken two Test hat-tricks, against India in 2011 and 2014.

Anderson returned to claim two more wickets and finish with 4-12 from 11 overs, before Root claimed three wickets with his part-time off-spin.

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