Why Did Korea Split in to North and South?

9/22/2019 02:36:00 PM 0
Why Did Korea Split in to North and South?
Why Did Korea Split in to North and South?

Relations between North and South Korea have been rather tense for some time. Which might be -- an understatement. 
On this year we saw North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un walked over the border to shake hands with South Korea's president, Moon Jae-In. 
Until then, most South Koreans and most of the world, for that matter, saw that North's head honcho is some kind of evil dictator. 

After the meeting, some South Koreans referred to him as a cute teddy bear. 
So, is everything okay now? Following handshakes and slaps on the shoulder? 
Well, even though a third summit has been proposed between the two leaders, right now the North isn't exactly in the USA's good books.
South Korea's big brothers certainly watches over this relationship like a brooding mother. 

Let's have a look at how this division started. In this episode of The Infographics Show, why did North and South Korea split? You probably already know that North and South Koreans are very similar in many ways, even culturally. 

The language is pretty much exactly the same, except for a few small differences. 
You could say that North Korea likes to keep the language free from impurities, such as borrowing words from English. 
But besides regional dialects being slightly different, we can say you speak Korean, not North or South Korean. 
North and South Korea originally came together in the 7th century under Silla Dynasty, and they remained united up until 1945. 
So, what happened? How could a country united for so long suddenly just split in two? The answer is WAR. 
The SECOND WORLD WAR. But it's a bit more complicated than that. Prior to the second world war, there was something called the First Sino-Japanese war, which was a war between China and Japan between 1884 and 1895. 
Based on a western industrial model, Japan had become a very powerful country in the 19th century. No longer a backwater, as the members of the British empire used to call it. Japan emerged as an empire itself. 
Korea, on the other hand, had been rather fearful of foreigners and western industrialization, especially the elite that ruled over the country. 
They didn't want outsiders messing in their business. But then, in 1880, things started to change. 
Korean diplomats went on a mission to Japan that year. 
While in Japan, they were presented with a study from a Chinese diplomat, which was called "A Strategy for Korea". 
In part, that study warned that the Russians were coming. 
It also said "Stay friendly us, the Chinese, and don't get on the wrong side of Japan." Japan wasn't at an immediate threat at that time, but the Chinese diplomat advised the Koreans to stay close with the burgeoning nation, at the same time, Korean was also advised to form good relations with the United States, who also could provide protection from the Russian juggernaut. 
In 1882, Korea signed a treaty with the US, called the "The Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation". So far, so good. Open trade, modern industries, and the bonus of added protections. 
But, there was a catch. The Chinese wanted the treaty to say that the Korea belonged to China. 
The Americans were not keen on that, and insisted that Korea was independent. In the end, they agreed that Korea had a kind of independent status, but was still a tributary state of China. 
To cut the long story short, China had a massive influence on Korea, and tried to reform the country. 
That was in line with embracing some western ideas, and using western technology. 
So, Korea became more modernized to some extend. China just kept pushing and soon was involved in running Korea as well as dispatching its own troops there. We can't spend too much time on this, but the war between the Japanese and China was fought hardly in Korea. 
Japan came out on top and in 1910 the country annexed the Korean Peninsula. From then until the end of the second world war, Korea was part of the Japanese empire. 
This wasn't exactly great news for many Koreans as some historians said the Japanese treated them like second class citizens. But then, the war ended, and Japan was on the losing side. 
What to do with Korea? That was in the hands of the winners. 
The allied powers. "No more empire for you", said the allies to Japan. 
It was up to the USA to take over the administration side of Korea, but it wasn't keen on the idea of running the country. 
The Soviet Union was keen, and wanted the land it thought it deserved. Russia had lost a war with Japan in the early 20th century, called the Russo-Japanese War. 
That's why the Soviets, to some extend, at least, thought they deserved control of Korea. Under developed Korea, for so long had been standing between these giants of Japan, China and Russia, and basically everyone, at some point, wanted a piece of it. 
Or should we say -- all of it. It was actually quite surprising that the Japanese had defeated the Russian empire. 
And so perhaps Russia had been left with some eggs on his face. 
After winning wars both against China and Russia, the Wests knew that Japan certainly was a mightier power. 
But that ended with its defeat at the hands of the US in the second world war. Two Americans called Dean Rusk and Charles Bonesteel had the responsibility of making orders in the US occupied territories in East Asia. They came up with the idea of splitting Korea into two, almost in half, divided by what's called "The 38th Parallel". 
This was done without Korea having a word in it. 
The Americans said that half the country would be run by the Soviets, and half by them. Not surprisingly, America got the better half of the cake, which included the more modern city of Seoul. 
That's not to say that North wasn't out bad, it too had many major heavy industries; the South had the light industries. Soviet leader, Joseph Stalin and President Roosevelt agreed to the split, while the Koreans were not even invited to the meeting. Of course, many Koreans were passionately against this, but not those that had ties to the Soviet Communist Party. 
Actually, at the end of the war, many Koreans from the North and South were over the moon. FINALLY They would get their independence back. Brothers in arms, they embraced in plan for the future together, but of course, that didn't happened. Brothers in arms were about to become quarreling siblings. 
Soviet forces quickly took a control from the Japanese forces in the North; and in the South the same happened with the Americans. Easy. Well, not really. 
The US, as we know, was afraid of the spread of communism as one might fear an outbreak of Ebola. 
The country didn't even want any of the South Korean political parties to have much say and how of the now half country was wrong. 
Just in case they lean ever so slightly to the left, as things turned out the US wanted both North and South to have a democratic government and democratic principles, while the Soviets wanted the entire peninsula to be communist. Now, we have a divide of the former two allies, although America had been wary of communism for a long time. 
The US and Soviet leaders were even supposed to meet in 1948 to discuss the idea of reunifying Korea, and leaving the country to its own devices. 
But, both countries were so afraid of the other that this didn't happen. 
In 1948, the Americans pretty much installed their own idea of a good leader for the South. A staunch anti communist called Syngman Rhee; the Soviets installed Kim Il-Sung as leader. 
He'd been a fighter in the Red Army, and of course, was a puppet for the Soviet Empire as much as Rhee was the puppet for the empire that dare not speak its name -- i.e. America. Like Stalin, the North had to be ruled by a God-like character, and the cult of personality was sewn into the minds of those Koreans living in the North. You must remember at this point, the Koreans were still just Koreans, they'd been split in half without any saying in it. 
Of course, North Koreans were not born with such things as supreme leaders, and all that attended propaganda. 
But, if you feel like Plato, you've heard of the "Noble Lie". Plato said that "If the elite must rule, they must tell a huge offer, create a mythology for the not so clever public consumption". Plato said that he was noble because the normal folks need this lie to bring them together under one great myth, just as religion brought people together under one truth. 
Plato said if the first generation don't buy it, the second will, mostly.
And you'll have the 3th completely, if you fill their heads with his idea from being children. That's how many North Koreans became so enamoured with their godly leader. Well, that and fear. 
But then in 1950, Kim Il-sung got ambitious, and decided he wanted to rule the whole peninsula. 
That was the start of a three-year long war called "The Korean War". 
The Americans joined the South with other countries of the United Nations, and they defeated the North. 3 million people died, and in the end nothing at all really changed, Korea was still divided at the 38th Parallel. After that, the demilitarized zone was set up to prevent more blood from being spilled, and to prevent people from reuniting or escaping. People did get through though, most of the Northerners trying to get into the South. 
Both countries though, soon became enemies, or at least enemies in ideas. 
The North was strictly communist with its Korean workers party, and the South espoused capitalism, individual freedom, and American values. 
The Americans have kept bases in Korea's sense, as you watch this, there are about 28,000 US troops base in South Korea. 


The old Egypt : Summarized history

9/20/2019 04:41:00 PM 0
The old Egypt : Summarized history

In ancient Egypt, myths and history go together like sugar and arsenic powder, or was it arsenic powder and sugar? Oh oh Crap! What I mean is they can be hard to distinguish and if you do get them confused you're probably going to have a bad time. 

Egyptian history can get really complicated and uncertain since it's become so heavily mythologized due to [A] thousands of years of less than stellar records; [B] the tendency for the desert to kind of swallow important pieces of archaeological evidence, as it does; and [C] a tendency for ancient Pharaohs to both erase the legacies of their predecessors and deliberately mythologize themselves. 

As a result, we have a very strong sense of the aesthetic of ancient Egypt without having much to go on - on the actual historical front. Well, there's a lot more to ancient Egypt than just these myths, so let's dig in and try to separate the facts from the fables. 

Now interestingly, one of the myths about Egypt we should dispel first is that it's "too mysterious". One of the most common instances of this particular myth is the idea that we have no idea what ancient Egyptians really looked like and there is some truth to this. 

You see Egyptian art had very little realism in it. First off, they use this thing called "hieratic scaling" which meant the more important something was, the bigger it was represented. 

They also put a lot of work into making every character represented complete, in a way. 
See, there was this idea that the paintings or representations of you, determine how you'd look and function in the afterlife. 
As a result, you got that weird pseudo profile art style that showed the face and profile but the eye from the front, always made a point to show all ten fingers on anyone, show the torso from the front, but the legs from the side, you know, all that good stuff. 

It was meant to show the body in full so the person wouldn't be missing anything important when they died. 

Then why were their faces in profile? Because profiles are pretty, damn it! Anyway, the third thing in Egyptian art was that the colors used weren't representative or realistic in any way because in Egypt, the colors had meanings; black meant good things like order, life, and fertility since black was the color of the Nile silt that made the banks of the river so fertile; green meant fertility too but specifically it was representative of plant growth and agriculture. In fact, this is why Osiris is green, of all colors to paint him. 

Not just because he's dead but because he's a god of agriculture, growth, and change. Beyond that, blue meant the sky; Gold meant the sun; and red meant the desert, which was also representative of Chaos. 

The inherent meaning in these colors is why we have such a technicolor array of people represented in Egyptian artwork but before the inevitable cries of "well see we don't really know what the Egyptians looked like so it's totally cool that we make them all White in any given Hollywood production because you don't know that they weren't", I'd like to inform you that we actually *do* know that a significant portion of the Egyptian population was Nubian which meant that they look like this. 

Christian Bale does not look like this. Nubian society had contact with Egypt as early as 6000 BC That's more than three thousand years before the upper and lower kingdoms unified into what we considered the old kingdom. 

3,000 years mind you, is one metric western history and by 1800 BC in the Middle Kingdom, Nubia had officially been conquered by Egypt and to a large degree, culturally subsumed. It wasn't until 300 BC that Egypt got Greek-ed and White-ified, so while we don't know what the 'original' Ancient Egyptian population looked like before there was an Ancient Egypt, we can make a number of educated guesses as to what the population probably looked like after 3,000 years of regular contact and cultural fusion with these fine folks Suck it, Hollywood! So now the broad context is out of the way let's dispel some more specific myths right off the bat first up Egyptians were not as obsessed with death as they're commonly portrayed, in fact there's plenty of evidence to the contrary We think that they were always on about death because the most lavish and detailed archeological finds we have are all the things that got buried underground in huge easily preserved stone structures we have no idea how much other stuff that had nothing to do with death either got yanked by an enterprising thief, worn away by the literal sands of time or otherwise destroyed. 

On that note: pyramids. I touched on this briefly earlier. See, before Egypt, there was kind of two "Egypt"s: Upper and Lower Kingdoms. 

This stopped being a thing around 3100 BC when King Narmer conquered the Lower Kingdom, fused the two crowns together into one super crown and made Egypt a thing in one fell swoop. 

After that Egypt's timeline is roughly split between three periods: the Old, Middle, and New Kingdom each of which ended with a brief intermediary period of internal schisming and chaos which we'll get into all of that later. 

The pyramids were overwhelmingly made in the earliest period: some four and a half thousand years ago. 

The Middle Kingdom rolled in around 2000 BC and it wasn't until the New Kingdom happened in 1500 that some of Egypt's most famous figures like King Tut and Rameses showed up. 

This means that Egypt's most iconic rulers lived a full thousand years away from Egypt's most famous structures and Cleopatra, arguably the most famous Egyptian, lived another full millennium after even that. 

Damn. But while we're on the subject of the pyramids it's important to know that they probably weren't built by slaves as far as we could tell. This claim comes to us by way of Herodotus But for all he did, he isn't the most trustworthy source by any stretch. 

The dude is self-admitted to telling the absolute craziest stories he comes across. 
This claim is probably false because, among other things we found a chamber full of the buried builders inside the pyramid and, contrary to the popular belief, servants and slaves weren't typically allowed the honor of being buried with their Pharaoh. Instead, he was interned with statues of servants called shabtis which would serve him in the afterlife without all the mess of you know burying people alive too. 
Effectively, we're saying that slaves would not have been buried in the pyramid, leading credence to the idea that they likely weren't slaves.
Also, chemical analysis reveal that these builders ate beef which was a delicacy in Egypt which leads us to believe that they were well respected and highly skilled builders rather than simple slaves. And don't get me wrong the peasant class was absolutely conscripted into building monuments pretty regularly, but the pyramids were something else. 

And while we're on the slavery point let's confront the elephant in the room to say that there's pretty much no evidence that the ancient Israelites were enslaved in Egypt and decent evidence that they weren't. if two million Jewish slaves, a sizeable chunk of the population mind you, just walked away, the Egyptian economy would have been devastated for centuries, but the second millennium had a thriving economy which we wouldn't expect to see in the aftermath of Exodus. 

There's also no biological evidence of a sizable Jewish population in Egypt, nor any archaeological evidence of an actual migration out of Egypt. 
Also, the Egyptian court at this point was pretty decent at keeping records, so you'd expect that we'd see something, anything, from anyone about this sudden and shocking development. But, there's no record of it anywhere and as a result, the general consensus is that Exodus, while a great story that serves many clever literary and theological purposes wonderfully, Probably isn't directly grounded in historical fact But then again, what is these days? Egypt was also a very structured society. 
See, the Nile flooded regularly. So regularly that it was what defined their seasons and by extension defined their agricultural life. 
The first season, Akhet, was the flood season which made the ground fertile, next came Peret where they planted, and Shemu where they harvested. 
That degree of regularity was found nowhere else in Africa, and the rigidity of the structure seems to have propagated into their society as well. 
There was something of a caste system and while it wasn't totally rigid, if you were born a peasant, your only hope of elevating yourself to the level of craftsmen or bureaucrat was either learn an art, or learn to write. 

Neither one was easy and even then there was no hope of becoming a priest if you weren't born one, let alone Pharaoh. 
Weirdly enough, despite the caste system, there was a surprising amount of equal opportunity between men and women. In fact, a famed Athenian physician named Agnodice traveled to Egypt specifically to learn medicine, where it was totally allowed. 

But when she returned to Athens she had to dress like a man in order to practice because Athens had made being a female doctor punishable by death. 

Why? Well, let's just say they had a pro-life stance as long as that life didn't belong to a woman who disagreed with them on that subject. 
Because Athens was misogynist as hell. But getting back to Egypt. In anthropology, there is the fun kind of myths, which is more Red's department, And then there are those myths that obstruct fact: the ones that you have to wade through and hope to God that in a couple decades or centuries people just stop believing in. 

Egypt is terribly prone to be mythologized on account of not having very much of what we'd call "history" in its earlier half. 

Egypt, ever eager to imitate the calm predictability of its Nile River, lived a remarkably calm, quiet life of isolation in its first 2,000 years, barring the one time they conquered Nubia. It wasn't until the new kingdom between the 16th and 11th centuries B.C.E that they actually do anything in the way of expansion or outside interaction. 

We do know a bit about what some pharaohs were like, but that's mostly the later ones, you see because Pharaohs in the early and some of the middle periods generally really enjoyed purging things related to their predecessors upon their becoming Pharaoh. Couple that with the fact that any lasting evidence about these Pharaohs all got thrown underground and most of it got subsequently stolen, and we're really not left with a lot to go on. 

There are a solid 2,000 years where we can really do little more than point to the pyramids and Egyptian mythology And people are naturally going to want to fill in those blanks, and I mean who wouldn't? Much like our understanding of why on Earth The Mummy is getting a reboot, there's a lot that's unknown What we do know, we know from geography, specifically: water. Egypt exists because of the Nile. 

Without the Nile, there was no Egypt. 
The Nile was a calm river that flooded regularly and was wonderfully easy to manage. It allowed for what's called basin irrigation, which was cheap and not labor-intensive for individual farmers who worked the land. 
That said, organizing the large-scale construction of an agricultural system along the Nile doesn't happen overnight, and it's the reason Egypt ever had kings. 

The so-called Despotic state theory says that any society dependent on a widespread system of agriculture requires coordination to make it possible, and coordination can only come from the central power, namely, the Pharaoh. Since there was one body of water and everyone basically lived no more than a mile away from it at most, Egypt was supremely easy for one government to monitor and regulate In fact Egypt had a structural advantage to centralization that most other African kingdoms lacked, which is that the borders were geographically defined. 

Other African kingdoms located south of the Sahara Grew Outward through livable terrain and basically stopped when it became impractical to communicate with the outer border. 
The presence of the king had to be felt in order for a kingdom to remain a kingdom, so once the king was a distant voice with some 30-day lag in news or orders, he stopped feeling like a king and the people who lived out there stopped treating him like one. 
Egypt just didn't have that problem because the livable area was small and manageable already. 
You knew the government was present because their ships patrolled up and down the Nile all damn day. As a result, Egypt was a single centralized society. 

This is completely distinct from Egypt's contemporary Mesopotamia which was structured as a collective of City-States dotted around the fertile crescent. 

Mesopotamia, literally "between two rivers" in the Greek, was an area sandwiched between two, main Rivers (which I... just said) with a series of small channels running between them. This setup made it impossible for one society to effectively control the others and as a result, a series of small independent City-States sprang up. These polis-style civilizations, like Mesopotamia, later ancient Greece, and medieval Northern Italy to name a few, all follow this pattern of a network of Independent City-States springing up around interconnected waterways, specializing in certain crafts, and trading with each other like mad Point is, Egypt isn't that and despite our general lack of historical intrigue from the old and middle stages of the Kingdom, we know a lot about its economic and developmental history. 

For the sake of completeness, Egypt's rough chronology goes as follows: the old kingdom from 2700 to 2200 B.C.E was the building stage when Egypt sorted out its agricultural system and had a go at making giant stone polyhedrons. Near the end of the period there was a severe famine, which resulted in the government being unceremoniously toppled (like a cat tipping over a canopic jar and spilling guts everywhere). 

The century and a half period of political strife that ensued was the first intermediary period. 

Yet, oddly there was a concurrent boom in writing and art. After some light civil warring in the absence of any convincing government, Theban society stepped up, kicked ass, and became the new rulers of Egypt in the Middle Kingdom. In the Middle Kingdom, from 2100 to 1700 B.C.E., modest land expansion and a more secure supply of resources helped promote an economic and especially cultural flourishing. 

Literature started cropping up, for one, and also sculptures in relief became an increasingly common and visually appealing way to depict characters in detail. 
The period drew to a close upon an invasion by the Hyksos, a people of mixed heritage from probably West Asia, who usurped the pharaoh and ruled the kingdom for over a century. 
More civil warring ensued and once the Hyksos were expelled, the Egyptians, understandably shaken from being invaded for pretty much the first time ever and definitely not wanting to let that happen again, resolved to push out in every direction and also went way east across the Sinai peninsula and into the Lavant. 

This marks the onset of the New Kingdom which lasted from about 1550 to 1150 B.C.E., In the beginning, the New Kingdom was a party as trade routes were re-established, serious diplomatic relationships became a thing for the first time, and more and more land was being conquered Most of the pharaohs you're familiar with are from this period, as the historical records get better as time goes on. 

One such pharaoh was Hatshepsut, and she was awesome. Not only was she the one to thank for setting up all those sweet trade routes, but she was also a prolific builder, almost ordering more construction projects than any other pharaoh. 
The things she made were so impressive her successors regularly took credit for them. That's how you know it's good. 

This was a bit of a recurring theme in ancient Egypt. Pharaohs trying to wipe out all memory of earlier rulers for the sake of glorifying their own image. 
Talk about a Mary Sue, am I right? During the new Kingdom, the pharaohs made a concerted effort to elevate the prestige of a local god, Amun, to a national level. 
Syncretizing him with a Sun god to become Amun-Ra, crafting the image of the all-powerful Sun god that we instinctively picture today. 
This was cool because Amun-Ra is great, but one asshole decided he wanted to ruin the fun for everyone and his name was Akhenaten. 

He not only engaged in the typical jackassery of wiping away the legacy of past pharaohs, but he also warmed wipe out all other gods except his buddy the Sun God, Aten, often pretty much only because Akhenaten didn't like the temple of Amun, and how powerful they were getting. 
His son Tutankhaten thanks to being urging of those very same Amun priests indulged in some healthy teenage rebellion and changed his name to Tutankhamun as well as restoring the old gods to their original status after that Egypt just collectively decided that this whole Akhenaten episode never happened. Aside from that King Tut didn't really do much of anything before dying of something rather the reason he's so famous nowadays Is that he's the one whose tomb wasn't robbed. 

British Archaeologists found it entirely intact some [3,000] years later or at least entirely intact before they got their hands all over it and started breaking precious artifacts yeah Yeah Boo. 
Anyway, almost all other tombs have been wiped clean by robbers centuries ago And the fact that his wasn't is a big enough deal to warrant his fame Another famous Pharaoh is Ramses II who is right next to Hatshepsut on the list of most successful pharaohs ever below of course Yami-Yugi Ramses waged multiple military campaigns and built a splendid assortment of temples and monuments However as Egypt grew in magnificence more and more foreign people wanted a piece of the proverbial pie So Egypt started to fall prey to numerous invasions both small and large While daily life for the average Joe Egyptian remained mostly unchanged Egypt's power gradually declined and multiple different foreign powers conquered Egypt during the four hundred year period, most notably the Assyrians. 

After the Assyrians the Achaemenid Persians stepped in and three hundred years after that Egypt came under the control of Alexander the Great and his Macedonian cohort Macedonians made a point not to try and Hellenize Egypt instead, fully promoting Egyptian culture as a way to keep the people on their side and having the Greeks rule with continued use of Egyptian offices and titles like Pharaoh. 

This last section of Egyptian history is covered rather well by Shakespeare who's covered rather well by Red So give a look over there if you want to know this in more detail But the short of it is that Cleopatra. the last pharaoh of Egypt. was an all-around cool and especially cunning character. 

Among other things she was described by most contemporary accounts as an incredibly intelligent witty and charming conversation partner which later got [burglarized?] into to her being a beautiful seductress who twisted the minds of men with her boobs to explain how she got all these powerful men to ally with her and also bang maybe. 

Despite most contemporary imagery showing her to be a pretty normal-looking lady. There are straight-up scholarly Archaeological debates about whether this powerful and ruthless queen was a 6 or a 10 because clearly, we have priorities Can't we just appreciate one of the most powerful women in the ancient world for something besides her looks? She comes on with Julius Caesar the night he casually burned down the library of Alexandria in order to cement an alliance with him and then after he bit it in the senate she moved on to his adopted son Octavian's enemy Mark Antony Octavian chased Mark Antony and Cleopatra to Egypt where they ran off and later killed themselves after each coming to terms with their defeat at the hands of Octavian. 

Egypt, now pharaohless, became a province of Rome for several centuries where upon it was conquered by the Islamic Caliphate in 7th century, the Ottomans in the 16th century, the British in the late 19th century, all the way up to 1953 when for the first time in close to 3,000 years Egypt was once again ruled by native ethnic Egyptians How insane is this to wrap our heads around? An empire that lived for almost 3,000 years, all before western history as we know it even existed, only to spend almost all of that subsequent western history under some form of foreign rule Damn. 

The pyramids are older to the Romans than the Romans are to us. Cleopatra lived closer to spaceflight than she did to the building of the pyramids. That's all the time I have for today because I need to go and bandage my poor brain 


What Dark Energy and Dark Matter?

9/19/2019 06:35:00 PM 0
What Dark Energy and Dark Matter?

What Dark Energy and Dark Matter?

Matter, as we know it; Atoms, stars, and galaxies, planets, and trees, rocks and us. This matter accounts for less than 5% of the known universe.      

  Dark Matter                                Dark Energy      

About 25% is dark matter, and 70% is dark energy. Both of which are invisible. This is kind of strange because it suggests that everything we experience is really only a tiny fraction of reality. 

But it gets worse. We really have no clue what dark matter and energy are, or how they work. We are pretty sure they exist though. So, what do we know? 

Dark matter is the stuff that makes it possible for galaxies to exist. When we calculated why the universe is structured the way it is, it quickly became clear that there's just not enough normal matter. 

The gravity of the visible matter is not strong enough to form galaxies and complex structures. 

The stars would more likely be scattered all over the place and not form galaxies. So, we know there is something else inside and around them. Something that doesn't emit or reflect light. 

Something dark... but besides being able to calculate the existence of dark matter, we can see it... kind of. Places with a high concentration of dark matter bend light passing nearby. 

So we know there's something there that interacts with gravity. Right now, we have more ideas about what dark energy is not than what it is! We know dark matter is not just clouds of normal matter without stars, because it would emit particles we could detect. 

Dark matter is not anti-matter, because anti-matter produces unique gamma rays when it reacts with normal matter. Dark matter is also not made up of black holes, very compact objects that violently affect their surroundings, while dark matter seems to be scattered all over the place. 

Basically, we only know 3 things for sure; 

1. Something is out there. 

2. It interacts with gravity. 

3. There is a lot of it. 

Dark matter is probably made up of a complicated exotic particle that doesn't interact with light and matter in a way we expect, but right now, we just don't know. 

Dark energy is even more strange and mysterious. We can't detect it, we can't measure it and we can't taste it. But we do see its effects very clearly. 

In 1929, Edward Hubble examined how the wavelength of light emitted by distant galaxies, shifts towards the red end of the electromagnetic spectrum as it travels through space. 

He found that fainter, more distant galaxies showed a large degree of redshift; closer galaxies, not so much. 

Hubble determined that this was because the universe itself is expanding. 

The redshift occurs because the wavelengths of light are stretched as the universe expands.

More recent discoveries have shown that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. Before that, it was thought that the pull of gravity would cause the expansion to either slow down or even retract and collapse in on itself at some point. 

Space doesn't change its properties as it expands; there's just more of it. 

New space is constantly created everywhere, galaxies are tight bound clusters of stuff held together by gravity so we don't experience this expansion in our daily lives. But we see it everywhere around us. 

Wherever there is empty space in the universe, more is forming every second. So, dark energy seems to be some kind of energy intrinsic to empty space. 

Energy is stronger than anything else we know and it keeps getting stronger as time passes by. 

Empty space has more energy than everything else in the universe combined. 

We have multiple ideas about what dark energy might be. One idea is, the dark energy is not a thing, but just a property of space. Empty space is nothing, it has its own energy. It can generate more space and is quite active. 

So, as the universe expands, it could be that just more and more space appears to fill the gaps and this leads to a faster-expanding universe. 

This idea is close to an idea that Einstein had back in 1917, of the concept of a cosmological constant, a force that counteracted the force of gravity. 

The only problem is, that when we tried to calculate the amount of this energy the result was so wrong and weird, that it only added to the confusion. 

Another idea is, that empty space is actually full of temporary, virtual particles that spontaneously and continually form from nothing and then disappear into nothing again. The energy form those particles could be dark energy. 

Or maybe dark energy is an unknown kind of dynamic energy fluid or field which permeates the entire universe, but somehow has the opposite effect on the universe than normal energy and matter. But if it exists, we don't know how and where or how we could detect it. So there are still a lot of questions to answer. 

Our theories about dark matter and dark energy are still just that; theories. On one hand, this is kind of frustrating, on the other hand, this is frontier science making it very exciting. 

It shows us that no matter how much we feel we're on top of things, we are still very much apes with smartphones, on a tiny fragile island in space looking into the sky wondering how our universe works There is so much left to learn, and that is awesome. 


Future Weapons

9/17/2019 01:46:00 PM 0
Future Weapons

Future Weapons

Weapons and warfare are getting more and more subtle with the newest piece of land technology 

Is beginning to look a lot of sort of a video game with wirelessly connected troopers act via sound and vision to drones carrying satellite-linked Wi-Fi hotspots and given orders by commanders that might air the opposite facet of the planet however the weapons of the longer term will not want troopers or commanders to work as a result of they'll be ready to create the choice of what or whom to focus on themselves exploitation computer science. 

The Pentagon is disbursement $ billions on developing a replacement generation of deadly autonomous weapons or LAWS like robotic fighter jets, missiles that decide what to attack ships however hunt enemy submarines. 

For currently remote weapons like UAVs or pilotless aerial vehicles square measure directed by humans from the security of cubicles typically tons of or thousands of miles far from a conflict zone and intrinsically any call to use deadly force is often created by someone. 

But before we have a tendency to begin thinking Skynet goes to require over and we have a tendency to'll have terminators roaming around we square measure still an extended approach from the Hollywood version of A.I. though we've got seen the newest generation of robots just like the Hub of the Universe Dynamics Atlas and it's uncanny ability to steer and move sort of a human we cannot be seeing a military of robotic troopers anytime shortly. 

Whilst we expect of A.I. getting used with the newest hardware. the u.  s. Air Force is functioning on the exploitation of older craft refitted with autonomous controls. 

The project that is termed "Loyal Wingman" sees retired f-16 reused and fitted with enough autonomy so they might fly aboard the newest f-35's and take cues from a personality's pilot in another craft even as if a true airplane pilot were there and doubtless before driverless cars can create it onto the general public roads. 

Autonomous missiles square measure {an square measurea|a neighborhood|a district|a region|a locality|a vicinity|a part|a section} that are already in use with systems just like the British fireplace forget native sulfur missiles. Once it's been fit with target data it will work on its own to pick the most effective target and collaborate for up to twenty-four different missiles to coordinate a staggered attack against swarms of enemy vehicles or boats and it cannot notice a target it'll destroy. Drones square measure another massive space for military A.I. 

The Israel part Industries HAROP could be a little anti-radiation drone that is additionally referred to as the "suicide drone" it will keep mobile on top of a battlespace for up to 6 hours trying to find specific radio transmission sort of a radiolocation supply or enemy defense system, however, in theory, might seek for things sort of a specific signal from a transportable. 

The HAROP can be a point on the signal and deliberately crash into and destroy the target of it's aboard payload. 
Meanwhile, DARPA, the military analysis arm of the Pentagon has additionally unveiled the "Sea Hunter" Associate in Nursing autonomous surface vessel that's designed to remain stumped for months and track even quietly submarines anyplace within the world as a result of it's designed to not have any human crew throughout its operation. 

It should navigate busy shipping lanes Associate in Nursingd act with an intelligent human opponent all by itself then communicate the information back to its center or take the suitable action if it were to be armed. tho' these systems will add Associate in Nursing autonomous mode the new generation of A.I. weapons can take this to ensuing stage rather than being shown a target or partly pilotless these new weapons can go and appearance for targets and choose whether or not or to not destroy them with none human intervention recently government agency showed a system employing a drone that might be bought from amazon once loaded with new A.I. package it becomes a golem that may then hunt and establish armed men with AK-47's during a simulation of a middle-eastern village at a military testing place the U.S. 

It was even capable of finding armed men once they were hidden within the shadows if this technique were to be armed just like the HAROP or be ready to guide a missile to the target it might become a formidable searching system. 

This sort of factor was once preserved of Hollywood however it'll be dominant the longer-term autonomous weapons at intervals years instead of decades these new weapons would provide unmatched speed and preciseness over any human system and is currently being referred to as the largest step-change since the creation of powder and nuclear weapons. 

Although this technology can offer the sting to the America and their allies which will be transitory as others square measure finance heavily during this space and in contrast to the event of the fission bomb that needed technologies that were terribly tough to make, are often} principally software-driven which suggests it can be a great deal easier to develop given the programming resources. Once this has been done they might be cheaply factory-made by any important military power that additionally means that they might simply notice their approach into the hands of knave states or extremists. Aerial vehicles like drones. 

UAVs and missiles are going to be the primary to use this however their square measure already entails such weapons to be illegal as a result of the issues over there moral and legal position. 

If Associate in Nursing autonomous weapon committed a law-breaking WHO would be accountable if no human-made the choice. Some say that deadly autonomous weapons can decrease casualties as a result of they'll be programmed to follow rules of engagement strictly and analyze the case logically. 

They don't have emotions they do not get tired, stressed or distracted sort of human competent might and thus they're less possible to create mistakes and kill civilians. 

Whatever your views you'll wear it there's Associate in Nursing inexorable drive for AI within the military and therefore the rise of the robots has already started.


The 8 Real Badass Women From History

9/16/2019 07:22:00 PM 0
The 8 Real  Badass Women From History

8 Real  Badass Women From History 

It's International Women's Day on 8 March while it's also Women's History Month too


BOUDICCA [Boo-de-ca] In 60AD the lands of Ancient British Queen Boudicca were conquered by the Romans. 
When she opposed their authority, the Romans had her publicly whipped and her daughters raped in front of her. Boudica responded by raising a giant rebel army of over 200,000 warriors. She waged a brutal revenge campaign against the Romans, defeating the Roman ninth Legion and plundering Rome’s three largest British cities. It took an entire three Roman legions to finally put a stop to her quest for vengeance. 

Sources; BBC, Tacitus, Annals of Rome 14.33,, Dio, Live Science. 


NELLIE BLY In 1887 investigative journalist Nellie Bly was locked in an asylum for 10 days, after she courageously feigned insanity to expose the abusive treatment of patients at an infamous New York City mental institution. 
Bly’s documentation of the brutality and neglect that patients were subjected to shocked the American public. It led to a grand jury investigation and an extra 1 million dollars being allocated for the care of the mentally ill in New York. 
As well as her charitable journalism, in 1888 Bly gained infamy for her record-breaking trip around the world in just 72 days, traveling by ship and rail. 

Sources: Brain Pickings, Mental Floss, Nellie Bly Online, Britannica. 


EMMELINE PANKHURST  was a leading British women’s rights activist and suffragette, who was determined to win women the equal right to vote. 
Pankhurst founded the Women’s Social and Political Union in 1903 and, in 1910, she led a march of more than 300 women on parliament. 
She was arrested on numerous occasions and went on hunger strike while imprisoned. Two days after the outbreak of WWI, Pankhurst called for an immediate halt to militant activism, so that women could focus on patriotic activities instead. Following the impressive female contribution to the war effort, the Representation of the People Act was passed in 1918, offering the vote to British women over 30. 

Sources: BBC, Biography, History Learning Site, Spartacus Educational, The Week. 


ZINA PORTNOVA After witnessing a Nazi solider physically attack her grandmother, 15-year-old Zina Portnova decided to join the Belarusian resistance movement to fight the German occupation of the USSR. She learned to use weaponry and explosives, helping to destroy an enemy power plant, as well as a water station. Combined with her secret reports on German troop movements, it’s thought the teenager helped to kill over 100 Nazis. 
At one point, she used her position working in a kitchen to poison an entire German garrison. Sadly, Portnova was captured and executed aged just 17. 

Sources: Sakaida, H., Heroines of the Soviet Union 1941-45, 


AMELIA EARHART [Air-heart] In 1932 American aviator Amelia Earhart gained international fame after becoming the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. 
The flight from America to North Ireland, which lasted almost 15 hours, was plagued by strong winds, icy conditions, and mechanical problems. 
Earhart was a prominent advocate of both feminism and the advancement of the aviation industry. 
She served as the first president of The Ninety-Nines, an organization of female pilots. 
During an attempt in 1937 to fly around the world, Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan tragically disappeared while flying over the South Pacific Ocean. It is unknown what exactly went wrong and Earhart’s body was never found.

Sources: History, Americas Library,, 


ANNIE SMITH PECK In an era before oxygen tanks, 19th century mountain climbing was incredibly dangerous. 
This didn’t put Annie Smith Peck off, though. Peck scaled all the major mountains of Europe and then became the first person to scale Peru’s highest peak, Mt. Huascarán. Peck was also a strong advocator of women’s rights, risking arrest for wearing trousers at a time when women were expected to wear long skirts. 
She even hung a ‘Votes for Women’ banner on the summit of several mountains she scaled. Peck continued to mountaineer late into her 80s and wrote four popular books on travel and exploration. 

Sources: Biography, Britannica, Rhode Island College. 


MALALA YOUSAFZAI [You-saff-ziy] Malala Yousafzai began campaigning for girls’ right to education when she was only 11-years-old. She grew up under oppressive Taliban occupation in Pakistan. 
She wrote articles and gave television interviews, using her public platform to speak out for equality. 
In October 2012, when Malala was just 15, a gunman boarded her schoolbus. Having asked for her by name, he shot her three times at close range. Miraculously, Malala survived. 
Her determination grew and today she continues on her mission to provide a voice for the 66 million girls who are deprived of education. Aged 17, Malala was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, making her the youngest ever Nobel laureate. 

Sources: Nobel, BBC,, Biography. 


MARIE CURIE Polish-born Marie Curie was a pioneering authority in the study of radioactivity, and a key figure in the discovery of polonium and radium. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and also became the first person ever to win the award twice. 
During the First World War, Curie equipped ambulances with X-ray equipment and fearlessly drove them herself on the front line. 
In 1934 she died of leukemia, brought on by exposure to high-energy radiation during her research. Her selfless work was so dangerous that - even a century later - her notebooks are still too radioactive to handle. 

Sources:, BBC, Biography,, Famous Scientists.