The body of a spent Chinese rocket became the largest piece of space junk in decades to fall, uncontrolled, back towards Earth on Monday.
On May 5, a Long March 5B rocket launched a prototype crew capsule resembling a SpaceX Crew Dragon to orbit for a test. After almost a week orbiting the Earth, the core stage of the large rocket re-entered our atmosphere.
It appears that whatever bits didn’t completely burn up might have made it to the surface, likely splashing down into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa, according to the US military
“It is the most massive object to make an uncontrolled reentry since the 39-tonne Salyut-7 in 1991,” wrote Jonathan McDowell, a prominent Harvard astrophysicist who tracks objects in orbit, on Twitter.
The military, the private Aerospace Corporation and others were tracking the 37,000 pound rocket as its orbit began to decay days ago toward an inevitable blaze of glory.
The rocket body was more massive than the Chinese Tiangong-1 space station that plummeted back to Earth (presumably landing somewhere in the ocean) in 2018. It’s about a fifth the mass of Skylab, which came back to Earth near Perth, Australia in 1979.
Most of the rocket was expected to burn up, but small pieces could have made it to the surface.
Rocket re-entries are notoriously difficult to predict, as the object is moving at thousands of miles per hour. When it breaks up, debris that makes it to the ground can be spread over hundreds or thousands of miles.
So far there have been no eyewitness reports of the rocket breaking up in the sky or of debris on the ground.
Often, larger space vehicles are equipped with means to steer the craft to re-enter over a safe location (typically the south Pacific), but that doesn’t seem to have been the case with this rocket.
The spent rocket, which was labeled CZ-5B by the agencies tracking it, orbited within about 41 degrees north and south attitude.
That means any bits that made it to the surface landed somewhere in that range, which includes New York in the north, Australia in the south and everything in between.
The updated information from the military makes it likely most of the rocket burned up or wound up in the ocean. We will see if any debris turns up onshore in West Africa
What would make 2021 worse than 2020? How about a zombie apocalypse?
Some are claiming that Nostradamus predicted a zombie apocalypse for 2021, pointing to the following passage that the French philosopher supposedly wrote:
“Few young people: half−dead to give a start. Dead through spite, he will cause the others to shine, And in an exalted place some great evils to occur:
Sad concepts will come to harm each one, Temporal dignified, the Mass to succeed.” Hmmm, that doesn’t exactly say the words “zombie” and “apocalypse.”
The words “half-dead” and “great evils” may suggest zombies, but it could apply to some politicians as well.
It’s not even completely clear whether Nostradamus, otherwise known as Michel de Nostredame, actually wrote that passage. Attempts to contact Nostradamus have been unsuccessful, since he’s not on Twitter and he did live in the 1500’s.
Water: Store at least one gallon per person per day that you think you may be trapped during an emergency. This should be at least three days, although a two week supply would be even better. Of course, a zombie apocalypse could go on for a lot longer and storing over 1000 gallons may not be so easy.
Medications: These should be prescription and non-prescription medication that you may need. Note that a stash of nothing but Viagra may not be so helpful during a zombie apocalypse.
Sanitation and Hygiene: Examples include soap, towels, and household bleach, which, by the way, you should not inject into your body.
Clothing and Bedding: These should include clothes that offer reasonable protection.
A collection of thongs alone, for example, would not serve this purpose.
The CDC also suggests establishing an emergency plan with your family. This includes identifying the types of emergencies that are possible in your area. If you can only come up with a zombie apocalypse and hot dog shortage as possibilities, think harder. Unless you live on Sesame Street with Mr. Snuffleupagus, every location has its set of possible major disasters. And climate change may mean that new kinds of disasters can come to your area soon.
A second suggestion from the CDC is to pick a meeting place for your family to regroup in case you get separated and can’t return to or stay in your home. As basically any horror movie, whether its Fright Night, The Cabin in the Woods, or Happy Gilmour, has shown you, saying, “let’s split up, gang” can be a bad thing, especially when there is no clear plan on how to get back together. As they say when you are running away from zombies, when you are in a group, you only have to run faster than the slowest person in the group.
For this year, he predicted, “few young people: half-dead to give a start,” which according to Yearly-Horoscope means a zombie apocalypse.
The outlet interprets Nostradamus’ writing as: “A Russian scientist will create a biological weapon and produce a virus that can turn humankind into zombies, and we will all be extinct in the near future.”
“Sad concepts will come to harm each one, Temporal dignified, the Mass to succeed,” Nostradamus wrote.
“Fathers and mothers dead of infinite sorrows, Women in mourning, the pestilent she−monster:
The Great One to be no more, all the world to end.”
Nostradamus appeared to have predicted the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, as touted by conspiracy theorists on social media.
But, a news agency has debunked this claim as being “unfounded. Reuters found no evidence of this prophecy being written by Nostradamus”.
however he warns that the following year will be even more destructive and perhaps bring famine to the world.
“After great trouble for humanity, a greater one is prepared,” Nostradamus wrote.
“The Great Mover renews the ages: / Rain, blood, milk, famine, steel, and plague, / Is the heavens fire seen, a long spark running.”
The United Nations has warned that food insecurity will be an even bigger problem in 2021.
Born December 14, 1503, in Saint Rémy de Provence, France, Nostradamus was a famous physician, cabalist, pharmacist and astrologer.
He’s best known for his book Les Prophéties, which was first published in 1555.
His prophecies are expressed in verses, called quatrains.
The report highlights ways in the which SDG3 GAP agencies are integrating work at country level,
reducing fragmentation through joint work in support of national priorities and plans, creating synergies and increasing alignment within the broader health ecosystem
– for example, incorporating parts of the Every Woman, Every Child agenda and working jointly with the Health Data Collaborative (HDC) in countries.
Many countries are prioritizing primary health care (PHC) and sustainable financing as well as data for improving equity to understand people’s lives
and to know where investments need to be made to reach the most left behind.
At a recent “PHC for UHC Mission to Pakistan”, SDG3 GAP agencies renewed their commitment to better align their support for the roll-out of a universal health coverage (UHC) benefit package.
Dr Faisal Sultan, Minister of Health, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, expressed his appreciation of the mission’s work, noting that “implementation of the UHC benefit package will facilitate the strengthening of PHC services and securing sustainable financing will further support us to achieve UHC, ensuring no one is left behind.”
“Today’s global health challenges call for an integrated approach and intensive collaboration between all partners.
We are committed to working together to deliver more effective and efficient support to countries, build the path towards an equitable
and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and accelerate progress towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 3: health and well-being for all.”
“If the past year has shown us anything, it’s that global solidarity is imperative to address the critical health challenges that confront us all, but particularly the world’s most vulnerable populations.
Alongside work to defeat the pandemic, we must not let progress against TB, malaria, HIV, other infectious diseases and women and children’s health slip backwards,
but rather double down on the goal of achieving the health-related SDGs.
Equitable access to innovation has a vital role to play in getting lifesaving health products to everyone, no matter where they live.”
“The negative pressures exerted on our societies and economies by the COVID-19 pandemic both demonstrated and exacerbated gender inequalities and their intimate relationship with globally pervasive issues like men’s violence against women and the burden of unpaid caregiving work carried by women and girls. Resolution of these complex problems underpins the achievement of the SDGs.
It demands responses grounded in partnerships, such as the collaboration under the Global Action Plan, that rebalance power, realize women’s rights to health,
and recognize their leadership roles as active agents of change in their households, workplaces, and communities.”
“The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed weaknesses in health systems worldwide and set back progress towards SDG3.
The World Bank is taking fast, comprehensive action to save lives and protect poor and vulnerable people, including with $12bn for vaccines, drugs and therapeutics. Partnerships and close coordination across all agencies is essential to help countries fight the pandemic effectively.
We remain fully committed to working with all partners to strengthen countries’ health systems,
including for better pandemic preparedness, and ensuring that no one is left behind.”
A wide-ranging effort to safeguard lives and livelihoods by addressing the devastating near-term socio-economic, humanitarian and human rights aspects of the crisis with attention to those hit hardest.
The focus is on saving lives, keeping vital services accessible, households afloat, businesses solvent, supply chains functioning, insti-tutions strong, public services delivering and human rights at the forefront.
This is achieved through immediate humanitar-ian support to the hardest-hit population in the most vulnerable 63 countries with life-saving assistance through a Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP), as well as support to more than 120 countries for an immediate socio-economic response guided by the UN development system framework.
At global level, it includes the policy agenda contained in the series of policy briefs, as well as strong advocacy for support to developing countries,
including a debt standstill, debt restructuring and great-er support through the international finan-cial institutions.
Preventing and responding to the increased levels of violence against women and girls is also a critical feature.
Global ceasefire and diplomacy: The Secretary-General’s call for a global cease–fire,
issued on 23 March, urged warring parties around the world to pull back from hostilities to facilitate the delivery of human–itarian assistance and open the windows for diplomacy.
The appeal resonated widely and was endorsed by 180 Member States and one non-Member Observer State,
over 20 armed movements and other entities, diverse regional organizations, religious leaders, NGOs and more than 800 civil so–ciety organizations. On 1 July,
the Security Council adopted resolution 2532 calling for a 90-day humanitarian pause for all armed conflicts,
with the exception of military operations conducted in the context of counter-terrorism operations.
UN Special Representatives and Envoys continue their efforts to translate stated intentions into durable ceasefires and to pursue lasting political solutions.
Regional challenges and specificities:Africa, Arab States, Latin America and the Caribbean, and South-East Asia
Key thematic areas: women’s leadership and gender equality, debt, shaping the socio-economic response, mental health, human rights, food security, the world of work, cities, tourism, education, and universal healthcare/preparedness.
If you’ve looked up at the night sky recently, you might have been surprised to see a train of bright lights moving across from one side to the other. What’s going on?
The lights appear in groups of up to 60 in a long line. There have been numerous reports from places like the U.S. and U.K. of people seeing them, with explanations ranging from UFOs to an alien invasion. Of course.
But fear not. These lights are actually satellites, launched into space by the U.S. company SpaceX, run by South African entrepreneur Elon Musk. And they’re a bit controversial.
The satellites are part of something called Starlink. This is a project by SpaceX to launch thousands of satellites into orbit, and beam the internet to Earth from space. SpaceX hopes to use this to fund missions to Mars.
Sen, based in the U.K., said it had contracted Lithunia-based NanoAvionics to build the five satellites, together called EarthTV, which will be equipped with cameras to beam ultra-high definition (UHD) video to Earth from space. The satellites will be among the first to watch events on Earth unfold in real-time, enabling a wide range of services for companies and consumers.
“Sen’s vision is to become a space video company, to stream real-time video from space with a focus on environmental events and human movement,” says Charles Black, founder and CEO of Sen. “[There are already] companies capturing still imagery at different resolutions. What we’re doing is introducing a new type of data to the market, which is video.”
If you thought the U.S. was caught with its proverbial pants down and unprepared for the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, imagine what would happen should a zombie apocalypse grip our country.
Would political leaders try to minimize the problem, claiming that becoming a rotting corpse with body parts falling off is not so bad?
Or continuously say that the apocalypse was “rounding the corner?”
Would people be arguing about how many people actually have become zombies, claiming that some zombies were actually people who just needed a little more sun?
By the way, a good way to tell if a person has become a zombie is to see if he or she tries to eat you. Would some political leaders push for a “herd immunity” strategy in which the country just allows the apocalypse to happen?
After all, simply letting everyone become a zombie could solve so many problems such as wondering what to wear each day and not having enough toilet paper around, right?
Well, a zombie apocalypse could be a major disaster, and our country is probably not adequately prepared for such an eventuality. That doesn’t mean the CDC has no advice. The CDC does offer a Zombie Preparedness guide, which contains some useful information. For example, they recommend having an emergency kit in your house. And that doesn’t mean just a stash of avocado toast and tequila. Instead, according to the CDC, such an emergency kit should have the following:
Food: These should be non-perishable items otherwise you may be quite disappointed when you need them. Make sure that the food covers enough food groups and is as healthy as possible. After a while, eating nothing but marshmallow Peeps could cause problems.
Tools and Supplies: The CDC suggests having things like a utility knife, duct tape, and a battery powered radio. A smartphone may not be as useable should the cellular network and Internet go down. Keep in mind that most battery powered radios can’t take selfies.
Clothing and Bedding: These should include clothes that offer reasonable protection.
A collection of thongs alone, for example, would not serve this purpose.
Important documents: The CDC specifically mentions your driver’s license, passport, and birth certificate.
A Starbuck’s loyalty card and a Avengers membership card would probably not be useful during a Zombie apocalypse.
First Aid supplies: The CDC does warn that a Band-aid won’t do a whole lot for a zombie bite.
Concerns about a zombie attack are not the only reasons to keep such items around. They could be handy for nearly any type of emergencies, such as a flood, a hurricane, a tornado, or an earthquake.
Again, much of the advice offered by the CDC Zombie Preparedness website is applicable to many different emergencies, not just a zombie apocalypse, with the exception of statements like
“when zombies are hungry they won’t stop until they get food (i.e., brains).”
The CDC does say that its website began as a tongue-in-cheek campaign. So the CDC doesn’t seem to be saying that a zombie apocalypse will happen in 2021 or anytime soon.
Of course, this assumes that tongue-in-cheek means something like “whimsical exaggeration.”
A zombie apocalypse could result in many real tongues being in many others’ real cheeks.
According to the French mystic, great solar storms in 2021 will take place, which could cause major damage to Earth.
“We shall see the water rising and the earth falling under it,” Nostradamus warns.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the astrologer predicts a comet will hit the earth or come very close to striking our planet.
The event will cause earthquakes and other natural disasters, which he warns as, “In the sky, one see fire and a long trail of sparks.”
NASA has announced that a huge asteroid could hit Earth in 2022.
Experts believe that asteroid 2009 JF1 measures around 130 meters in diameter – and believe it’s about the size of the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.
Nostradamus also predicts the state of California will be destroyed by a massive earthquake next year.
Nostradamus wrote that a great earthquake will hit the New World (the western lands).
“The sloping park, great calamity, Through the Lands of the West and Lombardy The fire in the ship, plague, and captivity; Mercury in Sagittarius, Saturn fading,” he wrote.
Geneva, 20 May 2021 – WHO and 12 other signatory agencies to the Global Action Plan for Healthy Lives and Well-being for All (SDG3 GAP) have released their second progress report,
Stronger collaboration for an equitable and resilient recovery towards the health-related SDGs.
This report presents progress achieved, especially at country level, where SDG3 GAP is being implemented in 37 countries, with its long-term,
forward-looking SDG focus and as a platform to support countries’ equitable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report also identifies challenges encountered over the last year, acknowledging the important roles that countries, agencies’ boards and donors play in setting the right incentives for effective collaboration among SDG3 GAP agencies.
“The GAP partners have shown their unwavering commitment to countries during the pandemic,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus,
WHO Director-General. “Collaboration is now more relevant than ever.
The GAP provides the platform to improve collaboration in the multilateral system to support countries to recover from the pandemic
and drive progress towards the health-related SDGs, with a focus on equity and enabled by stronger primary health care.”
“The ILO welcomes the progress for 2020 and as a new member looks forward to engaging with all SDG3-GAP partners in 2021 and beyond.
The COVID-19 crisis has clearly demonstrated the interaction between health, social factors and decent work.
It has highlighted the critical need for investments in all three areas. This will foster recovery and lead to a more sustainable, equitable development path. Equally,
investments in the health of workers and of care workforce are vital to make progress towards universal health coverage.
If we are to achieve SDG3, increased cooperation is needed. By joining this partnership the ILO reaffirms its commitment to support countries during this pandemic and beyond, through a multilateral and coherent approach.”
“We have seen with HIV and now with COVID-19 the critical role communities play in connecting key and vulnerable populations to essential health and social services,
in ensuring gender equality, inclusion and rights-based approaches to health and social care, and in reducing inequalities. Resilient health systems rely on communities,
this is why they feature prominently as a key pillar in the Global Action Plan and why they must be fully engaged, supported and funded.”
The COVID-19 pandemic affects everyone everywhere, but it is having a disproportionate impact on the world’s most vulnerable.
By 2030, eight out of ten people pushed into poverty, as a result of COVID-19, will live in low and medium human development countries.
Greater cooperation is the only way to defeat COVID-19 and restore and accelerate progress on the SDGs and on the pledge to leave no one behind.
The SDG 3 Global Action Plan (GAP) is enhancing collaboration to support countries with their COVID-19 response and to lay the foundation for an equitable and sustainable recovery.”
A large-scale, coordinated and compre–hensive health response, guided by the World Health Organization (WHO) and its Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan,
which aims to mobilize all sectors and communities in the response, control and suppression of the transmission of the virus,
reduce mortality by providing care for those affected, and develop safe and effective vaccines and therapeutics that can be delivered at scale and that are accessible based on need.
A world where COVID-19 is no longer a threat to humanity requires the most massive public health effort in history,
that recognizes universal access to health as a critical global public good. Part of this response is a new global collaboration
– the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator– the aim of which is to accelerate develop-ment, production, and equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments, and vaccines.
The UN has also provided international coordination and operational support at the global, regional and country level,
and supported the scaling up of country prepar–edness and response operations.
A transformative recovery process that leads to a better post-COVID-19 world by ad–dressing underlying fragilities and identify–ing opportunities for transformative change towards more just, equal and resilient societies and economies
Emerging from this crisis is an opportunity to address the climate crisis, inequalities, exclusion,
gaps in social protection systems and the many other injustices that have been exposed and exacerbated. Instead of going back to unsustainable systems and approaches,
we need to transition to renewable energy, sustainable food systems, gender equality, stronger social safety nets, universal health coverage and an international system that can deliver consistently,
effectively and uni–versally – with the Sustainable Development Agenda as our guide.
ExEcutivE Summary7 In order to enable this response and to cre–ate the conditions in which all people – es–pecially those in precarious situations – can be reached,
the Secretary-General has also strongly advocated for the following:
SHAPING THE GLOBAL RESPONSESolid science, reliable data, and analysis are critical for policy- and decision-making, espe–cially for the tough choices required during a pandemic.
The United Nations is helping to establish the knowledge base and providing support to national policymakers and other partners by marshalling its expertise to ex–amine the diverse impacts of the pandemic and offering relevant information and advice, including through a series of policy briefs on:
Populations facing particular challenges, including children, older persons, women (including as victims of violence), persons with disabilities, refugees, migrants and the internally displaced