People say that the Geminids are one of the best meteor showers of the year

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The Geminids meteor shower gets its name from the constellation Gemini because the meteors seem to emerge from this constellation in the sky. However, the meteors are actually pieces of the asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which NASA discovered in 1983. 

The asteroid’s trip around the Sun takes about 1.4 years. The Geminid Meteor Shower happens every year when the Earth passes through the debris trail.

This was very strange because an asteroid had never been thought to cause a meteor shower before. No one knows how material from the surface or inside of the asteroid gets into the meteoroid stream. The Geminid meteor shower has always been one of the most popular ones.

Meteors are pieces of debris that hit the Earth’s atmosphere at speeds of up to 70 kilometers per second. When they hit the atmosphere, they turn into vapour and look like streaks of light.

The Geminids are thought to be one of the best and brightest meteor showers of the year, according to NASA. The Geminid meteor shower will run from December 4 to December 17, with most meteors happening around December 14.

Source: NASA

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white paper revolution

People are also calling it Blank Page Revolution/ A4 Revolution

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China has been witnessing waves of protests against the country’s tough “zero-COVID” policy in recent weeks. The movement, which is no longer limited to China alone, has been termed the “white paper revolution.” 

Protestors holding blank sheets of white A4-sized paper have come to symbolize the lack of free speech in the country. The blank sheets say nothing and everything at the same time. This way they can express their displeasure with the government’s efforts to silence dissenting voices because they cannot be arrested for holding blank papers.

They are not activists, but rather ordinary individuals innovating and improvising in the moment, as China is a country where dissent is intolerable and protests are a rare sight.

White papers were previously used as a form of protest in Hong Kong in 2020 to avoid slogans prohibited under the city’s new national security law. This year, demonstrators in Moscow have also used them to oppose Russia’s war with Ukraine.

Source: IE

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What is a zombie virus?

by Admin

Zombie virus is a virus that emerged due to the thawing of permafrost as the global temperature is rising 

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Researchers examined ancient virus samples collected from permafrost in the Siberian region of Russia. About two dozen viruses have been revived, and among these is a virus that has been frozen under a lake for over 48,000 years. As many as 13 new pathogens have been classified as “zombie viruses.” Shockingly, the viruses have been infectious despite being trapped for thousands of years.

The virus that is 48,500 years old, called Pandoravirus yedoma, is named after the mythological character Pandora. It has been buried in ice and has emerged due to the thawing of permafrost as the global temperature is rising. 

Also, due to climate warming, irreversibly thawing permafrost is releasing organic matter that has been frozen for up to a million years, most of which decomposes into carbon dioxide and methane, further enhancing the greenhouse effect.

The so-called zombie viruses are no threat to people, being types that infect only microorganisms, but other pathogens released in the future as permafrost melts could, scientists say, pose risks to humans.

It is believed that pandemics like COVID-19 will become more common in the future as melting permafrost releases microbes that might have been dormant for hundreds or even thousands of years.

About a quarter of the Northern Hemisphere is covered in permafrost, or permanently frozen soil, which is primarily found in Alaska, Canada, and Siberia. However, as the climate warms, certain areas are beginning to melt.

Source: Economic Times

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What is a Vostro account?

by Admin
vostro account

Different types of accounts for international trade

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Nostro Account: A nostro account is a bank’s account in another bank. It enables customers to deposit funds into the bank’s account at another bank. It is frequently used when a bank does not have any branches in a foreign country. Nostro is a Latin word that means “ours.”

  • Let’s presume bank “X” does not have any branches in Russia, but bank “Y” does. Now, to receive the deposits in Russia, “X” will open a Nostro account with “Y.”
  • Now, if any customers in Russia want to send money to “X,” they can deposit it into X’s account in “Y.” “Y” will transfer the money to “X.”
  • The main difference between a deposit account and a Nostro account is that the former is held by individual depositors, while foreign institutions hold the latter.

Vostro Account: It is an account that is opened and maintained by a foreign bank in domestic currency. The word vostro means “yours” in Latin. For the bank that opens the account, a Nostro account is a Vostro account.

  • In the above example, the account will be called a Vostro account for bank “Y.” The Vostro account accepts payments on behalf of the account holder’s bank.
  • If a person deposits money in the Vostro account, it will be transferred to the account holder’s bank.
  • Nostro and Vostro accounts are held in a foreign currency.
  • Vostro accounts enable domestic banks to provide international banking services to their clients who have global banking needs.
  • Vostro account services include wire transfers, foreign exchange transactions, deposit and withdrawal capabilities, and international trade streamlining.

Below is defined a mechanism to settle international transactions in domestic currency to promote the growth of global trade, with an emphasis on exports, as well as pushing the domestic currency as an international currency. It is also likely to allow trade with a sanctioned country like Russia. Furthermore, in the face of persistent local currency weakness, this mechanism tries to reduce demand for foreign money by supporting domestic currency settlement of trade flows. Russian banks, for example, open vostro accounts in India.


Source: TH

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What is bluebugging?

by Admin

It is a form of hacking

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Apps that allow users to link smartphones or laptops to wireless earbuds can record conversations and are subject to hacking, according to cybersecurity experts. Even the most secure smartphones, such as the iPhone, are susceptible to such attacks.

As a default configuration, many smartphones have their Bluetooth settings set to discovery mode, making them vulnerable to bluebugging.

  • It is a type of hacking that allows attackers to gain access to a device via its discoverable Bluetooth connection.
  • A hacker can listen to calls, view and transmit messages, and steal and edit contacts.
  • It began as a danger to laptops equipped with Bluetooth.
  • Later on, hackers applied the approach to mobile phones and other gadgets.
  • When a Bluetooth-enabled device is within a 10-meter radius of the hacker, bluebugging can occur.
  • However, according to NordVPN’s site, hackers can employ booster antennas to extend the attack radius.

Prevention: Turning off Bluetooth and removing paired Bluetooth devices when not in use, updating the device’s system software to the most recent version, limiting the use of public Wi-Fi, and employing a VPN as an additional security step are all preventative measures.

Users should also keep an eye out for strange activity on their devices, according to NordVPN. “If your phone abruptly disconnects and reconnects calls, or if you find messages that you did not send, it could suggest that someone is controlling your device.” Reset the smartphone to factory settings or delete any unknown apps.

Source: TH

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It is only second to the Amazon in terms of its critical role in safeguarding the planet’s future

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The boreal forest (also called “taiga”) is the world’s largest land biome. It encircles the Arctic and is as vulnerable to climate change as the Amazon rainforest in South America.

Fire, one of the forest’s most serious hazards, paradoxically, is also critical to its survival and evolution. Fires release valuable nutrients into the forest soil and create holes in the tree canopy that allow sunlight to penetrate, contributing to the growth of new trees. But data gathered over the last few decades indicates that the frequency and intensity of fires have reached an abnormal level.

The boreal forest is threatened by wildfires. Extreme heat causes more lightning, which ignites the most destructive flames. The most common sort of fire in the boreal forest is a crown fire, which spreads quickly from treetop to treetop. Under the snow, fires can burn all winter, emitting deadly smoke and substantial volumes of carbon monoxide.

About Boreal Forests

These forests span eight countries: China, Canada, Japan, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, and the United States.

They thrive in high-latitude areas with freezing temperatures for 6 to 8 months, in which trees are capable of reaching a minimum height of 5 m and a canopy cover of 10%.

It is typically made up of coniferous tree species like pine, spruce, and fir, as well as some broadleaf species like poplar and birch. This biome, which accounts for around 30% of the total forest area, has more surface freshwater than any other. The forest, named after the Greek god of the north wind, Boreas, occupies 10% of the world’s land surface and has a significant impact on the world’s northern oceans and overall climate.

The boreal forest holds twice as much carbon as all tropical forests combined, thereby helping slow global warming. It also helps purify a massive amount of freshwater. It is second only to the Amazon in terms of its vital role in ensuring the future of the planet.

Threats it faces

  • increasing forest fires,
  • the melting of permafrost,
  • intensifying insect infestations and
  • warming temperatures.

What are drunken trees? Melting permafrost has caused the trees to tilt sideways. The soil will eventually erode away from the roots, causing the trees to fall. This bending and sinking are caused by permafrost degradation.

Furthermore, as the ground thaws, microbes eat away at the vegetation that has accumulated over thousands of years, producing carbon and methane emissions that contribute to the acceleration of global warming.

For survival, the boreal forest is rapidly shifting north, absorbing a part of the tundra and losing ground to the prairies at the southern edge. This displacement of an ecosystem can have serious consequences.

Source: TH and Image

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