One simple device could make allergy season less of a headache

Spring is a time of warmth, hope, and all-around pleasantness. Unless you have allergies. In that case, it’s one of sneezing fits, watery eyes, flushed cheeks, and more sneezing fits. A lovely day becomes an obstacle to overcome.

Consumer tech can only do so much to solve those struggles, but one way it can make life at least a little easier is through an air purifier.

A good one of these will grab the air in a given room and filter out potentially harmful particulate matter, such as pollen, pet dander, or dust. In the right situation, this can put those suffering from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory problems at less risk of struggling with such issues at home. Less polluted air has never been a bad thing.

I’m going to recommend a discounted air purifier in a second, but it’s important that you know a few things going in. First, an air purifier isn’t a magical cure-all. There’ve actually been a few hiccups between the FTC and air purifier manufacturers in recent years, and the latter have had to tone down their marketing as a result. What were once portrayed as saving graces for allergy sufferers are now sold on their ability to clean the air, and that alone.

This gets at the bigger point, which is that most people don’t need an air purifier. These are niche devices, and there’s no definitive proof that they make all their owners healthier. Before you go buying one, you should see if taking simple steps — letting in more outside air, vacuuming more often, putting your pets outside, lighting less candles indoors, etc. — make a difference.

If they don’t, then it’s worth trying one out. We recommend the Winix WAC5500, which is currently available for $144 on Amazon. That’s not the lowest it’s been, but it’s still a decent ways down from the $180 mark it’s held for most of the past year.


Its filter meets the HEPA standard, meaning it can remove more than 99.97% of particles that are 0.3 micrometers in size. (Which is small.) It has a 4.4 rating after 760 user reviews on Amazon, and it’s received praise from the excellent guides at The Sweethome and TopTenReviews. And in the grand scheme of things, $144 is relatively cheap for a genuinely effective air purifier. It’s energy-efficient in operation, and the cost of its replacement filters isn’t too bad either. It’ll let you know when those filters need changing, too.

The main caveats here are that the WAC5500 can get a tad noisy at its highest setting, and that Winix doesn’t throw in many bonus features like automatic scheduling. (So it’s probably better suited in a living room than a bedroom.) It’s also mediocre when it comes to reducing odors, though that’s typical of most non-expensive purifiers.

First high-energy neutrino traced to an origin outside of the Milky Way

First high-energy neutrino traced to an origin outside of the Milky Way

a, The Fermi/LAT γ-ray light curve is shown as two-week binned photon fluxes between 100 MeV and 300 GeV (black), the Bayesian blocks light curve (blue), and the HESE-35 time stamp (red line). The HESE period (May 2010 to May 2013) and the included outburst time range are highlighted in colour. Only statistical uncertainties are considered and shown at a 1 sigma confidence level. b, VLBI images show the core region at 8.4 GHz from 13 November 2011 (2011.87), 16 September 2012 (2012.71) and 14 March 2013 (2013.20) in uniform colour scale. 1 mas corresponds to about 8.3 pc. All contours start at 3.3 mJy beam−1 and increase logarithmically by factors of 2. The images were convolved with the enclosing beam from all three observations of 2.26 mas × 0.79 mas at a position angle of 9.5°, which is shown in the bottom left. The peak flux density increases from 1.95 Jy beam−1 (April 2011) to 5.62 Jy beam−1 (March 2013).

An international team of researchers has spotted the first instance of a high-energy neutrino collision from a source outside of the Milky Way, marking what they describe as a significant discovery. In their paper published in the journal Nature Physics, the team describes their work at the South Pole Neutrino Observatory, the details pertaining to the sighting and why they believe their discovery may lead to a new era in neutrino astrophysics.

Neutrino’s are massless and have no charge and very seldom interact with other matter—the exception is when they collide head on with another particle. Scientists have been studying neutrinos for several years, believing that they may hold the key to understanding many parts of the universe that remain otherwise hidden from our view. To see evidence of them, researchers fill large underground tanks with different types of fluids and then use extremely sensitive sensors to capture very brief flashes of light which are emitted when a neutrino collides with something in the fluid. The team with this latest effort has taken a different approach, they have placed sensors around a kilometer sized ice cube 2.5 kilometers beneath the surface, in a location near the South Pole. The sensors capture the brief flashes that occur when collide with particles in the ice.

Capturing evidence of collisions does not happen very often, but when it does, it sets off a chain of events that center around trying to ascertain where the neutrino came from—most come from the sun or cosmic rays striking our atmosphere. But back in 2012, the team captured evidence of what they described as the most powerful yet, registering two petavolts. Following that discovery, the team used data from radio telescopes, and in particular data from a galaxy that has been named KS B1424-418—astrophysicists have been studying it for several decades and it had been observed to undergo a change in shape during the time period 2011 to 2014. After much analysis, the team confirmed that the neutrino collision they observed was due to an emission from that very galaxy, making it the first neutrino collision to be traced back to a source outside of the Milky Way.


The astrophysical sources of the extraterrestrial, very high-energy neutrinos detected by the IceCube collaboration remain to be identified. Gamma-ray (γ-ray) blazars have been predicted to yield a cumulative neutrino signal exceeding the atmospheric background above energies of 100 TeV, assuming that both the neutrinos and the γ-ray photons are produced by accelerated protons in relativistic jets. As the background spectrum falls steeply with increasing energy, the individual events with the clearest signature of being of extraterrestrial origin are those at petaelectronvolt energies. Inside the large positional-uncertainty fields of the first two petaelectronvolt neutrinos detected by IceCube, the integrated emission of the blazar population has a sufficiently high electromagnetic flux to explain the detected IceCube events, but fluences of individual objects are too low to make an unambiguous source association. Here, we report that a major outburst of the blazar PKS B1424–418 occurred in temporal and positional coincidence with a third petaelectronvolt-energy neutrino event (HESE-35) detected by IceCube. On the basis of an analysis of the full sample of γ-ray blazars in the HESE-35 field, we show that the long-term average γ-ray emission of blazars as a class is in agreement with both the measured all-sky flux of petaelectronvolt neutrinos and the spectral slope of the IceCube signal. The outburst of PKS B1424–418 provides an energy output high enough to explain the observed petaelectronvolt event, suggestive of a direct physical association.

Do You Believe In Mental Telepathy? Is It Real? Yes, It Exists But With The Help Of Science.

‘US lead industry must be held accountable’

The US lead industry should be held accountable for nationwide exposure from pipes and paint that poison both adults and children daily, a scientist for an American healthy housing watchdog told RT.

“There’s really no good excuse for this, the lead and copper rule, which is the EPA law governing drinking water systems, hasn’t been updated since 1991, along with many other lead and copper requirements,” Dr. David Jacobs of the National Center for Healthy Housing said, stressing that not disclosing possible lead contamination strips Americans of their right to protect themselves.

According to a recent report, areas of a possible lead exposure risk go far beyond Flint, Michigan, where massive pollution and poisoning drew attention to the problem in the US.

A map compiled by Vox shows areas scattered across the country where children are at the highest risk of lead exposure, most of which are concentrated in America’s heartland. It is also extremely high in the country’s oldest urban areas, such as New York and Chicago, where over 20 percent of the territory scored the highest on their 0 to 10 scale.

Residents of less populated Western states are exposed to a lower risk, like in Nevada, Arizona, or Colorado, where more than 25 percent of the areas ranked 1 on Vox’s scale.

Detroit Public Schools (DPS) released data last week showing almost a third of the elementary schools’ water tested positive for unsafe levels of lead or copper – or both.

According to Vox’s map, most of the area around Detroit, Michigan measures 10 out of 10 for children’s risk exposure. Michigan officials are saying that the root cause of the problem is old infrastructure with lead pipes.

However, the problem goes beyond Michigan, as another report from the Associated Press reveals. It appears that since 2013, 278 schools have been in violation of safety levels for lead created by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Lead gets into the water at older buildings and schools that were built with lead delivery pipes. The water can leach lead off the pipes and become contaminated, particularly over weekends when sinks and drinking fountains aren’t in use.

As Dr. Jacobs told RT, the problem is not just in pipes, but also paint.

“The Lead Industry Association and others like them, like Sherwin Williams and Dutch Boy Paints, they knew what they were doing when they put lead in our pipes and lead in our paint,” he said. “The lead industry knew what it was doing, they have not been held accountable – only the taxpayers and others have had to pay for this through various HUD and EPA programs. But it’s time that they be held accountable and become part of the solution, not part of the problem.”

Yet, it’s water pipes that still lack control, and “out of date” testing procedures need to be reformed, Jacobs acknowledges.

“We know that drinking water, along with other sources of lead, we know how to control those problems, but we have to act on what’s knowledgeable and if you don’t get the right disclosure – whether it’s water pipes or lead paint – then you can’t take the necessary action to make sure that your children are protected,” he said.

On April 13, the Office of Water at the US Environmental Protection Agency said it was going to update its rule on lead and copper contamination in 2017.

According to the EPA’s acting chief, Joel Beauvais, the agency has been “actively working on revisions” for over two years. As he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee, proposals to change to the “lead and copper rule,” which is part of the federal Safe Water Drinking Act, would come next year, while finalizing the rule will still take months after those proposals are considered.

Back in March, a Fitch Ratings report suggested that the Flint water mayhem could potentially force water utility companies to replace an estimated six million lead service lines across the US if the EPA enacts stricter regulations due to the crisis. According to Fitch’s estimates, this could potentially cost water utility companies nationwide some $300 billion in infrastructure upgrades.

Dr. Jacobs says there needs to be a two-pronged effort to stop the lead contamination crisis, including both short-term and long-term strategies.

“That longer term strategy will take a lot longer to do and it will be expensive. But we’re already paying for lead poisoning anyway – it comes in the source of reduced educational benefits and increased medical care costs,” he said. “So instead of paying for it, we ought to stop it and reap those savings.”

Watch the video. URL:

The real reason why NASA never Returned to the Moon.

During 2006 NASA posed the question “Why should we return to the Moon” to select group of stakeholder as well as to the general public. The poll results generated certain crucial and compelling reason to revisit the moon. Apart from the scientific, exploratory and mining reasons the most compelling reason was to secure the fate of human civilization.

However, secure we feel ourselves on the earth, the reality and the current discoveries suggest that the Earth is not a perpetual safe place for us. History of the universe is a tale of destruction and recreation. If we take ourselves back some 65 million years, we know that a giant impact wiped out not only the big and strong dinosaurs but most of the species living living on the Earth. This kind of catastrophic impacts may occur again and humanity will be vulnerable as long as we confine ourselves into one planet.


What are these?

The above observation again brings back the inevitable question about NASA space exploration program. Why has NASA never returned to the Moon since December 14, 1972? Apollo 17 was the last official Moon-Landing mission. More often than not, answer given to us is a canned response that Moon exploration is associated with huge costs (both financial and in terms of human lives) and that don’t manifest into immediate economic benefits.

In today’s context, Moon exploration should be much easier and must less costly (in a relative way).  Back then the IT infrastructure NASA used was very basic. The huge computers used were less powerful than any pocket calculator freely available today. The much hyped Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) which used a real time operating system, was run by astronauts entering simple commands. These commands used to control the spacecraft. AGC was more elementary than electronics available in modern toasters. Incidentally Apollo missions were run with approximately 64Kbyte of memory and operated at 0.043MHz.

Considering all these, many thinks that there is darker reason for NASA not returning to the Moon for the past 42 years? A theory suggests that during the Apollo missions, while on the lunar surface NASA encountered alien activity. While these alien encounters were not hostile there were indications that they didn’t like NASA’s presence over there.

Another theory suggests that the encounter was rather planned as US government was aware of the alien presence on the Moon since the alleged meeting of Eisenhower with the aliens at the Holloman Air Force base in 1954. If that is the case, it easily explains why NASA staged the entire Moon Landing TV Broadcast.