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Chinese ‘fake moon’ to replace street lights described as ‘lunacy’

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Chinese ‘fake moon’ to replace street lights described as ‘lunacy’ | The Thaiger

by The Star – Asia News Network

A Chinese city’s plans to launch a man-made moon to replace street lights has been met with incredulity online. Or maybe it’s just an attempt to steal the monthly Full Moon party at Koh Phangan? (With a fake moon they could hold an event every night!)

Chengdu, in southwest China’s Sichuan province, announced last Tuesday it was planning to launch an “illumination satellite” by 2020, People’s Daily reported, adding that it would have eight times more light than the real deal.

“Is this The Onion?” asked one Weibo user, referring to the US satirical news site. “Chengdu, have you lost it?” asked another.

Other users invoked Hou Yi, from Chinese mythology, who shot down nine suns, to come and shoot down the extra moon. Some called the plan an outright scam.

The bizarre idea – essentially a giant mirror that will reflect sunlight – was also called a ploy to start implementing 24-hour work shifts by some Weibo users, while others joked how happy it must have made the manufacturers of insomnia medication.

This is not the first time a city has attempted to light up using fake moons. The Norwegian town of Rjukan installed three large computer-controlled mirrors to track and reflect sunlight in 2013; in the 1990s, Russian astronomers succeeded in launching a satellite into space to deflect sunlight back to Earth, but a second attempt in 1999 failed.

The idea of an extra moon, which is said to be able to produce enough light to illuminate an area between 10 and 80km (six to 50 miles) in Chengdu, is fraught with real environmental threats.

According to the New World Atlas of Artificial Sky Brightness, light pollution in Chengdu now completely obscures the night sky, to the point that the sky is just not visible from the city.

According to the International Dark Sky Association, which advocates for the protection of night skies, living under light-polluted skies is a grave health hazard as our biological clock evolved to match the day-night cycle, and exposure to artificial light at night has been linked to an increased risk of obesity, sleep disorders, depression and more.

Artificial light also throws animals off their natural day-night rhythms. Baby sea turtles, for example, which find their way to the ocean by detecting the light coming from the horizon, often get lured into streets by city lights, where they are crushed by vehicles or die from lack of water.

Chinese 'fake moon' to replace street lights described as 'lunacy' | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation



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World

Missing 14 year old Thai boy found dead in Tokyo

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Missing 14 year old Thai boy found dead in Tokyo | The Thaiger

The mother of a Thai teenager who went missing in Tokyo last Monday has revealed that she has found her son but that he had died.

Yuwajitra Watchara-arpa has not revealed the cause of the death of 14 year old Thian Sukanonsawat on the social network, saying merely that he had passed peacefully from an “unexpected accident”.

The mother thanked everybody for helping to find her son. She however asked for privacy following his death, saying the family would not answer any queries or contacts.

Thian went missing on Monday night, not longer after he and his family arrived in Tokyo for a holiday. His parents stayed in one room and their three children, Tien among them, shared another room.

After her mother found out that her son had gone missing, she alerted police and asked to see the hotel’s security video footage. CCTV footage showed the boy leaving the hotel room on the fifth floor in the middle of the night and walking towards an elevator in his night clothes and hotel slippers.

His mother turned to Facebook to seek help in locating her son. She said the boy had no money, mobile phone or transportation pass cards.

Her post went viral and was shared by many Facebook users including the Thai Embassy in Tokyo and the Thai communities in Japan.

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Travel

Boeing investigation continues as attention turns to the engines

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Boeing investigation continues as attention turns to the engines | The Thaiger

Within the past six months, two Boeing 737 Max 8 have fallen out of the sky, both during the early climbing phase of the flight.

In October, Lion Air Flight 610 crashed just off Jakarta, killing 189 people. And in March, Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 crashed in Bishoftu, Ethiopia, killing 157 people.

Whilst the investigations continue into the two horrifying incidents, both Boeing and some early evidence from the data recorders, has revealed possible problems with software that was developed as a work-around to a problem that Boeing had introduced with the new model 737 aircraft.

The work-around was called the MCAS (Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System) which would push the nose of the plane down if the software detected the plane had the risk of stalling (nose too high, not enough airflow over the wings). But why did the new Boeing 737 Max model jets need this new software?

The answer uncovers a rush to manufacture as Boeing was under pressure to come up with a new plane to compete with their rivals Airbus. The European manufacturer had developed a newer, lighter, more fuel efficient update to their single-aisle A320. And airlines were buying it instead of the latest Boeing 737.

Boeing, instead of designing a new plane, would do a make-over of the older model. But they needed to get it out to the market quickly. This rush to market market may have contributed to the two recent crash incidents.

VOX has prepared an excellent short documentary on the issue that may be at the root of the deaths of 346 people.

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World

French President Macron vows to rebuild Notre-Dame following fire

The Thaiger & The Nation

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French President Macron vows to rebuild Notre-Dame following fire | The Thaiger

The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris has suffered a colossal fire that even caused the Gothic spire of the historic church to crash to the ground as firefighters battled to get the blaze under control. 400 firefighters battled to control the blaze and at least save the building’s iconic front towers. They finally gained the upper hand as midnight approached in Paris.

“We can consider that the main structure of Notre-Dame has been saved and preserved” said the Paris fire brigade chief Jean-Claude Gallet in an AFP report.

Macron says “the worst had been avoided” in a fire that looked like it would engulf the entire building. He says that France is in shock over the damage to a building described as the “soul of the nation”.

On early inspection the blaze appears to have destroyed the roof of the 850 year old world heritage landmark. After the first few hours Parisians watched in horror as the church’s Gothic spire collapsed.

The fire came at a time when the Christian faithful were preparing to celebrate Easter, later this week.

The cause of the blaze has not yet been confirmed confirmed. The cathedral was undergoing restoration work at the time which fire fighters speculate could be linked to the blaze.

But already French prosecutors say the fire is being treated as an “involuntary” fire indicating that foul play has been ruled out at this stage.

Historians expressed disbelief at the collapse of much of a building that has been a symbol of France for 850 years and has withstood time, world wars and French revolutions.

French President Macron vows to rebuild Notre-Dame following fire | News by The Thaiger

The Notre-Dame spire was being renovated before last night’s fire

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