Lightweight Exoskeleton Lets Paraplegic Walk Again

On her website, former acrobat Silke Pan has a quote that says: “You are stronger than you ever expected!” She’s had to be. After working as a professional acrobat for years, she was sidelined in 2007 when a fall left her unable to use her legs. Now she is walking again, thanks to a new modular lightweight exoskeleton. VOA’s Kevin Enochs reports.

From: MeNeedIt

Chinese Industry’s Rapid Robotization

Most experts agree that we are past the dawn of robotic age, and one of the countries strongly pushing to the forefront is China. As the cost of human labor in China is rising, factories are increasingly replacing production line workers with robots. VOA’s George Putic reports.

From: MeNeedIt

Chinese Industry’s Rapid Robotization

Most experts agree that we are past the dawn of robotic age, and one of the countries strongly pushing to the forefront is China. As the cost of human labor in China is rising, factories are increasingly replacing production line workers with robots. VOA’s George Putic reports.

From: MeNeedIt

Arctic, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Hits Record Low

Sea ice normally melts in the summer in the Arctic and Antarctic, and recovers in both poles in their respective winters. But not this year. The World Meteorological Organization reports that sea ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic was the lowest for the month of January since satellite records began 38 years ago.

David Carlson, World Climate Research Program director, calls temperatures in the Arctic “extraordinary.”

“It looks like the Northern Hemisphere circulation has changed such that it allows warm air to penetrate deep into the Arctic,” he said. “There have been some quite extraordinary temperatures in the few places where we have good measurements. And one of the consequences of that is that there have been time periods, at least three, we think — one in November, one in December and one now that just finished in January — where we actually lost ice or we failed to gain ice in the winter.” 

Carlson says that should not be happening in winter — the season when the Arctic should be gaining ice, not losing it. He tells VOA the number of years that scientists thought they had until the summer sea ice extent disappeared is shortening.

“What this says is that despite political ups and downs, the change in climate is not going away,” he said. “It is not slowing down. It is increasing. It is relentless and, however many decades we thought we might have of comfort level before we have to react, those numbers are going down very, very fast.” 

WMO reports global heat continues, with January coming in as the third-warmest month on record, after January 2016 and January 2007. Meteorologists say January 2016’s record temperatures were caused by a very powerful El Nino, which warmed the waters of the Pacific Ocean and added extra heating to the planet.

From: MeNeedIt

Arctic, Antarctic Sea Ice Extent Hits Record Low

Sea ice normally melts in the summer in the Arctic and Antarctic, and recovers in both poles in their respective winters. But not this year. The World Meteorological Organization reports that sea ice extent in the Arctic and Antarctic was the lowest for the month of January since satellite records began 38 years ago.

David Carlson, World Climate Research Program director, calls temperatures in the Arctic “extraordinary.”

“It looks like the Northern Hemisphere circulation has changed such that it allows warm air to penetrate deep into the Arctic,” he said. “There have been some quite extraordinary temperatures in the few places where we have good measurements. And one of the consequences of that is that there have been time periods, at least three, we think — one in November, one in December and one now that just finished in January — where we actually lost ice or we failed to gain ice in the winter.” 

Carlson says that should not be happening in winter — the season when the Arctic should be gaining ice, not losing it. He tells VOA the number of years that scientists thought they had until the summer sea ice extent disappeared is shortening.

“What this says is that despite political ups and downs, the change in climate is not going away,” he said. “It is not slowing down. It is increasing. It is relentless and, however many decades we thought we might have of comfort level before we have to react, those numbers are going down very, very fast.” 

WMO reports global heat continues, with January coming in as the third-warmest month on record, after January 2016 and January 2007. Meteorologists say January 2016’s record temperatures were caused by a very powerful El Nino, which warmed the waters of the Pacific Ocean and added extra heating to the planet.

From: MeNeedIt

Top 5 Songs for Week Ending Feb. 18

This is the Top Five Countdown! We’re rewarding the five most popular songs in the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart, for the week ending February 18, 2017.

Welcome to our post-Grammy countdown, which sees “nearly” all the artists participating in the big weekend.

 

Number 5: The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey “Closer”

The Chainsmokers and Halsey weaken two slots, as their former 12-week champ “Closer” falls to number five.  Grammy night proved turbulent for the duo: on the positive side, they won the Best Dance Recording trophy for “Don’t Let Me Down,” featuring Daya. They drew the wrath of some David Bowie fans, however, by accepting the Best Rock Song award for the late rock legend’s composition “Blackstar.”

Number 4: Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello “Bad Things”

Holding in fourth place are Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello, who marked a milestone on Sunday when Cabello made her solo red carpet debut at the Grammy Awards. It marked her first such appearance since leaving Fifth Harmony on December 18. She also presented the Best Country Solo Performance Grammy, which was won by Maren Morris for “My Church.”

One of Grammy’s biggest stars was missing in action Sunday…

Number 3: Zayn & Taylor Swift “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”

Zayn and Taylor Swift climb two slots to third place with their Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack hit “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”

Last year, Swift took home three Grammy awards, including Album Of The Year for 1989. This year, she had no nominations – for the first time since 2011. Swift was one of the highest-profile Grammy no-shows, along with Justin Bieber, Drake and Kanye West.

Number 2: Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert “Bad And Boujee”

Grammy weekend didn’t go so well for our runner-up act: Migos and Lil Uzi Vert lose their singles lead as “Bad And Boujee” falls a slot to second place.

Grammy weekend was an adventure for the Atlanta rappers: it started when group member Offset was kicked off an airliner for refusing to stop talking on his phone. Hours later, police raided Migos’ pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills. TMZ reports that a number of guests reportedly received citations, but it’s unclear whether Migos will face any legal action.

Number 1: Ed Sheeran “Shape of You”

Only one of our Top Five artists performed at the Grammys, and he turns out to be the one wearing the crown.  Ed Sheeran returns to the Hot 100 summit for a second total week with “Shape Of You.” He performed that song on Sunday at the Grammy Awards telecast. Last year Ed won two trophies; this year he failed to collect on his sole nomination: Song Of The Year, for “Love Yourself.”

From: MeNeedIt

Top 5 Songs for Week Ending Feb. 18

This is the Top Five Countdown! We’re rewarding the five most popular songs in the Billboard Hot 100 Pop Singles chart, for the week ending February 18, 2017.

Welcome to our post-Grammy countdown, which sees “nearly” all the artists participating in the big weekend.

 

Number 5: The Chainsmokers Featuring Halsey “Closer”

The Chainsmokers and Halsey weaken two slots, as their former 12-week champ “Closer” falls to number five.  Grammy night proved turbulent for the duo: on the positive side, they won the Best Dance Recording trophy for “Don’t Let Me Down,” featuring Daya. They drew the wrath of some David Bowie fans, however, by accepting the Best Rock Song award for the late rock legend’s composition “Blackstar.”

Number 4: Machine Gun Kelly & Camila Cabello “Bad Things”

Holding in fourth place are Machine Gun Kelly and Camila Cabello, who marked a milestone on Sunday when Cabello made her solo red carpet debut at the Grammy Awards. It marked her first such appearance since leaving Fifth Harmony on December 18. She also presented the Best Country Solo Performance Grammy, which was won by Maren Morris for “My Church.”

One of Grammy’s biggest stars was missing in action Sunday…

Number 3: Zayn & Taylor Swift “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever”

Zayn and Taylor Swift climb two slots to third place with their Fifty Shades Darker soundtrack hit “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever.”

Last year, Swift took home three Grammy awards, including Album Of The Year for 1989. This year, she had no nominations – for the first time since 2011. Swift was one of the highest-profile Grammy no-shows, along with Justin Bieber, Drake and Kanye West.

Number 2: Migos Featuring Lil Uzi Vert “Bad And Boujee”

Grammy weekend didn’t go so well for our runner-up act: Migos and Lil Uzi Vert lose their singles lead as “Bad And Boujee” falls a slot to second place.

Grammy weekend was an adventure for the Atlanta rappers: it started when group member Offset was kicked off an airliner for refusing to stop talking on his phone. Hours later, police raided Migos’ pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills. TMZ reports that a number of guests reportedly received citations, but it’s unclear whether Migos will face any legal action.

Number 1: Ed Sheeran “Shape of You”

Only one of our Top Five artists performed at the Grammys, and he turns out to be the one wearing the crown.  Ed Sheeran returns to the Hot 100 summit for a second total week with “Shape Of You.” He performed that song on Sunday at the Grammy Awards telecast. Last year Ed won two trophies; this year he failed to collect on his sole nomination: Song Of The Year, for “Love Yourself.”

From: MeNeedIt

Tanzania Stops Private Health Centers From Offering AIDS Services

Tanzania’s government has stopped 40 privately run health centers from providing AIDS-related services, accusing them of catering to homosexuals in a country where gay sex is criminalized.

 

It is the latest move by this East African country to crack down on the activities of homosexuals. 

 

The government believes that nongovernmental organizations are using some health centers to promote gay sex, Health Minister Ummy Mwalimu said Thursday while announcing the restrictions. 

 

In Tanzania, gay sex is punishable by up to 30 years in prison. Around two-thirds of African countries criminalize consensual same-sex sexual conduct, according to Amnesty International. 

 

The HIV rate among gay men in Tanzania stands at 30 percent, according to government figures. 

 

The health minister also announced that the government was expanding HIV/AIDs services at 3,000 other health centers across the country.

 

The news comes about six months after the government threatened to deregister pro-gay civic groups it said were harmful to the “culture of Tanzanians.” 

 

In September, the government temporarily suspended HIV/AIDs outreach projects targeting gay men

From: MeNeedIt