Postman’s Park’s Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice

Tucked away in a quiet corner of Postman's Park in central London, easily overlooked, lies a remarkable memorial. Under a wooden canopy, stands a short stretch of brick wall upon which are affixed over fifty ceramic plaques, each bearing the name of an ordinary person who performed a final, extraordinary act of bravery and self-sacrifice in their life. Some plaques bear two or more names. Altogether some sixty-two people are commemorated here. All of them died while trying to save the lives of others.

The Memorial to Heroic Self-Sacrifice was created by artist George Frederic Watts, who put forward the idea for a memorial in a letter to The Times in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's golden jubilee. Watts had been colleting stories of heroic sacrifice … Read the rest

The little yellow box that has made thousands of operations safer

Enlarge (credit: BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images) Millions of people are left dead or disabled by surgical complications each year when one simple piece of kit could have saved them. For Mosaic, Jane Feinmann discovers how it has helped transform medicine in Mongolia. Her story is republished here under a Creative Commons license. Gundegmaa Tumurbaatar glimpsed her son only for an instant as he was carried into the aging Soviet-built hospital where she works. It was one of the first fine days after the grueling Mongolian winter, and she had left Gunbileg, aged three, and his older brother playing outside, telling them to be careful. Now, he was moaning in pain and covered from head to toe in filth and blood. A passer-by had brought Gunbileg to … Read the rest

Making a different case for guns as a public health issue

Enlarge (credit: Big Swede Guy) BOSTON—Because both criminal violence and gun rights have become contentious political topics, research on the health and safety aspects of gun ownership in the US is barely funded. In fact, many have questioned whether it should be studied at all. But Northeastern University’s Matthew Miller used a talk at the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to argue that there’s an area where the data shows a clear link between gun access and public health and that this topic reveals some hints as to how to better manage safety. The issue in focus is suicide. While the focus on gun safety has been in terms of violent crimes, suicide is actually a larger problem. In 2015, it … Read the rest

India is getting an undersea bullet train

Drills for India’s first bullet train has begun, according to reports. Construction of the 7-kilometres (about 4.3 miles) undersea rail corridor between Mumbai and Ahmadabad in western India is slated to begin in 2018. SEE ALSO: How India’s 163-year-old railways is using technology to modernise itself The drilling will help ascertain soil conditions under water. “Soil and rocks below the 70-meter-deep see are being tested as part of the geo-technical and geo-physical investigation undertaken for the entire project,” a senior Railway Ministry official reportedly said.  Estimated to cost about Rs 97.6 billion ($14.5 billion), 80% of the project’s funding will come by way of a loan from Japan that operates the Shinkansen bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka. India will replicate that system. The project cost … Read the rest

New Evidence for the Strange Idea that the Universe Is a Hologram – Facts So Romantic

One of the great mysteries of modern cosmology is how our universe can be so thermally uniform—the vast cosmos is filled with the lingering heat of the Big Bang. Over time, it has cooled to a few degrees above absolute zero, but it can still be seen in the faint glow of microwave radiation, known as the cosmic microwave background. In any direction we look, the temperature of this cosmic background is basically the same, varying by only tiny amounts. But according to the standard “cold dark matter” model of cosmology, there wasn’t enough time for hotter and cooler regions of the early universe to even out. Even today we would expect parts of the cosmic background to be much warmer than others, but that isn’t … Read the rest

Chinese solar exports fall in 2016 with global anti-dumping measures

Enlarge (credit: Dennis Schroeder, National Renewable Energy Lab) Chinese financial and business news site Caixin Media wrote that Chinese solar equipment exports fell 10 percent between 2015 and 2016. The statistics came from Zhang Sen, the secretary general of the solar division within China’s Chamber of Commerce for Imports and Exports of Machinery and Electronic Products, who spoke at a seminar late last week. Zhang apparently attributed the drop to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy policies from the US, the EU, Australia, Canada, India, and Turkey, as well as to China’s “One Belt, One Road” initiative, which was designed to encourage Chinese investment in neighboring economies. According to Caixin, the result of that initiative was that “solar power equipment such as panels and batteries have been manufactured and … Read the rest