Thursday 21 October 2021

Russia sees record numbers of Covid-19 Coronavirus deaths

DW News shows that Russia is well into its fourth wave of the coronavirus pandemic. But Moscow is unwilling to put the country in lockdown. Add to that low adherence to hygeine rules and Russia recently recorded 1,000 over 24 hours due to Covid - a record.

That's despite the country's vaccine Sputnik V being the first to be registered for use in any nation. But Russia's population is among the most vaccine-skeptical in the world.

Japan’s 400 Kilometre Tsunami Shield

"The B1M" Channel on Youtube shows one of the most important pieces of concrete in Japan.

Keep in mind, the geophysical effects that Japan has. Portions of northeastern Japan shifted by as much as 2.4 metres (7 ft 10 in) closer to North America, making some sections of Japan's landmass wider than before. Those areas of Japan closest to the epicenter experienced the largest shifts. A 400-kilometre (250 mi) stretch of coastline dropped vertically by 0.6 metres (2 ft 0 in), allowing the tsunami to travel farther and faster onto land. One early estimate suggested that the Pacific plate may have moved westward by up to 20 metres (66 ft), and another early estimate put the amount of slippage at as much as 40 m (130 ft). On 6 April the Japanese coast guard said that the quake shifted the seabed near the epicenter 24 metres (79 ft) and elevated the seabed off the coast of Miyagi Prefecture by 3 metres (9.8 ft).

The 9.1-magnitude (Mw) undersea megathrust earthquake occurred on 11 March 2011 at 14:46 JST (05:46 UTC) in the north-western Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 32 km (20 mi), with its epicenter approximately 72 km (45 mi) east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, Japan, lasting approximately six minutes.

Why China is Building Africa’s Railways

Take a look at "The B1M" Channel on Youtube. Africa is in the midst of a railway renaissance, and it’s being built in large part by China.

Sino-African relations or Afro-Chinese relations refers to the historical, political, economic, military, social, and cultural connection between mainland China and the African continent.

Modern political and economic relations between mainland China and the African continent commenced in the era of Mao Zedong, following the victory of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in the Chinese Civil War. At the turn of the 21st century, the modern state of the People's Republic of China (PRC) built increasingly strong economic important ties with Africa. In 2013, it was estimated that one million Chinese citizens were residing in Africa.

Trade between China and Africa increased by 700% during the 1990s, and China is currently Africa's largest trading partner. The so-called Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) was established in October 2000, which designated itself to be an official forum to strengthen the relationship between both parties. There have been increasing international concerns over the significant political, economic, and military roles that the country of China is playing in the African continent.

China’s so-called "rail spending spree" in Africa seems to be over but it is still laying down the tracks. Chinese contractors have started work on a mega rail project in Tanzania, days after completing another in Nigeria.

However, it seems that loan restructurings and poor returns have made lenders more cautious, putting other projects on hold.

Just days after completing West Africa’s longest double-track standard railway in Nigeria, the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) has started work on a US$1.3 billion railway on the other side of the continent, in Tanzania.

In the past decade, Beijing has strengthened its position as the largest contractor and financier of infrastructure in Africa, especially under the Belt and Road Initiative - President Xi Jinping’s trillion-dollar project that has seen the construction of railways, roads, ports and power plants.

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Flight costs soar as Canadian travellers head back on planes

Global News in Canada shows that although more Canadians are taking to the skies as travel measures ease, airfare prices are also soaring with them, with prices reaching new highs not seen even before the pandemic. 

The aviation data supplier, Cirium, says between July of 2019 and July of 2021, the average price of a round-trip ticket within Canada went up by almost $100, to $532 plus taxes. 

Cirium says there's pent-up demand, but only half as many seats available, because Canadian airlines are still offering fewer flights and using smaller planes. 

Ross Lord explains why the cost of flying is getting more expensive, and when there might be some relief.

Merck's antiviral pill may help beat COVID-19, but vaccines and testing still needed

PBS NewsHour shows that although COVID-19 vaccines help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and resulting deaths, there have not been many good or easy treatment options for the actual virus. But a new antiviral drug from Merck offers hope for keeping patients infected with COVID-19 out of the hospital and alive. Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious disease specialist at Boston University, joins William Brangham to discuss.

Canada's inflation rate jumps to 4.4%, highest since 2003

CBC News in Canada shows that Canada's inflation rate rose to a new 18-year high of 4.4 per cent in September, with higher prices for transportation, shelter and food contributing the most to the jump in the cost of living.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Canada: Unvaccinated MPs won't be allowed into the House of Commons

CTV News in Canada shows that Rachel Aiello has the latest on the new vaccine mandate for the House of Commons and what it could mean for MPs who aren't vaccinated.

Canada: BC to end capacity limits for indoor events in most regions

Global News in Canada shows that when the Vancouver Canucks hit the ice at Rogers Arena on Oct. 26, the team will be greeted by a full house.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry announced Tuesday that COVID-19 capacity limits will be lifted in much of British Columbia for indoor events and gatherings where proof of vaccination is required.

"It (COVID-19) is not taking off in places where we have vaccine card," Henry said.

"We were seeing it in Northern Health and that is why we put in further restrictions."

The province will also be removing the requirement to remain seated at restaurants and events. But for now, there are still restrictions in place around allowing dancing.

B.C. health officials also shared at Tuesday's briefing that COVID-19 transmission in schools has dropped since they first surged at the start of the school year.

Dr. Bonnie Henry said at the beginning of the school year, there was a dramatic increase in cases, particularly in the Interior and in Northern Health regions, but those cases have started to come down.

Cases still remain higher in Northern Health but it is indicative of the case counts remaining high in the communities.

Henry added the increase of COVID-19 cases in September was "strongly associated with a significant increase in testing among children" and the biggest source of COVID infections for children remains from sources outside of the classroom.

COVID-19: Uncertainty lingers as Pfizer awaits Health Canada's vaccine approval for kids

Global News in Canada shows that Health Canada is now considering Pfizer's request to approve its COVID-19 vaccine for use on children aged 5 to 11. 

But confusion remains on how vaccinations will look like for younger children - from the logistics of the vaccine rollout, to what dosage levels will be needed. 

For instance, though the dosage for kids is one-third of the adult dose, one of the biggest questions right now is whether kids be given a smaller dosage of the same adult vaccine. 

Abigail Bimman looks at those lingering concerns.

Canada's cannabis products routinely mislabelled, a Nova Scotia study finds

Global News in Canada shows that since Canada legalized cannabis in 2018, sales have skyrocketed to an industry now worth $4 billion a year in the country. 

But Nova Scotia scientists have made troubling discovery over the products - cannabis strains are being regularly mixed up and mislabelled on the shelves. 

The Cannabis Council of Canada, which represents more than 700 licensed growers in the country, suggests it's a lingering effect from the illegal cannabis market. 

Ross Lord looks at how exactly it's messing up the marketing over scientific facts - and why it could be dangerous.

Ottawa stands firm on negative PCR tests for travellers

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that the federal government is standing firm on requiring travellers entering Canada to have a negative PCR test for COVID-19, even though the USA will no longer require them at the land border.

Canadians concerned about COVID-19 spread at schools

Global News in Canada shows that after spending a significant amount of time attending school from home during the pandemic, many parents are glad to send their kids back to school. 

But a national study finds about 70 per cent of Canadians are worried about the spread of COVID-19 at school.  

Global’s Sharmeen Somani spoke with some parents and shares their concerns.

When can Canadians expect the vaccine passport for international travel?

CBC News in Canada shows how Public Safety Minister Bill Blair talks with CBC chief political correspondent Rosemary Barton about the Canada-USA border opening to fully vaccinated travellers starting Nov. 8 and some of the restrictions in place.

What would electoral reform look like in Canada?

Global News in Canada shows that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau held onto another minority government for the Liberals in the 2021 federal election, despite coming in second in the popular vote, behind the Conservatives. In fact, with the First Past the Post system, the Liberals gained nearly 40 more seats than the Conservatives.  

So what would electoral reform look like in Canada and what are some of the alternatives to the current First Past the Post system? And what changes could be made to make the results better reflect how people vote?

Sean Previl takes a look at the possibility of other voting systems and what Canada's government would look like based on the latest election results.

Frosty or friendly: Have Canada-USA relations been strained amid the pandemic?

Global News in Canada shows that as border regulations and travel rules for vaccinated Canadians travelling to the United States begin to ease, some wonder whether the dragged-out process signals a frosting relationship between the two countries lately. 

Aside from the pandemic, the two North American nations have hit various snags between each other in recent years - from defending the Line 5 pipeline, to the lobbying against the Buy American plan, to the lingering absence of an American ambassador to Canada. 

Mike Le Couteur looks at whether Canada is still on best terms with its closest neighbour.

COVID-19 in Canada: 'Unofficial triage' already underway in Sask., warns doctor

CTV News in Canada shows how Infectious disease expert Dr. Alexander Wong breaks down the situation in Saskatchewan, where ICUs across the province are at capacity.

What should Canadians know before travelling to the USA?

CTV News in Canada shows President and CEO of Tourism Industry Association of Canada Beth Potter on what Canadians should pay attention to before heading to the USA.

Sunday 17 October 2021

Northern lights: Spectacular aurora borealis takes over North American night sky

Global News in Canada shows that an awe-inspiring and vivid aurora borealis stretched across the skies in a large part of North America, with purple, pink, teal and green hues dancing and shimmering as far as the eye could see.

People across Western Canada, including as far south as the greater Vancouver area in B.C., reported seeing the northern lights - but it wasn’t limited to this side of the border.  

Posts on social media said the dancing light display could be seen by Americans as far south as Iowa, Minnesota and Ohio, and even across the ocean in the United Kingdom.

SpaceX Raises the Arms of Mechazilla

Marcus House on Youtube shows how SpaceX Raises the Arms of Mechazilla ready to be installed. Ship 20 and Booster 4, the first orbit capable vehicle continues to crawl along, but lots of Starship Updates going on with future vehicles. And some pretty impressive updates to share on Relativity Space’s Terran 1 making some new headway towards flight.

It is interesting how the SpaceX MECHAZILLA grabbing arm will enable a Mars rocket. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has plans for a giant orbital arm. It could enable even certain faster rocket turnaround times.

This month, CEO Elon Musk detailed how the new Mechazilla orbital grabbing arm will help the Starship rocket. The goal is to catch the ship and its Super Heavy booster as they return to Earth. The interesting technique could be an upgrade over the droneships currently used for Falcon 9 boosters returning to Earth after missions.

The future could have launching the same Starship three times per day. That means it has a chance of achieving its goal of a city on Mars by 2050.

"SpaceX will try to catch largest ever flying object with robot chopsticks," Musk posted on his Twitter page on August 30. Success is not guaranteed, but excitement is!

Mechagodzilla (メカゴジラ, Mekagojira) is really a fictional mecha character that first appeared in the 1974 film Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. In its debut appearance, Mechagodzilla is depicted as an extraterrestrial villain that confronts Godzilla. In subsequent iterations, Mechagodzilla is usually depicted as a man-made weapon really designed to defend Japan from Godzilla. In all incarnations, the character is portrayed as a robotic doppelgänger with a vast array of weaponry, and along with King Ghidorah, is commonly considered to be a so-called archenemy of Godzilla.

NASA launches 1st space probe to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids

Global News shows that NASA launched a first-of-its-kind mission on Saturday, Oct. 16 to study Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids - 2 large clusters of space rock that scientists believe are remnants of primordial material that formed our solar system’s outer planets.

The space probe, dubbed Lucy, was packed inside a special cargo capsule carried by the Atlas V rocket from United Launch Alliance, a joint venture of Boeing and Lockheed Martin Corp.

Lucy is on a 12-year expedition to study a record number of asteroids and will be the first to explore the Trojans, thousands of rocky objects orbiting the sun in two swarms - one ahead of the path of the giant gas planet Jupiter and one behind it.

Scientists hope Lucy’s close-up fly-by of 7 Trojans will yield new clues to how the solar system’s planets formed some 4.5 billion years ago.

USA will now accept Canadian travellers with mixed COVID-19 vaccine doses

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that the United States has confirmed that Canadians that had different COVID-19 vaccines for their first and second dose will be recognized as fully vaccinated. The U.S. will be implementing travel restrictions on Nov. 8, only permitting fully vaccinated travellers into the country.

Around 8,000 people experience drinking water crisis in Canada

WION shows that approximately 8,000 people in a Canadian city have been without drinking water for 3 days. The city's water supplies have been contaminated.

The water is not safe for consumption even if its boiled or filtered. The city's mayor has imposed a state of emergency.

Merck asks FDA to authorize the use of a COVID-19 pill

CBC News in Canada shows that Jennifer Chan, Merck Canada's vice-president of policy and government affairs, explains how the COVID-19 drug works and the results of Merck's research.

'I'm very happy that the border is opening,' says U.S. congressman

CBC News in Canada shows that Rep. Brian Higgins of New York has been fighting to reopen the Canada / USA land border for months. He joins Power & Politics to discuss its reopening to fully vaccinated Canadians.

Canada: Cannabis retailers stung by big bank rejection

CBC News in Canada shows that nearly 3 years after Canada legalized cannabis, many retailers in B.C. claim they still struggle to find access to basic financial services from banks. Industry experts say international pressure and decades of stigma plague the fledgling industry.

Unheard Concerns: Thousands blame COVID-19 vaccine for hearing problems

ABC15 Arizona on Youtube shows that more than 10,000 Americans have reported tinnitus as a possible side effect of the COVID-19 vaccine, and some are now questioning why the FDA and CDC are not taking a deeper look into their claims about hearing problems.

Will Canadians need a COVID-19 booster shot?

The Globe and Mail on Youtube shows how Dr. Jeff Kwong from ICES (Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences) discusses the results of a study into COVID-19 vaccines that show they are highly effective in preventing or minimizing an infection nearly eight months after being administered. Dr. Kwong says the need for a booster shot depends on the ongoing effectiveness of vaccines and how far provinces want to go in reducing the number of cases.

Canada: Quebec changes its vaccination deadline for health-care workers

CBC News in Canada shows the interesting health story.

CBC News examines Quebec Health Minister Christian Dubé's decision to push back the vaccination mandate for health-care workers.

Canada trailing behind other wealthy nations in cutting carbon emissions

CBC News in Canada shows that a study published by a Berlin think-tank says Canadians must cut their carbon footprints by 95 per cent to help the world limit global warming to the 1.5 C goal set by the 2015 Paris Agreement. Lewis Akenji, managing director of the Hot or Cool Institute and lead author of the study, says it can’t be up to Canadians alone and that the federal government must play a role.

Why it takes 30 years to buy a house in Canada

BBC News in Canada shows that housing affordability is a growing issue in Canada, and was a hot topic in the recent elections.

Average home prices are up 13% compared with this time last year - but incomes haven't kept up.

Canadian Real Estate Association finds price of homes up 14%

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that the Canadian Real Estate Association confirmed what so many frustrated house-hunters already know - prices just keep going up into unaffordable territory. The average sale price of a Canadian home is up 14 per cent in just one month. In some markets, like Toronto and Vancouver, people are just giving up in the face of million dollar price tags.

Friday 15 October 2021

Canada: Saskatchewan could soon send COVID-19 patients to Ontario

Canada is battling the virus.

Global News shows that Intensive care units in Saskatchewan have reached capacity, and there are plans to send critically ill COVID-19 patients to Ontario for treatment.

There are fears the worst is yet to come, since Saskatchewan only implemented an indoor face mask policy a few weeks ago.

Meanwhile in Alberta, a total of 24 health care workers from the Canadian Armed Forces, The Red Cross and Newfoundland and Labrador have joined that province’s pandemic fight.

Heather Yourex-West has the latest on the Prairie provinces’ fourth wave.

Travellers with mixed vaccine doses to be accepted in USA

CBC News certainly explains the United States' new stance on travellers with mixed vaccine doses. The country will now accept Canadians with mixed vaccines, including AstraZeneca, when the new rules begin on Nov. 8.

Canada-USA border news brings travel hope, but what are the risks?

Global News shows that the USA plans to open all its land and ferry borders to Canadians who have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, more than a year and a half after closing them.

As Sean O'Shea reports, for the first time in more than a year and a half, border communities are hopeful that the return of tourism will help their troubling economies. 

But just because you can travel, doesn’t mean you should. As David Akin explains, Canadians are being cautioned to follow COVID-19 safety protocols if they plan to travel south soon.

In addition, the government is still in talks with their American counterparts to figure out the protocol for Canadians with mixed doses of the vaccine.

USA to reopen land border to fully vaccinated Canadians in November

CityNews shows that it’s an update welcomed as "good news" on both sides of the border. Melissa Duggan on the planned reopening of the U.S. land border to fully vaccinated visitors from Canada next month.

USA to reopen land borders to non-essential, fully-vaxxed Canadians

Global News shows the top story: The USA reveals plans to reopen land and ferry borders to vaccinated travellers. Jackson Proskow explains why it took the White House two months longer to reciprocate Canada's welcome.

And Sean O'Shea reports on how border communities are hoping the reopening of the U.S.-Canada land border and how it will boost pandemic-devastated tourism.

Bitcoin Price at Oct 16, 2021: 61,650 USD

CNBC Television shows Carter Worth of Worth Charting on where bitcoin is headed now that it's crossed over $60,000. With CNBC's Melissa Lee and the Fast Money traders, Tim Seymour, Steve Grasso, Pete Najarian and Mike Khouw.

Bitcoin certainly crossed $60,000, and the Chartmaster lays out where it's headed next.

Bitcoin Price at Oct 16, 2021: 61,650 USD

Bitcoin certainly topped US$60,000 for the first time in 6 months on Friday, nearing its all-time high, as hopes grew that USA regulators would allow a futures-based exchange-traded fund (ETF), a move likely to open the path to wider investment in digital assets.

It seems that the first bitcoin futures ETF in the USA is set to begin trading next week. An exchange-traded fund is a type of investment fund and exchange-traded product, i.e. they are traded on stock exchanges.

It seems that MicroStrategy’s Bitcoin Bet Doubled to $6 Billion as Price Soared. MicroStrategy Inc. has benefited. The overall value of the company’s holding of the cryptocurrency has doubled. The enterprise software firm held approximately 114,042 Bitcoin as of Sept. 12, acquired at an aggregate purchase price of $3.16 billion and an average price of $27,713 per token, inclusive of fees and expenses. That investment is now valued at about $6.7 billion, with the price of the digital currency topping $60,000 Friday as it approached impressive record highs. 

Bitcoin technology is interesting. A transaction is a transfer of value between Bitcoin wallets. This gets included in the block chain. Bitcoin wallets keep a secret piece of data called a private key or seed. This is used to sign transactions, providing really a mathematical proof that they have come from the owner of the wallet.

Mining is the process of adding transaction records to Bitcoin's public ledger of past transactions. A "mining rig" is a colloquial metaphor for a single computer system that performs the necessary computations for mining. This proof of work is verified by other so-called Bitcoin nodes each time they receive a block.

You could use your computer's CPU to mine for bitcoins. In reality, this would be pretty slow and there is really no point. You can enhance your bitcoin hash rate by adding graphics hardware to your computer. Graphics cards really feature graphical processing units (GPUs).

Mind Blowing Road Technologies You Never Considered

Road technologies can be truly amazing. A so-called road is a wide way leading from one place to another, typically one with a usally prepared surface which vehicles can use.

Roads consist of 1 or 2 roadways (British English: carriageways), each with one or more lanes and any associated sidewalks (British English: pavement) and road verges. A bike path (British English: cycle path) - a road for use by bicycles - may or may not run in parallel with other certain roads.

Other names for a road include: parkway; avenue; freeway, motorway or expressway; tollway; interstate; highway; thoroughfare; or primary, secondary, and tertiary local road.

The World in 2050: Future Technology

"Insane Curiosity" on Youtube shows the possible World of 2050 with Future Technology.

See new things in the air, to new things for our bodies. The Future Technology is interesting. Use your imagination and see.

Amazing Must See Technology 7D hologram Shown in Dubai, Poland and Japan

"Tech World" on Youtube shows that a 7D hologram is a method for capturing a high-quality hologram using 7 parameters.

These are so-called 7 Dimensions.
The universe exists in 3D space with times often considered a fourth dimension. The reason that a 7D hologram has so many dimensions is that the hologram is captured from a large number of positions that surround the scene or subject of the hologram. 

Each position is described in 3D space. Each position captures a variety of viewing directions in 2D space. 

Two additional parameters are captured for each direction: image intensity and time. If you add these up you get 7 parameters, known as dimensions.

This new technology looks amazing. A 7D cinema includes a 3D movie supplemented by a simulated 4D environment (4-dimensional space) that being added altogether to provide a 7D. While a 3D movie is played, various special effects are added and the spectators feel it more realistic than ever before.

A hologram technology is a three-dimensional projection which can be seen without using any special equipment such as cameras or glasses. The high-quality image can be viewed from any angle, so as the user walks around the display the object will appear to move and shift realistically.

Holograms are really made by using a single laser beam. The beam is then split into two beams by a special lens. That way, you get two laser beams that are exactly the same. When the two laser beams intersect, they create what's called an interference pattern.

NFTs Are Fueling a Boom in Digital Art

"Wall Street Journal" on Youtube explains "non-fungible tokens" or NFTs. They have exploded onto the digital art scene this past year. Proponents say they are a way to make digital assets scarce, and therefore more valuable. WSJ explains how they work, and why skeptics question whether they’re built to last.

A so-called non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique and non-interchangeable unit of data stored on a digital ledger (blockchain). NFTs can be used to represent easily-reproducible items such as photos, videos, audio, and other types of digital files as unique items (analogous to a certificate of authenticity), and use blockchain technology to establish a verified and public proof of ownership. Copies of the original file are not restricted to the owner of the NFT, and can really be copied and shared like any file. The lack of interchangeability (fungibility) distinguishes NFTs from blockchain cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin.

The first NFT project was launched in 2015 on the Ethereum blockchain, and interest grew with the rise of interest in crypto currencies. According to, sales exceeded $2 billion in the first quarter of 2021, more than 20 times the volume of the previous quarter. NFTs have drawn criticism with respect to the energy cost and carbon footprint associated with validating blockchain transactions.

A blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are really linked together using cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp, and certain transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree).

Meteorite Crashes Through Ceiling, Lands Next To Woman’s Pillow

"TODAY" Channel on Youtube shows that a woman in western Canada was asleep in bed when a nearly 3-pound rock crashed through her ceiling and landed next to her pillow. Scientists have confirmed it was a meteorite. The woman was not hurt.

A physicist says that the meteorite found in B.C. could shed light on solar system's origin. Peter G. Brown, a professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Western Ontario, says the meteorite made its fiery way to Earth on Oct. 3, after spinning out of its orbit in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, nearly 180 million kilometres away.

Brown says the woman has loaned the rock to the university and, for the next month or so, it will become "a small piece of a larger puzzle" as scientists "disentangle how the early solar system formed."

It seems that the 4.5 billion-year-old meteorite is older than anything on Earth but is formed of minerals found here, like iron and nickel, although in much larger proportions, giving it unusual weight for a rock its size.

The exact chemistry is still being studied.

The rock will eventually be returned to the woman whose roof it punctured.

Read more about this amazing story here:

A so-called meteorite is a solid piece of debris from an object, such as a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid, that originates in outer space and survives its passage through the atmosphere to reach the surface of a planet or moon. When the original object enters the atmosphere, various factors such as friction, pressure, and chemical interactions with the atmospheric gases cause it to heat up and radiate energy. It then becomes a meteor and forms a fireball, also known as a shooting star or falling star; astronomers call the brightest examples so-called "bolides". Once it settles on the larger body's surface, the meteor really becomes a meteorite. Meteorites vary greatly in size. For geologists, a bolide is a meteorite large enough to create an impact crater.

Saturday 9 October 2021

China Builds World's Largest Dam - 10-Year Engineering Project

"Quantum Tech HD" Channel on Youtube shows that from Mesopotamia to our days, dam construction has evolved a lot. They started as barriers to stop or restrict the flow of surface water or underground streams. Now, hydropower is used in conjunction with dams to generate electricity, and they reach sixes never seen before. See the construction of Baihetan Dam, one of the largest dams in the world. Check out this review of the construction of Baihetan Dam and let us know what you think!

Enjoy this review of the  Baihetan Dam!

Mesopotamia (Ancient Greek: Μεσοποταμία Mesopotamíā; Arabic: بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن‎ Bilād ar-Rāfidayn; Classical Syriac: ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ‎, Ārām-Nahrīn or ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, Bēṯ Nahrīn) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris-Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent. It currently occupies the area of present-day Iraq, and parts of Iran, Kuwait, Syria, and Turkey. The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of human written history (c. 3100 BC).

The Baihetan Dam (simplified Chinese: 白鹤滩大坝; traditional Chinese: 白鶴灘大壩; pinyin: Báihètān Dàbà) is a large hydroelectric dam on the Jinsha River, an upper stretch of the Yangtze River in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, in the southwest of China. The dam is a 277 m tall double-curvature arch dam with a crest high elevation of 827 m, and a width of 72 m at the base and 13 m at the crest. It is really considered the last large hydropower project in China to be completed since a series of projects starting with the Three Gorges Dam, the third largest dam in China and the fourth in the world, in terms of dam volume.

India's Devastating Plan To Dominate China In The Skies

Republic World Channel on Youtube shows that India’s Air Force is in the midst of a much-needed modernisation, bidding to phase out a mix of fighter aircraft that have served very well in the past but which lack the technological sophistication and capabilities to keep up with the changed security climate in the region.

With India very much the counterweight to China globally, the Dragon’s ‘all-weather’ alliance with Pakistan has necessitated India being ready for what is referred to as a ‘two-front’ situation, meaning India needs to be ready to handle aggression on both its western border with Pakistan and the north-eastern border with China.

Tensions at the India-China border continue to grow

WION Channel on Youtube shows that the tensions at the India-China border are growing. The Chinese military is attempting fresh incursions. It is engaging in ceasefire violations. Military commanders from India and China will meet this month for the 13th time. So far, their dialogue has failed to produce any results. It looks like India now wants to pressurize china militarily for a solution.

200 PLA Troops Stopped At Arunachal Border In India-China Face-off

India Today on Youtube shows that the Indian and Chinese troops engaged in yet another face-off last week in which around 200 PLA soldiers were intercepted close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Arunachal Pradesh.

The face-off between the Indian and Chinese troops happened last week during a routine patrol close to the border with China. Sources have said the Indian troops intercepted around 200 Chinese soldiers close to the border.

Later, the troops of both sides disengaged after the local commanders resolved the issue.

China’s struggle to cut carbon emissions without curbing rapid economic growth

BBC News shows that as the latest global climate change summit approaches, China is facing a huge challenge in keeping its pledges to cut carbon emissions, while sustaining its extraordinary rate of economic development.

The country is undergoing a construction boom as it builds modern homes and infrastructure for its vast population. It means China is the world’s leading producer of steel, one of the most polluting industries. 

Huw Edwards presents BBC News at Ten reporting by Robin Brant, in the steel-producing city of Wuzhou in southern China.

Wednesday 6 October 2021

These Hospitalized COVID Patients Still Refuse to Get Vaccinated

VICE News shows that Arkansas has one of the lowest COVID vaccination rates in the country of United States, and the Delta variant is causing a surge of new cases in the state. We embedded at a hospital in Little Rock, where doctors say the threat of death isn’t enough to convince people to get vaccinated.

COVID-19: Should unvaccinated relatives be invited to Thanksgiving dinner?

Global News in Canada has the interesting news story.

As Canadians decide what fixings to put on the table this Thanksgiving, many also face a different, more difficult decision: whether to invite unvaccinated family members to feast alongside them.

Infectious disease specialist Dr. Isaac Bogoch answers your latest COVID-19 questions including the risks around the Thanksgiving table.  

Times in the video:

0:30  Can you get the flu and the COVID-19 shot at the same time?
1:27 Can natural immunity replace the COVID-19 vaccine?
2:27 Should unvaxxed family members be invited to Thanksgiving dinner?
3:50 Breaking down the Ontario throne speech short on healthcare

COVID-19 vaccine to be required for most travellers within Canada by end of month

NEWS 1130 shows that anyone travelling by air, rail, or sea in Canada must be fully vaccinated by the end of October. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the new measure Wednesday which will also require all federal employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

COVID-19 pandemic fuelling mental health crisis among Canada's young workers

Global News in Canada shows that as many Canadians struggle with their mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, experts say a mental wellness crisis is brewing among the country's young workers.

A poll conducted by Ipsos already shows about 28 per cent of Canadians admit their own mental health has deteriorated over the course of the crisis. 

As Anne Gaviola explains, demand for better counselling and resources in the workplace is also rising, but the benefits are failing to keep up.

Travellers landing in Calgary, Montreal who skipped hotel quarantine weren't fined

CBC News in Canada shows that while more than 5,000 air travellers who refused to quarantine in a hotel when they arrived in Canada were hit with big fines, CBC News has yet to confirm that any such fines were issued in Calgary or Montreal.

COVID-19: Moderna asks Health Canada to approve vaccine booster shot

Global News in Canada shows that Moderna Company has applied for Canadian approval of a 3rd dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, the company announced Tuesday.

It comes as other countries, including the USA and Israel, have approved or even required COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for large portions of their population - but experts remain divided on how much it will help.

Health Canada has to review the application and will choose whether to approve the booster shot and under what conditions, but there is no timeline for how long this could take. Carolyn Jarvis has more.

Canada: N.W.T. has highest rate of active COVID cases in Canada

CBC News in Canada shows that the Northwest Territories currently has the highest rate of active COVID-19 cases in the country - more than 1.5 times the rate of Alberta, which has the second highest. The territory reported 578 active cases on Tuesday.

In the country of Canada, The Northwest Territories (commonly abbreviated as NT or NWT; French: Territoires du Nord-Ouest) is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately 1,144,000 km2 (442,000 sq mi) and a 2016 census population of 41,790, it is the 2nd-largest and the most populous of the 3 territories in Northern Canada. Its estimated population as of 2021 is 45,504. Yellowknife is the capital, most populous community, and only city in the territory; its population was 19,569 as of the 2016 census. It became the territorial capital in 1967, following recommendations by the Carrothers Commission.

The Northwest Territories' 24 municipalities cover only 0.2% of the territory's land mass but are home to 95.8% of its population.

The city of Yellowknife is certainly the capital of the Northwest Territories and the territory's only city. It sits on the Canadian Shield, on the north shore of Great Slave Lake, and about 400 km south of the Arctic Circle.

The Northwest Territories, a portion of the old North-Western Territory, entered the Canadian Confederation on July 15, 1870. Since then, the territory has been divided 4 times to create new provinces and territories or enlarge existing ones. Its current borders date from April 1, 1999, when the territory's size was decreased again by the creation of a new territory of Nunavut to the east, through the Nunavut Act and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. While Nunavut is mostly Arctic tundra, the Northwest Territories has a slightly warmer climate and is both boreal forest (taiga) and tundra, and its most northern regions form part of the so-called Arctic Archipelago.

Crude quarrel: Canada invokes treaty to negotiate fate of Line 5 pipeline with USA

Global News in Canada shows that the Canadian government is invoking a 1977 treaty to halt the shutdown of Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline after Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vowed to turn off its taps over environmental concerns.

The pipeline transports oil from Western Canada all the way to Southwestern Ontario, but passes through Michigan along the Great Lakes shared by both countries.

Eric Sorensen looks at how the crude quarrel is pitting Canada against the United States, as well as economists against environmentalists.

Relations between the countries of Canada and the United States have historically been extensive, given the 2 countries' shared border, which is the longest in the world, and ever-increasing cultural and economic ties. The shared historical and cultural heritage has resulted in one of the most stable and mutually beneficial important international relationships in the world.

For both countries, the level of trade with the other is at the top of the annual combined import-export total. Tourism and migration between the 2 neighboring nations have increased rapport.

The USA is approximately 9.25 times larger in population.

In history, the so-called war of 1812 saw invasions across the border. In 1815, the war ended with the border unchanged and demilitarized, as were the Great Lakes.

Canada: New vaccine requirements for travellers and federal servants announced

CityNews Channel on Youtube shows that as Canada continues to endure a fourth wave of COVID-19, the federal government is implementing new vaccine requirements for travellers and federal servants. Nigel Newlove reports.

What is a "vaccine" is interesting. A vaccine is a biological preparation that provides active acquired immunity to a particular infectious disease. A vaccine typically contains an agent that resembles a disease-causing microorganism and is often made from weakened or certain killed forms of the microbe, its toxins, or one of its surface proteins. The agent stimulates the body's immune system to recognize the agent as a threat, destroy it, and to further recognize and destroy any of the microorganisms associated with that agent that it may encounter in the future. So-called Vaccines can be prophylactic (to prevent or ameliorate the effects of a future infection by a natural or "wild" pathogen), or therapeutic (to fight a certain disease that has already occurred, such as cancer). Some certain vaccines offer full sterilizing immunity, in which dangerous infection is prevented completely.

Tuesday 5 October 2021

NASA Warns and Confirms Fireballs hitting Earth

WC Daily on Youtube shows that NASA Warns and Confirms Fireballs hitting Earth. NASA has confirmed that at least five fireballs have flown over the US in the past week, following many reported sightings. NASA Confirmed Fireballs hitting Earth caught on camera meteor NASA caught on camera meteor shower. Asteroid hit earth asteroid hits moon fireball NASA impact on earth meteorite hits earth meteorite meteorite strike meteor strike meteorite impact asteroid impact meteorite impact on earth. Fireball north Carolina neveda fireball how to find meteorites science nasa news space space news science news asteroid news meteorite news meteor falls meteor fall asteroid impact on earth.

Inside SpaceX's Mission to Send Humans into Deep Space

ABC News In-depth takes a look at the exciting space story.

In the era of New Space, billionaire Elon Musk is blazing the trail. He’s building a gigantic starship to fly humans further than ever before. 

In the tiny Texan hamlet of Boca Chica, a huge rocket is being built and tested. It’s Elon Musk’s Starship, a 120-metre-high spacecraft whose mission is to transport humans to the moon and beyond, to Mars.

Musk and his company SpaceX are at the forefront of what’s being called ‘New Space’, the rush to commercialise the space sector.

Colonisation of the Red Planet is a possibility.

New company to take passengers to the edge of space in a balloon

CNBC Television shows how NBC's Tom Costello reports on a new company that will take passengers to the edge of space in a giant balloon.

'I'm Going To See The Vastness Of Space': William Shatner On Heading To Space

NBC News shows that Jeff Bezos is sending his second civilian crew into space, this time including "Star Trek" icon William Shatner, reprising his most famous role as a space explorer. He talks about his first "real" opportunity to head to space.

Russia beats USA in race to shoot first movie in space

The Telegraph on Youtube shows that a Russian crew of two cosmonauts, a movie director and an actress took off for the International Space Station (ISS) on Tuesday to shoot the first movie in space, the latest twist in decades of Russia-US space rivalry.

The four launched on a Soyuz MS-19 craft at 08:55 GMT on their way to the station, which orbits Earth at an altitude of around 220 miles (354 km).

The 12-day Russian mission follows the launch of the first all-civilian crew aboard a rocket and capsule developed by SpaceX, which was founded by businessman Elon Musk.

USA surpasses 700,000 COVID-19 deaths

Global News shows that more than 700,000 thousand people have died from COVID-19 in the USA since March 2020. This pandemic is now the deadliest in the country’s history, with a death toll even higher than the 1918 Spanish Flu.

It comes as the USA Supreme Court weighs in on vaccine mandates, and as California's Governor takes extraordinary steps to keep school children safe. 

As Jennifer Johnson reports, while new cases and hospitalizations are starting to decline, there are fears that another variant could follow Delta's deadly surge.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are really 4 certain types of flu viruses: influenza A, B, C, and D. The seasonal flu viruses that humans face every winter season in the United States are caused by so-called human influenza A.

Type A influenza is generally considered worse than type B influenza. This is because the symptoms are often really more severe in type A influenza than in type B influenza. Type A influenza is more common than type B influenza.

For 2020-2021, trivalent (3-component) egg-based vaccines are recommended to contain:

A/Guangdong-Maonan/SWL1536/2019 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus

A/Hong Kong/2671/2019 (H3N2)-like virus

B/Washington/02/2019 (B/Victoria lineage)-like virus

Majority of Canada’s COVID-19 patients are in western provinces

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that nearly 70 per cent of Canada's COVID-19 patients are found in just three provinces: B.C., Alberta and Saskatchewan. The pandemic there has hospitals scrambling, and people gasping for breath.

Canada is set to announce vaccination mandate for all federal public servants.

Alberta resumes COVID contact tracing in schools.

The Manitoba government is allowing more people to get a third dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The province is suggesting a third dose for all health-care workers who have direct contact with patients in areas including hospitals, care homes, pharmacies and addictions treatment centres.

Manitoba is also allowing anyone who has received only the viral-vector vaccines, such as Oxford-AstraZeneca, to get a third dose with an mRNA vaccine such as Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech.

Dr. Joss Reimer, medical lead of Manitoba's vaccination effort, outlined the changes in a memo to medical professionals and said the third dose should be given at least six months after the second.

Canadian hotel quarantine fines were handed out unevenly

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that Canada's hotel quarantine requirement ended in August, but we're just now getting a sense of how it was enforced. CBC News has learned that fines were unevenly handed out, depending on which city passengers landed in.

A "quarantine" is really a restriction on the movement of people, animals and goods which is intended to prevent the spread of disease or pests. It is often used in connection to disease and illness, preventing the movement of those who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, yet do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis.

"Medical isolation" is different. This is for those confirmed to be infected with a communicable disease are isolated from the healthy population.

Quarantine considerations are often an important aspect of border control.

Ethical and practical considerations certainly need to be considered when applying quarantine to people. Practice differs from country to country.

COVID-19: Health Canada looking into experimental drug to treat early symptoms

Global News in Canada shows the interesting news story.

As COVID-19 patients swamp intensive care units, Health Canada is reviewing the experimental pill molnupiravir, which claims to reduce the disease's worst outcomes early on.

According to drugmaker Merck, the twice a day antiviral pill reduced hospitalizations and deaths in COVID-19 patients by 50 per cent based on clinical trials. But the drug is not approved yet and still needs more review. 

Jamie Mauracher looks at what we know and don't know about the drug, and how it may help ease the health system's burden.

So-called "Molnupiravir" is an experimental antiviral drug which is orally active and was developed for the treatment of influenza. It is a prodrug of the synthetic nucleoside derivative N4-hydroxycytidine, and exerts its antiviral action through introduction of copying errors during viral RNA replication.

Merck & Co., Inc. is an American multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Kenilworth, New Jersey. It is named after the Merck family, which set up Merck Group in Germany in 1668.

The stock price: MRK (NYSE) US$81.60 at Oct. 5, 2021.

Canada: New Brunswick faces rise in COVID-19 deaths

CBC News: The National in Canada shows that the province of New Brunswick is fighting a rising tide of tragedy, as officials plead for people to get vaccinated and keep contacts down. Among the six COVID-19 deaths reported this weekend: a firefighter in his 30s.

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations certainly continue to increase in New Brunswick. This province is implementing "circuit breaker measures." These new restrictions will last a minimum of 14 days in risk regions. "Circuit breaker" includes limiting contacts to a single household. The important restrictions will take effect at 6 p.m. on Friday for a minimum of 14 days.

The government also announced Tuesday that all government employees in parts I (civil service), II (education system), III (health-care system) and IV (Crown corporations), staff in long-term care facilities and staff and volunteers in schools and licensed early learning and child-care facilities must certainly be fully vaccinated.

The province is also reporting one COVID-19 related death and 90 new infections on Tuesday. The province currently has 782 active cases of COVID-19. There are 50 people in the hospital, 23 of which are in the ICU.

The following information is for country of Canada (Oct. 5, 2021):
Total population % vaccinated: 77.0%
Total population % fully vaccinated: 71.4%

California oil spill kills wildlife, fouls beaches

CityNews on Youtube shows that a major oil spill is threatening wildlife off Southern California. Melissa Duggan on the quick race to clean up the moving slick.

An anchor hooking an oil pipeline may have caused the Southern California spill that spewed more than 100,000 gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean. This is according to the federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.

This disaster happened to the "Amplify Energy" operator. "The pipeline has essentially been pulled like a bow string. And so at its widest point is about 105 feet away from where it was. So it is kind of an almost a semicircle," Amplify Energy CEO Martyn Willsher said at a press conference Tuesday.

Earlier Tuesday, authorities said a 4,000-foot section of the pipeline was displaced laterally about 105 feet and had a 13-inch split that was likely the source of the spill.

The discovery explains the likely source of a spill, widely reported Saturday, of as much as 144,000 gallons of crude oil about 5 miles off the coast of Huntington Beach. The spill has shut down many beaches and damaged the environment.

The Unified Command said the National Response Center first received a report of an unknown sheen of unknown source on Friday evening.

A so-called "oil spill" is the release of a liquid petroleum hydrocarbon into the environment, especially the marine ecosystem, due to human activity, and is certainly a form of pollution. The term is usually given to marine oil spills, where oil is released into the ocean or coastal waters, but spills may also occur on land. Oil spills may be due to releases of crude oil from tankers, offshore platforms, drilling rigs and wells, as well as spills of refined petroleum products (such as gasoline, diesel) and their by-products, heavier fuels used by large ships such as bunker fuel, or really the spill of any oily refuse or waste oil.

Oil spills could get into the plumage of birds and the fur of mammals, reducing its insulating ability, and making them more vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and much less buoyant in the water.

Cleanup and recovery from an oil spill is difficult and depends upon many factors, including the certain type of oil spilled, the temperature of the water (affecting evaporation and biodegradation), and the types of shorelines and types of beaches involved.

Oil spills can have disastrous consequences for society. Oil spill accidents have initiated intense media attention and political uproar, bringing many together in a political struggle concerning government response to oil spills and what actions can best prevent them from again happening.

"Oil" is a very frequently used product. Many people search about an "oil change near me." Oil price depends on frequency of oil spills. Certain oil prices will change based on oil spills that happen.

These are the big oil companies in the world:

Royal Dutch Shell

Monday 4 October 2021

New survey reveals Canadian employers struggling to hire

CBC News in Canada shows that fifty-five % of small and medium-sized businesses in Canada are struggling to hire the workers they need, which is limiting growth and forcing businesses to delay or refuse new orders, according to a study released by the Business Development Bank of Canada.

Canada leads effort for $100-billion climate fund

Global News in Canada shows that with certain weeks to go until the United Nations climate summit in Scotland, Canada faces a huge task. David Akin reports on the role the country plays in finding the funds to help developing nations fight climate change, and the COP26 deadline.

COVID-19: Why negativity towards unvaccinated Canadians may be growing

Global News in Canada shows that it’s been 18 months since the COVID-19 pandemic began and six months since vaccines became available to the general public, yet only around 79 per cent of Canadians aged 12 and older are fully vaccinated. According to a Leger, many people feel Canadians who are not immunized are irresponsible and selfish. Global's Sharmeen Somani tells us why negativity towards unvaccinated Canadians is growing as we get closer to hitting the two year mark of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadian Armed Forces, Red Cross to help Alberta deal with COVID-19 surge

Global News in Canada shows that on Friday, Canadian ministers, followed by the country's top doctors, delivered an update on the country's COVID-19 situation and vaccine rollout, as Saskatchewan and Alberta face a surge in cases and strained health-care systems.

Data for Pfizer’s COVID-19 shot for kids expected in Canada soon

CityNews in Canada shows that Health Canada could get clinical trial data for Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children as soon as next week. But as Caryn Ceolin reports, kids are not expected to get the shots for some time.

Toronto restaurants hiring security to deal with vaccine passports

CityNews shows that this weekend marks the first that vaccine passports are mandatory in Ontario for indoor dining and other services. Maleeha Sheikh speaks with restaurant owners on the backlash received when trying to enforce the new rules.

COVID-19: Canadian businesses face abuse over vaccine passports

Global News in Canada shows that "vaccine passports" are a reality in most provinces across Canada, and are now required in British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec. 

But with those mandates now in place, they also continue to encounter anger by some Canadians, and businesses are already bearing the brunt of threats and harassment from people resisting requirements. In one case in Toronto, police arrested two people after anti-vaccine passport protestors tried to storm the city's biggest shopping centre.

As Jamie Mauracher reports, some establishments say such aggressive behaviour is also pushing other patrons away.

Canadian military prepares to deploy amid Alberta's COVID-19 crisis

Global News in Canada shows that reinforcements are being sent to Alberta, as the Canadian military prepares to deploy in the province to help with its dire COVID-19 crisis. But as Heather Yourex-West reports, front-line doctors say the incoming federal help may not be enough to contain the surge.

COVID-19: Study suggests Pfizer vaccine effectiveness drops after 6 months

Global News has the story about the vaccine.

How long does COVID-19 vaccine protection last? It's a question scientists have been asking since the vaccines were first approved for use.

Now, a study suggests the protection from the Pfizer vaccine in preventing infection may run out sooner than expected. After six months, 46 people tested showed greatly reduced antibodies.

As Aaron McArthur reports, if those findings are verified in a larger study group, it could prompt a major rethink about COVID-19 booster shots.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp come back online

Global News: Global National in Canada explains that Facebook went offline as it faced heat for ethics.

Global News shows that Facebook, Inc.'s family of popular platforms, Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, all went offline for hours on Monday, causing disruptions around the world. As Mike Armstrong reports, the outage came after a whistleblower raised red flags about the company putting profits over safety.

(On October 4, 2021) Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp certainly slowly come back online.

Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp are coming back online Monday night after experiencing global outages throughout the time of the day.

It seems that the website service resumed for some users at around 6 p.m. EDT. The unexpected outages left many people around the world unable to communicate on the platforms for more than six hours.

According to the website DownDetector, users began reporting outage issues at around 11:20 a.m. EDT.

"Downdetector" is really an online platform that provides users with real-time information about the status (for example: offline or online) of various websites and services.

Facebook Company explained the reasons in an update late Monday night stating that configuration changes on the backbone routers that co-ordinate network traffic between the company's data centres was the cause of the outage. The changes disrupted communication between the data centres, which unfortunately halted online services.

Facebook also said, "We also have no evidence that user data was compromised as a result of this downtime."

Facebook shares fell 4.9 % Monday, down to US$326.23.

Facebook log in or facebook login was certainly impossible for some time. People were relieved when they could finally login facebook. The facebook market place would benefit from less interruptions. Facebook marketplace has interesting things to buy and sell. Facebook sign in is always good when it works. Facebook messenger is interesting for live chat.

FB stock (Facebook, Inc. Common Stock) certainly benefits from the site always being online. Keep an eye on facebook stock for future growths. Mark Zuckerberg (facebook owner) is hard at work. Take a look at various facebook apps. Facebook search is a nice feature. Facebook mobile is interesting. Facebook stock price seems to go up over the long term.

You could research how to delete facebook account or deactivate facebook. You could download facebook videos. You could also try: facebook business manager, facebook dating, facebook ads manager, fb marketplace, facebook portal, facebook light and facebook business.

Here are some companies that are owned by Facebook:

Instagram ($1 billion)
WhatsApp ($19 billion)
Oculus VR ($2 billion)
com (undisclosed sum)
LiveRail ($500 million)
Threadsy (undisclosed sum)