Wednesday 30 August 2023

Chandrayaan-3 Rover Confirms Sulphur On Moon's Surface

Chandrayaan-3 Rover Confirms Sulphur On Moon's Surface

See Vantage with Palki Sharma.

See Firstpost Channel on Youtube.

Chandrayaan-3's Pragyan rover has confirmed the presence of sulphur on the lunar south, in a first. It has also detected a number of other elements on the moon's surface. What does the presence of sulphur mean? What does Pragyan plan on finding next? Palki Sharma tells you. 

Chandrayaan-3 is an interesting science vehicle with ISRO.

Pragyan is sure a lunar rover that forms part of Chandrayaan-3, a lunar mission developed by the Indian Space Research Organisation. A previous iteration of the rover was launched as part of Chandrayaan-2 on 22 July 2019 and was destroyed with its lander, Vikram, when it crashed on the Moon on 6 September.

Pragyaan Rover is from India. The Moon Mission is exciting to find different elements like Sulphur and Oxygen.

Sulfur (S) is also spelled sulphur. This is a nonmetallic chemical element belonging to the oxygen group (Group 16 [VIa] of the periodic table), one of the most reactive of the elements. Pure sulfur is a tasteless, odourless, brittle solid that is pale yellow in colour, a poor conductor of electricity, and insoluble in water.

Group 16 or VIA of the extended form of periodic table consists of six elements oxygen (O), sulphur (S). selenium (Se), tellurium (Te), polonium (Po) and ununhexium (Uuh)". This family is known as oxygen family. These (except polonium and ununhexium) are the ore forming elements and thus called chalcogens.

Friday 25 August 2023

Japan releases radioactive water into Pacific Ocean amid protests

DW News on Youtube has the story.

Japan has started releasing treated radioactive water from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean. 

The plant was damaged in an earthquake and tsunami in 2011. More than 1.3 million litres of water used to cool the nuclear rods will be released over the next 30 years. The International Atomic Energy Agency says the diluted water will have minimal impact on the environment and human health. 

Protests have been held in Japan and other countries. China condemned Japan as irresponsible and has banned some food imports.

Thursday 24 August 2023

India moon landing: Chandrayaan-3 successfully lands on lunar surface

India moon landing: Chandrayaan-3 successfully lands on lunar surface

Global News on Youtube has the story.

The moon received a new visitor from planet Earth on Wednesday as India staked a bold new claim in the global space race.

India’s spacecraft Chandrayaan-3 safely landed on the surface of the moon on Wednesday, closer to the moon’s unexplored south pole.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi watched the landing from South Africa, where he is attending the BRICS summit. He congratulated the whole nation and mentioned that India’s successful moon mission is not just India’s alone, this success belongs to all humanity. He added, “ We can all aspire for the moon, and beyond.”

This was India's second attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon and comes less than a week after Russia's Luna-25 mission failed to accomplish the same goal. 

Chandrayaan-3 is certainly the third Indian lunar exploration mission under the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan programme. It consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, similar to those of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The propulsion module carried the lander and rover configuration to lunar orbit in preparation for a powered descent by the lander.

Chandrayaan-3 was launched on 14 July 2023. The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on 5 August, and the lander touched down in the lunar south pole region on 23 August 2023 at 18:02 IST, making India the fourth country to successfully land on the Moon, and the first to do so near the lunar south pole.

The Moon is certainly Earth's only natural satellite. Its diameter is about one-quarter of Earth's (comparable to the width of Australia), making it the fifth largest satellite in the Solar System and the largest and most massive relative to its parent planet. It is larger than all known dwarf planets in the Solar System. The Moon is a planetary-mass object with a differentiated rocky body, making it a satellite planet under the geophysical definitions of the term. It lacks any significant atmosphere, hydrosphere, or magnetic field. Its surface gravity is about one-sixth of Earth's at 0.1654 g—Jupiter's moon Io is the only satellite in the Solar System known to have a higher surface gravity and density.

The Moon really orbits Earth at an average distance of 384,400 km (238,900 mi), or about 30 times Earth's diameter. Its gravitational influence is the main driver of Earth's tides and very slowly lengthens Earth's day. The Moon's orbit around Earth has a sidereal period of 27.3 days. During each synodic period of 29.5 days, the amount of the Moon's Earth-facing surface that is illuminated by the Sun varies from none up to nearly 100%, resulting in lunar phases that form the basis for the months of a lunar calendar. The Moon is tidally locked to Earth, which means that the length of a full rotation of the Moon on its own axis causes its same side (the near side) to always face Earth, and the somewhat longer lunar day is the same as the synodic period. Due to cyclical shifts in perspective (libration), 59% of the lunar surface is visible from Earth.

Lunar Orbitor Chandrayaan 3 - How it Works

Lunar Orbitor Chandrayaan 3 How it Works #3d

AiTelly on Youtube has the story.

Presenting the Billion Dollar Question: Why did, it require 40 days, for the Chandra yaan-3 Lunar Exploration mission to reach the Southern pole of the Moon?

In contrast, China's Chang'e 2, launched in 2010, only took four days to cover the distance between Earth and the Moon.

The Soviet Union's Luna-1, the pioneering unmanned mission that came close to the Moon, accomplished the journey in a mere 36 hours.

Even Apollo 11's command module, Columbia, which carried three astronauts, reached the Moon in just slightly over four days.

Well, the I S R O program, has a budget of just $75 million , which is the main reason they have to use the ingenious method to lower cost by implementing the gravitational pull of the moon and the earth, to get to it's destination because of it's Less powerful rockets.

The Chinese Chang e 2 cost around $219 Million, adjusted to inflation, it's over $316 million

The Soviet Union Luna 1 in the 1960s cost around $200 million, when adjusted to inflation.
The estimated cost of the Soviet Union, Luna program in 1964 was , 6 to $10 billion.

And the most Ambitious program, Apollo 11! cost a staggering $25 Billion, during the 1960s and when adjusted to present-day, inflation it’s around $200 Billion.

Chandrayaan-3 is certainly the third Indian lunar exploration mission under the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan programme. It consists of a lander named Vikram and a rover named Pragyan, similar to those of the Chandrayaan-2 mission. The propulsion module carried the lander and rover configuration to lunar orbit in preparation for a powered descent by the lander.

Chandrayaan-3 was launched on 14 July 2023. The spacecraft entered lunar orbit on 5 August, and the lander touched down in the lunar south pole region on 23 August 2023 at 18:02 IST, making India the fourth country to successfully land on the Moon, and the first to do so near the lunar south pole.

Saturday 19 August 2023

Canada: Heat is a lot worse in cities. Here's how to fix them

CBC News: The National has the story about Heat and Climate Change.

With more extreme heat waves expected in the future, some communities are finding ways to become more heat resistant.

Canada wildfires: Latest forecast shows higher-than-normal fire activity will continue into fall

Global News has the story.

Canada is likely to see higher-than-normal fire activity across much of the country well into the fall, according to officials who say B.C., Ontario and parts of the north could see that potential last until the end of September.

Officials with Natural Resources (NRC) and Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) painted the grim forecast on Friday, while saying that Canadians should continue to prepare for longer and tougher fire seasons in the years to come.

Kyle Benning looks at the firefighting efforts across the country and the situation heading into the fall.

Canada: Montreal's new LRT fails test of inaugural morning rush

CBC News: The National has the story.

A switch problem forced Montreal’s new light rail transit system to shut down during the morning rush hour on its first official day of operation.

So-called "LRT" is a transportation system based on electrically powered light rail vehicles (LRV) that operates on a track in a dedicated right-of-way (meaning separated lanes). They are designed to deliver rapid, reliable, and indeed safe transportation services. 

Depending on the project, in the event of a schedule delay, some LRTs have the ability to change the traffic lights to green as they approach, so they can move even quicker along the route.

Food packaging is Canada's next plastic waste target

Global News has the story.

As plastic bags and ring carriers are slowly phased out in grocery and liquor stores across Canada, the federal government has put the call out to grocery owners, governments and everyday Canadians to weigh in on how it will implement changes to plastic food packaging. 

Ottawa put out a request for input on a what's called a pollution prevention planning notice for plastic packaging that comes into direct contact with food.

Sean Previl reports on what the government is asking for, and how it could impact Canadians' pocketbooks at the grocery store.

Refugees forced to sleep outside after arriving in Canada

CBC News: The National has the story.

Refugees and asylum seekers say they are being forced to sleep outside because of a lack of housing and adequate shelter space in Toronto. According to city officials, up to 45 per cent of newcomers who call the shelter intake system get turned away.

What's driving political polarization in Canada?

CBC News on Youtube has the story.

Investigative journalist Justin Ling joins Power and Politics to discuss a new report that tracks the growing political polarization in Canada, how it's impacting young Canadians and what it means for the nation's politics.

Canada: Staff shortages, surgery backlogs plague health-care system, report says

CBC News: The National on Youtube has the story.

A new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information highlights a continued post-pandemic crisis in the health-care system. Staff shortages, lack of primary care, surgery backlogs and lack of data sharing continue to hinder the health system.

Friday 18 August 2023

Surge of new COVID-19 cases in Canada due to EG.5 sub-variant

Global News on Youtube has the story.

A rapidly rising Omicron subvariant called EG.5 has been circulating in Canada and other countries, raising concerns of a new wave of COVID-19 infections. 

Experts say EG.5 presents similarities to other COVID-19 variants and sub-variants and is able to sneak past immune defences. Symptoms include fever, cough, fatigue, muscle aches and headaches. 

The latest advice from public health officials remains to get vaccinated, and take other precautions such as masking, regular hand washing etc.

Canada seizes Russian cargo plane, plans to give it to Ukraine

Global News on Youtube has the story.

Canada has ordered the seizure of a Russian cargo plane that has been grounded at Toronto Pearson International Airport since the start of the Ukraine war.

It is the first physical asset of Russia that will be captured by Ottawa under the asset forfeit law and the second under Canada’s overall sanctions regime.

The plane had arrived from China, flying through Russia and Alaska to deliver a shipment of COVID-19 rapid antigen tests but was unable to depart after Canada – like many other countries – closed its airspace to Russian aircraft in response to the Ukraine war.

Sean O’Shea has more on the seizure and the government’s plan to give the plane to Ukraine.

In Canada: "India rice ban" - Here's what the restrictions on all non-basmati rice exports means for Canada

CTV News has the story on Youtube.

A sweeping ban from India on rice exports prompted panic buying across Canada. While shortages have been noted at some grocery stores, experts say stockpiling is unnecessary.

Big Canadian cities facing affordability, health-care and housing issues

CBC News on Youtube has the story.

Canada's big city mayors are in Toronto, where they will meet to discuss the most pressing municipal issues such as housing, affordability and health care. They say they need more support from the federal and provincial governments.

Canada's debt load now highest of G7 countries

CBC News on Youtube has the story.

Canadian households are really more in debt than those in any other G7 country, and the amount they owe is now more than the value of the country's entire valuable economy. Seventy-five per cent of the amount Canadians borrow went to mortgages or secondary properties.

Toxic 'forever chemicals' are turning up in Canadians' blood samples

It seems that so-called toxic 'forever chemicals' are turning up in Canadians' blood samples.

CBC News on Youtube has the story.

Health Canada and Environment Canada released a report on the science on PFAS, chemicals found in various consumer products — cosmetics, diapers, menstrual products, food packaging, carpets, furniture and clothing. Both departments propose listing the human-made chemicals as toxic under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA).

Immigration drives Canada's population to 40M

Immigration drives Canada's population to 40M

CBC News: The National on Youtube has the story.

Canada's population has hit 40 million people. The historic pace of the increase is being driven by immigration and the need for workers, but it's also causing the already dire housing crisis to get even worse.

Canada Protest: Deportation Threat To Over 700 Indian Students

Canada Protest - Deportation Threat To Over 700 Indian Students

India Today on Youtube has the story.

Kuldip Singh Dhaliwal in a letter written to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, demanded that Students should not be deported and given work permits considering their visas.

Tuesday 15 August 2023

Over 1000 people still unaccounted for in Hawaii

DW News has the story.

The governor of the USA state of Hawaii says over a thousand people are still unaccounted for. The wildfires on Maui have claimed 99 lives, officially. But search teams still have a huge area to cover. Many describe the scene as a war zone.

Firefighters say they have about 85 percent of the wildfires that begin almost one week ago now under control. Hawaiii's governor says crews expect to find between 10 and 20 more bodies per day, over the next ten days.

Hawaii fire victims demand to know why warning system failed

DW News has the story.

In Hawaii, anger is growing over authorities' response to the deadliest fire in the US in more than a century. So far the confirmed death toll stands at 93, but more victims are expected to be found as emergency crews search burnt-out buildings. Many residents on the island of Maui say they received no warning despite the siren system in place.

At least 96 killed, hundreds missing in Hawaii wildfires

MSNBC shows the story.

Local officials now say 96 people have died in the wildfires ripping through the town of Lahaina. NBC News' Dana Griffin reports.

2023 is Canada's worst wildfire year ever. Is this the new normal?

Is this the new normal? 2023 is Canada's worst wildfire year ever.

CTV News on Youtube has the story.

Marieke deRoos with the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre discusses the state of wildfires in Canada.

It seems that beginning in March 2023, and with increased intensity starting in June, Canada has been affected by an ongoing, record-setting series of wildfires. As the worst wildfire season in recorded Canadian and North American history surpassing the record held by the 2020 California wildfires, all thirteen provinces and territories have been affected, with large fires in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. On June 25, the Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre declared the 2023 wildfire season was the worst in Canada's recorded history, surpassing the 1989, 1995, and 2014 fire seasons.

As of August 11, 5,650 fires had burned 13,475,670 hectares (33,299,106 acres), about four percent of the entire forest area of Canada and more than six times the long-term average of 2.14 million ha (5.3 million acres) for that time of the year. Of the 1,121 active wildfires, 729 were really deemed "out of control". International aid has certainly helped reduce the impact of the fires.

Smoke emitted from the wildfires has caused air quality alerts and evacuations in Canada and the United States. By late June it had crossed the Atlantic reaching Europe.

A lot of the forest fires are started by humans.

What's driving up car prices to record levels in Canada?

Global News has the story.

Buying a car is tougher than ever, as both new and used car prices are higher than ever. 

The average price of a new vehicle in Canada is now roughly $62,000, while a used one costs about $39,000 according to Auto-Trader. 

Touria Izri explains what's fuelling high prices and low supply, how long some drivers have to wait to get a new automobile and what's created the pothole the auto industry is struggling to steer out of.

Bear claimed to be "human in disguise" waves at zoo-goers

The Telegraph on Youtube has the story.

A bear that became a social media celebrity after visitors claimed it looked like a “human in disguise” has been filmed appearing to wave at zoo-goers. 

Some 20,000 visitors are heading to Hangzhou Zoo in eastern China every day - an increase of almost a third - since the sun bear, known as Angela, went viral.

Footage has now emerged of the bear standing on its hind legs waving its right paw to the people gathered around its enclosure.

The so-called sun bear (Helarctos malayanus) is a species in the family Ursidae (the only species in the genus Helarctos) occurring in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. It is the smallest bear, standing nearly 70 cm (28 in) at the shoulder and weighing 25–65 kg (55–143 lb). It is stockily built, with large paws, strongly curved claws, small, rounded ears and a short snout. The fur is generally jet black, but can vary from grey to red. The sun bear really gets its name from its characteristic colorful orange to cream-coloured chest patch. Its unique morphology—inward-turned front feet, flattened chest, powerful forelimbs with large claws—suggests adaptations for climbing.

The most arboreal (tree-living) of all bears, the sun bear is an excellent climber and sunbathes or sleeps in trees 2 to 7 m (7 to 23 ft) above the ground. It is mainly active during the day, though nocturnality might be more common in areas frequented by humans. Sun bears tend to remain solitary, but sometimes occur in twos (such as a mother and her cub). They do not seem to hibernate, possibly because food resources are available the whole year throughout the range. Being omnivores, sun bears' diet includes ants, bees, beetles, honey, termites, and plant material such as seeds and several kinds of fruits; vertebrates such as certain birds and deer are also eaten occasionally. They breed throughout the year; individuals become sexually mature at two to four years of age. Litters comprise one or two cubs that remain with their mother for around three years.

The range of the sun bear is bounded by northeastern India to the north then south to southeast through Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam in mainland Asia to Brunei, Indonesia, and Malaysia to the south. These bears are threatened by heavy deforestation and illegal hunting for food and the wildlife trade; they are also harmed in conflicts with various humans when they enter farmlands, plantations, and orchards. The global population is estimated to have declined by 35% since the 1990s. The IUCN has listed this species as vulnerable.

Canadian cities relax public drinking laws in parks

CBC News: The National has the story.

Toronto has launched a pilot project to allow public drinking in 27 parks, following similar moves by Edmonton and Vancouver, but it has sparked concerns for safety and a lack of public sober spaces.

August 2023: Canada’s unemployment rate rises to 5.5%

Global News has the stories.

In tonight's top story: Data from Statistics Canada shows that Canada's unemployment rate rose in July for the third consecutive month, ticking up slightly to 5.5 per cent — a 0.1 increase over the previous month. As Mike Drolet explains, it's another sign of Canada's already-troubled economy is struggling to keep up with a booming population. 

A Russian court has added 19 more years to the jail term that Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny is already serving, convicting the opposition activist of extremism on Friday. As Mike Armstrong reports, Navalny is calling on Russians not to lose the will to resist the government.

Three months after fighting erupted between Sudan's armed forces and a paramilitary group, both sides are being accused of committing atrocities that could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. Redmond Shannon reports. 

Plus, it's been nearly three weeks since Ottawa's light-rail transit system was shut down, after a recent inspection found an increased risk of derailment. As Mackenzie Gray reports, it's just the latest in a flood of issues that have infuriated Ottawa commuters since the line first opened in 2019.

And finally, a herd of goats in Canada has come back year over year since 2018 to help clear land for firefighters in Lethbridge, Alta. But experts warn that using modern day mammals as mowers may only help in specific situations. Jamie Mauracher explains.

Canada lost about 6,000 jobs in July, a sign of a slowing economy

CBC News: The National on Youtube has the story.

See cbc news about unemployment and Canada's economy.

The latest StatsCan jobs numbers show Canada had about fewer jobs last month, a sign the economy is slowing down, according to at least one economist.

Friday 11 August 2023

53 people confirmed dead in Hawaii as death toll expected to rise

NBC News on Youtube has the story.

hawaii maui Lahaina

Officials have confirmed that 53 people are dead with more expected in Maui as the wildfire continues to burn across the island. NBC's Steve Patterson shares more from Kahului.

Tuesday 8 August 2023

2nd Nuclear Fusion breakthrough could "pave way for future of clean power"

CBS News on Youtube has the story.

In December 2022, California scientists achieved a major breakthrough - a nuclear fusion reaction that produced more energy than was used to create it. Scientists have done it again and this time their results produced even more energy. Professor Peter Hosemann, chair of nuclear and mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, joins CBS News to discuss the implications of this accomplishment.

So-called "Nuclear Fusion" is certainly a reaction in which two or more atomic nuclei, usually deuterium and tritium (hydrogen variants), are combined to form one or more different atomic nuclei and subatomic particles (neutrons or protons). The difference in mass between the reactants and products is manifested as either the release or absorption of energy. This difference in mass arises due to the difference in nuclear binding energy between the atomic nuclei before and after the reaction. Nuclear fusion is the process that powers active or main-sequence stars and other high-magnitude stars, where large amounts of energy are released.

A nuclear fusion process that produces atomic nuclei lighter than iron-56 or nickel-62 will generally release energy. These elements have a relatively small mass and a relatively large binding energy per nucleon. Fusion of nuclei lighter than these releases energy (an exothermic process), while the fusion of heavier nuclei results in energy retained by the product nucleons, and the resulting reaction is endothermic. The opposite is true for the reverse process, called nuclear fission. Nuclear fusion uses lighter elements, such as hydrogen and helium, which are in general more fusible; while the heavier elements, such as uranium, thorium and plutonium, are more fissionable. The extreme astrophysical event of a supernova can produce enough energy to fuse nuclei into elements heavier than iron.

1st time ever:

In December 2022, researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California reached a historic milestone: they really got more energy out of a fusion reaction than they put in.

2nd time ever:

A breakthrough fusion experiment has produced a net gain in energy for only the second time ever and with improved performance over the first successful attempt.

Monday 7 August 2023

Canada: BC wildfires: Firefighters "counterintuitively" starting fires to bring situation under control

Global News on Youtube has the story.

The fire danger remains high, if not extreme, across B.C. as the province continues to deal with an unprecedented fire season.

In the past 24 hours more than 30 new fires have sparked.

With the situation critical in the province, firefighters are using all the tools at their disposal, including starting new fires to bring the situation under control.

The practice may seem “counterintuitive,” but helps rid the forest of the fuel to spark new fires. Elissa Carpenter explains.

Pakistan express train derails - Dozens Killed

BBC News on Youtube has the story.


At least 30 people have been killed and 100 injured when an express train derailed in southern Pakistan. 

Several carriages of the Hazara Express overturned near Sahara railway station in Nawabshah.  The train was travelling from Karachi to Rawalpindi.

Rescue teams freed survivors from the twisted wreckage and the injured were taken to nearby hospitals.

Railway Minister Saad Rafiq said initial investigations showed the train was travelling at normal speed and they were trying to establish what led to the derailment.

Reeta Chakrabarti presents BBC News at Ten reporting by Caroline Davies in Pakistan.

Tuesday 1 August 2023

‘Poison in every puff’: Canada to require health warnings on individual cigarettes

Read more about it here:


‘Poison in every puff’: Canada to require health warnings on individual cigarettes

The first-of-its-kind measure is part of a sweeping new set of tobacco regulations to tighten controls over the industry

Individual cigarettes in Canada will now carry warnings such as “poison in every puff” and “cigarettes cause impotence” in what the government says is an effort to make it “virtually impossible to avoid health warnings altogether”.

The measure, the first of its kind in the world, is part of a sweeping set of new tobacco regulations coming into effect on Tuesday that will see tight controls phased in over the next two years.

“Tobacco use continues to kill 48,000 Canadians each year. We are taking action by being the first country in the world to label individual cigarettes with health warning messages,” said Carolyn Bennett, who was minister of mental health and addictions when the rules were first announced. (Bennett was shuffled out of cabinet last week after announcing her departure from federal politics.)

Canada's economy is slowing down, new StatsCan data shows

Canada's economy is slowing down, new StatsCan data shows.

CBC News on Youtube has the story.

The latest GDP numbers released Friday by Statistics Canada indicate that Canada's economy is slowing down. The economy expanded by 0.3 per cent in May, but advanced data for June suggests that month is on track for a 0.2 per cent contraction.

Violent crime in Canada spikes to highest level since 2007

Violent crime in Canada spikes to highest level since 2007.

CBC News on Youtube has the story.

In a report released Thursday, Statistics Canada researchers found that violent crime rose by five per cent in 2022, reaching its highest point since 2007.

Invasive “vampire fish” on killing spree in Great Lakes

Invasive "vampire fish" on killing spree in Great Lakes

Global News on Youtube has the story.

The sea lamprey is an invasive species living in Canada's Great Lakes that had been kept under control for decades — until now. 

The lampreys have experienced a surge in numbers, and it could have a devastating ecological and economic impact on the country’s biggest lakes.  

Global's Erica Vella explains how the pandemic fuelled a population spike among the “vampire fish” and what's being done to stop them.

Canada eliminated from the 2023 Women's World Cup

Canada eliminated from the 2023 Women's World Cup.

CBC News: The National on Youtube has the story.

Australia has eliminated Canada from the 2023 FIFA Women's World Cup. The crushing 4-0 loss comes as the team battles Soccer Canada for more support.

Hundreds flee B.C. town as 2 wildfires merge over the Canada-USA border

Hundreds flee B.C. town as 2 wildfires merge over the Canada-USA border.

CBC News: The National on Youtube has the story.

An out-of-control, fast-moving wildfire has crossed from Washington state into British Columbia, fusing with an existing fire and threatening the town of Osoyoos. Hundreds have already been ordered out, and thousands more could follow.

Wave of labour disputes hits Canada

CTV News is following the latest developments in several labour disputes across the country of Canada.

Woman knocked over by out-of-control suitcase left on escalator

Woman knocked over by out-of-control suitcase left on escalator.

South China Morning Post on YouTube has the story.

A woman was knocked over by an unattended suitcase which fell down an escalator at a metro station in eastern China’s Zhejiang province.

A so-called "escalator" is a moving staircase which carries people between floors of a building or structure. It consists of a motor-driven chain of individually linked steps on a track which cycle on a pair of tracks which keep the step tread horizontal.

Escalators are often used around the world in places where lifts would be impractical, or they can be used in conjunction with them. Principal areas of usage include department stores, shopping malls, airports, transit systems (railway/railroad stations), convention centers, hotels, arenas, stadiums and public buildings.

Escalators have the capacity to really move large numbers of people. They have no waiting interval (except during very heavy traffic). They can be used to guide people toward main exits or special exhibits and may be weatherproofed for outdoor use. A non-functional escalator can function as a normal staircase, whereas many other methods of transport become useless when they break down or lose power.

‘Curious’ worker ignites foam, causes huge warehouse fire in China

‘Curious’ worker ignites foam, causes huge warehouse fire in China

South China Morning Post on Youtube has the story.

A warehouse storing EPE foam burst into flames after a worker ignited highly flammable foam rolls with a lighter in southern China’s Guangdong province.

Expanded polyethylene is an interesting product.

(Polyethylene foam) Expanded polyethylene (aka EPE foam) refers to foams made from polyethylene. Typically it is made from expanded pellets ('EPE bead') made with use of a blowing agent, followed by expansion into a mold in a steam chest - the process is similar to that used to make expanded polystyrene foam.

EPE foams are low density, semi-rigid, closed cell foam that are generally somewhere in stiffness/compliance between Expanded polystyrene and Polyurethane. Production of EPE foams is similar to that of expanded polystyrene, but starting with PE beads. Typical densities are 29 to 120 kg/m3 (49 to 202 lb/cu yd) with the lower figure being common. Densities as low as 14 kg/m3 (24 lb/cu yd) can be produced.

Base polymer for EPE foams range from Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) to High-density polyethylene (HDPE).

Expanded polyethylene copolymers (EPC) are also known - such as 50:50 (weight) materials with polystyrene. Though other properties are intermediate between the two bases, toughness for the copolymer exceeds either, with good tensile and puncture resistance. It is particularly applicable for re-usable products.

EPE foams were first manufactured in the 1970s.

Production of the PE beads is usually by extrusion, followed by chopping, producing a 'pellet'. Autoclave expansion is the most common route the bead foam. Butane or pentane is often used as a blowing agent (before 1992 CFCs may have been used). Depending on the specific process uses the beads may be cross-linked either by electron beam irradiation (see Electron beam processing), or by the addition of a chemical agent such as Dicumyl peroxide.

How easily does butane ignite? The Effects of Butane Exposure are interesting. Butane is highly flammable and can ignite easily through static electricity, open flames, or other ignition sources. As a combustible gas, butane concentrations anywhere between 1.6% and 8.4% can provide an explosive mixture with air.

An alternate route (JSP Process) to the beads uses carbon dioxide as a blowing agent which is impregnated into the pellets in an autoclave at a temperature close to the plastic's crystalline melting point. The pellets are foamed by "flashing" into the (lower pressure) atmosphere to expand.

Finally molding is done by steam chest compression molding; usually the low pressure variant of the process is used, though the high pressure variant may be used for HDPE based EPE foams.