Will Earth Face A Mini-Ice Age?

Mini ice ageThe sun is heading into an unusual and extended period of hibernation that could trigger a mini-Ice Age on Earth, scientists claim. A decrease in global warming might result in the years after 2020, the approximate time when sunspots are expected to disappear for years, maybe even decades.

While the effects of a calmer sun are mostly good - there'd be fewer disruptions of satellites and power systems - it could see a sharp turnaround in global warming.

An absence of sunspots is not an unprecedented situation. It has happened before, but not since the early 18th century. Lead researcher Frank Hill, of the National Solar Observatory, said: 'The solar cycle is maybe going into hiatus, sort of like a summertime TV show.'

While scientists don't know why the sun is going quiet, all the signs are that it will. Dr Hill and his team have based their prediction on three changes in the sun spotted by scientific teams - weakening sunspots; fewer streams spewing from the poles of the sun's corona; and a disappearing solar jet stream.

Dr Richard Altrock, the study's co-author and an astrophysicist at the Air Force Research Laboratory, said these three cues show that 'there's a good possibility that the sun could be going into some sort of state from which it takes a long time to recover'.


How to save a wet cell phone?

Wet cell phone rescueDid you just drop your cellphone in water? Or maybe you'd like to know what to do if that happens! Here are the first aid techniques for rescuing a drowned smartphone.

Step 1: Do NOT turn on the phone

Why do water and smartphones not mix? Because the water shorts out your smartphone's electrical circuits. So whatever you do, don't turn it on to check to see if it still works.

Step 2: Pull out the battery and SIM card

You want to remove anything removeable: Pull out the battery, the SIM card and the memory card, if your phone has one. As long as that battery's in there it's providing power to your phone, and that's what you need to stop immediately.

Some phones, like the iPhone, don't have a removable battery. Unfortunately, you'll just have to skip this step and hope for the best if you dunk one of them.

Step 3: Freshwater rinse

Did you drop your phone in salt water? The salt can corrode your device. So after you pull out the battery and SIM card, immerse your phone in fresh water to rinse out the salt.

Step 4: Dry your phone using compressed air

If you have a compressed air can handy -- the kind that's used to clean computers or keyboards -- run it full-blast all over your phone, with the back cover taken off if you can. A vacuum cleaner also works, even though it's pulling the air in the other direction. As long as it's blowing cool air over those circuits to dry them out, it's all good.

Don't stick your phone in the oven, even on low. The heat can warp your phone's circuits, and melt its internal components. You shouldn't use a blow dryer either, unless it has a heatless setting. A fan might help, but a microwave is out of the question.

Step 5: Cover your phone with uncooked rice

The premise of our experiment was to test if putting a wet phone into a sealed container of rice would actually dry it out, and bring it back form the dead. See, the idea behind the rice is that the dry grains will absorb moisture. So get a sealable plastic container, and fill it with enough rice to cover your smartphone.


How to motivate your metabolism to burn more fat?

Burn fat moreHere are some no-brainer ways to motivate your metabolism to burn more fat :

1. Go to bed earlier.
A study in Finland looked at sets of identical twins and discovered that of each set of siblings, the twin who slept less and was under more stress had more visceral fat.

2. Eat more protein.
Your body needs protein to maintain lean muscle. In a 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

3. Go organic.
Researchers report that dieters with the most organochlorines (pollutants from pesticides, which are stored in fat cells) experience a greater than normal dip in metabolism as they lose weight, perhaps because the toxins interfere with the energy-burning process. In other words, pesticides make it harder to lose pounds. .

4. Get up, stand up.
Whether you sit or stand at work may play as big a role in your health and your waistline as your fitness routine. Missouri University researchers discovered that inactivity (4 hours or more) causes a near shutdown of an enzyme that controls fat and cholesterol metabolism, so you store more fat, rather than using it for energy, all day long. To keep this enzyme active and increase your fat burning, break up long periods of downtime by standing up--for example, while talking on the phone.

5. Drink Cold Water.
Researchers found that drinking 6 cups of cold water a day (that's 48 ounces) can raise resting metabolism by about 50 calories daily--enough to shed 5 pounds in a year. The increase may come from the work it takes to heat the water to body temperature.