Saturday, 17 November 2012

Dust, Soot, Sulfates & Sea salt over the Globe

This video is amazing and gives you some seconds to think about the fact that "goes around - comes around" and also that our earth is also our responsibility. Cred: Animation by NASA, youtube video (below) by Phil Plait at and Sven Larsson, my good friend who found/shared this video clip.

[Hint: Make sure to also view/set the video to 720p resolution]

Red is dust, green is soot, white is sulfates (from fossil fuel burning and volcanoes), and blue is sea salt whipped up from the ocean surface.

Phil Plait comments in his blog post: I annotated the video to point out some interesting bits, like how you can watch the Saharan dust blow west to Florida. I was also amazed when a huge white (sulfate) bloom appeared to the northwest of Madagascar in January 2007, and then found out there was a big eruption of the Karthala volcano at that time. You can also see lots of sulfates (presumably from fossil fuel burning) over the U.S., Europe, and China. Seeing all these aerosols whipped around into cyclonic shapes and moving across land and sea is simply mesmerizing. When you see the Earth laid out like this, and the particles in our atmosphere swept around, you cannot help but see that no part of the Earth stands alone. Every point on our planet touches every other point in one way or another. And even if I made an error in that last post, the overall message is still the same: we need to monitor our world. The effect we are having on it is profound, and while we might have difficulty in detail understanding it all, the overwhelming evidence is that we’re heating the planet up, and this is affecting everything. Everything

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Simone Niggli. A true legend.

To be a sport legend requires high performance and extraordinary dominance, preferably over a longer time frame. Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth ever, is truly one legend, Roger Federer is another, as he just passed 300 weeks as the number one in the world ranking. However, I would like to take these two guys down to earth for a moment and instead put a great woman, more dominant than any other in her sport, in the spotlight.

Simone Niggli, an orienteering athlete from Switzerland, started to conquer in the women class in year 2000, only 22 years old. She has, since then until now, won 20 gold medals in the World Championship, and if I calculate it right (manually from this page), been the ranked as the number one for 466 weeks now...and counting! I summarized the statistic of interest here in a simple Excel document. In addition, she got kids in two rounds (2008 and 2011). She just announced on in a post on her webpage that she will continue for 1-2 more years! What a super athlete!

Simone Niggli, (Swiss) Orienteering Star #1 Foto: Odlo

At the Long Distance Final in the European Orienteering Championship in Sweden 2012, Simone won the womens class with 4 minutes. More impressive is that a comparison with her km-time, would place her top 30 in the mens class! Simone would for sure be able to run in circles around me (or even Usain Bolt or Roger Federer) and still win a orienteering race. However, orienteering is orienteering, and I will try to do a comeback now for 2013 and if I get the chance to compete against Simone I will give my best in the forest, while reading the map strategically.

Yes, another gold medal and happy smile from Simone Niggli! Foto: Jan Kocbach

If you would like to read more about, follow or support Simone you can do it on her webpage and Facebook. Yes, I am a big fan of Simone and I suggest you will be it too. Keep on dominating Simone! You'll reach 500 weeks as #1 soon!