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+++ SURFING WITH DRONES +++ CAN YOU SEEE WITH YOUR EARS? +++ DRAWING ELECTRICAL CIRCUITS +++
MARTIN
LUTHER:
The World?s
First Social
Media Star
HOW DO FIGHTER
JETS INTERCEPT
AN AIRCRAFT?
FINANCIAL ARMAGEDDON
What Happens When Hackers
Rob the World?s Biggest Bank?
LWAYS
?
CAN
TIME
END?
Sometimes Truth Is
Stranger Than Fiction
PAN THE
DE M
IN
IC
OU
R
D
THE BEAR
ESSENTIALS:
Teaching a
Fearsome
Predator
the Facts
of Life
HOW EXHAUSTION TRANSFORMS
OUR BODIES, WHAT YOU MIGHT NOT
KNOW ABOUT THE TRUE CAUSES,
AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT ALL
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reader feedback
You talk , we listen! Here?s what you had to say about previous issues
of iD. Thanks for your feedback and suggestions. Keep ?em coming.
questions@ideasanddiscoveries.com
GRAVITY RECONCEPTUALIZED?
Letters to the editor may be edited for clarity and length.
We received this fascinating formulation of a new way to look
at gravity. What do you think? We welcome your responses.
Could the accelerating expansion of the universe cause
space-time curvature by objects with mass?
If the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate1 and
all acceleration is the result of force, 2 then there appears
to be a repulsive force between all points in space-time. If
there is a repulsive force between all points in space-time,
then objects with mass should resist this force 3 with an
equal and opposite force that is proportional to each
object?s mass.4
The above observations seem to be well supported
by accepted observations and basic laws of the physical
universe. Added together, these observations seem to
account for the effects attributed to the curvature of
space-time and gravity. When a massive object resists
the potentially unlimited force of a universe of space-time
accelerating against it, then the ?empty? space-time
would be condensed around and displaced between
objects with mass, causing curvature and attraction.
Under this paradigm, we experience gravity because
the fabric of space-time is folding against the mass of
Earth under the effect of each point in space-time pushing
against all other points in space-time with force. Because
we have long regarded gravity as a ?pulling? force, it is
difficult to transition the thinking on space-time curvature
as mass resisting the repulsive force between all points
in space-time. But resistance to the expanding universe
seems to account for the effects of gravity?objects
would be drawn together when ?empty? space-time is
displaced out along tangential angles between them,
and this displacement would increase with the size of
the masses and with their proximity to each other.
This is all based on the idea that all points in space-time
push against all other such points with force. Because
this phenomenon is the logical result of observations
that the universe is expanding at an accelerating rate,
this hypothesis appears to merit further attention. This
proposed causal link between the expanding universe and
the curvature of space-time could be tested by comparing
the rate of universal expansion to the force of gravity.
Nathan Witkin, Marion, OH
1. Perlmutter, S., Schmidt, B.P., Reiss, A.G. (awarded the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics ?for the discovery
of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae?).
2. Newton, I.: Second Law of Motion, F = ma.
3. Daintith, J.: A Dictionary of Physics, Oxford University Press (2010) (definition of mass: ?A measure of
a body?s inertia, i.e., its resistance to acceleration?).
4. Newton, I.: Third Law of Motion.
www.facebook.com/ideasanddiscoveries
WHO?D HAVE THOUGHT?
?The Astonishing Power of Thoughts? in the May 2017
issue is a particularly captivating article that was both
eye-opening and fun to read. Nowadays it?s common to
hear anecdotal accounts of the benefits of maintaining
an optimistic frame of mind, but the presentation of these
physical manifestations resulting from mental processes
taking place within the individual really put the authority
of science behind ?the power of positive thinking.?
Now I try to be more mindful of my inner disposition
and will revise my outlook when I catch myself engaging
in negative thoughts. I try to take that negative thought
and spin it into a positive, even if I don?t necessarily feel
it or believe in it with every fiber of my being. I even ask
myself at least three times a day: ?What can I do today
to improve my life?? So thank you for substantiating this
concept and helping me embrace it in my own life.
Angela Demetrios, Spring Lake, NJ
THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!
The classic Thunderbirds television series from the 1960s has
been reimagined for today?s audiences as a CGI-animated
action-adventure series called Thunderbirds Are Go that?s
as high tech as it is high energy, while it still pays tribute
to the characters and locations from the beloved original
Thunderbirds series
When disaster strikes,
International Rescue answers
the call! From their hidden
island base in the South
Paci?c, the ?ve Tracy brothers
pilot remarkable cutting-edge
Thunderbird vehicles from the
depths of the oceans to the
highest reaches of space,
all for one purpose: to help
others in need. In the third
season (now available on
Prime Video), International
Rescue faces its toughest
nemesis yet: The Mechanic,
who uses his ?eet of ?mecha
machines? to create chaos.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
3
Jul 2017
contents
COVER
STORY
Jul 2017
4
COVER
STORY
Bears are formidable creatures, but they start off in the
world quite tiny and defenseless. Growing up will take
a lot of learning and trying things out?
PAGE 12
No system is impenetrable, and this fact of modern life
has staggering implications for the security of banks
as well as the world as we know it.
PAGE 20
Our planet is encircled by the pathways of the winds.
The global circulation of air is vital to the functionality
of the planet, but it can also wreak havoc. PAGE 36
The Elbphilharmonie is considered to be the height of
acoustical evolution. But what makes Hamburg?s new
$850 million concert hall so special?
PAGE 44
Advances in orbiter technology have enabled startling
new images of the Moon?and what they reveal about
the state of Earth?s satellite is shocking.
PAGE 66
The brutal Battle of Verdun marked the start of the era
of industrialized warfare. In the end, the casualty-heavy
conflict would not alter the course of WWI. PAGE 70
ideasanddiscoveries.com
?An
investment in
knowledge pays the
best interest .?
?Benjamin Franklin
To our readers:
COVER
STORY
How do things develop from an initial innocuous state to a full-blown force to be
reckoned with? Bear cubs grow into fierce predators, hackers who prey on banks
could unleash global chaos, tiredness escalates into chronic exhaustion, a breeze
builds up into a hurricane, and an unknown quantity in the sky elicits drastic action.
NATURE
12 How Do I Become a Big Bear?
A survival guide for cubs
19 Smarter in 60 Seconds: Bears
36 The Pathways of the Winds
How the global wind systems shape our planet
TECHNOLOGY
20 What Happens When Hackers Rob the World?s Biggest Bank?
An international ?nancial crisis with the click of a mouse
44 Hamburg?s New World Wonder
The unique acoustical structure of the Elbphilharmonie
Chronic overtiredness has become a global pandemic.
What causes this all-too-common condition, and what
can be done to mitigate its effects?
PAGE 26
COVER
STORY
BODY & MIND
26 Always Tired?
How exhaustion changes us?and what to do about it
HISTORY
56 When Martin Luther Invented the Instagram of the Renaissance
How the religious reformer became the world?s ?rst social media star
70 The Battle of Verdun: Hell on Earth
A game changer for modern warfare
MILITARY
60 How Do You Intercept an Aircraft?
A NATO pilot talks tricks of the trade
65 Smarter in 60 Seconds: Fighter Jets
SPACE
66 Is the Moon Shrinking?
New images reveal startling facts about Earth?s nearest neighbor
SCIENCE
76 Can Time End?
Prepare to jump down the rabbit hole?
There is uncertainty on all sides when ?ghter jets must
be deployed. How do pilots intercept a rogue aircraft?
And what happens if a plane won?t obey?
PAGE 60
IN EVERY ISSUE
6 A Photo and Its Story
Fascinating pictures and the story behind them
50 Questions & Answers
Marvels that can change our perception of the world
COVER
STORY
82 What Counts in the End
The Secret Rulers of the World
Cover stories marked in red
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COVER PHOTOS: Andrew Unangst/Getty Images; skodonnell/Getty Images; enot-poloskun/Ge
Inc/Getty Images; Juanmonino/Getty Images; nadla/Getty Images; Arterra/Getty Images; Foto
What exactly is time? Is it ?xed and immutable, or fluid
and branching? And can it come to an end? The answers
to these questions are mind-blowing.
PAGE 76
iD (Ideas & Discoveries) (ISSN 2161-2641) Published bi-month
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Publishing, Attn: Circulation, 270 Sylvan Avenue, Englewood Clif
A photo and its story
Jul 2017
6
ideasanddiscoveries.com
To make the best snowboarding ?lm of
all time, you?ll need a fleet of helicopters,
perfect snow and Travis Rice In his
GS
SNOW
A photo and its story
HREE WINTERS,
THREE COUNTRIES,
ONE OCEAN
This is one of the last white spots left
on Earth. Never before have people set
foot in this place. And how could they?
The crests of the mountains that tower
over Alaska?s southern coast look like
dragon scales jutting from the ground,
Jul 2017
8
ideasanddiscoveries.com
some of them several miles into the air.
Everything is covered with enormous
snow masses and the summit presides
over slopes as steep as 70 degrees.
?This is the place!? Travis Rice calls out
to his pilots as he points to a snowy
plateau that?s just 3 feet wide.
On either side of this ridge
the drop-off descends
sheerly for hundreds
of feet. >
A photo and its story
THE WORLD?S
MOST EXTREME
SPORTS ADVENTURE
For three long winters, the crew
who worked with professional
snowboarder Travis Rice and
director Jon Klaczkiewicz had
?lmed under life-threatening
conditions in the most remote
mountains of the Kamchatka
Peninsula, Japan, and Alaska.
The origin of the extremely
thick masses of snow lies in
the millions of liters of water
that the North Paci?c Ocean
drives up the mountains? slopes
as part of the hydrological cycle.
The snowboarder knows there?s
no way to land a helicopter here?
so he?ll have to jump. It?s amazing
what lengths one must go through
these days to deliver images that
no one has ever seen before.
Travis Rice?s helicopter exit at
an altitude of 12,470 feet and the
subsequent breakneck descent
through the Chugach Mountains
of Alaska, where even the slightest
mistake could cost him his life, is
certainly one of the highlights of
the new action-sport tour de force
called The Fourth Phase. ?Travis
can spot a potential downhill run
that anyone else would overlook?
and he will ride it like no one else
in the world could,? says director
Jon Klaczkiewicz. Just like Rice,
he understands: If you want to set
new standards in extreme sports,
you need more than experienced
athletes and daring stunts. Rather,
it requires a lot of patience and the
right equipment to capture these
incredible moments and preserve
them forever.
The crew had begun filming four
years ago. They spent three long
winters in a row shooting footage
with high-resolution 4K cameras,
drones, and a fleet of helicopters
in some of the world?s most remote
mountain regions. Whether it was
a restricted military area in Russia,
a Japanese volcanic island in the
middle of nowhere, or the jagged
peaks of Alaska?everyone from
Rice and his fellow snowboarders
to the pilots and camera crew was
pushed to the limit to coax perfect
?It all begins with the water of the ocean. We follow the path of the water?s cycle.?
PHOTOS: Scott Serfas; Tim Zimmerman/Red Bull Content.
?PRO SNOWBOARDER TRAVIS RICE
images from the hostile locations.
But why would the crew go to the
trouble of filming in these places?
And just what makes the snow out
in Alaska so special?
It?s no coincidence that the film
locations chosen for The Fourth
Phase all border the North Pacific.
For only here, where the cold blue
waters of the Pacific lap at the feet
of the mountain ranges of Alaska,
Russia, and Japan, can the water
transform into the perfect snow.
But how exactly does that occur?
In the winter the world?s largest
ocean sends gigantic quantities of
moisture up the mountain slopes
until the clouds above them can
no longer contain their millions of
tons of cargo. Result: Snowflakes
as big as fists stack up more than
13 feet high?in just one month.
?We follow the circulatory path of
the water?the cycle of life,? says
Rice. In so doing they discovered
a sort of fourth state or phase of
water (a form that is not exactly a
liquid, solid, or gas). In fact, Pacific
snow, in contrast with that of the
Alps, for instance, is extremely wet
and heavy?each flake can weigh
a third of an ounce or more. That?s
why it sticks to slopes as steep as
70 degrees, even during the day.
And when the temperature drops
by several degrees at night, it all
freezes to form a compact mass.
That?s why snowboarders can ride
even the steepest of slopes here,
and this makes it possible to get
such unique shots for The Fourth
Phase?the fourth phase of water.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
11
Jul 2017
No bones about it : A bear is an impressive animal that
commands respect and possesses a well-stocked toolkit
of survival skills and strategies. But it takes years of
growing, trying things out, and meticulous observation
before a bear can truly lay claim to the title of predator.
HOW DO I
BECOME A
BIG BEAR?
Jul 2017
12
ideasanddiscoveries.com
Nature
L E SSON 1:
CATCHING FISH
Salmon make a delicious meal, if
only they weren?t so hard to catch.
Now and then a bear is bound to
let a slippery ?sh or two wriggle
out of its paws. But once it has
managed to get one of these fatand protein-packed creatures
?rmly in its clutches, it knows not
to swallow up its bounty in one go
but rather to focus on the parts of
the ?sh that are particularly high
in protein. In the case of salmon,
that would be the brain and the roe
(the mature eggs in a female ?sh).
A bear doesn?t care about the rest
and will typically cast it aside.
This practice has a downside (it
leaves a mess lying around), but
at least it ensures the riverbank
is well fertilized.
N
ow things are getting rather
serious: An unfamiliar bear
is asserting its rights to the
fishing grounds, and a wee
bear isn?t about to take it lying down.
Brimming with youthful zeal, the cub
resolutely takes up a position at his
mother?s front legs and then dashes
forward with her into the fray. Just
like his mother, he bares his teeth,
prepared to attack at any moment.
If the river here in Alaska?s Katmai
National Park and Preserve weren?t
rushing so loudly, one would be able
to hear the cub?s angry growling and
how distinct his high voice is from
the menacing rumble of his mother.
As a fight between the two big bears
looms ever closer, the juvenile bear
quickly scurries behind his mother,
climbing paw over paw up her hind
leg and up onto her back in order to
observe exactly what she?ll do next.
LESSON 2:
HOT PURSUIT
Even though it may not look like a
particularly comfortable position,
there is much to learn even while
clinging to a mother bear?s back.
For example, it?s crucial to learn
how to sprint effectively (at a top
speed of about 45 mph) as well
as how to choose the best paths
for cutting off your prey?s escape
routes. And in case of emergency
(futile territorial standoff, human
hunters, etc.), a bear must know
how to beat a hasty retreat.
Jul 2017
14
ideasanddiscoveries.com
He doesn?t want to miss any details:
Mama bear?s display of dominance,
her blocking of the opponent?s path
until she has forced a retreat, and all
the while she never drops her gaze
for even a split second. When it?s all
over, Junior hurls himself at a bush
and wrestles a few branches to the
ground, as though trying to vent his
excess energy on a safer opponent.
His mother nudges him gently?and
if bears could grin, that?s what she?d
probably be doing now.
A MOST ASTONISHING
EARLY LIFE
A new lesson has just been learned
in what might be a mammal?s most
important educational experience:
the survival training that turns a little
animal into an adult. And bears may
well have the most astonishing?and
unlikely?childhood of all predators:
They are born blind and hairless to
mothers that are still in a state of
hibernation, and their birth weight
is only around one-tenth of what a
newborn mammal of a comparably
sized species would weigh at birth.
Every sip of mother bear?s extremely
high-fat milk helps a baby bear grow
from the size of an adult squirrel to
a cub as large as a Saint Bernard.
Soon the little bear is big enough to
start learning all the lessons that will
ensure adequate preparation for life
as a grown-up. Along the way, some
of the milestones might seem almost
unattainable for an animal that starts
off its life so small and defenseless.
The young bear must learn to orient
himself and survive on his own in an
area about the size of Rhode Island.
He will have to know how to catch a
salmon with his paws or his mouth.
But that does not mean bears dine
exclusively at Mother Nature?s fish
counter: The little bear will also have
to learn to recognize thousands of
plant species to determine if they
are edible or poisonous and learn
the patience and endurance it takes
to pick 100,000 berries in a day so
he won?t have to go to sleep hungry.
>
L E SSON 3:
CONFIDENCE
BUILDING
Everything a little bear learns from
its mother in the ?rst four years is
based on unconditional love and
blind trust. Cuddling strengthens
the bond between mother and cub
and reaf?rms to the young bear:
?I?m here for you, nothing bad can
happen to you.? And playful biting
helps train a young bear?s hunting
and biting re?exes? the bites are
completely harmless, of course.
L E SSON 4:
CLIMBING TREES
This is one lesson that the mother
of the young grizzlies in the photo
could not teach?because she?s
simply too heavy to climb a tree.
Nevertheless, mother bears have
been observed standing helpfully
at their cub?s side as the youngster
climbs up the trunk more or less
gracefully. But no matter if a bear
needs this skill later in life, tree
climbing promotes coordination,
endurance, and a head for heights.
He?ll also learn to recognize which
stones are worth turning over to find
high-protein insects. And soon he?ll
know how to survive a long winter?
and in spring he will have mastered
the fine art of cleaning out a beehive
without getting stung. All of these
lessons are taught by his mother?
the little bear simply has to watch
her closely, imitate her, and try out
what he?s observing. And that will
sometimes include a lesson in how
to endure failure during the first four
years of life while his mother is still
advising him and backing him up.
?The bond between a mother bear
and her cub is extremely strong,?
says Katmai Ranger Tori Anderson.
?A cub eats what its mother eats,
explores what she explores, and
behaves toward other bears just as
its mother does.? There is just one
ability that gives a young bear a bit
of an advantage over its mother: A
cub can easily climb up a tree to get
to ripe fruit or to flee from danger.
But what self-respecting grown-up
bear would ever find it necessary to
do such a thing?
L E SSON 5:
SWIMMING
In order to ensure a bear will not
sink like several hundred pounds
of wet fur once it has grown up,
swimming lessons are part of the
curriculum right from the get-go.
Soon it will have learned to work
its way safely through the water
at a leisurely pace of 3 to 6 mph.
The advantage: Once it is grown,
it can comfortably wade across
most rivers. And swimming bears
share the attribute of endurance:
Polar bears can swim more than
200 miles without taking a break.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
17
Jul 2017
THE BEAR BROTHERS?
EXHIBITION BOUT
Standing up on their hind legs, raising their paws to
deliver a punch, tumbling to the ground with a thud:
Playing together is more important to bears than it is
to almost any other animal. Researchers postulate
that play is vital to the development of a bear?s brain.
By playing with one another young bears can test their
skills and learn the consequences of taking chances:
How will the opponent react? How did that feint go?
Or that tactical retreat? The young bears concentrate
so intently on their play-?ghting endeavors that they
hardly utter a peep.
PHOTOS: John E. Marriott/Getty Images; Caters Nes; Arterra/Getty Images;
500px Prime (2); Alamy/Bauer Stock.
L E SSON 6:
SMARTER IN 60 SECONDS
Bears
How many calories does a grizzly bear need?
Even just the skull of an adult grizzly is so gigantic that a grown
human?s arms cannot extend around it. And its body is so huge
that the bear has to consume 20,000 calories a day to meet
its energy needs. Despite their size, these bears have extremely quick
reactions. They can kill a leaping salmon with a single blow of the paw;
in the best-case scenario, that results in an intake of 3,000 calories.
15
What should you do if you encounter a bear?
To avoid an encounter before it can even take place,
the best group strategy is to talk as loudly as possible
with your companions?or to yourself, if you?re alone.
Any nearby bear is likely to take to its heels. If a bear isn?t deterred
by loud conversation (or whistle-blowing), then the ?rst rule is:
Don?t run away?just stay where you are, raise your arms above
your head, and try to make yourself look as big as possible. The
problem: In the case of a 10-foot-tall adult bear, this is unlikely
to make much of an impression. In that case, you should switch
to plan B: Back away slowly while carefully avoiding eye contact.
15
Why do black bears love minivans?
American researchers studied more than 900 cases of
vehicle break-ins between 2001 and 2007 in Yosemite
National Park. The perpetrators were always the same:
black bears. USDA wildlife biologist Stewart Breck sees a pattern:
?They?re speci?cally targeting minivans. Bears have an excellent
sense of smell. They can smell food even if all the windows and
doors are closed. And minivans are known for giving off more
food smells than other vehicles.? In fact, more than a quarter of
all bear burglaries focus on these spacious picnic transporters.
15
How far can
bears swim?
Polar bears are the long-distance swimmers of the
bear family. They are considered the largest living
land carnivore and despite their extremely dense fur
and a weight that can exceed 2,000 pounds, they have been
known to swim more than 200 miles without a break. One bear
has even been recorded as swimming for nine days straight!
The front paws supply the propulsion, the back legs serve as
rudders, and a 4-inch-thick layer of fat provides the necessary
buoyancy. Polar bears must increasingly rely on their swimming
skills and endurance in the water?due to global climate change
the polar ice masses are melting, which means the giants must
travel ever-greater distances between the ice floes of the Arctic.
PHOTOS: F1Online; Getty Images.
15
ideasanddiscoveries.com
19
Jul 2017
Technology
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN
HACKERS
ROB THE WORLD?S
BIGGEST BANK?
Could hackers unleash a global crisis? The most vulnerable
places in the world aren?t nuclear power plants, military bases,
or mega dams. If there were a major attack on the banking
system, the consequences would be devastating? for all of us.
And the first blow has already been struck?
HOW DO YOU GET
A TROJAN HORSE
INTO A BANK?
Many people don?t worry
when they receive a USB
?ash drive from someone.
Hackers have been using
this complacency to their
advantage for a long time.
One of their tactics is to
plant infected USB sticks
outside of a bank. If a bank
employee inserts one of
these infected sticks into
a computer in a bank that
has not disabled the USB
ports of its computers, he
or she unknowingly grants
the hackers access to the
machine. And hackers
have been discovering far
more serious security gaps
in banking networks?
lexander Williams* is sitting on a
mountain of gold: 8,000 tons of the
precious metal worth an estimated
$200 billion. Williams works for the
Federal Reserve Bank of New York,
the largest regional bank within the
Federal Reserve System (the FED),
which is America?s central banking
system. More than 60 nations store
their gold reserves in the vault in the
basement of the New York bank. On
February 5, 2016, Bangladesh Bank
calls in part of its reserves. In all, the
requested sum is almost $1 billion.
Suddenly the security system of the
bank sounds an alarm, and then an
alert appears on Williams? monitor:
?write fault error.? Immediately the
banker starts looking for the cause.
He finds that in one of the transfers
the name of the recipient had been
misspelled: The word ?foundation?
was instead spelled as ?fandation.?
But why would one misspelled word
trigger a major alarm?
The FED is the most influential
central bank system in the world.
Every day about $1.8 trillion moves
through its network?most of it from
banks all over the world that process
their international transfers through
the FED. That?s why the bank has
a security system that will trigger
an alarm when even the slightest of
discrepancies arises?like a spelling
error in a transfer. While Williams is
reviewing the incident, he suddenly
realizes what?s happening here: The
ideasanddiscoveries.com
21
*Name has been changed by the editors.
A
>
Jul 2017
central bank of Bangladesh?one of
the poorest countries on Earth?has
just become the victim of a massive
cyberattack. Without delay Williams
halts all of the transactions, but for
one $100 million transfer it is already
too late? The banker desperately
attempts to reach his colleagues in
the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka?
but no one is answering the phone.
February 5th is a Friday, and so part
of the Islamic weekend. And that?s
exactly what the attackers had been
counting on: Time is working in their
favor. While Williams is still trying to
get in touch with his colleagues, the
hackers have already sent millions
to various accounts in Eastern Asia.
The colleagues at Bangladesh Bank
will not know what?s going on until
they receive the American banker?s
email on Sunday. However, by then
they recover less than $20 million;
$81 million is gone?forever.
ONE OF HISTORY ?S BIGGEST
BANK HEISTS? CARRIED OUT
FROM THE COMFORT OF HOME?
The attack on February 5, 2016, was
one of the biggest bank robberies in
history. And yet this is only the tip of
the iceberg, as banks had 300 times
as many attacks as other industries
in 2015 alone. More and more banks
across the globe are falling victim to
hackers?and most of these attacks
are going unnoticed by the public.
Also, the number of unreported or
undetected cases is probably much
higher than the current figures show.
?Many banks don?t even notice when
money goes missing,? says Mikko
Hypp鰊en, chief research officer of
the cybersecurity firm F-Secure. He
is referring to security flaws in the
SWIFT system that many banks use.
SWIFT, which stands for the Society
THE BIGGEST GOLD DEPOT
Beneath the Federal Reserve Bank of New York
building lies the world?s best-protected gold
treasure. The bank stores about 540,000 bars of
the precious metal 80 feet below street level?
the vault rests on the bedrock of Manhattan.
MIKKO
HYPP諲EN,
chief research of?cer of the
cybersecurity ?rm F-Secure
?I?ve spent my whole life ?ghting
criminal hackers. Now we are in
danger of losing the battle?and
then we would lose everything.?
for Worldwide Interbank Financial
Telecommunication, is a memberowned cooperative responsible for
providing secure communications
between banks around the world.
Deposits, withdrawals, and transfers
are processed through this specially
protected network. This is intended
to give banks more security in their
business dealings. Every day some
25 million transfers occur among the
11,000 banks in the SWIFT system.
With so many transactions per day,
Hypp鰊en says some of them are
bound to be complex and unclear:
?It?s often difficult to ascertain when
and to where a bank moves money.?
That?s why Hypp鰊en is certain that
most hacker attacks on the financial
institutions will remain undetected.
But how do hackers gain access to
a bank? Who is behind the attacks?
And what happens when they gain
control over a transaction system?
The answers are not that difficult
to deduce, says Hypp鰊en: ?In some
cases there are frightening security
flaws. Banks have really got to start
spending more money on protecting
themselves against cyberattacks.?
Bangladesh Bank did not even have
the means to provide secure access
to the Internet or antivirus software
for the computers of its employees.
?MANY BANKS DON?T EVEN NOTICE
WHEN MONEY GOES MISSING.?
MIKKO HYPP諲EN, programmer, hacker, and cybersecurity expert
But that?s not all: Many banks don?t
have a partition between the SWIFT
system and their internal security
system. Thus when hackers make a
successful attack on such a bank,
they gain access to SWIFT?which
can have disastrous consequences:
That would enable hackers to use
their computers to obtain access to
the money in all the world?s banks?
including the accounts of American
banking customers.
After the attack on Bangladesh
Bank, the cybersecurity company
Kaspersky Lab managed to identify
the attackers: the so-called Lazarus
Group. Experts are well acquainted
with the group?s hacking signature,
as numerous other attacks on banks
THIS IS HOW THE
CENTRAL BANK ATTACK
WAS PERPETRATED
The perfect bank robbery has to be
well planned out. The alleged North
Korean hackers of the Lazarus Group almost
succeeded in getting away with $1 billion in
ill-gotten gains?and only a spelling error
prevented them from pulling off the theft.
In the end the criminals still got away with
more than $80 million. But how exactly was
that possible? The hackers put a lot of time
not only into the planning of their attack, but
also into its execution. Before they struck
they monitored the bank for four months?
4 The malware program remains undetected,
and until the hackers actually attack, the bank
can keep transferring money as usual via SWIFT.
5 The criminals manipulate the
bank?s printers in such a way that
prevents them from printing out
reports on any transactions.
6 Immediately after the attack,
a virus overwrites the records of
the activities multiple times.
1 The hackers gain
access to the bank?s
SWIFT server software
via a poorly protected
Internet connection.
2 The attackers
install malicious
software right at
the interface to the
SWIFT system?
3 ?and are thus
able to intercept the
access data, which
lets them bypass the
security measures.
have been attributed to its members.
Lazarus had gained notoriety for the
massive attack on Sony Pictures in
2014. And during the course of their
investigations, intelligence agencies
and security firms began to suspect
the group was working for a special
unit backed by the government of
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
?If this Lazarus link proves true, the
bank hack would be the first known
case of a government stealing money
with a cyberattack,? says Hypp鰊en.
A NEW WORLD ORDER WITH
THE CLICK OF A MOUSE?
Attacks such as these are expected
to become increasingly prevalent.
Eugene Kaspersky, cofounder and
CEO of the eponymous Web security
firm Kaspersky Lab, is alarmed about
the developments of recent years.
He is convinced that there will be
significantly more attacks on banks
in 2017 than there ever were before.
7 The malware then erases every
record the bank has regarding the
transfers that were processed.
8 The hackers are noti?ed about
everything that?s happening in the
bank. They quickly move the money
to a safe location.
EUGENE
KASPERSKY,
cofounder and CEO of Kaspersky
Lab, an Internet security provider
?We are here to save the world,?
says Eugene Kaspersky in all
seriousness. ?Viruses used to be
like graf?ti, a mere trifle of a
crime. Today the attacks are
more severe. Everything that?s
digital is vulnerable.?
And yet it is not all about fast money.
The threat of terrorism by hackers is
also rapidly growing. In most cases,
nuclear power plants, military bases,
and security agencies are the focus
of concern for any potential attacks.
Attacks on the financial institutions
have a considerably lower profile in
the public consciousness. But that
is the very risk that experts consider
to be dangerously underestimated.
If hackers were able to take control
of a nuclear power plant, for example,
in the worst-case scenario the result
would be a localized disaster along
the lines of Fukushima or Chernobyl.
The consequences of a bank being
hacked can quickly have a far greater
global impact. When global financial
services company Lehman Brothers
filed for bankruptcy in 2008, it led to
a huge international financial crisis.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
23
>
Jul 2017
The U.S. stock market had dropped
precipitously, and Germany?s DAX
index had sunk by more than 40%.
Almost overnight millions of people
in the U.S. lost their jobs and their
homes. But Lehman Brothers was a
relatively small bank. What happens
if a really big financial institution were
to collapse?or even several at once?
In the last few years hackers have
demonstrated just how easy it is for
them to penetrate banks. In just two
years, the cybercrime gang known
as Carbanak infiltrated more than
100 financial institutions, capturing
between $2 million and $10 million
from each of them. ?But they have
not yet caused enormous damage,?
says Kor Adana, who is a hacker in
addition to a technical consultant as
well as a screenwriter for TV. ?And if
someone is able to steal $10 million,
there?s no reason that person could
not succeed in stealing $10 billion.?
KOR ADANA,
hacker, screenwriter, and
technical consultant
For a number of years Kor
Adana ensured network
security for Toyota. Now
he collaborates with other
hackers on the TV series
Mr. Robot, which can be
seen on Amazon Prime.
Jul 2017
24
ideasanddiscoveries.com
Adana has spent years working in
the network-security department of
companies such as Toyota. Now he
explores security system gaps with
a team of hackers, banking security
experts, and former members of the
FBI?s Cyber Division. The hacking
techniques they develop would be
sufficient for breaking into a cybersecurity company, the FBI, or a global
financial institution. ?All these hacks
institution has entrusted its endpoint
security to Tanium, the ?rst company to
be able to detect within 15 seconds if
one of its customers has been hacked.
But even Tanium?s methods are not true
strategies for prevention.
With total assets of $2.5 trillion, the
bank is one of the biggest and most
influential financial institutions in the
world. And it was officially hacked in
2014. ?Every bank has security flaws,
and new ones are always cropping
up,? says cybersecurity expert Mikko
Hypp鰊en. ?If intelligence agencies
or terrorists want to hack into a bank,
they?ll find a way.? This wouldn?t just
mean the hacked bank goes broke.
?IF INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES OR
TERRORISTS WANT TO HACK INTO
A BANK, THEY?LL FIND A WAY.?
MIKKO HYPP諲EN
are absolutely feasible,? says Adana.
He works the potential ramifications
of such cyberattacks into the screenplays for the TV series Mr. Robot, for
which he is a staff writer. With these
techniques, intelligence agencies
or terrorists could bring a national
economy to its knees?and that isn?t
really such a far-fetched prospect. If
hackers could gain access to a major
bank such as JPMorgan Chase, the
outcome would be far more drastic
than the Lehman Brothers collapse.
In a chain reaction, other banks and
companies around the world could
suffer multibillion-dollar losses if the
cash flow between them broke down.
?Nobody would trust anybody else.
Even the healthy financial institutions
would go bankrupt,? says economics
expert Ulrike Herrmann. Within days
panic would spread throughout the
population: Buying and selling would
become impracticable; no one would
know whether goods would even be
available for delivery from one day to
the next. Millions of people would first
lose their jobs and then their homes
because they couldn?t pay the rent or
make payments on their properties.
Supermarket shelves would empty.
Stores would be looted, and people
would go hungry. The upshot: While
there are emergency plans for major
natural disasters, no country can be
prepared for a total economic failure.
After a few weeks constitutional order
would collapse under the pressure of
marauding gangs. The lesson for us:
Chaos is only one major hack away.
POTOS: Mr. Robot/Wallpaper; PR (2); Reuters; Getty Imges; Stephen Voss.
INFOGRAPHIC: BAE Systems.
HOW DO THE BANKS
PROTECT THEMSELVES
AGAINST HACKERS?
Many banks have reacted to the
growing number of hack attacks
by hiring security ?rms that specialize
in incidents like the one at Bangladesh
Bank. After the most recent attack on
JPMorgan Chase in 2014, the ?nancial
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THE BEST SOURCE FOR COINS WORLDWIDE?
TH
E
ND UR
P NO
I
H
C
D
EA
S
A
T
ALWAYS
Body & Mind
TIRED?
HOW EXHAUSTION
TRANSFORMS
OUR BODIES?
AND WHAT YOU
MAY NOT REALIZE
ABOUT THE
More and more
people are
complaining about
chronic tiredness
even though
they are getting
enough sleep. Now
researchers are
sounding the alarm :
The consequences
of the condition are
much more dramatic
than had previously
been assumed?
ideasanddiscoveries.com
27
Jul 2017
I
magine that a raging pandemic has
infected a big portion of the world?s
population within just a few years.
Overnight it turns peaceable people
into aggressive offenders, causing
them to make dire errors and making
them obese and depressed. Sounds
like a dystopian science-fiction film?
This pandemic is very real. In fact, it
has been raging for some time now.
The name of the medical condition
that affects millions of people in the
United States alone: semi-somnia or
chronic overtiredness, a persistent
state of low-grade exhaustion. The
World Health Organization (WHO)
and leading doctors worldwide are
now warning that we?ve entered a
new age: the age of total exhaustion.
HOW A DATA TSUNAMI LEADS
TO AN EXHAUSTION TRAP
?OUR BRAINS
CAN BECOME
OVERWHELMED
BY THE FLOOD
OF STIMULI?
CAUSING
SOME AREAS
TO GET
SWITCHED
OFF.?
MARIA CHAIT, COGNITIVE NEUROSCIENTIST
While working with colleagues at
University College London, Maria
Chait discovered that the increasing level
of stimulation in our daily lives drastically
alters our perception. Result: Exhausted
by the ?ood of information, our brains must
suspend a portion of their functionality.
Jul 2017
28
ideasanddiscoveries.com
What worries researchers most is
that the cause is not simply a lack of
sleep, as had long been suspected.
The real cause is the battle for our
attention. Every waking moment our
brains are relentlessly bombarded
by external stimuli, and we simply
cannot take it: The brain essentially
collapses from exhaustion. And the
consequences of this invisible war
taking place in the minds of millions
of individuals are far-reaching?the
exhaustion radically transforms not
only our brain and thus our behavior,
but also our entire body. The extent
of the disorder exceeds the worst
nightmare scenarios that doctors
could predict. But just what happens
to us when we are constantly tired?
?When you?re looking at your smartphone,
you are more or less deaf. The brain can
no longer process other sensory stimuli.?
This can come with fatal consequences,
especially on the road. Millions of people
are walking around virtually blind and deaf
because they focus only on their phones.
Marc Selzer* glances at the clock.
One hour until his fifth shift is over.
The 38-year-old is nearly done with
another so-called ?rattler? shift, in
which air traffic controllers squeeze
five eight-hour shifts into four days.
It is rush hour at New York?s John F.
Kennedy International Airport, so on
average a plane will take off or land
every minute. Selzer must monitor
all the planes, which appear on his
screen as flickering combinations of
letters and numbers. It?s all routine
to him, and everything is proceeding
as normal?until suddenly one of his
colleagues grabs his shoulder and
frantically points to something on his
screen. That?s when Selzer realizes
that three groups of aircraft symbols
are blinking red, a warning that they
are too close to other aircraft either
horizontally or vertically. At the last
second he radios the pilots to change
course, thus preventing a disaster.
But how could this experienced air
traffic controller zone out and make
such a blatant error?
The public usually does not hear
of such lapses in the control tower,
and when word does get out, the
authorities call it an ?isolated case.?
*Name has been changed by the editors.
But the fact is: In a recent survey of
3,200 American air traffic controllers,
one out of five admitted to having
made a potentially fatal error, such
as allowing two aircraft to get too
close to each other. According to
the respondents, the reason for the
lapse was almost always the same:
overtiredness. The study concluded
that ?chronic exhaustion among air
traffic controllers has now become
one of the most significant dangers
to the safety of the air traffic control
system.? The surprising thing is that
lack of sleep apparently plays only
a secondary role in fatigue. Rather,
it is the ever-increasing flood of data
and the speed with which information
moves (there is now twice as much
air traffic as there was 15 years ago)
that ever-more frequently puts the
brains of air traffic controllers under
heavy stress and leads to chronic
exhaustion. However, if you think this
phenomenon only affects specialists
working in high-pressure situations,
you?re quite mistaken?
WHY CAN?T WE SEE THAT
WE?RE FLYING BLIND?
In the United States alone, 60% of
all workers complain of being tired.
More than half of the people admit
that they do not feel rested upon
getting up in the morning. In all,
around one-quarter of the
population in the Western
industrialized countries
perceive themselves
to have symptoms
of exhaustion. Yet
we aren?t sleeping
less than we did
20 years ago. So
what has caused
this pandemic of
overtiredness to
spread to such
an extent? How
does the chronic
condition change
the brain and body?
And what long-term
consequences are
now being observed
for the first time?
?In five minutes I
will be...? This is the
incomplete message in
the WhatsApp chat on
Robert?s* smartphone.
The luminous screen of
the device lights up the
asphalt beneath the car.
Less than 50 feet away lies
the lifeless body of the
25-year-old student. >
?OVERSTIMULATION
PRODUCES
A KIND OF
MENTAL FOG.?
DANIEL LEVITIN, COGNITIVE PSYCHOLOGIST
In his book The Organized Mind, best-selling author and
neuroscientist Daniel Levitin describes why we are so
easily distracted: ?Every new stimulus causes a release of the
?feel-good? chemical dopamine. We want to experience this good
feeling again, and so we become dependent upon distraction.?
If the distraction becomes chronic, we feel chronically worn out.
And Levitin believes this has adverse effects on our brainpower:
?Memory and the capacity for thought both become reduced.?
It was the last message Robert ever
wrote, and he didn?t even have time
to send it. With his eyes fixed on his
smartphone, he had stepped out in
front of an oncoming car, and the
driver had no time to react. Robert
was a ?smombie? (a ?smartphone
zombie?), and descriptions of others
like him are increasingly turning up
in police accident reports. With their
eyes focused on their smartphones,
they seem to be remote-controlled
as they walk right out into the path
of vehicles. Although precise figures
aren?t available yet, experts estimate
70% of fatal pedestrian accidents
are now caused by distraction.
No one would cross a busy street
wearing a blindfold and earplugs.
?But that?s essentially what millions
of people do every day when they
focus on their smartphone instead
of their surroundings,? says Maria
Chait, a cognitive neuroscientist at
University College London in the UK.
In a study she found that smombies
don?t just ignore or filter out stimuli,
they do not see or hear them at all:
?The brain is simply overwhelmed,
and many stimuli do not even enter
our consciousness in the first place.?
?CHRONIC
EXHAUSTION
CAN TRIGGER
A CASCADE
OF ADVERSE
EFFECTS.?
And the phenomenon does not
just apply to street traffic. Millions of
people who use their smartphones
for hours at a time every day are
practically flying blind. The
truly disturbing aspect:
The majority of these
people believe that
they are aware of
their surroundings
and know what?s
going on around
them despite the
distraction of their
phone. In reality,
however, a brain
that is operating
in this high-speed
high-performance
mode is working to
fill in any attention
gaps with memories
and assumptions.
And that puts such
a great demand on
our organ of thought
that it overloads and
exhausts the brain?s
computational capacity.
The brain is forced to slow
down, and we become tired.
HOW THE BATTLE
FOR OUR ATTENTION
RESTRUCTURES THE BRAIN
Researchers are now convinced
that constant external distraction
is a decisive factor of exhaustion
MAZDA ADLI, PSYCHIATRIST AND STRESS RESEARCHER
More than half of all workers say they feel overtired, and
one out of four endures severe symptoms of exhaustion.
More and more people are complaining of stress, as exhaustion
spreads through populations like a pandemic caused by a virus.
Jul 2017
30
ideasanddiscoveries.com
The result: ?The longer the stress system is thrown out of kilter,
the harder it can be to regain our equilibrium. In the long term,
this reduces the overall volume of the brain,? warns Mazda Adli,
a stress researcher at the Charit� Medical University of Berlin.
?IF YOU HAVE
YOUR PHONE
NEAR YOUR BED
AT NIGHT, YOUR
SLEEP IS MORE
LIKELY TO BE
DISTURBED.?
and significantly contributes to the
overtiredness pandemic. Today our
brains are bombarded by constant
stimuli that continue to get stronger.
Flickering ads on subway monitors,
the steady stream of instructions
from the navigation systems of our
cars, ever-vibrating smartphones,
the ping of an incoming work email:
In almost all areas of our lives, there
is a ceaseless competition for our
attention. And this is affecting more
than just our ability to concentrate.
For the first time doctors have been
able to prove that the human brain
actually gets restructured when this
struggle for our attention stretches
over months and years as our brains
jump back and forth between two or
more stimuli. And this transformation
does not work out in our favor: ?Our
neural networks undergo massive
restructuring. The overstimulation
results in a state of mental fog, our
capabilities are greatly reduced, and
our capacity for thought and power
of recall are substantially throttled.
The long-term effects are striking,?
warns cognitive psychologist and
neuroscientist Daniel Levitin. In a
long-term study he discovered that
this restructuring of our brains can
lead to anxiety and depression as
well increased levels of adrenaline
and dopamine, which in turn leads
DR. NEIL STANLEY, SLEEP EXPERT
Sleep is the body?s main regeneration
strategy. It is only during this phase
that the symptoms of exhaustion can be
relieved. The problem: These days millions
of people have their mobile phones at their
bedside, and that tugs on our attention even
when the devices are not being used. ?In
order to get a good night?s sleep, we must
feel safe and not be worried about anything.
To sleep deeply, we shouldn?t be distracted.
Having a phone close at hand at night makes
the brain aware of it, and our sleep is more
susceptible to disturbances,? explains sleep
expert Dr. Neil Stanley. One study found that
the mere presence of a phone in the bedroom
shortens sleep time by 20 minutes a night.
to more aggression and frustration.
(See sidebar: How Tiredness Alters
Our Ego: 7 Effects on the Psyche.)
According to Mazda Adli, a stress
researcher and psychiatrist at the
Charit� Medical University of Berlin,
?Chronic exhaustion can trigger a
cascade of adverse effects. Certain
regions of the brain that are involved
in the processing of emotions shrink,
reducing the brain?s overall volume.?
You might assume that we can
compensate for this overstimulation
by consistently getting a sufficient
amount of sleep?and thus prevent
the restructuring. And indeed, sleep
is considered a healthy regulator of
the neuronal fireworks we undergo
in our daily lives. During this phase
we store memories, process what
we have learned and experienced,
and regenerate our brain?s capacity.
>
The problem: We find ourselves in
the restorative phase of sleep less
and less often, and at the same time
we are being ripped from that state
without any warning more and more
often. Increasing involvement in the
digital realm has resulted in a state
in which we are never without input:
No longer are there any pauses in
receiving incoming information, nor
a time that?s generally regarded as
?messageless.? Even 20 years ago,
time occasionally seemed to stand
still?at least at night.
Now news flashes jolt us awake,
messages from our friends come in
around the clock, and the glow from
our smartphone screens lights up
our bedrooms. Thus every time we
are awakened (however briefly), the
storage and processing functions
of our sleeping brains are suddenly
interrupted. It is as though someone
has yanked a USB stick out of our
computer. The important difference:
Even if the memory-storage process
in the brain is 98% complete, every
interruption resets it to zero. And yet
this result of incessant distraction
and the overtiredness it gives rise to
are just the tip of the iceberg. Only
gradually, after almost two decades
of research, will it become clear what
chronic exhaustion is doing to us in
?THOSE
WHO ARE
CONSTANTLY
DISTRACTED
OFTEN
SUFFER
FROM
SEMI-SOMNIA.?
JEAN GOMES, PERFORMANCE CONSULTANT
Jean Gomes and his team at The
Energy Project in London have been
searching for the triggers of exhaustion,
fatigue, and sleeplessness (semi-somnia):
?We have interviewed 30,000 affected
people over the course of ?ve years and
we concluded that constant accessibility,
online shopping during rest periods, and
incessant chatting during relaxation times
are factors that keep people from calming
down. The brain is in a permanent state of
arousal and never gets to recharge.?
the long haul and just how wide the
swaths of destruction really are.
IS EXHAUSTION MORE
DANGEROUS THAN SMOKING?
For years researchers had thought
that chronic exhaustion would only
manipulate the psyche. But the first
long-term studies have shown that
constant fatigue and acute burnout
also restructure the body?and this
transformation is considerably more
damaging than had previously been
assumed. For example, physician
and behavioral scientist Professor
Samuel Melamed and his team at
Tel Aviv University have discovered
that exhaustion and fatigue can be
the trigger for some of the most
widespread diseases: ?In people
who are chronically exhausted we
find more inflammatory biomarkers
in the blood and elevated lipid and
cholesterol levels,? says Melamed.
?These are classic risk factors for
cardiovascular disease, stroke, and
diabetes.? Other problems affecting
those who suffer from exhaustion
include gastrointestinal problems
as well as disorders of the muscles,
bones, and joints. In addition, the
professor notes that ongoing stress
has a negative impact on the fertility
of men. Therefore, some scientists
are already going so far as to equate
the impacts of chronic exhaustion
with the devastating consequences
of smoking. But in contrast with the
consumption of nicotine, which is
sharply declining in many countries
including the U.S. (where the usage
rate fell from 21 out of 100 adults in
2005 to 15 out of 100 adults in 2015),
symptoms of exhaustion are on the
rise: The CDC says some 60 million
people now suffer from a constant
loss of sleep or sleep disorders.
Despite this, many medical experts
still underestimate the phenomenon
and draw the wrong conclusions. If
you are among the millions of people
who often feel tired, read on for some
common causes and beneficial tips.
IGUE FACTORS
U MIGHT NOT
OW ABOUT ?
D WHAT TO DO
OUT THEM
The number of people who feel tired or exhausted
is constantly rising. Health researchers measure
this condition of ?feeling tired? in days per month.
In other words: Are you feeling tired one day per month, or is
it two, four, or even more days? If it?s ?ve days per month or
more?according to one rule of thumb?the condition may
well require treatment. And if getting adequate sleep doesn't
seem to help, that leaves the question of what is missing in
your body. A visit to the doctor is in order. But there is still a
problem: Routine medical exams usually only ?nd illnesses
in which severe fatigue is considered a side effect?such as
hypothyroidism or an iron de?ciency. But that applies to only
about half of all fatigue patients. Most of the causes are less
conspicuous and thus much harder for physicians to grasp?
because they don?t ?t into the usual diagnostic criteria.
Now, however, scientists have succeeded in identifying the
most frequent tiredness traps that can be hidden in our daily
lifestyle and nutritional habits. Having some knowledge about
these energy-robbing factors can help us to become our own
doctors. In order to identify which individual fatigue triggers
are impacting our own lives, we need only go through the
following list of 21 possible triggers one by one and mark off
the ones that apply to us. Whether it?s too much fat, mental
stress, or the croissants we have for breakfast, all we need
to do is change our habits for a few days to determine whether
they were the reason for our persistent tiredness. In this case,
we can become much more alert and more mindful of our state
completely on our own. If the ?rst attempt yields little effect,
we can simply go down the list again and take another look
at the other points for avoiding the factors that make us tired.
That raises the probability of conquering fatigue to about 70%.
01_TOO MUCH FAT
02_DEHYDRATION
03_CLUTTER
Researchers at the Penn
State College of Medicine in
Pennsylvania have found that
those whose diet is primarily
predicated on high-fat foods
(such as those that contain
butter, cream, full-fat cheese,
and greasy snacks like chips)
are likely to feel sleepy during
the course of their day. The
researchers also found that
when the body has to burn
more fat for fuel (oxidation),
our ability to pay attention will
be decreased accordingly.
TIP: For at least three days
only eat food that contains
less than 10 grams of fat per
100 grams. (Read the labels.)
Our bodies are two-thirds
water, which is found both
inside and outside our cells
as well as in the bloodstream.
If the body loses more ?uid
than it takes in, our cells are
no longer able to ful?ll many
of their functions. Blood gets
thicker, circulation suffers,
and blood pressure drops?
the brain doesn?t get enough
oxygen. Fatigue is the most
common result.
TIP: Keep careful track of your
daily ?uid intake. If you drink
less than 2 liters each day,
double the amount for a week
(spread it out across the day)
and see if you feel more alert.
Never before in history have
people been subjected to so
many stimuli as they are now.
To keep from drowning in this
veritable ?ood of information,
our brains must decide which
of these sensory impressions
are important and which can
safely be ignored. The more
stimuli there are to process,
the harder the brain has to
work. Studies now show that
tidiness keeps us alert while
being in a messy environment
can lead to fatigue.
TIP: Straighten up any areas
where you?ll spend several
hours a day (like your desk at
work or the kitchen counter).
04_TOO MUCH
COFFEE
Caffeine is a stimulant, and
coffee is considered to be a
highly popular pick-me-up.
But if you are drinking strong
ground coffee without eating
anything, you?ll end up feeling
tired again before too long.
Reason: Around 30 minutes
after you ingest a caffeinated
beverage the blood vessels in
your head contract, thereby
impeding the oxygen supply
to the brain? you get tired.
TIP: Try going without your
morning coffee for a while. If
you ?nd you?re feeling better,
you?ve discovered the culprit
that was making you tired.
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33
Jul 2017
05_STALE AIR
08_MORNING CROISSANT
The carbon dioxide we exhale as the
result of oxygen exchange in our lungs
increasingly accumulates in closed and
unventilated rooms. If we breathe too
much of this waste gas, we grow tired.
TIP: Even just ?ve minutes of thorough
airing?with all of the windows open
at once?is enough to lower the carbon
dioxide concentration in a room.
Foods made from white ?our such as
white bread rolls make us tired. If we
eat these, the pancreas releases large
amounts of insulin, making us feel logy
and listless. Eating three croissants is
comparable to taking a sleeping pill.
TIP: Whole-grain foods not only keep us
?t and alert, they also keep us full longer.
06_NO TIME TO RELAX
We wolf down our meals, the phone
rings throughout the evening, and the
weekend is booked solid?in short,
there is never time for a break. And yet
it has been established that our brains
need breaks? even boredom can have
a positive effect.
TIP: Set aside 10 minutes each day for
doing absolutely nothing. Let your mind
wander. That helps relieve exhaustion.
07_
PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS
The centers in the brain that process
emotions are closely linked with other
brain regions. If you?re feeling low, this
changes certain nerve impulses in the
brain and affects hormonal distribution,
which makes you feel tired.
TIP: Consciously do things that make
you happy. Naturally, such activities
vary from person to person?but they
all prompt the release of ?happiness
hormones? that make us feel better.
Pies, cakes, and sugary soft drinks are
sweet temptations that make us tired.
They deplete our bodies of the valuable
B vitamins that help us maintain our
vitality such as B1, B3, B6, and folate.
When we suffer from a de?cit of these
vitamins, our performance declines.
TIP: B vitamins are found in ?sh, liver,
broccoli, spinach, kale, and dairy items.
If you are de?cient, your doctor might
advise taking B complex vitamin tablets.
10_TOO MUCH SUGAR
A study by the American Academy of
Sleep Medicine revealed that the more
sugar we eat during the day, the more
problems we have getting to sleep and
staying asleep at night. Study subjects
who ate a lot of sugar during the day
took 12 minutes longer to fall asleep.
TIP: Our brains need sugar for energy
fuel, but avoid sweets in the evening.
11_DIETS
Not eating enough results in a loss of
physical and mental energy. Fatigue,
irritability, and poor concentration are
unwanted side effects of drastic diets.
TIP: Healthy weight loss has nothing to
do with starving. Changing your diet to
include more whole-grain foods, lots of
fruit and vegetables, and an adequate
?uid intake will bring you more lasting
success?and won?t make you as tired.
When we head to work before sunrise,
come home after sunset, and spend the
entire day under ?uorescent lights, our
neurotransmitters are thrown off kilter.
TIP: Spend at least 30 minutes per day
in daylight outdoors, even when the sky
is gray. This decreases the production
of the sleep hormone melatonin.
34
ideasanddiscoveries.com
Those who don?t adhere to a regular sleep
schedule subject their bodies to permanent
stress. People with a regular sleep rhythm
are therefore likely to feel tired less often.
TIP: Try not to sleep too much longer on the
weekends than you do during the week.
09_CAKES & CO.
12_TOO LITTLE LIGHT
Jul 2017
13_SLEEPING IN
14_LED RADIATION
Studies have shown that the LED light
emitted by mobile phones, computers,
and televisions can interfere with sleep
rhythms and our ability to fall asleep.
TIP: Turn off all devices that emit LED
light one hour before you go bed and/or
keep them out of your bedroom.
15_TOO LITTLE PROTEIN
Protein is the key to a strong immune
system. If our protein stores are too
low, our bodies take what they need
from our muscle tissue, and that leads
to chronic tiredness.
TIP: Nuts, meat, cottage cheese, and
milk are good sources of protein.
16_UNBALANCED LOAD
Stress and overwork can make us tired,
but so can being mentally underloaded.
To stay ?t our brains require the right
balance of tension and relaxation.
TIP: Researchers have found that taking
a 10- to 15-minute nap between 1 P.M.
and 3 P.M. can make us more alert and
considerably sharpens our cognitive
capabilities and performance.
17_SNORING
Many snorers brie?y and repeatedly
stop breathing during the night, which
is a condition doctors call sleep apnea.
These breathing interruptions happen
when the airways narrow because the
soft tissue at the back of the throat has
collapsed. This robs the body of oxygen
and results in fatigue during the day.
TIP: In most cases it helps to lose weight
or abstain from drinking alcohol before
bedtime. If these measures don?t help,
a sleep specialist can clarify the reason.
H OW T IR E D N E S S
ALTERS OUR EGO:
7
EFFECTS
ON THE PSYCHE
Those who are irritable in addition to being
tired could be suffering from a vitamin
de?ciency caused by an unbalanced diet.
A shortfall in vitamins B1, B2, and C can
make us feel sluggish.
TIP: Drink a glass of fresh orange juice or
grapefruit juice every day (vitamin C) and
try muesli with walnuts or almonds for
breakfast (vitamins B1 and B2).
19_LACK OF EXERCISE
People who don?t move enough are more
likely to feel tired than regular exercisers.
TIP: The World Health Organization advises
getting about 30 minutes of exercise ?ve
times a week, and even walking will suf?ce.
Movement is important for our circulation
as well as our metabolism.
20_SCRAMBLED EGGS
According to one study, children grew tired
after having scrambled eggs for breakfast.
But the fatigue effect is not caused by the
eggs themselves, it?s the heated fat used
to cook them?the digestive system needs
a lot of energy to process the fat.
TIP: Instead of adding oil or butter to the
pan, heat 2 tablespoons of water and wait
for it to boil. Then cook the eggs as usual.
21_LEGUMES
The high dietary ?ber content of lentils,
peas, and beans slows down the digestive
process. They reach the large intestine in
an undigested form where they activate
bacteria that ferment the ?ber and sugars.
As a result, we feel bloated and tired.
TIP: Not all legumes will make us feel tired.
Soybeans are the only legumes that contain
lecithin, a fatty substance that?s converted
into acetylcholine, which keeps us alert.
1
PROMOTES
AGGRESSION
Exhausted people are much
quicker to turn to violence,
are more easily irritated,
and have a lower threshold
of inhibition. A team of Dutch
psychologists and doctors
have discovered that lack of
sleep affects the prefrontal
cortex. This is the part of
the brain that processes
emotions, and when we are
tired it can allow us to be
more prone to aggression.
2
KILLS
CONCENTRATION
When we are exhausted, we
have a much harder time
remembering things.
According to internal
medicine specialist Bruce
Carruthers, disorientation
as well as dif?culties with
concentration and shortterm memory are symptoms
of so-called semi-somnia.
3
AMPLIFIES
ADDICTION
?To overcome stress and
exhaustion, people look for
ways to relax. They often
turn to alcohol, drugs, and
nicotine,? says Dr. Ulrike
G黡el. The German general
practitioner adds that quite
a few of her stress patients
seek refuge by escaping into
virtual worlds. This can result
in an addiction to gaming or
Internet pornography.
4
TRIGGERS
DEPRESSION
Sleep disorders are a sign of
exhaustion?and often lead
to other problems. ?For
people with a sleep disorder,
the risk of developing
depression is twice as high
as it is for normal sleepers,?
explains sleep medicine
specialist Ingo Fietze. He
says that many sufferers
cannot admit to themselves
that they have an illness?
they insist their insomnia
will abate once they have
less stress in their lives.
5
FUELS
FRUSTRATION
Exhausted people have a
negative perception of their
environment. Consequences
include frustration at work
and attempts to distance
oneself from others. Those
affected tend to denigrate
their colleagues as well as
their customers, explains
burnout expert Carola
Kleinschmidt.
6
FEEDS
FEAR
Constant stress can cause
anxiety disorders. While not
all those who suffer from
fatigue also experience
panic attacks and mood
swings, they are far more
susceptible to these than
healthy people. This was
discovered by four Dutch
psychopathologists and
epidemiologists at the
University of Groningen.
7
DULLS
REACTIONS
Exhausted people react
three times slower than
those who are relaxed.
According to the CDC, the
effects of fatigue on road
safety are comparable to
those of ingesting alcohol.
Going 17 hours without
sleep corresponds to a
blood alcohol level of 0.05.
Going an entire day without
sleep corresponds to a
blood alcohol level of 0.1.
PHOTOS: Chris Pecoraro/Getty Images; Laif; PR (4).
18_VITAMIN DEFICIENCY
THE HIDDEN PATHWAYS
THE DOCTOR OF THE AIR
In the summer months strong southeasterly
winds blow along the coast of South Africa.
Not only do they blow the foggy ?tablecloth?
(image) across Table Mountain, sometimes
the gusts are powerful enough to improve
the air quality of Cape Town by clearing the
contaminants and irritants out of the air.
Locals call this wind the ?Cape Doctor.?
Nature
It drives our weather, shapes our landscapes, and carries plant seeds and even animals to
the farthest reaches of the planet. But all wind is not the same. In fact, this force of nature
has more than a hundred faces? and not all of them are friendly?
ideasanddiscoveries.com
37
Jul 2017
POUNDS PER SQUARE FOOT
Off the coast of France the wind regularly whips up waves as
high as 70 feet, and these pummel the coastline and offshore
lighthouses with up to 20,000 pounds of pressure per square
foot. If a ship at sea were to be walloped by such monster waves,
the onslaught can end in disaster. The reason: The hull of most
seagoing vessels can withstand a maximum of 3,000 pounds per
square foot?so the water?s violent motions can crush them.
STORM FRONT
HOW HIGH CAN THE WIND DRIVE THE WAVES? EXAMPLE: FRANCE
Squalls moving almost as fast as 100 miles per hour lash
the sea along the western coast of France (image: the La
Jument Lighthouse). The towering waves piled up by the wind
can be 70 feet high and threaten to swallow the 154-foot-high
lighthouse when they crash against it. On this day the Atlantic?
otherwise known for its peaceful beaches at these latitudes?
has become a raging beast. The cause is a humongous storm
front that?s moving toward Europe. Hurricane winds born of the
temperature differences in the convergence zone between the
Northern and Southern Hemispheres are among the greatest
Jul 2017
38
ideasanddiscoveries.com
dangers of seafaring. The reason: monster waves. Researchers
studying the Draupner oil platform complex in the North Sea
recorded 466 of them during their interval of study. In order for
such giant waves to develop, it usually takes persistently strong
winds blowing against the water?s current. Initially the waves
generated by the wind are only about 10 to 20 feet tall and roll
along at various speeds so the distance between them varies.
This causes slow-moving waves to be overtaken by faster ones,
resulting in a traf?c jam. Wind and currents pile up the waves.
The process can theoretically create waves as tall as 160 feet.
FEET
The imposing cloud-like mass of a full-blown haboob
can consume even a big city like Phoenix (image) in
only a matter of seconds. During such a dust storm,
visibility is practically reduced to zero.
MILLION TONS
A single haboob can transport
more than 100 million tons of
sand. Entire tracts of land can
be relocated this way.
HABOOB
HOW DOES A SAND TSUNAMI ARISE? EXAMPLE: USA
The blue summer sky suddenly turns pitch black over part
of Arizona. An intense dust storm called a haboob, which
is generated by the wind exhaled by a collapsing thunderstorm,
is hitting Phoenix at over 90 miles per hour?and within minutes
the city of 1.5 million inhabitants has turned into a ghost town.
Cold descending air currents have piled up desert sand to create
a tsunami up to 10,000 feet high that rushes through the streets.
The power grid breaks down. An hour later the tempest is over.
Again. Though common in places like the Sahara Desert, haboobs
are not a rare phenomenon in arid and semiarid areas of the U.S.
When the soil is particularly dry in the summertime, desert storms
pick up trillions of tiny particles of sand and dust and swirl them
high into the air. This dynamic process produces sandstorms up
to 60 miles wide that swallow up everything that lies in their path.
Only when the wind subsides do the particles fall to the ground.
In this way sand dunes can be picked up and piled up elsewhere.
MILES PER HOUR
Without wind, bush?res would not be possible. The heat of the ?re
gives rise to strong air currents, which are also accompanied by the
emergence of side winds that stoke the ?ames at hurricane speed.
BRICKFIELDER
HOW FAST CAN A FIRE FRONT MOVE? EXAMPLE: AUSTRALIA
Most of the houses that are lost in a bush?re are set alight
by ?ying ash. In Australia such sparks are often transported
by an extremely hot, dry wind called a brick?elder that also fans
existing flames. These winds can carry a glowing particle of ash
through the air for up to 15 miles. A brick?elder is a driving force
behind a bush?re?and so far it is rarely ever possible to predict
where the wind will push a ?re. Reason: Fire and wind in?uence
each other. The ?re heats up the surrounding air to such a degree
Jul 2017
40
ideasanddiscoveries.com
that it moves up to 1,000 times faster than an air current generated
by the thermal energy from the Sun. Wild?re expert Jean-Baptiste
Filippi says this is the impetus for a very dangerous vicious circle:
?The heat of the ?re produces a very strong upward movement of
air with wind speeds of up to 160 feet per second.? That sucks in
cooler air currents along the ground from the surrounding area.
The result: Like a blacksmith?s bellows, a brick?elder stokes the
?re more and more, thereby increasing its intensity.
INCHES IN
DIAMETER
The winds that propel a tornado
at up to 300 mph can also pound
the ground below with hailstones
as large as cantaloupes.
DEGREES
FAHRENHEIT
Tornadoes are born out of
supercells?huge rotating
thunderstorms in which the
temperature of the air can
drop very low and flow out
toward the ground.
BEAR?S CAGE
WHERE CAN A TORNADO HIDE? EXAMPLE: USA
It?s almost as if the storm has pulled a dark hood over the
approaching calamity. This is the roaring birth of a tornado.
Behind a wall of driving rain that seems to connect the gigantic
thundercloud with the ground, warm air is rising?so quickly that
the dreaded funnel shape forms. The tornado races over the ground
at up to 70 miles per hour, and the speed of the rotating internal
winds can reach over 300 miles per hour. Meteorologists call the
curtain of rain that makes tornadoes almost completely invisible
a ?bear?s cage.? This phenomenon originates in a supercell?a
gigantic storm cloud ?lled with masses of turbulent air, water, or
ice that can reach a height of 10 miles and a width of 100 miles.
A supercell works like a large-scale tornado: A warm persistently
rotating updraft (mesocyclone) spawns a rotating thunderstorm
that lasts for hours and creates its own weather laws.
PHOTOS: Getty Images (3); HGM Press; Flickr; David Gray/Reuters; SPL; PR; Alamy.
ILLUSTRATIONS: Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images; NASA (2).
W
Jul 2017
e exhale some 23,000 times a day.
In so doing, we send 440 cubic feet
of oxygen, carbon dioxide, nitrogen,
as well as other gases on a journey
around the world. The molecules of
the air we breathe share their new
field of activity with other molecules
in the atmosphere, which, if it were
possible to put them all on a scale,
would weigh around 11 quintillion
pounds?which is about 1,000 times
more than the mass of all the water
in the Mediterranean Sea.
Although this process may sound
chaotic, it actually obeys strict laws.
The molecules will quickly organize
themselves into winds?and in turn,
into wind systems. When you exhale
in North America, for example, your
molecules will soon become part of
the west wind drift or ?westerlies??
one of 144 global wind systems that
surround our planet like a belt and
determine our weather and climate.
Regardless of whether it?s gentle
trade winds or the stormy westerly
winds?air moving over the oceans
is the world?s oldest power source,
blowing the sailing ships of ancient
times from point A to point B and
propelling explorers like Christopher
Columbus to new lands. But the man
who is credited with discovering the
New World was more or less at the
mercy of capricious currents of air.
Never before?as far as we know?
had the wind driven any ship so far
west. The Ni馻, Pinta, and Santa
Maria had drifted across the Atlantic
as if on an invisible conveyer belt?
that is, the trade winds?until finally
making landfall on October 12, 1492.
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But the euphoria that accompanied
their initial success was short-lived
when the explorers had to consider
a new question: How would they go
about sailing eastward to get back
to Europe if the winds were always
blowing from the east to the west?
At first Columbus?s fleet had crept
north against the wind for a few miles
before it appeared that the prayers
of the desperate sailors were heard:
The wind changed its direction and
began blowing from west to east. It
filled up their sails, and they were
able to sail home at the astonishing
speed of 11 knots. What may have
seemed like divine providence was
actually yet another discovery that
Columbus inadvertently made: the
prevailing westerlies. Columbus did
not live to understand the concept,
but later navigators would come to
realize that these ?highways of the
skies? surround the entire globe?
and that each of these wind systems
has its own wind direction.
+ OTHER
WIND PHENOMENA
1
2
3
A PLACE WITHOUT WIND
The reason for the existence of the
various wind systems lies in one of
the properties of the molecules that
make up the air: the constant pursuit
of balance. Air from a high-pressure
area seeks to reach an area of lower
pressure?and air from a warm zone
seeks a cooler one. Winds are born
in an up to 600-mile-wide belt that
runs along the Equator?a zone that
is more hostile to life than any desert.
Thanks to temperatures as high as
120癋 in this zone, the ocean water
evaporates in hissing columns and
the sky becomes shrouded by milehigh clouds. The doldrums, as this
area is known, is the only place on
Earth where the prevailing winds are
calm?but this is also where all the
air currents of the planet originate.
That?s because sunlight heats up
the zone near the Equator, causing
winds to rise vertically before they
fall once again at 30 degrees north
or south of the Equator. The result:
No air moves underneath this rising
column of wind, hence?no wind.
4
(1) DANGEROUS INTERACTION
El Ni駉 changes the ocean currents off the coast
of Peru. However this climate cycle can indirectly
in?uence the weather in other parts of the world
as well?for example, in the form of storm tides
in northern Germany. (Shown here: Hamburg.)
(2) FLOODED LAND
Monsoon winds change direction every six months.
The consequence: extreme weather and ?ooding.
For instance, India receives around 80% of its
annual precipitation during the monsoon season.
(3) DO TORNADOES OCCUR WORLDWIDE?
America endures an average of 1,200 tornadoes
per year, which do billions of dollars of damage.
But the number of twisters is on the rise around
the world, and they frequently occur in northern
Europe and West and East Asia in addition to New
Zealand, Australia, Argentina, and South Africa.
(4) POISONOUS HAZE
So-called ?yellow winds? transport countless
bacteria, pesticides, and fungal spores from the
deserts of China for thousands of miles, all the
way to cities in Japan and Hawaii. The upshot:
respiratory and circulatory diseases.
RULERS OF
THE CLIMATE
Several air?ow systems
surround the Earth like
cushions and determine
the circulation of its
winds (Polar, Ferrel,
and Hadley cells). The
air currents known as
jet streams flow around
Earth at high altitudes.
HOW DOES THE
EARTH?S
MOTION
AFFECT THE WIND?
PREVAILING
WESTERLIES
NORTHEASTERLY
TRADE WINDS
HOW THE
EARTH?S
ROTATION
DRIVES THE
WINDS
SOUTHEASTERLY
TRADE WINDS
The Earth?s winds are
constantly de?ected
by the Coriolis effect.
The momentum of the
rotating planet dictates
the direction in which
winds blow. And that
in?uences our climate.
(See box at far right.)
Along with the Sun,
the Earth?s rotation
is a force that drives the
winds (Coriolis effect). The
reason: For each complete
revolution of the planet, a
given point at the Equator
will travel 25,000 miles?
thus Earth is revolving at
more than 1,000 miles per
hour. But the closer you get
to the poles, the more the
speed drops as the relative
circumference of the Earth
gets smaller. This velocity
difference creates motion.
For example, when the fastmoving air from the Equator
encounters slower-moving
polar air, it will rush ahead
and be diverted to the east.
HOW WINDS CREATE DESERTS
When the wind blows across North Africa toward the Equator,
it functions like a hair dryer. Long ago the winds had dried
out the land here?and thus the Sahara Desert was born.
The water that is absorbed by the wind does not fall as rain
until it gets to the tropics, where it ?lls rivers like the Congo.
THE WIND TRACKER
On the earth.nullschool.net
website you can observe the
direction and intensity of all
the winds around the globe
(indicated as green lines).
This complex visualization
is made possible by a highperformance computer
system called the National
Weather Service?s Global
Forecast System, which
has a computing capacity
of 5.78 petaflops. These two
globe images show the winds
(green lines) over the Paci?c
(left) and the Atlantic (right)
on October 26, 2016.
HAMBURG?S NEW
WORLD
This January saw the opening of the Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany.
The $850 million concert hall is considered to be among the ?nest in the world.
But what makes it so distinctive?
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44
ideasanddiscoveries.com
Technology
STORMPROOF
The magni?cent glass
facade of the 360-foot-high
Elbphilharmonie building
stretches across an area
of 172,000 square feet.
The 1,100 variously curved
glass panes are designed to
withstand gale-force winds.
The construction time was
a little over nine years.
GRAND HALL
The Elbphilharmonie?s
Grand Concert Hall is
82 feet high and has
room for 2,100 visitors.
The orchestra occupies
the center of the hall
and is surrounded by
the audience. The hall
also features a fourmanual organ with
65 ranks of pipes.
SOUND REFLECTOR
HOTEL
GRAND HALL
WHITE SKIN
NO TWO GROOVES
ARE EXACTLY ALIKE
Each of the 10,000 wall
panels has been shaped
individually. They are
actually gypsum ?oor
panels that have been
glued and shaped in
multiple layers based on
computer calculations,
which ensures optimal
acoustics in the hall.
RECITAL HALL
PLAZA
PARKING GARAGE
KAISPEICHER WAREHOUSE
ESCALATOR
APARTMENTS
ORGAN
EXCLUSIVE HARBOR VIEW
The futuristic-looking architecture of the
Elbphilharmonie sits atop the historical
Kaispeicher (?dock storage?) warehouse.
Also housed in the building: a Westin Hotel,
a music museum, and luxury apartments on
the upper ?oors with spectacular views?
which cost up to $3,500 per square foot.
exterior shell
interior shell
MUSEUM OF SOUND
SOUNDPROOF
The Grand Concert Hall and Recital Hall
are two acoustically autonomous rooms
that are decoupled from the rest of the
building. Enormous steel spring elements
isolate the concrete shell of each hall
from the outside world; no harbor sounds
can penetrate to the interior, and not even
the most vigorous orchestra playing with
all its might can be heard from the outside.
PIER
ideasanddiscoveries.com
47
Jul 2017
BATHED IN SOUND?
A NEW ACOUSTICAL STANDARD
In Germany some woodsmen wait for a waning moon to
fell a tree near Christmastime because they believe the
wood will warp less as it dries and creak less as it ages.
Of the 4,765 pipes in the Elbphilharmonie?s organ, 380 of
them are ?moonwood? and the rest are a tin-lead alloy.
The organ is 50 feet high by 50 feet wide and it weighs
27.5 tons?the king of the instruments. Titular organist
Iveta Apkalna is elated: As she begins to play, the first
notes break the silence and then the might of the organ
swells to flood the Elbphilharmonie with its robust sound.
The music is clear, noble, and transparent.
The hall is an acoustical masterpiece?the result of
a great deal of experimentation and complex computer
simulations. Yasuhisa Toyota used a 1:10 scale model of
the hall in order to precisely calculate its surround sound.
The Japanese expert developed a unique material for
the surface texture of the interior: Everything from the
A NEW
LANDMARK
Hamburg?s Elbphilharmonie
is located right on the Elbe
River. Visitors can stroll
along the walkway that
encircles the building's
Plaza to enjoy spectacular
360-degree views of
Germany?s largest port.
Jul 2017
48
ideasanddiscoveries.com
walls and ceilings to the balustrades of the balconies is
covered by a white ?skin? of finely sculpted wavy sheets
of gypsum fiber?10,000 panels that were individually
designed by a computer. Because none of the patterns
was repeated, there is absolutely no sonic interference.
An interesting detail: The organ?s Echo division is hidden
in the funnel-shaped reflector that hangs from the ceiling.
According to organ expert Manfred Schwartz, ?Putting
the Echo division in a reflector above the stage is unique:
Once one or two of the organ?s stops have been pulled,
you can no longer tell where the sound is coming from.
You are bathed in sound!?
It?s a wonder of the world?but building it wasn?t easy.
The planning began in 2001. Architect and real estate
developer Alexander G閞ard approached the Hamburg
Senate with his idea for a concert hall on top of the old
Kaispeicher warehouse. Originally the hall was to open
in the autumn of 2010 and cost the taxpayers $83 million.
But there were repeated delays, especially because of
problems with construction of the roof. Costs exploded,
bringing the construction to a temporary halt. According
to Hamburg?s mayor, Olaf Scholz, the current agreement
between the city and the Hochtief construction company
is estimated to cost taxpayers $853 million.
LANDMARK LIVING FOR $3,500 PER SQUARE FOOT
The smells of fresh paint and concrete still linger faintly.
Like the Berlin Philharmonic, the Elbphilharmonie?s Grand
Hall can accommodate 2,100 visitors in ?vineyard-style?
seating that rises sharply above the stage: The stage in
the middle of the room is surrounded by rows of seats
grouped in ascending terraces that afford optimal views.
The highest seats are 55 feet above the parquet floor.
No seat is more than 100 feet from the conductor, so the
audience members are closer to the performers than
they?d be in any other major concert hall in the world.
In terms of its size and facilities, the Elbphilharmonie
upstages its counterparts: It also houses a Museum of
Sound for children, a Westin Hotel with 244 exclusive
rooms and suites that go for $200 to $1,200 per night
(where all the XXL windows extend from floor to ceiling
and guests can enjoy a 65-foot-long pool), and 44 luxury
apartments on the uppermost floors?the showcase unit
on the 19th floor spans 4,300 square feet and features
six balconies, a sauna, and an exercise room. (The prices
per square foot start at $1,500.) As far as the cost to the
public for the structure?s construction, city officials say
in 10 years the burden of the cost will have diminished.
They point to the Sydney Opera House, which was also
controversial, and they?re sure Hamburg?s citizens will be
proud of their landmark?the world wonder on the Elbe.
PHOTOS: Maxim Schulz/Elbphilharmonie (2); Georg Wendt/DPA Picture-Alliance; Laif; PR (2).
ILLUSTRATION: Herzog & de Meuron/Elbphilharmonie und Laeiszhalle GmbH; Hochtief.
W
hen conductor Thomas Hengelbrock first
raises his baton for the Elbphilharmonie?s
inaugural concert on January 11, 2017, it
signifies the culmination of years of intense
work carried out by the Japanese acoustician Yasuhisa
Toyota. At long last all of his efforts had come to fruition.
Among his concerns as he?d designed the masterpiece:
How can I avoid the muffled sound of some other halls,
where the warmth of the violas never reaches the front
row? How can I ensure the first violins will sound just as
crystal clear in the back of the hall as they do in the front?
His goal: to make the Elbphilharmonie one of the finest
concert halls in the world, and even the best of all time?
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questions
Ask a simple question, get a simple answer? Think again! Scientists often have to work meticulously to come up with explanations
for basic processes?and sometimes they inadvertently discover marvels that can change our perception of the world.
WHICH ONE
IS OUT OF
BOUNDS?
Jul 2017
50
ideasanddiscoveries.com
&answers
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overies.com
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Security tops the
list of concerns at
Kroger, one of the biggest
supermarket chains in the
U.S. So it?s not surprising
that one of the customers
shown standing here isn?t
welcome in their stores?
after all, the little girl?s ice
cream could drip onto the
?oor, and someone could
slip on it and fall. In fact,
Kroger does not permit the
consumption of outside food
in its stores. Yet in contrast,
every customer is allowed
to carry an assault ri?e or
pistol through the aisles.
At least, that is the case
(to varying extents) in the
47 states where some form
of open-carry law has been
passed in the belief that
people should be permitted
to be armed and able to
defend themselves at all
times if they are threatened
or attacked. In the past two
years alone, there have
been some 20 shootings in
Kroger stores. Despite that,
Kroger?unlike many other
supermarket chains in the
U.S.?has made a conscious
decision not to forbid the
carrying of ?rearms. In any
case, such a move might
prove futile, as President
Donald Trump plans to ease
existing gun-control laws.
The promise he had made
for his ?rst day in the White
House: ?I will get rid of
gun-free zones in schools.?
questions&answers
CAN A POWER
PLANT PREVENT
A NATURAL
DISASTER?
This ?flare stack?? a
chimney around 80 feet
high?burns off waste or
unusable gases that arise
during methane production.
The 750-ton barge is
part of a $325 million
investment program
to improve Rwanda?s
energy supply.
Jul 2017
52
ideasanddiscoveries.com
Deep beneath the surface of Lake Kivu
in Central Africa, a time bomb is ticking:
The water near the bottom of the lake
has high concentrations of methane
and carbon dioxide as well as trace
amounts of hydrogen sul?de?around
20 trillion cubic feet of pure explosives.
An explosion could jeopardize the lives
of many of the 2 million people who live
near the lake. But now a way has been
found to take advantage of this gigantic
energy resource and at the same time
prevent a catastrophe: An offshore barge
extracts the gas at a depth of 1,100 feet,
thus removing the water from the lake.
The puri?ed water is then pumped back
into the lake while the gas is sent to a
power plant that converts the valuable
resource into energy. At present the
output is 25 megawatts of electricity?
an energy revolution for rural Rwanda.
This will rise to 100 megawatts by 2019.
20
trillion cubic feet of
explosive gas are found
at the bottom of Lake
Kivu between Rwanda
and DR Congo.
Can you draw
electrical circu
A Japanese company has develo
pen that allows users to draw func
electrical circuits. Its silver-bas
has a conductive property that
it possible to trace a line betwe
points on a sheet of paper and c
them electrically when the ink
Thanks to its silver content, the i
be used to draw functioning circu
could, for example, power an LED
It?s a principle that could revolut
electrical engineering. The inven
the Circuit Marker are already w
on another new development: wal
with built-in sensors that could a
the movements of people in a roo
adjust the lighting accordingly.
CAN AN
ELEPHANT
SMELL
WATER?
Strictly speaking,
an elephant?s trunk
is both its nose as
well as its upper lip.
CAN YOU SURF WITH A
Not only have drones revolution
spheres of ?lmmaking and phot
now the devices have made it po
practice a new kind of water spo
sur?ng is similar to kite sur?ng,
a surfer is pulled along the surfa
water by a line connected to a la
questions&answers
What is an
OCTOBOT?
It looks like an octopus?
and like the eight-armed
cephalopod it resembles,
it doesn?t have any bones.
An Octobot is a tiny robot
made of silicone gels, and
its soft body contains no
rigid internal components.
Since the robot does not
have cable connections,
another technique had to
be found to control it: The
tentacles are powered by
gases that are generated
by an internal chemical
reaction. Its ?exibility and
small size (it?s about the
same size as an SD card)
gives the Octobot a clear
advantage over more rigid
robots because it can be
inserted into hard-to-reach
places, making it a great
tool for various surgeries.
CAN YOU
SEE WITH
YOUR EARS?
Finland?s University of Oulu has conducted
several studies in recent years in which the
test subjects wore light-emitting earplugs.
The reason: Researchers at the university
had previously determined that the human
brain is capable of directly perceiving light?
just as our eyes ordinarily do. The earplugs
deliver bright lights directly to the brain via
the ear canal, providing a healing stimulus
for mood disorders and even depression?
just as in classic light therapy. According to
the researchers, the method yielded positive
results in 9 out of 10 subjects. The earplugs
are mostly used during Finland?s long winters.
During this period each year, almost 40% of
Finland?s population suffers from some form
of winter depression. Now relief is in sight?
Brainteaser
The solution will appear in the next issue, on stands July 21, 2017.
At a construction site, a worker stands on the middle rung of a ladder. To reach the roof, he has to climb the entire ladder. He climbs three steps
higher, then suddenly gets a dizzy spell and descends ?ve rungs again. Since he does not want to embarrass himself in front of his colleagues,
he climbs up seven rungs. After a short break, he climbs the last six rungs and ?nally reaches the roof. How many rungs does the ladder have?
Solution from the May 2017 issue: In order to be admitted to the festival without a ticket, Thomas must say ?5.? The answer is always the number of letters that make up the name of the given
number. The first number, 18, has eight letters; the second number, 14, also has eight letters, and the third number, 8, has five letters. The number given to Thomas, 7, also has five letters.
PHOTOS: PR (15); NASA; Getty Images (2); Werner Krug www.derkrug.at.
Jul 2017
54
ideasanddiscoveries.com
TOP 10
MOST SUCCESSFUL
YOUTUBERS
IN THE WORLD
1. PewDiePie
Swedish Web comedian and video
game commentator Felix Arvid Ulf
Kjellberg has 55 million subscribers.
Annual income*: $12 million.
What is the average life span of a dollar bill?
Every day 38 million banknotes worth
around $540 million are printed by the
U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
But these hot-off-the-press bills do not
increase the total value of the money
that?s currently circulating?they only
replace damaged and worn-out bills.
In general, the life expectancy of any
banknote depends on its face value.
A $1 bill, for example, is in circulation
for 18 months on average, while a $10
bill lasts about three years and the
$50 and $100 bills remain functional
for up to nine years. In the European
Union, 5-, 10-, and 20-euro banknotes
circulate for up to four years and 100-,
200-, and 500-euro bills circulate for
over a decade before being destroyed.
2. Smosh
The Web-based comedy duo of
Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox has
a total of 22 million subscribers.
Annual income: $8.5 million.
3. The Fine Brothers
Brothers Benny and Ra? Fine
entertain 15 million subscribers
with their online productions.
Annual income: $8.5 million.
4. Lindsey Stirling
The violinist and performance
artist has 9 million subscribers.
Annual income: $6 million.
5. Rhett & Link
Comedians Rhett McLaughlin
and Charles Lincoln Neal III have
more than 10 million subscribers.
Annual income: $4.5 million.
6. KSI
British comedian and rapper
Olajide Olatunji entertains more
than 16 million subscribers.
Annual income: $4.5 million.
7. Michelle Phan
Videos by the makeup artist and
YouTube personality Michelle Phan
reach nearly 9 million subscribers.
Annual income: $4.5 million.
8. Lilly Singh
The comedian, actress, singer, and
vlogger has 11 million subscribers.
Annual income: $2.5 million.
*Based on YouTube advertising revenue.
9. Roman Atwood
Comedian and vlogger Roman
Atwood has 20 million subscribers
across two YouTube channels.
Annual income: $2.5 million.
10. Rosanna Pansino
The crafty baker delights 8 million
subscribers with her confections.
Annual income: $2.5 million.
# CAN TWITTE
FEEDS PREDICR
TERRORIST A T A
TTACK?
With around 32
0 million active us
ers in 2016, Twitter
of the most popular
is one
social networks. Bu
t terror organization
such as ISIS also us
s
e Twitter to plan the
ir attacks and recr
new members. As
uit
paradoxical as it ma
y sound: This very
makes Twitter so im
fact
portant in the ?ght
against terrorism.
example, U.S. and UK
For
intelligence agencie
s use Twitter to keep
close tabs on ISIS
activities, and they
?ve developed softw
to search Twitter. By
are
tracking certain co
de words used by IS
the software helped
IS,
UK authorities iden
tify 157 individua
in the last year alon
ls
e who had been ra
dicalized by ISIS.
ML
Follow
lutherof?cial
800,000,000 followers
95 posts
WHEN MARTIN
LUTHER
INVENTED THE INSTAGRAM OF THE
RENAISSANCE
Martin Luther was the ?rst media star in world history? long before
Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Five hundred years ago he began to
inundate the world with images and texts. In this way he was actually
shaping the opinion of an entire continent?while at the same time
protecting his own life?
History
IMAGE CULTIVATION
Thousands of portraits of Martin Luther have
been published by the workshop of Lucas
Cranach the Elder in Wittenberg, Germany?
but there are only a handful of his nemesis,
Pope Leo X. Thanks to this ?ood of circulating
images the reformer became well known and
gained the con?dence of the masses.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
57
Jul 2017
@?rst_media_star
?No one blogs and tweets more than
Luther.? #reformation #hype #church
Volker Reinhardt, historian
Many believe Luther never actually
posted his theses on the doors of the
church?and the story was a public
relations coup long before the term
was invented. In reality, the incident
may have been far less spectacular:
?Luther included a copy of his theses
in a critical letter he?d written to Albert
Brandenburg, archbishop of Mainz,?
explains historian Volker Leppin.
But even in those days proceeding
through the official channels was not
likely to draw any believers out of the
woodwork?the image of a friar with
a hammer in his hand was a lot more
marketable than the most polished
treatise. Historian Volker Reinhardt
sees this image as a decisive move:
?Whether Luther nailed his theses to
the church doors is totally irrelevant;
people need a symbol.? At that time
attacks against a Catholic Church
that didn?t practice what it preached
weren?t uncommon: The Holy Father
always found new ways of collecting
money so that Rome could indulge
in luxury. ?Since God has given us
the papacy, let us enjoy it!? were the
words of Pope Leo X shortly after his
election in 1513. Ingenious salesmen
such as the Dominican friar Johann
Tetzel collected cash in exchange for
indulgences, which was anathema to
Luther. But what could he do about it
without being burned at the stake like
so many brethren before him? Launch
the first media campaign in history?
Luther referred to the printing press
as ?the last and greatest gift of God.?
Just as the opinion leaders of today
send out messages via Instagram or
Twitter, Luther disseminates his ideas
from the small village of Wittenberg
across international boundaries, and
his leaflets inundate the empire like
posts on the Internet today?thanks
to the assistance of his genius media
manager, Lucas Cranach the Elder.
His printing workshop is located less
than half a mile from where Luther is
writing, and there the artist creates
?content? for the reformer?s works.
Cranach keeps an inquisitive public
supplied with a steady stream of new
etchings, woodcuts, and engravings.
Result: Within a relatively short time,
Luther has several million followers.
RENAISSANCE SNOWDEN
Cranach had virtually exclusive rights
to portray the reformer, transforming
the gaunt, timid friar into the radiant
image of a religious authority?soon
most of his livelihood is derived from
portraits of Luther. And there?s plenty
of demand: In 1518 Luther publishes
the files of his own interrogation by
papal emissaries. In 1520 he publicly
burns a papal bull. Even his escape
is staged as a ?media spectacle?:
Luther, who?d been a free man since
the Diet of Worms assembly in 1521,
allows his supporters to stage a fake
kidnapping. Then in 1525 a scandal
ensues that would be a hot topic in
the media even by today?s standards:
The former friar Martin Luther weds
the former nun Katharina von Bora?
and consummates the marriage in
front of several witnesses.
@churchonnotice1517
?The media world of today got its start
500 years ago in Wittenberg.? #jesus
#makechurchgreatagain
Willi Winkler, Luther biographer
But what makes him untouchable
when it comes to the mighty Church?
Initially the Church underestimates
the friar, and soon after it?s too late:
Luther?s postings have made him too
prominent to silence clandestinely?
it?s the same principle that nowadays
protects controversial whistle-blower
Edward Snowden from retribution by
the U.S. intelligence agencies. And
Luther knows his audience well: He
masters Latin so that he can win over
his peers in the Church, but he also
speaks the German of the peasants,
servants, and craftsmen?his most
important followers. ?The barbarian
Luther has quite a talent for telling
the people what they want to hear,?
admits Cardinal Girolamo Aleandro,
who firmly opposes Luther?s notions.
The Catholic Church?s rebuttals lack
the persuasive power of the media.
While the Church is quoting classical
dramas and reveling in a high-flown
literary style, Luther is serving up far
more appetizing food for thought: In
his later pamphlets he declares the
pope to be the Antichrist, says the
cardinals? tongues should be ripped
out, invents shocking swear words,
and just generally vents his spleen.
?Luther is the pop star of his time?
ahead of much larger figures such as
Erasmus of Rotterdam,? says Luther
biographer Willi Winkler. And without
his writings, modern Germany would
be inconceivable: Luther?s treatises
laid the foundations for a common
language for all Germans. They also
demonstrated that even seemingly
powerless individuals can prevail?
against even the most powerful of
opponents. Luther was sowing the
seeds of the Enlightenment, which
would shake up Europe for a second
time less than two centuries later?
PHOTOS: Alamy (18); PR; AKG / DPA - Picture Alliance; DDP; Getty Images.
T
he hammer blows are meant
to reverberate across Europe
like thunder: On October 31,
1517, an Augustinian friar by
the name of Martin Luther nails his
declaration to the doors of the Castle
Church in Wittenberg, Germany. His
Ninety-?ve Theses have been viewed
by some as an attack on Pope Leo X,
who along with Emperor Charles V
was one of the most powerful men in
the world. The ideas Luther imparted
from his small village of 2,000 people
were directed toward Rome and the
representative of God on Earth?yet
they?d be burned into the collective
memory of an entire continent. It was
at this moment 500 years ago that
Western Christianity was divided?
as it remains even to the present day.
But is this really how it happened?
IMAGE MANIPULATION
At ?rst, when he was relatively unknown,
Luther was depicted as a modest friar.
Later on as his fame grew his portraits
became more powerful: The doctor?s cap
and victorious stance were intended to
emphasize the reformer?s authority.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
59
Jul 2017
HOW DO YOU
INTERCEPT
AN AIRCRAFT?
All around the world, when the alarm sounds they scramble into action
and soar into the sky to safeguard everyone down below ? but usually
no one notices when an aircraft interception maneuver is taking place.
What exactly happens above our heads when ?ghter jets are deployed?
Military
2-HOUR TIME LIMIT
From the moment it takes off, an interceptor is under
time pressure because of fuel-supply limitations:
Even though the jet carries additional fuel tanks
(shown here), its mission must be completed within
about two hours. This time is reduced at high speed
or low altitude or when carrying a large payload.
These tanks can be released if necessary to reduce
weight and air resistance. On average, a ?ghter jet?s
deployment radius is between 300 and 900 miles.
VISUAL CONTACT FROM 30 FT AWAY
8.5 TONS OF WEAPONRY
The ?rst goal of an interception maneuver
is to establish visual contact at a distance
of at least 1,650 feet so the menace to the
airspace can be accurately identi?ed. But
a pilot can approach as close as 30 feet
in order to communicate from cockpit to
cockpit via sign language, if necessary.
Rockets can be attached at 11 different
points beneath the fuselage of this U.S.
Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon. There is
also an M61 Vulcan cannon (shown here)
beneath the cockpit that can be used to
?re warning shots, for example. As a ?nal
admonition, a pilot can ?re ?ares into the
?ight path of a potential enemy.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
61
Jul 2017
F
abio Guccione can?t believe
his eyes: It was around noon
when he boarded an Alitalia
Airbus A320 in Amsterdam as
a regular passenger, but not even an
hour later he finds himself in a living
nightmare at 32,800 feet above the
ground. As he looks out the window,
two German Eurofighter Typhoons?
armed with rockets and a cannon?
suddenly swoop into his field of view.
The two fighter jets fly parallel to the
Airbus at a distance of only 300 feet.
?I could see the pilots? faces,? recalls
Guccione, who is still bewildered by
the incident. Could there be a terror
threat? Here? There is growing unrest
among the passengers?especially
since the captain refuses to provide
any information. A seemingly endless
20 minutes later, the fighter jets finally
change course and fly away. A short
time later the Airbus starts its descent
and lands in Rome right on schedule.
The baffling scare is over. But what
really occurred on that November 25,
2014, over southwestern Germany?
CHASING A RENEGADE UFO
Flashback: Somewhere in Germany
between D黶seldorf and Stuttgart an
Airbus loses its radio link with ground
control. No one outside the airborne
aluminum cylinder can confirm what
is going on up there now. The Airbus
has effectively become a UFO. This
alerts the National Operations Center
for Airspace Security at the Combined
Air Operations Centre in Uedem: This
military base receives current data
from 45 radar stations located across
Germany, and soldiers, police, and
other officials there keep a constant
eye on some 1,700 aircraft of all sizes.
?This is the most closely controlled
airspace in the whole world,? points
out Major General Bernhard Schulte
Berge, Uedem?s deputy commander.
But even Uedem?s powerful military
radio equipment can?t connect with
the Airbus. Berge and his colleagues
must now consider the worst-case
scenario: The passenger aircraft has
become a potential renegade?the
term used for a ?rogue? flying object
in the hands of terrorists. The white
circle on the monitors has become a
red triangle creeping across the map
of Germany toward the Black Forest.
At the same time some 300 miles
southeast of Uedem?s base, the 74th
Tactical Air Force Wing at Neuburg
Air Base in Bavaria is taking action:
Only 15 minutes after the alarm was
triggered, two Eurofighter Typhoons
take off. They stand armed and ready
with full fuel tanks 365 days a year
awaiting just such an emergency in
the airspace over southern Germany.
The two fighter jets race toward the
potential renegade and begin flying
alongside it, unsettling passengers
like Fabio Guccione. ?A precaution,?
is what a spokesman for the German
Air Force would later call the incident
when responding to questions about
it: The passengers aboard the Alitalia
flight had been the victims of a simple
technical problem. But what happens
in the case of an actual emergency?
ARE AERIAL TERRORISTS
CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED?
?Air Aero, Boeing 767, tail marking
ABEKT, this is the German Air Force.
?Every object ?ying
in our airspace has
to be recognized, tracked,
and identi?ed.?
THOMAS STEINWEG,*
NATO INTERCEPTOR PILOT
Look left to make eye contact, same
altitude. Can you see me?? That?s the
general format for making an initial
attempt to establish radio contact
over the international emergency
communication channel for air traffic,
which ordinarily runs at 121.5 MHz.
?Our most important goal is first and
foremost to see what?s going on up
there,? says Thomas Steinweg,* who
pilots a NATO interceptor and prefers
to remain anonymous. ?What is the
problem? Are the pilots unconscious?
Or has some electronic system failed?
We can also communicate with hand
or other signals?rocking the wings
back and forth, for instance, means
?okay, I understand,? and making a
closed fist and then extending two
fingers signals an electrical problem.
Even the presence of terrorists on the
plane can be indicated with a signal.?
Generally the mission is over after
the interceptors have gotten a brief
look?but how would they deal with a
true renegade plane? ?In that case,
we take steps to gradually escalate
the situation: We?ll try to compel the
aircraft to land, display our weapons,
give it a ?head butt? by cutting across
its flight path to redirect it. If that fails
we threaten to shoot, and then finally
we fire warning shots,? says Steinweg.
The most extreme action?shooting
down a passenger aircraft?is not
permitted in Germany as it is in other
countries because, according to the
German constitution, one life may not
be taken to save another?if there are
civilians on board a hijacked airliner,
fighter-interceptors are only allowed
to force the aircraft to change course.
But privately Steinweg admits that
even with the most modern fighters,
that cannot always be accomplished:
?If terrorists aren?t intimidated by our
maneuvers, they basically have free
rein.? That is, unless a law is broken
from then on, in which case the culprit
is immediately brought to justice.
*Name has been changed by the editors.
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>
TERRORIST TOOL
This Boeing 767 is ?ying in Austrian
airspace without authorization and
does not respond to radio contact.
The two Euro?ghter Typhoons below
intercept it?in this case it is only
a practice mission.
CAN A PASSENGER JET
BE SHOT DOWN?
If a passenger plane were to fall into the
hands of terrorists, is it lawful to sacri?ce
the people on board to save the lives of others?
According to German law, no (because one life
may not be taken to save another), but in India
the answer would be yes. Most other nations,
including the U.S., France, the UK, and Russia
have no speci?c regulations but do allow for
the use of force under extreme circumstances.
And if such extreme circumstances were ever
to manifest, the pilot of a ?ghter jet may even
?nd himself on a foreign mission: For economic
reasons nations like Slovenia, Albania, and the
Baltic states don?t have their own air force?it
costs millions to train a combat pilot, so a NATO
partner country would shoulder their burden.
EUROFIGHTER
TYPHOON
In 2015 alone, British Euro?ghter
Typhoons took to the sky 12 times
to intercept possible violators of
the UK?s airspace. In eight of these
cases the transgressors proved
to be Russian aircraft.
TASK FORCE
Encounter at 33,000 feet: The
two Typhoons must ?rst locate
their target in the sky and then
decelerate from 1,240 mph to
precisely match the 500 mph
speed of the passenger jet.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE
INVADES NATIONAL AIRSPACE?
All along national land boundaries, up to 12 nautical
miles from the coastline, and as high as 330,000 feet:
These are the dimensions that de?ne a nation?s airspace.
But long before an unauthorized aircraft actually enters a
country?s sovereign airspace, alarms go off on the ground
and interceptors take to the skies. If an airspace violation
really is afoot, the interceptors play the same role as border
police on the ground: They might order the plane to land or
leave the airspace, and they can use various kinds of force.
SUKHOI SU-27
Like other military aircraft,
these Russian ?ghters are
neither required to identify
themselves in international
airspace nor report to air
traf?c control.
THE RULES OF
INTERCEPTION
PHASE 1
Identi?cation
PHASE 2
Communication
PHASE 3
Reaction
Interceptors almost always ?y in
pairs: One usually ?ies behind the
target plane while the other positions
itself to the left of the target?s cockpit.
First they?ll identify the type of aircraft,
occupants, weaponry, nationality, etc.
Then the interceptor ?ying next to the
target attempts to establish contact by
radio or hand signals or by crossing the
target plane?s trajectory to indicate the
direction in which it should be ?ying.
These maneuvers are suf?cient 99.9%
of the time to restore order in the sky.
TARGET PLANE
HOW MANY RENEGADES ARE
THERE EACH YEAR?
Up until now, such an incident has
never occurred in Germany?at least
not yet. But a loss of radio contact
between aircraft and air traffic control
takes place more than 200 times per
year in that nation alone. In addition,
alarms sometimes sound because a
plane has deviated from its declared
flight path due to a navigational error
or a damaged transponder (which is
more or less the electronic equivalent
of an aircraft?s tail markings). In 2015
there had been 18 incidents that the
German military refers to as ?alpha
scrambles,? genuine alarms resulting
in a deployment of one of two pairs
of Quick Reaction Alert Interceptors
that operate out of Neuburg an der
Donau in Bavaria and Wittmund in
East Frisia. Including the responses
from allies near the German border,
42 missions were flown, almost one
a week. That number tripled between
2013 and 2015, and the authorities
had briefly classified a civilian aircraft
as a ?renegade? six times?potential
catastrophes of which the public had
remained unaware.
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And that?s not all: Regarding NATO?s
external borders, a military war rages
along the invisible wall between east
and west; theoretically, this extends
from the ground level to outer space.
?Every object flying in our airspace
has to be recognized, tracked, and
identified,? explains NATO interceptor
pilot Thomas Steinweg. About once
a week the Bulgarian Air Force flies
an interception, mostly in reaction to
Russian military jets approaching the
?We simply have to
demonstrate that
we are always prepared
to defend ourselves?
and that also includes
our borders.?
THOMAS STEINWEG,
NATO INTERCEPTOR PILOT
Bulgarian airspace: ?We simply have
to demonstrate that we are always
prepared to defend ourselves,? says
Steinweg. The European airspace is
rather clearly regulated, in contrast
with the U.S.: There the no-fly zones
can change almost daily. All it takes
is for the American president to be in
the air for all the air traffic along his
route to come to a standstill. In the
U.S. about three airspace violations
are registered each day?it takes no
more than an aircraft flying over the
home of former President George W.
Bush in Texas. And in contrast with
Germany, there is no prohibition on
shooting down passenger aircraft: In
April 2009 a Canadian pilot entered
U.S. airspace in a small Cessna 172
and failed to answer his radio. The
aircraft had been stolen from a flight
school in Canada and the pilot ended
up in a rural part of Missouri, but not
before the plane was intercepted and
tracked as it traveled. According to
Gary Miller from the Federal Aviation
Administration, the story could have
had a tragic ending: ?If the pilot had
turned and headed toward Chicago,
we would have brought him down.?
PHOTOS: Getty Images; PR (2).
ILLUSTRATION: Wendy Lau/WDW-Gra?k.
INTERCEPTOR
SMARTER IN 60 SECONDS
FIGHTER JETS
Which jet is the fastest
in all the world?
The SR-71 Blackbird still holds the record for the world?s
fastest airbreathing manned aircraft. Developed by the
Lockheed Corporation in the 1960s, this spy plane set
an absolute speed record of 1,905.81 knots (2,193.2 mph)?more
than triple the speed of sound. During their 34 years of service
with the U.S. Air Force, Blackbirds were ?red upon by more than
4,000 rockets: All missed their target because the Blackbird could
out-fly a missile. The aircraft got its name because of the stealth
technology that made it invisible to enemy radar. Lockheed built
only 32 of these jets before they were decommissioned in 1998.
15
When does a jet ?ghter become a cobra?
Not many military jets can assume the reared-up defensive
posture of a cobra?and most of these are built by the Russian
aircraft manufacturers Sukhoi and MiG. Western ?ghter jets
such as the Euro?ghter or the F-22 Raptor have only a limited ability to
imitate this complicated evasive maneuver: The pilot sharply reduces
speed by pulling the aircraft?s nose up into a vertical position without
changing altitude. From this position, which resembles the defensive
posture of a threatened snake, he drops the nose and continues to ?y
in the same direction. Extremely powerful engines are required to
execute this ?Pugachev?s Cobra? and make an aircraft stand on its tail.
And the pilot must ?rst disable the angle of attack limiter.
15
Which is the best dog?ghter?
The term ?dog?ght? was coined during World War I,
when observation aircraft were ?rst armed for shooting
one another down. But which jets today have the best
chance of victory in these close-combat aerial battles? Researchers
have staged thousands of simulated dog?ghts in which various jet
?ghters were pitted against a Russian Sukhoi Su-35. They found
that while the French Rafale emerged from this simulated combat
with a ratio of 1:1, the American F-15, F-16, and F-18 ?ghter jets
fared worse. For every ten F-15s that were shot down, only eight
Su-35s were lost. The Euro?ghter Typhoon had a superior ratio
of 4.5:1. For every 10 Typhoons destroyed, 45 Sukhois were shot
down. Only one aircraft fared even better: the F-22 Raptor. The
results for this ?ghter jet, which entered service in 2010: 10:1.
15
What is the most dif?cu
landing to execute?
There are no constants when a
plane lands on an aircraft carrier.
Water, wind, runway?everything
is perpetually in motion. An aircraft carrier
can plow through the water at over 30 mph,
and the waves may lift and lower the vessel
by 15 feet. A landing ?ghter jet hits the
deck of an aircraft carrier with essentially
four times its normal weight as it attempts
to attach its tailhook to the arrestor cable.
A split second later the GE engines develop
110,000 hp?enough for a touch-and-go
landing if the tailhook fails to make contact.
In that case the plane will take off again at
185 mph, and the effort begins anew. If all
goes according to plan, the arrestor cable
brings the jet from 180 mph to a halt within
330 feet, slamming the pilot against his
harness with over ?ve times his body weight.
PHOTOS: Getty Images; Reuters; PR.
15
Current Events
Spectacular new photographs of the Moon reveal :
Our closest neighbor is getting smaller and smaller.
But what does that mean for Earth?
IS THE MOO
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ASTEROID ALARM
We can?t see it happening from Earth,
but the Moon protects us from giant
asteroids. Instead of striking Earth?s
surface, they hit the back of the Moon
and leave behind huge craters.
CONTRACTION
The Moon?s solid core resembles
Earth?s own core. But the interior
of the Moon is gradually cooling
down faster than Earth?s core is
cooling. This has created cracks
and gorges on the Moon?s surface.
BALANCING ACT
The Moon revolves around the
Earth at an average distance
of 239,000 miles. The mutual
gravitational pull keeps Earth
in a stable orbit. If this were
lost, disaster would ensue.
HRINKING?
N
ASA launched its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
(LRO) in June of 2009, and it has been the most
powerful and productive lunar probe yet. The
space agency is utilizing the lunar orbiter for a
project that had previously been unfeasible because the
technology was not yet sufficiently developed: making a
complete high-resolution map of the entire Moon. The
LRO circles the Moon at an altitude that varies between
22 and 40 miles, and the photos it takes are razor-sharp.
?The ultrahigh resolution images are changing our view
of the Moon,? says Mark Robinson, principal investigator
for the LRO?s imaging system. ?We?re seeing much more
detail than there was in the older Apollo photographs.?
When the orbiter transmitted its first images to Earth,
NASA scientists discovered something unbelievable:
The Moon had shrunk. The new images revealed
previously unrecorded trenches, crevasses, and
ravines distributed across the entire surface.
Were these indications of a dying Moon?
WHY IS THE MOON SHRINKING?
Anatomy
of the
Moon
?The young age of the fault scarps and
their global distribution indicate that
the entire Moon has contracted
very recently,? explains Thomas
Watters, a senior scientist at
the Center for Earth and
Planetary Studies at
the Smithsonian
CRATERS
The biggest asteroid crater on the
Moon is 1,500 miles in diameter and
more than 5 miles deep.
National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
He and his team analyzed the structural changes and
compared more recent photographs from the LRO with
images from the manned Apollo missions between 1968
and 1972. That enabled Watters to calculate the size of
the Moon at its birth around 4.5 billion years ago and
compare it with its size today. He found that the diameter
of the Moon had decreased by approximately 300 feet,
although that still leaves more than 2,100 miles. But all
in all, this was clear evidence that the Moon had shrunk.
While 300 feet may not sound like a lot, NASA scientists
have made another unsettling discovery: The shrinking
is occurring because the Moon?s core is cooling. Like the
Earth, the Moon has a solid inner core that?s surrounded
by molten magma. The Moon?s temperature at its ironrich inner core is about 2,500癋. But in contrast with the
Earth, there is no decay of radioactive elements in the
lunar core that could continue to heat the Moon?s interior.
The result: As the Moon cools, its crust, which is 35 miles
thick on average, is sagging inward much like the skin of
a shriveling apple, and that process is giving rise to new
cracks and crevices. And here the Earth is not entirely
?innocent.? Some researchers believe that the Earth?s
gravitational pull could actually be ?kneading? the Moon
and thereby reshaping its surface. Thus far the Moon?s
shrinking process does not appear to be affecting Earth.
But what happens if the Moon does not stop shrinking?
And how important is the Moon to our survival on Earth?
WHAT WOULD OCCUR IF THE MOON
WERE TO DISAPPEAR ENTIRELY?
The Moon has been orbiting Earth for billions of years,
which it does at an average distance of 239,000 miles.
Both of these heavenly bodies possess a gravitational
field of their own, and their proximity makes them
codependent. The gravitational forces of
the Moon and Sun are responsible
for Earth?s tidal currents.
UPHEAVAL
Geological shifts have
lifted parts of the Moon?s
crust and mantle over
other parts. While similar
shifts occur in tectonic
plates on Earth, on the
Moon they are the direct
result of the shrinking
process in the interior.
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COMPRESSION
Because the interior of
the Moon is unstable, the
mantle and crust move
toward each other and
become pressed together.
THOMAS WATTERS, senior scientist
at the Center for Earth and Planetary
Studies in Washington, D.C.
?Our assumption that the Moon has not been
geologically active for billions of years has
been completely shaken by the new images.?
In any case, there would no longer be a day-and-night
cycle as we know it now. The Earth?s axis would become
completely unstable and tilt at an unpredictable angle.
The burning-hot Sun might shine for months on end, and
then there might be several months of total darkness.
Each of the extremely short days on a moonless Earth
would be life-threatening, because a planet that rotates
so fast would also have much stronger wind movements.
Hurricanes may sweep across Earth at average speeds
of 200 to 300 miles per hour?on par with the velocity of
the world?s fastest high-speed trains. Without the Moon,
Earth?s temperature range would also become far more
hostile to life. The American Midwest might see summer
temperatures as high as 140癋, and winter temperatures
could plunge as low as 60 below zero. Things would be
even more chaotic in the polar regions, where it would
be hotter than 175癋, while the areas around our current
Equator would vanish under blankets of ice and snow.
And as if all that were not enough, if we lost the Moon,
we would also lose one of our most important
bodyguards: Without the Moon, there is
nothing to block giant asteroids
from hitting the Earth.
In fact, 16% of the Moon?s surface consists of craters so
big that on a clear night they are visible as dark shadows,
even to the naked eye. They are the traces left behind by
enormous impacts. The back side of the Moon, which we
never see because it is always turned away from Earth,
is littered with such craters. And because the Moon has
a negligible atmosphere, the unchecked asteroids hit its
surface with full force?at up to 134,000 miles per hour.
There are many lunar craters, 1,500 of which are named
and recognized by the International Astronomical Union.
However it is unlikely that we are witnessing the selfdestruction of the Moon; after all, it has taken well over
4 billion years for the distance from the Moon?s core to
its surface to be reduced by 300 feet. At that rate, it
would be another 140 trillion years before the Moon
disappears altogether. In the meantime, there are
other possibilities that are far more probable; for
example, that the Moon and Earth drift apart.
Scientists have observed the Moon moving
about 1.5 inches away from Earth per year.
The forces driving the Moon away from
Earth are greater than the attraction
between the two heavenly bodies.
Thus the Moon?s effect on Earth
is gradually decreasing. But it
will take some time before
the widening gulf gets
dangerous for us?
roughly another
billion years.
PHOTOS
THE CRUST
The thickness of the Moon?s crust varies from about
10 to 40 miles. For instance, at the landing sites of
NASA?s Apollo missions it was 19 miles thick. As the
Moon?s interior cools, the crust becomes deformed.
ESCARPMENTS
The force of the shifts pushes parts of
the lunar surface upward, leading to the
formation of giant cliffs and steep slopes.
THE MANTEL
The Moon?s mantle lies between
its crust and its core.
The high-resolution
LRO photographs
reveal the cracks
and gorges that are
formed as the Moon
continues to shrink.
PHOTOS: NASA.
ILLUSTRATION: B. Ramis de Ayre?or/wdw-Gra?k.
This means the tides are always in a steady equilibrium,
which significantly slows Earth?s rotation around its axis.
But what happens if the Moon and the stability it supplies
were to disappear? The effects would be catastrophic:
Experts calculate that without the Moon, the Earth would
rotate around its axis three times faster than it does now.
Our current 24-hour day would be cut down to 8 hours.
History
THE BATTLE
OF VERDUN:
HELL
ON EARTH
Just over a century ago, one of the cruelest campaigns of
carnage raged just beyond the gates of Verdun. The small
French city became the setting for one of the darkest chapters
in human history. More than a 1,000 soldiers died there every
day for almost an entire year? but in the end, the German
attackers gained no more than a few meters of land?
INCESSANT BOMBARDMENT
Shells were raining down at the rate
of almost one a minute during the
Battle of Verdun?and the shelling
went on for 300 days and nights.
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??
TOTAL DESTRUCTION
Bombs, shells, poison gas, machine
guns?the Battle of Verdun marked
the dawn of industrialized warfare.
W
e have entered
the earth. Our
only hope lies
in the foxholes,
which permit a
bit of illusion. You force yourself into
one by making yourself very small.
You hide behind a corpse. They are
no longer being buried. What would
be the point? The next shell will only
dig them up again.? (?French artist
Fernand L間er, who?d served as a
sapper at Verdun.)
The inferno begins at exactly 7:15
in the morning on February 21, 1916.
The first shell streaks over grassy
hills and dense stands of trees at
over 500 miles per hour?and lands
in the small French city of Verdun.
What follows is the most violent rain
of steel in the history of humanity.
During the first 24 hours alone,
the soldiers of the German Empire
fire an incredible 936,000 shells in
the direction of Verdun?by the next
morning the air is so full of smoke
that no one can even see his hand
in front of his eyes, and the cries for
help and screams of pain alternate
with the thunderous explosions.
Even as far as 60 miles away the
ground of northeastern France is
trembling. The German Army?s goal:
to conquer the extremely symbolic
fortress of Verdun, thereby crushing
the morale of the enemy as well as
bringing movement to the Western
Front. What follows is 10 months of
merciless attrition warfare that not
only burns deep into the ground but
also into the collective memories of
these two nations. But what exactly
happened here over a century ago?
What did the soldiers experience?
And how did the hell that was Verdun
change warfare in the 20th century?
Even as early as March of 1916 it
had become clear that the German
attempt to break through the French
lines at Verdun would not succeed.
Nonetheless the chief of the German
General Staff, Erich von Falkenhayn,
keeps sending the almost 1 million
soldiers under his command into the
battle?he wants to bleed the French
to death. The opposing commander,
General Henri-Philippe P閠ain, tells
his men to stand firm and hold their
ground at any price. P閠ain orders
several hundred thousand soldiers
into the trenches and switches out
his infantry divisions approximately
every week and a half. By the end of
World War I, two out of every three
French soldiers had fought at least
once at Verdun. The consequence:
By springtime the area surrounding
Verdun looked like a blood-soaked
crater-ridden landscape of splintered
tree trunks and disfigured corpses.
Here thousands of shells would land
each day, plowing up about 3 feet of
the ground every time. In addition to
the airplanes and machine guns, the
weaponry included flamethrowers
and poison gas. ?Verdun was total
out-and-out warfare. Nothing like it
had ever been seen before,? says
German historian Gerd Krumeich.
He adds: ?The exceptional aspect
of Verdun was the intersection of
the modern ranged attack and oldfashioned single combat.? In fact,
DEADLY LABYRINTH OF MUD
The trenches (photo at left) were often all that protected the soldiers
from death. For a short time, at least?the average life expectancy
of a soldier ?ghting at Verdun was only 14 days.
TRACES OF MADNESS
Trenches and 3-foot-deep craters?even today the traces of an insane
campaign of annihilation can still be seen on the former battle?elds of
World War I (photo above).
the battle is still known as a turning
point in the history of warfare, the
beginning of the ?industrialized war,?
a hitherto unknown kind of mat閞iel
attrition warfare that would continue
reaping lives in World War II.
In the infernal trenches, hundreds
of thousands of infantrymen fight for
their survival?unprotected from the
elements, the mud of the wasteland,
?For days now,
I have seen
nothing but the
worst atrocities
the human mind
can conceive of.?
Franz Marc,
German Soldier
the deafening din of all the shelling,
and the ever-present fear of death.
Some areas along the front endure
days of uninterrupted drumfire?yet
another method that was intended to
systematically wear down the enemy.
In addition to all the artillery, gunfire,
and poison gas, the soldiers suffer
from extreme hunger and thirst, and
thanks to the catastrophic hygienic
conditions they are plagued by fleas
and bedbugs as well. Anyone who
retreats gets executed?by his own
commander. For a soldier hunkered
down in the trenches of Verdun, the
average life expectancy is 14 days.
?For days now, I have seen nothing
but the worst atrocities the human
mind can conceive of.? (?German
painter Franz Marc [who was killed
at Verdun] in a letter to his wife.)
The anguish of Verdun went on for
about 300 days. By early September
of 1916 the Germans had abandoned
their attacks and limited themselves
to defending their positions, and the
French halted their counteroffensive
on December 18th. Thus 10 months
after the slaughter had begun?and
thus, 10 months too late?it became
clear to commanders on both sides:
There would never be a victor here,
only losers?
The Battle of Verdun was over; it
would not have an influence on the
course of the rest of the war. After
10 months the Germans had gained
less than a third of a mile in some
sections. ?The Battle of Verdun had
changed nothing with regard to the
strategic positioning and territorial
superiority in World War I,? explains
political scientist Herfried M黱kler.
?The Battle of
Verdun had
changed nothing
with regard to
the strategic
positioning and
territorial
superiority in
World War I.?
Herfried M黱kler,
political scientist
And that makes the suffering of the
soldiers seem even more senseless.
On a patch of land not quite as big as
Atlanta, more than 300,000 people
died?and more than 400,000 were
seriously wounded. Today the idyllic
forests of northeastern France near
the Belgian border are filled with the
sounds of chirping birds and rushing
streams. Only the thousands upon
thousands of craters are a reminder
of the madness that took place here
a century ago. These are the silent
witnesses to Verdun?s hell on earth.
On the following pages iD provides
an overview of the most brutal and
lethal battles in modern history.
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73
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THE DEATH
ATLAS OF
MODERN
WARFARE
BATTLE OF THE SOMME
8,496 LOSSES/DAY
(deaths and serious injuries)
T
he Battle of Verdun is considered the mother of
all modern battles and the con?ict that ushered
in the age of industrialized warfare. This new form of
inhumane attritional slaughter employed weapons
technologies that had never been tried on a battle?eld.
After World War I, the arms manufacturers of the world
began re?ning their ?killing machines? to make them
even more ef?cient. With monstrous consequences:
The battles that followed Verdun were even bloodier
and also exacted an ever-higher civilian death toll.
World War II in particular set one tragic record after
another. This Death Atlas chronicles some of the most
savage clashes of world history.
CANADA
USA
BATTLE OF VERDUN
2,424 LOSSES/DAY
(deaths and serious injuries)
SOUTH
PACIFIC
OCEAN
2
1
BATTLE OF
STALINGRAD
3
BATTLE OF
THE SOMME
4
BATTLE OF
MOSCOW
5
BATTLE OF
BERLIN
BATTLE OF
VERDUN
August 23, 1942?
February 2, 1943
July 1?
November 18, 1916
October 2, 1941?
January 7, 1942
April 16?
May 2, 1945
February 21?
December 18, 1916
Nazi Germany
vs.
Soviet Union
Entente Cordiale*
vs.
German Empire
German Empire
vs.
Soviet Union
German Empire
vs.
Soviet Union
French Third Republic
vs.
German Empire
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
1.5 MILLION
1.2 MILLION
1 MILLION
820,000
714,000
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
9 SECONDS
10 SECONDS
8 SECONDS
2 SECONDS
35 SECONDS
*The Entente Cordiale was an alliance between the French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
BATTLE OF BERLIN
48,253 LOSSES/DAY
BATTLE OF XINKOU
(deaths and serious injuries)
3,504 LOSSES/DAY
BATTLE OF NARVA
(deaths and serious injuries)
2,910 LOSSES/DAY
(deaths and serious injuries)
BATTLE OF STALINGRAD
9,200 LOSSES/DAY
(deaths and serious injuries)
RUSSIA
7
5
4
2
3
6
1
NORTH
ATLANTIC
OCEAN
CHINA
BATTLE OF SHANGHAI
10
3,576 LOSSES/DAY
9
(deaths and serious injuries)
8
BATTLE OF WUHAN
AFRICA
3,912 LOSSES/DAY
(deaths and serious injuries)
BATTLE OF KIEV
20,568 LOSSES/DAY
(deaths and serious injuries)
BATTLE OF MOSCOW
INDIAN
OCEAN
10,200 LOSSES/DAY
AUSTRALIA
(deaths and serious injuries)
7
BATTLE OF
KIEV
8
BATTLE OF
NARVA
9
BATTLE OF
WUHAN
10
BATTLE OF
SHANGHAI
BATTLE OF
XINKOU
August 23?
September 26, 1941
February 2?
August 10, 1944
June 11?
October 27, 1938
August 13?
November 26, 1937
September 13?
November 11, 1937
Nazi Germany
vs.
Soviet Union
Nazi Germany
vs.
Soviet Union
Republic of China
vs.
Empire of Japan
Republic of China
vs.
Empire of Japan
Republic of China
vs.
Empire of Japan
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
total losses
(dead/severely injured):
700,000
550,000
540,000
400,000
200,000
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
one death or
severe injury every
4 SECONDS
29 SECONDS
21 SECONDS
25 SECONDS
25 SECONDS
ideasanddiscoveries.com
75
PHOTOS: Bridgemanart (2); AKG; Alamy.
ILLUSTRATION: PR.
6
Jul 2017
Science
END?
Does a clock always run at the same speed no matter
where it is? Is time immutable? or can we manipulate it?
Is one second invariably followed by the next one? The
scienti?c answers to these questions are as fascinating
as they are eerie?
Jul 2017
76
ideasanddiscoveries.com
P
But what is the true nature of time?
Is it possible to stretch, accelerate,
or stop time? Or even to reverse it?
Despite many thousands of years of
experience with the phenomenon of
time, humankind has still not been
able to find satisfactory answers to
these questions. ?We can recognize
time, but we do not understand it,?
says British physicist Julian Barbour.
?It?s remarkable how little consensus
there is on what time is or even how
to go about approaching it.? In order
to begin to comprehend the nature
of time, we will have to embark on a
voyage into the realm of tiny things,
that of the atoms, as well as into the
biggest realm of all, the universe?
to places where the laws of physics
seem to be suspended.
recisely 1.26 seconds?that?s how
long it takes for a beam of light to
DO CLOCKS RUN THE SAME
travel from the Moon to the Earth.
EVERYWHERE ON EARTH?
An hour consists of 60 minutes.
We experience time as a kind of
The universe is 13.8 billion
arrow: linear and constant,
years old. These are all
uniform and undeviating.
THE
fixed and unalterable
What we conceive of
quantities?after all,
as the present slides
PRESENT
the stopwatch does
along this ?arrow?
LASTS EXACTLY
not lie. Or does it?
between the past
2.7 SECONDS?
?Time is an illusion,?
and the future?at a
IN OUR
said Albert Einstein,
constant
speed that
PERCEPTION.
who was perhaps the
we?re able to read on
most famous scientist
clocks and calendars.
of the modern era. It only
The present lasts exactly
seems to exist in a form that is
2.7 seconds in our perception?
observed on clocks and calendars.
in this interval the brain can focus.
?TIME
IS AN
ILLUSION.?
ALBERT EINSTEIN, PHYSICIST
Time is what a clock measures. But the
measurement can differ considerably?
depending on where the clock is located.
And this has nothing to do with the
quality of the timepiece?
>
The weaker gravity at the summit
Everything that happened earlier is
does not change the mechanism of
already history, and the rest belongs
the clock, but rather time itself.
to the future. However?and this is
We may have to overcome a bit of
where it all gets weird?2.7 seconds
skepticism to accept this. After all,
is not always equal to 2.7 seconds.
we ordinarily experience time as a
To physicists this effect is known as
completely independent quantity?
time dilatation: In contrast with our
but in reality it is connected with its
past experience, the reading on the
surroundings. The greater the force
SAME clock will differ depending on
of gravity at a given place (the closer
WHERE it is located. Only recently
it is to an object of great mass, like
has the development of ultraprecise
our Earth), the slower time passes.
measuring instruments enabled us
If you could live right next
to precisely pin down this
to a black hole (the most
phenomenon in physical
TIME PASSES
massive of objects in
experiments. And so if
7,000 TIMES
space) without being
we were to place one
destroyed by it, you?d
of these incredibly
MORE SLOWLY IN A
accurate measuring
ROCKET TRAVELING AT outlive all your family
and friends back on
devices at the edge
A VELOCITY THAT?S
Earth
by decades?
of the North Sea, for
NEAR THE SPEED
maybe even millennia.
example, it would run
OF LIGHT.
However, you would not
slower than an identical
be living in a state of slow
clock atop Mount Everest.
motion next to the black hole. For
To be sure, the difference is very
you time would pass at the same
slight?just 30 millionths of a second
pace it always did. But if you could
per year (though this time interval is
view life on Earth with a telescope, it
about as long as the duration of a
would seem like extreme time-lapse
lightning bolt)?but it does exist and
photography. Conversely, for those
it is measurable. The explanation is
on Earth, the person at the edge of
simple: The gravity at the top of the
the black hole would appear to be
29,029-foot-tall mountain is weaker
almost frozen in time, a very lifelike
than it is at sea level because the
statue. That may sound incredible?
summit of Mount Everest is farther
and yet that?s actually the way it is.
from the center of the Earth, which
At least in this universe.
is what gravity pulls things toward.
?WE CAN
RECOGNIZE TIME,
BUT WE DO NOT
UNDERSTAND IT.?
JULIAN BARBOUR, PHYSICIST
We always experience time as a river
that steadily ?ows straight. But what is
its real character? We are beginning to
?nd out. For example, the laws of nature
already permit time travel, and outer
space would be the easiest place to
achieve this long-dreamed-of feat.
Jul 2017
78
ideasanddiscoveries.com
GENNADY PADALKA HAS SPENT A
TOTAL OF 879 DAYS IN SPACE?
AND IN THE PROCESS THE
COSMONAUT TRAVELED
20 MILLISECONDS
INTO THE FUTURE.
The Russian astronaut
holds the record for
spending the most
time in space?and
he has experienced
the longest instance
of human time travel.
WHO HAS TRAVELED THE
FURTHEST THROUGH TIME
THUS FAR?
Gravity doesn?t just influence time;
it also exerts an effect on speed?
and this fact has also been verified
in experiments using ultraprecise
timepieces. That means: The faster
we move, the slower time passes.
Once again, the practical effect in
our everyday lives is extremely tiny:
For example, for the occupants of a
vehicle that is moving on a highway,
time passes 1.000 000 000 000 004
times more slowly than it does for a
person standing by the side of the
road?it is not felt, but it?s quite real.
If the driver could accelerate the car
to very close to the speed of light?
that is, to almost 186,282 miles per
second?time would advance 7,000
times more slowly. So in order to go
100 years into the future, the car?s
occupants would have to travel for
about five days in this rocket car.
Of course, we are still a long way
off from being able to take that ride.
Does that mean the phenomenon of
time dilation is only of interest to a
handful of physicists? Far from it:
Motorists and smartphone users
benefit from the phenomenon every
day, usually without knowing about
it. The global positioning system?
better known as the abbreviation
GPS?would be ineffective without
these mini time leaps. The system is
based on about two dozen satellites
that are orbiting Earth at a speed of
8,700 miles per hour. On board are
extremely accurate clocks that are
continuously transmitting their time
to Earth. By using these time data
as well as the time it takes the signal
to reach Earth, the GPS receiver on
the ground calculates its position.
But because the satellites orbit at
an altitude of around 12,000 miles
above the Earth, they are subject to
a gravitational force that?s about 17
times weaker than what they would
be exposed to on Earth?s surface.
>
The lower gravitational force makes
time on board the satellites advance
somewhat faster, and their clocks
get ahead of the time back on Earth
by about 45 microseconds per day.
But that?s not all?the relatively high
speed of the satellites has a second
effect: It slows down the clocks by
7 microseconds to 38 microseconds
a day, i.e., 38 millionths of a second.
While that may not sound like much,
in reality the difference is enormous
and has to be corrected ?by hand?:
A mistake of even one-millionth of a
second would result in a positioning
error down on the ground of almost
1,000 feet?which would be quite the
catastrophe in rush-hour city traffic.
When viewed through this lens,
time travel is not an anomaly or an
idiosyncrasy but rather an aspect of
everyday life, even for human beings.
And Gennady Padalka is the record
holder in this regard: The Russian
astronaut spent a total of 879 days
of his life in orbit around the Earth,
which catapulted him approximately
0.02 seconds into the future?just
as gravity and speed are pushing
those GPS satellites through time.
Though it seems like sleight of hand
with numbers, it clears up one thing:
Nowhere in the universe is there a
clock that shows a universal time?
the universe is the time.
ARE THERE PLACES
WITHOUT TIME?
Just so we remember: Space and
time are a continuum that physicists
call space-time. And just as we can
move back and forth within a room,
it should be possible in principle to
also travel back and forth in time.
Mathematically speaking, this isn?t
a contradiction. ?Time travel may
be possible?but it is not practical,?
asserts physicist Stephen Hawking.
The practical implementations of the
theoretical models are too energyintensive as well as too dangerous?
at least for the people of today.
?TIME TRAVEL MAY
BE POSSIBLE?BUT
IT IS NOT PRACTICAL.?
STEPHEN HAWKING, PHYSICIST
?WHEN THERE ARE
NO CLOCKS, THINGS
DON?T KNOW
HOW TO KEEP
TRACK OF TIME.?
ROGER PENROSE,
UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD PHYSICIST
In a world of pure energy without matter,
there is no difference between before
and after?everything is timeless.
no clocks, things don?t know how to
keep track of time,? says University
of Oxford physicist Roger Penrose.
Perhaps the easiest way to grasp
the concept of the end of time is to
think of it as the death of a person:
An adult human consists of around
100 trillion cells that in turn consist
of scores of atoms and molecules.
These lifeless components become
miraculously organized in a way that
creates and maintains life?until it
all ends in death and a person turns
back into nothing more than a heap
of atoms and molecules. In the same
way, the components of the universe
CAN THE UNIVERSE DIE
create time, for without them
LIKE PEOPLE DO?
there is no future, no past,
The collapse of all matter
and no present, simply
inside a black hole is
EVERY GPS
because there are no
one of the scenarios
SIGNAL HAS
differences between
cosmologists utilize
those states. And so
TRAVELED
to imagine the end
the ?arrow of time?
of our universe?and
38 MICROSECONDS
would terminate in a
thus the end of time.
THROUGH
kind of dead end. And
The opposite case is
TIME.
although the universe
more likely, however: In
could continue to exist,
a far-off future, when the
there would be, as in the case
stars have exhausted their fuel,
of a black hole, nothing but chaos
all matter will slowly decay. Then the
without a past or a future. Thus with
universe, the very atoms of which
the loss of time, the universe would
have ceased to exist, will consist of
also lose something like its soul?
an extremely thin soup of radiation.
as well as all sense of thinking any
When that state is reached, time will
further about anything.
also cease to exist: ?When there are
ideasanddiscoveries.com
81
PHOTOS: Fotolia; Getty Images; Bill Ingalls/NASA/Handout/Getty Images; Intertopics; PR (2).
But if time and space are bound
together in a continuum, each one
has no meaning without the other.
Theoretically, the inside of a black
hole is just such a timeless place
because there space is compressed
down to an infinitely small point. It?s
an unimaginable process that can?t
be observed?and that?s mainly due
to the very nature of a black hole: Its
gravitational force is so great that
not even light can escape from it?
and so even with the most powerful
telescope, we can?t look inside one.
Jul 2017
What really counts in the end?
T
Jul 2017
82
ideasanddiscoveries.com
RULERS
OF THE WORLD
Agamas manage to execute the impossible? albeit with some
small restrictions?
That would make these agamas quite formidable?if they weren?t
so psychologically unstable. In the presence of other creatures,
which?perish the thought!?could even be moving, these reptiles
react with excessive stress. In other words: They get burned out.
And develop an eating disorder.
Another agamid with a tendency to overreact is the Australian
frilled-necked lizard. It perches in a tree and lies in wait for its prey;
as soon as it catches sight of a potential victim, it hastily descends
from its perch and races after the creature?on its two hind legs,
mind you! It?s a remarkable sight but generally unnecessary since
it feeds mainly on caterpillars, which are not known for their speed.
In the end, all their elaborate deceptions don?t amount to much:
Most of the agamas? natural enemies are not misled by the spines,
spurs, crests, and horns. Ultimately their best defense is?escape.
Ideally into a crevice in the rocks. There agamas puff up their small
bodies to such an extent that nothing and no one can force them out
against their will. Superman crossed with a Dinobot?presumably
on their way to world domination. Even though there are still some
small hurdles to overcome?
PHOTO: Animal Press.
T
he little creature pictured here is not a gecko or
a chameleon?it?s an agama. But what is that?
One of nature?s greatest creations! It?s what you
get when you cross Superman with a Dinobot,
but for real. The more than 300 species of lizards
in the Agamidae family bear unique names like
horned pricklenape or marmorated bloodsucker
that re?ect their distinctive traits: Some agamids
can run across water, while others can ?y up to 200 feet through
the air or withstand body temperatures as high as 115篎. And then
there are those that change color with each mood swing? turning
anywhere from a dull grayish brown to all the colors of the rainbow.
Yes, really?all of them! Researchers estimate these reptiles have
been perfecting their superpowers for more than 100 million years,
which means they are among the oldest lizard families on Earth.
And truth be told, that would be a little frightening?were it not for
those incidents in which fate checkmates even the best agamas.
Combs, spines, in?atable throat pouches, horns, pelvic spurs?
agamas have developed all manner of intimidating accoutrements
to make themselves appear as dangerous as possible. The spinytailed agama?which at 30 inches long is the largest in its genus?
has a heavily spined tail that makes up almost a third of its length.
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ergy. At present the
output is 25 megawatts of electricity?
an energy revolution for rural Rwanda.
This will rise to 100 megawatts by 2019.
20
trillion cubic feet of
explosive gas are found
at the bottom of Lake
Kivu between Rwanda
and DR Congo.
Can you draw
electrical circu
A Japanese company has develo
pen that allows users to draw func
electrical circuits. Its silver-bas
has a conductive property that
it possible to trace a line betwe
points on a sheet of paper and c
them electrically when the ink
Thanks to its silver content, the i
be used to draw functioning circu
could, for example, power an LED
It?s a principle that could revolut
electrical engineering. The inven
the Circuit Marker are already w
on another new development: wal
with built-in sensors that could a
the movements of people in a roo
adjust the lighting accordingly.
CAN AN
ELEPHANT
SMELL
WATER?
Strictly speaking,
an elephant?s trunk
is both its nose as
well as its upper lip.
CAN YOU SURF WITH A
Not only have drones revolution
spheres of ?lmmaking and phot
now the devices have made it po
practice a new kind of water spo
sur?ng is similar to kite sur?ng,
a surfer is pulled along the surfa
water by a line connected to a la
questions&answers
What is an
OCTOBOT?
It looks like an octopus?
and like the eight-armed
cephalopod it resembles,
it doesn?t have any bones.
An Octobot is a tiny robot
made of silicone gels, and
its soft body contains no
rigid internal components.
Since the robot does not
have cable connections,
another technique had to
be found to control it: The
tentacles are powered by
gases that are generated
by an internal chemical
reaction. Its ?exibility and
small size (it?s about the
same size as an SD card)
gives the Octobot a clear
advantage over more rigid
robots because it can be
inserted into hard-to-reach
places, making it a great
tool for various surgeries.
CAN YOU
SEE WITH
YOUR EARS?
Finland?s University of Oulu has conducted
several studies in recent years in which the
test subjects wore light-emitting earplugs.
The reason: Researchers at the university
had previously determined that the human
brain is capable of directly perceiving light?
just as our eyes ordinarily do. The earplugs
deliver bright lights directly to the brain via
the ear canal, providing a healing stimulus
for mood disorders and even depression?
just as in classic light therapy. According to
the researchers, the method yielded positive
results in 9 out of 10 subjects. The earplugs
are mostly used during Finland?s long winters.
During this period each year, almost 40% of
Finland?s population suffers from some form
of winter depression. Now relief is in sight?
Brainteaser
The solution will appear in the next issue, on stands July 21, 2017.
At a construction site, a worker stands on the middle rung of a ladder. To reach the roof, he has to climb the entire ladder. He climbs three steps
higher, then suddenly gets a dizzy spell and descends ?ve rungs again. Since he does not want to embarrass himself in front of his colleagues,
he climbs up seven rungs. After a short break, he climbs the last six rungs and ?nally reaches the roof. How many rungs does the ladder have?
Solution from the May 2017 issue: In order to be admitted to the festival without a ticket, Thomas must say ?5.? The answer is always the number of letters that make up the name of the given
number. The first number, 18, has eight letters; the second number, 14, also has eight letters, and the third number, 8, has five letters. The number given to Thomas, 7, also has five letters.
PHOTOS: PR (15); NASA; Getty Images (2); Werner Krug www.derkrug.at.
Jul 2017
54
ideasanddiscoveries.com
TOP 10
MOST SUCCESSFUL
YOUTUBERS
IN THE WORLD
1. PewDiePie
Swedish Web comedian and video
game commentator Felix Arvid Ulf
Kjellberg has 55 million subscribers.
Annual income*: $12 million.
What is the average life span of a dollar bill?
Every day 38 million banknotes worth
around $540 million are printed by the
U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
But these hot-off-the-press bills do not
increase the total value of the money
that?s currently circulating?they only
replace damaged and worn-out bills.
In general, the life expectancy of any
banknote depends on its face value.
A $1 bill, for example, is in circulation
for 18 months on average, while a $10
bill lasts about three years and the
$50 and $100 bills remain functional
for up to nine years. In the European
Union, 5-, 10-, and 20-euro banknotes
circulate for up to four years and 100-,
200-, and 500-euro bills circulate for
over a decade before being destroyed.
2. Smosh
The Web-based comedy duo of
Anthony Padilla and Ian Hecox has
a total of 22 million subscribers.
Annual income: $8.5 million.
3. The Fine Brothers
Brothers Benny and Ra? Fine
entertain 15 million subscribers
with their online productions.
Annual income: $8.5 million.
4. Lindsey Stirling
The violinist and performance
artist has 9 million subscribers.
Annual income: $6 million.
5. Rhett & Link
Comedians Rhett McLaughlin
and Charles Lincoln Neal III have
more than 10 million subscribers.
Annual income: $4.5 million.
6. KSI
British comedian and rapper
Olajide Olatunji entertains more
than 16 million subscribers.
Annual income: $4.5 million.
7. Michelle Phan
Videos by the makeup artist and
YouTube personality Michelle Phan
reach nearly 9 million subscribers.
Annual income: $4.5 million.
8. Lilly Singh
The comedian, actress, singer, and
vlogger has 11 million subscribers.
Annual income: $2.5 million.
*Based on YouTube advertising revenue.
9. Roman Atwood
Comedian and vlogger Roman
Atwood has 20 million subscribers
across two YouTube channels.
Annual income: $2.5 million.
10. Rosanna Pansino
The crafty baker delights 8 million
subscribers with her confections.
Annual income: $2.5 million.
# CAN TWITTE
FEEDS PREDICR
TERRORIST A T A
TTACK?
With around 32
0 million active us
ers in 2016, Twitter
of the most popular
is one
social networks. Bu
t terror organization
such as ISIS also us
s
e Twitter to plan the
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WHEN MARTIN
LUTHER
INVENTED THE INSTAGRAM OF THE
RENAISSANCE
Martin Luther was the ?rst media star in world history? long before
Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. Five hundred years ago he began to
inundate the world with images and texts. In this way he was actually
shaping the opinion of an entire continent?while at the same time
protecting his own life?
History
IMAGE CULTIVATION
Thousands of portraits of Martin Luther have
been published by the workshop of Lucas
Cranach the Elder in Wittenberg, Germany?
but there are only a handful of his nemesis,
Pope Leo X. Thanks to this ?ood of circulating
images the reformer became well known and
gained the con?dence of the masses.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
57
Jul 2017
@?rst_media_star
?No one blogs and tweets more than
Luther.? #reformation #hype #church
Volker Reinhardt, historian
Many believe Luther never actually
posted his theses on the doors of the
church?and the story was a public
relations coup long before the term
was invented. In reality, the incident
may have been far less spectacular:
?Luther included a copy of his theses
in a critical letter he?d written to Albert
Brandenburg, archbishop of Mainz,?
explains historian Volker Leppin.
But even in those days proceeding
through the official channels was not
likely to draw any believers out of the
woodwork?the image of a friar with
a hammer in his hand was a lot more
marketable than the most polished
treatise. Historian Volker Reinhardt
sees this image as a decisive move:
?Whether Luther nailed his theses to
the church doors is totally irrelevant;
people need a symbol.? At that time
attacks against a Catholic Church
that didn?t practice what it preached
weren?t uncommon: The Holy Father
always found new ways of collecting
money so that Rome could indulge
in luxury. ?Since God has given us
the papacy, let us enjoy it!? were the
words of Pope Leo X shortly after his
election in 1513. Ingenious salesmen
such as the Dominican friar Johann
Tetzel collected cash in exchange for
indulgences, which was anathema to
Luther. But what could he do about it
without being burned at the stake like
so many brethren before him? Launch
the first media campaign in history?
Luther referred to the printing press
as ?the last and greatest gift of God.?
Just as the opinion leaders of today
send out messages via Instagram or
Twitter, Luther disseminates his ideas
from the small village of Wittenberg
across international boundaries, and
his leaflets inundate the empire like
posts on the Internet today?thanks
to the assistance of his genius media
manager, Lucas Cranach the Elder.
His printing workshop is located less
than half a mile from where Luther is
writing, and there the artist creates
?content? for the reformer?s works.
Cranach keeps an inquisitive public
supplied with a steady stream of new
etchings, woodcuts, and engravings.
Result: Within a relatively short time,
Luther has several million followers.
RENAISSANCE SNOWDEN
Cranach had virtually exclusive rights
to portray the reformer, transforming
the gaunt, timid friar into the radiant
image of a religious authority?soon
most of his livelihood is derived from
portraits of Luther. And there?s plenty
of demand: In 1518 Luther publishes
the files of his own interrogation by
papal emissaries. In 1520 he publicly
burns a papal bull. Even his escape
is staged as a ?media spectacle?:
Luther, who?d been a free man since
the Diet of Worms assembly in 1521,
allows his supporters to stage a fake
kidnapping. Then in 1525 a scandal
ensues that would be a hot topic in
the media even by today?s standards:
The former friar Martin Luther weds
the former nun Katharina von Bora?
and consummates the marriage in
front of several witnesses.
@churchonnotice1517
?The media world of today got its start
500 years ago in Wittenberg.? #jesus
#makechurchgreatagain
Willi Winkler, Luther biographer
But what makes him untouchable
when it comes to the mighty Church?
Initially the Church underestimates
the friar, and soon after it?s too late:
Luther?s postings have made him too
prominent to silence clandestinely?
it?s the same principle that nowadays
protects controversial whistle-blower
Edward Snowden from retribution by
the U.S. intelligence agencies. And
Luther knows his audience well: He
masters Latin so that he can win over
his peers in the Church, but he also
speaks the German of the peasants,
servants, and craftsmen?his most
important followers. ?The barbarian
Luther has quite a talent for telling
the people what they want to hear,?
admits Cardinal Girolamo Aleandro,
who firmly opposes Luther?s notions.
The Catholic Church?s rebuttals lack
the persuasive power of the media.
While the Church is quoting classical
dramas and reveling in a high-flown
literary style, Luther is serving up far
more appetizing food for thought: In
his later pamphlets he declares the
pope to be the Antichrist, says the
cardinals? tongues should be ripped
out, invents shocking swear words,
and just generally vents his spleen.
?Luther is the pop star of his time?
ahead of much larger figures such as
Erasmus of Rotterdam,? says Luther
biographer Willi Winkler. And without
his writings, modern Germany would
be inconceivable: Luther?s treatises
laid the foundations for a common
language for all Germans. They also
demonstrated that even seemingly
powerless individuals can prevail?
against even the most powerful of
opponents. Luther was sowing the
seeds of the Enlightenment, which
would shake up Europe for a second
time less than two centuries later?
PHOTOS: Alamy (18); PR; AKG / DPA - Picture Alliance; DDP; Getty Images.
T
he hammer blows are meant
to reverberate across Europe
like thunder: On October 31,
1517, an Augustinian friar by
the name of Martin Luther nails his
declaration to the doors of the Castle
Church in Wittenberg, Germany. His
Ninety-?ve Theses have been viewed
by some as an attack on Pope Leo X,
who along with Emperor Charles V
was one of the most powerful men in
the world. The ideas Luther imparted
from his small village of 2,000 people
were directed toward Rome and the
representative of God on Earth?yet
they?d be burned into the collective
memory of an entire continent. It was
at this moment 500 years ago that
Western Christianity was divided?
as it remains even to the present day.
But is this really how it happened?
IMAGE MANIPULATION
At ?rst, when he was relatively unknown,
Luther was depicted as a modest friar.
Later on as his fame grew his portraits
became more powerful: The doctor?s cap
and victorious stance were intended to
emphasize the reformer?s authority.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
59
Jul 2017
HOW DO YOU
INTERCEPT
AN AIRCRAFT?
All around the world, when the alarm sounds they scramble into action
and soar into the sky to safeguard everyone down below ? but usually
no one notices when an aircraft interception maneuver is taking place.
What exactly happens above our heads when ?ghter jets are deployed?
Military
2-HOUR TIME LIMIT
From the moment it takes off, an interceptor is under
time pressure because of fuel-supply limitations:
Even though the jet carries additional fuel tanks
(shown here), its mission must be completed within
about two hours. This time is reduced at high speed
or low altitude or when carrying a large payload.
These tanks can be released if necessary to reduce
weight and air resistance. On average, a ?ghter jet?s
deployment radius is between 300 and 900 miles.
VISUAL CONTACT FROM 30 FT AWAY
8.5 TONS OF WEAPONRY
The ?rst goal of an interception maneuver
is to establish visual contact at a distance
of at least 1,650 feet so the menace to the
airspace can be accurately identi?ed. But
a pilot can approach as close as 30 feet
in order to communicate from cockpit to
cockpit via sign language, if necessary.
Rockets can be attached at 11 different
points beneath the fuselage of this U.S.
Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon. There is
also an M61 Vulcan cannon (shown here)
beneath the cockpit that can be used to
?re warning shots, for example. As a ?nal
admonition, a pilot can ?re ?ares into the
?ight path of a potential enemy.
ideasanddiscoveries.com
61
Jul 2017
F
abio Guccione can?t believe
his eyes: It was around noon
when he boarded an Alitalia
Airbus A320 in Amsterdam as
a regular passenger, but not even an
hour later he finds himself in a living
nightmare at 32,800 feet above the
ground. As he looks out the window,
two German Eurofighter Typhoons?
armed with rockets and a cannon?
suddenly swoop into his field of view.
The two fighter jets fly parallel to the
Airbus at a distance of only 300 feet.
?I could see the pilots? faces,? recalls
Guccione, who is still bewildered by
the incident. Could there be a terror
threat? Here? There is growing unrest
among the passengers?especially
since the captain refuses to provide
any information. A seemingly endless
20 minutes later, the fighter jets finally
change course and fly away. A short
time later the Airbus starts its descent
and lands in Rome right on schedule.
The baffling scare is over. But what
really occurred on that November 25,
2014, over southwestern Germany?
CHASING A RENEGADE UFO
Flashback: Somewhere in Germany
between D黶seldorf and Stuttgart an
Airbus loses its radio link with ground
control. No one outside the airborne
aluminum cylinder can confirm what
is going on up there now. The Airbus
has effectively become a UFO. This
alerts the National Operations Center
for Airspace Security at the Combined
Air Operations Centre in Uedem: This
military base receives current data
from 45 radar stations located across
Germany, and soldiers, police, and
other officials there keep a constant
eye on some 1,700 aircraft of all sizes.
?This is the most closely controlled
airspace in the whole world,? points
out Major General Bernhard Schulte
Berge, Uedem?s deputy commander.
But even Uedem?s powerful military
radio equipment can?t connect with
the Airbus. Berge and his colleagues
must now consider the worst-case
scenario: The passenger aircraft has
become a potential renegade?the
term used for a ?rogue? flying object
in the hands of terrorists. The white
circle on the monitors has become a
red triangle creeping across the map
of Germany toward the Black Forest.
At the same time some 300 miles
southeast of Uedem?s base, the 74th
Tactical Air Force Wing at Neuburg
Air Base in Bavaria is taking action:
Only 15 minutes after the alarm was
triggered, two Eurofighter Typhoons
take off. They stand armed and ready
with full fuel tanks 365 days a year
awaiting just such an emergency in
the airspace over southern Germany.
The two fighter jets race toward the
potential renegade and begin flying
alongside it, unsettling passengers
like Fabio Guccione. ?A precaution,?
is what a spokesman for the German
Air Force would later call the incident
when responding to questions about
it: The passengers aboard the Alitalia
flight had been the victims of a simple
technical problem. But what happens
in the case of an actual emergency?
ARE AERIAL TERRORISTS
CONSTITUTIONALLY PROTECTED?
?Air Aero, Boeing 767, tail marking
ABEKT, this is the German Air Force.
?Every object ?ying
in our airspace has
to be recognized, tracked,
and identi?ed.?
THOMAS STEINWEG,*
NATO INTERCEPTOR PILOT
Look left to make eye contact, same
altitude. Can you see me?? That?s the
general format for making an initial
attempt to establish radio contact
over the international emergency
communication channel for air traffic,
which ordinarily runs at 121.5 MHz.
?Our most important goal is first and
foremost to see what?s going on up
there,? says Thomas Steinweg,* who
pilots a NATO interceptor and prefers
to remain anonymous. ?What is the
problem? Are the pilots unconscious?
Or has some electronic system failed?
We can also communicate with hand
or other signals?rocking the wings
back and forth, for instance, means
?okay, I understand,? and making a
closed fist and then extending two
fingers signals an electrical problem.
Even the presence of terrorists on the
plane can be indicated with a signal.?
Generally the mission is over after
the interceptors have gotten a brief
look?but how would they deal with a
true renegade plane? ?In that case,
we take steps to gradually escalate
the situation: We?ll try to compel the
aircraft to land, display our weapons,
give it a ?head butt? by cutting across
its flight path to redirect it. If that fails
we threaten to shoot, and then finally
we fire warning shots,? says Steinweg.
The most extreme action?shooting
down a passenger aircraft?is not
permitted in Germany as it is in other
countries because, according to the
German constitution, one life may not
be taken to save another?if there are
civilians on board a hijacked airliner,
fighter-interceptors are only allowed
to force the aircraft to change course.
But privately Steinweg admits that
even with the most modern fighters,
that cannot always be accomplished:
?If terrorists aren?t intimidated by our
maneuvers, they basically have free
rein.? That is, unless a law is broken
from then on, in which case the culprit
is immediately brought to justice.
*Name has been changed by the editors.
Jul 2017
62
ideasanddiscoveries.com
>
TERRORIST TOOL
This Boeing 767 is ?ying in Austrian
airspace without authorization and
does not respond to radio contact.
The two Euro?ghter Typhoons below
intercept it?in this case it is only
a practice mission.
CAN A PASSENGER JET
BE SHOT DOWN?
If a passenger plane were to fall into the
hands of terrorists, is it lawful to sacri?ce
the people on board to save the lives of others?
According to German law, no (because one life
may not be taken to save another), but in India
the answer would be yes. Most other nations,
including the U.S., France, the UK, and Russia
have no speci?c regulations but do allow for
the use of force under extreme circumstances.
And if such extreme circumstances were ever
to manifest, the pilot of a ?ghter jet may even
?nd himself on a foreign mission: For economic
reasons nations like Slovenia, Albania, and the
Baltic states don?t have their own air force?it
costs millions to train a combat pilot, so a NATO
partner country would shoulder their burden.
EUROFIGHTER
TYPHOON
In 2015 alone, British Euro?ghter
Typhoons took to the sky 12 times
to intercept possible violators of
the UK?s airspace. In eight of these
cases the transgressors proved
to be Russian aircraft.
TASK FORCE
Encounter at 33,000 feet: The
two Typhoons must ?rst locate
their target in the sky and then
decelerate from 1,240 mph to
precisely match the 500 mph
speed of the passenger jet.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN SOMEONE
INVADES NATIONAL AIRSPACE?
All along national land boundaries, up to 12 nautical
miles from the coastline, and as high as 330,000 feet:
These are the dimensions that de?ne a nation?s airspace.
But long before an unauthorized aircraft actually enters a
country?s sovereign airspace, alarms go off on the ground
and interceptors take to the skies. If an airspace violation
really is afoot, the interceptors play the same role as border
police on the ground: They might order the plane to land or
leave the airspace, and they can use various kinds of force.
SUKHOI SU-27
Like other military aircraft,
these Russian ?ghters are
neither required to identify
themselves in international
airspace nor report to air
traf?c control.
THE RULES OF
INTERCEPTION
PHASE 1
Identi?cation
PHASE 2
Communication
PHASE 3
Reaction
Interceptors almost always ?y in
pairs: One usually ?ies behind the
target plane while the other positions
itself to the left of the target?s cockpit.
First they?ll identify the type of aircraft,
occupants, weaponry, nationality, etc.
Then the interceptor ?ying next to the
target attempts to establish contact by
radio or hand signals or by crossing the
target plane?s trajectory to indicate the
direction in which it should be ?ying.
These maneuvers are suf?cient 99.9%
of the time to restore order in the sky.
TARGET PLANE
HOW MANY RENEGADES ARE
THERE EACH YEAR?
Up until now, such an incident has
never occurred in Germany?at least
not yet. But a loss of radio contact
between aircraft and air traffic control
takes place more than 200 times per
year in that nation alone. In addition,
alarms sometimes sound because a
plane has deviated from its declared
flight path due to a navigational error
or a damaged transponder (which is
more or less the electronic equivalent
of an aircraft?s tail markings). In 2015
there had been 18 incidents that the
German military refers to as ?alpha
scrambles,? genuine alarms resulting
in a deployment of one of two pairs
of Quick Reaction Alert Interceptors
that operate out of Neuburg an der
Donau in Bavaria and Wittmund in
East Frisia. Including the responses
from allies near the German border,
42 missions were flown, almost one
a week. That number tripled between
2013 and 2015, and the authorities
had briefly classified a civilian aircraft
as a ?renegade? six times?potential
catastrophes of which the public had
remained unaware.
Jul 2017
64
ideasanddiscoveries.com
And that?s not all: Regarding NATO?s
external borders, a military war rages
along the invisible wall between east
and west; theoretically, this extends
from the ground level to outer space.
?Every object flying in our airspace
has to be recognized, tracked, and
identified,? explains NATO interceptor
pilot Thomas Steinweg. About once
a week the Bulgarian Air Force flies
an interception, mostly in reaction to
Russian military jets approaching the
?We simply have to
demonstrate that
we are always prepared
to defend ourselves?
and that also includes
our borders.?
THOMAS STEINWEG,
NATO INTERCEPTOR PILOT
Bulgarian airspace: ?We simply have
to demonstrate that we are always
prepared to defend ourselves,? says
Steinweg. The European airspace is
rather clearly regulated, in contrast
with the U.S.: There the no-fly zones
can change almost daily. All it takes
is for the American president to be in
the air for all the air traffic along his
route to come to a standstill. In the
U.S. about three airspace violations
are registered each day?it takes no
more than an aircraft flying over the
home of former President George W.
Bush in Texas. And in contrast with
Germany, there is no prohibition on
shooting down passenger aircraft: In
April 2009 a Canadian pilot entered
U.S. airspace in a small Cessna 172
and failed to answer his radio. The
aircraft had been stolen from a flight
school in Canada and the pilot ended
up in a rural part of Missouri, but not
before the plane was intercepted and
tracked as it traveled. According to
Gary Miller from the Federal Aviation
Administration, the story could have
had a tragic ending: ?If the pilot had
turned and headed toward Chicago,
we would have brought him down.?
PHOTOS: Getty Images; PR (2).
ILLUSTRATION: Wendy Lau/WDW-Gra?k.
INTERCEPTOR
SMARTER IN 60 SECONDS
FIGHTER JETS
Which jet is the fastest
in all the world?
The SR-71 Blackbird still holds the record for the world?s
fastest airbreathing manned aircraft. Developed by the
Lockheed Corporation in the 1960s, this spy plane set
an absolute speed record of 1,905.81 knots (2,193.2 mph)?more
than triple the speed of sound. During their 34 years of service
with the U.S. Air Force, Blackbirds were ?red upon by more than
4,000 rockets: All missed their target because the Blackbird could
out-fly a missile. The aircraft got its name because of the stealth
technology that made it invisible to enemy radar. Lockheed built
only 32 of these jets before they were decommissioned in 1998.
15
When does a jet ?ghter become a cobra?
Not many military jets can assume the reared-up defensive
posture of a cobra?and most of these are built by the Russian
aircraft manufacturers Sukhoi and MiG. Western ?ghter jets
such as the Euro?ghter or the F-22 Raptor have only a limited ability to
imitate this complicated evasive maneuver: The pilot sharply reduces
speed by pulling the aircraft?s nose up into a vertical position without
changing altitude. From this position, which resembles the defensive
posture of a threatened snake, he drops the nose and continues to ?y
in the same direction. Extremely powerful engines are required to
execute this ?Pugachev?s Cobra? and make an aircraft stand on its tail.
And the pilot must ?rst disable the angle of attack limiter.
15
Which is the best dog?ghter?
The term ?dog?ght? was coined during World War I,
when observation aircraft were ?rst armed for shooting
one another down. But which jets today have the best
chance of victory in these close-combat aerial battles? Researchers
have staged thousands of simulated dog?ghts in which various jet
?ghters were pitted against a Russian Sukhoi Su-35. They found
that while the French Rafale emerged from this simulated combat
with a ratio of 1:1, the American F-15, F-16, and F-18 ?ghter jets
fared worse. For every ten F-15s that were shot down, only eight
Su-35s were lost. The Euro?ghter Typhoon had a superior ratio
of 4.5:1. For every 10 Typhoons destroyed, 45 Sukhois were shot
down. Only one aircraft fared even better: the F-22 Raptor. The
results for this ?ghter jet, which entered service in 2010: 10:1.
15
What is the most dif?cu
landing to execute?
There are no constants when a
plane lands on an aircraft carrier.
Water, wind, runway?everything
is perpetually in motion. An aircraft carrier
can plow through the water at over 30 mph,
and the waves may lift and lower the vessel
by 15 feet. A landing ?ghter jet hits the
deck of an aircraft carrier with essentially
four times its normal weight as it attempts
to attach its tailhook to the arrestor cable.
A split second later the GE engines develop
110,000 hp?enough for a touch-and-go
landing if the tailhook fails to make contact.
In that case the plane will take off again at
185 mph, and the effort begins anew. If all
goes according to plan, the arrestor cable
brings the jet from 180 mph to a halt within
330 feet, slamming the pilot against his
harness with over ?ve times his body weight.
PHOTOS: Getty Images; Reuters; PR.
15
Current Events
Spectacular new photographs of the Moon reveal :
Our closest neighbor is getting smaller and smaller.
But what does that mean for Earth?
IS THE MOO
Jul 2017
66
ideasanddiscoveries.com
Nature
ASTEROID ALARM
We can?t see it happening from Earth,
but the Moon protects us from giant
asteroids. Instead of striking Earth?s
surface, they hit the back of the Moon
and leave behind huge craters.
CONTRACTION
The Moon?s solid core resembles
Earth?s own core. But the interior
of the Moon is gradually cooling
down faster than Earth?s core is
cooling. This has created cracks
and gorges on the Moon?s surface.
BALANCING ACT
The Moon revolves around the
Earth at an average distance
of 239,000 miles. The mutual
gravitational pull keeps Earth
in a stable orbit. If this were
lost, disaster would ensue.
HRINKING?
N
ASA launched its Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
(LRO) in June of 2009, and it has been the most
powerful and productive lunar probe yet. The
space agency is utilizing the lunar orbiter for a
project that had previously been unfeasible because the
technology was not yet sufficiently developed: making a
complete high-resolution map of the entire Moon. The
LRO circles the Moon at an altitude that varies between
22 and 40 miles, and the photos it takes are razor-sharp.
?The ultrahigh resolution images are changing our view
of the Moon,? says Mark Robinson, principal investigator
for the LRO?s imaging system. ?We?re seeing much more
detail than there was in the older Apollo photographs.?
When the orbiter transmitted its first images to Earth,
NASA scientists discovered something unbelievable:
The Moon had shrunk. The new images revealed
previously unrecorded trenches, crevasses, and
ravines distributed across the entire surface.
Were these indications of a dying Moon?
WHY IS THE MOON SHRINKING?
Anatomy
of the
Moon
?The young age of the fault scarps and
their global distribution indicate that
the entire Moon has contracted
very recently,? explains Thomas
Watters, a senior scientist at
the Center for Earth and
Planetary Studies at
the Smithsonian
CRATERS
The biggest asteroid crater on the
Moon is 1,500 miles in diameter and
more than 5 miles deep.
National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
He and his team analyzed the structural changes and
compared more recent photographs from the LRO with
images from the manned Apollo missions between 1968
and 1972. That enabled Watters to calculate the size of
the Moon at its birth around 4.5 billion years ago and
compare it with its size today. He found that the diameter
of the Moon had decreased by approximately 300 feet,
although that still leaves more than 2,100 miles. But all
in all, this was clear evidence that the Moon had shrunk.
While 300 feet may not sound like a lot, NASA scientists
have made another unsettling discovery: The shrinking
is occurring because the Moon?s core is cooling. Like the
Earth, the Moon has a solid inner core that?s surrounded
by molten magma. The Moon?s temperature at its ironrich inner core is about 2,500癋. But in contrast with the
Earth, there is no decay of radioactive elements in the
lunar core that could continue to heat the Moon?s interior.
The result: As the Moon cools, its crust, which is 35 miles
thick on average, is sagging inward much like the skin of
a shriveling apple, and that process is giving rise to new
cracks and crevices. And here the Earth is not entirely
?innocent.? Some researchers believe that the Earth?s
gravitational pull could actually be ?kneading? the Moon
and thereby reshaping its surface. Thus far the Moon?s
shrinking process does not appear to be affecting Earth.
But what happens if the Moon does not stop shrinking?
And how important is the Moon to our survival on Earth?
WHAT WOULD OCCUR IF THE MOON
WERE TO DISAPPEAR ENTIRELY?
The Moon has been orbiting Earth for billions of years,
which it does at an average distance of 239,000 miles.
Both of these heavenly bodies possess a gravitational
field of their own, and their proximity makes them
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