Decisive weaknesses of the superconductor magnesium diboride

Robert j. Cava and his colleagues at princeton university have discovered that the new superconductor (new superconductor magnesium diboride) has critical weaknesses. Jun akimitsu of aoyama-gakuin university in japan and colleagues from other universities had found that magnesium boride could be cooled at the temperature of 39 kelvin (minus 234.15 degrees celsius) has superconducting properties. In the same ie of nature in which they presented their results, robert cava had commented enthusiastically on the groundbreaking discovery: "sensational!". The princeton physicist and superconductor specialist was excited by this simple substance, which can be bought in any chemistry supply store for very little money. It was clear from the start that mgb2 was not a dream material, but experts have repeatedly achieved decisive performance improvements in superconductors in the past, even with minor changes. Cava immediately set to work with his colleagues to test the properties of magnesium boride.

A superconducting ring whose thickness is much coarser than the london penetration depth. The dotted lines symbolize magnetic flux penetration.

Unesco and oecd present supplementary study

On monday of this week in london, unesco and oecd presented the supplementary pisa study "basic skills for tomorrow’s world" . In contrast to the pisa 2000 study, this time 43 countries rather than 32 were analyzed and examined with regard to the competencies of 15-year-old school students in the areas of reading, mathematics and science.

Of the new non-oecd countries albania, argentina, bulgaria, chile, hong kong (china), indonesia, israel, macedonia, peru, romania and thailand placed in the bottom third of the ranking, thus closing the gap between germany and the red lantern. However, hong kong (china) was ranked third behind finland and korea, pushing germany to 22nd place in reading literacy. In the areas of mathematics and science, german schoolchildren, from whom, however, no new data were collected, landed in 21st place. Even more important than this unpleasant result, however, was the fact that germany’s education policy was once again criticized for a lack of equal opportunities. In germany, social background is more decisive for success at school than in many other countries.

"They treated us like rats", otamendi, head of egunkaria newspaper closed for alleged links with eta, said after being released on bail

Today, after almost a week in custody, five days of which were spent under a no-contact order, the fourth of ten basque journalists was released on bail (spanish government under prere). What was to be suspected has come to pass: the ten journalists arrested late last week by the guardia civil as part of the closure of the "basque daily newspaper" (euskaldunon egunkaria) were, according to their own statements, tortured, which should offer a lesson in this country for the softening of the ban on torture attempted by the conservative side (back to the middle ages?).

"They treated us like rats", explained martxelo otamendi, head of egunkaria. "I was beaten and they used the bolsa on me several times." in the process, a person’s air is squeezed out of them that they almost suffocate. The jesuit and radio journalist juan mari torrealdei, who is still imprisoned, was even worse off. He spent three days on the stucco "beaten to a pulp" beaten to a pulp. That he had anything to do with eta was also doubted by his friend patxi azpitarte, the vicar general of the diocese in san sebastian, on radio euskadi this morning.

Faith in science and responsibility in forensics

One could call it a durrenmattian tragicomedy, were its effects on the lives of those affected no more than dramatic. Because of the results of a flawed forensic method, thousands of defendants accused of murder or manslaughter have been put behind bars in the u.S. Over the past 40 years.

The joint research of the cbs report program "60 minutes" and the "washington post" revealed that hundreds of defendants across the country are believed to have been imprisoned based on a now-discredited forensic methodology. The fbi is now accused of not informing the convicts, their attorneys, or the relevant courts that their cases could be affected by faulty evidence. Hundreds of them could now be reopened – if the deadlines for appealing have not yet expired.

The right to petition for a referendum differs from state to state, and in some states one has never been held

The new referendum report by mehr demokratie shows that referendums are increasingly becoming a means of shaping the political will, but also exposes the inequality between state burghers as well as party wills.

Frank rehmet’s report initially shows some progress at first glance:

Future scenarios predict severe drought and water shortage

Climatic changes on our planet, caused by greenhouse gases (mainly carbon dioxide (co2), ozone (o3), nitrous oxide (n2o), methane (ch4) and chlorofluorocarbons (cfcs)), but also by increased solar activity, could cause major problems in a few decades, especially in areas already slightly affected by increasing drought, such as north africa, the entire mediterranean region, the middle east and the southwest of the united states.

A nasa study in which scientists calculated the effects of future climate warming based on the future development of greenhouse gases and increased solar activity shows that faster than originally thought, the amount of precipitation for certain areas will be negatively affected by climate change.

The german bundestag has approved the introduction of parental benefits. As of 2007, family policy now focuses entirely on high-income earners who want to have children

Those who had promised themselves far-reaching, consistent and long-term reforms when the grand coalition came to power are more humiliated after less than 12 months than they were after 16 years of spiritual and moral change and seven years of the red-green spirit of optimism. The self-proclaimed alliance of purpose is miles away from future-oriented visions that could be communicated to the population as the tasks and challenges of a community of solidarity. The federal political personnel, who even when they took office avoided giving the impression of being the first choice in terms of competence, enthusiasm and persuasiveness, seem to have been used up after only a few months, and at present there is little hope that the long remaining period of this legislative term can be reduced to anything more than the lowest common denominator.

"Explosion of emotions"

But there’s no use getting alarmist, especially not on the berlin political stage, where pertinent counterarguments or poor poll numbers always draw the same reflexes. Sometimes it seems to be the very contestability of a decision that activates rehearsed behavioral patterns in its representatives and virtually forces them to stage the positions they have once climbed to with an extra portion of disenchantment and exaggerated drama. It is hard to explain otherwise that the german minister for family affairs, ursula von der leyen, seemed to be close to tears when the german bundestag passed a resolution on the drug on 29 september. In september, the government passed the bill on parental allowance. The numerous objections raised by various associations, lobbyists and opposition parties melted into petty rebuttals that were not worth further consideration or even mention. In its place still blows through the written catch of the ministerial speech a homely mixture of incense, mysticism and parental happiness.

The european patent office has withdrawn the controversial patent on embryonic stem cells from the university of edinburgh after three years

Every year, the european patent office (epo) grants around 400 gene patents. As a rule, both the applications and the grants are reviewed by several experts. This was also the case with an application from the university of edinburgh in 1999. The scientists wanted to secure the rights to use stem cells for industrial, i.E. Commercial purposes. However, the three reviewers entrusted with the review of the proposal seem to have had a bad day: they overlooked the fact that the patent to be granted referred not only to plant stem cells but also to animal stem cells. But that was not the end of the complications, because embryonic stem cells were also patented and, according to the english language, the definition of "animal" includes humans (the european patent office inadvertently granted a patent that also covers genetic modifications in humans).

Following prompt complaints from 14 european parties, including germany, italy and the netherlands, the munich-based epo corrected the 1999 decision today (wednesday). The joy was on the side of a large number of parties, institutions and organizations. German spd justice minister herta daubler-gmelin, for example, was delighted and, in an interview with inforadio berlin-brandenburg, considered the appeal to have been "fully passed". The deputy chairwoman of the cdu "the cultivation of human (!) embryonic stem cells must not be patented." other parties, environmental organizations and medical associations were also pleased with the decision.

EU Commission reviews billions in compensation for coal companies

Rwe coal excavator near hambach. Photo: arthur konze.0

In brussel, there are doubts as to whether compensation payments for "foregone profits, which extend very far into the future" the minimum required by eu state aid "required by eu state aid law" required under eu state aid law

The question of how the sum of the planned compensation payments to energy companies for the decommissioning of lignite-fired power plants in germany actually comes about was raised several months ago by attorney roda verheyen: "4.35 billion euros for what?" in september, she wrote a guest article for the portal of the environmental organization greenpeace.

Greece vote in the bundestag

Many german media focused for days on the greece vote in the bundestag. Whether on tv talk shows, in news broadcasts or in the headlines of the print media – everywhere the topic was at the top of the agenda, and this despite the fact that the result of the vote had been determined long beforehand. Why?

In a time of continuously decreasing credibility of politics and media, the impression of a functioning parliamentary democracy should obviously be created with all power. To this end, the image of the hard-pressed member of parliament struggling with his conscience in order to "difficult" political decisions.