Indian-origin scientist brings crack-proof mobiles closer to reality

Cell PhonesWashington, August 14: An Indian-origin Physics professor at Clemson University has devised a way to make tiny carbon springs with shock-absorbing qualities, which may enable small devices like cell phones to bounce rather than crack when dropped.

Apparao Rao and his colleagues from the University of California at San Diego have shown that layers of such tiny springs, called coiled carbon nanotubes, can act as extremely resilient shock absorbers.

White Americans will be in a minority in US by 2042

AmericansWashington, Aug 14: White Americans will no longer make up a majority of US population by 2042, according to new Census Bureau projections, a transformation that is occurring faster than anticipated just a few years ago.

That’s eight years sooner than previous estimates, made in 2004.

The census calculates that by 2042, Americans who identify themselves as Hispanic, black, Asian, American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander will together outnumber non-Hispanic whites. Four years ago, officials had projected the shift would come in 2050.

Arkansas state Democratic Party chairman shot dead

The chairman of the Arkansas state Democratic Party, Bill GwatneyWashington - The chairman of the Arkansas state Democratic Party, Bill Gwatney, 48, was shot dead Wednesday at the party headquarters in Little Rock, police said.

A gunman walked into the office, asked to speak to Gwatney and fired several shots, fatally wounding him. He died four hours later in hospital.

The shooter fled in a pickup truck, was chased by police and killed in an exchange of gunfire on a highway, the Arkansas Democrat- Gazette reported.

Russian integration into international system at risk, Bush says

Russian integration into international system at risk, Bush says Washington  - US President George W Bush said Wednesday that Russia has placed its integration into the international diplomatic and economic system at "risk" by its military campaign in Georgia.

Bush accused Russia of continuing military operations inside of Georgia despite a ceasefire agreed to on Tuesday, and called on Moscow to ensure humanitarian aid be allowed into the country.

Cassini begins transmitting data from Enceladus flyby

Cassini SpacecraftWashington, August 13: The Cassini spacecraft has began sending data to Earth following a close flyby of Saturn’s moon Enceladus.

During closest approach, Cassini successfully passed only 50 kilometers (30 miles) from the surface of the tiny moon.

Cassini’s signal was picked up by the Deep Space Network station in Canberra, Australia, and relayed to the Cassini mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

Small hydroelectric dams are not so eco-friendly as previously believed

Washington, August 13: Environmental activists in Brazil have warned that the combined impacts of numerous small hydroelectric dams in one river basin can be at least as harmful as one large dam.

According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), the warning is a result of a flood of new projects along the rivers of the western Brazilian state of Mato Grosso.

“Hydraulic energy from small dams is interesting because of its low environmental costs, but everything has its limits,” said Andre Villas-Boas in reference to their proliferation along the tributaries of the XingA River, in the Amazon.