Hi, I'm LightandDark2000 (or BlueHypercane761 on Wikimedia Commons). I am deeply fascinated with science, and I enjoy editing articles related to tropical cyclones, natural disasters, wars, and current events, as well as other articles with topics that interest me. I live in California, and I also have an interest in electronics and computer-related stuff. I am always trying to improve Wikipedia, and I work to keep articles free from vandalism. Near the top of my userpage is a large-scale "featured image," which I have chosen to highlight at the moment. My featured images aren't permanent. There will probably be an image that I keep up for a really long time, but I will rotate or switch the image as desired. Additionally, if any of the previous images were really good in my opinion (or depicted major objects or events), you can find them in the image gallery below.

Crab Nebula.jpg
Hubble mosaic image of the Crab Nebula.
"I am a light in the darkness. The convergence point of two opposing forces."


My Userboxes
vn-8This user page has been vandalized 8 times.
 This user is proud to be
May God bless this country!
 This user is male.
PSTThis user's time zone is PST.
 This user uses Wikipedia as a primary point of reference.
 This user uses Google as a primary search engine.
This user uses Gmail as a primary email service.
 This user contributes using Microsoft Windows.
I ♥ WindowsThis user loves Windows!
 This user contributes using
Microsoft Edge.
 This user is interested in
BIOThis user is an expert in Biology.
 This user loves to read.
  This user's favourite colour is blue.
 This user is interested in Biology.
This user is interested in
 This user is interested in
Cell Biology.
 This user finds Biotechnology to be fascinating.
  This user enjoys watching the weather.
  This user is really fascinated by the weather.
 This user is interested in meteorology. 
This user loves sunny days
 This user likes tracking tropical cyclones.
 This user finds tornadoes to be fascinating.
 This user is an astronomer.
  This user survived the Witch Creek Fire in October 2007, and will never forget it.
 This user is an advanced mathematician.
en-5This user can contribute with a professional level of English.
This user loves
Chinese food.
 This user is from the planet Earth. 
#2This user has visited #2 countries in the world. 
 This user is a
Citizen of the Milky Way Galaxy
and nothing else matters.
 This user supports the rights of the nation of Israel to exist freely, within defensible borders.
 This user doesn't like Nazis.
 This user strongly opposes Communism in government.
 This user STRONGLY OPPOSES the California secession movement, Calexit, and like-minded Parties.
 This user is against cyberbullying.
 This user is strongly against online advertisements on the internet, especially intrusive ones.
  This user is against all forms of smoking and vaping, especially in public places.
 This user does not appreciate tobacco smoke.
 This user doesn't drink, and has a healthy liver to show for it.
C2H5OHThis user believes alcohol is dangerous, and as such does not drink it. However, if this user does not believe alcohol is dangerous, this user absolutely hates alcohol.
 This user believes that string theory will be the answer to mankind's quest for a theory of everything
 This user believes that Mars had water on its surface in the past.
 This user believes that Venus had water on its surface in the past.
 This user believes that Taiwan and China should be united into a single, democratic country, The Republic of China.
  This user never, ever wants to experience a Megastorm. Not even to relieve a historic drought.
 Kaboom!! Oh, that was just this user obliterating vandals, nothing to worry about. Except if you're the vandal.
 This editor is a
Master Editor II
and is entitled to display this
Platinum Editor Star.
  This user adamantly considers both Pluto and Eris to be "Planets"
 This user would like to know what a black hole looks like from inside, but doesn't want to investigate it personally.
  This user is interested in String Theory.
 This user is interested in nanotechnology.
  This user has a keen interest in physics.
  This user is interested in Geology.
 This user is very interested in vulcanology.
 This user feels that Space Weather is awesome!
  This user really, really wants to see a literal Blue Moon.
  This user would really love to see a Purple Lunar Eclipse.
This user loves to watch
Rainbows and related meteorological events
  This user appreciates appreciates the beauty of volcanic regions.
 This user wants to see a meteor storm.
 This user wants to see a Great Comet. ☄️
  This user knows that the cost of living in their area of residence is too high.
 This user is interested in ancient Mesopotamia.
 This user is interested in ancient Assyria.
 This user is interested in ancient China.
 This user is interested in ancient Rome.
 This user participates in
WikiProject Tropical cyclones.
 This user participates in WikiProject Non-tropical storms.

 This user is a member of
WikiProject Wildfire.
 This user is a member of WikiProject Microbiology.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject Military history.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject Western Asia.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject Portals.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject Viruses.
 This user is a member of
WikiProject COVID-19.
 This user is very distressed by the increasing polarization in the United States.
  This user loves cinnamon rolls.
 This user has extended confirmed rights on the English Wikipedia. (verify)
 This user has rollback rights on the English Wikipedia. (verify)
 This user has pending changes reviewer rights on the English Wikipedia. (verify)
 This user has page mover rights on the English Wikipedia. (verify)
 This user has been attacked by a sock puppet.
 This user account has experienced a hacking attempt 7 times.
 This user is a member of the
Counter-Vandalism Unit.
 This user despises vandalism and reverts it with extreme pride.


Committed identity: 5dba0b825b68d3c81c247a578c891bc08166eb938d1fea8e7acfcbc7e397a8f5a26ada2128e5240649823a6f7978751be107efd8ec36e9300d5f42cfd0cc9afc is a SHA-512 commitment to this user's real-life identity.


A Barnstar for you!Edit

  The Anti-Vandalism Barnstar
Dear LightandDark2000, you have been editing Wikipedia for several months now, and I noticed that in your contributions, you often revert vandalism, surprisingly without a wiki account! You deserve the Anti-Vandalism Barnstar, for all your efforts. But I noticed that you often attack users who vandalize pages. Please warn them only when they commit more than one act of vandalism, and be polite and welcoming to the new users. Thank You. I award you this Barnstar, so that you can be a better Wikipedian! Keep up the good work! Earth100 (talk) 12:32, 1 June 2012 (UTC)

Vandal Watchlist

Reformed Vandals

A beer for you!Edit

  So sorry to hear that you've been harassed by User:Mr Wiki Pro's newest sockpuppet. You're not alone. He's been doing the EXACT same things to me! Hang in there; keep reporting him every time he makes his presence known, if he's not blocked by then. Meanwhile, here's a beer to cheer you up! :) —This lousy T-shirt— (talk) 06:31, 14 April 2014 (UTC)

A cheese wheel for you!Edit

  A hard-earned cheese wheel of the finest quality
Enjoy this cheese wheel for your hard work fighting vandalism.... you've earned it! Dustin (talk) 03:28, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

A cheeseburger for you!Edit

  For edits at War on Terror, I hereby present to you this cheeseburger. May it fuel your continued edits on Wikipedia. RightCowLeftCoast (talk) 05:45, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Original Barnstar
Good work on the (2015 Egyptian military intervention in Libya) article. Hashima20 (talk) 08:54, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Some falafel for you!Edit

  Thanks for the fine edits to the Syria map. You corrected several errors that were present. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 00:23, 16 June 2015 (UTC)

Barnstar for being such a tireless map updaterEdit

  The Original Barnstar (talk) 16:34, 24 June 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Special Barnstar
I just want to thank you for being civil. I hope I didn't come across as mean, because I didn't mean it that way. I just want to make sure the wiki map stays within encyclopedic standards. Thanks for the compromise. Pbfreespace3 (talk) 21:03, 13 August 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Graphic Designer's Barnstar
I give you this barnstar for the map you've created for the Sinai insurgency map! Good work. Bolter21 (talk) 12:40, 12 November 2015 (UTC)

Some baklava for you!Edit

  Bruskom talk to me 19:28, 22 December 2015 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Original Barnstar
Hello BlueHypercane761, thank you for your contributions on Wikipedia; however, the map of the Yemeni Civil War is correct, according to the Yemeni Civil War detailed map template; you can see it if you want. Continue your work, but please be sure to check in on the detailed maps. Thanks for reading. Tiseptiko 10:26, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

The longest non-list article on the English WikipediaEdit

  The Outlaw Halo Award
For honourably beating back countless split proposals (and one merge proposal), for relentlessly resisting suggestions to summarise the content, and for snatching the highly prestigious title of Longest non-list article on the English Wikipedia, please accept this Glorious Outlaw Halo Award. (Battle of Mosul (2016–17).)

Nicolas Perrault (talk) 21:44, 23 August 2017 (UTC) (about the award)

I decided to copy this "award" to my user page since I was a major contributor to the article in question. By the way, I'll take that as a compliment.   LightandDark2000 🌀 (talk) 13:50, 13 September 2017 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
For all your great work with October 2007 California wildfires!!! Zackmann08 (Talk to me/What I been doing) 00:48, 10 November 2017 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
You are kicking some serious butt with all the contributions to fire articles. Keep up the great work!!! Zackmann08 (Talk to me/What I been doing) 17:18, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Anti-Vandalism Barnstar
For reverting 3 VANDALIZED REVISIONS made by ONE PERSON Thewinrat (talk) 02:07, 27 March 2018 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Editor's Barnstar
Keep it. Thanks a lot for your contributions. I've left you one more barnstar. Source Content Self-Maker (talk) 18:47, 17 August 2018 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Anti-Vandalism Barnstar
Impressive work! Sakaimover (talk) 01:04, 24 September 2018 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Original Barnstar
Thanks for fighting vandalism/disruptive edits and contributing to tropical cyclones! INeedSupport(Care free to give me support?) 21:29, 25 September 2018 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
You have made a lot of edits, and you have often improved my work. Keep it up. Northatlantic320 (talk) 17:23, 12 October 2018 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Special Barnstar
Thanks for helping keep Wikipedia vandal-free! I've also noticed from your user page that we have a bunch in common! andritolion (talk) 04:42, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

A kitten for you!Edit

Thank you for helping keeping Wikipedia clean!

HeartGlow30797 (talk) 05:32, 6 June 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Anti-Vandalism Barnstar
For your work at Catherine of Aragon. -- DannyS712 (talk) 06:01, 10 June 2019 (UTC)

A Barnstar for you!Edit

  The Reviewer's Barnstar
This is for your valuable efforts for reviewing articles under pending changes protection. Thank you PATH SLOPU 14:28, 14 June 2019 (UTC)

An award for you!Edit

  CVU Anti-Vandalism Award
This is for your excellent performance in saving Wikipedia from the harmful threats of vandalism. I appreciate your efforts and hardwork. You are a bold defender of Wikipedia. Thank you. PATH SLOPU 10:41, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Because you thanked meEdit

  LightandDark2000, you thanked me for one of my recent edits, so here is a heart-felt...
It's a pleasure, and I hope you have a lot of fun while you edit this inspiring encyclopedia phenomenon! DoebLoggs (talk)

11:37, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
Thank you for thanking other users who stand against vandalism. Angus1986 (talk) 12:22, 8 September 2019 (UTC)

A cookie for you!Edit

  Thanks for stopping the vandals at Ness (EarthBound). (Oinkers42) (talk) 03:11, 14 July 2020 (UTC)


  The Tireless Contributor Barnstar
Thanks for being a dilligent Wikipedian Sliekid (talk) 03:34, 30 November 2020 (UTC)

Happy (late) Thanksgiving!Edit

Destroyeraa has given you a Turkey! Turkeys promote WikiLove and hopefully this has made your day better. Spread the WikiLove by giving someone else a turkey, whether it be someone you have had disagreements with in the past or a good friend. Happy Thanksgiving! ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 17:23, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

Spread the goodness of turkey by adding {{subst:Thanksgiving Turkey}} to their talk page with a friendly message.

I'm thankful to have you here as a fellow member of WPTC, and also for your work fighting LTAs. ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 17:23, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Defender of the Wiki Barnstar
see above ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 17:24, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Civility Barnstar
You've gotten a lot more civil since 2015. ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 17:24, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Writer's Barnstar
You write great op-eds. Use that energy to write GAs! ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 17:26, 9 December 2020 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Writer's Barnstar
Thank you so much for fixing most issues in Effects of Hurricane Dorian in the Carolinas. SMB99thx my edits! 10:56, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

An Allison for you!Edit

  Tropical Storm Allison barnstar
Thanks for fixing that error on Tropical Storm Allison, updating the damage. Hurricane Tracker 495 23:43, 19 December 2020 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Teamwork Barnstar
Gee, thanks for the barnstars! I really appreciate them, they made my day! It was my brother’s birthday yesterday so I didn’t have time to edit :p, though I still say the barnstars. I just want to tell you that you are a good person and friend, and I’m grateful for your support. ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 17:08, 20 December 2020 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Copyeditor's Barnstar
You did a lot of copyedits and updates lately. Great job! Also, thanks for promoting Beryl. Five down, we have Florence, Gordon, Michael, and Leslie left! ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 03:09, 27 December 2020 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Random Acts of Kindness Barnstar
This is for being such a great editor, a kind person, and a hard-worker, as well as coming up with great ideas, and helping me the great people like you here on Wikipedia. 🌀Weatherman27🏈 (Chat|Edits|sandbox) 17:07, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  LTA catcher barnstar
Thanks for catching and fighting so many LTAs - most notably IP95 and Wyatt2049. ~ Destroyer🌀🌀 21:43, 4 January 2021 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Tropical Cyclone Barnstar
You’ve stuck with the project for many years, and you have done work that many editors look up to. -Shift674-🌀 contribs 15:31, 8 January 2021 (UTC)

A barnstar for you!Edit

  The Editor's Barnstar
That's my reward for you after getting back into WPTC after all those years. I think you're going to become MoTM some time soon. MarioJump83! 02:17, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Tropical Cyclone/Weather agencies linksEdit

Other links - IRC, Philippines NDRRMC, GMDSS, WX Trop, MT Archive, NRL imagery, Dundee, Temporary TC advisory archive, NOAA Ocean Coverage Satellite Imagery, Eastern Pacific Tropical Weather Discussion, Ocean Prediction Center, WPC North America Surface Analysis/Satellite Composite maps, 850mb Vorticity - West Pacific atmospheric circulation map, Ten Spider Weather - Tropical Cyclone, Typhoon & Hurricane Tracking, NOAA El Niño & La Niña data, GFS Weather Model page, ECMWF (European) Weather Model, Weather Underground tropical cyclone tracker, Weather Underground Weather Map & Models, Tropical Tidbits Current Storm tracker, NOAA CLASS satellite images, NASA EOSDIS Worldview satellite imagery, Nullschool Global Map of Wind, Weather, and Ocean Conditions
Running Best Tracks - JTWC/NHC RBT, NHC RBT, IBTrACS track data.

Current EventsEdit

Cold War II (August 2008–Present)Edit

Map of the major geopolitical alignments in the world:
  The U.S., EU, and nations that have sided with those powers in major geopolitical conflicts
  Russia, China, and nations that have sided with those two nations in major geopolitical disputes
  Nations that have sided with both blocs in major geopolitical disputes

The Second Cold War (which began on August 7, 2008, at the start of the Russo-Georgian War) escalated during the 2014 conflicts and civil unrest in Ukraine. The Russian actions toward the events escalated tensions between the United States and Russia, which may spark World War III. On March 21, 2014, Russian annexed Crimea, leading to a heightened escalation in tensions between Ukraine and Russia. On May 8, 2014, and later in mid-June 2014, Russia began flying fighter jets off the coast of California and Guam, preparing for a possible military strike.[1] In response, President Obama visited military leaders in California on May 9, to debrief them on the Russian threats. In the first week of June 2014, Russian fighter jets began making passes over U.S. military vehicles, likely in preparation for an attack. On April 23, a Russian fighter jet passed within 100 feet of a U.S. military plane, and tilted itself just enough so that the U.S. crew could see that the plane was armed with missiles.[2] Earlier in April, a Russian fighter plane had made a dozen passes over the USS Donald Cook,[3] in addition to multiple flights over or near the border of many NATO nations. The Government declared that this flight put the lives of the entire U.S. crew in jeopardy. If displays of aggression like these continue, a Russian attack may not be that far off the horizon. On July 17, 2014, the Pro-Russian rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine, using missiles supplied by Russia. This resulted in a heightening of tensions between Russia and NATO, as well as additional measures to circumvent flights passing over Ukraine. On July 27, 2014, Russia began firing missiles over the Ukrainian border into Eastern Ukraine, in support of the Pro-Russian rebels. This may lead to a full-scale war if Ukraine decides to retaliate.

On January 2, 2015, the US began imposing sanctions on North Korea, due to their involvement in the Sony hack involving the movie The Interview.[4]

On January 29, 2015, two Russian bomber jets were intercepted by the British Royal Air Force over the English Channel, forcing civilian flights within the region to be re-routed.[5] This escalated already strained NATO–Russia relations even further, and caused more panic over the fears of possible Russian aircraft collisions with civilian aircraft. This was the latest of Russia's "dark" military flights (as of January 29, 2015), which have jeopardized civilian lives and escalated tensions to Cold War-levels. NATO reported having intercepted over 100 Russian military flights in 2014, over 3 times the amount in 2013.

The scheduled summit at Minsk, attended by both foreign leaders and leaders in the War on Donbass, met on February 11, 2015, which resulted in the signing of a new package of peacemaking measures, called Minsk II, on February 12.[6] The plan, similar in content to the failed Minsk Protocol, called for an unconditional ceasefire, to begin on February 15, amongst many other measures.[6][7]

Debaltseve, one of the sites where the ceasefire was not implemented (and the site of the heaviest fighting around the time of Minsk II' implementation), was captured by the Donetsk People's Republic of Novorossiya on February 18, 2015. After capturing the city, they announced that they would be withdrawing their heavy artillery as required by Minsk II.[8]

On January 25, 2016, a Russian fighter jet came within 15 feet of a U.S. Air Force Reconnaissance plane, over the Black Sea.[9] If Russia continues these dangerous passes, it may lead to another incident, like the Turkish shootdown of a Russian jet in November 2015, or to a higher level military escalation. On April 17, 2016, a Russian fighter jet barrel-rolled over a US Air Force reconnaissance aircraft, over the Baltic Sea, coming withing 50 feet of the plane. The US criticized such a dangerous move, but the Russian Defense Ministry claimed that the move was part of its "defense protocol."[10]

On April 7, 2017, the 2017 Shayrat missile strike, authorized by US President Donald Trump, in retaliation for a chemical weapon attack in Khan Shaykhun (blamed on the Syrian Government), deteriorated relations between the United States and Russia. On April 14, 2018, the U.S. launched another airstrike on the Syrian Government, following the East Ghouta gas attacks, which was condemned by Russia and China.

In January 2018, the U.S., under President Donald Trump, launched a trade war against China for abusive trading practices and long-standing intellectual property theft. China retaliated, and the trade war escalated to the point that the global market started to contract, and companies began trying to readjust their supply chains to offset the damage. In January 2020, both countries signed a Phase One agreement, which brought down tensions, but the conflict continued.

In Spring 2019, massive protests erupted in Hong Kong over China's proposed "national security" bill, which would allow China to extradite anyone from Hong Kong to be tried in court in mainland China, seriously undermining Hong Kong's autonomy. The protests grew in size and intensity over the following months, exceeding 2 million participants by the summer. Local police violently suppressed the protests, leading to widespread condemnation across the globe. That fall, the Chinese-run Hong Kong Government began to crack down more severely against the protests, rounding up masses of students and besieging multiple college campuses that were the focal point of protests. However, the government response triggered large-scale backlash from the local citizens, with the pro-democracy parties winning the legislative elections by a landslide. The protests continued, albeit on a smaller scale, into the next year. On June 30, 2020, the Chinese Government passed a "national security" bill that would give it a greater hand in the affairs of Hong Kong. This move was seen as effectively ending Hong Kong's autonomy, and many countries re-evalued their relationship with Hong Kong (and China, to a greater extent) in response to the bill. The U.S. revoked Hong Kong's special trade status and no longer recognized the city as being autonomous. Afterward, local authorities cracked down on the protests with even greater force, which lead to a decrease in protests and other demonstrations.

In March 2020, hackers from Russian intelligence agencies breached the servers of the company SolarWinds. The attacks allowed them to compromise the servers of companies using software created by SolarWinds, which ended up compromising thousands of companies and federal government agencies, leaving them vulnerable to spying and further attacks from the hackers.[11] The hackers began compromising supply lines involving companies that had been hacked in October 2020; the cyberattack campaign was not revealed to the public until December 13, 2020. Given the scope and duration of the attacks, this campaign is considered to be one of the worst cyberattacks that the U.S. has ever experienced. Due to the widespread compromise, the affected companies have been urged by the U.S. Government to abandon all SolarWinds software. More cyberattacks are expected in the near future, and both government officials and cybersecurity experts are worried that the hackers may use the access that they've gained to carry out further schemes.

California Natural DisastersEdit

In early January 2016, the 2014–16 El Niño event tied the 1997–98 El Niño as the strongest one on record.[12] This coincided with a wave of 5 winter storms that were impacting the West Coast of the United States during the same week. The 4th winter storm triggered severe thunderstorms across San Diego County on January 6, with one tornado reported. In late May 2016, the record-tying El Niño episode finally ended.

In January 2017, 2 sets of powerful winter storms opened up massive Pineapple Express atmospheric rivers, causing massive amounts of rain and snowfall in California. The first series of storms (especially Winter Storm Iras), lasting from January 8 to 13, and consisting of 3 storms, triggered the worst flooding in Northern and Central California since 2005. The second wave, consisting of 3 winter storms, impacted the state from January 19 to 24, and triggered the worst flooding Southern California has experienced since December 2010. Winter Storm Kori (II), was so far, the worst storm in the 2nd wave of storms. Winter Storm Leo (storm 3) was stated by the Nation Weather Service to be the worst of the triad of storms impacting California.

Satellite image of smoke coming from the wildfires burning in California and Oregon on September 10, 2020

In April 2017, the rainfall from the powerful winter storms had turned the 2016–17 California rainy season into the wettest one on record. The large amounts of rainfall also effectively ended the drought in most of the state.

In early December 2017, a swarm of wildfires were ignited across Southern California, and spurred on by powerful Santa Ana winds. The largest fire in the group was the Thomas Fire, which burned 281,893 acres (1,140.78 km2), becoming the largest wildfire in modern California history. The Thomas Fire also became California's 8th most destructive wildfire (as of August 2018), costing at least $2.176 billion (2018 USD) in damages. On January 12, 2018, the Thomas Fire was fully extinguished, following heavy rainfall from Winter Storm Hunter.

In the summer of 2018, California experienced more large wildfires, including the destructive Carr Fire and the massive Mendocino Complex Fire, which became the largest fire recorded in state history up to that point. On November 8, 2018, powerful Santa Ana winds blew across the state of California once again. The winds ignited multiple fires, foremost the Camp Fire in Butte County and the Woolsey Fire in Ventura County. Within a few days, the fires had rapidly expanded, burning down numerous homes and buildings and charring tens of thousands of acres. The Camp Fire became both the most destructive and the deadliest wildfire in the history of California, killing 85 people, destroying the entire city of Paradise and other neighboring communities, and costing over $16 billion (2018 USD) in damages. This also made the Camp Fire the single-costliest wildfire on record worldwide. The Woolsey Fire burned down numerous residential buildings in affluential neighborhoods, causing $6 billion (2018 USD) in damages. The fires raged largely unstopped until November 21, when the first major winter storm of the rainy season struck the state. On November 25, the fires had finally been extinguished.

On August 16–20, 2020, a large plume of moisture carried northward from Tropical Storm Fausto generated massive thunderstorms across a large portion of Northern California.[13] These storms produced mostly dry lightning with little to no rain, generating almost 11,000 lightning strikes in the state between August 16 and 17. The lighting storms sparked 367[14] fires across the state, several of which became very large in a short period of time, threatening thousands of structures and forcing thousands of people to evacuate.[15] Many of these fires merged into gigantic fire complexes, including the North Complex Fire and the August Complex fire. The August Complex fire eventually became California's largest recorded wildfire, exceeding a burn area of 1,000,000 acres (400,000 ha) in October. In early September 5, a record-breaking heatwave, accompanied by powerful Diablo winds and Santa Ana winds, ignited more fires across the state, such as the Creek Fire, and explosively grew many of the existing fires. The resulting fires deteriorated conditions so much in both California and Oregon that both states experienced large swaths of smoke and poor air quality for weeks. In the end, more than 4,300,000 acres (1,700,000 ha) of land were burned by the wildfires in California. These conditions resulted in California's largest wildfire season since the 1850s, back when the average fire season had burn areas between 4,400,000 acres (1,800,000 ha) and 12,000,000 acres (4,900,000 ha), when Native Americans allowed fires to burn freely, which also kept forests healthy and prevented large, destructive fires from overrunning the state. In late October, conditions improved somewhat as the temperatures cooled and more favorable weather patterns set up. In late November, most of the fires were finally extinguished or were nearing full containment, bringing a record-breaking fire season to a close.

2019–21 Coronavirus pandemicEdit

Electron microscope images of SARS-CoV-2 virions.
Map of the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide.

According to Chinese Government documents, the first known human infection of SARS-CoV-2 occurred in Wuhan, Hubei, China, on November 17, 2019.[16] In late December 2019, word of a new SARS-like illness began to spread in Wuhan, China, though the Chinese Goverment initially denied the reports and tried to cover up the outbreak. On January 23, 2020, China began imposing strict lockdowns on Hubei, as the virus reached nearly all provinces of Mainland China. By late January 2020, SARS 2 Coronavirus had spread to many other countries. On February 20, 2020, the stock market began to crash and the world entered another recession. On March 11, 2020, the WHO declared the COVID-19 epidemic to be a pandemic. In Mid-March 2020, European countries and the U.S. enacted large-scale lockdowns, in an attempt to control and stop the spread of the virus. On March 13, 2020, the WHO declared Europe to be the new epicenter of the pandemic. On March 26, 2020, the U.S. became the new epicenter of the pandemic, with most cases being concentrated in New York City. On April 27, 2020, confirmed cases in the U.S. exceeded 1 million, while Global confirmed cases exceeded 3.1 million. On May 1, 2020, the US partially re-opened, after the number of new cases per day began to slow, with other Western countries following. A slow, uneven economic recovery ensued. On June 19, 2020, Brazil reached 1 million confirmed cases, 1 month after becoming the #2 country infected with the virus.

In late June 2020, SARS-CoV-2 infections pick up worldwide, after slowing in the late spring, marking the start of a "second wave." On August 30, 2020, India had become the #2 infected country, with over 3.5 million cases. On September 26, 2020, White House COVID-19 outbreak occurred; US President Donald Trump was likely infected on that day, during this outbreak. On October 5, 2020, the true global COVID-19 cases reach an estimated 780 million, or 10% of the global population.[17] The U.S. had 7.7 million confirmed cases, with the true number of cases likely being 10 times higher. At the time, the true death toll was likely around 1.8 million people. In late October 2020, Coronavirus cases bagen to spike once again in the U.S. and other nations across the globe, on a level unseen previously, indicating the start of a third, much bigger wave. On December 11, 2020, Pfizer's mRNA vaccine was given an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the FDA, making it the first Coronavirus vaccine available for emergency use in the United States. However, the first batches will be limited to emergency personal and health care workers, with the general population not being expected to have access to the vaccine until March or April 2021. On December 18, the FDA granted Moderna's mRNA vaccine an EUA as well, making it the second Coronavirus vaccine approved for emergency use in the United States.

The War on ISIL (December 2013–Present)Edit

On February 3, 2014, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (also known by the acronym ISIS or ISIL), formerly known as al-Qaeda in Iraq, split from al-Qaeda and began a massive military campaign to conquer the entire region of the Levant and Greater Syria, causing thousands of civilians in Iraq and Syria to flee their homes. ISIL's campaigns also brought it into conflict with the al-Nusra Front, or al-Qaeda in Syria, despite several local truces and joint military operations at times.

On June 29, 2014, ISIL renamed itself to simply the Islamic State and declared itself to be a Worldwide Caliphate, with Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as its Caliph, and claimed the entire world as its territory. ISIL then increased its campaigns in Iraq and Syria, conquering over a third of each country, and force 16 million people to live under its harsh version of Sharia rule. The ensuing conflicts caused over 400,000 Syrian civilians to flee to Turkey, to escape advancing ISIL forces. ISIL also managed to expand into Turkey, Lebanon, Libya, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, Pakistan, and the Philippines, mainly through pledges of allegiance from other terrorist groups already present in those countries (usually al-Qaeda branches). This prompted the United States to lead a Anti-ISIL coalition in an international military campaign against ISIL, in an attempt to destabilize and destroy the terrorist organization before it grew out of control.

In August 2014, in response to an impending massacre by ISIL at the besieged Sinjar Mountains, the U.S. intervened and launched airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq, allowing the YPG and Peshmerga to break the Siege of Sinjar Mountain and driving back ISIL forces. US airstrikes also drove ISIL back from the Iraqi Kurdistan capital of Erbil. In late September, President Barack Obama also authorized airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, as ISIL continued to consolidate their control in that country. In mid-September 2014, ISIL launched a massive campaign against Kobanî, besieging the city, and raising fears of another genocide. However, US airstrikes kept ISIL from being able to take the city and gradually thinned their numbers, while the Kurdish defenders and their allies continued to combat the attackers. In January 2015, ISIL finally retreated from the city, ending the siege, and by late March 2015, almost all of ISIL's gains had been reversed, and the terrorist group had lost thousands of fighters.

In late September 2014, it was revealed that ISIL planned to kill 10 million Americans.[18]

In December 2014, it was revealed that the US planned to retake the city of Mosul in January 2015, 7 months after the Fall of Mosul in June 2014. Also, from December 17–22, the Kurds launched a massive offensive, breaking the Siege of Mount Sinjar and effectively retaking most of the villages in the Sinjar region, as well as pushing into the city of Sinjar itself.

On January 21, 2015, the Kurdish Peshmerga launched an offensive into the outskirts of Mosul, retaking some nearby villages, cutting off of key supply route to Mosul, and opening up three fronts to the northwest of the city itself. Over 200 ISIL militants were killed on the first day of the Kurdish offensive. On February 4, 2015, Jordan joined the intervention in Iraq, launching a massive airstrike campaign in Mosul, in retaliation against ISIL's brutal killing of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh. The airstrikes killed 55 ISIL militants, including the chief ISIL senior commander in Mosul, who was known as the "Prince of Nineveh."

On February 1, 2015, Iraq's Prime Minister declared that the War on ISIL was effectively "World War III", due to ISIL's declaration of a Worldwide Caliphate, its aims to conquer the world, and its success in spreading the conflict to multiple countries outside of the Levant region.[19]

On February 4, 2015, Jordan began launching airstrikes on ISIL positions in Iraq, in retaliation for ISIL's brutal killing of Jordanian pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh. The airstrikes killed 55 ISIL militants in Mosul, including a senior ISIL commander known as the "Prince of Nineveh." On February 5, 2015, Jordan elevated its role in the US-led Coalition in Syria, launching one of the largest airstrike campaigns since early January 2015, targeting ISIL militants near Ar-Raqqah, the de facto ISIL capital, inflicting an unknown number of casualties and damaging ISIL facilities. This was done in retaliation against ISIL's brutal murder of Muath al-Kasasbeh.[20][21] On February 6, a continued round of Coalition airstrikes at Ar-Raqqah killed over 30 ISIL militants.[22]

On February 9, 2015, the Libyan town of Nofaliya fell to ISIL forces. Soon afterwards, the Libyan city of Sirte also fell, along with a military base to the south of Nofaliya and Sirte. After ISIL killed 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya,[23] Egypt began conducting airstrikes on ISIL targets in Libya on 16 February 2015, killing a total of 64 ISIL militants (50 in Derna) by the end of that day. Warplanes acting under orders from the "official" Libyan government also struck targets in Derna, reportedly in coordination with Egypt's airstrikes.[24] A Libyan official stated that more joint airstrikes would follow.[24] The airstrikes ended on February 18, with Egypt seeking more support from the US-led Coalition and the Arab World. The US and Italy also began conducting surveillance flights over Libya, due to concerns of further ISIL expansion.

On March 1, 2015, Iraqi Army forces and Shi'ite militias launched the Salahuddin offensive to liberate the Saladin Governorate from ISIL occupation. On the next day, 30,000 Iraqi Army soldiers, Sunni fighters, and Shi'ite militiamen launched the Second Battle of Tikrit (March–April 2015), to recapture the city of Tikrit, the provincial capital of Salahuddin that was being held by 13,000 ISIL militants. On April 17, 2015, the battle finally ended in a decisive anti-ISIL victory. In Syrian, in March, the YPG and their allies launched an offensive to clear ISIL from the northern Al-Hasakah province. While they managed to retake most of the ISIL-held areas around Tell Brak and Tell Hamis, ISIL launched another large-scale offensive into the Khabur River valley, capturing numerous villages and advancing to the western bank of the Khabur River. Violent clashes continued unabated into May, when the YPG and their allies finally launched a large-scale counteroffensive, retaking the areas lost to ISIL, the Abdulaziz Mountains, and the surrounding countryside. YPG-led forces then launched an offensive to take Tell Abyad from ISIL, advancing westward from the Al-Hasakah countryside and advancing eastward from their enclave around the Kobanî Canton. In June, both forces linked up and took Tell Abyad, before completely securing the M4 Highway and the neighboring regions in July, removing ISIL from the border region of the northern Ar-Raqqah couuntrysiide, and severing their most important supply route to Ar-Raqqah. In late June, ISIL launched an attack on the city of Al-Hasakah, in an attempt to capture it. However, after over a month of clashes and U.S. airstrikes, ISIL retreated, leaving most of the city under the control of the YPG, and the central parts of the city under the control of the Syrian Government.

On March 7, 2015, Boko Haram, a Nigeria-bases terrorist group, pledged allegiance to ISIL, giving ISIL an official presence in West Africa.

On March 19, 2015, the 4 concurrent insurgencies in Yemen (the al-Qaeda, Houthi, Southern Movement, and ISIL insurgencies) all merged into a single, full-blown conflict, the Yemeni Civil War. On March 25, 2015, after Houthi and Saleh loyalist forces pushed Hadi's Yemeni forces to the critical city of Aden, Saudi Arabia decided to lead the Gulf Cooperation Council and other Arab states in a military intervention against the Houthi forces. On April 1, 2015, the Southern Movement, whose territory was reduced to merely the Yemeni city of Ataq, decided to join forces with Hadi's internationally-recognized government, against the other warring factions. Ataq was captured by the Houthis on April 9. al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) decided to take advantage of the chaos, launching an offensive in the northern part of Yemen and the southeastern coastal region, initially capturing the city of Al Mukalla on April 2, only to lose half of the city to local Yemeni tribes on April 7, with the battle continuing afterwards. However, al-Qaeda eventually managed to capture the city on April 16. However, al-Qaeda also lost most of the territory it held in Yemen's southwestern region. In late April 2016, UAE-backed forced launched an offensive into Al Mukalla and the coastal regions of the Hadramuat Province, recapturing the city and removing AQAP from most of their territory in Hadramuat.

On March 30, 2015, Ansar al-Sharia in Libya and its leader, Abdullah Al-Libi, pledged allegiance to ISIL,[25] boosting ISIL's membership in Libya to 8,000 fighters.[26][27]

On April 8, 2015, the Iraqi Army and 10,000 Sunni tribal fighters launched the Anbar offensive (2015) to retake the Anbar Governorate. In response, ISIL executed 300 people and launched its own counter-offensive in kind, resulting in fierce clashes around Ramadi. However, in May 2015, ISIL launched the Palmyra offensive, capturing the city of Palmyra and the majority of Central Syria, increasing their control of Syria to 50%.

In September 2015, the Russian Government intervened on behalf of the Syrian Government, after a string of losses to both the Syrian Rebels, al-Qaeda-lnked jihadists, and ISIL. In November 2015, Peshmerga fighters advanced down Mount Sinjar and recaptured the city of Sinjar and the nearby highway to the Syrian border, cutting off a key supply route for ISIL. In December, SDF fighters, backed by U.S. Special Forces, captured Tishrim Dam, one of the most important dams in Syria, opening a possible beachhead from which they could assault Manbij.

In 2016, the tide began to turn against ISIL. In Iraq, ISIL lost the city of Ramadi in February 2016, followed by Hit in April, Ar-Rutbah in May, and Fallujah in June. In Syria, ISIL lost Al-Shaddadi in February, Manbij and Jarabulus in August, al-Bab in February 2017, and Palmyra in March 2017 (for the second time). In Libya, GNA forces launched an attack on Sirte in May, recapturing the city and destroying the ISIL pocket in December. In October 2016, the Iraqi Army, backed by allied forces, launched a battle for Mosul, triggering the single largest military campaign since the 2003 Invasion of Iraq. In November, in northern Syria, the SDF, backed by the US, launched a campaign to capture Raqqa and its countryside from ISIL.

In 2017, the new Trump Administration loosened the rules for military engagements, leading to increased airstrikes on ISIL, which further reduced their numbers. In May 2017, ISIL forces in Marawi, in the Philippines, attempted to seize control of the city. After a 5-month-long battle, the ISIL forces were eradicated, resulting the the complete destruction of ISIL's leadership in the Philippines and the loss of the majority of their fighters. On July 22, 2017, after 9 months of grueling urban warfare, the Iraqi Army finally recaptured the city of Mosul. In Syria, ISIL lost control of the Syrian Desert and Central Syria to both the Free Syrian Army (before they were beaten back to a stretch of territory near Al-Tanf) and the Syrian Army. On October 19, in Syria, the SDF captured the city of Raqqa, which had served as ISIL's de-facto capital city up until that point. The Syrian Army also won a 3-month campaign against ISIL in Central Syria, removing ISIL control from Central Syria and capturing an area of land the size of Lebanon. In November, the Syrian Army broke ISIL's 3-year siege of the city of Deir ez-Zor and pushed into the ISIL-held half of the city, recapturing the city in December. The Syrian Army then launched further offensives southward, towards the Iraqi border, capturing the city of Mayadin. The SDF also launched a large-scale campaign in the countryside of Deir ez-Zor, in order to clear ISIL from the remainder of northeastern Syria. In Iraq, the Iraqi Army recaptured Tel Afar and Hawija from ISIL. In late October, the Iraqi Army launched an offensive into the desert regions in Western Iraq, to completely destroy ISIL's remaining control. On December 9, 2017, ISIL had lost control of their remaining territory in Western Iraq. By the end of 2017, ISIL had largely been reduced to 3 pockets of territory in Northeastern Syria, the Middle Euphrates River Valley, and in the Syrian Desert.

From 2018 to 2019, ISIL continued to lose territory. The Syrian Army besieged ISIL in the Syrian Desert and gradually reduced their large pocket, while the SDF cleared the ISIL pocket in northeastern Syria and applied more pressure to the ISIL pocket along the Euphrates River. ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi fled from the ISIL pocket in the Euphrates Valley to a safe house in the Idlib Province, which was mostly run by Tahrir al-Sham. In December 2018, the SDF finally broke through ISIL lines in the Euphrates Valley and took the city of Hajjin, before advancing southward. In February 2019, the SDF captured Al-Marashidah, leaving the remaining ISIL forces in the pocket completely besieged in the town of Al-Baghuz Fawqani. On February 9, the SDF launched an assault on ISIL's final stronghold, facing fierce ISIL resistance. However, as the SDF pushed deeper into the pocket, most of the ISIL members surrendered with their families. On March 23, the SDF captured Al-Baghuz Fawqani, before seizing full control of the region in April. This ended most of ISIL's territorial control and removed their final stronghold.

On the night of October 26–27, 2019, U.S. Special Forces raided al-Baghdadi's compound in Barisha, Syria, near the Turkish border. Al-Baghdadi killed himself and two of his children with his suicide vest when he was trapped in a tunnel, and most of the defenders were killed, while the US took some prisoners. In 2020, ISIL suffered even further losses, losing the majority of their territory in the Syrian Desert. This left ISIL as an insurgency. However, ISIL has been able to take advantage of security gaps in both Iraq and Syria, and the group is continuing to launch attacks in both Iraq and Syria on a regular basis.

Recent & Upcoming Astronomical EventsEdit

The events of the rare 2014–2015 Blood Moon Tetrad are featured below. (See List of 21st-century lunar eclipses and List of solar eclipses in the 21st century for more info). Also included are other spectacular astronomical events that will be taking place in the meantime. The dates and times are listed for the Pacific Time Zone, when applicable. Dates:


Lunar Eclipses

Solar Eclipses

Supermoon Triad of Summer 2014

  • Supermoon of July 13, 2014 - A Golden Supermoon
  • Supermoon of August 10, 2014 - The largest Supermoon in the unusual triad of Supermoons in 2014
  • Supermoon of September 9, 2014 - The last of the Supermoons in 2014

Jupiter and Venus Conjunction Tetrad (2014–2016)!!!


Other Events

  • Blood Moon of February 22, 2014 - An extremely rare Lunar Eclipse-like event in Southern California, during a large waning moon.
  • Blood Moon of July 29, 2014 - An extremely rare Lunar Eclipse-like event in Southern California, during a thin waxing moon.
  • Strawberry Moon on June 21, 2016. It was the first one since 1948.
  • Black Moon on September 30, 2016. "Black Moons" are the 2nd New Moons in a month, and they normally occur about every 32 months (about every 2.5 years).
  • Extra Large Supermoon on November 14, 2016. This was the largest Supermoon since 1948, and the next Supermoon this size will occur on November 25, 2034.

Major Celestial Events


Upcoming Planetary Conjunctions

  • November 22, 2065 - Major Jupiter-Venus Conjunction, distance comparable to the Major Conjunction on August 27, 2016!!! Further details will be posted when available.

Solar Eclipses

Annual Meteor Showers

  • Quadrantids - January 2–3, peaking sharply during the early morning of January 3.
  • Lyrids - April 21–23, peaking from April 21–22. The visibility of this meteor shower was greatly diminished by the light from the moon.
  • Eta Aquariids - May 5–6, peaking just after midnight on May 6.
  • Southern Delta Aquariids - July 28–30, peaking during the early morning of July 30.
  • Perseids - August 11–13, peaking around August 12–13. (There was a Perseids outburst on the night of August 11–12, 2016, with up to 200 meteors per hour.)
  • Orionids - October 21–22, peaking during the early morning hours of October 22.
  • Taurids (Halloween Fireballs) - November 4–18, peaking just after midnight on November 12. A Taurids outburst is expected in November 2019.
  • Leonids - November 17–18, peaking during the early morning hours of November 18. Next meteor storm is in c. November 20312034.
  • Geminids - December 12–14, the most spectacular meteor shower of the year. It peaks before dawn, on December 14.



External Links

Fun FactsEdit

Did you know...

  • The Universe is approximately 94 billion light-years across in diameter.[28]
  • The Universe is currently expanding at a rate about 6.643 times faster than the speed of light. This means that the edge of the Universe itself is expanding at about 3.32 times faster than the speed of light. Also, despite the Universe' accelerating expansion rate, the expansion is actually decreasing in terms of the ratio of volume vs. the amount of expansion.[29]
  • Literal blue moons actually do occur. They are extremely rare, and it only happens during volcanic eruptions or large wildfires.[30]
  • Yellowstone's magma chamber is actually 2.5 times larger than scientists have originally thought. That makes Yellowstone's magma chamber about the same size it was during its last major eruption around 640,000 years ago.[31]
  • Scientists discovered the existence of Quadruple helix DNA on March 20, 2013.[32]
  • Black holes actually have a limit on how large they could become (theoretically about 50 billion solar masses at this time).
  • The Quasar APM 08279+5255 is currently the largest source of water known, with the galaxy containing 100 trillion times the water found in all of Earth's oceans! The central black hole itself has a mass of 23 billion Suns.[33]
  • The largest black hole known is the Quasar S5 0014+81, which has a mass of 40 billion solar masses, about 10,000 times more massive than the Milky Way's central black hole. It also has an event horizon with a diameter of 240 billion kilometers (1,600 AU), about 6.3 times the diameter of our Solar System's Heliosheath!!
  • Black holes eventually evaporate into planck-sized objects once they are no longer able to absorb any new material. When this happens, the black hole releases a large amount of energy in an explosion.[34]
  • Continent-size hurricanes, known as Hypercanes used to ravage the Earth (especially during the Paleocene Epoch). Those storms had winds at 500 mph, a central minimum pressure of around 700 millibars (21 inHg), and lasted for weeks on average. In fact, many cave systems and canyons exist today because of the erosion caused by these Hypercanes.
  • California is currently overdue for a Megastorm. If such a storm occurs, much of Central Valley will be submerged under 10 feet of water, and the event will result in at least $750 billion (2011 USD) in damages.
  • San Diego is actually overdue for a hurricane. Southern California actually has a history of being directly impacted by Tropical cyclones and hurricane-remnants, but it has been over 150 years since Southern California has actually been directly impacted by a hurricane.
  • The United States is currently $19.428 Trillion (2016 USD) in debt, despite what politicians say. About $6.324 trillion dollars of that debt belongs to foreign countries, of which $1.181 trillion belongs to China. This is actually the worst period of national debt America has ever seen in its entire history.
  • Wikipedia is actually more reliable than most people believe. In fact, Wikipedia is one of the fastest-growing encyclopedias, with a higher correction rate than many other online encyclopedias. Despite the large amount of vandalism in many different areas, these are handled through administrative actions involving blocks.
  • The United States has at least 400 Neo-Nazis. (Yes, sadly, there are Nazis in the United States) As a matter of fact, after the failure of disciplinary action for many of the "lesser" Nazis during the Nuremberg trials, most of them went on to found various Neo-Nazi movements. Neo-Nazis in America have also founded their own institute, which exists even today and continues to deny the Holocaust. Additionally, despite the differences between the views of the various Neo-Nazi factions, most of the hardcore groups plan to: 1. Gain power in Germany and acquire Nuclear weapons. 2.) Use their new nuclear weapons to force the world to surrender and create a global Fourth Reich. 3.) Complete the elimination of all "inferior races" (well, you already know who the Nazis are going to target). 4.) Genetically engineer future "Aryan" generations into "perfect Superhumans" capable of unimaginable tasks. And finally, colonizing planets in the entire Milky Way Galaxy with their "Super-Aryans" to create a Galactic Reich.
  • American pharmaceuticals have a rather nasty habit of blowing up the prices of medical drugs by anywhere from ten times, to thousands of times, despite the fact that there is no economic or cost-related reasons for doing so. This has led to a domino effect in which millions of Americans have ended up falling into bankruptcy, suffering worsening medical problems (due to the inability to purchase their drugs), giving up college educations and other goals, among other life crises. This is also a major factor that is severely straining the U.S. healthcare industry. Despite the repeated scandals and bursts of outrage in the public, the vast majority of major pharmaceuticals have refused to change their practices, even stealthily continuing to jack up costs in the face of U.S. President Donald Trump's demands for lower drug prices.
  • Genetic engineering can actually cure cancer and other genetic diseases once and for all. The problem is, the treatments haven't been completely perfected for all of the diseases (even though cancer treatments in this field have almost been nailed), and there is still quite a lot of opposition in varying places to this kind of technology.
  • Prions are misfolded proteins that actually cause any proteins they come into contact with to become new prions. Mad Cow Disease is actually caused by a prion. Prions cause the rapid degeneration of nervous tissue due to cellular destruction, until death occurs. Due to their small size, the body has no immune response to it, but scientists are currently working on a treatment to eliminate prions. Since the destruction prions cause start out slow, no symptoms are visible for the first several years, but by the time symptoms can be identified, it is already too late for the patient. For reasons scientists still do not understand, all known prions only target Nervous Cells.
  • HIV started out as SIV, which only infected monkeys, until it jumped over into humans during the early 1900s and mutated into HIV. Today, HIV is causing a global pandemic.
  • Allergies and other autoimmune diseases cannot be transmitted to another person (except through genetic inheritance from parents to their children). This is because such diseases are genetic diseases meaning that they are not contagious because it is impossible for a person to acquire another person's genetic disease through normal means (unless the affected person somehow inserts their disease-causing gene into the other person's entire genome, which is impossible). Additionally, most people in the United States have some form of allergies. There is no cure at present for allergies or any autoimmune diseases; only drugs (and herbs) are available, which treat the symptoms of the diseases.
  • Many geniuses and inventors had some kind of mental disability (including Autism), or displayed erratic behavior. This includes many famous people who we recognize today, including Albert Einstein.
  • Contrary to popular belief, many kids in the younger generations of Americans are actually becoming shorter, most notably for guys.
  • Certain drugs and vaccinations had toxic chemicals that eventually lead to cancer and/or Alzheimers, following repeated exposure.
  • Many food companies/restaurants use MSG as a flavor enhancer to open up your appetite, without ever telling you that it's there (including ingredient lists on food products). Despite this, studies have shown that continued exposure to MSG leads to cancer and brain damage.
  • Superstring theory has been the only possible candidate so far for a Theory of everything. String Theory, if proven, would effectively unite General relativity and Quantum mechanics, the 2 major fields encompassing all of the laws of physics. String Theory would also bridge the gap between Gravity and the other 3 Fundamental Forces, in addition to explaining its behavior. Although the M-theory (the most likely candidate for String Theory) requires 11 dimensions to work, it is most likely that we don't see the other 8 dimensions (including Time) because we are simply unable to perceive anything beyond three dimensions. Thus, an 11-dimensional object would appear 3D to us.
  • There are many scientific and mathematical anomalies that scientists currently are unable to explain.
  • UY Scuti, the largest known star (at 1,708 Solar Radii), would extent beyond the orbit of Saturn if it was placed in the Sun's position. It is also not the most massive star.
  • R136a1, the most massive star known, is a Wolf–Rayet Blue Hypergiant with an estimated mass of 265 Suns. Tt is also the most luminous star known, at 8,700,000 times the luminosity of the Sun.
  • Quadruple Rainbows can form under extremely rare conditions. Rainbow clouds are also a rarity, as are clouds in the shape of Double Helixes (such as the cloud structure in Typhoon Tip's eye while it was at peak intensity).
  • Fire tornadoes (also known as Firenadoes) actually form under extreme conditions present only in powerful wildfires.
  • Contrary to the popular (and ridiculous) assumption of some people, al-Qaeda is actually active and very much alive. Although its leadership has been driven into hiding, the current leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has ordered his subordinates to launch an attack on America. Their possible targets include Los Angeles, among other major U.S. cities. Their attacks were planned to avenge the death of their former leader, Osama bin Laden. In addition, al-Qaeda's Syrian branch, Tahrir al-Sham (formerly known as the al-Nusra Front) has become the most powerful anti-Assad fighting force in Syria.
  • We (Americans) actually helped the Taliban rise to power when the U.S. Government send aid to Islamic resistance groups to help topple Afghanistan's Communist regime. As such, the United States does have a responsibility to make sure that the Taliban goes down and stays down.
  • Unlike what most people believe, everyone is constantly being surveyed by the government in public, no matter where they go (specifically, the governments of developed countries). Soon, with the new development of advanced drones, this surveillance may eventually intrude into the private lives of citizens without their knowing or consent.
  • Studies have proven that billions of humans could survive a Nuclear war. People will survive, even if some countries do not.
  • Russia has more nuclear missiles (as well as much more powerful ones) than the United States. Even though the United States has more allies (and more nuclear powers on their side), Russia still has the most powerful nukes, as of now.
  • Most people reject things/people that "stand out" by habit, even if they refuse to acknowledge it. They also snub and shun people/groups who do things differently, even to an alarming degree (including abuse of power in the workplace). Additionally, most people give in to social conformity in order to "blend in", and they are also heavily addicted to electronics because they refuse to take their time off such devices and try to spend their time building real social relationships. As a result, modern generations are becoming more ignorant and socially deficient. There is psychological evidence backing the existence of this phenomenon; unfortunately, it stifles diversity and social/technological advancements.
  • Yellowstone actually experienced a smaller eruption about 174,000 years ago. That eruption generated the West Thumb portion of Yellowstone Lake.
  • Both Russia and the United States have developed laser defenses against potential nuclear attacks. Conventional laser weapons actually aren't all that far off.
  • In the past, Quasars used to be bunched up close together. A recent discovery in January 2007 found a Quasar Triplet near the visible edge of the Universe.[35]
  • Scientists were recently able to map the Gravitational shockwaves of the universe. This could also be proof of the existence of Gravitons, the yet undiscovered particles responsible for Gravity.[36]
  • On September 5, 2013, scientists discovered that Tamu Massif was actually the single largest volcano on Earth. It is about 14,620 feet high from its base, and 120,000 square miles across (around the size of New Mexico). The volcano is approximately 1,000 miles east of Japan. The volcano is also so large, its size rivals that of Olympus Mons.[37]
  • In late March 2014, scientists discovered 10199 Chariklo, the first known asteroid to have rings.
  • IC 1101 is the largest known galaxy in existence. It is a supergiant Elliptical galaxy at the heart of the Abell 2029 Galaxy cluster. It is about 1.07 billion light-years away, in the constellation of Virgo. IC 1101 is an Elliptical Lenticular Galaxy that measures 2.8 million light-years across. The second-largest galaxy, NGC 262 (an unusually large Spiral Galaxy, measures about 2.6 million light-years across.
  • In April 2014, scientists discovered the largest meteor impact ever known on the Earth, near the Barberton greenstone belt. The asteroid was approximately 5 times larger than the one responsible for the Chicxulub crater, around 23 miles (47 km) wide in diameter. The crater caused by the Barberton asteroid is estimated to be approximately 297 miles (487 km) across in diameter, though subsequent erosion and tectonic activity have largely erased the crater itself.[38]
  • The Hercules–Corona Borealis Great Wall is the largest observable object in the Universe! It is a galaxy filament that measures approximately 10 billion light-years across!
  • There is currently an effective treatment for HIV. It's a drug named Truvada, which prevents the HIV virus from replicating, effectively curbing viral growth and allowing the human immune system to destroy the virus before it is able to reproduce. The only problem is that most people at risk/infected are not taking this drug (and it is also quite expensive).
  • That ZMapp is one of the few possible effective treatments for the 2014 Ebola virus. ZMapp successfully saved the lives of 2 missionaries infected with Ebola in West Africa in June 2014, when they decided to try out the drug as an experimental trial; however, the drug is still experiment and has yet to be widely tested by major companies.
  • In 2014, scientists discovered that the Transition Zone in the Earth's mantle contains 3 times the amount of water present in all of the Earth's oceans, at a depth between 410 and 660 kilometers (255 to 410 miles). This water is contained within a type of blue colored rock called ringwoodite, which is a type of olivine. This subterranean source of water is where the Earth's oceans actually came from.[39][40] The rare Blue diamonds also form around this level, at a depth of about 660 kilometers (410 miles) beneath the surface of the Earth.[41]
  • That the largest known diamond in the universe is actually the partially-crystallized core of the white dwarf BPM 37093, also nicknamed "Diamond Lucy". The white dwarf has a diameter of 2,500-mile (4,000 km), and about 90% of its carbon core is estimated to have already crystallized. Scientists believe that this kind of crystallization also happens in the cores of other white dwarfs, meaning that gigantic diamonds are probably a common occurrence in the universe.[42][43]
  • On the gas giant HAT-P-7b, it rains rubies and sapphires.[44] Additionally, it rains solid diamonds on Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.[45][46]
  • That ASASSN-15lh is the most luminous Hypernova ever spotted by astronomers. It was first spotted in May 2015, shining 570 times brighter than the Sun, and 20 times brighter than the total light emitted by the Milky Way, though it was in another galaxy. If this hypernova had exploded in the Milky Way Galaxy, it would have outshone the full moon in the night sky.[47]
  • Great Britain used to be connected to France via a large land bridge, thousands of years ago, until the land bridge was destroyed by megafloods that came from the seawater that was previously held back by the land bridge. (The very first geological Brexit. :))[48]
  • On Sunday, April 8, 2012, a meteorite exploded over Sutter's Mill, generating loud sonic booms and a bright flash of light across much of California and Nevada.
  • The supernova star iPTF14hls has repeatedly defied death. This star went supernova over 60 years ago, in 1954, before going supernova again with even greater intensity in 2014. As of 2017, the star has still been exploding (for over 3 years now), and is still in the process of undergoing a supernova. The supernova star iPTF14hls has generated some of the most unusual supernovae ever observed.[49]Cite error: The <ref> tag has too many names (see the help page).


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