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11 Ways The World Could End
Since the 1500s, there have been more than150 documented predictions of when the world is going to end. Luckily for us, none of themhave come trueâ€¦yet. However, you'll be surprised that not allof them are destructive. Here are some terrifyingly amazing ways theworld, genuinely could end. When you think of scientists working on superviruses, you probably picture Hazmat workers, deep in a mountain bunker, studying vats fullof insidious green liquid. But these labs do actually exist! Maybe notworking for some shady Bondstyle villain looking to ransom the world away to the highestbidder, but for pharmaceutical companies and
government agencies studying ways to curedangerous pathogens. But what happens when a vial full of an extremely dangerous virusbreaks out of containment, or is misplacedé Over the years, there have been numerous documentedcases of dangerous viruses escaping from laboratories around the world. One of these happened asrecently as 2009. A group of scientists based in Europe, workingwith Baxter Pharmaceuticals, were conducting lab tests on a seasonal flu strain.Without realizing it, Baxter had sent them live supplies of the H5N1 virus, better knownas â€œbird flu,â€� which has a mortality rate higher than 60%. One of the world's deadliestviruses was handled and distributed to three
other labs without any pathogen safety protocolsin place. The grave error was only realized when onelab worker in the Czech Republic inoculated a group of ferrets with samples of the â€œseasonfluâ€� batch, and was horrified when they all died.The scientists were immediately placed under quarantine and monitored for signs of thedeadly virus. Luckily, none of them were infected and all the scientists were freed with a cleanbill of health. Two years later, these same strains of avianand human flu were combined in a laboratory, successfully creating â€œthe most dangerousvirus in history.â€� The virus was highly
pathogenic, while retaining its dangerouslyhigh fatality rate. If it got loose, it could kill 60% of the world's population in afreakishly short amount of time â€“ a truly apocalyptic notion.Some say it's only a matter of time before this kind of virus escapes containment andwreaks havoc on mankind. After going through two world wars, you wouldthink that the world would have learned to get along by now. But unfortunately for thesurvival of humanity, we are constantly under threat of triggering the final war â€“ NuclearArmageddon. Mutually Assured Destruction, like its acronymsuggests, is one of the maddest doctrines
ever devised. It ensures that if a countrywere to ever use a nuclear weapon on another state with the same capability, both sideswould unleash their entire nuclear arsenal, bringing about the complete annihilation ofboth countries. With the resulting nuclear winter, and the likely participation of othercountries in the exchange, this would almost certainly lead to destruction and death onan apocalyptic scale. There are over 15,000 nuclear warheads inthe world, with more than 4000 ready to fire at any one time. That would make one hellof a firework show, but probably not one you'd want to be around to watch.There have been a few â€œclose callsâ€� since
we first developed nuclear weapons. A surprisingnumber of these were technical glitches that nearly started World War 3, on both sidesof the Cold War. The average yield of a modern nuclear weaponis around 500 kilotons of TNT, that's 25 times more powerful than the bomb droppedon Nagasaki. Each one of these 500 kiloton bombs are powerful enough to flatten hugeparts of a large modern city such as New York, or London.And there exists some truly unimaginably powerful weapons, like the Tsar Bomba, which had ayield of more than 50 megatonnes. That's two and a half THOUSAND times more powerfulthan the one dropped on Nagasaki. Thankfully
The IsraelPalestine conflict a brief simple history
One of the biggest myths about the IsraelPalestineconflict is that it's been going on for centuries, that this is all about ancient religious hatreds. In fact, while religion is involved, the conflictis mostly about two groups of people who claim the same land. And it really only goes back about a century,to the early 1900s. Around then, the regionalong the eastern Mediterranean we now call IsraelPalestine had been under Ottoman rulefor centuries. It was religiously diverse, including mostlyMuslims and Christians but also a small number
of Jews, who lived generally in peace. And it was changing in two important ways. First, more people in the region were developinga sense of being not just ethnic Arabs but Palestinians, a distinctnational identity. At the same time, not so far away in Europe,more Jews were joining a movement called Zionism, which said that Judaism was not just a religionbut a nationality, one that deserved a nation of its own. And after centuries of persecution, many believeda Jewish state was their only way of
safety. And they saw their historic homeland in the MiddleEast as their best hope for establishing it. In the first decades of the 20th century, tens of thousands of European Jews moved there. After World War One, the Ottoman Empire collapsed,and the British and French Empires carved up the Middle East, with the British takingcontrol of a region it called the British Mandate for Palestine. At first, the British allowed Jewish immigration. But as more Jews arrived, settling into farmingcommunes, tension between Jews and Arabs grew.
Both sides committed acts of violence. And by the 1930s, the British began limiting Jewishimmigration. In response, Jewish militias formed to fight both the local Arabs and to resist British rule. Then came the Holocaust, leading many moreJews to flee Europe for British Palestine, and galvanizing much of the world in supportof a Jewish state. In 1947, as sectarian violence between Arabs and Jews there grew, the United Nations approved a planto divide British Palestine into two separate states: one for Jews, Israel, and one forArabs, Palestine.
The city of Jerusalem, where Jews, Muslims, and Christians all have have holy sites, it was to become a special international zone. The plan was meant to give Jews a state, toestablish Palestinian independence, and to end the sectarian violence that the Britishcould no longer control. The Jews accepted the plan and declared independence as Israel. But Arabs throughout the region saw the UN plan as just more European colonialism trying to steal their land. Many of the Arab states, who had just recentlywon independence themselves, declared war on Israel
in an effort to establish a unified Arab Palestine where all of British Palestine had been. The new state of Israel won the war. But inthe process, they pushed well past their borders under the UN plan, taking the western halfof Jerusalem and much of the land that was to have been part of Palestine. They also expelled huge numbers of Palestiniansfrom their homes, creating a massive refugee population whose descendants today numberabout 7 million. At the end of the war, Israel controlled allof the territory except for Gaza, which Egypt controlled, and the West Bank, named becauseit's west of the Jordan River, which Jordan
Read Scripture Jonah
The Book of Jonah A subversive story about a rebellious prophet who hates God for loving His enemies. Jonah's unique among the prophets of the Old Testament because they're typically collections of God's words spoken through the prophet. But this book doesn't actually focus on the words of the prophet; rather it's a story about a prophet, a really mean and nasty prophet.
Jonah appears only one other time in the Old Testament; it's during the reign of Jeroboam II, one of Israel's worst kings. And Jonah prophesized in his favor; promising that he would win a battle and regain all his territory on Israel's' northern border. Now it's important to know, that the prophet Amos also confronted Jeroboam
and through him God specifically reversed Jonah's prophesy; promising that Jeroboam would lose all those same territories because he was so horrible. So before the story of Jonah even begins, we are suspicious of Jonah's character. The book of Jonah has abeautiful design with all this literary pairing and symmetry. So you have chapters 1and 3, telling the story of Jonah's encounter with nonIsraelites,
first with, some sailors and then with Jonas hatedenemies, the Ninevites. And each part offers a comic contrast between Jonah's selfishness and the pagans humility and repentance. Chapters two and fourcontain prayers of Jonah; one is a prayer of repentance, kind of, and the other is a prayer in which Jonah chews out God for being too nice. Now thiscareful design of the book is matched by a really unique style of narration. The story's full of all of these stereotyped characters, who ironically dothe exact opposite of what you think they would do.
So you have the prophet,the man of God, who rebels and hates his own God. You have the sailors who aresupposed to be really immoral but actually they have soft repentant heartsand turn to God in humility. You have the king of the most powerful murderousempire on the planet and he humbles himself before Godbecause of Jonah's fiveword sermon. And even the king's cows repent. This kind ofstory fits what today we would call satire. These are stories about wellknownfigures who are placed in extreme
circumstances and they use humor andirony to critique their stupidity and character flaws. Let's just dive in and we'llsee how all the pieces work together. The story opens as God addresses Jonah andcommissions him to go preach against the evil and injustice in Nineveh, thecapital city of the Assyrian Empire, Israel's bitter enemy. But instead ofgoing east to Nineveh, Jonah goes in the opposite direction, finding a ship goingas far west as you can go to Tarshish. Now the big question here is, whyé Why does Jonah runéIs he afraidé Does he just not like the Ninevitesé