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Be The Change Herald


Volume 77 –April 2015


Welcome to Anousheh's Be The Change Herald! Feel free to forward to others who might want to register for the newsletter and you can unsubscribe at any time.


Black Holes

  • For a long time, black holes have captured the imagination of everyone from children to adults. They have been the focus of studies, theories, discussions, fictions, .... Stephen Hawkins the celebrated physicist who has been looking for a unifying theory, has shown that when it comes to black holes, the two major fields of physics, Quantum Mechanics, and General Relativity can't both be true.

In most cases in the world around us, scientists know which set of rules to apply based on the size of objects involved. However, black holes are both massive and tiny! Which makes them so intriguing. In a brief article on Popular Science, Katie Peek , sets forth the 3 different views, Traditional, Firewall, and Wormhole; introducing these theories, and stating their flaws.

To read the full article, please visit: http://www.popsci.com/how-it-works-death-black-hole?dom=tw&src=SOC

  • Speaking of black holes, "a team led by the University of Arizona, has added Antarctica's largest astronomical telescope to the Event Horizon Telescope -a virtual telescope as big as planet Earth- bringing the international EHT (Event Horizon Telescope) collaboration closer to taking detailed images of the very edge, or "event horizon," of the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy.

The EHT is an array of radio telescopes connected using a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry, or VLBI. Larger telescopes can make sharper observations, and interferometry allows multiple telescopes to act like a single telescope as large as the separation -or "baseline"- between them. The prime EHT target is the Milky Way's black hole, known as Sagittarius A*.

With its unprecedented resolution, more than 1,000 times better than the Hubble Space Telescope, the EHT will see swirling gas on its final plunge over the event horizon, never to regain contact with the rest of the universe.If the theory of general relativity is correct, the black hole itself will be invisible because not even light can escape its immense gravity."

To read the full news release, please visit: http://uanews.org/story/virtual-telescope-expands-to-see-black-holes

Mt. Everest's Big Problem

Mt. Everest has been a source of news, stories, awe, fear, and many other tangible or non-tangible things. However, not many have thought about the problem of human excrement. At present, each year, about 26,000 lbs is removed from base camps. Normally feces are dropped into unlined pits, leaving them to slowly dehydrate and break down. However, in high altitudes this can take many years which makes this manner of disposal hazardous to the environment and human health.

Now, the engineers of Mt. Everest Biogas Project have come up with a solution. They have designed a biogas reactor to transform the waste into energy to provide a free source of methane that could be used as fuel for cooking and heating homes. To learn more, please visit: http://news.discovery.com/tech/alternative-power-sources/mount-everests-poop-problem-could-be-converted-to-energy-140521.htm

Melting Tumors

For too long, cancer with its many types and names has been affecting our lives in direct or indirect manners. Although the following hasn't been hailed as the cure-all and the miracle we have been all waiting for, it is promising and encouraging that maybe we are not too far from a definite cure. "Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer center offered" a 49 year old with spreading melanoma "an experimental combination of two drugs: Opdivo and Yervoy, ... both among a vanguard of new medicines that boost the immune system to attack tumors. Three weeks later she came back for her second dose."

Upon examination, her doctor, Paul Chapman, realized the tumor was gone, and there were no detectable melanoma cells where the tumor used to be. This story, was published in the New England Journal of Medicine, alongside a 142-patient study that tested the combination Opdivo and Yervoy against Yervoy alone. "The result show that the anonymous woman's case was anything but a fluke, as the combination of the two drugs had unprecedented cancer-fighting potency, but also caused toxicity..... An amazing 22% of patients had what's called a complete response. ... all their cancer seemed to melt away"

To read more please visit:

My Dream of Stars

My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer: a book by Anousheh Ansari and Homer Hickam.

In her memoir, Anousheh recalls her long path to success and to achieving her dream.  To learn more about the book, please visit:  http://www.anoushehansari.com/book/

To find a book signing, please check the upcoming appearances section of this newsletter.

To obtain a copy please visit:



Anousheh's Favorite Quote:


"Some of the most creative and inspiring people are those who have seen no barriers to what could be."
-Peter Knapp





Upcoming Appearances


May 3, 2015: Iranian American Women's Leadership Conference, SF Airport Marriott Waterfront hotel, CA

May 13-14, 2015: Ashoka Future Forum, Washington DC

May 22-23, 2015: 34th Annual International Space Development Conference and 2015 Pioneer Award, Toronto, Canada

May 28-29, 2015: Pioneers Festival, Vienna, Austria