It’s a bird…It’s a plane…no it’s a blood moon!

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Thousands gathered at the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles between 2 and 4:30am Tuesday morning in the hopes of catching a glimpse of the rare “blood moon.” The moon took on a reddish hue and was visible in North and South America in different phases depending on location. Families in Los Angeles spread out blankets on the grass and came equipped with their binoculars and telescopes.

A blood moon is essentially a total lunar eclipse where a full moon turns into a coppery red as it passes into the Earth’s shadow. During this process the moon takes on a red hue because the moon’s bright glow dims and takes in the sunlight and sunsets of surrounding areas. The entire reddening process of the moon takes about an hour.

This astronomical event is so rare because the moon has to be full and have a large enough shadow for the total lunar eclipse to occur and be red. As more of the moon seeps through the shadows the red tint will fade and the normal silver color will appear.

Some North American cities were not as fortunate to see this sky delicacy due to showers the clouded the sky in locations such as Atlanta. Those with the greatest view of the moon were cities: Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles.

Nasa eclipse expert Fred Espenak reports there was a 300-year period when there were no blood moons. Now there are more opportunities to take advantage of this spectacle. North America can plan to see the blood moon four more times between now and September of next year. In addition to the spotting on Tuesday it will also appear in the skies on October 8 2014, April 4th 2015, and September 8 2015. If you miss those three remaining blood moons you’ll have to wait until 2032 to see it.

 

Image Courtesy of CNN.

 

OneRepublic Helps Raise Awareness for Child Mortality with Hit Song

Never underestimate the power of music; Grammy Award-nominated band OneRepublic has proven that a simple song can have the power to save millions of children’s lives.

On March 31st, a special edition music video, created by the ad agency BBDO, of the band’s hit song “Feel Again” was released in an effort to raise awareness of newborn and child mortality.

“Feel Again” was initially part of the PSA campaign by Save the Children and the AD Council entitled “Every Beat Matters”. The song was created using the heartbeat of children who were suffering from deadly illness or poverty in villages of Guatemala and Malawi.

According to The World Health Organization, 6.9 million children died before the age of 5 in 2011. Children in sub-Saharian Africa are 16.5 times more likely to die before the age of five. The leading causes of deaths for children under the age of five are:

Pneumonia

18%

Preterm birth complications

14%

Diarrhoea

11%

Birth asphyxia

9%

Malaria

7%

Other Causes

41%

Child mortality is a serious issue affecting many outside the American borders and action is needed. Much of the deaths are caused either due to a lack of knowledge or medicine to treat diseases.

You help reduce these numbers by donating. A simple $50 donation can supply a respiration timer and antibiotics to diagnose and treat pneumonia, a bed net and treatment for malaria, and counseling for parents on preventing HIV/AIDS in a newborn child. Join OneRepublic, in their quest to save the children by donating today.

Hope is Here: Baby Cured of HIV for the First Time

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After decades of struggling to find a cure for the deadly disease HIV Aids, there has been a glimpse of hope. Researchers announced on Sunday that the first baby has been cured of the human immunodeficiency virus.

The infant is now two and a half years old and HIV negative. The child’s mother was unaware she had HIV until delivery so prenatal treatment that could have prevented the disease was not given.

Without these prenatal drugs, the baby was at a high risk of receiving the disease. Dr. Hannah Gay, the infant’s pediatrician, decided to treat the infant early on with three types of drugs.

After 15-18 months of treatment, the mother took her child off of the medicines. At 23 months the baby returned to the office revealing a negative viral load. The doctors ran multiple tests to make sure the results were accurate.

At 28 months the baby returned to the office revealing yet again another negative test result. The doctors were overjoyed to reveal that the child had been cured and showed no signs of the virus ever coming back.

Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga of The University of Massachusetts Medical School, confirmed the baby’s condition. When asked about the potential breakthrough in treating HIV Aids, Dr. Luzuriaga responded:

‘“Well, it’s one case. But often a single case can tell you a lot, mostly because it stimulates intense interest you develop hypotheses. And that’s where the real breakthrough and confirmation come in.”

This story has been a true miracle for the Mississippi mother and her child.  This cure provides hope for the millions of people around the world suffering from HIV Aids and shows that maybe their cure is just around the corner.