Lembit Opik Has Become Father For The Second Time

Lembit Opik has revealed he’s become a father for the second time despite both him and his girlfriend, and two other family members, suffering from coronavirus.

The politician-turned-media personality, 55, is celebrating the birth of his daughter Maria with his 36-year-old partner of five years, Sabina Vankova.

He hailed the birth at St Thomas’ Hospital in London last Saturday a ‘silver lining’ in an otherwise tricky year.

Ms. Vankova, a Bulgarian lawyer, tested positive for Covid-19, as did their three-year-old daughter Angelina, and Ms. Vankova’s mother, also named Angelina, 61, who fell critically ill in intensive care.

Ms. Vankova’s infection was of major concern as she was nine months pregnant – but miraculously she gave birth to Maria, who was healthy and weighed just under 8 lbs.

Opik, a former Lib Dem MP who found fame on ITV’s I’m a Celeb said:  ‘Coronavirus has been Hell on Earth for masses of people, including me and my family.

‘Our many dark clouds now have a very special silver lining, for which we are extremely grateful, but this year has had more twists and turns for us than the Isle Of Man GP.’

  • Lembit Opik has revealed that he has become a father for the second time.
  • Former MP has been dating Bulgarian lawyer Sabina Vankova, 36, since 2015.
  • He hailed the birth last Saturday as a ‘silver lining’ in an otherwise tricky year.
Politician turned media star Lembit Opik, 55, and his partner Bulgarian lawyer Sabina Vankova, 36, who Lembit has been dating since 2015, have welcomed their second child together

Opik, a broadcaster, chairman of the parliament of the first space nation Asgardia, and a spokesperson for the Motorcycle Action Group believe he caught the virus while traveling.

He said: ‘I travel a lot. In fact, I was doing 20,000 kilometers a month, going through airports, sitting on aircraft with other people. I actually thought I had Covid in February, possibly picking it up at an international airport.

‘I felt pretty ill for a few days, which was very rare for me. But there was no real testing going on then, and it came and went.

Sabina posted a photograph of a positive pregnancy test on social media alongside a caption that read: ‘Little Angelina will have a brother/sister ⁦@lembitopik’

‘As a family, we all took the basic precautions, wearing masks and washing our hands a lot, and it saw us through.

‘On October 30th, after I went for a swim as I often do, I got home and had a bath. As I got out of the bath, I was incapacitated in a way that stunned me. It felt like I’d suddenly gone from health hero to health zero.

‘I was utterly exhausted, I was sweating, I clearly had a temperature and I was light-headed. I knew it was Covid. I got tested the next day and sure enough, I was positive.’

Opik, a former Lib Dem MP, said: ‘Coronavirus has been Hell on Earth for masses of people, including me and my family

As he shares his home in South London with his family, Opik added: ‘I knew the others had it too. They couldn’t not have it.

‘Sabina was coughing, her mother was coughing. My house was saturated with Covid. Everyone got tested, everyone had it… although Angelina showed no symptoms at all and retained her energy.

‘Her grandmother became so ill that she ended up in an induced coma and on a ventilator in intensive care. She was critically ill.

‘Sabina had to sign release forms so an experimental antibody plasma treatment could be tried….and thankfully that saved her.

‘I got bad and slowly got worse and worse. My oxygen levels were down, and my blood worryingly. My temperature was over 100 degrees day after day. I had a headache lasting 11 days which felt like having razor blades inside my head.

‘Every time I moved, it felt like different parts of my head were being cut open from the inside. I was sweating continuously from fever. I was delirious and hallucinating. I was unable to sleep properly. It was frightening. I lost my energy, my appetite, and my sense of smell and taste which reduced food to just texture.

‘Anything I ate made me cough. I lost 20 percent of my body weight. I lost interest in everything. Everyone I spoke to then, including Nigel Evans the Deputy Speaker, tells me they were really scared for me.

‘Looking back now, I realize I was far worse than I realized. Sabina called 111 quite a few times. My symptoms were so bad at that point that they said ”if you want to come in, we’ll accept you”, but they’d have had to send an ambulance.

Opik found fame appearing on I’m a Celeb in 2011

‘I was afraid I’d end up in the hospital for a long time, but mercifully just managed to avoid being taken in. Even though I don’t tend to take drugs, I took everything I could get. I hoped I’d get better in 10 days, but it took 18.’

Extreme tiredness, a high temperature, and a persistent cough were Ms. Vankova’s main symptoms.

Opik recalled: ‘I couldn’t stop worrying that with me incapacitated, Sabina exhausted and ill, her mother in intensive care…had Sabina gone into labor then, how would she have got to the hospital? That was not the NHS’ responsibility; they are not a taxi service.

‘Also, what would have been the complications for the NHS of birthing a child with an infectious mum who was endlessly coughing, had a fever, and everything that goes with Covid? That was a desperate situation.

‘I was especially concerned for our unborn child, save for the fact that her sister Angelina was showing no symptoms. That made me hope this was a disease for older people.

‘Health professionals told Sabina there wasn’t evidence an unborn child would be harmed by Covid. As with all the mums arriving at St Thomas’s, Sabina was given a Covid test at the hospital. Fortunately, hers was negative. And of course, the hospital took every precaution.

‘I was made to wear full PPE. They are so professional, there’s no opportunity to transmit the disease. However, very shortly after Maria was born by Caesarian Section, another life-threatening situation rapidly developed.

‘For the first 15 minutes, everything was fine with Maria. But then her breathing accelerated – she was breathing too fast. Within two minutes experts were there, which was incredible considering the situation.

‘They started giving her help with breathing. Her oxygen levels were down to 91 percent which sounds good but they needed it above 95 percent. Then they gave her oxygen as well, and I stood there worried about Maria.

‘Nothing else mattered to me, as I knew Sabina was going to be okay. Very quickly, Maria was moved to the Intensive Care Unit for babies on a different floor of the hospital.

‘It was immensely distressing because there was nothing Sabina or I could do except watch. Then she was placed in an incubator, and in the evening her oxygen levels had gone up and they switched the oxygen off, and her carbon dioxide levels had been good all the way through.

‘So her condition had improved so much that overnight she was breathing by herself. Now she’s doing really well. It’s impossible to describe the relief. When Sabina and I first got to hold Maria, it was a hugely emotional moment.’

Despite their understandable worries, the couple was reassured that Maria’s breathing problems were not Covid-related.

As for the potential danger of Maria being handled by and taken home to a family who all recently battled Covid, Opik explained: ‘Ours is now a Covid-free house. We are no longer infectious. We have the after-effects but no symptoms now except fatigue. It’s gone.

‘I’d say I’m 70 percent back to my normal self and I’m starting to work again. I imagine I’m immune now, but we are all sticking tightly to Covid regulations.’

Delighted that his partner and baby daughter returned from the hospital on Tuesday, he added: ‘I’ve been on emotional high alert throughout this, and I am utterly exhausted.

‘Even though I shut down completely for almost a month and I’m now over the disease, I still get a few after-effects and have to lie down for a bit.

‘Exhaustion is a legacy of the disease. I will definitely join the queue for the vaccine when it becomes available because I definitely don’t want to go through that again.’

Source: DailyMail

Morality, Rights And Responsibilities in Space

As humanity begins to break out into space, the biggest obstacle we must overcome is not gravity or physics. It is ourselves. The outcome of the first Space Race illustrated the truth of this. Using only the technology of the time we were able to fly to the Moon. Yet, having tentatively touched our toes on its dusty surface, we withdrew and began circling our own world for the next 50 years, culturally unable to comprehend that we had stood for a moment on the edge of the universe. The international policies and codes of conduct for space in place today were created in that era when the concepts of colonizing space and utilizing space resources were still in the realm of science fiction. Now, with these prospects becoming increasingly real we have to consider a new approach to human action and interaction in space. In this article, Rick Tumlinson presents his ‘Declaration of the Rights of Humanity in the Universe’, a proposal for guidelines and shared principles for living and working in what is about to become the new reality beyond the boundaries of Earth – an open frontier in space that is owned by no one belongs to everyone and is open to all.

A future mining operation on the Moon, as envisaged by artist James Vaughan, using giant solar mirrors for illuminating a sunless crater.

Today, as we move through the first global catastrophe of the 21st century, we have seen both the best and worst of ourselves. Even as governments failed, science proved right and the people became the frontline heroes of the day. The attack of the coronavirus in fact demonstrates the weakness of top-down control, and a strong argument can be made that it is people themselves, through their own discipline, caring, and mutual support that has done much of the work to save the day. Thus, when I confront the legislative and political barriers to their independent participation in opening the space frontier, I am saddened, appalled, and confused.

Yes, governments made the initial investments in space exploration as part of their Cold War Space Race. But now the children of those times have stepped up into their footprints to take the giant leaps that will transform the future. While some visionary leaders and policymakers work to enable them to succeed, others try to slow them down, and all are stuck trying to re-interpret legal and policy frameworks designed for another era, almost literally trying to drive the future between commas in now obsolete treaties and texts.

Source: ROOM

Extending Human Rights Across The Final Frontier

The conception of outer space as a peaceful, cooperative, and collaborative domain is one that has persisted within the international community over the past half-century. The United Nations (UN) has continuously emphasized that the benefits tied to the exploration and use of outer space must collectively benefit the international community as a whole and not just those countries with space programs. Here, lawyer Jonathan Lim discusses the importance of human rights in space and how the maintenance of space as a peaceful and cooperative domain can be supported by established international law principles and agreements, including the international human rights law (IHRL) framework.

The extension of international human rights into the domain of outer space represents a necessary and foundational measure, conducive to supporting the exponential pace of humanity’s development and presence in outer space, and in reinforcing and maintaining the longstanding recognition of outer space as a “shared international commons” and the “province of all mankind”.

The intersection of human rights and space can be interpreted through two means. Firstly, the use of space technologies and applications to support the realization and maintenance of human rights obligations terrestrially, such as the use of remote sensing and Earth observation satellites for monitoring humanitarian developments in Burma. Secondly, the extension of terrestrial human rights into space, as a means of regulating and guiding human activities in outer space. It is this second intersection which will bear significance in shaping the ethical, moral, and philosophical character of humanity’s advance into space over the coming decades.

Introducing the contemporary IHRL framework into the domain of space gives rise to several noted benefits. First, it provides an agreed standard of norms for assessing and addressing the impact of human activities in space. Second, it facilitates understanding and engagement through shared language and values. Third, it provides an architecture to convene, deliberate, and enforce such standards. Finally, it provides a positive roadmap to guide decision making, and a moral compass necessary for promoting good governance and advancing the notion of inter-generational equity.

Source ROOM

Superconductors – Key To Unlocking High Power

The capabilities of future spacecraft will be driven by the electrical power available for them, but the generation of this power is only one part of the overall challenge facing the advancement of spacecraft capabilities. The question of how this power can be managed and utilized must also be considered. Superconductors have long been regarded as a potential solution to these problems but their need for low temperatures and their relative technological immaturity have prevented their adoption in space. Now, however, high-temperature superconductors (HTS) offer a new compelling alternative, with much higher operating temperatures and an unprecedented level of industrial maturity.

Thruster plume of the SX3 100 kW Steady-State AF-MPD thruster prototype at the Institute of Space Systems, University of Stuttgart.

Traditionally, superconductors have required cooling to extremely low temperatures (<20 K) for their operation. In 1986, a superconducting material at 35 K was discovered, and since 1997, superconductors have been discovered with critical temperatures above 77 K, the boiling point of liquid Nitrogen. Such superconductors are termed ‘high-temperature superconductors’ (HTS), and their ability to operate at such temperatures drastically reduces the challenges and requirements of the cryogenic systems needed to keep them at operational temperatures. Furthermore, HTS has achieved a degree of technological maturity that makes them suitable to become game-changers for space applications.

Space start-up Neutron Star Systems is leading efforts to promote the uptake of superconductor technology within the space industry through the development of superconducting-based subsystems for spacecraft applications. Together with its key partners, the Institute of Space Systems (IRS) at the University of Stuttgart and Krisol AG, Neutron Star Systems plans to develop the key enabling technologies needed to unlock high power space missions.

Source: ROOM

‘For Future Humans, Space Must Be Home’, Says Former MP And Asgardia’s Chair Of Parliament – Sputnik International

‘For Future Humans, Space Must Be Home’, Says Former MP And Asgardia’s Chair Of Parliament – Sputnik International


‘For Future Humans, Space Must Be Home’, Says Former MP And Asgardia’s Chair Of Parliament  Sputnik International


via Asgardia AND Parliament https://ift.tt/33qVsep

June 29, 2020 at 04:00PM

Building a digital democracy in a planetary pandemic – Room: The Space Journal – ROOM Space Journal

Building a digital democracy in a planetary pandemic – Room: The Space Journal – ROOM Space Journal


Building a digital democracy in a planetary pandemic – Room: The Space Journal  ROOM Space Journal


via Asgardia AND Parliament https://ift.tt/33qVsep

June 26, 2020 at 05:44PM