Science and Technology: Meteors soar over Sofia


Thousands gather to see falling stars in Sofia. Also in science and technology news: a Turkish exhibition highlights Islam's scientific achievements, and a Greek library wins $1m award.

Sofia residents enjoyed a meteor shower Thursday (August 12th). [Getty Images]

Thousands rushed to the Vitosha Mountain near the Bulgarian capital on Thursday (August 12th) night to watch a meteor shower called the Perseids. The phenomenon, which happens every year in the hot summer months, was particularly spectacular this year with 100 falling stars per hour.


An exhibition called "1,001 Inventions" will open in Turkey on Tuesday (August 17th). Held in Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square, it will display the Muslim world's most significant scientific discoveries and highlight their contributions to the modern world.


Istanbul's Sabiha Gokcen International Airport is hosting the "Tales from the Future" project this month in Turkey. Industrial robots play percussion instruments during the event, which is part of a sound installation called "One City, 1,000 Sounds", an initiative of the Istanbul 2010 European Capital of Culture programme.


Vranje will become the first town in Serbia to stop using plastic bags by September. Following a decision by the city council, the bags will be replaced by biodegradable ones. It is estimated that it takes from 400 to 1,000 years for a plastic bag to decompose.


Students from Serbia, Israel, Germany, Spain and Croatia took part in an international summer science camp organised by Serbia's Petnica Science Centre from August 2nd to 15th. The programme taught young people how to do scientific research and offered various theoretical lectures along with laboratory exercises.


Croatia hosted the 18th World Congress on Medical Law from August 8th to 12th. The event brought about 400 experts from 57 countries to Zagreb. One of the main topics discussed was the effective management of health systems in Europe and around the globe.


The Central Public Library of Greece's northern city of Veria received a $1m award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on Thursday (August 12th). The 2010 Access to Learning Award went to the library for its creative use of information and technology services to meet the needs of more than 180,000 people.


All 60 main and high courts in Serbia began operating under a unified Case Management System as of Thursday (August 12th). The system automates the conducting of lawsuits and was first introduced at the Commercial Court in Valjevo. It was delivered in 2009 with joint financing provided by the justice ministry and the World Bank.


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Archaeologists unearthed a temple at the city's Acropolis at the ancient site of Heraion-Teikhos in the western Turkish province of Tekirdag earlier this month. It belonged to the ancient Thracian civilisation and was previously believed to have disappeared in a fire in 2 B.C.


Scientific development will become one of the main priorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), Science and Technology Minister Bakir Ajanovic said on Wednesday (August 11th). The goal is to improve the country's 107th ranking in the 2008-2009 Global Competitiveness Index, he said.

(Various sources -- 09/08/10-16/08/10)

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