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Tame tornadoes: Quietest 3 years for twisters on record
The News - Natural Disasters
December 13, 2014
AP SEVERE WEATHER A WEA USA NE

The U.S. experienced fewer tornadoes in the past three years than any similar span since accurate records began in the 1950s. Yet meteorologists aren't sure exactly why.

As this year comes to a close, about 150 fewer damaging tornadoes than average have hit the U.S., according to data from the Storm Prediction Center (SPC). Explanations for the decrease in twisters the past three years range from unusual cold to unusual heat, or just coincidence.

Despite the calmer than average years, deaths due to twisters remain near the average of 60 each year, with 68 killed in 2012, 55 in 2013 and 42 so far this year, according to the SPC. That pales in comparison with the 553 Americans killed by tornadoes in 2011.

FULL STORY

 
Bay Area Facing 80 MPH Wind, 30-Foot Waves in 'Storm Of Decade"
The News - Natural Disasters
December 09, 2014

Sustained winds at or near hurricane strength in the highest elevations with gusts exceeding 100 miles per hour across the Sierra summit are forecast for Thursday, with Bay Area winds easily gusting past 50 miles per hour in urban areas and 70-80 miles per hour in the local mountains and hills in what could be the storm of the decade.

Computer models are able to break down the exact time of highest danger. By mid-morning Thursday, models indicate winds peaking.  Along the coast, 60 mile per hour winds are forecast, with higher gusts.

The term “hurricane” is only used to refer to tropical storms, and is used when sustained winds reach 74 miles per hour. That level of wind strength is possible at extreme elevations above 9,000 feet and higher Thursday, according to the National Weather Service warning.

KPIX 5 chief meteorologist Paul Deanno said, “Given the long-term drought and short-term saturated ground, many trees will lose the battle with the wind on Thursday.”

 
RISKS OF NUCLEAR WAR RISING, WARN EXPERTS
The News - War-Draft
December 08, 2014

'Too many nuclear weapons in the world remain ready to launch on short notice,' the military, political and diplomatic figures say

Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned.

Ahead of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, which starts today, the experts wrote in a letter that the danger of such a conflict was “underestimated or insufficiently understood” by world leaders.

The signatories include people from across the political spectrum such as former Conservative Defence Secretary Lord King, a Labour counterpart Lord Browne, former Foreign Secretaries Margaret Beckett and David Owen, and former Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Campbell. John McColl, former Nato Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Lord Richards, former Chief of the Defence Staff, and General James Cartwright, former Vice-Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, also signed the letter.

 
Study: Offshore Fault Where The 'Big One' Originates Eerily Quiet
The News - Natural Disasters
December 05, 2014
Researchers retrieve an ocean-bottom seismometer off the coast of Oregon in 2013.

Any parent of a rambunctious youngster can tell you trouble might be afoot when things go quiet in the playroom. Two independent research initiatives indicate there is a comparable situation with the Cascadia earthquake fault zone.

The fault zone expected to generate the next big one lies underwater between 40 and 80 miles offshore of the Pacific Northwest coastline. Earthquake scientists have listening posts along the coast from Vancouver Island to Northern California.

But those onshore seismometers have detected few signs of the grinding and slipping you would expect to see as one tectonic plate dives beneath another, with the exception of the junctions on the north and south ends of what is formally known as the Cascadia Subduction Zone.

 
Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind
The News - Science-Astronomy
December 04, 2014
Stephen Hawking: "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete and would be superseded"
Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind
Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain’s pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence.

He told the BBC: “The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race.”

His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI.

But others are less gloomy about AI’s prospects.

Read more

 
Economist: Financial Collapse Will Cause Civil Unrest to Erupt In America By 2016
The News - Economy
November 07, 2014

civil-unrest-2016

Economist Martin Armstrong is predicting that rising resentment against the status quo as a result of economic inequality is likely to cause a serious political uprising before 2016.

“It looks more and more like a serious political uprising will erupt by 2016 once the economy turns down. That is the magic ingredient. Turn the economy down and you get civil unrest and revolution,” writes Armstrong.

In making the forecast, the economist cites the case of 90-year-old World War 2 veteran Arnold Abbott, who is being targeted by authorities in Fort Lauderdale for defying a newly passed city ordinance that criminalizes feeding the homeless, an example says Armstrong of how “laws in the USA have simply gone nuts.”

Armstrong, who correctly predicted the 1987 Black Monday crash as well as the 1998 Russian financial collapse, asserts that the downfall of the system will be its inability to gauge the anger that Americans currently feel towards their government.

“You just cannot make up this stuff. And the Democrats cannot figure out that the people are getting pissed-off at who is ever in office? And what about the police?” asks Armstrong. “Is this just turning into thugs with badges who just enforce whatever law some nut-job politician writes? What if they passed a Herod type law to curb population and decree that everyone must kill their first-born. When does reason ever return to the police force these days? They no longer protect the people – they protect the politicians against the people.”

As we reported back in August, the U.S. Army is preparing for civil unrest in the United States. A 132-page document entitled U.S. Army Techniques Publication 3-39.33: Civil Disturbances outlines how troops may be required to deal with “unruly and violent crowds” where it is “necessary to quell riots and restore public order.”

FULL ARTICLE

 
Look out! House-sized asteroid set to pass within 160,000km of Earth TODAY
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 27, 2014
  • 15m wide space rock will pass at around 9:12pm UTC (4:12pm EST)
  • Asteroid was only discovered on Sunday 
  • Experts say there is no risk from flyby between Earth and the Moon
  • Asteroid will revisit Earth in 2018 

A house-sized asteroid has been spotted heading for Earth - and will pass just 160,000km from us today.

Called asteroid 2014 UFC56, it is around 15m wide - and was only spotted for the first time yesterday.

Experts say there is no risk from the flyby, which will happen at around 4:12pm EST.

The house-sized asteroid 2014 UF56 will pass between the Earth and the Moon.

The 15 meter wide space rock will miss our planet at a distance of about 160,000 km (0.4 lunar distances) at 9:12 p.m. UTC. 

The asteroid was discovered Saturday.

Despite passing so close to Earth, few if any of us will see the flyby - even with a telescope. 

Experts say it was no surprise the asteroid was not spotted until now. 

'With 90% of near-Earth asteroids larger than 0.6 miles (1 km) discovered, surveys are now focusing on finding 90% of objects larger than 460 feet (140-m),' amateur astronomer Bob King wroes on his blog

 

 
Blasting Stellar Fireball: Caught On Camera For The First Time
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 27, 2014
"The stellar surface turns into one titanic hydrogen bomb throwing a fireball out into space"
Blasting Stellar Fireball: Caught On Camera For The First Time


Recently, the first time-lapse images of a thermonuclear fireball blasting out of a nova star have been captured by the astronomers.

An international team of researchers worked together to map the nova eruption, a baby brother to a supernova explosion. The study is published in the Nature journal.

Professor Peter Tuthill of the University of Sydney’s Institute for Astronomy stated that, “Although novae often play second fiddle in the popular imagination to their more famous big cousins – the supernovae – they are a truly remarkable celestial phenomenon.”

When a striking, compact star known as white dwarf shreds the matter from a nearby companion star with its intense gravitational field, Novae happen.

Read more

 
Huge Solar Flare Erupts from Biggest Sunspot in 24 Years
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 25, 2014
"This is the fourth substantial flare from this active region since Oct. 19"
Huge Solar Flare Erupts from Biggest Sunspot in 24 Years


The biggest sunspot on the face of the sun in more than two decades unleashed a major flare on Friday (Oct. 24), the fourth intense solar storm from the active star in less than a week.

The solar flare occurred Friday afternoon, reaching its peak at 5:41 p.m. EDT (2141 GMT), and triggered a strong radio blackout at the time, according to the U.S. Space Weather Prediction Center. NASA’s sun-watching Solar Dynamics Observatory captured stunning video of the huge solar flare.

The flare erupted from a giant active sunspot known as AR 12192 and was classified as an X3.1-class solar storm — one of the most powerful types of solar storms on the sun — but it is not the first time the sunspot has made its presence known. [Biggest Solar Flares of 2014 in Photos]

“This is the fourth substantial flare from this active region since Oct. 19,” NASA spokesperson Karen Fox wrote in a status update.

Read more

 
Monster Sunspot – Solar Flare: Oops, There Goes The 21st Century
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 25, 2014

sunspot-ar-2192

>UPDATE (10/24, 21:30 GMT) A Strong X3+ Solar Flare Is Currently In Progress and it will be geoeffective because the sunspot is directly facing Earth.

(will update with further information as it develops)

 
LOTS OF SOLAR FLARES: Solar activity is high.

GIANT sunspot AR2192 has produced dozens of C-class solar flares, many M-class flares, and several X-flares (so far).

The most powerful solar flare eruption from this sunspot (so far) is apparently this one currently in progress (10/24) so far an X3+. Previously an X1.6-category blast on Oct 22nd knocked out some radio communication on Earth.

It may be the biggest sunspot group in 25 years.

FULL ARTICLE

 
Weird “Government” Website Predicts Total Collapse of America by 2025
The News - Weird-Strange
October 22, 2014
 
Earth’s magnetic field ‘could flip in the space of 100 years’
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 21, 2014
Earth’s magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal at present
earth magnetic field
Scientists predict that the Earth’s magnetic field can flip far faster than previously thought – unleashing a force which Mayan apocalypse believers thought might destroy our planet in 2012.

Berkeley scientists say that the Earth’s magnetic field can weaken and dip within just 100 years, before flipping so that compasses point south – an event they admit could wreck the entire world’s power grid and expose the world to deadly cosmic rays.

Earth’s magnetic field is weakening 10 times faster than normal at present, leading geophysicists to predict a flip within a few thousand years – but Discovery news says that could understimate the speed of the change.

Authors such as Robert Felix claim that previous reversals have been associated with mass disruptions such as the extinction of Neanderthal man, and with supervolcano eruptions and other apocalyptic events.

The ‘flip’ occurs regularly, but there has not been a documented instance for 800,000 years.

 

Read more

 
Earth at risk after cuts close comet-spotting program, scientists warn
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 21, 2014
Astronomers sound alarm after closure of the Australian early-warning program that spotted the Siding Spring comet
asteroid risk earth

The Earth has been left with a huge blind spot for potentially devastating comet strikes after the only dedicated comet-spotting program in the southern hemisphere lost its funding, leading astronomers have warned.

The program, which discovered the Siding Spring comet that narrowly missed Mars on Sunday, was shut down last year after losing funding.

“It’s a real worry,” Bradley Tucker, an astronomer at the Australian National University (ANU) and University of California Berkeley, told Guardian Australia.

“There could be something hurtling towards us right now and we wouldn’t know about it.”

The Siding Spring survey – named after the observatory near Coonabarabran in central New South Wales, where the Mars comet was first spotted – was the only program in the southern hemisphere actively searching for potentially hazardous comets, asteroids and meteors.

Celestial objects that pass within 7.4m kilometres of the earth, or which are more than 150 metres in diameter, are considered potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs). There are 1,508 known cases. The most famous asteroid to have struck the Earth landed in Mexico about 65m years ago, and is believed to have caused or contributed to the extinction of the dinosaurs.

A 20-metre meteor entered the Earth’s atmosphere undetected in 2013 and exploded spectacularly about 30km above Chelyabinsk in Russia, injuring 1,500 people.

“It’s essentially like a nuclear bomb going off in the atmosphere,” Tucker said. “These things can do inconceivable damage.”

 

Read more

 
US Army drafts blueprint for World War III
The News - War-Draft
October 15, 2014
US Army drafts blueprint for World War III


With US politicians and the American media engaged in an increasingly acrimonious debate over the strategy guiding the latest US war in the Middle East, the United States Army has unveiled a new document entitled the Army Operating Concept (AOC), which provides a “vision of future armed conflict” that has the most ominous implications.

It is the latest in a series of documents in which the Pentagon has elaborated the underlying strategy of preventive war that was unveiled in 1992—that is, the use of war as a means of destroying potential geopolitical and economic rivals before they acquire sufficient power to block American domination of the globe.

The document was formally released at this week’s Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference, an annual event bringing together senior officers and Defense Department officials for a series of speeches and panel discussions, along with a giant trade show mounted by arms manufacturers to show off their latest weapons systems and pursue lucrative Pentagon contracts.

 
4 Northern California faults primed for big earthquakes
The News - Natural Disasters
October 13, 2014

california earthquake faults

Three fault segments running beneath Northern California and its roughly 15 million people are overdue for a major earthquake, including one section that lies near the dams and canals that supply much of the state's water, according to a geological study published Monday.

The three fault segments and one other in the region are loaded with enough tension to produce quakes of magnitude 6.8 or greater, according to a geological study published Monday.

They include the little-known Green Valley fault, which lies near key dams and aqueducts northeast of San Francisco. Underestimated by geologists until now, the fault running between the cities of Napa and Fairfield is primed for a magnitude-7.1 quake, according to researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey and San Francisco State University.

 
U.S. may keep nuclear warheads handy for giant asteroid threat
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 03, 2014
Nuclear warheads no longer considered necessary for national defense may be used against asteroids on a collision course with Earth
U.S. may keep nuclear warheads handy for giant asteroid threat
Should an approaching asteroid represent a possible collision risk to the Earth, officials say the United States could be ready to respond — with an arsenal of nuclear weapons.

Several federal agencies are reportedly considering the feasibility of keeping some nuclear warheads that are no longer considered necessary for the national defense as possible protections against asteroids on a collision course with the Earth.

The proposal was revealed in a Government Accountability Office report on the federal agency responsible for America’s nuclear weapons, the National Nuclear Security Administration, which is planning on dismantling a portion of the country’s Cold War nuclear arsenal.

While that dismantling is underway there are plans to keep some warheads “pending a senior-level government evaluation of their use in planetary defense against earthbound asteroids,” the GOA report said.

Read more

 
Study Reveals Death of Ancient Stars Led to Universe
The News - Science-Astronomy
September 29, 2014
Current solar systems, stars formed from mass left by ancient stars
Study Reveals Death of Ancient Stars Led to Universe
At first glance, it looks uncannily like an image of the human brain.

But in fact, this is the death of one of the first stars in our Universe.

Researchers say the death throes of these early stars were unique as they exploded as supernovae and burned completely, leaving no black hole behind, but instead spewing out chemical elements into space that eventually formed our Universe.

Read more

 
Scientists: ‘Extreme’ solar storm heading to Earth
The News - Science-Astronomy
September 10, 2014

Scientists say an extreme solar flare is blasting its way to Earth and could mess up some power grids, satellites and radio transmissions.

Forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction Center don't yet know when Wednesday's solar storm will arrive here and which part of the planet will be facing the sun and bear the brunt of the effects. It could be as early as Thursday morning to a few days.

Prediction Center director Tom Berger said scientists will have a better idea after they get more satellite data.

The flare is considered extreme on forecasters' scale, but just barely. Flares like this cause geomagnetic storms which can knock some power grids offline temporarily. They also can damage satellites and disrupt radio transmissions. But they expand the colorful northern lights.

solar storm september 2014

 
EBOLA OUTBREAK : “Worse Case Scenario… An Extinction Event”
The News - Current Events
September 09, 2014

Health officials around the world are scrambling to contain the Ebola virus with many, including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, now preparing for its eventual escape out of West Africa.

According to CDC director Tom Frieden, the ‘window of opportunity’ for stopping the spread of Ebola is closing rapidly. In July, as the virus surged across west African borders, Frieden downplayed its potential to reach U.S. shores. “It is not a potential of Ebola spreading widely in the U.S.,” claimed Frieden in a preemptive effort to prevent panic. “That is not in the cards.”

 The cards, apparently, have been reshuffled, as Frieden now joins a growing chorus of concerned officials around the world. “This is not just a problem for West Africa, it’s not just a problem for Africa,” Frieden said last week. “It’s a problem for the world, and the world needs to respond.”

In the United States, hospitals are quietly preparing Ebola infection wards and procedures for what many believe is the inevitable arrival of the virus on U.S. shores.

Mathematical models performed by numerous researchers suggest that anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 people globally could contract the virus by December of this year.

FULL ARTICLE

 

 
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