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Apocalyptic scenes as smog engulfs Singapore
The News - Climate-Environment
June 20, 2013
apocalypse smog
Fast-food deliveries have been cancelled, the army has suspended field training and even Singapore's top marathon runner has retreated as residents try to protect themselves from the smog that has descended on the city-state.

In Singapore's worst environmental crisis in more than a decade, the skyscrapers lining the Marina Bay financial district were shrouded by thick smoke Thursday as raging forest fires in neighbouring Indonesia's Sumatra island pushed air pollution levels to an all-time high. Marathon runner Mok Ying Ren said the haze had forced him to run indoors on a gym treadmill as "it is just too crazy to run outdoors in these conditions".
 
Natural causes 'all but ruled out' in Colorado wildfire
The News - Climate-Environment
June 20, 2013
colorado wildfire not natural
With firefighters close to extinguishing one of the most destructive fires in Colorado's history, investigators have "all but ruled out natural causes" in the blaze near Colorado Springs, a sheriff told reporters Thursday.

Authorities still are determining what caused this month's 16,000-acre Black Forest Fire, which killed two people, destroyed more than 500 structures and prompted tens of thousands of people to flee. But investigators scouring a 24-square-foot area where the fire is thought to have started believe a natural cause is out of the question, El Paso County Sheriff Terry Maketa said.
 
20 Items to Kick Start Your Food Storage Plan
The News - Disaster Preparedness
June 20, 2013
food storage plan
No matter how many times I write about food, there is always something new to consider or a new and different way to present the same old information in a more useful manner.  With that in mind, today I would like to share a method for getting started with your food storage program in an easy, step by step, and cost effective manner.

To be truthful, my initial goal with this article was to respond to readers who were just getting started and wanted a shopping list of things to buy for their food storage pantry.  I also wanted to compile a checklist that more experienced preppers could use to compare what they had to what they needed.  My goal can pretty much be summed up by saying that I wanted to write about getting started with food storage the easy way.  No frills, no fluff – just a common sense list of food items to get you started. [BackDoorSurvival]
 
Indian landslides leave thousands trapped in valley
The News - Natural Disasters
June 20, 2013
Indian landslides 2013
As many as 4,000 people are believed trapped by landslides in a narrow valley near a Hindu shrine in the Indian Himalayas, days after floods killed more than 100 people.

Helicopters have ferried rescue workers and doctors along with equipment, food and medicine to Kedarnath in the state of Uttrakhand, the nearest town. Most of those stranded are Hindu pilgrims who were visiting four revered shrines. Amit Chandola, a state spokesman, said authorities had so far been unable to reach eight villages feared washed away by the weekend floods in the worst-hit districts of Rudraprayag and Chamoli.
 
“Take a Press Release from the Federal Reserve and They Think It Was Written by God”
The News - Economy
June 19, 2013
dollar in flames
If there’s one thing that individual investors can take away from Ben Bernanke’s latest Fed update, it’s that all confidence in the financial and economic systems of this country has been lost.

Within seconds of Ben Bernanke suggesting the Fed would taper monetary expansion and reduce their activity stock markets tumbled. This proves one thing, and it’s what we and many other critics of Fed policy have been saying for nearly five years. The only thing keeping the entire system afloat is the fact that the U.S dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and that we can print it to infinitum. [SHTFPLAN]
 
New Virus Found in Middle East Could Be Deadlier Than SARS.
The News - Current Events
June 19, 2013
virus middle east
A new virus responsible for an outbreak of respiratory illness in the Middle East may be more deadly than SARS, according to a team of infectious disease specialists who recently investigated a set of cases in Saudi Arabia.

Of 23 confirmed cases in April, 15 people died — an “extremely high” fatality rate of 65 percent, according to Johns Hopkins senior epidemiologist Trish Perl, a member of the team that analyzed the spread of the virus through four Saudi hospitals. Saudi officials said that as of Wednesday, 49 people have contracted the disease and 32 have died.
 
Why Is Africa Ripping Apart? Seismic Scan May Tell
The News - Science-Astronomy
June 19, 2013
Africa ripping apart
Arrays of sensors stretching across more than 1,500 miles in Africa are now probing the giant crack in the Earth located there — a fissure linked with human evolution — to discover why and how continents get ripped apart. Over the course of millions of years, Earth's continents break up as they are slowly torn apart by the planet's tectonic forces. All the ocean basins on the Earth started as continental rifts, such as the Rio Grande rift in North America and Asia's Baikal rift in Siberia.

The giant rift in Eastern Africa was born when Arabia and Africa began pulling away from each other about 26 million to 29 million years ago. Although this rift has grown less than 1 inch (2.54 centimeters) per year, the dramatic results include the formation and ongoing spread of the Red Sea, as well as the East African Rift Valley, the landscape that might have been home to the first humans.[LS]
 
Biologists race to solve mysterious mass animal deaths in Florida lagoon
The News - Climate-Environment
June 19, 2013
Florida lagoon dead animals
At least 111 manatees, 300 pelicans, and 46 dolphins — emaciated to the point of skin and bones — were all found dead in America’s most biologically diverse estuary.

Something is seriously wrong. The northern stretches of the Indian River Lagoon of Florida has a mass murder mystery that biologists are racing to figure out. The lagoon contains more species than anywhere else in the U.S. It is a barrier island complex stretching across 40 percent of Florida’s coast, around Cape Canaveral, and consisting of the Mosquito Lagoon, the Banana River and the Indian River Lagoon.
 
Baked Alaska: Unusual heat wave hits 49th state
The News - Climate-Environment
June 19, 2013
Alaska heatwave 2013
A heat wave hitting Alaska may not rival the blazing heat of Phoenix or Las Vegas, but to residents of the 49th state, the days of hot weather feel like a stifling oven - or a tropical paradise.

With temperatures topping 80 degrees in Anchorage, and higher in other parts of the state, people have been sweltering in a place where few homes have air conditioning. They're sunbathing and swimming at local lakes, hosing down their dogs and cleaning out supplies of fans in at least one local hardware store. Mid-June normally brings high temperatures in the 60s in Anchorage, and just a month ago, it was still snowing.
 
World's poorest will feel brunt of climate change, warns World Bank
The News - Climate-Environment
June 19, 2013
poor people climate change
Millions of people around the world are likely to be pushed back into poverty because climate change is undermining economic development in poor countries, the World Bank has warned.

Droughts, floods, heatwaves, sea-level rises and fiercer storms are likely to accompany increasing global warming and will cause severe hardship in areas that are already poor or were emerging from poverty, the bank said in a report. Food shortages will be among the first consequences within just two decades, along with damage to cities from fiercer storms and migration as people try to escape the effects. [GUARDIAN]
 
The most dangerous places to live in America: Spectacular maps
The News - Disaster Preparedness
June 19, 2013
Dangerous places in the United States
As firefighters battle to contain the Colorado wildfires and clean-up crews trawl through the debris following the Oklahoma tornado, a series of maps have been published that illustrate the most deadly places in America.

The data may look spectacular laid out in colorful graphics, but they clearly identify the deadly effects of Mother Nature. The maps were created by John Nelson, a UX & Mapping manager at IDV Solutions and were reported by the Business Insider. Using a spreadsheet he converted the data into a pixelated map of the U.S which created the spectacular graphics.  After plotting the data he was able to create charts which show the most disaster-prone areas across America.
 
Bye-bye 5th Amendment! Anything You Don’t Say Can and Will Be Used Against You
The News - Politics / Corruption
June 19, 2013
burning constitution
Everyone knows that when building a police state, it’s vital to strike a few Constitutional rights off the books.  Now, we can add the right to remain silent to the graveyard of the American justice system.  How can you expect the people to be properly subjugated with all those pesky freedoms that the Bill of Rights blathers on about?

The would-be totalitarians can chalk up another victory, because the Supreme Court has made the decision that if you opt to remain silent, that silence can (and will) be used against you in a court of law. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees our right against self-incrimination. [TheOrganicPrepper]
 
Colorado Wildfire Snuffs Over 500 homes; California Fire a Threat
The News - Climate-Environment
June 19, 2013
california wildfires 2013
The number of homes destroyed by a Colorado wildfire rose above 500 on Tuesday as rain dampened the flames and allowed damage assessment teams to enter charred neighborhoods, as another threatening blaze grew in California.

Authorities said the so-called Black Forest Fire, which has killed at least two people and has burned in the rolling hills outside Colorado Springs for the past week, was 85 percent contained by Tuesday. The most destructive fire in Colorado's history has charred 22 square miles (57 square km), destroyed 502 homes, and underscored concerns that prolonged drought conditions in the U.S. West could intensify this year's fire season. [SA]
 
Huge 'Dead Zone' Predicted in Gulf of Mexico
The News - Climate-Environment
June 18, 2013
gulf of mexico dead zone 2013
A very large dead zone, an area of water with no or very little oxygen, is expected to form in the Gulf of Mexico this year — a trend in recent years, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Computer models put together by scientists predict that the zone will cover an area between 7,286 and 8,561 square miles (18,871 to 22,173 square kilometers) this summer, the typical time for such zones to form. The large end of the estimate is roughly the size of the state of New Jersey, and would be the largest dead zone ever recorded. The biggest one recorded to date, in 2002, reached 8,481 square miles (21,966 square km). [LS]
 
Astronomers Search for Signs of Life in the Skies of Distant Exoplanets
The News - Science-Astronomy
June 18, 2013
exoplanets and life
Nobody who was there at the time, from the most seasoned astrophysicist to the most inexperienced science reporter, is likely to forget a press conference at the American Astronomical Society's winter meeting in San Antonio, Texas, in January 1996. It was there that Geoffrey W. Marcy, an observer then at San Francisco State University, announced that he and his observing partner, R. Paul Butler, then at the University of California, Berkeley, had discovered the second and third planets ever found orbiting a sunlike star. The first such planet, 51 Pegasi b, had been announced by Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the University of Geneva a few months earlier—but a single detection could have been a fluke or even a mistake. Now Marcy was able to say confidently that it had been neither. “Planets,” he told the crowd, “aren't rare after all.”
 
"Radioactive-Looking" Sinkholes
The News - Climate-Environment
June 18, 2013
radioactive sinkhole?
A hole opens up in the street and a fluorescent green fluid appears inside. What is that stuff?

It sounds like a scene from an episode of The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a Nickelodeon slime show or a toxic waste dump.

But this isn’t science fiction, this sinkhole filled with fluorescent green goo is reality and it’s located on a Philadelphia street. Steven Reitz can prove it. The Northern Liberties resident shot a photo of the "radioactive-looking" sinkhole along Randolph Street near Girard Avenue last week.
 
Biggest protests in 20 years sweep Brazil
The News - Politics / Corruption
June 18, 2013
brazil protests
As many as 200,000 demonstrators marched through the streets of Brazil's biggest cities on Monday in a swelling wave of protest tapping into widespread anger at poor public services, police violence and government corruption.

The marches, organized mostly through snowballing social media campaigns, blocked streets and halted traffic in more than a half-dozen cities, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte and Brasilia, where demonstrators climbed onto the roof of Brazil's Congress building and then stormed it.
 
Can We Control the Weather? 200 Years of Attempts
The News - Climate-Environment
June 18, 2013
control the weather
Humans have dreamed of taking control of the weather long before Superman and James Bond villains plotted world domination. Growing concerns over climate change and major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the deadly tornado outbreaks in Oklahoma have only increased our desire to stop severe weather in its tracks. We've put vehicles on Mars and invented the Internet — why can't we alter the weather?

It hasn't been for lack of trying. In the last 200 years, the clouds have proven a resilient adversary, according to the Boston Globe, resisting well-funded and imaginative attempts at manipulation by meteorologists, physicists and hobbyists.
 
EMP ATTACK : DC TO NEW YORK COULD LOSE POWER FOR 2 YEARS
The News - War-Draft
June 17, 2013
EMP attack on united states
Amid growing fears of a massive electromagnetic pulse hit from either a solar flare or a terrorist nuclear bomb, House Republicans on Tuesday will unveil a plan to save the nation's electric grid from an attack that could mean lights out for 300 million Americans. Dubbed the Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, the legislation would push the federal government to install grid-saving devices such as surge protectors to protect against an attack.

"It is critical that we protect our major transformers from cascading destruction. The Shield Act encourages industry to develop standards necessary to protect our electric infrastructure against both natural and man-made EMP events," said Rep. Trent Franks, the Arizona Republican who is offering up the bipartisan bill.
 
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