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Water, Not Wind, Makes Storms Like Sandy Dangerous
The News - Natural Disasters
October 30, 2013
WATER IS DANGER FROM STORMS
By the time Hurricane Sandy hit the northeast coast of the United States one year ago, it had weakened in wind speed from a Category 3 to a Category 1 storm. But people living in the storm's path quickly learned that this lower rating said little about the storm's destructive capacity.

By landfall, wind speeds had fallen below 94 mph (153 km/h) — the cutoff for Category 1 hurricanes — but the storm surge (the water that a storm pushes in front of itself above predicted tide levels) was greater than any other surge recorded in New York City's history, reaching up to 14 feet (4.3 meters) in lower Manhattan. Many of the 150 deaths associated with Sandy have been attributed to flooding from this surge along the New York and New Jersey coastlines. This outcome was not unique to Hurricane Sandy: Flooding from storm surge has caused more deaths during hurricanes than any other hurricane threats — such as winds and freshwater flooding from rainfall — combined since 1900, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). And yet the NHC's official hurricane category system — meant to efficiently warn residents of a storm's destructive capacity — does not convey the threat of flooding.
 
Arctic doomsday bunker stores every type of seed mankind relies upon...
The News - Current Events
October 29, 2013
arctic doomsday seed bunker
  • The Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway is home to more than two billion seeds
  • The seed bank can withstand a nuclear strike and aims to preserve crops in the face of natural disasters and war
  • Rare images of the food ark, which has 4.5 million varieties of seeds, were taken by photographer Jim Richardson
  • Vault was started by conservationist Cary Fowler from the Global Crop Diversity Trust and cost £4million to construct

These incredible images give a rare glimpse inside the 'Doomsday' seed vault which protects the world's food supply. On an Arctic island off the coast of Norway lies the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which is home to more than two billion seeds. The secure seed bank which can withstand a nuclear strike, aims to preserve crops in the face of climate change, war and natural disasters.
 
How the U.N. plans to defend Earth from asteroids
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 29, 2013
stop asteroid impact
t's a scenario familiar to any science fiction fan: An asteroid is hurtling toward Earth, and humans must deflect or destroy it to save themselves and every other living creature on the planet. But unlike most sci-fi plots, this one is a real threat, right now. And the United Nations is on it.

Last week, the U.N. General Assembly approved the creation of an International Asteroid Warning Group. Former NASA astronaut Ed Lu and other members of the Association of Space Explorers have been calling for the formation of a global asteroid-fighting group for years, but the meteor that exploded above Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February got people taking the ASE's recommendations seriously.
 
5 Things Hurricane Sandy Changed for Good
The News - Natural Disasters
October 29, 2013
Some people and places may never be the same since Hurricane Sandy hit the northern Atlantic Coast on Oct. 29, 2012. The lingering effects include lives lost and irreplaceable mementos. Barrier islands were changed forever. But the vulnerabilities revealed by Superstorm Sandy could also help make the East Coast better prepared for the next big hurricane. Here are five ways Hurricane Sandy totally changed the East Coast:
hurricane sandy damage
 
The Scientist Who Helped Save New York's Subway from Sandy
The News - Natural Disasters
October 29, 2013
sandy subway
The water just kept flowing. It streamed through the streets of lower Manhattan, pouring into subway entrances, cascading into ventilation grates and pooling inside tunnels.

When Superstorm Sandy hit New York a year ago, it caused a massive, 14-foot storm surge, the likes of which the city had never seen. Nine out of the 14 subway tunnels beneath rivers around the city flooded, and the subway was shut down for days. But the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) took precautions to head off the worst impacts, experts say. Before the storm hit, the MTA moved its trains out of flood-prone areas and took out the electric signals in the tunnels. The tunnels flooded. Afterward, subway workers pumped the water out and replaced the electric signals. Within a week, 80 percent of subway service had been restored, newspapers reported.
 
St Jude storm: southern Britain counts the deaths and damage
The News - Natural Disasters
October 29, 2013
st jude storm
Aftermath of the St Jude storm in Hever, Kent, where 17-year-old Bethany Freeman died when a tree fell on her caravan. Photograph: Rex Features Britain faces further disruption through Tuesday following the most powerful storm to hit Britain in years.

Authorities continue to clear away debris and fallen trees while engineers work to restore power to hundreds of thousands of homes and rail services slowly return to normal. A 17-year-old girl was among four people killed as hurricane-force winds battered England and Wales, leaving a trail of destruction. Dubbed St Jude after the patron of lost causes, the storm caused transport disruption on road, rail, air and sea, and power cuts for hundreds of thousands of homes.

 
Sun Erupts With Two Major Solar Flares (Video)
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 25, 2013
This image, captured by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) on March 10, 2012, shows an active region on the sun, seen as the bright spot to the right. Designated AR 1429, the spot has so far produced three X-class flares and numerous M-class flares.

The sun erupted with two of the strongest solar flares it can unleash Friday (Oct. 25), just days after blasting an intense solar storm at Earth.

The sun fired off a flare that registered at X1.7 on the space weather scale at 4:01 a.m. EDT (0801 GMT) Friday, then followed with an X.2-class event at 11:03 a.m. EDT (1503 GMT). NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory captured video of the X1.7 solar flare, which came after several smaller sun storms over the last few days.

 
How to Make a Zombie (Seriously)
The News - Weird-Strange
October 25, 2013
how to make a zombie
The slouching, flesh-eating zombie has become one of the most in-vogue creatures in current TV and movie offerings, appearing in films like "World War Z" and in the AMC series "The Walking Dead."

Most rational people scoff at the suggestion that zombies are real, but a number of respected medical experts and academic journals have presented evidence that zombies are, in fact, real. To understand the zombie phenomenon and its Haitian roots, you need an appreciation of the practice of vodou (sometimes spelled voodoo or vodun), a religion based in West Africa and still practiced in varying forms throughout the Caribbean, Brazil, the American South and other places with a strong African heritage.
 
No reports of damage after 7.3 magnitude earthquake hits Japan
The News - Natural Disasters
October 25, 2013

An earthquake of magnitude 7.3 struck early Saturday off Japan's east coast, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and Japan's emergency agencies issued a tsunami advisory for the region that includes the crippled Fukushima nuclear site. Tsunamis of up to 15 inches were reported at four areas along the coast, but the advisory was lifted less than two hours after the quake. There were no immediate reports of damage on land. Japanese television images of harbors showed calm waters. The quake hit at 2:10 a.m. Tokyo time about 170 miles off Fukushima, and it was felt in Tokyo, some 300 miles away.

 
What Are The Top 3 Biggest Threats To The U.S. Right Now?
The News - Current Events
October 24, 2013
Threats to the US
We get asked fairly regularly by our readers about what we feel is the biggest SHTF threat facing the country today. I don’t think it would be accurate enough to limit this to one single event, but there are 3 distinct threats that America is currently facing. Today we will be discussing these threats and if there is anything we as preppers can do to prepare for them. All 3 of these threats are issues that America is currently facing now, and will continue to face in the near future. [Ready4ItAll]
 
Rise of nuclear bombs: Video reveals 2,053 WMDs that have exploded in just 50 yrs
The News - War-Draft
October 24, 2013
nuclear testing WMD timelapse
  • The map has been created by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto
  • It begins with the Manahattan Project's 'Trinity' test in 1945 in Los Alamos
  • The video ends with Pakistan's nuclear tests that took place in May 1998

Since the U.S unleashed the first nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki back in 1945 there have been a staggering 2056 nuclear tests recorded worldwide. It took almost a year until the next substantial tests took place but by the mid-50s and 60s, nuclear experiments were being recorded across the globe on almost a monthly basis. To demonstrate the scale and development of this technology, Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has plotted all these explosions that took place from 1945 up to 1998 in a time-lapse video map.
 
'Space cannon' to be fired into asteroid
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 24, 2013
space cannon asteroid

Japan's space agency has successfully test-fired a "space cannon" designed to launch a projectile into an asteroid as part of the search for the origins of the universe. The device will be aboard the Hayabusa-2 space probe that is scheduled to take off in 2014 and rendezvous with an asteroid identified as 1999JU3 that orbits between Earth and Mars in 2018.

Once in position close to the asteroid, the space cannon will detach itself and remotely fire a 4lb metal projectile into the surface of the miniature planet. -- "An artificial crater that can be created by the device is expected to be a small one, a few meters in diameter, but ... by acquiring samples from the surface that is exposed by the collision, we can get fresh samples that are less weathered by the space environment or heat," the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency said in a statement.

 
Britain braces for 'worst storm of the year' with south set to be battered by 80mph winds
The News - Current Events
October 24, 2013
britain storm 2013
The south of Britain is battening down the hatches ahead of what forecasters are predicting could be the worst storm of the year. The current spell of unsettled weather in the UK is expected to continue over the next few days with strong winds and heavy rain particularly over the weekend.

On Sunday night the weather looks set to take a turn for the worse as a significant storm system, developing in the Atlantic, looks set to intensify before travelling across England and Wales on Monday. Met Office spokesperson Juliet Gardner said forecasters had issued an amber warning for strong winds and the highways agency has put out a yellow alert for a surface water flood risk from Monday.
 
Two large earth facing sunspots give us both barrels, incoming storm expected
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 23, 2013
october 2013 sunspots

Sunspot 1875 lit off a small solar flare directly at the Earth. The magnetic explosion it released caused another nearby sunspot 1877 to also explode with a M9.3 magnitude solar flare. Both of these flares are Earth directed, and a geomagnetic storm is expected to impact the earth in the next 24-48 hours.

The size of the incoming geomagnetic storm is undetermined so far, but there is a good chance it will be a Major-severe Geomagnetic Storm. The speed of the storm is also undetermined, but based off of previous Earth directed storms could reach us withing 48 hours.

 
Fukushima Disaster Worsens: Another Leak into the Pacific
The News - Climate-Environment
October 23, 2013
fukushima disaster
More troubling news is coming out of Japan, as officials admit another large radioactive spill has just occurred at Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant.

Late last month, we reported on how the Fukushima Nuclear Plant was continually leaking radioactive materials into the Pacific Ocean; now TEPCO, the plant’s operator, has confirmed  yet another major leak. According to TEPCO, heavy rains caused radioactive waste, containing a source of beta radiation, to overflow over containment barriers that were setup to contain the nuclear waste. In August, these same containment tanks leaked over 300 tons of contaminated water into the surrounding area.
 
'Learned helplessness' : Major cities unprepared to cope in natural disasters
The News - Disaster Preparedness
October 22, 2013
disaster helplessness
Emergency experts say a learned helplessness has left Australians in major cities unprepared to cope in natural disasters. With the increasing impact of extreme heatwaves, storms, fires and floods, experts say traditional reliance on emergency services and recovery support such as cash handouts needs to be urgently reviewed if Australia is to better survive both the effects and escalating costs of such disasters.

Emergency expert Lewis Winter from Charles Sturt University says Australians need to prepare themselves for a situation where emergency services are unable to help them. "What people have got to know is that they're on their own, literally on their own," he said.
 
Landslide Danger Looms in Next Seattle Earthquake
The News - Natural Disasters
October 21, 2013
seattle earthquake
A home on Seattle's steep and scenic slopes comes with a hidden risk. The next earthquake on the Seattle Fault, which cuts under the heart of the city, could trigger many more deadly landslides than previously predicted, a new study finds. The risk of landslides in Seattle comes as no surprise to its residents. Every winter, heavy rains soak the ground atop a clay layer buried in some spots, until the layers grow so wet they slip and slide away. Most sediments in Seattle are "unconsolidated," jumbled piles left behind by glaciers that plowed through the Northwest during the last global cooling.

These loose soils can also collapse from earthquake shaking. To estimate the future risk of earthquake-triggered landslides, researchers at the University of Washington created a computer model of a magnitude-7.0 Seattle Fault earthquake and tested the shaking effects on Seattle slopes and soils. The findings were published today (Oct. 21) in the journal the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
 
Australia declares fire emergency
The News - Climate-Environment
October 20, 2013
australia fire emergency
A state of emergency has been declared in New South Wales as Australian firefighters battle bushfires that have already destroyed more than 200 homes. The announcement comes as conditions look set to deteriorate with soaring temperatures and strong winds expected to fan the flames in the coming days.

The Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, has been the worst-hit region with some fires still raging out of control. Officials say they are the worst fires the state has seen in 40 years. New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell said the declaration would give emergency services additional powers over the next 30 days which could include cutting gas and power supplies if needed.
 
Let's play God: The scientific experiments that might save the world (or destroy it...)
The News - Science-Astronomy
October 19, 2013
science playing god destroy world
Two years ago this month, in a disused Norfolk airfield, a small group of scientists were preparing to undertake one of the more controversial experiments in British scientific history. What little equipment it needed – a B&Q pressure washer, 1km of hydraulic hose and an 8m air balloon – had been bought or loaned. A truck was ready. Once in the air, the dirigible balloon would spray 120 litres of fine water droplets into the East Anglia sky, a miniaturised test for a much larger system that would eventually pump out chemical particles to reflect sunlight and, so the scientists calculated, cool the planet. It was to be a momentous day.

Geoengineering – as defined by the Royal Society in 2009 – is the large-scale, technological manipulation of the climate (some call it "planet hacking"). After decades of theorising, the Cambridge group was going to be the first in the West to take research out of doors. But shortly before lift-off, they aborted. There was, they feared, no way of knowing who could use their research, or in what way, and the Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering (Spice) team did not want to open a door that might be impossible to close.
 
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