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Fact or Fiction?: We Can Push the Planet into a Runaway Greenhouse Apocalypse
The News - Climate-Environment
July 31, 2013
runaway climate disaster
“Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice,” the poet Robert Frost mused in 1920. Frost famously held “with those who favor fire,” and that poetic view surprisingly coincides with mainstream scientific consensus about the end of the world, which states the sun will in some seven billion to eight billion years evolve into a red giant star that will scorch and perhaps even engulf Earth.

Yet when that happens, Earth will already have been dead for billions of years, and will more resemble present-day Venus. As the sun slowly brightens over time on its path to becoming a red giant, it will eventually cross a critical threshold in which its luminosity surpasses our planet’s ability to dissipate absorbed radiation out into space. At that point, somewhere between one billion and three billion years from now, Earth’s surface temperature will steadily rise until the boiling oceans throw a thick blanket of steamy water vapor around the planet. All that water vapor, itself a potent greenhouse gas, will raise temperatures higher still to cook another greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, out of Earth’s rocks. The end result will be a “runaway greenhouse” in which the planet loses its water to space and bakes beneath a crushing atmosphere of almost pure carbon dioxide.
 
XKeyscore: NSA tool collects 'nearly everything a user does on the internet'
The News - Politics / Corruption
July 31, 2013
XKeyScore
• XKeyscore gives 'widest-reaching' collection of online data
• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its "widest-reaching" system for developing intelligence from the internet.
 
Massive solar flare narrowly misses Earth, EMP disaster barely avoided
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 31, 2013
food storage amount
The earth barely missed taking a massive solar punch in the teeth two weeks ago, an "electromagnetic pulse" so big that it could have knocked out power, cars and iPhones throughout the United States.

Two EMP experts told Secrets that the EMP flashed through earth's typical orbit around the sun about two weeks before the planet got there.

"The world escaped an EMP catastrophe," said Henry Cooper, who lead strategic arms negotiations with the Soviet Union under President Reagan, and who now heads High Frontier, a group pushing for missile defense.
 
The Price of Anarchy: How Contagion Spreads
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 30, 2013
contagion spread disease
During infectious disease outbreaks, personal freedom comes at a price: the welfare of the public as a whole, a new study finds. In the research, scientists investigated whether, in the event of an outbreak, people should be allowed to move about freely or if authorities should enforce travel restrictions to halt the disease's spread.

"What we were trying to understand better is how actions, in terms of routing humans, could affect the spread of disease," said study researcher Ruben Juanes, a geoscientist at MIT in Cambridge, Mass.
 
Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse: Just Do the Math
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 30, 2013
survive zombies
This equation could spell your doom: (bN)(S/N)Z = bSZ. That is, if you ever found yourself in the midst of a zombie pandemic.

That's because the calculation describes the rate of zombie transmission, from one walking dead individual to many, according to its creators, Robert J. Smith?, a mathematics professor at the University of Ottawa who spells his name with a "?" at the end, and his students. Smith's work has inspired other researchers to create zombie mathematical models, which will be published with Smith's work in the upcoming book, "Mathematical Modeling of Zombies" (University of Ottawa Press, 2014). Though of course done tongue-in-cheek, Smith's study demonstrates why zombies are the viruses of the monster world. Their likeness to viruses makes the creatures ideal subjects for theoretical epidemiological analyses, which can be used to capture the public's imagination as well as explore scientific principles, Smith said.
 
Economic Collapse Cannot Be Predicted By Charts - Other Standard Economic Indicators
The News - Economy
July 30, 2013
stock market crash
Most astute observers and analysts understand that the world is on the brink of a widespread economic collapse. Our debt, the expansion of the U.S. police state, the militarization of governments, and geo-political posturing are all pointing to an end to life as we have come to know it in the modern world.

We know it’s coming. The question is when? What signs should we be looking for? What will be the catalyst?

The following micro documentary from Storm Clouds Gathering examines the complexity of the variables involved, the intentions of those making the decisions, and the various possibilities – real or imagined – that may set the whole thing into motion. [SHTFPLAN]
 
NASA asks for help lassoing an asteroid, gets flooded with replies
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 30, 2013
stop asteroid impact
NASA has received more than 400 responses to its Asteroid Grand Challenge, issued last month as part of the agency’s ramped-up effort to build its asteroid-wrangling know-how before an Earth-bound asteroid is spotted.

The response comes after NASA announced last month that it has identified about ten thousand Near Earth Objects, that is, asteroids and comets that come within 28 million miles of Earth’s orbit. Just ten percent of those objects are large enough to causes substantial global damage to Earth – bigger than about 100 feet wide – and none of them are on an impact trajectory toward our planet.
 
Top 10 Best Disaster Preparedness and Survival Books
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 30, 2013
This is a list of the top 10 recommended disaster preparedness and survival books, as compiled by Armageddon Online. They aren't in any particular ranked order, but every one of them has been recommended by members, mentioned in numerous site reviews, and a few have actually been read by me! They cover information that everyone SHOULD know, but many people choose to ignore or dismiss. If & when a disaster does happen, these book will do their best to get you, your friends, and your family ready!
 
Prepping for an EMP and Solar Flares
The News - Current Events
July 30, 2013
EMP or Solar Disaster
Of all of the reasons to prepare, one that we all need to take seriously is the possibility of a catastrophic EMP, or electromagnetic pulse.  This is especially true right now, as we face a huge amount of solar activity the likes of which could send out huge solar flares wiping out  communication systems and modern electronics.

To be blunt about it, an EMP, if large enough, would affect the entire planet.  In an instant, civilization as we know it would change as we get swept backward in time by a century or two. [BDS]
 
Are You Safer in the City or the Country?
The News - Current Events
July 30, 2013
safe living
The cool, fresh air of the country might trick its residents into a feeling of superior health compared to their urban counterparts, but it’s actually the city that is the safer place to live, according to a study in the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia analyzed 1,295,919 injury deaths from all 3,141 counties in the U.S. from 1999 through 2006. The injury-related death rate across the country was approximately 56 deaths per 100,000 people. But a breakdown between urban and rural counties showed that rural counties actually had more injury-related deaths than urban counties, despite higher homicide rates in cities. With approximately 74 injury deaths per 100,000 people in rural counties, country dwellers were far more likely to die from injuries than urban residents, who averaged 50 injury deaths per 100,000 people.
 
ISON : 'Comet of the Century' already may have fizzled out
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 30, 2013
comet ISON fizzled
Astronomers slated to meet this week to discuss observing plans for Comet ISON may not have much to talk about. The so-called "Comet of the Century" may already have fizzled out.

"The future of comet ISON does not look bright," astronomer Ignacio Ferrin, with the University of Antioquia in Colombia, said in a statement on Monday. Ferrin's calculations show the comet, which is currently moving toward the sun at 16 miles per second, has not brightened since mid-January. That may be because the comet is already out of ice particles in its body, which melt as the comet moves closer to the sun, creating a long, bright tail.
 
Storms Aplenty, But Hurricanes Rare in Hawaii
The News - Natural Disasters
July 29, 2013
tropical storm Hawaii
Tropical Storm Flossie is expected to make landfall in Hawaii today (July 29), battering the state's black sand beaches and tall, tropical volcanoes with 45 mph (75 kph) winds and localized rainfall of up to 15 inches (38 centimeters).

Though it may not seem like it to those living on the mainland, in the Hawaiian Islands, Pacific tropical storms are pretty common events, said Steve Businger, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. "There have been several in the 20 years I've lived here. They're not so terribly rare," Businger told LiveScience. (Tropical storms have winds between 39 and 65 mph [63 to 105 kph].)
 
The most magical views of space (pictures)
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 29, 2013
beautiful space pictures
  • Run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich, the winner of the competition will be announced on 18 September
  • The images show the British landmarks of Durdle Door in Dorset and the Pennines in a new light
  • Judges received over 1,200 entries from amateur and professional photographers across the globe

An image of Venus crossing the sun over the Black Sea in Romania and astral clouds of rose-coloured gas revealing star formations in distant galaxies are just two of the incredible images shortlisted for the 2013 Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition. The competition, which is now in its fifth year, is run by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in association with Sky at Night Magazine. It received a record number of over 1,200 entries from enthusiastic amateurs and professional photographers from around the globe.

 
Lunacy? People do not sleep easy on nights when there is a full Moon
The News - Weird-Strange
July 28, 2013
full moon lunacy
It sounds like an idea dreamed up over a few beers in the pub one evening. And that, those involved freely admit, is exactly what it was. As Christian Cajochen and his colleagues put it in their paper on the matter in Current Biology, “We just thought of it after a drink in a local bar one evening at full Moon.”

“It” was a way of testing the persistent but unproven idea that the full Moon affects human behaviour, generally for the worse. In prescientific days this was expressed in terms like “moonstruck” and “lunatic”. It found even more sinister manifestation in the form of the lycanthrope, who did not sleep when the Moon was full, but turned into a wolf instead. Though few now believe in werewolves some modern thinkers still suspect the Moon’s phase affects sleep patterns, and on that particular moonlit night Cajochen and his buddies realised they already had the data needed to find out.
 
How Much Radiation Can You Take?
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 28, 2013
radiation survival
We all know radiation is dangerous and can have severe effects on the body; we only need to look at the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster or the atomic bombs dropped over Hiroshima and Nagasaki to see their horrific effects. But how much radiation can a body take? Can you recover? And what are the signs and symptoms of radiation poisoning?

The first thing you have to understand about radiation is you can’t see it, smell it or taste it. The only time it will be visible is the fallout after a nuclear blast. This dust will have the appearance of dusty snow. Apart from that you won’t have any idea your in a radioactive zone without proper detection equipment
 
Heatwaves will make crops produce smaller grains
The News - Climate-Environment
July 28, 2013
2013 erxtreme heat
"The wheat is usually green at this time, but its already gone brown," says Laurence Matthews, overlooking a bone-dry and dusty field on his 3,000-acre farm near Dorking in Surrey. "It's like a tinderbox: there's a real risk of fire."

The summer heatwave is having a dramatic effect on his crops. "Without water, the plants just shut down," he says. But it is the twists and turns of increasingly erratic weather that is making farming more difficult, Matthews says. "In spring 2012, it was unbelievably dry and hot, then from April it just rained right through to 2013, which made it very difficult to get our crops established."
 
Pardon Me! Mother Earth Burps Up Methane Bubbles During Earthquakes
The News - Natural Disasters
July 28, 2013
Earth Burp Methane Earthquake
The long-suspected link between earthquakes and underwater methane bursts has finally been confirmed, reports a study published today (July 28) in the journal Nature Geoscience.

Though the temblor wasn't caught in the act, the strong shaking left clues in methane-rich mud and sand offshore of Pakistan, where two of Earth's tectonic plates collide at the Makran subduction zone. In 1945, a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck along the subduction zone, killing at least 300 people and triggering a tsunami. Recently, researchers studying methane seeps in the Arabian Sea discovered unexpectedly large quantities of methane gas and minerals such as barite and sulfate just below the seafloor surface, on a ridge near the Makran subduction zone. The minerals and gas accumulate at a certain rate, so the team could calculate when the methane indicators first appeared — between 1916 and 1962. Combined with other clues, such as seismic surveys of disturbed sediments, the scientists concluded that the 1945 earthquake released methane gas into the ocean.
 
4 in 5 in US face near-poverty, no work
The News - Economy
July 28, 2013
poverty no work
Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend. The findings come as President Barack Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality.
 
Mass extinctions : Small but deadly
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 27, 2013
mass extinctions
As every schoolchild knows, the dinosaurs were wiped out in an instant, when a rock from outer space hit what is now southern Mexico. That happened 66m years ago, at the end of the Cretaceous period. Well-informed schoolchildren also know that this mass extinction was neither unique nor the biggest. The geological record speaks of four others since animal life became complex at the beginning of the Cambrian period 541m years ago.

What neither these clever schoolchildren nor anyone else knows, however, is whether these extinctions had similar causes. But evidence is accumulating that the biggest extinction of all, 252.3m years back, at the end of the Permian period, was indeed also triggered by an impact. Nevertheless, though the trigger was the same, the details are significantly different, according to Eric Tohver of the University of Western Australia.
 
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