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Human-to-Human Spread of Deadly New Bird Flu Virus Higher Than Previously Thought
The News - Current Events
July 19, 2013
H7N9 human threat
Before this year the H7N9 bird flu virus linked to 133 human infections and 43 deaths was never seen in people. All the available evidence suggests that an effective biological barrier apparently kept a pandemic at bay -- humans only contracted the novel virus via direct contact with poultry or environments such as live bird markets rather than by human-to-human transmission. New analysis from the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), however, suggests that the virus is closer to becoming a disease transmitted among humans than previously thought.
 
South Asia disunity 'hampers flood warnings'
The News - Natural Disasters
July 19, 2013
south asia flooding warning
A lack of co-operation between South Asian countries is preventing timely flood warnings that could save lives and property during the monsoon season.

Erratic and extreme rainfall is causing catastrophic flooding, most recently in northwest India and Nepal following heavy rainfall in June. But the sharing of hydrological data can be a sensitive issue because of disputes over water use. Officials say a network is required to share data across borders. Experts and officials told the BBC that countries in the region are doing very little to help each other forecast floods.
 
Doctors Warn: 'Heat Rage'
The News - Climate-Environment
July 19, 2013
2013 heat wave angry
The temperature isn’t the only thing getting hot these days. If you’ve been outside, you may have noticed tempers are flaring.

As CBS 2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Thursday, the hot weather does a lot to our behavior. There’s road rage, air rage, fan rage at sporting events, and now we have heat rage. It’s not new. It’s actually part of our language. Tempers flare, anger simmers and boils over, and of course there’s the proverbial hothead.
 
Why the East Coast Is Baking
The News - Climate-Environment
July 18, 2013
east coast heat wave
The U.S. East Coast is sweating through a lingering heat wave this week. The sweltering heat and humidity have combined to keep temperatures hot even at night. But relief may finally be in sight.

Heat waves are marked by at least three consecutive days of temperatures of at least 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). In New York and Boston, temperatures hit 90 degrees F or hotter Sunday through Wednesday, and are expected to do so again today (July 18). New York has already reached 96 degrees F (36 degrees C) by 1 p.m. EDT today. Baltimore reached a record high of 98 degrees F (37 degrees C) yesterday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
 
Detroit files for bankruptcy
The News - Economy
July 18, 2013
detroit bankrupt
Detroit—The city of Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy case in U.S. history Thursday afternoon, culminating a decades-long slide that transformed the nation’s iconic industrial town into a model of urban decline crippled by population loss, a dwindling tax base and financial problems.

The 16-page petition was filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit. Gov. Rick Snyder’s office was making plans this afternoon to hold a Friday morning news conference at the Maccabees Building, 5057 Woodward in Midtown, according to a source. It’s the same location where the governor declared a financial emergency for Detroit on March 1.
 
5 Gigantic Wars You Won't Believe Almost Happened
The News - Humor
July 17, 2013
Much like pro wrestling or your last date, war is full of complicated maneuvers, barely missed shots, and near pinfalls. The tiniest change in the course of events could result in a completely different outcome: Imagine if the Nazis had invaded England instead of Poland, or if Napoleon had unleashed a squad of Dinobot Dragoons during the defining moments of Waterloo. We'd be looking at completely different history books. History is full of these potentially game-changing battles that almost came to be. It's impossible to know exactly what the results would have been, but it's mind-boggling to think that...
major wars that almost happened
 
More Than 5,700 Feared Dead
The News - Natural Disasters
July 17, 2013
India floods 2013
A day after the government said it would treat more than 5,700 people missing in floods in northern India last month as presumed dead, relatives said Wednesday they still held out hope that their loved ones had survived.

The provisional death toll - officials said some of the missing still could turn up alive - would make the Uttarakhand floods the worst natural disaster in India since more than 10,000 people were killed here in the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004. The toll was worsened by the presence of tens of thousands of Hindu pilgrims visiting the state's temples and the many vacationers who head to its cool hills to escape the summer heat. The government said it was presuming those missing for a month were dead so it could start giving compensation to their families.
 
Earth's Gold Came from Colliding Dead Stars
The News - Science-Astronomy
July 17, 2013
gamma ray burst colliding stars
We value gold for many reasons: its beauty, its usefulness as jewelry, and its rarity. Gold is rare on Earth in part because it's also rare in the universe. Unlike elements like carbon or iron, it cannot be created within a star. Instead, it must be born in a more cataclysmic event -- like one that occurred last month known as a short gamma-ray burst (GRB). Observations of this GRB provide evidence that it resulted from the collision of two neutron stars -- the dead cores of stars that previously exploded as supernovae. Moreover, a unique glow that persisted for days at the GRB location potentially signifies the creation of substantial amounts of heavy elements -- including gold.

"We estimate that the amount of gold produced and ejected during the merger of the two neutron stars may be as large as 10 moon masses -- quite a lot of bling!" says lead author Edo Berger of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA). A gamma-ray burst is a flash of high-energy light (gamma rays) from an extremely energetic explosion. Most are found in the distant universe. Berger and his colleagues studied GRB 130603B which, at a distance of 3.9 billion light-years from Earth, is one of the nearest bursts seen to date.
 
How 'Brown Oceans' Fuel Hurricanes
The News - Natural Disasters
July 17, 2013
brown ocean hurricane
Hurricanes and tropical storms typically gather strength while moving over warm oceans, where the energy released by evaporating water fuels these storms' high winds. These storms usually weaken rapidly as they move over land and are cut off from their fuel source.

But researchers are now gaining a better understanding of tropical cyclones that don't conform to the mold and grow stronger over continental land masses, even hundreds of miles from the nearest ocean. Under certain conditions, continents act as "brown oceans" that keep a tropical cyclone from weakening and, in some cases, make the storm even stronger than it was over the ocean, according to a news release from NASA.
 
Armageddon Preppin: The Doomsday Readiness Game
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 16, 2013
Shelter? Food? Water? The three simple things you need to survive. Gather supplies while you can, but be careful of venturing too far away from your bunker. Disasters strike at every turn. *What is Preppin?* Preppin is a fast-paced, 2-4 player card game for ages 8+.

The goal of the game is simple; keep your family alive and be the lone survivors of the cataclysmic disasters that occur at the end of each round. *Where did Preppin come from?* The game creators had a stroke of inspiration while on a disaster-movie-and-TV-show watching binge. They decided to take that idea and implement it into a card game system. The goal? To make a fun game the whole family can easily enjoy. *Who made Preppin?* Preppin was made by two friends, Travis Watkins and Darth Rimmer. Travis is a filmmaker and graphic artist living in Portland, OR. Darth is a toy maker and artist living in Los Angeles, CA. He's been making and playing games his whole life.

Buy through our Amazon link, support the site and the developers! :)
 
H7N9 Bird Flu May Be Developing Drug Resistance
The News - Current Events
July 16, 2013
H7N9 bird flu resistance
Some strains of the H7N9 bird flu in China are becoming resistant to the only antiviral drugs doctors have left to treat the infection, a new study suggests.

The study, which examined the viruses in a single person infected with H7N9, found that a portion of the H7N9 viruses lurking inside the person were resistant to the antiviral drugsoseltamivir (marketed as Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). About 35 percent of the viruses were resistant to these drugs, while 65 percent were sensitive, the researchers said. Treating such "mixed populations" of flu viruses within a single patient can be problematic — giving the patient oseltamivir or zanamivir may increase resistance to those drugs.
 
Russia holds biggest war games in decades
The News - War-Draft
July 16, 2013
Russia war games
President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday watched Russia's biggest military maneuvers since Soviet times, involving 160,000 troops and about 5,000 tanks across Siberia and the far eastern region in a massive show of the nation's resurgent military might.

Dozens of Russia's Pacific Fleet ships and 130 combat aircraft also took part in the exercise, which began on Friday and continue through this week. Putin watched some of the drills on Sakhalin Island in the Pacific, where thousands of troops were ferried and airlifted from the mainland.
 
Disaster preparedness: lessons from cyclone Nargis
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 16, 2013
disaster preparedness cyclone Nargis
It has been five years since the worst natural disaster in Burma's history, cyclone Nargis, which affected the lives of 2.4 million people. I was part of UNFPA's emergency response team that travelled to Burma from Europe and United States and since the floods, I've been reflecting on my experience there and lessons learnt. How would the humanitarian response need to change if the same happened again?

As a result of the cyclone, 75% of Burma's health facilities in the affected areas were destroyed or severely damaged. UNFPA were to provide essential reproductive health supplies. Speed was critical. If emergency obstetric care was not made available, a pregnancy could be fatal for a mother and child.
 
Scientists Outline Long-Term Sea-Level Rise in Response to Warming of Planet
The News - Climate-Environment
July 15, 2013
sea level rise warming
A new study estimates that global sea levels will rise about 2.3 meters, or more than seven feet, over the next several thousand years for every degree (Celsius) the planet warms.

This international study is one of the first to combine analyses of four major contributors to potential sea level rise into a collective estimate, and compare it with evidence of past sea-level responses to global temperature changes. Results of the study, funded primarily by the National Science Foundation and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, are being published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
 
Is Prepping The Next Evolutionary Meme On The Planet?
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 15, 2013
prepping meme
Ok, first things first; what the heck is a ‘meme’? Here’s the definition from Wikipedia:

A meme (/ˈmiːm/; meem) is “an idea, behavior, or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” A meme acts as a unit for carrying cultural ideas, symbols, or practices that can be transmitted from one mind to another through writing, speech, gestures, rituals, or other imitable phenomena. Supporters of the concept regard memes as cultural analogues to genes in that they self-replicate, mutate, and respond to selective pressures. [LINK]
 
How To Recognize, Treat and Avoid Heat Stroke
The News - Disaster Preparedness
July 15, 2013
Also called sunstroke, heat stroke is a very serious, life threatening condition. Here's how to recognize it and how to handle it.
 
Summer's Worst Week of Heat NYC, DC, Philly, Boston
The News - Climate-Environment
July 15, 2013
2013 heatwave North East
Plain and simple, this week may feel the worst of any week for this summer in the Northeast. The I-95 region will be a virtual sauna bath.

High daytime and nighttime temperatures, high humidity, intense sunshine and lack of wind will make the area seem like the middle of the tropics. The pattern will pose health risks ranging from poor air quality to a dangerous buildup of heat in urban areas to risk of heat stroke for those physically very active.
 
New Studies: Conspiracy Theorists Sane; Government Dupes Crazy, Hostile
The News - Cover-Up-Conspiracy
July 15, 2013
conspiracy sane
The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled “What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.

The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.
 
Distorted GPS Signals Reveal Hurricane Wind Speeds
The News - Natural Disasters
July 15, 2013
hurricane hunter airplane
By pinpointing locations on Earth from space, GPS systems have long shown drivers the shortest route home and guided airline pilots across oceans. Now, by figuring out how messed up GPS satellite signals get when bouncing around in a storm, researchers have found a way to do something completely different with GPS: measure and map the wind speeds of hurricanes.

Improved wind speed measurements could help meteorologists better predict the severity of storms and where they might be headed, said Stephen Katzberg, a Distinguished Research Associate at the NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Va., and a leader in the development of the new GPS technique. On a global scale, experts hope to use the new measurement method to better understand how storms form and what guides their behavior.
 
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