Friday, February 11, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: 7 Magnitude Earthquake near the coast of Chile - 11 Feb 2011

A 7 Magnitude Earthquake has hit just of the coast of Chile, 245 miles from Santiago at a depth of 11.4 miles.

A strong earthquake on Friday struck central Chile, including the capital, shaking a zone hit by a devastating quake a year ago.

There were no immediate reports of any damage, though residents fled into the street in some areas.

The quake — located offshore about 30 miles north of Concepcion, one of the hardest hit cities in last year's tragedy — was initially rated at magnitude 7.0, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Staff at the Hotel Concepcion told NBC that they felt the quake over about 30 seconds. No damage was reported there, but guests were frightened, staff said.

Emergency officials said the quake would not trigger a tsunami.

About 500 people were killed in February 2010, when Chile was hit by a massive 8.8 magnitude quake and resulting tsunamis that caused widespread devastation. Source

Forester dies in bee attack in Orissa - India

Berhampur/Orissa, Feb 11: A forest official died and another sustained injuries today in an attack by the wild bees at Pakidi hill under Sheragada block in Aska forest range in Ganjam district.

"The dead forester Chintamani Swain (51) along with his guard had gone to conduct survey for plantation in the hill when the incident took place," forest ranger (Aska) N C Dora said.


Swain, a native of Sorada area was working in Sheragada block The body of the forester was recovered from the jungle, while the injured guard was admitted at the hospital at Sheragada, Dora said.

The body was handed over to the relatives after conducting post-mortem, Dora said. Source

26 HORSES Found dead on Farm - West Virginia 11 Feb 2011



Authorities have found more than 20 dead horses on a farm in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Department of Agriculture says it has activated its homeland security incident management team to assess the situation at the property in Greenbrier County.

Local reports indicate up to 26 horses have been found dead on the property, thought to be about 300 acres, since a tipoff to county officials on Wednesday.

A feed and grain store is just a few hundred metres from the property in Crawley, where the dead animals were found.

West Virginia's agriculture commissioner, Gus Douglass, said his department had the duty to ensure the carcasses were disposed of properly to protect the environment and the health of other animals. Read more

Massive Fish Die Off In The Whangamarino - New Zealand 11 Feb 2011

The deaths of thousands of fish over the past week in the Whangamarino wetland have been caused by very low levels of dissolved oxygen in the water, The Department of Conservation [DOC] says.

Department spokesperson Kevin Hutchinson said numerous reports had come in from concerned residents and wetland users about the deaths, numbering possibly in the hundreds of thousands. While most are pests such as koi carp and catfish, native species mullet, bullies and eels have also been found dead.

"The drought at the end of 2010 exposed large areas of the wetland and rapid plant growth occurred in areas usually under water. High rainfall in January compounded by the baked dry ground in the catchment meant water rapidly ran off into the wetland and water levels remained consistently high for about three consecutive weeks."

Kevin Hutchinson says the decomposing plant matter started a bacterial process which depletes oxygen in the water. The warm humid weather experienced over summer has kept water temperatures and thus enhancing bacterial growth. Tests conducted with an oxygen meter by DOC rangers yesterday confirmed the very low levels of oxygen present in the water.

"This is further evidenced by the layer of oily scum present on the surface of the water, which are natural oils released by decomposing plants, the dark black colour of the water and the soft, wilting emergent vegetation starting to break down. The decomposition is also identifiable by an unpleasant smell, very similar to that from a compost bin." Read More

More than a MILLION Bats have died from a poorly understood New Disease since 2006

Bats do exist in this area, but apparently a new bat disease does not.
Wildlife specialists from New York down to North Carolina are keeping a watchful eye on reported cases of what is being called white-nose syndrome.
The disease has killed hundreds of thousands of bats in the eastern United States, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The disease has now been documented in a retired Avery County mine and in a cave at Grandfather Mountain State Park, both in North Carolina. The two documented cases mark the arrival of the bat disease in North Carolina.
“White-nose syndrome is confirmed in Virginia and Tennessee, so we expected we would be one of the next states to see the disease,” said Gabrielle Graeter, a biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. “This discovery marks the arrival of one of the most devastating threats to bat conservation in our time.”
A news conference was held in Asheville, N.C., Wednesday afternoon to explain the significance of the two documented white-nose syndrome cases.
Locally, there are bats in the Reelfoot Lake area and across Obion County but they are tree-dwelling bats.
“As far as I know, it (white-nose syndrome) has never been documented in the tree hibernating species,” said David Haggard, a regional naturalist for the Tennessee State Parks.
He said he received an e-mail last fall from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service requesting help with how to survey bat populations in the state and how to document the disease. Haggard said he responded saying he didn’t know of an accurate method to survey the local bat population. Read More

Wiki - White nose syndrome (WNS) is a poorly understood malady associated with the deaths of more than a million bats.[1] The condition, named for a distinctive fungal growth around the muzzles and on the wings of many affected animals, was first identified in a cave in Schoharie County, New York, USA, in February 2006,[2] and started showing up in the news after January 2007.[3] It spread to other New York caves and into Vermont, Massachusetts and Connecticut[4] in 2008.[5] In early 2009 it was confirmed in New Hampshire,[6] New Jersey, Pennsylvania,[7] West Virginia [4] and in March 2010 in Ontario, Canada, and northern Tennessee.[8][9] As of spring 2010, the condition had been found in over 115 caves and mines ranging throughout the Northeastern US as far south as Tennessee and as far west as Oklahoma and into Quebec and Ontario Provinces in Canada [10].

North Korea 'Preparing for Eruption of Mount. Baekdu'

North Korea has started preparing for a possible eruption of Mt. Baekdu, Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday. Quoting sources in Ryanggang Province, North Korea, the station said two geography professors of Kim Jung-suk University of Education involved in a Mt. Baekdu expedition team have recently been to Pyongyang to attend a seminar on Mt. Baekdu volcanic activity.

They said there were two evacuation drills in Samjiyon, Taehongdan and Pochon, Ryanggang Province since last fall.

The radio station said fears of an eruption were also behind the sudden suspension of the Mt. Baekdu tourism railroad project, slated for completion by 2012, and that of a mammoth tourism and athletics facility for winter sports nearby, to be completed the same year.

"Concerned about a possible eruption of Mt. Baekdu, the North Korean regime is pushing ahead with negotiations with China on the development of underground resources and urban buildings in Ryanggang and North Hamgyong Provinces," RFA said quoting a research institute official in Ryanggang Province. "The North apparently plans to secure Chinese help in reconstruction in case Mt. Baekdu erupts." Read More

Nicolas Sarkozy declares multiculturalism had failed

"We have been too concerned about the identity of the person who was arriving and not enough about the identity of the country that was receiving him," he said in a television interview in which he declared the concept a "failure".

Prime Minister David Cameron last month pronounced his country's long-standing policy of multiculturalism a failure, calling for better integration of young Muslims to combat home-grown extremism.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Australia's former prime minister John Howard and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar have also in recent months said multicultural policies have not successfully integrated immigrants.

Read more

Oysters disappearing worldwide: study

A survey of oyster habitats around the world has found that the succulent mollusks are disappearing fast and 85 percent of their reefs have been lost due to disease and over-harvesting.

Most of the remaining wild oysters in the world, or about 75 percent, can be found in five locations in North America, said the study published in BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

An international team of researchers led by Michael Beck of the Nature Conservancy and the University of California, Santa Cruz, examined the condition of native oyster reefs in 40 ecoregions, including 144 bays.

"Oyster reefs are at less than 10 percent of their prior abundance in most bays (70 percent) and ecoregions (63 percent)," said the study.

"They are functionally extinct -- in that they lack any significant ecosystem role and remain at less than one percent of prior abundances in many bays (37 percent) and ecoregions (28 percent) -- particularly in North America, Australia and Europe."

Read more

Society is killing our children: One in four students is depressed, study

University doctors should start routinely screening for depression in their young patients, urges a new Canada-U.S. study that found one in four students who showed up at campus health clinics had symptoms of clinical depression — and one in 10 students had recently thought about suicide.

College health professionals not involved in the study say the findings confirm what they see on campus, with a growing number of students needing care for sometimes-serious mental-health problems.

The reasons behind the problems may include the pressures of a society that no longer guarantees success to young university graduates, and young people being simply less equipped to cope with life's challenges, experts suggest.

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Pitfalls of the Rat Race: Anxiety disorders, a mental illness on the rise

When Kendra Fisher was a young woman she had a dream, a dream of playing on Canada's Olympic women's hockey team. Fisher worked hard — and just when she was about to have it all, her life spun out of control. At a Team Canada try-out in 1999, her anxiety disorder incapacitated her to the point she could not continue in the training camp.

"The dream absolutely changed. Back in the late 90s I started to feel not right, that's the best why I could explain it then. Certain situations just got to be too much for me to cope with. I started to feel anxious, I started to feel heart palpitations and my stomach was wrong and I couldn't swallow and I would get dizzy…. I didn't know what was going on and I didn't know how to get help for it."

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Junk food diet linked to lower IQ: study

PARIS (AFP) ― Toddlers who have a diet high in processed foods may have a slightly lower IQ in later life, according to a British study described as the biggest research of its kind.

The conclusion, published on Monday, comes from a long-term investigation into 14,000 people born in western England in 1991 and 1992 whose health and well-being were monitored at the ages of three, four, seven and eight and a half.

Parents of the children were asked to fill out questionnaires that, among other things, detailed the kind of food and drink their children consumed.

Three dietary patterns emerged: one was high in processed fats and sugar; then there was a “traditional” diet high in meat and vegetables; and finally a “health-conscious” diet with lots of salad, fruit and vegetables, pasta and rice.

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Drowning in plastic: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is twice the size of France

Way out in the Pacific Ocean, in an area once known as the doldrums, an enormous, accidental monument to modern society has formed. Invisible to satellites, poorly understood by scientists and perhaps twice the size of France, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is not a solid mass, as is sometimes imagined, but a kind of marine soup whose main ingredient is floating plastic debris.

It was discovered in 1997 by a Californian sailor, surfer, volunteer environmentalist and early-retired furniture restorer named Charles Moore, who was heading home with his crew from a sailing race in Hawaii, at the helm of a 50ft catamaran that he had built himself.

For the hell of it, he decided to turn on the engine and take a shortcut across the edge of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, a region that seafarers have long avoided. It is a perennial high pressure zone, an immense slowly spiralling vortex of warm equatorial air that pulls in winds and turns them gently until they expire. Several major sea currents also converge in the gyre and bring with them most of the flotsam from the Pacific coasts of Southeast Asia, North America, Canada and Mexico. Fifty years ago nearly all that flotsam was biodegradable. These days it is 90 per cent plastic.

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