Friday, February 18, 2011

Everyone Duck: 1.1 km - 2.4 km Near Earth Object hurtling towards Earth

MORE GREEN FIREBALLS IN THE SKY ARE ON THEIR WAY according to worldwide amateur astronomers.

Some interesting facts about the upcoming spate of Near Earth Objects (also known as NEOs, usually in the form of giant rocks that only Bruce Willis and a crack team of engineers can destroy):

-- meteor activity will increase in the coming months

-- many such Near Earth Objects come into our view as a surprise

-- As of January 1, 2011
28 new NEO discoveries have occurred and will pass near Earth come February, constituting a monthly increase of over 100%

--
48 NEOs are presently scheduled to appear in February 201, with 5-10 additional appearances by month's end

-- A beautifully bright Moon will allow numerous of these NEOs to remain unnoticed until they've pass the Earth, or heaven forbid, strike the planet

--
With abundant NEO discovery comes a prediction of increased February meteor and green fireball activity, and all photographers of such celestial wonders are invited to head outdoors and be ready throughout the period of February 19 to February 23 until the month's end

-- NASA's Near Earth Objects site can be found at: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ca


Source

Special note: Our next NEO has scheduled its appearance for around February 20th, 2011 at a breakneck speed of 20.83 km per second and with an estimated diameter of 1.1 km - 2.4 km.

Temperature swings 100 degrees in one week in Oklahoma. town - 18th feb 2011

Residents in the Northern Oklahoma town of Nowata experienced a stunning 100-degree shift in the weather this week after a cold front brought temperatures down to a record-setting -31 degrees.

Today, it's a balmy 72 degrees in Nowata. Yesterday, it reached 79 degrees.

"Isn't it crazy? I love it," Nowata resident Julie Koupe told local channel News on 6.

On Feb. 10, it was slightly colder in the region than it was on the South Pole, notes Tulsa World writer Cary Aspinall. More than 3,000 Nowata homes lost power and residents spent the next few days digging their cars and homes out of the snow. There was so much snow in Tulsa last week that city officials began debating provisional plans to truck it out of town.

On Thursday, the 79 degree weather tied for the warmest Feb. 17 since 1907.

Climate scientists note that extreme swings in weather are associated with the gradual warming of the earth's climate. And the Oklahoma Climatological Survey has verified that the state's average temperature readings have been trending upward, with some year-to-year variations, since the late 1980s. You can read the survey's findings and recommendations here (pdf).

But broader climate trends notwithstanding, Oklahoma has long been known for its unpredictable weather. The local saying (attributed to Will Rogers) goes, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait five minutes." This time, Oklahomans had to wait a week. Source

Saudi prince Talal warns of uprising threat

A SENIOR member of the Saudi royal family has warned that the oil-rich country could be harmed by the uprisings sweeping the Arab world unless it speeded up reforms.

Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud told BBC Arabic that "anything could happen" if King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz did not proceed with a program of political transformation.

"King Abdullah ... is the only person who can carry out these reforms," the prince told the broadcaster.

"On his departure, may that be in many years to come, latent trouble will surface and I have warned of this on many occasions. We need to resolve the problems in his lifetime," the prince added.

Talal added that if Saudi authorities "don't give more concern to the demands of the people, anything could happen in this country". Read more

SEA SHEPHERD'S MAKING A DIFFERENCE, WELL DONE!! - 18th Feb 2011



Victory for eco-warriors as Japan abandons whaling season - having caught just a fifth of 850 mammals targeted

Japan today cancelled the rest of its whale hunting season in Antarctic waters because of repeated harassment by Sea Shepherd activists at sea, after netting only a fifth of its targeted catch of 850 whales.

Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which Japanese officials have condemned as a terrorist group for its annual harassment of the country's whalers, hailed the result as a victory and said it would keep up the pressure next year.

Australia, which has campaigned against Japan's whale hunt and wants to bring the issue before an international tribunal, also welcomed the halt - the first time whalers ended a season prematurely since Sea Shepherd's campaign started seven years ago. Read More

UK youth unemployment hits record level: Nearly one million graduates out of work

The figures came as official data confirmed that last year's improvement in unemployment had proved a hiatus rather than an end to the climbing numbers of those that have lost their jobs.

By far the worst hit were those between the ages of 16 and 24, the Office for National Statistics figures suggested.

Unemployment jumped by 44,000 in the final three months of 2010 to just under 2.5 million, meaning that 7.9 per cent of workers were out of a job. But the youth unemployment rate hit 20.5 per cent, following a 66,000 increase to 965,000, the highest figures since records began in 1992.

Of particular concern for many experts was the increasing number of young people who have been out of work for a prolonged period of time. There were 75,000 people aged 18 to 24 who have not had a job for two years, the figures said. This was an increase of 43 per cent on a year ago. Read more

More mega-money for the rich: Deutsche Boerse buys NYSE Euronext

Deutsche Boerse shareholders will own 60pc of the new company, and will swap one share of its own stock for one share in the new company, while every NYSE Euronext share will be exchanged for 0.47 new shares.

NYSE Euronext's revenues have fallen recently because of competition from cheaper computerized stock exchanges in the US and Europe. Many other global stock exchanges have also combined to save costs.

The deal will give NYSE Euronext a larger footprint in the more lucrative business of trading in futures and options contracts. Read more

The Day After The Dollar Crashes - A Survival Guide for the Rise of the New World Order (Must Watch!)

Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be Stable

SEATTLE — Few believed the housing market here would ever collapse. Now they wonder if it will ever stop slumping.

In the last year, home prices in Seattle had a bigger decline than in Las Vegas. Minneapolis dropped more than Miami, and Atlanta fared worse than Phoenix.

The bubble markets, where builders, buyers and banks ran wild, began falling first, economists say, so they are close to the end of the cycle and in some cases on their way back up. Nearly everyone else still has another season of pain. Read more

People still dying in Gulf from BP oil spill: Where is the National Media Coverage?

I know many of you with national voices read this blog, because you’ve been kind enough to tell me so. I’ve raised a glass or two with some of you, and traded barbs with others. It’s been an honor to, on occasion, be included in your work. Your reporting and attention is valued, and that’s why I’m addressing you personally and collectively in this post.

We’re dying down here on the Gulf – and we need your help to restore our way of life and our culture.

The economic devastation is hitting everyone from waitresses to fishermen to restaurateurs to property owners. Figuratively and literally, we’re dying. My neighbors and some of my clients are reporting severe illnesses directly related to the spill. We have names, we have case studies. We even have some local reporters with the courage to cover what is fast becoming a health crisis among cleanup workers and residents living in coastal communities (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQgNDCiIQPs&feature=player_embedded). But local coverage, compelling as it is, isn’t enough. Read more

More Oil in the Gulf: Wells Around Deepwater Horizon Site Have Been Leaking Since 2004

Perhaps one reason federal agencies are so anxious to declare “Mission Accomplished” in the Gulf is that they know what other scandals lurk beneath the surface – like oil wells that have been leaking since 2004 with the Coast Guard and other agencies lowballing the amount of the flows.

Sound familiar?

Ben Raines at the Press-Register has a truly jaw-dropping story that several wells about 10 miles away from the Deepwater Horizon site have “been leaking oil into the Gulf since 2004, according to federal records.” Read more

Surging corn set to fuel widespread price hikes

Looking for a good indicator for where food prices are headed? Watch corn.

Corn’s impact on the food industry is unlike that of any other agricultural commodity. At its most basic level, corn is a food staple for billions of people around the world and a key ingredient in dozens of products like breakfast cereals, baked goods, breads, tortillas, chips, soft drinks and even bourbon. But its reach goes much further. Read more

Arkansas. cities feel unexplained surge in earthquakes - 18th Feb 2011

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Jim Sutterfield was briefly puzzled by a thumping sound that seemed to slam the back of his office chair. But when the small-town Arkansas fire chief turned and saw no one was around, he quickly realized it was just an earthquake — again.

"That was only my second time to feel one, but others here have felt them for three or four months now," Greenbrier chief Jim Sutterfield said after feeling the latest tremor on Wednesday. "Now when it happens, people say, 'Well, there's another one.'"

Several small earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 1.8 to 3.8 have rattled the north-central Arkansas cities of Greenbrier and Guy this week, and the cause is unknown.

The U.S. Geological Survey has reported more than 30 earthquakes in the area since Sunday, including a magnitude 3.8 quake Thursday morning and at least 16 others occurring Wednesday, two of which were magnitude 3.2 and 3.5. More than 700 quakes have occurred in the region over the past six months.

Scott Ausbrooks, geohazards supervisor for the Arkansas Geological Survey, said the quakes are part of what is now called the Guy earthquake swarm — a series of mild earthquakes that have been occurring periodically since 2009. A similar swarm occurred in the early 1980s when a series of quakes hit Enola, Ark.

Ausbrooks said geologists are still trying to discover the exact cause of the recent seismic activity but have identified two possibilities.

"It could just be a naturally occurring swarm like the Enola swarm, or it could be related to ongoing natural gas exploration in the area," he said.

A major source of natural gas in Arkansas is the Fayetteville Shale, an organically-rich rock formation in north-central Arkansas. Drillers free up the gas by using hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" — injecting pressurized water to create fractures deep in the ground. Read More

Note: The map shows that nearly all the quakes are centralised to one point, and of course not all are recorded on this map for more accurate readings see here: Arkansas Seismic Network