Saturday, February 19, 2011

60 Feet Monster waves produced in Ireland and France



When it comes to monstrous surf, Europe doesn't get much respect among surfers who ride big waves for a living. But that could soon change thanks to Benjamin Sanchis' recent taming of a bona fide monster beyond the Basque Country south of Hossegor, France. The ride (see video), at a break called Belharra, has made Sanchis a leading contender in several categories of the prestigious Billabong XXL Global Big-Wave Awards, including biggest wave.

With the North Pacific in a relatively quiet pattern this year, Sanchis and his European companions have taken center stage in the big-wave arena thanks to the massive storms pounding the region this winter. Earlier this week they were catching incredible waves off of Ireland as huge swells began marching down the North Atlantic.

Europe's come alive there's only been one big swell off California, and another off Hawaii." According to Sharp, the swell that slammed Ireland and the Basque Country produced wave faces that measured as high as 60 feet. Source

Scientists: Magnetic Polar Reversal May Have Started - 16th Feb 2011

What's going to happen? The only thing we really know is that there is no way for humans to slow down or stop the process.

(CHICAGO) - Concern has been mounting for almost a decade as scientists hunched over their instruments and double-checked new data concerning the status of the Earth's crucial magnetic field.

The magnetic field protects all life from damaging solar radiation. Exposure to such radiation can cause cancer and mutate DNA. Some researchers believe evolution has been driven in part by epochs marked by a failing or weak magnetic field that allowed the surface of the world to be bathed with intense ultra-violet and other deadly forms of life-changing radiation.

Now new evidence has emerged leading some scientists to believe that the magnetic pole shift—an ongoing phenomenon that has been happening for decades—has reached a tipping point.

According to a report issued by the prestigious British Geological Survey (BGS), evidence suggests the magnetic reversal has begun.

The BGS has taken this position based on careful analysis of a region of the Earth known as the South Atlantic Anomaly (SAA). It's an area where the magnetic field is in a state of flux and has weakened noticeably. The data shows the anomaly is growing rapidly and spreading west from South Africa.

All of this indicates the Earth's liquid core is changing. Read more

Fact or Fiction: Conspiracy Theories, is there any truth to them?

Goma volcano set for another eruption - Congo 18th Feb 2011

Previous eruptions in recent times may be dwarfed by the expected next eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo, which towers over the Eastern Congolese city of Goma. Nine years ago, in January 2002, when the region’s most active volcano erupted, the reportedly rather liquid lava swiftly covered a sizeable part of the city and even brought air transport to a complete standstill, when a portion of the runway was covered by lava, which when finally cooled down, was measured to be 6 and more feet thick and as wide as a kilometer, leaving total destruction in its wake and making over 120,000 residents homeless.

The eruption then reached as far as Lake Kivu and only a major effort supported by the UN and international partners made the airport somehow usable again, albeit with a still shortened runway, which makes the use of larger aircraft impossible and impacts on the operations of the airport even with smaller jets. Accidents have, in fact, been recorded at Goma attributed at the shortened runway making every landing and take off an adventure of sorts. Read More

120-year-old record high temperature tied on Friday - 18th Feb 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV/AP) - A 120 year old record high temperature for Charlotte was tied on Friday as temperatures continued their climb that started this week.

Nearly all week, the temperatures have been above 60 and climbed to above 70 on Thursday. The average temperatures now are what we would expect for the end of April.

Friday, the high was forecast to be 75, but it went a tad higher and broke the old record of 78 as by 3 pm Friday.

Things are supposed to cool down this weekend, but still stay unseasonably warm. Click here for the weekend forecast!

The high temps have been accompanied by very dry weather as hundreds of brush fires have been reported across the state this week.

Going into the weekend, there is an active 1000-acroe blaze near Chimney Rock -- and it is expected to burn 500 more acres this weekend.

There are advisories against burning in many areas and two counties are under a Red Flag warning.

Several fire departments extinguished a wildfire in Mooresville on Friday afternoon. Read More

Mount ETNA Erupts again - 18th Feb 2011

Mt Etna's second eruption of the year occurred at SE crater on 18th February, 36 days after the previous eruption. The eruption lasted 11 hours and produced strombolian activity, fountains, and a lava flow.

The active vent was located on the lower eastern flank of SE crater. The eruption was preceded by an explosive event probably at NE Crater, late on 16th February.

A lava flow from SE crater descended eastward, following the same path as that of the 12-13 January, in the direction of the Valle del Bove. Light ashfall was reported on the flanks of the volcano. Source

Ohio finds 200 dead geese, others sick along Lake Erie

DETROIT (Reuters) - At least 200 geese have died for unknown reasons along the southwestern shores of Lake Erie while others are struggling to hold their heads up, stay upright and fly, Ohio officials said on Friday.

No cause has been diagnosed. Some of the dead birds have been sent to a national wildlife laboratory in Wisconsin for testing. Many sick birds have been sent to rehabilitation facilities.

The sick geese appear to have problems controlling their muscles, with many struggling to walk and others laying their heads on their backs, said Dave Sherman, a biologist at the Crane Creek Wildlife Research Station operated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

A few of the birds have lost control of their muscles while flying and dropped out of the sky, he said.

"If they're able to stand, they just act like they're sort of out of it," Sherman said. "If they're in the water, they'll flop around a little bit."

The problems were first noticed about three weeks ago when biologists sought to place monitors on some of the birds to study them and track migration patterns.

Dead birds have been found along a 40-mile stretch but most have been concentrated near FirstEnergy Corp's Bay Shore power plant situated near Maumee Bay outside Toledo. Read More

Libya Internet Shut Down Amid Protests, Per Multiple Reports


Reports have emerged late Friday that Libya appears to have shut down its Internet due to widespread protests, less than a month after Egypt did the same.

The Los Angeles Times was among the first news outlets to report Libya's Internet outage, citing "multiple reports." TechCrunch also posted about Libya's Internet issues.

Libya first began shutting off social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and the news website of Al Jazeera before taking down entire Internet providers. Internet authority Renesys confirmed late Friday "Libya is off the Internet." (Read more)

Just for fun: New photo of 'English Nessie' hailed as best yet


The photograph, which shows an object with three humps breaching the surface of the lake, is said to be the best evidence yet of what some claim is a monster lurking beneath the depths.

It was taken on a camera phone by Tom Pickles, 24, while kayaking on the lake as part of a team building exercise with his IT company, CapGemini, last Friday.

Mr Pickles said he saw an animal the size of three cars speed past him on the lake and watched it for about 20 seconds.

He said: “It was petrifying and we paddled back to the shore straight away. At first I thought it was a dog and then saw it was much bigger and moving really quickly at about 10mph.

“Each hump was moving in a rippling motion and it was swimming fast." (Read more)

Vladimir Putin 'has £600 million Italianate palace'

The claim, made in a letter to Dmitry Medvedev, Russia's president, was boosted on Monday after the Novaya Gazeta newspaper obtained what it said was an authenticated copy of the original contract for the palace signed in 2005 by Vladimir Kozhin, the Russian presidential property manager. Mr Putin, now prime minister, was president at the time.

Set in 74 hectares of prime land near the Black Sea coast with its own vineyard, the palace is reported to be almost eight million square feet and has its own helipad. Other features include an indoor cinema, a summer amphitheatre, a casino, swimming pools, a gym and a clock tower. Sergei Kolesnikov, the businessman who claims the palace is Mr Putin's, has likened the structure to a palace built for Russia's Tsars outside St Petersburg. He said that the Russian prime minister had personally approved the design and materials. Read more

China's drought could have 'devastating' consequences

No Chinese family can celebrate the recently passed lunar New Year festival without a prodigious mound of jiaozi, or dumplings – juicy parcels of dough-swaddled pork and leek that explode, scalding and garlicky, in the mouth.

For many Chinese, however, this New Year’s dumplings have left a bitter after-taste thanks to spiralling food prices caused in part by a drought on the North China Plain that the UN food agency warned last week could have “devastating”consequences for China’s annual wheat harvest.

In the village of Qingdepu in Shanxi province – one of eight provinces including Shandong, Jiangsu, Henan, Hebei that account for three-quarters of China’s wheat production and have experienced the lowest rainfall levels for at least 60 years – they are already feeling the pinch.

Read more

Ron Paul Says Next US Crash Will Be Comparable To That Of Soviet Union













Ron Paul has just stepped up his war of rhetoric with his nemesis the Archchairsatan Rudolf Vissarionovich von Bernankestein (because never before have we had a genocidal central planner hell bent on printing the world's fate out of a deflationary collapse), and in an interview with Larry Kudlow said what everyone who is watching the day after day melt up (and wondering what comes next) openly thinks: that when all is said and done, and there is no incremental vapor and no incremental HFT levitation effect, that the US collapse will be comparable only to that of the Soviet Union.

Obama's Budget Plan Calls for $7.2 Trillion Deficit

Mr Obama proposed a budget that will push the this year's deficit to a fresh record of $1.65 trillion or 11pc of GDP, partly due to payroll tax cuts agreed with Congress last Autumn. It is unprecedented to run deficits on this scale two years into recovery.

While he called it a budget of "hard choices and sacrifices" needed to return the US to a sustainable debt trajectory, the deficit is significantly above the $1.5 trillion recommended by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

Paul Ryan, Republican chair of the House Budget Committee, accused Mr Obama of a "total abdication" of leadership. "I expected more taxes, but I also expected more spending controls or reforms, but we're not getting any of it." Read more

China in talks on rail rival to Panama Canal, report

Juan Manuel Santos, the Colombian President, said in a interview with the Financial Times: "It's a real proposal ... and it is quite advanced."

The proposed 140-mile "dry canal" is one of a series to boost transport links with Asia and improve Colombia's infrastructure, the report said, citing documents it had seen

The Panama canal represents roughly 5pc of world trade, with 13,000 to 14,000 ships passing through it every year.

"I don't want to create exaggerated expectations, but it does make a lot of sense," Mr Santos said, adding that Asia is the "new motor" of the world economy. Read more

Goodbye prosperity: US manufacturing decline raises concerns about innovation

SPOONS and forks, the metal flatware that everyone uses, are no longer made in the United States. The last factory in an industry stretching back to colonial times closed eight months ago in Sherrill, N.Y., a small community in the foothills of the Adirondacks, and 80 employees lost their jobs.

No one paid much attention beyond the people in the town itself, even though the closing represented the demise of an industry that had flourished in this country for generations. Paul Revere, in fact, was a flatware craftsman.

Sherrill Manufacturing, which owned the factory, said in a statement that production had succumbed to less expensive Chinese imports. Robert A. Comis, the Sherrill city manager, said, “It is too common a situation.” Read more

Lava lake at Kilauea has reached one of its highest levels ever - 19th Feb 2011

KILAUEA SUMMIT (HawaiiNewsNow) - Scientists on the Big Island say it's been an especially active week at Kilauea volcano - as it continues to erupt in two locations: on the east rift zone and at the summit.

The volcanic activity along the summit has died down a little since Monday - when the lava lake at Halemaumau crater reached one of the highest levels ever observed. But it's still fascinating for both geologists and tourists alike.

Kilauea's fiery summit cauldron ripped open this week, and its beauty is matched only by the roar of its fury. Summit activity isn't as intense as it was earlier in the week, but the changes have delighted scientists.

"It is an exciting time for volcanologists," says Janet Babb of the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory. "This is the job that we're trained to do and the kind of research that we're involved in, so it has been exciting."

On Monday, they watched as a number of rocks fell into Kilauea's summit vent. Sulfur dioxide emissions remain elevated. Babb explains, "Large sections of the rim of the vent fell into the lava lake below. It caused a lot of degassing, and in a few instances, some explosive events that caused a lot of dusty, ashy plumes to rise skyward."

The lava lake at Halemaumau crater reached one of its highest levels ever this week - indicating an increase in the volume of magma. It's been rising steadily since last November, but volcanologists aren't yet sure of its significance. Read More