Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category
Hundreds of world landmarks from Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to the Great Wall of China went dark Saturday, part of a global effort to highlight climate change.
Earth Hour, held on the last Saturday of March every year, began as a Sydney-only event in 2007. The city’s iconic Harbor Bridge and Opera House were dimmed again this year.
Australia is among the first countries to flick off the light switches each year; in New Zealand, Sky Tower in Auckland and the parliament buildings in Wellington switched off two hours earlier; Tokyo Tower was also dimmed and in Hong Kong, buildings along Victoria Harbour also went dark. All the events take place at 8:30 p.m. local time.
The WWF, the global environmental group which organizes the event, said the number of countries and territories participating has grown from 135 last year to 147 this year.
“Global warming is a big issue,” said Rudy Ko, of Taiwanese environmental group Society of Wilderness. “Everybody can help reduce the problem by turning the lights off.”
Ko said children should invite their parents “to turn the lights off, go out, go to the parks to do some exercise, and enjoy some family time instead of watching TV or play video games.”
RALEIGH, N.C. — Two orange orbs, just about 10 feet off the ground, floated past Steve Woody and his father as they hunted deer more than 50 years ago. The mysterious lights passed them, then dropped down the side of a gorge in the Blue Ridge foothills.
For at least a century, the Brown Mountain Lights have confounded residents and tourists in a rugged patch of Burke County, bobbing and weaving near a modest peak. Are they reflections from automobile headlights? Brush fires? A paranormal phenomenon, or something natural not yet explained by science?
“I didn’t feel anything spooky or look around for Martians or anything like that,” Woody said. “It was just a unique situation. It’s just as vivid now as when I was 12 years old.”
Whatever the explanation, tourism officials are hoping all those decades of unanswered questions add up to a boost in visitors making their way to scenic outlooks around Linville Gorge with the goal of spotting something mysterious.
Unexplained mysteries like the Brown Mountain Lights have been the subject of cable TV documentaries and have fueled vast online communities of amateur investigators. Ed Phillips, Burke County’s tourism director, is hoping to capitalize on that.
(NaturalNews) The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is engaged in what can only be called an avian holocaust through its Bye Bye Blackbird program that has poisoned tens of millions of birds over the last decade. The USDA even reports the number of birds it has poisoned to death in a PDF document posted on the USDA website.
Anticipating the USDA possibly removing that document, we have posted a copy on NaturalNews servers at:
The original source URL of this file was:
This document shows that, just in 2009, the following bird populations were poisoned and killed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, using taxpayer dollars:
(Listed as “Intentional” and “Killed / Euthanized”)
Brown-headed cowbirds: 1,046,109
European Starlings: 1,259,714
Red-winged blackbirds: 965,889
Canadian geese: 24,519
…plus tens of thousands of crows, doves, ducks, falcons, finches, gulls, hawks, herons, owls, ravens, sparrows, swallows, swans, turkeys, vultures and woodpeckers, among other animals.
The chart even shows that the USDA “unintentionally” euthanized one Bald Eagle.
Also murdered in 2009 by the USDA are victims of other species:
27,000 beavers, 1700 bobcats, 81,000 coyotes, 2,000 gray foxes, 336 mountain lions, 1900 woodchucks, 130 porcupines, 12,000 raccoons, 20,000 squirrels, 30,000 wild pigs, 478 wolves.
See the list yourself at: http://www.naturalnews.com/files/USDA-Bye-Bye-Blackbird.pdf
The ichthyosaurs of Holzmaden, Germany are among the most exquisite fossils ever discovered. Many of their skeletons have been left in stunning, articulated detail, and the very outlines of their ichthyosaurian bodies were preserved by the bacteria which decomposed their carcasses after the marine reptiles had settled to the bottom of the Jurassic sea. It was specimens like these, which clearly showed the outlines of dorsal fins and tail flukes supported by downward-kinked tails, that caused paleontologists to see ichthyosaurs are swift, reptilian tuna mimics and not the slow, paddle-bearing lizards envisioned by 19th century naturalists.
But what happened between the time the Holzmaden ichthyosaurs died and when they sank to the ocean bottom? Did the predators fall through the water column as soon as they died, or did they float until the gases from decomposition exploded their bodies and scattered their bones? That is what paleontologists Achim Reisdorf and co-authors consider in a new paper given one of the more evocative titles in recent memory, “Float, explode or sink: postmortem fate of lung-breathing marine vertebrates.”
The problem of how ichthyosaurs went to pieces is difficult to approach. For one thing, the marine reptiles died out tens of millions of years ago – ichthyosaurs swam the world’s oceans from 245 to 90 million years ago, disappearing before the end-Cretaceous extinction rocked the world. Direct observation is right out. And ichthyosaurs don’t have any close living relatives among the reptiles, nor has any reptilian lineage converged on the ichthyosaur body plan.
Nigerian villagers say oil washing up on the coast comes from a Royal Dutch Shell loading accident last month that caused the biggest spill in Africa’s top producer in more than 13 years.
Shell denies that any of the oil is from its 200,000 barrel per day Bonga facility, 120 km offshore and accounting for 10 percent of monthly oil flows, which was shut down by the spill on Dec. 20.
FUKUSHIMA, Japan — Even if the worst nuclear accident in 25 years leads to many people developing cancer, we may never find out.
Looking back on those early days of radiation horror, that may sound implausible.
But the ordinary rate of cancer is so high, and our understanding of the effects of radiation exposure so limited, that any increase in cases from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster may be undetectable.
Several experts inside and outside Japan told The Associated Press that cancers caused by the radiation may be too few to show up in large population studies, like the long-term survey just getting under way in Fukushima.
That could mean thousands of cancers under the radar in a study of millions of people, or it could be virtually none. Some of the dozen experts the AP interviewed said they believe radiation doses most Japanese people have gotten fall in a “low-dose” range, where the effect on cancer remains unclear.
The cancer risk may be absent, or just too small to detect, said Dr. Fred Mettler, a radiologist who led an international study of health effects from the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
Or in this case, shell growth finds a way. I always remember adults telling me as a child to break those rings before you throw them away because the birds could get stuck in them at the dump. I thought they were stupid then, now I see this…
November 8, 2011 – ALASKA – A rapidly intensifying powerful storm was approaching the west coast of Alaska late Monday and could become “one of the worst on record,” the National Weather Service said in an alert. The alert, issued by the NWS in Fairbanks at 10:37 p.m. AKST (2:37 a.m. ET Tuesday), said the “extremely dangerous” storm was 600 miles southwest of Shemya at the end of the Aleutian Islands. It is forecast to move to just west of the Bering Strait by Tuesday night and into the southern Chukchi Sea on Wednesday. The storm would likely be “life-threatening … one of the worst on record,” the service said. Storm surges were expected to cause tides of 8 to 10 feet above normal along the west coast from Cape Romanzof North to the Bering Strait including Saint Lawrence Island and Little Diomede, causing flooding.
“All residents should take action now to prepare for the strong winds and coastal flooding,” it added. It advised people living along the coast from Cape Romanzof to the Bering Strait and from Cape Krusenstern to Point Hope to prepare for floods and beach erosion. The alert said “severe beach erosion is expected” in many parts and that areas containing ice may see ice pushed onshore. Southeast winds of 50 to 70 mph were expected along the coast beginning Tuesday night and into Wednesday, with gusts reaching 90 mph along parts of the Chukchi Sea, Bering Strait and Saint Lawrence Island coasts. -MSNBC
Europeans have all the fun: lower drinking ages, funner beaches, easier lifestyles and… dinosaur skeletons having sex in their museums. This exhibit, which clearly shows two T-Rexes “mating”, is located in the Jurassic Museum of Asturias in Spain.
A Reddit user recently found the exhibit, which, of course, has long been a conversation starter at MUJA, a museum that has over 8,000 fossils (200 of them being dinosaurs, crocs, fish and tortoises). The copulating dinosaurs are actually replicas and a pseudo-guess on how dinosaurs mated, as no one really knows how they did the deed. The position seems a bit awkward as the girl T-Rex’s tail could smack dude T-Rex in the face. Ah, messy logistics.
Either way, with this hilarious dinosaur exhibit, I think the MUJA has sky rocketed to the top of my non-existant “museums I want to go to list”.