Bizarro Earth

US: Giant Tsunami-Shape Clouds Roll Across Alabama Sky

Tsunami Clouds
© ABC 33/40 in Birmingham
Clouds along the horizon in Birmingham, Ala., on Friday (Dec. 16).

For a morning, the sky looked like a surfer's dream: A series of huge breaking waves lined the horizon in Birmingham, Ala., on Friday (Dec. 16), their crests surging forward in slow motion. Amazed Alabamans took photos of the clouds and sent them to their local weather station, wondering, "What are these tsunamis in the sky?"

Experts say the clouds were pristine examples of "Kelvin-Helmholtz waves." Whether seen in the sky or in the ocean, this type of turbulence always forms when a fast-moving layer of fluid slides on top of a slower, thicker layer, dragging its surface.

Water waves, for example, form when the layer of fluid above them (i.e., the air) is moving faster than the layer of fluid below (i.e., the water). When the difference between the wind and water speed increases to a certain point, the waves "break" - their crests lurch forward - and they take on the telltale Kelvin-Helmholtz shape.

According to Chris Walcek, a meteorologist at the Atmospheric Sciences Research Center at the State University of New York, Albany, fast-moving air high in the sky can drag the top of slow-moving, thick clouds underneath it in much the same way.
Meteor

Surprising Comet Lovejoy Now Becoming Merry and Bright

Lovejoy_1
© kommet.cz
Comet Lovejoy photographed remotely with the FRAM telescope in Argentina on Dec. 17 by a Czech team of Jakub Cerny, Jan Ebr, Martin Jelinek, Petr Kubanek, Michael Prouza and Michal Ringes.

It was almost a pre-holiday miracle that Comet Lovejoy survived its close encounter with the Sun on Dec. 15, 2011. But now, the feisty comet is making a 'merry and bright' comeback, re-sprouting its tail and showing up brilliantly with binoculars and in telescopic images from southern hemisphere skywatchers.

"It was a big surprise that after going through the solar atmosphere it re-emerged with a beautiful tail," Karl Battams told Universe Today. Battams is with Naval Research Laboratory and has been detailing the Comet Lovejoy's incredible journey on the Sungrazing Comets website. "And basically within a day it was as bright after the encounter as it was before."

The beautiful image above was taken on Dec. 17, 2011, clearly showing two gorgeous tails on Comet Lovejoy. See more from the Czech team that took the image at their website, Kommet.cz.

As much as this comet has surprised everyone, no one is going out on a limb and predicting it will become visible with the naked eye. But who knows? The comet's discoverer, Austrailian amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy was able to image the comet in the day time! " I am hopeful of a nice binocular comet low in the dawn around Christmas time," Lovejoy said on the Ice in Space website.
Vader

Three Myths About the Detention Bill

Condemnation of President Obama is intense, and growing, as a result of his announced intent to sign into law the indefinite detention bill embedded in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These denunciations come not only from the nation's leading civil liberties and human rights groups, but also from the pro-Obama New York Times Editorial Page, which today has a scathing Editorial describing Obama's stance as "a complete political cave-in, one that reinforces the impression of a fumbling presidency" and lamenting that "the bill has so many other objectionable aspects that we can't go into them all," as well as from vocal Obama supporters such as Andrew Sullivan, who wrote yesterday that this episode is "another sign that his campaign pledge to be vigilant about civil liberties in the war on terror was a lie." In damage control mode, White-House-allied groups are now trying to ride to the rescue with attacks on the ACLU and dismissive belittling of the bill's dangers.

For that reason, it is very worthwhile to briefly examine - and debunk - the three principal myths being spread by supporters of this bill, and to do so very simply: by citing the relevant provisions of the bill, as well as the relevant passages of the original 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), so that everyone can judge for themselves what this bill actually includes (this is all above and beyond the evidence I assembled in writing about this bill yesterday):
Syringe

Physicians Oppose Mandatory Flu Vaccine for Health Workers

© newsday.com
In letters to Colorado public health officials, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) opposes a rule requiring workers in health care facilities to have an annual influenza vaccination or lose their jobs. Workers who had a rare religious or medical exemption would be required to wear a mask in patient care areas from November through March.

The religious exemption is too narrowly drawn, AAPS writes, and should be a philosophical exemption, as accepted in many states, to "to avoid inquisitions into matters of faith." The mask requirement "seems to be nothing more than a punitive retaliation against those who decline the vaccine" and should be dropped, the AAPS letter states, as both immunized and non-immunized individuals can transmit influenza or other illnesses.

The New Mexico study cited in support of the policy shows a tiny effect: an adjusted odds ratio of only 0.97 for confirmed influenza "outbreaks" (at least one case) in residents of long-term care facilities where 60% of direct-care workers were immunized compared with facilities with a 51% immunization rate. This means that in facilities where more workers were immunized, residents were still 97% as likely to get influenza. "Many other factors could account for the small difference," states AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D.
Vader

Obama Approves Draconian Police State Law

Obama, Police State
© unknown
On December 16, Obama's signature will head America closer to full-blown tyranny.

Obama supports draconian FY 2012 National Defense Authorization Act provisions. Justification given is national security and war on terror hokum.

Henceforth, anyone anywhere, including US citizens, may be indefinitely held without charge or trial, based solely on suspicions, spurious allegations or none at all.

No reasonable proof is needed, just suspicions that those detained pose threats. Henceforth, indefinite detentions can follow mere membership (past or present) or support for suspect organizations.

Presidents now have unchecked dictatorial powers to arrest, interrogate and indefinitely detain law-abiding citizens if accused of potentially posing a threat.

Constitutional, statute and international laws won't apply. Martial law will replace them if so ordered.

As a result, US military personnel anywhere in the world may arrest US citizens and others, throw them in military dungeons, and hold them indefinitely outside constitutionally mandated civil protections, including habeas rights, due process, and other judicial procedures.
Play

Occupy Psychopaths 1 (OWS vs. the Pathology of the 1%)

An Occupy Wall Street activist explains why he thinks it is very important to spread knowledge about psychopaths and psychopathy.

Find out about the important connection between psychopaths and the ruling 1%.

This is not taught in schools (but should be).

Stormtrooper

US Exit from Iraq: 'This is Not a Withdrawal, This is an Act on a Stage'

© Ali Al-Saadi/Agence France-Presse/Getty
US soldiers hold the US and Iraqi flags during the symbolic flag-lowering ceremony marking the end of the US mission in Iraq.
Iraqi people greet pullout ceremony with ambivalence mixed with concern over an uncertain future

There was no triumphalism and certainly no shock or awe. The end of the war in Iraq was subdued and simple: a small band playing as the US forces flag was furled with 200 troops watching on quietly.

In a makeshift parade ground in a corner of Baghdad airport, time was called on the war just after 1pm on Thursday, eight years, eight months and 26 days after its far more dramatic opening in March 2003. Nearby a plane was waiting to take home the US high command. And in southern Iraq, the 4,000 US troops who remain were steadily streaming towards Kuwait.

By Sunday all the troops will be gone, called home for Christmas by an administration that decided there was little point sticking to the original end date of 31 December. The Iraqi government had made clear that it no longer wanted a US presence here and any soldier who stayed behind would not be granted legal immunity.
People

Monsanto™ Roundup Ready Crops Leading to Mental Illness, Obesity

© Unknown
It seems that the good bacteria found in your gut may actually be destroyed with every bite of certain food that you eat.

While antibiotics typically hold first prize in depleting the body's gut flora levels, there may be a new culprit looking to take the spotlight which you may know as genetically modified food.

Monsanto's Roundup Ready Crops Leading to Decreased Gut Flora

A formula seems to have been made to not only ruin the agricultural system, but also compromise the health of millions of people worldwide.

With the advent of Monsanto's Roundup Ready crops, resistant superweeds are taking over farmland and public health is being attacked. These genetically engineered crops are created to withstand large amounts of Monsanto's top-selling herbicide, Roundup. As it turns out, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is actually leaving behind its residue on Roundup Ready crops, causing further potential concern for public health.
Dollar

Bankers Rule the World: "The Network of Global Corporate Control"

money graphic
© n/a
Bankers rule the world. A new Swiss Federal Institute of Technology study says so. Written by Stefania Vitali, James Glattfelder and Stefano Battiston, it's titled "The network of global corporate control," saying:

"We find that transnational corporations from a giant bow-tie structure and that a large portion of control flows to a small tightly-knit core of financial institutions. This core can be seen as an economic 'super-entity' that raises new important issues both for researches and policy makers."

The study says 147 powerful companies control an inordinate amount of economic activity - about 40%. Among the top 50, 45 are financial firms. They include Barclays PLC (called most influential), JPMorgan Chase, UBS, and other familiar and less known names.

Twenty-four companies are US-based, followed by eight in Britain, five in France, four in Japan, and Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands with two each. Canada has one.

Moreover, "top ranked" companies "hold a control ten times bigger than what could be expected based on their wealth."
Attention

Gaddafi's killing may be a war crime: International Criminal Court

© The Associated Press/Libya TV
Video shows former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi surrounded by revolutionary fighters on October 20, 2011.
Luis Moreno Ocampo of the ICC said Thursday he sent a letter to the head of the National Transitional Council asking what the government's plans are to investigate alleged war crimes by all parties, including the rebels

United Nations - The chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court said Thursday there are "serious suspicions" that the death of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi was a war crime.

Luis Moreno Ocampo told reporters after briefing the U.N. Security Council that he sent a letter to the head of the National Transitional Council asking what the government's plans are to investigate alleged war crimes by all parties, including the rebels.

The uprising against Gaddafi's 42-year rule erupted in February, quickly escalated into civil war, and ended in October with Gadhafi's capture and death in unclear circumstances. Witness accounts and video taken of the deposed dictator after his capture by rebel fighters show that he was beaten and abused by his captors, and there were strong indications he was killed in custody.

"The death of Moammar Gaddafi is one of the issues to be clarified - what happened - because there are serious suspicions that it was a war crime," Moreno Ocampo said.

He said what the ICC does on Gaddafi's death and other war crimes will depend on what Libya's interim government does because under the Rome statute that established the war crimes tribunal, the ICC only steps in if national authorities are unwilling or unable to act.
Top