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Attention

Dead humpback whale found on Kapiti Coast, New Zealand

© David Haxton
Iwi perform a karakia by the dead humpback whale on Waikanae Beach.
A 10 metre-long humpback whale has washed up dead on Waikanae Beach early this morning.

Department of Conservation spokeswoman Jane Dobson said they received reports of the stranding, south of Waikanae Boat Club, around 6.30am.

"It's been confirmed that it's a humpback whale, approximately 10 metres long and estimated to be about 25 to 30 tonne.

"Senior ranger Brent Tandy has said that its smaller size suggests it's not fully mature."

Ms Dobson said it was unknown how the whale had died, but it appeared to have been dead for some time.
Cloud Precipitation

Hundreds evacuated after major floods hit western Norway

© Arne Sandvold / twitter
Flam, Norway, October 2014.
After 2 days of heavy rainfall, parts of western Norway suffered major flooding after rivers overflowed in the counties of Sogn og Fjordane and Hordaland late on Tuesday 28 October 2014. Heavy rain has also continued to affect parts of Rogaland county.

Initial reports suggest that Odda and Voss in Hordaland and Flåm, Laerdal, Årdal and Stryn in Sogn og Fjordane have been the worst affected.

The heavy rainfall has also led to avalanches in some areas of western Norway.


Ice Cube

North Pole becomes covered in ice in 8 days - video


North Pole
South Pole still at record levels

........................................................................................................................

8 days ago, dutchsinse put out a video showing that the North Pole Ice pack was growing rather rapidly.


After doing some mileage computations on the spread of the ice, dutchsinse made the statement that the North Pole would be covered in a couple weeks (or less).

Thanks to Marcus Adrian for this video
Nuke

Mass die offs of Sitka sea stars recorded, Alaska

© Anne Brice/KCAW
Taylor White pulls up a rock on Sage Beach to see three leptasterias, which are small, 6 legged sea stars that are common at this site. She points to the one with three legs and lesions, symptoms of sea star wasting disease.
A trip to the coast usually means you're going to see sea stars, but a mysterious disease is killing them along the West Coast. There had been a few reports of sick sea stars in Alaska, but recently in Sitka, the first mass die offs in the state were detected. Scientists in Sitka are tracking the progress.

Patty Dick lives on a boat in Thompson Harbor in Sitka. In the morning, when it's low tide and she has an extra moment, she goes out and checks on the sea stars living in the area.

"I just sit there in awe of the beauty of that animal," she said. "Everybody loves sea stars."

Dick teaches 6th grade biology at Blatchley Middle School. She often takes her students on field trips to learn about marine animals, and they usually find dozens of sea stars.

But one morning last month, Dick noticed something was wrong with the sea stars. "I just looked over and I just stopped. There were these big, huge, white spots all over them and they were just wasting away. My heart just sank."
Bizarro Earth

WTF? Japan reacts to the Fukishima disaster by re-opening a nuclear plant right next to an active volcano

D'oh!

Scientists warned that an earthquake could take out Fukushima. The Japanese ignored the warning ... and even tore down the natural seawall which protected Fukushima from tidal waves.

Fukushima is getting worse. And see this and this.

Have the Japanese learned their lesson? Are they decommissioning nuclear plants which are built in dangerous environments?

Of course not!

Instead, they're re-starting a nuclear plant near a volcano which is about to blow ...

A month ago, there was an eruption at Mt. Ontake:
Mt. Ontake

Screenshot from Youtube Video shot on September 29th of Mount Ontake erupting. 57 hikers were killed by the explosion
Arrow Down

10 dead, over 250 missing in Sri Lanka mudslide

© AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena
Sri Lankan men stand by a damaged house caused by mudslide at the Koslanda tea plantation in Badulla district, about 220 kilometers (140 miles) east of Colombo, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. The mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at the tea plantation, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said.
A mudslide triggered by monsoon rains buried scores of workers' houses at a tea plantation in central Sri Lanka on Wednesday, killing at least 10 people and leaving more than 250 missing, an official said.

The military mobilized troops to help with the rescue operation as rain continued to fall in the island nation's central hills. Mud covered some of the destroyed homes to their roofs, and water gushing down hillsides indicated more slides were possible.

P. Arumugam, who works as a driver on the plantation, said he rushed there when he heard about the mudslide.

"Everything that I saw yesterday I could not see today - buildings, the temple and shops had all disappeared. I could only see mud everywhere," he said.

The mudslide struck at around 7:30 a.m. and wiped out 120 workers' homes at the Koslanda tea plantation, said Lal Sarath Kumara, an official from the Disaster Management Center. The plantation is in the town of Koslanda in Badulla district about 220 kilometers (140 miles) east of Colombo.
Blue Planet

Britain to build a $156 million supercomputer for better weather forecasts

© Alastair Grant/Associated Press
Low cloud envelops office blocks in the City of London as pedestrians walk across Waterloo Bridge over the River Thames in London, Monday, Oct. 13, 2014.
Britons are known for talking at great length about the weather - sometimes even obsessing about it - and soon they'll have a lot more to chat about with the advent of more detailed weather forecasts courtesy of a computer equipped with more processing power than 100,000 Playstations combined.

Britain's Met Office has been given the green light to build a £97 million ($156 million) supercomputer that is 13 times more powerful than the current system used, which will help the weather service to provide better hourly forecast updates.

Comment: If the British Met Office is currently predicting the "warmest year on record", no doubt it needs a better predicting device! By the looks of it, Eurasia is already starting to freeze as early as October this year!

Health

Two-year-old girl and adult seriously injured in Kenya by elephant attack

Two people including a two-year-old girl are fighting for their life in hospital in Taita-Taveta County after they were attacked and seriously injured by marauding elephants.

Villagers of Jipe in Taveta district said the victims were attacked by stray jumbos while walking along the road.

The villagers who identified one of the victims as Julius Kibanga Nyerere, 50 suffered broken ribs while the toddler sustained multiple head injuries.

"The old man was carrying his grand child to see her mother when they were attacked by the jumbos. They escaped death by a whisker after villagers intervened," said Paul James, the victim's neighbor.

Speaking to The Standard at Taveta district hospital where the victims had been admitted in critical condition, James claimed elephants had virtually imposed a dawn-to-dusk curfew on residents.

Comment: See also: Elephant kills 70 year old woman in Kenya

Attention

Beached long-finned pilot whale dies on Tain sands, Scotland


The long-finned pilot whale was stranded on the mud flats at Tain
A long-finned pilot whale has died after becoming stranded on mud flats near an Easter Ross beach.

More than 100 locals gathered round the stricken mammal as it was pulled 55 yards inshore and lifted by a crane onto a truck at Tain Links.

The 14ft long young male cetacean is thought to have become stuck after becoming separated from its pod in deeper waters.

A local vet went to the scene on behalf of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue at about 2pm on Saturday after a member of public raised the alarm.

But as the tide went out, the whale was left in shallow water and died at about 4pm.
Frog

Massachusetts conservationist discovers extremely rare blue leopard frog

Blue leopard frog

Conservation scientist Jacob Kubel with the blue leopard frog, rare compared with green and beige specimens.
Late this summer, Jacob Kubel, a conservation scientist with the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife's Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program, was slogging through a Sudbury wetland, searching for a new species of leopard frog, when something unusual caught his eye.

"The frogs were quick and blended in with their surroundings," Kubel said in an e-mail, "so we were basically chasing blurs and moving vegetation."

Leopard frogs, which are named for their dark spots, are usually green, beige, or some combination of those colors, but one of the blurs Kubel saw through the stems of sedge and grass appeared to be bright blue.

"I couldn't be sure of the exact color," said Kubel, "so I just thought to myself, 'Oh, I have a brightly colored one here - he should be easier to chase down.' "

Kubel said he didn't think much of it at first: Individual animals in many wildlife species, after all, vary greatly from one another. But when he captured the 2-inch frog and looked at it up close, he realized it was something he - in fact, most everyone - had never seen before: a blue-colored leopard frog.
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