Earth Changes
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Bug

Research finds that bees actually want to eat the pesticides that hurt them

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© Jonathan Carruthers
A foraging red-tailed bumblebee, Bombus lapidaries, visiting an oilseed rape flower in a field in the south of England. Bumblebees may be addicted to the very pesticides that are hurting them.
A pair of new studies published Wednesday in Nature are disturbing when taken separately, but so much more chilling when laid out next to each other: The first provides new evidence that neonicotinoid insecticides can have a negative effect on bees, adding weight to the theory that these chemicals could contribute to colony collapse disorder and endanger our food supply. In the second study, another group of researchers found that bees don't avoid these harmful pesticides. They may actually seek them out and get addicted to them.

Recent years have seen bee populations on the decline. That's bad news for us, as Whole Foods recently highlighted by removing every product that relies on healthy pollinators from one of their salad bars.

While the jury is far from out, some researchers point to neonicotinoids, which have been banned in Britain for two years but are still widely used in the United States, as a potential culprit. These nicotine-related insecticides are favored for their relative safety to humans, because they target specific nerve receptors in invertebrates. But while they're safe for humans in the short term, some studies have argued that they're killing off bees on a scale so large that our food security is threatened.


Windsock

44 killed, nearly 200 injured as "mini- cyclone" lashes NW Pakistan

© AFP
People drive their vehicles during heavy rains in Peshawar.
Forty-four people were killed and nearly 200 injured by a severe storm in northwestern Pakistan, the state-run media said on Monday.

The storm, described by the meteorological department as a "mini- cyclone", lashed Peshawar, Charsadda and Nowshera in the northwestern province of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

Radio Pakistan said 44 people were killed and 186 injured. Twenty-nine deaths were recorded in Peshawar alone.

Attention

Nepal: Death toll from Saturday's earthquake rises to over 4,000 (Updated)

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© Google
The earthquake, 7.8 in magnitude hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25th, 2015
At least 3,218 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake which hit Nepal on Saturday, say officials. Rameshwor Dangal, head of Nepal's disaster management agency, said another 6,500 people had been injured. Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighbouring China and India.


Comment: The death toll has expanded and is now over 4,000 people.


Thousands have spent a second night outside after the 7.8-magnitude quake, which also triggered deadly avalanches on Mount Everest. Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continue.

"We don't have a choice, our house is shaky. The rain is seeping in but what can we do?" 34-year-old shopkeeper Rabi Shrestha, who was sleeping by the roadside with his family, told AFP news agency.

Rescue missions and aid have started arriving to help cope with the aftermath of the earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal for more than 80 years.

Comment: Billions of dollars spent on war, each year, and the US sends only $1mil... at least that makes their priorities obvious. Given the recent uptick in earthquakes and other natural disasters, we can assume only more of the same is on the way. Why's all this happening now? What's the root cause? For a good discussion on the matter the interested reader should check out Earth Changes and the Human Cosmic Connection.


Blue Planet

Quake shakes southern Costa Rica

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In the latest seismological event to happen in Costa Rica this week, a magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck off the country's southern coast at 2:37 p.m. Saturday, the National Seismological Network (RSN) reported.

The quake's epicenter was 29.8 kilometers off the coast of Puerto Jiménez, Puntarenas, along the Cocos Plate. It could be felt across southern Costa Rica and in parts of the capital, San José, according to an intensity map released by RSN.

There were no initial reports of damage.

Saturday's tremor followed a week of renewed volcanic activity at Turrialba Volcano, when several eruptions covered the Central Valley in ash and closed Juan Santamaría International Airport for several hours Thursday.

Earlier in April, two similar earthquakes shook the country on Good Friday with magnitudes of 4.8 and 5.2.

Hourglass

Population of greater sage-grouse breeding males have declined by 56 percent in North America

The number of breeding males in the greater sage-grouse population of the United States and part of Canada has declined by 56 percent in recent years, in a sign of trouble for the ground-dwelling bird, a study released on Friday showed.

The study from the Pew Charitable Trusts comes as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service prepares to make a decision before the end of September on whether the bird should be protected under the Endangered Species Act.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced on that a sub-species of the sage-grouse found in California and Nevada did not require protection under the Endangered Species Act. Environmentalists criticized the decision.

The move was a victory for mining, energy and farming companies which fear sage-grouse protections could restrict their livelihoods in the 11 Western states where the bird lives, including Washington state, Colorado and Montana.

Millions of sage-grouse are believed to have once inhabited a broad expanse of the Western United States and Canada. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimated in 2010 that between 200,000 and 500,000 birds remain.

Comment: The decline in the populations of numerous species of birds and animals has been accelerating in recent years. Perhaps these are signs that the future of life on planet earth is becoming more precarious?


Arrow Up

Land rising out of the sea in Hokkaido, Japan - Rose 50 feet (over 1,000 feet long) - and that was just overnight

A massive sudden (1 day) rise of land has occurred along the coast of Hokkaido Japan.

Major global earthquake activity is taking place, and serious crustal movement is obviously underway in the region around North Japan.


The new land began rising from the sea yesterday morning (April 24, 2015) with just a 1 meter rise (3 feet), then began rising rapidly, the event is still ongoing as of April 25th into 26th 2015.

The new land mass has now risen over 50 feet above the water (near 1,000 feet long), and near 10 meters wide (30 feet)! Not 'small' by any means, and a very rare occurrence to top it off.

This is being attributed to crustal movement in the area.

Arrow Down

Sinkhole causes death of man in Panola County, Mississippi

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Sinkhole in Panola County
One man is dead and another is in the hospital after heavy rains formed a sink hole in Panola County Friday night.

Panola County Coroner Gracie Gulledge told Local 24 Mount Olivet Road in Batesville was washed out due to rain.

Officials say the rain led to a car accident involving a truck with two men inside. They are not sure if the truck slid off the road or crashed into the pothole.

The truck's driver was taken to the med. His neice told Local 24 he had surgery today.

The passenger, however, died. An autopsy will be performed Monday to determine if he drowned or died from crash-related injuries.

Pistol

The only option? Herd of 15 buffalo shot dead after escaping from farm near Albany

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© Mike Groll — Associated Press
A herd of buffalo crosses a road Friday in Bethlehem, near Albany.
Fifteen buffalo that escaped from a farm were intentionally shot and killed Friday after they dashed past a group of police, crossed a major highway and ended up near some schools, authorities said.

"The last thing we wanted to do was put these animals down," Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said. "But it wasn't a safe scene."

Three men hired by the farm opened fire on the animals Friday afternoon in woods in the town of Coeymans, about 10 miles south of the capital.

Bethlehem police Lt. Thomas Heffernan said the decision was made after experts agreed tranquilizers would not be effective and no portable corrals or trailers could hold the animals.


Health

Emu injures man in Oakhurst, Australia

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© Alex Leggett/ Gatton Star
Emus might look silly, but don’t underestimate them.
A man in his 50s copped a 25 centimetre cut to his left forearm when an emu got spooked and lashed out near Maryborough on Monday afternoon.

It's believed the incident occurred during feeding time at 2pm at the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary at Oakhurst.

Advanced care paramedic Jeremy Woods said the man was conscious and in good spirits when paramedics arrived a short time later.

"The patient believes the emu might have been spooked by a nearby train track, and that's what's caused the animal to try to escape or get away from the sound," he said.

Arrow Down

10-foot deep sinkhole appears on road in Powell, Michigan

© Christina Hall / Detroit Free Press
First, came the 32 Mile bridge closure.

Now drivers in northern Macomb County have to contend with another road closure a mile away thanks to a 4-foot-by-4-foot wide and 10-foot deep sinkhole.

"It's pretty deep," county Roads Department Director Bob Hoepfner said of the sinkhole on 33 Mile near Powell.

He said the county was notified of the sinkhole Wednesday night by Michigan State Police.

The sinkhole is blocked off by orange barricades and had a metal pole with yellow flags was sticking out of it this morning. Crews were coming onto the scene, and Hoepfner said he hoped the sinkhole would be repaired and the road reopened today.

Comment: Also see:
  • Sinkhole swallows garden sheds in Swanley, UK
  • Colorado city stumped by sinkhole with no broken water pipes
  • Woman plunges 8 feet down into a sinkhole in London