Earth Changes


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


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.

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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Oil from BP's Deepwater Horizon explosion still coats miles of ocean floor in Gulf of Mexico

deepwater horizon spill
© David Valentine
Scientists tracked some of the hydrocarbons from the Deepwater Horizon spill to the bottom of the Gulf, shown here overlaid on seafloor bathymetry.
A significant portion of the remaining oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill is sitting on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, within 25 miles (40 kilometers) of the well, a new study finds.

The BP-operated Macondo well exploded in April 2010, and gushed an estimated 5 million barrels of oil into the ocean before engineers finally capped the well in July 2010. Since that time, research has suggested that the spilled oil has affected wildlife ranging from dolphins to corals. In 2014, researchers at Pennsylvania State University reported that coral communities up to 13.7 miles (22 km) from the spill site showed damage.

Now, researchers have tracked the path of oil from the water column to the ocean floor, and they found the final resting place of between 2 and 16 percent of the total oil spilled.

Comment: BP's Gulf oil spill drew the world's attention to the GOM for a variety of reasons. The sheer volume of oil spilt was unprecedented, as were its profound and lasting effects on a large geographic area. Because it occurred in such a large body of water, many population centers were adversely impacted as they continue to be up to this very day. However, it was the incompetent and negligent oil spill response from BP that received the justified scrutiny of the entire world.

Judge rules BP's reckless conduct and gross negligence were responsible for Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Gulf of Mexico dying from polluted and poisoned bioterrain, thanks to BigAg, Big Oil and BigPharma

Light Sabers

North Carolina teenager saves toddler from pit bull

Colton Hartley
A North Carolina teen is being hailed as a hero for saving a toddler who was being attacked by a dog.

T.J. Blake, of Caldwell County, and her grandson Eli, 2, had seen the dog as they were making their way to a neighbor's house last Thursday.

As they were walking back home, Blake says the dog lunged through a screened window and latched on to the 2-year-old boy, reports. Blake was also scratched on her arm.
Alarm Clock

USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.1 - 129km NW of Hihifo, Tonga

Earthquake 6.1 Hihifo, Tonga
Event Time
2014-10-28 03:15:43 UTC
2014-10-27 15:15:43 UTC-12:00 at epicenter

15.193°S 174.666°W depth=35.0km (21.7mi)

Nearby Cities
129km (80mi) NW of Hihifo, Tonga
346km (215mi) WSW of Apia, Samoa
435km (270mi) WSW of Tafuna, American Samoa
438km (272mi) WSW of Pago Pago, American Samoa
651km (405mi) E of Lambasa, Fiji

Scientific data

X-Class solar flares hit Earth, cause radio blackouts

© Extinction Protocol
At 17:09 UT (12:09 p.m. EDT) today (Saturday), active region (AR) 2192 erupted with another X-class flare directed at Earth. This is the second powerful eruption in less than 24 hours to be triggered from the large sunspot that occupies the region. Today's flare registered at X1 on the solar flare Richter Scale, the most powerful class of flare, but weaker than Friday's X3-class flare. Further radio black-outs have been recorded on the daytime side of the Earth, but, once again, today's flare did not generate a significant coronal mass ejection (CME). There was already a high probability that active region (AR) 2192 was going to erupt with a powerful solar flare, so it came as little surprise when, yesterday, the huge sunspot fired a powerful X-class flare right at Earth. And we sure did feel its impact.

Comment: The fire in the skies is highly active:

Cloud Lightning

Nicaragua, Honduras under threat of flooding, mudslides from Tropical Storm Hanna

tropical storm hanna
Tropical Storm Hanna, the eighth named storm of the 2014 Atlantic hurricane season, formed quickly Monday morning and has now moved inland after making landfall along the Caribbean coast near the Nicaragua - Honduras border.

A tropical storm warning was issued by the governments of Nicaragua and Honduras for a small part of each country's Caribbean coast.
Cloud Precipitation

Severe hailstorm causes havoc in Australian wine country - up to 30% vineyard losses

Vineyards in the south of Western Australia could see yield losses of up to 30 per cent after they were hit by damaging hail storms this week.

Severe thunderstorms struck the South West and Great Southern regions on Wednesday evening.

Wineries in Frankland and Pemberton were hardest hit, with reports of hail completely stripping vines of new season growth.

Ferngrove Wine Group was one of the wineries that fell victim to the hail. Ferngrove senior winemaker Kim Horton said that the storm completely damaged some vines, but some were left unscathed.
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6 family members killed in Crimea as a massive sinkhole swallows up car

Six members of one family - including three-year-old twins - died instantly when a vast sinkhole opened up in the motorway and swallowed their car in Crimea. Two other children aged 12 and 12 months survived.

It is believed the car was driving between the Crimean capital Simferopol and a village called Nikolaevka in the disputed region, which recently voted to leave Ukraine and join Russia.
Car falls into monster 8-meter-wide sinkhole in Crimea (PHOTOS, VIDEO)
- RT (@RT_com) September 28, 2014
Suddenly a massive hole opened up in the ground, ripping away power-lines and reportedly casting the road into darkness. The car's driver, Ibrail Eskandarov, 34, frantically applied his brakes but had no time to avoid the 26-feet wide hole, rescuers said. The car fell 20 metres and smashed into the bottom.