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Signs of the Times for Tue, 11 Jul 2006

Last Updated Mon, 10 Jul 2006 16:41:08 EDT
CBC News
Tobacco is on course to kill a billion people this century - 10 times the toll it exacted in the 20th century - if current trends continue, public health officials said Monday.

Worldwide, tobacco causes one in five cancer deaths, or 1.4 million deaths each year. An estimated 1.25 billion men and women around the globe smoke cigarettes.

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Comment: Horse hockey! Yeah, they have plans to kill off more than 1 billion people, but it isn't going to happen by cigarettes.

The New York Times
July 11, 2006
Summary: Enormous waves that sweep the ocean are traditionally called rogue waves, implying that they have a kind of freakish rarity. Over the decades, skeptical oceanographers have doubted their existence and tended to lump them together with sightings of mermaids and sea monsters.

But scientists are now finding that these giants of the sea are far more common and destructive than once imagined, prompting a rush of new studies and research projects. The goals are to better tally them, understand why they form, explore the possibility of forecasts, and learn how to better protect ships, oil platforms and people.

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By Paige Funkhouser
Gannett Wisconsin Newspapers
July 11, 2006
ELLISON BAY - A whistling noise and two "booms," like a bomb, woke Jim Quan out of sound sleep early Monday morning.

He got up and looked out the window of Linden Gallery and across Wisconsin 42 to see one building burning and two severely damaged.

"It sounded like bombs going off," said Quan.

He was visiting from his home in Burlingame, Calif., and was staying with his daughter, Jeanee, and her husband, Brian Linden, who own the Asian art gallery.

The blast broke windows at the gallery and at several other businesses and homes in Ellison Bay, an unincorporated hamlet in Liberty Grove at the tip of the Door County peninsula.

Across the highway, three girls - ages 12, 15 and 16 - awoke at the Cedar Grove Resort to find the building collapsing around them. The girls were up to their shoulders in burning insulation. Their story was interrupted by an adult who did not want them talking to the news media.

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Comment: CNN reports:
Jonathan Bastian, a bartender at the Mink River Basin Supper Club in Ellison Bay, said he was finishing up for the night when he heard explosions and called 911. "I told them I think half the ... town blew up," he said. Four people were hospitalized in Green Bay and three others were released, Hecht said. Five others refused treatment or sought medical help on their own, he said.
Post Crescent Reports:
Witnesses reported up to three blasts. Investigators were trying to determine whether one explosion or multiple blasts occurred, Hecht said. “The first one woke me up,” said Laura Capp, 19, of Beach Park, Ill., who was sleeping in her family’s summer home about a quarter-mile away. “The second one was really loud. The third one was quieter, really small,” she said, indicating the explosions happened a second or two apart. The explosions traveled like shock waves for almost a city block, neighboring residents said
Star Tribune Reports:
Bill and Helen Teuber, of Dunnellon, Fla., were sleeping at Hotel Disgarden when the explosions woke them. "We heard two tremendous booms. BOOM! Twice," said Bill Teuber, 89. "I thought it was my building." His wife ran outside, smelling smoke and seeing the sky filled with sparks, Teuber said. "It was like fireworks," he said as his son moved the couple from the hotel. "It was too close for comfort."

July 11, 2006
Pasadena CA - After a long quiet spell without any strong solar storms, the sun unleashed a flare (M-class, which means moderate) and a fairly substantial coronal mass ejection on July 7... [A] bright cloud of particles was blasted into space.

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Jul 10, 2006
STAVANGER, Norway -- A meteorite weighing about 4 pounds landed in western Norway during the weekend -- the second meteoritic impact in Norway within a month.

The meteorite, creating a crater about 10 inches deep, landed Sunday in the yard of a home, but caused no injuries or damage.

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Last Updated Tue, 11 Jul 2006 08:39:06 EDT
CBC News
Sleep seems to help the human brain consolidate memories such as the ability to recall recently learned facts, researchers say.

The benefits of sleep for non-declarative memories, such as the steps of learning to tap numeric sequences on a keyboard, are well established. The new experiment focused on declarative memory - such as recalling facts for a test - in which the brain's hippocampus is involved.

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