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Fri, 07 Aug 2020
The World for People who Think

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Grey Alien

Aliens Among Us; Do we share Earth with alternative life forms?

Every living thing on Earth shares a long, colorful history. Our planet was born into a maelstrom 4.5 billion years ago, and for the next 600 million years a steady bombardment of primordial debris made the surface uninhabitable. The blitz finally tapered off 3.8 billion years ago. Then within about 50 million years later - practically an instant in geologic time - life irrevocably established itself. Since then, it has evolved into everything from bacteria to toadstools to mudskippers to humans. Outwardly these species vary wildly, but at the molecular level they are staggeringly uniform. They all use DNA to encode genetic information. They all use RNA molecules as messengers to transfer the information from DNA to cellular factories called ribosomes, which then build proteins, which in turn drive our metabolisms and form the structures of our cells. In short, every species seems descended from a common ancestor whose attributes define what scientists mean when they say "life as we know it."

Cloud Lightning

Blackouts, fires plague Greece as Europe suffers through heat wave; 42 dead

Power blackouts hit more than a dozen parts of Athens on Wednesday and 95 fires were reported around Greece as a deadly heat wave plaguing southeast Europe simmered on.

Temperatures of up to 46 C have killed at least 42 people in Italy and Balkan countries in the last week, including 23 deaths in Romania. Two deaths were reported, in Bulgaria and Cyprus, on Wednesday.

Cloud Lightning

Thousands powerless as UK substation floods

Tens of thousands of Britons were left without power in northern England on Monday after an electricity substation flooded so badly engineers were only able to get back into it on Tuesday, network operator National Grid said.

©REUTERS/Owen Humphreys
Aerial view of the flooded village of Catcliffe near Sheffield, following two days of heavy rain which caused floods in Yorkshire, June 26, 2007.

About 35,000 homes and businesses had their electricity cut on Monday after the Neepsend substation in Sheffield flooded in torrential rain.

Coffee

Elevation related to temperature differences within the Earth's crust: geologists

Heat contained in the Earth's crust acts like a life-jacket, and without it much of North America would be under water, suggests research at the University of Utah.

The flooding predicted because of global warming is a much more immediate threat, the researchers note. It would take billions of years for North American rock to cool to the point where it will become denser and sink enough to put much of the continent under water.

The research suggests for the first time that about half the elevation of any place in North America is related to temperature differences within the Earth's crust, with most of the rest due to differences in what the rocks are made of.

Cloud Lightning

Over 18 inches of rain overnight in Texas

Torrential storms flooded parts of central Texas early Wednesday, stranding people on roofs, in trees and in vehicles, and the weather was so treacherous that some helicopter rescue attempts had to be abandoned.

Bulb

Unbearably hot weather kills 10 in Italy over 2 days

Blistering hot weather caused the death of ten people in two days across Italy, as abnormal temperatures set in Tuesday, local media said Wednesday.

Media reported that elderly people suffering from heart problems were most affected by the unbearably hot weather, while about half a million residents at Apennines were left without electricity, disrupted due to the mass surge by consumers switching on fans and air conditioners.

A local resident of Sicilia said forests were on fire in the south of the country while temperatures over the last two days exceeded 42 °C (108 °F) in Palermo, and over 46 °C (115 °F) in Catania.

Cloud Lightning

Johannesburg, South Africa Gets 4 Inches of Snow, First Since 1981

Johannesburg recorded its first confirmed snowfall for almost 26 years overnight as temperatures dropped below freezing in South Africa's largest city, grounding flights at its main airport.

The heaviest falls were over the southern suburb of The Hill, where four inches of snow fell, said Venetia Magane, a forecaster at the South African Weather Service in Pretoria. Temperatures in the city fell to minus 1 degree Celsius (30.2 degrees Fahrenheit) during the night, she added.

Attention

Crustaceans eating away island off Hiroshima

An island off the coast of Higashihiroshima is crumbling away due to countless crustaceans that have made holes in its rocks and caused its highest peak to completely disappear.

The rocky Hoboro Island has become a breeding ground for huge numbers of creatures known in Japanese as nanatsuba-kotsubumushi, a type of isopod. The surging number of insects has caught the attention of local researchers.

"It's rare, even on a global scale, to hear of biological erosion that has proceeded on such a large scale and at such a rapid pace as to alter the landscape of an island," said Yuji Okimura, an emeritus professor at Hiroshima University.

Red Flag

Strong earthquake, 6.0 hits E. Indonesia

A 6.0-magnitude earthquake rocked East Nusa Tenggara Province of Indonesia late on Monday, and no warning of tsunami was issued, Indonesian Meteorology and Geophysics Agency said.

The quake struck at 20:33 Jakarta time (1333 GMT) with epicenter at 45 kilometers northwest Labuhanbajo of East Nusa Tenggara province and 181 kilometers under sea bed, said the agency.

Cloud Lightning

Rainstorms, lightning kill 48 in south, central China

Heavy rainstorms along with lightning and hail since last week have hit many parts of China, killing nearly 50 people, destroying farmland and sweeping away houses.

On Monday afternoon, lightning killed five people building a tomb in Zhejiang. Altogether 48 people have died and 12 are missing after a week of heavy rains and thunderstorms that swept up the Yangtze River valley and across southern China.