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Thu, 28 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Purple squirrel baffles experts

A purple squirrel which appeared at a school has baffled experts who are unable to explain its colour.
© Solent News and Photo Agency
TV wildlife expert Chris Packham believes Pete will moult and lose his purple fur in time for spring.

Teachers and pupils at Meoncross School in Stubbington, Hants, were amazed when they saw the creature through the window during a lesson.

Since the squirrel, now nicknamed Pete, was first seen, it has become a regular fixture at the school but no one has been able to say whether the animal has fallen into purple paint, had a run-in with some purple dye, or whether there is another explanation.

Dr Mike Edwards, an English teacher, said: "I was sitting in my classroom and looked out the window and saw it sitting on the fence. I had to do a double take


US: Small earthquake rattles Southcentral Alaska

A magnitude 4.5 earthquake rattled windows and woke up residents in Southcentral Alaska on Saturday night.

The earthquake hit at 10:13 p.m., according to the United States Geological Service Web site, prompting several calls into the Channel 2 Newsroom.

The epicenter was 89 miles north-northwest of Anchorage, 28 miles west of Talkeetna.

If you experienced the quake, you can report what you felt and any damage it caused at the USGS site.

The USGS initially reported a 4.6 magnitude quake.


California, US: 4.6 Magnitude Earthquake Felt in San Diego County

An earthquake rattled areas of San Diego County's desert Saturday night and was felt as far away as Escondido, Lakeside, La Mesa, Chula Vista and eastern neighborhoods of San Diego.

The 4.6 magnitude earthquake took place at 9:17 p.m. and was centered 10 miles south of Calexico in Baja California, Mexico.

An earthquake of this magnitude is classified as a "light" earthquake by the U.S. Geological Survey and would not typically be expected to cause damage or injury.


2008 was the year man-made global warming was disproved

polor bears
© AP
Polar bears will be fine after all
Looking back over my columns of the past 12 months, one of their major themes was neatly encapsulated by two recent items from The Daily Telegraph.

The first, on May 21, headed "Climate change threat to Alpine ski resorts" , reported that the entire Alpine "winter sports industry" could soon "grind to a halt for lack of snow". The second, on December 19, headed "The Alps have best snow conditions in a generation" , reported that this winter's Alpine snowfalls "look set to beat all records by New Year's Day".

Easily one of the most important stories of 2008 has been all the evidence suggesting that this may be looked back on as the year when there was a turning point in the great worldwide panic over man-made global warming. Just when politicians in Europe and America have been adopting the most costly and damaging measures politicians have ever proposed, to combat this supposed menace, the tide has turned in three significant respects.

First, all over the world, temperatures have been dropping in a way wholly unpredicted by all those computer models which have been used as the main drivers of the scare. Last winter, as temperatures plummeted, many parts of the world had snowfalls on a scale not seen for decades. This winter, with the whole of Canada and half the US under snow, looks likely to be even worse. After several years flatlining, global temperatures have dropped sharply enough to cancel out much of their net rise in the 20th century.

Comment: Very interesting to see this reported in the Main-Stream Media.

Bizarro Earth

Chile says Chaiten volcano still poses danger

Chaiten volcano
© REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
File image shows members of Chilean armed forces watching the smoke rising from Chaiten volcano at Chaiten town, located some 1220 km (760 miles) south of Santiago May 4, 2008.
Santiago - Chile's government said on Friday the area surrounding the Chaiten Volcano, which erupted in May for the first time in thousands of years, was still not safe and that a decision regarding the future of the town of Chaiten would be made in coming days.

The Volcano, only six miles from the town, started spewing ash, gas and molten rock on May 2, forcing the evacuation of about 7,000 residents.

A cloud of debris that soared as high as 20 miles into the air was kept aloft by the pressure of constant eruptions for weeks, and even covered towns in neighboring Argentina with volcanic ash.

"We received the latest report from the Universidad Catolica ... and the only thing I can tell you is that the volcano is exactly as dangerous as it was before," Interior Minister Edmundo Perez-Yoma told reporters.

"We were hoping we might have better news, but unfortunately we don't."

Better Earth

The Disturbing Sex Lives of Deep Sea Squid

A Dutch biologist has extensively studied the reproductive techniques of deep-ocean squid. During sex, they are brutal and ruthless -- and sometimes clumsy.

Sex in the deep sea is a difficult proposition. The problems already begin with the partner search: How do you find someone to mate with in the pitch-black depths of the ocean? And for any creature that does manage to have a rendezvous beneath the waves, failure is simply not an option.

"Seize the moment," is how Dutch researcher Hendrik Jan Ties Hoving describes the most basic rule of undersea reproduction. "Chances are low of finding a partner a second time."

Bizarro Earth

US: Floods could follow ice in Midwest

Chicago, Illinois - Rain and rapidly rising temperatures accompanied by thick fog threatened to cause flooding Saturday in the Midwest after days of Arctic cold, heavy snow and ice.

Bizarro Earth

US: Magnitude 3.4 Earthquake Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The U.S. Geological Survey said a magnitude 3.4 earthquake early Saturday, centered near Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was felt as far south as Harford County in Maryland.

The quake was reported at 12:04 a.m. and lasted a few seconds. No damage was reported.

Harford County 911 officials confirm their 911 call center received "a few calls" from people in northern Harford County reporting that the ground shook around midnight.

The USGS said the quake was "widely felt" throughout southeastern Pennsylvania, from Hanover to the west to Harrisburg to the northeast.

Cloud Lightning

Hawaii's Oahu island regains power after blackout from storm

© AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson
Pedestrians take pictures as traffic lights, street lights and buildings are without power along Kalakau Ave. and the rest of Honolulu, Saturday, Dec. 27, 2008, during an extensive blackout on the island. The island of Oahu lost power Friday evening in the midst of heavy rain and lightning, leaving some 800,000 residents and thousands of tourists in the dark, as well as the neighborhood where President-elect Barack Obama was vacationing.
HONOLULU - Crews gradually restored electrical service across parts of Oahu on Saturday after a power failure blacked out the island's population of about 900,000 people and thousands of tourists including vacationing President-elect Barack Obama.

Residents were urged to stay home after the lights went out during a thunderstorm Friday evening and to conserve water.

Hawaiian Electric Co. spokeswoman Jan Loose said power had been restored to about 113,000 customers as 6 a.m., mostly on the west side of the island. The utility serves a total of 295,000 homes and businesses.

She said power to neighborhoods on the eastern shore, where Obama was staying with his family, would likely not be restored until later Saturday.


Kilauea lava flow pauses for three days

Honolulu -- The Kilauea volcano on the big island of Hawaii took a three-day break this week from its 26-year eruption.

Scientists said that lava stopped flowing at what is known as the Thanksgiving Eve Breakout on Monday and started up again on Christmas Eve, the Honolulu Advertiser reported Friday.