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Sat, 24 Oct 2020
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New Jersey: Winter ignores calendar, just as autumn did

Winter clearly didn't pay attention to the calendar this year, and fall didn't follow the rules either.

Saturday was the winter solstice, the official start of the season, but winter booted autumn off the map right after Thanksgiving and things have been frigid ever since. In the first 19 days of December alone, the temperature was 3.1 degrees cooler than average and we've had about 1.6 inches of snow.

Cloud Lightning

Major Snow Storm Causes Swath of Blackouts



©AP Photo/Topeka Capital-Journal, Mike Burley
Greg Weakland, 19, secures a tow hook to a stranded passenger's car to help it up an inclined street as snow blows down in Topeka, Kan.

MILWAUKEE - Highways were hazardous for holiday travelers Sunday and thousands of homes and businesses had no electricity in the Midwest as a storm blew through the region with heavy snow and howling wind.

At least eight deaths had been blamed on the storm.

Fish

Indian authorities say probing mysterious fish deaths

Pollution authorities in the northeastern Indian state of Assam began Wednesday investigating the mysterious deaths of thousands of fish in the Brahmaputra River, officials said.

More than 1,500 dead fish have been found floating in the river, lifeline of India's northeast this week, fuelling fears that toxic chemicals are being used by fishermen.

Groups of fishermen sometimes use explosives and toxic chemicals to net fish in large quantities, authorities said.

Question

US: Louisiana lake testing offers some answer for mysterious bubbles

The bubbles popping up in Lake Peigneur are explosive but apparently natural, says a leader of the group trying to stop expansion of a natural gas storage operation under the lake.

Tests by the U.S. Geological Survey show the bubbles are 70 percent methane and 30 percent air, with more than double the oxygen needed for a volatile mix, said Nara Crowley, vice president of Save Lake Peigneur. She said that doubles both the chance of explosions and the power of any that might occur.

Snowman

At least 5 dead in Plains, Midwest storm

AMARILLO, Texas - A blinding snowstorm blew from the Plains to the Midwest on Saturday, causing at least 5 deaths and dozens of injuries in numerous multi-car pileups and forcing authorities to close portions of several major highways.

In Texas, one person died in a chain-reaction pileup involving more than 50 vehicles, including several tractor-trailer rigs, on Interstate 40, police said. Authorities said it would take a few days to determine exactly how many were involved.

Clock

Holiday travelers delayed in Chicago

Dense fog and a low cloud ceiling forced airlines to cancel more than 200 flights at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport on Friday at the start of the busy holiday travel season.

Travelers also encountered weather-related delays at airports in the New York City area.

Bell

16 dead in Tajikistan avalanche

At least 16 people died in an avalanche that swept across a road linking Tajikistan's capital Dushanbe with the north of the Central Asian state, the interior ministry told AFP.

A ministry spokesman said "rescue work is continuing and we don't know how many vehicles and people could still be under the many metres thick avalanche".

©Unknown

Bizarro Earth

China reels from worst drought in a decade



©Unknown

China is suffering its worst drought in a decade, which has left millions of people short of drinking water and has shrunk reservoirs and rivers, state media said on Friday.

Hardest hit are large swathes of the usually humid south, where water levels on several major rivers have plunged to historic lows in recent months.

Star

Squirrels Use "Snake Perfume" to Fool Predators



©Video stills courtesy Barbara Clucas
Video stills show a ground squirrel chewing on a rattlesnake's shed skin and then licking its body to apply the masticated mush. The act most likely persuades serpents that another snake, not a squirrel, is in the area. A new study suggests that this behavior is part of a host of tricks the squirrels have evolved to use to avoid predation.

To mask their odor from rattlesnakes, California ground squirrels and rock squirrels chew on sloughed-off snake skin and smear it on their fur, according to a new study.

The act most likely persuades the predators that another snake, not a squirrel, is in the area.

Bulb

U.S. Senate Report: Over 400 Prominent Scientists Disputed Man-Made Global Warming Claims in 2007

Over 400 prominent scientists from more than two dozen countries recently voiced significant objections to major aspects of the so-called "consensus" on man-made global warming. These scientists, many of whom are current and former participants in the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), criticized the climate claims made by the UN IPCC and former Vice President Al Gore.

The new report issued by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee's office of the GOP Ranking Member details the views of the scientists, the overwhelming majority of whom spoke out in 2007.