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Thu, 07 Dec 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Girl killed, four people injured in Poland storm

A 15-year-old girl died and four people were injured in a severe storm in Poland, the national rescue service said.

The girl was in a car when the vehicle was crushed by a falling tree on Monday in Legionowo, to the northeast of Warsaw. A woman and a child were injured in a similar accident in the capital.


Bigger isn't always better for spider colonies

©Alexandre Bernard
An Anelosimus eximius communal web.

Giant webs catch most food when occupied by about 500 social spiders.

For many people it's the ultimate nightmare: thousands of spiders collaborating to form a well organized society. A new study published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals how colonies of one spider species grow to an enormous size, and the surprising factors that ultimately limit their expansion.

Spiders are usually thought of as lone hunters. However, a few dozen species do live cooperatively, building collective webs and sharing food-gathering and child care between them. One example is the neotropical species Anelosimus eximius, which can be found living in colonies containing thousands of individuals.

Bizarro Earth

Pakistan: Floods wreak havoc in Khyber Agency, Peshawar suburbs

Torrential rains triggered flash floods in Peshawar suburbs and the adjoining Khyber Agency on Monday, inundating large areas and killing at least 22 people. Eleven people were injured as raging torrents washed away hundreds of homes, destroyed crops over a wide area and killed livestock.

Nullah Budhni and Araban, started overflowing before dawn, washed away four bridges and caused widespread damage in Nasir Bagh, Dag Kali, Mattra, Babu Garhi, Khushal Park and Hassan Garhi.

Evil Rays

Sonar does affect whales, military report confirms: Animals stopped vocalizing and foraging for food during marine exercises

Whales subjected to military sonar will neither dive nor feed, according to an unpublished 2007 report from the UK military, obtained by Nature after a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

The impact of sonar on whales has become an increasingly fraught issue in recent years, with submarine exercises being linked to several high-profile mass strandings. The US Navy has admitted concerns over sonar's effects on marine mammals, although actual evidence for harm has been in short supply.


Almost 40 dead or missing in flood-hit western Ukraine

A total of 38 people, including eight children, are dead or listed as missing following devastating floods in western Ukraine in late July, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday.

The statement does not specify how many people have been killed in the country's worst storms in a century. Earlier reports put the death toll at 31 people, including six children, with one person unaccounted for. A total of 498 people are confirmed as having been injured.

Authorities fear the floods could cause a serious health problem in the worst-hit Ivano-Frankovsk Region in western Ukraine, where almost 20 livestock burial zones, 38 cemeteries and four garbage disposal sites have been flooded. All the potential sources of infection have been cordoned off.

Cloud Lightning

Tropical storm looms off Texas-Louisiana coast

HOUSTON - Tropical Storm Edouard moved across the northern Gulf of Mexico on Monday, threatening to come ashore on the Texas-Louisiana coast at near-hurricane strength.

Tropical Storm Edouard formed near a major oil and gas producing area of the northern Gulf of Mexico August 3, 2008.

Edouard, the fifth tropical storm of the 2008 Atlantic hurricane season, had maximum sustained winds of 50 mph (85 kph), the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in its 7 a.m. report.

The storm, which formed near a major oil- and gas-producing area of the northern Gulf of Mexico on Sunday, was about 80 miles south-southwest of Grand Isle, Louisiana, and 285 miles east-southeast of Galveston, Texas.

It was moving west at about 8 mph (13 kmh) and forecasters said it could bring as much as 6 inches of rain.

The Hurricane Center said Edouard was expected to gain strength and could be near the 74-mph (119-kph) threshold for hurricane status when it neared land by Tuesday morning.

Cloud Lightning

Brazil: Plane struck by lightning at Curitiba Airport

A TAM (Brazil) Airbus A319-100, registration PR-MAO performing flight JJ3004 from Curitiba,PR to Sao Paulo Congonhas,SP (Brazil) with 46 passengers, was already on the runway ready for takeoff, when a lightning struck the airplane.

Cloud Lightning

Two killed, 6 injured by lightning in Mexico

Mexico City - Police say a lightning bolt has struck a soccer match between firefighters and civil protection workers in southern Mexico, killing two and injuring six.

Cloud Lightning

Norway: Lightning hits 91 spectators at racetrack

Oslo - A lightning bolt struck 91 auto racing fans at a racetrack in Norway Sunday, and 45 people were taken to hospital with minor burns, police said.

Cloud Lightning

Freak tornado kills three in France

A freak tornado killed three people and injured nine as it destroyed houses, overturned cars and ripped trees out of the ground in France last night.

The flash storm gutted up to 40 homes in just minutes as it battered Hautmont and three other small towns in the north of the country.

Tornado damage in northern France