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Fri, 30 Sep 2022
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Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: 6.7 Richter scale earthquake

Bima Earthquake
© Unknown
Earthquake Claims Two Lives in Bima

Mataram - Two locals were reported to have died after a 6.7 Richter scale earthquake located 28 kilometers north-west of Raba, Bima city, West Nusa Tenggara (NTB), occurred Monday, approximately at 03:41:46 WITA.

Masita, a local from Raba Ngodu, East Rasanae subdistrict, Bima City, who was contacted by mobile confirmed that two locals from Kolo village, Kolo Asakota subdistrict, Bima city, died under collapsed buildings.

"That's the information we received from the relatives there. When the earthquake happened we were fast asleep and the power was still down," she stated.

Information of life casualties was also admitted by Herdin, a local from Monggonao, West Rasanae subdistrict. He said, confirmation of the two deaths due to earthquake was announced through the loud-speaker on the mosque and the Bima FM radio shortly after the disaster struck.


Scientists investigate phenomenon of the 'winter bees'

winter active bees
© Unknown
Warmer winters have led to bumblebees remaining active throughout the winter months.
It is one of the sounds of summer, but now the buzz of the bumblebee is becoming increasingly familiar in deepest winter - at a time when the insects should be hibernating.

Scientists are investigating the growing phenomenon of bumblebees remaining active throughout the winter months.

They believe it is a consequence of recent warmer winters, linked to climate change, as well as the British passion for gardening and the increasing popularity of exotic, winter flowering shrubs from which bees can collect food.

Another theory being explored is that the bees may be hybridising with foreign bees, which remain active in winter, and which may have escaped into the wild after being imported into Britain to help with the pollination of crops in polytunnels.

The phenomenon has been recorded in the buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris), one of the most common in the UK. Like other bees, it is usually only seen between March and September as it spends autumn and winter asleep underground, but there have been increasing reports of winter activity in recent years.


Why Do Animals, Especially Males, Have So Many Different Colors?

© University of California - Los Angeles
This male Hetaerina damselfly from the occisa species has red spots at the base and tip of its wings but no black pigmentation.
Why do so many animal species -- including fish, birds and insects -- display such rich diversity in coloration and other traits? In new research, Gregory Grether, UCLA professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, and Christopher Anderson, who recently earned his doctorate in Grether's laboratory, offer an answer.

At least since Charles Darwin, biologists have noticed that species differ in "secondary sexual traits," such as bright coloring or elaborate horns, Grether said. Darwin attributed this diversity to sexual selection, meaning the traits increased an animal's ability to attract mates.

But Grether and Anderson, writing in the Oct. 28 issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, emphasize another evolutionary factor.

"The cost of attacking the wrong type of male and of being attacked by the wrong type of male favors the rich diversity of coloration and of birdsong and chemical cues, such as odors, to identify rivals," Grether said.

Bizarro Earth

7.1 Earthquake Occurs Between Fiji's Main Islands

© Fiji Times
Location of the magnitude 7.1 earthquake which occurred at 10.45pm last night (Monday) in the waters between Fiji's two major islands Viti Levu and Vanua Levu
A magnitude 7.1 earthquake occurred in the Fiji region at 10.45pm last night (Monday), but the quake was so deep that residents of the islands slept through it. No tsunami alert or other security action was taken in the islands.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre issued two Tsunami Bulletins, advising that "based on the depth of the eathquake" a tsunami was not generated.

It said an earthquake occurred at 10.45pm November 9, at 17.2 South 178.6 East at a depth of 565 kilometers.

That location is virtually in the centre of waters between Fiji's two most populated islands - Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The closest towns to the quake zone were Tavua and Rakiraki. Fiji's capital city Suva was 100 km or 65 miles South of the event, while the northern town of Labasa was 135 km or 85 miles from the quake location.

It is unclear as yet whether any of the populations closest to the quake zone - on the northern end of Fiji's main island Viti Levu or on the southern end of Vanua Levu - felt any tremors.


Rare Brown Panda Cub Discovered

A rare brown baby giant panda has been discovered by researchers in northwest China, according to China Business View today.

The two-month old baby has brown fur where normal pandas sport black. The cub still hasn't opened its eyes nor walked, said experts with Foping Giant Panda Reserve in Shaanxi Province.

The baby's mother is a normal color, said Liang Qihui. The brown panda is the fifth to be recorded in China, he said.

Scientists are still not sure why some rare pandas have brown fur, the report said. The first brown giant panda was also found in Foping in 1985.

Dandan was sick when discovered and was taken back to the Panda Study Center. She later gave birth to three normal giant pandas, yet all died young.


White Squirrels are Turning Heads in Maryland, Elsewhere

© Don Weiser
Pale rodents are a hit as some folks cash in on the oddities

They're not as fearsome as a white whale on the high seas, or as portentous as a white buffalo calf on the Great Plains. But a handful of white squirrels is causing a stir in Maryland.

Two of the critters have been spotted scampering about between the historic Holly Hall Mansion and the Big Elk Mall in Elkton, chasing nuts and making headlines in the local newspaper.

"We all feed them, and they just kind of enjoy themselves, frolicking around in a little yard," said Elkton native Deborah L. Duff, who first noticed the young pair in September.

"They're like any typical squirrel," she said. "If you have enough peanuts, they'll come close, but not close enough to eat out of my hand."

Cloud Lightning

Louisiana Governor declares emergency ahead of hurricane Ida

New Orleans - Hurricane Ida, the first Atlantic hurricane to target the United States this year, plodded Sunday toward the Gulf Coast with 100 mph winds, bringing the threat of flooding and storm surges.

A hurricane watch extended over more than 200 miles of coastline across southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. Louisiana's governor declared a state of emergency.

Authorities said Ida could make landfall as early as Tuesday morning, although it was forecast to weaken by then. Officials and residents kept a close eye on the Category 2 hurricane as it approached, though there were no immediate plans for evacuations.

Bizarro Earth

6.7 Earthquake Reported Near Indonesia

A strong earthquake was reported in the ocean off Indonesia on Sunday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The quake measured a magnitude of 6.7, the survey reported. It hit at 3:41 a.m. local time (1941 GMT)

It struck at a depth of 11 miles (17.7 kilometers) and had its epicenter about 10 miles (15 kilometers) north-northwest of Sumbawa and 830 miles (1,335 kilometers) east of the Indonesian capital of Jakarta.

There were no immediate reports that tsunami warnings were issued and no immediate reports of damage.

Arrow Down

Death Toll for Rains in El Salvador Rise to 54

The death toll in El Salvador from the strong rains and flooding caused by the tropical depression Ida rose to 54, El Salvador's Civil Protection director Jorge Mendez said on Sunday.

One of the most affected localities is Verapaz, in San Vicente department in the center of the country, with some 300 houses destroyed, according to the reports from El Salvador's Red Cross.

The Salvadorian authorities have issued the "orange alert" in the departments of Cuscatlan, La Libertad, La Paz, San Salvador and San Vicente due to Ida, which has produced pouring rains and a low pressure system in the Pacific.

The tropical depression Ida is moving across the Central American region, including Mexico and Nicaragua, causing huge damages and leaving thousands of people homeless.

Cloud Lightning

Ida now a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds

Miami, Florida - Forecasters say Hurricane Ida has strengthened to a Category 2 storm, and a hurricane watch was extended to the Florida Panhandle as Ida made its way across the Gulf of Mexico.

The hurricane watch now stretches from southeastern Louisiana to Mexico Beach, Fla. Forecasters at the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami say Ida's winds are now near 100 mph (160 kph), and Ida could get stronger later Sunday.

The hurricane was moving to the northwest near 10 mph (17 kph), and Ida was expected to pick up steam as it moved over open waters in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ida could reach the Gulf Coast by Tuesday, though it was unclear how strong it would be by then.

Breaking News Update: AP's earlier story is below.