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Magnitude 4.9 Earthquake - Greece

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 4.9

* Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 02:06:38 UTC
* Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 05:06:38 AM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 38.755°N, 23.569°E
Depth 25.8 km (16.0 miles) (poorly constrained)
Distances 85 km (55 miles) N of ATHENS, Greece

140 km (85 miles) SE of Larisa, Greece
170 km (105 miles) ENE of Patras, Greece
215 km (135 miles) SSE of Thessaloniki, Greece
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 9.4 km (5.8 miles); depth +/- 28.3 km (17.6 miles)

Parameters NST= 40, Nph= 40, Dmin=428.1 km, Rmss=1.18 sec, Gp= 61°,
M-type=body magnitude (Mb), Version=7


US Update: Wildfires force frantic evacuations near Los Angeles; 2 die

Los Angeles - Two huge wildfires driven by strong Santa Ana winds burned into neighborhoods near Los Angeles on Monday, forcing frantic evacuations on smoke- and traffic-choked highways, destroying homes and causing at least two deaths.
LA Fire 101308
© AP Photo/Dan Steinberg
Traffic snakes up a road as residents flee their hillside homes during a fast moving, wind driven brush fire in the Sylmar area of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 13, 2008. Intense Santa Ana winds swept into Southern California Monday morning and whipped up a 3,000-acre wildfire, forcing the closure of a major freeway during rush hour and burning mobile homes and industrial buildings.

Around sunset, residents were warned to stay on alert during the night and winds more than 60 mph were forecast.

More than 1,000 firefighters and nine water-dropping aircraft battled the 4,700-acre Marek Fire at the northeast end of the San Fernando Valley, and the 5,000-acre Sesnon Fire at the west end.

Winds blew up to 45 mph with gusts reaching 70 mph at midday. They were forecast to diminish in the evening before roaring over 60 mph after 11 p.m.

"This fire has the real potential of moving from where it is now ... as far as Pacific Coast (Highway)," said Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman.


Atlantic Wolffish: Fearsome Fish That Deserve Protection?

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and others have just filed* a scientific petition with the federal government seeking endangered species protection for the Atlantic wolffish, a fish threatened with extinction due to years of overharvesting and habitat loss due to modern fishing gear. If the petition is successful, this will be the first listing of a marine fish as an endangered in New England.
© Conservation Law Foundation
With a long eel-like tail and a mouth full of large canine teeth, the wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) is one of New England 's most unique ocean fish species and also one of the most endangered.

With a long eel-like tail and a mouth full of large canine teeth, the wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) is one of New England 's most unique ocean fish species and also one of the most endangered. CLF's petition cites federal and independent scientific studies that show, over the past twenty years, dramatic declines in wolffish population and destruction of the deep underwater habitat that the fish needs to successfully reproduce and survive.

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In A Last 'Stronghold' For Endangered Chimpanzees, Survey Finds Drastic Decline

In a population survey of West African chimpanzees living in Côte d'Ivoire, researchers estimate that this endangered subspecies has dropped in numbers by a whopping 90 percent since the last survey was conducted 18 years ago. The few remaining chimpanzees are now highly fragmented, with only one viable population living in Taï National Park, according to a report in the October 14th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

This alarming decline in a country that had been considered one of the final strongholds for West African chimps suggests that their status should be raised to critically endangered, said Geneviève Campbell of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

The booming human population in Côte d'Ivoire is probably responsible for the chimpanzees' demise.


Boise Idaho gets earliest snow on record

Boise snow
© Shawn Raecke/ Idaho Statesmani
Big snow flakes fell early Friday evening, turning Downtown Boise into a giant snow globe for people on their way home from work.

The snow caught many people off guard, including this bicyclist heading down Idaho Street between 8th and 9th around 5:45 p.m. Across the Treasure Valley, tree branches heavy with wet, snow-covered leaves fell on power lines, causing scattered power outages.


DNA test proves it -- baby shark has no father

RICHMOND, Virginia -- Scientists have confirmed the second case of a "virgin birth" in a shark.

Bizarro Earth

Eruption of 3 volcanoes has scientists asking questions

How likely is it that three neighboring volcanoes would all erupt at the same time -- as the Kasatochi, Okmok and Cleveland volcanoes in the Aleutians did this summer?

About as likely as a storm that only appears once in a thousand years, says Anchorage volcanologist Peter Cervelli, who'll deliver a paper on the subject this winter to the American Geophysical Union.

In other words, seldom enough that Cervelli is now exploring the question of whether Alaska's triple eruption was only a coincidence involving three independent volcanoes or whether it was triggered by some common mechanism.


US: Fire burns 2,000 acres northeast of Los Angeles, California

Fire officials prepared late Sunday for rapid growth of a wildfire blazing 20 miles north of downtown with the expected arrival of strong, dry wind gusts overnight.


Trouble In The Pipeline For Grey Whales

The fate of the world's few remaining Western Grey Whales now rests on the outcome of appeals to Russian authorities and courts following the refusal of an oil consortium to consider alternatives to a proposal to lay an oil pipeline through a shallow lagoon crucial to the whales' food supplies.

Last month the Russian government ignored an outcry over project impacts on Piltun Lagoon to grant approval for the pipeline, part of the Sakhalin-1 project which includes oil giant Exxon and Russian, Japanese and Indian oil companies.

Only around 130 Western Gray Whales are left worldwide, including some 20 females able to reproduce. They gather in the seas around Sakhalin in Russia's far east for four months to feed and build up the fat to survive the rest of the year.

Piltun Lagoon produces organic matter crucial for benthos such as as sea stars, oysters, clams, sea cucumbers, brittle stars and sea anemones which form the Grey Whale's main food source.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 6.2 - Chuquisaca, Bolivia

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 6.2


* Sunday, October 12, 2008 at 20:55:42 UTC

Location 20.017°S, 64.939°W
Depth 356 km (221.2 miles) set by location program
Distances 100 km (60 miles) ESE of Potosi, Bolivia
115 km (70 miles) SSE of Sucre, Bolivia
165 km (105 miles) N of Tarija, Bolivia
515 km (320 miles) SE of LA PAZ, Bolivia
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 6.2 km (3.9 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters NST=265, Nph=265, Dmin=533.4 km, Rmss=0.86 sec, Gp= 58°,
M-type=regional moment magnitude (Mw), Version=8