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Earth Changes

Evil Rays

Australia: Stingray bites boy at theme park

© Unknown
Stingrays can fly... almost
A six-year-old boy has been bitten on the finger by a stingray at a theme park on Queensland's Gold Coast.

It happened at a Sea World exhibit yesterday morning.

The boy's wound was treated by a nurse at the theme park and he was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Sea World says it is the first time such an injury has occurred since the Ray Reef attraction opened in 2009.

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand: More Whales Stranded at Farewell Spit

Pilot whales are stranded in the South Island for the third time in two months.
A group of whales has been stranded around Farewell Spit, near the top of the South Island, for the third time in two months.

About 90 pilot whales were seen milling close to the shore around noon on Monday and have since grounded on a receding tide, Project Jonah chief executive Kimberly Muncaster says.

Ms Muncaster says volunteers will care for the whales until nightfall, when the fast incoming tide will be a danger to the people.

"There's a small chance the whales may refloat on tonight's high tide at 11pm, but we will be back at first light to assess the situation and assist DOC (the Department of Conservation) in their rescue response," she said on Monday.

"Hopefully we'll be able to keep as many whales as possible alive until nightfall."


The Radioactive Waste Crisis

© Taipei Times
A Mountain Almost 70 Years High

Before the month of January is out, the US Department of Energy's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future will unveil the result of its two year-long investigation into what to do with the accumulated radioactive waste at the country's nuclear power plants. By this year's end, that waste will constitute a mountain 70 years high, with the first cupful generated on December 2, 1942 at the Fermi lab not far from Chicago when scientists first created a self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.

There remains no viable solution for either the management or certainly the "disposal" of nuclear waste. Yet, the one recommendation that will not be contained in the DOE report is to stop making any more of it. While a child would never be allowed to continue piling up toys in his or her room indefinitely, failing to tidy up the mess, the nuclear industry continues to be permitted to manufacture some of the world's most toxic detritus without a cleanup plan.

A sneak peak last July at the Commission's draft report confirms that no new miracles are to be unveiled this month. Its preferred "solution" appears to be "centralized interim" storage, an allegedly temporary but potentially permanent parking lot dumpsite for highly radioactive waste that, based on past practices, will likely be targeted for an Indian reservation or a poor community of color.

Cloud Lightning

Tornadoes Possible in Southern U.S. as Snow Threatens

Severe storms were expected to spread across several southeastern U.S. states on Sunday into Monday with tornadoes, highwinds and large hail possible, weather forecasters said.

A second stormfront expected to hit California late Sunday night will bring significant snowfall to the mountain regions, according to the National Weather Service, before rolling into the southern United States later in the week.

The potential for severe storms stretched from the Gulf of Mexico in Mississippi to southern Indiana and Ohio, according to AccuWeather.com meteorologist Bill Deger.

Bizarro Earth

South Sandwich Islands Region - Earthquake Magnitude 6.0

Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 05:53:41 UTC

Sunday, January 22, 2012 at 03:53:41 AM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

56.670°S, 25.018°W

9.8 km (6.1 miles)


138 km (85 miles) E of Visokoi Island, South Sandwich Islands

281 km (174 miles) NNE of Bristol Island, South Sandwich Islands

2195 km (1363 miles) ESE of STANLEY, Falkland Islands

3532 km (2194 miles) SE of BUENOS AIRES, D.F., Argentina

Bizarro Earth

Russia: Giant Sinkhole in Dagestan

Sinkhole near the village of Gurbuki Karabudakhkent in Dagestan. Scientist are trying to find out what caused this giant sinkhole.


Magnitude-6.2 Earthquake Hits off Coast of Southern Mexico, No Major Damage Reported

A magnitude-6.2 earthquake that hit off the coast of the southern Mexican state of Chiapas on Saturday shook as far away as El Salvador but brought no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The quake at 12:47 p.m. local time (1:47 p.m. EST; 18:47 GMT) broke windows in the Chiapas state capital of Tuxtla Gutierrez and sent frightened residents into the streets in numerous cities. It was felt from the Mexican state of Veracruz, through Pacific regions of Guatemala and into El Salvador.

"It was quite long and felt with a lot of force," said Carlos Lopez Mendoza, spokesman with the Red Cross in El Salvador.

Bizarro Earth

Offshore Chiapas, Mexico - Earthquake Magnitude 6.3

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 18:47:15 UTC

Saturday, January 21, 2012 at 12:47:15 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

14.959°N, 93.107°W

66.1 km (41.1 miles)


91 km (56 miles) W of Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico

143 km (88 miles) SSE of Tonala, Chiapas, Mexico

171 km (106 miles) W of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

811 km (503 miles) SE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico


Fukushima Update: Why We Should (Still) Be Worried

© n/a
After the catastrophic trifecta of the triple meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan last March - what the Japanese are referring to as their 3/11 - you would think the Japanese government would be doing everything in its power to contain the disaster. You would be wrong - dead wrong.

Instead of collecting, isolating, and guarding the millions of tons of radioactive rubble that resulted from the chain reaction of the 9.0 earthquake, the subsequent 45- to 50-foot wall of water that swamped the plant and disabled the cooling systems for the reactors, and the ensuing meltdowns, Japanese Environment Minister Goshi Hosono says that the entire country must share Fukushima's plight by accepting debris from the disaster.

The tsunami left an estimated 20 million tons of wreckage on the land, much of which - now ten months after the start of the disaster - is festering in stinking piles throughout the stricken region. (Up to 20 million more tons of rubble from the disaster - estimated to cover an area approximately the size of California - is also circulating in the Pacific.) The enormous volume of waste is much more than the disaster areas can handle. So, in an apparent attempt to return this region to some semblance of normal life, the plan is to spread out the waste to as many communities across the country as will take it.

Cloud Lightning

Australia: Storm strikes coast: people, houses hit by lightning

Four people have been struck by lightning and thousands are without power as dangerous weather sweeps Perth and the outer metropolitan coast.
© Reader Grahame Kelaher / PerthNow
Lightning strikes at Secret Harbour beach this morning at around 1am.
The State Emergency Service has warned people to stay safe as the storm sweeps through Perth and the coast from Lancelin to Mandurah.

A man was hit by lightning in Mandurah at 4am and St John Ambulance confirmed later today that a man was struck by lightning in Baldivis and was taken to Rockingham Hospital. Another person was struck by lightning in Welshpool.

None of the lightning victims have life-threatening injuries.

A St John Spokeswoman said that they had recieved a call for a fourth person struck by lightning in Myaree but that the ambulance was cancelled.

See reader pictures of the storm