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Thu, 21 Oct 2021
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 5.0 Earthquake in Macedonia

Macedonian authorities say a moderate earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 5 has struck the southwest of the country, but caused no damage or injuries.

The Seismological Institute says the quake occurred at 9:33 a.m. (0833 GMT) Tuesday in the Jablanica mountain area near the town of Struga, about 105 miles (170 kilometers) southwest of the capital Skopje.


Tidal Wave Of Trash Threatens World Oceans

Miami - A tidal wave of man-made trash is threatening world oceans, damaging wildlife, tourism and seafood industries and piling additional stress on seas already hit by climate change, conservationists said on Tuesday.

A report by U.S.-based Ocean Conservancy detailed what it called a "global snapshot of marine debris" based on itemized records of rubbish collected by nearly 400,000 volunteers in 104 countries and places in a single day in September 2008.


Australia: Name this new sea creature

New sea creature
© Unknown
The newly discovered spotted shrimp.
Have you ever wanted to name your very own species of animal?

Well now is your chance - you can name a shrimp.

Yes, that's right, you could name this newly discovered spotted shrimp - and help save ocean wildlife in the process.

PhD student Anna McCallum made the discovery of a new spotted shrimp in the water of south west Australia, and has decided to auction the naming rights, with all money raised going to marine conservation.

Better Earth

Race is on to reach Antarctica's hidden lakes

A race has begun to reach one of the last unexplored regions on Earth: the cold, dark waters of sub-glacial lakes in Antarctica.

For years, Russian researchers have been drilling down to Lake Vostok, 4 kilometres beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet, but they have yet to reach water.

They now have competition. A consortium of nine UK universities plus the British Antarctic Survey and the National Oceanography Centre got funding this week for a project to drill through the West Antarctic ice sheet to reach Lake Ellsworth, which is about 3 kilometres beneath the surface.

The drilling will take place over the Antarctic summer of 2012-13. Unlike the Russian project, which has controversially used kerosene to prevent the drilled hole from refreezing, the UK-led effort will use a hot water drill. The water will be made by melting ice from a few hundred metres below the surface.

Bizarro Earth

Tornado, Hail Cause Destruction in Southern Brazil

Brazil's southern state of Santa Catarina was hit by heavy rains, hail and a tornado on late Sunday, which left at least 367 people homeless.

The local office of the National Meteorology Institute (Inmet) said on Monday that the tornado and the accompanying hail hit 14 towns in the state's mountainous region.

The largest destruction took place in the small town of Ponte Alta, where corn and soybean plantations, along with over 500 houses, were damaged. Two people were injured and at least 80 were left homeless in the town, where the mayor declared state of emergency.

Bizarro Earth

US: Three Tornados Struck Indiana

The National Weather Service has confirmed that two tornadoes hit southern Indiana's Lawrence County, where about 20 homes were damaged and a school bus landed atop a building.

Those findings mean Sunday's storms spawned three tornadoes in the state, although no serious injuries have been reported.

A weather service team on Monday determined that the strongest of the Lawrence County tornadoes hit near the community of Fayetteville and had winds of at least 135 mph. The other hit about two miles north of Bedford with wind speeds of 65 to 85 mph.

Bizarro Earth

Volcano Erupts in Japan

A volcano in southern Japan erupted on Tuesday leading to a warning to nearby residents, the meteorological agency said.

The 1,117-metre Mount Sakurajima near Kagoshima city belched lava seven times from 5.22am (4.22am, Singapore time on Tuesday) and ejected cinders that were found nearly two kilometres from the crater, an agency official said.

'It's possible that the volcano will step up activity, and we have issued a warning to residents living nearby,' he told AFP.

The volcano, about 950km southwest of Tokyo, continued to spout fumes, although they were down from an earlier high of 1,200m.


Arsenal Confirms Chimp's Ability to Plan, Study Says

© Mathias Osvat/University of Lund
Santino makes and stockpiles missiles to throw at zoo visitors. Is he truly planning for the future?

Santino evidently knows he's going to get upset, so he plans ahead. The 30-year-old chimpanzee, who has lived in a Swedish zoo most of his life, sometimes gets agitated when zoo visitors begin to gather on the other side of the moat that surrounds his enclosure, where he is the dominant -- and only -- male in a group that includes half a dozen females.

He shows his displeasure by flinging stones or bits of concrete at the human intruders, but finding a suitable weapon on the spur of the moment perhaps isn't so easy. To prepare, Santino often begins his day by roaming the enclosure, finding stones and stacking them in handy piles.


US: Maine skiers warned about late-night owl attacks

Bangor - Cross-country skiers who set out on a crisp, moonlit night for a peaceful outing in Bangor's city forest are being targeted by a least one ornery and territorial owl. Over the past three weeks, at least eight skiers and a few romping dogs apparently have fallen victim to a great horned owl that swoops down from a tree with talons outstretched and smacks them on the head.

Bizarro Earth

Volcanoes in the deep

© Unknown
Above, workers prepare the remote operated vehicle (ROV) for its plunge to the depths of the Pacific Ocean.

Geosciences professor Robert Stern's research has him scouring the depths of the ocean. But he's not hunting lost treasure. He and graduate student Julia Robeiro are studying volcanic activity beneath the sea.

With funding from the National Science Foundation, Stern and Robeiro undertook the first part of their study Feb. 2-7 analyzing underwater volcanoes in the Western Pacific.

Stern said he has always liked to discover new things. With few places on land to discover virgin territory, the seas were the logical place for Stern. Covering more than two-thirds of the earth's surface, there was no telling what mysteries the depths might reveal, he said.