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Fri, 15 Oct 2021
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Military lab opens for cold environment study

SHENYANG, Jan. 8 (Xinhuanet) -- China's first military laboratory for simulating freezing environment is now in operation. The experiment module can reduce the inside temperature to 60 degrees Celsius below zero in two and a half hours.

According to military sources, the lab, located in northeast China's Shenyang Military Command, was built with human experiment modules, animal experiment modules, small medical equipment modules and temperature control modules.

Comment: Comment: Global warming, anyone?


Crustal movement pushes Beijing 5 millimeters east in 2005

WUHAN, Jan. 9 (Xinhuanet) -- After finishing the work on images of China's crustal movements in 2005, Chinese experts said the Himalayas showed the most active crustal movements, while Beijing moved five millimeters eastward.

China experiences various crustal movements every year due to pressure from the Indian Plate, said Yang Shaomin, associate researcher with the China Seismological Bureau.

The movements affect earthquakes, glaciers, biology and climate. For example, the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau movements increased earthquakes in western China, Yang said.


First frost in 70 years hampers New Delhi

The Indian capital, New Delhi, had its first winter frost since 1935 on Monday as a cold snap swept down from the Himalayas.

It's part of a cold wave that has killed more than 130 people in India in the past month and afflicted other areas of Asia.

Meteorological Department officials said the temperature in New Delhi early Monday morning dipped to 0.2 C for the first time in 70 years.


Toll rises from record snowfalls in Japan

The number of dead from Japan's heaviest snowfall on record has risen to nearly 70 people.

The 68th death linked to the snow occurred on Sunday night, when a 57-year-old man fell into an irrigation ditch in Yamagata prefecture.


Death toll from record Japan snowfall rises to 63

TOKYO (Reuters) - Troops and volunteers in Japan shoveled snow from roads and roofs on Sunday as the death toll from the country's heaviest snowfall on record rose to more than 60.

Teams of troops tried to clear snow that had piled up to more than three meters in some of the worst-hit areas of Niigata prefecture and to re-open blocked roads in Nagano prefecture. Both areas are northwest of Tokyo.

At least 63 people have died and over 1,000 injured since the unusually heavy snowfall began last month, Kyodo news agency said, citing a survey of local governments.


Strong earthquake rattles Greece

A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.4 shook Greece today, the Athens Geodynamic Institute said.

The quake’s epicentre was located about 125 miles south of Athens near the island of Kythira.

No injuries were immediately reported. Media reports said the quake was also felt in northern Greece.


Origin of a big idea

Crackpot or genius? Danny Vendramini may be labelled both. The anti-religious amateur biological theorist is challenging mainstream evolutionary thought.

Danny Vendramini didn't wake up one morning and say to himself: "Today, I'll shatter half of the accepted beliefs about evolutionary biology." It has been more gradual than that. In fact, his theory, that a second evolutionary process is at work alongside natural selection, has been percolating away for quite some time, emerging from the primordial soup of the subconscious and slowly taking form over several years.

It's a theory that seems both preposterous and wonderful, taking, as it does, the core of Darwinian biology and cladding it with some truly extraordinary ideas about trauma, the genetic transmission of emotions and the origin of instincts.

Could his evolutionary process - known as "teemosis" - really explain the explosion of new species 543 million years ago? Does it really provide a plausible means for environmental information to be passed on to offspring? Does it truly describe the evolutionary purpose for the "junk DNA" that makes up 98.5 per cent of our genome?


Inside TeenScreen: The Making of Mental Patients

In October, 2004, after taking TeenScreen, a 10-minute computer test developed in the psychiatric department of Columbia University, 16-year-old Chelsea Rhoades of Indiana was told she had two mental health problems, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder. The diagnoses were based upon Chelsea’s responses that she liked to help clean the house and didn’t “party” much.

Chelsea is one of countless children who get labeled with fraudulent diagnoses every day. The difference in her case is that her parents, who were unaware that TeenScreen had infiltrated their daughter’s school and had not given permission for the screening, reacted quickly. They filed a lawsuit against the officials of the high school who allowed the test to be administered and the TeenScreen program. In doing so, the Rhoades took a stand for all parents across the nation.

The unscientific nature of psychiatric labeling was admitted to by the American Psychiatric Association’s own president, Steven Sharfstein, when he stated on June 27, 2005, during an interview on the Today Show, “We do not have a clean cut lab test [for diagnosing mental illness or chemical imbalance of the brain.]”


Rescuers hunt for Indonesian flood victims as toll rises to 57

Rescuers combed through debris and mud for victims of flash floods that inundated villages in Indonesia's East Java as the death toll rose to 57, officials said.

Thousands sought shelter, medical care and food on Tuesday in the wake of the disaster, which environmentalists have blamed on rampant illegal logging on the island of Java, one of the world's most densely-populated.


Drought looms over Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Jan. 3 (Xinhuanet) -- The Tanzania Meteorological Agency (TMA) has warned that a drought is looming large over the country due to widespread failure of rainfalls in the short-rain season.

The unpredictably sporadic rainfalls, that stretched between October and December last year, are expected to continue over the next two months, up till the start of the country's long-rain season, TMA said.

The three Tanzanian annual seasons also include a dry spell in between June and September.