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Sun, 15 Dec 2019
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Bizarro Earth

Thousands of innkeeper worms wash up on a California beach

I saw thousands of these on Drakes Beach on Dec. 6, after the recent storm. What happened? - David Ford
Beach littered with Innkeeper Worms
© Photo courtesy David Ford
The ocean probably shouldn’t have hit send on this one.
You could be forgiven for being offended by the above photo: thousands of 10-inch wiggly pink sausages strewn about Drakes Beach. The same phenomenon has been reported over the years at Pajaro Dunes, Moss Landing, Bodega Bay, and Princeton Harbor. I've heard my share of imaginative theories from beachcombers, such as flotsam of a wrecked bratwurst freighter. In truth, these are living denizens of our beaches rudely, yet also mercifully, mostly called "fat innkeeper worms."

What in the name of Secretariat is a fat innkeeper worm? The fat innkeeper worm (Urechis caupo) is a type of spoonworm (Ehciuroidea), an order of non-segmented marine worms identified by a spatula-shaped proboscis used for feeding and sometimes grasping or swimming. The fat innkeeper's family (Urechidae) contains only four species worldwide, collectively known as either innkeeper worms or, well, penis fish. This is why we prefer scientific names. U. caupo is the sole representative in North America, found only from Southern Oregon to Baja, with the bulk of sightings between Bodega Bay and Monterey. So, whether or not you feel privileged by its presence, U. caupo is an almost uniquely California experience, perhaps having the best claim for State Worm.


World Snow Wrap, Dec 13 - Big snow totals for the US and Europe

Laying it over in the fresh powder in Aspen on December 9 after 30cms overnight.
© Aspen Snowmass
Laying it over in the fresh powder in Aspen on December 9 after 30cms overnight.
There have been plenty of powder shots in social feeds out of the US this week and it will continue with a weekend of powder turns on the way. After a lull in the action the snow returned to the European Alps this past week and the weekend is looking good for nearly a metre of snow in some areas. Japan has had a mixed week with some rain, but the snow returned last night while they will be loving the forecast in British Columbia with plenty of snow on the way.


There has been more snow across the western states of the US this week with regions in Colorado and Utah receiving 20-30cm on Monday. California also saw good falls last weekend and the Tahoe resorts and Mammoth have had over 2.5 metres of snow in the past two weeks. Many US resorts now have a very good mid-December base and more snow is due this weekend. This storm will deliver some powder turns in a number of states across the weekend with 50-70cms forecast for Colorado, while Jackson Hole should see 30-40cms in the next 24 hours and Utah resorts are set for a hefty 60+cms of snow. The snow will be accompanied by cold temps, so we are talking quality powder on the way.


Signs and Portents: Cat gives birth to a two-headed kitten in Thailand

The two-headed baby cat on the palm of its owner in Ratchaburi province.
© Saichon Srinuanchan
The two-headed baby cat on the palm of its owner in Ratchaburi province.
Persian cat has given birth to a rare two-headed kitten and her owner is determined to keep it alive as long as possible.

Chabaprai Nilpet, 52, of Moo 2 village of tambon Don Krabueang in Ban Pong district, said the mother cat gave birth to a normal kitten on Monday, but appeared to have difficulty delivering more.

She took it to a clinic where the veterinarian performed a caesarean, delivering two more kittens - and to the surprise of everyone, one of them had two heads, Mrs Chabaprai said.

Arrow Down

At least 5 people killed in Afghanistan landslide, 35 missing

At least five people were killed in a landslide at a gold mine in the province of Badakhshan in northeastern Afghanistan, while 35 others went missing, Nek Mohammad Nazari, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said.

"Residents so far have discovered five dead bodies and the fate of another 35 workers remains unknown," the spokesman said as quoted by the Afghan TOLOnews broadcaster.

According to the official, since the landslide occurred on the territory that is under the control of the Taliban movement, the local government cannot conduct rescue operations.

The media also reported that the incident was similar to the one that took place in the province last year and claimed 10 lives.

Source: ANI


Man dies after being savagely mauled by his 2 pet rottweilers in Italy

The couple's pet rottweilers carried out the vicious attack
© CEN/@romina.polonio
The couple's pet rottweilers carried out the vicious attack
A man was savagely mauled to death by his two Rotweilers in front of his screaming girilfriend.

Massimo Sartori was killed by his pet Rottweilers at his home in the village of Pozzonovo, in the Padua region of Italy.

The 49-year-old's partner of 20 years witnessed the horrifying attack

Romina Polonia found the couple's two Rottweilers, a two-year-old male and a nine-year-old female, savaging her unconscious partner.

She screamed for her sister's help as the dogs bit Sartori's head and right arm.

Arrow Down

Massive sinkhole suddenly opens up, swallows cars in Xiamen, China

Another week, another mega sinkhole opening up over a subway line under construction in China.

Dashcam video posted onto Chinese social media on Thursday night shows the moment that several cars were swallowed up when a road in the Fujian city of Xiamen suddenly collapsed. Footage and photos from the scene show a number of vehicles at the bottom of the giant hole.

The collapsed occurred amid construction on the city's metro system, which opened in 2017, above the intersection of lines 1 and 2.

Snowflake Cold

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Is the Great Freeze returning to our planet?

Incredible snow amounts in Akureyri, Iceland this morning 11th December!
© Stella Árnadóttir
Incredible snow amounts in Akureyri, Iceland this morning 11th December!
1709 the Great Freeze, now we have a Category 3 Ice Hurricane that rolled over Iceland with the fastest winds and most snow ever recorded in the nation. 150 mph winds with seven feet of snow. USA snow into Alabama and SE where below freezing has happened for the second time his season, very rare indeed. This is what was described before the Great Freeze of 1709 where wine bottles froze next to roaring fires and town bells cracked from -5F to North Africa.

Comment: See also:

Snowflake Cold

Iceland blizzard brings 149 mph winds, up to 10 feet of accumulating mountain snow

Much of Iceland is digging out following a potent blizzard that brought winds topping 100 mph and yards of snow to some areas amid what one Icelandic meteorologist referred to as a "10 year storm." As many as 20,000 people are without power as temperatures tumble into the teens and 20s, with a few communities completely isolated.

The storm was so severe that it prompted the Icelandic Met Office to issue an unprecedented "red alert."

"This was the first red alert we've issued with the new system, [which has been] used since 2017," said Hrafn Gudmundsson, a meteorologist with the Icelandic Met Office, in an interview. "We've basically only been using yellow and orange colors. The orange color was for pretty serious storms, but this one was a level higher, I would say."

The red alert was hoisted for northern parts of the country, while orange-level warnings covered the country's capital, Reykjavik. The storm's most intense impact struck on Tuesday.

Comment: See also this earlier report: Cyclone in Iceland: Heavy snowfall, power outages and avalanche warnings

Cloud Precipitation

Floods wreak havoc in 22 ar­eas across south Trinidad

Schools and busi­ness­es re­mained closed and scores of peo­ple could not get to work as ris­ing flood­wa­ters, ex­ac­er­bat­ed by high tide, trig­gered mas­sive flood­ing in 22 ar­eas across South Trinidad yes­ter­day.

Among the schools closed were Shi­va Boys Col­lege, Debe Hin­du School, Bar­rack­pore East, and West Sec­ondary and Ra­mai Trace Hin­du School.

The floods cov­ered most of Clarke Road, Pe­nal Rock Road, Der­rick Road, Lal­be­har­ry Trace, Pa­pourie Road, Low­er Bar­rack­pore, Has­sanali Trace, Clarke Road, Kat­wa­roo Trace, Dig­i­ty Trace, Batchya, Lal­too Trace, Mo­hess Road, Ramd­har­ry Trace, Ali Av­enue and Com­mu­ni­ty Street in Pe­nal.

Late yes­ter­day, Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment Min­is­ter Kaz­im Ho­sein said the Dis­as­ter Man­age­ment Units of the Cor­po­ra­tion were ac­ti­vat­ed and over 600 Com­mu­ni­ty Emer­gency Re­sponse Team (CERT) vol­un­teers, trained this year, were on stand­by to as­sist in their com­mu­ni­ties.

Eye 2

Signs and Portents: Two-headed snake found in Bengal village, India

The two-headed snake is also known as Bengal Kharis

The two-headed snake is also known as Bengal Kharis
A two-headed snake was found in a village in Bengal's Midnapore city. According to Kaustav Chakraborty, a herpetologist of the Forest Department, he was unable to rescue the snake as villagers of Ekarukhi who believe in mythology didn't want to hand it over to the department.

"This is totally a biological issue like a human being can have two heads or thumbs similarly this snake has two heads. This doesn't have to do anything related to mythological belief. The longevity of such species increases by keeping them in captivity. The life span of this snake can be increased if it is preserved," said Kaustav Chakraborty.