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Sun, 28 May 2023
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Earth Changes


Study: Humpback whales have "human" brain cells

BEIJING, Nov. 28 (Xinhuanet) -- U.S. marine scientists say they've found humpback whales have a type of brain cell that is also seen in human brains.

Researchers of the Department of Neuroscience at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York studied the brains of humpback whales and discovered a type of cell called a spindle neuron in the cortex, in areas comparable to where they are seen in humans and great apes.


Strong earthquake jolts eastern Indonesia

JAKARTA - A strong undersea earthquake jolted Indonesia's eastern islands Wednesday morning, but there were no immediate reports of casualties or structural damage done, officials said.

Cloud Lightning

Small 'tornado' batters Welsh village

A Ceredigion village has been hit overnight by what is being described as a small tornado.

A clean-up is under way after emergency services were called to Bow Street, north of Aberystwyth, at 0130 GMT.

More than 20 houses were affected with roofs and chimneys blown off, while electricity cables have been brought down and trees uprooted.

Residents said houses shook before the storm hit, sounding like a train crashing. No one has been injured.

Better Earth

Volcano erupts near Goma, east Congo - expert

KINSHASA, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A volcano erupted on Monday near the eastern Congolese town of Goma, which was devastated by a volcanic eruption in 2002, but the latest eruption did not threaten the town, a senior vulcanologist at the scene said.

"This seems like a big eruption. It is on the northwest side. The lava will be flowing to the north and not the south, where the town is," Celestin Kasereka, head of Goma's volcano observatory, told Reuters by telephone.


Dutch bask in warmest autumn in three centuries

The autumn of 2006 has been the warmest in the Netherlands for over 300 years, 12.5 percent hotter than the previous year which was already a record, meteorologists said.

"Beating the record by more than one degree centigrade, that is exceptional," the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute said in a statement.


Europeans 'would accept climate change curbs'

Europeans are overwhelmingly convinced that human activity is contributing to global warming, and a majority would be prepared to accept restrictions on their lifestyle to combat it, according to a poll for the Financial Times.

Research carried out this month by Harris Interactive in Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Spain found that 86 per cent of people believed humans were contributing to climate change, and 45 per cent thought it would be a threat to them and their families within their lifetimes.


European Cities Do Away with Traffic Signs

Are streets without traffic signs conceivable? Seven cities and regions in Europe are giving it a try -- with good results.

"We reject every form of legislation," the Russian aristocrat and "father of anarchism" Mikhail Bakunin once thundered. The czar banished him to Siberia. But now it seems his ideas are being rediscovered.

European traffic planners are dreaming of streets free of rules and directives. They want drivers and pedestrians to interact in a free and humane way, as brethren -- by means of friendly gestures, nods of the head and eye contact, without the harassment of prohibitions, restrictions and warning signs.


Flames reached 90 feet in Calif. blaze

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Five firefighters who died battling an arson wildfire last month faced 90-foot-tall walls of flame that advanced at 40 mph in a terrifying firestorm fueled by howling winds and tinder-dry manzanita and chaparral, according to a new preliminary report.


Dealing With The Chinese Dragon

BEIJING - While American voters were finally giving President George Bush and his southern-fried Republican Party a richly-deserved, long-overdue drubbing, I was off in China observing a nation that while rigidly authoritarian, is at least governed by capable, intelligent leaders.

The same, alas, could not be said of the Bush Administration's neocon ideological crackpots, dim-witted rural legislators, and evangelical religious extremists who saddled America with two lost wars, now costing over $8 billion monthly, monster budget deficits, and the intense dislike, if not downright hostility, of people around the world.


Banks warned of 'end to the good times'

The City regulator issued a warning to the high street banks yesterday that the "clouds were already darkening" and urged them to prepare for the impact of rising unemployment and the knock-on effect on bad debts.The Financial Services Authority highlighted mortgages based on high multiples to income - as much as five times in some instances - and questioned whether sales of these products would be monitored properly.

Clive Briault, managing director of retail markets at the FSA, said: "While retail banks appear to have adequate financial resources today, the good times will not last forever - indeed, there is evidence that the clouds are already darkening and that banks need to prepare now for the potential storms ahead."