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Sun, 28 May 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Massachusetts, US: Mysterious odor descends on Cape Cod

Cape Codders by the hundreds were asking themselves and their fire departments Tuesday night, "What's that funny smell?"

An odor variously described as burning rubber, burning electrical outlets, burning car brakes and melting plastic was reported to fire departments from Eastham to Bourne.

Firefighters in full turn-out gear from department after department searched their towns with no luck. That is until around midnight, when a radio broadcast from the Barnstable County Sheriff's Department came up with a possible answer: temperature inversion.

Simply put, a temperature inversion can occur when an oncoming cold front pushes a warmer air mass in front of it, then sits on top of the warmer air mass, said Alan Dunham, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Taunton.


Greece hit by earthquake; no victims, damage

An earthquake measuring 5.0 on the Richter scale hit central Greece late Wednesday without claiming victims or causing damage, Athens Observatory said.


Greece: Fire Ravages Athens Forest

A wildfire swept through the outskirts of Athens, burning one of the city's last forests. Firefighters and soldiers, aided by tanker planes and helicopters, battled the wind-driven fire on Mount Hymettus, bringing it under control in about eight hours.

Cloud Lightning

Love is in the air: Amazing images of clouds from space

This is what earth looks like from above. And the spectacular pictures taken from 200 miles up show there is definitely love in the air.

Astronauts on the International Space Station took the snaps while travelling at 17,000 miles per hour during one of its 15 daily orbits. The images shows heart shaped cloud forms over the Mexican island of Isla Sorocco in the Pacific.

Every day the crew take images of the earth which show the planet in different weather. The crew also took images of enormous thunderstorms hovering over the flood-hit Midwest in America.

Love is in the air over a Mexican island

Magic Wand

Baby crocodiles chat to each other inside their eggs 'to synchronise hatching'

Baby crocodiles start chatting to one another and to their mothers just before they hatch, researchers say.

The little reptiles make an 'umph! umph! umph!' noise and scientists believe they are signalling they are ready to be born.

"Crocodile mothers react strongly to playback of pre-hatching calls, most of them by digging the sand," Amelie Vergne and Nicolas Mathevon wrote in the journal Current Biology.

Crocodiles signal to each other just before they hatch

Cloud Lightning

Hong Kong: Tropical storm shuts schools and markets

Tropical storm Frank (international codename: Fengshen) brought more heavy rains and strong winds to Hong Kong on Wednesday, shutting down the city's financial markets, schools and courts.

Frank, which battered the Philippines over the weekend, passed through Hong Kong late Tuesday and was about 40 miles (65 kilometers) northwest of the city Wednesday morning, the Hong Kong Observatory said.


What the Science Really Says About Global Warming

Contrary to the typical straw-man presentation provided by the media, the vast majority of so-called "global-warming skeptics" actually accept that there is indeed evidence of warming in our climate. In fact, they see a persistent global warming cycle that has dominated earth's atmosphere for the past 10,000 years and which extends into the distant past through a million years of periods of ice ages and warm intergalacials. What they doubt is that man has had any significant impact upon the warming that we see today.

These skeptics of anthropogenic - or man-caused - global warming would also argue that there are excellent reasons to doubt that the warming seen today is as significant as is routinely claimed by global warming alarmists in both the media and the scientific community.

The following provides a survey of the first few chapters of the book, "Unstoppable Global Warming Every 1,500 Years" by Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dennis T. Avery.


What You Never Hear About Global Warming

Most people are only being allowed to hear part of the story when it comes to global warming.

Global warming skeptics have been compared with holocaust deniers, and media reports routinely present the issue as "settled." Those opposed to the global warming agenda are being openly mocked and attacked - but they are being mocked and attacked based on a straw-man misrepresentation of their position.

Magic Wand

Migrating songbirds learn survival tips on the fly

Migrating songbirds take their survival cues from local winged residents when flying through unfamiliar territory, a new Queen's University-led study shows.

It's a case of "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," says biologist Joseph Nocera, who conducted the research while working as an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellow at Queen's under the supervision of Biology professor Laurene Ratcliffe.

Avoiding predators can substantially increase a bird's chances of survival during migration, notes Dr. Nocera. But to do that, it first has to recognize who its predators are. "We believe some prey use social cues from other animals to gain information about potential predators," he says.

Findings from the study are published on-line in the current issue of the journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

©Joseph Nocera
Worm-eating warblers breed in North America, but winter in Central America. While migrating, they frequently inspect "mobs" of local winged residents, Queen's University biologists discovered.


When Threatened, A Few African Frogs Can Morph Toes Into Claws

Biologists at Harvard University have determined that some African frogs carry concealed weapons: When threatened, these species puncture their own skin with sharp bones in their toes, using the bones as claws capable of wounding predators.

The unusual defense mechanism is described by Harvard's David C. Blackburn, James Hanken, and Farish A. Jenkins, Jr., in a forthcoming issue of the journal Biology Letters.

©David C. Blackburn
Close-up of the foot of a living Trichobatrachus robustus showing the white bony claws protruding from the tips of the toes.

"It's surprising enough to find a frog with claws," says Blackburn, a doctoral student in Harvard's Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology. "The fact that those claws work by cutting through the skin of the frogs' feet is even more astonishing. These are the only vertebrate claws known to pierce their way to functionality."