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Earth Changes

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Experts See the 'Big One' Getting Bigger

© Unknown
The "Big One" that has been forecast for the San Andreas fault could end up being bigger than earthquake experts previously thought.

Recent research showing that a section of the fault is long overdue for a major earthquake has some scientists saying the southern portion of the fault is capable of a magnitude 8.1 earthquake that could run 340 miles from Monterey County to the Salton Sea.

That's significantly stronger and longer than the southern San Andreas' last major rupture, in 1857. Such a temblor would cause much more damage because with a larger stretch of the fault rupturing, a larger area would be exposed to the quake and the shaking would last longer.

Whether such a quake would happen in our lifetime had been a subject of hot debate among scientists. That's because until recently, experts believed that a part of the southern San Andreas that runs through the Carrizo Plain 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles would remain dormant for at least another century.

Better Earth

Tune in to the live whale song network

© Reinhard Dirscherl/Visuals Unlimited/Getty
Do you do requests?
Just 2 minutes ago, a sperm whale swam by about 4 kilometres south of Cassis on the French Mediterranean coast. From my desk in London, I heard its whistle. Thanks to a new website, so can you.

The LIDO (Listening to the Deep Ocean Environment) site offers a live feed to 10 hydrophones sprinkled around European waters, and one in Canada. Several more are scheduled to come soon in Canada and in Asia.

The network's primary aim is to record and archive long-term subsea noise so that researchers can study the effects of human activity on whales and dolphins.

It is the brainchild of Michel André, a bioacoustician at the Technical University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. He and his colleagues have spent the past 10 years placing hydrophones on the seabed, on existing research platforms that monitor earthquakes and tsunamis, for instance, or detect neutrino particles from space.


Warming to misanthropy

© Unknown
Misanthropy: n. Hatred or mistrust of humankind.

Man-made global warming theory [AGW] says that climate change is caused by the CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels. As the human population increases the inexorable need for energy from fossil fuels increases and therefore the level of AGW increases.

AGW is similar to the theory of Thomas Malthus, the 18th century clergyman who thought that human population would outstrip natural resources and that natural calamity would be visited on humankind through disease, starvation and pestilence. Malthus's theory could never have understood what a person like Norman Borlaug achieved in applying agricultural technology to farming to greatly increase food production or how modern medical technology has saved billions of people.


'Microcosmos' Brings Microscopic Life To Light

Quite what this industrious little wood ant is planning to do with this microchip is not known, but how appropriate it is that he appears to have a scientific interest.

Because the insect features in a stunning new book featuring the art of the coloured scanning electron micrograph - in the case of this chap magnified 22 times.

Microcosmos takes readers into a secret world of extreme close-ups. Some subjects have been magnified by as much as 22million times.

Detailed descriptions of the subjets are contained within. The wood ant, for example, is a social creature, and acts as a slave for the blood-red ant Formica sanguinea.
© Science Photo Library/Barcroft
Holding steady: The wood or heathland ant holding a microchip in its toothed (serrated) mandibles. The wood ant is social, and acts as a slave for the blood-red ant Formica sanguine

Better Earth

UK To Be Hit By Severe Winter - Blizzards and -20 Degrees C

© Press Association
A local UK council has offered shovels to residents and told them to 'dig themselves out'
Council chiefs have sparked outrage after proposing residents dig themselves out of the snow as Britain braces itself for another winter of Arctic conditions.

As long-range forecasts suggest the country will be hit by blizzards and temperatures plummeting to -20c, bosses at Camden Council prepared to hand out spades.

But their solution to the bitter weather has been slammed by those who remember the headache of last year's gritting crisis which brought widespread disruption and left people trapped in their homes.

The north London council's proposal involves a 'self-help' scheme in which people can ring and request a shovel.


Hurricane Otto forms in the Atlantic

Otto has reached hurricane strength over the Atlantic on a path that's expected to take it farther out to sea.

Hurricane Otto has maximum sustained winds Friday near 75 mph (120 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says some additional strengthening is expected but Otto is forecast to weaken by late Saturday.

A day earlier, raging floodwaters from then-Tropical Storm Otto overturned cars, toppled power lines and washed out roads in the northeastern Caribbean.


British Racing Pigeon Ends Up 5200 Miles Away in Panama "After Getting Lost"

© Alamy
British racing pigeon Houdini ended up in Panama City.
A British racing pigeon called Houdini got lost on her first race and ended up thousands of miles away in Panama City.

The 10 month-old bird had been undertaking a six hour race from Guernsey to Dudley, West Midlands more than five weeks ago.

But it failed to arrive and its owner Darren Cubberly, 45, had give up hope the bird would return from the 224 mile trip.

He was surprised to get a phone call this week from Panama City, where the bird had ended up.

He was told the bird was alive and healthy despite making the more than 5200 mile trip. It is thought she landed on a ship travelling to the area.

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: Earthquake Magnitude 6.3 - Halmahera

Indon Quake_081010
Earthquake Location
Friday, October 08, 2010 at 05:43:10 UTC

Friday, October 08, 2010 at 02:43:10 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

2.754°N, 128.198°E

144.9 km (90.0 miles)


235 km (145 miles) NNE of Ternate, Moluccas, Indonesia

400 km (245 miles) ENE of Manado, Sulawesi, Indonesia

1530 km (950 miles) SSE of MANILA, Philippines

2565 km (1600 miles) ENE of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia

Bizarro Earth

Alaska: Earthquake Magnitude 6.1 - Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Island

Alaska Quake2_081010
Earthquake Location
Friday, October 08, 2010 at 03:49:11 UTC

Thursday, October 07, 2010 at 06:49:11 PM at epicenter

Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

51.499°N, 175.261°W

35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program


105 km (65 miles) ESE of Adak, Alaska

105 km (65 miles) SW of Atka, Alaska

1890 km (1170 miles) WSW of Anchorage, Alaska

2685 km (1670 miles) W of JUNEAU, Alaska


Malaysia: Monkey Steals Baby from Living Room

© Rex Features
Malaysian authorities have battled a booming macaque population in cities.
A newborn baby girl has died after being snatched from her family's living room by a monkey.

The four-day-old infant has been left alone for just a few minutes when she disappeared.

Her body was found shortly later outside the home in central Negri Sembilan state, Malaysia's Star and the New Straits Times newspaper reported.

The baby, who was found by her mother and grandmother, had bite marks on her neck and face.

Her father was quoted as saying a macaque monkey had been seen roaming near the house in recent weeks.

The baby's grandmother said that she was in the kitchen when the infant, who had not yet been named by her parents, was snatched.