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Fri, 29 May 2020
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Heart

Death of giant shark remains a mystery

It's the biggest fish in the ocean, and one of the most magnificent creatures any diver could ever hope to encounter.

So when dive boat captain Jeff Torode heard Sunday afternoon that a 30-foot whale shark was spotted off the coast of Boca Raton, he steered the Aqua View toward the sighting. The placid, filter-feeding sharks are not rare, but it is uncommon for divers to see them because they prefer deep water.

©Joe Marino
A dead whale shark encountered Sunday off South Florida by divers out of Pompano Beach.

Question

Kilimanjaro's shrinking snow not sign of warming

The snows of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania have been diminishing for more than a century but probably not due to global warming, researchers report.

While the retreat of glaciers and mountaintop ice in the mid-latitudes -- where much of the world's human population lives -- is definitely linked to global climate change, the same cannot be said of Kilimanjaro, the researchers wrote in the July-August edition of American Scientist magazine.

Bomb

China 'gets the message' on controversial tiger farms: NGO

Pressed by conservationists to shut down breeding farms housing some 5,000 tigers, China hinted Tuesday it may abandon a proposal to legalise domestic trade in furs and tiger-bone medicine.

A document drafted by Beijing, to be submitted for approval to the UN body regulating wildlife trade, said nations that breed the endangered species "on a commercial scale should implement measures to restrict the captive population to a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers."

The language is significant, says conservationists, because it may signal a reversal of China's position, and because it removes any possible justification for maintaining large populations of genetically-compromised tigers that cannot be released into the wild.

"The managed, coordinated zoo population of tigers is in the hundreds, which is enough to maintain genetic diversity," said Kristin Nowell, an expert on illegal tiger trade at wildlife monitoring network TRAFFIC, one of dozens of conservation and wildlife groups sharply critical of the farms.

Attention

Brussels authorities alarmed over silkworm appearance

Brussels authorities held an extraordinary session devoted to a silkworm invasion of the Belgian capital, a radio station reported Tuesday.

"The Brussels governor held an extraordinary session of the capital's government to coordinate measures to fight the larvae after it became known that these insects appeared in the city," Radio Contact reported.

A number of cities in the northern region of Flanders have been attacked by silkworm larvae. Firefighters and army units are fighting the insects.


No Entry

Amazing pics of a hole that opened up the earth

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala - A 330-foot-deep sinkhole killed at least two teenagers as it swallowed about a dozen homes early Friday and forced the evacuation of nearly 1,000 people in a crowded Guatemala City neighborhood. Officials blamed the sinkhole on recent rains and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main.


Magnify

Suddenly, the bees are simply vanishing

Scientists are at a loss to pinpoint the cause. The die-off in 35 states has crippled beekeepers and threatened many crops.

The dead bees under Dennis vanEngelsdorp's microscope were like none he had ever seen.

He had expected to see mites or amoebas, perennial pests of bees. Instead, he found internal organs swollen with debris and strangely blackened. The bees' intestinal tracts were scarred, and their rectums were abnormally full of what appeared to be partly digested pollen. Dark marks on the sting glands were telltale signs of infection.

Star

2012: Repeat of 1859 Solar 'Super Storm' Catastrophe?

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Orbital decay and 2,000 satellites dropping out of the sky. Shorted-out power grids and multi-state blackouts. Limited or no cell phone availability. Grounded polar flights. Potential economic devastation.

Cloud Lightning

Mudslides kill 79 in Bangladesh

At least 79 people have been killed in mudslides following heavy rain in the port city of Chittagong in Bangladesh, officials say.

Bulb

Dozens killed as heatwave cooks north India

Hot and dusty desert winds have caused a heatwave across the plains of northern India, killing 74 people over the last week, officials and local media reports said on Monday.

Most of the dead were beggars, homeless and people working in the open hit by sunstrokes and dehydration.

The Press Trust of India put the toll at 74, including 15 in the western desert state of Rajasthan and nine in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh during the weekend.

Temperatures peaked on Saturday, reaching 48.9 degrees Celsius in Ganganagar in the desert state of Rajasthan, said S.C. Bhan, director at the Regional Meteorological Centre in New Delhi.

Better Earth

Denver targets global warming

Denver is gearing up to fight global warming, and residents may soon be asked to make personal sacrifices to help save the planet.

The new plan is aimed at making Denver a national leader in reducing gas emissions that have been linked to global warming, giving a major push to alternative energy, stepping up recycling and changing building codes to encourage energy conservation.

Comment: Meanwhile Bush won't set any significant regulations.

Comment: And you can bet your bottom dollar that it won't include any significant improvements to mass transit. After all, if they really think that automobiles are a primary source of emission that leads to global warming then it stands to reason that mass transit is an obvious solution.

But that solution isn't likely to happen because of special interest groups, such as lobbies for construction-related industry, who would (cue the wimpering) lose a lot of profits from less road construction and maintenance. That's the exact reason why Houston hasn't stopped remodeling I-10 West (and several other freeways) for the last 30 years! In fact, they tore up train tracks along side I-10 West to make room for a wider freeway! Go figure!