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Bizarro Earth

Strong quake hits off Guatemala-Mexico coast

Guatemala City - A strong earthquake of magnitude 6.5 struck in the Pacific near Guatemala's border with Mexico, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Thursday.

A Reuters reporter in Guatemala City said he felt shaking for 30 seconds. There was no immediate tsunami warning, although the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center noted that quakes of this size can sometimes generate localized sea surges.


Skippy on the Menu as Australia Seeks to Fight Global Warming

© Jack Atley/Bloomberg News
The kangaroo epitomizes Australia, appearing on the coat of arms and dollar coin and starring in the TV series, "Skippy.'' Now, a government adviser says Australians should eat more of the animals to ease global warming.

Ross Garnaut recommended last month that the methane-rich gas and burps from cattle and sheep, which contribute to climate change, could be reduced if citizens switched to kangaroo meat. The proposal sparked opposition from consumers, ecologists and the A$16 billion ($11 billion) livestock industry.

Comment: This is typical of the sort of pseudo-science that gets bandied around in relation to global warming. It escapes so many scientists - at least the ones that get airtime in the media and grants from government - that global warming is part of a natural cycle and has very little to do with man or the animals.

However, considering that the Great Chicago Fire is promoted as being started by the gaseous emissions from a cow, when it seems a comet was a much more likely candidate, it isn't really surprising that the increase in temperatures on Earth is also blamed on cows. But that does of course leave the question of how cows were able to heat up Mars and other planets in the solar system as popular science will not address the cosmic sources of this phenomena.

Given what passes for science on the matter of global warming it would not be surprising to read that a research grant has been awarded to a team of 'experts' who are investigating whether the warming of Mars is due to the gaseous emissions from the cow that jumped over the moon.


Oregon, US: Weekend cold set new record lows

Cold temperatures set several new record lows this weekend, including a low of 22 Saturday in downtown Pendleton that broke a 118 year-old record of 24.

Record lows started falling Thursday with a new low of 20 for Meacham, four degrees cooler than the previous record from 2006, according to information from the Web site for the National Weather Service Forecast Office in Pendleton.

Heppner and Long Creek then set new low temperatures Friday. Heppner hit 29, the coldest that date has seen since 1960 when it was 30; and Long Creek was 21, besting the 1987 record by four degrees.

Saturday set multiple new lows, including the record 22 in downtown Pendleton. John Day dropped to 21, breaking the 1990 record of 23; Meacham's 15 broke the previous low of 20 from 2002; and Mitchell set a record with 21, five degrees cooler than the 2002 record.


Arizona, US: Record cold temps hit Tucson

The Stock market isn't the only thing resembling the 1930s this week. As of 7:00 on Monday morning, temperatures dipped to 39 degrees to break the record low of 43 degreees set in 1932.

"A cold front passed through the area bringing cold Canadian air," KOLD Meterologist Aaron Pickering said. "It's the same front that brought snow in Salt Lake City and Billings, Montana."

Cloud Lightning

Hurricane Omar takes aim at Caribbean islands

Miami -- Hurricane Omar is gaining strength as it moves northeast, a day after drenching islands in the southeastern Caribbean.

Omar's maximum sustained winds early today were near 80 mph.
Hurricane Omar path
© Los Angeles Times

Bizarro Earth

Bad weather was good for Alaska glaciers

Mass Balance: For decades, summer snow loss has exceeded winter snowfall.

Unusually large amounts of winter snow were followed by unusually chill temperatures in June, July and August.

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 3.9 Earthquake - Texas Panhandle

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 3.8

* Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 03:07:27 UTC
* Monday, October 13, 2008 at 10:07:27 PM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Texas Panhandle Region
Texas Panhandle Region

Location 35.760°N, 100.704°W
Depth 5 km (3.1 miles) set by location program

* 9 km (6 miles) NW (322°) from Miami, TX
* 33 km (21 miles) WSW (240°) from Canadian, TX
* 34 km (21 miles) NE (44°) from Pampa, TX
* 121 km (75 miles) ENE (59°) from Amarillo, TX
* 488 km (303 miles) NW (314°) from Dallas, TX

Bizarro Earth

Magnitude 4.9 Earthquake - Greece

Earthquake Details
Magnitude 4.9

* Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 02:06:38 UTC
* Tuesday, October 14, 2008 at 05:06:38 AM at epicenter
* Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones

Location 38.755°N, 23.569°E
Depth 25.8 km (16.0 miles) (poorly constrained)
Distances 85 km (55 miles) N of ATHENS, Greece

140 km (85 miles) SE of Larisa, Greece
170 km (105 miles) ENE of Patras, Greece
215 km (135 miles) SSE of Thessaloniki, Greece
Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 9.4 km (5.8 miles); depth +/- 28.3 km (17.6 miles)

Parameters NST= 40, Nph= 40, Dmin=428.1 km, Rmss=1.18 sec, Gp= 61°,
M-type=body magnitude (Mb), Version=7


US Update: Wildfires force frantic evacuations near Los Angeles; 2 die

Los Angeles - Two huge wildfires driven by strong Santa Ana winds burned into neighborhoods near Los Angeles on Monday, forcing frantic evacuations on smoke- and traffic-choked highways, destroying homes and causing at least two deaths.
LA Fire 101308
© AP Photo/Dan Steinberg
Traffic snakes up a road as residents flee their hillside homes during a fast moving, wind driven brush fire in the Sylmar area of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles, Monday, Oct. 13, 2008. Intense Santa Ana winds swept into Southern California Monday morning and whipped up a 3,000-acre wildfire, forcing the closure of a major freeway during rush hour and burning mobile homes and industrial buildings.

Around sunset, residents were warned to stay on alert during the night and winds more than 60 mph were forecast.

More than 1,000 firefighters and nine water-dropping aircraft battled the 4,700-acre Marek Fire at the northeast end of the San Fernando Valley, and the 5,000-acre Sesnon Fire at the west end.

Winds blew up to 45 mph with gusts reaching 70 mph at midday. They were forecast to diminish in the evening before roaring over 60 mph after 11 p.m.

"This fire has the real potential of moving from where it is now ... as far as Pacific Coast (Highway)," said Los Angeles County Fire Chief P. Michael Freeman.


Atlantic Wolffish: Fearsome Fish That Deserve Protection?

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and others have just filed* a scientific petition with the federal government seeking endangered species protection for the Atlantic wolffish, a fish threatened with extinction due to years of overharvesting and habitat loss due to modern fishing gear. If the petition is successful, this will be the first listing of a marine fish as an endangered in New England.
© Conservation Law Foundation
With a long eel-like tail and a mouth full of large canine teeth, the wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) is one of New England 's most unique ocean fish species and also one of the most endangered.

With a long eel-like tail and a mouth full of large canine teeth, the wolffish (Anarhichas lupus) is one of New England 's most unique ocean fish species and also one of the most endangered. CLF's petition cites federal and independent scientific studies that show, over the past twenty years, dramatic declines in wolffish population and destruction of the deep underwater habitat that the fish needs to successfully reproduce and survive.