Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) -
"The Quantum Factor" – Apr 10, 2011 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Galaxies, Universe, Intelligent design, Benevolent design, Aliens, Nikola Tesla (Quantum energy), Inter-Planetary Travel, DNA, Genes, Stem Cells, Cells, Rejuvenation, Shift of Human Consciousness, Spontaneous Remission, Religion, Dictators, Africa, China, Nuclear Power, Sustainable Development, Animals, Global Unity.. etc.) - (Text Version)

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."

(Live Kryon Channelings was given 7 times within the United Nations building.)

"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)

"Recalibration of Free Choice"– Mar 3, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) - (Subjects: (Old) Souls, Midpoint on 21-12-2012, Shift of Human Consciousness, Black & White vs. Color, 1 - Spirituality (Religions) shifting, Loose a Pope “soon”, 2 - Humans will change react to drama, 3 - Civilizations/Population on Earth, 4 - Alternate energy sources (Geothermal, Tidal (Paddle wheels), Wind), 5 – Financials Institutes/concepts will change (Integrity – Ethical) , 6 - News/Media/TV to change, 7 – Big Pharmaceutical company will collapse “soon”, (Keep people sick), (Integrity – Ethical) 8 – Wars will be over on Earth, Global Unity, … etc.) - (Text version)

“… 4 - Energy (again)

The natural resources of the planet are finite and will not support the continuation of what you've been doing. We've been saying this for a decade. Watch for increased science and increased funding for alternate ways of creating electricity (finally). Watch for the very companies who have the most to lose being the ones who fund it. It is the beginning of a full realization that a change of thinking is at hand. You can take things from Gaia that are energy, instead of physical resources. We speak yet again about geothermal, about tidal, about wind. Again, we plead with you not to over-engineer this. For one of the things that Human Beings do in a technological age is to over-engineer simple things. Look at nuclear - the most over-engineered and expensive steam engine in existence!

Your current ideas of capturing energy from tidal and wave motion don't have to be technical marvels. Think paddle wheel on a pier with waves, which will create energy in both directions [waves coming and going] tied to a generator that can power dozens of neighborhoods, not full cities. Think simple and decentralize the idea of utilities. The same goes for wind and geothermal. Think of utilities for groups of homes in a cluster. You won't have a grid failure if there is no grid. This is the way of the future, and you'll be more inclined to have it sooner than later if you do this, and it won't cost as much….”

"Fast-Tracking" - Feb 8, 2014 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Carroll) - (Reference to Fukushima / H-bomb nuclear pollution and a warning about nuclear > 20 Min)

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change

Obama unveils landmark regulations to combat climate change
In a bid to combat climate change, US President Barack Obama announced the Clean Power Plan on Monday, marking the first time power plants have been targeted by mandatory regulations on carbon dioxide emissions in the US.
Google: Earthday 2013

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mouse heart 're-grows when cut', study shows

BBC News, by Neil Bowdler, Science reporter, 25 February 2011

Related Stories

Scientists in the United States have found newborn mice can re-grow their own hearts.

The study suggests newborn mice share the
zebrafish's ability to heal a damaged heart
The mice had a large chunk of their heart removed a day after birth, only for the heart to restore itself within three weeks.

Fish and amphibians are known to have the power to re-grow heart tissue, but the study in Science is the first time the process has been seen in mammals.

British experts said understanding the process could help human heart care.

Narrow window
The researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center surgically removed what is known as the left ventricular apex of the heart (about 15% of the heart muscle) from mice just a day after birth.

The heart was then quickly seen to regenerate and was fully restored after 21 days. After two months, the organ still appeared to be functioning normally.

But when the same procedure was tested on mice aged one week, the heart failed to regenerate, suggesting this power of self-repair is extremely short-lived in mice.

The belief is that heart cells within the mouse have a narrow window after birth within which they can continue to replicate and repair. Subsequent tests suggested that these repair cells were coming from within the heart muscle.

"What our results show are that the new heart muscle cells which repair the amputated region of the heart came from proliferation and migration of pre-existing heart muscle cells," said Professor Eric Olson, who worked on the study.

"We have no evidence they came from a stem-cell population."

Many amphibians and fish, most famously the zebrafish, have the ability to renew heart muscle right into adulthood.

This new study suggests mammals too have such capacity for self-repair, if only for a limited time after birth.

Professor Olson believes future research will show humans have a similar capacity, although no experiments involving human heart tissue are currently planned.

"There's no reason to believe that the same window would not exist in the human heart.

"Everything we know about development and early function of the mouse heart is comparable to the human heart so we're quite confident that this process does exist in humans, although that of course still has to be shown."

Heart attacks

The team's focus is now on looking at ways to "re-awaken" this capacity to self repair in adult mice, with the ultimate ambition to do the same in humans to repair damage sustained during heart attacks.

"We've identified a micro-RNA (a small piece of genetic material) which regulates this process so we're tying to use that as a way of further enhancing cardiac regeneration later in life and we're also screening for new drugs which can re-awaken this mechanism in adult mice," he said.

Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said the study showed heart regeneration was not the exclusive preserve of zebrafish and newts, but said more work needed to be done to understand what was actually going on inside the healing heart.

"This exciting research shows for the first time that young mice, like fish and amphibians, can heal their damaged hearts," he said. "It strengthens the view that understanding how this happens could provide the key to healing adult human hearts."

Professor Olson concedes there will be problems ahead. What works in the low-pressured heart of a zebrafish, might not work in the high-pressured multi-chambered heart of humans.

Meddling with heart muscle cells could, for instance, trigger arrhythmias in the heart, he said.

Related Article:

How do you create a new cellular tissue pattern? You change its magnetic structure. There are systemic instructions you can give your cellular structure to build new tissue that was never there before. I've told you this many times in the past and here it is again. There'll come a day when you can grow back an arm and a leg. How? All you have to do is to give DNA new systemic instructions. The old instructions tell it to only accomplish this in the womb. Change the instructions!” Read more ….. DNA Layer Nine - The Healing Layer - May 2010 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll)

Canada's ex-defense minister: U.S. knows how aliens can make us greener

Former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer says U.S. knows about UFOs and has even developed new forms of energy using technology from outer space invaders. These forms can allegedly save our planet.

CNet News, Chris Matyszczyk

Somehow, freaky sci-fi movies don't seem to be favored by Oscar voters.

However, I think I may have found some subject matter that Peter Guber, the great Golden State Warriors owner and producer of "The Kids Are Alright," might want to get a budget behind.

Apparently, the United States already knows quite a lot about UFO technology. Apparently, there are secret "black ops" installations somewhere in--oh, I'm guessing Arizona--where new forms of energy have been created using technology that has been gleaned from those up there, rather than us down here.

Please, you know not to take my word for it. Hark the words of former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer. According to AOL News, Hellyer will be speaking this week at the International UFO Conference. (You will feel a chill to hear that this event is in Arizona too.)

Hellyer believes that humans have always fired on alien craft rather than attempt to approach their inhabitants and understand them. The aliens, he said in a previous speech in 2008, want to stop us from destroying ourselves.

In that speech, Hellyer declared: "Decades ago, visitors from other planets warned us about where we were headed and offered to help. But instead we, or at least some of us, interpreted their visits as a threat, and decided to shoot first and ask questions after," he told the conference.

Planes were lost, he said, either because of retaliation or stupidity.

Hellyer insists he has seen UFOs. In his book, "Light at the End of the Tunnel," he said he also believes that the U.S. has a "shadow government" that has black ops installations that have already created new forms of energy using extra-terrestrial technology.

"I do not have proof of that," he told AOL News. "But I believe that they have developed energy sources, and publicly I'm saying that if they do not exist in commercial form, that extraterrestrials would certainly give us that information if we would ask them for it and stop shooting at them."

I am fascinated. What kind of new alien-inspired energy sources might have already been created? Might they have something to do with San Francisco Giants' pitcher Brian Wilson and his strange, constant companion, The Machine?

And is it possible that, some day, somehow, the aliens might be able to bypass our government's alleged reluctance to go public with its knowledge of our friends out there? Why, indeed, haven't these clever aliens spoken to us directly?

I see Liam Neeson as the scientist who finally persuades the government that aliens are friendly and want to help us become, well, greener. I see Maria Bello as his love interest, a fellow scientist who lures the president to a secret location (in Arizona) to affect a summit with a friendly alien being.

But who might play the leader of the aliens? My first instinct says Charlie Sheen. Boyish, friendly, vulnerable.

One of the first of many UFO photographs taken by Carlos Diaz-Mexico.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Puno: Large crack opens in the earth in southern Peru, Feb. 25, 2011

The sudden appearance early in the morning of an enormous crack, measuring 100 meters wide and three kilometers long, caused confusion among residents of the Huacullani district in the Chucuito province, department of Puno.

The mysterious crack measures 100 meters wide
and three kilometers long. (Photo: El Comercio)
The exact cause of the crack in the earth still unknown. Peru’s geophysical institute ruled out the occurrence of an earthquake in the region, but what is clear is that the ground opened up and large blocks of earth can be observed scattered throughout the area.

The event, recorded Wednesday morning, caused the collapse of one house located in the rural community of Llorohoco. Four people managed to escape, but the youngest in the family, five-year-old Jean Carlos Vilcanqui Acero, is missing.

Geological engineers from the regional committee for civil defense have arrived in the area to investigate the phenomenon and determine its causes, said Javier Pampamallco, Puno’s civil defense chief.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

PM: 'This may be New Zealand's darkest day' as quake kills 65

CNN News, by the CNN Wire Staff, February 22, 2011

Rescue workers search for survivors of the earthquake through debris on
February 22, 2011 in Christchurch, New Zealand

  • USGS says quake is part of "aftershock sequence" of the September temblor
  • A congressional delegation was in the city for a joint U.S.-New Zealand conference
  • At least 65 people are killed
  • Frantic rescuers scramble to reach those trapped

(CNN) -- A powerful earthquake ripped through Christchurch, New Zealand, on Tuesday afternoon, killing at least 65 people as it toppled buildings, buckled roads and damaged cathedrals.

"This is just heartbreaking," said New Zealand Prime Minister John Key during a trip to the area to survey the damage from the 6.3-magnitude quake. "This may be New Zealand's darkest day."

Frantic rescuers scrambled to reach those trapped in the rubble hours after the earthquake struck. Scores of dazed, bleeding residents wandered streets strewn with debris and chunks of concrete.

A woman atop a pile of rubble tearfully pleaded the crowd to help her.

"They are coming for you," a bystander said.


The quake, which struck during the city's lunchtime rush, was followed by a series of aftershocks.
Key said the priority was to rescue people trapped in buildings. The number of injuries was unclear, but the final death toll may be much higher, according to authorities.

Police, military and rescue crews had been dispatched from all over the country to help, the prime minister said.

The quake ripped the facade of the iconic Christchurch Cathedral. At the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, piles of stone sat atop crushed chairs on the floor as a light shone through a collapsed tower above the sanctuary.

Laura Campbell said she was at work at the bottom of a six-story building when the earthquake struck. She described seeing "windows blowing out, bricks falling down, people screaming, the whole nine yards."

"It was bloody serious," said Campbell, who was trying to walk home. "I'm worried about what I'm going to find down the road."

The New Zealand Herald reported that the quake knocked out phone lines, including the city's emergency 111 service. The temblor cracked roads and broke water mains, flooding several streets. About 80 percent of the city lost power, TVNZ reported.

A congressional delegation was in the city for a joint U.S.-New Zealand conference hours before the quake struck.

"Having experienced received the warm reception of the people of Christchurch at the Partnership Forum only hours before the earthquake struck makes this disaster all the more personal and poignant," said delegate Donald Manzullo, chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia and the Pacific.

Philip Gregan said he was attending the conference when the earthquake struck.

"I'm seeing a lot of damage in buildings. I've seen one collapsed bridge and there's a lot of water from broken water mains," he said. "I saw one (injured) person in the back of a police car and one of our colleagues saw a person crushed by falling debris."

New Zealand's transit authority said it had been unable to reach its staff in Christchurch and at the Lyttleton Tunnel, which is near the epicenter.

Witness Gavin Blowman said he ran into the street when the earthquake struck.

"It felt like I was running on jelly," he said. "We saw a giant rock tumble to the ground from a cliff -- a rock that had been there for millennia. It fell on the RSA (Returned Services Association, a veterans' association) building -- it was terrifying."

The city's airport said on its website that it was closed until further notice.

All planes inbound for the airport were being diverted, and no planes were allowed to take off. No one was injured at the airport, an employee said. He did not give his name and wanted to clear the phone line to continue emergency work.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker told Radio New Zealand that the rumbling tossed him across the room. He said the streets were jammed as people tried to get out of the city, and urged people to avoid the water supply.

"We've been through this before this once, we now need to think what we did at that time," he said.
Parker later declared a state of emergency in Christchurch.

Civil defense forces had cordoned off the city center, said John Carter, the minister of civil defense.
Carter said the quake initially disrupted communications between government agencies, but they had been restored. However, he urged city residents to send text messages rather than use their cell phones to prevent lines from being overloaded.

"This is about saving lives and we need those lines as open as possible," Carter said.

Southern New Zealand has been hit by a series of quakes since September 4, when the area was shaken by a 7.1-magnitude temblor that authorities said was the most damaging quake in the region since 1931. The earthquake struck in the predawn hours, with the deserted streets helping keep the injuries to a minimum.

The United States Geological Survey said the latest quake was part of the "aftershock sequence" of the September earthquake.

There were no deaths from that quake.

The quake struck in the "worst possible location," said Kevin Fenaughty, data center manager for GNS Science -- an earth science research institute.

"It's a nightmare," he told the Herald.. "A lot of people were just getting back on their feet after the original quake."

Related Articles:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Land Subsidence Forms Giant Hole in Mining Area,  Web Editor: Jiang, 2011-02-15

A giant hole formed in the ground as a result of land subsidence which
 occurred at a mining area in Ezhou City of central China's Hubei Province
on the early morning of Monday, February 14, 2011. [Photo: icpress]

A large-scale land subsidence occurred at a mining area in Ezhou City of central China's Hubei Province on the early morning of Monday, resulting in a 5,200-square-meter hole in the ground.

The incident did not cause any casualties as production at the site was halted at the time and the workers all had gone home for the Spring Festival holiday, the Hubei-based Chutianjinbao newspaper reported.

The land subsidence involves three shafts at the Datongkeng mining area in Ding'ao village, Tingzu Township. The pit, measuring 80 meters long, 65 meters wide and 40 meters deep, was most likely formed as a result of mining activities that had hollowed out the ground from below, the report quoted experts as saying.

Police have cordoned off the periphery 100 meters around the pit. Fissures were detected in fields on the hills and other mining shafts near the site of the subsidence.

A man on duty near the site surnamed Li told the newspaper that he saw a strong air current blasting egg-sized rocks out of the shaft around 8.40pm Sunday with sounds resembling train steam whistles. Local residents also reported that they were awoken from sleep by extremely loud sounds and tremors.

Meanwhile, the local government is making plans to evacuate local villagers whose homes had developed cracks, partly due to the overdrafting of groundwater by the mining shafts.

The Tingzhu Township government has sealed the road leading to the site and put in place a round-the-clock monitoring squad, the paper said.

Why are birds falling from the sky? - Gaia / Pepper Lewis

Pepper received many questions about the phenomenon of birds falling from the sky around the world. She sat with this question, and in this audio recording Gaia gives us some insights about these events.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sinkholes Discovered in the Dead Sea

NTD News, Israel, 2011-02-14


The Dead Sea is the lowest place on earth.

It attracts tourists from all over the world, who enjoy its healing waters.

Industries also utilize its minerals. But in recent years, deep holes began forming along its west coast.

In Israeli terminology, they are named “Sinkholes,”  and they can swallow up roads, vehicles and even humans.

We went out to examine this phenomenon, and met a geologist who fell into a sinkhole while he was examining it.

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"I was informed that new sinkholes were spotted somewhere. I went to document it and discovered a small sinkhole… while documenting it, it grew larger and drew me in."

So what does it feel like to be swallowed by the earth?

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"I fell into a massive landslide, which kept me on one side, but the other side was burying me. The first thing I recall was striving to get out. It was pitch dark and I couldn’t see anything. I felt as though there was a heavy rock on my head. It was a struggle which lasted for hours, trying to dig my way out; and at one point I managed to climb out of the fall, and from that moment onwards, the anxiety

Raz sat in the depth of the hole for 14 long hours. He was unable to move, and unable to climb upwards.

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"The biggest problem was that I was afraid to move much, because everything was very fragile, and each movement could have aroused a new landslide".

Then, Raz found a solution for his anxieties – he began writing.

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"Since occasionally there were more landslides, I felt anxious. I found a postcard in my bag, and I also had all my equipment along with me in my backpack, including a pen, so I decided I was going to write a farewell letter."

Writing on the postcard helped him to relax. In his bag there was also a roll of toilet paper, and he kept on writing during all these long hours in the pit.

]Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"Since writing felt good, I decided to keep writing. I found a roll of toilet paper in my backpack, so I took it out and it lasted until the evening".

In addition to writing, Raz made a conscious decision to keep thinking positively all along, and that soothed his anxieties.

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"Because otherwise I would be mentally lost, and the first moments were extremely difficult – moments of a very deep, existential anxiety."

After we learned about his downfall in the sinkhole, we tried to understand how sinkholes are created.

Raz claims that rivers, including the Jordan River, that used to flow into the Dead Sea – are being shifted from their courses for various reasons.

The heavy industry in the area also evaporates the sea.

As a result, the sea level drops about 1 meter per year. This eventually leads to the creation of sinkholes.

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"The drop in the level of water in the Dead Sea is a result of humans interfering with the water system. The water levels are dropping rapidly, something which probably never existed in natural conditions. Now the systems are imbalanced so there are reactions such as this one, with infrastructures collapsing."

The appearance of sinkholes poses a very concrete danger – A danger for lives, for property and for the economy.

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"Sinkholes are dangerous for people. There are people who fell into sinkholes, including myself, but not only me. A car or a bus might also fall into a sinkhole."

The Sinkholes have severely harmed the economy in the Dead Sea area. In such a place, it is impossible to cultivate any agricultural products, or have tourism.

[Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"It harmed the agriculture, and most of the palm plantations in Ein-Gedi had to be abandoned…  there was also a huge tourism project on the beach here, and a lot of money was invested here, but we had to abandon it."

We tried to keep optimistic. Is the situation reversible? Is it possible to repair the Dead Sea and its surroundings?

]Eli Raz, Geologist, Ein-Gedi]:
"You picture a hypothetical situation in which all consumers who use water from the Dead Sea and the Jordan River – will give up their water. This sounds very unlikely."

Reporter:Israela Yablonka        Photographer:Anat Markram

Shell, Brazil's Cosan form $12 billion ethanol unit

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Anglo-Dutch energy titan Shell and Brazilian sugar-production group Cosan said Monday they were forming a joint ethanol fuel venture with an estimated market value of $12 billion.

A peasant cuts sugar cane with his machete in the
Usina Bonfim farm plantation in Guariba
The new entity, to be called Raizen, would be one of the biggest players in the sector worldwide, employing around 40,000 people and producing over 2.2 billion liters (580 million gallons) of ethanol per year to Brazilian and international markets, the two companies said in a statement.

Raizen should be launched in the first half of this year, they said.

"Due to the size of its operations, Raizen will help sugarcane ethanol, a sustainable, clean and renewable source of energy, to consolidate itself worldwide and strengthen Brazil's position in the international biofuels trading business," said the venture's chief executive, Vasco Dias.

Raizen will have 23 mills able to crush 62 million tonnes of sugarcane per year to produce the ethanol. The mills will also output four million tonnes of sugar per year.

The venture will distribute some of the product in 4,500 service stations across Brazil, and through participation in distribution depots for aviation fuel in 54 airports.

The statement said the new company would have approximately $1.6 billion in cash inflow.

"We want to be even bigger," Dias said. "We want to be recognized globally for our excellence in the development, production and marketing of sustainable energy."

The European Commission gave the green light last month to form the new joint venture.

Brazil is the second-biggest producer of ethanol in the world, after the United States, and the biggest exporter of the biofuel.

It sustains a large domestic market using ethanol through the sales of cars whose engines can take either gasoline, ethanol or a mix of the two.

Amazon pollution: US oil firm Chevron fined in Ecuador

BBC News, 14 February 2011

Related Stories

US oil firm Chevron has been fined for polluting rivers and rainforest areas in Ecuador.

Maria Eugenia Briceno lives in the area affected
by the pollution
The fine, reported to be $8bn (£5bn), follows a legal battle lasting years. Chevron said it would appeal.

The oil firm Texaco, which merged with Chevron in 2001, was accused of dumping billions of gallons of toxic materials into unlined pits and Amazon rivers.

Campaigners say crops were damaged and farm animals killed, and that local cancer rates increased.

The lawsuit against Chevron was brought on behalf of 30,000 Ecuadoreans.

The plaintiffs said the company's activities had destroyed large areas of rainforest and also led to an increased risk of cancer among the local population.

The trial began in 2003 after almost a decade of legal battles in the US ended with a US appeals court ruling that the dispute should be heard in Ecuador.

Environmentalists hope the case the case will set a precedent forcing companies operating in the developing world to comply with the same anti-pollution standards as in the industrialised nations.

'Product of fraud'

Ecuadorian Indian groups said Texaco - which merged with Chevron in 2001 - dumped more than 18bn gallons of toxic materials into the unlined pits and rivers between 1972 and 1992.

Protesters said the company had destroyed their livelihood. Crops were damaged, farm animals killed and cancer increased among the local population, they said.

eA Chevron statement said the firm would appeal, and called the ruling "illegitimate and unenforceable".

The corporation has long contended that the court-appointed expert in the case was unduly influenced by the plaintiffs.

Its statement described the ruling as "the product of fraud (and) contrary to the legitimate scientific evidence".

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Saturday, February 12, 2011

20,000 bees die in Canada

Antara News, Sat, February 12 2011

Ottawa (ANTARA News/AFP) - A Canadian museum launched an investigation Friday into the sudden death of 20,000 bees on display in a glass encased hive.

"All 20,000 bees died within 48 hours," Amanda Fruci, publicist for the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, told AFP.

"The cause is being investigated but we know for sure that it wasn`t colony collapse syndrome because that involves bees leaving a hive and never coming back, and in this case they all died in the hive."

In normal times, bee communities naturally lose around five percent of their numbers.

But with the syndrome known as colony collapse disorder (CDD), a third, half -- sometimes even 90 percent or all -- of the insects can be wiped out.

In the United States, government figures released last year showed a 29 percent drop in beehives in 2009, coming on the heels of declines of 36 and 32 percent in 2008 and 2007.

Mysterious decimation of bee populations have also been reported in Europe, Japan and elsewhere in recent years, threatening agricultural crops that depend on the honey-making insects for pollination.

Thousands of visitors had viewed the bees at work in a specially designed glass hive in the Royal Ontario Museum`s popular hands-on biodiversity gallery over the past two years.

They were perfectly healthy until last week when they suddenly died.

The museum has already ruled out starvation or errors by staff as causes of death, but said poor ventilation, a parasite or too few worker bees to keep the comb warm over the winter may be to blame.

Editor: Suryanto

Monday, February 7, 2011

Migration Due to Climate Change Demands Attention - ADB

ADB, 7 February 2011

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - Governments in Asia and the Pacific need to prepare for a large increase in climate-induced migration in the coming years, says a forthcoming report by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Typhoons, cyclones, floods and drought are forcing more and more people to migrate. In the past year alone, extreme weather in Malaysia, Pakistan, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka has caused temporary or longer term dislocation of millions. This process is set to accelerate in coming decades as climate change leads to more extreme weather.

"No international cooperation mechanism has been set up to manage these migration flows, and protection and assistance schemes remain inadequate, poorly coordinated, and scattered," the report states. "National governments and the international community must urgently address this issue in a proactive manner."

ADB expects to issue the report, Climate Change and Migration in Asia and the Pacific, in early March as part of a broader ADB project aimed at increasing awareness of, and enhancing regional preparedness for, migration driven by changing weather patterns.

The report highlights specific risks confronting climate change "hotspots", including megacities in coastal areas of Asia. These hotspots of climate-induced migration face pressure from swelling populations as rural people seek new lives in cities. The problem is compounded by greater dislocation of people caused by flooding and tropical storms.

Climate-induced migration will affect poor and vulnerable people more than others," said Bart W. Édes, Director of ADB's Poverty Reduction, Gender, and Social Development Division. "In many places, those least capable of coping with severe weather and environmental degradation will be compelled to move with few assets to an uncertain future. Those who stay in their communities will struggle to maintain livelihoods in risk-prone settings at the mercy of nature's whims."

On the positive side, the report says that if properly managed, climate-induced migration could actually facilitate human adaptation, creating new opportunities for dislocated populations in less vulnerable environments.

The ADB project, Policy Options to Support Climate-induced Migration, is the first international initiative that aims to generate policy and financing recommendations to address climate-induced migration in Asia and the Pacific.

To obtain a copy of the draft report, contact or +63 2 632 6643. For further information visit Join a live online discussion with experts on 9 February 2011, 15:00 Manila time at

Related Article:

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cold snap chills northern Mexico

BBC News, 5 February 2011

Freezing weather and snow have paralysed much of northern Mexico, which is experiencing its lowest temperatures in more than 50 years.

The big freeze has forced schools to close
Thousands of homes have been left without electricity and water, and schools and factories have been closed.

At least six people are reported to have died from the cold.

Among the worst-hit cities has been Ciudad Juarez, which is already suffering the worst violence in Mexico's drugs war.

Temperatures in the border city have dropped as low as -18C (0F).

"There have been cold temperatures in the past, but nothing that has lasted for so many days. It's been 40 years since the city has seen an emergency like this," city's civil protection chief Efren Matamoros told Reuters news agency.

Related Stories

The cold weather has shut down units at 17 power stations across northern Mexico, the Federal Electricity Commission said.

Factories have been asked to reduce their consumption of power, and there have been blackouts in some areas.

Mexico has also withdrawn an offer to temporarily supply electricity to Texas, where power stations have been hit by similar problems.

A huge swathe of the US and Canada has also been hit by a massive winter storm.

Related Articles:

A new satellite map by the government agency NOAA shows the extent of the
snow blanketing a vast area from the west coast of Canada to eastern China

Friday, February 4, 2011

Second sinkhole appears in East Austin street

Intersection at Mildred and Willow streets to be closed for up to three weeks

Statesman, by Ben Wear, AMERICAN-STATESMAN STAFF, Monday, Jan. 31, 2011

City of Austin crews work Monday at the site of a large sinkhole at Mildred
and Willow streets, one block south of East Cesar Chavez Street. It could take
up to three weeks to repair. (Jay Janner/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

City crews could need up to three weeks to repair an East Austin intersection after an enormous sinkhole formed Monday a block away from where another such collapse occurred in mid-January .

The road collapse at Mildred and Willow streets just before 8 a.m. was related to a water leak two weeks ago that caused a sinkhole in East Cesar Chavez Street, according to city officials. Water from that hole is believed to have flowed south underground to the Willow area and may have weakened the soil.

The new hole is estimated be about 20 feet wide, 30 feet long and at least 10 feet deep .

The Austin Water Utility , concerned about the integrity of a 66-inch water main about 10 feet under Willow, excavated the intersection over the weekend, then filled in the hole after finding the main undamaged. The hole appeared after crews left.

A 6-inch water main began leaking when the area collapsed, cutting off service to 50 to 60 customers for several hours.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

100 Dogs in Canada Killed After Business Slows

100 healthy sled dogs slaughtered as tour business slows in Canadian province

ABC News, The Associated Press, By JEREMY HAINSWORTH, VANCOUVER, British Columbia

The 100 dogs were shot dead over two days after an expected post-Olympics boon in dogsledding business at an adventure company didn't pan out. Most died instantly, but others suffered like the one that ran away with its "face blown off and an eye hanging out."

100 healthy sled dogs slaughtered as tour business slows
in Canadian province
The gruesome event was described in documents awarding compensation to a worker, who claimed post-traumatic stress disorder for having to shoot the dogs after bookings dropped sharply for a tour operator following the 2010 Winter Olympics.

"He had to chase her down and finish her off," Marcie Moriarty, general manager of cruelty investigations for the B.C. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said of the wounded down that was run down and slain.

Moriarty said the slaughter left her sickened and said it is the worst investigation she's ever done. Both the British Columbia SPCA and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police are investigating the slaughter.

Moriarty said all the other dogs would have seen the incident in which the one dog did not die instantly from the single gunshot to the head and ran away from the worker.

"There aren't words to really describe some of the ways these dogs died," she said. "We don't put cows down like that. Slaughterhouses have very strict rules for how supposed culling takes place. This violated every one of them."

An employee of Outdoor Adventures Whistler was awarded compensation in a ruling by WorkSafe BC, the provincial body that manages workers' compensation claims. Outdoor Adventures did not contest the man's compensation claims.

The WorkSafe documents are confidential, but Moriarty has read them as part of the society's investigation.

The WorkSafe documents were obtained by radio station CKNW. The station reported the man was attacked at least twice by nearby dogs as the shootings occurred. He was forced to slit the throat of one animal who jumped on top of him.

The name of the man who killed the dogs has not been released, but his lawyer, Cory Steinberg, told CKNW that it was "the worst experience (the man) could ever have imagined."

The documents reveal bookings for dog sled tours collapsed after the Olympics, and when the company could not find homes for its animals, it ordered the cull. The dogs, which were part of a pack of 300, were shot over two days last April.

"He was essentially told to figure out a way to make (the business) more cost-effective. They just had to have less dogs. So he did everything he could finding homes for them, having them adopted, every which way that he could," Steinberg said Monday.

Graham Aldcroft, a spokesman for the company, said Outdoor Adventures had a financial stake in a company called Howling Dogs in Whistler for four years, but operational control of Howling Dogs was with the worker referred to in the WorkSafe B.C. documents.

"While we were aware of the relocation and euthanization of dogs at Howling Dog Tours, we were completely unaware of the details of the incident until reading the ... document Sunday," Aldcroft said in the statement.

Outdoor Adventures took over control of Howling Dogs in May, Aldcroft said. He said it is now company policy that animals needing to be euthanized are treated at a veterinarian's office.

Rich Bittner, the operator of Howling Dogs in Canmore, Alberta, said he sold his 50 percent interest in the Whistler operation in 2004 to a man named Bob Fawcett. He said the Whistler tour operator was supposed to change the name because Howling Dogs was no longer involved.

An online site offering support to people suffering post-traumatic stress disorder includes several postings made under the name of Bob Fawcett. It could not be immediately determined if these postings were made by the man who bought the dogsled tour company in 2004.

Dogsled tour operators in the tight-knit mushing community in British Columbia expressed outrage over the killings. Several operators said they routinely adopt dogs from other companies, but were not asked to take any from Whistler in early 2010.

Tim Tedford, who runs dog sled tours in the Big White area, near Kelowna, said, "That behavior doesn't sound like a real musher."

"Most mushers love their dogs. That sounds more like an accountant to me. Most mushers would starve themselves before they'd ever neglect their dogs," he said.

Following revelations of the slaughter, the Vancouver Humane Society on Monday called for a ban on the sled-dog tour business.

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