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Archive for February 21, 2012

Missouri 4.0 earthquake felt across 13 states

February 21, 2012 2 comments

foxnews

SIKESTON, Mo. –  A magnitude 4.0 earthquake struck early Tuesday in the southeast corner Missouri, waking up residents in as many as 12 other surrounding states.

The US Geological Survey (USGS) said the quake hit at 3:58am local time (4:58am ET). Its epicenter was located a shallow 3.1 miles (5km) underground, about 150 miles (240km) south of St. Louis, near the New Madrid fault line.

 Hundreds reported feeling the quake in Missouri, according to the USGS, with the most significant shaking occurring in Sikeston, a small city about nine miles away from the epicenter.

Outside of Missouri, the temblor was felt in Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas and Indiana. Residents also reported feeling the ground shake in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kansas and Oklahoma.

Save for a few reports of items falling off shelves and windows cracking, the rumbling caused no real damage.

But experts said it serves as an important reminder of Read more…

New ‘waterworld’ planet revealed by Hubble

February 21, 2012 Comments off

sciencecodex.com

GJ1214b, shown in this artist's view, is a super-Earth orbiting a red dwarf star 40 light-years from Earth. New observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope show that it is a water world enshrouded by a thick, steamy atmosphere. GJ 1214b represents a new type of planet, like nothing seen in the solar system or any other planetary system currently known. (Photo Credit: NASA, ESA, and D. Aguilar (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics))

An international team of astronomers led by Zachory Berta of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) made the observations of the planet GJ 1214b.

“GJ 1214b is like no planet we know of,” Berta said. “A huge fraction of its mass is made up of water.”

The ground-based MEarth Project, led by CfA’s David Charbonneau, discovered GJ 1214b in 2009. This super-Earth is about 2.7 times Earth’s diameter and weighs almost seven times as much. It orbits a red-dwarf star every 38 hours at a distance of 2 million kilometres, giving it an estimated temperature of 230 degrees Celsius.

In 2010, CfA scientist Jacob Bean and colleagues reported that they had measured the atmosphere of GJ 1214b, finding it likely that it was composed mainly of water. However, their observations could also be explained by Read more…

The Price Of Gas Is Outrageous – And It Is Going To Go Even Higher

February 21, 2012 Comments off

theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Does it cost you hundreds of dollars just to get to work each month?  If it does, you are certainly not alone.  There are millions of other Americans in the exact same boat.  In recent years, the price of gas in the United States has gotten so outrageous that it has played a major factor in where millions of American families have decided to live and in what kind of vehicles they have decided to purchase.  Many Americans that have very long commutes to work end up spending thousands of dollars on gas a year.  So when the price of gas starts going up to record levels, people like that really start to feel it.  But the price of gas doesn’t just affect those that drive a lot.  The truth is that the price of gas impacts each Full article here

US-VISIT: Biometrics Are Here to Stay

February 21, 2012 1 comment

defensemedianetwork.com

A traveler arriving at Washington Dulles International Airport uses a scanner that records images of all 10 fingerprints. U.S. Customs and Border Protection photo

In its everyday operations, the term “biometrics” still has a fairly simple meaning for the federal border protection workforce:  It means fingerprints and photographs.  The immigration and border management system used by the Department of Homeland Security – the United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US-VISIT) program – collects digital fingerprints and photographs from everyone between the ages of 14 and 79 who attempts to enter the United States, and checks these images against a database of known or suspected criminals, terrorists, and illegal immigrants.

US-VISIT is a component of – or more accurately, it is a system that will soon make use of – the largest fingerprint repository and biometric-matching system in the world, DHS’s Automated Biometric Identification System, or IDENT.  By the end of 2012, according to US-VISIT Director Bob Mocny, the program will become fully integrated with this fingerprint database, enabling real-time “rapid response” capability – instead of checking against the current US-VISIT watch list of about 6 million identities, the fingerprints of incoming travelers will be

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Earth-Sized Tornado on the Surface of the Sun (VIDEO)

February 21, 2012 Comments off

beforeitsnews.com   geekosystem.com

In early February, NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory captured footage of whirling tornado-like storm on the surface of the sun. This enormous mass of plasma raged for over a day and was estimated to be larger than the Earth. Of course, it’s not a tornado in the same way that we understand them here on Earth. It’s obviously way bigger, way more terrifying, and way weirder.

While terrestrial tornadoes are the result of competing pressure fronts and the cooling of air, events on the sun are governed by gravity and magnetism. “The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces,” writes NASA on the SDO website. “They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines.”

The particles of plasma in the storm are relatively cooler, a mere 15,000 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the 2 million degree sun. This makes the solar prominence, which is what the “tornado” is classified as, appear darker than the bright background. The pull between those competing magnetic forces whip the

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Mass Surveillance and No Privacy Bill is ‘For the Children’

February 21, 2012 Comments off

networkworld

By Ms. Smith

What happens when stupid non-geeks write bills like SOPA and HR 1981? Rep. Lamar Smith says it’s for the children, of course, and if you object to being spied upon online then you are some kind of guilty pro-child-porn lowlife pond scum sucker. Where does the stupidity stop?

It’s for the children, of course, and if you object to online spying then you are some kind of guilty lowlife pond scum sucker. No wonder so many of us hate stupid people. Rep. Lamar Smith, infamous to geeks as the author of SOPA, is sponsoring the bill H.R. 1981 which is better known as “Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act.” H.R. 1981 isn’t exactly as easy to spit out as SOPA and is closer to something out of Orwell’s 1984. The EFF summed it up like this, “This sweeping new ‘mandatory data retention’ proposal treats every Internet user like a potential criminal and represents a clear and present danger to the online free speech and privacy rights of millions of innocent Americans.”

More or less, much like the just-in-case your data trail eventually reveals you are a terrorist, this bill presumes you are guilty until proven innocent of being a child porn dog as it would require ISPs to store your data for

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Scientists working on $330,000 test-tube-meat burger

February 21, 2012 Comments off

latimes.com

Test-tube meat

A strip of muscle tissue produced in a test tube in a Maastricht University lab. (Maastricht University)

Would you eat mystery meat grown in a lab if doing so was better for the environment? The debate may seem abstract, but scientists could turn a test-tube burger into reality by October.

The $330,000 project being conducted by Mark Post, chairman of physiology at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, involves a cow’s stem cells and funds from an anonymous private investor.

Post has already created several small strips of muscle tissue that, once he makes thousands more, will be mashed together to create a burger patty. The first sandwich could be ready this fall, he said during a presentation at the annual meeting of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science in Vancouver, Canada.

Though companies such as Tyson Foods and JBS have asked about possible meat substitutes, much of the

Read more…

Flowers regenerated from 30,000-year-old frozen fruits, buried by ancient squirrels

February 21, 2012 Comments off

discovermagazine

Fruits in my fruit bowl tend to rot into a mulchy mess after a couple of weeks. Fruits that are chilled in permanent Siberian ice fare rather better. After more than 30,000 years, and some care from Russian scientists, some ancient fruits have produced this delicate white flower.

These regenerated plants, rising like wintry Phoenixes from the Russian ice, are still viable. They produce their own seeds and, after a 30,000-year hiatus, can continue their family line.

The plant owes its miraculous resurrection to a team of scientists led by David Gilichinsky, and an enterprising ground squirrel. Back in the Upper Pleistocene, the squirrel buried the plant’s fruit in the banks of the Kolyma River. They froze.

Over millennia, the squirrel’s burrow fossilised and was buried under increasing layers of ice. The plants within were kept at a nippy -7 degrees Celsius, surrounded by

Read more…

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Iran, Russia naval presence in Syrian waters message to US: MP

February 21, 2012 Comments off

presstv

Russian warships arrived at the Syrian port city of Tartus on Sunday, January 8.

Sun Feb 19, 2012 3:9PM GMT

“The United States should take Iran’s warning about [refraining from any possible] military intervention in Syria seriously.”

Hossein Ebrahimi Deputy head of the Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee

A senior Iranian lawmaker says the presence of Iranian and Russian naval forces in Syria’s coastal waters is a clear warning to the US to refrain from any possible military adventurism.

“The United States should take Iran’s warning about [refraining from any possible] military intervention in Syria seriously,” Hossein Ebrahimi, deputy chairman of Iran Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said Sunday.

He added that in the event of a US strategic mistake in Syria, Washington may receive a crushing response from Iran, Syria and a few other countries.

On Sunday, January 8, a large Russian navy flotilla led by an aircraft carrier arrived at the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean Sea for a six-day port call, to show Moscow’s solidarity with Damascus.

“The port call is aimed at bringing the two countries closer together and strengthening their

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Animal diseases increasingly plague the oceans

February 21, 2012 Comments off

rawstory.com

whale.afp

VANCOUVER — When dead sea mammals started washing ashore on Canada’s west coast in greater numbers, marine biologist Andrew Trites was distressed to find that domestic animal diseases were killing them.

Around the world, seals, otters and other species are increasingly infected by parasites and other diseases long common in goats, cows, cats and dogs, marine mammal experts told a major science conference.

The diseases also increasingly threaten people who use the oceans for recreation, work or a source of seafood, scientists told reporters at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year in this western Canadian city.

The symposium “Swimming in Sick Seas” was one of many sessions at the meeting that drew a bleak picture of the state of

Read more…

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