Buried in the flood of data from the Kepler telescope is a planetary system unlike any seen before. Two of its apparent planets share the same orbit around their star. If the discovery is confirmed, it would bolster a theory that Earth once shared its orbit with a Mars-sized body that later crashed into it, resulting in the moon’s formation.
The two planets are part of a four-planet system dubbed KOI-730. They circle their sun-like parent star every 9.8 days at exactly the same orbital distance, one permanently about 60 degrees ahead of the other. In the night sky of one planet, the other world must appear as a constant, blazing light, never fading or brightening.
Gravitational “sweet spots” make this possible. When one Read more…
Puno: The Earth Is Opening In Southern Peru
|The mysterious crack measures 100 meters wide and three kilometers long. (Photo: El Comercio)|
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 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 Read more…
The recent unrest in the Middle East, which has been attributed, in part, to high food prices, gives us a warning of the type of global unrest that might result in future years if the climate continues to warm as expected. A hotter climate means more severe droughts will occur. We can expect an increasing number of unprecedented heat waves and droughts like the 2010 Russian drought in coming decades. This will significantly increase the odds of a world food emergency far worse than the 2007 – 2008 global food crisis. When we also consider the world’s expanding population and the possibility that peak oil will make fertilizers and agriculture much more expensive, we have the potential for a perfect storm of events aligning in the near future, with droughts made significantly worse by climate change contributing to events that will cause disruption of the global economy, intense political turmoil, and war. Read more…
By Richard Eastman
21st Century Wire
Feb 25, 2011
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is ready to lend one billion EUROS a year to Egypt for reconstruction and “free-market reform”- even as Egypt’s Minister of Finance Samir Radwan has gone begging to the City of London bankers and the British Ministry of Trade and Investment for relief on debt payments that are about to throw Egypt into bankruptcy.
All this, as Egypt has been such a good boy with regards to privatization and austerity, measures which awarded Egypt its celebrated 7 percent growth rate- mostly in investments that will end up in international hands as ventures fail to pay out with ever diminishing Egyptian domestic purchasing power.
FRESH CYCLES OF DEBT
First EBRD will lend at interest and build what they want backed by Egyptian collateral and the value of the projects themselves. Then when it turns out they can’t make the debt payments because of all the interest we have sucked from them, we take over all of the assets we have developed. That’s freedom and EBRD is really going to give it to them. After all EBRD is experienced at this. In 1991 the EBRD was organized to financially lead Russia and Eastern Europe in their transition from paternalistic socialism to sustainable free-market economies open to international Read more…
The U.S. can maintain its global primacy if it (among other things) plays Russia off China, India, Iran and Turkey off Russia and Turkey off Iran. That’s the analysis of globe-spinner extraordinaire Robert Kaplan, along with his brother Stephen (apparently recently retired as a top CIA official).
The essay, America Primed, is in the new edition of The National Interest and doesn’t deal too explicitly with the Caucasus or Central Asia. But it’s all about how the U.S. (assisted by the “Anglosphere,” other English-speaking countries like Canada, the U.K. and Australia) can maintain dominance on the Eurasian continent. And that requires American leadership to make sure that no other country — in particular China, Russia or Iran — gets too powerful. What does that entail, specifically?
For one, playing India off Russia (and “punishing” Pakistan):
Out of national pride, and because of its own tense relationships with China and Pakistan, India needs to remain officially nonaligned. But that will not stop New Delhi from accepting more help from Read more…
EXPERTS have no answers on what has caused the Death of Thousands of Squid in the River Derwent this week.
Spate of Derwent fish deaths
MERYL NAIDOO | February 25, 2011
Dead and dying arrowhead squid have been washed ashore or spotted floating on the water at Austins Ferry and Berriedale since Tuesday.
Locals say they have never seen so many dead fish.
Tim Strange, of Claremont, with some of the dead squid that have washed up in the area. Picture: NIKKI DAVIS-JONES
The Environment Protection Authority yesterday confirmed reports of more dead squid further down the river.
It is the third case of mass fish deaths in the Derwent in the space of two weeks.
Early this week a large mass of dead juvenile barracouta was found in Windermere Bay near Claremont Primary School.
This followed a similar number of juvenile barracouta being found dead just south of the Norske Skog paper mill at Boyer the week before.
EPA director Alex Schaap said it was unlikely that the deaths of the squid and barracouta were related.
Mr Schaap said young barracouta were particularly intolerant of low salinity, which was thought to have caused the mass deaths.
But water tests have left the barracouta deaths a mystery.
“We haven’t found evidence of anything untoward,” Mr Schaap said.
Water testing is now being done to cast light on the squid deaths.
“When we have an event which involves a single species we tend to suspect there is some behavioural factor involved, a natural phenomenon,” Mr Schaap said.