Friday, February 18, 2011
Some interesting facts about the upcoming spate of Near Earth Objects (also known as NEOs, usually in the form of giant rocks that only Bruce Willis and a crack team of engineers can destroy):
-- meteor activity will increase in the coming months
-- many such Near Earth Objects come into our view as a surprise
-- As of January 1, 2011 28 new NEO discoveries have occurred and will pass near Earth come February, constituting a monthly increase of over 100%
-- 48 NEOs are presently scheduled to appear in February 201, with 5-10 additional appearances by month's end
-- A beautifully bright Moon will allow numerous of these NEOs to remain unnoticed until they've pass the Earth, or heaven forbid, strike the planet
-- With abundant NEO discovery comes a prediction of increased February meteor and green fireball activity, and all photographers of such celestial wonders are invited to head outdoors and be ready throughout the period of February 19 to February 23 until the month's end
-- NASA's Near Earth Objects site can be found at: http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ca
Special note: Our next NEO has scheduled its appearance for around February 20th, 2011 at a breakneck speed of 20.83 km per second and with an estimated diameter of 1.1 km - 2.4 km.
Today, it's a balmy 72 degrees in Nowata. Yesterday, it reached 79 degrees.
"Isn't it crazy? I love it," Nowata resident Julie Koupe told local channel News on 6.
On Feb. 10, it was slightly colder in the region than it was on the South Pole, notes Tulsa World writer Cary Aspinall. More than 3,000 Nowata homes lost power and residents spent the next few days digging their cars and homes out of the snow. There was so much snow in Tulsa last week that city officials began debating provisional plans to truck it out of town.
On Thursday, the 79 degree weather tied for the warmest Feb. 17 since 1907.
Climate scientists note that extreme swings in weather are associated with the gradual warming of the earth's climate. And the Oklahoma Climatological Survey has verified that the state's average temperature readings have been trending upward, with some year-to-year variations, since the late 1980s. You can read the survey's findings and recommendations here (pdf).
But broader climate trends notwithstanding, Oklahoma has long been known for its unpredictable weather. The local saying (attributed to Will Rogers) goes, "If you don't like the weather in Oklahoma, wait five minutes." This time, Oklahomans had to wait a week. Source
Prince Talal bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud told BBC Arabic that "anything could happen" if King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz did not proceed with a program of political transformation.
"King Abdullah ... is the only person who can carry out these reforms," the prince told the broadcaster.
"On his departure, may that be in many years to come, latent trouble will surface and I have warned of this on many occasions. We need to resolve the problems in his lifetime," the prince added.
Talal added that if Saudi authorities "don't give more concern to the demands of the people, anything could happen in this country". Read more
Victory for eco-warriors as Japan abandons whaling season - having caught just a fifth of 850 mammals targeted
By far the worst hit were those between the ages of 16 and 24, the Office for National Statistics figures suggested.
Unemployment jumped by 44,000 in the final three months of 2010 to just under 2.5 million, meaning that 7.9 per cent of workers were out of a job. But the youth unemployment rate hit 20.5 per cent, following a 66,000 increase to 965,000, the highest figures since records began in 1992.
Of particular concern for many experts was the increasing number of young people who have been out of work for a prolonged period of time. There were 75,000 people aged 18 to 24 who have not had a job for two years, the figures said. This was an increase of 43 per cent on a year ago. Read more
NYSE Euronext's revenues have fallen recently because of competition from cheaper computerized stock exchanges in the US and Europe. Many other global stock exchanges have also combined to save costs.
The deal will give NYSE Euronext a larger footprint in the more lucrative business of trading in futures and options contracts. Read more
The Day After The Dollar Crashes - A Survival Guide for the Rise of the New World Order (Must Watch!)
In the last year, home prices in Seattle had a bigger decline than in Las Vegas. Minneapolis dropped more than Miami, and Atlanta fared worse than Phoenix.
The bubble markets, where builders, buyers and banks ran wild, began falling first, economists say, so they are close to the end of the cycle and in some cases on their way back up. Nearly everyone else still has another season of pain. Read more
We’re dying down here on the Gulf – and we need your help to restore our way of life and our culture.
The economic devastation is hitting everyone from waitresses to fishermen to restaurateurs to property owners. Figuratively and literally, we’re dying. My neighbors and some of my clients are reporting severe illnesses directly related to the spill. We have names, we have case studies. We even have some local reporters with the courage to cover what is fast becoming a health crisis among cleanup workers and residents living in coastal communities (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQgNDCiIQPs&feature=player_embedded). But local coverage, compelling as it is, isn’t enough. Read more
Ben Raines at the Press-Register has a truly jaw-dropping story that several wells about 10 miles away from the Deepwater Horizon site have “been leaking oil into the Gulf since 2004, according to federal records.” Read more
Corn’s impact on the food industry is unlike that of any other agricultural commodity. At its most basic level, corn is a food staple for billions of people around the world and a key ingredient in dozens of products like breakfast cereals, baked goods, breads, tortillas, chips, soft drinks and even bourbon. But its reach goes much further. Read more
"That was only my second time to feel one, but others here have felt them for three or four months now," Greenbrier chief Jim Sutterfield said after feeling the latest tremor on Wednesday. "Now when it happens, people say, 'Well, there's another one.'"
Several small earthquakes ranging in magnitude from 1.8 to 3.8 have rattled the north-central Arkansas cities of Greenbrier and Guy this week, and the cause is unknown.
The U.S. Geological Survey has reported more than 30 earthquakes in the area since Sunday, including a magnitude 3.8 quake Thursday morning and at least 16 others occurring Wednesday, two of which were magnitude 3.2 and 3.5. More than 700 quakes have occurred in the region over the past six months.
Scott Ausbrooks, geohazards supervisor for the Arkansas Geological Survey, said the quakes are part of what is now called the Guy earthquake swarm — a series of mild earthquakes that have been occurring periodically since 2009. A similar swarm occurred in the early 1980s when a series of quakes hit Enola, Ark.
Ausbrooks said geologists are still trying to discover the exact cause of the recent seismic activity but have identified two possibilities.
"It could just be a naturally occurring swarm like the Enola swarm, or it could be related to ongoing natural gas exploration in the area," he said.
A major source of natural gas in Arkansas is the Fayetteville Shale, an organically-rich rock formation in north-central Arkansas. Drillers free up the gas by using hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" — injecting pressurized water to create fractures deep in the ground. Read More
Note: The map shows that nearly all the quakes are centralised to one point, and of course not all are recorded on this map for more accurate readings see here: Arkansas Seismic Network