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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Crew evacuated from section of ISS after ammonia leak

by tap taru  |  at  9:05 PM
The crew of the International Space Station have been evacuated from the US part of the satellite after an ammonia leak, according to reports.

They have been moved into the Russian part of the satellite, Russian news reports said.

All of the six crew — made up of three Russians, two Americans and one Italian — are safe in the Russian section, Russian news agencies reported.

The station is divided into two — the Russian Orbital Segment and the United States Orbital Segment (USOS), which has been evacuated.

The USOS is made and operated by Nasa, the European Space Agency, the Canadian Space Agency and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

It is run by staff in a range of mission control centers, including two in the US,  and others in Germany and Japan.

New supplies arrived at the station last week, after a rocket made by SpaceX carried them there. The arrival of the supplies were delayed by a rocket explosion in October.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits Japan's Honshu island: USGS

by tap taru  |  in Japan at  10:59 PM

 A 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan's Honshu island on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, shaking Fukushima where crippled nuclear power plants are located, but local media said there was no tsunami warning. 

USGS said the quake's epicenter was located 42 miles (68 km) east-northeast of Iwaki on Honshu. It was measured at a depth of 22.9 miles (37 km). 

A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power, which owns the nuclear plants, said no irregularities have been found at its Fukushkma Daiichi or Daini plants. 

The national broadcaster NHK said there was no tsunami warning, and there were no immediate reports of casualties or serious damage.

The quake also jolted Fukushima's neighboring areas on Japan's pacific coast.


Friday, December 5, 2014

Hungry Squirrel pack kills and eat dog at Park in Russia

by tap taru  |  in Nature at  2:26 PM


Squirrels have bitten to death a stray dog which was barking at them in a Russian park, local media report.
Passers-by were too late to stop the attack by the black squirrels in a village in the far east, which reportedly lasted about a minute.
They are said to have scampered off at the sight of humans, some carrying pieces of flesh.
A pine cone shortage may have led the squirrels to seek other food sources, although scientists are sceptical.
The attack was reported in parkland in the centre of Lazo, a village in the Maritime Territory, and was witnessed by three local people. 
A "big" stray dog was nosing about the trees and barking at squirrels hiding in branches overhead when a number of them suddenly descended and attacked, reports say.
"They literally gutted the dog," local journalist Anastasia Trubitsina told Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper.
"When they saw the men, they scattered in different directions, taking pieces of their kill away with them."
Mikhail Tiyunov, a scientist in the region, said it was the first he had ever heard of such an attack.
While squirrels without sources of protein might attack birds' nests, he said, the idea of them chewing a dog to death was "absurd".
"If it really happened, things must be pretty bad in our forests," he added.
Komosmolskaya Pravda notes that in a previous incident this autumn chipmunks terrorised cats in a part of the territory. 
A Lazo man who called himself only Mikhalich said there had been "no pine cones at all" in the local forests this year.
"The little beasts are agitated because they have nothing to eat," he added.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Accident Occurred At Ukraine Zaporizhzhya Power Plant

by tap taru  |  in Nuklear Crysis at  10:29 PM


Ukraine's energy authorities said on Wednesday that an accident at a nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya in the south-east of the country posed no danger and the plant would return to normal operations on Dec. 5.
"There is no threat ... there are no problems with the reactors," Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn, who took up his post in a new government only on Tuesday, told a briefing.
Demchyshyn, said the accident which happened on Friday in one of the six blocs at Zaporizhzhya, Europe's largest nuclear powerplant, had been caused by a short circuit in the power outlet system and was "in no way" linked to power production.
In Vienna, the International Atomic Energy Agency said it had no immediate comment on the report.
Under an international convention, adopted after the April 1986 Chernobyl accident in what was then Soviet Ukraine, a country must notify the IAEA of any nuclear accident that can have an impact on other countries.
The explosion and fire at the Chernobyl power plant, the world's worst nuclear accident, was caused by human error and a series of blasts sent a cloud of radioactive dust billowing across northern and western Europe.
Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, have estimated the death toll at only a few thousand as a result of the explosion while the environmental group Greenpeace says the accident will eventually cause up to 93,000 extra cancer deaths worldwide.
Interfax news agency said a 1,000-megawatt reactor was housed in the bloc at Zaporizhzhya where last Friday's accident occurred.
Demchyshyn said the affected bloc had been provisionally disconnected from the electro-energy system though its reactor continued to work normally.
"Its power output is not being used. I think that the problem will be resolved by Friday," he said.
The accident has had a slight impact on Ukraine's energy system, but Demchyshyn said he would ask the major industrial consumers to impose a 'voluntary restriction' in energy consumption.
Ukraine produced more than 60 million tonnes of coal last year, making it self-sufficient in electricity and coal.

Separatist fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions since June has halted production at 66 coal mines, however, leaving Ukrainian power plants without enough raw materials.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Handbook of Ritual Power:Ancient Egyptian codex finally deciphered

by tap taru  |  in History at  3:22 PM

A pair of Australian researchers, Malcolm Choat with Macquarie University and Iain Gardner with the University of Sydney, has after many decades of effort by others, succeeded in deciphering an ancient Egyptian codex. In meeting with members of the press, they revealed that the codex is actually a handbook of a practitioner of rituals and for that reason have published the converted text as "Egyptian Handbook of Ritual Power."

No one knows where the codex was found, but most scholars who have studied it believe it was written by someone in pre-Islamic Upper Egypt approximately 1,300 years ago. An antiques dealer came across it in the late 70's or early 80's who subsequently sold it to Macquarie University in 1981. Since that time, various researchers have attempted to read the  but none were successful until now. The 20 parchment pages of text were written in Coptic, the researchers note, and offer 27 spells and multiple invocations and drawings. It appears likely, the team reports, that the two types of subjects meant that they were once separate documents that were later combined in the codex.

The researchers found love spells, a means for casting out evil spirits and even ideas on how to treat ailments, such as one known as black jaundice. They also found multiple references to Jesus and Sethians—religious groups that identified with Adam and Eve's third son, and others that identified with a previously unknown character referred to as Baktiotha—a god-like figure. Because of the mix of subjects in the invocations, the two researchers suggest the document was likely a representative of a transition period for the people of that time. They also suggest that the person who wrote or used the text was likely not a priest or monk (there was a large number of Christians living in the area during that time) but more likely was a scholarly type, using the codex as a means of helping people achieve desires or goals. Some examples, included spells to help a person do better in business, or to help them get along with others. One spell could be used to assist one person in subjugating another.


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Strong Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake hits Nagano Japan Nov,22

by tap taru  |  in Earthquake at  10:14 PM


Breaking: 6.8 earthquake, 16km NNE of Omachi, Japan. Nov 22 22:08 at epicenter (16m ago, 14km Nagano, depth 10km).

 A strong earthquake shook central Japan's Nagano region on Saturday night, injuring several people and collapsing a building in area village, the country's Kyodo News Agency reported, citing firefighters.Reports of the intensity of the quake, centered in the Nagano area at 10:08 p.m., differed. The Japan Meteorological Agency reported it was a 6.8 magnitude temblor; the U.S. Geological Survey said it was magnitude 6.2.The Nagano fire department said several people were injured, Kyodo News Agency reported.

 Details about the injuries weren't immediately available.About 30 kilometers west of Nagano, a building had collapsed in the village of Hakuba, a firefighter told the news agency.No electric facilities, including nuclear power plants, were damaged, the Tokyo Electric Power Co. said via Twitter Saturday.

The USGS's online ShakeMap estimated strong shaking would have been felt near the epicenter, with a potential for light damage.

Aftershocks followed the main quake Saturday night, including one measured at magnitude 4.1, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

In Hakubamura village several houses collapsed and some of residents trapped inside..rescue efforts continue 

Updates coming soon...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Dark Winter:30-Year Cold Spell will Strikes Earth

by tap taru  |  in Climate Change at  12:35 AM

With nasty cold fronts thrusting an icy and early winter across the continental U.S. — along with last winter described by USA Today as "one of the snowiest, coldest, most miserable on record" — climatologist John L. Casey thinks the weather pattern is here to stay for decades to come.

In fact, Casey, a former space shuttle engineer and NASA consultant, is out with the  provocative book "Dark Winter: How the Sun Is Causing a 30-Year Cold Spell," which warns that a radical shift in global climate is underway, and that Al Gore and other environmentalists have it completely wrong. 

The earth, he says, is cooling, and cooling fast. 

And unless the scientific community and political leaders act soon, cold, dark days are ahead. 

Casey says the evidence is clear that the earth is rapidly growing colder because of diminished solar activity. 

He says trends indicate we could be headed for colder temperatures similar to those seen in the late 1700s and early 1800s when the sun went into a "solar minimum" — a phenomenon with significantly reduced solar activity, including solar flares and sunspots. 

If he's right, that would be very bad news. 

"Dark Winter" posits that a 30-year period of cold has already begun. Frigid temperatures and the food shortages that inevitably result could lead to riots and chaos. 

Casey tells Newsmax, "All you have to do is trust natural cycles and follow the facts, and that leads you to the inevitable conclusion that the sun controls the climate, and that a new cold era has begun."

Casey is president of the Space and Science Research Corp., an Orlando, Fla., climate research firm. 

His new book debunks global warming orthodoxy. For more than a decade, he reports, the planet's oceans have been cooling. And since 2007, the atmospheric temperature has been cooling as well.

"The data is pretty solid," Casey says. "If you look at the 100-year global temperature chart, you look at the steep drop-off we've had since 2007. It's the steepest drop in global temperatures in the last hundred years."

So how can the media and scientific elites make a case for global warming when it's actually cooling? 

Casey suggests climate-change theorists have simply wedded themselves to the wrong theory — namely, that global temperatures respond to the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Any scientist suggesting otherwise is castigated as a heretic, though there are other prominent scientists who support Casey.

Noted Russian astrophysicist Habibullo I. Abdussamatov has argued that a new mini-ice age has begun, though Casey doesn't go that far. 

He does agree with Abdussamatov that the real driver of global climate is solar activity, namely sunspots. These correspond to shifts in global temperature with a greater than 90 percent accuracy, he says. 

The environmental left focuses instead on ever-rising greenhouse emissions, suggesting nature is just taking a bit of a breather before the upward march in temperatures ineluctably resumes. 

"There are two fundamental flaws with that," Casey says. "No. 1, the greenhouse-gas theory, and the global climate models that they produced, never permitted a pause. As long as CO2 levels were going up, the only thing that could happen was global temperatures could go up. That has not happened. 

"No. 2, there could absolutely be no cooling, much less a pause. And yet we've been cooling for 11 years now." 

The recent polar vortex that sent temperatures across the Midwest plunging to sub-zero records is not an aberration, Casey says. 

If "Dark Winter" is right, that means the nation is busily preparing for the wrong calamity. 

"We don't have 10 years," Casey warns. "We've squandered during President Obama's administration eight years ... and we didn't have eight years to squander." 

The worst of the cooling cycle, Casey predicts, will hit in the late 2020s and the early 2030s. 

Food riots will break out, demand for heating oil will spike, and the failure of the corn crop will put the squeeze on ethanol. 

He even predicts the United States will ban agricultural exports to feed its own citizens. 

When Casey developed his theories in 2007, he emerged with several predictions.

Rising temperatures would begin to reverse themselves within three years. The sun would enter a phase of reduced activity he called "solar hibernation." And oceanic and atmospheric temperatures would enter a long decline.

So far, all of Casey's predictions have come true. He says, "My theory tells you when it will be cold ... and it is the cold that kills." 

Casey also suggests that a long-term cold spell will have dire effects on the earth's geology. 

As air and ocean temperatures cool, the earth's crust begins changing, leading to more volcanic activity and earthquakes. Casey notes that the worst earthquake to strike the continental U.S. in modern times was in 1812 in New Madrid, Missouri — during the last great solar minimum.

The climate changes also will affect human activity and may be a prelude to revolutionary politics. He says the French Revolution took place at the beginning of the last solar minimum in 1789. 

"It could be one of the reasons Putin is so eager to get Ukraine," Casey says. "For many decades before Ukraine became independent, it was the primary source of wheat for the Soviet Union during cold weather times. Putin must have the wheat of Ukraine for the new cold era."

Casey has a worried look as he talks about the revelations in "Dark Winter."

"There is no human on earth, much less here in the U.S., who has experienced the depth and duration of cold we're about to experience — it's that serious," he says.

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