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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Earthquake Swarm strikes Africa, Puzzles the Experts.. (2 articles..)

 
 
 
TANZANIA, KENYA - tremors began on July 12, so faint that they were barely noticed. A week later, a couple of good jolts sent people fleeing their offices in downtown Nairobi. Then the tremors were gone. Scientists are still unsure about what exactly caused this "earthquake swarm" — a cluster of relatively mild shakes spaced out over several days in Kenya and Tanzania.
 Is a big earthquake approaching Africa? Experts unsure
By Irani
But, it is not that the chapter closed - but left scientists confused and unsure of what led to this 'earthquake swarm!' Though no much damage is caused by the earthquakes, the fear of the future lingers. To the inhabitants, what is ...
Environment Blog - http://www.greendiary.com


Oscar the Cat predicts patients' deaths

Cats are really special!  I remember many instances of strange and wonderful occurances with my cats.  God sent them to us for more than their treasured companionship, I believe.
deexxoo
 
 

Oscar the cat predicts patients' deaths Oscar, a hospice cat at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Providence, R.I., walks past an activity room at the facility Monday, July 23, 2007. Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours.     (AP Photo/Stew Milne)

By RAY HENRY, Associated Press Writer 6 minutes ago
Oscar the cat seems to have an uncanny knack for predicting when nursing home patients are going to die, by curling up next to them during their final hours. His accuracy, observed in 25 cases, has led the staff to call family members once he has chosen someone. It usually means they have less than four hours to live.
"He doesn't make too many mistakes. He seems to understand when patients are about to die," said Dr. David Dosa in an interview. He describes the phenomenon in a poignant essay in Thursday's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
"Many family members take some solace from it. They appreciate the companionship that the cat provides for their dying loved one," said Dosa, a geriatrician and assistant professor of medicine at Brown University.
The 2-year-old feline was adopted as a kitten and grew up in a third-floor dementia unit at the Steere House Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. The facility treats people with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and other illnesses.
After about six months, the staff noticed Oscar would make his own rounds, just like the doctors and nurses. He'd sniff and observe patients, then sit beside people who would wind up dying in a few hours.
Dosa said Oscar seems to take his work seriously and is generally aloof. "This is not a cat that's friendly to people," he said.
Oscar is better at predicting death than the people who work there, said Dr. Joan Teno of Brown University, who treats patients at the nursing home and is an expert on care for the terminally ill
She was convinced of Oscar's talent when he made his 13th correct call. While observing one patient, Teno said she noticed the woman wasn't eating, was breathing with difficulty and that her legs had a bluish tinge, signs that often mean death is near.
Oscar wouldn't stay inside the room though, so Teno thought his streak was broken. Instead, it turned out the doctor's prediction was roughly 10 hours too early. Sure enough, during the patient's final two hours, nurses told Teno that Oscar joined the woman at her bedside.
Doctors say most of the people who get a visit from the sweet-faced, gray-and-white cat are so ill they probably don't know he's there, so patients aren't aware he's a harbinger of death. Most families are grateful for the advanced warning, although one wanted Oscar out of the room while a family member died. When Oscar is put outside, he paces and meows his displeasure.
No one's certain if Oscar's behavior is scientifically significant or points to a cause. Teno wonders if the cat notices telltale scents or reads something into the behavior of the nurses who raised him.
Nicholas Dodman, who directs an animal behavioral clinic at the Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and has read Dosa's article, said the only way to know is to carefully document how Oscar divides his time between the living and dying.
If Oscar really is a furry grim reaper, it's also possible his behavior could be driven by self-centered pleasures like a heated blanket placed on a dying person, Dodman said.
Nursing home staffers aren't concerned with explaining Oscar, so long as he gives families a better chance at saying goodbye to the dying.
Oscar recently received a wall plaque publicly commending his "compassionate hospice care."
___
Science writer Alicia Chang in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
___
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Monday, July 23, 2007

Lost city 'could rewrite history'



Saturday, 19 January, 2002, 06:33 GMT

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/1768109.stm

The city is believed to predate the Harappan civilisation

By BBC News Online's Tom Housden


The remains of what has been described as a huge lost city may force
historians and archaeologists to radically reconsider their view of ancient
human history.

Marine scientists say archaeological remains discovered 36 metres (120 feet)
underwater in the Gulf of Cambay off the western coast of India could be
over 9,000 years old.

The vast city - which is five miles long and two miles wide - is believed to
predate the oldest known remains in the subcontinent by more than 5,000
years.



The site was discovered by chance last year by oceanographers from India's
National Institute of Ocean Technology conducting a survey of pollution.

Using sidescan sonar - which sends a beam of sound waves down to the bottom
of the ocean they identified huge geometrical structures at a depth of
120ft.

Debris recovered from the site - including construction material, pottery,
sections of walls, beads, sculpture and human bones and teeth has been
carbon dated and found to be nearly 9,500 years old.

Lost civilisation

The city is believed to be even older than the ancient Harappan
civilisation, which dates back around 4,000 years.

Marine archaeologists have used a technique known as sub-bottom profiling to
show that the buildings remains stand on enormous foundations.


Author and film-maker Graham Hancock - who has written extensively on the
uncovering of ancient civilisations - told BBC News Online that the evidence
was compelling:

"The [oceanographers] found that they were dealing with two large blocks of
apparently man made structures.

"Cities on this scale are not known in the archaeological record until
roughly 4,500 years ago when the first big cities begin to appear in
Mesopotamia.

"Nothing else on the scale of the underwater cities of Cambay is known. The
first cities of the historical period are as far away from these cities as
we are today from the pyramids of Egypt," he said.

Chronological problem

This, Mr Hancock told BBC News Online, could have massive repercussions for
our view of the ancient world.


"There's a huge chronological problem in this discovery. It means that the
whole model of the origins of civilisation with which archaeologists have
been working will have to be remade from scratch," he said.

However, archaeologist Justin Morris from the British Museum said more work
would need to be undertaken before the site could be categorically said to
belong to a 9,000 year old civilisation.

"Culturally speaking, in that part of the world there were no civilisations
prior to about 2,500 BC. What's happening before then mainly consisted of
small, village settlements," he told BBC News Online.

Dr Morris added that artefacts from the site would need to be very carefully
analysed, and pointed out that the C14 carbon dating process is not without
its error margins.

It is believed that the area was submerged as ice caps melted at the end of
the last ice age 9-10,000 years ago

Although the first signs of a significant find came eight months ago,
exploring the area has been extremely difficult because the remains lie in
highly treacherous waters, with strong currents and rip tides.

The Indian Minister for Human Resources and ocean development said a group
had been formed to oversee further studies in the area.

"We have to find out what happened then ... where and how this civilisation
vanished," he said.




Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Dow Jones breaks record.. 14,000 first time ever..

What goes up, must come down.
deexxoo
______________________________________________________________________
 
DOW JONES INDUSTRIALS CRACK 14,000 FOR FIRST TIME AS WALL STREET CONTINUES ITS RECORD 'BULL RUN'

**Watch FOX News Channel or go to http://foxnews.com for more


Sydney preparing for Natural Disaster or Terrorist Attack

 
 
 
 
Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
Sydney urged to pack for attack
By Phil Mercer
BBC News, Sydney


Sydney Harbour and the Opera House
Sydney is being urged to prepare for a possible terror attack
Residents of Australia's biggest city, Sydney, have been urged to pack a survival kit to prepare for a terrorist attack or a natural disaster.
The local authority wants people to put together an emergency "Go-Bag", including maps, food and a radio.
Officials have denied the campaign is a government attempt to create fear and enhance national security credentials ahead of elections due later this year.
Senior ministers said planning for the initiative began two years ago.
Emergency buddy
Sydney's city council said residents need to think about what they would do in the event of a terrorist attack, a natural disaster or an outbreak of a contagious disease.
WHAT TO PACK IN A GO-BAG?
An emergency Go Bag
Maps, phone numbers, insurance details
Radio, first aid kit, spare keys
Running shoes, spare change, energy bars, toilet paper
Officials have suggested they pack a special bag with items such as a first aid kit, running shoes and a baseball cap.
The list also includes toilet paper and sticky tape.
It is all part of a new advertising campaign called "Let's Get Ready Sydney".
Posters, leaflets and a website will advise people what to do if the worst happens.
They would be encouraged to team up with an emergency buddy and head to one of three designated safe sites in the city centre.
There is also a helpful suggestion for cat owners, who have been told that if disaster does strike they can carry their pet in a cotton pillowcase.
Scheme lampooned
Critics are not impressed.
A member of the Greens in Sydney said the campaign was a conspiracy by the federal government to whip up fear ahead of national elections due in the next few months.
That accusation is denied by the government of Prime Minister John Howard, who is seen by many Australian voters as a leader with strong national security credentials.
The scheme has drawn scorn from some Australian newspapers.
One cartoonist depicted a frantic woman worrying which of her designer bags to pack.
Sydney's Lord Mayor, Clover Moore, has brushed aside the criticism.
She said that cities had to be aware of the threats posed by militant groups and climate change.
The mayor has admitted, however, that she is yet to pack her own emergency survival kit.


Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Bogus company got license for nuke materials, report says

 

Bogus company got license for nuke materials, report says

  • Story Highlights
  • Operation finds holes in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission system
  • In 28 days, government investigators set up fake company
  • They obtain a license and buy machines with nuclear materials
  • NRC says holes found by operation have now been closed
  • Next Article in Politics »
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Government investigators created a bogus company to obtain a license for radioactive materials that could have been used to build a dirty bomb, a report CNN has obtained shows.
The report, to be the subject of a Senate hearing Thursday, exposed holes in the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's licensing system, which the NRC says it has since plugged.
Investigators with the Government Accountability Office altered the license and took initial steps a terrorist could have used to build a moderate-sized dirty bomb
Within 28 days, investigators created the bogus company without leaving their Washington offices and obtained a license to buy equipment containing nuclear materials. They changed the license to get access to an unrestricted amount of nuclear material and got commitments from two suppliers for machines containing radioactive material.
From those machines, enough radioactive material -- americium 241 and cesium 137 -- could have been extracted to create a dirty bomb -- a non-fissile bomb that nonetheless would create chaos by distributing radioactive material over an area, congressional staffers said.
"Although we had no legitimate use for the machines, our investigators received, within days of obtaining a license from NRC, price quotes and terms of payment that would have allowed us to purchase numerous machines containing sealed radioactive source materials," the GAO report says.
Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minnesota, criticized the NRC, saying it "has a pre-9/11 mind-set in a post-9/11 world --- focusing just on preventing another Chernobyl. The reality is that terrorists are interested in using a dirty bomb to wreak havoc in this country."
Coleman said the GAO could have prolonged their effort, "generating dozens of fake licenses. ... In other words, the amount of radiological materials involved in the sting was but a demonstration amount, and it could have been considerably larger and considerably more dangerous."
The NRC said Wednesday the materials involved in the sting were some of the least dangerous radioactive material but that it has fixed loopholes found by the GAO investigation.
"The GAO pointed out an area where our process could be improved to strengthen these protections on the less risky materials," NRC spokesman Eliot Brenner said. "We moved rapidly to fix this. Now, any new applicant for a license for these far less dangerous materials will get a visit from the NRC or have to come to see us and prove their bona fides."
The sort of bomb the GAO could have put together with the devices it could have bought "would have the radiation equivalent of a CAT scan to the chest and stomach," Brenner said. "The risk posed by these materials is small, but we are committed to seeing that they cannot be used by terrorists."
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks the NRC focused on tightening restrictions regarding the most dangerous nuclear materials, he said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend


Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Beware of Fake Greeting Cards..

Beware of fake greeting cards
 
Thanks to Larry Taylor for this!
deexxoo
--------------------------------------------------
 

Jim Bramlett
Jul 1, 2007

Dear friends:

See warning below.  I have long been suspicious of e-mail greeting cards and will not click on the links unless the sender is both revealed and known to me.  Be careful.

Jim
______________________________

XP/Vista Security News, Tips, Updates & Patches

Beware fake greeting cards

There are several web sites through which you can send a virtual birthday, anniversary or other greeting card to a friend. It's a nice gesture; you construct the card, create a message to go inside and enter the friend's email address, and he/she is notified to pick up the card on the web site. I've received many in the past from friends of mine. Recently, though, phishers have begun to exploit this common feature, sending you fake cards with URLs that, when clicked on, will take you to a malicious site that attempts to steal information that can be used for identity theft. Even experienced Internet users are sometimes fooled; see the blog post here:
http://www.wxpnews.com/LBTBEK/070619-Fake-Greeting-Cards

Be very careful about picking up those cards now. One clue that a greeting card message isn't legit: most of the real services give you, in the email notice, the name or email address of the sender.
If the message just says "a friend sent you a card," with no identifying info, proceed with caution.



Coffeyville Kansas Oil Refinery Underwater

Weather, weather, weather..
 
<div><a href="http://us.rd.yahoo.com/dailynews/rss/weather/*http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070703/us_nm/coffeyville_refinery_flood_dc"><img src="http://d.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/nm/20070703/2007_07_03t095541_450x301_us_coffeyville_refinery_flood.jpg?x=130&y=86&sig=mlsFTGIGK2hSqiUeuRBSCA--" align="left" height="86" width="130" alt="photo" title="Aerial view shows oil spill from Coffeyville Resources refinery in the Verdigris River in Coffeyville, Kansas July 2, 2007. Coffeyville Resources' oil refinery in Kansas was submerged under four to six feet of  water due to flooding, a Montgomery County Emergency Management coordinator said Tuesday. (Cindy Price/The Coffeyville Journal/Handout/Reuters)" border="0"/></a></div><br clear="all"/>

Coffeyville Kansas refinery underwater

Reuters - 56 minutes ago
Reuters - Coffeyville Resources said much of its 108,000 barrel-per-day Kansas refinery remained submerged on Tuesday, hampering its efforts to assess damage from a devastating weekend flood and the extent of an oil spill from the refinery.


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