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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Busy hurricane season coming to an end, but......

 ..GET USED TO IT!  Oh great..
Tue Nov 29, 2005 6:12 PM ET170

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FACTBOX-2005 hurricane season rewrites the record books

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By Jane Sutton
MIAMI (Reuters) - The busiest and costliest Atlantic hurricane season on record finally ends on Wednesday but meteorologists cautioned that it may be years before the tropical Atlantic settles down.
So next hurricane season might not be any better.
"You bet I'm worried about next year, and several years after that," Max Mayfield, director of the U.S. National Hurricane Center, told a news conference.
"We have six months to prepare for the 2006 hurricane season. It's reality. We've got to deal with that."
Records fell like tree branches during the 2005 
hurricane season that began June 1 and formally ends November 30.
There have been 26 tropical storms, besting the old record of 21 set in 1933. Thirteen of them strengthened into hurricanes, topping the old record of 12 in 1969.
"These are double to triple the number we would see in an average season," said Gerry Bell, lead meteorologist for the climate prediction center at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Hurricane Katrina blasted into the record books when it submerged New Orleans and bulldozed the Mississippi coast in late August, causing at least $80 billion of damage. That made it the costliest hurricane on record and the costliest natural disaster ever to strike the United States.
The monster storm killed at least 1,300 people, the most in the United States since 1928. But Hurricane Stan was deadlier, killing up to 2,000 people with torrential rains that triggered mudslides and flash floods in Central America in October.
"Within all the record-breaking statistics of the past hurricane season, there are epic human impacts ... suffering on a very large scale," Mayfield said.
Forecasters had warned that 2005 would be hyperactive because hurricanes feed on warm seas, and ocean temperatures in the tropical Atlantic region have warmed by 2 to 3 degrees Fahrenheit (1 to 2 degrees C).
The upper atmospheric winds that can shear off the tops of cyclones have been mostly absent for the past few years, so hurricanes that form are more likely to persist.
Meteorologists said those conditions are part of naturally occurring cycles that alternately produce low-hurricane-activity periods and high-activity ones, each lasting 20 to 30 years. The current high-activity period began in 1995 and could last another decade or longer, Bell said.
Not only were there more and stronger storms, but wind patterns off Africa steered more of them westward across the Atlantic and into the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, increasing the number that hit land this year.
The U.S. weather agencies have asked Congress for a $50 million funding increase next year to pay for additional flights by planes that fly into storms to gather data and for research aimed at improving their forecasts.
They have improved in the last 15 years at forecasting where a storm will go, but are often stymied in their attempts to predict how strong it will be when it gets there.
Coastal residents often ignore evacuation orders if they expect a weak hurricane, which leaves them vulnerable if it intensifies rapidly near shore. And if a strong storm fizzles near shore, those who fled inland to escape it may be tempted to ignore evacuation orders next time.
"We almost always overforecast on rapid development and underforecast on rapid weakening," Mayfield said.
Forecasters expected the deadly lessons of 2005 to push compliance with evacuation orders above the typical 30 percent, and to encourage people to prepare to be self-sufficient for up to week after a major storm.
"I think we have people's attention after this year," Mayfield said.

© Reuters 2005. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by caching, framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.

End Times Clock Moves Forward

End Times Clock Moves Forward With Iranian Events - Bill Wilson
WASH?KIN?Nov 28?The past ten days has witnessed the end-times clock moving forward as the European Community has uncovered documents that Iran has blueprints for nuclear weapons; Iran has offered oil and natural gas to North Korea in return for help building nuclear missiles; and, President George W. Bush has asked Russia, the linchpin in the Ezekiel 38 Gog/Magog prophecy, to intervene in the Iranian nuclear situation.
President George W. Bush recently said he would rely on Russian President Vladimir Putin to help bring Iran to its senses regarding its nuclear program. But Russia is neck deep with the Iranians in helping them develop nuclear technology. It seems as though superpowers such as the U.S. and Britain are at a loss on how to handle Iran and are blinded by the obvious relationships already in place.
Ezekiel 38 speaks of bringing Gog of the land of MaGog (which is Eastern Russia, Western China), Persia (Iran), Libya and Ethiopia (Both the Northern span of Africa) and other nations against Israel. Those who are named in the Ezekiel 38 Gog/Magog prophecy are deeply involved in helping Iran develop nuclear capabilities, and the West, including America and Europe, is relying on them to resolve the matter. Meantime, Iranian President Mahmoud Amadinejad has said that the Jews should be wiped off the face of the earth. To this end, Iran has given safe haven to Hezbollah, al Qaeda, and other Islamic terrorist groups.
For the rest of this article and other biblically relevant articles subscribe to "Koenig's Eye View from the White House." The news report is distributed by email every Friday by 2:00 pm ET and posted in our subscriber area at the web site.
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Monday, November 28, 2005

The Universe is only pretending..

And we take it so seriously!

The Daily Californian

Like a Hologram, the Universe Merely Appears to Have Three Spatial Dimensions, Scientists Infer
Contribution Writer
Wednesday, November 9, 2005

In quantum physics, nothing is as it seems. As physicists continue to study the universe they continually run into new questions that shake how humans understand the universe's intricate mechanics.
UC Berkeley physics professor, Raphael Bousso, is trying to break down the mysteries of the universe with a concept called the holographic principle. Physicists stumbled on the idea while studying black holes. It is a concept, which ultimately questions whether the third dimension exists.
"There's a real conflict between the way that we're thinking about the world right now, which is a very local way where everything happens independently in different regions of space and the way that we're going to have to think about it," said Bousso in an interview.
Bousso presented the ideas at a seminar last weekend called "Latest Theories About the Universe and Its Governing Laws: Theoretical Physics Made Easy for the Public" at the Lawrence Hall of Science to an audience of about 100.
The holographic principle uses the optical concept of holograms to try to visually explain the complex idea. Holograms are most often used on credit cards and are images that look three dimensional, but they exist on a two dimensional surface.
"You have to keep in mind that we're just using that name as a sort of metaphor for something that we're specifying quite precisely when we're talking about how much information there is relative to certain areas," he said.
A computer chip is a good way to visualize the principle. The chip has information stored on it in the form of data, but this isn't the information Bousso is talking about. Information in the holographic principle means the entire collection of matter the chip is made of.
"One way of quantifying the complexity of matter is to ask how many different states can it be in? How many things can you wiggle in? How many different ways?" Bousso said.
It would seem logical that if you doubled the size of the chip, then you could store twice as much information on the chip.
"What we've found is that it appears that gravity conspires against that when you really try to store a lot of information in a special region, then once you double that region you can't store twice as much anymore," Bousso said.
In other words, if you have a bunch of grapes in the fridge and have all the information including water content, temperature and anything else, you should be able to create an exact replica of the grapes.
Physicists have found the information content doesn't hinge on volume, but rather on surface area. An information increase can only happen on a two-dimensional surface and information density cannot increase by volume, a three-dimensional measurement.
"The total amount of information that you can store in the world grows only like the surface area of the region that you're considering," he said.
The discovery ultimately says the concept shows the third dimension could be an illusion because complex calculations can't prove it exists. The recognition is a step of progress, but Bousso doesn't know where it will ultimately lead.
"It may be a major step, it may just be one piece in a very big puzzle, but I think it's definitely progress towards that goal," he said.
Although there is practical way to use these principles right now, Bousso said he and fellow physicists are driven to understand nature at the most fundamental level.
Albert Einstein didn't have any practical applications for his theory of relativity when he first discovered it, but now the concept is woven into today's technology with things like global positioning systems, he said.
"It happens to be true that sooner or later these types of progress have not just had practical applications, but they really underlie almost everything that we can do technologically today," Bousso said.
Ultimately, the physicist wants to find the origins and the implications of the holographic principle.
He said the principle has given insight into physics concepts that scientists have understood for years.
"It gives us a preview of some of the unifications and the explanatory power that the quantum gravity we're seeking is going to have," Bousso said.
Contact Alexandra L. Woodruff at

Changing History - Communist Russia used to do this..but WE are doing it now..

A MESSAGE FROM AN APPALLED OBSERVER: Today I went to visit the new World War II Memorial in Washington, DC. I got an unexpected history lesson. Because I'm a baby boomer, I was one of the youngest in the crowd. Most were the age of my parents, veterans of "the greatest war," with their families. It was a beautiful day, and people were smiling and happy to be there. Hundreds of us milled around the memorial, reading the inspiring words of Eisenhower and Truman that are engraved there. On the Pacific side of the memorial, a group of us gathered to read the words President Roosevelt used to announce the attack on Pearl Harbor: Yesterday, December 7, 1941-- a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked. One elderly woman read the words aloud: With confidence in our armed forces, with the unbounding determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. But as she read, she was suddenly turned angry. "Wait a minute," she said, "they left out the end of the quote. They left out the most important part. Roosevelt ended the message with "so help us God.'" Her husband said, "You are probably right. We're not supposed to say things like that now." "I know I'm right," she insisted. "I remember the speech." The two looked dismayed, shook their heads sadly and walked away. Listening to their conversation, I thought to myself, "Well, it has been over 50 years. She's probably forgotten." But she had not forgotten. She was right. I went home and pulled out the book my book club is reading --- "Flags of Our Fathers" by James Bradley. It's all about the battle at Iwo Jima. I haven't gotten too far in the book. It's tough to read because it's a graphic description of the WWII battles in the Pacific. But right there it was on page 58. Roosevelt's speech to the nation ends in "so help us God." The people who edited out that part of the speech when they engraved it on the memorial could have fooled me. I was born after the war. But they couldn't fool the people who were there. Roosevelt's words are engraved on their hearts. Now I ask: "WHO GAVE THEM THE RIGHT TO CHANGE THE WORDS OF HISTORY?????????"
Send this around to your friends. People need to know before everyone forgets. People today are trying to change the history of America by leaving God out of it, but the truth is, God has been a part of this nation, since the beginning.  He still wants to be...and He always will be!  If you agree, pass this on. If not, MAY GOD BLESS YOU

Everything does not stay the same - in Jerusalem

Everything Does Not Stay The Same
Posted by The Editors on November 25, 2005 at 8:09 AM
What has been described as a political earthquake in Israel, Sharon leaving Likud, continues to develope in interesting ways.
The Left wing Israeli press (which means all the major news outlets) are more and more critical of Sharon. While Sharon spearheaded Israel's pull-out from Gaza the press protected Sharon. Now, with a rejuvinated Labour Party, there are daily stories highlighting Sharon's dark side.
Yesterday, for example, a major newspaper ran a story declaring Sharon the most corrupt politican in Israel. There are also questions about how could a father allow his son the take the fall for him. The press is helping Labour headed by someone who makes it very clear that he supports Israel being pushed back to the 1967 borders.
This trend will have an impact as the policies at stake in the coming election become clearer. Despite, their public claims, the fact remains that the future of denfensible borders for Israel and the unity of Jerusalem depends on Likud staying in power.
The Sharon disenegagement policy has put the future of Jerusalem on the negotiating table. Sharon and Peretz in power will not be able to stop the international community from forcing compromises on Jersualem.
Therefore it is important that the defenders of Jerusalem get behind the candidate best able to put Likud back in power.
All the polls show that is Benjamin Netanyhau. Despite his faults (all these candidates have them) he is our best shot to save Jersualem from Abbas and the terrorists. Lets pray that the Right in Likud gets behind Netanyahu to stop Sharon's buddy Mofaz from taking control.
Posted by The Editors at 8:09 AM | Comments (8) | TrackBack (0)
I agree with Betty, that Mr. Netanyahu who allowed the failure of Oslo and who sat idly by while Jews were expeled from their homes is an appropriate leader for the Likud. I believe we need to look to leaders with integrity, conviction and faith to remain true to the values of the Likud party, and to protect the unity of Jerusalem. Enough of the stranglehold of career polititians on the wishes of the People of Israel.
Posted by: Sam Nagid at November 28, 2005 12:37 AM
I am praying for the peace of Jersualem and all of Isreal. I will be praying for Netanyahu as well. I have great faith in him. I am one of those Christians who loves God's People. Prayerfully, Elsie
Posted by: Elsie E. Bigger at November 26, 2005 05:57 PM
Please do not allow the Israeli government to give away any more of Israel. Keep strong and fight the good fight to maintain the country.
Posted by: Jeanne at November 26, 2005 10:54 AM
Ariel Sharon has just about used any credit the Israeli public was willing to give him. As the campaign wears on, it will becoming more and more apparent to the Israeli voter that whatever Sharon says he believes or promises to do really means nothing since Sharon will do whatever he wants whenever he wants to, and that Ariel's first priority will be whatever is advantageous to Ariel Sharon and if that conflicts with the interests of the State of Israel, then so be it.
Posted by: Kenneth S. Besig at November 26, 2005 10:49 AM
Why are we so fatalistic? Why should we trust in the words of men, when G-d is in control of History and what happens in Israel. You are free to support whomever you want, as for me, as a Bible Believer, I will trust in my Lord, because He can place a man in power, and he can just take it away from him, as well. You, and correct me if I'm wrong, seem to think that it is either Bibi, or nothing. I don't think so. Have you ever considered. perhaps Moshe Feiglin, or even Natan Sharansky? It's El Elyon (G-d Almighty), and NOT man who has the LAST word! HE is in control of Jerusalem's future, not Sharon, "Dubya" or Condi Rice. Am Yisra'el Chai! Blessed be His Name! Thank You.
Posted by: Edward A. Ferrer at November 25, 2005 06:15 PM
Please stop allowing polls to direct your voting. Fear of God and Love of the land of Israel and its people should direct israeli voting. All the candidates certainly have faults, no one is perfect, but surely Moshe Feiglin seems by far the candidate most committed to fearing God instead of the nations and terrorist groups. When will we learn that the person who is easiest to elect is not always the best choice. Giving away any part of Israel will only result in loss of life, war, and eventually the costly reconquest of lands already given by God to Israel in the 1967 war. Obey God settle the lands of israel. Do not disobey God by uprooting settlers and dividing the land in favor of terrorist groups and nations that don't fear God.
Posted by: kenneth mathews at November 25, 2005 05:59 PM
This is last day Bible prophecy to the fullest. Our man Bush has sold us out here in the US just like your leader. Bush has also sold your people out and a lot of blood is on both of there shoulders and there will be a lot more before this is all over. Just because we vote a man in does not mean he is honest. About all politicians are there to line there pockets only
Posted by: Phil Tepley at November 25, 2005 05:45 PM
I am not sure I can agree with this article. Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu has proven that he is not able to stand up to external pressure by the U.S. I'm not even convinced that the Likud is the party to get behind. I don't think that the expulsion of the Jews from Gaza and Shomron could have taken place if the Likud Party had stayed true to their stated beliefs, especially Mr. Netanyahu. His fiscal policies were more important to him than the Jewish people and their land. His time in the government while they were planning the death of Israel was appauling to say the least. He is a very charismatic person and didn't even try to turn the tide. Find someone else, please.
Posted by: Betty J. Wentz at November 25, 2005 02:05 PM
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Bird Flu is Mutating

China says bird flu virus in humans mutating
Nov 28 9:50 AM US/Eastern
The H5N1 strain of bird flu seen in human cases in China has mutated as compared with strains found in human cases in Vietnam.
Chinese labs have found that the genetic order of the H5N1 virus seen in humans infected in China is different from that found in humans in Vietnam, Xinhua news agency reported Monday.
In China's human cases, the virus has mutated "to a certain degree," health ministry spokesman Mao Qun'an was quoted as saying.
"But the mutation cannot cause human-to-human transmission of the avian flu," he noted.
China this month confirmed its first three human cases of bird flu, two of which were fatal. The disease has killed more than 60 people in Asia since 2003.
Health officials fear that the virus could mutate to the extent where it is easily transmitted from human-to-human, an event that could lead to a global pandemic capable of killing hundreds of millions of people.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

What th..? Strange big black X flashes on Cheney's face in CNN telecast...

Did you see it?

CNN covers Cheney
with mysterious 'X'

Matt Drudge calls it 'alarming,' network claims it's just glitch

Posted: November 21, 2005
10:33 p.m. Eastern

© 2005
Vice President Dick Cheney had his face covered by a mysterious giant "X" during CNN's live coverage of his speech from the American Enterprise Institute today.

Giant black X continuously flashed over Vice President Cheney's face during CNN coverage of speech today (courtesy: Drudge Report)
According to the Drudge Report, the "X" over Cheney's face "appeared each time less than a second, creating an odd subliminal effect."
A screen capture by Drudge notes that while one "X" flashed over Cheney's face, CNN ran a headline at the bottom of its screen: "CHENEY: I DO NOT BELIEVE IT IS WRONG TO CRITICIZE."
"This is the vice president of the United States. It is rather serious to be putting black 'Xs' over his face," online journalist Matt Drudge said on tonight's "Hannity & Colmes" program on the Fox News Channel. "I felt it rather alarming that this is subliminally being sent out over the airwaves. ... I'm just knocked out."
When asked if he thought it was evidence of the so-called liberal media, Drudge answered, "I don't know. Is CNN liberal?"
The TVNewser website obtained a statement from a CNN spokesperson, explaining: "Upon seeing this unfortunate but very brief graphic, CNN senior management immediately investigated. We concluded this was a technological malfunction, not an issue of operator error. A portion of the switcher experienced a momentary glitch. We obviously regret that it happened and are working on the equipment to ensure it is not repeated."
"It glitched over and over again, huh?" Drudge responded. "The timing of the glitch is interesting."

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Tornados and Hurricanes - 'SIGNS'..

By Michael H. Brown
Historic NWS Image - wea00214The tornadic activity of the past two weeks reminds us that weather anomalies will not be confined to hurricanes.
The climate is gyrating, and storms will come with it.
Expect long periods of dry weather to be punctuated by precipitation "events" -- unusually high amounts of rain and snow. When it rains it will pour. At other times, it will seem like drought. Tornadoes will intensify and increase in frequency in the way of larger cyclones such as hurricanes. They will strike in places they don't usually strike, and a big city may suddenly find itself prey to an F-5.
Such will be our lot for years to come.
The key word always has been "extreme": weather will swing between extremes -- of hot and cold, wet and dry.
So extraordinary has been the weather that Time Magazine is considering naming Mother Nature, or perhaps Hurricane Katrina, as its "Person of the Year."
What sets the latest outbreak of tornadoes apart is that, as secular outlets remind us, it quickly followed two others. On November 6 a tornado near Evansville, Indiana, killed 23 people and then on Saturday nine tornadoes raked Iowa and killed a woman. The storm system eventually spawned twisters in Canada. "At least 35 tornadoes struck Missouri, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Tennessee on Tuesday night and early Wednesday," noted USA Today -- which like the vast majority of media outlets has now come to accept the era of climate change.
As has the Defense Department.
"A secret report prepared by the Pentagon warns that climate change may lead to global catastrophe costing millions of lives and is a far greater risk than terrorism," the British newspaper Observer said last week.
This starts to give us a perspective.
So does the fact that the 562 tornadoes which hit the United States in May was a record -- startlingly higher than the previous monthly peak of 399 in June 1992. How many records have to be broken before the skeptics take note?
Who has eyes to see and ears to hear?
What we hear from those with the "ears" is that it is a special time of marked accents in nature. The moon seems brighter, the sun seem to whirl, there is just a something "different" about the natural, which seems accented in a way that is luminescent.
Have you noticed such signs? There is often evil in storms. But let us note that two years ago when an F-5 hit a Maryland town a statue of Mary miraculously survived in front of a devastated school. Prayer works with both the storms outside and inside of ourselves. In fact, the weather is mirroring what we are going through internally at this time of heightened battle and spiritual consternation. Nature is a spiritual reflection.
Prepare. That is a constant theme. And "unsettlement." There is a feeling of unsettlement, although there may be first a quiet period before the next major run of "signs."
Jesus said there would be signs in the sun, moon, and stars. That was about His Second Coming. It also seems to pertain -- often in a way that is and will be dramatic -- to times of purification.
Lights at night before, after hurricanes
From the mailbag:
Beginning in June my prayer partner and I started receiving messages from the Holy Spirit as follows:
"The tide will sweep them away"; a vision of human corpses floating in the water; saw tremendous waves of water On July 6th, one of our intercessors heard "War is raging - save souls" During our usual intercessory time we heard "If you think things have been bad, it's nothing compared to what is to come" Confirmation received was Jeremiah 16 which spoke about a double punishment; corpses, disease, conversions of the heathen, no mercy.....On July 13th we heard that our nation's water supply is in jeopardy.  We were directed to pray for fresh water.  Also heard "putrefied water in California" On August 3rd we heard "chaotic catastrophe" On August 10th - "event about to happen that will wake up the world" On August 24th - "September will be a very sad month" On August 29th - Hurricane Katrina hit; putrefying bodies in the water, etc. Today is the third time we have been reminded to pray for the San Andreas Fault in California.  We were also told that another tragedy is about to hit our nation.
We then were led to see today's news article about the California Levees in Sacramento and that a quake could cause absolute devastation to the water supply as well as destroy great agricultural property and disrupt the food supply, not to mention the lives that could be lost due to the quake.  We also received Ezekiel 26 which is an eerie confirmation.  As always this is submitted for discernment, but I cannot stay silent when there is a possibility that this may come to pass and quite soon.  I have much more to confirm this and feel compelled to share this with you as you can get people to pray.  The Lord said that it cannot be stopped but that the suffering can be lessened if we will pray.  He said to pray for conversions and repentant hearts.  At the risk of being a fool, I submit this to you.  We received this today on the Feast of Our Lady of LaSalette and shed tears at the prospect of what is about to occur.  I personally have many family members in California, but feel that we are not to fear but to pray and fast.  I pray the Holy Spirit will lead you as to how and if you are to share this information.  Prayerfully in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, Joan"

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Quake Off Indonesia Triggers Tsunami Alert

Quake Off Indonesia Triggers Tsunami Alert
Nov 19, 4:33 PM (ET)
JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - An earthquake with a magnitude of at least 6.2 struck off the coast of Sumatra on Saturday, triggering a tsunami alert and prompting some residents to flee their homes, officials said.
There were no immediate reports of a tsunami, damages or casualties.
The quake's epicenter was located off Simeulue island, about 160 miles southwest of Medan, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. It struck just after 9 p.m. local time.
Indonesia's Meteorology and Geophysics Agency put the quake's magnitude at 6.2, but the USGS said the magnitude was 6.5. There was no immediate explanation for the discrepancy.
The quake strongly jolted nearby Nias island and was felt in Medan, said Subagio, an official at the Indonesian agency's Jakarta office who goes by a single name.
Agus Mendrofa, deputy mayor of Nias, told El Shinta radio station that some people momentarily fled their houses when the temblor struck.
"It was pretty strong because it was the first time in the past months that people ran out of houses because of a quake," Mendrofa said.
He said he had received no reports of damage on the island.
Rusdi, a Simeulue resident, told The Associated Press by telephone that the quake did not cause any widespread panic in the main island town of Sinabang.
Simeulue is near the epicenter of the 9.0-magnitude quake on Dec. 26 that caused a tsunami that killing or left missing more than 220,000 people in 11 Indian Ocean countries. Sumatra was the hardest hit, losing some 128,000 people.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said there was no threat of a tsunami to Pacific coastlines, but quakes of similar size can sometimes generate local tsunamis along coasts within a few hundred miles of the epicenter.
A team of German and Indonesian scientists are installing a tsunami warning system along the coast of Sumatra, expected to be operational by year's end. The system of sensors on the ocean floor and giant buoys on its surface will be able to notify coastal observation stations within 10 minutes of a tsunami-strength earthquake.
Sumatra has been wracked by scores of powerful aftershocks since last year's tsunami. In March, an 8.7-magnitude earthquake struck Nias and Simeulue, causing widespread damage and killing about 900 people.
Experts say the fault line that triggered that temblor is unstable and may produce another major quake soon.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mysterious Runaway Star Stymies Experts

Catapulted Star
Mysterious Runaway Star Stymies Scientists
type size: [A] [A] [A]
Nov. 14, 2005 ? Astronomers have stumbled onto a runaway star inbound to our galaxy that might have been kicked out of our nearest galactic neighbor by a supermassive black hole.
The star, HE 0437-5439, was found on a star survey and initially led its discoverers to suspect their instruments were out of whack.
"We first thought our wavelength calibration was off," said astronomer Ralf Napiwotzki of the University of Hertfordshire's Center for Astrophysics Research in the U.K.
The light from the star was both the wrong color (wavelength) for where the star is located and showed spectral signs that it is traveling inbound to the Milky Way at an unusually high speed ? about 1.6 million miles per hour (2.6 million kilometers per hour).
The light from HE 0437-5439 indicates that it's a rather healthy young star, like those found all over the Milky Way, explained Napiwotzki.
Yet this star is located out in the Milky Way's hinterlands, the geriatric ward of the galaxy.
Napiwotzki's first thought, after confirming the star's spectral information with the European Southern Observatory's (ESO) Very Large Telescope in Chile, was that the star had been slingshot out of the core of the Milky Way after a close call with the giant black hole there.
That would account for the speed. But after calculating the star's velocity, location and age, it just didn't add up.
The bottom line: HE 0437-5439 is too far away from the center of the Milky Way to have made the trip and still be so young, said Napiwotzki, who, with several German colleagues, has authored a paper on the matter in a coming issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters.
"I agree that ejection from the Galactic center is not very plausible," said University of Texas astronomer John Kormendy, who was not involved the HE 0437-5439 discovery. "The star's lifetime is too short, given the necessary travel time."
It's more likely that the star is from the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) a irregular galaxy very near, but outside the Milky Way and visible in the night skies of Earth's Southern Hemisphere. But the LMC poses another problem, said Kormendy.
"Almost certainly the LMC does not have a supermassive black hole to do the same job," said Kormendy.
That means something even more unusual might have thrown the star towards the Milky Way, something like a sideways blast by a much bigger companion star that exploded as a supernova, he said.
Napiwotzki, for his part, is still holding out for a supermassive black hole at the center of the LMC.
To confirm this, however, will require a lot more information on the runaway star's trajectory, he said, and that could take many years of observing the star as it moves.

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Monday, November 14, 2005

Tropical Depression Forms in Caribbean - Will it become Gamma, the 24th Named Storm?

We here in Florida and the Gulf States are getting a bit tired of 'Tropical Depressions'...
Best excerpt I could find:
It is not expected to threaten the United States.  (Thank God for BIG favors!)
Tropical Depression Forms in Caribbean
Nov 13, 10:41 PM (ET)

MIAMI (AP) - A tropical depression formed late Sunday in the southeast Caribbean Sea and was expected to strengthen into Tropical Storm Gamma on Monday, the National Hurricane Center said.

The storm was expected to be south of Jamaica by the end of the week, over Caribbean waters still warm enough to feed a major hurricane, said hurricane specialist Stacy Stewart.

It is not expected to threaten the United States.

At 10 p.m. EST Sunday, the depression was about 115 miles west of St. Lucia and about 100 miles west of St. Vincent. Its maximum sustained winds were near 35 mph, and it was moving west-northwest near 10 mph.

Dangerous rip currents and up to 12 inches of rain were possible across the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, Stewart said.

If the system becomes a tropical storm - which will happen if its maximum sustained winds reach 39 mph - it would become the 24th named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season, extending this year's record. The previous record of 21 named storms had stood since 1933.

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