Wednesday, January 11, 2012

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Scores of Dead Fish Mysteriously Appeared at the Montague Beach in the Bahamas - Local Officials and Fishermen are Stunned by the Anomaly?!

Scores of dead fish were discovered floating along the shoreline at Montague Beach prompting concern from fish and conch vendors stationed at the boat ramp.

Hundreds of dead and dying fish, and other marine life, mysteriously washed up onto the Montague foreshore yesterday. Fishermen and environmental officials do not know what caused the fish to die.  There is also concern that whatever happened may pose a danger to humans, who also use the water. Young fish littered the shoreline including; snappers, minnows, barracudas and even an octopus. Fishermen said the seabed is also littered with dead fish. The Port Department is working with environmental officials to investigate the cause of the event. Several years ago, a similar event occurred on the coast of Andros.  It was alleged that sonar testing at Autec was responsible for that incident, although that was never admitted to, or proven. - Bahamas B2B.

Dead fish began to mysteriously wash up at the Montague fish ramp early this morning. There has been no official explanation for the anomaly, however, it left fishermen at the ramp a bit shaken up. - The Tribune.

Hundreds of dead fish and other marine life washed up at Montagu Foreshore yesterday, baffling fishermen and environmental officials alike. The young fish littered the shoreline. There were varying species, including snappers, barracudas, minnows, needlefish, puffer fish and even an octopus. Spokesperson for the Montagu Vendors Association Sherlin Brown said he just wanted to know what was going on. "I've never seen this before," Brown said.  "It isn't normal for you to pick up dead fish all along the bay here. "We know we had other situations with the water.  We have customers coming here, people using the water... so we need to know what [is] causing the fish to die and if it's a danger to the humans because a lot of fish are dying." Brown said while vendors do not fish near Montagu Beach, if the situation persists it would create a serious problem for them. While a number of fish swam to or washed up onshore, Brown said the seabed was also littered with dead fish.

"Some of them (fish) came to the shore disoriented and we tried to put them back in [the water but] they just ended up dying," he said. Captain Cyril Roker, acting controller at the Port Department, said he got a call from a concerned citizen to investigate the situation. He said his department would alert the relevant authorities to conduct a proper assesment of the event. A representative from the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources was also on the scene but he declined to comment, stating he too was only assessing the situation. Craig Curtis, assistant port controller, said the incident reminded him of an event that happened off the coast of Andros. "It was alleged that it was associated with sonar testing [which] caused some of the fish to float up," he said. "For me this poses a grave concern because this is the young marine life that is being affected.  So it is going to be interesting to see what the marine biologists will conclude once they are done."
- The Nassau Guardian.
WATCH: Mass Fish Die-Off in the Bahamas.

WEATHER ANOMALIES: Stunning and Dramatic Weather Transition in the Upper Midwest - From Record Highs to Bitter Cold in 24 Hours, Arctic Cold Front Displaces Record High Temperature Conditions?!

The Upper Midwest is in the midst of a 24-hour transition from spring to winter today as bitter cold replaces Tuesday's record warmth.

Frigid air following an arctic cold front is erasing Tuesday's warmth that broke more than a dozen record highs. Temperatures today will continue to plunge to or well past the freezing mark instead of soaring 10 to 30 degrees above that threshold as was the case on Tuesday. The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport set a new record high on Tuesday when temperatures rose to 52 degrees. Today, temperatures are expected to drop into the 20s before sunset. The change will be even more dramatic farther west in Rapid City, S.D. After an unusually warm high of 61 degrees (37 degrees is average) on Tuesday, snow returned to Rapid City early this morning and temperatures will be held to the teens this afternoon. Widespread single-digit lows, on both sides of zero, will grip the entire region tonight. Temperatures will then struggle to rebound on Thursday.

Biting winds will make winter's return throughout the Upper Midwest even harsher. Wind gusts up to 45 mph will combine with the cold to create subzero RealFeel® temperatures by this afternoon. Tonight, RealFeel temperatures will range from 10 below zero to 30 below zero tonight. Cold of this caliber is dangerous and anyone heading outside should definitely bundle up. Animals normally kept outdoors should either be brought inside or given extra protection against the cold. The return of frigid air is being marked by a band of snow pushing southeastward through the Upper Midwest today. Substantial accumulations are not expected, but motorists should stay alert for slick spots and reduced visibility. Drivers of semi-trucks will also feel today's gusty winds significantly tug on their high-profile vehicles. The snow will intensify and prove more disruptive to residents and travelers across the Great Lakes on Thursday. Chicago is in line to receive its most significant snow event so far this winter. - Accu Weather.
WATCH: Accu Weather's report on the dramatic weather change.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Summerville Earthquakes Foreshadowing "THE BIG ONE" in South Carolina - Geology Professor Says Seismic Pressure Building Towards a Mega-Quake!

It's business as usual for Amy Williams at her pet grooming salon she operates out of her home. Haircuts for dogs and cats, shampoo and earthquakes are all apart of a days work for her in Summerville. "The last two that we've had, I've actually heard a growling sound or a rumbling sound before I felt any shaking," says Williams. She says the shaking isn't bad but the frequency is getting worse. "They're so quick and fast and mild that it seems like you imagined it," says Williams. "All the sudden I'm like, 'I think we had an earthquake.'" Six earthquakes of magnitude 2.6 or less have registered in the Summerville area in the last three months and Dr. Erin Beutel, Associate geology professor at the College of Charleston, says the shaking there isn't new, but it shouldn't be taken lightly either. "Small earthquakes tell us the fault is still active and we have to be worried," says Beutel.

The geology professor is waiting and watching the Lowcountry very closely because small quakes tell a bigger story about what's happening under ground. "It's big pressure because it's building to create the big earthquake but as it builds to create a big earthquake, it is also releasing a little bit of pressure," says Beutel. "Are we expecting the big one? Yes. When are we expecting the big one? We don't really know but statistics say 400 to 500 years after the last one." The last big one was 126 years ago. Dubbed the Great Earthquake of 1886 that crippled Charleston with a 7.3 magnitude shake. Williams says it's the big one that she's worried about. "It's just scary to think you could lose everything that you worked for in just a short amount of time," she says. "It does make you wonder if anything bigger or worse is coming along." The six earthquakes that were triggered in Summerville over the last 90 days ranged in magnitude from 1.4 to 2.6. Beutel says the frequency of the quakes in the area isn't rare. Over the same time span in 2003, the Summerville area recorded nine quakes. - Live 5 News.
WATCH: Tremors in Summerville.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 5.3 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Southern Iran! UPDATE: Strong Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake Jolts Northern Iran!

An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale jolted southern Iran at 19:53 GMT on Monday night, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The tremor was initially determined to be at 27.0287 degrees north latitude and 55.5834 degrees east longitude.

The epicentre, with a depth of 37.60 km, with a distance of 71 km (44 miles) southwest of Bandar Abbas, Iran; 87 km (54 miles) northeast of Bandar-e Lengeh, Iran; 113 km (70 miles) northwest of Al Khasab, Oman; and 1036 km (643 miles) southeast of Tehran, Iran.

UPDATE: Strong Magnitude 5.1 Earthquake Jolts Northern Iran!

Another relatively strong 5.1 magnitude earthquake has rocked the central and eastern parts of Iran's northern province of Mazandaran. According to the US Geological Survey (USGS), the quake hit at 20:38 p.m. local time (17:08 UTC) on Wednesday with its epicentre located 20.1 km or 12.5 miles underground.

The tremor, which caused panic in northern Iranian cities of Sari, Neka, and Behshahr, was also felt 136 km (84 miles) from the capital city, Tehran. There has been no immediate report of possible casualties or damages.

Earlier today, a 4.6 magnitude tremor hit Southern Iran. This was located at 28.611°N, 54.188°E, with a depth of 9.9 km (6.2 miles). The quake was felt 63 km (39 miles) northeast of Jahrom; 103 km (64 miles) north of Lar; 160 km (99 miles) east of Firuzabad; and 825 km (512 miles) southeast of Tehran.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - Iranian Nuclear Expert Killed by Magnetic Bomb Attached to His Car, Iranian Official Blames "Zionist Israeli Regime" for the Death of the Scientist!

Two assailants on a motorcycle attached a magnetic bomb to the car of an Iranian university professor working at a key nuclear facility, killing him and his driver Wednesday, reports said. The slayings suggest a widening covert effort to set back Iran’s atomic program.

The attack in Tehran bore a strong resemblance to earlier killings of scientists working on the Iranian nuclear program. It is certain to amplify authorities’ claims of clandestine operations by Western powers and their allies to halt Iran’s nuclear advances. The blast killed Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a chemistry expert and a director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in central Iran, state TV reported. State news agency IRNA said Roshan had “organizational links” to Iran’s nuclear agency, which suggests a direct role in key aspects of the program. Natanz is Iran’s main enrichment site, but officials claimed earlier this week that they are expanding some operations to an underground site south of Tehran with more advanced equipment.

The U.S. and its allies are pressuring Iran to halt uranium enrichment, a key element of the nuclear program that the West suspects is aimed at producing atomic weapons. Uranium enriched to low levels can be used as nuclear fuel but at higher levels, it can be used as material for a nuclear warhead. Iran denies it is trying to make nuclear weapons, saying its program is for peaceful purposes only and is geared toward generating electricity and producing medical radioisotopes to treat cancer patients. Tehran has accused Israel’s Mossad, the CIA and Britain’s spy agency of engaging in an underground “terrorism” campaign against nuclear-related targets, including at least three slayings since early 2010 and the release of a malicious computer virus known at Stuxnet in 2010 that temporarily disrupted controls of some centrifuges — a key component in nuclear fuel production. All three countries have denied the Iranian accusations.

On Tuesday, Israeli military chief Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz was quoted as telling a parliamentary panel that 2012 would be a “critical year” for Iran — in part because of “things that happen to it unnaturally.” “Many bad things have been happening to Iran in the recent period,” added Mickey Segal, a former director of the Israeli military’s Iranian intelligence department. “Iran is in a situation where pressure on it is mounting, and the latest assassination joins the pressure that the Iranian regime is facing.” Defiant Iranian authorities pointed the finger at archfoe Israel. First Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said Israeli agents were behind the attack, but cannot “prevent progress” in what Iran claims are peaceful nuclear efforts. Safar Ali Baratloo, a senior security official, was quoted by Fars as also saying the attack was the work of Israelis. “The magnetic bomb is of the same types already used to assassinate our scientists,” he said. - Washington Post.

A senior Iranian official took the Zionist regime responsible for directing and sponsoring terrorist attacks on Iranian scientists, including the assassination of the country's young scientist, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan Behdast, this morning.

"The bomb was a magnetic bomb similar to the bombs that were earlier used for the assassination of (the Iranian) scientists and actually the job was done by the Zionists," Secretary of Tehran province's Security Council Safar Ali Baratlou told FNA on Wednesday. "Zionists seem to be trying to create a security atmosphere in Iran on the threshold of (parliamentary) elections to decrease the people' turnout in the polls," he added. Ahmadi Roshan Behdast was killed in a terrorist bomb blast in a Northern neighborhood in Tehran on Wednesday morning. The magnetic bomb which was planted by an unknown motorcyclist under the car of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan also wounded two others in Seyed Khandan neighborhood in Northern Tehran.

Ahmadi Roshan, 32, was a graduate of oil industry university and a deputy director of Natanz uranium enrichment facility for commercial affairs. The blast took place on the second anniversary of the martyrdom of Iranian university professor and nuclear scientist, Massoud Ali Mohammadi, was also assassinated in a terrorist bomb attack in Tehran in January 2010. The today bombing method was similar to the 2010 terrorist bomb attacks against the then university professor, Fereidoun Abbassi Davani - who is now the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization - and his colleague Majid Shahriari. Abbassi Davani survived the attack, while Shahriari was martyred.

An Iranian court of revolution in August sentenced to death the terrorist who assassinated Ali Mohammadi in 2010. Majid Jamali Fashi pleaded guilty to murdering Massoud Ali Mohammadi. Tehran's Public and Revolution Courts Prosecutor Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced at the time that Jamali Fashi had been trained in Mossad's military bases. Jafari Dolatabadi also stated that Jamali Fashi had received $120,000 from the Zionist regime to carry out the assassination and then returned to Iran.Majid Jamali Fashi said in his confessions aired by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on January 11, 2011, "I became acquainted with a number of Israeli officers on the Jerusalem-Tel Aviv highway after we had a visit to Israel and I received different training courses, including chasing, running, counter-chasing and techniques for planting bombs in a car."

The terrorist added that he had also been trained in that Israeli garrison how to carry out bomb attacks while riding a motorcycle. Jamali Fashi also said that he had received psychological and operational briefings for assassinating Dr. Ali Mohammadi and had exercised the bombing plot for killing the Iranian scientist several times at the Israeli garrison. He also mentioned during his confessions that small models of Dr. Mohammadi's house and his house surroundings were used during his training course. - FARS News Agency.
WATCH: Iran Says Bomb Killed Nuclear Expert.

WATCH: Massive American troop build-up in Israel.

EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: 'Tatooine' Solar System Could Have Habitable Moon - Say Astronomers!

A group of astrophysicists from The University of Texas at Arlington suggests a habitable Earth-like planet could exist in a distant solar system found by NASA’s Kepler space telescope.

Kepler-16 has two stars, like Star Wars’ fictional Tatooine. Kepler-16 System made headlines in September when researchers discovered Kepler-16b, a cold, gaseous planet orbiting both stars. The UT Arlington team, have concluded that an Earth-type planet could exist in the system’s ‘habitable zone’ – as a moon orbiting Kepler-16b. To host life in that zone, a terrestrial planet orbiting the two stars would need to have high levels of greenhouse gases in its atmosphere such as carbon monoxide or methane, they said.

UT Arlington Department of Physics professor Zdzislaw Musielak said, ‘This is an assessment of the possibilities. We’re telling them where a planet has to be in the system to be habitable. We’re hoping they will look there.’ ‘There is less light from the star, so the planet itself has to maintain more heat,’ said PhD student Billy Quarles, one of the co-authors on the paper.

Kepler's mission is to scour our section of the Milky Way galaxy for Earth-like planets in the so-called 'habitable zone' that is not too close and not too far away from the stars they orbit. The spacecraft does this by finding stars whose light periodically gets dimmer, which means there is a planet passing between the star and Kepler's instruments. This is known as a planetary transit. If the notion of a planet with two suns was displayed in the earliest Star Wars film on the fictional planet Tatooine, home of Luke Skywalker. Tatooine was a rocky, desert planet, but Kepler-16b is a cool gas giant, Boss and other researchers said. Kepler-16b is similar to Saturn in size and mass, a cold gas giant that orbits its two suns every 229 days at a distance of 65 million miles (104.6 million km). - Daily Mail.

FUK-U-SHIMA: Neurobiologist Raises a Frightening Question - Fukushima Could Produce Bacteria Resistant to Antibiotics, Radiation is a Sure Way to Stimulate Mutations?! UPDATE: Chiba Prefecture Troubled by Shrinking Population After Nuclear Disaster!

The massive 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck in the Pacific Ocean off the North East coast of Japan generated a series of devastating tsunami waves that reached as high as 38.9 meters. The damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station lost its cooling system, resulting in breaches of core integrity and release of radioactive material that severely contaminated the local environment and spread throughout the globe in trace amounts in the atmosphere and food chain. Although the highly contaminated vicinity surrounding the plant has been evacuated, nothing can stop wildlife, such as birds, from entering the restricted area, and the potential harmful effects from irradiating unseen bacteria in the contamination zone have escaped notice until now.

Bacteria are notorious for developing resistance to antibiotics through rapid mutation and natural selection. Radiation is a sure way to stimulate mutations. Could the radiation that will be contaminating the environment surrounding the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant for hundreds of years produce bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics? Researchers, Shigeyuki Nakanishi and colleagues reporting in the February 1, 2012 issue of the journal Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safetyhave performed experiments to find out. The nasty ability of bacteria to develop resistance to our most powerful antibiotics is a major global problem. MRSA, a drug-resistant strain of the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, thrives in hospitals where antibiotic use has bred a super-bug commonly known as the “flesh-eating” bacteria. Vancomycin is the only remaining antibiotic that can touch the antibiotic resistant germ, but new strains of MRSA are showing resistance even to vancomycin.

The problem is that when bacteria are exposed to environmental stresses that do not kill them all, the remaining bacteria develop mutations that allow them and their progeny to survive. So as science develops ever better ways of killing bacteria in food or in disease, the microbes counterattack by mutating. Even the wholesome process of preserving food leads to more deadly bacteria. Microgiologist Ann McMahon and colleagues reported studies in 2007 showing thatStaphylococcus aureus and several other bacteria that can cause food poisoning become four times more resistant to antibiotics after exposure to acid and salt used to preserve food. Shigeyuki Nakanishi and colleagues examined the potential effect of gamma radiation equivalent to levels in the environment surrounding the Fukushima plant to determine if doses equivalent to exposure for 1, 10, and 100 years could alter antibiotic resistance of several types of bacteria. The results showed that none of these doses of gamma radiation increased resistance to 14 different antibiotics. In fact, two bacteria, E. coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, became slightly more susceptible to antibiotics after gamma ray exposure.
Results from one-time exposure of radiation.

The researchers conclude that there is no evidence to support concern that the Fukushima disaster may have bred antibiotic resistant bacteria. But, the scientists point out in their article; they were forced to treat the bacteria with a one-time exposure of radiation. How bacteria might respond to the actual situation of sub-lethal exposure to radiation surrounding the power plant for years on end is not known. Time will tell. - ENE News.
Meanwhile, several cities in the Chiba prefecture relatively close to the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant are suffering a population decline as a result of the nuclear disaster, local governments have revealed.
According to monthly population surveys conducted by the municipal government of Kashiwa, the city has been experiencing a continuous population decline since August last year, with the single exception of September.As of Jan. 1 this year, there were a total of 405,099 registered residents in Kashiwa, a decline of some 279 people from the previous month and also the largest fall since the slide was first observed six months ago.In the beginning of April last year, when the population survey was conducted for the first time since the March 11 disasters, there were 405,166 residents of Kashiwa -- slightly more than today's numbers. - MDN.

EXTREME WEATHER: RED ALERT WARNING - Tropical Cyclone Heidi Bears Down on Western Australia, Expected to Hit Port Hedland Thursday!

Tropical Cyclone Heidi  targets the  northwestern Australia with potentially damaging winds and flooding rain.  The  landfall is expected  in area near Port Hedland and Karratha at Pilbara coast. The storm will disrupt shipping and port activity through the Pilbara coast and also  offshore oil and gas infrastructure could be  affected.

Tropical Storm Heidi has formed in the Southern Indian Ocean and is setting its sights on northwestern Australia. Yesterday afternoon (Jan. 10), what had been System 92P strengthened into a tropical cyclone, the term for tropical storms and hurricanes in Indian Ocean basin. NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of Heidi that showed the storm developing. The storm was located about 170 miles (270 kilometers) north of Port Hedland, Australia.

The maximum winds sustained by the storm clocked in at 40 mph (64 kph), putting it just above the threshold for what would qualify as a tropical storm in the Atlantic Ocean basin. The infrared image from the Aqua satellite showed that Heidi was a well-rounded shape, indicating the storm had good organization. The most recent information from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center puts Heidi's winds at 63 mph (102 kph). It is expected to make landfall between Port Hedland and Port Samson in the state of Western Australia later today. - Our Amazing Planet.
A tropical cyclone barreling toward the northwestern shores of Australia prompted several major ports and oil fields to shut down in anticipation of tidal surges brought on by heavy winds, officials said Wednesday. Several ports were closed from Port Hedland, considered a major iron ore exporting center, down to the more southern terminals at Dampier, according to Steed Farrell, a spokesman for the Port Hedland Port Authority. "It's in the hands of mother nature," said Farrell. The agency has activated contingency plans which remove all non-essential personnel from the ports and oblige major vessels to relocate. Cyclone Heidi is currently rated a category one storm, with winds churning up to 100 kilometers per hour (60 mph), according to the country's bureau of meteorology.

Destructive winds with gusts up to 155 kilometers per hour (96 mph) could hit the country's northwestern areas of Whim Creek and Pardoo between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, the agency reported. The country's largest oil and gas firm, Woodside Petroleum, also shut down operations in several offshore oil fields in response to the approaching storm. Oil production facilities -- particularly the Cossack, Wanaea, Lambert and Hermes facilities -- were shut down on the North West Shelf region, said Daniel Cleary, a Woodside spokesman. The Vincent oil field off the North West Cape region also stopped production, he said. Rio Tinto, the world's second largest iron-ore producer, also stopped loading at the ports of Dampier and Cape Lambert, where more than 200 millions tons of iron ore are shipped out each year, said Karen Halbert, a company spokeswoman. Authorities have warned residents around Port Hedland and in the northwestern areas near Wallal of a potentially "dangerous storm tide," with the possibility of flooding in low lying areas. - CNN.
WATCH: Cyclone Heidi at Landfall.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Rare White Penguin Spotted in Antarctica - Penguin Expert Declares the White Chinstrap Sighting as a "Rare Phenomenon"!

David Stephens, a naturalist aboard Lindblad Expeditions' National Geographic Explorer ship, photographed this rare white Chinstrap penguin on Monday on Antarctica's Aitcho Islands.

"At the water’s edge stood a leucistic Chinstrap," Stephens wrote in the ship's daily expedition report. "This bird was whitish, but not quite an albino. Instead, it had pigmented eyes and a washed-out version of a Chinstrap’s normal pattern. Many wondered about this unusual bird’s chances of success. While odd coloration may make fishing a bit more difficult, leucistic birds are regularly found breeding normally."

A leucistic bird has reduced pigmention, unlike a bird with albinism, which is a lack of skin pigment. The standard black-and-white coloring found on penguins serves as camouflage that aids the bird in fishing, so it's unusual to find a penguin without it.

“It is a fairly rare phenomenon,” said Dyan deNapoli, a penguin expert and author of "The Great Penguin Rescue," who added that the rate of leucism in Chinstrap penguins is about 1 in 146,000. "When I was in Antarctica, I never saw one, and I saw a lot of penguins." - MSNBC.