Wednesday, February 1, 2012

EXTRATERRESTRIAL & UFO MEMES: National America UFO Alert - California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Arizona Moves to UFO Alert 3; With California Filing 90 January Cases!

The National UFO ALERT Rating System has been updated with California, Florida, Texas, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Arizona moving to a UFO Alert 3 as the highest reporting states during the month of January 2012, filed with the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON).

California was the leading high-reporting state in 2011, and returns this month with 90 cases filed over January's 31 days. Those states in a UFO Alert 4 category with 13 or more reports include: Georgia, North Carolina, Colorado, New York, Indiana, Utah, New Jersey, Michigan and Tennessee. All other states move to a UFO Alert 5 category with lower numbers of UFO activity. The Watch States - with 10 or more cases - Virginia, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Connecticut and Washington.

MUFON
 released January statistics February 1, where the total number of reported UFO sightings is listed by state. The UFO Examiner uses these statistics to rate states. The entire country was moved back to the lowest alert level - UFO Alert 5.  California takes the lead with 90 cases (up from 63 reports in December); Florida, 60 cases; Texas, 40 cases; Pennsylvania, 28 cases; Illinois, 27 cases; and Arizona, 24 cases.

Those states with 13 or more reports, the next reporting tier level, are a UFO Alert 4 status: Georgia, 20 cases; North Carolina, 20 cases; Colorado, 19 cases; New York, 17 cases; Indiana, 15 cases; Utah, 14 cases; New Jersey, 14 cases; Michigan, 14 cases; and Tennessee, 14 cases.

Our Watch States this month are - with 10 reports or more: Virginia, 13 cases; Missouri, 13 cases; Ohio, 12 cases; South Carolina, 12 cases; Connecticut, 12 cases; and Washington, 11 cases. The sphere remains the most-reported UFO shape with 205 January reports. Other shape reports include: circle, 145; star-like, 137; triangle, 98; disc, 88; fireball, 82; unknown, 74; oval, 71; other, 51; cylinder, 30; cigar, 29; flash, 28; square/rectangular, 23; boomerang, 22; egg, 20; blimp, 12; chevron, 10; diamond, 10; teardrop, 10; bullet/missile, 10; cone, 8; Saturn-like, 8; and cross, 3.

The object's distance from the witness includes: Less than 100 feet, 81 cases; 101 to 500 feet, 90 cases; 501 feet to one mile, 167 cases; over one mile, 216 cases; unknown, 221; and no value stated, 13.
In addition, there were "18 landings, hovering, or takeoffs reported and 0 entities observed." The most interesting UFO reports do not necessarily come from high reporting states - but those states with higher numbers do account for some of the most interesting evidence to study. While UFO sightings seem to pop up randomly around the country, this list is meant to offer a small insight into where Americans are filing reports. - Roger Marsh/National UFO Examiner.






GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Massive Collapse of Coastal Highway in Turkey - Roads Couldn't Withstand the Tempestuous Waters of the Black Sea!

A strong storm and monster waves in the Black Sea damaged the central route, which connects Georgia and Turkey in the area of border crossing point Sarpi.

A Black Sea Coastal Highway, could not withstand the tempestuous waters of the Black Sea and the retaining wall collapsed way to the Black Sea coast, Artvin, Hopa District in the sea 10 meters due to subsidence caused by the waves destroyed the retaining wall, the border gate is closed to Hopa.


Transportation, from Hopa to Sarpi two-lane road to the border gate opening provided access to both sides, the teams began collapsing on the road repair work. The people of the region, there were difficulties in specifying a path made with seafood filling, Hopa H Gul, Deputy Mayor suggested that the road is done incorrectly.


Sarp Border Gate and about 500 meters away from the retaining wall on the seaward side of the road, the Black Sea, 'could not withstand the power of waves reaching 10 meters in places, and was destroyed. Taşıyamadığı Black Sea Coast Road approximately 60-meter section of the retaining wall collapsed. Transportation, from Hopa to Sarp Border Gate, the opening of two-lane road provided access to both sides. Highway crews began collapsing on the road repair work. - Haber Monitor.
WATCH: Major road collapse in Turkey.

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FIRST CONTACT: NASA Probe Discovers "Alien" Matter From Beyond Our Solar System - Interstellar Material From Elsewhere in the Galaxy!

For the very first time, a NASA spacecraft has detected matter from outside our solar system — material that came from elsewhere in the galaxy, researchers announced today (Jan. 31).

Artist's impression of NASA's IBEX spacecraft exploring the edge of our solar system.
This so-called interstellar material was spotted by NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX), a spacecraft that is studying the edge of the solar system from its orbit about 200,000 miles (322,000 kilometers) above Earth. "This alien interstellar material is really the stuff that stars and planets and people are made of — it's really important to be measuring it," David McComas, IBEX principal investigator and assistant vice president of the Space Science and Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, said in a news briefing today from NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
An international team of scientists presented new findings from IBEX, which included the first detection of alien particles of hydrogen, oxygen and neon, in addition to the confirmation of previously detected helium. [Images from NASA's IBEX Mission] These atoms are remnants of older stars that have ended their lives in violent explosions, called supernovas, which dispersed the elements throughout the galaxy. As interstellar wind blows these charged and neutral particles through the Milky Way, the IBEX probe is able to create a census of the elements that are present.
WATCH: Alien Atoms - First contact?


Heavy elements in space

According to the new study, the researchers found 74 oxygen atoms for every 20 neon atoms in the interstellar wind. For comparison, there are 111 oxygen atoms for every 20 neon atoms in our solar system, meaning there are more oxygen atoms in any part of the solar system than in nearby interstellar space, the scientists said in a statement. "These are important elements to know quantitatively because they are the building blocks of stars, planets, people," McComas said. "We discovered this puzzle: matter outside our solar system doesn't look like material inside our solar system. It seems to be deficient in oxygen compared to neon."

The presence of less oxygen within interstellar material could indicate that the sun formed in a region with less oxygen compared to its current location, the researchers said. Or, it could be a sign that oxygen is "locked up" in other galactic materials, such as cosmic grains of dust or ice. [Top 10 Strangest Things in Space] "That leaves us with a puzzle for now: could it be that some of that oxygen, which is so crucial for life on Earth, is locked up in the cosmic dust?" asked Eberhard Möbius, a professor at the University of New Hampshire and a visiting professor at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. "Or, does it tell us how different our neighborhood is compared to the sun's birthplace?"

The galactic wind streams toward the sun from the direction of Scorpio and IBEX has found that it travels
at 52,000 miles an hour. The speed of the galactic wind and its subsequent pressure on the outside
of the solar system's boundary affects the shape of the heliosphere as it travels through space.
IBEX also measured the interstellar wind traveling at a slower speed and from a different direction than was previously thought. The research now shows that the interstellar wind exerts 20 percent less pressure on our heliosphere, which is a protective bubble that shields our solar system from powerful, damaging cosmic rays. "Measuring the pressure on our heliosphere from the material in the galaxy and from the magnetic fields out there will help determine the size and shape of our solar system as it travels through the galaxy," Eric Christian, IBEX mission scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a statement.

A history of the universe

The results of the new study will also help scientists shed light on the history of the material in the universe. "It tells us things about the part of space that we live in, and the interaction with that part of space with the rest of the galaxy," McComas said. The observations from IBEX and the ability to determine the ratio of elements in space could help scientists understand how the galaxy has evolved and changed over time. "I find it really exciting that right on our front doorstep, we can take a sample of this interstellar matter around us," Möbius said. "If you think back all the way to the Big Bang, there was only hydrogen and helium. Then stars and supernovas sprinkled it with heavy elements — if you imagine that we are made out of the material that has been belched out of the supernovas, and it is continuing. So, 4.5 billion years ago, the sun formed out of the solar nebula, and now we are sampling part of the Milky Way as it is today. It gives us nice data points — Big Bang and the sun's formation to what is our environment. Then modelers can go and trace how that material has evolved over time in the cosmos." The findings are detailed in a series of papers that were published today in the Astrophysical Journal.
This NASA-provided graphic shows the heliosphere around the sun. The region is dominated by the sun
and s inflated, like a bubble, in local interstellar material by the million mile-per-hour solar wind. This bubble
keeps out the ionized or charged particles and magnetic fields from the galaxy and so protects us from
dangerous galactic cosmic rays.
NASA launched the IBEX mission in October 2008 to map the boundary between the solar system and interstellar space. The $169 million spacecraft was originally built for a two-year mission. IBEX measures and counts particles called energetic neutral atoms, which are created in an area of our solar system known as the interstellar boundary region. Since its launch, the spacecraft has already made groundbreaking discoveries about the heliosphere and the boundary between our solar system and interstellar space. In 2009, IBEX detected a mysterious ribbon on the edge of the solar system made up of a stream of charged particles that travels a million miles per hour from the sun. In 2010, researchers announced that IBEX had witnessed the first-ever look at solar wind crashing into Earth's magnetosphere. - SPACE.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Alert Level Raised in Alaska After New Lava Dome Forms at the Cleveland Volcano - Could Disrupt International Air Travel!

The warning level for a remote Alaska volcano has been raised after a new lava dome began forming, indicating the mountain could explode and send up an ash cloud that could threaten aircraft.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory on Tuesday elevated the alert status for Cleveland Volcano. Officials say the new lava dome was spotted in the summit crater. The observatory says as of Monday, the dome was about 130 feet in diameter.There have been no eruptions since Dec. 25 and Dec. 29, which destroyed the earlier lava dome built up over the fall. Cleveland is a 5,675-foot peak on an uninhabited island 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. Authorities say sudden eruptions could occur at any time, and ash clouds 20,000 feet above sea level are possible. - Huffington Post.


The dark summit dome on Cleveland volcano seen in August 2011. This dome was destroyed
during the explosive eruptions on December 25 and 29, 2011, but a new dome is already forming.
This cycle of dome growth and destruction is common at volcanoes such as Cleveland.
It has been a up and down past year for Cleveland volcano in the Aleutians. The alert status for the volcano has bounced back and forth from Yellow/Advisory to Orange/Watch multiple times due to the growth of a dome of lava in the summit crater area. This dome has the potential to “plug” the conduit, causing the pressure behind the dome to rise until an explosive eruption occurs. This is exactly what happened on December 25 and 29 of 2011 when Cleveland had one of its first major explosive eruptions in years and the dome that grew in the crater over much of 2011 was destroyed. Things quieted down at Cleveland after that explosion, but new satellite imagery has shown that a new dome is already growing inside the summit crater – and now it is already 40 meters in diameters. This new dome growth has prompted the Alaska Volcano Observatory to raise the alert status for Cleveland back to Orange/Watch from Yellow/Advisory because if the volcano decides to have another explosive eruption, the hundreds of flights that come over the Aleutians will need to be alerted and/or rerouted to avoid the volcano ash. Cleveland is an especially tricky volcano to monitor as satellite imagery and first hand observations from people on the ground or in aircraft are really the only ways AVO has to keep track of what is going on – there are no seismometers near the volcano. A webcam is pointed towards the volcano, but in the Aleutians, getting a clear view can be very difficult. - WIRED.
WATCH: Alaskan Volcano Ready To Erupt.



RATTLE & HUM: "Sounds Of the Apocalypse" - Whole Lotta Shakin' in Victoria, Canada; Seismologists Indicate That it Wasn't an Earthquake?!

Unusual shaking and rumbling reported around the capital region of Victoria, had people thinking "earthquake" - but, rest assured, there was no seismic event.

Natural Resources Canada responded to public concerns by posting an explanation on its website, saying what was felt could have come from an "atmospheric source," likely sound waves travelling over a long distance.


Taimi Mulder, a seismologist at the Pacific Geoscience Centre in North Saanich, said it received several calls from the public reporting rumbling at about 10: 45 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesday.


Sound waves that could create such an event have several possible sources, Mulder said. "We just know it wasn't an earthquake. Jets going at supersonic speed can cause it, a volcano erupting could cause it - anything that puts a loud noise into the atmosphere and generates a sound wave through the atmosphere will do that. It often ends up being the military."


Another possible explanation is that it was a "whistler," in which a thunderstorm in one hemisphere travels via magnetic-field lines to the opposite hemisphere. - Times Colonist.




ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Asian Carp Invades North America - Threatens American Fishes!

Environmentalists in North America are looking at options to control an invasive species of fish, the Asian carp, which threatens to squeeze out other species if its numbers continue to grow.

Imported as a farmed species in the 1970s, Bighead and Silver carp from China were first seen as a way to produce cheap food, but floodwaters overwhelmed the fish farms, spreading the fish throughout the US Midwest.


The threat from the species is so grave that authorities could end up spending billions of dollars and physically separating two river basins. - Al Jazeera.

WATCH: Al Jazeera's Daniel Lak reports from Toronto, Canada.



SUPERBUG OUTBREAK: Mexican Swine Flu Kills 29 and Infects Nearly 1,500 as Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria is Found in 37 American States - Bugs Resistant to Nearly Every Weapon Doctors Throw at Them!

An ongoing swine flu outbreak in Mexico has left at least 29 people dead and nearly 1,500 others infected, health officials confirmed on Saturday. Thousands more are also ill as the country faces several types of flu this season.



Since the start of the ongoing winter season, at least 7,069 people have reported suffering from symptoms similar to those of swine flu. Lab tests are still underway and have so far confirmed 1,456 cases of the disease, which is officially known as A/H1N1. According to Mexico's Health Ministry (SSA), at least twenty-nine people have died of swine flu so far this season. While no health emergency has been declared, officials expect the death toll will rise in the coming weeks as Mexico also faces A/H3N2 and B influenza.

The H1N1 influenza virus emerged in the Mexican state of Veracruz in April 2009 and quickly spread around the world, causing the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a global flu pandemic in June 2009. At least 18,000 people have died of the disease since, although the actual number is believed to be far higher. In August 2010, the WHO declared that the swine flu pandemic was over. "In the post-pandemic period, influenza disease activity will have returned to levels normally seen for seasonal influenza," the WHO said at the time. "It is expected that the pandemic virus will behave as a seasonal influenza A virus." - Channel 6 News.

Half a world away, doctors in India are fighting outbreaks of bacterial infections that are resistant to more than 15 types of antibiotics. But closer to home, a similarly scary bug is making the rounds in intensive care and other long-term units of American hospitals.

In at least 37 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, doctors have identified bacteria, including E. coli, that produce Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase, or KPC--an enzyme that makes bacteria resistant to most known treatments. It's much more prevalent in America than bacteria that produce NDM-1, the enzyme that has Indian doctors "hell scared," and, according to Alexander Kallen, a medical officer at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, the final outcome isn't much different: superbacteria that are hard to kill. "It's got a slightly different structure than [NDM-1]," he says of KPC. "But the bottom line is they're two different ways to produce bacteria that are resistant to a wide range of antibiotics."
[Hospital Rooms Crawling With Drug-Resistant Germs.]


That's bad news for infected patients--the mortality rate for patients infected with KPC-producing bacteria has been estimated to be as high as 50 percent. Doctors are advised to do their best to keep the bacteria from spreading, which explains why the problem is most prevalent in hospitals and other close-quarter medical units. Infected patients are often isolated. KPC has been seen in a wide range of bacteria, including E. coli, Salmonella, and K. pneumonia, which often affects hospitalized patients. These superbugs are resistant to nearly every weapon doctors can throw at them, including carbapenems, a class of antibiotic that the CDC calls the "last line of defense" against infections that are resistant to other types of antibiotics. There are a couple antibiotics that have been shown to kill these superbugs, but often at great risk to patients. In fact, the FDA has associated the use of these effective antibiotics with an "increased risk of death" in patients with pneumonia.


That leaves many doctors scratching their heads. KPC-bacteria often grow on medical equipment such as catheters and ventilators, so doctors can sometimes remove that equipment or perform surgery to try to eliminate the infection from a patient's body. [Are Kids Brown-Bagging Bacteria?] CDC researchers, including Kallen, say that hospitals who haven't been vigilant about isolating patients with KPC-producing bacteria may have missed their chance. According to a paper co-authored by Kallen released last year, "failure to recognize CRE infections when they first occur in a facility has resulted in a missed opportunity to intervene before these organisms are transmitted more widely." The good news is that, at least for now, KPC-producing bacteria generally only infects people who already have compromised immune systems. "It can move into the wider community," says Kallen, "but we haven't seen much of that yet."
- Yahoo.
Meanwhile, India has cleared the proposal to roll out a new diagnostic test genexpert across 18 sites that will test and confirm MDR TB within 120 minutes.

About 99,000 Indians suffering from TB are becoming drug-resistant every year. However, the diagnostic tools available take two days to about four months to confirm a single drug-resistant case during which time the air-borne disease spreads to others. The new test aims to increase diagnosis of the deadly disease by at least seven-fold.  The sites, where the new test is being introduced includes Rohtak (Haryana), Dharavi (Mumbai), Amravati (Maharashtra), Udaipur and Jodhpur (Rajasthan), Bilaspur (Chhattisgarh), Malkangiri (Odisha), Tehri (Uttarakhand), South 24 Parganas (West Bengal), Sangam Vihar (Delhi), Indore (Madhya Pradesh) and two sites each in Vijayanagaram (Andhra Pradesh), Kamrup (Assam) and Ranchi (Jharkhand). Treating MDR-TB patients is expensive.

While treating a TB patient costs India Rs 600 over six to eight months, the expense for every MDR-TB patient is about Rs 1.5 lakh during 24-28 months' period. Union health ministry officials told TOI that the cartridges for genexpert and the machine are being provided to India by the World Health Organization for free for the next two years. "At present, a Line Probe Assay test available across 18 sites takes two days to diagnose a single MDR sample, while a liquid culture test and the solid culture test takes two months and four months, respectively. Time is crucial as far as diagnosing TB is concerned. A single MDR TB patient can spread the disease to 15 people every year, if left untreated," said a ministry official.  About 7,000 MDR TB patients are on treatment in India - of which 3,500 were put on treatment last year. Around 36 labs can test MDR samples. The feasibility of using genexpert will be studied over the next two years. "However, we will get initial results within the next six months. Protocol for its use has been approved and the machines have been ordered. There is no question of the reliability of the genexpert test. We are however trying to analyze at the level in which it should be positioned. The 18 sites have been chosen carefully. Some have high burden of HIV/TB infection, while in Rajasthan it will look at how it performs in the desert setting," a ministry official said. India documents 1.9 million TB cases every year.

The Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP) estimates that around 3% of all new cases and 12%-17% among retreatment cases are MDR.  India's TB control division has asked the Union health ministry to declare it a "notifiable disease" across the country. If approved, all private doctors, caregivers and clinics will have to report every case of the air-borne disease to the government. A ministry note says a very large number of TB patients in India are diagnosed but are not referred to or notified to the Revised National TB Control Programme (RNTCP).  Plague, polio, H5N1 (bird flu) and H1N1 (swine flu) - all highly infectious diseases - figure in the list.  India's 12th five-year Plan for TB control says, "All diagnosed TB cases will be notified irrespective of their treatment or registration status." In 2010 alone, an estimated 2.3 million TB cases occurred, and 360,000 people died of TB - about 1,000 fatalities per day. Nearly one in six deaths among adults, aged between 15 and 49, are due to TB. - Times of India.





HIGH STRANGENESS: Glowing Waves in California are Attracting Surfers and Kayakers - What is Causing This Eerie, Otherworldly Phenomenon?

It looks like something from the movie "Avatar": ocean waters that light up like neon glow sticks when they splash. Beaches across southern California have recently been alight with eerie, glowing waves. What could be causing such an otherworldly phenomenon?

A recent report by Discovery News has provided an answer. According to marine biologist Jorge Ribas, the glowing is caused by a massive red tide, or algae bloom, of bioluminescent phytoplankton called Lingulodinium polyedrum. The microorganisms emit light in response to stress, such as when a wave crashes into the shore, a surfboard slashes through the surf, or a kayaker's paddle splashes the water. The result is a wickedly cool glowing ocean.


The phenomenon has been observed on a semi-regular basis since at least 1901 along the beaches around San Diego, Calif. By day the algal blooms give the water a soupy red coloration, which is why they're often referred to as a red tide. But unlike some forms of red tide that can be toxic to people and marine life, the glowing blooms occurring in San Diego waters are reportedly harmless.


For surfers who don't mind catching a wave in water teeming with a sludge of microorganisms, the glowing ocean offers the chance of a lifetime. Night swimmers also often delight in the opportunity to lounge in a bioluminescent sea. The organisms can also be present in wet beach sand, so even beach walkers can watch as the ground sparkles with every footstep.


Several videos posted on YouTube show the majestic effects of the phenomenon. Watch below as a surfer sets a wave aflame and a kayaker dazzles through calmer waters while the coastal city lights shine in the background. - MNN.

WATCH: Bioluminescent Ocean in California.