Thursday, February 23, 2012

EXTREME WEATHER: Season of the Wind - Hurricane Force Wind Gusts Rock Colorado, Wrecking Havoc in Denver; Closes Major Highways; Over 30,000 Without Power; Raises Avalanche Dangers!

Strong winds and blowing snow are wreaking havoc in Denver. This morning, Interstate 70 from Vail to the Eisenhower Tunnel closed due to heavy snow. There's no estimated reopening time.

Strong gusts Wednesday delayed flights arriving in Denver for part of the day, downed power lines and trees, and fueled two wildland fires in Boulder County. Xcel Energy Inc. reported about 33,000 customers mostly in the west Denver area lost power, and it could be Friday or possibly the weekend before all power is restored. Colorado Springs also was dealing with downed trees and power lines. Colorado Springs Utilities said about 1,100 customers lost power Wednesday night. For part of Wednesday day, flights arriving at Denver International Airport could only approach from the west as winds gusted up to 40 mph. That delayed arrivals an average of 1 1/2 hours before the wind shifted, allowing the airport to use all of its runways for takeoffs and landings.

For part of Wednesday day, flights arriving at Denver International Airport could only approach from the west as winds gusted up to 40 mph. That delayed arrivals an average of 1 1/2 hours before the wind shifted, allowing the airport to use all of its runways for takeoffs and landings. A gust of 88 mph was recorded near Boulder, where crews were repairing downed power poles and lines, and a tree fell on a parked car. Two Boulder County fires prompted warnings to residents. Both fires were contained by Wednesday night, but residents near one of the fires east of Lyons were told it could be hours before crews determined it was safe for them to go home. The warm winds drove temperatures into the 60s around Colorado Springs, but in the northern mountains, the National Weather Service predicted up to 30 inches of snow before the storm ends Thursday. - Weather Channel.

In Colorado, Transportation Department spokeswoman Stacey Stegman said the storm came in very hard Thursday morning, making it difficult for snowplows to keep up. "This is a heavy, wet snow that will pack quickly making the roads very slick. Some areas are worse than others, but it appears the south and west parts of the metro area have more difficult driving conditions," Stegman said in a statement. Stegman said there are numerous highway closures. They included I-70 eastbound near Denver, U.S. Highway 6 over Loveland Pass and U.S. Highway 40 over Berthoud Pass in the central Colorado mountains. The biggest closure blocked the I-70 west mountain corridor, closed west of Denver and near Vail. Stegman said the I-70 closure could be lengthy because wind and snow has increased the avalanche risk.

Officials at Denver International Airport said no major cancellations were expected on Thursday after strong winds limited flights to only westbound arrivals on Wednesday. Those winds clocked at nearly 90 mph downed power lines and trees, and fueled two wildland fires in Boulder County. A gust of 88 mph was recorded near Boulder, where crews were repairing downed power poles and lines. A tree fell on a parked car. Two Boulder County fires prompted warnings to residents. Both fires were contained by Wednesday night, but residents near one of the fires east of Lyons were told it could be hours before crews determined it was safe for them to go home. In the northern mountains, the National Weather Service predicted up to 30 inches of snow before the storm ends Thursday. In Wyoming, the Tetons got about 3 feet of snow from the storm. Preliminary snow totals from the weather service show 33 inches fell in parts of the Tetons by Wednesday night, while Triple Peak in Sublette County got 22 inches. The weather service says wind gusts reached 140 mph on Mount Coffin in Lincoln County.
- USA Today.
WATCH: Winds wreck havoc in Colorado.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - US, France, UK, Turkey, and Italy Prepare For Military Intervention in Syria as Iran Threatens Pre-Emptive Action on Israel!

Despite public denials, military preparations for intervention in the horrendous Syrian crisis are quietly afoot in Washington, Paris, Rome, London and Ankara. President Barack Obama is poised for a final decision after the Pentagon submits operational plans for protecting Syrian rebels and beleaguered populations from the brutal assaults of Bashar Assad’s army, debkafile’s Washington sources disclose.

This process is also underway in allied capitals which joined the US in the Libyan operation that ended Muammar Qaddafi’s rule in August, 2011. They are waiting for a White House decision before going forward. In Libya, foreign intervention began as an operation to protect the Libyan population against its ruler’s outrageous crackdown on dissent. It was mandated by UN Security Council. There is no chance of this in the Syrian case because it will be blocked by a Russian veto. Therefore, Western countries are planning military action of limited scope outside the purview of the world body, possibly on behalf of “Friends of Syria,” a group of 80 world nations which meets for the first time in Tunis Friday, Feb. 24, to hammer out practical steps for terminating the bloodbath pursued by the Assad regime. The foreign ministers and senior officials – Russia has excluded itself – will certainly be further galvanized into action by the tragic deaths of two notable journalists Wednesday, Feb. 22, on the 19th day of the shelling of Homs. Preparations for the event are taking place at the Foreign Office in London. Wednesday, Foreign Secretary William Hague said: Governments around the world have the responsibility to act…and to redouble our efforts to stop the Assad regime’s despicable campaign of terror.” Hague pointedly said nothing about removing the Syrian ruler. Nor did he spell out the efforts need to stop the campaign of terror. debkafile’s military sources note that he left these issues open because a decision by President Obama about if and how the US will act is pending until the Pentagon submits operational plans to Commander-in-Chief Obama. The US president is also waiting for Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s report on the mood at the Tunis conference. He wants to know in particular if Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar and the UAR will support US-led Western intervention in Syria, both politically and financially. - DEBKA.
Meanwhile, Iran would take pre-emptive action against its enemies if it felt its national interests were endangered, the deputy head of the Islamic Republic's armed forces was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying Tuesday.
"Our strategy now is that if we feel our enemies want to endanger Iran's national interests, and want to decide to do that, we will act without waiting for their actions,'' Mohammad Hejazi told the Fars news agency, NBC News reported. Iran announced air defense war games to practice protecting nuclear and other sensitive sites, the latest in a series of military maneuvers viewed as a message to the West that Iran is prepared both to defend itself against an armed strike and to retaliate. The U.S. and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran's nuclear program. The official news agency IRNA said the four-day air defense war games, dubbed "Sarallah," or "God's Revenge," were taking place in the south of the country and involve anti-aircraft batteries, radar, and warplanes. The drill will be held over 73,000 square miles near the port of Bushehr, the site of Iran's lone nuclear power plant. Iran has held multiple air, land, and sea maneuvers in recent months as the tensions increase. - MSNBC.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday that Iran’s nuclear course would not change regardless of international sanctions, assassinations or other pressures.
“With God’s help, and without paying attention to propaganda, Iran’s nuclear course should continue firmly and seriously ... Pressures, sanctions and assassinations will bear no fruit. No obstacles can stop Iran’s nuclear work.” Khamenei was speaking on state television shortly after the UN nuclear watchdog declared a collapse in talks with Iran aimed at getting it to address suspicions that it is covertly seeking nuclear weapons capability. The Islamic Republic denies this, saying its program to enrich uranium for nuclear fuel is for peaceful energy only. But Iran’s refusal to curb sensitive atomic activities with both civilian and military purposes, and its track record of secrecy and restricting UN inspections, have drawn increasingly harsh UN and separate US and European sanctions, now targeting its economically vital oil exports. Several Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in bombings over the past two years, attacks that Tehran has blamed on arch-adversary Israel. The Jewish state has not commented. The United States and Israel have not ruled out resorting to military action against Iran if they conclude that diplomacy and sanctions will not stop it from developing a nuclear warhead. - Arab News.

TERMINATOR NOW: Rise of the Machines - Electronics Made From Human Blood Cells Suggest Cyborg Interfaces, Spark Nightmares!

If the notion of next-generation electronic components made from actual human blood cells chills you, you may not want to read on. But if you are interested in how future artificial limbs or eyes may be wired up to patients, then this new research will intrigue you.

Memristors are a type of electronic device that you may haven't heard about, since they were conceived theoretically a long time ago. But they're only now becoming plausible in manufacturing--the trick is to modify an electrical current depending on a "signal" in a similar way to a transistor does, only in the case of a memristor the way they behave depends on how they were last activated. They thus have a degree of "memory" that means they behave a little more like your own brain cells do, and this has hardware folk all excited about their potential computing power. A team of scientists in Gujarat has now succeeded in making memristors out of modified human blood cells.
The work involved a macroscopic experiment with a 10 ml. test tube of human blood at 37 Celsius (normally taken as average human body temperature) and two immersed electrodes hooked up to some controlling and measuring electronics. The test proved that the blood's resistance varied in reaction to the applied voltage polarity and size, and the effect was "retained" for at least five minutes--retests within this time frame were dependent on the previous experiment's settings. A second test, also positive, showed the memristor effect was present when blood was actually flowing through the experiment. 

In other words, the scientists have shown they can produce a microscopic biological device that would behave in a similar way to a microscopic memristor made from the more usual semiconductor materials you'd associate with a silicon chip. Networks of these bio-memristors could be hooked together to make computing devices, and that's a next step for the research team.Ultimately, the fact that a biological system could be used to interact with a hard semiconductor system could revolutionize biomechanics. That's because wiring devices like cochlear implants, nerve-triggered artificial limbs and artificial eyeballs into the body at the moment involves a terribly difficult integration of metal wiring--with all the associated risk of infection and rejection. Plus it's really a very promising first step toward making a cyborg. Countdown to military interest in this tech in 5...4...3...
- Fast Company.

EXTREME WEATHER: Two Massive Avalanches Kill 16 Soldiers in Indian Kashmir!

Two massive avalanches in snowbound regions of Indian-controlled Kashmir killed at least 16 soldiers, and at least three others were feared trapped in a military camp that was partially buried under snow, an official said Thursday.

A Kashmiri villager slips as he clears snow off the roof of his house, which is under construction, in
Gagangeri, some 80 Kilometers (50 miles) northeast of Srinagar, India, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012.
Col. K.S. Grewal said three of the soldiers were killed in the mountainous area of Sonamarg and 13 were killed at a large army camp in Dawar, a town close to the heavily militarized cease-fire line that divides Kashmir between India and Pakistan. Hundreds of thousands of Indian troops are stationed along this de-facto border. Both avalanches took place late Wednesday night, and state officials warned more may occur in mountain areas. Rescue workers in Dawar pulled out 13 survivors who were being treated at a local army hospital, Grewal said. Three soldiers there were still believed to be trapped under the snow, he said.

Dawar, in the frontier Gurez region, remains cut off from the rest of Kashmir for nearly five months every year as heavy snowfall and rains block road links to the region. Army rescue teams from other parts of the region were trying to reach the Dawar army camp but were delayed by heavy fog, snow and cloud cover, Grewal said. Later Thursday, an army helicopter managed to airdrop a special team of the military rescuers and two sniffer dogs to help search, Grewal said. At least 25 army vehicles and 17 barracks were damaged in the avalanche, said Amir Ali, a state government disaster management official.

Ali warned of more avalanches across mountainous parts of Indian Kashmir. Another two state government officials, on duty in Sonamarg, were missing, Ali said. Avalanches and landslides are common in the disputed Himalayan region. Last month, an avalanche killed seven soldiers as they were clearing an army supply road. In 2010, 17 soldiers died when a wall of snow and ice slammed into the army's High Altitude Warfare School in Kashmir. - Denver Post.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Japan Monitoring 6 Active Volcanoes in Philippines on a 24-Hour Basis!

What Philippine volcanologists lack in terms monitoring active volcanoes, their Japanese counterparts based here would complement by constantly watching their back.

Bulusan Volcano erupting late last year.
Experts from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA) said they, too, are monitoring at least six active volcanoes in the Philippines in a 24-hour basis as part of their function to ensure safety for the aviation sector. Satoshi Harada, of the JMA-Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC), said that active Philippine volcanoes are just among the 400 volcanoes they are tasked to watch over as part of their anti-aircraft disaster measure. “We are in constant communication with our counterparts in your country. Whatever information your Phivolcs (Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology) provide us is very essential on what we are tasked to do,” Satoshi told the Manila Bulletin in an interview.

Among the volcanoes on the JMA monitoring map are the Mayon and Bulusan in Bicol region, Pinatubo in Central Luzon, Taal in Batangas, and Kanlaon in Negros Island. It was recalled that during the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo, the volcanic ashes it ejected reportedly reached as far as Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. “We are monitoring active volcanoes in the Philippines 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Any information on volcanic activities in your country is important to us, to our job of preventing airplane-related disasters caused by volcanic ashes,” said Satoshi. What they specifically do, Satoshi said, is to monitor the volume of ashes that puff out of the volcanoes, particularly those under major eruption, and the general directions where the wind would take them. The information that they would obtain would then be used to warn not only Japanese airline companies but also foreign airline companies, civil aviation authorities, and related organizations.

“This is just one way of preventing aircraft accidents because volcanic ashes are harmful to aircraft engines, and could even cause the airplane to crash,” said Satoshi. The official cited some cases wherein volcanic ashes caused engines of airplanes to stop. This is the reason, Satoshi said, they are monitoring not only the 110 active volcanoes inside Japan but also the 300 more active volcanoes in nearby countries like the Philippines. But unlike the 110 active volcanoes in Japan where video monitors are installed, Satoshi said they rely much on the information being relayed by their foreign counterparts on the volcanic activities in their respective countries, as they are the ones on the field. In case of a major eruption of volcanoes in nearby countries, he said they could send Japanese experts to assist and personally monitor the volcanic activities, what with the lack of modern monitoring equipment in some developing countries.

But Satoshi said their assistance to developing countries is not only limited in modern monitoring gadgets per se but also through training programs that would expose volcanologists in nearby countries like the Philippines on the use of modern equipment and extensive experience of Japanese experts on volcano monitoring. The VAAC based in Tokyo is among the nine monitoring centers across the world. It is responsible for the East Asia and Northwest Pacific regions. The Tokyo VAAC is housed inside the room where earthquakes and tsunamis are also being monitored. The room, which Satoshi said became the busiest during last year’s magnitude nine quake and the subsequent occurrence of tsunami, is equipped with large television and computer monitors where graphs and live feeds of information from various earthquake and tsunami monitoring equipment can be read. - MB.

MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - The Latest UFO Sightings And Aerial Anomalies Around the World?!

Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

Live interview on Russia Today (RT) with Professor Sadegh Zibakalam of the University of Tehran - 20th of February, 2012.

Savedalen, Sweden - 21st of February, 2012.

Oroville, California - 13th of February, 2012.

Moscow, Russia  - 19th of February, 2012.

Utica, New York - 20th of June, 2011.

Germany - 10th of February, 2012.

Stirling, UK - 18th of February, 2012.

ELECTRIC UNIVERSE: Magma and Northern Lights Show - Icelandic Volcano Fimmvörðuháls Erupts During Aurora Borealis!

A photographer from Britain, James Appleton, has captured breath-taking pictures from Iceland, reports The Huffington Post. He captured both magma and northern lights in one shot. He stood just a few yards from an erupting volcano in order to take the pictures and they just might be one of nature's most amazing sights.

James was willing to go within a few hundred feet of an erupting volcano after working alongside vulcanologists in Iceland, and found out about Fimmvörðuháls who from his Icelandic friend. He explained, "She informed me of the eruption, and I knew immediately I had to try and get out to see it." Not only did James have to deal with the harsh flames of the volcano, but he also had to face the frozen temperatures of a harsh Icelandic winter in order to take his remarkable pictures. "The closest I got was probably only a few hundred meters away," said James.

James talks about he maneuvered himself in order to obtain the shots of the erupting volcano, "I was trying to be as responsible as possible, but the temptation to get in for closer images was too much. It was simply a case of trying to stay on ridges and high ground to avoid possible gas pockets or caves under the snow formed by the heat of the lava." After he was able to capture these extreme pictures in nature, James has had an exceptional time in Iceland and looks forward to returning there.

"I love the country because of the raw, wild nature of the landscape there," said James. He continued, "It's such a compelling place and it has a real sense of growing before your eyes - due to all the geothermal activity. The weather systems are very fast moving and dramatic. I look for powerful skies and the moments when the world is full of color and movement. Iceland is fantastic as producing moments such as these." - Long Island Press.

FIRE IN THE SKY: The Odd Fireballs of February - Source, Appearance and Trajectory Puzzles Researchers?!

In the middle of the night on February 13th, something disturbed the animal population of rural Portal, Georgia. Cows started mooing anxiously and local dogs howled at the sky. The cause of the commotion was a rock from space. "At 1:43 AM Eastern, I witnessed an amazing fireball," reports Portal resident Henry Strickland. "It was very large and lit up half the sky as it fragmented.

A fireball over north Georgia recorded on Feb. 13th by a NASA all-sky camera in Walker Co., GA. [video]
The event set dogs barking and upset cattle, which began to make excited sounds. I regret I didn't have a camera; it lasted nearly 6 seconds." Strickland witnessed one of the unusual "Fireballs of February." "This month, some big space rocks have been hitting Earth's atmosphere," says Bill Cooke of NASA's Meteoroid Environment Office. "There have been five or six notable fireballs that might have dropped meteorites around the United States." It’s not the number of fireballs that has researchers puzzled. So far, fireball counts in February 2012 are about normal. Instead, it's the appearance and trajectory of the fireballs that sets them apart. "These fireballs are particularly slow and penetrating," explains meteor expert Peter Brown, a physics professor at the University of Western Ontario. "They hit the top of the atmosphere moving slower than 15 km/s, decelerate rapidly, and make it to within 50 km of Earth’s surface."

The action began on the evening of February 1st when a fireball over central Texas wowed thousands of onlookers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. "It was brighter and long-lasting than anything I've seen before," reports eye-witness Daryn Morran. "The fireball took about 8 seconds to cross the sky. I could see the fireball start to slow down; then it exploded like a firecracker artillery shell into several pieces, flickered a few more times and then slowly burned out." Another observer in Coppell, Texas, reported a loud double boom as "the object broke into two major chunks with many smaller pieces." The fireball was bright enough to be seen on NASA cameras located in New Mexico more than 500 miles away. "It was about as bright as the full Moon," says Cooke. Based on the NASA imagery and other observations, Cooke estimates that the object was 1 to 2 meters in diameter. So far in February, NASA's All-Sky Fireball Network has photographed about a half a dozen bright meteors that belong to this oddball category. They range in size from basketballs to buses, and all share the same slow entry speed and deep atmospheric penetration. Cooke has analyzed their orbits and come to a surprising conclusion: "They all hail from the asteroid belt—but not from a single location in the asteroid belt," he says. "There is no common source for these fireballs, which is puzzling." - NASA.

TERMINATOR NOW: "Historic Event" in the Rising of the Machines - Seven Adult-Sized Humanoid Robots Together for the First Time in the U.S.!

Seven adult-sized humanoid robots will take the stage during Drexel University's celebration of National Engineers Week, in a first-of-its-kind assembly of robotic technology. A showcase event on Feb. 20 will introduce all seven of the Korean HUBO robots to the community. Their presence -- together in one place -- is a unique event that serves as a key milestone for a nationwide, collaborative robotics research effort funded by the National Science Foundation.

Seven adult-sized humanoid robots on stage together.
Each robot is 1.3 meters, or about 4-feet, 3-inches, tall. They are fully actuated, which means that they have similar joints and movement capabilities to that of a human, including arms, legs and hands with fully functional fingers and an opposable thumb. "This is an historic event," said Dr. Youngmoo Kim, an associate professor and assistant dean of media technologies in the College of Engineering and the director of the Music and Entertainment Technology (MET) Lab. "Never before have seven adult-sized, fully actuated humanoids appeared on stage together, so it's truly a milestone in robotics research." This gathering of robots is the fruition of seeds planted in 2008 when Drexel received a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation's Partnership for International Research and Education (PIRE) Program with the goal of training engineers to work in global multi-disciplined design teams. This project, in close collaboration with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) HUBO Lab, enables Drexel and KAIST researchers to share training and knowledge and to work with the same world-class humanoid robot platform from different continents.

Dr. Paul Oh, the head of the Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics department, who headed the initial HUBO robot research in 2008, helped bring the first humanoid robot, named Jaemi Hubo, to Drexel in the spring of 2009 as part of the NSF PIRE grant. Oh's students traveled to Korea to work with the HUBO robot platform and learn how to program and operate the robots. "Humanoids provide an exciting and practical context to both motivate and train American students," Oh said. "One can argue that humanoids are the epitome of what one perceives to be a robot. As such, they are an attractive area for engineering students to work on. Students quickly learn that Asia is the world-leader in humanoid design. Thus to become humanoid designers, students recognize that working alongside robot engineers in Asia is important."...

From leading a game of "Simon Says" to recognizing and greeting administrators, the HUBO robot has already taken big steps toward autonomous human interaction. Part of Drexel's role in the project is to outfit each robot with high fidelity sensors for audio, visual, and tactile sensing, as well as new software to integrate this sensory input from the environment. These new capabilities and the world-class research team involved in this partnership provide an ideal foundation for taking giant steps towards the development of fully interactive humanoids. Ultimately, this MRI project facilitates potentially transformative advances in robotics, and eventually humanoid robotic assistants may become as commonplace as the Roomba robot vacuum cleaners. But achieving that goal requires advances spanning a broad range of areas and engineering of new technologies. Having access to a state-of-the-art humanoid platform enables US researchers to focus on our national strengths in artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction to make rapid progress towards truly useful robotic assistants. - Science Daily.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Chile's Puyehue Volcano Ash is Still Disrupting Ecosystems!

Nine months after the eruption of the Puyehue volcano in Chile forced thousands to flee for their lives, its impact is still being felt in the surrounding region. Puyehue, located in the southern Chilean Andes, began erupting on 3 June 2011, throwing millions of tonnes of ash into the sky for more than two weeks.

Lake Nahuel Huapi, Bariloche in Argentina, dramatically altered by ash from Puyehue volcano.
According to a report released on 15 February by the Faculty of Agronomy of the University of Buenos Aires (FAUBA) and the National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), the ash has had a considerable effect on plant growth in the surrounding areas of Chilean and Argentine Patagonia, with some regions seeing crop yields reduced by more than 50%. “We are looking at the lowest production values of the last 12 years”, says FAUBA researcher Gonzalo Irisarri. This has also affected livestock grazing, one of the main sources of economic income in the region. After the eruption, the ash layer — up to 45 centimetres in some regions — covered soil and plants, reducing their photosynthetic capacity. This was exacerbated by the drought the country experienced in December and January.

According to CONICET researcher Javier Grosfeld, the data show that plants’ growth was effectively delayed by at least a month. Pastures were the most affected, and regeneration will be particularly slow in areas were the ash layer exceeded 15 cm, he says. Stones and dust released by the volcano have also damaged some of the lakes of Argentine Patagonia. “Almost nine months after the eruption there are still huge floating rafts of pumice” that prevent sunlight reaching the lake, says Esteban Balseiro of the CONICET-University of Comahue in Bariloche, Argentina. This results in fewer plankton, which may have knock-on effects for creatures that depend on them as a food source. Balseiro, however, is confident that the ecosystems will recover in due course.
- News Blog.
WATCH: Pumice and ash floating on Lake Nahuel Huapi.

BIG BROTHER NOW: "Minority Report" is Here Now - Intelligent Advert Scans Reader Faces, Tailoring its Message to Men or Women!

A street advert which uses facial-recognition technology to tell men from women is to be used for the first time. The electronic hoarding, to be unveiled on a bus stop in London’s Oxford Street this week, plays a 40-second advertisement – with a different message depending on the gender of who is looking at it.

Intelligent ad: A unique new advert which deciphers your gender before relaying a message
accordingly has been put up at this bus stop in Oxford Street, London.
Only women will be able to view the full message, which is for a charity promoting female education worldwide. Men will just be directed to its website. The advert echoes 2002 Tom Cruise thriller Minority Report, in which billboards directly targeted individuals. According to the Independent on Sunday it will guess their gender based on the distance between their eyes, the width of their nose and the shape of their jawline. A spokesman for the charity, Plan UK, said: ‘We’re not giving men the choice to see the full ad – so they get a glimpse of what it’s like to have basic choices taken away.’

Privacy campaigners condemned the advert as ‘creepy’ and experts said it marked a future of personal advertising with ‘no boundaries’. Neil Chapman, the head of the creative team behind the ad at Clear Channel UK, defended claims by campaigners at The Open Rights Group that the idea was 'creepy' - and told the Independent that it would not store any personal details. Digital marketing consultant Steven Hess added that such technology marked the 'beginning of a shift from essentially dumb advertising to intelligent advertising' and that it meant that in the future there would be 'no boundaries'. As part of the charity's 'Because I Am A Girl' campaign', the advert - which will have a two-week trial - will use a high-definition camera to scan the multitude of shoppers in the busy street... Digital marketing consultant Steven Hess added that such technology marked the 'beginning of a shift from essentially dumb advertising to intelligent advertising' and that it meant that in the future there would be 'no boundaries'. - Daily Mail.
 WATCH: Mall scene from "Minority Report".

PLANETARY TREMORS: Scientific Analysis - Mega-Quake in the Pacific Northwest Could be a Lot Worse Than Experts Have Predicted!

In the eleven months since the massive quake and tsunami hit Japan, the world's leading earthquake scientists learned that a mega quake in the Northwest could be a lot worse than experts have predicted. The Northwest's largest earthquake zone, just off the coast, which is called the Cascadia Subduction Zone mirrors the area where the quake rocked Japan last March.

The Northwest's largest earthquake zone,
just off the coast, which is called the
Cascadia Subduction Zone mirrors
the area where the quake rocked
Japan last March.
From the data recorded there, the Seattle Times reports that experts now believe a mega-quake in the Northwest could be more severe.They are now working to create a new analysis of the hazards off the coasts of Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.One new theory is that the topography of the sea floor is the key. Flat and featureless bottoms, like the bottom off Washington's coast, seem to experience mega quakes more often. Fortunately, last week, a large earthquake off the coast of Oregon didn't have the devastating impact of a mega-quake concerning researchers.

The National Earthquake Information Center in Golden, Colo., says a magnitude 6.0 quake off the Oregon coast caused no reported damage and only a smattering of reports from people who felt it as a weak jolt. The shallow quake recorded at 7:31 p.m. on Feb. 14 more than 150 miles west of southern Oregon did not generate a tsunami. Within about an hour, the information center's website recorded 39 reports of people who reported feeling the quake. Most were in northern California and southern Oregon and characterized it was "weak" or "barely felt." U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Dale Grant said in a telephone interview the quake occurred in a seismically active area and called it "not uncommon at all." In his words, "These are the ones we like - nobody gets hurt and there's no damage." According the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, the last known great earthquake in the northwest was in January, 1700, just over 300 years ago.
- MY Northwest.