Wednesday, April 25, 2012

PLANETARY TREMORS: San Andreas Fault - Scientists "Haven't Figured Out" Inland Empire Quake Swarm?!

Borrego Springs is firmly anchored in the Riverside County desert. Lately, though, it's been moving around a lot.

A series of small earthquakes in the Inland Empire has UC Riverside geologist Dr. Gareth Funning struggling
to identify just what they are. Jacob Rascon reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on April 24, 2012.
"I still haven't figured out what they are," said Gareth Funning, UC Riverside geologist. "The fact that there's a persistent swarm like this, there are several major ones in that sequence." Funning has been keeping watch on roughly two weeks of quake activity and Tuesday morning's earthquake in Hemet punctuated the sequence.
"If it was followed by a large earthquake, then you would call it a fore shock," Funning said. "But right now it seems to be an isolated incident." So, does it mean anything? Funning said probably not.
"They haven't led to anything destructive but I'm sure they're a constant reminder to the people who live in the area that they live in an earthquake zone," Funning said. And it's not just any earthquake zone. The famous San Andreas Fault runs through the region, and if there is anything predictable about earthquakes, it's that you can count on shakers along the San Andreas. - NBC4.

WATCH: Puzzling quake swarm along the San Andreas Fault.

BIG BROTHER NOW: The Emerging Global Police State - Computer Chip Lets Smartphones See Through Walls and Clothes!

Researchers at a Texas university have designed a chip that could give smartphones the long-envied ability of comic book her Superman to see through walls, clothes or other objects. 

A computer chip wafer. Researchers at a Texas university have designed a chip that could give smartphones
the long-envied ability of comic book her Superman to see through walls, clothes or other objects. 
A team at University of Texas at Dallas tuned a small, inexpensive microchip to discern a "terahertz" band of the electromagnetic spectrum.  The design works with chips made using Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor technology behind processors commonly found in personal computers, smartphones, televisions and videogame consoles.  "CMOS is affordable and can be used to make lots of chips," electrical engineering professor Kenneth O said in a statement Friday.  "The combination of CMOS and terahertz means you could put this chip and a transmitter on the back of a cell phone, turning it into a device carried in your pocket that can see through objects." 

To assuage privacy worries, the professor and his team at the Texas Analogue Center of Excellence are limiting their study to what the chips can make visible at distances of four inches (10 centimeters) or less, according to the university.  The terahertz band has wavelengths that fall between microwaves used for mobile phone signals and infrared that is employed for night vision goggles.  The chip designed by O's team detects terahertz waves and shows the resulting imagery, perhaps on a smartphone screen.  O's team highlighted potential medical uses such as enabling doctors to peer easily into patients' bodies and practical applications along the lines of finding studs in walls.  "We've created approaches that open a previously untapped portion of the electromagnetic spectrum for consumer use," O said.  "There are all kinds of things you could be able to do that we just haven't yet thought about." - The Gazette.

PLAGUES & PESTILENCES: Prions & Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy - Case of Mad Cow Disease is Found in the U.S.!

The Department of Agriculture announced that it had identified a case of mad cow disease, the first in six years, in a dairy cow in central California. The cow “was never presented for human consumption, so it at no time presented a risk to the food supply or human health,” John Clifford, chief veterinary officer at the department, said in a statement.

Dr. Clifford noted that milk did not transmit bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the scientific name for mad cow disease. He expressed confidence in the health of the nation’s cattle and the safety of beef during a press briefing in Washington. The animal had been picked up from the farm and taken to a rendering plant, which noticed some of the signs of B.S.E., such as unsteadiness and aggression, and notified U.S.D.A. inspectors, Dr. Clifford said in a brief interview. The body will remain at the rendering facility and will be disposed of once the agency completes its investigation, probably by incineration or some other method that ensures the destruction of its tissues. It was the fourth reported case of mad cow disease, a degenerative disease that affects the brains and spinal cords of cattle, in the United States. Humans can contract the disease by eating meat from an infected cow. Only one case of mad cow disease in the United States was of the type derived from feed. That case set off a panic in 2003 when a Canadian-born cow in Washington state tested positive. Exports of American beef plummeted as countries instituted bans, and livestock producers and meatpacking companies lost billions of dollars. Asian nations in particular remain wary of American beef, and news Tuesday that another infected cow had been identified sent cattle futures for June delivery to their lowest level in 11 months.

The U.S.D.A. tested more than 795,000 animals in the 18 months after that cow was identified and found only two more cases. Neither was a type of B.S.E. associated with infected feed. In 2006, the department said the identification of only two additional infected animals suggested it was using a bazooka to fight a mouse. It cut its surveillance program by 90 percent, despite criticism from consumer groups. Those same critics on Tuesday complained again about the department’s surveillance program. “We really don’t know if this is an isolated unusual event or whether there are more cases in U.S. beef,” Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “Our monitoring program is just too small.” The two other animals with mad cow disease as well as the one identified on Tuesday all had a form called atypical B.S.E. “We do not believe this was passed to the animal through infected feed materials,” Dr. Clifford said. Switzerland reported a case of atypical B.S.E. in March, as have many other countries. “Our best prevailing wisdom about this is that there may be a spontaneous form of this cow dementia,” said Dr. Will Hueston, a professor of public health at the University of Minnesota. “This new case appears to be that sporadic type of the disease, a sole cow that happens to get it at random and without any predictive characteristics.”
- NY Times.
WATCH: Case of Mad Cow Disease is Found in the U.S.

WORLD WAR III: Countdown to Armageddon - Iran Preparing For All-Out-War With Israel For "The Last Six Months" to Usher in the 12th Imam Mahdi?!

Despite the recent declaration by Iran that it does not want a nuclear bomb and statements by regime officials that they are willing to negotiate over the nuclear issue, indications from within Iran signal massive preparation for an all-out war as part of its destiny. Nine years ago a Revolutionary Guards arm, the Holy Defense, published a book, “The Last Six Months,” in which it describes the conditions needed in the last six months prior to the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah. The book was distributed in the hundreds of thousands to all Guards, Basij and army bases throughout the country.

Islam’s Shiites believe their 12th Imam, Mahdi, will reappear at the end of times and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all four corners of the world. The book admonishes the military forces that they must be prepared to do their duties during those six months and that there will be many signs to help the faithful to understand the transition, which will center on Iran. The book, which relies on Islamic hadiths by the Prophet Mohammad and his descendants from centuries ago, describes the 9/11 attacks and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq as signs that the time is near. But it also prophesies much more significant signs that would launch the six-month time frame for the reappearance of Mahdi: an attack on Syria and then an attack on Iran. Both those events are looking increasingly likely as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad continues to murder his own people and Iran continues its quest for nuclear weapons. Mahdi will only reappear, Shiites believe, when Israel is destroyed and the U.S. is brought to its knees; two-thirds of the world’s population will die in a nuclear exchange, and with this chaos and havoc engulfing the earth, the “coming” will unfold. As revealed in the Iranian secret documentary “The Coming Is Upon Us,” it is believed within the Islamic regime that the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is the historical figure as claimed in a hadith who will rise up against the infidels and pass the flag of Islam to Imam Mahdi, the last Islamic messiah.
According to a source who served in the Guards’ intelligence – he has defected to a country in Europe – billions of dollars have been spent on the military forces to emphasize this very ideology of the coming as well as preparation for an all-out war. Thousands of terrorist cells consisting of the most loyal are placed throughout the world, and they believe Iran will be a key player in creating the circumstances for the coming. The Islamic regime fully expects to be attacked, the source says. Its leaders believe this will happen as foretold in centuries-old hadiths and written in the book “The Last Six Months.” Response contingencies call for simultaneous attacks on Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, and attacks not only on U.S. bases in the region but the U.S. homeland. The Islamic regime has already mastered nuclear technology and currently has enough enriched uranium, verified by the IAEA, for six nuclear bombs. It also has ballistic missiles capable of reaching every country in the Middle East and many capitals in Europe but is also working, with the help of China and North Korea, on intercontinental ballistic missiles. An internal IAEA document from 2009 shows that Khamenei, as early as 1984, was pushing for nuclear bombs, stating that, “This was the only way to secure the very essence of the Islamic Revolution from the schemes of its enemies, especially the United States and Israel, and to prepare it for the emergence of Imam Mahdi.” Of utmost concern is that Iran likely has nuclear weapons already even as it works to create more. As reported in October, Iranian agents scoured the former Soviet republics after the fall of the Soviet Union in search of buying existing nuclear bombs, offering hundreds of millions of dollars. As verified with sources at the State Department, a former U.S. intelligence officer and a Russian general, the Iranians have at least two workable nuclear warheads. The source in the Guards’ intelligence said he was informed in secret briefings while in the Guards that they had two nuclear bombs, though he could not attest if they were viable. But what he verified next was further terrifying: Iran has neutron bombs, thanks to its North Korea ally.

A neutron bomb is a tactical nuclear weapon invented during the Cold War to kill people with neutron radiation, while minimizing damage to buildings. “However, a neutron warhead is more accurately described as, and is officially called, an Enhanced Radiation Warhead because it produces large quantities of all kinds of radiation – including gamma rays – that generate the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effect at high altitude,” according to Dr. Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, which advises Congress. “So if a neutron bomb, or more properly ERW, is detonated at high altitude, above 30 kilometers, it becomes an enhanced EMP weapon, a strategic weapon that could generate a powerful EMP, destroying electronics and collapsing the critical infrastructures that support the lives of millions of people over vast geographic areas,” Pry said. As verified by the IAEA, the Guards have launched ballistic missiles from ships and detonated warheads over the earth’s surface. Those tests have only one purpose: create an EMP attack, whether by nuclear or neutron bomb. As revealed last year, the Guards have now armed their naval vessels with ballistic missiles and plan on deploying warships in the Atlantic Ocean. Studies show that a successful EMP attack could destroy electric power, telecommunications, transportation, banking and finance, and food and water across the continental United States.
The Congressional EMP Commission estimated that, given current U.S. unpreparedness, one year after an EMP attack, about two-thirds of the U.S. population, 200 million people, would have perished from starvation, disease or societal collapse. As the West continues to negotiate with the leaders of the Islamic regime in Iran, even accepting their nuclear program for “peaceful purposes,” one thing is ominously lacking: an understanding of their ideology. - WND.
WATCH: The Coming is Upon Us.

WORLD WAR III: The Nuclear Arms and the Countdown to Armageddon - Pakistan Has Successfully Tested a Missile Capable of Carrying a Nuclear Warhead That Could Strike India!

Pakistan said Wednesday that it had conducted a test launch of a medium-range ballistic missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead, just days after its arch-rival India tested a longer-range missile.  The Pakistani military said in a statement that the launch of the improved version of the Shaheen-1 missile was successful and that its impact point was at sea.  The new version of the missile "will further consolidate and strengthen Pakistan's deterrence abilities," the statement said, citing Lt. Gen. Khalid Ahmed Kidwai, head of the military's Strategic Plans Division. 

India said last week that it had successfully carried out the maiden test flight of its longest-range nuclear-capable missile, which can apparently travel more than 5,000 kilometers (3,100 miles). The Pakistani military's statement did not give details on the range of the missile that it fired Wednesday. The Shaheen-1 missile that it tested in 2010 was able to hit a target about 650 kilometers (403 miles) away. There have been positive signs in the relationship between Islamabad and New Delhi recently. President Asif Ali Zardari of Pakistan met with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India during a private trip to India earlier this month.  It was the first visit to India by a Pakistani head of state in seven years, and Singh said at the time that he would be willing to make a reciprocal trip to Pakistan in the future.  But distrust remains deep between the two nations. The South Asian neighbors have fought three wars, two of them over the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, since the 1947 partition of the subcontinent into Islamic Pakistan and Hindu-majority, secular India after independence from Britain. 

Last year, both countries pledged not to let their fragile peace process unravel again over the range of thorny issues that put them at odds.  In 2004, they agreed to negotiations that cover eight issues, including Kashmir, terrorism and Pakistan's concerns over river dams on the Indian side of the border, which it sees as a threat to its water supplies.  After that, successive governments held talks in an effort to end the historical acrimony.  But engagements were suspended in November 2008 after the terrorist assault on Mumbai, which left more than 160 people dead. India said Pakistani-based groups were behind that attack.  Over the past two years, India and Pakistan have held a series of high-level meetings in their bid to put their peace dialogue back on track, a process considered crucial to regional stability ahead of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan.  In 2011, New Delhi and Islamabad agreed to resume talks.  The two nations' possession of nuclear weapons adds a worrying dimension to the tensions between them.  The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War on Wednesday laid out a hypothetical scenario of what a nuclear conflict between two countries like India and Pakistan would mean for the world.  "A limited regional nuclear weapons exchange" between two such countries "would cause major worldwide climate disruption, driving down food production in China, the U.S. and other nations," the physicians group said in a statement previewing a new report on the subject.  That scenario would leave more than one billion people around the world facing starvation, according to the group, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. - CNN.
WATCH: Pakistan launches nuclear-capable missile.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Tracking Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula - Explosive-Extrusive-Effusive Eruptions of the Shiveluch Volcano!

Shiveluch is one of the most active volcanoes on Earth. During the first three weeks of April 2012, brief bursts of volcanic activity left radial streaks of ash on the surrounding snow.

The 3,283-meter (10,771-foot) Shiveluch volcano increased activity in May 2009.
From April 4 until April 22, little to no new snow fell on the region, leaving the ash visible. The wind direction at the time of the eruption determined the alignment of each streak. Stronger or lengthier eruptions, as well as stronger winds, likely produced the longer streaks. (It is vaguely possible that some of the streaks are the result of melting snow revealing older ash deposits.) The natural-color satellite images above were collected by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra (top image) and Aqua (lower three images) satellites.
The natural-color satellite images above were collected by theModerate Resolution Imaging
Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra (top image) and Aqua (lower three images) satellites.
The Kamchatka Volcanic Emergency Response Team (KVERT) reported ash plumes that extended up to 120 kilometers (74 miles) from Shiveluch on April 17th and 18th. One of these eruptions is likely the source of the streak that extends to the northeast (upper right) in the April 22nd image. A small ash cloud is visible in the April 4th image, and another plume, probably composed of steam and other volcanic gases, is apparent in the April 22nd image. - Earth Observatory.

EXTREME WEATHER: Heat Wave Shifts to Central U.S. - Over 30 Locations May Set Daily Record Highs; Drought-Hit Texas is in the Crosshairs!

The heat wave that baked the Southwest the previous two days is shifting to the central U.S.
Starting Tuesday, highs will reach into the 80s from Texas all the way up to the border with Canada, reported

"Over 30 locations may tie or set new daily record highs Tuesday in the Rockies and Plains," it added, and some areas as far north as Nebraska could reach into the 90s. On Wednesday, West Texas will get blasted by triple-digit heat, forecasters said, worsening the prolonged drought that area has experienced. Midland will feel some of the worst of the heat. "It looks like we're going to break the record" for an April 25, National Weather Service forecaster Jack Ciccone of the Midland office told The forecast is for 101 degrees Fahrenheit, 3 degrees above the existing record set in 1996. "It is unusual, but it isn't the earliest" triple digit start to April, he added, noting that record was set on April 21, 1989, with 101 degrees F. Lubbock, Texas, could also see record heat and the forecast has prompted concerns about brush and wildfires.
A cold front should bring rain over the weekend, Ciccone noted, but drought conditions won't see much improvement. "It's not something you can overcome in a few heavy rainstorms," he said. "It's going to take a long time to recover. Water's in scarce supply here," he added, noting that farmers and ranchers are being hit hardest. "The reservoirs and lakes are very low to record low levels in West Texas." In North Texas, a mild winter and warm spring has led snakes to become active about six weeks earlier than usual, reported. Three snake bite victims already have been treated at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Fort Worth, the NBC affiliate noted. The hospital typically sees about nine cases for an entire year. - MSNBC.