Friday, November 9, 2012

EXTREME WEATHER: Severe Hail Storm Wrecks Havoc on Ga-Rankuwa Residents in South Africa - Over 2,000 Houses Damaged by Golf Ball-Sized Hail Stones!

November 9, 2012 - SOUTH AFRICA - A hail storm, which swept over parts of Tshwane on Friday, left hundreds of households in Ga-Rankuwa, north of Pretoria, without hot water.

Hail covers a car park in Woodmead after heavy storms on 6 September, 2012. Mike O'Donoghue/Witness.
On Thursday, golf ball-sized chunks of ice shattered the glass tubes of solar geysers mounted on roofs. The municipality installed the energy saving devices as part of a massive 'Greening the city' project. Vusi Khumalo said the storm left him without hot water. He said his whole community was affected.

“About 2,000 houses have broken windows and broke geysers.” The hail stones shattered the thin glass tubes on the geysers, one house after the other, at almost every street. Khumalo's neighbour Tsepo Lebulwana said the inconvenience will increase his electricity bill. “We don’t have hot water so I use my kettle.” The community appealed to the municipality for help. - EWN.

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

November 9, 2012 - WORLDWIDE UFOs - Here are several of the latest unidentified flying objects (UFOs) seen recently across the globe.

The International Space Station - 5th of November, 2012.

South Carolina, United States - 6th of November, 2012.

Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico - 8th of November, 2012.

Pensacola, Florida, United States - 7th of November, 2012.

Tucson, Arizona, United States - 5th of November, 2012.

Phoenix, Arizona, United States - 2nd of November, 2012.

FUK-U-SHIMA: "Astonishing" Thyroid Abnormalities Found in Fukushima Kids Declared "Ok" by Japan Government - Officials Ordered Doctors to Stop Examining Patients?!

November 9, 2012 - JAPAN - The following is taken from the Fukushima Health Survey Occupies Medical & Legal Conundrum White Paper on November 8th, 2012.

“Mrs. Shima showed me the thyroid ultrasound for her daughter Shuri, 11.  The government-sponsored test
revealed her daughter had NO thyroid cysts, but she went to a private hospital to seek a second opinion.”
The second opinion showed that her daughter indeed did have thyroid cysts.
[...] Dr. Suzuki who has been running the Health Survey along with Dr. Yamashita [...] claimed it is unlikely thyroid cancer rates would rise and that the results found so far where over 43% of children had abnormalities were “ordinary”. [...]

These statements by Suzuki defy the evidence. Over 43% of the children with abnormalities is quite different from the 1.6% or less of children in the Nagasaki study. Suzuki has also held the opinion that thyroid cancers won’t show up for 4 or more years citing Chernobyl. This conflicts with Suzuki’s claim that is it unlikely cancer rates would rise. Further evidence shows thyroid damage was actually occurring right after Chernobyl, it just took years for studies to actually be done. [...]

While the Health Survey claims everything is fine in Fukushima, parents are documenting quite a different reality. Ian Thomas Ash has been producing a serial documentary series on life after the Fukushima disaster. In his most recent filming he has been interviewing parents in Fukushima City and Date City. What he found is astonishing. Children with considerable thyroid abnormalities, some were declared “ok” by the Health Survey only to find out otherwise when they obtained a second opinion from a doctor. That is for those lucky enough to obtain a second opinion, some were denied treatment by doctors after the central government ordered them to stop examining patients for thyroid disorders. [...] - ENE News.
Read the complete white paper HERE.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Outbreak of Anthrax Wipes Out 50 percent of Roan Antelopes and Kills 30 Hippos in Kruger Park, South Africa!

November 9, 2012 - KWAZULU-NATAL, SOUTH AFRICA -  A serious outbreak of the highly contagious wildlife disease anthrax has wiped out nearly 50 percent of the rare roan antelope population and scores of hippos in the Kruger National Park.  This is the eighth major outbreak of the disease since the early 1960s in the country’s flagship national park.  SA National Parks confirmed this week that 30 dead hippos had been found in the Letaba and Olifants rivers over the past two weeks. Post-mortem examination results from some of the carcasses suggested they were infected with the anthrax bacteria. 

An outbreak of the highly-contagious wildlife disease, anthrax, has wiped out nearly
50 percent of roan antelope and hippos. File photo: Chris Collingridge.
Two weeks ago, Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa revealed that most of the roan antelope had been wiped out by anthrax in a protective breeding enclosure inside the park during August.  Responding to queries in Parliament, Molewa said that 45 roan antelope had died in the Capricorn breeding enclosure – leaving just 13 survivors in this camp, another 35 in the Nwaswishumbe breeding enclosure and an estimated 40 to 50 free-roaming animals.  SANParks said this week that the anthrax outbreak had begun in late August. Visitors were urged to report any sightings of dead hippos to the nearest camp, but not to touch the bodies. 

“Anthrax is a highly infectious disease caused by the bacterium Bacillus anthracis. It is thought that the disease is spread mainly by vultures and blowflies,” said SANParks spokesman Reynold Thakhuli.  “Vultures are immune to anthrax and spread the disease by consuming contaminated meat from affected carcasses, and then defecating in water where they regularly drink or bath. The toxins released by the bacteria when they sporulate are also fatal to some species.”  Thakhuli said anthrax outbreaks were “a natural occurrence” in the north of the park, and occurred more or less every 10 years. The outbreaks seemed to be related to the end of dry cycles, while the disease seemed to be closely linked to population density. When certain species like kudu and hippo reached high densities, anthrax spread more rapidly.  “This is the only disease in Kruger National Park that needs to kill its host in order to propagate itself. In all the outbreaks before, the disease naturally dissipated when the rains started and when animal densities decreased, so it can be considered a ‘natural regulator’ of animal densities… The… rangers are monitoring the situation,” Thakhuli said.  During the previous outbreak, in the Nxanatseni region in 2010, it was estimated that 2 000 animals died. - IOL News.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Tracking Volcano Activity at the Long Valley Caldera, Popocatepetl, San Miguel, Nevado del Ruiz, Tongariro and White Island!

November 9, 2012 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - This (almost) daily post intends to follow up the activity changes of volcanoes all over the world. This post is written by geologist Richard Wilson who specializes in Volcano seismicity and Armand Vervaeck.

Popocatepetl volcano.
Low-level seismicity continues with M1 to M2.0 earthquakes in the South Moat of Long Valley Caldera (CA) today. (station MXX1) Emissions of gas and some ash occur on average of three time an hour at Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico). The seismogram recorded at Popo shows apparent strong volcanic tremor complicated by that aforementioned pesky software glitch that produces a repeating pattern in the data, so I’m not sure if the signal is real or not.

Seismicity at San Miguel volcano (El Salvador) built to a crescendo (from frequent low-frequency events into tremor) overnight, and has since subsided back to former levels. This is “normal” behavior for the volcano and likely does not portend anything exciting. (station VSM) A high level of volcano-tectonic seismicity continues within Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) today, although event magnitudes seem to ebb and flow. (station OLLZ) I note that recent satellite images show reduced, even non-apparent SO2 emission from the volcano, which coupled with the high seismicity, could be a harbinger of eruptive activity. As always, the volcano will have the final say in the matter. Strings of small earthquakes (indicative of fluid movement) are visible again today on the Tongariro (New Zealand) seismogram and small local earthquakes are still being detected at nearby Ruapehu volcano. Tremor weakened for a time overnight at White Island volcano, but has returned to previous level. Strong SO2 emission is observed in satellite imagery at Nyiragongo volcano (DRC) and Popocatepetl today. Weaker emissions are visible at Turrialba and Poas volcanoes (Costa Rica
. - Earthquake Report.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Geological Upheaval Alert - Analysis of 2011 Virginia Earthquake Suggests Seismic Risk!

November 9, 2012 - VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES - Last year, the surprise 5.8-magnitude earthquake that struck central Virginia was actually worse than previously thought. Detailed analyses of the ground motions triggered by the event indicate that Washington DC and other affected regions could be at higher risk of major ground movement.  The event triggered landslides over a wider area than any other recorded quake anywhere in the world. The earthquake was centered 130 km south-southwest of Washington DC, near Mineral, Virginia. The August 23, 2011 quake was the strongest to hit the eastern USA since 1897.

The findings were reported by scientists of the US Geological Survey at the Geological Society of American’s annual meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. The area affected by the quake was about the same as a much larger 7.2 tremor that struck Baja, California in 2010 because of a variety of factors, including the age, type, temperature and density of the rocks underlying the eastern United States.  The quake was strong enough to do serious damage to some of the landmark buildings in Washington. The National Cathedral needed $20 million in repairs. US cities on the eastern seaboard could be more affected by future earthquakes. A large fraction of the seismic energy was directed towards the northeast, where several major population centers are located. 

This preferential concentration and amplification of seismic energy has been noted in other fault-ridden regions in the world, but hadn’t been measured in the eastern USA because it is rarely hit by severe earthquakes.  Seismologists suggest that more seismometers should be deployed around Washington and other cities to asses to what degree seismic waves generated in the region might be amplified.  The large ground motions also triggered rockfalls over an unexpectedly large area. They were reported as far as 245 km away. Quakes this size shouldn’t trigger landslides more than 60 km away from its epicenter. - SciTechDaily.

DISASTER IMPACT: Jamaica is Still Reeling From the Wrath of Hurricane Sandy - 4,000 JPS Customers Still Without Electricity, Hundreds of Thousands of Cars Damaged; Tourism Down by 7 Percent!

November 9, 2012 - KINGSTON, JAMAICA - There is still no clear timeline for when Government will begin construction of the promised houses for persons who lost entire structures during the passage of Hurricane Sandy, which hit the island two weeks ago.  However, vouchers to assist persons who had damaged or destroyed roofs could be disbursed as early as next week. 

Damaged cars during the passage of Hurricane Sandy.
Minister with responsibility for information, Senator Sandrea Falconer, said the construction of these houses will take some time as the Government will have to assist in identifying suitable lands, in cases where beneficiaries do not have legal access to the property on which their homes were initially built.  "In terms of distribution of vouchers, I know that the money is being identified as we speak and we are hoping that as early as next week we can begin to distribute the vouchers," Falconer told journalists at yesterday's Jamaica House press briefing held at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kingston.  The vouchers, valued at $60,000 for persons who lost entire roofs and $30,000 for those who suffered some amount of damage, will be disbursed through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and co-ordinated through a co-ordination secretariat in the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM). 

Government on Wednesday admitted that there has been a decline in visitor arrivals since last month, and attributed this to the passage of Hurricane Sandy which affected sections of the United States, Jamaica's major market for tourists. Senator Falconer announced that visitor arrivals were down 0.09 per cent in October and seven per cent in the first week of November.
Toyota, Chrysler, Nissan and Honda plan to scrap about 15,000 vehicles damaged by Superstorm Sandy as automakers and dealers continue assessing the storm’s impact. Nissan alone estimates more than 6,000 Nissan and luxury Infiniti vehicles are “unsaleable” because of the storm, said company spokesman Travis Parman. Including used autos and those of individual owners, as many as 200,000 may have to be replaced, said Larry Dixon, analyst for the National Automobile Dealers Association.

 Just over 4,000 customers are still without electricity, following the passage of Hurricane Sandy. According to Winsome Callum, head of corporate communications at the Jamaica Public Service (JPS) most of those customers are in St Mary, although Portland, St Thomas and St Ann are also still affected. Those parishes were the worst hit in the Category 1 hurricane, which made a direct hit on the island about two weeks ago. - Jamaica Observer.

DISASTER IMPACT: "F*CK FEMA" - U.S. Coast Guard Takes Over Disaster Management and Operations as Sandy Victims Languish in the Cold Without Power, Fuel or Food!

November 9, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Eleven days after Hurricane Sandy made landfall, hundreds of thousands of utility customers in New York and New Jersey are still without power - and they want answers. Unfortunately, the answers provided by the power companies have generated even more anger and frustration.

Oil rationing lines in New York, as more misery hits Sandy victims.
11 days without power, Sandy victims want answers.
When asked Thursday night when power may be restored, LIPA Chief Operating Officer Michael Hervey told CBS Station WCBS the utility is aiming for the middle of next week. WCBS reports one spokesman suggested power may not be fully restored until Thanksgiving. On Friday LIPA reported 163,029 customers in Nassau and Suffolk Counties and the Rockaway Peninsula were still without power. That figure includes thousands who had lost power in this week's nor'easter, many of whom have had service restored. Families, the elderly and the disabled have no heat or electricity.
- CBS News.
Officials impose fuel rationing for New York City and Long Island.
Gas lines are shorter today — but the crisis is far from over.  Officials in the city and on Long Island imposed an odd/even license-plate rationing scheme this morning to reduce hours-long lines at the pump and help stations hang on to their supplies a little longer.  Police were at gas stations to enforce the new system in New York City and on Long Island. Drivers were out before dawn to line up for their rations. - NY POST.
30-hour wait for fuel offers plenty of intrigue but no no gas.
Man who thought he had the inside scoop got in a Brooklyn gas line six hours ahead of a phantom 8 p.m. delivery, but it did not come. So, he waited and waited and waited some more. Conversations abounded, bladders gave out, car heaters whirred from overwork and a heated altercation ensued. And still no gas.
- NY Daily News.
"F*ck FEMA," fed up Staten Island residents organize own relief efforts.
Residents of Staten Island, New York are cold, homeless, and fed up with the lack of federal help more than a week after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the area and less than 24 hours after being hit with a more powerful than expected nor'easter. “We’ve seen one FEMA car in a week,” Gennaro said. “I am embarrassed of my country, my government, the media… The 150% of the supplies we are providing are from our neighbors.”  - FOX News Latino.
Coast Guard saving the drowning FEMA, by taking over its duties.
In light of recent news articles, such as “Ineptitude in FEMA food purchasing continues” and “FEMA: A Disaster Relief Agency That’s Completely Unprepared for Disasters“, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is performing an end-run on government contract procedures by shifting the responsibility from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to the United States Coast Guard (USCG). - Prepper Podcast Radio Network.
Evacuees complain of cold in tents.
As a snowy nor'easter howled through the region Wednesday night, a flap on the tent where Monique Johnson was sleeping snapped open and the blistering wind blew in.  "The cots flew all around," she said.  Ms. Johnson, 34 years old, had been bused earlier in the day from a shelter to a tent city in the parking lot of Monmouth Park Racetrack.  "I expected something with walls," said Ms. Johnson, who had been living in a Seaside Heights motel with help from the county welfare agency before it was flooded by superstorm Sandy. - WSJ.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD) Reach Historic Levels - Over 13,000 Deer Reported Dead!

November 9, 2012 - MICHIGAN, UNITED STATES - Most Michigan deer hunters are well aware that epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) has reared its ugly head at historic levels in Michigan this year.  A viral disease that it transmitted by the bite of a fly called a midge, EHD causes deer to die from internal bleeding. It has been found in 30 counties in Michigan this year, mostly in the southern third of the state, though it has been documented in Clare and Osceola counties and is suspected as far north as Presque Isle and Benzie counties. This is the largest, most widespread outbreak of the disease in Michigan history. 

First described in Michigan in 1955, EHD wasn’t seen again until 1974 and then not again until after the turn of the century. Since 2006, however, it has occurred at some level every year except 2007.  EHD is widespread across the Midwest this year, something that is thought to have been caused by last winter’s unusually mild weather as well as this year’s drought. The tiny flies (about one-tenth of an inch in length) that carry EHD typically breed in mud flats, and this summer’s drought has expanded areas where midges of the genus Culicoides can reproduce. In most years, those mud flats would be underwater.  “Other states around us – Indiana, Illinois and Ohio – have seen this more frequently, and some of them have it from one end of the state to the other,” explained Brent Rudolph, the deer and elk program leader for the Department of Natural Resources.

“In Michigan, it’s been mostly restricted to the southern third of the state, though we’ve had a couple of cases that bounced up above the line.”  Rudolph said that states from South Dakota to Kansas have reported more widespread mortality this year than ever before. Deer with EHD suffer from high fevers and head toward water to seek relief. Their bodies are often found in or near ponds, rivers or creeks.  EHD tends to be highly localized; in some cases the disease causes large die-offs in part of a township while areas just a few miles away show no sign of the disease.  Often referred to by hunters as “blue tongue” – a similar, though different disease – EHD shows up in the herd in the summer months, after regulations have been developed for the upcoming hunting season.  The DNR has no estimate of total EHD mortality, though it has had more than 13,000 dead deer reported.  Rudolph said that EHD has never caused widespread or long-term impacts to deer populations, though local effects can be significant and can last for a few years.  “Until this year, we’ve never seen enough EHD in Michigan to cause population declines at a broad scale, but the southwestern corner of the state – Cass and St. Joseph counties – has had EHD a couple of years in a row, in 2010 and 2011, and now again this year,” he said
. - Outdoor Hub.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: The Bayou Corne Sinkhole - Louisiana Official Warns Disaster Could Go On For "Many Many Years"!

November 9, 2012 - LOUISIANA, UNITED STATES - In the following video presentation, Martin Folse of HTV10 speaks with Louisiana State Representative Joe Harrison regarding the Bayou Corne Sinkhole. In the interview, Harrison disclosed that the sinkhole disaster could go on for "many, many years". Harrison was recently removed from the state's appropriations committee, furthering rumors of an official cover-up about the scale of the problem and the imminent danger to the public.

Harrison: The potential of it is substantial.

Folse: It could go a lot further?

Harrison: Yes, and that is the concern.

Folse: Are you convinced… are the people being leveled with up to this point before the meeting, if they’ve got about all of information that you need to get out, or do you think they’re still hiding some underneath the carpet?

Harrison: There is still a lot of information that has to come out. A lot… I don’t want to misspeak or start any rumors or make accusations, that’s not what my job is.
The interview was conducted on Monday, November 5th, 2012.

Louisiana State Representative Joe Harrison.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Large Numbers of Fish Found Dead in the Shenzhen River in China?!

November 9, 2012 - SHENZHEN, CHINA - Shenzhen after sea landscape river Jingxian due to large areas of dead fish, the official said the Department of sluice debugging

Nanfang Daily (Reporter / Guo Biao) the reporter received a public today claimed that the the Shenzhen Bay after sea landscape River emerges blockbuster dead fish. According to introduced participation nearby real estate construction workers, from noon today, on the river suddenly drift up a lot of dead fish, and the number is growing up to one or two in the afternoon, basically to cover the whole piece of the river shining white. However, these fish are very small, the size close to the adult index finger. Closing about five p.m. today, Shenzhen Nanshan District authorities have dead fish clean up a blank.

In this regard, Nanshan District, Environmental Protection and Water Authority of the relevant person in charge explained that the District Environmental Protection and Water Authority on Sunday on the landscape of the river sluice debugging, debugging until Tuesday, debugging is turned off during the estuaries at the gate , the oxygen content of the river water and sea water can not be a normal exchange of water, combined with water eutrophication caused by sewage discharge of the river quickly reduced, resulting in the death of fish blockbuster. Group of fish after the death of the first sink to the bottom of the river, a day later after another surfaced today appear full of dead fish, the river's situation. In addition, the landscape of the river sluice need to debug once a year, so the future may also appear in such circumstances. - IFENG News [Translated].

AGE OF OBAMA: Post-Election Riptide - U.S. Companies Announce Massive Layoffs, Job Cuts and Closings as Obamacare Becomes Reality!

November 9, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Companies across America are laying off or planning massive cuts in the aftermath of the recent presidential elections and as Obamacare becomes reality.

Image: Newsweek.
Boeing - Plans to employ 30% fewer executives.
Brake Parts - Plans to lay off 75 workers starting in late December.
Bristol-Meyers - Almost 480 layoffs.
Carbon County - Utah company blames Pres. Obama for 102 workers laid off.
Center for Hospice New York - Plans to temporarily lay off as many as 40 employees.
CVPH Medical Center - Handed pink slips to 17 employees. 
Darden Restaurants - Limit workers to 28 hours per week. 
Energizer - Expects to shed about 1,500 employees.
Exide Technologies - Laying off 150 workers, effective no later than March 31.
Hawker Beechcraft - The company says 240 employees will lose their jobs.
Husqvarna - World’s biggest maker of powered garden tools, plans to cut about 600 jobs.
Lightyear Network Solutions - More than one dozen employees at a Pikeville company lost their jobs.
Momentive Performance Materials - About 150 workers temporarily laid off later this month.
Murray Energy - CEO Robert Murray reads prayer to staff, announces layoffs.
OCE North America - Will lay off 135 workers in three Connecticut communities.
Providence Journal - Laid off 23 full-time workers Wednesday.
Research in Motion Limited - The maker of BlackBerry smartphones, laid off about 200 people.
Rocketdyne - About 100 employees at Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne.
United Blood Services Gulf -  Will lay off approximately 10 percent of its workforce. 
US Cellular - 980 job cuts at U.S. Cellular, with 640 in the Chicago area, according to a spokeswoman. 
Vestas Wind Systems - Reducing headcount by 3,000.
Westinghouse - Reduced its workforce by another 50 employees.
West Ridge Mine - Will close down 204 American coal-fired power plants by 2014.

Freedom Works has put together a list of companies that will be laying off employees as a result of President Barack Obama's health care law. See the full list HERE.

The VC Star provides another short list of other companies facing future layoffs at the hands of Obamacare. See the full list HERE.

Here are few of the closings that were announced in just the past two days:
To see even more companies that announced layoffs since the election, visit the Daily Job Cuts page.

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE: Predictive Programming - New Movie "World War Z" Prepares Global Population for Future War Against Zombies!

November 9, 2012 - HOLLYWOOD, UNITED STATES - On May 16th, 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted an article entitled Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse on their Public Health Matters Blog. Here are several passages from that article:

There are all kinds of emergencies out there that we can prepare for. Take a zombie apocalypse for example. That’s right, I said z-o-m-b-i-e a-p-o-c-a-l-y-p-s-e. You may laugh now, but when it happens you’ll be happy you read this, and hey, maybe you’ll even learn a thing or two about how to prepare for a real emergency. We’ve all seen at least one movie about flesh-eating zombies taking over (my personal favorite is Resident Evil), but where do zombies come from and why do they love eating brains so much? The word zombie comes from Haitian and New Orleans voodoo origins. Although its meaning has changed slightly over the years, it refers to a human corpse mysteriously reanimated to serve the undead. Through ancient voodoo and folk-lore traditions, shows like the Walking Dead were born... The rise of zombies in pop culture has given credence to the idea that a zombie apocalypse could happen. In such a scenario zombies would take over entire countries, roaming city streets eating anything living that got in their way. The proliferation of this idea has led many people to wonder “How do I prepare for a zombie apocalypse?” Well, we’re here to answer that question for you, and hopefully share a few tips about preparing for real emergencies too!

If zombies did start roaming the streets, CDC would conduct an investigation much like any other disease outbreak. CDC would provide technical assistance to cities, states, or international partners dealing with a zombie infestation. This assistance might include consultation, lab testing and analysis, patient management and care, tracking of contacts, and infection control (including isolation and quarantine). It’s likely that an investigation of this scenario would seek to accomplish several goals: determine the cause of the illness, the source of the infection/virus/toxin, learn how it is transmitted and how readily it is spread, how to break the cycle of transmission and thus prevent further cases, and how patients can best be treated. Not only would scientists be working to identify the cause and cure of the zombie outbreak, but CDC and other federal agencies would send medical teams and first responders to help those in affected areas (I will be volunteering the young nameless disease detectives for the field work). - CDC.
In September of this year, the Huffington Post revealed that the CDC, the U.S. military and law enforcement authorities were preparing for a widespread outbreak of virus that could lead to a zombie apocalypse.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is ready for a zombie apocalypse. Gun owners got prepared for a zombie apocalypse. Now, the military and law enforcement are getting ready.  And next month, they'll begin training.  Security firm HALO Corp. announced yesterday that about 1,000 military personnel, police officials, medical experts and federal workers will learn the ins and outs of a zombie apocalypse, as part of an annual counter-terrorism summit , according to the Military Times.  Sure, the lesson is tongue-in-cheek -- and only a small part of the summit's more serious course load -- but a zombie-like virus outbreak is a good training scenario. Visitors will learn to deal with a worldwide pandemic, where people become crazy, violent and fearful. Zombies will roam the summit grounds in San Diego, Calif. harassing troops and first-aid teams that will be participating.  Further details are unclear, but the Military Times made sure to note that zombies are not real.  The training comes at a time when the term "zombie apocalypse" is so viral that several branches of government have released statements on the matter. Earlier this month, the Department of Homeland Security reported that "the zombies are coming" as part of a hilarious bid to get citizens to prepare for a real disaster.  The CDC has released similar statements using zombies as a playful guise to get the public prepared for actual disasters. To assure that no one's confused by these announcements, CDC told The Huffington Post that zombies are not real. - Huffington Post.
Today, Paramount Pictures released the first trailer for a film that deals with a future world war against zombies. Entitled, World War Z, the movie stars Brad Pitt and is set to hit theatres on June 21st 2013.
The story revolves around United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt), who traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening to decimate humanity itself. Enos plays Gerry's wife Karen Lane; Kertesz is his comrade in arms, Segen.
Are we being prepared for future reality through the predictive programming of Hollywood?

WATCH: World War Z Trailer.

UFO SIGHTINGS: Mile High Mystery - Stunning UFO Land and Launches Over Denver!

November 9, 2012 - DENVER –  It’s a mile high mystery in the skies over Denver.  Strange objects caught on camera flying over the city and nobody can explain it.  We first learned about these sightings when a metro area man, who does not want to be identified brought us his home video. He captured the images on his digital camera from a hilltop in Federal Heights looking south toward downtown Denver.

He said, “The flying objects appear around noon or 1:00 p.m. at least a couple of times a week.” The strangest part is they are flying too fast to see with the naked eye, but when we slowed down the video, several UFOs appear.  We altered the color contrast to make it easier to see. You can take a look for yourself by watching the video clip.  We wanted to verify the video we saw was legitimate and not doctored in anyway. So our photojournalist set up his camera in the same spot, and shot video from just before noon until just after 1:00 p.m. He also captured something unexplained on video.  Aviation expert Steve Cowell is a former commercial pilot, instructor and FAA accident prevention counselor.  He thought he would have a logical explanation, until he watched the video. “That is not an airplane, that is not a helicopter, those are not birds, I can’t identify it,” he said. He also told us the objects are not insects.  

He said he knows of no aircraft that flies as fast. He did tell us there is one other possibility. “Perhaps there’s some sort of debris that is being raised up by some of the atmospheric winds.”  But in his professional opinion, “As it fits the definition, it’s an unidentified flying object.”  The FAA tracks all air traffic in Colorado and across the country. The FAA sent us a statement that says, “We`ve checked with air traffic control and no one has had any reports of the activity you described…nor have any of our employees observed anything of this nature either visually or on their radar displays.”  The North American Aerospace Defense Command is located in Colorado Springs. It keeps an eye on the skies in case of an air attack against the United States.  NORAD sent us this statement, “Our Command Center reviewed their records and they did not have any noted air activity in the Denver area during the times you indicated.”  The man who brought the video to our attention believes the UFOs are launching and landing near 56th Ave. and Clay Street in Denver. A Map shows only homes in the area.  So are they UFOs? A secret military test? Floating debris? - KDVR.
WATCH: Mile High mystery - UFO sightings in sky over Denver.

EXTRATERRESTRIAL NARRATIVE: Getting Very Close - "Super-Earth" Alien Planet May Be Capable Of Supporting Life!

November 9, 2012 - EUROPEAN SOUTHERN OBSERVATORY -  Astronomers have detected an alien planet that may be capable of supporting life as we know it — and it's just a stone's throw from Earth in the cosmic scheme of things.  The newfound exoplanet, a so-called "super-Earth" called HD 40307g, is located inside its host star's habitable zone, a just-right range of distances where liquid water may exist on a world's surface. And the planet lies a mere 42 light-years away from Earth, meaning that future telescopes might be able to image it directly, researchers said. HD 40307g is one of three newly discovered worlds around the parent star, which was already known to host three planets. The finds thus boost the star's total planetary population to six.

Finding new signals in the data
The star HD 40307 is slightly smaller and less luminous than our own sun. Astronomers had previously detected three super-Earths — planets a bit more massive than our own — around the star, all of them in orbits too close-in to support liquid water.  In the new study, the research team re-analyzed observations of the HD 40307 system made by an instrument called the High Accuracy Radial velocity Planet Searcher, or HARPS.  HARPS is part of the European Southern Observatory's 11.8-foot (3.6 meters) telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. The instrument allows astronomers to pick up the tiny gravitational wobbles an orbiting planet induces in its parent star. The researchers' new analysis techniques enabled them to spot three more super-Earths around the star, including HD 40307g, which is thought to be at least seven times as massive as our home planet.  HD 40307g may or may not be a rocky planet like Earth, said study lead author Mikko Tuomi, also of the University of Hertfordshire.  "If I had to guess, I would say 50-50," Tuomi told via email. "But the truth at the moment is that we simply do not know whether the planet is a large Earth or a small, warm Neptune without a solid surface."

A jam-packed extrasolar system
HD 40307g is the outermost of the system's six planets, orbiting at an average distance of 56 million miles (90 million kilometers) from the star. (For comparison, Earth zips around the sun from about 93 million miles, or 150 million km, away.)  The other two newfound exoplanets are probably too hot to support life as we know it, researchers said. But HD 40307g — which officially remains a "planet candidate" pending confirmation by follow-up studies — sits comfortably in the middle of the star's habitable zone.  Further, HD 40307g's orbit is distant enough that the planet likely isn't tidally locked to the star like the moon is to Earth, researchers said. Rather, HD 40307g probably rotates freely just like our planet does, showing each side of itself to the star in due course.  The lack of tidal locking "increases its chances of actually having Earth-like conditions," Tuomi said.  The new study has been accepted for publication in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. Super-Earths have been spotted in other stars' habitable zones before. For example, a team using NASA's prolific Kepler Space Telescope announced the discovery of the potentially habitable world Kepler-22b in December 2011.  Kepler-22b lies 600 light-years away, which is not terribly far considering that our Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light-years wide. But HD 40307g is just 42 light-years from us — close enough that future instruments may be able to image it directly, scientists say.  "Discoveries like this are really exciting, and such systems will be natural targets for the next generation of large telescopes, both on the ground and in space," David Pinfield of the University of Hertfordshire, who was not involved in the new study, said in a statement. - MSNBC.
WATCH: Super-Earth may have liquid water.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report - New Activities, Unrest and Ongoing Activity From October 31st - November 6th!

November 9, 2012 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing report from the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program.

KIZIMEN Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) 55.130°N, 160.32°E; summit elev. 2376 m
KVERT reported that during 26 October-2 November moderate seismic activity at Kizimen was detected along with a thermal anomaly in satellite imagery. Video and satellite images showed lava flows effusing from the summit and the E flank, summit incandescence, strong gas-and-steam activity, and hot avalanches on the S flank. The Aviation Color Code was raised to Orange on 1 November. Based on information from the Kamchatka Branch of Geophysical Services (KGBS), the Tokyo VAAC reported that an ash plume drifted NE at an altitude of 5.2 km (17,000 ft) a.s.l. on 2 November. KVERT reported that during 2-3 November moderate seismicity indicated that possible ash plumes rose to altitudes of 4.5-4.8 km (14,800-15,800 ft) a.s.l. Video images showed gas-and-steam activity during 2-5 November. Incandescence above the crater and lava flow were observed on 5 November. Map

FUEGO Guatemala 14.473°N, 90.880°W; summit elev. 3763 m
INSIVUMEH reported that during 1-2 November white fumarolic plumes from Fuego rose 100 m and drifted SW. Explosions ejected incandescent material 100 m above the lava dome, and produced ash plumes that rose almost 500 m and drifted 10 km SW. A lava flow traveled 350 m SSW down the Ceniza drainage. On 3 November heavy rain caused lahars that traveled down the Ceniza drainage, carrying tree branches and 2-m-wide blocks. During 3-6 November explosions generate ash plumes that rose 150-450 m and drifted W and NW. Incandescent material was ejected 100 m above the crater and generated avalanches near the crater. A lava flow traveled 600-800 m down the Ceniza drainage, producing incandescent block avalanches that reached vegetated areas. Map

GALERAS Colombia 1.22°N, 77.37°W; summit elev. 4276 m
INGEOMINAS reported that during 30 October-6 November seismicity at Galeras fluctuated but was slightly lower compared to the previous week. Sulfur dioxide gas emissions were low. Cameras around Galeras recorded gas-and-ash plumes rising from the crater on 30 October and 1 November. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity"). Map

KARYMSKY Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) 54.05°N, 159.45°E; summit elev. 1536 m
KVERT reported moderate seismic activity from Karymsky during 26 October-2 November; seismicity indicated that possible ash plumes rose to an altitude of 3.5 km (11,500 ft) a.s.l. Satellite imagery showed a thermal anomaly on the volcano on 27 October. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Map

KILAUEA Hawaii (USA) 19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m
During 31 October-6 November HVO reported that the circulating lava lake periodically rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea's Halema'uma'u Crater. Occasional measurements indicated that the gas plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of spatter and Pele's hair onto nearby areas. Lava flows were active in the Royal Gardens subdivision and flowed across the coastal plain, but were 1-1.3 km from the coast. The perched lava lake within the NE pit at Pu'u 'O'o Crater remained active, and glow emanated from sources at the S and N edges of the crater floor. Spatter from the N edge was observed. On 1 November geologists observed the perched lava lake and noted that it was a few meters above the Pu'u 'O'o Crater rim. During 2-3 November lava flowed from the spatter cone on the N part of the crater floor, and was accompanied by spattering.During 4-5 November activity increased within Pu'u 'O'o Crater. A small amount of lava spilled out of the perched lava lake and from the easternmost of the two sources at the S edge of the crater floor; larger, episodic flows from the easternmost source at the S floor edge continued later. Spattering continued from the cone at the N floor edge. Map

MANAM Northeast of New Guinea (SW Pacific) 4.080°S, 145.037°E; summit elev. 1807 m
Based on analysis of satellite imagery and other data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 3 November an ash plume from Manam rose to an altitude of 3 km (10,000 ft) a.s.l. Images later that day showed that the ash had dissipated. Map

NYIRAGONGO Democratic Republic of Congo 1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m
The Toulouse VAAC reported that, according to a Volcano Observatory Notices for Aviation (VONA) issued by the Goma Volcano Observatory, a gas plume composed mostly of sulfur dioxide rose from Nyiragongo on 1 November. Map

POPOCATEPETL México 19.023°N, 98.622°W; summit elev. 5426 m
CENAPRED reported that during 31 October-6 November seismicity at Popocatépetl indicated continuing gas-and-steam emissions that contained ash. Incandescence from the crater was observed at night. Cloud cover often prevented observations; gas-and-steam plumes were observed drifting E and NE during periods of clearer weather. The Alert Level remained at Yellow, Phase Two. Map

REVENTADOR Ecuador 0.077°S, 77.656°W; summit elev. 3562 m
The IG reported that although cloud cover often prevented observations of Reventador, plumes were observed almost daily. During 31 October-1 November and 3 November plumes rose 1.5-3 km above the crater and drifted NW. At about 0400 on 5 November a steam-and-ash plume rose 3 km. An ash plume rose 2 km and drifted NW at 0600. Map

SAKURA-JIMA Kyushu 31.585°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m
JMA reported that during 29 October-2 November explosions from Sakura-jima's Showa Crater ejected tephra as far as 1.8 km from the crater. A small explosion from Minami-dake Crater occurred during 29-30 October. Based on information from JMA, the Tokyo VAAC reported that explosions during 2-5 and 7 November produced plumes that rose to altitudes of 1.8-2.4 km (6,000-8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, E, and SE. On 5 November a pilot observed an ash plume that rose to an altitude of 2.4 km (8,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. Map

SHIVELUCH Central Kamchatka (Russia) 56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3283 m
Based on visual observations and analyses of satellite data, KVERT reported that during 26 October-2 November a viscous lava flow continued to effuse on the NW flank of Shiveluch's lava dome, accompanied by hot avalanches and fumarolic activity. Satellite imagery showed a daily thermal anomaly on the lava dome. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange. Map

WINTER WEATHER ALERT: America Under Storm Seige - Winter Storm Brutus Threatens Snow, Severe Weather For US West, Midwest!

November 9, 2012 - UNITED STATES - Even before Winter Storm Athena can finish pulling away from the Northeast, we have another significant winter storm system to deal with in the western half of the country: Winter Storm Brutus. This time, not only will there be a wind-snow combo on the cold side of the system, but there will be a warm sector with severe weather potential - eventually.

But first things first. With strong low pressure developing over the northern Rockies and a strong high pressure zone to the north over western Canada, the stage is set for a wind-driven snow.  That snow will develop over Montana and central Idaho on Thursday. There will also be snow farther west over the Oregon Cascades and the northern Sierra Nevada in California.  The worst conditions are expected over parts of northern Montana, where blizzard warnings are in effect from Thursday morning through early Saturday morning - a long period of dangerous travel conditions. Winter storm warnings cover much of western and central Montana, including the Interstate 15 and Interstate 90 corridors.  By Friday, this snow expands south into the central and perhaps even southern Sierra. The mountains of Utah, and potentially western Colorado as well, should get in on the snow by the end of Friday.  Friday night into Saturday, the snow and wind will expand east into eastern Montana and North Dakota. Gusty winds will whip this snow sideways across the open prairie, leading to potential near-blizzard conditions along Interstate 94.  Some locations in Montana and North Dakota will likely see well over a foot of snow from this storm system.

As the storm system starts to emerge into the Plains and Midwestern states this weekend, it will encounter a tongue of unseasonably warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico reaching all the way north into the upper Mississippi Valley.  The strong cold front will push east into this unstable air and a powerful jet stream will supply plenty of energy in the upper atmosphere.  The likely result? Thunderstorms, some of which could turn severe Saturday along the Interstate 35 corridor from Minneapolis to Dallas.  It appears that the most likely mode for severe weather would be one or more squall lines of thunderstorms with damaging winds. - Weather Channel.

EXTREME WEATHER: "Ugly" Cold Snap Devastates New Zealand Vineyards - Over 50% of Crops Destroyed, Millions in Losses, Predictions of a Worldwide Shortage of Grapes!

November 9, 2012 - NEW ZEALAND - Some Central Otago vineyards have lost as much as 50% of their crop after devastating frosts hit the region over the weekend.  Central Otago Winegrowers Association president James Dicey said some vineyards suffered significant losses, with reports of temperatures plummeting to as low as -5.5 degrees Celsius in some areas, rendering frost-fighting techniques next to useless.  "The damage . . . appears to be worst on the road between Wanaka and Cromwell," Dicey said. "I'm on a vineyard at the moment and the damage is extensive, it looks like 50% is gone." 

© NZPA / John Cowpland
The full extent of the damage would not be known until next month, he said, as there was a chance some vines could recover.  "It's not fantastic news but it's too early to get too depressed about it yet," he said.  "By mid to late December we will be able to crystallise the losses . . . but the damages will run into the hundreds or possibly a thousand tonnes."  Growers had been prepared to fight the elements with any means necessary and Dicey said he had never seen so many helicopters hovering in the Cromwell basin as he did on Sunday.  "They had between 15 and 20 helicopters out . . . It was forecast, it was what we expected . . . but we ran out of inversion layer at sunrise."  Gibbston Valley and Central Otago viticulturist and consultant Timbo Morrison-Deaker described the damage as "particularly ugly" and the worst he could recall.  "I haven't seen it to be this bad." Gibbston as a sub-region looks 40% gone and Lowburn is about 25% gone. Those are significant figures . . . I had a pretty ugly day [on Sunday] ringing clients around the world, telling them they will get much less than they expected."  While it was impossible to immediately ascertain the extent of the damage, Mr Morrison-Deaker said that, based on the projected average price per tonne of $3100 for pinot noir grapes this season, the loss of 1000 tonnes represented a $3.1 million hit to the industry.  "I would be pretty sure there would be 1000 tonnes lost." 

Last year, the region's total production was 8100 tonnes, so a loss of 1000 was significant, he said.  The severe weekend frosts follow a disastrous Northern Hemisphere season, reportedly the worst in 50 years, and had already led to predictions of a worldwide shortage of grapes, he said.  The heavy frosts came exactly a year after a significant and unexpected frost on November 4, 2011, and, while forecast this year, the frosts were too much for wind machines, sprinklers and helicopters.  "We still couldn't fight it . . . we have damage below 0.5C and in some places it was -5.5C . . . it was madness.  "Tonight it will be back down to zero and tomorrow we expect minus one degree. The frost fighters will be out again tonight and tomorrow night."  Owner of Bannockburn-based Carrick Wines and New Zealand Winegrowers chairman Steve Green said a loss of 1000 tonnes would be significant and would impact on the price of grapes outside vineyards and would have a negative effect on growers' cash flow and wine producers' volumes.  "It's not a good sign."  The worldwide shortage created by the substandard northern hemisphere season could spur more demand from some markets, particularly Britain, he said. The frost damage could also see a shortage of red wine varieties domestically in 18 months' time.  Carrick, and other Bannockburn growers he had spoken to, had been lucky to escape with only very minor damage, he said.  "We were OK but we do have wind machines and overhead water sprinklers.  "The weather always has the final say." - One News.

EXTREME WEATHER: Historic And Record Breaking Blizzard Freezes Beijing, China - Red Alert Issued, Deaths and Destruction, Power Outages, Highways and Airports Shutdown!

November 9, 2012 -  BEIJING, CHINA - A blizzard swept through northeastern China on Nov. 4, shutting down transportation in Beijing just before the opening of the 18th Party Congress. The unexpectedly early snow storm was commented on heavily, with Internet users drawing a connection between the inclement weather and the Chinese Communist Party's upcoming political meeting.

Workers clear a snow-covered street after a heavy snow-fall in the outskirts of Beijing on Nov. 4, 2012. 
© (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Breaks Records 
In the early morning on Nov. 4, Beijing's Weather Bureau issued their most severe weather warning, a red alert, for the western and northern parts of the city and a second most severe warning, an orange alert, for the entire city, reported the state-run China Daily.  Official media reported storm related deaths and destruction in Beijing and other areas of northeast China. Tourists were trapped by the snow near the Great Wall, with three Japanese tourists dying there. The blizzard affected the power supply to 36 thousand residents in Beijing, reported Southern Metropolis Daily. The severe winds accompanying the blizzard uprooted large willow trees in the Chaoyang District of Beijing. 

China's transportation bureau is working overtime to restore transportation to the freeways, trains and airports mired in snow. Travelers were stranded for 12 hours on a section of the Beijing-Tibet expressway, waiting for the highway to be cleared, said Xinhua.  Due to the severity of the blizzard, 10 highways were partially closed across several provinces, with 12 expressways entirely shut down, according to the China News Agency.  The report added that flights at Beijing Capital International Airport were severely interrupted, with at least 38 flights canceled. According to Beijing West Railway's official microblog, the severe blizzard resulted in the suspension of nine train routes.  The chief weather forecaster in Beijing commented that this amount of downfall surpasses all historic records for the colder part of the year, which lasts from November to March. Residents are amazed at the amount of snow, too. "I am 83 years old and I have never seen such a large blizzard, with snow up to my knees," said Ms. Zhou, a life-long resident in Yanqing County, Beijing. - The Epoch Times.