Tuesday, October 1, 2013

FIRE IN THE SKY: Major Solar System Disturbance - Fireball Sightings In The THOUSANDS Across The United States Are Reported To The American Meteor Society!

October 01, 2013 - SPACE - Reports of meteor sightings are coming into the American Meteor Society by the thousands. According to one of the latest reports posted at the American Meteor Society website, “Its been a busy week for the AMS as we are bombarded by fireball reports from all different parts of the country. The latest event took place over Alabama and Georgia last night September 28th 7:30 PM local time. Over 250 witnesses from Virginia, Maryland, Kentucky, Tennessee, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia have reported the event so far. Below is a heat map of the witnesses who saw the event. Click the image below for the event detail page and witness reports.” [1]

Meteor Shower
(Image: nightsky.jpl.nasa.gov)

Exactly why these meteors are coming into the atmosphere at this time is unknown. NASA and NOAA have yet to publish any reports on this phenomenon, although they did confirm the September 10, 2013 meteor that streaked across the sky in Alabama in theguardian.com article ‘Meteor enters atmosphere over Alabama and disintegrates, says Nasa’. An excerpt from the article reads, “Officials at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville say a baseball-size fragment of a comet entered Earth’s atmosphere above Alabama at 8:18pm CDT Monday. Nasa officials say the meteor traveled at a speed of 76,000 mph. They say just three seconds after hitting the atmosphere, it disintegrated 25 miles above the central Alabama town of Woodstock, producing a flash of light. Nasa spokeswoman Janet Anderson says that because it penetrated so deep into Earth’s atmosphere, eyewitnesses heard sonic booms.” [2]

WATCH: Meteor across Alabama - Sept. 9, 2013.

The thousands of sightings of meteors are located at the American Meteor Society Observation page, where you can also sign-up to be a registered user. Interestingly, there are reports of meteor sightings from 40 states, including Atlanta, GA, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky and Tennessee as of September 28, 2013. Register to make reports at http://www.amsmeteors.org/

One explanation of the increase in sighting is mentioned on the American Meteor Society website in the article ‘Meteor Activity Outlook for September 28 – October 4, 2013’ which explains, “The September-October Lyncids (SOL) are only well seen on 3 nights centered on September 29th. Maximum occurs on the 30th when the radiant is located at 07:24 (111) +47. This position lies in western Lynx, 12 degrees north of the second magnitude star known as Castor (Alpha Geminorum). This area of the sky is best placed in the sky during the last hour before dawn, when it lies highest above the horizon in a dark sky. Rates at maximum are expected to be near one shower member per hour as seen from the northern hemisphere. These meteors can be seen from the tropical southern hemisphere but rates would be less than one per hour. With an entry velocity of 67 km/sec., most activity from this radiant would be of swift speed.” [5]

Earthsky.org posted an article by Deborah Byrd titled “U.S. sees another bright fireball on September 27’ which covers the meteor sightings in detail, which reads, “The American Meteor Society (AMS) has reported at least 373 reports of another bright fireball – a very bright meteor, likely a small chunk of natural incoming space debris – over the U.S. last night (September 27, 2013). These reports followed a similar event over approximately the same area the day before (September 26). The AMS called the coincidence of two bright fireballs, or bright meteors, spotted over approximately the same region on consecutive days “surprising.” Witnesses from Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Wisconsin and West Virginia reported a bright light moving across the night sky on September 27 at around 11:33 p.m. local time, according to the AMS.” [6]

[1] Another Massive Fireball Over Atlanta – amsmeteors.org
[2] Meteor enters atmosphere over Alabama and disintegrates, says NASA – theguardian.com
[3] American Meteor Society Observations – amsmeteors.org
[4] Meteor lights up early-morning sky in Midwest – chicagotribune.com
[5] Meteor Activity Outlook for September 28-October 4, 2013 – amsmeteors.org
[6] U.S. sees another bright fireball on September 27 – earthsky.org

- Intellihub.

SOLAR WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted - Potential Impact Could Result In Power Grid Fluctuations And Satellite Orientation Irregularities!

October 01, 2013 - SUN - According to NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC),  a geomagnetic storm of category G2 is predicted.

There is an increasing chance for at least C-Class solar flares around sunspot 1855 in the southern hemisphere. The new region continues to expand and could become a flare threat if the growth trend continues.

Sunspot 1850 in the northwest quadrant continues to decay as it approaches the west limb. The only other current visible sunspot, region 1854 remains small and inactive. A couple of potential regions are currently located behind the east limb, including old region 1840 and should begin to rotate into view over the next 24 hours.

All of these sunspots are quiet--no flares. Sunspot AR1855 is growing rapidly, however. It could become
a source of eruptions if its development continues.
There are no large coronal holes on
the Earthside of the sun.
Credit: SDO/HMI

A pair of sunspots, including old region 1840 are now beginning to rotate into view off the east limb.
Image by SDO.

Attached image by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) using the 304 angstroms channel captures a large prominence currently located off the southwest limb.

Proton levels in the wake of the filament eruption and Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event Sunday evening remain above the moderate S2 radiation storm threshold. The CME plasma cloud is expected to deliver at least a glancing blow to our geomagnetic field within the next 48 hours.

Geomagnetic Storm Watch
The geomagnetic storm watch has been updated and now includes the possibility for Moderate G2 level storming at high latitudes.

Current Auroral Forecast.

This will be possible when the CME from Sunday evening delivers an impact to our geomagnetic field perhaps by late tomorrow night. Sky watchers should be alert for visible aurora.

WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G2 Predicted

Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
October 02: G1 (Minor)
October 03: G2 (Moderate)
October 04: None (Below G1)

Potential Impacts: Area of impact primarily poleward of 55 degrees Geomagnetic Latitude.
Induced Currents - Power grid fluctuations can occur. High-latitude power systems may experience voltage alarms.
Spacecraft - Satellite orientation irregularities may occur; increased drag on low Earth-orbit satellites is possible.
Radio - HF (high frequency) radio propagation can fade at higher latitudes.
Aurora - Aurora may be seen as low as New York to Wisconsin to Washington state.

SOURCES: Solar Ham | NOAA SWPC | Space Weather.

THE AGE OF OBAMA: Precursors To The End Of The United States Corporation - Secretary Kerry Blasted For Signing U.N. Arms Trade Treaty That Critics Say Creates De Facto Gun Registry And Threatens America's Sovereignty!

October 01, 2013 - UNITED NATIONS - The Obama administration’s decision to sign a global conventional arms trade treaty despite deep misgivings on Capitol Hill and among Second Amendment advocates drew strong reactions from lawmakers on Wednesday, underlining the ratification battle ahead.

Signing the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) in New York, Secretary of State John Kerry repeated the administration’s assertion that the document does not affect individuals’ constitutional right to bear arms.

He said it achieved three important priorities for the U.S. – “a more peaceful world,” “a higher level of security” and “protection of human rights.”

“That, frankly, is a trifecta for America, and that’s why we’re proud to sign this treaty today.”

Given the current global focus on the conflict in Syria, proponents argue that the ATT ultimately will make it harder for a country like Russia to arm violators like the Assad regime. The treaty bars weapons transfers that would violate embargoes or be used for acts of genocide, war crimes or crimes against humanity.


One criticism raised by opponents is the impact the treaty could have on America’s sovereign arms sales decisions.

The U.S. already maintains what the administration says is recognized as the world’s “gold standard” in export controls for arms transfers, but under the ATT, countries hostile to U.S. allies like Israel and Taiwan would likely challenge U.S. weapons sales to them. (A majority of U.N. member states have backed texts accusing Israel in particular of grave human rights abuses.)

“The ATT outrageously forces the United States – the world’s most important defender of peace and democracy – onto equal footing with the world’s worst dictatorships and terror-sponsors,” Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.) said in a statement criticizing the signing.

Secretary of State John Kerry signs the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty in New York on September 25, 2013.
(UN Photo by Win Khine).

“Under this treaty, our crucial support for friends like Israel and Taiwan is endangered while enemies of these nations are empowered,” he said. “On the turbulent global stage, it risks preventing the good from doing good while doing nothing to prevent the bad from doing bad.”

Kelly organized a letter signed by 130 lawmakers last May, urging President Obama and Kerry to reject the treaty: “As members of Congress, we will oppose both the ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty and any effort to treat it as internationally or domestically binding upon the United States.”

‘De-facto registry’

In his comments in New York, Kerry confronted the Second Amendment concerns.

“This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom,” he said. “In fact, it recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes.”

The National Rifle Association (NRA) noted that the treaty urges countries to keep records of arms transfers, including information on end users, “for a minimum of ten years” (article 12).

“Data kept on the end users of imported firearms is a de-facto registry of law-abiding firearms owners, which is a violation of federal law,” it said in a statement. “Even worse, the ATT could be construed to require such a registry to be made available to foreign governments.”

“This treaty threatens individual firearm ownership with an invasive registration scheme,” said NRA Institute for Legislative Action executive director Chris Cox. “The NRA will continue working with the United States Senate to oppose ratification.”

‘Dead in the water in the Senate’

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) called the signing “a direct dismissal of the bipartisan Senate majority that rejects this treaty” and said he was “confident the Senate will overwhelmingly oppose ratification of the ATT, and ultimately refuse to uphold its object and purpose.”

Fifty-one senators signed a letter drafted by Moran in July 2012 signaling their opposition to the ATT. Ratification requires a two-thirds majority in the 100-member Senate.

On Tuesday Senate Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) urged Obama “not take any executive action to implement this treaty, provisionally or otherwise,” unless and until the Senate ratifies it.

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) in a letter to Kerry said the administration was wasting its time, the Senate’s time, and the United Nations’ time, “by signing a treaty which does not have the support of the Senate or the American people.”

“Sec. Kerry and President Obama are at it again,” Inhofe said in a statement. “As we saw in 2009 with cap-and-trade in Copenhagen, Sec. Kerry and President Obama are being dishonest by telling the United Nations that we’ll be a part of the U.N. Arms Trade Treaty. This treaty is already dead in the water in the Senate, and they know it.”

But Human Rights First, one of many non-governmental organizations welcoming the decision to sign, said the treaty “sends a strong message to those countries committing mass atrocities, like the current Syrian regime, as well as those who are arming them, like Russia.”

Russia, the world’s second-largest arms exporter, was one of 23 countries that abstained when the U.N. General Assembly adopted the treaty in a 154-3 vote last April. The “no” votes came from Syria, Iran and North Korea.

It remains to be seen whether Russia will sign, let alone ratify, the treaty. It was not among the 107 nations to have done so by Wednesday night. The ATT will come into effect once 50 countries have ratified it; just six have so far done so – Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Guyana, Iceland, Nigeria and Trinidad and Tobago.

Heritage Foundation senior research fellow Ted Bromund pointed out Wednesday that the administration itself had said three years ago that excluding the top arms exporters or “not getting a universal agreement would make any agreement less than useless.”

“Today, the ATT is far from universal, as major irresponsible arms exporters such as China and Russia did not even support it in the consequence-free vote in the U.N. General Assembly,” Bromund said. “Yet the administration still supports the ‘less than useless’ treaty.” - CNS News.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Government Shutdown Will Ground NASA Almost Entirely - Nearly One Month Before Comet ISON, "The Comet Of The Century," Lights Up The Skies?!

"NASA will shut down almost entirely, but Mission Control will remain open to support the astronauts serving on the space station." - President Barack Obama.

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES
- NASA is among those federal government agencies that will experience a near total closure Tuesday as the threatened government shutdown became reality Oct. 1. But a government shutdown should not endanger American astronauts currently in space.

"NASA will shut down almost entirely, but Mission Control will remain open to support the astronauts serving on the space station," U.S. President Barack Obama said Monday during a statement delivered from the White House.

There are currently two NASA astronauts living on the International Space Station. Veteran astronaut Karen Nyberg has been living on the station since May and is midway through a months-long spaceflight. First-time space traveler Mike Hopkins, meanwhile, launched into space on Sept. 25 to begin his six-month stay.

Nyberg and Hopkins are two of six crewmembers on the space station's current Expedition 37 crew. Italian astronaut Luca Parmitano and Russian cosmonauts Fyodor Yurchikhin, Oleg Kotov and Sergey Ryazanskiy.

A government shutdown is set to begin Tuesday after Congress failed to fund the federal government beyond the end of the current fiscal year.

NASA's government shutdown plan was released on Friday, Sept. 27. That plan includes closing down the majority of its operations and placing most if its thousands-strong workforce on furlough.

Less than 600 of the space agency's 18,000 employees will continue working, NASA officials explained in the plan submitted to the Office of Management and Budget.

"To protect the life of the crew as well as the assets themselves, we would continue to support planned operations of the ISS [space station] during any funding hiatus," the NASA plan states. "Moreover, NASA will be closely monitoring the impact of an extended shutdown to determine if crew transportation or cargo resupply services are required to mitigate imminent threats to life and property on the ISS or other areas."

U.S. President Barack Obama gives a statement to reporters on Sept. 29, 2013 to discuss the government
shutdown of Oct. 1, which will shut down much of NASA. (White House)

According to the plan, satellites and spacecraft currently in space will be maintained, though measurements, amazing photos and other data will have to be safeguarded for the duration of the shutdown. But spacecraft and satellites that have not yet been launched would likely be grounded or have work stop on those projects.

"The extent of support necessary and the time needed to safely cease project activities will depend on whether any of the activities are of a hazardous nature (e.g., parts of the satellite may need to be cooled)," NASA's shutdown plan states.

NASA currently has a fleet of active spacecraft and rovers exploring different parts of the solar system and beyond. Many satellites are orbiting the Earth to study our home planet, while other probes orbit the moon, Mercury, Mars and Saturn. NASA's Mars rover Curiosity and the smaller Opportunity rover are driving across the Martian surface.

Still more spacecraft, like the Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope, are peering deep into the universe, while other observatories, like the Solar Dynamics Observatory, study the sun.

Other spacecraft are simply in transit, in the gulf between planets. NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is streaking through the outer solar system for a planned July 2015 flyby of Pluto. It launched in 2006.

NASA's Juno spacecraft, meanwhile, has covered half of the distance it will travel on its mission to Jupiter. The probe launched in August 2011 and is expected to fly by Earth on Oct. 9 to grab a speed boost for the rest of its journey to Jupiter. Juno is due to arrive at Jupiter in July 2016 to study the planet in unprecedented detail.

And then there is Voyager 1, the farthest manmade spacecraft in history. Voyager 1 is hurtling through interstellar space far from the political squabbles surrounding Tuesday's looming government shutdown. It entered interstellar space in August 2012.

You can read more about NASA's government-shutdown plan here: www.nasa.gov/news/budget/index.html - FOX News.

COMET ISON'S FLYBY OF MARS: In two months, Comet ISON will make a spectacular flyby of the sun. First, though, it has to fly by Mars. Today, the comet is passing by the Red Planet only 0.07 AU (10.5 million km) away. This is giving Mars satellites and rovers our first close-up view of the sungrazer.

Amateur astronomers on Earth are watching the close encounter from afar. This photo from Malcolm Park of Oak Heights, Ontario, shows the location of the comet relative to Mars just before sunrise on Sept. 29th:

At closest approach, Mars and Comet ISON will be approximately 2o apart. While Mars is visible to the unaided eye (it shines almost as brightly as a first-magnitude star), ISON is not. The comet is still far from the sun and, as it crosses the orbit of Mars, it has not yet warmed enough to reach naked-eye visibility. Reports of the comet's brightness vary from 12th to 14th magnitude, which means a mid-sized backyard telescope is required to see it.

Mars and ISON rise together in the eastern sky a couple of hours before the sun. Amateur astronomers, if you have a GOTO telescope, enter these coordinates. Visually, Mars will be easy to find on the mornings of closest approach, not only because the planet is relatively bright, but also because the crescent Moon will be passing right by it. Sky maps: Oct. 1, 2.

New images of the comet are coming in every day.

Browse the gallery for the latest views: Realtime Comet ISON Photo Gallery. - Space Weather.

NOTE: Thanks to Joann Chan-McKeon for contributing to this post.

EXTREME WEATHER: United States Midwest To See Huge Temperature Drops, Severe Storms And Possible Snow As Rare Tornado Confirmed Near Seattle, High Winds Damage Industrial Area!

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Enjoy the mild temperatures and calm weather conditions right now if you live in the Midwest, because big changes are on the way to end the week.

Midwest Storm Setup.

The culprit is a potent jet stream dip that will move across the northern Rockies and into the Plains. This will help to propel a strong frontal system through the Midwest Thursday through Saturday.

Impacts will range from huge temperatures drops to severe thunderstorms and perhaps even some snow.

Impact #1: Huge Temperature Drops
The most certain impact from this frontal system will be the very large temperature drops. In some places, high temperatures will drop 25 or more degrees from the start to the end of the week.

Here's a few examples:
  • Denver and Rapid City, S.D.: After starting the week with temperatures in the 70s and even 80s, highs may not get out of the 40s on Friday.
  • Minneapolis: Highs in the upper 70s through Wednesday will plummet into the 50s by Saturday.
  • Kansas City: Highs in the 80s through Friday will slide into the 50s this weekend.
  • Chicago: Afternoon temperatures in the 70s and low 80s through Friday will be replaced by 50s and 60s this weekend.
Impact #2: Thunderstorms, Some Severe
Another fairly certain aspect of this storm is the rain and thunderstorms that will spread across the Midwest Wednesday night through Friday.

It's possible that by Friday there could be a threat of some severe thunderstorms in the Midwest, particularly near the Upper Mississippi Valley. However, it's too early to give any specifics at this time.

By far, the potential for snow in the northern Plains and Upper Midwest is the least certain aspect of this storm.

There's a chance that we could see rain change to or mix with snow at times from the Dakotas and northwest Nebraska to northern Minnesota Friday into Saturday. This will be dependent on how much cold air comes southward from Canada in combination with how much cold air the storm can generate itself. Very strong winds would accompany the precipitation across these areas.

If any snowflakes do fly through the air, it would be the first of the season for this region. Some accumulations are possible depending on the evolution of the storm.

Meanwhile, we are very confident the storm will likely produce more significant snow in the northern Rockies initially Wednesday night through early Friday. This is the same region where more than a foot of snow fell in the higher elevations last week. The Black Hills of South Dakota will also likely see accumulating snow.

WATCH:  Forecast for the Week Ahead.

Rare Tornado Confirmed Near Seattle, High Winds Damage Industrial Area.
A rare tornado damaged industrial buildings south of Seattle as an early winter storm dumped record amounts of rain and knocked out power for thousands in the Pacific Northwest.

The tornado at 7:20 a.m. Monday hit the industrial area of Frederickson, tearing a hole in the roof of the Northwest Door factory, blowing out car windows at a nearby Boeing factory, and damaging a building where sections of a downtown Seattle tunnel project were being assembled.

A team from the Weather Service office in Seattle went to the scene and confirmed the tornado from eyewitness accounts, meteorologist Johnny Burg said.

Low quality image of funnel cloud/tornado in Frederickson.

There were no injuries.

The damage, including a jagged 40-by-40-foot hole in the roof at Northwest Door, stopped work at the factory that makes garage doors. About 100 workers evacuated.

"It looked from the inside like a wave going along. You could actually see the roof flexing," Northwest Door President Jeff Hohman said.

Work at the Boeing plant resumed while repairs were underway. There was no damage to parts or equipment, Boeing spokesman Doug Alder said.

The tornado blew out the windows of about two dozen cars in the Boeing parking lot. Several thousand employees work at the Frederickson site, which makes parts and sections for just about every Boeing airplane, including the vertical tails for the 777 and 787.

Handful of rail cars have been toppled near this apparent tornado touchdown.

Aerial photo from Frederickson.

The tornado also ripped off one-third of the roof and destroyed a metal garage door at a tent-like structure in Frederickson where a company called EnCon is welding rebar cages for use in the tunnel project under downtown Seattle. Project manager Kasandra Paholsky said the damage forced work to halt but ultimately will not affect the schedule for digging the Highway 99 tunnel.

Washington may get a tornado or two every year, but they are usually small. One of the largest was an F3 in 1972 in Vancouver that killed six people.

WATCH: Rare Tornado for Northwest.

Parts of the Northwest got more rain in a day or two over the weekend than typically falls in the entire month.

"We basically had conditions well off shore that were very reminiscent of late fall-early winter," said Dana Felton, meteorologist at the National Weather Service office in Seattle.

With Mondays' precipitation still to be added, it's been the wettest September on record in Olympia and the second-wettest in Seattle.

Tornado reported in Frederickson. Damage to buildings, downed trees, but no injuries.

Nearly 8 inches fell in Olympia, topping a 1978 record and swamping the usual 1.7 inches that fall in that time, the National Weather Service said. Sea-Tac Airport's September total of 5.6 inches came second to a 1978 record, while downtown Portland saw 6.2 inches - the most since record-keeping began in 1872.

Puget Sound Energy had about 12,000 customers out of service late Sunday, the Bellevue-based utility reported. Seattle City Light reported it had about 3,200 customers out of service overnight. Portland General Electric had more than 90,000 customers out of power since the storm began.

The storm brought the first significant snow of the season to the mountains. Forecasters expected 6-to-12 inches by Tuesday morning in the Olympics and 10-to-20 inches in the Cascades. - TWC.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: Sky Riddle - NASA Puzzled By Mysterious Green Patches That Appears To Cover The Sky?!

October 01, 2013 - SPACE - What is it? Some surely natural phenomenon has appeared in a video that, so far, has defied clear identification.

Thetime-lapse video below was made to record Perseid meteors above Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick, Canada late this summer.

The video, which ran from 9:30 pm August 11 to 3:00 am the next morning, records several meteor and satellite streaks beyond a picturesque background. Each image records a 30 second exposure.

WATCH:  Hopewell Rocks perseid meteor shower time lapse. 

At about 25 seconds into the video, however, an unusual patchy green glow appears to cover the sky. Possible explanations include airglow, aurora, lighting from an artificial or natural source, or something completely different.

This APOD is an attempt not only to solve this intriguing sky riddle, but to measure how powerful the APOD readership is as a citizen-science, collective-intelligence engine. - NASA.

WEATHER PHENOMENON: The Sky Is Falling In Bozeman, Montana - Stunning And "Unusual" Shelf Cloud Formation Creates Ominous Effect!

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Unless you were in a windowless room, it was nearly impossible to miss the low, ominous, gray cloud gliding slowly over Bozeman Monday morning.

Known as a shelf cloud, the formation is not unusual, National Weather Service meteorologist Nick Langlieb said. However, it is unusual for a shelf cloud to float so low to the ground. “It looked more ominous because it wasn't a couple thousand feet in the air,” he added.

Stormclouds roll into Bozeman Reader Megan Biggs sent in this photo of the Sept. 30, 2013,
shelf cloud rolling into Bozeman. Courtesy Megan Biggs.

Shelf clouds form when relatively cool air associated with a line of showers meets warmer air, causing condensation and creating a cloud. Monday's cloud formation was part of a storm system that included lightning in the Bridger Mountains and “a few rumbles of thunder along the (cold) front,” Langlieb said.

In about an hour, the storm system dropped roughly a third of an inch of rain. It brought with it wind gusts up to 35 mph in Belgrade, where the weather service has an automated monitoring system. That brought the month's rainfall amount to 2.13 inches — making this the wettest September since 1983, when 3.17 inches of precipitation fell, Langlieb said.

Courtesy Megan Biggs.

The wettest September on record was in 1947, when 4.5 inches of precipitation dropped. Before factoring in this year's data, average rainfall for September is just a little more than 1 inch. “It's definitely above average,” Langlieb said.

“That's good, we definitely need the precipitation.” The weather service's drought monitor indicated most of Gallatin County is still experiencing moderate drought, but it was last updated about a week ago. Madison County and the western part of Gallatin County were still listed as having extreme drought conditions.

Bruce Wright, vice president of the Montana Farm Bureau, said the rain was welcome, even if it came too late to help this year's crops. “It won't do very much for this year, but it's really great for next year because a lot of people are seeding winter wheat,” he said.

Though wet conditions can be harmful to unharvested grain, the moisture will help recharge the area's groundwater. “I think most people are done (harvesting),” Wright said. “And I think people are happy to see this moisture.” - Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: "I Have Never Seen Anything Like It" - 30,000 Head Of Sheep Killed During A Storm In The Northern Region Of Uruguay!

October 01, 2013 - URUGUAY - "I never saw anything like it, and people with many years of field work also does not remember having seen a case, and I would have told their parents or their grandparents," Walter Galliazzi lamented yesterday, a producer who suffered huge losses Salta , while overseeing the task of collecting dead sheep and put down a quarry for later incineration.

The situation after the rains was bleak. Photo. Luis Perez.

Just off the glow of the lights of Expo Prado 2013, the storm that hit Uruguay dramatic left a trail of deaths in rural facilities.

The regional head of the Uruguayan Wool Secretariat (SUL), Adolfo Casaretto said the sheep mortality in the departments of Salto, Tacuarembó, Paysandu and Artigas, could reach 30,000 head.

The coach urged producers to report the loss to the police and warned the public not to consume the meat of animals killed by the storm.

"We know there are people who do not report, so that the figure could be much higher," he told El Pais president of the Rural Association of Uruguay (ARU), Ruben Echeverria. This Soriano producer in your area ensures that the higher mortality "is being given to newborn lambs level".

The head of the ARU said it is not just an economic loss to the producer: "also for the country, how they affect exports of wool and mutton."

He recalled that the high mortality "is not due to negligence of the producers" because "no one could predict a storm so long".

In 51 establishments registered in Salto, 9,769 complaints were yesterday killed and five yearling sheep. The downtown area was the hardest hit by the storm. In a single establishment in the town of Soups, on Route 31, in the evening of yesterday had counted 1,850 dead sheep.

Galliazzi Walter said that the worst of the rain and cold was recorded on Saturday night and that the animals, despite having a period of 25 days shearing, not endured rain intensity in that place was around 200 millimeters accompanied by low temperatures and strong winds.

"I killed 1,350 sheep, 500 of which were sold and shipped yesterday (Monday) and 500 sheep in prepartum and calving status. In another field we have in Cerros de Veras estimates that we lost another 600 bugs.'s Difficult quantify in money but we are talking about animals in good condition and cows inseminated with planteleros good blood, "he said.

Only Tacuarembó killed over 5,000 sheep and lambs as a result of persistent rain and cold in the north. The president of the Rural Association of Tacuarembó, José Luis Tuneu, reported that "the rains were very coveted by all producers in the region because spring seemed to come with drought."

"Ours was specifying production of rain, but nature is so, it went quite with rain in some areas exceeded 250 millimeters," he said.

According Tuneau in Tacuarembó estimated death of about 5,000 sheep and lambs. "This year we had to us, including producers which they killed more than 1,000 sheep," he said.

"If we do a survey with an effective, capable that we can confirm the death of more than 10,000 copies," he said.

According Tuneau has affected almost every department, from the border with Paysandu, where there was a higher mortality than 1,500 sheep. "Producers who touched him, he hits hard, because some people have sheared and (temporary) they killed more than half of the flock," he said. Currently there are producers in calving harvest according Tuneau lambs and some have lost about 10% of its production.

Damage to the farm are not evaluated, but according to the producers, would focus on fruit, mainly by the destruction caused by the wind on flowering peach and other items. The secretary of the Association of Horticultural Producers of Canelones, Antonio González, told El Pais that heat lived days ago caused the acceleration of flowering fruit trees and vines regrowth. "You have to wait several days to quantify the damage," he said.

A level of horticultural products "is little damage because they still were not plantations. Stronger work planting is done from October 15," he said.

MetSul and Cánepa by Twitter
"We have seen headlines in the web announcing a fact that does not help what is the work needed to contain the citizenship now, compare the weather event of 2005 in our opinion this is irresponsible," said the deputy secretary of Presidency, Diego Canepa, referring to forecasts of private forecasters MetSul Brazilian service.

Yesterday, through his Twitter account, MetSul questioned these sayings and described, in turn, as "irresponsible" to Canepa.

In particular when the deputy secretary said that the event type experienced in the last few hours is something new. "Canepa:` This is a new pattern that begins to occur in the country `. Not! There are more than a century of data from wind storms and shipwrecks," tweeted MetSul.

"We do science, not policy. Not knowing the past climate is the best key to planning the future disastrously", tweeted after riograndense station.

Latest data from the temporary

-According to the latest data provided by the National Emergency System (Sinae) yesterday at 20.15 there were 950 evacuees across the country and cut 20 routes.

-The data provided by UTE at the same time, account for 8,500 claims at the beginning of the storm. Currently are 300 homes without power.

-The Department of Thirty-Three was the most affected by the storm throughout the country. The rural roads has been declared in a state of catastrophe.

-Cerro Largo and Thirty-Three requested the Executive to enable by way of exception money to repair Roads and streets affected by the rains. "There are broken roads and bridges that have to make new ones." - Elpias. [Translated]

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Terrifying Road Rage - Crazed Bikers Chase Range Rover Driver And His Two-Year-Old Down, After Rider Is Hit! [VIRAL VIDEO]

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - A terrifying road rage incident involving a gang of bikers on Manhattan's west side has gone viral on the web after video of the incident surfaced online.

The New York City Police Department said a man driving a Range Rover with his wife and 2-year-old daughter inside Sunday struck a motorcyclist on Manhattan's West Side Highway, breaking his leg.

"It was an accident," says Lt. Karen Anderson.

The SUV driver pulled over, and the bikers surrounded his vehicle, hitting it and spiking the tires, police said. The driver pulled away, hitting three more bikers in the process, police said.

The gang, called "Hollywood Stuntz," according to police, chased the man, and he was forced to stop because of flat tires.

The SUV driver was cornered and beaten, according to police. He was later treated at a local hospital for slashes to his face and released. His wife and child were not injured.

One biker who was struck by the SUV, 28-year-old Christopher Cruz, was arrested and faces several charges, including reckless endangerment, reckless driving and endangering the welfare of a child, police said.

Authorities have not identified the people in the SUV.

WATCH: Video shows motorcyclists fighting driver

A helmet camera one of the bikers was wearing captured much of the road rage incident, including the moment when one of the bikers walks up to the SUV and smashes its window with a bike helmet. The video has been posted online.

Police say this same group of bikers descended on New York City and clogged up Times Square last year in what Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said is a "major stunt event."

Authorities say they were able to prevent the group from entering Times Square this year. Police arrested 15 bikers in total Sunday, seized 55 bikes and wrote 68 summons for various violations.

They are looking at video footage to try to determine if any other charges will be filed in the road rage incident.

"The investigation is ongoing," Kelly said. - CNN.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: "We Don't Really Know What They Are" - Mystery Class Of In-Between Alien Planets Confound Astronomers; Nothing Like Them Exists As A Basis For Comparison In Our Solar System?!

October 01, 2013 - SPACE - "We don't really know what they are," said Björn Benneke, a graduate student in astronomy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology referring to intriguing exoplanets found that are bigger than our rocky, oceanic Earth but smaller than cold, gas-shrouded Uranus and Neptune. "They can be a scaled-down version of the giant planets in our solar system, a scaled-up version of terrestrial planets like Earth, or something completely different."

Image credit: With thanks to ESO/L. Calçada

This mysterious class of in-between planets—alternatively dubbed super-Earths or mini-Neptunes—confounds scientists because nothing like them exists as a basis for comparison in our solar system.

Benneke is co-author of a paper accepted by the Astrophysical Journal that attempts to solve this vexing riddle. Based on numerical computer models, he developed an observational strategy that would let astronomers distinguish between two very different types of atmospheres associated with these planets. Learning about their atmospheres will speak to the overall nature of these heretofore unknowable worlds with masses ranging up to about 10 times that of Earth. (Uranus and Neptune have 14 and 17 Earth-masses, respectively.)

The first scenario is an atmosphere dominated by hydrogen and helium, like that of Uranus and Neptune. The second is an atmosphere composed predominately of larger compounds, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and nitrogen molecules, like Earth, or carbon monoxide and methane, among others.

The essential difference between these two scenarios goes beyond satisfying mere curiosities of planetary science. Figuring out if an exoplanet is more like Neptune or more like Earth drives at one of the core conceits of all astronomical work: the search for alien life.

Lacking a rocky surface and oceans, a gaseous mini-Neptune would not be hospitable to life as we know it. On the other hand, a super-Earth with water and other biologically enabling chemistries could serve as a thriving extraterrestrial abode.

Crucially, the discernment between mini-Neptunes and super-Earths as proposed by Benneke can be done with available telescopes. Astronomers and the public will therefore not have to wait until next-generation instruments such as the James Webb Space Telescope come online later this decade.

"What is nice about this is that the proposed observations are possible with current instruments," he said. "They would represent the first observational baby step to saying something definitive about what the conditions are on these planets."

Benneke and colleagues at the University of Chicago have in fact already been allotted observational time with the Hubble Space Telescope to stare long and hard at the exoplanet GJ 1214b. They hope to apply their mathematical approach and be able to state, even as soon as this year, what the basic character of this world is.

Scientists have debated over GJ 1214b since the planet was discovered back in 2009. Based on its size and mass—2.8 Earth radii and 6.6 Earth masses—GJ 1214b could be covered in oceans hundreds of miles deep, or a thick envelope of hydrogen and helium gas might instead surround its rocky core.

Benneke's concept for characterizing atmospheres relies on planetary transits, which is when an exoplanet crosses in front of the star as seen from Earth and blocks some of the star light during this transit. The Kepler mission has looked at more than a hundred thousand stars for this slight dimming effect that reveals the presence of planets and some of their basic properties. Other space telescopes, such as Hubble and the Spitzer Space Telescope, also make use of this technique.

When a transit occurs, starlight shines through the exoplanet's atmosphere. Different wavelengths of light preferentially pass through this atmosphere based on its composition, thickness, cloud content and so on.

By simultaneously measuring how much the star becomes fainter during the planet's transit at different wavelengths, the general extent of the planet's atmosphere and by extension its chemical character can be inferred.

Benneke found that while it is possible to infer the presence of gases like water vapor and carbon dioxide from this spectrum, determining the relative amounts of the gases is trickier. Puffy, hydrogen-rich atmospheres with a minute amount of water vapor and high-altitude clouds can display water absorption features of the same strength as atmospheres made entirely of water vapor.

Exoplanets transit their star in this artist's impression. Credit: NASA/Ames/JPL-Caltech
Fortunately, visualizing the data can help. When the transmission spectrum is plotted on a graph, the steepness of the absorption features can be a tell-tale sign of the amount of the atmosphere's constituents. "When graphed, the spectrum of water-rich atmosphere appears wavier, but hydrogen-rich atmosphere show more distinct and spiky signatures," said Benneke. "This difference is unambiguous."

Effectively, the technique can be used to measure the average mass of the molecules in the exoplanet's atmosphere. And conveniently for the purposes of distinguishing a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere from a watery one, say, the molecular masses are strikingly different.

Benneke offered an example. The average molecular mass for one of these super-Earth or mini-Neptune candidates could turn out to be about 18, say. Right away, Benneke said, such a figure would rule out a hydrogen-dominated atmosphere, the value of which would come in closer to two based on the mass of a hydrogen molecule, H2. Hydrogen consists of a single proton, which has a representative mass of one on the periodic table. (The electron associated with hydrogen has negligible mass.) A water molecule, H2O, has an atomic mass of 18 per the addition of oxygen's eight protons and eight neutrons. (Protons and neutrons have nearly the same mass and so register as one apiece in this calculation.)

"If we know the molecular mass is 18, we can already say the atmosphere can't be hydrogen-dominated," said Benneke. "On the opposite side, if it's somewhere around two or three, then we would know the planet must be like Neptune."

GJ 1214b stands as the ideal test case for Benneke's concept. The world tightly orbits a very small, dim star. Accordingly, the planet frequently crosses the face of its star with respect to our vantage point, offering astronomers plenty of data points. Furthermore, the planet's transits block a relatively large amount of its host star's light, providing astronomers a stronger signal with which to parse its atmosphere. "GJ 1214b as the first test case is by far the easiest to do," said Benneke.

His technique could work for other transiting super-Earth and mini-Neptune candidates, some of which will sound familiar to exoplanet fans, including HD 97658b, 55 Cancri e, and GJ 436b.

The density of these worlds, like GJ 1214b, requires them to have more rocky or icy content than Uranus and Neptune, but not to be completely made of rock like Earth. Answering the question about whether the remainder of their composition is hydrogen and helium or life-friendly gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and nitrogen, will require substantially more observing time than for GJ 1412b, Benneke said, but is not impossible.

"We will be able to learn something about the atmospheres of those planets, and from there if they have a surface or if they are just some kind of gas giant," said Benneke. "There have been a lot of theoretical ideas of what these planets could be that would explain their mass and radius, but there hasn't been really an explanation of how we can unambiguously distinguish between the two scenarios of super-Earth and mini-Neptune, until now." - Daily Galaxy.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Deadly Rockslide - Car-Sized Boulders Kill 5 Hikers, Keep Recovery Teams At Bay In Chaffee County, Colorado!

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Emergency crews were forced to abandon attempts to recover the bodies of five hikers killed by a Colorado landslide amid fears the rocks would again come loose, officials said early Tuesday.

Firefighters, police, and search-and-rescue teams had to come down from the steep terrain at Agnes Vaille Falls, where boulders the size of cars fell from a cliff on Monday, a spokeswoman from Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office said.

The rescue attempt was prompted when another hiker witnessed the rockslide and called 911, NBC station 9News.com reported.

ive hikers were crushed and declared dead by the coroner, but a 13-year-old girl survived and was airlifted to Children's Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colo., with a broken leg.

Sheriff's deputies say the girl, identified as Gracie Johnson, survived after her father threw himself between her and the cascading boulders.

“Rescuers were worried there was going to be another landslide – the rocks were still moving,” the spokeswoman said early Tuesday. “They had to stop with their efforts on Monday and will be attempting a rescue mid-morning after the overnight thaw.”

She said rescue crews planned to build supports above and below the unstable area in an attempt to secure the ground. Rescuers will also construct an escape route.

On Monday, Chaffee County Sheriff Pete Palmer said rescuers could see the bodies but had not been able to recover them.

WATCH: 5 dead after massive rockslide in Chaffee County.

"They are in bad shape. They were rolled over by boulders as big as these cars," he told the Denver Post. "[The county coroner has] seen the condition of the bodies. There is no one alive up there."

The newspaper identified the 13-year-old survivor as Gracie Johnson. Officials have not released any information about the five people killed.

"What the geologists said, there was a cliff face above. It looks like it came loose," Chaffee County Undersheriff John Spezze told 9News.com. "It's a lot of very large rocks and boulders and a lot of loose smaller rocks, but it all came down in a very large slide."

The landslide comes just weeks after record rainfall and flash floods in Colorado which killed eight people and caused millions of dollars of damage across the state. - NBC News.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: 74 Very Large Walleye Fish Found Washed Up Dead Along Lost Island Lake - FOUR Major Fish Kills Have Occurred This Month Alone In Iowa?!

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Low Iowa water levels and pollutants have combined to produce four fish kills this month.

File photo.

A variety of pollutants -- fertilizer, manure, milk, silage, pesticide, petroleum -- when getting into a stream, are more likely to cause a fish kill when stream flow rates are slow.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources investigated a fish kill at Lost Island Lake Sunday morning that appears to have affected only walleyes.

Investigators counted 74 walleyes, mostly very large fish with some approaching 10 pounds, dead along the shoreline. The majority of the walleyes, especially the largest females, had extensive amounts of fungus present on their bodies and in and around their mouths.

"This leads us to believe that they may have been under stress for some time and may have had an underlying bacterial infection," Mike Hawkins, fisheries management biologist for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, said.

Bacteria that cause fish disease are common in the environment. It becomes an issue when the bacteria are combined with other stressors leading to fish kills.

Lost Island Lake, like many lakes in the area, experienced very warm water temperatures in late summer and early fall. Walleyes become stressed in warm water with the larger fish most likely experiencing the greatest impact. The onset of a bacterial/fungal infection probably occurred around this time and culminated late last week with rapidly changing weather conditions.

"All of the walleyes we looked at yesterday had been dead for more than a day so we hope the worst of the fish kill is over," Hawkins said. "We will continue to check in to see if the numbers increase. Cooling temperatures should help ease stress on the walleyes."

Hawkins said he talked to many concerned residents Sunday and has received a number of calls again Monday morning.

"With the relatively low number of fish, this kill will not impact the fishery. It's just hard to see such big fish lying dead on the shoreline," he said.

Bacterial infection in fish cannot cross over to humans and there is no threat to eating fish of any species caught from the lake as long as the fish is prepared and cooked properly.

Hawkins said they found two dead northern pike on the south shoreline, but it was hard to tell if their presence is related to the investigation. 

SOURCES: TH Online | The Daily Reporter.

INFRASTRUCTURE & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: CEO And Son Believed Among The Dead As Four Bodies Are Pulled From "UNSURVIVABLE" Santa Monica Plane Crash - At No Point During The Flight Did The Pilot Report Any Problems?!

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - Four bodies have been pulled from a private jet that exploded into flames after sliding off a runway in Santa Monica, California, Sunday evening.

It is unknown how many people were aboard the plane or whether that their conditions are.

Morley Builders CEO Mark Benjamin and his son, Luke, a senior project engineer, were passengers, according to a statement by Vice President Charles Muttillo on the company's website.

Since Mark Benjamin often piloted the jet, it is not clear who the other two people aboard the aircraft were, or if he was at the controls at the time of the accident.

Smoke could been seen billowing high into the sky above the Santa Monica Airport, where the twin-engine Cessna Citation jet crashed into a hanger about Sunday afternoon.

However, Santa Monica Fire Captain John Nevandro told reporters 'It was an unsurvivable crash.'

'When we got there, the whole hangar that the plane went into was completely involved and full of flames,' Nevandro said.

Smoke billowing from the crash could be seen from miles away in the Santa Monica area.

KNBC-TV reports that the plane crashed about 6.20pm Pacific Time. At no point during the flight did the pilot report any problems with the plane. Officials are hoping to recover the cockpit voice recorder from the plane, as well as the flight plan from the FAA.

 Witnesses reported seeing the plane veer to the right after landing, with the turn becoming much sharper as the plane went further, eventually colliding with a row of four hangars and bursting into flames.

As the plane collided, the hangar walls wrapped around the plane's fuselage and steel trusses collapsed on top of the aircraft, making it impossible to gain access to the cabin, National Transportation Safety Board investigator Van Kenny said during a news conference today.

Fighting the blaze: A small plane slid off the runway at Santa Monica Airport Sunday night and crashed
into a hanger, causing it ti burst into flames.

The plane is registered to Creative Real Estate Exchange LLC - a real estate broker and debt management
company whose owner lives in nearby Malibu, California.

The plane was landing in Santa Monica en route from Hailey, Idaho, a resort town the boasts celebrity residents like Tom Hanks, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bruce Willis.

Mark Benjamin often spent time in the Sun Valley town, where he served on board of directors of the Idaho Conservation League.

However, neighbors reported hearing a thunderous boom before the fire started.

Dozens of Twitter users posted pictures of a large cloud of smoke coming from the airport.

WATCH: Small plane bursts into flames on Santa Monica runway.

 The aircraft then caught fire. Firefighters are currently battling the blaze, which sent a cloud of smoke billowing above the city 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The cloud could be seen from miles away, including on Venice Beach.

The plane belongs to Creative Real Estate Exchange LLC, an real estate company whose owner lives in Malibu.

The jet has taken eight flights since September 15. - Daily Mail.

THE AGE OF OBAMA: Precursors To The End Of The United States Corporation - The U.S. Government Shuts Down As Congress Fails To Reach Spending Agreement; 800,000 Workers Face Furloughs; Could Have Dire Economic Repercussions!

October 01, 2013 - UNITED STATES - With members of Congress still working to reach an agreement on spending, the U.S. government shut down at 12 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

Sylvia M. Burwell, director of the Office of Management and Budget, ordered executive agencies to shut down just before midnight on Monday.

"We urge Congress to act quickly to pass a Continuing Resolution to provide a short-term bridge that ensures sufficient time to pass a budget for the remainder of the fiscal year, and to restore the operation of critical public services and programs that will be impacted by a lapse in appropriations," the memo said.

WATCH:  Shutdown Begins. 

"This is a very sad day for our country," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said on the Senate floor early Tuesday morning. Reid declared the Senate is in recess until 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

An estimated 800,000 federal workers face furloughs because of the shutdown, though many were told to work a half day Tuesday.

WATCH:  No Budget Deal, Government Shutdown.

WATCH:  Boehner - House Wants Government Open. 

WATCH:  Obama - Military Will Be Paid Despite Shutdown. 

Below, more from the AP:

WASHINGTON — For the first time in nearly two decades, the federal government staggered into a partial shutdown Monday at midnight after congressional Republicans stubbornly demanded changes in the nation's health care law as the price for essential federal funding and President Barack Obama and Democrats adamantly refused.

As Congress gridlocked, Obama said a "shutdown will have a very real economic impact on real people, right away," with hundreds of thousands of federal workers furloughed and veterans' centers, national parks, most of the space agency and other government operations shuttered.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) | AP

He laid the blame at the feet of House Republicans, whom he accused of seeking to tie government funding to ideological demands, "all to save face after making some impossible promises to the extreme right wing of their party."

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, responded a short while later on the House floor. "The American people don't want a shutdown and neither do I," he said. Yet, he added, the new health care law "is having a devastating impact. ... Something has to be done."

The stock market dropped on fears that political deadlock between the White House and a tea party-heavy Republican Party would prevail, though analysts suggested significant damage to the national economy was unlikely unless a shutdown lasted more than a few days.

WATCH:  Revolt by GOP moderates in House fails. 

A few minutes before midnight, Budget Director Sylvia Burwell issued a directive to federal agencies to "execute plans for an orderly shutdown." While an estimated 800,000 federal workers faced furloughs, some critical parts of the government – from the military to air traffic controllers – would remain open.

Any interruption in federal funding would send divided government into territory unexplored in nearly two decades. Then, Republicans suffered grievous political damage and President Bill Clinton benefitted from twin shutdowns. Now, some Republicans said they feared a similar outcome.

If nothing else, some Republicans also conceded it was impossible to use funding legislation to squeeze concessions from the White House on health care. "We can't win," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

"We're on the brink," Sen. Barbara Mikulski, Md., said shortly after midday as the two houses maneuvered for political advantage and the Obama administration's budget office prepared for a partial shutdown, the first since the winter of 1995-1996.

On a long day and night in the Capitol, the Senate torpedoed one GOP attempt to tie government financing to changes in "Obamacare." House Republicans countered with a second despite unmistakable signs their unity was fraying – and Senate Democrats promptly rejected it, as well.

WATCH:  Obama on shutdown - "It does not have to happen". 

Defiant still, House Republicans decided to re-pass their earlier measure and simultaneously request negotiations with the Senate on a compromise. Some aides conceded the move was largely designed to make sure that the formal paperwork was on the Senate's doorstep as the day ended.

Whatever its intent, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., rejected it. "That closes government. They want to close government," he said of House Republicans.

As lawmakers squabbled, Obama spoke bluntly about House Republicans. "You don't get to extract a ransom for doing your job, for doing what you're supposed to be doing anyway, or just because there's a law there that you don't like," he said. Speaking of the health care law that undergoes a major expansion on Tuesday, he said emphatically, "That funding is already in place. You can't shut it down."

Some Republicans balked, moderates and conservatives alike.

Rep. Phil Gingrey of Georgia said it felt as if Republicans were retreating, given their diminishing demands, and Rep. Scott Rigell of Virginia said there was not unanimity when the rank and file met to discuss a next move.

Yet for the first time since the showdown began more than a week ago, there was also public dissent from the Republican strategy that has been carried out at the insistence of lawmakers working in tandem with GOP Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas.

Rep. Charles Dent, R-Pa., said he was willing to vote for stand-alone legislation that would keep the government running and contained no health care-related provisions. "I would be supportive of it, and I believe the votes are there in the House to pass it at that point," the fifth-term congressman said.

Other Republicans sought to blame Democrats for any shutdown, but Dent conceded that Republicans would bear the blame, whether or not they deserved it.

Hours before the possible shutdown, the Senate voted 54-46 to reject the House-passed measure that would have kept the government open but would have delayed implementation of the health care law for a year and permanently repealed a medical device tax that helps finance it.

In response, House Republicans sought different concessions in exchange for allowing the government to remain open. They called for a one-year delay in a requirement in the health care law for individuals to purchase coverage. The same measure also would require members of Congress and their aides as well as the president, vice president and the administration's political appointees to bear the full cost of their own coverage by barring the government from making the customary employer contribution.

WATCH:  Shutdown's far-reaching impact. 

"This is a matter of funding the government and providing fairness to the American people," said Boehner. "Why wouldn't members of Congress vote for it?"

The vote was 228-201, with a dozen Republicans opposed and nine Democrats in favor.

Unimpressed, Senate Democrats swatted it on a 54-46 party line vote about an hour later.

Obama followed up his public remarks with phone calls to Boehner and the three other top leaders of Congress, telling Republicans he would continue to oppose attempts to delay or cut federal financing of the health care law.

The impact of a shutdown would be felt unevenly.

Many low-to-moderate-income borrowers and first-time homebuyers seeking government-backed mortgages could face delays, and Obama said veterans' centers would be closed.

About 800,000 federal workers, many already reeling from the effect of automatic budget cuts, would be ordered to report to work Tuesday for about four hours – but only to carry out shutdown-related chores such as changing office voicemail messages and completing time cards.

Some critical services such as patrolling the borders and inspecting meat would continue. Social Security benefits would be sent, and the Medicare and Medicaid health care programs for the elderly and poor would continue to pay doctors and hospitals.

U.S. troops were shielded from any damage to their wallets when Obama signed legislation assuring the military would be paid in the in the event of a shutdown.

That had no impact on those who labor at other agencies.

WATCH:  Shutdown Poses Awkward Question of 'Essential' Employees. 

"I know some other employees, if you don't have money saved, it's going to be difficult," said Thelma Manley, who has spent seven years as a staff assistant with the Internal Revenue Service during a 30-year career in government.

As for herself, she said, "I'm a Christian, I trust in God wholeheartedly and my needs will be met." She added, "I do have savings, so I can go to the reserve, so to speak." - Huffington Post.