Tuesday, November 4, 2014

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: The Rise Of The Machines - Microchip Breakthrough Enables Emotional Response In Robots, Electronic Devices; Artificial Intelligence Outperforms Average High School Senior; DARPA-Funded Researchers Test Drone That Can Learn!

November 4, 2014 - TECHNOLOGY
- Years ago, Ray Kurzweil popularized the Teminator-like moment he called the 'singularity', when artificial intelligence overtakes human thinking. Nowadays, Kurweil's vision and the quest for "conscious" sentient robots, seems to be just around the corner, if you go by the following reports:

Microchip breakthrough enables emotional response in AI robots and consumer electronic devices

EMOSHAPE (www.emospark.com) has announced the launch of a major technology breakthrough with an EPU (emotional processing unit); a patent pending technology which creates a synthesised emotional response in machines. This represents a significant advancement in the field of artificial intelligence devices and technologies.

Based on the 8 primary emotions identified by Robert Plutchik's psycho-evolutionary theory, the ground-breaking EPU algorithms effectively enable machines to respond to stimuli in line with one of the 8 primary emotions - anger, fear, sadness, disgust, surprise, anticipation, trust, and joy. This video demonstrates how the EPU empowers machines with empathy: http://youtu.be/nMRjSijBsLc

This is the first time that the science and technology industry has empowered machines to respond with human emotions, which is set to deliver a yet undiscovered level of user experience between people and emotionally enabled technology.

Patrick Levy Rosenthal CEO of Emoshape said: “How can any inanimate object interact with humans and learn how to please them without empathy? The EPU advancement represents a step change for the future of technological goods such as smartphones, computers, toys, medicine, finance and robotics.”

The US and London-based company is now set to launch the production of their first A.I. home console in time for Christmas 2014. The company is also seeking private investment to help roll out mass production of the EmoSPARK cube. Emoshape has now opened up its capital to investors via fundable.com (http://fundable.com/emoshape-lic).

The EmoSPARK cube can fit in the palm of the hand with a purpose of being a digital friend. It monitors a person’s facial expressions and emotions by capturing images through an external camera. The images are then processed until the cube can recognise who the person using it is, and their relationship to others. It will monitor users’ responses to the world around them with a focus on the user’s reaction to music.

EmoSPARK will learn what is liked and what isn’t liked by using seven emotions to create a personal map of the user’s personality. It can track joy, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, trust, anticipation and surprise.

About Emoshape

Founded in 2014 and privately funded, Emoshape is dedicated to providing powerful and easy-to-use emotional technologies. Emoshape is a company associated with evolutionary technology that will realise people’s dreams. - Herald Online.

WATCH: Foretelling/Predictive Programming - "Chappie" Trailer starring Hugh Jackman.

Artificial Intelligence Outperforms Average High School Senior

Artificial intelligence in Japan is getting closer to entering college. AI software scored higher on the English section of Japan’s standardized college entrance test than the average Japanese high school senior, its developers said.

The software, known as To-Robo
, almost doubled its score on a multiple choice test from its performance a year ago, indicating progress toward a goal set by its developers to eventually pass the entrance exam for Tokyo University, Japan’s most prestigious college.

“The average score for the English section of the standardized entrance exam was 93.1 (out of 200), but the AI scored 95,” a spokesman for NTT Science and Core Technology Laboratory Group said. Last year the software scored 52.

The NTT lab is developing the software alongside the National Institute of Informatics, and is in charge of developing the software’s English capabilities. The project began in 2011 with a 10-year time frame for reaching its goal.

Questions from the test were turned into data that could be recognized by the software. To-Robo then processed the information, distinguishing the logic of exchanges and correctly identifying the right answer out of multiple choices.

For example, it was able to correctly choose the answer that best fits the following conversation:

A: I hear your father is in the hospital.
B: Yes, and he has to have an operation next week.
A: 【  】. Let me know if I can do anything.
B: Thanks a lot.
–Exactly, Yes.
–No problem.
–That’s a relief.
–That’s too bad.

While NTT lab said To-Robo was getting better at completing conversations, structuring sentences appropriately and grasping the context of a dialogue, it added that the software still needs to improve at understanding more complex exchanges and comprehending the emotions of speakers.

The technology may be developed for human use in the future, the lab said, with translation seen among its possible applications. - WSJ.

DARPA-Funded Researchers Have Tested a Drone That Can Learn

Almost seven years ago, we learned that DARPA was investing millions of dollars in neuromorphic chips. That's a fancy term for a computer chip that mimics a biological cortex—a brain chip. Today, researchers are getting closer. And of course, they're putting those brain chips in drones.

Responding to DARPA's challenge, HRL Laboratories' Center for Neural and Emergent Systems just tested a tiny drone with a prototype neuromorphic chip. The drone packs 576 silicon neurons that communicate through spikes in electricity and respond to data from optical, ultrasound, and infrared sensors. And thanks to that brain-like chip, the little robot doesn't necessarily need a human to tell it what to do. It can learn and act on its own.

It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie, a tiny aircraft that flies around deciding what to surveil or, more frighteningly, what to shoot. MIT's Technology Review explains how the test worked:
The first time the drone was flown into each room, the unique pattern of incoming sensor data from the walls, furniture, and other objects caused a pattern of electrical activity in the neurons that the chip had never experienced before. That triggered it to report that it was in a new space, and also caused the ways its neurons connected to one another to change, in a crude mimic of learning in a real brain. Those changes meant that next time the craft entered the same room, it recognized it and signaled as such.
So that's pretty cool. No seriously, that kind of technological prowess is nothing short of astonishing. However, it's hard to deny that a future full of drones with tiny electronic brians is a little bit frightening. They'll surely do lots of good. But that conversation about the ethics of artificial intelligence will only escalate as AI takes to the skies. - Gizmodo.

MONUMENTAL DELUGE: Floodlist – The Latest Reports Of High Tides, Heavy Rainfall, Flash Floods, Widespread Flooding, Sea Level Rise, And Catastrophic Storms!

November 4, 2014 - EARTH
- The following list constitutes the latest reports of high tides, heavy rainfall, flash floods, widespread flooding, sea level rise and catastrophic storms courtesy of Floodlist.

3 Dead, 60 Injured after Floods in Jordan and Israel

Local media in Jordan have said that at least 3 people have died in flooding affecting the north west of the country. Two people died in Amman after being trapped in a flooded basement. A further victim died in Irbid after she was swept away by flood water outside her home.

Jordan’s Civil Defence Department (CDD) say that at least 54 people were injured in separate incidents after they were trapped by flood water in areas around Wadi Karja, Zarka Maein and Wadi Al Hamra.


Parts of Israel have also been affected by the prolonged heavy rainfall. Over 82 mm of rain fell in 24 hours between 03 and 04 November 2014 at Ben Gurion Airport near Tel Aviv.

Flooding was reported in Holon, Bat Yam, Yehud and also in Jerusalem where four people were injured. The flooding has caused damage to roads and some buildings, although no other injuries or deaths have been reported.

1 Dead after Flooding in Dominican Republic

 Torrential rain since Saturday 01 November 2014 led to flooding in Cibao region, northern Dominican Republic. Nearly 60 mm of rain fell in Puerto Plata during 24 hours from 02 to 03 November 2014, according to WMO. Further flooding is possible and flood warnings have been issued for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

File Photo. Floods in Dominican Republic, September 2000. Photo: Claudia Scholz

According to local emergency authorities, at least one person has been killed in the flooding, and around 100 homes inundated. The victim died after he was swept away by a swollen river in Santiago Rodriguez province.

In Dajabón province, the Dajabón River (also called Massacre River) has burst its banks, forcing over 100 families to evacuate after their homes were inundated. Flooding also caused damage to crops and livestock.


The Dajabón River marks the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It is likely that flooding has also affected communities on the Haitian side of the river, although there are as yet no reports to confirm this.

Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

Neighbouring islands including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands, have been warned of possible flash floods over the next 24 hours. According to NOAA (the US Weather Agency) a weather system will mean slow moving thunderstorms in the area, capable of producing torrential rains in a short period. In addition, recent heavy rains over the past few days has resulted in saturated soils and above average streamflows. Runoff from any additional rain will result in flooding as rivers will react quickly.

South-eastern France hit by violent storms and floods once more

South eastern France takes a hit from extreme weather. © France TV info

Some fifteen departments in south eastern France were on alert on Tuesday as storms swept through the region. Residents in the Ardeche were some of the hardest hit as rivers burst their banks.

Gale force winds and heavy rain lashed south eastern France on Tuesday leaving weather alerts in place for 15 departments.

On Monday night the severe weather caused havoc in the Ardeche department and left over 6,000 homes without power. Firefighters were called out nearly 100 times to deal with incidents.

"We have an enormous amount of damage, with walls collapsing onto roads," said deputy mayor of an Ardeche village Michel Aymard, who said it was the third time in two months the region had been hit by devastating floods.

"We've only just received the financial aid from the government for damage caused by flooding in 2013," said Aymard.

No injuries have been reported.

Overnight on Monday winds reached up to 160km/h in parts of the Rhône Valley.

The country's meteorological service Météo France said heavy rains will continue in the region until Wednesday morning. As much as 450mm of rain fall could fall until the storms pass. 

Floods in France.

 - Floodlist | The Local.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Earthquake Swarm Detected At Yellowstone National Park - 98 Tremors Revealed In Latest Report By USGS!

November 4, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- In the latest update of the Yellowstone volcano by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), October registered 98 total earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region. This seismic activity shows 21 more earthquakes than those reported in September. Although there was more activity in October, the highest magnitude was lower than the one reported in September.
The volcano’s current alert level is “normal” and current aviation color code is “green.” This is indicates that no massive eruption of the supervolcano is imminent.

According to the USGS, their information comes the University of Utah Seismograph Stations and is responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network.
“During October 2014, the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network, reports 98 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone National Park (YNP) region. The largest event was a small earthquake of magnitude 2.7 on October 29, at 3:55 PM MDT, located about 17.5 km (11 miles) south-southwest of West Thumb, YNP. This earthquake is part of a small swarm of 15 earthquakes that occurred over six hours.
“Yellowstone earthquake activity in October is at low background levels.”
As the Inquisitr reported for September, nearly half the earthquakes were registered for the Yellowstone volcano in September than there was in August. August had 207 and 71 were reported in September. The strongest earthquake that month was September 24 when it reached a magnitude of 3.2 about 9 miles south of Mammoth.; no earthquake swarms were reported in September.

Ground deformations were updated by the USGS as well in the October report.
“Ground deformation was also reported in north-central Yellowstone. The rate of subsidence is holding steady at about 5 centimeters a year.

“The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) provides long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake activity in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park. YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.”
The National Park Service posted a notice on its website that Yellowstone volcano won’t erupt anytime soon despite rumors implying otherwise.
“Though another caldera-forming eruption is theoretically possible, it is very unlikely to occur in the next thousand or even 10,000 years.

“The most likely activity would be lava flows such as those that occurred after the last major eruption. Such a lava flow would ooze slowly over months and years, allowing plenty of time for park managers to evaluate the situation and protect people. No scientific evidence indicates such a lava flow will occur soon.”
- Inquisitr.

GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS: NASA Issues Stark Warning - California Drought Could Threaten United States Food Supply; Meanwhile The Water Supply In Brazil's Sao Paulo Will Last Only 100 Days For 20 MILLION PEOPLE!

- NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has sounded a stark warning over California's sustained drought, publishing its latest findings where satellite surveys show a rapidly depleting groundwater supply.

And with California as the United States' most valuable agricultural state, and thus key to America's food supply (and much of the world's as well) that could mean drastic consequences for food commodity prices and potential shortages.

The Nature Climate Change journal carried the report, which Think Progress summarized:
A new Nature Climate Change piece, "The global groundwater crisis," by James Famiglietti, a leading hydrologist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, warns that "most of the major aquifers in the world's arid and semi-arid zones, that is, in the dry parts of the world that rely most heavily on groundwater, are experiencing rapid rates of groundwater depletion."

The groundwater at some of the world's largest aquifers - in the U.S. High Plains, California's Central Valley, China, India, and elsewhere - is being pumped out "at far greater rates than it can be naturally replenished."

The most worrisome fact: "nearly all of these underlie the word's great agricultural regions and are primarily responsible for their high productivity."

NASA's satellite map shows the loss of weight height just in the past three years:

According to NASA:
"California's Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins have lost roughly 15 km3 of total water per year since 2011 - more water than all 38 million Californians use for domestic and municipal supplies annually - over half of which is due to groundwater pumping in the Central Valley."
Yes, of course, California is a desert. So, that isn't helping things. But it was reformed into a thriving economy by controversial and historically corrupt irrigation scheme, and is now vital to U.S. food security.

The result of these dangerous conditions is, not surprisingly, higher commodity prices - including food and water - creating higher profits for the companies that provide these services. Privatized water could drive prices even higher.

There are storm clouds gathering, so to speak, but they aren't bringing rain.

In July, California's state government economic report was already warning of losses in the billions for farmers feeling the weight of drought conditions, though it claimed the national food system would be little impacted.

However, time has made that claim ring hollow. In August, Bloomberg reported on the "global reverberations" occurring because of the drought in California:
"It's a really big deal," Sumner said. "Some crops simply grow better here than anyplace else, and our location gives us access to markets you don't have elsewhere."


The success of California agriculture was built in large part on advances in irrigation that allowed the state to expand beyond wheat, which flourishes in dry climates. It's now the U.S.'s top dairy producer and grows half the country's fruits, vegetables and nuts.

"Water has allowed us to grow more valuable crops," Sumner said. "Now, we have fruits and vegetables and North Dakota grows our wheat. Without irrigation, we'd be North Dakota."


"There will be some definite changes, probably structural changes, to the entire industry" as drought persists, said American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman. "Farmers have made changes. They've shifted. This is what farmers do."
Locals in California are now reporting everything from reduced availability of produce, to higher prices in restaurants and reduced hours and activity at farmer's markets and local stores.

Most farmers have cutback on what they are growing. In many cases, that means chopping down trees, orchards and not planting as many fields:
"I was just talking to a farmer today who grows olives and almonds. Expect prices of almonds to skyrocket because they're cutting the trees down because they don't have enough water to keep them alive," said Helstrom.
California is by no means the only place facing life threatening shortages. There are similarly alarming trends having all across the globe, particularly in arid and semi-arid places.

Texas ranchers and farmers have been dealing with returning dust bowl conditions in the panhandle and surrounding regions, with very difficult drought conditions and conflicting urban competition for water which strain supply.

Elsewhere, too.

The 20 million people in Brazil's Sao Paulo are facing a stark 5 percent reserves in their municipal water reservoir, with Brazil's Public Ministry recently acknowledging that the Sao Paulo water supply might last only another 100 days.

Further shortages in rain could easily be the makings of a disaster that could deprive its residents of the basic necessities of life, particularly the swelling poor populations. Already, rationing has crept in, and water used for cooking, bathing and cleaning has been restricted.
"Suffering from its worst drought in over 84 years, the city of Sao Paulo is in the midst of a crisis. For as of this weekend the city's primary reservoir - the Cantareira - had dropped to just 5 percent capacity putting millions at risk of losing access to water."

"The fall prompted the city's governor - Geraldo Alckmin - to again ask for permission to draw emergency water supplies from below flood gates to alleviate catastrophic losses from the Cantareira and ensure water supplies to the region's 20 million residents. The move would tap a river system that feeds two other states also facing water shortages - Rio de Janeiro and Minas Gerais. But the draw is only a temporary stop gap and, without rain, the Cantareira will continue to fall - bottoming out sometime this November."
Large swaths of the immense Amazon region are enduring drought, while various hotspots across South America are also drastically below average precipitation levels.

NASA has also tracked serious aquifer depletion in "the North China Plain, Australia's Canning Basin, the Northwest Sahara Aquifer System, the Guarani Aquifer in South America ... and the aquifers beneath northwestern India and the Middle East," as Think Progress notes. Parts of Northern China are also seeing their worst drought in 60 years.

That's pretty harsh news, and the long term impact could be pretty serious, and just one more reason to prepare a reserve food supply and prepare a plan to deal with anything that may come.

There have been many other warning signs about the food supply and commodities markets - not the least of which include the billions in losses that corn farmers are facing due to market rejection in China and other countries as a result of GMO contamination. - SHTF Plan.

SOLAR WATCH: Something Flare-y This Way Comes - Sunspot On The Northeastern Limb Of The Sun Unleashes 4 Powerful M-Class Solar Flares, Sending Multiple CMEs Into Space; X-Flare Could Be In The Offing!

November 4, 2014 - SPACE
- Arriving only a little late for Halloween, a flare-y sunspot is emerging over the sun's northeastern limb. In the past 24 hours AR2205 has unleashed at least four M-class flares including this M6-flare recorded by NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory on Nov. 3rd at 22:40 UT:

WATCH: M6.5 Solar Flare - November 3, 2014.

The explosions have hurled multiple CMEs into space. Not one of the clouds is heading our way. Earth is outside the line of fire. This could change in the days ahead, however, as the sun's rotation turns the active region toward our planet.

NOAA forecasters estimate a 25% chance of M-flares during the next 24 hours. Those odds seem low considering the ongoing activity. In fact, another M-flare is almost certain and an X-flare could be in the offing, too.


Solar activity during the past 24 hours reached high levels. Newly numbered region 2205, now in view off the northeast limb, generated a moderately strong M6.5 solar flare at 22:40 UTC (Nov 3).

The event was responsible for a 10cm radio burst (TenFlare) lasting 9 minutes and measuring 180 solar flux units (SFU), a Type II radio emission with an estimated velocity of 612 km/s, and a coronal mass ejection (CME) that was directed to the east and away from Earth.

Region 2205 was also the source of two M-Flares on Tuesday morning, an M2.6 at 08:38 UTC (Nov 4), followed up by an M2.3 at 09:04 UTC. Another CME was produced, but was also directed away from Earth. We will get a better look at 2205 as the day progresses. Additional flaring may be likely.

All other visible sunspot regions are currently stable. Numerous coronal mass ejections were detected during the past 24 hours, however none appear to be Earth directed at this time.


Solar wind stream enhancements are contributing to elevated geomagnetic activity at high latitudes.

Here is a nice aurora display from very early this morning (2am local time) over Fox, Alaska. Image courtesy of Gary Kallberg.

Sky watchers around the Arctic Circle should remain alert for aurora displays when it is dark outside.

- Space Weather | Solar Ham.

DISASTER PRECURSORS: Omen – The Latest Incidents Of Strange Animal Behavior, Mass Animal Die-Offs, Appearance Of Rare Creatures And Warnings From Mother Nature!

November 4, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.

Thousands of dead fish appearing in various parts of Spain and Mexico

Dead fish in Spain. Photo: Alerta Roja
Hundreds of fish found dead in Spain and Mexico - A strange phenomenon is common these days in Spain and Mexico. The presence of thousands of dead fish in Seville, Valencia and Veracruz. Found in the last hour from residents in the area of the basin of the Marciega, Seville, in the lake of La Devesa del Saler, Valencia, Spain, and in the lagoon El Paraiso in Veracruz, Mexico, died in large numbers for reasons unexplained and stacked on the banks. According to experts led to the death of so many fish in two different places in the world there may be a sudden change in climate, in this case a rapid change in temperature at which the fish would not be able to get used to and that would leave them without oxygen.

Another reason could be due to the fact that the intense heat of recent days have caused a high water evaporation, resulting in the death of many fish. In any case, the fish were removed from the three laghie will proceed to a detailed analysis of the water, to see if there were any potentially harmful substances discharged. Also because, in the case of the lagoon of Veracruz in Mexico, it is not the first time that such an episode occurs. - Centro Meteo Italiano. [Translated]

Dead minke whale washes up on beach near Almeria, Spain

A 16 metre long Minke whale has washed up on Retamar beach near Almeria city today.

It's a common sort of whale in the Med, but this fully grown specimen caused much alarm when it was spotted at about 12:30 today just offshore, and calls were placed to the emergency services.

Specialists from the sealife charity Equimar turned up and confirmed the animal was dead. Specimens were taken from the animal for later analysis, but a preliminary check by the specialists indicated that the animal had lost its dorsal fin, probably by being hit by a fishing boat, and probably died shortly afterwards as it would be unable to hunt.

It has been dragged onshore, and authorities will try to bury the animals remains tomorrow morning.

A number of such sea animals have been found dead along the coast of Almeria this autumn.
- David Jackson.

Thousands of dead fish found floating in a river in Rokan Hulu, Indonesia

Thousands of dead fish floating on the various types of river estuary Nails, District Fullness on Friday (10.31.14).
Natural phenomena shocking villagers Fullness of West Noble, Rokan Hulu (Rohul) around 08.00 pm.

Been known to cause thousands of dead fish in the river estuary Nails, including a lizard.
However, local residents suspect a waste of one of the mills (MCC) in the upstream that pollutes the local river.

Found a lot of dead fish, a resident of West Fullness Fullness Excellency and the West Village, on Friday morning to evening picking up dead fish follow.
Even up to bring a bucket of jute and place.

Some residents admit the fish died suddenly it will be consumed.
However, for other people, they are watching. Fear of things happen that are not desirable.

Residents acknowledge River Estuary nails they used for bathing, washing and clean water sources.
Boarding School Nizammudin also commonly utilize the flowing water source.

"Since Friday morning, the river water can no longer be used by the residents," said Karman, Friday night.

Meanwhile, Head of Boarding Schools Nizammudin H Zulkifli Said told reporters confirmed that the death of thousands of fish in the river estuary Nails stunned.

Admittedly, the river water has changed color and odor of sewage.
The students did not dare use the water for the activity. Whereas in normal days, the river is also used by people for washing motorcycles.

Zulkifli reveals she has banned the students in order to temporarily use the river water to move.
However using well water at their boarding school.

To reporters, some residents admitted from the local village government officials and the company has come down to the site to take a sample of water that has been colored blackish Nails victimization in the River Estuary.

Separately, Head of the Environment Agency (BLH) Rohul June Syafri through the Head of Development and Resources EIA Hasjal Zakri said MCC operating in West Fullness Honor is owned by PT.
Sawita era.

Zakri acknowledge Era MCC has pocketed permission Sawita Environmental Monitoring Effort (UPL) and Environmental Management Effort (UKL).
However, he was not sure whether the two documents have been properly executed permit or not.

Admittedly, the clerk of the BLH Rohul has come down to the field to take a sample suspected of polluted river water.
Water samples will be sent to the testing laboratory of Department of Highways Riau, on Saturday (11.01.14) tomorrow. - Metro Terkini. [Translated]

Pack of feral dogs attack 2 children, killing one, Nanfang, China

A ten year-old fifth grader is dead after he and another student were attacked on their way to school in Anhui by three wild dogs, reports Sina News Video.

They were heading to school at 7am on October 29 in Guzhen County when the dogs, described as "evil" and quite large, attacked. The other child, a nine year old, sustained an injury to his arm but was able to escape.

When help arrived, the dogs were still surrounding the boy's body. Police brought more than 60 guns to the scene and killed all the dogs on site. - The Nanfang Insider.

Sloth bear attacks and injures two in Korba, India

The Sloth Bear (Melursus ursinus)

Two persons were injured after a sloth bear attacked them at Korkoma region in Korba district on Saturday evening.

Kurkuma village is located about 25km from Korba city which witnesses frequent instances of human-animal conflict involving both elephants and bears.

The incident took place when Rajkumar Manjwar and Man Singh went into nearby forest for grazing their cow and a sloth bear along with its cub attacked the herd and the duo. Man Singh and Manjhwar were injured but they managed to flee.

According to Korba police, Manjwar and Man Singh wouldn't have managed to escape if the bear hadn't have attacked the cattle. While the condition of Manjwar was said to be stable after primary treatment, Man Singh was admitted to district hospital and his condition is said to be critical.

Chhattisgarh has witnessed more than 500 cases of attacks of sloth bear on humans in which around 50 lost their lives. Most affected areas are Pendra, Marwahi, Kartala, Kudmura, Pasarkhet, Lemru, Balco and Korba. - The Times of India.

Butan man survives bear attack

A 24-year-old man from Khelakha, below Nobdhing in Wangdue is recovering at the Bajo hospital after he survived a bear attacked on November 1.

The victim, Lobzang, said the bear attacked him when he was on his way to the irrigation water source along with two friends and three small dogs when the bear attacked at around 11am on Saturday.

"I was walking ahead. A big black bear came in front of me and suddenly attacked me," he said. "I managed to take out the knife and hit it once but it couldn't do much harm and the bear wrestled me to the ground."

Lobzang suffered injuries on the right side face and hand.

He said the dogs that kept barking attracted the attention of the bear. His two friends carried him till the road head, which took around one hour, and from there they were reached to the hospital in an ambulance.

Khelakha is a village of three households, about an hour's walk from the road head. Lobzang said wild animal attack is quite rampant in the village.

- Kuensel Online.

Tons of dead fish appear in Guanabara Bay, Brazil

The results of the last physicochemical analyzes in water samples from Guanabara Bay showed no changes related to pollution, contamination or toxicity that may be causing the death of fish like menhaden, according to the State Environmental Institute (INEA).
Technical Management of the Water Quality Institute traveled early on Tuesday (28), near the islands of Paqueta and the Governor and the beaches of Flamengo in Rio's South Zone areas, and Jurujuba in Niterói, where the last two weeks appeared dead fish.

The results of the analyzes were carried out on water samples collected in the last 23 days, this time were also tested for toxicity. Tests for the amount of dissolved oxygen present in the water, which indicated to be within the normal range for the bay of Guanabara default, neither blooms of toxic algae were found were also made. Other possible causes are still being investigated.

According to a spokesperson Comlurb, 15.1 tons of dead fish from the banks of the Flamengo (100kg), Paqueta (t 2) and Governors Island (13 t), Saturday (25) have been removed until this Tuesday ( 28). They also said on Wednesday there was a new assessment and the number of dead fish is decreasing.

The suitability of beaches of the West Zone and South Zone of Guanabara Bay is systematically monitored twice a week, from water samples collected at different points of the edge. The updated bulletins and annual series are available on the website of INEA. - Globo. [Translated]

Millions of birds have died due to storms in Visakhapatnam, India

The cost of chicken and eggs is going through the roof in the city, thanks to the damage suffered by the poultry industry due to the cyclone Hudhud. With the industry not showing any signs of immediate revival, prices are likely to soar further.

As on date, chicken is priced at 180 rupees a kg as against its normal price of 140 rupees, with meat shop owners predicting that the cost would reach 200 rupees in the coming days. Similarly, eggs are being sold for 'six each as against 'four and are likely to touch 'seven, reports TheNewIndianExpress.

In the districts of Visakhapatnam, Srikakulam and Vizianagaram, there used to be about seven million broiler chicken, a whopping 60 per cent of which died due to the cyclone, causing immense damage to poultry farms.

As a result, only a small quantity of broiler chicken is arriving into the market. The city itself requires 150 tonnes of broiler chicken per day. As there is no chicken available in the district, it is being brought from Godavari districts, thereby causing scarcity there.

“At this rate, the price is sure to go up further. It may even go beyond '200 per kg,” says Mohammed Arif, a meat vendor at Isukathota Junction. Since the remaining broiler chicken in the city might cause health problems, as the birds have been affected by the storm, the demand for country chicken has risen sharply, leading to an increase in price from '300 to 360, which is likely to go up as well.

The same is the case with layers. In Vizianagaram and Visakhapatnam, around 1.65 million birds died in the cyclone. On normal days, one hundred thousand birds lay 85,000 eggs. “But with so many birds dying, it would be a miracle if we get at least 20,000 eggs,” said NECC zonal chairman (Visakhapatnam) G Ramakrishna Chowdhary. In the coming winter, the cost of eggs is likely to rise steeply as the demand would peak in West Bengal and other north eastern states, he said. - The Poultry Site.

Hundreds of TONNES of fish have died due to virus in West Java, Indonesia

Pembubidadaya fish floating net (KJA) Jatiluhur, Purwakarta, West Java, panic-stricken.
Because, lately attack koi herpes virus (KHV) started raged. As a result of the attack of the virus, carrying 217 tons of dead fish.

In anticipation of greater losses, farmers are forced to harvest early.
Chairman of the Association of Farmers and Fishermen Fish (Hipni) Jatiluhur, Dervish, say, along the pond in 2014 Jatiluhur have several times attacked by the virus. The most severe at the end of last October until now. As a result of the virus, dead fish one by one.

"The fish that died since the end of October to date has reached 217 tons," said the Dervish, Monday (3/11).

Disclosed, the potential death of the fish, is quite large. Given that, until now fish farmers could not break the chain of the virus. Thus, of the loss is too great to bear, it's better early crop farmers.

However, he added, the impact of this early harvest, production declined to 20 percent.

He explained that when normal conditions, in a population of fish cages to reach 10 thousand heads, when the crop can produce 1.5 ton.Namun, with early harvest, the results obtained by the farmers only 80 percent.

"So, the fish farmers lost up to 20 percent due to the herpes virus attacks," he added.

Worse yet, he continued, the price of fish is currently falling.
In the market, goldfish costs only Rp 14 thousand. Ideally, more than Rp 16 thousand per kilogram.

The cause of this herpes virus, Dervish suspect, due to extreme weather.
Hot weather like this time, the virus is thought to be the trigger to flourish. Thus, a virus that has no cure is to freely attack the carp are being cultivated.

Head of Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Purwakarta Herawan Herrera, admitted, fish herpes virus was still safe for consumption.
Thus, the virus will not attack humans. By doing so, it appealed to the public to not look at the negative in cases of herpes viruses to fish in Jatiluhur. - Poskota News. [Translated]

CONTAGION: The Ebola Anomalies - Infection Rates Accelerate In Sierra Leone At NINE TIMES Higher Than 2 Months Ago, Yet The Rate Drops SHARPLY In Liberia?!

November 4, 2014 - WEST AFRICA - As of 2014, the most widespread epidemic of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history is currently ongoing in several West African countries. It has caused significant mortality, with a reported case fatality rate (CFR) of about 71%. However, the following reports seem to indicate anomalous behavior in the the rate of infection of the deadly virus.

Ebola Rates Accelerate in Sierra Leone

The number of people infected with the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone each day is nine times higher than it was two months ago, according to new data.

The rate appears to be accelerating particularly in the rural areas surrounding the capital Freetown, the London Times reports. Compared with an average of 1.3 Ebola cases a day at the start of September, there were 12 new cases a day in late October, says the Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), an organization set up by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

 Health workers transport the body of a person suspected to have died of the Ebola virus in Port Loko Community, situated
on the outskirts of Freetown, Sierra Leoneon Oct. 21, 2014. Michael Duff—AP

Transmission also appears to be increasing rapidly in the capital, Freetown, where the average number of daily cases is six times higher than two months ago.

Last week, there were reports that Ebola cases were falling in neighboring Liberia, the country so far hit hardest by Ebola. “Whilst new cases appear to have slowed in Liberia, Ebola is continuing to spread frighteningly quickly in parts of Sierra Leone,” AGI says.

The WHO says Ebola transmission remains “widespread and intense” in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. The virus has so far infected over 13,000 people and claimed at least 4,951 lives. - TIME.

Fifth Sierra Leone doctor dies after contracting Ebola

A Sierra Leone doctor died on Monday from Ebola, making him the fifth local doctor in the West African state to have succumbed to the haemorrhagic fever that has taken a heavy toll on the country's medical personnel.

Dr Godffrey George, a medical superintendent at the Kambia Government Hospital in the north of the country, died after he tested positive for Ebola on Saturday, according to Sierra Leone's Chief Medical Officer Brima Kargbo.

"He drove himself from Kambia on Friday after he started feeling unwell and checked himself into the Chinese hospital at Jui outside Freetown," Kargbo said.

He added that George did not treat Ebola patients and might have contracted the virus through a patient he treated for another illness.

Sierra Leone is one of the countries worst affected by the largest outbreak of Ebola on record. The disease has killed 4,951 people out of 13,567 infected in eight countries.

Some 120 health workers - including nurses and other medical staff - have tested positive for the disease in Sierra Leone, with about 100 dead.

With its healthcare system still reeling from a 1991-2002 civil war, Sierra Leone had only just over 100 doctors for its 6 million people before the outbreak struck.

Many rural clinics lacked even basic medical supplies, such as plastic gloves, leaving medical staff vulnerable to infection by Ebola, whose early symptoms resemble cholera and malaria, common diseases in the region.
With international help gradually arriving, Britain was due to inaugurate on Wednesday an Ebola treatment centre in Kerry Town just outside Freetown with some 100 beds. It was built by British army engineers to be run by the non-governmental organisation Save the Children. - Reuters.

As Ebola declines sharply in Liberia, health officials reassess response plans

As a new treatment center prepares to open in the capital of Monrovia, a downturn in infections offers some hope. Michel du Cille/The Washington Post
The rate of new Ebola infections here has declined so sharply in recent weeks that even some of the busiest treatment facilities are now only half-full and officials are reassessing the scale of the response needed to quell the epidemic.

The turnaround has occurred without the provision of a single treatment bed by the U.S. military, which has promised to build 17 Ebola facilities containing 100 beds each across Liberia. Those treatment units will be constructed, said Bill Berger, head of the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Disaster Assistance Response Team here. But the option of initially opening some with as few as 10 beds is “being discussed,” he said.

That would provide people in all parts of the country access to a nearby treatment unit should they become infected in the months to come. And each facility would be constructed so that it could be quickly expanded to as many as 100 beds if the need arises, he said. The United States has spent $360 million so far fighting Ebola in West Africa.

No one tracking the outbreak is close to declaring the deadly hemorrhagic disease vanquished, and all are wary that the virus, which has receded at times over the past seven months, could suddenly flare again in this impoverished country, the epicenter of the West African Ebola catastrophe.

But five days after the World Health Organization said new infections were declining in Liberia, a 157-bed treatment center in the city of Foya, where the epidemic began seven months ago, held no patients Monday, according to a nurse there. The same facility received no new admissions last Wednesday, the most recent day for which government statistics were available.

Here in the hard-hit capital, Island Clinic — whose official capacity is 150 and which housed 215 Ebola patients on its worst day in September — had 89 patients Sunday, according to its director, Attai Omorutu. At ELWA 3, the Doctors Without Borders facility that has scaled up to handle 250 people, 65 beds were occupied Monday.

Only at ELWA 2, the last of the city’s three open treatment centers, was there anything close to a full house: 64 patients in a facility that can handle about 80 and where an expansion is underway.

“I will be home for Christmas,” said Omorutu, who lives in Uganda. “And there will be no Ebola here for Christmas.”

Most experts are not as optimistic as Omorutu, and some worry that this is just the latest temporary lull in the worst Ebola outbreak on record. Since the start of the outbreak late last year, the virus has infected 13,567 people in eight countries, killing 4,951 of them, with the vast majority of cases occurring in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Nevertheless, just about everyone here acknowledges that current conditions are a welcome improvement from the devastating height of the epidemic just over a month ago.

At that time, critically ill Ebola victims lay outside the gates of overwhelmed treatment centers, unable to gain entry. Corpses were routinely collected from roadsides and homes. Body-retrieval teams and the city’s tiny ambulance corps had no hope of keeping up with calls for their services. The World Health Organization predicted the possibility of 10,000 new cases a week in the region by early December.

No longer. Now, a state-of-the-art treatment center set to open soon on Monrovia’s main road is expected to see few patients, at least in the immediate future.

“It’s remarkably down, but it’s not over,” said Frank Mahoney, who leads the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention team here. “There are tremendous challenges still.”

The sharp decline makes this a deceptively dangerous time, a period when the virus may infect a few individuals here and there, instead of racing through whole communities, said Hans Rosling, a Swedish physician and statistician who has been serving as an adviser to the Liberian government. In far-flung communities, one infection can soon lead to dozens more, as Liberia has learned painfully, he said.

Indeed, the CDC is dispatching teams to hot spots around the country, hoping to stop the virus after a single reported case, through contact tracing and isolation of patients.

“We’ve won the first phase of the epidemic. We are now in a different phase that is not so visual, but it’s just as dangerous,” Rosling said. “In September, this city was under attack by an army of virus. We defeated that army. But now we have terrorists in every part of the country.”

Doctors Without Borders, which led the fight against Ebola in the darkest days of the epidemic, has no plans to reduce the size of its treatment center, although it is was only about one-third full Monday.

“We really want to keep this up for now, because we don’t know what’s going to happen,” said Natasha Reyes, medical coordinator for the facility. “The numbers have gone down, it’s quite clear. But we have seen in Guinea and Sierra Leone that the numbers go down and come back up.”

Instead, the organization is using the time provided by its declining caseload to reduce the length of shifts medical personnel must serve in stifling hot moonsuits and to step up prevention and education efforts in the community.

Rosling said the virus “plateaued” at about 80 confirmed cases a day across Liberia during the last week of September and the first week of October. Had there been time and resources to test more of the dead, he said, the total might have been 50 or even 100 percent higher.

The numbers have steadily fallen since, and now there are about 20 to 30 confirmed cases a day, he said.

Theories abound about the reasons for the newfound success against Ebola, but most people involved mention a potent combination of several factors: the opening of more treatment beds, breakthroughs in convincing Liberians that Ebola is real and very dangerous, widespread acceptance of “safe burials” and cremations that prevent families from touching highly infectious corpses, and the mobilization of entire communities to quickly identify and isolate infected individuals before they can transmit the virus.

“The virus is in the community, and the best way to take it from the community is for the community itself” to take charge, said Archie C. Gbessay, coordinator of the Active Case Finders and Awareness Team in West Point, a vast Monrovia slum. “That is what we thought.”

Huge obstacles remain. Travel between Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, especially now that the rainy season is ending, means that the virus can repeatedly reenter places that have stamped it out, experts said. The outbreak cannot be considered eliminated until it has been stopped in all three countries, the CDC’s Mahoney said.

Liberia’s non-Ebola health system, which virtually collapsed at the height of the epidemic, must be rebuilt in a way that protects health workers from infection by the virus. And even the smaller number of infections seen here now remains a sizable problem.

“Starting from where we came from, [current conditions] look like a cakewalk,” Mahoney said. “But in any other country, this would be a crisis of enormous proportions.” - Washington Post.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak

MONUMENTAL GLOBAL VOLCANISM: President Obama Declares Kilauea Volcano Lava Flow A MAJOR DISASTER On Hawaii's Big Island - "Loud Booms Like Shotgun Blasts" Heard As Lava Flow Threatens To Destroy The Town Of Pahoa!

A breakout occurs from an inflated lobe of the Kilauea volcano lava flow as seen in this U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) handout photo taken
near the village of Pahoa, Hawaii, November 2, 2014. (Reuters/USGS)

November 4, 2014 - HAWAII
- President Barack Obama declared a slow-moving lava flow from the Pu'u O'o vent of the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii to be a major disaster, and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts, the White House said in a Monday statement.

The lava flow is encroaching on Pahoa, a rural town on Hawaii’s Big Island, threatening to destroy a major road in the already-isolated town at the site of an old sugar plantation. The leading edge of the flow has paused about 185 yards from Pahoa Village Road, the main thoroughfare, Reuters reported. The smoldering lava is a little more than 300 feet away from a home in the town, Hawaii News Now said.

The leading edge of the lava flow is just 35 yards wide, but breakouts have expanded it to more than 500 yards wide near Apa’a Street, the Weather Channel reported.

WATCH: Lava rom Kilauea volcano swallows residential areas on Hawaii's Big Island.

So far the lava has smothered part of a cemetery and burned down a shed, some tires and metal materials, according to the Associated Press. No homes have been destroyed and no injuries have been reported.

“We can definitely see a bit of a glow, smell the smoke and the burning vegetation,”
Eric Johnson, a teacher at the Hawaii Academy of Arts and Science (HAAS), located one road down from Pahoa Village Road, told Time. “On occasions, I’ve heard loud booms, like shotgun blasts, when methane pockets in the ground explode.”

As the lava flow continues to expand further away from Pahoa, it threatens to put more people at risk, US Geological Survey geologist Frank Trusdell told Hawaii News Now.

"As the flow widens of course then the downslope areas get wider as well and so the potential impact for people spreads out over a larger area,"
Trusdell said.

Smoke rises from the Pu'u O'o vent on the Kilauea Volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. (Reuters/Marco Garcia)

The state’s National Guard deployed 83 troops Thursday to the town of about 950 residents, to assist with security, including the construction of a roadblock and other pressing safety issues.

“I’m not worried about the volcano, I’m worried about the government,”
local resident Robert Petricci told Time. “The lava has been inching forward for 30 years, now the National Guard is here with Humvees and flak vests like it’s a war zone. Everything’s a mess, with all the checkpoints, asking people who they’re riding with and where they’re going.”

The new Pu'u O'o vent opened on the Kilauea volcano on June 27. The 1,000-degree red mass of molten rock is expected to displace around 900 schoolchildren, according to KITV.

“I’m very impressed and proud of the [HAAS] kids, they’ve decided to make a bad situation into something positive,”
Johnson said.

WATCH: Kilauea volcano triggers evacuation fears on Hawaii's Big Island.

Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) requested federal aid on October 24 to boost local emergency protective measures, including repairs, re-establishment of alternate routes in and out of affected communities and the accommodation of those displaced.

Thanks to Obama’s disaster declaration, federal funding will be available to state and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis for emergency protective measures and hazard mitigation, the White House said.

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Administrator W. Craig Fugate named Kenneth K. Suiso as the Federal Coordinating Officer for federal recovery operations in the affected area. FEMA said additional designations may be made at a later date if requested by the state and warranted by the results of further damage assessments. - RT.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Celestial Convergence - Videos Show Fireball Meteors Streaking Over Eastern United States!

November 4, 2014 - UNITED STATES - A large meteor was spotted streaking across the skies of central North Carolina and several other states on Monday evening. People in Greensboro, High Point, Asheville, Fayetteville and Raleigh reported seeing the fireball around 6:20 p.m. ET. Several eyewitnesses described the fireball as having a green tail. There were similar reports from eyewitnesses in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Kentucky and several other states.

Video of huge fireball meteor streaking over Eastern U.S. states

"AMS received 89 reports about this fireball seen over GA, IN, KY, MD, NC, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA and WV on November 3rd 2014," AMS wrote on its website. Steve Sobel captured a fireball on video over Chicago around 6:25 p.m. CT, an hour after similar reports in North Carolina and other states. It remains unclear if the sighting is related to similar sightings on the East Coast.

WATCH: Fireball over Chicago - November 3, 2014.


Video shows South Dakota meteor exploding into a blue ring

A time-lapse video taken of the night sky over South Dakota shows a meteor exploding on impact with the earth's atmosphere.

The video, taken by photographer Wes Eisenhauer on Oct. 16 outside the city of Custer, shows the meteor impacting the atmosphere at an estimated 180,000 mph and exploding into a circle of light.

WATCH: Meteor explosion - Milky Way time-lapse.

- UPI.

Fireball streaks over twelve Eastern U.S. states

Nearly 200 reports of a fireball streaking overhead were received the the American Meteor Society Monday night. © AMSMeteors.com

Dozens of reports of a fireball crossing the sky emerged Monday evening across 12 eastern states, from as far north as the Great Lakes states and extending as far south as Georgia.

As of 11:00 Monday night, the American Meteor Society said they had received nearly 200 reports of one or more meteors crossing the skies at about 6:20 p.m. Monday.

The reports came from Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. The five reports from Georgia included one each in Rossville, Statesboro, Homer, Doraville and Alpharetta.

Most of the reports said the fireball was a greenish-to-white color as it crossed the sky.

11Alive's Greensboro sister station WFMY received a number of reports from viewers in their area.

No reports have been received indicating the meteor hit the ground. - USA Today.

CONSPIRACY: Ebola Hoax - A Bombshell Discovery, Scientist Finds No Reliable Evidence Ebola Virus Ever Isolated From A Human Being?!

November 4, 2014 - THE EBOLA OUTBREAK
- I recently had an exchange of emails with David Rasnick, PhD.

You can read Rasnick’s bio at his site, davidrasnick.com. He obtained his PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and spent 25 years working with proteases (a class of enzymes) and protease inhibitors. He is the author of the book, The Chromosomal Imbalance Theory of Cancer. He was a member of the Presidential AIDS Advisory Panel of South Africa.

The subject of our conversation was the isolation of the Ebola virus from humans. Has it ever been done?

Direct isolation is far different from diagnostic tests such as antibody or PCR, which are both indirect methods of assessment. In previous articles, I’ve covered the irrelevance of these two tests.

Any discussion of the Ebola virus must begin with the question of direct isolation. The whole presumption of an Ebola outbreak and epidemic rests on that question.

Was the Ebola virus ever purified and isolated from a human?

Here is what Rasnick wrote, after his search of the published literature:

“I have examined in detail the literature on isolation and Ems [EM: electron microscope pictures] of both Ebola and Marburg viruses. I have not found any convincing evidence that Ebola virus (and for that matter Marburg) has been isolated from humans. There is certainly no confirmatory evidence of human isolation.

“I searched the CDC’s website and came up dry.

“The CDC claims 7728 Ebola virus cases have been ‘laboratory-confirmed’.

“I asked the CDC what constitutes isolation of Ebola virus from human specimens. I also asked for the protocol for isolating Ebola virus. [No reply from the CDC as of this date.]

“Virtually everything that is known and done with these viruses is in animals and cell culture.”

Rasnick continued: “There is the possibility that Ebola and Marburg viruses represent laboratory artifacts. I’m inclined to think this is the case. What I mean is the viruses are real but may exist at very low levels in wild animals and even humans, well-below pathogenic [disease-causing] levels. These ‘passenger’ viruses may be activated and amplified in laboratory culturing conditions designed for that purpose in order to produce enough viral particles to be characterized.

“Viruses causing real pathology are abundant in the diseased tissues. You can see them using EM on the primary tissue. You do not need to amplify the virus in cell culture. I’m always suspicious when cell culture is the only way a virus is observable by EM.”

Rasnick’s findings are a direct challenge to the basis of the whole “Ebola outbreak.” If indeed the Ebola virus has never been isolated from a human being, the so-called epidemic is unproven.

To say this is shocking would be a vast understatement.

When public-health officials and governments claim there is an epidemic, the burden of proof is on them.

At this point, they must, first and foremost, show someone, somewhere, correctly and directly and undeniably isolated Ebola virus from a human being.

Let’s see the evidence. Now. - John Rappoport / Activist Post.

Tracking the EBOLA Virus Outbreak