Sunday, November 30, 2014

PLANETARY TREMORS: 3 Earthquakes, Including A 4.2 Magnitude, Rattle And Shake Oklahoma - Also Felt In Kansas! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location map.

November 30, 2014 - OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES
- The U.S. Geological Survey reports three earthquakes in Oklahoma, including one with a preliminary magnitude of 4.2.

Sheriff's officials say there are no reports of injury or of significant damage, although there were reports of people being jolted awake by the temblors.

The USGS says the 4.2 magnitude quake occurred at 4:24 a.m. Sunday about 16 miles southeast of Medford in north-central Oklahoma.

USGS shakemap intensity.

A 3.8 magnitude quake was recorded at 12:59 a.m. about four miles northwest of Prague and a 3.5 magnitude temblor occurred at 6:18 a.m. five miles northeast of Edmond.

Geologists say quakes of magnitude 2.5 to 3.0 are generally the smallest that are felt by humans and that damage is not likely in earthquakes with magnitudes below 4.0. - WSET.

Earthquakes in the Stable Continental Region - Natural Occurring Earthquake Activity

Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York - Philadelphia - Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 km (60 mi) from its source. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 km (300 mi) from its source. Earthquakes east of the Rockies that are centered in populated areas and large enough to cause damage are, similarly, likely to cause damage out to greater distances than earthquakes of the same magnitude centered in western North America.

Most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, usually miles deep. Few earthquakes east of the Rockies, however, have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California's San Andreas fault system, where scientists can commonly use geologic evidence to identify a fault that has produced a large earthquake and that is likely to produce large future earthquakes. Scientists who study eastern and central North America earthquakes often work from the hypothesis that modern earthquakes occur as the result of slip on preexisting faults that were formed in earlier geologic eras and that have been reactivated under the current stress conditions. The bedrock of Eastern North America is, however, laced with faults that were active in earlier geologic eras, and few of these faults are known to have been active in the current geologic era. In most areas east of the Rockies, the likelihood of future damaging earthquakes is currently estimated from the frequencies and sizes of instrumentally recorded earthquakes or earthquakes documented in historical records.

Induced Seismicity

As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth's crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth's crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations. In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced.

Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity. Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region. - USGS.

BEAST TECH: You'll Buy All Your Holiday Gifts With A Wave Of Your Hand Or The Scan Of Your Head Within Five Years - Banking Experts Predict This Beastly System Will Be The Global Business Model Within 60 Months!

November 30, 2014 - TECHNOLOGY
- The checkbook is dead. While we’re at it, let’s write an obit for card readers too.

And if you’ve ever worried about who might be looking over your shoulder at the ATM machine, or the exorbitant fee that money transfer will cost you, don’t fret.

In years to come — not even that many — these problems won’t even exist as the way we bank and control our finances will change vastly. It already has in many ways.

“We’re in this unprecedented space where technology is moving so quickly it’s starting to scare everyone,” said Gi Fernando, founder and investor of Free:Formers, a company which helps businesses and unemployed young adults with digital training.

“It’s sooner than you think,” said Fernando, who claims in five years from now the technology behind how we manage our banking and finances will be unrecognizable.

Here are five things you most likely won’t need in five years to keep your finances ticking along.

Pin numbers and card readers

As biometrics become the choice of more companies, outdated PIN numbers and clumsy card readers will be a thing of the past, said Fernando.

Fingerprints, retina readers, belt buckles, watches and even contact lenses will replace good old-fashioned pin numbers and card readers in our modern day transactions.

“We will see much more use of biometric data,” agrees Steven Lewis, global lead banking analyst at Ernst & Young. “Fingerprints and eye scanners will replace signatures and become more prevalent,” he said.

“For buying stuff it’s going to be pretty frictionless and seamless,” said Fernando, who described a scenario whereby shoppers walk into a store, pick up what they’re after, pay via their device or wearable, and walk out.

Banks — as you know them

Though there will continue to be physical banks, many of them won’t exist as we know them today. Some of them will appear in supermarkets, cafes and coffee shops, and in pop-up stores and concessions, says Fernando.

Like 14th-century coffee houses in Venetian society where business deals were done, these new banking environments will serve a similar purpose. “People have a need to meet face-to-face,” added Fernando.

So while there still will be bank branches, many of them will look and feel more like an Apple store, he suggests.

Cash and checks

There will always be cash despite what advocates of a cashless society may predict. It’s quick, easy, accepted almost anywhere and can keep your paper track simple.

“Cash will take longer to die out,” said Fernando. In the meantime, smartphones and contactless payment methods will grow in popularity as a way to purchase our groceries, clothes, train and bus tickets and more.

The same can’t be said of checks though. “Over the last few years, the check is pretty much dead,” said Lewis. “We’re using digital technology to transmit that check,” he said.

“We’re going to have a suite of different technologies. The early adopters will be very keen to use their phones. Others will still have cash, checks and cards,” added Lewis.

Traditional loans

Want to borrow money but your bank won’t provide the loan? Never fear, there are many different models of peer-to-peer (P2P) lending groups and websites who will lend money directly to individuals and businesses without going through a traditional financial institution.

Lending Club and Prosper are the two largest P2P lenders in the United States. They issued $2.4 billion in loans in 2013, up significantly from $871 million in 2012. And a recent report by venture capital firm Foundation Capital predicts the global market for P2P lending could be worth over $1 trillion by 2025.

Another example — Funding Circle, in the United Kingdom, is projecting massive growth. While banks still provide the majority of lending in the United Kingdom — over 85% — Funding Circle says it hopes to gain a large chunk of that market over the next five to 10 years.

“We’ve seen significant growth amongst P2P lenders over the last couple of years,” said Lewis. “Although they still represent only a tiny fraction of the overall lending market, their approach is beginning to shake up the traditional bank lending model — so much so that some banks are starting to partner with P2P lenders to offer greater choice to customers.”

Wire transfer companies

The days of trudging down to the bank or money transfer agent to send your hard-earned money back home or abroad may soon be over. Already there are a wide choice of companies online which offer money transfers with lower transaction fees — Transferwise, Kantox, CurrencyFair to name a few.

Social media could broaden the appeal, with financial services company Azimo letting users transfer money through Facebook, as well as via the Azimo website and app. While a commercial bank charges on average 12% to send remittances and a traditional transfer operator charges about 6.5%, Azimo says it charges only 2%.

Azimo is growing rapidly, doubling in size every two-and-a-half months, said the company’s CEO Michael Kent.”We estimate that about 98% of money transfers are still being conducted offline,” said Kent, “but with the numbers moving to us we see that changing rapidly and that there will soon be a tipping point as customers realize the cost savings and benefits that digital brings.”

It won’t be an immediate switch though, warns Lewis. “Certainly additional providers will increase competition, but we’re also seeing a number of banks be more restrictive in the money transfer space as they grapple with increasingly complex and punitive anti money-laundering regulations.” - FOX59.

SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Triple Bomb Blasts Nigeria Mosque - Kills 120 People, 260 Other Worshippers Injured!

Police officers stand near wreckage at a scene of multiple bombings at Kano Central Mosque November 28, 2014. (Reuters)

November 30, 2014 - NIGERIA
- Nigeria suffered one of its bloodiest terrorist attacks on Friday when three bombs exploded outside the Central Mosque in the northern city of Kano, killing at least 120 people.

The assault was timed to coincide with Friday prayers and the blasts injured another 260 worshippers.

No group has claimed responsibility, but the incident bore the hallmarks of Boko Haram, a radical Islamist movement linked to al-Qaeda which has killed thousands of people in northern Nigeria and forced over a million to flee their homes.

The Emir of Kano, Mohammad Sanusi II, often attends prayers at the Central Mosque. An outspoken opponent of Boko Haram, he may have been an intended target. However, the Emir was believed to be in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

Three bombs detonated outside the Central Mosque in the heart of Kano as worshippers gathered. Eyewitnesses said that two devices exploded in the courtyard, while a third went off some distance away.

As the blasts tore through the crowd, gunmen opened fire with automatic weapons. "These people have bombed the mosque. I am face to face with people screaming," Chijjani Usman, one of the worshippers, told Reuters news agency.

Bomb detection security personnel inspect the wreckage of a car believed to be used in the bombing Photo: REUTERS

Another eyewitness, Aminu Abdullahi, said: “Two bombs exploded, one after the other, in the premises of the Grand Mosque seconds after the prayers had started.”

Mr Abdullahi told Agence France Press news agency: "A third one went off in a nearby road. The blasts were followed by gunshots by the police to scare off potential attacks."

Officials later said that over 92 bodies had been recovered from the scene.

With almost ten million people, Kano is the biggest city in northern Nigeria and the sixth largest in the Muslim world. This assault on the mosque was the most serious incident in Kano since January 2012, when Boko Haram killed over 200 people during simultaneous attacks on police stations and government offices across the city.

Mr Sanusi became Emir in June after being sacked as governor of Nigeria’s Central Bank. He was removed from that post for daring to expose corrupt transactions by the state oil company.

The Emir of Kano, Muhammed Sanusi II, leads evening prayers at Kano Central Mosque after inspecting the damage (REUTERS)

Unlike some Muslim leaders in northern Nigeria, he is an outspoken critic of Boko Haram. Earlier this month, Mr Sanusi said: “These people, when they attack towns, they kill boys and enslave girls. People must stand resolute.” He urged citizens of Kano to “acquire what they can to defend themselves” and “not wait for soldiers to protect them”.

Nigeria’s corrupt and ineffective army has proved itself incapable of dealing with Boko Haram. Britain is considering whether to send dozens of military trainers to assist the country’s hapless security forces.

But Kano’s heritage as a centre of commerce and Muslim scholarship – along with the city’s sheer size – once drew a succession of foreign dignitaries. As Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher visited Kano in 1988.

The Queen toured the city in 1956 and paid a visit to the Central Mosque, which was the target of Friday's attack. On that occasion, she was welcomed by Emir Mohammad I, the grandfather of Mr Sanusi. - Telegraph.

PARADIGM SHIFT: The Rise Of The BRICS, Precursors To The End Of The Petrodollar And Collapse Of The U.S. Corporation – China Overtakes Japan To Become The World's Second Largest Stock Market!

Reuters/Carlos Barria

November 30, 2014 - CHINA
- The capitalization of the Chinese stock market increased 33 percent in 2014 reaching $4.48 trillion, which makes the market second only to the US.

Japan’s stock market declined 3.2 percent to $4.46 trillion in 2013, according to Bloomberg analysts.

The Chinese market surge came hot on the heels of allowing foreign investors unprecedented access to mainland shares through the merger of the Shanghai and Hong Kong stock exchanges.

The decision to spur the Chinese economy has made the country an attractive investment. On November 21 the People's Bank of China reduced its key interest rate for the first time in two years.

Economists predict Chinese authorities will put in place additional measures to support the economy, which slowed to a five-year low in the third quarter this year.

The weakening of the yen against the dollar has played an important part in the falling capitalization of the Japanese market.

After Shinzo Abe’s tight monetary policy proved to be ineffective, the yen has seen a 10 percent decline in 10 months.

China had once been the world’s second largest stock market. In March 2011, it briefly surpassed Japan, which was hit by a devastating earthquake.

The disaster was accompanied by a sharp fall in stock market indices. - RT.

ICE AGE NOW: U.S. Polar Blast To Chill Millions From Minnesota To Texas - Has Already Dropped Temperatures By Nearly 60 DEGREES In Just 24 Hours!

November 30, 2014 - UNITED STATES - A fresh blast of frigid air and bone-chilling winds will continue to expand across the Plains and Midwest through Monday, hitting cities from Minneapolis to Chicago and Oklahoma City.

The frigid blast has already dropped temperatures nearly 60 degrees in a 24-hour period across parts of Montana Friday into Saturday. Some locales went from the mid-50s on Friday to nearly 10 below zero F.

The arctic chill will dive south and east through Monday, hitting Minneapolis, Chicago and Oklahoma City with sharply colder air and drastically plummeting temperatures.

Highs near 40 F in Minneapolis Saturday afternoon will be replaced by teens and single digits Sunday and Monday.

Bone-chilling winds will accompany the cold blast on Sunday, forcing afternoon RealFeel® temperatures into the single digits below zero. Chicago's RealFeels will sit in the single digits above zero throughout the day on Monday.

"This latest cold blast will not be nearly as wide-reaching or long lasting as the one that hit the country in the middle of November," said Meteorologist Mark Paquette. "The Plains and Midwest will be hit the hardest, while the Southeast will avoid much of the chill."

Oklahoma City will be near record highs in the 70s Sunday before highs plummet into the 30s for Monday. Winds will place RealFeel temperatures in the single digits around daybreak Monday.

Residents or visitors set to endure cold wave should prepare to dress warmly and limit any time outdoors. Those traveling home from Thanksgiving travels should put plenty of blankets in the car.

This is especially so across the northern Plains, where RealFeel temperatures will drop dangerously to 20 below zero F Sunday.

An arctic cold front slicing southward will be responsible for the cold wave.

The cold wave will not be accompanied by snow or ice for the most part. However, it may set the stage for an ice threat by midweek.

"Although the chill will not be as harsh across the Ohio Valley and Northeast, the cold air may set the stage for an icy mid- to late-week storm," added Paquette. Senior Meteorologist Alex Sosnowski explains that a fast west-to-east flow across the nation next week will keep the coldest air out of the South but will lead to unsettled conditions in parts of the West, Midwest and Northeast. - AccuWeather.

WATCH: 130 Year Snow and Cold across Canada and USA.

MONUMENTAL SOLAR SYSTEM CHANGES: "Star Trek-Like Shields" - New Radiation Belt Protects Planet Earth From "Killer Electrons"; Scientist Says "It's An Extremely Puzzling Phenomenon"?!

Image by Andy Kale, University of Alberta

November 30, 2014 - SPACE
- Surrounded by radiation belts, Earth is being protected by an invisible shield that stops high-speed “killer electrons,” scientists have found after taking a closer look at the Van Allen belt 7,200 miles above our planet.

“Somewhat like the shields created by force fields on Star Trek that were used to repel alien weapons, we are seeing an invisible shield blocking these electrons,”
the study’s lead author, Daniel Baker of the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics explained. “It’s an extremely puzzling phenomenon.”

This previously unknown phenomenon has been discovered by probes aimed at examining the so-called Van Allen belts, zones of donut-shaped rings around our planet.

Until March 2013, scientists assumed there were only two belts, filled with high-energy electrons and protons, surrounding Earth.

However, a NASA-launched probe detected that there was a third belt in between the two.

The outer Van Allen belt is about 25,000 miles (40, 000 km) above the Earth, while the inner one can dip as low as 600 miles, close to the plasmasphere. The newly discovered barrier is 7,200 miles or 11, 500 km above Earth. But it seems to fluctuate in response to space weather.

These “killer electrons” travel at near light-speed of around 100,000 miles per second and are capable of damaging space electronics and can put astronauts in danger. But this third belt stops them from moving towards Earth’s atmosphere.

“It’s almost like these electrons are running into a glass wall in space,”
Baker said.

AFP Photo / NASA

Previously the team thought the electrons drifted into Earth’s upper atmosphere, where they were wiped out by air molecules.

Baker’s colleague on the study, co-author and associate director of MIT’s Haystick Observatory, John Foster, says: "It's like looking at the phenomenon with new eyes, with a new set of instrumentation, which give us the detail to say, 'Yes, there is this hard, fast boundary.'"

Scientists have also looked at a number of scenarios that could create and maintain such a barrier.

The team initially thought that the barrier was created by the Earth’s magnetic fields, which exist to send protons and electrons back and forth from one magnetic pole to another. It was mooted that Earth’s manmade communications could be creating some type of scattering effect.

Baker believes both explanations don’t hold any water and that the key to understanding the barrier will lie in closer, thorough studies of the Van Allen belts.

"I think the key here is to keep observing the region in exquisite detail, which we can do because of the powerful instruments on the Van Allen probes. If the sun really blasts Earth's magnetosphere with a coronal mass ejection (CME), I suspect it will breach the shield for a period of time,"
Baker adds.

His work was published in the November 27 issue of the journal Nature. - RT.

EXTREME WEATHER: Hurricane-Force Winds Whip Cody, Wyoming - Knocking Out Power, Breaking Windows!

November 30, 2014 - WYOMING, UNITED STATES
- The small town of Cody, Wyoming, was taken by surprise when hurricane-force winds whipped the area, causing power outages, uprooting a power pole and transformers and blowing out windows.

A neighborhood of about 100 homes experienced power outages that lasted for a few hours, the Associated Press reported.

Power was also cut to businesses and a streetlight downtown for four hours, according to the Cody Enterprise.

A 40-foot Colorado Spruce was downed on the Visitor Center, the Cody Enterprise also noted. Cody Mayor Nancy Tia Brown offered an update on the situtation, "We all have to be respectful of Mother Nature.

We’re taking care of everything as quickly as we can to make sure people are safe and comfortable."

The wind gusts the area experienced were powerful, as meteorologist Linda Lam described, “Chinook winds developed along parts of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains on Friday.

This strong downslope wind brought wind gusts of over 80 mph to some locations.

As the wind comes down the leeward side of the Rocky Mountains the dry air warms.

The warm and gusty winds ahead of an approaching cold front resulted in some record and near-record warm temperatures as well."

The winds were strong enough to knock out two storm windows in a home, the Associated Press said.

The winds also rattled the windows of city hall and interrupted its phone services, the Cody Enterprise reported.

Black Friday shoppers were inconvenienced as Walmart asked shoppers to return carts inside the store in order to avoid damage to cars parked outside, said the Cody Enterprise.

The highest wind gust reported was 117 mph near Clark, Wyoming, and the high wind warnings continue into Sunday for parts of Wyoming and Colorado. - TWC.