Saturday, May 19, 2012

HIGH STRANGENESS: "Hot Rocks" Mystery - Stones Mysteriously Explode in California Woman's Shorts, Causing Second and Third Degree Burns?!

A California mother is recovering from second- and third-degree burns after colored rocks her family collected from a southern California beach unexpectedly caught fire while in her shorts pocket.  "We were talking about who was going to pick up the babysitter," Lyn Hiner said today on "Good Morning America." "And all of a sudden something hot on my leg just sort of started to bother me so I started thinking it was a bug bite, so I started slapping it and the next thing I know my pants were on fire." 

The harmless-looking, green- and orange-colored rocks, which Hiner's daughters found Saturday on San Onofre State Beach in southern California, are now the subject of an intense scientific investigation.  Hiner, 43, had put the rocks in her pocket after they left the beach. As she and her husband, Rob Hiner, were preparing to go out later that evening, the rocks suddenly erupted in her pants.  Rob Hiner, who appeared on "GMA" alongside his wife at the Santa Ana, Calif., burn center where she is being treated, said the couple had no idea what was happening.  "It was just this bright intense flame," he said. "We didn't know what it was. Our first response was just to try to pat it out.  "But, In trying to pat it out, it wasn't going out so the next thing was just to try and drop and roll and eventually we just tried to tear her shorts off and got them off of her," he said.  Fire authorities responded to smoke alarms in the couple's home that were set off because the flames in Lyn Hiner's pockets were so intense.  "There were actual flames coming off of her cargo shorts," Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone told ABC News. "The husband was outside with a garden hose, actually trying to cool her leg down."

The couple were eventually taken to the Grossman Burn Center, where Lyn Hiner continues to recover from the severe burns on her hands and leg.  "I've never seen anything like this," her doctor, Dr. Andrea Dunkelman, said today on "GMA." "She has third-degree burns, which means that it's been burned all the way through her skin to her underlying tissue, her fat. We treated her by placing skin grafts from her thigh to that area."  Lynn's husband, Rob, suffered burns on his hands in the incident while trying to come to his wife's aid.  "We're exhausted but we're overwhelmed with love and support," Rob Hiner said. "We're just grateful. We're grateful that things weren't worse and God just continues to provide for us in this situation."  Scientists investigating the mysterious explosion say there were seven rocks in total that the Hiner children took from the beach. Field tests found traces of phosphorus -- the flammable orange chemical used in matches -- on the rocks.  "It'll burn right through flesh, bone and skin. I've never heard of anything like this before," Dr. Michio Kaku, author of "Physics of the Future," an examination of science in the coming century, said.  The beach where the rocks were collected is near Camp Pendleton Marine base. But Marine officials say there's no evidence any military materials were involved.  San Diego State University geologist Pat Abbott says this was not Mother Nature's fault.  "I know the orange is not part of the rock," Abbott said. "It's not natural. It's human made." - ABC News.
WATCH: Hot rocks mystery in California.


PLANETARY TREMORS: The Mount Enterprise Fault - Geologist Says Fault Line, Not Fracking, to Blame for East Texas Earthquakes!

"You'll notice the area here. Here's Rusk, Panola, and Shelby Counties. These are the locations of the two most recent earthquakes.The one to the west was the first earthquake and you see it occurs right on this fault line, and then the most recent earthquake is a little further east."  John Carr is a geologist with Carr Enterprises, and he's been following the last two earthquakes that occurred here in East Texas

"This is a natural event, it's on a very large existing fault system that's called the Mount Enterprise System.  The last quake we're told had it's epicenter, right along the fault line, and the one that occurred Thursday morning just a few miles east, also on the fault line. Also, we're told last week's shake up, was called a foreshock.  "A foreshock means the stress was relieved and then there was a larger release after that. So, you might think of it as the beginning, and there might yet be another one." 

Carr says the chances are decent of East Texas seeing at least one more, but that most likely it would be minor, follow the fault line further east and possibly not even be felt.  But, what about fraking? Could it just be coincidence the earthquakes fell on the fault lines, and fraking was really to blame?  Carr says, if fracking was to blame, there's one problem, depth.  "These are horizontally bedded sediments, at that depth, the rocks are so compressed the only way to get gas and oil out of them is to fracture them. Where those earthquakes are happening is not up here but all the way down in here to an area that's the upper, very upper most part of the crust where you have crystal and rocks that's where the earthquakes originate, not up in here."
- KETK.
WATCH: Carr explains Texas earthquakes as a natural event.


EARTH CHANGES: Tropical Storm Alberto Forms Near South Carolina - First Tropical Storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season!

The first tropical storm of the 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season has taken shape off the South Carolina coastline. An area of low pressure centered about 140 miles east-southeast of Charleston, S.C., has developed into Tropical Storm Alberto, according to the AccuWeather.com Hurricane Center.

Alberto is a low-end tropical storm with maximum sustained winds of 45 mph. Alberto started today as a non-tropical area of low pressure, but quickly acquired tropical characteristics as it churned over the warm waters of the southwestern Atlantic. AccuWeather.com warned that such "home-grown" storms, tropical systems that develop near the coast of the United States, were a possibility when the official 2012 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast was released earlier this year. Alberto is expected to meander off the South Carolina coast the rest of this weekend before turning northeastward into the open waters of the Atlantic early next week, grazing the Outer Banks of North Carolina in the process. Alberto could strengthen slightly during this time, but will never approach or achieve hurricane status.
The track of Alberto puts coastal North Carolina at risk for flooding downpours, gusty winds and rough surf. Alberto should bypass the Northeast. However, a turn to more unsettled weather after a fantastic weekend is still in the forecast. The development of Alberto is proof that tropical storms and hurricanes are not confined to the dates of the Atlantic hurricane season, which officially runs from June 1 to November 30. Tropical Depression One from late May 2009 was the last organized tropical feature to form prior to hurricane season. Alberto is the earliest tropical storm to form in the Atlantic since Ana became a tropical storm during the evening hours of April 20, 2003. Subtropical Storm Andrea took shape during the second week of May in 2007, but never became fully tropical. - Accu Weather.
WATCH: Tracking Tropical Storm Alberto.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Mysterious Sinkhole Appears in Newcastle Street, England - Huge 10 Feet Deep Crater Took Out 8 Feet of Wall?!

A huge hole in the road has appeared just yards from people’s homes in Newburn, near Newcastle.  The 10ft deep crater appeared suddenly on the afternoon of Thursday, May 17, taking an 8ft section of brick wall with it. 

Police closed off the road for a while as experts from Newcastle City Council and Northumbria Water were called in to find the cause. Workmen were later called in to fill in the hole.  A police spokesman said: "There are a lot of mine workings around here. Possibly it is a coal working. We are still trying to work out what's happened. "  Lynsey McMeekin, 28, of Spencer Court, whose flat looks onto the hole, said: "It is just crazy.  "When I saw all the police cordons I thought there must have been an accident. "  

The crater expanded from Millfield Lane into land belonging to Just Brickwork Ltd after a dividing wall dramatically collapsed into the hole. Newburn Dene and a water culvert run underneath Millfield Lane and the Spencer Court flats, which were built in 2006.  The lane is one of the main access routes to the nearby Newburn Manor Primary School and is regularly used by parents dropping off their children at school.  Robert Lowes, 41, who lives on the nearby Manor Grove estate said the area had been blighted by sink holes for years. Just a few months ago a post box collapsed into a hole that appeared overnight.  He said: "There is subsidence all around here. "We have had other big dips in the tarmac all over the place.  "I know someone who has had a huge crack in their house."  Newcastle City Council engineers are investigating but do not currently know what caused the hole. - Sky Tyne and Wear.
WATCH: Mysterious sinkhole in Newcastle.

WORLD WAR III: Armageddon Begins - Republican-Led House Votes to Allow United States Military Action Against Iran!

The Republican-led House of Representatives approved Friday the use of US force against Iran if the Tehran regime threatens the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons. 

According to a section of the National Defense Authorization Act, “it shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon.”  Lawmakers by a vote of 299-120 passed the sweeping legislation, which sets out a total of $642.5 billion in military expenditures for the coming fiscal year. The bill including the tough Iran language came just a day after a non-binding but sharply worded House resolution put pressure on President Barack Obama to prevent Tehran from pursuing its nuclear program and reject policy merely aimed at containing a nuclear weapons-capable Iran.  Friday’s measure would make the possible use of force a key plank in US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring an atomic bomb.

The bill would still need to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate, where Obama’s allies are highly unlikely to pass the House version without substantial changes.  Obama has already threatened to veto the measure if it prevents his administration from carrying out its defense strategy.  The House legislation would require the US military to prepare a plan to boost the presence of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Middle East, and conduct military exercises “or other visible, concrete military readiness activities.”  Iran and the P5+1 powers — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States, plus Germany — are preparing to meet next week in Baghdad for crunch talks on Tehran’s contested nuclear program. Western powers and Israel say Iran is masking an ambition to obtain nuclear weapons under cover of a civilian energy program, a charge Tehran vehemently denies. - Rawstory.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Deep Impact of the "Planet Killer" Asteroids - NASA's Most Daring Space Mission Yet; Astronauts to Land on Asteroid Three Million Miles From Earth and Stay For a Month?!

The space agency NASA is training a team of astronauts to land on asteroids after a three million mile journey - dwarfing the mere 239,000 miles travelled to the moon. 

Landing on a 50,000mph asteroid: The astronauts will drive vehicles on the surface - and pick up skills
necessary to destroy 'planet killer' asteroids that may approach our planet in future
The mission, planned for the next decade, would land on an asteroid travelling at more than 50,000 miles an hour.  The astronauts will drive vehicles on the surface - and pick up skills necessary to destroy 'planet killer' asteroids that may approach our planet in future.  Details of the mission were revealed by Major Tim Peake, a former British Army helicopter pilot, and the first official British astronaut with the European Space Agency.  The journey to the asteroid and back could take up to a YEAR.  Peake and five other astronauts will prepare for the low-gravity environment of the asteroid by spending 12 days in an underwater base off the coast of Florida, 65 feet beneath the Atlantic.  They will live in a capsule 43 feet long by 20 feet wide to simulate the cramped conditions on an asteroid. 

In an interview in the Telegraph, Major Peake said: 'With the technology we have available and are developing today, an asteroid mission of up to a year is definitely achievable.  'These objects are also coming extremely close to Earth all the time, but we rarely hear about it. In the last year we had an asteroid come within Earth's geostationary orbit, which is closer than some satellites.'   'With enough warning we would probably send a robotic mission to deflect an asteroid, but if something is spotted late and is big enough we might come into Armageddon type scenarios where we may have to look at manned missions to deflect it.'   Peak said, 'Iwould love to go on an asteroid mission. There is a possibility that if things continue at a good pace an asteroid mission could happen within the 2020s and that is within the operational time frame of myself and the other ESA astronauts.' - Daily Mail.
WATCH: "Deep Impact" trailer.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Effusive Eruption Phase - Guatemala on "Orange Alert" For Eruption of the Fuego Volcano!

The Government of Guatemala, said today on "orange alert" (monitoring) by the eruption of Fuego volcano, located 60 kilometers south of the capital, which increased its activity this morning throwing lava and ash columns reaching 300 meters height.

The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (Conrad), said in a statement that the giant entered "a phase of effusive eruption" to the 2:45 a.m., raising an incandescent source in the crater of about 300 meters high.  According to the report, volcanic activity "is generating constant explosions of about 20 to 30 per minute up columns of ash 1,200 meters above the crater in the southeast, south and southwest of the volcanic complex that extends for 30 miles around" .  So far, relief agencies reported no casualties or damage resulting from volcanic activity but warned that the populations of the departments of Escuintla, Chimaltenango SacatepĂ©quez and must be alert. 

The "orange alert" enacted, requires all institutions of civil protection and relief agencies to remain in readiness for action when necessary.  The Conrad recommended that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation "take precautions with air traffic," and avoid flying in a radius of 40 kilometers of the perimeter of the volcano Fuego, and ordered to close the passage of vehicles on National Route 14, which leads from the capital to the south.  According to a report from the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology (Insivumeh), volcanic activity "can last several hours or even increase can generate pyroclastic flows - clouds burning ash at high temperatures, for other complex volcanic cliffs" .  With a height of 3.763 meters above sea level, the Volcano of Fire is one of the most impressive in Central America for their continued and violent activity. - La Prensa Grafica [Translated].

MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: Pres. Obama's Federal Government Spent Nearly $70 Billion Dollars on "Climate Change Activities" Since 2008?

The Congressional Research Service estimates that since 2008 the federal government has spent nearly $70 billion on “climate change activities.” 

President Obama tours the devastating tornado damage in Joplin, Missouri in May, 2011.
Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe presented the new CRS report on the Senate Floor Thursday to make the point that the Obama administration has been focused on “green” defense projects to the detriment of the military.  The report revealed that from fiscal years 2008 through 2012 the federal government spent $68.4 billion to combat climate change. The Department of Defense also spent $4 billion of its budget, the report adds, on climate change and energy efficiency activities in that same time period.  Inhofe, the Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued that the expenditures are foolish at a time when the military is facing “devastating cuts.” 

“[E]veryone agrees that energy efficiency in the military is a worthy goal,” he said. “In fact, I have been a strong supporter of some of DoD’s alternative energy solutions that are affordable and make sense, including their initiatives on non-algal bio-fuels and natural gas. But forcing our military to take money away from core programs in order to invest in unproven technologies as part of a failed cap-and-trade agenda is not only wrong, it’s reckless.”  Inhofe, who believes climate change is an unproven scientific theory at best and a hoax at worst, expressed concern about recent statements by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta expressing the department’s focus on making and keeping the military “green.” 

Panetta’s comments came just two weeks prior to the Senate Armed Services Committee’s markup of the current Defense Authorization bill. During that markup, Inhofe said he plans to “put the spotlight on President Obama forcing his costly green agenda on DoD while [Obama] is gutting the defense budget.” He added his intention to introduce amendments to stop the administration’s green military plans.  “As President Obama’s war on affordable energy wages on there are real threats out there, and, contrary to Secretary Panetta’s remarks, man-made catastrophic global warming isn’t one of them,” Inhofe said.  The Oklahoma senator added that Panetta’s green focus reveals the administration’s true feelings about energy development.  “Secretary Panetta’s commitment of a billion dollars for alternative fuels makes clear that, despite President Obama’s recent change in rhetoric for his re-election campaign, he remains fully determined to implement his all-out attack on traditional American energy development — and the military is one place where he can force it to happen,” he said. - Daily Caller.

SOLAR WATCH: The Activity Intensifies on the Sun - Massive Sunspot 1476 is Crackling With M-Class Flares, Beta-Gamma-Delta Magnetic Field Harbors Energy For X-Flares! UPDATE: Massive Sunspot 1476 Produces Strong M5.7 Solar Flare - Chance For a Major X-Class Event! UPDATE: Filament Eruption - CME to Hit Earth on May 14th! UPDATE: Monster Sunspot 1476 Produces Massive CME - Shock Wave Blow to Earth's Magnetic Field From May 18th to 20th!

According to Space Weather, Sunspot 1476 poses a threat for X-class solar flares. 

SOLAR ACTIVITY INTENSIFIES: Huge sunspot AR1476 is crackling with M-class solar flares and appears to be on the verge of producing something even stronger. The sunspot's 'beta-gamma-delta' magnetic field harbors energy for X-class flares, the most powerful kind. Earth is entering the line of fire as the sunspot rotates across the face of the sun.  Earlier today, amateur astronomer Thomas Ashcraft of New Mexico detected strong shortwave radio bursts coming from the sunspot. Click HERE to hear the "solar static" that roared out of his loudspeaker. "The strongest burst so far occured around 1631 UT on May 9th," reports Ashcraft. "I am observing at 28 MHz and 21.1 MHz. As I send this note I am hearing more bursting, indicating powerful magnetic dynamism within active region 1476." Solar radio bursts are caused by plasma instabilities that ripple through the sun's atmosphere in the aftermath of powerful flares. With AR1476 poised for more eruptions, this 'radio activity' is likely to continue for days. Solar flare alerts: text, phone. - Space Weather.
A new sunspot that recently emerged on the eastern limb of the sun is now coming into view of Earth. According to the NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center and the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory, sunspot AR1476 is over 60,000 miles wide, or a dozen times wider than our entire planet, and poses a serious threat for Earth-directed solar flares in the next several days. AR1476 will come into direct alignment with the Earth in a few days and any coronal mass ejection would be sure to produce geomagnetic activity.
This extremely active region on the sun has already produced several M-class solar flares, and the threat exists for X-class flares, the most powerful kind.

If this were to happen, it could cause serious problems on Earth with a direct impact of a coronal mass ejection (CME). So far, none of the M-class flares have been very powerful, nor have they been Earth-directed and have only produced glancing blows of coronal material so far. Spaceweather.com states that viewers have been able to see the sunspot on the surface of the sun without the aid of a solar telescope. Under the right conditions, the sun is occasionally dimmed to human visibility and AR1476 is visible. Potential impacts to Earth from a strong geomagnetic storm include radio blackouts, interruptions to satellite communications, and in the worst case scenario, damage to power grids. One potential benefit from strong solar flares is for skywatchers, as it often causes the aurora borealis to be visible in mid and southern latitudes, which is not typical.
- Examiner.
WATCH: Monster sunspot 1476 poses serious threat for X-Class solar flares.


UPDATE: Massive Sunspot 1476 Produces Strong M5.7 Solar Flare!
STRONG M5.7 SOLAR FLARE: A strong solar flare reaching M5.7 was detected around Sunspot 1476 and peaked at 04:18 UTC Thursday morning. This event also generated a 10cm Radio Burst (TenFlare). Most of the flare events thus far have not produced any large Coronal Mass Ejections. When watching the latest STEREO Ahead COR2 movie, it does not appear that a substantial CME was produced.  Now one of the largest Sunspots in years, Region 1476 is currently in a great position for Earth directed Coronal Mass Ejections. The only problem has been producing a solar flare that would also in turn, generate a large plasma cloud. This could change in the days ahead. There will continue to be a chance for a major X-Class event. - Solarham.
This morning, May 10th around 0418 UT, sunspot 1476 unleashed an impulsive M5-class solar flare. NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) recorded the extreme ultraviolet flash. Apparently, the almost-X class explosion did not hurl a significant CME toward Earth. NOAA forecasters estimate a 65% chance of more M-class flares and a 10% chance of X-flares during the next 24 hours.  - Space Weather.
WATCH: M5.7 Solar Flare - SDO/HMI Full Disk.


UPDATE: Filament Eruption - CME to Hit Earth on May 14th!
INCOMING CME: On May 11th at 23:54 UT, a coronal mass ejection raced away from the sun faster than 1000 km/s. The fast-moving cloud will deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on May 14th around 14:30 UT, according to a revised forecast track prepared by analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab. Mars is also in the line of fire. - Space Weather
WATCH: Filament Eruption and Earth Directed CME.


UPDATE: Geomagnetic Storm Continues as the Monster Departing Sunspot 1476 Produces Massive CME - Shock Wave Blow to Earth's Magnetic Field From May 18th to 20th!

INCOMING CME: A coronal mass ejection (CME) that flew off the sun's western limb on May 17th might hit Earth after all. NOAA forecasters say a shock wave from the blast could deliver a glancing blow to Earth's magnetic field on May 18th to 20th. The CME, was propelled by an M5-class solar flare from departing sunspot AR1476.  The speckles in the movie are caused by energetic protons hitting the observatory's detector. Those protons may have been accelerated in part by the shock wave en route to Earth.  According to NOAA, there is a 40% chance of minor geomagnetic storms and a 15% chance of strong storms when the shock arrives. High-latitude sky watchers should be alert for auroras. - Space Weather.
WATCH: Sunspot 1476 produces massive CME.

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Spectacular Spattering at the Kilauea Volcano Summit!

The impressive spattering at the summit of Kilauea volcano continues…

This video shows how the western margin of the lava lake at Halema`uma`u appeared on Wednesday. The continuous spattering is often punctuated by bursts which throw lava onto the ledge on the left, and this accumulating lava is building a spatter rampart. If you focus on the right portion of the image, you can see the slow migration of the lava lake surface crust towards the spatter source, where lava sinks back into the magmatic system.

Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists say a laser rangefinder measurement taken on Wednesday put the lava lake at 210 feet below the floor of Halema`uma`u Crater – among the highest levels measured for the lake. Scientists say the lava rose slightly above this level briefly around 9 pm Wednesday night, spilling over the deep inner ledge, during a rise/fall event. - Big Island News.
WATCH: Spectacular spattering at Kilauea summit.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Seismic Disturbance in Chile - 5.9 - 6.1 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Antofagasta, Third Strong Tremor This Week!

Another strong earthquake struck Chile again, today. Universidad de Chile is reporting that a magnitude 6.1 earthquake struck Antofagasta, on May 19, 2012 at 8:35 UTC.

The U.S. Geological Survey registers the tremor as a 5.9 magnitude.


The quake was located at 25.783°S, 70.793°W and constitutes the third strong seismic disturbance to hit the region this week. On Monday, a  magnitude-6.2 earthquake damaged walls, shattered windows and knocked out electricity in parts of northern Chile, as well as in the Peruvian city of Tacna. It was centered 66 miles (107 kilometers) northeast of the city of Arica 98 kilometers (61 miles) underground. Walls fell in some sectors and some roads were blocked by the quake, which also cut power to more than 3,000 homes in Arica. It was also felt in the Peruvian city of Arequipa and in the Bolivian capital of La Paz, 120 miles (200 kilometers) away.  Some neighborhoods in Tacna, a city of 200,000 66 kilometers (44 miles) from the epicenter, suffered brief power outages.

On Thursday, a strong 6.2 magnitude earthquake also struck off Chile's southern coast. the quake's epicentre was 336 miles (542 kilometers) west-southwest of Castro, Los Lagos, with a depth of 6.2 miles (10 kilometers). No damages to infrastructure were reported.

Today's quake had a depth of 25 km (15.5 miles) with an epicentre of 54 km (33 miles) southwest of Taltal, Antofagasta, Chile; 181 km (112 miles) northwest of Copiapo, Atacama, Chile; 240 km (149 miles) south of Antofagasta, Antofagasta, Chile; and 849 km (527 miles) north of Santiago, Region Metropolitana, Chile. Although earthquake data is preliminary, the parameters are not strong enough to generate a tsunami.

A magnitude-7.1 quake struck central Chile on March 25 and in 2010, a magnitude-8.8 quake caused a tsunami that obliterated much of the downtown area of the coastal city of Constitucion.

BIG BROTHER NOW: The Emerging Global Police State - Twitter Now Tracking You All Over The Internet!


In the interest of helping you figure out who to follow, Twitter is following you. Twitter announced Thursday that it will use information it collects about users' browsing habits across all sites with Twitter "share" buttons to recommend accounts to follow.

By tracking individuals during their visits to websites in what the social media site calls the "Twitter ecosystem" (which includes any page with an embedded Twitter widget), Twitter can monitor what stories or topics each user visits most, and use that data to suggest accounts that match their interests. For example, someone who frequently reads HuffPostParents would likely see a recommendation for HuffPostParents columnist Lisa Belkin on Twitter.com. "We receive visit information when sites have integrated Twitter buttons or widgets, similar to what many other web companies -- including LinkedIn, Facebook and YouTube -- do when they’re integrated into websites," Twitter wrote in a blog post. "By recognizing which accounts are frequently followed by people who visit popular sites, we can recommend those accounts to others who have visited those sites within the last 10 days."

Twitter deletes or aggregates the data it collects after 10 days, and users have the option to opt out of having the their browsing tracked (for more on how to do that, see here or here). In the same blog post announcing its "experiment" with tailored suggestions, Twitter also declared its support for a Do Not Track option and said it would not collect data on users who had enabled the setting on their browsers. Though other web giants, such as Facebook, also track individuals as they peruse the web, Twitter's disclosure was seen as a surprising -- and unwelcome -- admission by some. Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.
"Basically, every time you visit a site that has a follow button, a 'tweet this' button, or a hovercard, Twitter is recording your behavior. It is transparently watching your movements and storing them somewhere for later use," wrote blogger Dustin Curtis, who said he was "shocked" by Twitter's admission. Jules Polonetsky, co-chair of the Future of Privacy Forum, said Twitter's plan to collect browsing information "wasn't known" prior to Twitter's blog post. He noted that by using personal details to customize the Twitter experience, Twitter was actually using this data in more "robust" ways than Facebook. - Huffington Post.

MASS BIRD DIE-OFF: Thousands of Dead Pelicans Wash Up Along Peru's Shores - Locals Hand-Feeding the Birds in an Effort to Save Them!

A group of local chefs and restaurant owners gathered on the pier to feed pelicans in their efforts to save them from starvation. Scientists studying a mass die-off of thousands of pelicans on northern Peru's beaches say they think hotter than usual ocean temperatures have driven a type of anchovy deeper into the sea, beyond the reach of many young pelicans.

A Peruvian chef tosses a fish to a pelican at a pier in Chorrillos, Peru, on May 18.

A Peruvian chef hand-feeds a fish to a young pelican at a pier in Chorrillos, Peru, on May 18.
SOURCE: MSNBC's PhotoBlog.



GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Indonesia’s Mount Merapi Volcano Erupts For Nearly Ten Minutes!

A report, published in the Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, has unveiled recently that a volcano, namely Indonesia's Mount Merapi, erupted early Friday at 7:15 a. m. local time, lasting for nearly ten minutes.

It has been found that the volcano has had several such eruptions since when its alert status was updated last August. Also, the same has erupted for a total of around 454 times since the late eighteenth century till 2008.  While a majority of these were minor eruptions, fifty of them were significant, last in the year 2005, found the team of researchers from Oregon State University. 

The erupted volcano is located in the province of West Sumatra, near the cities and town of Bukittinggi, Padang Panjang and Batusangkar in West Sumatra. As per the findings, the volcano is the most active one.  It is being said that its eruptions had killed 300 people between October and November and had caused around 300,000 people to relocate as well. "Our study found some of the first evidence that the region has a much more explosive history than perhaps has been appreciated", said Morgan Salisbury, lead author. - French Tribune.