Monday, December 7, 2015

DAWN OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS: Paradigm Shift, Symbolism, And Precursors To The End Of Christian Dominionism And The Piscean Age Of Belief - Modern Britain Is NO LONGER A CHRISTIAN COUNTRY; Christianity Declining As Islam More Popular, Report Shows!


December 7, 2015 - BRITAIN - Modern Britain is no longer a Christian country, a report by the Commission on Religion and Belief in Public Life concludes.

It calls on institutions to adapt to the nation’s increasingly multi-faith and non-religious makeup.

The commission, set up by the Woolf Institute and chaired by former high court judge Elizabeth Butler-Sloss, is a leading think tank studying relations between Christian, Jewish and Muslim communities.

The massive decline in churchgoing and the rise of Islam means a “new settlement” is needed for religion in the UK, the independent study finds.




The House of Lords, which includes a number of Church of England (CoE) bishops, should also feature imams, rabbis and other non-Christian clerics to give more official influence to other faith groups, the report suggests.

It added that acts of worship in school assemblies should be abolished and replaced with “time for reflection.”

“Three striking trends in recent decades have revolutionized the landscape on which religion and belief in Britain meet and interact,” the report said.

“The first is the increase in the number of people with non-religious beliefs and identities. The second is the decline in Christian affiliation, belief and practice and within this decline a shift in Christian affiliation that has meant that Anglicans no longer comprise a majority of Christians.

“The third is the increase in the number of people who have a religious affiliation but who are not Christian.”

The report was strongly condemned by Cabinet ministers and the Church of England, who said it was a “sad waste.”

In a statement, a spokesman for CoE said: “The report is dominated by the old-fashioned view that traditional religion is declining in importance and that non-adherence to a religion is the same as humanism or secularism.”

A source close to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan described the report’s recommendations on faith schools as “ridiculous.”

“Nicky is one of the biggest champions of faith schools and anyone who thinks she is going to pay attention to these ridiculous recommendations is sorely misguided,” the source told the Telegraph.




In his Easter message earlier this year, Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that the UK is “still a Christian country.”

He praised Christians for living out their religious faith in schools, and took credit for investing “tens of millions to repair churches.”

However, shortly after his speech, YouGov released a poll which found 62 percent of Britons describe themselves as “not religious.”

Some 68 percent of those surveyed said religion is “not important” to their life.

According to the Pew Research Centre, the proportion of the British population identifying itself as Christian is expected to fall from 64 percent to 45 percent by 2050, while the proportion of Muslims is predicted to rise from 5 percent to 11 percent. - RT.




GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Continuous Activity Increasing At Mount Etna In Italy - Lava Flow From Southeast Crater Generating Pyroclastic Flows! [PHOTOS]

Small pyroclastic flow detaching from the lava flow (Photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)

December 7, 2015 - SICILY, ITALY
- The 4th lava fountaining episode in less than 3 days has began at Etna's Voragine.

Intermittent strombolian activity, elevated throughout the day since the end of last night's paroxysm, has now merged into sustained jets (fountains) of lava. An ash plume is again rising several kilometers.

On Sunday, activity at the volcano remained elevated, but a significant change is occurring.

While explosions continued from Voragine crater and tremor levels remain high, it seems that since a few hours ago, most magma has now been using another vent: the new pit crater on the upper flank of the new southeast crater.


Small pyroclastic flow detaching from the lava flow (Photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)

Lava fountaining and lava flow from NSEC (Photo: Emanuela / VolcanoDiscovery Italia)

Ash plume from Etna's New SE crater (r)

Activity from New SE crater

It already has had intermittent activity throughout the current eruption, producing intense strombolian activity and dense ash plumes.

The activity at the crater has been continuous all day Sunday and is still gradually increasing. A low lava fountain feeds a lava flow from the new pit crater. This flow occasionally generates small pyroclastic flows as parts of its front collapse on the steep slope.

The situation remains highly interesting. - Volcano Discovery.




FIRE IN THE SKY: Bright Meteor Over Spain - Meteorite Falls Into The Mediterranean Sea!

© SMART Project (screenshot)

December 7, 2015 - SPAIN
- Fireball recorded on 5 Dec. 2015 at 21:43 UT in the framework of the SMART Project (www.meteoroides.net).

The bolide penetrated the atmosphere till an ending height of about 18 km.


WATCH: Meteorite falls into the sea.




A small fraction of the meteoroid survived, and the resulting meteorite fell into the Mediterranean Sea. - YouTube.



DAWN OF THE AGE OF AQUARIUS: Obama, Paradigm Shift, Symbolism, And Precursors To The End Of Christian Dominionism And The Piscean Age Of Belief - United State Universities Avoiding Basically Anything Religious, Christmas Or Holiday-Related In-Order To Ensure Diversity And Inclusivity!

#CheckYourCheer 
December 7, 2015 - UNITED STATES - Universities across the country are telling students and staff that they should avoid basically anything holiday-related in their seasonal displays and parties — including even certain color combinations — in order to ensure “inclusivity.” It’s bad — and these three schools may be the worst:

1. Cornell University
Cornell University has some pretty infantilizing guidelines for a school supposedly attended by our brightest and most capable minds. They declared that no one should hang mistletoe, and it’s not even for the reason you might think, (which would be, of course, because mistletoe pressures people to kiss which perpetuates rape culture and sexual assault and no one would be safe.)

Nope, the reason is even more ridiculous than that: Mistletoe is associated with Christmas, and non-Christian students could obviously be traumatized by having to see Christmas-related things during Christmastime.

Other items in this category included trees decorated with any kind of religious anything (it did clarify that trees with bows, garlands, or lights were allowed “But Should be Basis of Dialogue Within Unit or Living Area,” whatever the hell that means), as well as angels, trees with stars on top, and menorahs.

“University members are reminded to be respectful of the religious diversity of our students and colleagues and are encouraged to use an inclusive approach . . . focusing on the winter season rather than a particular holiday,” it advised.

By the way, the “Guidelines for the Display of Religious Symbols” and “Guidelines for Inclusive Seasonal Displays” were included in a document titled “Fire Safety Guidelines for Holidays Decorations [sic],” which could technically suggest that they’re saying mistletoe would also be a fire hazard. Perhaps they don’t realize that you actually don’t need to douse mistletoe in gasoline over an open flame before hanging it.

To be fair, the university did say it was okay for students to “privately” place religious-related items in their own rooms. (Yes – “privately.” So, like where? Inside of their pillow cases and under their beds?)  

2. University of Tennessee–Knoxville
UT–Knoxville openly stated that its so-called “Best Practices for Inclusive Holiday Celebrations in the Workplace” was not an official policy, but a way to show that the school is “fully committed to a diverse, welcoming, and inclusive environment.” 

“Ensure your holiday party is not a Christmas party in disguise,” it advises. (After all, you know how sneaky and insidious people can be with their holiday spirit!)

The document recommended including “food and decor from multiple religions” — which was actually a bit confusing, considering that the guidelines later stated that “refreshment selection should be general, not specific to any religion or culture.”

It also advised that you not call Secret Santa “Secret Santa,” but instead something like “practical joke gift exchange” or “secret gift exchange,” neither of which really have the same ring to it. Games of Dreidel were deemed totally offensive no matter what you called them.

“Consider having a New Year’s party and include d├ęcor and food from multiple religions and cultures,” it suggested. “Use it as an opportunity to reinvigorate individuals for the new year’s goals and priorities.”

Yes… a snowflake-themed life-coaching session! How fun! 

3. Ohio State University
Ohio State described its guidelines as a “living document” of suggestions for how to avoid showing “disrespect or disregard for the religious beliefs or nonbeliefs of our students and colleagues. “Decorations and food should be general and not privilege any religion,” it stated.  

So, you know, keep your sugar cookies blank. Probably a good idea. After all, whenever I see one of those Pillsbury “Ready To Bake!” Christmas tree-printed sugar cookies, the first thing I do is get upset about how brutally disrespected I’ve been.

It did state that bows were kind of okay, but “preferably not red and green” ones — which seems to be taking it a bit far. Seeing red and green can be pretty traumatizing, but I feel like a simple sign outside of the party saying “Trigger Warning: You may encounter red and green at this party!” would probably be enough. The guidelines were previously covered in an article on Campus Reform. - National Review.



SMOGEDDON: Heavy Smog In Beijing Triggers "RED ALERT" - The HIGHEST DANGER LEVEL Ever Issued!


December 7, 2015 - BEIJING, CHINA
- Beijing has issued a red pollution alert, its most severe smog warning, for the very first time.

The government has warned that the Chinese capital could come under a heavy haze from Tuesday until Thursday.

The warning, which was upgraded from the previous orange alert on Monday, will be effective from 7am December 8 until noon on December 10, according to a statement on the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau’s official Weibo account.

The bureau said it issued the alert to “protect public health and reduce levels of heavy air pollution.” It ordered certain industrial companies to stop or limit production, and outdoor construction work to be banned. Primary schools and kindergartens have been urged to cancel classes.

People have been advised to avoid outdoor activity, and to use public transportation if they must travel. Traffic restrictions have been placed on certain types of vehicles, and cars have been limited to driving every other day, depending on the last number of their license plate.

The government does not expect clear skies to return until after the smog peaks on Wednesday, according to the China National Environment Monitoring Center, as cited by Bloomberg.
Monday's intense smog came after five days of hazardous pollution beginning November 27. The decision to elevate the alert level was unexpected, as last week's pollution was more intense but only resulted in an orange alert. The country's alert system is still new, having been implemented in March 2015.

Monday's concentration of the hazardous tiny airborne matters known as PM2.5 measured at 208 micrograms per cubic meter at 6pm on Monday, compared with 666 micrograms per cubic meter last week, according to the Beijing Municipal Environmental Monitoring Center. The World Health Organization considers 25 micrograms per cubic meter to be a safe level.

The country's poor air quality has raised concerns about the government's ability to tackle the issue, despite promises from leaders that cleaning up the environment is a top priority.

Polluted air in China has had severe health effects on the country's residents, according to a study published in Nature magazine this year. The research, conducted by chemist Jos Lelieveld of Germany's Max Planck Institute, estimated that 1.4 million people die prematurely each year due to the country's pollution.

China's pollution is largely blamed on coal-fired power plants, vehicle emissions, and construction and factory work. The country, which is the biggest carbon emitter in the world, says it plans to upgrade coal power plants over the next five years to help tackle the problem. China depends on coal for more than 60 percent of its power. - RT.




FIRE IN THE SKY: Comet Catalina - Watch Live Online AS C/2013 US10 Flies Past Earth Ahead Of Geminids!

@Slooh 12-6-15 Central VA USA pic.twitter.com/vkNqDLLEjc
Twitter: Greg Redfern

December 7, 2015 - SPACE - Comet Catalina is set to pass Earth after making its closest approach to the Sun in November.

Stargazers may be able to see the comet with the naked eye in the early hours of 7 December eastern time, although it has not lived up to the peak magnitude initially predicted.

A livestream will also be available. During the Slooh broadcast, astronomer Bob Berman will be discussing where the comet came from.

He will also offer tips on what direction to look out for and what equipment is best to use to get the best view of it. The programme will start at 10am EST (3pm GMT).

Catalina made its closest approach to the Sun – the perihelion – on 15 November and it is now on its way back past Earth on its return to the Oort Cloud.

It will remain in the sky until mid-January and will come within around 0.72 AU (67 million miles) from Earth – at this point it will be around magnitude 5.


A Geminid meteor streaks diagonally across the sky against a field of star trails in the Valley of Fire State Park in NevadaGetty

According to Earth Sky, recent observations show Catalina has developed a tail around 500,000 miles long. The comet was discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey in 2013.

It is thought it came from the Oort cloud after being disturbed by a passing star, with the Sun's gravity then drawing it into the centre of the Solar System.

Comet Catalina comes ahead of the Geminid meteor shower, which is expected to peak between 13 and 14 December. This is one of the brightest and most reliable meteor showers of the year.

NASA said at its peak it could produce up to 120 meteors per hour.

The best times to watch for this shower is between 12am and the early hours of the morning, just before dawn. - IBT.



PARADIGM SHIFT: The Holy See To Have FIRST-EVER International Audit - Vatican Appoints PricewaterhouseCoopers To Reform The Catholic Church's Murky And Corrupt Financial Dealings!


December 7, 2015 - VATICAN
- The Vatican has appointed PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to do its first audit to international accounting standards.

The audit is part of Pope Francis’ reforms of the Catholic Church's murky financial dealings and allegations of corruption.

PwC will work "in close cooperation" with the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy, headed by Australian Cardinal George Pell, said a statement.

Two recently published books allege financial fraud at the highest levels of the Holy See.

“This sad fact [the books] will certainly not divert me from the reform work that we are pursuing with my collaborators and with the support of all of you,” Pope Francis said last month.

The Vatican has been trying to regain the trust of investors since 2013, the moment when it was cut off from the international investment.

Pope Benedict XVI and continuing with Pope Francis have been hiring external specialists to help the Vatican's ailing finances.

"If we don't know how to look after money, which you can see, how can we look after the souls of the faithful, which you can't see?" Pope Francis allegedly told clerics in 2013.

Before hiring PwC, the Institute for Religious Works, also known as the Vatican Bank, called KPMG to audit its accounts.

Last year, Pope Francis replaced all the cardinals appointed by his predecessor Pope Benedict XVI. He practically cancelled the decree of Benedict to reform the bank.

His team shut down many of the suspicious accounts held in the bank and asked the Promontory Financial Group to audit the institution and bring it up to international standards.

In October 2013, the Vatican Bank for the first time in its 125-year history disclosed its annual financial report to the public.

It then showed a total of €4.98 billion in assets and €769 million in equity funds.

Earlier this year, the Vatican said it incurred a loss of €26m in 2014, and its goal was to return to profit. - RT.


INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: The Effects Of Magnetic Polar Migration - The Latest Incidents Of Plane Crashes Across The Globe!

Small plane crash at Apply Valley Airport.

December 7, 2015 - EARTH - Here are the latest incidents of plane crashes across the planet over the last few days.

Plane crash in San Bernardino County kills two people

Two people are dead after a small plane crashed in San Bernardino County, California, according to the Apple Valley Fire District.

The Apple Valley FPD tweeted that the plane was a L39 jet, and confirmed there were two fatalities.

Fire Marshal Jason Nailon said a witness reported seeing flames out of the engine as the jet was taxiing down the runway.

CBS Los Angeles reports that fire crews were working at 2:30 p.m. to extinguish the flames.


Airport is confirming 2 fatalities.
Twitter: Apple Valley FPD

Chief Hultquist is the Incident Commander working closely with airports and awaiting arrival of the FAA
Twitter: Apple Valley FPD

An FAA spokesman told CBS News the plane went down "in a fireball."

According to an FPD tweet, the FAA is on its way.

Nobody on the ground was hurt, but the airport was shut for 24 hours as the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board investigate

The victims have not yet been identified. - CBS NewsS.



Actor Morgan Freeman uninjured after private plane crash in Mississippi

Actor Morgan Freeman was uninjured Saturday after the private plane he was flying in blew a tire after takeoff from a Mississippi airport and had to make an emergency landing, authorities said. No one else on the plane was injured.

Clarksdale Mayor Bill Luckett, a longtime friend of Freeman, told the Associated Press the aircraft made what he described as a controlled forced landing just before dark Saturday at an airport in Tunica after it had taken off from Clarksdale.

Both cities are near each other in northwestern Mississippi, with Tunica about 40 miles southwest of Memphis, Tennessee, and one sheriff's official said the plane went off the runway after landing.

Freeman issued a statement saying he was heading to Texas from Mississippi aboard his plane Saturday to shoot a segment for the series, "The Story of God."


File Photo: Actor Morgan Freeman. (AP)

"Sometimes things don't go as planned and a tire blew on takeoff, which caused other problems," Freeman said in the statement sent by his publicist. "But thanks to my excellent pilot Jimmy Hobson we landed safely without a scratch."

"I cannot say the same about my plane," Freeman added in the statement, which didn't elaborate on the condition of the aircraft after the unexpected landing. "I appreciate the concern and prayers for our safety."

The plane Freeman was carrying in was an SJ30, which the SyberJet Aircraft company describes on its website as a light business jet, according to Luckett. The Clarksdale mayor told AP another plane went to Tunica to pick up the Oscar-winning actor.

Freeman was the only person on board the plane, according to LocalMemphis.com.

Tunica County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Randy Stewart told AP that the plane made an emergency landing and went off the runway. Stewart confirmed there were no injuries, that Freeman was not piloting the aircraft and tat an inspector will check on the plane Sunday.

Freeman was involved in a 2008 car accident that seriously injured the actor and a passenger in Mississippi on a rural highway near his home. No charges were filed and Freeman settled a lawsuit in 2009 that was filed by the passenger.

Freeman is known for his roles in "The Shawshank Redemption," ''Driving Miss Daisy," ''Seven," and "Invictus." He has been nominated for five Academy Awards and won a best supporting actor Oscar for his role in Clint Eastwood's 2004 film "Million Dollar Baby." - FOX News.



Two people hurt in plane crash at Oakland Airport



Two people are recovering after the plane they were in crashed near the Oakland County International Airport on Saturday night.

Right now, it's not clear how the plane crashed but we do know it took a hard landing.

Both people on board suffered from a few broken bones and other injuries. They were taken to the hospital to get checked out.

The cause of the crash is not known and remains under investigation. We do know there was some dense fog in that area around the time of the crash. - WXYZ.



Plane crash kills 3 in central Brazil


At least three people were killed on Sunday when their small plane crashed in central Brazil, authorities said.

The Brazilian Air Force (FAB) said in a press release that the plane took off from the city of Palmeiras de Goias, in Goias state, and was headed towards the state capital of Goiania, 100 km away, Xinhua reported.

The single-engine aircraft crashed into a wooded area near the air terminal of the town of Trinidade, killing all three male passengers on board, the FAB said. - Business Standard.




A small plane crash in Vine Grove, Kentucky



A plane crash-landed behind a bank in Vine Grove Friday evening.

According to Ken Mattingly, chief of Vine Grove Police, a small single-engine plane was attempting to take off from Vine Grove Airport, but lost power. As a result, it made a crash landing, striking some power lines, flying across a creek and coming to rest near Valley View Drive and Highland Avenue.

There were no injuries as a result of the crash. There was also no fire.

Authorities are on scene and are waiting to hear from the FAA on what to do next.

According to a spokeswoman for the FAA, the aircraft was a Beech 35, with only one person on board.

The FAA's Web site indicates that the identification number on the tail of the aircraft is registered to an owner in Centralia, Illinois. - WDRB.



WEATHER PHENOMENON: Signs In The Heavens - RARE "Light Pillars" Photographed Over North Vernon, Indiana!

© Travis Branum

December 7, 2015 - INDIANA, UNITED STATES - Travis Branum from North Vernon shared these beautiful, but eerie photos of giant vertical beams of colored light that appeared over North Vernon Indiana early this morning.

So what is it?

These are called "light pillars" and are pretty rare around these parts.

What caused it?


Light pillars are created through the reflection of light off of numerous tiny ice crystals .

According to Wikipedia:
"The crystals responsible for light pillars usually consist of flat, hexagonal plates, which tend to orient themselves more or less horizontally as they fall through the air.

Their collective surfaces act as a giant mirror, which reflects the light source upwards and/or downwards into a virtual image.

As the crystals are disturbed by turbulence the angle of their surfaces deviates some degrees from the horizontal orientation, causing the reflection (i.e. the light pillar) to become elongated into a column.

The larger the crystals, the more pronounced this effect becomes. More rarely, column-shaped crystals can cause light pillars as well"
The combination of a dense fog and air temperatures in the 20's allowed the water droplets in the fog to freeze into ice crystals allowing the phenomenon to occur.


© Travis Branum

© Travis Branum

This same combo of dense fog and subfreezing temps also contributed to the formation of widespread hoar frost and rime ice.

It made for a neat scene this morning in many locations. - WDRB.




MONUMENTAL ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Migratory Patterns And Disaster Precursors - RARE DEEP-SEA Squid Caught On Camera In The Pacific Ocean; Experts Says The Sighting Was A "ONE IN A MILLION EVENT"?!

The majestic creature, which is around one to two meters long, is called Taningia Danae or whiplash squid. Experts said the sighting in September
was a one in a million event as the whiplash squid is rarely seen alive.   © NOAA

December 7, 2015 - PACIFIC OCEAN
- This is the magical moment that National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists captured footage of a rare deep sea squid.

The majestic sea creature, which is around one to two meters long, is called 'Taningia Danae' or 'whiplash squid.'

As it descended to the sea floor of the Pacific Ocean in Hawaii on September 19, 2015 a remotely operated underwater vehicle caught it on camera.

Showing off a bright hue of pink as it swam through the deep blue ocean, scientists said it can emit a bright light.

This, they believe, is used to blind prey, measure distance or signal courtship.

Experts said that the sighting in September was a one in a million event as the whiplash squid is rarely seen alive.

Scott France, Co-Science lead points out that the 'funnel on the lower side of the squid which looks like red lips is actually where water is taken in.'


WATCH: Rarely seen deep-sea "whiplash squid".




'It is ejected from the mantle cavity and it's used for propulsion, to propel it backwards,' he adds.

France, an associate professor of Biology at University of Louisiana at Lafayette studies the evolution of deep-sea invertebrates.

He said that the squid can travel between two to two-and-a-half miles per hour.

During this expedition the deep sea creature attached itself to the back of Deep Discovery - the remotely operated underwater vehicle- and then swam around to the front.

According to IQ Science, this mission was the first time scientists had examined this part of the deep ocean before, and managed to see two whiplash squid on the same mission.

The researchers noted that the squid seemed attracted to the lights on their vehicle, and exhibited typically aggressive behavior, though they are unsure of exactly why that would be.

Scientists are using the close-up footage to learn more about the sea creature as it it rarely seen alive. - Daily Mail.





GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: "It Felt Like I Was Drowning" - Huge Sinkhole Swallows Up Motorcyclist In Kempton Park, South Africa!

Bystanders help Eugene van der Walt to get his bike out of the hole.

December 7, 2015 - SOUTH AFRICA
- A 46-year-old motorcyclist had a lucky escape on Thursday morning when he drove into a deep hole at the intersection of Monument Road and Commissioner Street.

But as big as his surprise was when he suddenly disappeared underneath the water, so much bigger was a motorist's surprise when a man suddenly appeared from what he believed to be a big pool of water on the road.

Eugene van der Walt (46) spoke to Express on the scene. He said he was on his way to Gavendish Glen on his Scrambler when he drove into the hole.

"I was on my way to draw money and had just polished my bike, as I was going for my driver's licence. When I got to the intersection, the light was green for me.

"I saw a lot of mud and water and thought I would drive through it slowly, because I didn't want to get my bike dirty. Next thing I knew I was underwater, it felt like I was drowning," said Van der Walt.


WATCH: Bike disappears in sinkhole.




He managed to climb out of the hole with only a few scratches. "I walked home, which was just around the corner, took a shower and came back. I called my friends for help to get my bike out of the hole."

A motorist, waiting at the red light on Commissioner Street at the time, said he could not believe what he saw when Van der Walt suddenly appeared in front of him.

The metro police closed the road on both sides of Monument Road and Commissioner Street.

The hole was caused as a result of a water pipe burst underneath the road on Thursday morning around 6am.

Lufuno Netshiluvhi, Kempton park depot manager at the department of water and sanitation, said: "A fire hydrant burst on the corner of Pascoe and Commissioner streets last night. The hydrant was closed, which resulted in pressure building up in the pipes. This pressure caused the pipe to burst on Monument Road, causing an overflow of water, which affected the road surface. We have turned off the water to repair the pipe."

"Surrounding areas such as Nimrod Park, Aston Manor and Kempton Park ext 2, 3, 4 and 5 have been affected. The water is expected to be off until 2pm this afternoon. Water tankers will be supplied at Allen park and Gavendish Glen Checkers," said DA ward councillor, Jaco Terblanche.

"After we have fixed the water pipe, the roads department will close the hole," said Netshiluvhi.

He could not say when the road would be repaired. - Kempton Express.





FIRE IN THE SKY: "It Was Big,... Moving Like Hell,..." - Meteor Lights Up Southwest British Columbia's Night Sky!

A bolide, or exploding meteor, similar to this one was spotted Friday night over southwestern British Columbia and western Washington. © NASA/The Province

December 7, 2015 - CANADA
- Tina Robertson was just trying to catch a stray cat out in front of her property when she heard it.

"It freaked me right out," she said.

Then she looked up to see a "big ball of fire."

"It was moving like hell," she said. "It was big, but not as big as that one in Russia."

What she and other witnesses as far afield as Seattle and Nanaimo seem to have seen around 6:50 p.m. Friday was a type of meteor known as a bolide. Bolides are as bright as a full moon; they're a meteor that doesn't just burn up as it travels through the atmosphere, it explodes.

(Hat tip to Seattle Twitter user Reb Roush for pointing us all to the term.)

Robertson's partner Wilf Krickhan was loading up firewood in a bobcat behind the house when he saw the blue-green bolide flash across the sky.

"It had an orange streak behind it," he said.

The couple live on a farm about 25 kilometres up Chilliwack Lake Road. From their vantage point, it looked like the meteor flashed out up the slopes of Mount McGuire, in the direction of Vedder Road and the site of the former CFB Chilliwack.

Friday was the start of the Geminid meteor shower, so keep your eyes peeled at the sky for the next two weeks. The peak period will be on Dec. 13 and 14.

People in Seattle saw a bright streak in the sky around the same time, and so did Andrew Arthur, who was driving south through Ladner on Highway 17A.

"It was close: cloud level almost. Very bright," he told The Province via Twitter. "Burned up as it travelled southwest."

Across the Georgia Strait, Marc Kurtagic was out for an evening stroll when he spotted the bright light off in the eastern sky.

"It looked like a distant star at first, then became brighter, then produced a green glow with a bright tail," he said over Twitter. Like Robertson, he was reminded of the famous 2013 bolide, captured by video in Chelyabinsk, Russia, but agreed it was much smaller.

"What caught me with surprise was the speed of it. It looked like a plane approaching at night at first," he said.

As for Robertson's stray cat, she still hasn't caught it. She and Krickhan said people keep dropping off unwanted pets up their way and they wish the practice would stop. "It's heartbreaking," she said. - Times Colonist.




PLANETARY TREMORS: Major Global Seismic Uptick - Powerful 7.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes Tajikistan, Shakes Pakistan, India, Afghanistan! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

December 7, 2015 - TAJIKISTAN
- A 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan on Monday, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The temblor, which hit some 130 miles east of the Tajik capital of Dushanbe at 12:50 p.m. (2:50 a.m. ET), shook buildings in cities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India, witnesses said.


Earthquake location.

A spokesman for Tajikistan's Emergencies Committee told Reuters that authorities had no information so far on any casualties or damage from the quake.

One Instragram user in Pakistan's capital of Islamabad posted a picture of a crowd who had evacuated the building after the quake.




The quake did not affect Russian military bases in Tajikistan, RIA news agency reported, citing Russia's defence ministry.

Mild tremors were felt in Kashmir but there were no reports of any damage from anywhere in the Valley so far, police said.


USGS shakemap intensity.

The tremors passed by and large unnoticed, as people went on with their normal business, he added.

An official of the MeT Department said further details on the earthquake are being ascertained.

The US Geological Survey describes the area as one of the "most seismically hazardous regions on Earth" because of tectonic activity along shifting fault lines.

The Main Pamir Thrust, beneath mountains in Tajikistan, produces numerous earthquakes as the Indian and Eurasian plates collide.

A 7.4 magnitude earthquake in the Central Pamir Mountains killed almost 100 people in 1911 and triggered a massive landslide that blocked the Murghab River. - NBC [Edited].



Tectonic Summary

The December 7, 2015 M7.2 earthquake in Tajikistan occurred as the result of strike-slip faulting within the crust of the Eurasia plate. Focal mechanisms indicate rupture occurred on either a northwest-southeast striking right-lateral fault, or on a southwest-northeast striking left-lateral fault. At the latitude of this earthquake, the India plate is moving northwards with respect to Eurasia at a rate of approximately 38 mm/yr.

The earthquake is located several hundred kilometers north of the India:Eurasia plate boundary, in the Pamir Mountains. The collision of these two plates drives the tectonics of the broad region surrounding the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, and causes uplift that produces the highest mountain peaks in the world including the Himalayan, the Karakoram, the Pamir and the Hindu Kush ranges.

The location of the December 7, 2015 earthquake is close to Saraz Lake, which was formed in February 1911 when a nearby M 7.3 earthquake dammed the Murghab River. Over the past century, 18 other earthquakes of M 6.5 or larger have occurred within 250 km of the December 7, 2015 earthquake. Given the remoteness of the region, earthquakes here rarely cause shaking-related fatalities (though secondary hazards such as landsliding have caused both damage and fatalities in the past).

Seismotectonics of the Himalaya and Vicinity

Seismicity in the Himalaya dominantly results from the continental collision of the India and Eurasia plates, which are converging at a relative rate of 40-50 mm/yr. Northward underthrusting of India beneath Eurasia generates numerous earthquakes and consequently makes this area one of the most seismically hazardous regions on Earth. The surface expression of the plate boundary is marked by the foothills of the north-south trending Sulaiman Range in the west, the Indo-Burmese Arc in the east and the east-west trending Himalaya Front in the north of India.


USGS plate tectonics for the region.

The India-Eurasia plate boundary is a diffuse boundary, which in the region near the north of India, lies within the limits of the Indus-Tsangpo (also called the Yarlung-Zangbo) Suture to the north and the Main Frontal Thrust to the south. The Indus-Tsangpo Suture Zone is located roughly 200 km north of the Himalaya Front and is defined by an exposed ophiolite chain along its southern margin. The narrow (less than 200km) Himalaya Front includes numerous east-west trending, parallel structures. This region has the highest rates of seismicity and largest earthquakes in the Himalaya region, caused mainly by movement on thrust faults. Examples of significant earthquakes, in this densely populated region, caused by reverse slip movement include the 1934 M8.1 Bihar, the 1905 M7.5 Kangra and the 2005 M7.6 Kashmir earthquakes. The latter two resulted in the highest death tolls for Himalaya earthquakes seen to date, together killing over 100,000 people and leaving millions homeless. The largest instrumentally recorded Himalaya earthquake occurred on 15th August 1950 in Assam, eastern India. This M8.6 right-lateral, strike-slip, earthquake was widely felt over a broad area of central Asia, causing extensive damage to villages in the epicentral region.

The Tibetan Plateau is situated north of the Himalaya, stretching approximately 1000km north-south and 2500km east-west, and is geologically and tectonically complex with several sutures which are hundreds of kilometer-long and generally trend east-west. The Tibetan Plateau is cut by a number of large (greater than 1000km) east-west trending, left-lateral, strike-slip faults, including the long Kunlun, Haiyuan, and the Altyn Tagh. Right-lateral, strike-slip faults (comparable in size to the left-lateral faults), in this region include the Karakorum, Red River, and Sagaing. Secondary north-south trending normal faults also cut the Tibetan Plateau. Thrust faults are found towards the north and south of the Tibetan Plateau. Collectively, these faults accommodate crustal shortening associated with the ongoing collision of the India and Eurasia plates, with thrust faults accommodating north south compression, and normal and strike-slip accommodating east-west extension.

Along the western margin of the Tibetan Plateau, in the vicinity of south-eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan, the India plate translates obliquely relative to the Eurasia plate, resulting in a complex fold-and-thrust belt known as the Sulaiman Range. Faulting in this region includes strike-slip, reverse-slip and oblique-slip motion and often results in shallow, destructive earthquakes. The active, left-lateral, strike-slip Chaman fault is the fastest moving fault in the region. In 1505, a segment of the Chaman fault near Kabul, Afghanistan, ruptured causing widespread destruction. In the same region the more recent 30 May 1935, M7.6 Quetta earthquake, which occurred in the Sulaiman Range in Pakistan, killed between 30,000 and 60,000 people.

On the north-western side of the Tibetan Plateau, beneath the Pamir-Hindu Kush Mountains of northern Afghanistan, earthquakes occur at depths as great as 200 km as a result of remnant lithospheric subduction. The curved arc of deep earthquakes found in the Hindu Kush Pamir region indicates the presence of a lithospheric body at depth, thought to be remnants of a subducting slab. Cross-sections through the Hindu Kush region suggest a near vertical northerly-dipping subducting slab, whereas cross-sections through the nearby Pamir region to the east indicate a much shallower dipping, southerly subducting slab. Some models suggest the presence of two subduction zones; with the Indian plate being subducted beneath the Hindu Kush region and the Eurasian plate being subducted beneath the Pamir region. However, other models suggest that just one of the two plates is being subducted and that the slab has become contorted and overturned in places.

Shallow crustal earthquakes also occur in this region near the Main Pamir Thrust and other active Quaternary faults. The Main Pamir Thrust, north of the Pamir Mountains, is an active shortening structure. The northern portion of the Main Pamir Thrust produces many shallow earthquakes, whereas its western and eastern borders display a combination of thrust and strike-slip mechanisms. On the 18 February 1911, the M7.4 Sarez earthquake ruptured in the Central Pamir Mountains, killing numerous people and triggering a landside, which blocked the Murghab River.

Further north, the Tian Shan is a seismically active intra-continental mountain belt, which extends 2500 km in an ENE-WNW orientation north of the Tarim Basin. This belt is defined by numerous east-west trending thrust faults, creating a compressional basin and range landscape. It is generally thought that regional stresses associated with the collision of the India and Eurasia plates are responsible for faulting in the region. The region has had three major earthquakes (greater than M7.6) at the start of the 20th Century, including the 1902 Atushi earthquake, which killed an estimated 5,000 people. The range is cut through in the west by the 700-km-long, northwest-southeast striking, Talas-Ferghana active right-lateral, strike-slip fault system. Though the system has produced no major earthquakes in the last 250 years, paleo-seismic studies indicate that it has the potential to produce M7.0+ earthquakes and it is thought to represent a significant hazard.

The northern portion of the Tibetan Plateau itself is largely dominated by the motion on three large left-lateral, strike-slip fault systems; the Altyn Tagh, Kunlun and Haiyuan. The Altyn Tagh fault is the longest of these strike slip faults and it is thought to accommodate a significant portion of plate convergence. However, this system has not experienced significant historical earthquakes, though paleoseismic studies show evidence of prehistoric M7.0-8.0 events. Thrust faults link with the Altyn Tagh at its eastern and western termini. The Kunlun Fault, south of the Altyn Tagh, is seismically active, producing large earthquakes such as the 8th November 1997, M7.6 Manyi earthquake and the 14th November 2001, M7.8 Kokoxili earthquake. The Haiyuan Fault, in the far north-east, generated the 16 December 1920, M7.8 earthquake that killed approximately 200,000 people and the 22 May 1927 M7.6 earthquake that killed 40,912.

The Longmen Shan thrust belt, along the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau, is an important structural feature and forms a transitional zone between the complexly deformed Songpan-Garze Fold Belt and the relatively undeformed Sichuan Basin. On 12 May 2008, the thrust belt produced the reverse slip, M7.9 Wenchuan earthquake, killing over 87,000 people and causing billions of US dollars in damages and landslides which dammed several rivers and lakes.

Southeast of the Tibetan Plateau are the right-lateral, strike-slip Red River and the left-lateral, strike-slip Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang fault systems. The Red River Fault experienced large scale, left-lateral ductile shear during the Tertiary period before changing to its present day right-lateral slip rate of approximately 5 mm/yr. This fault has produced several earthquakes greater than M6.0 including the 4 January 1970, M7.5 earthquake in Tonghai which killed over 10,000 people. Since the start of the 20th century, the Xiangshuihe-Xiaojiang Fault system has generated several M7.0+ earthquakes including the M7.5 Luhuo earthquake which ruptured on the 22 April 1973. Some studies suggest that due to the high slip rate on this fault, future large earthquakes are highly possible along the 65km stretch between Daofu and Qianning and the 135km stretch that runs through Kangding.

Shallow earthquakes within the Indo-Burmese Arc, predominantly occur on a combination of strike-slip and reverse faults, including the Sagaing, Kabaw and Dauki faults. Between 1930 and 1956, six M7.0+ earthquakes occurred near the right-lateral Sagaing Fault, resulting in severe damage in Myanmar including the generation of landslides, liquefaction and the loss of 610 lives. Deep earthquakes (200km) have also been known to occur in this region, these are thought to be due to the subduction of the eastwards dipping, India plate, though whether subduction is currently active is debated. Within the pre-instrumental period, the large Shillong earthquake occurred on the 12 June 1897, causing widespread destruction. - USGS.