Scientists say an extreme solar flare is blasting its way to Earth and could mess up some power grids, satellites and radio transmissions. Forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction Center don't yet know when Wednesday's solar storm will arrive here and which part of the planet will be facing the sun and bear the brunt of the effects. It could be as early as Thursday morning to a few days. Prediction Center director Tom Berger said scientists will have a better idea after they get more satellite data. The flare is considered extreme on forecasters' scale, but just barely. Flares like this cause geomagnetic storms which can knock some power grids offline temporarily. They also can damage satellites and disrupt radio transmissions. But they expand the colorful northern lights.
Posted: September 10, 2014, 3:21 pm
Health officials around the world are scrambling to contain the Ebola virus with many, including the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization, now preparing for its eventual escape out of West Africa. According to CDC director Tom Frieden, the ‘window of opportunity’ for stopping the spread of Ebola is closing rapidly. In July, as the virus surged across west African borders, Frieden downplayed (http://www.nbcnews.com/storyline/ebola-virus-outbreak/ebola-outbreak-not-cards-u-s-cdc-director-says-n169836) its potential to reach U.S. shores. “It is not a potential of Ebola spreading widely in the U.S.,” claimed Frieden in a preemptive effort to prevent panic. “That is not in the cards.” The cards, apparently, have been reshuffled, as Frieden now joins a growing chorus of concerned officials around the world. “This is not just a problem for West Africa, it’s not just a problem for Africa,” Frieden said last week (http://www.latimes.com/world/africa/la-fg-africa-ebola-cdc-frieden-20140902-story.html). “It’s a problem for the world, and the world needs to respond.” In the United States, hospitals are quietly preparing (http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/u-s-hospitals-prep-for-ebola-outbreak-cases-may-exceed-100000-by-december-the-numbers-are-really-scary_09012014) Ebola infection wards and procedures for what many believe is the inevitable arrival of the virus on U.S. shores. Mathematical models performed by numerous researchers suggest that anywhere from 20,000 to 100,000 people globally (http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/u-s-hospitals-prep-for-ebola-outbreak-cases-may-exceed-100000-by-december-the-numbers-are-really-scary_09012014) could contract the virus by December of this year.FULL ARTICLE
Posted: September 9, 2014, 2:54 pm
.Is Stephen Hawking offering only a theoretical doomsday scenario for the Higgs Boson?Stephen Hawking seems to have turned into the man with the sandwich board that says: The end is nigh. Not only has he warned us that aliens might destroy us, but he's also been worrying that artificial intelligence might do the same.Now he's perceiving a threat that might not merely put an end to Earth, but to the whole Universe.
Posted: September 7, 2014, 11:11 pm
You are going to die. All of us will, eventually. It's inevitable. With that in mind, have you thought about how you'd like to see it happen? If you're anything like me, you've spent the past couple of weeks thinking about that very thing. Maybe you're still thinking about it. Maybe you hope it happens right fucking now. Who knows? Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images Yes, please! Except not yes, please (start reading captions if you don't know what I'm referring to here), because what you see above is an image of a nuclear blast, and as I discussed in this column the last time I was hoping the world would open up and swallow me whole, a nuclear blast is absurdly survivable (http://www.cracked.com/blog/4-apocalyptic-scenarios-youd-probably-survive/). If I'm being completely honest, this strikes me as the most pronounced and recognizable failing of nuclear technology. Scary? Sure. Scary enough? Nope. At least, it's not scary enough if death is what you fear, because there's a good chance that, instead of killing you, it's just going to make everything terrible around you. You probably have enough nuclear weapons capable of doing that in your life right now. If shit is really going to go down, you want it to go down. We sort of talk about that on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast in that one of the guests once went through an exorcism ..... which is something you might want to look into if you expect to be dead soon. Get right with who you need to get right with, you know? Otherwise, it doesn't have much to do with what's happening here. Listen to it anyway. Now, here's how I hope I die someday.
Posted: September 7, 2014, 12:50 am
A senior UN official says battlefield robots that can kill without human control are a 'small step' away and should be banned Killer robots programmed to open fire without human control are just a “small step” from the battlefield and military powers should agree to outlaw them, a top United Nations official has said. Angela Kane, the UN’s high representative for disarmament, said governments should be more open about programmes to develop the technology and she favoured a pre-emptive ban before it was too late. She said: “Any weapon of war is terrible, and if you can launch this without human intervention, I think it’s even worse. It compounds the problem and dehumanises it in a way. “It becomes a faceless war and I think that’s really terrible and so to my mind I think it should be outlawed. The decision is really in the hands of the states who have the capability to develop them. Ms Kane said there was “a great deal of concern” about the prospect of killer robots being developed that would commit war crimes on the battlefield.
Posted: August 27, 2014, 3:20 pm