Great Britain Facing Possible Tarantula Invasion
telegraph - The RSPCA has issued an alert urging people to be on their guard amid fears a large batch of the spider has escaped in the north of the country.
The alert came after two separate incidents involving 10cm-wide Chilean Rose tarantulas in Bolton, Greater Manchester.
The rare arachnids, capable of blinding people by spitting hairs in their eyes, were both found in back gardens within two miles of each other.
Both spiders are the same age, breed and gender.
Experts said it suggested they could be part of a larger batch. The slow-moving large spiders from South America are a popular breed among collectors.
Lisa Broad, 20, found the first spider in her garden on the Oldhams Estate in Sharples.
She called the RSPCA, who re-homed the creature, named Fang, at Smithills Open Farm.
Three-and-a-half weeks later another woman from Lostock discovered another tarantula, which was sitting on her garden wall.
The woman, who did not want to be named, eventually trapped it under a plant pot on her path and alerted the RSPCA.
Derek Hampson, an inspector for the animal welfare charity, said: "We advised her to keep it under the plant pot until we arrived. They can quite happily go a week without food, so it was quite content.
"It got a bit aggressive when I picked it up. I wore safety goggles as these creatures can spit hairs which can blind you.
"It is possible there could be more out there, but unfortunately we havent got the resources to search for them."
He added: "It is up to members of the public to call us if they spot any."
Mr Hampson took the female, which is known to kill the male after mating, to Bugworld in Liverpool.
Jenny Dobson, the Bugworld curator, said: "It is rare for one of these to come in and we saw... there had been another with the same characteristics found outdoors.
"It is likely they came from the same place.
"It would be too much of a coincidence otherwise for two breakouts and they cant survive in the wild for long with the UK climate.
Man Listed As Tokyo’s Oldest Had Been Dead For Three Decades
mdn.mainichi - The skeletal remains of a man who was thought to be alive at the age of 111 have been found in a residence in Tokyo's Adachi Ward - an estimated 30 years after his death. Found dead was Sogen Kato, who was born in 1899. Police said that following the death of Kato's wife six years ago, family members had received a total of about 9.45 million yen in payments for a survivor's mutual pension. Law enforcers are investigating the family's actions on suspicion of fraud and negligence as guardians resulting in death.
Kato's 53-year-old granddaughter, who had lived with him, reportedly told police that he shut himself in his room about 30 years ago, refusing to take food or water, in line with the doctrines of the Shingon sect of Buddhism. Kato had lived with his daughter, 81, son-in-law, 83, and two grandchildren, aged 49 and 53. In June this year, officials from the Adachi Ward Office approached police saying they wanted to see Kato, but family members wouldn't let them.
When a police officer visited the home on July 26 with ward officials, the 53-year-old granddaughter said, "My grandfather is well but he's refused to meet with anyone." However, two days later, one of the grandchildren visited Senju Police Station and told police, "He shut himself in a first-floor room about 30 years ago in line with his doctrines, refusing to take food or water. When we looked inside the room in March this year, we saw the skeletal remains of our grandfather."
Police later checked the room and found Kato's body. Investigators said that Kato's wife died in August 2004, and between October 2004 and July this year, about 9.45 million yen was paid out for a survivor's mutual pension. Family members are believed to have withdrawn a total of 2.7 million yen from Kato's bank account over six occasions in mid-July.
thunderbolts - Consensus astronomers look at individual points of light and discover the most massive stars. Electric Universe observers look at the entire complex of filaments and discover the characteristic features of a galactic thunderbolt.
“Mass” astronomy posits a relationship between mass and luminosity. By observing a double star system in the cluster shown at the top of the page, astronomers were able to calculate a baseline for the relationship and extrapolate the masses of brighter stars. They found some that were nearly twice as massive as they had thought possible. Although, since theories are often adjusted to explain any observation, failures of expectations cannot be equated with falsifications of theory.
Plasma astronomy posits a relationship between electrical stress and luminosity. Gravity, and consequently mass, is a weak manifestation of electrical stress. In regions that are relatively insulated from the primary effects of electricity (within stellar sheaths, such as the Sun’s heliosphere), gravity will largely determine orbital motions.
However, the mass that is calculated from analysis of the orbits is a result of the charge contained, not of the quantity of matter as is commonly assumed. In an Electric Universe, there are no maximum or minimum sizes for stars.
The objects of interest to plasma astronomers are the helical filaments that give the regions around the clusters their characteristic electrical structure. In the far view (left), arcs of parallel filaments appear to wind around kinked tubes that converge on the cluster, evidence for large plasma discharge channels.
Where channels intersect (center view), the stress increases. Bubbles form (exploding double layers, similar to coronal mass ejections), secondary discharges are induced, and instabilities pinch plasma into stars. The observed large outflow of material, mischaracterized as mass (and misnamed “wind”), is the electrical current flow coursing through the region like a galactic lightning bolt.
Instead of a random scattering of gravitationally collapsing clouds shaped by hot winds, these regions are unitary plasma discharge formations better called galactic thunderbolts.
Early Warning! Asteroid Heading Towards Earth... ETA: 2182
discovery - This isn't an urgent call to arms, but it's certainly a future date to consider. In the year 2182 -- 172 years time -- there's the possibility that we might be hit by an asteroid with potential to cause some significant global turmoil. This long-distance forecast could help mankind determine whether asteroid deflection techniques are warranted, especially when given nearly two centuries of lead time.
The not-so-romantically named (101955) 1999 RQ36 -- discovered in 1999 -- measures approximately 510 meters in diameter and is classified as an Apollo asteroid. Apollo asteroids pose a threat to our planet as they routinely cross Earth's orbit.
With a one-in-a-thousand chance of 1999 RQ36 hitting Earth -- with half of this probability indicating a 2182 impact -- the threat might not sound too acute.
But compare this with the panic that ensued with the discovery of 99942 Apophis in 2004. Initially, it was thought there was a 1-in-233 chance of Apophis hitting us in 2029. This estimate was alarming; it was the first time an asteroid had been promoted to "Level 4" on the Torino Scale -- a near-Earth object (NEO) impact hazard categorization method.
After further observations, the threat of an Apophis impact was lowered, and now the chance of the 270 meter space rock hitting us in 2029 is zero. The probability of impact during the next fly-by, in 2036, has recently been downgraded to a 1-in-250,000, and a third pass in 2068 has a tiny one-in-three million chance.
Despite these shrinking odds, Apophis remains "the" doomsday asteroid in the public mindset -- a situation that certainly wasn't helped by the initial 1-in-233 odds and subsequent media frenzy.
"The total impact probability of asteroid '(101955) 1999 RQ36' can be estimated in 0.00092 -- approximately one-in-a-thousand chance -- but what is most surprising is that over half of this chance (0.00054) corresponds to 2182," explains María Eugenia Sansaturio, of Spain's Universidad de Valladolid (UVA) and co-author of the international NEO study.
Recently published in the journal Icarus, this impact probability was calculated using two mathematical models to assess potential threats to Earth in the 22nd Century. 1999 RQ36 was singled out at the biggest threat.
ANALYSIS: Will An Asteroid Hit Earth?
Of course, a lot can happen to an errant space rock in 172 years, hence the odds of one-in-a-thousand. Although gravitational influences on the asteroid's trajectory can be fairly accurately calculated, other mechanisms acting on the rock are not so easily modeled.*
The message to come out of this study is that potentially hazardous asteroids are out there and we are getting better at identifying which known asteroids pose the greater risk. But at what point do we decide to take action? 172 years into the future is a long time, and humans aren't exactly well-known for preparing for future events over those kinds of time scales. But time is one thing we'll need if we are to protect future generations from a potentially catastrophic impact event.
"If this object had been discovered after 2080, the deflection would require a technology that is not currently available," said Sansaturio. "Therefore, this example suggests that impact monitoring, which up to date does not cover more than 80 or 100 years, may need to encompass more than one century."
"Thus, the efforts to deviate this type of objects could be conducted with moderate resources, from a technological and financial point of view."
Dead Sea Scrolls Mystery Solved?
The recent decoding of a cryptic cup, the excavation of ancient Jerusalem tunnels, and other archaeological detective work may help solve one of the great biblical mysteries: Who wrote the Dead Sea Scrolls?
The new clues hint that the scrolls, which include some of the oldest known biblical documents, may have been the textual treasures of several groups, hidden away during wartime—and may even be "the great treasure from the Jerusalem Temple," which held the Ark of the Covenant, according to the Bible. Continue at Dead Sea Scrolls Mystery Solved?
Fortean / Oddball News - 7/30/2010