Earthquake – Iwaki Japan

Very strong aftershock near Iwaki (Japan) – at least 7 people injured

Last update: July 30, 2011 at 11:27 pm by By Armand Vervaeck and James Daniell

Earthquake Overview : A very strong coastal earthquake at an intermediate depth and with an epicenter only 18 km from Iwaki occurred in the night of July 31 2011.  NO tsunami advisories or warnings have been published for this earthquake. Today’s earthquake is a very strong aftershock of the March 11 earthquake

Shaking map (yellow = MMI VI) – courtesy USGS

UPDATE 23:21 UTC : Official reports are indicating that at least 7 people were injured during this earthquake (1 person in Sendai, 2 in Koriyama, 2 in Mito, 1 in Hitachi Omiyma and 1 in Chikusei. No reports on damage yet.

UPDATE 21:48 UTC : As reported earlier in this article, fears the combination of the TORRENTIAL RAINS, overflowed rivers ( in Niigata and Fukushima prefectures) and the shaking of this aftershock.

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Perils of Social Networking

Facebook and Twitter are creating a vain generation of self-obsessed people with child-like need for feedback, warns top scientist


Last updated at 1:11 AM on 30th July 2011


Facebook and Twitter have created a generation obsessed with themselves, who have short attention spans and a childlike desire for constant feedback on their lives, a top scientist believes.

Repeated exposure to social networking sites leaves users with an ‘identity crisis’, wanting attention in the manner of a toddler saying: ‘Look at me, Mummy, I’ve done this.’

Baroness Greenfield, professor of pharmacology at Oxford University, believes the growth of internet ‘friendships’ – as well as greater use of computer games – could effectively ‘rewire’ the brain.

Vain generation: A top Oxford scientist has warned that repeated exposure to social networking websites could harm users. (Picture posed by model)Vain generation: A top Oxford scientist has warned that repeated exposure to social networking websites could harm users. (Picture posed by model)

This can result in reduced concentration, a need for instant gratification and poor non-verbal skills, such as the ability to make eye contact during conversations.

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Pity the Poor Walnut — A Drug???

Walnuts are DRUGS! FDA makes bizarre claim after seller says they ‘reduce risk of heart disease and cancer’


Last updated at 6:53 AM on 26th July 2011

They may just be the hardest drugs on the market, if the FDA are to be believed.

A company which sells walnuts has been told they are dealing in drugs because their packaging suggests health benefits which the Food and Drug Administration has not approved, it has been reported.

A fiercely-worded letter from the agency allegedly insisted Diamond Foods, from Stockton, California, remove the health claims or send off for a new drug application if it did not wish to be closed down.

The nut company has been selling its products with packaging which states the omega-3 fatty acids in walnuts have been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.

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Cities that Have rejected Fluoridated Water since 1990

Communities which have Rejected Fluoridation Since 1990
“[I]n recent years, when towns and cities across the country have held voter referenda on fluoridation, its use has been rejected about half the time.” – Chemical & Engineering News, September 4, 2006

“While city councils and water boards tend to fluoridate when they have the power, the electorate is far more divided. Over the past five years, the practice was voted down in 38 of 79 referendums, from Modesto, Calif., to Worcester, Mass.” – TIME Magazine, October 24, 2005

“In about 60% of 2000 referenda held in the U.S. since 1950, fluoridation has been voted down.” –Chemical & Engineering News August 1, 1988

“The big cities in the United States were mostly fluoridated by executive action in such a way as to avoid public referenda.” – James M. Dunning, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, 1984. (Quote from: Social Science & Medicine 1984, vol. 19, page 1245.)

“The fact that nearly 3 out of every 5 communities which vote on the issue have rejected fluoridation, year after year, does in all likelihood represent a collective judgment on the part of the public that, when all things are considered, fluoridation is not an acceptable public health measure.” – Edward Groth III, PhD Dissertation, Stanford University, May 1973

“Avoid a referendum. The statistics are that 3 out of 4 fluoridation referenda fail.”– Susan Allen, RDH, BS Fluoridation Coordinator, Public Health Dental Program, State Health Office, Florida. May 7, 1990. (See photocopy of letter)

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Increased Potential for Sunspot Activity

CHANCE OF FLARES: Sunspot 1260 has developed a delta-class magnetic field that harbors energy for powerful X-class solar flares. Such an eruption today would be Earth-directed as the sunspot turns to face our planet. (continued below)

Note: In yesterday’s news item, sunspot 1263 was mislabeled 1262.

Sunspot 1260 is leading a parade of big sunspots across the solar disk–one of the finest displays of solar activity in years. Even the smallest dark cores in these sunspot groups are as wide as planets, and they are crackling with C-class flares. Readers with solar telescopes are encouraged to monitor developments.


Chemistry of Cooking

Chemistry Of Cooking
A Biochemist Explains The Chemistry Of Cooking

January 1, 2009 — A biochemist and cook explains that cooking is all about chemistry and knowing some facts can help chefs understand why recipes go wrong. Because cooking is essentially a series of chemical reactions, it is helpful to know some basics. For example, plunging asparagus into boiling water causes the cells to pop and result in a brighter green. Longer cooking, however, causes the plant’s cell walls to shrink and releases an acid. This turns the asparagus an unappetizing shade of grey.

You love to cook, but have you whipped up some disasters? Even the best recipes can sometimes go terribly wrong. A nationally recognized scientist and chef says knowing a little chemistry could help.

Long before she was a cook, Shirley Corriher was a biochemist. She says science is the key to understanding what goes right and wrong in the kitchen.

“Cooking is chemistry,” said Corriher. “It’s essentially chemical reactions.”

This kind of chemistry happens when you put chopped red cabbage into a hot pan. Heat breaks down the red anthocyanine pigment, changing it from an acid to alkaline and causing the color change. Add some vinegar to increase the acidity, and the cabbage is red again. Baking soda will change it back to blue.

Cooking vegetables like asparagus causes a different kind of reaction when tiny air cells on the surface hit boiling water.

“If we plunge them into boiling water, we pop these cells, and they suddenly become much brighter green,” Corriher said.

Longer cooking is not so good. It causes the plant’s cell walls to shrink and release acid.

“So as it starts gushing out of the cells, and with acid in the water, it turns cooked green vegetables into [a] yucky army drab,” Corriher said.

And that pretty fruit bowl on your counter? “Literally, overnight you can go from [a] nice green banana to an overripe banana,” Corriher said.

The culprit here is ethylene gas. Given off by apples and even the bananas themselves, it can ruin your perfect fruit bowl — but put an apple in a paper bag with an unripe avocado, and ethylene gas will work for you overnight.

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Earth’s Trojan Asteroid

We are not alone

Artist's concept provided by NASA illustrates the first known Earth Trojan asteroidArtist’s impression of the obit of the Trojan asteroid

Astronomers using Nasa’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (Wise) have spotted Earth’s first “Trojan” asteroid.

Trojans are asteroids that share the same orbital path as a planet (see the Nasa animation), but because the constantly lead or follow on behind, they’re incredibly difficult to spot from the ground.

The side-on view we have of the rest of the solar system means that trojans orbiting other planets are much easier to spot. Neptune, Mars and Jupiter all have them, and scientists have speculated that the earth too might have its own shadowy doppelganger.

Using the perspective offered by the Earth-orbiting Wise telescope, the team – lead by Martin Connors at the Athabasca University in Canada – set out to confirm that theory by scanning the entire sky in infrared light. They spotted two candidate asteroids, one of which has now been confirmed as Earth’s first true trojan.

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