Storm Central Calls for More Heavy Weather Friday

fr/Storm Central:

A major low pressure is forecasts to deepen and slide north northeastward into the Chicagoland area. With this, a warm front is going to ride above while a cold front slips to the south. The huge contrast from Warm 70-80 degree temperatures with warm moist gulf air is going to have these storms popping near the Mississippi River on Friday. With the lower level jet stream being farther to the south, a clash of air masses coupled with strong forcing and dynamic cooling is going to quickly get these storms tornadic. Unfortunately, it currently looks like a widespread outbreak. A tornado outbreak means at least 10 tornadoes occurring with a system. Forecasters at Storm Central think this could very well be worse than Tuesday’s or Wednesday’s storms.

Since we are dealing with such a strong low pressure, shear levels are going to be through the roof. With that being said, storms are going to quickly become super cells and have a much higher threat to become tornadic super cells. While it is impossible toforecast the exact path or city a tornado will impact, Storm Central has laid out a diagram where the all the ingredients will come together.
 Please prepare for the potential for long lasting strong tornadoes to occur in any of the Red or Pink areas. While all areas will likely not see a tornado warning, most areas are likely to be under a tornado watch sometime on Friday or Friday night. What is dangerous with this upcoming system is that storms are not going to stop overnight. Tornadic storms could go well into the overnight hours as they did Tuesday night. While the areas are subject to minor changes, a firstforecast is out and this is likely to be a big event.

Storm Central will be updating on Facebook with update posts, watches,warnings and more. We have proved ourselves Tuesday evening as a great helper to alerting others and we would like to help you as well. (LIKE) Us on Facebook for the latest! 
This is certainly not the only topic we are discussing. Another potential Blizzard may impact Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin this weekend. Model runs are placing out over a foot of snow with 40mph winds. While this is not set in stone, it is certainly something to watch very closely as If this does occur, a big storm for many!

-Matt Baranowski



Changing Views of Consumerism

Americans’ Attitude Toward Consumption May Be Shifting

BusinessNewsDaily Staff
Date: 28 February 2012 Time: 11:21 AM ET


greed, hoarding, money, generousity
CREDIT: Dreamstime

Marketers trying to keep their finger on the pulse of American consumers’ shopping preferences may want to take notice of a new survey that suggests Americans are becoming more concerned with substance than they are with appearances.

That’s the finding of a new survey from mini car makersmart USA and Harris Interactive which found that the majority of Americans surveyed preferred smarts and substance over good looks or flashy material possessions.

The survey, which was conducted online in December and included more than 2,000 American  adults, found that 88 percent – both young and old, male and female – would prefer to date a person who is intelligent and philanthropic over someone who is simply attractive.

The survey also found the following:

  • Nearly 7 out of 10 (69 percent) Americans would prefer their spouse to speak another language than have washboard abs
  • Almost 3 in 5 (59 percent) Americans would rather have their partner gain 20 I.Q. points than lose 20 pounds
  • An astonishing 95 percent of women and 80 percent of men would prefer to date someone who is smart and philanthropic like Reese Witherspoon or George Clooney than someone with a pretty/handsome face like Megan Fox or Alex Rodriguez

Survey respondents also indicated that their days of over consumption may be numbered.

  • 97 percent of Americans believe that at least some of the items in their household are junk (i.e., they could easily get rid of it)
  • Nearly one out of 10 (9 percent)  Americans believe they can part with a full half of their stuff
  • 9 percent of Americans believe that 51-100 percent of the items in their household are junk

“The fact that a majority of Americans are deeply concerned with right-sizing their lifestyles and making intelligent choices shows why smart has so much curb appeal today,” says smart USA General Manager Tracey Matura. “People are rethinking whether bigger is actually better and focusing instead on value. They’re looking at how they can cut down the clutter in their lives, whether in their choice of vehicle, home or other purchases, so they have fewer, better things rather than simply more, more, more. And smart is proof that good things do come in small packages.”

Mayan Pyramid’s Light Beam

Mayan Light Beam Photo: Message from Gods, or iPhone Glitch?

Natalie Wolchover, Life’s Little Mysteries Staff Writer
Date: 27 February 2012 Time: 05:31 PM ET


"El Castillo," a Mayan temple on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, with a mysterious "light beam" emerging from the top. Credit: Hector Siliezar
“El Castillo,” a Mayan temple on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, with a mysterious “light beam” emerging from the top.
CREDIT: Hector Siliezar

When Hector Siliezar visited the ancient Mayan city of Chichen Itza with his wife and kids in 2009, he snapped three iPhone photos of El Castillo, a pyramid that once served as a sacred temple to the Mayan god Kukulkan. A thunderstorm was brewing near the temple, and Siliezar was trying to capture lightning crackling dramatically over the ruins.

In the first two images, dark clouds loom above the pyramid, but nothing is amiss. However, in the third photo, a powerful beam of light appears to shoot up from the pyramid toward the heavens, and a thunderbolt flashes in the background.

Siliezar, who recently shared his photographs with occult investigators, told that he and his family didn’t see the light beam in person; it appeared only on camera. “It was amazing!” he said. He showed the iPhone photo to his fellow tourists. “No one, not even the tour guide, had ever seen anything like it before.” [See photo]

The photo has surfaced on several Mayan doomsday discussion forums. But was the light beam a sign from the gods — a warning about Dec. 21, 2012, the date that marks the end of the Mayan calendar cycle, and when some people fear the world will end? Or is it simply the result of an iPhone glitch

According to Jonathon Hill, a research technician and mission planner at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, which operates many of the cameras used during NASA’s Mars missions, it is almost definitely the latter. Hill works with images of the Martian surface taken by rovers and satellites, as well as data from Earth-orbiting NASA instruments, and is fully versed in the wide range of potential image artifacts and equipment errors.

He says the “light beam” in the Mayan temple photo is a classic case of such an artifact — a distortion in an image that arises from the way cameras bounce around incoming light.

It is no mere coincidence, Hill said, that “of the three images, the ‘light beam’ only occurs in the image with a lightning bolt in the background. The intensity of the lightning flash likely caused the camera’s CCD sensor to behave in an unusual way, either causing an entire column of pixels to offset their values or causing an internal reflection [off the] camera lens that was recorded by the sensor.” In either case, extra brightness would have been added to the pixels in that column in addition to the light hitting them directly from the scene.

Evidence in favor of this explanation is the fact that the beam, when isolated in Photoshop or other image analysis software, runs perfectly vertical in the image. “That’s a little suspicious since it’s very unlikely that the gentleman who took this picture would have his handheld iPhone camera positioned exactly parallel to the ‘light beam’ down to the pixel level,” Hill told Life’s Little Mysteries.

It’s more likely that the “light beam” corresponds to a set of columns of pixels in the camera sensor that are electronically connected to each other, but not to other columns in the sensor, and that this set of connected pixels became oversaturated in the manner described above.

“That being said,” Hill said, “it really is an awesome image!”


Earthquake — off Coast of Japan

February 29, 2012 – strong coastal earthquake close to Tokyo

Last update: February 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm by By 


Earthquake intensity image courtesy JMA Japan

M 5.8      2012/02/29 14:32    Depth 20.0 km     JAPAN
local time 23:32 – Epicenter location see below in list
70 km SE Choshi (pop 75,650) and 108 km SE Narita (pop 100,641) (Narita is one of the Tokyo airports)
Earlier report we wrote when we found out the earthquake occurred
Preliminary data are talking about a strong earthquake 20 km out in the sea near Tokyo
We are estimating that the epicenter is about 50 km out in the sea. Certainly NOT strong enough to generate a tsunami.
JMA Japan reports a magnitude of 5.8 at a depth of 20 km. Max. registered intensity by JMA : 4 at Isumi-shi Misakicho-choja* – considers 5+ as dangerous for eventual damage
Conclusion : NOT dangerous for damage or injuries


Earthquake – France

Moderate very shallow earthquake in Alpes de Haute-Provence, France

Last update: February 27, 2012 at 9:19 am by By 

Earthquake overview : Shortly before midnight a moderate but very shallow earthquake struck the French Southern Alps.  The earthquake was felt from the Alps ski areas down to the French Mediterranean coast

Most important Earthquake Data:
Magnitude : 4.7
UTC Time :  Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 22:37:56 UTC
Local time at epicenter :  Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 11:37:56 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) :
Geo-location(s) :
5 km E Crévoux (pop 111)
41 km S Briançon (pop 11,577)
92 km (57 miles) SW of Torino, Italy
102 km (63 miles) SE of Grenoble, France

Update 09:15 UTC :  After having called the mayors office of Embrun, one of the bigger cities in the direct epicenter area, can confirm that NO serious damage has been inflicted (only reports of fallen objects in the local press), NO roads have been blocked by rockfall or landslides and NO dangerous avalanches have been reported in the ski areas.

Update 08:29 UTC :  – The French seismological servicehas received a lot of calls marking a max.  MMI intensity of IV (light shaking). has also received an important number of experience reports indicating a max. intensity of V, an acceptable margin in between both.
– Our own France-Only list has noticed 3 aftershocks since the mainshock. They had Magnitudes of 3.7, 2.4 and 3.3
– The intensity values that we have noticed are normally not generating any damage. Additionally we know that people who are not used to earthquakes are slightly exaggerating the intensity.
– Another important effect in weakening the shaking near the epicenter is the soil who is mainly composed of rock. Rocks are weakening an earthquake wave considerably. Epicenter area and valleys at 50 km or more from the epicenter have therefore almost the same shaking values.
– Main risk with earthquakes in mountainous areas are landslides and avalanches. We are 100% sure than a lot of rockfall will have been noticed in the direct epicenter area, not necessarily leading to damage.

Update :  The epicenter was located very close to Crévoux

Update :  We are very curious to find out more details  during daylight tomorrow. As the epicenter is right in the ski-areas in the French and Italian Alps, avalanches are very well possible, especially because of the huge amounts of snow currently in the area.

Update :  The epicenter has been located almost on the Italy / France border. Some agencies are reporting the Italian side of the border being the epicenter,, others the France area.

Landscape at Guillestre, very close to the epicenter – image courtesy Stig Ekelund

Update La terre a tremblé à Crévoux, à 16 km au nord est de Barcelonette, ce soir à 23h37 précises, selon le site du Commissariat à l’énergie atomique (CEA). Ce séisme de magnitude 4,9 sur l’échelle de Richter a été ressenti dans le Var, les Alpes-maritimes et même Marseille où de nombreux habitants ont senti la secousse durant 3 à 4 secondes. Il faut remonter à 1997 pour retrouver une amplitude équivalente dans cette région montagneuse des Hautes-Alpes. (source :

Update :  The earthquake has also been felt very well in South Western Italy, from the Alps until the Mediterranean coast.

Update : The nearest villages are : Guillestre (10 km), Embrun, Chateauroux les Alpes and Jausiers.

Update : The EMSC numbers are annoying as they can implicate minor damage in villages close to the epicenter. Especially the extremely shallow depth of 2 km means that the shaking (explosion) must have been felt and heard hard by people in these villages.

Update : The other seismological agencies reported the following data :
EMSC :  Magnitude 4.8 and 2 km depth
GEOFON : Magnitude 4.6 at 10 km depth

Shortly before midnight a moderate but very shallow earthquake struck the French Southern Alps.  The earthquake was felt from the Alps ski areas down to the French Mediterranean coast

to read more, and for updates, go to:


Jean Houston Meditation to Access Higher Self

From Jean Houston:
In the busy swirl of everyday life, it helps every now and again to
take a few minutes to be reminded of who you really are.
There is an exercise we do in my online course to access your
Higher Self. I’ve gotten so much feedback about it, that I wanted
to share it with you again.

You have a deep purpose and a guiding force for becoming all you
are capable of being.  You may sense this as that inner strength
that directs your actions. Or that inner voice, the intuitive
voice, that calls to you when you’re at a crossroads in
your life.

“This is the path you should take,” it tells you. Often, however,
it tells you with emotions and feelings, and the words come later.

Some call this guiding force the Higher Self. It is the deepest,
holiest, most whole part of you.

Would you like to be able to access this Higher Self at any time?
What if you could actually stand face-to-face with that most
soulful, wise force behind all the good in your life?

In this e-mail, I’m going to give you a meditation that will enable
you to get in touch with your Higher Self, your guiding force, your
voice of destiny. It’s simple and yet so powerful.

If you’ve heard me speak in the past about the 3 Keys to
Discovering and Living Your True Purpose, you know that the
Activation Key #2 to discovering your true purpose is opening to
your larger role in the world by shifting from your “small” self to
your Higher Self.

What is a small self? The small self is the self whose emotions and
moods fluctuate every day based on external circumstances: whether
or not you got praise at work, whether your partner said,  “I love
you,” whether you ran into traffic on the way to run errands, or
sometimes because the weather is too hot or too cold. It is the
self that is mainly concerned with the “I” of the ego, the concerns
of status and comfort.

The Higher Self is the self beyond what’s happening in the present
moment, the self that is in alignment with All That Is, with the
divine, with the cosmos. It is timeless, formless and limitless.
The Higher Self is the universe inside of you.

By shifting from your small self to your Higher self, you can
access the truth of who you are and begin to experience your unique
purpose. You can see beyond the everyday concerns of ego to a
higher calling, to seeing the world’s pain and need, and seeing
what your role is in relationship to healing that pain.

When you live from the place of the Higher Self, you live a life in
which abundance is scooped from abundance and still more
abundance remains.

How can you experience the Higher Self consciously, at will, at
more than just those fleeting moments when you sense the greater
intelligence working through you? You can do it through this
meditation, which I’m about to share with you.

This meditation will require a completely quiet and undistracted
space. Maybe you can do this now, or maybe you’ll have to set aside
some time later in the day or first thing in the morning.

A 5-Minute Audio Practice to Access Your Higher Self


Please visit the special audio page to listen to and download
this powerful experiential practice.


To your higher purpose,


Southern Siberia — Dangerous Earthquake

Very strong dangerous earthquake in southern Siberia – only slight damage + video

Last update: February 26, 2012 at 5:51 pm by By 

Earthquake overview : In the early afternoon of February 26, a very strong extremely shallow earthquake occurred approx. 100 km from Kyzyl, Siberia, Russia.

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.8
UTC Time : Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 06:17:19 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 01:17:19 PM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 11.7 km
Geo-location(s) :
100 km (62 miles) E (91°) from Kyzyl, Russia
337 km (209 miles) NE (53°) from Ulaangom, Mongolia

Update 17:45 UTC :  ”In 77 municipalities, caught in the earthquake zone, 1017 localities have been surveyed on 942 (92%),  304 640 buildings surveyed on 236 101 (77%) and 5402 socio-important sites surveyed on 4091 (75%). Potentially dangerous facilities inspected : 100%

Update 17:45 UTC :  Russian emergency services acted swiftly and well organized to inspect houses; infrastructure etc.

Update 17:43 UTC : A RussiaTV video showing at the end the light damage of this earthquake

Update 14:15 UTC : Most mining companies in the area have send their workers on leave as many aftershocks are expected and as the technical installations have to be inspected.

Update 14:11 UTC : Tenting has been installed in Kyzyl to accept 5400 people.

Update 14:00 UTC : Some school buildings in Kochetova have induced small damage, like cracks in the ceiling , falling plaster etc.

Update 09:24 UTC : The only video’s we can find at the moment are from more than 500 km from the epicenter and they are showing weak to light shaking. We are waiting for better videos (which resemble more the shaking near the epicenter)  to embed.

Update 09:03 UTC : The Commission for Emergency Situations of the Republic of Tuva, appealed to residents of the region to remain calm and not panic.

Update 09:01 UTC : According to eyewitnesses in the Republic of Khakassia (Kyzyl is the capital), the chandeliers and furniture were shaking. At the same time in the Novosibirsk region, residents in high-rise buildings felt small tremors. Recorded shocks of medium strength at Irkutsk and Krasnoyarsk, where Mikhail Prokhorov, a Russian candidate for the Presidency, was campaigning !.

Update 08:58 UTC : well felt over 8 Russian regions, but no damage reported so far (like last time)

Update 08:56 UTC : A faulty transformer has occurred in Tuva – possibly as a result of the earthquake. Emergency services are also checking critical infrastructure in the epicentral region.

Update 08:40 UTC : We have just added a number of experience reports below

Update 08:19 UTC : No major damage has been reported. In Kyzyl, an MSK of 5.5 (around MMI 5-5.5) was recorded, with people coming out into the streets but very little damage occurring with a few objects falling from shelves.
This is good news, and no casualties or major damage has been reported from the epicenter via reports from central Tuva.

Update 07:38 UTC : The nearest populated places are: Karaus (9km), Kara Khem (13km). The closest civilian airport is Kyzyl (100km).

Update 07:30 UTC : Strength at the epicenter only MSK7. According to preliminary data, the earthquake in eastern Siberia, no casualties, no damage, told RIA Novosti by telephone a representative of the Siberian Regional Centre for Emergency Situations Ministry. MSK shaking scale is almost similar to MMI scale.

Update 07:29 UTC :  Abakan has reported an intensity of MSK3-4. Abakan is around 300km away, Irkutsk around 350km….but they were getting long period effects, hence why tall buildings

Update 07:25 UTC :  in Irkutsk, tremors were felt for about four or five minutes with 15.19 (10.19 GMT) to 15:24 local time. The inhabitants of the upper floors of tall buildings saw objects fall down from the top shelf. The houses also had some broken glasses, chandeliers swayed.

Update 07:25 UTC :  WAPMERR, a damege and casualty theoretical engine has reported 0-10 deaths, 0-30 injuries, data merely based on historic earthquakes in the area.

Update 07:23 UTC :  Saryg-Sep, a city with a population of 5,000 will be the hardest hit with a theoretically calculated impact of VIII MMI (based on the M 6.8 magnitude). MMI VIII is causing SEVERE shaking

Update 07:22 UTC :  The earthquake shocks were felt at the Sayano-Shushenskaya hydroelectric plant, Russia’s largest.

for more information and updates, go to:

Taiwan Earthquake

Very strong earthquake hits Taiwan causing minor damage + videos from shaking and damage

Last update: February 26, 2012 at 1:10 pm by By 

Earthquake overview : A M6.1 earthquake struck at 20.4km depth in southern Taiwan in the mountain region. Although well felt, major damage has not occurred and the national fire disaster agency has not released any reports.

Most important Earthquake Data:

Magnitude : 6.1 (CWB), 5.9 (USGS)
UTC Time : Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 02:34:59 UTC
Local time at epicenter : Sunday, February 26, 2012 at 10:34:59 AM at epicenter
Depth (Hypocenter) : 22.4km
Geo-location(s) :
34 km (21 miles) WSW of Taitung, Taiwan
54 km (33 miles) E of Kaohsiung, Taiwan
98 km (60 miles) SSE of Chiayi, Taiwan    

Update: The following (bad quality) video shows some of the (minor) damage. As could be expected in very mountainous Taiwan, also many landslides occurred in the epicenter area.

Update: The following video gives a good impression of the shaking in the high rise buildings. The footage is from China Times

Update : Numerous aftershocks have also been felt around magnitude 4-4.5.

Update : Intensity 5 was calculated in Pingtung and Chulu counties. Minor damage has been reported in Pingtung county. The greater metropolitan area of Kaohsiung has a population of nearly three million people.

Update : The Hong Kong Observatory measured the quake at magnitude 6.0, while Taiwan’s Seismology Centre put the magnitude at 6.1.

Update : Services of a high speed railway were stopped for a while.

Update : A Taiwanese TV report shortly after the earthquake struck with some images of studio material swaying + location information

Update : The earthquake happened 37km from Ping-tung. The nearest populated places are: Chin-lun (19km), Chieh-ta-ts’un (9km), K’o-la-p’a-yang (9km), Chia-p’ing (17km), Tai-ma (17km), La-chia (7km), Ch’?-nu (14km). The closest civilian airport is Feng Nin (30km).

M6.1 earthquake struck at 20.4km depth in southern Taiwan in the mountain region. Although well felt, major damage has not occurred and the national fire disaster agency has not released any reports.

The intensity of the event was calculated to be a 5 on the CWB scale – with the top level being 7. However, none of sixty-four
seismic events with intensity 5 (PGA values are between 80-250 gal) caused casualties and/or major damage from 2000-2009.

for more information and updates, go to:


February 26-March 3

Overall Color for the Week:    Frosty White

This week has many challenges attached to it.  There will be much deja vu happening, and it is important that you follow these hints to their core.  Also, there can be some very big surprises and disappointments, especially in regard to people you have come to rely upon, even considered very close friends.   It is not their fault, rather it is part of all that is going on at this time.  And it goes both ways, there are those who will be looking at you and wondering what happened.  There can be some wounds this week, but the scars will bring lessons and perhaps even a little joy — not for a few weeks, though.  It is just how it is right now.  On the positive side, some work you have been doing with no thought of reward will bring some reward this week.  Take a look at it, and look at yourself.  You have been changing, melding, and there are those who are resonating with that.  The general theme of the times, coming together and falling away, remains active.  (And the falling apart can be tough.) Continue reading

Two Sleep Cycles a Day May Cure Insomnia

insomniaWhile residents of the Southwest, Mexico and Spain are no strangers to the midday ‘siesta’ prompted by high daytime temperatures, today’s industrial societies suffer by not having enough time in the day to do everything they feel is necessary and instead bank all their sleeping time at night, often cutting that time shorter than the recommend 8 hours.

However, the ‘First Sleep, Second Sleep’ practice was apparently well known to humans prior to the 17th century. The onset of industrialization and expansion to the New World caused a curb in in favor of a single 8-hour sleep period through the night supposedly to boost productivity during the day.

Hugh Pickens offers his summary of the phenomenon and recent studies showing how two sleep cycles a day can cure insomnia and improve your day-to-day life.

BBC Article

Wikipedia: Segmented Sleep