LOOKING FOR FEEDBACK
From time to time I ask the readers to give me their opinion of the 'Phantoms and Monsters' format. Currently I'm posting 3 blogs/segments per day which includes 'Just the Facts?' which is a compilation of various stories. Each Sunday I post 'Esoterica' which covers spiritual and paranormal stories and links.
Please feel free to offer your suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org
Argentina 'Sea Monster'
The following photograph came from the area of Tafí in Tucumán province, NW Argentina. I would have assumed it was a writhing anaconda being swept along by the flood but the area is fairly high altitude and fairly cool, averaging about 70 degrees Farenheit year-round (summer average temperature about 25 degrees Centigrade, winter temperatures about 15 degrees). And so it is not really the kind of climate you'd expect anacondas in. - Frontiers of Zoology
Witness states - "I hiked along the river in Tafi and kept seeing this very strange current that looked like the humps of a serpentine sea monster!!! I don't know what it was...definitely something unnatural, maybe supernatural?"
'Doomsday Clock' may be nudged forward
Humanity will soon be getting an update on how close we are to catastrophic destruction, as scientists and security experts decide whether to nudge the hands of the famous "Doomsday Clock" forward toward midnight — and doom — or back toward security and safety.
The clock, in use as a symbol of imminent apocalypse since 1947, now stands at six minutes to midnight. On Tuesday (Jan. 10), the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) will announce whether they will nudge the minute hand forward or backward to reflect current trends in world security. The last time the clock hand moved was in 2010, when the group moved the hand from five minutes to midnight back to six.
In making the decision, the Bulletin considers the current state of nuclear weapons, climate change and biosecurity, along with other issues that could influence humanity's survival. The closest the clock has been to midnight has been 11:57 p.m., set in 1984 when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were in a diplomatic stand-off and tensions were high. The farthest humanity has ever been from destruction, according to the clock, was in 1991, when the Doomsday Clock stood at 17 minutes to midnight. That year, the Cold War over, the U.S. and Russia began cutting their arsenals.
The clock ticked back toward midnight at the next update in 1995, however, when hopes of total nuclear disarmament began to fade. That update set the hands at 14 minutes until midnight. In recent years, the clock has ticked closer to destruction as the Bulletin has focused on concerns about nuclear terrorism and climate change.
The 2010 shift away from doomsday was due to nuclear agreements between the U.S. and Russia and productive climate talks at Copenhagen.
The announcement of the new "doomsday time" will come at 1 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday. The Bulletin is expected to consider factors ranging from Iran's nuclear program to the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster to the state of policy on climate change. - space
Mayan Doomsday 2012 Wall Clock with Aztec Numerals
Japan to open robot farm in tsunami disaster zone
The project, masterminded by the Ministry of Agriculture, will involve unmanned tractors working the fields of the farm on a disaster zone site spanning 600 acres.
Robots will then box produce grown on the farm, including rice, wheat, soybeans, fruit and vegetables as part of the “Dream Project” scheme, according to the Nikkei.
The growth of crops will also be boosted by recycled carbon dioxide generated by the operation of the machinery in a bid to reduce reliance on chemical fertilisers.
An expanse of farmland in Miyagi prefecture, northeast Japan, which was flooded in last year’s tsunami, has been earmarked by the government for the project.
On-site research is expected to begin later this year, with a forecast government investment of £33 million (four billion yen) over the next six years, according to ministry officials.
Miyagi was one of Japan’s three worst hit prefectures in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left more than 19,000 dead or missing and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in decades.
Farming was hit particularly hard by the disaster, with tsunami water leaving soil laden with salt and oil deposits, as well as radiation contamination as a result of the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
More than 59,000 acres of once fertile farmland were damaged as a result of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear fallout, with the agricultural industry still struggling to recover.
The government is hoping to bolster the new robot farm project by inviting leading Japanese technology companies, including Panasonic, Fujitsu and Hitachi, to become involved.
"We hope the project will help not only support farmers in the disaster-hit regions but also revive the entire nation's agriculture," said a spokesman for the agriculture ministry. - telegraph
Church charges for calls to mobile phone-carrying angel
An angel with a mobile phone at the St Jan cathedral in Den Bosch can still be reached by her 06 number, even though the church authorities have introduced a premium rate line, the Telegraaf reports on Monday.
A 06 number and a Twitter account in the name of ut Engelke (the little angel) were put up by an unknown woman as a joke last year, although the initiative is now attracting some thirty callers a day.
Now the church board has reacted by opening a 0900 number for the angel. ‘Success knows many church fathers’, the woman commented. She thinks the church is ripping people off by making them pay 80 cents a minute to listen to a tape. Her own service doesn’t charge for calls.
The church, which is going to use the money for the maintenance of the cathedral, says the founder of the mobile phone line had not asked for permission to set up the mobile service, but that the St Jan belongs to everybody.
The mobile phone number has a number of regular users, like the girl who rings in every Friday to report on her week, the paper says. And many people rang in seeking comfort during the Christmas holidays.
The angel is one of 25 made by sculptor Ton Mooy for the cathedral, which is being renovated.
The mobile-using angel first had to be approved by the cathedral fathers. They rejected suggestions that she should be given jet engines rather than wings. - dutchnews