From Weather Underground News where you can read the entire article by clicking on the blue type:
Get ready for the Harvest Moon. Depending on where you live on the planet, it’s either Wednesday or Thursday of this week.
“In traditional skylore, the Harvest Moon is the full moon closest to the autumnal equinox,” EarthSky reports, “and depending on the year, [it] can come anywhere from two weeks before to two weeks after the autumnal equinox.” For 2013, that changing of the seasons happens on September 22 — just a few days from now.
Unlike the Blue Moon we covered back in August, the Harvest Moon behaves differently than a typical full moon. “Throughout the year, the moon rises, on average, about 50 minutes later each day,” according to NASA Science News. “But near the autumnal equinox … the day-to-day difference in the local time of moonrise is only 30 minutes.” Why does that matter? Simply put, agriculture.
“In the days before electric lights, farmers depended on bright moonlight to extend the workday beyond sunset,” wrote NASA’s Dr. Tony Phillips. “It was the only way they could gather their ripening crops in time for market. The full moon closest to the autumnal equinox became the Harvest Moon, and it was always a welcome sight.”
So my question is this – the Harvest Moon is what we call it, because it gave farmers extra time to bring in the harvest. What do other cultures call it?
Dont you just love Google? Today I asked Google to find “images sinkholes Florida” hoping I could find some graphic which would show me how often they occur in parts of the state, which is very very long. There it was.
It is not something I ever worried about until the neighborhood we bought a house in near Tampa suddenly had a rash of sinkhole damage and property values plummeted. I was lucky, not only was I not in the “band” of sinkholes, but my house sold very quickly, at the same price we had paid. I breathed a sigh of relief and moved on.
You never know where a sinkhole will suddenly appear, but as the graphic above demonstrates, some places are likelier than others.
Here is an article from today’s AOL Weather News:
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – Sections of a building at a resort near Orlando’s theme park district collapsed into a sinkhole late Sunday, forcing the evacuation of 105 guests in the structure and also dozens of visitors staying in two adjacent three-story buildings.
Watch out for those blue zones!
Sinkholes are as much a part of the Florida landscape as palm trees and alligators. Florida has more of them than any state in the nation. Earlier this year, a man near Tampa died when a sinkhole opened up underneath his bedroom.
PHOTOS ON SKYE: Astonishing Sinkholes Around the World
Experts say sinkholes aren’t occurring at a greater rate than usual but that the high-profile nature of recent one in populated areas has drawn attention to them. There also has been a rise in sinkhole claims in Florida, but insurance officials believe some of those claims are questionable. Here are some answers about why sinkholes form and their costs.
WHY ARE THERE SINKHOLES IN FLORIDA?
Florida’s peninsula is made up of porous carbonate rocks such as limestone that store and help move groundwater. Dirt, sand and clay sit on top of the carbonate rock. Over time, these rocks can dissolve from an acid created from oxygen in water, creating a void underneath the limestone roof. When the dirt, clay or sand gets too heavy for the limestone roof, it can collapse and form a sinkhole. Sinkholes are caused naturally but they can be triggered by outside events.
WHAT TRIGGERS SINKHOLES?
Although sinkholes are formed naturally, they can be triggered by heavy rainfall, drought followed by heavy rainfall, tropical storms and human activity. The most common actions by humans that cause sinkholes are heavy pumping of groundwater to spray on oranges and strawberries during freezes to keep them from being damaged, well drilling, excavating, creating landfills, leaking broken water lines and pounding or blasting from construction.
WHERE ARE SINKHOLES MOST COMMON IN FLORIDA?
Three counties in the Tampa region are known as “sinkhole alley.” Two-thirds of thesinkhole damage claims reported to the state Office of Insurance Regulation from 2006 to 2010 came from Hernando, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. Sinkholes are less common in South Florida, home to the state’s two most populous counties – Broward and Miami-Dade.
HOW MANY SINKHOLES OCCUR IN FLORIDA?
The state Office of Insurance Regulation says reported claims from sinkholes have risen in recent years. More than 2,300 claims were reported in Florida in 2006 but that figure jumped to almost 6,700 claims in 2010. There is no geological explanation for the rise and state insurance officials believe many claims are questionable. There must be structural damage to a home for a policyholder to claim a loss from a sinkhole, but insurance officials say claims are often paid without that proof.
HOW MUCH DAMAGE DO SINKHOLES DO?
The state Office of Insurance Regulation says sinkhole claims in Florida cost insurers $1.4 billion from 2006 to 2010.
Usually by this time of the day, mid-afternoon, the majority of my viewers are US . . . guessing this is a Ramadan blip:
I love this! Yes, I am a nerd, yes, I get excited about geeky things, but after my first year in Pensacola, paying electrical bills in the $400′s because I like to be cool, I have learned a few tricks about spending less, like turning the a/c up when leaving the house, it really makes a difference.
And now, we monitor our energy use on a DAILY basis. I love it! When you log into your Gulf Power account, you can see your energy usage calculated against the daily temperatures, with a range of your estimated end-of-month bill. No more bad surprises!
I think I inherited a small bit of my father’s engineer mentality; I love being able to manage my energy use
Thank you, Gulf Power, for making it possible.
I don’t know that this has been studied closely, or that there is any evidence supporting the theory, but it is a hilarious theory – blame men for menopause!
By: Tia Ghose, LiveScience Staff Writer
Published: 06/13/2013 05:04 PM EDT on LiveScience
Ladies, here’s one more thing you can blame on men: menopause. At least, that’s according to a new theory.
Women go through menopause because men have consistently preferred younger women in recent evolutionary history, according to a study published today (June 13) in the journal PLOS Computational Biology.Thus, menopause is not evolutionarily advantageous and may be the result of a series of random, harmful mutations that accumulated in women but weren’t acted on by evolution because the women had already reproduced by the time the mutations affected them.
“Our first assumption is that mating in humans is not random with respect to age, which means men of all ages prefer to mate with younger women,” said study co-author Rama Singh, an evolutionary biologist at McMaster University in Canada. “If mating is with younger women, any deleterious mutations which affect women’s reproduction later in life will accumulate because they are not being acted on by natural selection.”
Menopause, in which women stop menstruating and become infertile, has been a long-standing puzzle for biologists: Why would evolution have led to a trait that essentially reduces the reproductive potential of an animal?
Most other animals don’t go through menopause (although killer whales do). Even chimpanzees, humans’ closest living relatives, seem to reproduce into old age in the wild, and males even prefer older females.
Biologists have proposed the grandmother hypothesis to explain the conundrum. The hypothesis holds that menopause allows a grandmother who is done rearing her own kids to help rear the young of her children, thereby increasing the survival odds of her grandkids, and therefore, her genes.
But grandchildren and grandparents share just a quarter of their genes, versus half for children and their parents, so menopause would have to dramatically boost survival of grandchildren to be evolutionarily advantageous. Past studies have shown that maternal grandmothers boost their grandkids’ survival rates, though exactly how much depends on the society.
For thousands of years (at least), men have, on average, mated with younger women, Singh said.
That’s because, if all else is equal, “those who reproduce earlier, their genes are passed on faster,” Singh told LiveScience.
So the researchers created a computer simulation to model that preference.
Early on, both men and women in the model reproduced until death. But over time, the model found, men’s preference for youth reduced older women’s odds of reproducing.
Simultaneously, people accumulated random mutations, some of which decreased later-life reproductive ability. But since older women were left out in the cold anyways, those mutations didn’t impact their reproductive success, whereas mutations in men that could reduce late-life reproduction were weeded out. (Men who stopped reproducing at some point in life would produce fewer offspring than those who didn’t, and the late reproducers would outcompete those who stopped breeding earlier.)
Over 50,000 to 100,000 years, the accumulation of all those mutations could have led to universal menopause, the researchers suggest. Menopause would then be another form of aging akin to graying hair or wrinkles.
If later childbearing becomes the norm, as current societal trends suggest, women who can reproduce at older ages might gain an evolutionary advantage, and menopause could, in theory be pushed later, Singh said.But it’s more plausible that technological changes such as fertility treatments will artificially extend women’s ability to reproduce, Singh said.
But the new model might have the causation reversed, wrote Kristen Hawkes, an anthropologist at the University of Utah, who was not involved in the study, in an email to LiveScience.
As human life spans increased, women might have had many healthy years after fertility. As a result, men grew to prefer younger women because older women couldn’t reproduce.
Supporting that hypothesis, female chimpanzees see their egg reserves decline around the same age as human females, Hawkes noted. But unlike humans, they die shortly after this age, whereas humans have decades of healthy life left.
“The preference men have for young partners is a striking contrast with other primates,” Hawkes said. “My guess about that has been it’s a consequence of our life history.”
First, you have to go to this BBC Science Website, where cats in a Surrey village were tracked by the Royal Veterinary College to see where they would go during 24 hour periods. You click on each cat to see the route they followed – some are amazing – and then you can click on a video to have a glimpse of cat life, usually including the underside of a cat chin. It is fascinating and hilarious.