Monday, April 25, 2011

**When people show you who they are, believe them.**
Maya Angelou

This morning -

Yesterday -
4/24/11 -

Search for remains of quake victims - Japan plans to send more than 20000 soldiers into its northern disaster zone today in an intensive mission to recover the bodies of those killed in last month's earthquake and tsunami. More than 12000 people are missing and presumed dead from the twin disasters that hit March 11. Some were likely swept out to sea, while others are buried under the mass of rubble. About 14,300 are confirmed dead.
The military will send 24,800 soldiers to carry out a two-day search of the area. Police, coast guard and US troops will also be involved. Agriculture officials also plan to enter the evacuation zone around a stricken nuclear plant to check the fate of hundreds of thousands of animals abandoned by fleeing farmers.

No current tropical storms.


Colombia rainy season death toll raised to 93 - Ninety three Colombians have died and 12 are missing because of floods and landslides caused by this year's first rainy season. The latest victims are two children who were buried under a landslide just north of Medellin.
The extreme weather has left 52 injured and has damaged the homes or lands of more than 130,000 Colombians. 24 of the country's 32 departments have dealth with emergency situations following the torrential rains that began in February, only weeks after the disastrous rainy season of last year that killed more than 300 and left more than $5 billion in damages to private properties and infrastructure.
According to meteorologists, the extreme rains are the result of weather phenomenon La NiƱa, which also caused last year's extreme rainy season. The meteorologists warn that the worst of the rainy season is yet to come and may last until June. The Red Cross expressed its concern about the water levels of the Magdalena river, which is the country's largest rivers and goes from the south of the country to the Caribbean sea. Regions around other rivers are on high flood alert after torrential rains caused great parts of the cities Bogota and Cali to flood and are threatening to flood even larger areas particularly in the north where the Magdalena meets with the Cauca river. Santos has already announced that the extreme rainfall has exhausted the capabilities of the State.


BRITAIN - Hotter than LA, drier than Madrid. They are now in the fourth week of what may well be the warmest April on record. The days have been almost continuously sunny since 6 April; temperatures have, in southern parts, reached 26.5 C; and the gardens and countryside look more like mid-May than late April. Around London, south-facing wisteria has already peaked and the cherry blossom fallen, bluebells are blooming weeks early, and the first white flower buds of may trees have begun to show. Plants are not the only things perking up. In the parks, sunning lunch-timers loll on grass that should, according to the date, be too damp.
Search the history of their weather, and March, April and May are the benign, friendly months, conspicuous only for their reluctance to provide record floods, heat, cold, wind, snow – or, indeed, record anything. On the Met Office website, there are 39 extreme weather records for Britain. None is for March or April, and only two for May – one for the highest two-hour rainfall (West Yorkshire, 1989), the other for Scotland's sunniest month (Tiree, 1975).
By 13 April this year, (the latest available official data), the average maximum temperature was 3.7 C above the norm, and the South-east's rainfall a mere 4 per cent of the long-term average.
The recurring theme of those who care for the wildlife has, in the last decade, not been the sensuous joys of spring; rather the propensity for doom contained within its globally warmed and much earlier arrival. It comes more than two weeks sooner than 30-odd years ago, say repeated studies of flowerings, spawnings, and egg-laying; and possibly three weeks earlier than the 1950s. But never mind the longer growing season, say the pressure groups, that is a fools' premature paradise. Think instead, they insist, of earlier springs throwing our ecologies out of kilter: summer resident birds arriving as per their routine schedule, only to find the food their young depend on has already bred/pupated/hatched/or gone to ground; and plants flowering before their pollinators are on the wing. The whole finely balanced evolved timetable thrown into disarray. It is a disturbing prospect, and journalists have duly peddled it. But the evidence for it happening, several decades after the warming process began, has proved scant. Last year, a study was published that looked at 726 species of plants and animals, and found that 80 per cent of them experienced earlier events, the pace of change was accelerating, and predators were often slower to respond. But it found no direct evidence of species suffering as a result, and added: "The seasonal timing of reproduction is often matched to the time of year when food supply increases, so that offspring receive enough food to survive." Thus, although the threat remains, wildlife seems smarter and more adaptable than fretting campaigners would have us believe.
The other matter, just to complete the tour of possible downsides to this most glorious of springs, is water, or the lack of it. MARCH WAS THE DRIEST IN ENGLAND AND WALES FOR 50 YEARS – and April has been drier still. Up to the 13th of the month, England has had only 16 per cent of its long-term average rainfall, and it is probable that river levels will be very low by the end of this month. Already, the likes of the Daily Express and broadcasters wearing concerned faces have started to warn of possible shortages, and speculate on the chances of dessicated woodlands and heaths spontaneously combusting.
To that, there is only one response, and that is to remind ourselves what happened after the warmest April ever, that of 2007. The average maximum for the UK was 15.2C (16.3C for England), and temperature records were widely set as the pitiless April sun beat down. Newspapers reached for the D-word: drought, they warned, was the inevitable price we would have to pay for our month of pleasure. And then came the rains of May, followed by those of June, which were, in due and damp course, succeeded by the wretched floods of July. They were THE WETTEST SUCH MONTHS IN THE RECORD, and some areas had three times as much rain as normal.


-Satur Farms of Cutchogue, NY is recalling 138 pounds of Satur Farms Cilantro, because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.