Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mayan apocalypse: End of the world, or a new beginning? One in 10 of us is said to be anxious that 21 December marks the end of the world. Recent hurricanes, unrest in the Middle East, solar flares, mystery planets about to collide with us - all are supposed to be "proof" of what the ancient Mayans knew would come to pass on 21 December 2012.
The "Long Count" cycle of the Mayan calendar began in 3114 BCE and is widely accepted to end on 21/12/12. Except that in the view of the curator of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, Philadelphia's "Maya 2012" exhibition, everyone has got it wrong. He says the Mayan calendar is complex, and best thought of as a series of gear wheels. At a Mayan site in Palenque, Mexico, there is an inscription describing an event that takes place in 4,722 of our era, "and that is the turning of an even bigger cycle."
Technically this is also not the start of a new cycle. In 3114 BCE the calendar reset to zero with the turning of the 13th bak'tun (which is a smaller, 400 year cycle). This time, however, it does not reset to zero but merely goes on to the 14th bak'tun. "The Mayan Calendar is a weird and wonderful thing."
"It is quite clear that the Mayan system envisages a new cycle of the calendar beginning on the 22 December 2012." Catastrophic events are seen by some as necessary in some way to a new cycle, a new birth. In these visions, the world has been and will be destroyed - to some degree - and we start anew. The date, 21 December, also marks the Winter Solstice, symbolic in many cultures of the end of darkness and the renewal of the light.

**Where there is no hope, it is incumbent on us to invent it.**
Albert Camus

Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or larger.

Yesterday -
12/19/12 -
Another cluster of small quakes in DODECANESE ISLANDS, GREECE

Volcano Webcams

Ecuador - The Tungurahua volcano in central Ecuador keeps spewing gas, ash and red-hot rock, forcing hundreds to evacuate from their homes. The country's Geophysical Institute says incandescent rock shot from the crater of the volcano. It remains in in eruption with pyroclastic flows extending 3 to 4 km down one drainage on the volcano.
Surrounding villages report frequent ashfall and loud roars eminating from the mountain. Volcano monitors say Tungurahua shot lava 1km above its crater overnight Tuesday and blasted hot rock and gas nearly 3km down its flank. Residents living near Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano have been advised to voluntarily evacuate after an increase in activity created at least three moderate explosions and ash fall on nearby villages.

In the South Indian Ocean -
Tropical Cyclone Evan was located approximately 400 nm south of Nadi, Fiji. The final warning has been issued on this system by the Joint Typhoon Warning Center. The system will be closely monitored for signs of regeneration.

Remains of cyclone to affect North Island, New Zealand - The remains of tropical cyclone Evan are forecast to "throw a spanner in the works" over Manawatu on Christmas Day, latest forecasts suggest.
Tropical Cyclone Evan is increasingly likely to pass close to northern New Zealand. Evan wreaked havoc in Samoa and Fiji, and MetService is predicting heavy rain for the north of the North Island on Sunday, but it also said Evan's track remained very uncertain beyond Friday. "On Sunday, there is an almost equal chance of it either swinging away from the North Island, into the north Tasman Sea, or heading towards East Cape. It is looking increasingly likely that Evan will pass very close to northern parts of New Zealand."
As Evan drew closer to the country over the next couple of days, MetService would expect to be able to say more. "It is a very long time since there's been so much uncertainty over the track of a low through the New Zealand area." Evan would bring a large amount of tropical air into the New Zealand region, which meant the potential for heavy rainfall in places with strong onshore winds. "A small change in the expected track of Evan could result in a large change in the weekend's forecast for just about any North Island place."
Irrespective of Evan's path through the New Zealand area, Christmas Day was likely to be warm, and probably not windy, in most places. While most of the South Island should have a dry day, the situation was less clear further north.

Philippines - Pagasa warns of tropical cyclone on Christmas Day. The weather bureau warned yesterday that a tropical cyclone is likely to hit the same areas affected by super typhoon “Pablo” in the Visayas and Mindanao on Christmas Day. They expect the formation of a tropical cyclone off the Pacific Ocean in the next five days.
There is a possibility that the weather disturbance will hit the Visayas and Mindanao, the areas devastated by Pablo early this month. Pablo – the strongest cyclone to hit the country so far this year – left over 1,000 dead and thousands of families homeless. “It is expected to approach or cross the Visayas and Mindanao area on Christmas Day." The weather bureau also advised fishermen in Luzon and Eastern Visayas not to go out into the sea due to big waves generated by the northeast monsoon. “Fishing boats and other small seacraft are advised not to venture out into the sea while larger sea vessels are alerted against big waves."
The senior weather specialist of PAGASA advised people to stay indoors if the storm hits the country on Christmas Day. “It is most likely to be just a tropical storm." The weather bureau is still monitoring the progress of the storm. The potential storm is also likely to pass Cagayan de Oro City.



-True Taste, LLC of Kenosha, WI, is recalling its vacuum packaged Hot Smoked Rainbow Trout, Hot Smoked Whitefish, Hot Smoked Herring, Hot Smoked Mackerel, Hot Smoked Salmon Steak, Cold Smoked Mackerel, and Cold Smoked Whitefish because they have the potential to be contaminated with Clostridium botulinum.
-Matrixx Initiatives is voluntarily recalling 1 lot of Zicam® Extreme Congestion Relief nasal gel. The company is taking this step after finding a small amount of Burkholderia cepacia in a single sample of the product taken from the affected lot.