Friday, March 22, 2013

A study of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores found high rates of bacterial contamination in beverages dispensed from soda fountains and further found that disinfection had no impact. Researchers compared samples taken from the machines in the Roanake, Virginia, area in July 2010 with samples they had taken in June 2009 as part of an earlier study. They also interviewed managers from 26 fast-food restaurants and convenience stores in Virginia and North Carolina about their procedures for disinfecting soda fountains and obtained samples at the stores before and after disinfection.
In both years, the researchers found more than 70% of samples of soda, diet soda, and water were contaminated with similar levels of coliform and noncoliform bacteria. They also found that disinfection — whether daily, every other day, or weekly — had no effect on contamination levels. (Scroll to bottom of page at link for this news article)

**Be patient with all that is unresolved in your heart
and try to love the questions themselves.**
Ranier Maria Rilke


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -
None 5.0 or higher.
Moderate quake cluster again in Canary Islands.

Yesterday -
3/21/13 -

Volcano Webcams


No current tropical storms.

Philippines - Potential cyclone nears VisMin, moderate rain expected. A potential cyclone moved closer to Mindanao Wednesday afternoon, even as state weather forecasters said rain may fall on parts of the country in the next 24 hours.

Australia - Ex-tropical Cyclone Tim has crossed the coast near Innisfail in far north Queensland overnight Wednesday. Up to 300 millimetres of rain could be dumped across the Cassowary Coast over the next couple of days. Tim started as an area of disturbed weather spinning off Australia's Cape York Peninsula. The disturbance remained over the Coral Sea, well off the Queensland coast and the adjacent Great Barrier Reef.


Australia - Powerful storms hit several towns including Yarrawonga, Mulwala, Bundalong, Rutherglen and Euroa about 8pm. Homes were flattened, caravan parks were destroyed, and commercial buildings were damaged across the region. The Bureau of Meteorology said at least two tornadoes touched down, one in Euroa and the other in Yarrawonga.
Bundalong, a town of about 300 on the Murray River, bore the brunt of the wild weather with the devastation described as "ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE". The Moira Shire Mayorsaid he had never seen such extensive damage in his four decades as an SES and CFA brigade leader. He said several houses at Bundalong had been completely destroyed, while many others had suffered some damage. "You would think an atom bomb went off. There was a horrific noise. You could hear it coming and you could see the mini-tornado coming towards the towns. One woman from Bundalong was sheltering in her house when the roof blew off. You can imagine the ordeal people are going through and the massive clean-up ahead."
Several huge trees had been ripped out of the ground, and several hundred metres of power lines had fallen. "How there wasn't lives lost is beyond me. If anyone was on that last section of road coming into the town from Yarrawonga, they would have been killed. This is certainly a VERY UNUSUAL EVENT TO OCCUR IN VICTORIA."
A man in his 50s is in a critical condition in the Royal Melbourne Hospital with head, pelvis and abdominal injuries. Another man in his 50s is in a critical condition in The Alfred Hospital suffering head injuries. A man and woman aged in their 70s are in the Royal Melbourne with broken bones after their caravan flipped over in the strong winds. And a man aged in his 40s is suffering spinal injuries after a tree smashed onto his car.
The SES received more than 150 calls for help in the region, and about 1000 from across the state. The main streets of Rutherglen and Yarrawonga both suffered widespread damage. "This is certainly some of the fiercest weather I've seen, and some of the more experienced hands have echoed that view." A caravan park has been "raised by the winds" in Yarrawonga. "All the onsite cabins and vans are just destroyed, it's just been levelled. Big lush forests" were also impacted.
Forecasters will rely on the Fujita tornado damage scale to establish exactly how strong they were. With such acute weather conditions, there could have been others. The tornadoes were a result of a humid surface air colliding with an approaching front that was fuelled by strong upper-level winds. Both tornadoes were believed to be F1 or F2 on the storm scale - strong enough to lift roofs. "It's hard to predict exactly how strong they were at this stage, until we can collate all the relevant information."
Wild winds also battered other parts of the state yesterday. St Kilda recorded a top gust of 100km/h. Tullamarine reached a top of 94km/h with other suburbs had winds between 70km/h and 90km/h. (lots of photos & a map)

Extreme weather kills at least 19 in China - Extreme weather has battered parts of China, killing at least 19 people and damaging property in provinces including Guangdong, Hunan and Fujian. The National meteorological center is warning more rainfall is likely in southern China.
Video - Giant hailstones batter southern China.

Heavy rainfall is causing flooding in the South West of England while snow has fallen in parts of the UK, with more disruption expected later. In Devon and Cornwall, homes have flooded and drivers have been rescued from their cars.
The Environment Agency has 16 flood warnings in place for the South West. The Met Office has two amber warnings for snow, covering much of the UK. BBC forecasters said 20cm-40cm (8in-16in) of snow could fall in places. The snow will cause travel disruption across northern parts of the UK today. Roads in northern parts of Wales, the Midlands into the Pennines, southern Scotland and Northern Ireland would be the worst affected, while gale force winds would blow snow and drifts across trans-Pennine routes. Heavy snow could continue into Saturday and Sunday."
They warned of flooding problems across the south and said parts of southern Cornwall and Devon could see 50-75mm of rain falling in a 24-48 hour period. The warnings come just over a week before the start of British Summer Time. On Thursday night into Friday morning, areas of Cornwall - including Newlyn, Penzance, Mevagissy and St Ives - were flooded, with the fire service taking about 50 calls between 18:00 and 21:00. Areas of Devon, including Ashburton, were also affected while, in two separate incidents in Plymstock, people were rescued by fire crews after being stuck in their cars in flood water.
"There has been a considerable amount of rainfall across the force area. There will be more to come throughout the night so the situation is not going to get much better too soon." As well as setting flood warnings - meaning "flooding is expected, immediate action required" - in the South West, the Environment Agency also has 79 flood alerts - meaning "flooding is possible, be prepared" - across England. The Met has one amber warning - meaning "be prepared" - for rain for some southern parts of Cornwall and Devon.
There are two amber warnings for snow in place - one for parts of the north Midlands, north-east Wales and north-west England, and another for parts of Northern Ireland. There are also yellow warnings - meaning "be aware" - in place for areas including parts of eastern Scotland and parts of south-west Scotland. Belfast International Airport has warned passengers there could be delays on Friday and Saturday because of heavy rain and snow. Scotland has already born the brunt of heavy snowfall, which made driving conditions hazardous and forced the closure of more than 100 schools earlier this week.
AA head of operations has warned of "a real witches' brew of driving wind, rain and snow" for drivers across the UK. "Drivers should be well prepared as even short journeys can quickly turn bad."


Extreme Weather And Genetically Modified (GMO) Crops Devastate Monarch Butterfly Migration - "In just two years, the annual migration of North American monarch butterflies has declined by 59%, and scientists are blaming extreme weather and “changed farming practices."


NASA's advice for near-term meteor strike: "Pray" - At a House Committee hearing Tuesday, a NASA administrator was asked what America would do if a meteor similar to the one that hit in Russia on Feb. 15 was found to be on a path toward New York City, with impact three weeks away.
The power of the meteorite crash in Chelyabinsk, Russia was equivalent to no more than one kiloton of energy, although the blast itself released an estimated 500 kilotons of energy, said the head of the Laboratory of Meteoritics. The Chelyabinsk meteor is said to be about 300 million years old.


Norovirus overtakes rotavirus as leading gastro-intestinal illness in US kids - Norovirus has eclipsed rotavirus as the leading cause of gastroenteritis in US children and carries substantial infection and treatment costs, according to a new study led by a research team at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

- La Preferida, Inc. is cans of La Preferida Whole Pinto Beans 29 oz. (Water & Salt). The manufacturer’s preliminary inspection indicates cans may not have been fully processed, which could result in product contamination by spoilage organisms or by pathogens, which could lead to illness if consumed.