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[VIDEO] IT’S HUGE! Giant Black Slug! 

Behold the super-slimy awesomeness that is the Black Sea Hare (Aplysia vaccaria), the world’s largest species of sea slug, weighing up to 30 lbs and measuring over 3 feet long. Black Sea Hares come to shore to lay their eggs and are apparently even slimier to the touch than they look.

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Watch as Coyote Peterson of the Brave Wilderness Channel and tide pool expert Aron Sanchez encounter a spectacular specimen of this colossal gastropod mollusk in a tide pools off the coast of the Pacific Ocean in San Pedro, CA Read the rest of this entry »

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[VIDEO] Massive Crab Swarm Discovered Off Panama Coast 

Scientists exploring a Pacific Ocean ecosystem have stumbled upon an undiscovered horde of thousands of little crabs. They say this is the southernmost population of this crab species ever found, extending its known range.

Mr-Crab

 


OH YES THEY DID: China Cranks Up Incursions Around Disputed Senkaku Islands

Haijing 31239 is the first armed Chinese ship to approach the disputed islands

China has stepped up its incursions around the disputed Senkaku or Diaoyu islands in what Japanese officials claim is a new attempt at changing the status quo in the East China Sea.

Noting a marked shift in China’s behaviour around the islands since last December, a Japanese foreign ministry official said: “The situation in the East China Sea is getting worse.”

The incursions threaten an improving relationship between the two nations since Chinese president Xi Jinping and Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe shook hands in November 2014.

Tension over the group of five uninhabited islands and three barren rocks mounted in September 2012, when the Japanese government — which has administered the islands since 1895 — bought them from a private owner.

Japanese officials fear Beijing is using the shift in international attention towards the South China Sea — where China has been constructing artificial islands — to mount a new push in the waters further north.

Tokyo has formally protested the Chinese actions, which it calls a “forceful, coercive attempt to change the status quo”, but has so far avoided any escalation with countermeasures of its own.

In late December, China sailed an armed vessel into territorial waters around the disputed islands for the first time.

Sailing with three other Chinese vessels, a former naval frigate converted for coastguard use but carrying four quick-firing 37mm cannon, entered the 24 nautical mile “contiguous zone” around the islands for the first time on December 22, and the 12 nautical mile territorial waters on December 26. Read the rest of this entry »


Russian Warplanes Buzz USS Ronald Reagan, U.S. Launches 4 Fighter Jets in Response

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 F/A-18 Super Hornets Escort Russian planes Out.

Two Russian warplanes flew within one mile of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, forcing the U.S. Navy to launch four fighter jets in response Tuesday, a Navy spokesman told Fox News.

Two Russian warplanes flew within one mile of the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, forcing the U.S. Navy to launch four fighter jets in response Tuesday, a Navy spokesman told Fox News.

The USS Reagan was sailing in international waters east of the Korean peninsulaStars and Stripes reports. It adds that the U.S. is currently engaged in joint military exercises with South Korea. Read the rest of this entry »


Japan: Thousands Rally in Tokyo Against Abe’s Security Bills

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Thousands of Japanese rallied Sunday in protest at plans by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to bolster the role and scope of the pacifist nation’s military

The protest which surrounded the Diet building was held as the nationalist premier tries to force through parliament a set of controversial bills making the changes.

国会で審議が進められている安全保障関連法案に反対する抗議集会が行われ、主催者発表­で約2万5000人の人が国会周辺を取り囲みました。

The bills are a pet project of Abe, who says Japan can no longer shy away from its responsibility to help safeguard regional stability, and must step out from under the security umbrella provided by the United States.

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The draft legislation would broaden the remit of Japan’s well-equipped and well-trained armed forces.

It would allow them to go into battle to protect allies-so-called “collective defense“-something which is banned by a strict reading of Japan’s pacifist constitution. Read the rest of this entry »


[VIDEO] Coconut Octopus: Moving Day

Amphioctopus marginatus, also known as the coconut octopus and veined octopus, is a medium-sized cephalopod belonging to the genus Amphioctopus. It is found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It commonly preys upon shrimpcrabs, and clams, and displays unusual behavior including bipedal walking and tool use (gathering coconut shells and seashells and using these for shelter).

Mr-Crab

“I hate cephalopods. They make me nervous. Had one try to eat me for lunch. Is he gone yet?”

The main body of the octopus is typically 8 centimeters (3 in) long and including the arms, approximately 15 centimeters (6 in) long. The octopus displays a typical color pattern with dark ramified lines similar to veins, usually with a yellow siphon. The arms are usually dark in color, with contrasting white suckers. In many color displays, a lighter trapezoidal area can be seen immediately below the eye….(read more)

 


THE PANTSUIT REPORT: Ted Cruz Super PACs CRUSHES Hillary’s PAC In Fundraising

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Rachel Stoltzfoos reports:  Super PACs backing Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz have raised more than double the PAC backing presumptive Democratic nomineePANTSUIT-REPORT Hillary Clinton.

“Cruz’s haul is eye-popping, one that instantly raises the stakes in the Republican fundraising contest.”

Priorities USA Action has managed to secure just $5 million in “hard commitments,” and expects to raise just $15 million through the end of June, reported The Wall Street Journal.

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The PAC is led by prominent Democrats including President Barack Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, Jim Messina. Read the rest of this entry »


Orion Exploration Flight Test Launch

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The United Launch Alliance Delta IV Heavy rocket with NASA’s Orion spacecraft mounted atop, lifts off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station’s Space Launch Complex 37 at at 7:05 a.m. EST, Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, in Florida. The Orion spacecraft will orbit Earth twice, reaching an altitude of approximately 3,600 miles above Earth before landing in the Pacific Ocean. No one is aboard Orion for this flight test, but the spacecraft is designed to allow us to journey to destinations never before visited by humans, including an asteroid and Mars.

Full album

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BREAKING: Magnitude 7.4 Offshore Quake Hits Central America, El Salvador Tsunami Warning

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A magnitude 7.4 underwater earthquake struck off the coast of El Salvador Monday, Oct. 13, 2014.
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The U.S. Geological Survey is reporting that a magnitude 7.4 underwater earthquake has struck off the coast of El Salvador.

The quake, whose epicenter was in the Pacific Ocean about 169 kilometers…(read more)

Read the rest of this entry »


Global Panic Time Out: West Coast Warming Linked to Naturally Occurring Changes

For the LA TimesTony Barboza writes: Naturally occurring changes in winds, not human-caused climate change, are responsible for most of the warming on land and in the sea along the West Coast of North America over the last century, a study has found.panic-man

“Changing winds appear to explain a very large fraction of the warming from year to year, decade to decade and the long-term.”

The analysis challenges assumptions that the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has been a significant driver of the increase in temperatures observed over many decades in the ocean and along the coastline from Alaska to California.

Changes in ocean circulation as a result of weaker winds were the main cause of about 1 degree Fahrenheit of warming in the northeast Pacific Ocean and nearby coastal land between 1900 and 2012, according to the Shocked woman on telephoneanalysis of ocean and air temperatures over that time.

— Kevin Trenberth, National Center for Atmospheric Research

The study, conducted by researchers from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of Washington, was published Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read the rest of this entry »


United Flight Over Pacific Ocean Makes Emergency Landing, Burning Smell Reported

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CNN WIRE SERVICE reports: A youngster described on social media how “something was on fire” on a harrowing United Airlines flight Friday over the Pacific Ocean that the FAA said was forced to land on Midway Island because of an electrical odor on board.

The United Airlines plane, carrying 335 passengers and 13 crew on a Boeing 777, was flying from Honolulu to Guam when it was forced to land and spend seven hours on the Pacific atoll, said United spokeswoman Mary Clark. A replacement aircraft later carried everyone back to Hawaii on Friday, she said.

When explicitly asked Saturday whether the disturbing smell was smoke or something burning, Clark described the incident as an odor in the cabin.

But one passenger, a minor, tweeted about parts of the incident, including how the “flight attendant said there’s a burning smell in the cockpit…. (expletive) what?”

At one point, the plane dipped dramatically, he said. Read the rest of this entry »


NASA Launches Flying Saucer for Tests of Mars Entry Technology

In this artist's concept, NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator test vehicle is accelerated to the edge of space to test an inflatable braking system and a huge new supersonic parachute that engineers hope will pave the way to landing larger payloads on the surface of Mars. (Credit: NASA)

In this artist’s concept, NASA’s Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator test vehicle is accelerated to the edge of space to test an inflatable braking system and a huge new supersonic parachute that engineers hope will pave the way to landing larger payloads on the surface of Mars. (Credit: NASA)

For CBS Space News, William Harwood writes: A giant helium balloon lifted a 3.5-ton flying saucer-shaped research vehicle to an altitude of more than 23 miles Saturday and released it for a dramatic rocket-powered boost through the extreme upper atmosphere to test an inflatable doughnut-like braking system and a huge supersonic parachute needed for future missions to Mars.

The inflatable aero-brake appeared to work normally in live video downlinked from the test vehicle, but the parachute, the largest ever built for deployment at more than twice the speed of sound, failed to fully inflate in a disappointment for flight controllers with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

“PI (principle investigator) has called ‘no chute.’ We don’t have full chute inflation,” a flight controller reported.

Three views of the experimental Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator showing the test vehicle with its braking parachute deployed along with before-and-after views of the craft's inflatable braking system. (Credit: NASA)

Three views of the experimental Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator showing the test vehicle with its braking parachute deployed along with before-and-after views of the craft’s inflatable braking system. (Credit: NASA)

The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator then fell toward impact in the Pacific Ocean northwest of Hawaii. The carrier balloon apparently came apart after the LDSD’s release and it was not immediately clear what recovery crews standing by in the landing zone might be able to retrieve.

In any case, the test flight appeared to meet all of its major objectives but one and engineers are hopeful recorded telemetry will shed light on what went wrong with the parachute deploy. Read the rest of this entry »


BREAKING: Magnitude 6.0 Earthquake Strikes Tokyo, at Least 17 People Injured

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WAM TOKYO, 5th May, 2014 (WAM) — A strong earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 on the Richter scale struck Tokyo on Monday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. No tsunami warning was issued for the 5:18 a.m. (2018 GMT Sunday) quake, the agency said.

According to the Kuwait News Agency, KUNA, at least 17 people were injured in Tokyo and its neighbouring prefectures, according to police and fire-fighters. There was no impact on nuclear power plants in the region, operators said. All subway systems in Tokyo and some train services linking central Tokyo and other cities were temporarily suspended after the quake, but resumed later.

The focus of the tremor was 162 km underground near Izu Oshima Island in the Pacific Ocean, about 120 km south of Tokyo, the Japan Meteorological Agency was quoted as saying. Read the rest of this entry »


The X-51A Waverider: Pentagon’s Hypersonic Long-Range Rapid Attack Weapon

The X-51A Waverider, carried under the wing of a B-52H Stratofortress bomber, prepares to launch the fourth and final flight over the Pacific Ocean. The X-51A, an experimental, unmanned aircraft, went hypersonic during a test off the Southern California coast, traveling at more than 3,000 mph, the Air Force said Friday. (U.S. Air Force) Photo by: Bobbi Zapka

The X-51A Waverider, carried under the wing of a B-52H Stratofortress bomber, prepares to launch the fourth and final flight over the Pacific Ocean. The X-51A, an experimental, unmanned aircraft, went hypersonic during a test off the Southern California coast, traveling at more than 3,000 mph. (U.S. Air Force) Photo: Bobbi Zapka

Bill Gertz reports:  An experimental scramjet-powered, ultrahigh speed strike vehicle is emerging as the Pentagon’s main choice for a new long-range, rapid attack weapon, a seniorPentagon official says.

Alan R. Shaffer, principal deputy assistant defense secretary for research and engineering, told a defense industry conference that prototypes and recent tests proved concepts for hypersonic arms, and several systems are part of a high-priority effort by Pentagon weapons developers, despite the era of sharply-diminished defense spending.

Hypersonic vehicles can deliver nuclear or conventional payloads in precision strikes against increasingly hard-to-penetrate air defenses of countries like China,Russia and Iran, he said.

“We, the U.S., do not want to be the second country to understand how to have controlled scramjet hypersonics,” Mr. Shaffer told the Precision Strike Association’s annual review on Tuesday.

Photo by: Chad Bellay

Photo by: Chad Bellay

The comments come 2 1/2 months after China’s surprise Jan. 9 test of a new hypersonic glide vehicle, dubbed the Wu-14. That ultrahigh speed maneuvering vehicle test represents a major challenge for current U.S. missile defenses, which are designed to counter non-maneuvering ballistic missile threats. Read the rest of this entry »


Earthquake: Newsroom Photo of the Day

 

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U.S. v China: Is This the New Cold War?

The launch of a Chinese guided missile destroyer in Zhejiang last year

The launch of a Chinese guided missile destroyer in Zhejiang last year

The new era of military competition in the Pacific will become the defining geopolitical contest of the 21st century…

“Ninety per cent of China’s time is spent on thinking about new and interesting ways to sink our ships and shoot down our planes”

— Dennis Blair, former US Pacific commander

Read Geoff Dyer’s article at FT.com

Read the rest of this entry »


European Satellite Burns Up During Re-entry

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(CNN) — A 2,000-pound European satellite burned up as it re-entered Earth’s atmosphere early Monday, controllers reported.

Re-entry was made close to 1 a.m. Monday (7 p.m. ET), the European Space Agency said.

“As expected, the satellite disintegrated in the high atmosphere and no damage to property has been reported,” the space agency said.

The Gravity Field and Steady-State Ocean Circulation Explorer — a European Space Agency satellite known shorthand as GOCE — crossed over Siberia, the western Pacific Ocean, the eastern Indian Ocean and Antarctica upon its re-entry.

Read the rest of this entry »