Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Monday, May 30, 2011
Global warming has melted one of Mount Everest's most-visited glaciers into a vast and growing lake that now poses a threat to villagers and trekking tourists, scientists have warned.
A study of glacial melting in the high Himalaya found that the Imja glacier has melted from solid ice in the mid-1950s to a one and a half mile long lake today.
Scientists from Nepal's International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) said the lake is growing by just under 50 metres per year and is in danger of bursting its banks - a 31 metre-high dam of rocks and stones - and flooding nearby villages and trekking routes.
They predicted that more than 7,500 people would be affected by the floods, including tourists hiking along the popular Everest Base Camp route.
The study compared photographs taken from the 1956 Swiss Everest expedition, which showed no evidence of a lake on the glacier, to later pictures that revealed the creation of a large lake.
"Photographs taken in the 1950s demonstrate that, except for several small melt ponds, no lake existed at that time. By 1984 a lake of approximately 0.4 square kilometres had formed," the report said.
One of the authors, Pradeep Mool, a leading Himalayan glacier expert, said the study had been aimed at establishing which of the region's "potentially dangerous" glacial lakes could burst in the future.
Global warming was the cause of the glacier's rapid meltdown and transformation into a lake.
"Without the warming the ice will not melt. The rate of melt has increased because of exposure to atmospheric warming in the last few decades. It's a very beautiful lake but it is one of the lakes in potential danger of an outburst [of water]," he said.
The research, including scientific photography and the use of remote sensors, was conducted in one of the most dangerous parts of the high Himalaya and one of the researchers was killed in an accident while collecting the data.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
In this photo, members of the Calvary Bible Church of Milpitas appear at the closed Family Radio station offices of Harold Camping in Oakland, Calif., to offer support to victims of the radio evangelist, who claimed that the ascension into heaven of the Christian faithful would happen on Saturday, May 21, 2011. (AP / Dino Vournas, File)
Updated: Mon May. 23 2011 19:56:48
CTV.ca News Staff
Oops, he did it again.
A Christian radio host who predicted the apocalypse would come last Saturday, now says he made a mistake and it will occur on October 21.
California preacher Harold Camping said the Rapture will come five months to the day after May 21, his original prophecy.
The 89-year-old said he felt so bad his prediction didn't come true on Saturday, he sought refuge in a motel with his wife.
Camping made the statement to the press at the Oakland headquarters of his media empire, Family Radio International.
He also predicted the apocalypse would happen in 1994, but blamed the world's survival then on a mathematical error.
Camping had stated there was no way the Rapture would not start on Saturday at 6.p.m, and told the San Francisco Chronicle he was "flabbergasted" his doomsday prophecy didn't come about.
Camping preached some 200 million Christians would be saved and those left behind would die in a series of plagues until Earth was destroyed in a fireball on Oct. 21.
While his latest prediction was mostly met with online ridicule, some believers took it quite seriously. One man in New York spent his life savings on advertisements warning of the coming doom.
Camping's media empire has assets of more than $100 million and had $18 million in donations in 2009.
Not-for-profit financial organization NACHA, which oversees an electronic payment system called the Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network, has issued an immediate release today in response to a surge in spam e-mails part of a phishing attack.
The release, posted to the official NACHA Web site, reads:
Random individuals and/or companies may have received a falsified e-mail with the subject title "Rejected ACH Transaction." This e-mail appears to be from NACHA - The Electronic Payments Association telling them that there is a problem with an ACH transaction they have originated. The e-mail includes a link which redirects the individual to a fake web page which appears like the NACHA website and contains a link which is almost certainly executable virus with malware.
NACHA urges consumers to ignore these e-mails and not to click the link, which it says is likely associated with a virus.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We've heard it before: nice guys finish last. And when it comes to sexual attraction, it appears the rule holds.
A new study finds that women are more attracted to the brooding, "bad boy" rather than happy-go-lucky guys.
Now before you go asking, "They needed a study to tell us that?!", hear us out. The University of British Columbia researchers who worked on the study say there's an inherent contradiction in this finding.
They note that in almost every social interaction -- including those involving sexual attraction -- smiling is actually considered essential. But when it comes to first impressions, women seem to prefer men who look either sullen or boastful.
The study from UBC's Deptartment of Psychology involved more than 1,000 men and women who were asked to rate how sexually attractive they found hundreds of pictures of people of the opposite sex.
The pictures showed men and women engaged in standard displays of happiness (broad smiles), pride (raised heads, puffed-up chests) or shame (lowered heads, averted eyes).
When they asked the women which images they found sexiest, the women tended to be least interested in the smiling, happy men. They instead preferred either those who looked proud and powerful, or moody and ashamed.
In contrast, men were most sexually attracted to women who looked happy, and least attracted to women who appeared proud and confident.
Alec Beall, a UBC psychology graduate student and one of the study's co-authors says it's important to remember that the study was meant to explore first impressions of sexual attraction.
"We were not asking participants if they thought these targets would make a good boyfriend or wife – we wanted their gut reactions on carnal, sexual attraction," he explained in a news release.
He notes that previous studies have found nice personalities and positive emotions are highly desirable in relationship partners. But when it comes to sexual attraction, women seem to like their men "complicated."
Why would women like men who looked ashamed? Prof. Jessica Tracy of UBC's Deptartment of Psychology, who also worked on the study, has a theory.
She says displays of shame suggest the men are aware of social norms and appeasement behaviors, which suggests they are trustworthy, a trait that is valued by both sexes.
As for why the women preferred the men who raised their arms in pride, that one was a bit easier to explain.
First off, the pride expression accentuated the men's physical features, such as upper body size and muscularity, which may have helped to make the men more sexually attractive.
As well, evolutionary theories suggest females are often attracted to male displays of pride because they imply status and competence. Smiling, on the other hand, is often linked with a lack of dominance.
Men may have preferred the smiling women because happiness is considered a particularly feminine-appearing expression.
And like it or not, traditional gender norms call for men to be dominant and strong, and women to be submissive and vulnerable.
"Generally, the results appear to reflect some very traditional gender norms and cultural values that have emerged, developed and been reinforced through history, at least in Western cultures," Tracy said in the news release.
"These include norms and values that many would consider old-fashioned and perhaps hoped that we've moved beyond."
The study appears in the online edition of the American Psychological Association journal Emotion.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
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