Monday, September 30, 2013

NASA releases images of Pakistan's 'Earthquake Island'

Published time: September 30, 2013 01:44
Edited time: September 30, 2013 15:21
Photo by NASA
Photo by NASA
Amidst the destruction caused by the devastating earthquake in Pakistan that killed more than 500 people, a new island emerged from the depth of the sea. NASA has released images of the newly formed islet.
NASA has released before and after photos of a new terrestrial body that was born on September 24 during a quake that struck Pakistan.
Called Zalzala Jazeera, or a an earthquake island, the terrestrial formation can now be found 380 kilometers from the earthquake’s epicenter in Paddi Zirr Bay near Swadar, Pakistan in the Arabian Sea.  
The first image of the island was taken  by NASA’s Earth Observing-1 satellite on September 26, while the second snapshot shows the same bay on April 17 with water and no landmass around the coordinates that the new island now inhabits. 

Photo by NASA
Photo by NASA

Photo by NASA
Photo by NASA
According to scientists, the depth of the water level around Zalzala Jazeera stands at about 15 to 20 meters, stretching 75 to 90 meters across. It lies approximately one mile from the shore. Scientists say the island is nothing more than just a pile of mud, sand and solid rock that was caused by the forces of highly pressurized gas.
“The island is really just a big pile of mud from the seafloor that got pushed up. This area of the world seems to see so many of these features because the geology is correct for their formation. You need a shallow, buried layer of pressurized gas—methane, carbon dioxide, or something else—and fluids. When that layer becomes disturbed by seismic waves (like an earthquake), the gases and fluids become buoyant and rush to the surface, bringing the rock and mud with them,” Bill Barnhart, a geologist at the US Geological Survey told NASA’s Earth Observatory.
The Earth Observatory says this is not the first island to have surfaced along the 700-kilometer-long coast over the past century.  Scientists predict that the new island will remain above surface for up to a year before sinking back into the Arabian sea.
The island rose out of the water during a 7.7-magnitude earthquake that struck Balochistan, just 69 km north-northeast of Awaran -  the nearest Pakistani city - on 24 September 2013. Over 300,000 people were affected by the quake, which caused over 500 deaths, and some 21,000 houses were destroyed.

People use boats as they visit an island that rose from the sea following an earthquake, off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea September 25, 2013.(Reuters / Stringer)
People use boats as they visit an island that rose from the sea following an earthquake, off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea September 25, 2013.(Reuters / Stringer)

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Cycling in the US from a Dutch perspective

Flesh-rotting ‘krokodil’ drug makes it to US, ‘frightens’ Arizona medics

Published time: September 27, 2013 17:41 

Edited time: September 28, 2013 10:29
RIA Novosti / Oleg Zoloto
RIA Novosti / Oleg Zoloto
Arizona doctors and law enforcement officials are warning the public about a dangerous homemade narcotic that can cause human flesh to quickly decay and drastically reduce users’ life expectancy after the drug surfaced in the US state.
Desomorphine, known in Russia as “krokodil,” or crocodile, is an extremely toxic drug made from codeine-based pills that are then mixed with iodine, paint thinner, gasoline, alcohol or oil. The concoction is injected, leading to a shorter but more powerful high that’s often found with heroin or morphine use.

While krokodil’s popularity quickly grew in Russia in the recent decade, as heroin is much more expensive and difficult to obtain, experts think it has made it to the southwestern United States.

“We’ve had two cases this past week that have occurred in Arizona,” Dr. Frank LoVecchio, the co-medical director at Banner’s Poison Control Center, told KLTV. “As far as I know, these are the first cases in the United States that are reported. So we’re extremely frightened.”

The drug is known for being heavily addictive, with just one or two injections needed to get someone hooked, as well as for its dire side effects.
RIA Novosti / Oleg Zoloto
RIA Novosti / Oleg Zoloto

With krokodil, users’ skin rots from the inside out, and they develop what is known as alligator skin, complete with visible scaly contusions. Long-time krokodil users literally have their skin fall off the bone due to ruptured blood vessels and damage to the surrounding tissues.

Irreversible damage to a krokodil addict’s health comes within a month of starting to use the drug, as the brain and liver also start to rot, and the limbs become paralyzed. A user’s average life expectancy does not exceed two to three years.

According to Russian anti-drug activist Yevgeny Roizman, who was earlier this month elected mayor of Yekaterinburg, krokodil is now one of Russia’s top homemade drugs.

A controversial public figure, Roizman has for years campaigned for a ban on the unlimited distribution in Russian drugstores of codeine-based pills, which he says are widely used by dealers and addicts to make krokodil. The founder of the City Without Drugs and Country Without Drugs NGOs, Roizman has described horrific cases of krokodil use in his blog, saying that for many young Russians it becomes “the first and the last” drug. (WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC PHOTOS)

The director of Russia’s Federal Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov, has admitted that the surge in desomorphine use across Russia correlated with the sharp increase of drugs containing codeine in drugstores. A legal ban on the non-prescription sale of such drugs in Russia came into force in 2012.

According to figures from Russia’s Bureau of Forensic Medical Examination, cited by Country Without Drugs, deaths in Russia from drug overdoses in 2012 rose by 20 percent. In total, some 150,000 Russians died from drug use last year, according to Ivanov, the Drug Control Service chief. Ivanov has estimated that in some regions of the country 90 percent of registered drug addicts use krokodil.

The use and preparation of krokodil has been spreading to countries neighboring Russia and farther into Europe, according to various media reports. In December 2011, Poland’s Medical University of Silesia reported at least one death from krokodil use in Warsaw, and also said cases of the drug being used had been confirmed in Germany, the Czech Republic, Ukraine, France, Belgium, Sweden and Norway.

Galactic Federation of Light SEPTEMBER 12 2013 Centaurian Anitheiess Jac...

Friday, September 27, 2013


08:26 am


Jeff Cowen
drag queen

The New York Historical Society recently obtained some great “Old New York” photography—beautiful shots of the ladies from New York’s formerly infamous Meatpacking District. Though it’s now one of the trendiest (and most expensive) neighborhoods in the city, in the 1980s, the Meatpacking District was the most notorious destination for sex clubs, drugs and prostitution, particularly from trans people. Many of the sex clubs were even forcibly shut down during the height of the AIDS scare by the Koch administration.
It’s a contentious part of the city’s history, and although the characters who populated that part of town at night are long gone, Jeff Cowen’s photographs are proof that they once existed. From The Historical Society’s website:
When New-York Historical acquired these images, Jeff Cowen included a typewritten, four-page narrative he titled “The Drag Queen Stroll.”  In it, the artist details his subjects from their first-hand accounts and his point of view, utilizing an abrupt writing style that’s reminiscent of the Beat Generation.
Cowen maps “The Stroll” from 17th Street and 9th Avenue, running west to the Hudson River, to the southern edge of the Meatpacking District on Gansevoort. His writing draws on the rampant homelessness, drug use, prostitution, theft, and assault in this area at night, which serves as a sharp contrast to the union workers and family men who work in the meat markets and warehouses during the day. Cowen calls this area “a haven for the largest transvestite subculture on the east coast.” And with the advent of crack and HIV/AIDS in the 1980s, he says “the cost of sin has never been higher.”

drag queens

drag queen

drag queen

drag queen

Via Animal
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Some Strange Things Are Happening To Astronauts Returning To Earth

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