Over Easy: Around the World

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

A raid by Swiss justice officers on the Zurich headquarters of FIFA, worldwide governing body of the sport the U.S. calls soccer, kicked off a corruption crackdown that has been assisted by Charles Blazer, the former head of Concacaf, working undercover..

Amid the U.S. indictments released Wednesday, Swiss authorities indicated that they were separately investigating the processes by which the 2018 and 2022 World Cup host country sites were secured. The United States narrowly lost out on hosting the latter competition to Qatar, whose securing of the tournament has been overshadowed by concerns over alleged human rights abuses of its migrant labor force.

According to SIU law professor Dervan, part of the reason the DOJ may have launched its investigation into FIFA is because of the widely held belief that corruption influenced the body’s decision to award Qatar the World Cup — thus negatively impacting U.S. commerce and legal norms.

Representatives of the two tribes with members  in the legislative body, Penobscots and Passamaquoddies, withdrew from the Maine legislature as a protest of state attitudes injurious to the tribes’ interests.

As Dana and Mitchell were leaving, a number of lawmakers accompanied them and joined a protest held in the statehouse courtyard.

“The Passamaquoddy and Penobscot people will always have a place in the Maine House,” said House speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick.

”I hope they will reclaim their seats,” he added without elaborating how it may come about.

Technology that can meddle with the DNA of human embryos has been opposed by world bodies that are concerned about its implication for the future of the species.

The technique allows researchers to artificially insert or remove parts of the DNA.

Nascent work in the field has already led to fierce patent battles between start-up companies and universities that say it could prove as profitable and revolutionary as recombinant DNA technology, which was developed in the 1970s and 1980s and launched the biotechnology industry.

But CRISPR has also brought ethical concerns. Use of the technology provoked strong criticism from some scientists last month, after it was employed in China to alter the DNA of human embryos.

Never.Give.Up.

Over Easy: Placeholder

Hummingbirds arriving in NW PA, apple blossom time
Hummingbirds arriving in NW PA, apple blossom time

As there isn’t an Over Easy yet, I’ll put this up just for folks to meet and share things here with.

The Antartic Peninsula, from a report from Bristol University that was just released, has been losing ice in dramatic quantities.

Satellites have seen a sudden dramatic change in the behaviour of glaciers on the Antarctica Peninsula, according to a Bristol University-led study.

The ice streams were broadly stable up until 2009, since when they have been losing on the order of 56 billion tonnes of ice a year to the ocean.

Warm waters from the deep sea may be driving the changes, the UK-based team says.

(snip)

“Around 2009/2010, the surface in this part of the southern Antarctic Peninsula started to lower at a really quite dramatic rate, of 4m per year in some places. That’s a pretty big signal,” said Bristol’s Prof Jonathan Bamber.

“The total loss of ice per year is about 60 cubic km. Just to put that into some kind of context: 4 cubic km is roughly equivalent to the domestic water supply of the UK every year.”

Over Easy: Around the World

Welcome to Thursday’s Over Easy, a continuation of Southern Dragon’s Lakeside Diner and its tradition of giving an overview of news our everyday media doesn’t cover, issues that we ought to consider outside the U.S. scene.

In an effect that might have been anticipated, the side effect/peripheral damage of our first world big crackdown on human trafficking is producing abandoned cargo folks.  The European Union asked for U.N. approval for a plan to board and destroy human trafficking boats in Libyan and international waters. (more…)

Over Easy: Tornadoes and Supercell Thunderstorms

More than 70 tornadoes were reported across various states over Mother’s Day weekend. The deadly EF-3 tornado that struck Van, Texas (North Central) was 700 yards wide and traveled on the ground for 9.9 miles.

National Geographic reports that more storms are expected in upcoming days, but precise tornado prediction in advance remains difficult despite recent advancements in weather science. Most tornadoes tend to occur in May and June when conditions are likely more favorable for tornado formation. According to the report, tornadoes kill an average of 60 people per year, and most deaths are caused by flying debris.

Hico, TX Supercell, April 26, 2015
Hico, TX Supercell, April 26, 2015
Most intense tornadoes emerge from supercell thunderstorms:

The most intense tornadoes emerge from what are called supercell thunderstorms. For such a storm to form, you first “need the ingredients for a regular thunderstorm,” says Brooks.

Those ingredients include warm moisture near the surface and relatively cold, dry air above. “The warm air will be buoyant, and like a hot-air balloon it will rise,” says Brooks.

Over the weekend at our residence in the Lake Texoma area we learned (to my horror) that we cannot hear the warning sirens. Our TV and internet was the first thing to go in the storm(s)- which sounded like a bombing raid. We were only able to get our tornado warnings, followed by our flash flood warnings on our cell phones. Of course, everyone has a plan for what to do in a tornado-warned storm. But for some reason, underground shelters do not seem to be as prevalent as they once were. What ever happened to the concept of a storm cellar? Perhaps the answer is that storm cellars no longer serve a storage purpose.

Creative Commons photo courtesy of Kelly DeLay on flickr.

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