Santa Claus the Magic Mushroom
Have you ever wondered why on Christmas we cut down/carry evergreen trees inside our houses, decorate them with fancy ornaments, and place presents underneath them?
Richard A. Lovett in San Francisco
for National Geographic News
Earth's north magnetic pole is racing toward Russia at almost 40 miles (64 kilometers) a year due to magnetic changes in the planet's core, new research says.
The core is too deep for scientists to directly detect its magnetic field. But researchers can infer the field's movements by tracking how Earth's magnetic field has been changing at the surface and in space.
Magnetic Field Weakening in Stages, Old Ships' Logs Suggest
Now, newly analyzed data suggest that there's a region of rapidly changing magnetism on the core's surface, possibly being created by a mysterious "plume" of magnetism arising from deeper in the core.
And it's this region that could be pulling the magnetic pole away from its long-time location in northern Canada, said Arnaud Chulliat, a geophysicist at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris in France.
Magnetic north, which is the place where compass needles actually point, is near but not exactly in the same place as the geographic North Pole. Right now, magnetic north is close to Canada's Ellesmere Island.
Navigators have used magnetic north for centuries to orient themselves when they're far from recognizable landmarks.
Although global positioning systems have largely replaced such traditional techniques, many people still find compasses useful for getting around underwater and underground where GPS satellites can't communicate.
The magnetic north pole had moved little from the time scientists first located it in 1831. Then in 1904, the pole began shifting northeastward at a steady pace of about 9 miles (15 kilometers) a year.
In 1989 it sped up again, and in 2007 scientists confirmed that the pole is now galloping toward Siberia at 34 to 37 miles (55 to 60 kilometers) a year.
A rapidly shifting magnetic pole means that magnetic-field maps need to be updated more often to allow compass users to make the crucial adjustment from magnetic north to true North.
Geologists think Earth has a magnetic field because the core is made up of a solid iron center surrounded by rapidly spinning liquid rock. This creates a "dynamo" that drives our magnetic field.
(Get more facts about Earth's insides.)
Scientists had long suspected that, since the molten core is constantly moving, changes in its magnetism might be affecting the surface location of magnetic north.
Although the new research seems to back up this idea, Chulliat is not ready to say whether magnetic north will eventually cross into Russia.
"It's too difficult to forecast," Chulliat said.
Also, nobody knows when another change in the core might pop up elsewhere, sending magnetic north wandering in a new direction.
Chulliat presented his work this week at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco.
For years, astronomers have been puzzled by the fact that our solar system is crossing a cloud of interstellar hell. One that shouldn’t be there at all. Intergalactic plot to keep us isolated from a cosmic event? Voyager got the answer.
Using data from Voyager, we have discovered a strong magnetic field just outside the solar system. This magnetic field holds the interstellar cloud together—”The Fluff”—and solves the long-standing puzzle of how it can exist at all.
The Fluff is much more strongly magnetized than anyone had previously suspected. This magnetic field can provide the extra pressure required to resist destruction.
The Voyagers are not actually inside the Local Fluff. But they are getting close and can sense what the cloud is like as they approach it.
At least, that’s what NASA’s Heliophysics Guest Investigator from George Mason University Merav Opher says in the December 24 issue of Nature. I lean to the intergalactic plot to keep our primitive world from entering the Federation of Advanced Civilisations. That, or Ming of Mongo trying to crush our puny arses.
It’s ironic how the whole thing works. Earth’s magnetic field and atmosphere protects us from the Sun’s magnetic field and radiation. Then, the Fluff is not destroying us thanks to the Sun’s magnetic field and the solar winds, which is what form the 10 billion kilometre–wide heliosphere. So my question is: Who protects the Fluff?
I will leave you with that scary thought. Go think, my little Earthlings, go. [Space]
HOLE FOUND ON THE EART'S MAGNETIC FIELD!!
Dec. 16, 2008: NASA's five THEMIS spacecraft have discovered a breach in Earth's magnetic field ten times larger than anything previously thought to exist. Solar wind can flow in through the opening to "load up" the magnetosphere for powerful geomagnetic storms. But the breach itself is not the biggest surprise. Researchers are even more amazed at the strange and unexpected way it forms, overturning long-held ideas of space physics.
"At first I didn't believe it," says THEMIS project scientist David Sibeck of the Goddard Space Flight Center. "This finding fundamentally alters our understanding of the solar wind-magnetosphere interaction."
The magnetosphere is a bubble of magnetism that surrounds Earth and protects us from solar wind. Exploring the bubble is a key goal of the THEMIS mission, launched in February 2007. The big discovery came on June 3, 2007, when the five probes serendipitously flew through the breach just as it was opening. Onboard sensors recorded a torrent of solar wind particles streaming into the magnetosphere, signaling an event of unexpected size and importance.
Right: One of the THEMIS probes exploring the space around Earth, an artist's concept. [more]
"The opening was huge—four times wider than Earth itself," says Wenhui Li, a space physicist at the University of New Hampshire who has been analyzing the data. Li's colleague Jimmy Raeder, also of New Hampshire, says "1027 particles per second were flowing into the magnetosphere—that's a 1 followed by 27 zeros. This kind of influx is an order of magnitude greater than what we thought was possible."
The event began with little warning when a gentle gust of solar wind delivered a bundle of magnetic fields from the Sun to Earth. Like an octopus wrapping its tentacles around a big clam, solar magnetic fields draped themselves around the magnetosphere and cracked it open. The cracking was accomplished by means of a process called "magnetic reconnection." High above Earth's poles, solar and terrestrial magnetic fields linked up (reconnected) to form conduits for solar wind. Conduits over the Arctic and Antarctic quickly expanded; within minutes they overlapped over Earth's equator to create the biggest magnetic breach ever recorded by Earth-orbiting spacecraft.Although early indicators of tsunamis have been identified, this has usually been after the event, and these are still not reliable enough to be widely used. Certainly, the standard seismic models did not predict the December 2004 earthquake that caused the tsunami and might not have predicted other tsunami sources such as submarine landslides or volcanic eruptions.
Perhaps the most promising research for enhancing our predictive capability is holistic geophysical forecasting. This makes use of the fact that the sizes of tsunami-related disturbances are so large and so powerful that they disturb the solid earth, the oceans and the atmosphere. These disturbances do not just lead to mechanical forces and release of heat, as in storms, but they also affect electrical, magnetic and molecular processes, especially higher up in the atmosphere.
Modern instruments have become so sensitive that they can measure magnetic fields one millionth of the strength of the earth's magnetic field, so that tremors in the lithosphere can be detected long before large earthquakes and tsunamis actually occur. Research at the Geoelectromagentic Research Center in Moscow also confirms that the motions in tsunami waves, once initiated, can be detected over many hundreds of kilometers from distant measurements of weak, slowly changing magnetic fields.UN to produce bullion coins as world currency
In its wide-ranging report this fall, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) stated that the system of currencies and international banking practices within today’s economies were inadequate, and responsible for the present economic crisis. The report advocates that the present monetary system, wherein the dollar acts as the global reserve currency be re-examined “with urgency”.
The UNCTAD Report was the first time a major multinational institution had forwarded such a suggestion or measure, although a number of countries, including Russia and Brazil have supported replacing the dollar as the world's reserve currency. China's central bank chief Zhou Xiaochuan has mentioned that the dollar could become a basket of currencies instead.
The UN commission dismissed such a widening, saying a multiple-country system "may be equally unstable, and not transparent."
The panel is seeking more monetary balance for developing countries, and a means for them to retain their reserves and domestic savings independent of foreign agencies and arrangements.
Panel Chair US economist Joseph Stiglitz, a Nobel economics laureate, has made plain that there was "a growing consensus that there are problems with the dollar reserve system. Developing countries are lending the United States trillions dollars at almost zero interest rates when they have huge needs themselves," Stiglitz stated.
"It's indicative of the nature of the problem. It's a net transfer, in a sense, to the United States, a form of foreign aid."
A report contributor, Detlef Koffe, concluded that "Replacing the dollar with a bullion currency would solve some of the problems related to the potential of countries running large deficits and would help stability,"
US Fed spokesperson Patrick Paulsen acknowledged that there could be some strong reaction in the US to the global currency, and that it would “…be viewed as a step toward a New World Order. But those same people have probably lost patience with the money-changers as well.”
He clarified that he would “…nonetheless anticipate that the western currencies will continue to depreciate, given Asia’s ascendancy in trade and manufacturing, to find their own value and enable their economies to compete. This is a UN perogrative we cannot and should not control, it’s returning to what we had with Bretton-Woods.”
The UN decided to provide a “public option” savings currency, whereby currency mints will be licensed to mint two kinds of bullion the size of the 1€ coin - the Uno (silver ~$5) and the Oro (, ~$500). The names were adopted from the book “The Humanist”, which foresees the UN being better funded by 2015 via its licensing fees, expected to be 10-15%.
The have a marker chemical in them that enables their authentication and processing by modified retail ATM and exchange machines in Europe, which will be distributed globally. Any licensee, public or private, can produce such bullion coinage under contract. The United Nations is doing no more than what most countries do already, except that the value of its will reflect their bullion weight.
Armand Dufour of the European Bank welcomes their introduction. “People have enough Fiat currency options, government and banks cannot intrude on bullion – they will have their own inviolable value.”
He does have one concern, however. “If we see a dismounting from the US dollar, as is inevitable in the main view, there will be a strong move to the Oro, which may drive its price up to the point where governments will not allow its circulation; they will try to isolate it.”
“That’s when the fun begins.” he said.
In the dead of night on December 17, 2009, President Barack Hussein Obama placed the United States of America under the authority of the international police organization known as INTERPOL, granting the organization full immunity to operate within the United States.
CONGRESS: EXPANSION OF GLOBAL GOVERNANCE, INTERPOOL, AND OBAMA
(AP Photo/Peter Dejong).
According to Threatswatch:
Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive Order 12425." It grants INTERPOL (International Criminal Police Organization) a new level of full diplomatic immunity afforded to foreign embassies and select other "International Organizations" as set forth in the United States International Organizations Immunities Act of 1945.By removing language from President Reagan's 1983 Executive Order 12425, this international law enforcement body now operates - now operates - on American soil beyond the reach of our own top law enforcement arm, the FBI, and is immune from Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests.
What, exactly does this mean? It means that INTERPOL now has the full authority to conduct investigations and other law enforcement activities on U.S. soil, with full immunity from U.S. laws such as the Freedom of Information Act and with complete independence from oversight from the FBI.
In short, a global law enforcement entity now has full law-enforcement authority in the U.S. without any check on its power afforded by U.S. law and U.S. law enforcement agencies.
A bit of background is in order here, and Hot Air provides it:
During his presidency, Ronald Reagan granted the global police agency Interpol the status of diplomatic personnel in order to engage more constructively on international law enforcement. In Executive Order 12425, Reagan made two exceptions to that status. The first had to do with taxation, but the second was to make sure that Interpol had the same accountability for its actions as American law enforcement — namely, they had to produce records when demanded by courts and could not have immunity for their actions.Barack Obama unexpectedly revoked those exceptions in a change to EO 12425 last (week)...
Thus, Interpol now can conduct its operations on U.S. soil with ZERO accountability to anyone in this country.
And you beginning to understand now just what the 'end game' is on the part of those who are currently running the U.S. Government?
Let's go a step further in fleshing out exactly what this means in practical terms. It gets ugly...and scary. Again, from ThreatsWatch:
Section 2c of the United States International Organizations Immunities Act is the crucial piece.
Property and assets of international organizations, wherever located and by whomsoever held, shall be immune from search, unless such immunity be expressly waived, and from confiscation.archives of international organizations shall be inviolable. The (Emphasis added.)
UN Dispatch - Dec 23, 2009Last week, the Obama Administration issued an executive order that extended certain diplomatic privileges to Interpol--the International Criminal Police ...Examiner.com - Dec 23, 2009In the early hours of December 17, 2009, the White House released a press release amending Executive Order 12425 (full text below). By this Executive Order, ...Hot Air (blog) - - Dec 23, 2009During his presidency, Ronald Reagan granted the global police agency Interpol the status of diplomatic personnel in order to engage more constructively on ...
...President Bush outright rejected subjugating American armed forces to any international court as a matter of policy, President Obama said in his 2008 presidential campaign that it is merely "premature to commit" to signing America on. National Review Online (blog) - Dec 23, 2009You just can't make up how brazen this crowd is. One week ago, President Obama quietly signed an executive order that makes an international police force ...ThreatsWatch.Org - - Dec 23, 2009Last Thursday, December 17, 2009, The White House released an Executive Order "Amending Executive ...
BlogsNewsBusters (blog) - - Dec 23, 2009NYT, October 29 -- Obama Order Strengthens Spy Oversight (the browser window title is "Obama Moves to Roll Back Bush Changes ...Wizbang (blog) - Dec 23, 2009In light of what we know and can observe, it is our logical conclusion that President Obama's Executive Order amending President Ronald Reagans' 1983 EO ...
Inviolable archives means INTERPOL records are beyond US citizens' Freedom of Information Act requests and from American legal or investigative discovery ("unless such immunity be expressly waived.")Property and assets being immune from search and confiscation means precisely that. Wherever they may be in the United States. This could conceivably include human assets - Americans arrested on our soil by INTERPOL officers.
Why would INTERPOL be arresting American citizens on our own soil, without oversight from our own law enforcement agencies? And remember, citizens who are thusly arrested would have no legal authority to demand full documentation from the International Police concerning the charges brought against them.
Andy McCarthy at National Review asks these crucial, sobering questions of the secretive Obama order:
Why would we elevate an international police force above American law? Why would we immunize an international police force from the limitations that constrain the FBI and other American law-enforcement agencies? Why is it suddenly necessary to have, within the Justice Department, a repository for stashing government files which, therefore, will be beyond the ability of Congress, American law-enforcement, the media, and the American people to scrutinize?
At least one answer to these questions is very clear. A coup is underway in the United States of America, the goal of which is to establish complete, unquestioned authority over the citizens--a 'fundamental change' to the United States where citizens have no legal recourse against an authoritarian central government.
OH WOOOOOW!!! Kanye West Admits That He SOLD HIS SOUL TO THE DEVIL In New Freestyle!!!
December 24, 2009. MediaTakeOut.com learned that a few nights ago, rapper Kanye West BRAGGED TO FANS that he sold his soul to the devil. Here are the lyrics to Kanye West’s freestyle:
I love the Game So
That I can’t take this s*t sometimes
And if they take everything away from me,
It wouldn’t f*ckin matter
Artists be too concerned about their well being sometimes.
Artists be too scared to stand up for something.
They scared to lose their f*ckin house,
Or their scared to lose their record deal.
I sold my soul to the devil
I know it’s a crappy deal
At least it came with a few toys like a happy meal.
I’m spaced out y’all, I be on that moon talk.
I wonder if God asked Mike how to moonwalk
The Freestyle is FIRE . . . but talkin’ about selling your SOUL TO THE DEVIL???? That ain’t even nothing to play with . . .
Ain’t this getting CRAZY though. First Jay Z talking slick about JESUS, and now Kanye West talking about SELLING HIS SOUL!!!!
By combining measurements of Earth's magnetic field from stations on land and ships at sea with satellite data, scientists were able to isolate six regularly occurring waves of motion taking place deep within Earth's liquid core, with varying timescales. Image credit: NASA/JPL › Larger view
"Terra firma." It's Latin for "solid Earth." Most of the time, at least from our perspective here on the ground, Earth seems to be just that: solid. Yet the Earth beneath our feet is actually in constant motion. It moves through time and space, of course, along with the other objects in the universe, but it moves internally as well. The powerful forces of wind, water and ice constantly erode its surface, redistributing Earth's mass in the process. Within Earth's solid crust, faulting literally creates and then moves mountains. Hydrological changes, such as the pumping of groundwater for use by humans, cause the ground beneath us to undulate. Volcanic processes deform our planet and create new land. Landslides morph and scar the terrain. Entire continents can even rise up, rebounding from the weight of massive glaciers that blanketed the land thousands of years ago.
Indeed, the outermost layers of the celestial blue onion that is Earth-its crust and upper mantle-aren't very solid at all. But what happens if we peel back the layers and examine what's going on deep within Earth, at its very core?
Obviously, Earth's core is too deep for humans to observe directly. But scientists can use indirect methods to deduce what's going on down there. A new study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, by Jean Dickey of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. and co-author Olivier deViron of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, University Paris Diderot, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris, has confirmed previous theoretical predictions that the churning cauldron of molten metals that make up Earth's liquid outer core is slowly being stirred by a very complex but predictable series of periodic oscillations. The findings give scientists unique insights into Earth's internal structure, the strength of the mechanisms responsible for generating Earth's magnetic field and its geology.
Peeling Back the Onion
In order to better understand what's going on inside our planet, it helps to first get a lay of the land, so to speak.
Earth has several distinct layers, each with its own properties. At the outermost layer of our planet is the crust, which comprises the continents and ocean basins. Earth's crust varies in thickness from 35 to 70 kilometers (22 to 44 miles) in the continents and 5 to 10 kilometers (3 to 6 miles) in the ocean basins. The crust is mainly composed of alumino-silicates.
Next comes the mantle. The mantle is roughly solid, though very slow motion can be observed inside of it. It is about 2,900 kilometers (1,800 miles) thick, and is separated into an upper and lower mantle. It is here where most of Earth's internal heat is located. Large convective cells in the mantle circulate heat and drive the movements of Earth's tectonic plates, upon which our continents ride. The mantle is mainly composed of ferro-magnesium silicates.
Earth's innermost layer is the core, which is separated into a liquid outer core and a solid inner core. The outer core is 2,300 kilometers (1,429 miles) thick, while the inner core is 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) thick. The outer core is mainly composed of a nickel-iron alloy (liquid iron), while the inner core is almost entirely composed of a pure solid iron body.
Earth's "Magnetic" Personality
Scientists believe Earth's magnetic field results from movements of molten iron and nickel within its liquid outer core. These flows, which are caused by interactions between Earth's core and its mantle, are neither even, nor evenly distributed. The electrical currents generated by these flows result in a magnetic field, which is similarly uneven, moves around in location and varies in strength over time. Earth's magnetic field is also slightly tilted with respect to Earth's axis. This causes Earth's geographic north and south poles to not line up with its magnetic north and south poles--they currently differ by about 11 degrees.
In just the last 200 million years alone, Earth's magnetic poles have actually reversed hundreds of times, with the most recent reversal taking place about 790,000 years ago. Scientists are able to reconstruct the chronology of these magnetic pole reversals by studying data on the spreading of the seafloor at Earth's mid-oceanic ridges. Unlike the doomsday scenario popularized by Hollywood in the movie "2012," however, such reversals don't occur over days, but rather on geologic timescales spanning hundreds to thousands of years-very short in geologic time but comparatively long in human time. The time span between pole reversals is even longer, ranging from 100,000 to several million years.
Earth's magnetic field is essential for life on Earth. Extending thousands of kilometers into space, it serves as a shield, deflecting the constant bombardment of charged particles and radiation known as the solar wind away from Earth. These solar winds would otherwise be fatal to life on Earth. At Earth's poles, the perpendicular angle of the magnetic field to Earth there allows some of these particles to make it into our atmosphere. This results in the Northern Lights in the northern hemisphere and the Southern Lights in the southern hemisphere.
Here on the ground, Earth's magnetic field has many practical applications to our everyday lives. It allows people to successfully navigate on land and at sea, making it a critical tool for commerce. Hikers use it to find their way. Archaeologists use it to deduce the age of ancient artifacts such as pottery, which, when fired, assumes the magnetic field properties that were present at the time of its creation. Similarly, the field of paleomagnetism uses magnetism to give scientists glimpses into Earth's remote past. In addition, geophysicists and geologists use geomagnetism as a tool to investigate Earth's structure and changes taking place in the Earth.
Getting to the Core of the Matter
Since Earth's liquid core is the primary source of Earth's magnetic field, scientists can use observations of the magnetic field at Earth's surface and its variability over time to mathematically calculate and isolate the approximate motions taking place within the core.
That's what Dickey and deViron did. They combined measurements of Earth's magnetic field taken by observatory stations on land and ships at sea dating back to 1840 with those of the Danish Oersted and German CHAMP geomagnetic satellite missions, both of which were supported by NASA investments. These measurements were then used as inputs for a complex model that employs statistical time series analyses to determine how fast liquid iron is flowing within Earth's core.
"Although we do not observe the core directly, it's amazing how much we can learn about Earth's interior using magnetic field observations," said Dickey.
In order to approximate the flow of liquid in the core, the scientists visualized its motion as a set of 20 rigid cylinders, each rotating about a common point that represents Earth's axis. "Imagine that each cylinder is slowly rotating at a different speed, and you'll get a sense of the complex churning that's taking place within Earth's core," Dickey said.
The scientists analyzed the data to identify common patterns of movement among the different cylinders. These patterns represent how momentum and energy are transferred from the liquid core-mantle interface inward through the liquid core toward the inner core with diminishing amplitudes.
Their analyses isolated six slow-moving oscillations, or waves of motion, occurring within the liquid core. The oscillations originated at the boundary between Earth's core and its mantle and traveled inward toward the inner core with decreasing strength. Four of these oscillations were robust, occurring at periods of 85, 50, 35 and 28 years. Since the scientist's data set goes back to 1840, the recurrence period of the longest oscillation (85 years) is less well determined than the other oscillations. The last two oscillations identified were weaker and will require further study.
The 85- and 50-year oscillations are consistent with a 1997 study by researchers Stephen Zatman and Jeremy Bloxham of Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., who used a different analysis technique. A later purely theoretical study by Harvard researcher Jon Mound and Bruce Buffett of the University of Chicago in 2006 showed that there should be several oscillations of this type; their predicted periods agree with the first four modes identified in Dickey and deViron's study.
"Our satellite-based results are in excellent agreement with the previous theoretical and other studies in this field, providing a strong confirmation of the existence of these oscillations," said Dickey. "These results will give scientists confidence in using satellite measurements in the future to deduce long-term changes taking place deep within our restless planet."
Alan Buis 818-354-0474
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.