Russia investigating men who brutally ran over a bear with heavy trucks

December 29, 2016 by  
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Russia has launched a criminal investigation after a horrifying YouTube video showed men in Siberia driving heavy duty trucks over a brown bear . One man can be heard yelling for the others to crush the poor animal . Many people are outraged over their atrocious treatment of the bear that ultimately led to its death, and Russia’s environment minister is now calling for tough punishment for the “villains.” In the appalling YouTube video, men ran over the bear in off-road trucks typically operated by mining and oil workers. The video, which looked as it it was filmed on a cell phone, showed the men driving trucks over the bear several times in the snow, as one man yelled “Squash him! Squash him!” The words “It’s still alive,” could be heard as the men prodded the animal using a metal rod, while it struggled to escape before it perished. Related: Tigers punched for fun at horrifying “sanctuaries” in China The video has since been taken down, but the crime is too enormous to be forgotten. Russian investigators in Yakutia, a northern region of the country, opened a criminal inquiry. They said the men work for a mineral prospecting company, and they could face up to two years in jail due to sadistic treatment of the animal. Russian media reported on the sickening video, sparking anger from the public. Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Sergei Donskoi posted on social media, “There should be real jail time for this sort of crime! We’ll make sure these villains get the most serious punishment.” According to The Guardian , people working in the oil and mining industries in Siberia come into conflict more often with animals – including bears, which can be dangerous. People in this area of the world are legally allowed to shoot bears if they don’t go into hibernation and wander near villages or towns. But that can never excuse the way these men cruelly treated the bear. Via The Guardian Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Thousands of giant snowballs pile up on 11 miles of Siberian coast

November 9, 2016 by  
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Huge snowballs along 11 miles of coastline surprised residents of Nyda, Siberia recently. Locals say they’ve never seen a phenomenon like this one, and documented the thousands of snowballs in social media posts. Some of the snowballs are as small as a few inches, while others are nearly three-feet-wide. The icy orbs started showing up around two weeks ago near the small Siberian village north of the Arctic Circle . While the snowball-swathed beaches may look like preparations for a giant snowball fight, natural processes actually led to the strange balls. Related: Zombie anthrax outbreak hits Siberia after blistering heatwave The snowballs apparently form when water and wind roll ice pieces. Valery Akulov of the village administration told The Siberian Times, “When the water in the gulf rose, it came into contact with the frost. The beach began to be covered in ice. Then the water began to slowly retreat, and the ice remained. Its pieces were rolling over in the wet sand, and turned into these balls.” Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute spokesperson Sergei Lisenkov told The Siberian Times, “It is a rare natural phenomenon. As a rule, grease ice forms first, slush. And then a combination of the action of the wind, the outlines of the coastline, and the temperature, may lead to the formation of such balls.” Akulov said village “old-timers” had never seen such a phenomenon before, and locals expressed disbelief and amazement at the snowballs. Local Ekaterina Chernykh said, “We all were very surprised. Many people believed it only when they saw with their own eyes. This has not happened previously. And there was not so much snow for them to form. It’s so interesting.” Locals compare the size of smaller snowballs to tennis balls and large ones to volleyballs. Via The Siberian Times , the BBC and Gizmodo Images via screenshot

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Thousands of giant snowballs pile up on 11 miles of Siberian coast

Russian river runs red, locals suspect nearby metal plant

September 8, 2016 by  
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A river near the Siberian town of Norilsk turned bright red on Tuesday , stunning local residents and puzzling authorities. Some locals, though, are saying this isn’t the first time the Daldykan River has changed color suddenly. Russia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment is suspicious that a nearby metal plant may have leaked an “unidentified chemical” that caused the water to change colors, but a full investigation has been ordered to find out why local residents are seeing red. The plant in question is the Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant owned by Norilsk Nickel, the world’s largest nickel producer. In a statement issued Wednesday , Russia’s Environment Ministry suggested that the plant may have leaked chemicals if a pipeline was broken, fueling the theory about the cause behind the color-changing river water. So far, the company has denied all suggestions that the plant’s operations or pipelines could be involved in the mysterious red water. Related: EPA spills 1M gallons of mustard-colored mine waste into a Colorado river If there can be a silver lining on a story about possible industrial pollution , nearby residents are not under immediate threat, as there is no public water utility connected to the river, the Norlisk city administration told state news agency Sputnik. The town of Norlisk, though, is known for having immense problems with pollution, and until the exact cause for the color-changing river is known, nobody can say with certainty what the extend of the risk might be. Russia’s Environment Ministry will continue its investigation and, in the meantime, locals will continue to post images of the blood-red river on social media. Via CNN Images via Facebook/reposted by Russian media

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Why 1 in 10 people reach the age of 100 in this small Italian village

September 8, 2016 by  
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Back in the 1950’s, American scientist Ancel Keys began to research the Mediterranean diet in Italy ‘s Cilento peninsula. He eventually moved to the peninsula and lived to only two months shy of his 101st birthday. Now researchers from Rome’s La Sapienza University and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) teamed up to zero in on Acciaroli, a town in the Cilento peninsula where one in 10 residents reach the age of 100, and better understand the secrets of a longer life. Not only do people live to 100 and beyond, but many are still independent and active. Antonio Vassalo, 100, and Aminda Fedollo, 93, said they eat healthy food like fish, chicken, rabbit, olive oil, and vegetables and fruit they grow. Fedollo told the AFP, “We consume what we produce.” Residents garden, walk, or go fishing to exercise . Related: Harvard Researchers Successfully Reverse Aging in Mice The two universities launched a six-month study in which they took blood samples from 80 residents. They discovered surprisingly low levels of adrenomedullin, a hormone. High levels of adrenomedullin hinder circulation, while low levels promote circulation. Generally as people age, adrenomedullin builds up in the body, but the levels seen in the Acciaroli elderly are similar to what researchers would expect to see in the blood of a person in their twenties or thirties. The researchers don’t yet know why the residents possess such low levels, but could think it could be a combination of the healthy local diet, genetics, and exercise. Rosemary could be another key component to longevity: widely used by residents, rosemary is said to boost brain function, according to researchers. From UCSD, Alan Maisel said the elderly of Acciaroli don’t suffer from maladies commonly faced by the elderly, like Alzheimer’s, cataracts, or heart disease. He warned there’s no “magic bullet” to prevent such diseases, but that people worldwide could learn from the way people in Acciaroli live. The researchers plan to continue studying the Cilento peninsula. Out of 60,000 people, 2,000 in the region are 100 or older, and the researchers would like to focus on those centenarians. Professor Salvatore di Somma of La Sapienza University said they hope to create a ” tool ” based on the lifestyles of these healthy old people to offer those interested suggestions on how to age well. Via The Telegraph and AFP news agency Images via screenshot

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Zombie anthrax outbreak hits Siberia after blistering heatwave

August 1, 2016 by  
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Zombie anthrax from a reindeer that has been dead for 75 years appears to have resurfaced after a recent heatwave hit Siberia, infecting 13 Yamal nomads and killing 1,500 reindeer, Washington Post reports . Governor Dmitry Kolybin of Russia’s Yamalo-Nenets autonomous district declared a state of emergency to manage the crisis, with dozens of indigenous Nenet herders and their animals under quarantine . Anthrax has long posed significant problems for public health and veterinary services in Russia, according to a study published in 1999 . “At the beginning of the century, 40–60 thousand cases of this infection were annually reported in the country in agricultural animals and about 10–20 thousand cases in people where each fourth (25%) was dying.” Related: Dangerous super-bacteria discovered in Rio waters ahead of Summer Olympics The last serious anthrax outbreak occurred in 1941 , according to NBC News, and the latest outbreak may not be the last. As temperatures climb in the arctic region, this year at least ten degrees Fahrenheit higher than usual, long-dormant anthrax spores that thrive in balmier weather are resurrected as active bacteria. This is of particular concern given swaths of dead reindeer that could unleash more anthrax outbreaks as temperatures continue to rise. Washington Post reports: “In 2011, two researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences writing in the journal Global Health Action assessed the conditions required for anthrax to appear in Yakutia, a region to the east of Yamal that contains 200 burial grounds of cattle that died from the disease.” They estimated that anthrax can remain in the permafrost for 105 years – and the deeper the spores are buried, the longer they live. They said, “As a consequence of permafrost melting, the vectors of deadly infections of the 18th and 19th centuries may come back, especially near the cemeteries where the victims of these infections were buried.” Via Washington Post Images via X-plore Group

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Insane video shows Siberian ground bubbling like a "wobbling waterbed"

July 28, 2016 by  
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Siberia is no stranger to weird geological phenomena. Adding to the list of the area’s vast holes and craters is a bubbling tundra on the island of Belyy. Environmental researchers found a site where the Earth wobbles like a waterbed when stepped upon. Their best guess to explain the mysterious quivering is methane released by melting permafrost just below the surface. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=06Xc3LtZRWo Researchers Alexander Sokolov and Dorothee Ehrich first noticed the spot last year and were surprised to see similar occurrences this year. So far, 15 bubbling spots have been found in the area, each averaging about a meter in diameter. They found the air escaping from the bubbles contain 200 times more methane and 20 times more carbon dioxide than the typical air we breathe. Related: Toxic methane is leaking from Siberia’s rapidly melting permafrost Further studies need to be done, but they are estimating a recent heatwave through Europe may have something to do with the phenomena. Sokolov told the Siberian Times , “It is likely that that 10 days of extraordinary heat could have started some mechanisms, [and the] higher level of permafrost could have thawed and released a huge amount of gases.” Melting permafrost releasing methane and CO2 into the atmosphere is the last thing we need as climate change isn’t slowing down anytime soon without the added emissions. Sokolov said, “It is evident even to amateurs that this is a very serious alarm.” Via Science Alert Images via  YouTube

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Insane video shows Siberian ground bubbling like a "wobbling waterbed"

Siberia’s "gateway to the underworld" crater is rapidly growing due to climate change

June 15, 2016 by  
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In a remote area of Siberia, outside the small town of Batagaiin the Sakha Republic, the ground suddenly opened up between 25 and 50 years ago, and it never stopped. The crater now measures a mile long and is almost 400 feet deep. Geological surveys suggest that the crater has been growing over 60 feet each year but, despite its size and rapid growth rate, most people outside of the immediate area don’t even know it exists, let alone how climate change is making it worse. The chasm is dubbed the Batagaika Crater, and locals refer to it as a “gateway to the underworld.” Its location, in the middle of a vast boreal forest, is no accident. The catastrophic chasm probably wouldn’t exist if not for the surrounding trees, because it’s presumed that the crater was inadvertently created when a swath of forest land was cleared . The Siberian Times reports that happened in the 1960s, while other outlets have reported it as being in the 1980s or 1990s. Regardless, the deforestation caused the land to begin sinking, and the crater was formed. Related: The Gates of Hell: Gas crater in Turkmenistan has been ablaze for 41 years Recent warmer temperatures brought on by climate change have continued to melt the permafrost, accelerating the sinkage of the crater, which is shaped like an incredibly giant tadpole. Major flooding in the region in 2008 also contributed to the crater’s growth. Similar craters have been reported in northern Canada, but none come close to the vast size of the Batagaika Crater, also known as the Batagaika ‘megaslump.’ The geologic event in Siberia is two to three times the size of the next largest crater with a similar origin story. “I expect that the Batagaika megaslump will continue to grow until it runs out of ice or becomes buried by slumped sediment. It’s quite likely that other megaslumps will develop in Siberia if the climate continues to warm or get wetter,” Dr. Julian Murton, a geology professor at the University of Sussex said in an interview with Motherboard. He is one of few researchers investigating the site, alongside a team from the Institute of Applied Ecology of the North at the North-East Federal University in Yakutsk. Via Motherboard Images via Research Institute of Applied Ecology of the North

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Siberia’s "gateway to the underworld" crater is rapidly growing due to climate change

Russian scientist injects himself with 3.5 million year old bacteria for eternal youth

October 1, 2015 by  
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A Russian scientist claims to have found the fountain of youth by injecting himself with 3.5 million year old bacteria found in the Siberian permafrost . According to Anatoli Brouchkov, he no longer gets sick and is now stronger than ever. While Brouchkov admits he doesn’t know exactly how the elixir is working its magic, he still has faith in its effects. “[W]e do not know yet exactly how it works. In fact, we do not know exactly how aspirin works, for example, but it does.” Read the rest of Russian scientist injects himself with 3.5 million year old bacteria for eternal youth

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Toxic methane is leaking from Siberia’s rapidly melting permafrost

December 24, 2014 by  
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Yamal Peninsula in Sibera has a massive problem: Gigantic sinkholes have opened in its permafrost, leaking huge amounts of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere. If that weren’t enough, methane is also leaking from the offshore seabed, with flares extending over eighty feet high. Worryingly, an even larger amount of methane  is currently contained underneath the permafrost—permafrost that is rapidly melting, and which is far more fragile than perviously thought. The permafrost is being thawed from both sides, thanks to global warming, and may not last much longer and when it melts it could accelerate climate change that much faster. Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Missing Attachment Read the rest of Toxic methane is leaking from Siberia’s rapidly melting permafrost Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Climate Change , climate change permafrost , global warming , global warming permafrost , melting permafrost , methane emissions , permafrost melting , permafrost methane release , Russia Yamal Peninsula , siberia , Siberia methane , Siberia methane holes , Siberia permafrost , Siberia sinkholes , Yamal Permafrost

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Volvo’s new connected helmet helps drivers and bikers avoid collision

December 24, 2014 by  
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Several automakers are working on new safety technology that will connect drivers to pedestrians and cyclists, with the ultimate goal of alleviating collisions. Volvo has already revealed technology that helps a car automatically brake for pedestrians and cyclists, but it’s newest technology takes it a step further by establishing 2-way communication between drivers and cyclists. Read the rest of Volvo’s new connected helmet helps drivers and bikers avoid collision Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bicycle helmet , cloud technology , cyclist safety , Ericsson , helmet crash warning , helmet technology , pedestrian safety , smart helmet , Volvo bicycle crash avoidance , Volvo bike helmet , volvo city safety system , Volvo crash avoidance , Volvo crash avoidance helmet , Volvo crash technology , Volvo pedestrian crash avoidance , Volvo XC90

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