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Summer Grilling Could Expose Your Skin to Cancer-Causing Chemicals

Summer Grilling Could Expose Your Skin to Cancer-Causing Chemicals

https://www.livescience.com/62640-bbqs-skin-cancer-causing-chemicals.html?utm_source=notification

 
 

Credit: Shutterstock

Summer barbecues may expose you to potentially cancer-causing chemicals in a surprising way: The chemicals may literally get under your skin, a small new study from China suggests.

The study found that people who sat around a grill were exposed to chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) through their skin. PAHs can be produced from the burning of organic substances, such as coal, gasoline and wood; they also form when meats are cooked using “high-temperature methods,” such as panfrying or grilling, according to the National Cancer Institute. Exposure to these chemicals has been linked with an increased risk of certain cancers.

But most previous studies have focused on exposure to PAHs through food or the air, rather than through the skin.

The new study, however, found that during grilling, people absorbed higher amounts of PAHs through their skin than through the air, the researchers said. Still, the greatest levels of exposure to PAHs occurred through eating the barbecued meats, the researchers noted. [9 Disgusting Things That the FDA Allows in Your Food]

It’s known that exposure to smoke can put people into contact with carcinogens, including PAHs, that can be absorbed through the skin or inhaled, said Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, New York, who was not involved with the study. But barbecues probably don’t represent that great a risk for most people, he said.

In general, there’s no level of exposure to carcinogens that’s completely safe, although the lower a person’s exposure, the better, Spaeth said. However, most people probably don’t need to be overly worried about absorbing cancer-causing chemicals through their skin while attending a barbecue, if they don’t do this frequently.

“For the average person, it’s not likely to end up being a real major worry, since most people don’t engage in this activity all the time,” Spaeth told Live Science. But moderation is “prudent” when it comes to how much barbecue smoke people are exposed to and how often, and how much they eat meats cooked with these high-temperature methods, Spaeth said.

In the new study, the researchers looked at data from 20 men who attended a barbecue for 2.5 hours in Guangzhou, China. The participants were divided into three groups: One group ate barbecued meats and took no special precautions to avoid exposure to smoke through the air and through their skin; a second group didn’t eat any meat, but was exposed to the smoke through the air and through their skin; and a third group didn’t eat any meat and wore a special mask to prevent inhalation of smoke but was still exposed to smoke through their skin.

The researchers collected urine samples from the participants before and after the BBQ and also collected air samples during the BBQ, to analyze for PAHs. The scientists also calculated estimates of each participant’s uptake of PAHs through food, the air and their skin.

As the researchers expected, consuming the grilled meat was linked with the greatest level of PAH exposure. But the researchers estimated that absorption through the skin was the second-highest PAH-exposure route, followed by inhalation.

The study also found that people’s clothing may lower the amount of PAHs that are absorbed through the skin over the short term. But once clothing is saturated with smoke, the skin may absorb larger amounts of PAHs, and so the researchers recommend washing clothes soon after leaving the grilling area to reduce exposure.

Spaeth said he agreed that wearing clothes like long sleeves and long pants would be one way to reduce exposure to PAHs at a BBQ. In addition, the type of fuel a person uses can affect the amount of PAHs produced, with propane producing much lower doses of PAHs compared with charcoal, he said. Finally, barbecuing in a well-ventilated area, such as outdoors as opposed to inside a tent or confined area, could lower exposure to PAHs, Spaeth said.

The study was published today (May 23) in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Original article on Live Science.

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cdb

CDB adds electric vehicle to transportation fleet

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, May 10, CMC  – The Barbados based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has added an electric vehicle to its transportation fleet, as part of its commitment to advance a clean energy agenda in the Region.

cdbThe vehicle, a Nissan Leaf Tekna purchased through the company Megapower Ltd. – based here, produces zero emissions and will reduce the Bank’s carbon footprint as it transports packages and officials throughout the island.

Energy security is a consideration integrated throughout CDB’s work ,both within the organisation and throughout its Borrowing Member Countries, under the Bank’s 2015-2019 Strategic Plan.

In 2015, CDB adopted an Energy Sector Policy and Strategy that set out the CDB’s approach for tackling the Region’s energy challenges, including emphasising energy security and access; prioritising renewable energy and energy efficiency; and promoting a holistic approach to energy sector

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The docking of two robotic spacecraft, the Tiangong 1 space station and Shenzhou 8 capsule, provided a preview of larger Chinese space complexes planned for the future.

Farewell, Tiangong-1: Chinese Space Station Meets Fiery Doom Over South Pacific Ocean

 

An artist’s concept of China’s Tiangong-1 space station prototype burning up in Earth’s atmosphere during its fiery fall back to Earth overnight on April 1-2, 2018.

Credit: Alejandro Miranda/Alamy

Tiangong-1 is no more.

China’s prototype space station, whose name translates as “Heavenly Palace 1,” met a fiery end in Earth’s atmosphere today (April 1), breaking apart and burning up in the skies over the southern Pacific Ocean at about 8:16 p.m. EDT (0016 April 2 GMT), according to the U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Force Space Component Command (JFSCC).

“The JFSCC used the Space Surveillance Network sensors and their orbital analysis system to confirm Tiangong-1’s re-entry,” U.S. Air Force officials wrote in a statement. [Tiangong-1: China’s Falling Space Station in Pictures

Some pieces of the school-bus-size Tiangong-1 almost certainly survived the fall, but the odds that they caused any damage or injury are extremely small: You had a less than 1-in-1-trillion chance of getting hit by a flaming chunk of the heavenly palace, according to experts with the Aerospace Corporation. 

By the way, if you do manage to find such a chunk of Tiangong-1, don’t pick it up or breathe in any fumes emanating from it. The space junk may be contaminated with hydrazine, a toxic rocket fuel, experts have said.

Tiangong-1 was about 34 feet long by 11 feet wide (10.4 by 3.4 meters), and it weighed more than 9 tons (8 metric tons). The space lab consisted of two main parts: an “experimental module” that housed visiting astronauts and a “resource module” that accommodated Tiangong-1’s solar-energy and propulsion systems.

https://www.space.com/40101-china-space-station-tiangong-1-crashes.html

The docking of two robotic spacecraft, the Tiangong 1 space station and Shenzhou 8 capsule, provided a preview of larger Chinese space complexes planned for the future.
The docking of two robotic spacecraft, the Tiangong 1 space station and Shenzhou 8 capsule, provided a preview of larger Chinese space complexes planned for the future.

Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com Contributor

The craft launched without anyone aboard on Sept. 29, 2011, to an orbit about 217 miles (350 kilometers) above Earth. That’s slightly lower than the orbit of the much larger International Space Station, whose average altitude is 250 miles (400 km). Tiangong-1’s main mission was to help China master the technologies required to assemble and operate a bona-fide space station in Earth orbit, a goal the nation aims to achieve by the early 2020s, the country has said.

On Nov. 2, 2011, the robotic Shenzhou-8 spacecraft visited Tiangong-1, executing China’s first-ever orbital docking. Another big milestone came in June 2012, when a crew of three spaceflyers linked their Shenzhou-9 vehicle to the heavenly palace and came aboard for a spell.

Three more “taikonauts,” or Chinese astronauts, visited in June 2013, traveling on the Shenzhou-10 spacecraft. Each of these crewed missions lasted about two weeks.

Tiangong-1’s design lifetime was just two years, and the space lab’s work was mostly done after Shenzhou-10 departed. The empty space lab continued to do some Earth-observation work, however, and researchers and engineers kept in touch with it until March 2016, when data transmission between Tiangong-1 and its handlers stopped, for reasons that China never explicitly specified. At that point, an uncontrolled atmospheric re-entry was apparently inevitable.

This is the view of outside researchers. But Chinese space officials dispute such terminology, said Dean Cheng, a senior research fellow at The Heritage Foundation who’s an expert on China’s space program. [The Biggest Spacecraft to Fall Uncontrolled From Space]

“The Chinese insist that it is controlled,” Cheng told Space.com. “They’re very, very unhappy when you use this term ‘uncontrolled.'”

Chinese officials say that they know where Tiangong-1 is and can provide location updates at any time, Cheng added. But for other spacefaring nations, a “controlled” re-entry is one performed under the guidance of a spacecraft’s handlers — for example, the intentional de-orbiting of the Soviet/Russian Mir space station over the Pacific Ocean in March 2001. 

https://www.space.com/40101-china-space-station-tiangong-1-crashes.html

“We should be diplomatically, and in the space-policy world, pushing China to accept a definition of ‘control’ that is comparable to that of the rest of the rules-based world. You don’t get your own definition,” Cheng said. “To support that, there need to be some sticks here,” he added, referring to consequences.

The re-entry of Tiangong-1 was tracked by the JFSCC, the U.S.-based analysis group Aerospace Corp., the European Space Agency and scientists around the world as part of a global space-debris tracking network. 

“The JFSCC works alongside government, industry and international partners to track and report reentries, to include today’s Tinagong-1 reentry, because the space domain is vital to our shared international security interests,” JFSCC deputy commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Whiting, commander of the 14th Air Force, said in the JFSCC statement. “One of our missions, which we remain focused on, is to monitor space and the tens of thousands of pieces of debris that congest it, while at the same time working with allies and partners to enhance spaceflight safety and increase transparency in the space domain.”

“All nations benefit from a safe, stable, sustainable, and secure space domain,” Whiting said. “We’re sharing information with space-faring nations to preserve the space domain for the future of mankind.”

Tiangong-1’s successor, Tiangong-2, launched to Earth orbit in September 2016 and hosted three visiting astrpnauts a month later. And a robotic vessel called Tianzhou-1 rendezvoused with Tiangong-2 a few months later, performing several automated docking and refueling operations from April 2017 to September 2017.

The success of these missions apparently has China poised to start building a permanent space station. The nation aims to begin construction and assembly operations next year, and the first crewed missions to the outpost could come in 2022, Chinese space officials have said.

Tiangong-1 is not the biggest spacecraft ever to fall from the sky. That distinction goes to the 140-ton (127 metric tons) Soviet/Russian space station Mir, which was guided to a controlled destruction over the Pacific Ocean in March 2001.

The largest craft ever to come down at least partially uncontrolled is NASA’s 100-ton (91 metric tons) space shuttle Columbia, which broke apart as it was returning to Earth on Feb. 1, 2003, killing all seven astronauts aboard. An investigation later pinned the cause of the disaster on a piece of foam insulation from Columbia’s external fuel tank, which broke off and punched a hole in the heat shield on the orbiter’s left wing during launch, two weeks before the tragedy.

Follow Mike Wall on Twitter @michaeldwall and Google+. Follow us @SpacedotcomFacebook or Google+. Originally published on Space.com

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Dominica aerial

Trinidad blanks support for Dominica at OAS meeting

 
 

WASHINGTON, Mar 28, CMC – Trinidad and Tobago has blanked support for hurricane ravaged Dominica that was seeking to get a waiver on its assessed quota contribution to the Organization of American States (OAS) for the 2018-2019 period.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador to the OAS, Anthony Phillip Spencer, said despite the “goodwill” expressed by the other delegations, including those from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), his country would not support the waiver, adding that Port of Spain would instead consider supporting either the “deferral of payments of contributions by member states and where possible the implementation of a payment plan”.

Dominica aerialDominica is recovering from the destruction caused by the passage of Hurricane Maria on September 18 last year and the island had gone to the OAS meeting here last week urging member countries to approve of the waiver.

The island’s alternate representative to the hemispheric body, Judith-Anne Rolle, told the Special Meeting of the Permanent Council on March 23 that the post disaster assessment situation in Dominica undertaken in collaboration with a number of regional and international organisations, including the World Bank and the Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) had painted a very dismal picture of the island.

“The post disaster needs assessment also concluded that Hurricane Maria resulted in total damages of US$931 million and losses of US$382 million to the productive, social, infrastructure and cross cutting sectors amounting to 226 per cent of the GDP9 gross domestic product) of 2016, ” she told the meeting.

She said the cost associated with the reconstruction of the country had been estimated at more than US$1.3 billion, recalling the words of Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit that ‘we have lost all that money can buy…and we would need help of all kinds”,.

The diplomat said that every sector of the Dominican economy had been impacted by the hurricane, a category 5 storm with the greatest loss being recorded within the agricultural sector at 33 per cent, followed by the tourism sector at 19 per cent.

She said that in assessing its international obligations, Dominica has identified as ‘a mitigating measure waiver facilities of its annual contributions over a specified period to address its commitment to international organisations.

“It is in this regard that we have forwarded a request for a full waiver of quota contributions assessed the Commonwealth of Dominica for the years 2018 and 2019 for consideration and approval of this Council.

“Let me on behalf of the government of the Commonwealth of Dominica record our profound appreciation to all member states for their continued and invaluable support to the Commonwealth of Dominica as we advance recovery efforts in our homeland,” she told the OAS meeting.

But Spencer told the meeting that while “Trinidad and Tobago would like to reiterate solidarity with all member states that have been …impacted by Hurricanes Irma, Maria and the other devastating storms…in the last hurricane season”, his country is aware of the situation having been among the early responders to Dominica’s pleas for assistance.

“Trinidad and Tobago has had itself to explicitly express a position that it is unable to facilitate any increase in its own assessed contributions. Given the explanations provided by the chair of the CAP, this delegation must advice distinguished colleagues that at other multilateral fora in the hemisphere, Trinidad and Tobago has had to explicitly state its concerns for the overall impact of adjustments in the established arrangements for payment of quota contributions.

“In doing so Trinidad and Tobago has offered the proposal, the opportunity, the option for consideration of the deferral of payments of contributions by member states and where possible the implementation of a payment plan, subject to review, of course given that you never know how long adjustment and capacity to return to the normal arrangements…,” Spencer said.

He told the OAS meeting that “in those circumstances…Trinidad and Tobago would wish to offer its express reservations again here, without prejudice at all for the concerns we share with all member states for the very dire circumstance in which our own sister CARICOM state currently is”.

The Trinidad and Tobago diplomat said that recognising there is a commitment of all member states including Dominica ‘once it is within its capacity to do so to fulfil its responsibilities for the payment of its assessed quota of contributions.

“In this regard…this delegation is appreciative of consideration given to this matter. This delegation recognises the goodwill expressed by the delegations. This delegation wishes to itself join in expressing goodwill in attending to this matter, but consistent with the position adopted in other multilateral fora in the hemisphere, this delegation again wishes to offer for consideration, the option of the deferral of payments of contributions, and where possible the implementation of a payment plan subject to annual review,” Spencer said.

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oil spill

PCJ seeks to assure measures being taken to preserve environment as it searches for oil and gas

 
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 21, CMC – The Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) says it is taking all measures to ensure environmental preservation during its search for oil and gas on the island’s south coast.

PCJ’s Oil and Gas Manager, Brian Richardson, told a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank that protection of the environment while undertaking its engagements is a pivotal part of the entity’s mandate.

oil spillHe said that the Corporation and its partner in the exploration exercise, Tullow Oil, have been abiding by this in accordance with stipulations from the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), which is monitoring the project.

Richardson said NEPA, as an independent body, “has looked at what Tullow Oil is doing and has seen that they are doing the appropriate work, which is reflected in the international community”.

He noted that two 2D surveys have already been conducted by the companies, and “we have not had any issues.

“We are going to go through it a third time, and I don’t believe we are going to have any issues,” he added.

While pointing out that environmental risk is an ever-present possibility, Richardson said that “the way you manage it is to try and reduce that actively, and we have a company who actively pursues that”.

He said that in addition to the seismic vessel, there will also be smaller scout vessels around to protect fragile marine environment so that the various life forms do not cross the path of the large vessel.

PCJ Manager Corporate Affairs and Communications, Camille Taylor, said the survey vessel will also have marine mammal observers on-board.

She noted that these individuals have the authority to stop the survey if they think there is any risk to marine life, adding that “they will pretty much be directing when and where (things are done), and their top priority will be to preserve marine life”.

Taylor said that “as it is, seismic surveys are non-invasive and they (persons conducting the exercise) tend to be very respectful of marine life.

“The PCJ is taking every precaution, (and) with NEPA and the marine mammals observers on board, it is assured that marine life will not be harmed”.

Oil and gas exploration activities being undertaken by the PCJ and Tullow Oil, which began with an agreement in 2014, will shift into a higher gear with the initiation of the first-ever 3D seismic survey in the waters off Jamaica’s south coast between the Pedro Banks and Portland Cottage this month.

PM says electoral victories in Grenada and Antigua send strong messages

March 23, 2018
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ROSEAU, Dominica, Mar 24, CMC – Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit Friday said that the “clear and strong mandates’ given to the incumbent governments in Grenada and Antigua and Barbuda should serve them to implement policies geared towards “the re-fashioning and revitalisation” of their respective economies.

Browne skerrit
Prime Minister Gaston Browne (left) and Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (right) with CARICOM Secretary general irwin La Rocque (File Photo)

Speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, Skerrit in extending congratulations to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, whose Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) won 15 of the 17 seats in Wednesday’s general election, said it showed that as in the case of Grenada, the electorate had “evaluated all options and determined it would be better not to tinker or tamper with a formula that is working.

“All may not be well with everyone and for everyone in Antigua, but voters obviously took the picture and broader picture into consideration and stick with the incumbent party,” Skerrit told radio listeners,

“I believe the message we can draw from both the Grenada and Antigua election outcomes is that stability at this time is crucial. If what you have is working for you then it is better…to stay with it.

“These large mandates have given each respective government the opportunity to make hard but needed decisions with respect to the re-fashioning and revitalisation of their respective economies,” Skerrit said, warning that ‘these economies in the English-speaking Caribbean are at a very crucial stage.

“We cannot wish natural disasters away nor can we pretend that there aren’t international forces acting against our very best interest. Therefore governments in the region need a mandate to act and I think both the Grenadian and now the Antigua and Barbuda governments have been given such a strong and clear mandate to bring about needed reforms”.

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell led his New National party (NNP) to a complete washout of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Grenada winning all 15 seats for the second consecutive occasion on March 13 and the third time overall since 1999.

Skerrit said that he was looking forward to working with both governments “in the furtherance of the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) and OECS (Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States) missions and agenda.

“To the losing NDC in Grenada and the UPP (United Progressive Party) in Antigua and Barbuda, I commensurate with Mr. Nazim Burke and Mr. Harold Lovell, I wish their respective organisations the very best wishes in their efforts to re-organise and re-position themselves.”

Skerrit said that in the case of Antigua and Barbuda, where “hundreds” of Dominicans reside, the outcome of the election was important.

“It was important for us that these elections were conducted in atmosphere of free from fear, violence or intimidation. We wish the very best for Antigua, because when Antigua prospers, Dominican families prosper as well”

But as he has said in the past, Skerrit reiterated that opposition parties in the Caribbean were becoming very critical of existing government policies without having developed any meaningful alternatives.

“It speaks to the fact that electorates are really in many instances fed up with the negative rhetoric coming in from political quarters,” he said, including his own country as part of that malaise.

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Express posted this 2006 picture of the volcano

UK newspapers endanger Montserrat, again

Express posted this 2006 picture of the volcano

by Bennette Roach

It wouldn’t be the first time that UK Newspapers have distorted and published information that turned out unfavourable and detrimental to the Island. We can point to the recent not so old publications regarding the development of fibre optic service to Montserrat, touted strongly and convincingly as a ‘game changer’ for economy starved British Overseas Territory.

Publication of articles like this with this kind of information is reminiscent of 1997-8 when the UK Government authorities broadcasted and said that there might be a ‘cataclysmic eruption’ that would cause Montserrat to completely evacuated. The result of that in spite of vehement denial of that situation from the Government and scientists on Montserrat, it was not until 2008 the UK relented on the misinformation.

Very cleverly written, if not with some dishonesty. If one doesn’t read carefully, you will miss that Professor Neuberg is not the one saying, ‘Sadly, Montserratians must continue to wait.’

 The only information attributed to Professor Neuberg is the following: “Except for the gas plume there is nothing visible on the surface, but the instruments show us clearly that the deformation is ongoing and the entire island is still inflating,”

With all the observations and opinions inserted, some of the information is far from up to date, even though they claimed they were reporting on very recent information. Like the population of Montserrat today.

Soufriere Hills mountain, March 5, 2018

As the Director Stewart observes the Express was even more damning in its reporting on this matter. Alarmist! This leads to an opinion that the article is planted with intention to deceive, and one that should be investigated at the highest level.

Ash and lava are visible inside the cone of the Soufrière Hills volcano, seen from Olveston, Montserrat, in January 2007. Photograph: Wayne Fenton/AP

The Guardian’s article: Montserrat Volcano remains a risk

The Express gives an update and asks – Montserrat’s volcano update: Is the terrifying volcano at risk of imminent  eruption

These newspapers have carried articles that when they are given these thoughts to report on, should cause them to worry about accuracy and honesty.

Here MVO director sets the record straight.

Statement on the Status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat

Following the publication on 7 March 2018 of two articles in UK newspapers (The Guardian and The Express), members of the public have expressed concerns about the current status of the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat (SHV), particularly with reference to ground deformation. Monitoring data recorded and interpreted by Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) shows no changes that suggest that new activity is imminent. The newspaper articles are misleading and, in the case of The Express, alarmist.

Since the end of the last phase of lava extrusion on 11 February 2010, MVO has observed a slow, steady movement of the ground surface across the whole of Montserrat using data recorded by our network of very precise Global Positioning System (GPS) receivers. The news articles in question report on research being carried out by MVO in collaboration with Professor Jurgen Neuberg (University of Leeds, UK) that seeks to understand this trend. The research suggests that, since February 2010, the underground magma system that feeds the SHV has been slowly recharged by the influx of magma at depth. This causes the pressure inside the system to increase, which is then seen as upwards and outwards movement of the ground surface around the volcano.

The news articles suggest that the research has produced new information. In the Express article this, when combined with a very small swarm of small-magnitude earthquakes on 25 February 2018, indicates that a new eruption may be imminent. This is not the case. Brief swarms of such earthquakes have occurred on more than one hundred occasions since 2007.

All the data recorded by MVO since the last surface activity in February 2010 follows a consistent long-term trend which was also characteristic of four previous pauses in activity. The overall earthquake activity has been relatively low; the observed deformation pattern shows slow inflation, and the sulphur dioxide gas output is between 200 and 400 tons per day.

The restrictions on access to some areas of Montserrat have been in place for many years and all visits to these areas, including for economic activity, are closely controlled and very carefully managed.

 

 

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March Full Moons 2018: When to See the ‘Worm Moon’ and a (Blue) ‘Sap Moon’

 
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The month of March opens and closes with a full moon this year, making this the second “Blue Moon” month in 2018.The moon becomes full on Thursday, March 1, at 7:51 p.m. EST (0051 GMT) and again on Saturday, March 31, at 8:37 a.m. EDT (1237 GMT). The first Blue Moon of 2018 was the spectacular Super Blue Blood Moon of Jan. 31.

For observers in New York City, the moon rises at 5:33 p.m. local time on March 1, so the moon will be well above the horizon when the satellite reaches its fullest phase. It will set the following morning (March 2) at 7 a.m. local time. On March 31, the almost-full Blue Moon will set at 7:03 a.m. local time, or about 1.5 hours before it is full. It will rise again at 7:37 p.m., and while the moon will be past full, the difference from a full moon will not be visible to the naked eye. [The Moon: 10 Surprising Lunar Facts]

The Super Blue Blood Moon rises behind a perched bird in this photo taken on Jan. 31, 2018 in Konya, Turkey. The second Blue Moon of 2018, the Full Sap Moon, will rise on March 31, following the Full Worm Moon on March 1.
The Super Blue Blood Moon rises behind a perched bird in this photo taken on Jan. 31, 2018 in Konya, Turkey. The second Blue Moon of 2018, the Full Sap Moon, will rise on March 31, following the Full Worm Moon on March 1.

Credit: Abdullah Coskun/Anadolu Agency/Getty

Not every month gets two full moons. The time between full moons (known as a synodic month) averages 29.53 days, so we usually see one full moon per month. About every two to three years on average, we see a “Blue Moon” — a second full moon in one month.

Two Blue Moons in a year is relatively uncommon. According to EarthSky.org, the next year when two calendar months will each have two full moons will be 2037, when January and March will have Blue Moons. The last time it happened was in 1999.

One effect of having a full moon on Jan. 31 and March 1 is that February has no full moon at all. February is the only month in which this can happen, because the month has only 28 days (while the phenomenon can happen in a leap year, it is rare). The next time a full moon will skip February will be in 2037, according to TheSkyscrapers.org, a site run by amateur astronomers, and the phenomenon is sometimes referred to as a “Black Moon.” 

Moons of many names

Moons in various months have sometimes-evocative names. The March full moon, for instance, was dubbed the Full Worm Moon by some Native American tribes, because it happens when temperatures rise and the earthworms emerge, according to the Old Farmer’s Almanac.

Other tribes have called the full moon of March the Sap Moon “as it marks the time when maple sap begins to flow and the annual tapping of maple trees begins,” the Old Farmer’s Almanac states.  [Full Moon Names 2018: From Wolf Moons to Cold Moons

A full moon is defined as the moment when the side of the moon that faces the Earth is fully illuminated. How much of the moon’s face appears to be illuminated from our perspective on Earth depends on where the moon is in its orbit.

For about half of the world, the moon won’t be visible at the exact moment when it is officially full. That’s why the full moon is sometimes listed as happening during the day, when the moon is below the horizon, as it will be for observers in New York City on March 31. On the other hand, skywatchers in Los Angeles, where the moon reaches its fullest phase at 5:37 a.m. local time on March 31, can see it happen about an hour and a half before the moon sets at 7:04 a.m.

See the moon phases, and the difference between a waxing and waning crescent or gibbous moon, in this Space.com infographic about the lunar cycle each month. <a href="http://www.space.com/62-earths-moon-phases-monthly-lunar-cycles-infographic.html"/>See the full infographic. ” data-src=”https://img.purch.com/w/640/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5zcGFjZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzAwMC8zOTgvaTAyL21vb24tcGhhc2VzLTEwMTExMS0wMi5qcGc/MTI4OTg1MDkxMQ==” data-options-closecontrol=”true” data-options-fullsize=”true”></div><figcaption id=
See the moon phases, and the difference between a waxing and waning crescent or gibbous moon, in this Space.com infographic about the lunar cycle each month. See the full infographic.

Credit: Karl Tate, SPACE.com

The moon has phases because as it revolves around the Earth, we see it from different perspectives. Like planets, the moon appears to move against the background stars. Unlike the planets, however, it does so fast enough that one can see it happen over the course of a night. The moon moves approximately one lunar diameter (about half a degree) each hour, eastward relative to the stars even as it rises in the east and sets in the west. So, the moon can move some 6 degrees to the east of its position at moonrise over the course of a 12-hour night.

This is illustrated by where the March full moons will be in the sky: On March 1, the moon will be in the constellation Leo, the lion, and about 13 degrees above the eastern horizon when it is at maximum illumination. On March 31, the moon will be in Virgo when it hits full phase (and below the horizon in the eastern U.S.). It will still be in Virgo when it rises for New York City observers that evening, but as the moon sets the next morning at 7:34 a.m. local time, it will have moved several degrees east. By the next day, it will be in Libra. 

Moon Master: An Easy Quiz for Lunatics
For most of human history, the moon was largely a mystery. It spawned awe and fear and to this day is the source of myth and legend. But today we know a lot about our favorite natural satellite. Do you?
 
Full Moon over Long Beach, CA
 
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The full moon tends to wash out a lot of fainter objects in the sky, but one can still see some brighter planets when the moon is full. On March 1, for example, Jupiter will rise at 11:42 p.m. local time in New York and will be about 23 degrees above the southwestern horizon at moonset on the morning of March 2. You can find the giant planet in Libra — no telescopes or binoculars necessary. From city locations, in fact, Jupiter may be the only “star” visible in that portion of the sky, as most stars in Libra are not very bright.

Saturn will rise at about 3 a.m. local time (the wee hours of March 2) and by moonset will be about 26 degrees above the horizon in Sagittarius. Mars, which rises at 2 a.m., will be in Ophiuchus and appear nearly due south. Both planets should also be easily visible without telescopes or binoculars.

Venus and Mercury are both “evening stars” — on March 1, they will both set shortly after 6:30 p.m. local time in New York City. These two planets will be no more than 5 degrees above the horizon by the time the sky gets dark enough to make them visible, so they will be very difficult to see, especially from a city location.

By March 31, the situation for observing Venus will be markedly better. Venus will be a full 12 degrees above the western horizon at the end of civil twilight (which is at 7:47 p.m. in New York) and bright enough that it should be just visible. Mercury will have set by that time, but because it is only 3 degrees away from the sun, that planet will be difficult to observe under any circumstances (and dangerous to view, without proper protective equipment to block the light of the sun).

Other planets will join the Blue Moon in the sky later that evening. Jupiter will rise at 10:40 p.m. on March 31, followed by Mars at 2:21 a.m. on April 1. Saturn will rise just 3 minutes earlier and will appear quite close to Mars in the sky. The two planets will be only about 4 degrees apart in Sagittarius.

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earthquakee

Expect a significant earthquake at anytime – UWI

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Jan. 28, CMC – The Seismic Research Centre at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine campus, says the twin island republic could experience a significant magnitude earthquake at anytime.
earthquakeeAccording to the centre, on Friday there was a burst of earthquakes including moderate magnitude events at 10:40 am, 10:47 am, 4:30 pm and 6:05 pm (local time), occurring west and south-west off Trinidad.
The UWI Seismic Research Centre in a press release said in all, there were nine events.
“The events were located between 10.5°N to 9.6°N and 61.7°W to 62.2°W. The magnitudes ranged from 3.4 to 5.2 and depths were generally shallow, less than 35 km. The earthquakes were reported as lightly felt across western Trinidad. No damage was reported.”
The Centre noted that a significant earthquake might occur in the general area of these events or elsewhere in the vicinity of Trinidad and Tobago, which lies in an area where significant magnitude earthquakes do occur.

“For example, in the general area of today’s events, there were two earthquakes both of magnitude 6.5 in 1935 and 1945. We should, therefore, always be prepared,” the centre said.

All the way north, Montserrat and other islands are alerting residents to Tsunami warnings.

Posted in Climate/Weather, Earthquake, Environment, International, Local, News, Regional0 Comments

Harmon press

Guyana beefing up surveillance along its borders

GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Jan 26, CMC – The Guyana government Friday announced plans to beef up surveillance along its borders after an illegal road that links Guyana to Venezuela in one of the border communities had been discovered.

“It is a large border and sometimes things happen before you can do something, but I want to give the nation the assurance that at the level of government and the security forces, we are taking some decisive steps,” Minister of State Joe Harmon told reporters.

Harmon press
Minister of State Joe Harmon (File Photo)

Guyana has in the past expressed concerns about the number of Venezuelans entering the country illegally, mainly in the gold mining areas close to the border.

Harmon said that the National Security Committee, which is chaired by the President, has been paying attention to the issues and more active surveillance of border communities will be conducted.

He told reporters that the borders of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country are large and expansive and that people may have been able to construct the illegal roads because of the large land areas without being noticed.

Harmon reiterated that only the crossings that are identified as immigration points ought to be used.

Guyana and Venezuela have a long running border dispute with Georgetown indicating earlier this week that it is still awaiting word from the United Nations Secretary General António Guterres regarding a settlement of the matter.

In November last year, the two countries concluded another round of discussions in the presence of the presence of Guterres’s personal representative, Norwegian diplomat Dag Nylander, who was expected to submit a report to the Secretary general at the end of last year.

Guyana is seeking a final resolution to the decades-old controversy in which Venezuela contends the 1899 Arbitral Award, which delineated the border between the two countries is null and void.

On Thursday President David Granger told the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) that the Air Corps and Coast Guard would be upgraded to allow for continuous surveillance over our airspace, maritime space and land-space and to support search-and-rescue services to persons in distress.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Environment, International, Legal, Local, News, Police, Regional0 Comments

Floyd Green

Government provides counseling,relief following fire at children’s home

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica, Jan. 16, CMC – The Government is providing counselling and relief supplies for children and staff of the Walker’s Place of Safety following a massive fire here late Monday that claimed the lives of two children.

Floyd Green
Floyd Green

“The Walker’s Place of Safety was completely destroyed by fire late last night. The loss is quite devastating as two children died in the fire. Steps are being taken to contact the parents and to start counselling for them,” said Floyd Green, the junior minister in the Education Ministry.

He told the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) that counselling is being provided for the displaced children and staff because, “as you can imagine, they are completely devastated”.

He noted that “the priority now is to guide them through this difficult time and ensure that we get the essential items that they need. We have already started to get critical supplies, such as medication for those children who are ill. We are moving now to find a suitable location, so that we can move the children and ensure that they are more comfortable”.

Green said investigations have been launched to determine the cause of the blaze, which destroyed the privately owned facility located on Lyndhurst Road in the Corporate Area.

The place of safety serves as a transitional residence for children, generally up to 12 years old, who have been abandoned or removed from their homes because of unstable conditions.

“The fire service has also commenced their investigation. We are awaiting their report. The Child Protection and Family Services Agency will also do their own investigation to see what transpired,” Green said.

Posted in Environment, Health, Kids, Local, News, Regional, Youth0 Comments

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