Mysterious black holes may be exploding into ‘white holes’

Reuters / NASA

If true, the theory could help put to rest the debate over whether or not black holes actually destroy the matter they end up devouring.

As noted by Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity, when a dying star ends up collapsing under its own weight, at some point the collapse becomes irreversible, resulting in a black hole that consumes light and anything else within its surrounding area. Although Vice noted that black holes do slowly leak radiation over time – ultimately draining the black hole completely – this doesn’t account for all the other matter that the dying star has consumed.

Since quantum theory does not allow for the possibility that information can be lost, though, two researchers from France’s Aix-Marseille University believe they’ve discovered an explanation for this so-called “information paradox.” According to physicists Carlo Rovelli and Hal Haggard, a black hole eventually reaches a point where it cannot collapse any further and the internal pressure begins to push outwards. This essentially turns the black hole inside out and expels everything it once consumed back into space.

Notably, the scientists believe that these white holes are created not long after the black hole’s original formation, and we humans can’t see it because gravity dilates time and makes the black hole’s lifespan seem to last for billions or trillions of years. Their current calculation is that it only takes a few thousandths of a second for a black hole to turn into a white hole.

“Importantly, the process is very long seen from the outside, but is very short for a local observer at a small radius,” the researchers wrote in a paper on the subject, according to Vice.

Ron Cowen, a science writer at Nature, explained further.

“If the authors are correct, tiny black holes that formed during the very early history of the Universe would now be ready to pop off like firecrackers and might be detected as high-energy cosmic rays or other radiation. In fact, they say, their work could imply that some of the dramatic flares commonly considered to be supernova explosions could in fact be the dying throes of tiny black holes that formed shortly after the Big Bang.”

Although Rovelli and Haggard aren’t completely dismissing the idea that black holes leak radiation, they said the trickles of energy would not be sufficient enough to deplete the dying stars of all the energy they’ve consumed. Radiation may very well seep out, but their work is primarily concerned with discovering what happens inside a black hole.

Still, both Rovelli and Haggard admitted that their theory needs to be tested further with more comprehensive calculations. If research confirms their ideas, however, theoretical physicist Steven Giddings of the University of California Santa Barbara says, “It would be important. Understanding how information escapes from a black hole is the key question for the quantum mechanics of black holes, and possibly for quantum gravity itself.”

European Central Bank hacked, personal data stolen

Reuters / Ralph Orlowski

“There had been a breach of the security protecting a database serving its public website,” ECB said in astatement on Thursday. “This led to the theft of email addresses and other contact data left by people registering for events at the ECB.”

Around 20,000 email addresses were stolen, according to media reports.

The hacked database serves the public website and gathers registrations for conferences and other visits. It is “physically separate from any internal ECB systems.”

The bank was not aware of the theft, and only found out about the stolen data after the perpetrator sent an anonymous email, demanding a reward in exchange for the information.

The ECB refused to go along with the scheme and did not reveal how much money was requested.

The majority of the stolen information was encrypted, such as data on downloads from the ECB website. But personal information, such as email addresses, phone numbers, and home addresses were not protected by an encryption.

The bank will contact people whose data might have been stolen. Meanwhile, “all passwords have been changed on the system as a precaution” and “security experts have addressed the vulnerability.”

The cyber attack did not compromise internal systems or market sensitive data, according to the statement.

German police have opened an investigation into the matter.

Abnormalities in Japanese monkeys linked to Fukushima nuclear disaster

Reuters / Issei Kato

The wild monkeys, Japanese macaques popularly known around the world for their habit of bathing in the country’s hot springs, have demonstrated blood abnormalities that could leave them vulnerable to infectious diseases, reported the Guardian.

Specifically, the monkeys in the region which was impacted by fallout from the stricken Fukushima Daichii nuclear facility, were found to exhibit low white and red blood cell counts, along with low hemoglobin levels. The study examined a 61 monkey community living 44 miles from the disaster site to 31 monkeys almost 250 miles away, in the Shimokita Peninsula. The former community tested positive for radioactive caesium, linked to caesium in the soil of their habitat.

The macaques feed on tree buds and bark where caesium can accumulate in high concentrations during winter, according to professor Shin-ichi Hayama of the Nippon Veterinary and Life Science University in Tokyo, who spoke to The Guardian.

Though the study has examined monkey populations rather than humans, the findings may nonetheless add further weight to criticism of Japan’s nuclear operating corporation, TEPCO, which has previously been harshly judged over its handling of the Fukushima disaster, in particular its downplaying of risk to both plant workers and the impact to the surrounding prefecture. Some 50,000 households were displaced following the nuclear disaster, and the utility has struggled to contain radioactive spills during the massive cleanup operation of the site.

Still, some critics say that the research on the nearby primates is not conclusive, and that the cesium levels may not be to blame for the monkeys’ blood abnormalities.

Professor Jim Smith of the University of Portsmouth in Britain is skeptical that the cesium levels, similar to those found elsewhere in Europe following the April 1986 Chernobyl nuclear incident, were too low.

“I am highly skeptical of the claim. The levels of radiocaesium in the Fukushima monkeys are about the same as those found in sheep in some parts of the UK following the Chernobyl accident, i.e. extremely low in terms of damage to the animals themselves. I think it much more likely that the apparently low blood cell counts are caused by something other than radiation.”

Professor Geraldine Thomas of Imperial College London, meanwhile, told the Guardian that the link between cesium levels and the macaques’ blood results for the Fukushima research was not statistically significant.

“Unfortunately this is yet another paper with insufficient power to distinguish real effects and relevance to human health,” she said. “We know that one of the most damaging health effects comes from fear of radiation, not radiation itself.”

According to the researchers who conducted the Fukushima study, both disease and malnutrition were ruled out as a root cause for the monkeys’ blood abnormalities.

Obamacare Busted in GAO Sting Operation: Nearly All Fake Insurance Applications Were Approved – 7.24.14

Demonstrating more lawlessness by the Obama administration, the Government Accountability Office has issued a report in which it claims that it undertook a sting operation to see whether or not the Affordable Care Act’s eligibility verification system actually works or … Continue reading

Water reserves in western US being drained underground – NASA study

Reuters / David Becker

The study by NASA and the University of California, Irvine found that more than 75 percent of the water loss in the drought-stricken Colorado River Basin since late 2004 came from underground resources. It is the first time researchers have quantified the amount that groundwater contributes to the water needs of western states, NASA said.

The research team measured the change in water mass monthly from December 2004 to November 2013, using data from NASA’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellite mission to track changes in the mass of the Colorado River Basin. Changes in water mass are related to changes in water amount on and below the surface.

In the nine-year study, the basin – which covers Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona and California – lost nearly 53 million acre feet (65 cubic kilometers) of freshwater, almost double the volume of the nation’s largest reservoir, Nevada’s Lake Mead. More than three-quarters of the total – about 41 million acre feet (50 cubic kilometers) – was from groundwater, according to a statement by NASA on the project.

“We don’t know exactly how much groundwater we have left, so we don’t know when we’re going to run out,” Stephanie Castle, a water resources specialist at UC Irvine, and the study’s lead author, said in the statement. “This is a lot of water to lose. We thought that the picture could be pretty bad, but this was shocking.”

The Colorado River is the only major river in the southwestern United States, and the water source is relied upon by 40 million people. The surface water in the basin is regulated by the US Bureau of Reclamation (USBR), but the groundwater is regulated by the individual states. Some states, like California, have no groundwater management rules. Others, like Arizona, have gone so far as to transfer surface water from the Colorado River into underground aquifers for later use, the Washington Post reported.

The USBR, part of the Department of the Interior, allocates water from the basin proportionally among the seven states. A study completed by the agency in 2012 “confirmed what most experts know: there are likely to be significant shortfalls between projected water supplies and demands in the Colorado River Basin in the coming decades,” the USBR said on its website. Since then, the federal government, state governments, local municipalities, and Native American reservations have worked together to augment water supplies, conserve and reuse existing water supplies, and plan for the future of the basin.

“We have made substantial progress addressing Colorado River water management over the past several years,” Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor said in a statement. “From the interim guidelines for shortage and surplus in 2007, the 2012 signing of Minute 319 to the treaty with Mexico and the latest WaterSMART funding announcements supporting new projects and studies, we remain focused on wise use and new technologies to address upcoming gaps in supply and demand.”

But last week, USBR announced that Lake Mead – the reservoir created by the Hoover Dam – had reached its lowest water level since the lake’s initial filling in the 1930s. Since 2000, the lake has lost 4 trillion gallons of water, according to CBS News. It now sits 130 feet below the high-water mark last reached at the turn of the century, and at 39 percent of total capacity. Scientists have determined that the dry spell since 2000 in the Colorado River Basin is one of the most severe in more than 1,200 years.

“It’s time for us to wake up. If this drought continues, we’re going to be in a terrible situation within the next 12-24 months,” Jay Famiglietti, senior water scientist at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told the Desert Sun.

Famiglietti is currently on leave from UC Irvine, and is the senior author of NASA’s groundwater depletion study. He noted that the rapid depletion rate will compound the problem of short supply by leading to further declines in streamflow in the Colorado River, according to the statement.

“The Colorado River Basin is the water lifeline of the western United States,” Famiglietti said. “With Lake Mead at its lowest level ever, we wanted to explore whether the basin, like most other regions around the world, was relying on groundwater to make up for the limited surface-water supply. We found a surprisingly high and long-term reliance on groundwater to bridge the gap between supply and demand.”

At the current rate of water use by the seven states, the Bureau of Reclamation has estimated that by 2017, there will be a 50-50 chance of lower water levels prompting the declaration of a shortage. Starting in 2018, the estimated likelihood of reaching that threshold – and cutbacks in water deliveries – rises to 60 percent, according to the Desert Sun.

Feds Urge Paramedics, Firefighters To Help Find “Extremists”

The federal government is asking paramedics and firefighters to be on the lookout for “extremists” as part of a program that aims to uncover “suspicious activity.”

A bulletin released in March 2014 by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center, obtained this week by Public Intelligence, contains details of a program entitled “Emergency Medical Treatment Presents Opportunity for Discovery of Violent Extremist Activities.”

The bulletin, which was sent out to firefighters, emergency medical service personnel and other first responders nationwide, encourages these groups to watch for “indicators of violent extremist activities” during their line of work.

First responders are asked to “evaluate whether an injury is a genuine accident or related to violent extremist activity,” by noting “hastily or expediently treated injuries” which “may be signs of suspicious activity.”

The thought of EMTs becoming distracted by a function which allows them to pretend they have a starring role in CSI Miami, instead of promptly treating someone who is seriously burned, will not fill potential victims of such accidents with much confidence.

Asking firefighters and paramedics to double as amateur spies is sure to prompt criticism that the program will only interfere in the vital functions performed by these individuals and that the government is once again tasking untrained personnel with the job of catching terrorists.

Easily the most ludicrous example in this context was when the TSA trained thousands of workers – mainly hot dog vendors and parking lot attendants – to watch for terrorists at the 2012 Super Bowl.

The program targeting EMTs and firefighters also entrenches the perception that there are potential terrorists scheming inside every American home, creating an atmosphere of fear and distrust, when in fact the statistical likelihood of someone being killed by a terrorist is less than that of being killed by a toddler.

As a Washington’s Blog story highlights, data from 2011 shows that Americans are more likely to be killed by a plethora of mundane things in comparison to terrorism, including drowning in a bathtub, being struck by lightning, or being hit by an asteroid.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.

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Feds Urge Paramedics, Firefighters To Help Find “Extremists”

The federal government is asking paramedics and firefighters to be on the lookout for “extremists” as part of a program that aims to uncover “suspicious activity.”

A bulletin released in March 2014 by the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the National Counterterrorism Center, obtained this week by Public Intelligence, contains details of a program entitled “Emergency Medical Treatment Presents Opportunity for Discovery of Violent Extremist Activities.”

The bulletin, which was sent out to firefighters, emergency medical service personnel and other first responders nationwide, encourages these groups to watch for “indicators of violent extremist activities” during their line of work.

First responders are asked to “evaluate whether an injury is a genuine accident or related to violent extremist activity,” by noting “hastily or expediently treated injuries” which “may be signs of suspicious activity.”

The thought of EMTs becoming distracted by a function which allows them to pretend they have a starring role in CSI Miami, instead of promptly treating someone who is seriously burned, will not fill potential victims of such accidents with much confidence.

Asking firefighters and paramedics to double as amateur spies is sure to prompt criticism that the program will only interfere in the vital functions performed by these individuals and that the government is once again tasking untrained personnel with the job of catching terrorists.

Easily the most ludicrous example in this context was when the TSA trained thousands of workers – mainly hot dog vendors and parking lot attendants – to watch for terrorists at the 2012 Super Bowl.

The program targeting EMTs and firefighters also entrenches the perception that there are potential terrorists scheming inside every American home, creating an atmosphere of fear and distrust, when in fact the statistical likelihood of someone being killed by a terrorist is less than that of being killed by a toddler.

As a Washington’s Blog story highlights, data from 2011 shows that Americans are more likely to be killed by a plethora of mundane things in comparison to terrorism, including drowning in a bathtub, being struck by lightning, or being hit by an asteroid.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.

terrosits-first-response

First West Nile virus death this year reported in Arizona

Reuters / James Gathany

The case marks the second death linked to the virus in the United States this year. The first fatality was recorded in Missouri in June, when a 75-year-old man passed away after contracting the virus about a month prior.

According to the Arizona Republic, the most recent death was confirmed by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health, which added that only three cases of the West Nile virus have been confirmed this year. There were 52 confirmed cases in 2013.

“Sadly, there is another victim of West Nile virus, a disease we now see every year,” Maricopa County Department of Public Health Director Bob England said in a statement to AZFamily. “We can’t stress enough the importance in all of us doing our part in ridding our properties of standing water, where mosquitoes like to breed. A little effort can go a long way in protecting the whole community from West Nile virus.”

The potentially lethal virus has become an annual concern for some states ever since it was first detected in North America back in 1999. The disease is carried and transmitted by infected mosquitoes, and can be particularly dangerous for elderly individuals. Only 20 percent of victims will actually experience symptoms, which typically involve fevers, headaches, and body weakness. However, in some cases, it can cause severe fevers and brain inflammation that can lead to paralysis or death.

According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (last updated on July 22), 15 states have reported human West Nile virus infections this year, with California’s nine incidents topping the list. South Dakota was next, with eight cases. Other states have recorded non-human cases of the virus, with the above chart from the CDC showing activity across the country.

In Arizona, more than 1,000 cases have been reported since 2003.

As noted by the Arizona Republic, Maricopa County has launched a ‘Fight the Bite’ campaign in an effort to raise awareness about the virus and ensure that local residents know the best ways to avoid being bitten by a mosquito. These include avoiding outdoor activity after dusk and before dawn, using insect repellant, and, when possible, removing potential mosquito breeding grounds like standing water, which can be found in potted plants and bird baths.

“Prevention is the best tool we have,” John Kolman, director of Maricopa County Environmental Services Department, told AZFamily. “We need to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and also prevent mosquitoes from breeding.”

Spy for a spy: Germany to monitor US, UK agents

Reuters / Paul Hackett

Two unnamed sources confirmed to Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper that Merkel’s chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, gave a green light for the step after negotiations with interior and foreign ministers.

According to the paper, the ’360 degree view’ program gives Germany the ability to spy on American and British agents stationed in Germany, while shifting its focus away from previous targets which included Russian, Chinese, and Iranian agents.

The plan to monitor American and British agents was developed in response to the NSA spying revelations. However, the federal government hesitated to implement it, mainly for fear of conflict with the United States, the paper reported.

“Now we need a strong signal,” the paper quoted a source familiar with the move as saying.

The scope and depth of the new intelligence measures have not yet been revealed.

One of the issues currently being discussed is whether or not to eavesdrop on the communications of embassies and consulates. No further details were revealed by the government sources.

The move comes as the level of distrust between Germany and the US is at its highest – triggered by US snooping revelations that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s private phone calls had been monitored by US agents.

In early July, Germany’s secret service arrested a German citizen employed by the national Federal Intelligence Service (BND) on suspicion of spying for the US. The BND official allegedly received 25,000 euros for his surveillance services.

Just a week later, Bild am Sonntag, Germany’s largest-selling national Sunday paper, reported that US secret services had recruited more than a dozen officials in various German government ministries to work as spies, including the BND and the Ministry of Defense, with some of them working for the CIA for many years.

This revelation resulted in Germany expelling the CIA chief in Berlin as a retaliation step and “in addition to existing issues.”

Read more: ‘No joke’: Germany mulls using typewriters to combat US snooping

Germany also opened up a new investigation into a German defense official who was reportedly in contact with a US State Department officer.