(JAKARTA, Indonesia.) JUST IN: #Earthquake 6.5-Magnitude strikes province of Papua with its epicenter estimated about 250 km west of the city of Jayapura on Wednesday: It followed a series of tremors across the Pacific region on Tuesday, including a 6.8 magnitude quake shaking Japan’s east coast, and a 6.8 quake striking south New Zealand Kermadec Islands chain #AceNewsDesk reports — Ace News Services

#AceNewsReport – June.19: The powerful quake was picked up by observers in western Latin American countries monitoring for seismic activity, and by the US Geological Survey, which said the quake’s epicentre hit what is believed to be a sparsely populated area: Casualties or damage have not been reported for the moment: M 6.2 PAPUA, INDONESIA https://www.emsccsem.org/Earthquake/earthquake.php?id=772250  URGENT: Magnitude 6.5 earthquake rocks […]

via (JAKARTA, Indonesia.) JUST IN: #Earthquake 6.5-Magnitude strikes province of Papua with its epicenter estimated about 250 km west of the city of Jayapura on Wednesday: It followed a series of tremors across the Pacific region on Tuesday, including a 6.8 magnitude quake shaking Japan’s east coast, and a 6.8 quake striking south New Zealand Kermadec Islands chain #AceNewsDesk reports — Ace News Services

Self-help guru convicted in lurid sex-trafficking case — WPIX 11 New York

NEW YORK — The former leader of an upstate New York self-help group has been convicted in a federal case accusing him of turning women into his “sex slaves.” It took a jury less than five hours to find Keith Raniere guilty of sex-trafficking and other charges Wednesday in federal court in Brooklyn. Prosecutors said…

via Self-help guru convicted in lurid sex-trafficking case — WPIX 11 New York

Colby Cosh: Fake news about fake news that wasn’t fake doesn’t justify online censorship — National Post

A wire story by The Canadian Press’s Joan Bryden arrives over the transom. Let me quote briefly from Bryden’s copy, as an exercise in describing how news sausage is sometimes ground. “An international report says Canada has taken ‘commendable’ steps to safeguard this fall’s federal election from foreign interference. But the report says this country…

via Colby Cosh: Fake news about fake news that wasn’t fake doesn’t justify online censorship — National Post

Pregnant woman, 2-year-old son dead after driver deliberately mows them down



Pregnant woman, 2-year-old son dead in Tennessee after driver deliberately mows them down, police say

The 33-year-old driver did not know the victims but intentionally chose to run them over, police said.

Surprising facts about the moon



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Surprising facts about the moon

On July 20, 1969, the world sat in anticipation around radios and TV screens when Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the moon. The Apollo 11 launch stood as an American triumph in the legacy of human fascination with the moon and stars. Recent Chinese explorations of the dark side of the moon show that we are still preoccupied with the mysteries and secrets of Earth’s first cousin. There are many surprising facts about the moon, some well-known and others less so.

Birth of the moon

Measures of lunar rocks show that the moon is roughly the same age as the earth, but these measures are taken on the scale of billions of years where a few hundred thousand is the blink of an eye. The leading theory regarding the formation of the moon is that it was created in the wake of a collision between young Earth and a large foreign body, causing debris from the impact to float into space.

Lunar canvas

Credit: Helen_Field / iStock

The moon has a thin atmosphere incapable of shielding it from cosmic rays and colliding objects. Because of this, the planet is regularly bombarded with asteroids and comets that have led to the many craters on its surface and a thin layer of space dust coating the entire surface of the moon. The dark areas are impact sites known as maria, derived from the Latin word “mare” meaning sea. The lighter areas are called highlands. While the moon has no naturally occurring water sources, there are deposits of frozen water from comets and meteoroids around the poles of the moon.


Credit: zoff-photo / iStock

Humans have long been fascinated with the moon’s ability to influence the tides and climate. These curiosities have been embodied from early astronomy to modern agriculture. Medieval societies believed that lunar cycles influenced behaviors to the point of inducing madness in some individuals. This is why the prefix “luna” in lunatic is the Latin word for moon. That the moon could induce madness was such a strong belief that it was once included in English law. While we no longer believe this, modern studies do show that lunar cycles can influence human sleep patterns.

Dark side of the moon

Credit: MihailUlianikov / iStock

The moon completes one complete rotation around its own axis during the same period of time (27.3 days) that it takes to orbit the earth once. This is why the moon always shows the same face to the earth. The most recent explorations have been to the opposite side, known as the “dark side of the moon.” In actuality, both sides of the moon experience two weeks of sunlight and two weeks of darkness. Because of this, the “dark side” is more accurately known as the “far side of the moon.”

Adrift in space

The earth’s gravitational field is responsible for both the formation of the moon and its stable orbit around Earth. However, Earth is not a perfect sphere and exerts non-uniform gravitational pull on the moon. This phenomenon is responsible for the shift in tides as a result of lunar cycles, and it’s also causing the moon to expand its orbit ever so slightly. Each year, the moon drifts roughly 4 cm away from the earth. After 500 million years, this slight drift will place the moon about 14,600 miles away from Earth.

4 Italian Towns You’ve (probably) Never Heard of But Need to Visit



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4 Italian Towns You’ve Never Heard of But Need to Visit

For good reason, cities such as Florence, Milan, and Rome always make the headlines in Italy for their superb art, architecture, museums, and shopping. But you’ll often find an even more authentic Italy hidden away in its small countryside and coastal towns. So if you are longing for a vacation filled with old-world romance, where medieval houses frame cobblestone lanes and locals sip coffee at cafes overlooking the piazza, then give these stunning Italian towns a try.

Castelluccio di Norcia, Umbria

Credit: Stefano Termanini/Shutterstock

From afar, Castelluccio di Norcia resembles an ancient fairytale-like citadel set atop a plateau in the Apennine Mountains. Castelluccio lies within the Parco Nazionale dei Monti Sibillini and is famed for the spectacular natural beauty of undulating hills and the flora of its encompassing meadows. Once a Roman settlement, the present hamlet dates back to around the 13th century. Today, you can stroll along winding streets that lead to pretty squares and afford uninterrupted views.

Come between May and July for the Florita of Castelluccio di Norica, which sees the plateau burst into a thousand colors. Clovers, poppies, violets, and more wildflower flourish and create a mosaic of vivid red, violet, white, and yellow hues. Drink in the scenery while relaxing at the squares or get active on hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking excursions.

Corricella, Naples

Credit: mikolajn/Shutterstock

You may not have heard of the Neapolitan island of Procida, let alone it’s pièce de résistance Corricella. At this romantic port town, an ensemble of pastel-colored cubic buildings form an amphitheater of mismatched towers that tumble down towards the glistening Gulf of Naples. With washing hung out to dry from shutter windows, cafes lined up along a promenade, and colorful fishing boats moored at the water’s edge, the town paints a quintessential Italian seaside image.

Walk up to the Santa Margherita Nuova monastery to capture the beauty of the town and island from above and then visit the Benedictine Abbey of San Michele. At the end of the day, order pizza and pasta at Bar Graziella and appreciate why movie directors chose Corricella for classics such as Il Postino and The Talented Mr. Ripley.

Sperlonga, Lazio

Credit: Tetiana Tychynska/Shutterstock

Looking for a coastal escape from Rome or Naples? Then look no further than Sperlonga, a resort on the Tyrrhenian Sea that lured Roman emperor Tiberius in the 1st century, and later the Hollywood elite of the 1950s and 1960s. Here, elegant white buildings perch on a headland that spills down to soft golden sands and perfect-blue waters. Time stands still in the Centro Storico (Old Town) and there’s great pleasure to be taken from stumbling upon hidden squares after taking a wrong turn along an alleyway or stone staircase. Soak up the nonchalant seaside vibe at the resort’s two beaches, Rivièra di Levante and Rivièra di Ponènte. Before taking your seat to watch the sunset, get a cultural fix at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, which protects the ruins of the villa and grotto of Emperor Tiberius.

Treviso, Veneto

Credit: romeovip_md/Shutterstock

Wouldn’t it be great to experience Venice without the throngs of tourists? Well, just 25 miles north of the world-famous canal city is the delightful city of Treviso. A canal and defensive wall surround the Centro Storico, which shelters a dazzling collection of Venetian-style palaces, gracious colonnades, and medieval churches. Cobblestone streets and canals weave their way between the sights, passing beneath archways and tiny gardens along the way.

Art is rife, and not just timeworn frescoes that decorate the facades of private homes. Admire work by Titan at Treviso Cathedral, close to the cafe-lined Piazza dei Signori. Witness the action of the Pescheria Buranelli floating fish market and browse the chic boutiques on Via Calmaggiore. For wine lovers, a glass of Treviso Prosecco is the perfect cap to a day of sightseeing.

Hate consumes the Hater 🔥

Musings of a Wanderer

Body is composed of about 70 trillion cells. And each cell has Supreme intelligence, God’s intelligence. We need to give the body right environment and it self heals. I had written this in my blog last month.

Am a happy Fruitarian ..😊💕

I was talking to my sisters about healing and we talked about all what I had written. My sisters are equally or more enlightened and aware. And our discussion drifted to love, healing, God, Dr. BM Hegde, Bruce Lipton, Dr. Venkat….

My thought went to the beauty and complexity of our bodies. And it’s vastness. Trillions of cells and billions of kms of blood and life force carriers and the tissues and organs; the mind and the brain; it’s complexities. And my thoughts again went to the infinitude and immensity of creation. (You may like to read Infinitude of God)


In a way our…

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Two potentially life-friendly planets found orbiting a nearby star



Two potentially life-friendly planets found orbiting a nearby star

“We will eventually see if they are actually habitable and, perhaps, even inhabited,” astronomers predict.

A tiny, old star just 12 light-years away might host two temperate, rocky planets, astronomers announced today. If they’re confirmed, both of the newly spotted worlds are nearly identical to Earth in mass, and both planets are in orbits that could allow liquid water to trickle and puddle on their surfaces.

Scientists estimate that the stellar host, known as Teegarden’s star, is at least eight billion years old, or nearly twice the sun’s age. That means any planets orbiting it are presumably as ancient, so life as we know it has had more than enough time to evolve. And for now, the star is remarkably quiet, with few indications of the tumultuous stellar quakes and flares that tend to erupt from such objects.

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These factors, plus the system’s relative proximity, makes the system an intriguing target for astronomers seeking to train next-generation telescopes on other worlds and scan for signs of life beyond Earth.

“Both Teegarden’s planets are potentially habitable,” says Ignasi Ribas of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia, a member of the team reporting the planets today in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics. “We will eventually see if they are actually habitable and, perhaps, even inhabited.”

Stellar runt

The two worlds orbit a star so faint that it wasn’t even spotted until 2003, when NASA astrophysicist Bonnard Teegarden was mining astronomical data sets and looking for dim, nearby dwarf stars that had so far evaded detection.

Teegarden’s star is a stellar runt that’s barely 9 percent of the sun’s mass. It’s known as an ultra-cool M dwarf, and it emits most of its light in the infrared—just like the star TRAPPIST-1, which hosts seven known rocky planets. But Teegarden’s star is just a third as far from Earth as the TRAPPIST-1 system, which makes it ideal for further characterization.

An illustration shows Teegarden’s star and the likely orbits of its newfound planets. Our solar system, which sits about 12 light-years away from the red dwarf system, is shown in an inset for comparison.


Ribas and his colleagues are currently searching for planets orbiting 342 small stars, so they aimed the CARMENES instrument, located at Spain’s Calar Alto Observatory, at the mini-star.

CARMENES observed Teegarden’s star over three years, watching for the wiggles and tugs produced by any orbiting planets. In the end, more than 200 measurements suggested that two small worlds are jostling the star, each weighing in at approximately 1.1 times Earth’s mass. The team calculates that one of the planets, called Teegarden’s star b, completed an orbit in a mere 4.9 Earth-days; the other world, Teegarden’s star c, has an orbit of just 11.4 days.

Eerily quiet

Before they could report that those planets likely exist, the team had to rule out intrinsic stellar phenomena, like star spots and flares, that can masquerade as orbiting worlds. Sometimes, this can be quite tricky for red dwarf stars, which are notoriously tempestuous and prone to erupting in massive flares. But Teegarden’s star is almost eerily quiet, making it much easier than usual to tease out planetary signals.

“The number of measurements is so high and the star is so well-behaved that there is very little room for an alternative explanation,” Ribas says. “So, this is, to me, a clear-cut case of planet detection. I would bet both my little fingers that they are there.”

“These are very plausible-looking planet candidates,” agrees Lauren Weiss, of the University of Hawaii. “I am impressed by the quality of the data.”

However, Weiss notes, a few points cause her to hesitate. First, scientists don’t know the exact time it takes for Teegarden’s star to rotate on its axis, and that type of motion could be masquerading as one of the planet signals.

Still, “stellar rotation would probably only mimic the orbit of one planet, not two planets, so at least one of the planets is probably real,” she says.

Second, she says, it’s possible the planets might be zipping around the star more speedily than inferred, which might knock down their potential habitability.

“This technical concern is minor though,” Weiss says. “If there really are planets around the star, and the authors got their orbital periods wrong, the planets are still planets.”

Nadia Drake is a contributing writer at National Geographic with a particular fondness for moons, spiders, and jungle cats.

3 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Myanmar



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3 Things You Must Know Before Visiting Myanmar

Myanmar is a beautiful country with a rich history that you could spend years exploring. Many of its people belong to the Buddhist religion, and almost every aspect of their culture reflects this. While most people from Myanmar are warm and welcoming to travelers, there are certain things that tourists should and shouldn’t do if they don’t want to seem disrespectful. Here are three things you must know before visiting Myanmar so that you and everyone else will have a calm, enjoyable time.

The Fork Is Not Your Friend

Credit: Milkovasa/Shutterstock

In America, we eat pretty much everything but soup with a fork. In Myanmar, though, forks are not usedfor the bulk of the eating. They are used, but not in a way that is familiar to us. Forks are held in the left hand and used to push food onto a spoon held in the right, which you then eat with. Knives are also largely absent in Myanmar, but this is a bit easier to get used to. Luckily, eating with a fork isn’t as serious as some other faux pas you could make, but it is always best to appear polite and observe the local customs whenever possible.

Money Exchange Can Be Complicated

Credit: Kyaw Zin Soe/Shutterstock

Myanmar has a closed money economy, meaning that the Kyat, its official currency, can’t be bought outside of the country. This means that you have to exchange your U.S. dollars inside Myanmar itself, but there are a few catches. The first is that the higher the value on your bill ($20, $50, $100, etc.), the more favorable your exchange rate will be, so the best course of action is to exchange high-value cash if you can. Also, your cash must be pristine. According to the Myanmar government, any marks, stains, or rips on your bills make them useless and worth nothing, so they will not accept them in an exchange.  To make things even more complicated, the U.S. dollars you are exchanging must also have been printed after 2003, and can’t feature serial numbers with CB, BC, or AB because of a counterfeiting scheme carried out by North Korea several years ago. The one good thing, though, is that most trains, boats, planes, etc. accept the U.S. dollar as currency, so you don’t have to exchange everything.

Watch Your Feet

Credit: Thiti Wongluang/Shutterstock

In America, we don’t tend to think much about where we point our feet. We just walk or stand and that’s about it. In Myanmar, though, it is considered to be extremely rude to point your feet at a person, a statue, or other object, because feet are considered to be “the most disrespectful part of the body.” Be mindful to point your feet in a neutral direction when you are talking to a person (especially a local), so as not to offend anyone. On this same topic, it is also important to remove both your shoes and your socks before entering one of Myanmar’s many breathtaking temples or pagodas. The Myanmarese fought very hard for their right to worship their religion in the way they feel is best and most respectful, so it is only right to follow their rules.

11th Airborne – Movin’ On

Pacific Paratrooper

Smitty in Japan

This photograph was signed by two of my father’s buddies, John S. Lodero and Phil Martorano, both of Brooklyn, New York. Smitty (Everett Smith) is circled, but which two men are John and Phil is unknown.

When the SCAP Headquarters was set up in Tokyo, MacArthur was determined to create a “Peaceful and responsible government…” He also had to administer to a nation with nearly 70 million near-starving civilians and a constantly growing population of soldiers. The Japanese made the transition of being under one totalitarian rule to another quite easily and the general proceeded to supervise the writing and implementation of a new constitution. This was adopted in 1947, retaining the Emperor as a constitutional monarch and reestablished the primacy of the Diet. The zaibatu industrial combines were broken up and women were given rights.

Smitty’s brochures

The 11th Airborne was amazed by the change of…

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