Thursday, August 20, 2020

Event Update For 2020-08-19

The seas, lakes and oceans are now pluming deadly hydrogen sulfide and suffocating methane. Hydrogen sulfide is a highly toxic water-soluble heavier-than-air gas and will accumulate in low-lying areas. Methane is slightly more buoyant than normal air and so will be all around, but will tend to contaminate our atmosphere from the top down. These gases are sickening and killing oxygen-using life all around the world, including human life, as our atmosphere is increasingly poisoned. Because both gases are highly flammable and because our entire civilization is built around fire and flammable fuels, this is leading to more fires and explosions. This is an extinction level event and will likely decimate both the biosphere and human population and it is debatable whether humankind can survive this event.

A. More fires and more explosions, especially along the coasts, but everywhere generally.
B. Many more animal die-offs, of all kinds, and especially oceanic species.
C. More multiples of people will be found dead in their homes, as if they'd dropped dead.
D. More corpses found in low-lying areas, all over the world.
E. More unusual vehicular accidents.
F. Improved unemployment numbers as people die off.

Category: Variety Pack

2020-08-19 - At least 23 major wildfires and hundreds of smaller wildfires burning across California, homes destroyed in Vacaville:

Quote: "More than 367 fast-moving wildfires are raging across California, burning over 300,000 acres and threatening the lives of residents and homes. The intense blazes, which stretch north from the San Francisco Bay Area, are moving so quickly that the governor has declared a state of emergency and families are being told to flee immediately. The fires are now torching an area bigger than Washington, D.C., and there is a growing fear that some people may not have escaped in time."

Quote: "The governor said the state's wildfire season has been incredibly active, with 6,754 fires as of August 18. There were only 4,007 fires at this point last year."

2020-08-19 - Wildfire explodes in size overnight to 125,108 acres, becomes megafire, near Grand Junction (Colorado), now 2nd largest wildfire in state history:

2020-08-19 - Plastics factory devastated by massive fire at midnight in Grand Prairie (Texas):

2020-08-19 - Warehouse damaged by explosion in Jurupa Valley (California):

2020-08-19 - Landfill fire breaks out in Prince Albert (Canada):

2020-08-19 - Landfill fire breaks out in Harare (Zimbabwe):

2020-08-19 - Toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) hits Utah Lake (Utah):

2020-08-19 - Cargo ship bursts into flame in the wee hours in the Arabian Sea, 1 killed, 1 injured:

Quote: "A Greek-flagged cargo ship with 18 crew on board caught fire in the Arabian Sea early on Wednesday, leaving one crew member dead and another one injured, Greece’s Shipping Ministry said. The ship had been sailing without cargo from the United Arab Emirates to Port Elizabeth in South Africa when the fire broke out in the middle of the night, the ministry said. It was not immediately clear what had caused the blaze."

2020-08-19 - Migrant boat explodes and capsizes off the coast of Libya, 45+ killed:

Quote: "At least 45 people died this week when the boat they were using to cross the Mediterranean Sea exploded off the coast of Libya, the United Nations said Wednesday."

Note: These are the 755th and 756th boats/ships to burn/explode in 2020...

2020-08-19 - Car-hauler bursts into flame on I-80 in Grundy County (Illinois):

Note: This is the 35th car-hauler to burn in 2020...

2020-08-19 - Tractor trailers and pallets destroy by huge fire at 12:15 AM at business just outside Modesto (California):

Quote: "Firefighters from several departments spent about three hours early Wednesday extinguishing a blaze that threatened a structure and consumed wood pallets, tractor-trailer rigs and more at a business just outside south Modesto."

2020-08-19 - Tractor trailer bursts into flame on I-10 in Kerrville (California):

2020-08-19 - Tractor trailer bursts into flame on Lake Forest Park Road just east of Sturgeon Bay (Wisconsin):

2020-08-19 - Two tractors, tractor (combine) and machine shed destroyed by fire near Peterson (Iowa):

Quote: "Chief Steinkuehler reports that in addition to the machine shed, which was totaled, also lost in the fire were a combine, two tractors, several used tires, and at least a barrel of used oil."

2020-08-19 - Tractor trailer bursts into flame on the M1 near coastal Minnamurra (Australia):

Note: These are the 1203rd, 1204th, 1205th, 1206th, 1207th, 1208th, 1209th and 1210th tractors/tankers/semis to burn/explode in 2020...

2020-08-19 - Truck bursts into flame on the M40 in Warwickshire (Britain):

2020-08-19 - RV bursts into flame at midnight while parked at home, fire spreads, home heavily damaged, in Milton (Massachusetts):

Quote: "An RV caught fire and quickly spread to a house next door in the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to Milton Fire officials. The fire spread to the attic and first floor bedrooms of home, causing severe damage, and the RV is considered a total loss."

2020-08-19 - RV bursts into flame while parked at lakefront home on Lake of the Ozarks in Sunrise Beach (Missouri), nobody there:

Quote: "An RV burned to the ground on Wednesday, the Sunrise Beach Fire Protection District reports. According to SBFPD Fire Chief Joseph LaPlant, no one was home, at the Sunrise Beach house located around the 26 Mile Marker, when the RV caught fire."

Note: These are the 260th and 261st RVs to burn in 2020...

2020-08-19 - Van bursts into flame and explodes at the Brecon Golf Club in Brecon (Britain):

2020-08-19 - Van bursts into flame on the A505 in Flint Cross (Britain):

2020-08-19 - SUV bursts into flame, ignites brush fire, on Highway 14 in Vancouver (Washington):

2020-08-19 - Pickup truck bursts into flame while parked at home on Bradley Court in McHenry (Illinois):

2020-08-19 - Pickup truck bursts into flame on Highway 49 in Harrison County (Texas):

2020-08-19 - Taxi bursts into flame on street in Lawrence (Massachusetts):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame while parked inside garage at home, two homes damaged, on Brock Way in Bakersfield (California):

Quote: "A vehicle caught fire in a garage Wednesday night, causing smoke damage to the house and also damaging another residence in northeast Bakersfield."

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame at midnight while parked inside garage at home on 10th Avenue Southeast in Rochester (Minnesota):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame on I-95 in Lexington (Massachusetts):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame on Highway 75 in Nebraska City (Nebraska):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame on highway near Selma (Arkansas):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame on highway in coastal Pictou (Canada):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame on Dunnocksfold Road in Alsager (Britain):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame on Ramsey Road in St. Ives (Britain):

2020-08-19 - Car bursts into flame at 5:28 AM on Pochin Way in Middlewich (Britain):

2020-08-19 - Vehicle bursts into flame on Highway 2 in Brooke County (West Virginia):

2020-08-19 - Golf cart bursts into flame at the Wexford County Airport in Cadillac (Michigan):

2020-08-19 - Pickup truck and garage destroyed by fire in the wee hours at home in Cypress (Texas):

2020-08-19 - Auto shop damaged by fire before 6:30 AM on Georgia Avenue in Silver Spring (Maryland):

2020-08-19 - Barn destroyed by fire at 5 AM on West Hill Road in Elmira (New York):

2020-08-19 - Mobile home heavily damaged by fire on Old Country Club Road E in Meridian (Mississippi):

2020-08-19 - Home damaged by fire on Whipaway Lane in coastal Virginia Beach (Virginia):

2020-08-19 - Home heavily damaged by fire on Withers Street in coastal Suffolk (Virginia):

2020-08-19 - Home heavily damaged by fire on North Stone Road on coastal Bethel Island (California), dog killed:

2020-08-19 - Home heavily damaged by garage fire at 5:15 AM on Country Park Lane in Fort Wayne (Indiana):

2020-08-19 - Apartment building destroyed by huge blaze on Main Street NE in Buckhead (Georgia):

2020-08-19 - Deadly fire burns home at 2:30 AM at East 1st Street and South Dayton Place in Kennewick (Washington), 1 killed:

2020-08-19 - Deadly fire burns home on Hilltop Road SE in Bessemer (Alabama), 1 killed:

2020-08-19 - Deadly fire burns duplex just before 11 PM in the Old Colorado City area in Colorado Springs (Colorado), 1 killed:

2020-08-19 - Vacant home destroyed by fire shortly after 1 AM in the Scotlandville area in Baton Rouge (Louisiana):

2020-08-19 - Seven northern bottlenose whales strand on beach, at least 6 die, in coastal Rossnowlagh, Donegal (Ireland):

Quote: "Fears are growing for a dying whale after the rest of its pod suffocated to death on an Irish beach in the largest live stranding of the species in the country's history."

Quote: "She said three of the whales, which normally deep-dive to 2,000 metres, had been left on the beach, with the other four stranded in shallow water."

2020-08-19 - Three men die in well in Nagpur (India):

2020-08-19 - Infant loses consciousness and dies at resort in Otter Tail County (Minnesota):

2020-08-19 - College student, man, 22, drops dead in dorm room at university in Magnolia (Arkansas):

2020-08-19 - Man, 48, dies after being pulled from the water at coastal Sand Island Beach Park (Hawaii):

2020-08-19 - Man, 30, drops dead along I-35 in San Marcos (Texas):

2020-08-19 - Person found dead in North Lake in Dallas (Texas):

2020-08-19 - Man in his 60s has 'medical issue' and dies while hiking near Colchuck Lake (Washington):

2020-08-19 - Man, 27, jumps into the water and dies in Lake Sawyer (Washington):

2020-08-19 - Man found dead in the Chattahoochee River in Columbus (Georgia):

2020-08-19 - Man, 20, found dead in canal in Phoenix (Arizona):

2020-08-19 - Woman, 47, drops dead in room at lodge in Greenbo Lake State Resort Park (Kentucky):

2020-08-19 - Man in his 30s or 40s found naked and dead in pond at Kyushu University Ito Campus in coastal Fukuoka (Japan):

2020-08-19 - Man, 59, worker, drops dead in store, other workers cover him up with boxes and umbrellas, in Recife (Brazil):

2020-08-19 - Woman, 54, has heart attack while diving and dies off coastal Sardinia (Italy):

Quote: "A 54-year-old female scuba diver was found dead off Sardinia on Wednesday. Antonella Piccello, a tourist from Padua, was found dead off the island of Caprera near La Maddalena. She was brought back up by friends who were diving with her but all efforts to revive her failed. Medics said she probably suffered a heart attack shortly after diving."

2020-08-19 - Driver has 'medical emergency', tractor trailer crashes into home, in Nashville (Tennessee), 1 injured:

Quote: "Police told News 2 the driver of the semi was taken to Vanderbilt. Nobody inside of the home was hurt. Currently, officials believe a medical emergency led the driver to crash."

2020-08-19 - Man, 23, has 'medical emergency', SUV crashes into ditch, sign and creek embankment, in Boyden (Iowa), 1 injured:

Quote: "The Sioux County Sheriff’s Office reports that at 8:00 pm on Tuesday, 23-year-old Daniel Molenaar was driving a 2007 Chevrolet Equinox southbound on Colfax Street in Boyden. According to the report, Molenaar reported a medical emergency, which caused him to lose control of the Chevrolet, enter the east ditch, strike a street sign post and a creek embankment."

2020-08-19 - Small plane makes emergency landing near near Arrowhead Trail in Payson (Utah), engine failure:

2020-08-19 - Firefighting helicopter crashes and burns near Coalinga (California), 1 killed:

2020-08-19 - Tractor trailer crashes into culvert near Hopkinsville (Kentucky), 1 killed:

Quote: "Review of the video from the cab of the truck shows Jensen may have had a medical issue that caused him to pass out prior to the semi wrecking."

2020-08-19 - Dump truck overturns, bursts into flame, in New Gloucester (Maine), 1 killed:

2020-08-19 - SUV veers over centerline, hits tractor trailer head-on, near Rathdrum (Idaho), 1 injured:

2020-08-19 - SUV veers off road, crashes into tree, in San Antonio (Texas), 1 injured:

Quote: "Witnesses at the scene said the man was unresponsive and suspected that he suffered from a medical emergency behind the wheel that resulted in the crash."

2020-08-19 - Car veers over centerline at 2 AM, hits tractor trailer head-on, near Blythe (California), 1 killed:

2020-08-19 - Car crashes off road, bursts into flame, near Brimfield (Illinois), 1 killed:

2020-08-19 - Sinkhole opens on street in coastal Sarasota (Florida):

2020-08-19 - Huge sinkhole opens and swallows 21 cars near the Yangtze River in Sichuan Province (China):

2020-08-19 - Post office collapses in Jamesport (Missouri):

2020-08-19 - Building collapses in Agra (India), 3 killed:

2020-08-19 - Man strokes out while hiking near coastal Coos Bay (Oregon):

Quote: "The US Coast Guard medevaced a hiker experiencing symptoms of a possible stroke Saturday in the Coos Bay area near the Upper Pony Creek Reservoir, Coast Guard officials report."

2020-08-19 - Woman, 65, has 'medical emergency' on trail in the Waterville Valley (New Hampshire):

Quote: "At around 2:00 p.m. on August 19, 2020, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department was notified of a hiker who had suffered a medical emergency on the Welch and Dickey Trial in Waterville Valley."

2020-08-19 - Magnitude 4.8 earthquake strikes in Death Valley (California):

2020-08-19 - Storm Ellen pounds Ireland, 194,000 homes lose power:

2020-08-19 - Typhoon Higos makes landfall in Zhuhai (China):

2020-08-19 - Tornado touches down and causes significant damage in DeLand (Florida):

2020-08-19 - Waterspout roars ashore in Golden Beach (Florida):

2020-08-19 - Italy sees new high in COVID-19 infections since lockdown eased:

2020-08-19 - Evidence emerges that everyone develops long-term coronavirus immunity after infection:


  1. Good Friday morning Jonny, Fran, Mike D., Tom N., LL, Terry, FezzedOne and Panther. i trust we're all still here awaiting our turn to have the collapses (biosphere, economic, social or via natural disaster) directly impact our lives. My youngest son and his family are affected by the fires in northern CA. So far it's limited to ash coating everything and smokey air making it difficult to breathe.

    Nights have cooled off considerably around here recently - a sign that Fall is on the way.

    2020 Is An Economic Nightmare – And Things Just Got Even Worse

    More than a million Americans were not supposed to be losing their jobs every week by the time we got to the middle of August. By now, vast hordes of unemployed Americans were supposed to be returning to their old jobs and economic activity was supposed to be returning to normal levels. But it hasn’t happened that way. Instead, the U.S. economy continues to unravel at a steady pace. Every week more businesses go under, more layoffs are announced and more people get behind on their bills. What we have already been through has been far worse than anything that we experienced during the last recession, and it appears that this new economic downturn is entering yet another new phase. On Thursday, we learned that another 1.106 million Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

    Instead of going down as most analysts were anticipating, the number of initial claims shot way back above a million.

    And this means that we have now gotten a number that is above a million for 21 of the last 22 weeks. [more]

    Shadow Government Statistics

    L A T E S T .. N U M B E R S .. Week of August 15, 2020 Initial Claims for Unemployment Insurance Unexpectedly Widened (August 20th, Department of Labor). The latest week’s headline new claims for unemployment deteriorated unexpectedly, on top of negative revisions to the prior week’s detail. Such was consistent with an unfolding “L”-shaped economic recovery [more; i don't expect any "recovery"]

    Friday, 21 August 2020
    August is continuing to throw up curveballs, record heat in California, record rainfall in Asia and Indo Pakistan: Very very rare indeed! Two tropical storms could hit the US on the same day. The last time that happened was during the great depression, sound familiar?

    Smoke forecast for Friday morning, August 21

    The map above shows the forecast for the distribution of vertically integrated smoke from wildfires at 6 a.m. MDT Friday August 21, 2020. It looks bleak for the western United States. [more; see maps]

    [part II awaits]

  2. Government insider claims DoD is prepping for loss of infrastructure due to climate change, podcast

    A Department of the Interior employee named Becca called into The Shepard Ambellas Show on Monday where she said that the Department of Defense sent out a bulletin which states that the department is preparing for and is expecting to sustain damage to infrastructure due to coming climate change scenarios.

    The department insider revealed that DoD internal has designated climate change as a threat to its operations and infrastructure and warned that something may be fast approaching.

    "This I thought was really interesting - it came from DoD internal - it says that the DoD has designated climate change as a threat to operations and installations - so its buildings - and it's partly due to quote-unquote 'its damaging effects on infrastructure' but here's the thing 'which could delay critical supplies or IT services," she explained. "... we are not just talking power lines and such but buildings which I thought was strange." [more; ~ 2 hr. podcast]

    Deep M6.9 earthquake strikes Banda Sea off Indonesia

    A 6.9-magnitude quake struck eastern Indonesia on Friday (Aug 21), the US Geological Survey (USGS) reported, but there was no tsunami warning issued and no immediate reports of casualties or major damage. [more]

    Softball-size hailstones pummel Mankato, Kansas

    People in Mankato, Kansas are cleaning up after softball-size hail caused major damage across Jewell County Friday night.

    Soybean fields belonging to the Newell family took a beating. Around 850 acres are expected to be considered a total loss.

    "We put a lot of time and effort into these crops and in 15 minutes it's gone," Kale Newell said.

    The beans were at waist level, but the pea to baseball-sized hail shredded them down to shin height. Newell said when he went to check the field Friday night he knew it didn't look good. [more]

    Hurricane Genevieve lashing Mexico's Baja with wind and rain

    High surf had already claimed two lives in the area. Police in Cabo San Lucas said a 15-year-girl was trapped by a large wave and an adult tried to save her Tuesday. Both died. [more]

    Heavy rains flood parts of New Delhi, triggering chaos

    Heavy monsoon rains have flooded parts of India's capital New Delhi and its suburbs, throwing life out of gear for millions of people, as the death toll from the annual deluge across South Asia rose to nearly 1,300. [more]

    At least 14 dead, 16 missing in floods and landslides in Nepal

    At least 14 people were killed and 16 others went missing in floods and landslides in various districts of Sudurpaschim and Karnali provinces in the last 24 hours. [more; 2 videos]

    [3rd piece below]

  3. Wildfires force new evacuations, threaten thousands of structures as California declares state of emergency

    The Governor of California Gavin Newsom declared a statewide state of emergency on August 18, 2020, as a result of the ongoing wildfires and heatwave affecting the state. As of early August 20, more than 400 wildfires are burning across the state. [more]

    Friday, 21 August 2020
    No over-run hospitals, no mass deaths beyond a typical flu season in Spain

    Mass-Media in Spain PROVES "COVID-19" Total Fraud - No Pandemic [~ 7.3 min. video]

    The legacy mass-media in Madrid, Spain accidentally proved the entire "COVID-19" pandemic is nothing of the sort. No hospitals are over-run, no mass deaths beyond a typical flu season, deceptive numbers from government about "cases" versus sick people.

    The interview below is with a Doctor at a major hospital in Madrid, the capital of Spain. The sub-titles tell the story.

    One step short of a Blue Ocean Event (BOE)

    What will fragile Arctic ice look like after a forecast cyclone?

    German research icebreaker Polarstern reached the North Pole and reveals the true state of polar ice

    MOSAiC expedition reaches the North Pole [~ 12.3 min. Robin Westenra video]

    “I’m very surprised to see how soft and easy to traverse the ice up to 88° North is this year, having thawed to the point of being thin and porous,” says Captain Thomas Wunderlich. “Even after passing 88° North we mostly maintained a

    speed of 5-7 knots; I’ve never seen that so far north,” says Polarstern’s captain. [more]

    [4th section coming up]

  4. China’s Summer of Floods is a Preview of Climate Disasters to Come

    China shares this fate with many nations: 70 percent of the world's population is expected to experience greatly increased river flooding if global warming goes unchecked. This summer alone, flooding along the Brahmaputra river has displaced about 3 million people in India, and one quarter of Bangladesh is underwater. Lower-income countries like India will have a higher mortality rate from flooding compared to China, according to a 2018 study, but China will also be greatly impacted.

    Researchers project that, in terms of damage and the number of people impacted, China is the country most vulnerable to flooding if the temperature rises 4 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, roughly the warming projected for the end of the century if action isn't taken to curb global warming.

    Water levels at China's Three Gorges near maximum after flooding rains

    Water levels at China's giant Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze river are inching closer to their maximum after torrential rains raised inflows to a record high, official data showed on Friday.

    With 75,000 cubic metres per second of water flowing in from the Yangtze river on Thursday, the reservoir's depths reached 165.6 metres by Friday morning, up more than 2 metres overnight and almost 20 metres higher than the official warning level.

    The maximum designed depth of China's largest reservoir is 175 metres. [more; oh man - can you imagine it breaching?!]

    Double trouble: Pair of tropical systems could near US as powerful storms early next week

    "We could actually have Laura AND Marco sharing the Gulf of Mexico on Monday, and both making U.S. landfalls on Monday," University of Miami meteorologist Brian McNoldy said. [more]

    Army asks for help in a search for missing Fort Hood soldier

    Fort Hood officials issued a missing soldier alert Thursday night for Sgt. Elder Fernandes, 23. Police in nearby Killeen said Fernandes was reported missing Wednesday and was last seen or heard from Monday afternoon when his staff sergeant dropped Fernandes off at his home in Killeen.

    Fernandes is a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear specialist with the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade at the Central Texas Army installation. The missing soldier alert said the Army's main concern was "to ensure his safety and wellbeing.

    The disappearance came a year after the disappearance of Pfc. Gregory Morales, 24, a Fort Hood soldier who was reported missing on Aug. 20, 2019. His remains were found June 21 in a field in Killeen, just over 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Stillhouse Hollow Lake. Killeen police are still investigating his death. [more]

  5. [some Friday headlines from RF]
    News Links, August 21, 2020
    Rice Farmer

    Rise in U.S. weekly jobless claims clouds labor market recovery

    Will Skilled Hands-On Labor Finally Become More Valuable?

    Kuwait Is Running Out Of Money To Pay Public Salaries

    Germany to give people £1,000 a month, no questions asked, in universal basic income experiment

    COVID-19 Is Accelerating the Phaseout of Paper Dollars

    U.S. moves to restore all U.N. sanctions on Iran in dispute over nuclear deal

    US Attacks Syrian Army Outpost as US Firm Moves To Steal Syrian Oil

    Somali pirates release last three hostages as armed men attack Panama-flagged ship

    Amid tensions with US, Iran introduces two new missiles named for leaders killed in airstrike

    World's Largest Offshore Rig Owner Files Bankruptcy

    Thousands of homes threatened by massive California wildfires; more than 50,000 flee; 2nd death reported

    Germany, Spain record highest daily coronavirus infection rate since April as cases surge across Europe

    1 in 5 nursing homes short on PPE and staff in virus rebound

    Covid is Now the Third Leading Cause of Death in the US [b/s]

    Torturing Assange: An Interview with Andrew Fowler

    Our Systemic Drift to Collapse

    'Too big to fail' isn't just a financial problem

    China's wish to end US dollar dominance is unlikely to come true with no genuine challenger in the wings

    The rise in jobless claims may be a warning to Congress that the economy needs stimulus

    Trump is Wrong, Joe Biden is not the "Radical Left." He is an Enemy of Humanity
    Both candidates are jockeying for who can best gaslight the U.S. public into remaining loyal to one side of the two-party corporate duopoly or the other. [either way WE LOSE]

    William Barr announces nearly 1,500 arrests made under 'Operation Legend'

    The Devastation Of The Middle Class: It Now Takes 53 Weeks Of Median Wages Every Year To Pay For Basic Needs

  6. [music recommendation; smoke 'em if ya got 'em]
    Buron*Corea*Metheny*Haynes*Holland - Like Minds (1998)

    What If Consciousness Is Not What Drives the Human Mind?

    We suggest that our personal awareness does not create, cause or choose our beliefs, feelings or perceptions. Instead, the contents of consciousness are generated “behind the scenes” by fast, efficient, non-conscious systems in our brains. All this happens without any interference from our personal awareness, which sits passively in the passenger seat while these processes occur.

    Put simply, we don’t consciously choose our thoughts or our feelings – we become aware of them.

    What’s the Point?

    If the experience of consciousness does not confer any particular advantage, it’s not clear what its purpose is. But as a passive accompaniment to non-conscious processes, we don’t think that the phenomenon of personal awareness has a purpose, in much the same way that rainbows do not. Rainbows simply result from the reflection, refraction and dispersion of sunlight through water droplets – none of which serves any particular purpose.

    Our conclusions also raise questions about the notions of free will and personal responsibility. If our personal awareness does not control the contents of the personal narrative which reflects our thoughts, feelings, emotions, actions and decisions, then perhaps we should not be held responsible for them.

    In response to this, we argue that free will and personal responsibility are notions that have been constructed by society. As such, they are built into the way we see and understand ourselves as individuals, and as a species. Because of this, they are represented within the non-conscious processes that create our personal narratives, and in the way we communicate those narratives to others. [more]

    Explosive fire activity in California - at least 5 people killed, more than 690 000 acres scorched and 770 structures destroyed

    At least 5 people have been killed and more than 30 injured as destructive wildfires continue burning across California. More than 770 structures were destroyed, nearly 283 279 ha (700 000 acres) of land scorched, more than 60 000 people evacuated and 100 000 more placed under evacuation warnings. Entire California is under a state of emergency since August 18.

    [2nd section below]

  7. Machine-learning model finds SARS-COV-2 growing more infectious

    A novel machine learning model developed by researchers at Michigan State University suggests that mutations to the SARS-CoV-2 genome have made the virus more infectious.

    The model, developed by lead researcher Guowei Wei, professor in the departments of Mathematics and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, analyzed SARS-CoV-2 genotyping from more than 20,000 viral genome samples. The researchers analyzed mutations to the spike protein — a protein primarily responsible for facilitating infection — and found that five of the six known virus subtypes are now more infectious.

    [SOTT]Comment: Moreover it may be actually beneficial for it to be more virulent while continuing to be relatively harmless because then herd immunity will be achieved - although in some areas it apparently already has has [link]. [more]

    Floods and landslides leave 7 dead, 1 missing in Vietnam
    [includes ~ 5 in. video from a few days ago]

    Disaster authorities in Vietnam report that 7 people have died and 1 is still missing after heavy rainfall triggered flash floods and landslides. [more]

    Cliff collapses in Grand Canyon, revealing 313 million-year-old footprints, park says

    A geology professor hiking in the Grand Canyon made a “surprising discovery” — the oldest recorded tracks of their kind.

    After a cliff collapsed in Grand Canyon National Park, a boulder with fossilized tracks was revealed, park officials said in a Thursday news release. The fossil footprints are about 313 million years old, according to researchers.

    “These are by far the oldest vertebrate tracks in Grand Canyon, which is known for its abundant fossil tracks” Stephen Rowland, a paleontologist at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, said in the news release. “More significantly, they are among the oldest tracks on Earth of shelled-egg-laying animals, such as reptiles, and the earliest evidence of vertebrate animals walking in sand dunes.” [more]

    [3rd piece follows]

  8. [DAAAP - Trump sez it's okay!]
    Giant Florida Methane Plume Probed by EPA as Possible Violation

    U.S. regulators are investigating whether a massive methane release over Florida they say likely occurred during maintenance on a natural gas compressor station this spring violated the nation’s Clean Air Act.

    The mysterious plume of invisible gas, estimated to total 300 metric tons, was released north of Gainesville between May 2 and May 3, according to Bluefield Technologies Inc., which analyzed data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-5P satellite and was first reported by Bloomberg News. [more]

    California’s raging wildfires are so big they can be seen from space, images show

    Wildfires in California have grown so large that plumes of smoke can be seen in space, satellite images from NASA show.

    Images show “smoke drifting roughly 600 miles” over the greater Bay Area, where two massive fires have burned about 226,100 acres, according to CNN. The pictures, also taken by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, show “much of the smoke is being sucked out into the Pacific Ocean
    [more; hey, t'anks fer nuttin!]

    Tropical Storm Laura forms as trio of Atlantic systems gather steam

    In the Atlantic, Tropical Depression 13 has strengthened into Tropical Storm Laura, the 12th earliest named storm on record. Laura is currently 375 kilometres east-southeast of the northern Leeward Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC).

    "[It is expected to] become a Category 1 hurricane as it tracks into the eastern Gulf of Mexico early next week. However, there are major differences in the intensity forecasts from the models – ranging from a major hurricane to having the storm completely dissipate," says Weather Network meteorologist Dr. Doug Gillham. [more]

    Southern Arizona swarmed with monsoon storms, heavy rain [~ pi min. video]

    North American monsoon season has started, specifically with heavy rain and strong winds in southern Arizona on Thursday, August 20. The National Weather Service issued Flash Flood Warnings for the region.

  9. Pakistan – Torrential Rain Causes Damage and Fatalities in Punjab

    Several houses were completely destroyed, and roofs and walls of some buildings collapsed. Local media report that at least 18 people have lost their lives in rain-related incidents. Fatalities were reported in Lahore, along with the districts of Faisalabad, Sheikhupura and Mandi Bahauddin, mostly as a result of collapsed buildings or electrocution. Heavy rainfall triggered a landslide in a coal mine in Chakwal district, killing 3 miners.

    PMD has warned of more heavy rainfall in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh provinces over the coming days. [more]

    Bihar flood toll goes up to 27, over 81.79 lakh affected in 16 districts

    Waterspouts Were Spotted All Over The Great Lakes Yesterday & They Were Massive (PHOTOS)

    According to the International Centre for Waterspout Research (ICWR), there were 13 sightings of water funnels throughout the Great Lakes region on Monday [more]