….a surge in violent crime across major US metropolitan areas has also been observed since the virus-pandemic began in March.
Baltimore is back in the news, with at least 46 people shot – 12 of them died last week, according to The Baltimore Sun, citing new Baltimore Police Department (BPD) data.
BPD data showed a surge in shootings between Sept. 6 and Sept. 13 came in the final stretch of late summer as fall is around the corner. A decline in temperatures has often been associated with lower foot traffic in some of Baltimore’s roughest neighborhoods, resulting in a decline in shootings.
“Baltimore police confirmed on Sunday that from Sept. 6 to Sept. 13, 34 people were injured in shootings, and 12 others were killed. But the week had already started off rough, coming off a violent Labor Day weekend when 12 people had been shot, two others were killed, and one person was fatally stabbed. The latest shooting occurred around 6 p.m. Sunday in the 1300 block of N. Calhoun St., where a 47-year-old man was injured,” The Sun said.
Astronomers have discovered potential signs of life on Venus, after identifying a gas called phosphine – a phosphorous molecule with three hydrogen atoms attached produced by bacteria which thrives in oxygen-starved environments, such as Venus’s inhospitable atmosphere. It is notably toxic to humans.
The researchers did not discover actual life forms, but noted that on Earth phosphine is produced by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments. The international scientific team first spotted the phosphine using the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope in Hawaii and confirmed it using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) radio telescope in Chile. –Reuters
“I was very surprised – stunned, in fact,” said lead author of the research, Jane Greaves, of Cardiff University in Wales. The detection of phosphine is considered a “biosignature” – indirect signs of life which scientists have been using probes and telescopes to search for.
“With what we currently know of Venus, the most plausible explanation for phosphine, as fantastical as it might sound, is life,” said MIT molecular astrophysicist and study co-author Clara Sousa-Silva, according to Reuters. That said, Sousa-Silva cautioned against jumping to ‘alien life’ as a primary conclusion.
“I should emphasize that life, as an explanation for our discovery, should be, as always, the last resort,” she said, adding “This is important because, if it is phosphine, and if it is life, it means that we are not alone. It also means that life itself must be very common, and there must be many other inhabited planets throughout our galaxy.”
Phosphine was seen at 20 parts-per-billion in the Venusian atmosphere, a trace concentration. Greaves said the researchers examined potential non-biological sources such as volcanism, meteorites, lightning and various types of chemical reactions, but none appeared viable. The research continues to either confirm the presence of life or find an alternative explanation.
Venus is Earth’s closest planetary neighbor. Similar in structure but slightly smaller than Earth, it is the second planet from the sun. Earth is the third. Venus is wrapped in a thick, toxic atmosphere that traps in heat. Surface temperatures reach a scorching 880 degrees Fahrenheit (471 degrees Celsius), hot enough to melt lead. –Reuters
“I can only speculate on what life might survive on Venus, if indeed it is there. No life would be able to survive on the surface of Venus, because it is completely inhospitable, even for biochemistries completely different from ours,” said Sousa-Silva. “But a long time ago, Venus could have had life on its surface, before a runaway greenhouse effect left the majority of the planet completely uninhabitable.”
The clouds of Venus – which are approximately 90% sulphuric acid and could not harbor microbes from Earth, could theoretically support microbes that thrive on, or at least endure, extreme acidity – as temperatures hover at around 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
“If it’s microorganisms, they would have access to some sunlight and water, and maybe live in liquid droplets to stop themselves dehydrating, but they would need some unknown mechanism to protect against corrosion by acid,” said Greaves.
“We have done our very best to explain this discovery without the need for a biological process. With our current knowledge of phosphine, and Venus, and geochemistry, we cannot explain the presence of phosphine in the clouds of Venus. That doesn’t mean it is life. It just means that some exotic process is producing phosphine, and our understanding of Venus needs work,” said Sousa-Silva.
That said, the report also notes that Venus should be hostile to phosphine – as its atmosphere would rapidly react with and destroy it.
“Something must be creating the phosphine on Venus as fast as it is being destroyed,” said co-author Anita Richards, an astrophysicist associated with the University of Manchester in England.
“Fortunately, Venus is right next door,” said Sousa-Silva. “So we can literally go and check.”
Amid windy and worsening conditions at least 35 have died from the spate of West Coast fires which many thousands of firefighters are still busy battling. And there are still dozens of missing persons who were in the vicinity of the blazes.
Meanwhile the mainstream media is busy issuing headlines like this instead of actually trying to get to the bottom of what’s behind the seeming simultaneous explosion of fires: “Oregon Officials Warn False Antifa Rumors Waste Precious Resources For Fires,”writes NPR.
And now local Portland media is reporting that a 45-year old man has been arrested for starting at least seven brush fires near a major highway: “A man arrested Sunday afternoon for allegedly starting a small brush fire along Interstate 205 was arrested again hours after he was released from jail after he allegedly started six more small fires,” according to a Portland Police statement.
So a single individual responsible for no less than seven brush fires – six of which he reportedly started after already being arrested and released… but somehow the media is demanding that the public consider it inconceivable that Antifa could be engaged in a campaign of arson in many of these fires.
“Nothing to see here!” apparently.
The suspect, identified as Domingo Lopez Jr., reportedly had a molotov with him upon the second arrest:
After officers and firefighters put out a small brush fire along I-205 around 4:30 p.m. Sunday, a witness flagged down officers about an hour later and said the man who started the fires was in a nearby tent. Police spoke to Lopez Jr., who told officer he lit the fire, police said. He was arrested and a plastic bottle with a wick was seized as evidence.
Portland Police Bureau showed the molotov cocktail to reporters:
UPDATE 9/11/2020 2:20 p.m. The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office tells KION that they have no information or evidence suggesting that a woman accused of intentionally starting fires on Highway 101 has any connection to Antifa.
The DA said there is no evidence of that sort of activity in the area.
PREVIOUS STORY: The California Highway Patrol confirms that a woman has been arrested after being accused of intentionally starting fires.
They said it happened on Highway 101 near Boronda Road, and it was first reported just after 9 a.m. The number of fires was not released.
The suspect, identified as 37-year-old Anita Esquivel, is booked into the Monterey County Jail arson.
but wait! there’s more!
September 2, 2020 Eugene Oregon Elias Pendergrass charged with arson https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/2020/09/man-arrested-on-arson-allegation-in-wildfire-west-of-eugene-deputies-say.html
September 8, 2020 Spokane, WA: Christine Comello charged with arson https://www.khq.com/news/arson-suspect-arrested-after-allegedly-starting-multiple-fires-in-spokane-on-monday/article_62df8a40-f223-11ea-8a02-af6f5dca5965.html
September 9, 2020: Man seen starting fires at Oregon state park, fire chief says https://news3lv.com/news/nation-world/man-seen-starting-fires-at-oregon-state-park-local-fire-chief-says
September 10, 2020 Pallyup, WA Jeffrey Acorde (Antifa) charged with arson https://thepostmillennial.com/antifa-activist-charged-for-fire-set-in-washington
September 10, 2020 Parkland, WA Unnamed man arrested for arson https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/we-got-another-one-second-man-arrested-intentionally-starting-brush-fire-pierce-county/5CA2YAQTEBBBZBOFKIRDGGKOLY/
September 11, 2020 Phoenix, OR: Michael Jarrod Bakkela charged with arson https://ktvl.com/news/local/live-press-conference-regarding-almeda-and-obenchain-fires
September 11, 2020 Springfield, OR Jonathan Maas charged with arson https://www.kezi.com/content/news/Springfield-man-accused-of-starting-small-brush-fire-in-Dexter-572385001.html