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RoyalW1979

2012-02-28 – TVNZ – ROAD RULE CHANGES [MARCH 25TH 2012 05:00AM]

ROAD-RULE CHANGES MAY TAKE DRIVERS BY SURPRISE
Changes to New Zealand’s 35-year-old give way rules will take effect at the end of March but drivers are being kept in the dark until the last minute.

The New Zealand Transport Agency is waiting until ten days before the rule comes into effect on March 25 to launch a $1.2 million nationwide campaign which will include TV, radio, online and print advertisements.

An online campaign is launching tomorrow where drivers can watch educational videos outlining the two major changes to the current rules.

“We keep on ramping up the resource material but the publicity campaign aimed at everybody is a few weeks away yet,” said NZTA Chief Executive Jeff Dangerfield.

Some drivers are calling for the nation-wide campaign to be brought in now to ensure the new rules don’t take road-users by surprise.

Taxi driver Allan Smith, who was behind the wheel when the law last changed in 1977, said the campaign should be launched a month earlier than the planned March 25 date.

“The perspective of it then was that these were major changes and people would get fouled up with the whole change of the law,” Smith said.

“I don’t think it’ll be a smooth transition this time. There is a lot more traffic on the roads.”

But NZTA said the risk of introducing the campaign too early was that drivers may think the changes come into effect earlier than the official date.

“This rule changes at 5am on Sunday the 25th of March and until then the existing rules comply,” said Dangerfield.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/road-rule-changes-may-take-drivers-surprise-4745383

GIVE WAY CHANGES
Added: 7.52PM Tuesday February 28, 2012
Source: Close Up
Close Up explains the new give way rules which will come into effect on March 25.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/close-up/give-way-changes-video-4745467

NZTA OFFICIAL CHANGE LINK
http://www.nzta.govt.nz/traffic/around-nz/road-user-rule.html
484 sec.

2012-02-27 – VARIOUS – GREEN PEACE CHARGED THEN RELEASED FROM POLICE

GREENPEACE ACTIVISTS CHARGED WITH BURGLARY
Added: 6.31PM Monday February 27, 2012
Source: ONE News
Actress Lucy Lawless, along with six other protestors, will appear in a New Plymouth court on Thursday.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/greenpeace-activists-charged-burglary-video-4744334

LUCY LAWLESS RELEASED FROM POLICE CUSTODY
Lucy Lawless and six other Greenpeace activists have been released from police custody this afternoon.

The protesters were arrested this morning and descended the rig of the Shell-chartered Noble Discoverer around 12pm.

Greenpeace said they considered the action to have been hugely successful.

“When we started this seven of us went up the rig but 133,000 came down with us in solidarity. They’re writing letters and we know that new heros are going to spring up in our fervent mission to make sure the oil industry becomes an energy industry is one that is renewable and clean,” Lawless said.

The protesters have been bailed to appear in the New Plymouth District Court on Thursday, when they will face charges of burglary.

Actress Lucy Lawless and five other Greenpeace protesters were arrested after spending four days on board the Noble Discoverer, which was due to travel to the Arctic in exploration of oil.

Lawless and a group of Greenpeace activists scaled the ship’s 53-metre drilling derrick and unfurled banners in Port Taranaki at 7am on Friday.

The ship was scheduled to leave the port yesterday to drill three exploratory oil wells in the Chukchi Sea off the coast of Alaska, but the journey was delayed due to the protesters’ actions.

Lawless’ involvement drew international attention to their cause.

The police climbed the tower this morning to speak with the protesters, and subsequently arrest them. They did not resist.

Lawless, before being arrested, said the battle to save the Arctic had just begun.

Over the course of the occupation, more than 133,000 people sent an email to Shell executives telling them to cancel their plans to drill in the Arctic, causing Shell email systems to overload repeatedly, Greenpeace claimed.

Police said it was too early to say when the protesters, including Lawless, would appear in court.

Steve Abel, a Greenpeace climate campaigner, who was at the Taranaki port, said it was one of the longest lasting occupations in recent history in New Zealand.”

“If there was an oil spill in the Arctic it would be impossible to clean up,” Abel said. “This is what this is about.”

SOURCE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/taranaki-daily-news/6486453/Lucy-Lawless-released-from-police-custody
200 sec.

2012-02-26 – ONE NEWS – DRIVERS LICENCE TO GET TOUGHER

Drivers licence test to get tougher (1.54)
Added: 7.28PM Sunday February 26, 2012
Source: ONE News
The Transport Agency is bringing in major changes to the restricted drivers’ licence test.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/drivers-licence-test-get-tougher-video-4743107
NZTA: http://www.nzta.govt.nz/licence/photo/new-tests.html
135 sec.

2012-02-25 – ROYALW1979 – MOON, VENUS AND JUPITER ALIGNMENT

Moon, Venus and Jupiter alignment as seen from Porirua New Zealand.
Heliocentric snapshot from Solar System Scope
http://minus.com/mGSHTI52t#1f
COO – 41°08?15?S 174°50?36?E?
NZT – 2012-02-25 20:47
UTC – 2012-02-25 07:47

SOFTWARE: http://www.solarsystemscope.com/
SOURCE: This is the source.
137 sec.

2012-02-25 – ONE NEWS – RIFT AT AUCKLAND COUNCIL OVER OCCUPY BILL

Rift at Auckland Council over Occupy bill (2.38)
Added: 6.48PM Saturday February 25, 2012
Source: ONE News
An Auckland councillor says a $363,000 bill could have been avoided.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/rift-auckland-council-over-occupy-bill-video-4742427
160 sec.

2012-02-24 – TVNZ – LUCY LAWLESS PROTESTS ON OIL DRILLING SHIP

LUCY LAWLESS PROTESTS ON OIL DRILLING SHIP [RAW VIDEO]
A man has been arrested after actress Lucy Lawless and six other Greenpeace protesters scaled a ship they say is bound for oil drilling in the Arctic.
Police confirmed to ONE News that the man was arrested early this morning in connection with the protest at the Port of Taranaki.
Police would not comment on what time or why the man was arrested.
Greenpeace said around 7am the protesters began climbing a 53 metre drilling derrick on the ship, Noble Discoverer, and then chained themselves to the ship’s drilling platform.
Five police officers are on board the ship and they say the protesters are trespassing.
Lawless, who is famous for her role in Xena, told TV ONE’s Breakfast she is prepared to be arrested for this cause.
“I don’t care, I don’t care (about being arrested) I just have to do what I feel is right and this is what I feel is right.”
But, Shona Geary, Shell’s corporate communications manager, said Shell is disappointed that Greenpeace has chosen this method to protest, saying it jeopardises the safety of everyone involved.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/arrest-in-lucy-lawless-oil-drillship-protest-4740826/video

MAN ARRESTED IN OIL DRILLSHI[P PROTEST (1.33)
Added: 12.43PM Friday February 24, 2012
Source: ONE News
A man has been arrested after actress Lucy Lawless and other protesters scaled a ship to protest drilling oil…

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/man-arrested-in-oil-drillship-protest-video-4741450

LUCY LAWLESS BOARDS OIL SHIP IN PROTEST (2.37)
Added: 9.51AM Friday February 24, 2012
Source: ONE News
Actress Lucy Lawless and six other Greenpeace protesters have scaled a ship in the Port of Taranaki to protest…

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/lucy-lawless-boards-oil-ship-in-protest-video-4741038

GREENPEACE PROTESTING ON OIL SHIP (2.17)
Added: 10.06AM Friday February 24, 2012
Source: Breakfast
Actress Lucy Lawless and six Greenpeace activists are occupying an oil exploration vessel.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/greenpeace-protesting-oil-ship-video-4741074
440 sec.

2012-02-17 – NASA – SDO SECOND ANNIVERSARY, PLASMA INDIRECTION

As if it could not make up its mind . . . darker, cooler plasma slid and shifted back and forth above the Sun’s surface seen here for 30 hours (Feb. 7-8, 2012) in extreme ultraviolet light (171 angstrom). An active region rotating into view provides a bright backdrop to the gyrating streams of plasma. The particles are being pulled this way and that by competing magnetic forces. They are tracking along strands of magnetic field lines. This kind of detailed solar observation with high-resolution frames and a four-minute cadence was not possible until SDO, which launched two years ago on Feb. 11, 2010. This celebrates SDO’s Second Anniversary!

SOURCE: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=132883751
18 sec.

2012-02-20 – BREAKFAST – ENTREPRENEURS SHARE THEIR SECRETS

Entrepreneurs share their secrets (3.31)
Added: 7.16AM Monday February 20, 2012
Source: Breakfast
Derek Handley of Hyperfactory talks to Breakfast about a meeting of entrepreneurs.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/entrepreneurs-share-their-secrets-video-4731082
212 sec.

2012-02-18 – ONE NEWS – DELUGE DRENCHES AUCKLAND’S WEST

Residents in a small west Auckland community are mopping up after a rapid-fire storm swamped the region.
But as Glendene residents clean up they are seeking answers from the council about why their stormwater drainage system collapsed so spectacularly.
The deluge has left businesses, homes and cars wrecked amid piles of mud and debris.
Torrents of water were sent gushing through the neighbourhood within minutes.
Residents were trapped as drains burst, collapsing under the pressure.
The water drained almost as quickly as it came, but left in its wake a massive mess to be cleaned up.
The council’s stormwater operations team leader, Jayesh Solanki, said the priority is to make sure the drain is clear so water can pass through.
“But ultimately we need to make sure the site is safe,” Solanki said.
The council has told ONE News the situation is being investigated under urgency.
Inundated Emergency services were inundated with calls as the flash floods wreaked havoc in parts of West Auckland , including at a primary school.
The Fire Service confirmed that an internal roof at Kaurilands Primary School collapsed and a specialist salvage unit was sent to the area.
Fire appliances were deployed across the west, including two units with industrial-sized vacuums.
More than 50 homes and businesses were affected, and some residents became trapped after Waikumete Cemetery turned into a raging river.
Freak thunderstorms raged across the city throughout the afternoon and night and cars caught in the flash floods were left partially submerged.

PHOTOS: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/deluge-drenches-auckland-s-west-4729791/photos
SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/auckland-s-western-suburbs-mop-up-after-flash-floods-4729791
SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/deluge-drenches-auckland-s-west-4729791/video?vid=4730227
250 sec.

2012-02-15 – VARIOUS – AUCKLAND WATERSPOUT

ONE NEWS:
Authorities are telling Auckland boaties to be vigilant on the water tonight after monster twisters hovered above Auckland this afternoon.
ONE News has received several photos of the twisters, which appeared around 4pm.
One was seen in Auckland Harbour while the other was seen near Milford on the North Shore.

PICTURES: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/waterspout-seen-above-auckland-4725152/photos
SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/waterspout-seen-above-auckland-4725152/video?…

STUFF.CO.NZ:
A large water spout has been seen over Auckland and there could be more to come, MetService says.
The water spout moved from Devonport towards the central city just before 4pm.
A weather expert says they are not as dangerous as a tornado and dissipate once they hit land.
However, authorities have warned boaties to stay off the water, TVNZ reported.
A police spokesman said there had been no reports of damage and they had not attended any emergency calls related to the water spout.
People have posted pictures of the spout’s funnel, which could be seen across the city, on social media sites.
MetService spokesman Daniel Corbett said the converging winds had created the “water spout”, which is not a full-blown tornado.
“The converging winds create a twist. This one particularly is very long and thin and it’s not destructive or big like a full-blown midwestern tornado,” he said.
The water spout is likely to last around 15 minutes but with the “unstable air” today, it was likely more would be formed.
“If others pop up it is not out of the question more wind spouts will form, but once it moves across toward the land it will dissipate.”
Corbett said the main cluster of storms with water spouts have moved east of the city, but heavy showers are still likely.
Thunderstorms have brought heavy rain to the city throughout the day.
Showers are set to remain in place tomorrow, with weather clearing near the end of the week.
In September last year more than a dozen houses were damaged by a tornado that ripped through several streets in the West Auckland suburbs of Avondale and Te Atatu South.
Four months earlier, in May, a tornado in Albany resulted in the death of construction worker Benedict Dacayan.
The 37-year-old North Shore resident worked for Fletcher Building and was part of a team of 15 helping to demolish the old Placemakers building in Albany when the tornado lifted him into the air and threw him into a concrete wall.
The tornado caused extensive damage to sectors of Westfield, Pak ‘n’ Save and other commercial locations and tossed cars in the air.

SOURCE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/6424282/Water-spout-over-Auckland
SOURCE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/lightbox/auckland/videos/6424368/Water-spout-seen-over…
SOURCE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/lightbox/auckland/videos/6424298/Water-spout-hits-Auck…

NZHERALD:
A large water funnel resembling a tornado has been spotted in Auckland’s Hauraki Gulf today.
The cloud drew dozens of responses on Twitter from users, who frequently called it a tornado.
“Just saw a waterspout tornado in Auckland city!” wrote Twitter user Lara Jonsdottir.
On Twitter, “The whole office has congregated to check out a mini … tornado outside,” wrote Twitter user unicorns and tanks.
“Everyone was so excited,” tweeted Alfred Chong. “Thank God it’s dissolved now.”
“There was a mini tornado heading our way,” tweeted Merryn. “There was a big ominious bit of sky above my head, so naturally that was the fasted I’ve ever walked home.”
Weatherwatch.co.nz forecaster Philip Duncan said the cloud was a water spout, not a tornado.
He said it had the potential to flip yachts and small boats.
People in Auckland Harbour, Devonport and the eastern bays should be “vigilant” as the spout was heading east , he said.
“Waterspouts are generally fairly safe to watch from land but should it move towards land people should immediately take cover indoors away from windows.”
Mr Duncan said the conditions creating the water spout were similar to those that at the time of the deadly Albany tornado last year.
“Big cloud build ups can create wild air currents and in turn they can create localised funnel clouds – which can lead to small waterspouts over water or small tornadoes over land.”
Mr Duncan said there was a low risk of small tornadoes or more waterspouts forming in the next two days.
Having a water spout form so close to the city centre was a rare sight, he said.
“It’s common to get waterspouts in New Zealand but certainly rare to see such a clearly defined one right in the CBD of Auckland Harbour”.

SOURCE: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10785723
236 sec.

2012-02-15 – BREAKFAST – QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT HACKING RISK

Questions raised about hacking risk (3.13)
Added: 9.23AM Wednesday February 15, 2012
Source: Breakfast
An email security breach is discussed by Internet New Zealand’s Vikram Kumar.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/questions-raised-hacking-risk-video-4723634
194 sec.

2012-02-15 – BREAKFAST – CUTTING BACK THROUGH TECHNOLOGY

The Government is talking up a more tech-based public service model as it looks for ways to make cuts.

Breakfast asks Victoria University’s e-Government Chair Miriam Lips if this new direction is inevitable.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/wednesday-february-15-4723495
273 sec.

2012-02-14 – ONE NEWS – TEENAGER SCALES BURNING BUILDING

Teenager scales burning building (1.53)
Added: 6.53PM Tuesday February 14, 2012
Source: ONE News
A new hero has emerged from the fire at Dunedin’s Kingsgate Hotel.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/teenager-scales-burning-building-video-4722095
134 sec.

2012-02-10 – WWW.RADIONZ.CO.NZ – HUNDREDS OF BIRDS DYING IN CHRISTCHURCH

Christchurch City Council is investigating the death of more than 600 birds found along the banks of the oxidation ponds at

the city’s wastewater treatment plant.
It is working with National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research and Fish & Game to determine how they died.
Dead birds have also been found in other wetlands in the east of the city.
The council says initial diagnosis indicates the birds died from avian botulism, a natural phenomena.

SOURCE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/regional/98052/bird-deaths-investigated
AUDIO : http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ckpt/ckpt-20120210-1818-hundreds_of_birds_dying_in_christchurch-048.mp3
188 sec.

2012-02-08 – NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM – MIGHTY MARTIAN METEORITE LANDS AT NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM

A rare Martian meteorite that could help unravel the mysteries of Mars has arrived at the Natural History Museum in London today, obtained with the support of a donor.

The meteorite is the largest piece from a shower of stones that fell to Earth in Morocco last July, near the village of Tissint. The Tissint meteorite weighs 1.1kg and is now the largest Martian meteorite in the Museum’s collections.
Museum scientist Dr Caroline Smith holds the newly arrived Tissint Martian meteorite

Museum scientist Dr Caroline Smith holds the newly arrived Tissint meteorite. It is now the largest Martian meteorite in the Natural History Museum collections.

‘Arguably this is the most important meteorite to have fallen in 100 years and we now have the largest piece in our collections,’ says Dr Caroline Smith, Museum meteorite expert.

‘Martian meteorites are incredibly rare, and when they have been seen to fall and recovered quickly, like Tissint, they offer a unique insight into the Red Planet.’

Falling to Earth

The Tissint meteorite fell in the desert in southern Morocco on 18 July 2011. Witnesses heard 2 sonic booms and saw a bright fireball trace through the night sky.

Rare Martian meteorites

There have only been 4 other witnessed Martian meteorite falls, the last one in Nigeria in 1962. Just 61 out of the 41,000 meteorites known to science come from Mars, a mere 0.15% of meteorites in collections around the world.
Contamination

A major problem in studying Martian meteorites is how much the material has become contaminated on Earth, for example from moisture in the air. The longer a meteorite is left before being found, the more contamination is likely.

Caroline adds, ‘Tissint fell in a dry area, was picked up soon after it fell and has absolutely minimal contamination. It is as if it has just been blasted off Mars.’

Donor

The acquisition has been made possible through the generous support of a private donor who wishes to remain anonymous. The American and British supporter of the Museum commented, ‘My family and I are delighted to partner with the Museum in such an important acquisition. We all now set off on an exciting voyage of discovery.

‘Man may not set foot on Mars in the near future, but Mars has come to us. This close-up view will bring new scientific understanding, to spur our children on to further exploration on the surface of the planet itself.’
Meteorite research at the Museum

The Museum’s collection of about 1,950 individual meteorites is one of the most comprehensive worldwide and Martian meteorites are the most heavily requested by researchers.

Meteorites allow scientists to investigate extraterrestrial material. Studies carried out in the 1970s by Museum scientists showed, for the first time, that water must have existed on Mars — a discovery which was confirmed by later robotic missions to Mars.

‘The importance of this new acquisition cannot be understated,’ says Dr David Parker, Director of Science, Technology and Exploration from the UK Space Agency. ‘And the fact that the UK now holds the largest sample of the Tissint meteorite in any public collection in the world is a great opportunity for UK planetary researchers.’

Darryl Pitt of the Macovich Collection in New York City, and Dave Gheesling of the Falling Rocks Collection in Atlanta, sold the main mass to the Museum. Pitt says, ‘It is both humbling and an honour to be part of this meteorite’s journey, and the Natural History Museum is the perfect final residence.’
Meteorite falls on Earth

Each year about 40,000 to 60,000 tonnes of extraterrestrial material hits Earth, mostly as dust the size of grains of sand.

About 1,000 meteorites land every year ranging from the size of a football to a washing machine. It is very rare to see a meteorite land, but people frequently see meteors falling through the sky, which are often described as shooting stars.

SOURCE: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/about-us/news/2012/february/mighty-martian-meteorite-lands-at-natural-history-museum108167.html
175 sec.

2012-02-07 – NASA – GRACE MISSION MEASURES GLOBAL ICE MASS CHANGES

Animation shows the location of mountain glaciers and ice caps around the world with data from the GRACE mission to show recent trends in ice mass loss or gain.

SOURCE: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=131826971#
109 sec.

2012-02-09 – BREAKFAST – HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY ATTACKS MINIMUM WAGE RISE

Both workers and business owners in the hospitality industry are criticising the 50c increase in the minimum wage.
Workers say the pay rise is a tragic disappointment that will entrench poverty while owners say the cost of any increase will simply hurt consumers.
Labour Minister Kate Wilkinson announced yesterday the minimum wage will go up from $13 an hour to $13.50 from April 1.

TV ONE’s Breakfast today heard from both sides of the hospitality industry and neither is happy.
The Service and Food Workers Union’s John Ryall said it is “an extreme disappointment” to workers in the sector and other low-paid industries.
“It needs to be better. There’s a majority of parties in Parliament who support $15 an hour. It needs to happen, it needs to happen now,” he said.

But Hospitality New Zealand president Adam Cunningham told Breakfast it is the consumers who will cover the cost of a pay rise.
“Any sort of increase forced upon an industry is going to result in the consumers picking up that tab, because there is no fat in this market,” Cunningham said. “The concept that there’s fat cats in hospitality making lots of money that can afford to cover this increase is just not reality.”

Ryall believes any increase passed on to consumers would be small and something “they’re quite prepared to pay”.
The minimum wage needs to be nearer to the $19 to $20 paid to hospitality workers in Australia, he said and that New Zealand is “out of kilter”.

Cunningham disagreed and said making a comparison to Australia is unrealistic. If New Zealand wants to pay the same rates, consumers will see a 25% to 35% increase in their coffee prices, he said.

Cunningham said the hospitality industry is made of up 85% small business owners who barely make the minimum wage themselves.
“If we talk about it across the board, we have to look at the industry being successful so that we can look after the people we’ve got working in the industry. Not just employees but employers as well.”

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/hospitality-industry-attacks-minimum-wage-rise-4715217
337 sec.

2012-02-08 – CLOSE UP – DAYCARE DEBATE

Claims we’re stressing out our toddlers by putting them into daycare have caused an uproar.

Despite our changing social attitudes, sexual equality and paternity leave there is still sometimes an attitude that a mother’s place is in the home.

Bob McCoskrie from Family First and Carolyn Savage, the president of the Federation of Businesswomen, debate the issue.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/close-up/wednesday-february-8-4714746
594 sec.

2012-02-08 – CLOSE UP – TRUCKING THROUGH THE WAVES

Alan Gibbs has taken Kiwi ingenuity to the next level with a truck that goes from land to water.

Top brass in Washington have turned out to see the NZ businessman’s latest brainchild. The aquada, a small open sportscar, was merely the entree for the main event – the big truck and its military possibilities.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/close-up/wednesday-february-8-4714746
342 sec.

2012-02-08 – BREAKFAST – DIVER: HOW I SAVED AN ORCA

Diver: How I saved an orca (3:19)
Added: 9:44AM Wednesday February 08, 2012
Source: Breakfast
Dive master Rhys Cochrane explains how he released an orca at Cathedral Cove.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/diver-i-saved-orca-video-4714114
200 sec.

2012-02-08 – ONE NEWS – CHILDCARE REPORT HAS EXPERTS DIVIDED

Childcare report has experts divided (1:52)
Added: 6:44PM Wednesday February 08, 2012
Source: ONE News
An inflammatory report claims children who spend a lot of time in day-care are more stressed.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/childcare-report-has-experts-divided-video-4714802
133 sec.

2012-02-02 – UNIVERSITY OF ABERDEEN – ‘SUPERGIANT’ AMPHIPODS DISCOVERED 7KM DEEP

An expedition to one of the deepest places in the ocean has discovered one of the most enigmatic creatures in the deep sea – the ‘supergiant’ amphipod.

Amphipods are a type of crustacean which are particularly common in the deep sea and are found in greater numbers the deeper you explore.

Typically deep sea amphipods are 2 to 3 centimetres long with the exception of the slightly larger ‘giant’ amphipod found in Antarctica which grows to 10cm.

But scientists have discovered a ‘supergiant’ amphipod in waters north of New Zealand which dwarfs the Antarctic ‘giant’.

The newly captured specimen measures 28cm — nearly ten times that of ‘normal’ amphipods. A ‘supergiant’ estimated at 34cm was also caught on film.

The discovery was made during a joint UK and New Zealand expedition to the Kermadec Trench, north of New Zealand, led by scientists from the University of Aberdeen and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA). Also aboard NIWA’s research vessel Kaharoa were researchers from the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and Whitman College, in America.

Using specially built ultra-deep submergence technology designed by the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, the team deployed a camera system and a large trap to depths ranging from 6900 to 9900 metres.

At depths of approximately 7000 metres, the team were hoping to recover specimens of deep sea snailfish which they have photographed before, but have not been captured since the early 1950s.

Voyage leader, Dr Alan Jamieson from the University of Aberdeen’s Oceanlab, said: “The moment the traps came on deck we were elated at the sight of the snailfish as we have been after these fish for years.

“However, seconds later, I stopped and thought ‘what on earth is that?’ whilst catching a glimpse of an amphipod far bigger than I ever thought possible. It’s a bit like finding a foot long cockroach.”

‘Supergiant’ is a term coined by American scientists in the early 1980s after a few large specimens were caught off the Hawaiian Islands.

Despite a few infrequent findings in the 1970s, the supergiant amphipod has not been reported since and has faded into the realms of rare and mysterious deep sea creatures, until now.

These new sightings and specimens captured represent both the biggest whole specimen of supergiant ever caught and the deepest point these have ever been found. Seven specimens were caught in the trap and up to nine were photographed gathering around the camera system. The largest specimen caught was 28cm long while the largest seen by the camera was estimated at 34cm long.

Dr Ashley Rowden, from NIWA in Wellington, said: “It just goes to show that the more you look, the more you find.

“For such a large and conspicuous animal to go unnoticed for so long is just testament to how little we know about life in New Zealand’s most deep and unique habitat.”

Dr Jamieson added: “The surprising thing is that we have already been to this deep trench twice and never come across these animals before.

“In fact a few days after the discovery we deployed all the equipment again on the same site and we didn’t photograph or capture a single supergiant; they were there for a day and gone the next.”

Now the challenge for the team is to determine whether these new samples are the same species as those from Hawaii, and then try to establish why, out of the hundreds of species of deep-sea amphipods, these ones have evolved to be so large.

The supergiant and the fish specimens are current residing in Wellington New Zealand until later this month when the team’s next expedition ends.

The expedition was predominantly funded by the Fondation Total in France, with additional funding from NIWA and support from the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology, Scotland (MASTS).

SOURCE: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/news/details-11497.php
57 sec.

2012-02-03 – BREAKFAST – ENDANGERED SPECIES

Endangered species (2.28)
Added: 8.42AM Friday February 03, 2012
Source: Breakfast
Forest and Bird spokesperson Nicola Vallance warns about the dire future for so many of our iconic animals.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/endangered-species-video-4710355
149 sec.

2012-02-02 – ONE NEWS – RESEARCH SHOWS HIV INFECTED ARE GOING UNDIAGNOSED

New research shows one in five gay or bisexual men in Auckland who are infected with HIV are unaware of it.

Dr Peter Saxton of Otago University tested more than a thousand gay or bisexual men in Auckland, with one in 15 testing positive for HIV.

Of those who tested positive, 20% had no idea they were infected. And because the research was conducted anonymously they still may be unaware.

“Many of them would’ve held quite strong convictions that they were negative, and probably would’ve quite honestly communicated that to sexual partners,” said Dr Saxton.

Bruce Kilmister from HIV support group Body Positive told ONE News the high rate is a concern.

“They are not aware of treatment, they’re not being looked after and again they’re exposing themselves to other people as well,” said Kilmister, who is HIV positive.

Kilmister said that some people in the gay community wait too long, a year or more, between tests.

“If you think of all the casual sexual experiences in that time, there’s a real risk of an epidemic here,” he said.

HIV testing is free in New Zealand, and the results are available in around 60 seconds.

SOURCE: http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/hiv-infected-going-undiagnosed-research-4710122
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2012-02-01 – NASA – NASA MISSION RETURNS FIRST VIDEO FROM MOON’S FAR SIDE

NASA’s GRAIL mission has beamed back its first video of the far side of the moon. The imagery was taken on Jan. 19 by the MoonKAM aboard the mission’s “Ebb” spacecraft.

PASADENA, Calif. — A camera aboard one of NASA’s twin Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) lunar spacecraft has returned its first unique view of the far side of the moon. MoonKAM, or Moon Knowledge Acquired by Middle school students, will be used by students nationwide to select lunar images for study.

GRAIL consists of two identical spacecraft, recently named Ebb and Flow, each of which is equipped with a MoonKAM. The images were taken as part of a test of Ebb’s MoonKAM on Jan. 19. The GRAIL project plans to test the MoonKAM aboard Flow at a later date.

In the video, the north pole of the moon is visible at the top of the screen as the spacecraft flies toward the lunar south pole. One of the first prominent geological features seen on the lower third of the moon is the Mare Orientale, a 560-mile-wide (900 kilometer) impact basin that straddles both the moon’s near and far side.

The clip ends with rugged terrain just short of the lunar south pole. To the left of center, near the bottom of the screen, is the 93-mile-wide (149 kilometer) Drygalski crater with a distinctive star-shaped formation in the middle. The formation is a central peak, created many billions of years ago by a comet or asteroid impact.

“The quality of the video is excellent and should energize our MoonKAM students as they prepare to explore the moon,” said Maria Zuber, GRAIL principal investigator from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.

The twin spacecraft successfully achieved lunar orbit this past New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Previously named GRAIL-A and GRAIL-B, the washing machine-sized spacecraft received their new names from fourth graders at the Emily Dickinson Elementary School in Bozeman, Mont., following a nationwide student naming contest.

Thousands of fourth- to eighth-grade students will select target areas on the lunar surface and send requests to the GRAIL MoonKAM Mission Operations Center in San Diego. Photos of the target areas will be sent back by the satellites for students to study. The MoonKAM program is led by Sally Ride, America’s first woman in space. Her team at Sally Ride Science and undergraduate students at the University of California in San Diego will engage middle schools across the country in the GRAIL mission and lunar exploration. GRAIL is NASA’s first planetary mission carrying instruments fully dedicated to education and public outreach.

“We have had great response from schools around the country; more than 2,500 signed up to participate so far,” Ride said. “In mid-March, the first pictures of the moon will be taken by students using MoonKAM. I expect this will excite many students about possible careers in science and engineering.”

Launched in September 2011, Ebb and Flow periodically perform trajectory correction maneuvers that, over time, will lower their orbits to near-circular ones with an altitude of about 34 miles (55 kilometers). During their science mission, the duo will answer longstanding questions about the moon and give scientists a better understanding of how Earth and other rocky planets in the solar system formed.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., manages the GRAIL mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The GRAIL mission is part of the Discovery Program managed at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala. Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Denver built the spacecraft.

For more information about GRAIL, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/grail .
Information about MoonKAM is available at: https://moonkam.ucsd.edu .
JPL is managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.

DC Agle 818-393-9011
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
agle@jpl.nasa.gov

Dwayne Brown 202-358-1726
NASA Headquarters, Washington
dwayne.c.brown@nasa.gov

Caroline McCall 617-253-1682
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge
cmcall5@mit.edu

Whitney Lawrence Mullen
Sally Ride Science, San Diego 858-638-1432
wmullen@sallyridescience.com

SOURCE: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/grail/news/grail20120201.html
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