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Waldo Canyon Fire Continues to Burn: Pikes Peak Closed [Video]



Colorado Wildfire

Updated Live Stream Videos Below!

The following are the areas under mandatory evacuation:

Pine Valley Housing on the Air Force Academy – All residents evacuated on Tuesday. Residents proceeded to the Fort Carson Special Events Center and were encouraged to bring as little baggage as possible.
Mountain Springs, Peregrine and Westwood – At approximately 4 p.m. Tuesday, the fire progressed west to east in Division Y crossing Queens Canyon and established itself on the east aspect of the Front Range.

Colorado wildfires that blazed throughout the state on Saturday, produced fires that burned down homes in Estes Park and are now forcing evacuations in Colorado Springs and shutting down state highways in southern Colorado.

People in the area of Manitou Springs, Colorado have also been ordered to evacuate their homes due to the Waldo Canyon Fire.

Mandatory evacuation orders were issued on Sunday on the south side of Highway 24 for Green Mountain Falls, Chipita Park and Cascade.

David Hunting told the Colorado Springs Gazette, “The fire behavior was at a point where it was threatening on putting embers and ash on Manitou Springs. We just didn’t want to take a chance of having a fire land on somebody’s roof and set a residence on fire.”

The Waldo Canyon fire has burned 2,000 acres in the Pike National Forest west of Colorado Springs, Colorado. Garden of the Gods Park, Cave of the Winds, Cog Railway and Pikes Peak will all be closed.

There are currently 350 people working on the wildfire and is 0 percent contained. The Waldo Canyon Fire is currently under Unified Command with US Forest Service, El Paso County and City of Colorado Springs as the lead agencies.

There are six aircraft helping ground crews try to contain the Waldo Canyon Fire. There are also two large air tankers, two smaller tankers, a Type 2 helicopter and an attack aircraft making drops on the wildfire.

“We are preparing for the worst while hoping for the best,” said Steve Segin of the Rocky Mountain fire-incident team. “We just have to hope Mother Nature gives us a break.”

Hot, dry and windy conditions that fueled two fires on Saturday are expected to continue into Sunday. At least seven wildfires are now burning across Colorado. Officials are facing the most challenging and severe wildfire season.

Fire managers use the “Haines Index” that takes into account temperatures and moisture content to determine the fire potential on a scale of 1 to 6, with 6 being the worst possible conditions for large fire growth.  Saturday and Sunday were at a “Super 6” Segin said.  “We have got a couple of critical fire days ahead.  It is going to be very active. We haven’t had a fire season this bad since certainly 2002.”

Rev. David Hunting, the Manitou Springs fire department’s chaplain and public information officer said, “We’re looking around 10, 11 o’clock in the morning. The temperatures are going to start going up, the humidity is going to start going down. That’s when fires can change their behavior dramatically.”

Colorado Fires

Credit: Denver Post

According to the city of Colorado Springs:

— All residents west of 30th Street from Gateway, near Garden of the Gods park, north to Centennial Boulevard, and the Mountain Shadows neighborhood from Centennial to Chuck Wagon Road.
— Cedar Heights, a gated community west of the Garden of the Gods.
— Rampart Range Road

There are no evacuation orders in place at this time for Mountain Shadows other than those for south of Chuck Wagon Road, the city said.

Colorado Fires

Approximately 1,050 homes have been evacuated.

Red Cross shelters for evacuees are at Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 Cresta Road and Woodland Park High School, 151 N. Baldwin St.

Large animals can be brought to the Norris Penrose Equestrian Center, 1045 W. Rio Grande Street off of 8th Street.

A call center has been established to answer any non-emergency questions regarding the Waldo Canyon Fire. That number is 719-955-0742.

If you are forced to evacuate from a mandatory evacuation area, save your receipts from food and lodging because many homeowner insurance policies cover these costs, Henry said. Insurance policies typically cover expenses only for those who are ordered to leave their home.

Investigators are determining whether the fire started in a cabin before spreading or started as a wildfire before moving toward the homes.


Colorado Waldo Canyon

Waldo Canyon Fire

Waldo Canyon Fire burning near Colorado Springs Live

Live Stream: Waldo Canyon Fire

Live streaming video of the Waldo Canyon Fire from Garden of the Gods. Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Broadcasting live with Ustream

Interactive timeline: A history of wildfires in Colorado

Environmentalist. Consumer Tech Journalist. Science Explorer. And, a dreamer. I've been contributing informative news content since 2010. Follow me on all socials!

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  1. Amy

    June 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Thanks for the live feed….I live in WI and my sister lives in Chipita Park. I’ve never seen anything like these fires and I can’t believe what those people are going through. She and her family have evacuated to CO Springs and will hopefully have a home to go back to! Thank you for letting us see what this looks like for all of you!
    Good Luck and Prayers!!

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Editors' Pick

How To Earn From Recycling Plastic Wastes?




Recycled Plastic

We, once again, entered a new year but we have not entirely solved an old-time problem with plastic pollution. As years go by, it has become more and more difficult to find the best way to get rid of it, and chemical waste in every corner of the world is becoming too alarming that is has been tagged as an environmental emergency.

News has been circulating on social media and the internet, in general, about how polluted the oceans are and how our friends underneath are suffering and losing their lives to humanity’s carelessness on plastic waste. Although there are movements that are taking this matter seriously, there are also people who never care about it. And, like what we always say, if we do not solve this issue today, the next generation may never get to see and experience nature in their lifetime because of our ignorance towards the welfare of our environment.

A plastic’s lifespan reaches to a thousand years. Mostly, plastics and other wastes are thrown in the ocean due to ignorance or to hide it from the eyes of people hunting those who cannot speak out for themselves. It is ironic how little people care about the weight dumping trash in the ocean creates and how it destroys what we have today and that we might lose all of these one days. Accordingly, even the beaches in most places in the world where no one has ever gone before are already covered in plastics. It has been estimated that 30 years from now, the weight of plastics in the ocean might outnumber the weight of fishes that we have.

When will the consumption of plastic ever end? Will recycling “really” help solve this alarming issue?

Many suggest that the only way to end plastic waste is to stop the production of it and switch to a friendlier alternative. This practice has been starting in other countries who are making an effort to reduce plastic usage while others are implementing policies on ‘single-use’ of plastics. Only humanity can solve this issue.

For those who do not know, China has been ‘accepting’ other countries’ plastic waste for recycling but are complaining about the weight of it, detailing those plastics have evolved into something too difficult to recycle and break down. There has been news that the country will soon fail in a few years in recycling plastics since there’s too much of it to handle—they also need cooperation from each person in the world.

In the UK, studies on a potential technological solution to remove the plastic in the world and convert it to something useful and environment-friendly and valuable commenced. An idea that has been studied by Professor Thomas Maschmeyer through his company, Licella. For more than ten years, he still calls it an exciting way to solve the issue of plastic waste. Located in New South Wales Central Coast, his company owns the world’s only large-scale catalytic hydrothermal reactor (Cat-HTR) plant.

The Cat-HTR way of eliminating used plastic is through recycling mixed plastics, often referred to as plastics that are contaminated or end-of-life plastics. These are wastes that are too strong and difficult to break down. Sadly, it has already made up 50 percent of the earth’s plastic waste commonly burned or thrown wherever it is “convenient.” By breaking down its bonds, it will be easier to recycle plastic. This method is a new approach to transforming waste plastic in a significant way.

For Maschmeyer, the solution to recycle end-of-life plastics is through the Cat-HTR process where it converts them into products that are saleable like lubrication oils, waxes, fuels, and gases, simply turning plastic waste into monetary value so other people will add value to it. His idea of plastic recycling has given other industries interest in following his work and investing more on it.

However, in our small little ways, we can help our planet by being responsible human beings. Be educated on how to reduce wastes adequately; be mindful of your surroundings. Remember, we only have one life and one planet to live in our lifetime. Together, we can end this issue and live peacefully along with nature (without plastics).

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Editors' Pick

Life On Mars: Scientists May Have Found Lichen In Mars; But They Could Be Wrong



Scientists argued that there could potentially be lichen-like organisms in Mars but their results are inconclusive

Extra-terrestrial life is a favorite subject in a lot of conspiracy theories and random conversation among people around the world. Many have believed that there is life outside our planet and they are more advanced than us. They subscribe to the theory that aliens have visited Earth in the past to help prehistoric humans build civilizations and giant structures that conspiracy theorists claim to have not been made solely by human citing the lack of technology necessary to achieve such feat during those times.

On Monday, another piece of evidence to the conspiracy of life outside Earth have surfaced. This time, it is backed by science. A group of researchers has published in the Journal of Astrobiology and Space Science Reviews a paper saying that they may have found evidence of life currently living in Mars.

The researchers argue that a fungi-like ‘growth’ found on Mars is indicative of a microbial life that could have been existing in the planet. The paper cites their observations of the photos taken by the retired Opportunity Rover. The left panoramic camera captured the image below on Sol 37 (37th Martian day), showing lobes that may be lichen growing on Mars.

Images taken by Opportunity Rover supposedly depicting lichens in Mars.

According to the co-author of the paper, Dr. Regina Dass of the Department of Microbiology, School of Life Sciences in India, the suspected microorganism has spores on the surrounding surface. “There are no geological or other abiogenic forces on Earth which can produce sedimentary structures, by the hundreds, which have mushroom shapes, stems, stalks, and shed what looks like spores on the surrounding surface,” she said.

An image the researchers provided that was taken on Sol 257 by Mars Opportunity Rover

“In fact, fifteen specimens were photographed by NASA growing out of the ground in just three days.”

The authors of the paper offer the varying amount of methane in Mars as additional proof to their discovery. They said that the fact that there are measurable differences in the amount of methane in the atmosphere based on the season adds credibility to the claims of microbial life’s existence on Mars.

They explained: “On Earth, 90% of methane is produced biologically by living and decaying organisms and released as a waste product by prokaryotes certain species of fungi. Terrestrial atmospheric methane levels also vary with the seasons and are directly attributed to biological activity.”

The researchers hypothesized that this phenomenon is like “breathing” for the planet. It exhales methane when things warm up, and the supposed life wakes up; and when it gets cold in the fall/winter, life ‘goes to sleep’ or is otherwise less active, resulting in lower methane.

he researchers compared the images taken by Opportunity Rover to Earth-bound lichen seen above.

Nonetheless, the findings of the researchers are inconclusive. Meaning, there is not enough evidence to support the claims that what has been observing is a life form and there is also not enough evidence to prove the contrary.

“Admittedly, abiogenic factors can’t be ruled out. Conversely, at present, there is no microscopic evidence depicting cells or intra-cellular structure and thus no definitive proof of Martian life. Moreover, although organisms can survive in space or in simulated Mars-like environments, there is no proof they can flourish on Mars. It is also very difficult to distinguish, with a high level of confidence, between what may be living organisms vs. sedimentary structures.”

The paper disclaims that similarities in morphology are not proof of life existence. They said that their evidence is circumstantial and not rise to the level of “extraordinary evidence” thus precluding “extraordinary claims.” Although collectively, the evidence, in total, weighs in favor of biology, we can only conclude that the question of life on Mars remains unanswered, the researchers said.

Furthermore, they also raised the possibility that what they have observed are inorganic structures. “It is possible these latter specimens are hematite and what appears to be “growth” is due to a strong wind which uncovered these specimens,” they wrote.

They said that this explanation could not account for before and after photos of what appears to be masses of fungi growing atop and within the Mars rovers.

“Terrestrial hematite is in part fashioned and cemented together by prokaryotes and fungi, and thus Martian hematite may also be evidence of biology.”

Bottom line: the researchers don’t know what those are, but they said it could be possible to be a life form. They also admitted that it could be an inorganic structure as well. But, who knows?

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Editors' Pick

How A Fraud Company Used Cypriot And Latvian Banks To Launder Embezzled Money From Google And Facebook



Facebook and Google Wire Fraud

Cypriot and Latvian banks were used to launder the embezzled money from Facebook and Google, as the fraudulent company who tricked the tech giants into making multimillion-dollar payments used banks from Cyprus and Latvia as the temporary destination of the wired payments.

A Lithuanian man said that he and his overseas organization were able to fool Google and Facebook into paying a total amount of $100 million in the course of their two-year operation. He pleaded guilty for his involvement in the scam and is now awaiting his sentencing.

He said that they asked the Calfornia-based tech giants for money through email. According to his guilty pleas, the organization with which he was previously a member of have sent Google, a global tech and search leader, and Facebook, one of the world’s most famous social networking platforms, fraudulent and fake invoices. Apparently, these invoices were good enough to make both tech companies believe its validity from 2013 to 2015, the Justice Department said.

According to the indictment filed in 2016 in the United States attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York, Evaldas Rimasauskas is a 50-year-old Lithuanian citizen who was part of a scam ring and a fraudulent company that maintains and controls bank accounts in Latvia and Cyprus.

“As Evaldas Rimasauskas admitted today, he devised a blatant scheme to fleece U.S. companies out of $100 million, and then siphoned those funds to bank accounts around the globe,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement on Wednesday.

The company is said to have been posing as Quanta Computer, a computer company based in Taiwan that has done business with Google and Facebook in the past.

Quanta Computer, with the main office in Taipei, is a computer company that manufactures notebook computers and other electronic hardware. It has done business with other huge tech companies including Apple, Dell, Lenovo, Blackberry, Verizon Wireless, Toshiba, and Cisco.

Quanta has extended its business into enterprise network systems, home entertainment, mobile communications, automotive electronics, and digital home markets. The company also designs, manufactures, and markets GPS systems, including handheld GPS, in-car GPS, Bluetooth GPS and GPS with other position technologies.


It is unclear what kind of business transaction does the company has with Google and Facebook that has opened the gates for operations of Rimasauskas’ company.

According to the indictment, some of the money transfers happened in New York City and involved major banks.

“Rimasauskas thought he could hide behind a computer screen halfway across the world while he conducted his fraudulent scheme, but as he has learned, the arms of American justice are long, and he now faces significant time in a U.S. prison,” Mr. Berman added.

Rimasauskas agreed to forfeit $50 million of the total embezzled amount following his extradition from Lithuania to the United States in 2017. After his guilty plea last week, he is set to face the courts to be sentenced in July for the crime which bears a maximum of 30 years in prison.

The Lithuanian man insisted that he has only a minimum role in the entire operations. In his court appearance, Evaldas Rimasauskas admitted that he had knowingly participated in the operation which he also admits being fraudulent, but his role was simply to set up bank accounts to facilitate the said modus.

“I was asked to open bank accounts,” he reportedly said. “After that, I did not do anything with these accounts.”

In the statement made by the Justice Department, Rimasauskas “caused the stolen funds to be quickly wired into different bank accounts in various locations throughout the world, including Latvia, Cyprus, Slovakia, Lithuania, Hungary, and Hong Kong” after payments from the tech giants were wired to the bank accounts in Latvia and Cyprus. The statement also noted that he also aided in providing questionable and forged document to explain to banks the large transfers of money.

Mr. Rimasauskas was initially charged with five criminal counts that included identity theft and money laundering. But his lawyer, Paul D. Petrus Jr., insists that since his client presented a guilty plea, the rest of the four other charges should be dropped entirely.

In emailed statements on Sunday, Facebook said the company had “recovered the bulk of the funds shortly after the incident and has been cooperating with law enforcement in its investigation,” and Google said it had “detected this fraud and promptly alerted the authorities. We recouped the funds, and we’re pleased this matter is resolved.”

The other members of the organization that Rimasauskas was previously a part of remains unnamed until today.

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