People have depended on fish and other seafood for sustenance since the prehistoric people learned how to fish. Early civilizations are built in river banks and coastal regions because fishing is much sustainable the hunting. However, as society progress, the more than fishes and other marine animals become at risk. Thanks to climate change.
This reality was revealed by the extensive analysis of recent trends in marine biodiversity. The increasing temperatures in seas have reduced the productivity of some fisheries by 15% to 35% over the last eight decades, although there are fish species that are thriving in warm waters.
According to the study, the net effect is that the world’s oceans cannot produce as much sustainable seafood as before. It also warns that the situation is likely to worsen as the problem is quickly accelerating in the oceans.
However, the study also suggests that well-managed fisheries are thriving and have become more resilient to the rising water temperature, says Rainer Froese, a marine ecologist with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, who was not involved in the work. “We have to stop overfishing to let the gene pool survive, so that [the fish] can adapt to climate change,” he says. “We have to give them a break.”
As cold-blooded animals, fish mirror the temperature of the water they swim in. When the water gets too warm, the enzymes they use for digestion and other functions are less efficient, impairing growth and reproduction. Also, warm water contains less oxygen, a further stressor.
Despite these well-known problems, only a few scientists have looked into the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans in terms of fishery production.
Chris Free, a fisheries scientist, dove into the topic for his dissertation at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He created a computer model of the way fish populations respond to temperature, relying on a large database of scientific assessments of stocks that represent roughly a third of the fish caught around the world. Free, now a postdoc at the University of California, Santa Barbara, looked for patterns of how these stocks had responded to changes in sea surface temperature.
“Managing a stock of fish, in simple terms, is like withdrawing cash from a bank account that earns interest. Each year, a certain amount can be caught by fishing boats without depleting the stock—that portion is known as the maximum sustainable yield. A more productive fishery—where the water temperature is optimal and food plentiful, for example—is like a bank account with a higher interest rate, which means more fish can be sustainably caught.” said Erik Stokstad in an article published in ScienceMag.
The study of Free and his colleagues revealed that: “Out of 235 stocks, Free and his colleagues found a few winners. Nine stocks had become on average 4% more productive. These stocks are in places where rising temperatures have made too-cold water more suitable for fish, such as far north and south of the equator. Off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, for example, the maximum sustainable yield has increased by 14% since 1930. And fishing there could get even better. According to the new research, the productivity of Greenland halibut will increase 51% with each degree Celsius of warming. That’s like getting a big, fat boost to the interest rate on your saving account.”
“This local good news is outweighed by 19 stocks elsewhere that are on average 8% less productive than before. Many of these are around northern Europe and Japan, and they will likely continue to decline as their environment continues to heat up. Boats chasing Atlantic cod in the Irish Sea face a particularly grim future: The maximum sustainable yield of this stock will shrink by 54% for each additional degree of warming, the team reports today in Science.”
According to Free, the overall decline will most likely to steepen. Since 1930, average sea surface temperatures have risen by about 0.5°C. By the end of this century, more than three times that amount of warming will likely happen, and marine heat waves will become more frequent. Although temperatures will become more favorable to fish in higher latitude waters, “those benefits can’t last forever,” Free says. “There probably is a tipping point.”
Fishes, however, are not the only animals that are being threatened by climate change. Scientists have also said that because of a killer fungi, frogs are starting to become extinct. The rapid increase in rainforest temperature even more empowered the killer fungi. Insects are also in fast decline due to climate change. This serves as a scary reminder of the future we reap if we continue our path to unsustainable tomorrow.
SpaceX Starhopper test launch delayed to August 21
SpaceX Starhopper test flight face delays but a tentative date is set
SpaceX is looking to launch Starhopper — an early test prototype of the company’s Mars-colonizing Starship vehicle — on August 21, based on tweets sent by the company’s founder, Elon Musk.
Starship, once completed, is a super heavy-lift launch vehicle that’s pegged to be a 384-foot giant (117 meters). Upright, it will stand taller than the Statue of Liberty. The company aims to use this spacecraft to launch humans to space and to potentially colonize Mars.
At the moment, SpaceX is looking to test a smaller prototype called Starhopper this weekend from its facility in Boca Chica, Texas, near the border city of Brownsville at an altitude of about 650 feet (200 meters).
However, Musk said in a series of tweets that they will be delaying the launch due to permissions that need to be secured from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
“Good conversation with [the] head of FAA Space. Need a bit more hazard analysis & should be clear to fly soon,” one of Musk’s tweets read.
Fortunately, Musk’s “soon” apparently means the middle of next week at the earliest. Officials in Cameron County, where Boca Chica lies, announced that Boca Chica Beach and part of State Highway 4 will be closed on August 21 from 2 p.m. to midnight local time to accommodate SpaceX activities.
Cameron County officials also said that August 21 is the “primary date” for the closure, but August 21 and 22 will serve as alternative dates.
So far, Starhopper has already accomplished three test flights, all of them from Boca Chica. Reportedly, there were two brief hops in early April and flew freely for the first time on July 25, on a test flight that had a targeted altitude of 65 feet (20 m).
In terms of the mechanical aspects of Starhopper, it will only have one Raptor engine — enough to make initial results to gauge for the final spacecraft. Meanwhile, Starship will have six Raptor engine, according to Musk and Super Heavy — a giant rocket that will propel Starship from Earth’s atmosphere — will have 35 Raptor engines.
However, these numbers could change as Musk is set to give a Starship design update on August 24. If all goes according to plan, the Starship-Super Heavy duo could begin launching satellites as early as 2021, SpaceX representatives have said.
The spaceflight system already has a mission booked. Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa wants SpaceX to carry him and a few other artists to a trip around the moon by 2023.
Significantly, the rocket is set to be a central piece in Musk’s commercial plans in space, as it will also be used to reach Mars and, hopefully, to come back to Earth for reuse.
Approximately, the Starship rockets are expected to launch up to 24 times a year from SpaceX’s current flagship launchpad 39A, the draft of the company’s environmental assessment said.
The rockets will also be integral in NASA’s Artemis mission, which hopes to bring man back and the first woman to the moon by 2024. The 39A launchpad would also support NASA’s future moon missions from the same Kennedy Space Centre site used for the Apollo lunar missions.
Furthermore, there are two sets of Starship vehicles that are being developed by SpaceX. Currently, both Starship spacecraft is being developed by separate teams of SpaceX engineers. One of which in Boca Chica, Texas and Starship Mk2, in Cocoa, Florida.
In the near future, SpaceX hopes to able to perform launches specifically targeting Mars and its endeavors of colonizing the red planet, Paul Wooster, the principal Mars development engineer at SpaceX, said during a speech at the Humans to Mars Summit in Washington in May.
He explained that SpaceX’s first launch to Mars would be an uncrewed test to determine the environment of the planet such as the presence of natural resources and build the infrastructure necessary to support the company’s Starship flights to and from Mars; that could include landing pads and refueling stations for the reusable rockets.
Meanwhile, the company also wants to use water ice from the planet’s surface and carbon dioxide from the Martian atmosphere to refuel Starships on Mars, enabling the rockets to return to Earth.
“SpaceX’s intent, Elon’s intent in founding SpaceX was to enable humanity to become a multiplanet species, allowing us to establish cities on Mars” and to inspire people, Wooster said. “So, while some aspects of [Musk’s vision] are an artist’s concept, the vehicle itself is very much in development now.”
Wave Spell Music Festival Returning to Belden, California
The small town of Belden, in Northern California, will host the Wave Spell music and arts festival later this month for the second year in a row. The annual festival is held and curated by the veteran electro-jam group, Sound Tribe Sector 9, or STS9 to those familiar. The festival begins on August 15th.
Sound Tribe, originally known as simply “Sector 9”, began their career around Atlanta in 1999 and is now based out of Santa Cruz, California, although they spend a significant amount of time on the road as one of the top touring acts in the game.
The Wave Spell festival is now in its second year, both being held in Belden-a small town on California’s Feather River with a population of only 22 people (as of 2010). With the inaugural year being a success by consensus of fans and insiders alike, there was much anticipation and delight among STS9 constituents with the announcement of another year in Belden. Fans especially found great excitement at the idea of returning to the banks of the Feather River for Wave Spell.
In hosting the event, Sound Tribe Sector 9 will offer their own unique sound as the headlining entertainment and backbone of the weekend. Just as they did last year, the band will play 9 sets of original music over three nights in Belden. Among these performances, three sets will consist of completely improvised music by STS9, dubbed the “Wave Spell Sets”. This format mimics the first year and is the festival’s namesake.
Last year, Sound Tribe introduced the concept of their Wave Spell Sets and eventually brought them to the stage, getting an extremely enthusiastic response from their devoted fan base. The band has presented only a handful of these improvisational performances, both at the festival and on the road, adding to the allure for their followers.
While STS9 is the main attraction in Belden, Wave Spell also boasts a heady lineup of other musical acts, as well as visual artists for festival attendees to enjoy. Live music is promised until at least 5 A.M. every morning of the event, and early morning performances are known as “sunrise sets” suggest that music will go deep into the day. As it did last year, the festival will also feature installations from painters as well as live painting during musical performances. A new addition to the festival this year even offers a display of geological specimens billed as “Crystals by Isometrica”.
The very small town of Belden, California plays host to several festivals a year. These events take up the entirety of the town, which consists of only a few homes, a hotel/lodge, a few cabins, and a beach along the river. The scenic grounds offer camping space for the 1,200 or so festival-goers as well as limited space for RV’s. For a VIP experience, and at a VIP price, fans can also rent one of the cabins for the weekend or get one of the few rooms in the lodge. The lodge is also home to a diner-style restaurant and a small convenience store where attendees can purchase supplies.
The beach in Belden offers not only a beautiful space to relax on the river, but during the Wave Spell festival, it also provides the Beach Stage, where fans can enjoy live music throughout the day. The beach stage is also the site for the fan-favorite “Sunrise Sets”, starting shortly before dawn and going on through the sunrise and into early morning daylight.
Last year, in the festivals first year, the Beach Stage quickly became a favorite spot for STS9 fans, who loaded up the area of the Feather River directly in front of the stage with giant inflatable lounge apparatuses shaped like unicorns, ducks, and even a slice of pizza. The river quickly became a large cluster of floaties, all of which were responsibly retrieved at the end of the weekend by the environmentally conscious crowd.
The lineup for the second year of Wave Spell is almost entirely fresh. Aside from STS9, only a few of the groups performing are returning from last year. Among the veterans of the festival coming back is the Portland, Oregon electronic trio, Yak Attack, who were standouts at the first Wave Spell. For the most part, however, festival-goers will experience a brand new roster of acts.
For electronic music fans, Wave Spell submits an exciting schedule of artists and groups. Amid the lineup of live electronic performers, a legend of the genre promises to be one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend. DJ Mark Farina will take the stage in Belden to provide the crowd with his now iconic style of sound, dubbed by Farina as “Mushroom Jazz”. Farina and his Mushroom Jazz have become synonymous and his sound has held the attention of the electronic music world for nearly three decades, dating back to his first Mushroom Jazz compilation in 1992.
Over on the Beach Stage, early morning sunrise sets have become a popular fixture in the electronic music festival scene. Often specially assembled to go along with the experience of watching the sun come up in the morning, these sunrise sets have become a favorite among fans.
A new addition to the Wave Spell lineup this year almost seems to specialize in this type of first thing in the morning/end of the night performances. Hailing from the San Francisco underground, Random Rab has seemingly perfected the art of the sunrise set. A Burning Man legend in his own right, Rab seems to fully understand the important mix of laid back and beautiful along with intense and spiritual that makes for a fantastic sunrise set. His early morning performances have become one of the most sought after in the game.
Also returning to Wave Spell this year, diehard STS9 fans are particularly excited for solo performances from members of the headlining band. On the festival schedule for the weekend are special solo sets from David Phipps (Keyboard/Piano) and Zach Velmer (Drums), of Sound Tribe Sector 9. Along with Phipps and Velmer, STS9 bassist, Alana Rocklin also has something special in store for fans. Rocklin’s previous band, Sub ID, will be reuniting for a set at Wave Spell. This will be only the second Sub ID performance since Rocklin joined STS9 in 2014.
Wave Spell Live music festival will be held August 15-18, 2019 in Belden, California. Tickets can be purchased at:
AMCA Breach: 20 Million Victims, 19 Class Actions
[bctt tweet=”AMCA previously reported that there were only 200,000 victims in the recent breach, but their partner labs said there were more than 20 million.” username=”Z6Mag”]
More than 20 million and not 200,000 have fallen victim to a massive data breach that has seen medical clients using the services of healthcare billing company, American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA), to pay for their laboratory tests in different blood testing labs across the U.S. were confirmed by the SEC filings of affected medical institutions amidst the earlier claims of AMCA that there were fewer victims.
The data breach was a result of a cyber attack that aims to phish for financial information from the website of the AMCA. The exposed data belongs to Americans who paid laboratory services at several clinical and blood testing labs and institutions and used the AMCA billing portal.
What happened in the AMCA breach?
Data that were stolen from the victims include their names, phone numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, social security numbers, credit card numbers, and other bank details. The said information was auctioned off by the hacker in several financial hacking forums.
According to DataBreaches.net, the organization who first reported about the incident, AMCA officials, following the notification of the breach confirmed that their system has been compromised and has remained undetected for more than eight months. AMCA corroborated that the breach took place between August 1, 2018, and March 30, 2019.
Notifications have been sent by several of AMCA’s corporate partners and clients to their customers following the disclosure of the security breach that has seen information from millions of Americans compromised.
The list of impacted testing laboratories includes Quest Diagnostics (11.9 million patients), LabCorp (7.7 million patients), BioReference Laboratories (Opko Health subsidiary, 422,600 patients), Carecentrix (500,000 patients), and Sunrise Laboratories (undisclosed number of patients).
However, neither the AMCA nor its five clients have yet to notify ALL impacted citizens by the breach making them vulnerable to a lot of cyber crimes and their financial data could be used by anyone who gets hold of the information against the persons of those who still don’t know that their financial information is floating around the internet.
The companies involved in the breach are facing several lawsuits
Appropriately, the lawsuit came into the direction of AMCA, Quest, and LabCorp regarding the incident. More than 11 class-suite actions have been filed against the three companies for their inability to protect consumer data. The 11 lawsuits were recorded at The United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) on June 3. Since then, eight more lawsuits were filed against the companies in federal courts from New Jersey, New York, and California.
According to litigation experts, “If many cases are filed in federal court, any of the lawyers on any of those cases can file a motion with the JPML [..] to centralize the various federal cases that have been filed by sending all of them to a single judge for coordinated pre-trial proceedings.”
“Healthcare companies are especially susceptible to data breaches not only because they aggregate a tremendous amount of important and sensitive data, but also because they tend to be less focused on cybersecurity protection than other industries,” said John Yanchunis of Morgan and Morgan, one of the firms who filed lawsuits against Quest Diagnostics.
“These companies, like Quest Diagnostics, know they are at an increased risk and yet have not taken the proper steps to protect their patients’ data. We will fight for justice on behalf of those impacted by this breach,” added Yanchunis.
Lawmakers are demanding an explanation
The U.S. government, led by attorneys general from Connecticut and Illinois has also opened an investigation on the matter. Furthermore, lawmakers and other politicians have sent letters to the responding companies to ask for an explanation of why an eight-month data breach remained undetected and to demand accountability from them.
In Washington, US Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) also sent a letter to Quest Laboratories demanding the company explain its vetting process for selecting AMCA as a billing vendor, and what requirements a third-party vendor has to pass. Democratic New Jersey Sens. Cory Booker and Bob Menendez also sent letters to AMCA, Quest, and LabCorp, seeking official answers on how a breach of this severity went undetected for eight months.
“The months-long leak leaves sensitive personal and financial information vulnerable in the hands of criminal enterprises. Moreover, such breaches force victims to contend with identity theft that may lead to irreparable harm to their credit reports and financial future,” said the letter sent by the NJ senators.
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