Catholic Church’s Paedophile Investigator Jailed for Possessing Thousands of Child Porn Images

Stephan:  You could not make this up. But beneath the black comedy lies the real human misery.

A Catholic Church child safety co-ordinator who was in charge of investigating sexual abuse allegations was jailed for 12 months today for internet peadophile offences.

Christopher Jarvis, 49, a married father-of-four, investigated historic claims of child abuse, interviewing the victims when they were adults.

He was responsible for child protection at 120 churches and parish community groups for nine years.

He also, as a member of the Devon and Cornwall Multi-Agency Safeguarding Team, had access to police and social services information about victims of child abuse.

As a result of the conviction and sentencing, the Roman Catholic Church has ordered a review of child protection across the South West of England.

According to The Times, the Bishop of Plymouth, the Right Rev Christopher Budd, has asked the NSPCC to carry out the inquiry into child protection arrangements in Devon, Cornwall and Dorset.

The revelations that the church hired a peadophile in a key child protection role will add to the controversy surrounding the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales over its handling of sexual abuse.

At the time of his arrest in March this year, Jarvis was leading an investigation into an historic sex abuse allegation at Buckfast Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in Devon.

He was arrested […]

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Russian Heat Wave Statistically Linked to Climate Change

Stephan:  As this report explains, science's capacity for analysis has reached a point where it is possible to establish that the extreme weather events being experienced around the world are connected to the processes of climate change. Citation: 'Increase of extreme events in a warming world.

A new method of crunching climate data could make it possible to put a figure on climate change’s contribution to freak weather events, something that’s been difficult to do with empirical precision.

The debut subject: the Russian heat wave of July 2010, which killed 700 people and was unprecedented since record keeping began in the 19th century. According to the analysis, there’s an 80 percent chance that climate change was responsible.

‘With climate change, it’s going to happen five times more often than without,

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Complex Organic Matter Discovered Throughout the Universe

Stephan:  One of my main problems with Creationism is that it is such a thin and paltry story. Kwok and Zhang's Paper, Mixed aromatic-aliphatic organic nanoparticles as carriers of unidentified infrared emission features is published this month in the journal Nature.

Researchers at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) claim to have solved the mystery of ‘Unidentified Infrared Emission features’ that have been detected in stars, interstellar space, and galaxies. For over two decades, the most commonly accepted theory regarding this phenomenon was that these signatures come from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) molecules – simple organic molecules made of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Now HKU researchers say the substances generating these signatures are actually complex organic compounds that are made naturally by stars and ejected into interstellar space.

The team of Prof. Sun Kwok and Dr. Yong Zhang used observations taken by the Infrared Space Observatory and the Spitzer Space Telescope of stardust formed in exploding stars called novae to show that the astronomical spectra contain a mixture of aromatic (ring-like) and aliphatic (chain-like) components that cannot be explained by PAH molecules.

The researchers say the substances generating these infrared emissions actually have chemical structures that are so complex that their structure resembles those of coal and petroleum. Since coal and petroleum are remnants of ancient life and this type of organic matter was only thought to arise from living organisms, the researchers say this suggests that complex organic compounds can be synthesized […]

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Fukushima Released ‘Twice as Much’ Radioactive Material as First Thought

Stephan:  Here is the latest on the Fukishima catastrophe. This story is far from finished, and once again it hard not to conclude that corporations, and the governments they control cannot be relied upon to tell the truth about many things, and particularly about anything nuclear. Note than 78 per cent of the cesium released went straight into the Pacific Ocean.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant may have released twice as much radiation into the atmosphere as previously estimated, according to a study that contradicts official explanations of the accident.

In a report published online by the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, experts from Europe and the US estimated that the quantity of the radioactive isotope caesium-137 released at the height of the crisis was equivalent to 42% of that from Chernobyl.

Significantly, the report says the plant, 150 miles north of Tokyo, may have started releasing radiation between being hit by a magnitude-9 earthquake on 11 March and the arrival of a tsunami about 45 minutes later.

‘This early onset of emissions is interesting and may indicate some structural damage to the reactor units during the earthquake,’ the report said.

The operator of the plant, Tokyo Electric Power, and the Japanese government maintain that the facility withstood the quake but was damaged by waves that breached its protective seawall.

The tsunami swamped Fukushima Daiichi’s backup electricity supply, causing fuel in three reactors to go into meltdown and sparking Japan’s worst nuclear accident.

Andreas Stohl, of the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, said measurements taken from a global network of sensors showed that the plant had […]

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From the Cave to the Kennel

Stephan:  Here is the latest on one of the oldest relationships we human have had.

Chauvet Cave in southern France houses the oldest representational paintings ever discovered. Created some 32,000 years ago, the 400-plus images of large grazing animals and the predators who hunted them form a multi-chambered Paleolithic bestiary. Many scholars believe that these paintings mark the emergence of a recognizably modern human consciousness. We feel that we know their creators, even though they are from a time and place as alien as another planet.

Dog historian Mark Derr discusses the story of how man’s best friend came to be and how new scientific findings are changing our preconceived notions of the domesticated dog. He speaks with WSJ’s Christina Tsuei.

What most intrigues many people about the cave, however, is not the artwork but a set of markings at once more human and more mysterious: the bare footprints of an 8- to 10-year-old torch-bearing boy left in the mud of a back chamber some 26,000 years ago-and, alongside one of them, the paw print of his traveling companion, variously identified as a wolf or a large dog.

Attributing that paw print to a dog or even to a socialized wolf has been controversial since it was first proposed a decade ago. It would push back by some […]

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