Storm Summary 11

Welcome to the eleventh “Storm Summary” post of the hurricane season. Most Fridays from now until the official end of the season (November 30) I will post an update on past and present hurricanes in the Atlantic and Pacific, like the following:

NAME PEAK STATUS DATE LOCATION DAMAGE
Carlos Cat. 1 7/10 to 7/16 East Pacific None
Felicia Cat.  4 8/3 to 8/11 East Pacific None
Guillermo Cat. 3 8/12 to 8/19 East Pacific None
Bill Cat. 4 8/15 to 8/24 Mid Atlantic No major damage
Fred Cat. 3 9/7 to 9/12 South Atlantic None
Jimena Cat. 4 8/29 to 9/4 East Pacific No major damage
Linda Cat. 1 9/7 to 9/11 East Pacific None
Rick Cat. 5 10/15 to 10/21 East Pacific No major damage
Neki Cat. 3 10/18 to 10/27 Central Pacific No major damage

There isn’t much to report in terms of hurricane news. The chart looks very similar to week our 10th storm summary. There is one interesting piece of news to point out, however. Hurricane Neki, though it caused hardly any damage to most of the Hawaiian Islands, did affect two very small, natural habitat islands, Round and Disappearing Islands. The latter was, ironically, washed away completely.

Though the Atlantic has only seen two official hurricanes, the waters of the Pacific are seeing constant activity, due, in part, to El Niño, which is “the periodic warming of central and eastern tropical Pacific waters [that] occurs on average every two to five years and typically lasts about 12 months.” Although most people think of this phenomenon in negative terms for the damage it can spur on the West Coast, it is actually beneficial to the East Coast/Gulf Coast in the sense that warmer waters in the Pacific usually create conditions that suppress Atlantic hurricanes. Why exactly this occurs is not something I’m qualified to explain but, as I recall, it has something to do with warm and cool air mixing in a different way and creating a “wind shear” that helps prevent storms from developing. The International Research Institute for Climate and Society can probably explain it better. For hard proof of El Niño, consider the fact that the Pacific has seen 23 named storms, mostly tropical storms and hurricanes, while the Atlantic waters have seen only 10.

For constant, up-to-date storm information, visit NOAA. And for breaking information on the insured losses the storms create, check out the Insurance Information Institute and the Insurance Services Office.

Most importantly, don’t forget to check back next Friday for our twelfth “Storm Summary” installment.

hurricane

Can Curry Kill Cancer?

It sounds crazy, but researchers have found it may in fact be true.

Scientists at the Cork Cancer Research Center in Ireland have found a chemical found in turmeric, which gives curry it’s yellowish color and distinctive flavor, can kill esophageal cancer cells. This is big.

Researchers found that the chemical, curcumin, started to kill cancer cells within 24 hours of contact. However, since curcumin loses its anti-cancer attributes quickly when ingested, it is, as of now, known to only be effective for cancer of the esophagus and will likely be developed soon as an anti-cancer treatment.

Esophageal cancer kills more than 500,000 people across the world each year. Though most cases of esophageal cancer occur in Asian and South African countries, adding a bit of curry to your diet is a delicious way to possibly prevent cancer.

When Circus Animals Kill

It was recently reported that a Russian circus bear killed a circus manager, 25-year-old Dmitry Potapov, and critically injured another circus worker who tried to rescue the manager. Though we may not hear about every incident involving a circus animal who turns on its captors, there are plenty of eye-raising instances, such as the one below. Tyke, a 20-year-old African elephant went on a rampage during a performance in Hawaii in August of 1994, killing her trainer and severely injuring her groomer.

(Warning: the following footage contains graphic images)

The Humane Society of the United States keeps a detailed list of circus incidents involving animals, from 1978 to the present. To read this lengthy list is to realize how common these attacks are, and how using (and in most instances, abusing) animals in circus and zoo performances is arcane and unethical. BornFreeUSA.org, an animal protection initiative, lists 10 fast facts about animals in the circus:

  1. Every major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth in the United States Animal Welfare Act (AWA).
  2. Animals in circuses spend about 11 months of the year traveling.
  3. During travel, animals may be caged or chained for long distances and hours, forced to stand in their own waste, in extreme temperatures.
  4. Standard circus industry training tools used on animals include bullhooks, whips, clubs, and electric prods.
  5. Animals born in circus “conservation” breeding programs have never been released into the wild.
  6. From 1994 to 2005, at least 31 elephants have died premature deaths in the circus. Other circus animals who have died in an untimely manner include horses and lions.
  7. Captive elephant and captive feline attacks on humans in the U.S. have resulted in hundreds of injuries, many resulting in death.
  8. In the wild, elephants live in large, sociable herds and walk up to 25 miles every day. Most other wild animals found in circus settings, including lions and tigers, are also constantly on the move in their native habitats. In the circus, animals spend most of their time in cages or chains.
  9. Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which enforces the AWA) have repeatedly ignored obvious physical trauma to animals, eyewitness accounts of mistreatment, and sworn testimony from former circus employees who report abuse of elephants.
  10. Circuses that feature only human performers are gaining in popularity and provide dazzling, humane, and truly family-friendly entertainment.

In fact, circuses that provide human-only performances and entertainment are not only becoming more popular, but in some towns, they are the only choice. Earlier this year, Michigan State University students pushed to ban the Royal Hanneford Circus, citing allegations of animal abuse. In Queensland, Australia, a city council ruled that circuses involving animal performances are banned as of June of this year. And in Bolivia, both wild and domestic animals have been banned from circus performances within the country. Is this a sign of the times? Have animal circuses become a relic of the past?

shutterstock_elephant

Animals in circuses spend about 11 months of the year traveling.
During travel, animals may be caged or chained for long distances and hours, forced to stand in their own waste, in extreme temperatures.
Standard circus industry training tools used on animals include bullhooks, whips, clubs, and electric prods.
Animals born in circus “conservation” breeding programs have never been released into the wild.
From 1994 to 2005, at least 31 elephants have died premature deaths in the circus. Other circus animals who have died in an untimely manner include horses and lions.
Captive elephant and captive feline attacks on humans in the U.S. have resulted in hundreds of injuries, many resulting in death.
In the wild, elephants live in large, sociable herds and walk up to 25 miles every day. Most other wild animals found in circus settings, including lions and tigers, are also constantly on the move in their native habitats. In the circus, animals spend most of their time in cages or chains.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which enforces the AWA) have repeatedly ignored obvious physical trauma to animals, eyewitness accounts of mistreatment, and sworn testimony from former circus employees who report abuse of elephants.
Circuses that feature only human performers are gaining in popularity and provide dazzling, humane, and truly family-friendly entertainmentEvery major circus that uses animals has been cited for violating the minimal standards of care set forth in the United States Animal Welfare Act (AWA)
Animals in circuses spend about 11 months of the year traveling.
During travel, animals may be caged or chained for long distances and hours, forced to stand in their own waste, in extreme temperatures.
Standard circus industry training tools used on animals include bullhooks, whips, clubs, and electric prods.
Animals born in circus “conservation” breeding programs have never been released into the wild.
From 1994 to 2005, at least 31 elephants have died premature deaths in the circus. Other circus animals who have died in an untimely manner include horses and lions.
Captive elephant and captive feline attacks on humans in the U.S. have resulted in hundreds of injuries, many resulting in death.
In the wild, elephants live in large, sociable herds and walk up to 25 miles every day. Most other wild animals found in circus settings, including lions and tigers, are also constantly on the move in their native habitats. In the circus, animals spend most of their time in cages or chains.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (which enforces the AWA) have repeatedly ignored obvious physical trauma to animals, eyewitness accounts of mistreatment, and sworn testimony from former circus employees who report abuse of elephants.
Circuses that feature only human performers are gaining in popularity and provide dazzling, humane, and truly family-friendly entertainment.

Introducing the RiskCast: Episode #1

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The Risk Management Monitor is proud to present its first episode of the RiskCast, a podcast featuring the latest talk, insight and analysis of risk management in the news. Presented by the editorial staff of the Monitor and Risk Management magazine, the RiskCast isn’t afraid to have fun while it covers the stories that matter to risk managers everywhere.

Join Bill Coffin, Morgan O’Rourke and Emily Holbrook as they discuss hybrid vehicles too quiet for their own good, what it takes to fight a pirate, the infamous Colorado balloon boy and much, much more. And don’t forget to subscribe to the RiskCast on iTunes (search RiskCast).

UPDATE: In discussing the current state of CNN, we mention its website’s appearance on the day after Michael Jackson died. Here is what it looked like with the 31 separate links to Jacko stories highlighted.