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Predicting The End of the World With Science

Predicting The End of the World With Science

Hypothetically speaking, if a nearby star were to go supernova, it could eventually reach our blue planet and rip apart our atmosphere. Complex life would cease to exist. That scenario is unlikely says Dr. Dirk Schulze-Makuch, professor of astrobiology at Washington State University. That’s one of nine of possible ways Earth could meet its doom, and there’s only so much we can do about it.

His new book, “Megacatastrophes!”, co-written with David Darling, explores scientific realities we face and how we can simply be aware of them.

First and foremost, Schulze-Makuch and Darling are scientists. They ignore the pop culture paranoia of zombie apocalypse and the ominous Mayan calender. Schulze-Makuch even says that scenario is nonsense. The two writers discuss the realistic scenarios humans face from asteroid impacts, nano-technology to global pandemic.

“I’m not the prophet,” Schulze-Makuch said. “We look at different scenarios and we basically prioritize how dangerous it is and how disastrous it would be.”

Would the scenario result in a million dead or even a billion dead? Schulze-Makuch says a pandemic tops the list with diseases like the Spanish Flu or Black Death. With passenger flights crossing oceans and country borders, disease has no boundaries.

Search For Missing Snowmobilers

The Shoshone County Sheriff's Office spent another busy weekend looking for missing snowmobilers. The Sheriff's Office put out a search for 62 year old Lester Allert after he got separated from his group near Bloom Peak. A helicopter from the 36th Rescue Flight from Fairchild Air Force base was enroute when Allert was located and able to rejoin his group.

During that search, the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office was also searching for 50-year-old Kevin Gouin. A friend reported him missing near Wallace when he failed to meet him near Placer Creek after 5 hours. Searchers found him near Avery after walking 10 miles. Gouin had to abandon his snowmobile after it ran out of gas.

This is the sixth search of the winter season. Just last week, the Shoshone County Sheriff's Office issued a press release after three other search and rescue incidents. The Sheriff's Office reminds recreators to be prepared with equipment and emergency supplies when they head into the back country. It also warns of avalanche danger in warmer temperatures.

A look at Silver Mountain's past

A look at Silver Mountain's past

Back before the majority of the world knew what snowboarding was, there was skiing and it was fashionable. Here's some photos taken at Silver Mountain back in the day - possibly the late 1970s or early 1980s. Marketing director, John Williams, isn't sure of some of the date, but says it was before his time.

The resort is gearing up for their "Jackass Day" on Friday. It's actually a day dedicated to the historical creation of the resort in 1968.

Earlier today we mentioned the history behind the event: "Jackass Ski Bowl on Wardner Peak opened to the public in January 1968 with a single Riblet chair. After four years, the name was changed to Silverhorn Ski Area. Then in 1990, it became known as Silver Mountain, after a major expansion of trails on Kellogg Peak."

Williams also had another historical factoid up his sleeve. The resort was supposed to open in December, but there wasn't enough snow, so they had to delay until January 7th, 1968 - thus Jackass Day.

Will your region have a White Christmas?

Will your region have a White Christmas?

Consider this our holiday greeting card arriving just in time for the holiday weekend. It's a map displaying the probability of a white Christmas in areas around the United States using data from the National Climatic Data Center.

There's no way to zoom in, but if you look carefully at the Eastern Washington and North Idaho regions, our chances of a white Christmas range from 26-100 percent depending on where you're located.

Have a safe weekend and don't forget to email weather photos at news4@kxly.com.

Coordinator Helps Search For Mustelids (Weasels)

Coordinator Helps Search For Mustelids (Weasels)

A researcher is heading to North Idaho to study a rare carnivore. Kelsey Brasseur will work with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to help track data from bait stations across North Idaho and Western Montana.

Forest service requires new bear resistant food storage in the Idaho Panhandle

Forest service requires new bear resistant food storage in the Idaho Panhandle

Some recreation in the Idaho Panhandle National Forests will now require new food storage requirements while in the region's back and front country.

Starting October 11th, forest visitors will need to store food items in a "bear resistant manner" and dispose of wildlife attracts in a proper manner. Forest officials say the new food storage requirement will reduce human and wildlife conflicts because of readily available food sources.

The requirement will be in effect from April 1st to December 1st on an annual basis.

Officials say the requirements depend on your recreation location.

Help Sandpoint Celebrate!

Help Sandpoint Celebrate!

Sandpoint is ready to celebrate... and for all the right reasons. Here's why:

1) The 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team out of Post Falls just returned home from a year long deployment in Iraq.

2) USA Today just (over the Summer) awarded Sandpoint the honor of 'Most Beautiful Small Town in America'

3) It's Oktoberfest.

So, the City plans on celebrating all three in a First Thursday event.