Search results for: earthquake

0

Zion National Park Shows Evidence Of Earthquakes That Rattled Dinosaurs

fb share tweet share

A new study conducted by scientists at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln confirms that the red cliffs of Zion National Park in Utah were the result of an earthquake that ripped through North America during the early Jurassic period. That was just under 200 million years ago, if you’re counting, or more importantly, the period often characterized by the presence of dinosaurs.

This massive earthquake tore through the expansive sand sea of North America (which at that time was part of Pangaea, the single supercontinent), disturbing the water-soaked sand buried below and causing it to erupt through the sand like a volcano or geyser. Archaeologists have found evidence of these blowouts in the Navajo Sandstone of the American Southwest. The sand sea, or Jurassic dune field, occupied nearly 250,000 square miles, from Wyoming to California, for roughly 15 million years.

Navajo Sandstone in Grand Staircase-Escalanta National Monument (Utah)

Navajo Sandstone in Grand Staircase-Escalanta National Monument (Utah)

0

Student Invention Uses Earthquakes To Measure Earthquakes

fb share tweet share

Perpetual motion machines will almost certainly never exist, but the closest humans can come is focusing on waste-free inventions that don’t use up Earth’s more finite materials. Daniel Tomicek has developed a potentially earth-shattering device that can measure its own earth-shattering.

A fourth year Electronic and Computer Systems Engineering student at New Zealand’s Victoria University of Wellington, Tomicek built a low-power sensor to measure the effect an earthquake is having on a building. If you’re less than enthusiastic about this knowledge, realize that his invention isn’t plugged into a wall. It doesn’t need batteries. Nor gasoline, sunlight, or wind. It runs on earthquakes, or rather the vibrations they cause.

I was trying to decide between making a joke or giving serious consideration to this technology being used in sex toys, and my nose started bleeding.

0

Italian Scientists Found Guilty Of Manslaughter For Not Predicting Earthquake

fb share tweet share

A year-long trial came to an end yesterday for seven Italian scientists, engineers, and officials, all accused of not reacting strongly enough in the aftermath of a series of tremors that struck the L’Aquila region of Italy in early 2009, killing over 300 people. These men were arguably doing their jobs haphazardly by not creating a countrywide panic to alert citizens of any future deadly earthquakes in an area that is already frequented by seismic activity. But that’s because no one wants their country to be in a panic, and because no one can assuredly predict the chances of a future earthquake with smaller quakes as the only form of evidence. Facts like these did not stop Judge Marco Bill from reaching a guilty verdict in just four hours. The charge was “multiple manslaughter,” and the sentence was six years in prison.

These men, all members of the National Commission for the Forecast and Prevention of Major Risks, did not force everyone in the area to stay in their homes and bury their heads.The men did not gain access to dire information regarding an impending earthquake, only to shield it all from becoming public knowledge, thus endangering the population. I’m not sure what kind of evidence was available that qualified a manslaughter charge in the first place, but without any proof of malicious intent, how does “guilt” even come into it?

0

Save Yourself: The Best Sci-Fi Space Arks

fb share tweet share

When the world is ending there’s only one way out: You’re going to need a “space ark” Sometimes the ark’s creators are worried that bad things are about to happen and it’s time to get out of Dodge. Other times the goal isn’t to abandon an imperiled planet, but rather to set out in search of a new place to settle among the stars. One variant is the so-called “generation ship,” a vessel designed to allow its human occupants to live out many generations before it finally reaches its distant destination.

If you had to book passage on one of science fiction’s space arks, which one would be best to board? After all, they each have their advantages and disadvantages, ranging from robots designed to attend to your every need, to hungry cannibals determined to eat your every part. Get your tickets early, people; it’s time to see what’s out there.

WorldsCollideAtomic Rockets (When Worlds Collide)
In Philip Wylie & Edwin Balmer’s 1933 novel When Worlds Collide, South African astronomer Sven Bronson discovers a pair of rogue planets that are headed toward Earth and bringing all manner of trouble with them. Bronson A (he got to name them, obviously) will come close enough to cause tidal waves, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions…not to mention it’ll wipe out the moon. But once it whips around the sun, things are going to get really bad, because it’s going to hit Earth dead on and destroy our homeworld. Naturally, several nations begin work on “atomic rockets” that can transport some of Earth’s population and animals to a new home on the second rogue world, Bronson B.

Advantages: Well, not being pulverized by a rogue planet is definitely a mark in the “pro” column. What’s more, Bronson B is not only habitable, but contains technology and cities left over by previously unknown alien inhabitants.

Disadvantages: You might have noticed we said the rockets could transport some of Earth’s population. Some ain’t by any stretch the same thing as all, and as you would expect, things turn violent when it comes time to decide who gets to go and who gets ringside seats for the end of the world. Moreover, the sequel, After Worlds Collide, reveals that the colonists still manage to find plenty of danger on Bronson B.

Bronson

But on the upside, everyone looks mah-vel-ous.

Pages [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 ]
0

Unmanned Rocket Bound For ISS Explodes

fb share tweet share

antares explosionOne of Orbital Science’s Antares rockets exploded yesterday, just seconds after launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

Orbital Sciences is one of the private companies contracted to bring supplies to the ISS — it was the second private company to complete a cargo run to the ISS (SpaceX was the first). Yesterday’s flight would have been the third such mission for Orbital Sciences, but instead, it’s entering the record books for another, grimmer reason.

While the explosion shook those near the launch site and was by some likened to a small earthquake, no one was injured. It isn’t clear yet what happened, and today an investigation team began sifting through data, while another started sorting through debris near the crash site. Frank Culbertson, Orbital Sciences’ executive vice president, says the company will “get things back on track,” and that such an occurrence is, unfortunately, all too common, but they’ve “all seen the teams recover from this, and we will do the same.” Of course, that can’t happen until damage to the launch pad and other infrastructure is repaired, so it might be a while.

0

Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf: William Gibson Releases His First New Book Since 2010

fb share tweet share

As much as we love science fiction on TV, on the big screen, on the comics page, and in video game form, there’s just something irreplaceable about digging into a good book. There’s no shortage of new sci-fi adventures hitting shelves on a regular basis, but GFR is your one-stop shop to keep up with what’s hitting shelves in a given week. Here’s what’s new on the Giant Freakin’ Bookshelf!

Peripheral“The Peripheral” by William Gibson

William Gibson returns with his first novel since 2010’s New York Times–bestselling Zero History.

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.