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Apr 19 '10
Explanation: Why did the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland create so much ash? Although the large ash plume was not unparalleled in its abundance, its location was particularly noticeable because it drifted across such well populated areas. The Eyjafjallajökull volcano in southern Iceland began erupting on March 20, with a second eruption starting under the center of small glacier on April 14. Neither eruption was unusually powerful. The second eruption, however, melted a large amount of glacial ice which then cooled and fragmented lava into gritty glass particles that were carried up with the rising volcanic plume. Pictured above two days ago, lightning bolts illuminate ash pouring out of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano.
Hit the link to see the original site and the image in a larger version.
Mar 10 '10
The release of tension caused by the friction of tectonic plates grinding against each other causes earthquakes --- that bit is fairly easy to understand. Something that I didn't consider about earthquakes however - is if one plate slides over (or under) another plate it takes the cities and buildings built on top of it, along with it as it moves. Such is the case in Chile where cities moved 10 feet:
The magnitude-8.8 earthquake that rocked the west coast of Chile last month was violent enough to move the city of Concepcion at least 10 feet to the west and the capital, Santiago, about 11 inches to the west-southwest, researchers said.
The quake also shifted other parts of South America, as far apart as the Falkland Islands and Fortaleza, Brazil.
Pretty amazing when you consider the massive forces at work here.
Mar 2 '10
The science supporting this is solid - but the fact that our earth-days may be shortened as a result of the earthquake in Chile really messes with your mind if you think about it. Granted, 1.26 microseconds is imperceptible but the idea that we're actually spinning faster is mind-boggling.
The massive earthquake that struck Chile on Saturday may have shifted the Earth's axis and created shorter days, scientists at NASA say.
The change is negligible, but permanent: Each day should be 1.26 microseconds shorter, according to preliminary calculations. A microsecond is one-millionth of a second.
A large quake shifts massive amounts of rock and alters the distribution of mass on the planet.
When that distribution changes, it changes the rate at which the planet rotates. And the rotation rate determines the length of a day.
NASA's newest (and best) picture of the Earth, via Flickr
Feb 11 '10
One of my co-workers has just started making homemade bath and body products. She is a biology teacher and will be teaching her cosmetology students how to make lotion and body spray (sounds like a fun class to me!). She has some great scents; check out her store on Etsy!
Feb 10 '10
Scientists and historians from Italy’s National Committee for Cultural Heritage have sought permission to open the artist’s tomb at Amboise Castle in the Loire valley.
While the identity of the Mona Lisa has been debated for centuries, some scholars have suggested that da Vinci may have painted himself as a woman in the masterpiece due to his love of riddles.
Experts believe that if they find the Renaissance painter’s skull, they can recreate his face and compare it to the Mona Lisa.
This is pretty interesting and from what I've read, entirely possible that the Mona Lisa is actually a self portrait. So much of Da Vinci's legacy is cryptic and coded that something like this would not be terribly surprising. I'm anxious to hear final results on this one.
Dec 4 '09
Now this is a new twist I found over on TreeHugger.com:
Up until now, most people have likely regarded bird-feeders as merely a pleasant addition to their gardens. But scientists have recently discovered that bird-feeders in the UK are actually having a serious long term impact on the birds that eat from them--so large an impact that researchers believe the feeders have brought about the first evolutionary step in a brand new species.
Feb 13 '09
With all due respect to crime solvers around the world, sometimes a badge and a quick wit aren’t enough to sniff out lawbreakers. Sometimes you’ve got to rely on the stuff we at GearCrave obsess over – computers, gadgets and the latest scientific advances. Move over, Greatest Police Chases; here are the greatest moments in technology-assisted crime solving. Crime doesn’t pay if it does not compute…
I think these cases are awesome. Part of it is stupidity by the criminal, but still a noteworthy catch.
Feb 12 '09
A Granville High School graduate has contributed a "little bit of history," as she put it, on a national stage. That little bit is a big deal for Abraham Lincoln scholars and Miami University in Oxford.
Lydia Smith, a 2008 Granville grad and a first-year psychology major at Miami, was transcribing an Oct. 5, 1863, letter written by Lincoln for a university project in fall 2008 when she noticed a smudge she suspected could be a thumbprint, according to an announcement on the college's Web site.
The print was reviewed and confirmed to be Lincoln's by The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, a project of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
May 23 '08
Val Thomas suffered two heart attacks, and after her heart stopped, was put on a respiratory machine, then transferred to a different machine which induced hypothermia, was taken off the machine, and was kept on a ventilator while her family discussed organ donation. Then she woke up and started talking. Doctors don't understand how she's alive; it is definitely a miracle.
Jan 8 '08
A deadly tornado was reported in central Arkansas Tuesday, a day after a freak cluster of January twisters sprung up in the unseasonably warm Midwest.
The tornadoes came as record high winter temperatures were reported across wide areas of the country. The storms demolished houses, knocked a railroad locomotive off its tracks and shut down a courthouse.
Tornadoes were reported or suspected Monday in southwest Missouri, southeastern Wisconsin, Arkansas, Illinois and Oklahoma. Two people were killed in Missouri.
2 in Missouri and 1 in Arkansas - the warm weather is nice, but we risk events like this as a result. It should be cold this time of year, like it or not --- swings like this just aren't good.
Jan 6 '08
This is an interesting article (admittedly, a science nerd read) about the possibility and evidence that the evolution and rise of insects may have directly contributed to the extinction of dinosaurs.
“We don’t suggest that the appearance of biting insects and the spread of disease are the only things that relate to dinosaur extinction,” Poinar said. “Other geologic and catastrophic events certainly played a role. But by themselves, such events do not explain a process that in reality took a very, very long time, perhaps millions of years. Insects and diseases do provide that explanation.”
Worth a read to understand this new theory in the arguments about dinosaur extinction. I guess, when I stop and think about it, my Dino Riders video never showed any insects...
Jan 4 '08
North America’s largest solar photovoltaic system is now running and generating power — about 30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. The 14 megawatt power plant is at the Nellis Air Force Base in the sunny desert of southern Nevada. It’s expected to save about $1 million in power costs annually, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 24,000 tons each year.
A step in the right direction, though the comments on the article bring up some interesting points regarding the cost of the project and savings.
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