Saturday, February 27, 2010

8.8 EQ

The USGS reports an 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck offshore Chile at The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has reported that some waves have been recorded along coast of South America. Hawaii is under a tsunami advisory and they are analyzing the data regarding any threat to Hawaii. If a tsunami was generated it would take approximately 14 hours to reach the Hawaii which would be 10:30 a.m. HST.
We will update this website with additional information as it is released.
MEDIA RELEASE (from West Coast Alaska Tsunami Warning Center)
To: U.S. West Coast, Alaska, and British Columbia coastal regions
From: NOAA/NWS/West Coast and Alaska Tsunami Warning Center
Subject: Tsunami Information Statement #1 issued 02/26/2010 at 10:49PM PST
A strong earthquake has occurred, but a tsunami IS NOT expected along the California, Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, or Alaska coast. NO tsunami warning, watch or advisory is in effect for these areas.
A tsunami may have been generated that could potentially impact the U.S. west coast, British Columbia, and Alaska. The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center is investigating the event to determine the level of danger. More information will be issued as it becomes available.
At 10:34 PM Pacific Standard Time on February 26, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 8.5 occurred near the coast of central Chile . (Refer to the United States Geological Survey for official earthquake parameters.)
Region:                           OFFSHORE MAULE, CHILE Geographic coordinates:           35.826S,  72.668W Magnitude:                        8.3 Mw Depth:                            59 km Universal Time (UTC):             27 Feb 2010  06:34:17 Time near the Epicenter:          27 Feb 2010  03:34:17 Local standard time in your area: 26 Feb 2010  20:34:17  Location with respect to nearby cities:  99 km (61 miles) WSW (246 degrees) of Talca, Chile 117 km (73 miles) NNE (17 degrees) of Concepcion, Chile 317 km (197 miles) SW (215 degrees) of SANTIAGO, Chile

Tsunami travel times, National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration
Tsunami travel times: National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New element copernicium added to periodic table

Discovered 13 years ago, the substance previously known as element 112 was only officially added to the table a few weeks ago.

It is the heaviest element in the periodic table, 277 times heavier than hydrogen. It is produced by a nuclear fusion, bombarding zinc ions onto a lead target.

As the element already decays after a split second, its existence can only be proved with the help of extremely fast and sensitive analysis methods.

With the symbol Cp, it has been named in honour of Copernicus who deduced that the planets revolved around the Sun, and finally refuted the belief that the Earth was the centre of the Universe. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) will officially endorse the new element's name in six month's time in order to give the scientific community "time to discuss the suggestion".

There are 118 elements currently in the table.

Scientists from the Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Germany, led by Professor Sigurd Hofmann, discovered copernicium in fusion experiments in 1996.

"After IUPAC officially recognised our discovery, we agreed on proposing the name because we would like to honour an outstanding scientist," said Professor Hofmann.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

concrete vs. cement

Cement is a binder, a substance which sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together.

is a construction material composed of cement (commonly Portland cement) as well as other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate (generally a coarse aggregate such as gravel, limestone, orgranite, plus a fine aggregate such as sand), water, and chemical admixtures.

brain development

species of children

black children are the same "species" as white children, yellow children and all other human children.
i can't count how many things are wrong about this.



Thursday, February 18, 2010

top earth science schools in the country

*according to the GRE website

California Institute of Technology
1200 E. California Boulevard Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-6123
Email: N/A
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
77 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02139
Phone: N/A
Email: eapsinfo@mit
Stanford University
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
University of California--Berkeley
307 McCone Hall Berkeley, CA 94720
Phone: (510) 642-5574
Columbia University
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
University of Michigan--Ann Arbor
1100 N. University Avenue Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Phone: (734) 764-1435
Email: N/A
Pennsylvania State University--University Park
503 Deike Building University Park, PA 16802
Phone: (814) 865-6711
University of Arizona
Gould-Simpson Building Tucson, AZ 85721
Phone: (520) 621-6004
Harvard University
20 Oxford Street Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: (617) 495-2351
University of Texas--Austin
1 University Station C1100 Austin, TX 78712
Phone: (512) 471-5172
Email: N/A
Princeton University
Goyot Hall Princeton, NJ 08544
Phone: (609) 258-5807
Email: N/A
University of California--Los Angeles
Box 951567 Los Angeles, CA 90095
Phone: (888) 377-8252
University of Washington
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Yale University
PO Box 208109 New Haven, CT 06520
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Cornell University
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
University of California--San Diego
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
University of Chicago
5734 S. Ellis Avenue Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 702-8101
University of Wisconsin--Madison
236 Weeks Hall for Geological Sciences Madison, WI 53706
Phone: (608) 262-9266
Brown University
324 Brook Street Providence, RI 02912
Phone: (401) 863-3339
University of California--Santa Cruz
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
Johns Hopkins University
34th and N. Charles streets Baltimore, MD 21218
Phone: (410) 516-7135
University of California--Davis
1 Shields Avenue Davis, CA 95616
Phone: (530) 752-0350
University of California--Santa Barbara
Phone: N/A
Email: N/A
University of Minnesota--Twin Cities
310 Pillsbury Drive SE Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: (612) 625-3014
Rice University
MS 126, PO Box 1892 Houston, TX 77251
Phone: (713) 348-4880
Email: N/A

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


friday i'm in love

paleontology grad schools

Top 10 according to U.S. News & World Report

Earth Sciences Specialty Rankings: Paleontology
Ranked in 2006
1University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
2Harvard University
Cambridge, MA
3University of Michigan--Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, MI
Yale University
New Haven, CT
5University of California--Berkeley
Berkeley, CA
6University of Kansas
None, KS
7University of Cincinnati
None, OH
8University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA
9University of Texas--Austin
Austin, TX
10Ohio State University
None, OH
*University of Cali- Davis also offers a paleo program :)


Teratology is so interesting — it gives us hints about the mechanisms driving developmental processes. In some cases, when you just have a few isolated instances, it can be frustrating, because there isn't enough information to go much beyond speculation. Here's one of those tantalizing cases: an octopus with branching tentacles.

Now that is fascinating. Look at limb formation as an abstract developmental problem in which you first have to initiate a protrusion from a specific place on the body wall; the protrusion has to elongate to a specific length; and it has to be patterned along its length. Cephalopod limb patterning doesn't involve any branching elements, unlike vertebrate limbs which show a limited radiation of bony elements as you go distally. Vertebrates can exhibit phenomena like polydactyly which are basically counting errors or expansions of a field; the mechanisms for that don't seem likely to be the case in cephalopods. What I'd guess is that this is an example of errors in initiation. Whatever the signal is that triggers limb extension from the body was triggered again and again as the arm grew, creating sub-arms and sub-sub-arms. This could be a consequence of a mutation that lifted normal constraints that pattern limb initiation (this animal lived for some time, and produced offspring with normal limbs, all of which died shortly after hatching, unfortunately, a result that is ambiguous in determining whether the problem is genetic), or it could be an environmental signal that mimics the normal developmental signal. You can't tell from one dead octopus!

squid fossil


Monday, February 15, 2010

february 13, 2010... 49

49 States Dusted With Snow; Hawaii's The Holdout

Posted: 4:48 am EST February 13, 2010

Forget red and blue -- color America white. There was snow on the ground in 49 states Friday. Hawaii was the holdout.

It was the United States of Snow, thanks to an unusual combination of weather patterns that dusted the U.S., including the skyscrapers of Dallas, the peach trees of Atlanta and the Florida Panhandle, where hurricanes are more common than snowflakes.

More than two-thirds of the nation's land mass had snow on the ground when the day dawned, and then it snowed ever so slightly in Florida to make it 49 states out of 50.

At the same time, those weird weather forces are turning Canada's Winter Olympics into the bring-your-own-snow games.

Who's the Great White North now?

"I'm calling it the upside-down winter," said David Robinson, head of the Global Snow Lab at Rutgers University in New Jersey.

Snow paralyzed and fascinated the Deep South on Friday. Snowball fights broke out at Southern Mississippi University, snow delayed flights at the busy Atlanta airport, and Louisiana hardware stores ran out of snow supplies. Andalusia, Ala., shut down its streets because of snow. And yet, Portland, Maine, where snow is usually a given, had to cancel its winter festival for lack of the stuff.

Weather geeks turned their eyes to Hawaii. In that tropical paradise, where a ski club strangely exists, observers were looking closely at the islands' mountain peaks to see if they could find a trace of white to make it a rare 50-for-50 states with snow. But there was no snow in sight.

Hawaii's 13,800-foot Mauna Kea volcano, which often gets snow much of the year at its higher elevations, is the most likely place in the 50th state to have snow, but there "is nothing right now," said research meteorologist Tiziana Cherubini at the Mauna Kea Weather Center. It has been a few weeks since there has been snow in the mountains, and none is in the forecast, ruining a perfect 50-for-50, she said.

The idea of 50 states with snow is so strange that the federal office that collects weather statistics doesn't keep track of that number and can't say whether it has ever happened. The office can't even say whether 49 out of 50 has ever taken place before.

Snow experts at the Global Snow Lab were combing their records but said it may be days before they find out if there has ever been a 50-for-50 snow day. Their best suspect -- Jan. 19, 1977 -- had snow in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia, but then Robinson looked for snow in South Carolina and couldn't find any.

As of early Friday morning, 67.1 percent of the U.S. had snow on the ground, with the average depth a healthy 8 inches. Normally, about 40 or 50 percent of the U.S. has snow cover this time of year, Robinson said.

It snowed for only 10 minutes in Century, Fla., just north of Pensacola, barely enough to scrape a few snowballs from the hood of a truck. But that was enough for 6-year-old Kaleb Pace.

"I've only ever seen snow on TV till now," Kaleb said, smiling.

This is after a month that saw the most snow cover for any December in North America in the 43 years that records have been kept. And then came January 2010, which ranked No. 8 among all months for North American snow cover, with more than 7.03 million square miles of white.

The all-time record is February 1978, with 7.31 million square miles. There is a chance this February could break that. There is also a chance that this could go down as the week with the most snow cover on record, Robinson said.

Stay tuned. The weather pattern is in a snow rut.

At least in Washington, where snow is now measured by the yardstick, more snow may be coming soon. It looks like a little more snow on Monday and maybe a lot more about a week or so after that.

"As long as this pattern persists we have potential for additional storms," said Dan Petersen, lead winter weather forecaster at the National Weather Service prediction center in Camp Springs, Md.

To count as snow cover, snow has to stick on the ground and be recorded at special stations at specific times when meteorologists check, Robinson said.

The strange snowfall pattern is produced by the El Nino weather phenomenon and its Arctic counterpart, Robinson and Petersen said.

During moderate to strong El Ninos like the current one, more moisture is pumped into the subtropical jet stream across the South, increasing precipitation, Robinson said. Then there's the Arctic Oscillation, the Northern cousin to El Nino, which shifts cold polar air south. That cold air can turn a rainstorm into a snowstorm.

A snowy winter doesn't disprove -- or prove -- global warming, Petersen and Robinson said. This is weather, which is variable, not long-term climate, and there is a huge difference.

"This has nothing to do with long-term trends," Petersen said. "This is just a several-week period."

Patrick Marsh, who is working on his doctorate in meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, has been trying to collect photos of snow on the ground in all 49 or 50 states. After his effort was publicized, he was flooded with photos and videos.

"It just shows that deep down inside, all of us is a weather weenie, a weather fanatic," Marsh said. "This is just an awesome weather event."

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Thursday, February 4, 2010

lewis carroll

John gave his brother James a box:
About it there were many locks.

James woke and said it gave him pain;
So gave it back to John again.

The box was not with lid supplied,
Yet caused two lids to open wide;

And all these locks had never a key-
What kind of box, then, could it be?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

ogden nash

THE OCTOPUS - Ogden Nash

Tell me, O Octopus, I begs
Is those things arms, or is they legs?
I marvel at thee, Octopus;
If I were thou, I'd call me Us.

Monday, February 1, 2010

dino bird

Let's say you're Haplocheirus sollers. You've got two gangly legs, stubby arms and feathery adornments that look like something even a third-class figure skater wouldn't wear. On top of that, you have the ragged claws of a horror film monster, and a tail that looks like something from an overgrown rat.

As dinosaurs go, you're an odd bird -- even though you're not a bird at all.

According to a paper in the latest issue of the journal Science,the newly discovered Haplocheirus is the oldest known member of a group of dinosaurs called alvarezsaurs.

For years, researchers have debated whether alvarezsaurs descended from dinosaurs or birds. The majority agreed that they were dinosaurs, but gaps in the fossil record -- especially a lack of any alvarezsaur fossils predating birds -- left the issue open to debate.

That is, until now.

The discovery of Haplocheirus by a team of paleontologists from George Washington University extends the fossil record of alvarezsaurs back in time by 63 million years -- a good 15 million years before the first birds appeared.

With this new evidence that alvarezsaurs existed before birds, there's little room to argue that they could be anything other than dinosaurs. Odd-looking dinosaurs, but dinosaurs, nonetheless.

"Cephalopod development and evolution"