Another Morning, Another Earthquake
Damage in the Hayward Earthquake of 1868.
Yeesh, starting to be a routine, wake up, pour my coffee, brace for Earthquake. This one was trivial, barely noticeable. Still, I never before experienced a cluster of quakes like this, I have felt more quakes in the past week than I felt in the last five years. The last big quake on the Hayward fault was in 1868, about a 7.0 on the Richter scale. It did some damage, lots of information and links to more pictures can be found here.
In other science news Britain has launched a robot to explore the seabed near Antarctica. Or ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to be more accurate. Robotic exploration is the wave of the future, it’s ultimately far cheaper and safer to explore with robots than with people. Especially in situations like this, this ROV can go as deep as 6.5 km (4 miles) under the sea.
Space exploration is a natural for robots of course. This is why I’m a bit of a skeptic when it comes to little green men in UFOs, it’s almost infinitely easier and safer to send robots to other stars than tin cans full of living beings, just from a simple engineering and energy standpoint. Humans may well be sending out interstellar probes in the next few decades, while we are still scratching our heads over the feasibility of even sending people as far as Mars. I speculate that if the USA government did actually recover an alien spacecraft at Roswell, likely it was an unmanned probe of some sort and not a ship full of aliens. Though even that idea falls flat if the historical evidence is examined.
The US has decided to list polar bears as a threatened species. The recent declines in polar pack ice are having a terrible effect on polar bears, and if it continues to decline at the current rate polar bears will not survive in the wild after a few more decades. Of course there are a lot more things threatened by global warming than just polar bears, but it’s a start. In other animal news, giant pythons are taking over the Everglades. Used to be alligators in the sewers, now it’s giant snakes in the swamps. People that release their exotic “pets” into the wild should be taken out and horsewhipped. And speaking of snakes and stupidity, never let a 2 metre (6 foot) or longer snake coil around your neck.
In world news, nothing really new. A US soldier shot and killed one of Sadr’s aides in Iraq, which isn’t going over too well. Saddam may be hung in a month or less. Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, still, it may also cause more problems than it solves. “Government” troops, conveniently backed up by Ethiopian tanks and jets, are approaching Mogadishu, the former capitol of Somalia.
In seasonal news, Santa Claus helped capture a streaker in the USA. The heroic Claus was quoted as saying:
“He sees you when you’re sleeping, he sees when you’re awake, and he sees when you’re naked coming down the street.”
I’m not even going to try and find a biblical quote to top that.
(The above image predates 1923 and is considered public domain under US copyright law.)