Monday, November 19, 2007

Education




Updates below.

I'm here for ya.

I was gonna post about the cyclone heading toward Bangladesh, but was just too damn lazy.

Ya never know with Mother Nature. She can be benevolent or a veritable hellion.
Headline: Powerful cyclone kills 242 in Bangladesh



UPDATE: I had others, but lost them to Blogger. This will be my last because its too disheartening. Up to 15,000 people were killed and seven million lives left devastated by the cyclone in Bangladesh last week, aid agencies have said as the full extent of the disaster became clear.

UPDATE: I think I'm gonna backpedal on this. All other reports I'm finding say the death toll is 2,400 to 3,000 maximum We'll just have to wait and see. I hope the lower numbers are correct.

The loss of life is truly ghastly. I would never have guessed the carnage would be so severe. I naïvely thought people would seek safe shelter. Then we come to the next story.

A huge earthquake hit Chile.

Headline: Quake kills 2, damages homes in Chile

Mother can surprise you.

OK, here's the education part of this fucking post. My mind is so full of trivia, facts, useless knowledge I need to spit some of it out now and then to make room for more trivia, facts and useless knowledge.

Let us start with a Richter Scale 3 earthquake which is just a damn annoyance to people on the west coast of the US. From there, things get really hairy.

The quake in Chile was 7.7 magnitude. Bear with me. This will floor you:
The magnitude of most earthquakes is measured on the Richter scale, invented by Charles F. Richter in 1934. The Richter magnitude is calculated from the amplitude of the largest seismic wave recorded for the earthquake, no matter what type of wave was the strongest.

The Richter magnitudes are based on a logarithmic scale (base 10). What this means is that for each whole number you go up on the Richter scale, the amplitude of the ground motion recorded by a seismograph goes up ten times. Using this scale, a magnitude 5 earthquake would result in ten times the level of ground shaking as a magnitude 4 earthquake (and 32 times as much energy would be released). To give you an idea how these numbers can add up, think of it in terms of the energy released by explosives: a magnitude 1 seismic wave releases as much energy as blowing up 6 ounces of TNT. A magnitude 8 earthquake releases as much energy as detonating 6 million tons of TNT. Pretty impressive, huh? Fortunately, most of the earthquakes that occur each year are magnitude 2.5 or less, too small to be felt by most people.

So we're talking 10 times 3. Then 10 times 4. Then 10 times 5. Then 10 times 6 plus a few more points.

Folks, that's goddamn huge. Thank God only 2 died.

FYI: Indonesia had a quake of 8.5 magnitude. So did Sumatra. And Alaska.

Hey, that's nearly 10 times the destructive force of the Chile quake. And the list of 8+ magnitude earthquakes is almost endless

As you should know by now, don't fuck with Mother Nature. You will never win.

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