There’s a California fault far more dangerous than San Andreas – and it’s ready to go off

April 19, 2018 by  
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Everyone knows that California’s San Andreas fault is a ticking time bomb ready to erupt – but a new study shows that another fault right under the East Bay is far more dangerous. The Hayward fault could decimate major cities like Oakland and Berkeley, killing hundreds and destroying tens of thousands of homes. And according to scientists, “it’s just waiting to go off.” ? This week, scientists published a landmark study that detailed a 52-mile fault centered under Oakland, California. If the fault were to erupt – and it is only a matter of time until it does – the US Geological Survey estimates the toll would include at least 800 killed, 18,000 injured, 400,000 displaced and 52,000 homes destroyed. Most homes would be destroyed by the 400 fires scientists estimate would ignite, and the shattered water infrastructure would complicate firefighter’s efforts to put them out. Related: The mega-earthquake that will probably someday wipe Seattle off the map “This fault is what we sort of call a tectonic time bomb,” USGS earthquake geologist emeritus David Schwartz said. “It’s just waiting to go off.” There are certainly larger faults out there (like the San Andreas), but what makes the Hayward fault so deadly is that 2 million people live right on top of it. For reference, the 1906 quake that devastated San Francisco was centered off the coast and impacted a city of 400,000 residents. The Hayward fault is relatively active, with a major earthquake every 150 years or so (give or take 75 years). Its last major earthquake – a 6.8 – was 150 years ago this October. In 1989, the 6.9 Loma Prieta shook the Bay Area and caused about 60 deaths and $82 billion in damage. A similar quake on the Hayward fault today would be 10 times as bad, and even homes that stood during the Loma Prieta quake could be shattered. The bottom line is that the cities and citizens along the fault need to work to improve infrastructure, secure homes and make sure that they are prepared for the next big one. It’s easy to get complacent when it has been a while since the last earthquake , scientists say, but that’s when you have to be most prepared. Via LA Times Images via Jeff Pierre

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There’s a California fault far more dangerous than San Andreas – and it’s ready to go off

Finland’s two-year universal basic income experiment is coming to an end

April 19, 2018 by  
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The Finnish government is planning to conclude its much-touted universal basic income experiment at the end of a two-year study period instead of extending it. Since early 2017, the Finnish government gave 2,000 unemployed Finns between the ages of 25 and 58 an unconditional monthly payment of 560 euros, or $690. “Right now, the government is making changes that are taking the system further away from a basic income,” Kela researcher Miska Simanainen told Svenska Dagbladet . Though there had been plans to include workers in the basic income experiment starting in early 2018, this did not happen. Because workers were not included, researchers are limited in their ability to analyze the impact of universal basic income in promoting career changes or job training. “Two years is too short a time frame to be able to draw extensive conclusions from such a vast experiment,” basic income expert Olli Kangas told YLE . “We ought to have been given additional time and more money to achieve reliable results.” While Finland’s experiment is wrapping up with potentially disappointing results, basic income is an increasingly popular social policy among tech sector leaders, such as Elon Musk , Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes and futurist Ray Kurzweil. Related: Stockton, California is launching the first basic income experiment in the US Finland’s government seems less enthused about basic income. The Finnish government recently passed a bill that requires unemployed people to work at least 18 hours over three months or risk losing their benefits. “When the basic income experiment ends this year, we should launch a universal credit trial,” Finnish Finance Minister Petteri Orpo told Hufvudstadsbladet . Such a trial could be modeled on the United Kingdom ‘s system, which combines various benefits and tax credits into a single account. More comprehensive results from Finland’s basic income experiment will be available after the trial’s conclusion at the end of 2018. Via Business Insider Images via Depositphotos and Wikimedia

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Finland’s two-year universal basic income experiment is coming to an end

UK architect helps locals rebuild Nepal temple destroyed by earthquake

January 17, 2017 by  
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The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that battered Nepal in 2015 damaged 100 homes, killed three people, and devastated what many consider to be the country’s oldest Hindu temple in Changu Village alone. Slowly locals are rebuilding their beloved Changu Narayan temple with help from a British architect, who also helped restore Angkor Wat in Cambodia through the World Monuments Fund . Locals say the Hindu god Vishnu once appeared at Changu Narayan, the fifth century temple dedicated to the deity. Only priests ever entered the intricately carved wooden structure before the earthquake. When locals witnessed the devastation inflicted on the World Heritage Site by the natural disaster, they felt their lives had ended. But they didn’t give up hope, and began to rebuild. 61-year-old Gyan Bahadur Bhadal, who is one of a group of villagers maintaining the temple, told The Associated Press (AP), “I see now our world coming back alive.” Related: Shigeru Ban will reuse earthquake rubble to build Nepal relief shelters Architect John Sanday has loved Changu Narayan for decades, and told the AP he was very emotional visiting the site after the devastating earthquake, which damaged 600 historical monuments, palaces, and temples in Nepal. Out of those 600, Sanday decided he’d take on the temple as a project, and became a technical adviser for locals. He told the AP, “Sure, it’s peanuts, a little temple, so why is it so special? The detail. The grace. It’s one of the few World Heritage Sites that hasn’t been completely destroyed by development.” So far locals have painstakingly cleaned and made some repairs to the temple, but there’s still work to be done. The community needs to raise around $300,000 to complete the restoration initiative. Inspired by locals’ dedication, Sanday has already helped rebuild a guardhouse-sized shrine. Now he’s looking beyond the shrine to the temple, convinced the ancient building can be saved. Via The Associated Press Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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UK architect helps locals rebuild Nepal temple destroyed by earthquake

Amazing video shows 3 stranded cows rescued after New Zealand’s M7.8 quake

November 17, 2016 by  
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A magnitude 7.8 earthquake shook New Zealand early Monday near Canterbury, causing landslides that left thousands of residents stranded. Some of those residents are of the bovine variety, making them particularly vulnerable and uniquely in need of assistance. They received it Monday when rescuers successfully recovered three cows left stranded on a small plateau of land created by landslides on the coast north of Kaikoura. After the quake killed two people and caused thousands of destructive aftershocks, the bovine rescue offers hope to those still looking for missing loved ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Yoik3MmKgI Local reports say rescuing the stranded cows was not an easy task. Their owner reported that the rescue was delayed due to multiple aftershocks and the difficulty in reaching the cows’ location, due to soft soil. “We dug a track with a number of people; the soil was quite soft because it had all been tipped over and bumbled around, we managed to get a track in and bring them out,” the unnamed farmer told New Zealand’s Newshub . “They desperately needed water, cows don’t like living without water so that was the first requirement, and I think one or two had lost calves in the earthquake so they were a bit distressed.” Related: How seaweed-eating super cows will save the world The 7.8 earthquake hit near the small tourist town of Kaikoura just after midnight on Monday. The town, with a population of just 3,500 residents, is now isolated from the rest of the country due to as many as 100,000 landslides . Flooding and additional aftershocks continue to plague the area as rescue and recovery efforts are underway, despite dangerous conditions. In addition to the three cows rescued in the video above, the farmer reported that 14 other cows were also rescued after the earthquake. He said some livestock had been killed during the disaster, though the numbers were small. The stranded cows belong to a herd raised for beef, so the life-saving efforts of their rescuers will not ensure them a long and happy life, but instead return them to their original fate. Via CNN Images via Pexels and USGS

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Amazing video shows 3 stranded cows rescued after New Zealand’s M7.8 quake

USGS, EPA investigate link between underground wastewater disposal and Oklahoma’s largest earthquake

September 7, 2016 by  
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On Saturday, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook north central Oklahoma , prompting the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to investigate whether the quake was caused by the oil and gas industry’s practice of underground wastewater disposal . The quake, which is reportedly the largest in the state’s history, damaged some buildings but there have been no reports of injuries or deaths. Many environmental scientists have long suspected that industrial activities like this are linked to, and can even cause, earthquakes, and hopefully soon the USGS will have answers about what is happening in Oklahoma. Saturday’s earthquake occurred near the city of Pawnee at 8:03 a.m. local time and was reportedly felt in six surrounding states. The quake was somewhat unusual because it occurred on a fault that seismologists didn’t even know existed. In fact, the fault that triggered the quake runs perpendicular to the larger well-known fault system. This is the key feature of the earthquake that piqued the interest of USGS researchers, who suspect that human activity may be partially responsible for kicking off the tremor. The Environmental Protection Agency is also investigating the causes and implications of the earthquake. Related: Surge of earthquakes in Oklahoma puts fracking under fire “Without studying the specifics of the wastewater injection and oil and gas production in this area, the USGS cannot currently conclude whether or not this particular earthquake was caused by industrial-related, human activities,” the USGS said in a statement. “However, we do know that many earthquakes in Oklahoma have been triggered by wastewater fluid injection.” State regulators at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission have ordered oil and gas operators to shut down 35 disposal wells that may have contributed to this weekend’s earthquake in what Governor Mary Fallin has called “a mandatory directive.” The wells located within five miles of a 10-mile section of the fault linked to the quake, and they have been ordered to shut down within seven days, and all the other wells must be shut down within 10 days. Last year, a series of earthquakes in Oklahoma had many scientists and environmentalists pointing fingers at fracking, the common practice in the oil and gas industry of injecting high-pressure liquids underground to open fissures, in an effort to gain access to oil and gas. As industry activity in the state has steadily grown, so too have the number of earthquakes measuring at least 3.0 on the Richter scale. After the  magnitude 5.1 quake between Tulsa and Oklahoma City in February, 2015 , residents feared that the worst was yet to come. With this weekend’s quake now being called the strongest ever in the state, and plenty of oil and gas industry drilling ongoing, nobody is sure at this point what to expect next. Via Fox News and USGS Images via USGS and Shutterstock

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USGS, EPA investigate link between underground wastewater disposal and Oklahoma’s largest earthquake

World’s largest flower parade thrills again with millions of dahlias

September 7, 2016 by  
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According to the parade organizers, each float includes a staggering half a million dahlias. Floats can be as large as 20 meters, or around 65 feet, long and nine meters, nearly 30 feet, tall. Volunteers create the floats beginning in May to get ready for the parade in early September. But the flowers can only be put on the floats during the last three days leading up to the parade, which makes for a crazy few days for the hundreds of people from each of the 20 districts that participate. Related: Millions of blooms revive Van Gogh in breathtaking Corso Zundert flower parade While 20 floats were entered, two weren’t able to roll down the parade route in 2016 due to strong winds. Dangerous Transportation, constructed by the Tiggelaar hamlet, won the day. Floats ranged from rollicking animal designs to a Gothic building caught in a whirlwind to a woman being retouched. One float even offered a commentary on climate change . The statement for second place winner Manpower 12 says, “Human intervention contributes to climate change. It’s not only the force of nature that smashes ships to pieces on a stormy sea, but also the force of mankind.” While around 30 flower parades take place in the Netherlands, Zundert is home to the largest, and it is also where artist Vincent van Gogh was born. Corso Zundert is judged by “an independent and professional jury” comprised of people with backgrounds in theater or art . According to the parade organizers, “…for people in Zundert, winning the parade is among the best experiences in life.” + Corso Zundert Via Colossal Images courtesy of Malou Evers, Werner Pellis, and Erwin Martens/Corso Zundert

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World’s largest flower parade thrills again with millions of dahlias

Oil company sics attack dogs on Native American protestors in North Dakota

September 7, 2016 by  
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A protest against a proposed oil pipeline turned violent on Saturday as Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners unleashed pepper spray and attack dogs against a group of Native American activists. The protesters have been attempting the halt the construction of a $3.8 billion oil pipeline that would cut directly through their tribal land and sacred burial grounds in North Dakota . At least six protesters have suffered bites from security dogs, including a young child, according to Standing Rock Sioux tribe spokesman Steve Sitting Bear. In addition, at least 30 people were pepper sprayed. The Morton County Sheriff’s Office reports injuries on their side as well, with four private security guards and two guard dogs injured in the clash. There were no law enforcement officers present during the incident, and no arrests were made. The construction project is currently being considered by a federal judge, who is expected to rule on the Dakota Access oil pipeline on September 9th. Permits have already been granted to the developers by the Army Corps of Engineers, however, activists claim that the project will destroy their sacred sites and potentially poison drinking water used by 8,000 tribe members. Related: The Keystone-style pipeline you probably didn’t know about To add insult to injury, the tribe has only recently been given access to the land in question to survey it, delaying their ability to take legal action. Already, the tribe has accused construction crews of removing topsoil from an area 2 miles long, overturning ancient cairns and stone prayer rings on an ancestral burial site. Tribe Chairman David Archambault II said in a statement, “In one day, our sacred land has been turned into hollow ground.” The protests are said to be the largest gathering of Native Americans in over a century, with members of over 90 tribes lending their support. Via RawStory Images via Tomas Alejo

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Oil company sics attack dogs on Native American protestors in North Dakota

M6.8 quake in Myanmar causes historic Bagan monuments to crumble

August 25, 2016 by  
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A magnitude 6.8 earthquake shook central Myanmar on Wednesday, damaging many historic temples dating back to the 11th century. In an ironic twist, much of the damage was actually sustained by modern building materials , which Myanmar ’s former rulers had ordered throughout numerous ‘restoration’ projections that disregarded the original architecture of the monuments in question. The powerful earthquake hit 310 miles from the border of India, and was felt as far away as Kolkata, but no deaths have been reported. Embed from Getty Images Rulers of Bagan, the capital city of the Pagan (pronounced PUH’-gahn) empire, built over 10,000 magnificent religious monuments during their 250-year reign, and around 2,000 were thought to remain prior to this week’s earthquake . Now, scores of stupas, temples, and monasteries may have been destroyed forever by the powerful tremor . Officials have secured the historic sites to prevent further damage or injury, while they devise a plan for how to proceed. Related: Dozens killed by powerful earthquake in picturesque rural region of central Italy Despite the age and historic significance of the Bagan monuments, the ruins were denied the label and privilege of World Heritage Site . UNESCO was not impressed with the restoration attempts, which started in the early 1990s, and the site became even less likely to ever receive the honor after the 2005 unveiling of a nearly 200-foot-tall viewing tower, which UNESCO officials criticized as detracting from the historic monuments. Via Phys.org Lead image via USGS

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M6.8 quake in Myanmar causes historic Bagan monuments to crumble

Amazing floating restaurant in Mexico shaped like a bird’s nest

August 25, 2016 by  
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“Nido”, which translates to “nest” in English, is one of three restaurants at the striking Mar Adentro Hotel in San José del Cabo, Mexico . Mimicking bird nests one might find in nature, the restaurant looks like an otherworldly structure surrounded by water. Related: Floating solar-powered Waternest eco-home is nearly 100% recyclable A network of walkways connect the pool, hotel and restaurant and create a beautiful promenade from which people can take in the architecture. The interior of the nest is surprisingly simple, with chairs, bar tables and lounges designed as minimalist pieces. Visually, the furniture doesn’t compete with the roof structure. Instead, it complements it with subtle textures and patterns. + Miguel Ángel Aragonés Via Contemporist Photos by Joe Fletcher

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Amazing floating restaurant in Mexico shaped like a bird’s nest

Dozens killed by powerful earthquake in picturesque rural region of central Italy

August 24, 2016 by  
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The death toll continues to rise after a magnitude 6.2 earthquake shook the mountainous countryside in central Italy around 3:30 a.m. local time . This morning, officials are reporting at least 39 deaths related to the earthquake, many of which were residents of Pescara del Tronto, one of the many small villages close to the earthquake’s epicenter. With many buildings completely destroyed by the earthquake, rescue workers have a difficult task ahead as they sort through rubble in search of survivors. Embed from Getty Images Last night’s powerful earthquake hit 6.2 miles (10 km) southeast of Norcia, in a rural mountain region of Italy popular among tourists. After the initial quake, a series of at least eight smaller aftershocks pounded the area, including a 5.5 magnitude quake less than three miles from Norcia. The last significant earthquake to hit the region occurred in 1997, when a magnitude 6.0 quake killed 11 people and destroyed 80,000 homes. Related: “Cyborg artist” can sense earthquakes around the world as they happen Embed from Getty Images Destruction from the earthquake is widespread, although the small town of Amatrice (pictured above) may have suffered the most damage . The town of 2,000 residents just north of Italy’s Lazio region, and southeast of the initial quake. Reportedly, the entire town is in ruins, and the mayor has issued a plea for assistance. “The town is no more,” Mayor Sergio Pirozzi told a CNN affiliate. In Amatrice and other small villages, rescue workers are using cell phones to locate earthquake victims. They call the phones of missing residents and, if someone answers, rescue workers learn their location and attempt to reach them. If there is no answer, they move on to the next name on the list. As rescue work continues, officials say the death toll is expected to rise further in the coming days, and it will be months before the structural damage is fully assessed. At first glance, it seems likely that many areas will be rendered uninhabitable, and perhaps become ghost towns. Via CNN and USGS Lead image via USGS via screenshot

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Dozens killed by powerful earthquake in picturesque rural region of central Italy

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