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Weekend shorts (including Japan earthquake links) Grant Jacobs Mar 12

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A collection of links and comments on articles and discussions elsewhere that might interest my readers. I hope there is something here for everyone.

This post has been overtaken by the massive earthquake in Japan last evening, hitting with over 1000 times the force of the Feb. 22nd Christchurch earthquake. An early collection of images can be seen on the LA Time website (who also brought an excellent photo collection for the Feb. 22nd Christchurch earthquake); another can be found at the Boston Globe. The tsunami is clearly a major disaster, and has breached whatever tsunami walls were present. Japanese rescue workers assisting at Christchurch are travelling back to Japan to assist.

For New Zealand, Civil Defence statements on television are that the tsunami will hopefully only have an impact in upper Northland and mainly on boaties (e.g. strong currents). Advice is to stay away from beaches and rivers near coastlines, not to go swimming (etc.) and not to go sightseeing. The full advisory is available at the Civil Defence website.

ScienceInsider explains that the event was larger than was expected to occur. (‘And Japan’s latest national seismic risk map gave a 99% chance of a magnitude-7.5 or greater quake occurring in that area in the next 30 years, Geller says.’) John Horgan writing at Scientific American offers a few words on earthquake prediction and warning.

My thoughts and best wishes for all those in Japan.

The remainder of this post was written prior to the Japan earthquake.

Drawing the map of life - cover

The Human Genome Project celebrated it’s tenth anniversary a little while ago. Michael Morgan’s review of the Victor McElheny’s book, Drawing the Map of Life, has itself a potted history of the early stages of the project, one well worth reading. (I admit to a slight vested interest: I was a student at the institute that John Sulston worked at, at the time.)

Still on the subject of genomes, Emily Willingham writes about her and her partner’s experience of personal genomics.

Discussions You could try an interactive involvement and encourage those uncertain about Ken Ring’s earthquake ‘predictions’ to look more closely at his claims on his Facebook page. (Be warned, though, that this Facebook group has an element of a ‘fan’ scene with a few individuals thinking it their job to muscle out those who offer constructive criticism or point to sources of information.)

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