Christchurch cathedral collapsed, its high spire gone.
“ "Multiple fatalities have been reported
at several locations in the central city, including
two buses crushed by falling buildings. A doctor and
emergency services are attending," police said
in a statement.”
Approximately 400,000 people are in the city centre
during the work day. Last time, the city centre was mostly
empty, that quake being at night.
There is a lot of devastation, including collapsed buildings,
in the centre of Christchurch, with some estimates of
deaths already at 200, and rising.
While New Zealand is in an earthquake zone, this is the
worst damage done by an earthquake in New Zealand since
quake of 1931, when 256 people died and the centre
of that town was burnt out.
Note that, despite this earthquake being a little over
a tenth of the strength of the last one in September 2010,
it was much nearer to the centre of the city, and much
nearer the surface. Hence the actual experience of the
disturbance for those caught in it was much more violent.
22 February 2011 - Lyttelton
4 September 2010 - Darfield
time of day
distance from city centre
approx. 10 km
approx. 5 km
Satellite map of Christchurch, New
Earthquake epicentre: Lyttelton.
Christchurch University are tracking aftershocks in the region since the September 2010 earthquake. A fault
is deemed to be running west to east (left to right), with the aftershocks tending to move eastwards.
So far they have plotted nearly five thousand aftershocks, shown in the map above. For more details go to
“The situation is even worse when a subject
is fashionable. In recent years, for instance, there
have been hundreds of studies on the various genes that
control the differences in disease risk between men
and women. These findings have included everything from
the mutations responsible for the increased risk of
schizophrenia to the genes underlying hypertension.
Ioannidis and his colleagues looked at four hundred
and thirty-two of these claims. They quickly discovered
that the vast majority had serious flaws. But the most
troubling fact emerged when he looked at the test of
replication: out of four hundred and thirty-two claims,
only a single one was consistently replicable.
“This doesn’t mean that none of these claims
will turn out to be true,” he says. “But,
given that most of them were done badly, I wouldn’t
hold my breath.”
small part of a clear reproduction of the gene tree chart (the small online
version also expands greatly).
“To peer back in time, the researchers created
family trees of closely related genes. It is similar
to a family tree — with aunts, uncles and cousins
— but instead of family members, the "branches"
are DNA sequences from different organisms.
“ "What we found when we constructed these
gene trees for all these different gene families is
that 27 percent of the roots of these trees all seem
to be dated to this period in Earth's history,"
weights can be variable - eleven named so far
“The biennial review of atomic-weight determinations
and other cognate data has resulted in changes for the
standard atomic weights of 11 elements. Many atomic
weights are not constants of nature, but depend upon
the physical, chemical, and nuclear history of the material.”
[Quoted from iupac.org]
“Atomic weight and atomic number are two different
“Atomic number refers to the number of protons
in an atom. It starts at 1 with hydrogen and goes up
sequentially to element 118, ununoctium, on the latest
table of known elements.
“Atomic weight is calculated based on the number
of isotopes of any given element. A handful have only
one isotope and therefore a stable atomic weight, but
most elements have more than one isotope, carbon 12,
13 or 14, for example.
“ "We take a weighted sum of the isotopes
... and calculate the atomic weight based on the masses
of each of the isotopes," explained Wieser.
“The first elements that are changing from a
fixed atomic weight to an interval are hydrogen, lithium,
boron, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, silicon, sulphur, chlorine
and thalium.” [Quoted from news.yahoo.com]
So the revised weights are
“hydrogen, Ar(H), is [1.007 84; 1.008 11] from
lithium, Ar(Li), is [6.938; 6.997] from 6.941(2);
boron, Ar(B), is [10.806; 10.821] from 10.811(7);
carbon, Ar(C), is [12.0096; 12.0116] from 12.0107(8);
nitrogen, Ar(N), is [14.006 43; 14.007 28] from 14.0067(2);
oxygen, Ar(O), is [15.999 03; 15.999 77] from 15.9994(3);
silicon, Ar(Si), is [28.084; 28.086] from 28.0855(3);
sulfur, Ar(S), is [32.059; 32.076] from 32.065(2);
chlorine, Ar(Cl), is [35.446; 35.457] from 35.453(2);
thallium, Ar(Tl), is [204.382; 204.385] from 204.3833(2).
“The standard atomic weight of germanium, Ar(Ge),
was also changed to 72.63(1) from 72.64(1).”
“The interval is used together with the symbol
[a; b] to denote the set of atomic-weight values, Ar(E),
of element E in normal materials for which a = Ar(E)
= b. The symbols a and b denote the bounds of the interval
[a; b].” [Quoted from iupac.org]
“No cameras were harmed in the making of these
A long, extraordinary video, compiled from 125 engineering
cameras used to monitor the behaviour of NASA Space Shuttles
as they take off.
The commentary is by two of the engineers/scientists
responsible for the safe functioning of the shuttles.
The first shuttle, STS-1, flew on 12 April 1981. This
was the twentieth aniversary of the first manned space
flight, made by Yuri Gagarin in Vostok 1. STS-1 was the
first, and only, US manned maiden test flight of a new
spacecraft system (there had, however, been atmospheric
test flights of the Space Shuttle orbiter - the craft
containing the astronauts that flies back to Earth that
is carried into space by the rocket). This rocket was
the first to use a solid-fuel system and was the first
of 27 flights of the orbiter Columbia.
Random interesting space shuttle fact:
Only the first two space shuttles had their large
external tank (ET) painted white. Painting was stopped
in order to save the overall shuttle weight - the weight
of paint used being about 272 kilograms/600 lb. Thus,
most ETs are orange.