I've posted several different explanations here describing how earthquakes and tsunamis work. This week, though, the Miller-McCune Curiouser and Curiouser podcast takes that generalized information and does a nice job of applying it specifically to Japan. First, they talk about the general stuff—plate tectonics and why earthquakes happen. Then they talk about the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami—and how the general facts play out into real-world disasters.
On Wednesday, March 9, two days before the main event, there was a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on the plate boundary just East of Japan under the Pacific Ocean. Not the main thing but still a very big earthquake, the kind this part of Japan gets every few decades. This time, though, very bad. Part of the Pacific Plate came unstuck and suddenly shifted underneath Japan. The part that moved put even more strain on the much larger part of the Pacific Plate that was still really, really stuck—and two days later, the strain was too much. On March 11, a huge stretch of the Pacific Plate, maybe 300 miles long, broke free and surged westward under Japan—as much as 120 ft of movement, all at once. At the same time, the plate Japan sits on moved east by 9 feet.
If you want to skip ahead to the Tohoku tsunami description, it begins at about -2:50 in the podcast
The image above is a detail from a really informative poster that the USGS has put together.
Via Kerri Wachter
Timothy writes, “Diego Gómez is a Colombian conservation biologist. When he was a college student, he shared a single research paper online so that others could read and learn from it, just as he did. Diego was criminally prosecuted for copyright infringement, and faced up to 8 years in prison.”
Sometimes, in the course of his work, University of Florida molecular geneticist Martin Cohn must travel with unusual items like a 3D-printed mouse penis. Similarly, University of Massachusetts biologist Diane Kelly totes around anatomical models like a mold of a dolphin vagina. They’re not alone in the odd science-related items they must fly with, from […]
Rod McCullom at Undark has a terrific overview of the perpetual “virtual lineup,” where half of all American adults “are enrolled in unregulated facial recognition networks used by state and local law enforcement agencies.”
Boasting an IPX6 waterproof rating, the Trakk Bullet Ultra Compact Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker resists dust and heavy rainfall. It’s currently available in the Boing Boing Store.The Trakk Bullet offers the same wireless convenience as other portable speakers, but few are built as tough as this one. Its utilitarian construction is designed to be a totally low-maintenance […]
The Ticwatch 2 Active Smartwatch is a simpler take on an active wearable that raised over $2m dollars on Kickstarter and is currently offered in the Boing Boing Store.Somewhere in between the single-day battery life and platform-specificity of the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices, there exists the Ticwatch. Instead of trying to shoehorn another […]
Loot Crate is a subscription service that delivers a box of curated pop culture goods to your doorstep. To sample their geeky wares, you can order a single mystery box exclusively from the Boing Boing Store.Each month Loot Crate sends you 6-7 unique items and apparel, including collectibles, books, and t-shirts. Pulling inspiration from all […]