The Meers fault in Southwestern Oklahoma.
There were 179 earthquakes in Oklahoma in just the last 7 days. Which is crazy. What's more the frequency of earthquakes in the state has dramatically increased since 2004. What was once a freak occurrence has become so common that I'm now more accustomed to hearing about earthquakes from family in Oklahoma than from friends in California. So what gives?
Earthquakes happen all the time in places where you don't expect earthquakes to happen. If you read an interview I did in 2010, you'll learn that Oklahoma does have plenty of faults and the state has been recording earthquakes since anybody started keeping records. The ground shaking at all: That's completely normal. This sharp increase in frequency and size of quakes, though, is weird. Last October, the Oklahoma Geological Survey released the results of a study that suggested these changes in how Oklahoma experiences earthquakes are different from what you'd expect as a part of natural variation.
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Armadillos collect leaf litter that they use to build nests in their burrows. Because carrying is difficult when you're shaped like an armadillo, the animals opt for bunching a pile of leaves up against their abdomens
and kind of hopping backwards toward their hidey holes. And all of that is a sciencey introduction to this video of an armadillo dancing to Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean".
[via Laughing Squid]
FYI, Bay Area readers — if you rode BART between February 4 and February 7, you may have been exposed to measles
by an unvaccinated student who picked up the disease on a trip to Asia. Symptoms are similar to those of a cold, plus a rash. If this matches anything you (even adults who have been vaccinated could probably use a booster) or your children have been experiencing, call a doctor. — Maggie
Scientists name a bacteria after Frank Zappa. The press release announcing this somehow manages to make Zappa sound insanely square. — Maggie
This is the Hughes Glomar Explorer, a ship that's as important to the history of engineering as it is to the history of insanely crazy Cold War CIA schemes.
In 1970s, the CIA used this ship to capture a sunken Russian nuclear submarine — i.e., lifting a 2000-ton object from a depth of three miles to the surface. It was the most expensive intelligence operation ever and it only kind of worked.
Buzzfeed's Tom Phillips has done a pretty nice job of creating a series of GIFs that explain, in a simplified way, why this winter has been particularly shitty
in both North America and northern Europe — and why that can all be linked back to warming in the south Pacific. — Maggie
Yesterday, in the comments on my post about ways to use a breast pump more efficiently
, a couple of people lamented the lack of a regular, science-heavy parenting blog. Ah, but such a thing does actually exist. I highly recommend Science News' Growth Curve — a blog about the science of child development and kid raising by Laura Sanders. Recent posts include: The research that shows miracle sleep systems don't work
and a really nicely nuanced look at whether or not you need to worry about feeding kids organic food
. — Maggie
Three months ago, Pakistani exchange student Muhammad Shahzaib Bajwa was injured in a car wreck. He's been in a coma ever since, in a hospital in Duluth, Minn. Now, his family fears he will be deported while comatose — stuck on a plane with little medical aide and delivered to an area of Pakistan that doesn't have the medical infrastructure he needs. What's more, this kind of thing apparently happens all the time
There seems to be a lot of miscommunication happening in this case between the hospital, the State Department, and the family of Muhammad Bajwa. Case in point, the State Department has since told the Minneapolis Star Tribune that they are not seeking to deport Bajwa
, which seems to go counter to what the hospital understood and, possibly, what they told the Bajwas. — Maggie
One man is believed dead and another was injured after a natural gas well near Bobtown, Pennsylvania exploded a week ago. From the reporting by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the accident was probably started by a mistake or stray spark that caught natural gas at the well site on fire. The fire later spread to a nearby propane tanker trunk which exploded. It's the kind of accident that can happen when you're dealing with flammable hydrocarbons. (There's nothing here really specific to fracking techniques, from what I can tell.) But, it's a tragedy for those injured and killed and, if you're the company that owns the well, it makes sense that you'd try to respond to community concerns in some way.
In this case, Chevron decided on gift certificates for free pizza. But not just any gift certificates for free pizza. As Philly.com blogger Will Bunch noted, you can only use the certificate to purchase a large special combo. Hopefully, you weren't angling for meat lovers. On the other hand, you do get a free soda, too.
Basically, points for realizing they needed to respond to the community. But Chevron really flubbed the execution, here.
This bird is known as the "white-necklaced tit".
If Leonardo da Vinci made the drawing using a recently deceased cadaver as a model, then the hernia could have very well been the reason said model was dead. — Maggie
Yes, this is a review of a nursing bra. No, this is not me getting all mommyblogger. If you are a woman with a new kid and you work, then milking yourself is a weird and frequent part of your work schedule. It's also obnoxious. So I want to make sure you know about two ways to make it a little less obnoxious. One is a Kickstarter-funded product (i.e., a handy solution to an everyday problem created by an inventive Maker). The other is a simple hack you can do at your desk for $1.50. In other words, this is about boobs and babies. And it's also very BoingBoing.
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A couple of weeks ago, on Twitter, a reader challenged my assumption that driving under the influence of marijuana would be dangerous. The conversation made me curious and I went to see what science had to say. Turns out, there is some interesting nuance behind the relative risks of stoned driving. Research shows that it's not safe to get behind a wheel while high ... but it is safer than driving while drunk
. — Maggie
To quote another journalist: "Well, that's going to be standing-room-only."