March 11, 2016


Search the web for this image to see all the places that have copied my colorized version of this nifty photo.


Today I found out that the earthquake in Japan on March, 11, moved the Earth on its axis by about 4 to 6 inches, which resulted in shortening of a day by around 1.8 microseconds.

Massive earthquakes typically affect the Earth’s rotation with the impact of every individual earthquake depending on its magnitude, location, and the details of how the fault slipped. The 8.9/9.0 magnitude earthquake which hit the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan at around 2:46 pm on March, 11 caused extreme damage and unleashed a devastating tsunami a day after, when waves crashed 10 kilometers inland.

This was the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan and the subsequent tsunami traveled across the Pacific Ocean, reaching as far as the western coasts of Canada, the U.S. and Chile. In addition to this, during the first 24 hours, the initial earthquake triggered more than 160 aftershocks. …

5 Years Since the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake

A tsunami reaches Miyako City, overtopping seawalls and flooding streets in Iwate Prefecture, Japan, after the magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck the area March 11, 2011.

Five years ago a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off Japan’s northeastern shore—the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan—generating enormous tsunami waves that spread across miles of shoreline, climbing as high as 130 feet (40 meters). The powerful inundation of seawater tore apart coastal towns and villages, carrying ships inland as thousands of homes were flattened, then washed tons of debris and vehicles back out to sea. Damage to the reactors at TEPCO’s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant then caused a third disaster, contaminating a wide area that still forces nearly 100,000 residents to live as evacuees. The March 11 earthquake and subsequent disasters cost tens of billions of dollars, and nearly 16,000 lives. …

Visual Stunningness…….

How a hacker’s typo helped stop a billion dollar bank heist

A spelling mistake in an online bank transfer instruction helped prevent a nearly $1 billion heist last month involving the Bangladesh central bank and the New York Federal Reserve, banking officials said.

Unknown hackers still managed to get away with about $80 million, one of the largest known bank thefts in history.

The hackers breached Bangladesh Bank’s systems and stole its credentials for payment transfers, two senior officials at the bank said. They then bombarded the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with nearly three dozen requests to move money from the Bangladesh Bank’s account there to entities in the Philippines and Sri Lanka, the officials said. …

10 Intriguing Stories About Real-Life Water Oddities

From deadly water hazards to strange escape islands to curious Easter eggs that can be unlocked with the code word “Listverse,” here are 10 intriguing stories about real-life water oddities.

10. Kick ‘Em Jenny

On August 5, 1944, the Island Queen, a wooden schooner, vanished in the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean between St. Vincent and Grenada. All 60 people aboard were lost.

With World War II in full swing, many people assumed that the boat had been torpedoed by an Allied or German submarine. But there was absolutely no debris in the water, which didn’t make sense.

Scientists now believe that a natural underwater predator devoured the ship whole, somewhat like humpback whales use bubble nets. As we discussed earlier, five to eight humpbacks will swim beneath a school of herring and release columns of bubbles from their blowholes to encircle the frightened fish. Then the whales open their huge mouths and swallow their trapped prey. …

Obama’s Biggest Bet

Hint: It doesn’t involve Syria.

The title of Jeffery Goldberg’s very fine essay notwithstanding, there is no Obama Doctrine. Indeed, over the course of his on-the-job education in statecraft, President Obama has developed a pronounced aversion to doctrines—grand statements of principle that subsequently provide an enduring basis for policy.

Such, at least, has been the function of doctrines in the American diplomatic tradition. In 1823, President Monroe famously declared the Western Hemisphere off-limits “for future colonization by any European powers.” Over time, the Monroe Doctrine evolved into an assertion of U.S. hegemony throughout the Americas. In 1947, President Truman declared it “the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures.” The Truman Doctrine became the cornerstone of the Cold War strategy of containment. Wars in Korea and Vietnam numbered among the consequences. …

How a contested convention could allow Republicans to snatch Trump’s crown

If no candidate gets to the magical threshold of 1,237 party delegates, the Republican national convention would become very messy indeed – and insiders can’t even agree on how it would play out

Donald Trump hopes to make a decisive move towards the 1,237 delegates he needs to lock up the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday, when Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio and the Northern Mariana Islands all vote, with a total of 367 delegates up for grabs as the contest moves to a winner-takes-all phase in many states.

Texas senator Ted Cruz is attempting to encourage Republicans to rally round him as the “stop Trump” candidate. But increasingly the GOP establishment have been floating the idea of preventing the New York businessman from winning the nomination not at the ballot box but in a “contested convention”, which would bring another candidate – Florida senator Marco Rubio, Ohio governor John Kasich and 2012 GOP duo Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have all been floated – in over the heads of the voters at the party’s July convention.

“Reagan and Ford battled it out in a contested convention,” Cruz told Fox News this week. “That’s what conventions are for.”

For the first time since the invention of social media and 24-hour cable news, a major party may decide its presidential nominee on the convention floor. But what exactly is a contested convention? …

10 Strange Hybrids That Were Never Born

In the lab, it sometimes makes sense to combine the eggs and sperm of distantly related species. Scientists do it to assess the fertility of sperm or to study what happens during fertilization.

Most of these combinations—for better or worse—don’t make it very far. Maybe they’ll divide to make a two-cell embryo or perhaps a hollow ball. Either way, they eventually fizzle out.

So we’re just left with a bunch tiny, dead things . . . and one big question. What would these creatures look like if they had been born?

10. Sheep-Cow

By crossing yaks and cows, we can make yakows. By crossing cows and buffalo, we can make beefalo. And every once in a while, if the stars align just right, we might manage to make a geep (part goat, part sheep).

Sheep-cow hybrids, in contrast, seem to be a bridge too far.

In the lab, we can try to force the question. In one experiment, for example, scientists inseminated cows with sheep sperm. They inseminated each cow twice, and they also tried sperm from several breeds of sheep. Unfortunately for the researchers, nothing took. …

Mac Miller Reignites Feud With Donald Trump on ‘The Nightly Show’

There was a time when Donald Trump christened Mac Miller “the new Eminem” following the success of 20 million plays on Mac’s single ‘Donald Trump.’ However, when the song hit 40 million plays Trump began hinting he wanted some money from Mac, and things have been rocky between the two ever since.

Last night, Miller decided to address Trump during an appearance on The Nightly Show. He doesn’t perform a song’ but rather just a rant toward Donald where he attempts to “white-splain” things to him. …

Trump’s rough handling of rally dissenters stirs questions

To Rakeem Jones, flanked on all sides by uniformed sheriff’s deputies, it was more than just the shock of being ejected from a political rally for Donald Trump. The black man felt as if he was being transported back in time.

“It’s not the America they portray on TV,” the 26-year-old said, the day after he was wrestled to the ground by officers and punched in the face during the campaign event in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

But to friend Ronnie Rouse, who caught the incident on video, it was “totally American.”

“This is the America everybody wants to ignore,” the music producer told The Associated Press Thursday. “This is the America, when people tell you, ‘Oh, racism doesn’t exist.’ It’s here.” …


This Day In History: March 11, 1888

On March 10, 1888, temperatures in the Northeast rose into the 50s after an exceptionally mild winter. Farmers were beginning to ready their fields, crocuses were sprouting in some areas, and people were looking forward to an early spring. By March 11, the region was caught in the grip of what became known as “the White Hurricane”- the blizzard by which all other blizzards are measured.

In the days before any sort of accurate meteorological forecasting, this monster storm took most by surprise. It wreaked havoc from New Jersey all the way to Maine. The snowfall jackpot hit central New England, but the largest societal impact occurred in New York City. Rural people tend to fare better in big storms than densely populated city folk. …

Trump: the great orange-haired Unintended Consequence

The public is exasperated by the political system to the point that it is enjoying a kind of catharsis, the indiscriminate smashing of things as performance art

Donald Trump is not really exceptional among current Republican presidential candidates. He is the one with the brightest plumage, of course, and the one who has had long experience at cultivating celebrity. If Trump seems strangely incapable of consistency except in the matter of walling out and deporting immigrants, somber Ted Cruz is lurking nearby to alarm us with his ideological purity. If Trump is his own invention, there is Rubio, the polished creature of hired advisors and their moment-to-moment calculations.

The only satisfaction to be found in a Trump win lies in the fact that the others have lost, and lost badly. On the other hand, Trump’s bluster distracts attention from the others’ stated positions, so if one of his competitors manages finally to make the case, to the public or the party, that he is least objectionable, the claim might well be groundless.

Trump and the others are the product of the souring of the party system. Someone should point out, in these days when the constitution is so constantly and pietistically invoked, that political parties are not mentioned in the constitution, and that the prescient founders warned emphatically against them for reasons that should be clear to us now. …

Paul Ryan’s Brain-Twisting Rationales For Why You Should Be Ripped Off

Paul Ryan—the lovable Republican, who cares in theory about poverty. Right? My friends, I’m afraid that the only thing Paul Ryan demonstrably cares about is breathtaking levels of pro-Wall Street doublespeak.

Here’s a boring phrase: “the fiduciary standard.” Okay, fine. Many important things in life are “boring,” to small-minded people. What this fiduciary standard means is that people who give you advice about what to do with your money and what to invest in are required to advise you based on what is good for you. We can contrast that with financial advisors who advise you to do what is best for them, such as “buy a high-fee mutual fund product that will make me money but will make you less money than a cheaper product that would not make me as much money.”

The fiduciary standard essentially requires that your financial advisor does not rip you off. Many people assume that their advisor adheres to this standard already. In fact many are not required to do so! And so many Americans are taken advantage of by their financial advisors, in one way or another, because their financial advisors are not required by law to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own. …

Postcards For The Dying Boys: The Hoax That Became Real

It’s a lot easier to help someone in need when helping is a wildly popular viral trend. No one would have cared about ALS if the Ice Bucket Challenge didn’t turn raising awareness into a fun meme anyone could do. Want people to give teddy bears to underprivileged children? You can ask them to donate, or you can tell them to throw 28,815 of the plush bastards onto the ice at the same time during a hockey game:

See, what sounds like a fun idea can become a mess once it actually happens (how many kids got skate-slashed teddy bears in their stockings that year?) because no one is paying close enough attention to what they’re doing. Sometimes the thing that looked like a sweet idea turns out to be really, really stupid.

This is exactly what happened in the summer of 1982, when a boy from Paisley, Scotland, named Buddy was on the receiving end of a global effort to make his dream come true. Buddy had leukemia. He was 8 years old, and doctors said he had only 18 months to live. Buddy wanted to do something special with his remaining time. He wanted to be remembered. He wanted to be in the Guinness Book of World Records for having received more postcards than anyone in history.

Buddy, circa 1984.

That’s not the most exciting world record ever, granted. But Buddy wasn’t going to be jumping the Grand Canyon on a rocket cycle anytime soon, so postcards it was. …

My Summer Job at the Bohemian Grove, Serving Milkshakes to the Shitfaced Global Elite

“Anyone can aspire to be President of the United States, but few have any hope of becoming President of the Bohemian Club,” Richard Nixon reportedly once said. But for a kid growing up in Sonoma County, California near the Bohemian Grove, the club’s ultra-exclusive campground, getting a service job there was easy.

The elite need a lot of help to unwind in the wilderness. So every year, hundreds of young people shuffle through the Grove’s assembly-line hiring process to spend several weeks bussing their picnic tables and parking their Porsches.

The Bohemian Club, founded in 1872, was originally composed of journalists and musicians (“bohemians”). Over the years, though, the artists’ patrons assumed a larger percentage of the membership. For most of the last century, the Club has been known for its ties to politicians and powerful executives. Members and their guests included Dick Cheney, Walter Cronkite, Donald Rumsfeld, Clint Eastwood and nearly every former GOP president dating back to Eisenhower. In Sonoma County, the Grove, a 2,700-acre expanse of forest owned by the Club, is known for its willingness to hire local kids to work at the three-week-long Encampment each summer, when members come to sleep under the picturesque redwoods, participate in performing arts, and get wasted with their friends. …

He Rescued A Dog. Then The Dog Rescued Him.

Eric O’Grey knew he was in trouble. His weight had ballooned to 320 pounds, and he was spending more than $1,000 a month on medications for high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol.

In 2010, a physician told him to buy a funeral plot, because he would need it in five years. He was 51 years old.

So he went to talk with a naturopathic doctor about losing weight. She said: Get a shelter dog.

O’Grey was surprised, but he took that advice, heading to the Humane Society Silicon Valley near his home in San Jose, Calif. He told the shelter, “I want an obese middle-aged dog, like me.” That’s how he met Peety. …

10 Spooky Spirits Who Guided Intriguing People

The term “spirit guide” is used to describe a spirit that offers wisdom or protection to living beings. Typically, someone acts as a channel for the spirit, using verbal or written communication to transmit its messages. These people are usually called mediums. The personality of the medium changes depending on the guide they’re channeling.

Often, these spirits are historical figures, such as William Shakespeare. The famous playwright was a common encounter for mediums in the 18th and 19th centuries. Other times, the spirits are less well-known. They also tend to be “elevated beings,” such as special orders or Tibetan masters. Frequently, it’s not only the spirit guide that’s interesting, but also the person being used as a channel. Here are some of those intriguing individuals and the spirits that they claimed guided them.

10. William Thomas Stead And Julia Ames

William Thomas Stead was a pioneering journalist who crusaded against the 1876 Turkish atrocities. He also tackled London’s horrible housing problem and shocked his readers by exposing the extent of child prostitution in the city. Stead was also an enthusiastic spiritualist from the age of 20.

From 1897 onward, Stead published a number of messages from a dead US Methodist journalist and reformer named Julia Ames. The collection was called After Death, Or, Letters from Julia: A Personal Narrative. He insisted that communications from Julia did not proceed from his conscious mind.

Any doubts that Stead may have had about psychic phenomena faded away when his eldest son, Willie, died in December 1907 at age 33. Almost every week during the next year, he received what he believed were messages from his dead son. Two years later, he founded Julia’s Bureau, an office “to enable those who had lost their dead [ . . . ] to get in touch with them again.” Julia was considered the guiding force behind the bureau’s work. …

No, Science Is Not Faith-Based

Even the most well-learned scientist, working within the frameworks of the most robustly tested and verified theories, can never be certain that the next experiment or measurement will continue to provide the results that we expect. Last month, when the LIGO collaboration announced the direct detection of gravitational waves for the first time, it confirmed a new aspect of Einstein’s general relativity: one that had been predicted and whose consequences had been seen indirectly — through the decay of neutron star orbits — but one that we couldn’t be sure about until we validated it directly. But writing in the Wall Street Journal, Matt Emerson makes the erroneous claim that science is faith-based, too. Here’s the crux of his argument, followed by why it falls apart. …

‘Body Hacking’ Movement Rises Ahead Of Moral Answers

A curious crowd lingered around Amal Graafstra as he carefully unpacked a pair of gloves, a small sterile blanket and a huge needle. A long line of people were waiting to get tiny computer chips implanted into their hands.

Graafstra had set up shop in a booth in the middle of an exhibit hall at the Austin Convention Center in Texas’ capital, where he gathered last month with several hundred others who call themselves “body hackers” — people who push the boundaries of implantable technology to improve the human body.

The movement evokes visceral reactions, brings up safety and ethical concerns and quickly veers into sci-fi questions about the line between human and cyborg. …

Were the Mysterious Bog People Human Sacrifices?

A British archaeologist argues that the miraculously preserved bodies were left in the water as offerings to the gods.

Sometime around 60 A.D., a man was led into a marsh outside Cheshire, England to be killed. He was in his mid-twenties, stood about 5’ 7’’ tall, and had a trimmed beard, moustache, and brown hair. Except for an armband made out of fox fur, he was naked. It’s likely that he was accompanied, and restrained, by two or more individuals.

The details of his death make for grisly reading.

First, he received a blow from a blunt object to the top of his head, probably while he was seated, which fractured his skull. Then a cord was thrown around his neck. While he was being throttled, his throat was cut. Combined with the pressure from the noose, this would have caused a geyser of blood to erupt from the wound. Finally, he received a sharp kick to the small of his back, propelling him face-first into the waters of the bog, where, nearly two thousand years later, he was found by workers digging for peat in the Lindow Moss. …


ou may think the reason toothpaste makes things like orange juice taste so awful is simply due to the common mint flavor of toothpaste clashing with other flavors, but this isn’t actually what’s going on here. The real culprit is thought to be two compounds almost universally added to toothpastes -sodium lauryl sulfate and sodium lauryl ether sulfate, which are anionic surfactants, meaning they lower the surface tension of water.

Why is that desirable in toothpaste? Because it works as something of a detergent, and makes the toothpaste foam to help it spread around inside your mouth easier. Besides any cleaning effect, this has the by-product of making you feel like the toothpaste is doing something, which toothpaste manufacturers have found to be a great way to get people to buy more of their toothpaste. …

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