Daily Archives: August 3, 2009

When things fall over

Dave and I were sitting in the back yard of the cabin on Cape Cod, having a beer and watching something get cooked on the grill. Dave was an architectural engineer, and the cabin was in an interior location probably in Dennis or Harwich (can’t remember … I spent a lot of time in cabins on Cape Cod doing archeology and stuff) and we were so close to the town water tower that we had to crane our neck back to read it.

So I said to Dave, “If that sucker fell over in our direction, we’d get wet. And dead.”

Dave said, “No way, man. Big things like that don’t fall over. They fall down. There is no over. Trust me. I’m an architectural engineer, I know what I’m talking about.”

So ever since then, I’ve never worried that much being near, but not under, a big giant thing. But now, I know Dave was full of shit:

The damn thing rolls over! Onto its roof! Holy crap!

Latest Republican Strategy of Violence

Remember the election, when Republican political leaders such as Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh (The heart and brains of the party) and Michele Bachmann (whom I shall not attempt to define) encouraged their followers to be violent? Well, it is happening again, only this time in relation to opposing health care reform.

This sort of thing:

is being done as part of an organized effort by the Republican party.

This sort of thing is happening with greater frequency and greater severity every day. This is the legacy of John McCain and Dick Cheney.

B.N. Sullivan Is the New Photo Synthesis Blogger

Photo Synthesis is a rotating showcase of the best science photography on the web….

B.N. (Bobbie) Sullivan has a strong affinity for the sea and everything in it. She first learned to dive in 1970 and has since logged thousands of dives. A wish to document the marine life she encountered prompted her to learn underwater photography more than 20 years ago. More recently, she began to write about the marine life she has photographed. A research psychologist by profession, she approaches her subject matter with the mindset of a scientist, but targets her writing to a general readership in whom she hopes to foster an appreciation for the ocean and its inhabitants.

You can see Nemo here!

ATM Scammers Pwn Selves

A fake Automatic Teller Machine set up in a hotel lobby can collect PIN’s, account information, even credit card numbers. This is why you should be careful where you stick your card. In a moment of great irony, one such machine was set up in the hotel at a conference hosting 8,000 security professionals. They noticed.

The criminals probably didn’t realize that they were installing their ATM in a hotel that was soon going to be flooded with more than 8,000 security professionals, he added.

They were smart enough to place the machine in one of the few spots in the hotel where there was no security camera to catch them, Priest said. “It was literally right next to the hotel security entrance.”

Details here

Big Earthquake in Mexico, and a smaller one


The USGS gives details of two earthquakes in the Baja region, Mexico.

At UTC 18:33 a 5.0 quake seems to have occurred at 28.931°N, 113.022°W, which is in the Gulf of California (a.k.a. Sea of Cortez) near and south of the island Angel de la Guarda. The second and larger quake, a 6.0 (preliminary) magnitude quake occurred at 29.568°N, 113.578°W is near the same island, but on the other side (north) of it.

It is fun to watch the news agencies get all confused. The only on the scene report we have is from about four hundred miles north-northeast, in San Diego, where the city hall got a bit rattled and was evacuated. It is also confusing the reporters that this place Baja is called “California” yet seems to be in Mexico. It would help if they knew how to spell the town reference in the USGS report, which you can read here.