Does “the earthquake chewed my data” trump “the dog ate my homework”?

This week’s Feedback column (that I write) in New Scientist magazine has five segments. Here are the beginnings of each of them: Earthquake snack — The traditional excuse “the dog ate my homework” has a new counterpart: “the earthquake chewed my data.” … Strained fishy pun — Andrew Knapp and colleagues have added to the history of […]

Suspecting an Earthquakes/Terrorism Link

Detective work sometimes involves hazarding guesses about hazards, as this study demonstrates: “Earthquakes and Terrorism: The Long Lasting Effect of Seismic Shocks,” José G. Montalvo and Marta Reynal-Querol, Journal of Comparative Economics, epub 2019. (Thanks to Manuael ANsede for bringing this to our attention.) The authors, at UPF-BarcelonaGSE-IPEG, and UPF-ICREA-BarcelonaGSE-IPEG, Barcelona, Spain, explain: “In this […]

Belgian sporting earthquake measurements project

Scientists in Belgium are methodically measuring the effects of soccer games on the oscillation of the earth. Lieven Scheire alerted us, saying “our seismic institute is measuring small earthquakes every time our national soccer team scores at the european championships. The image you (probably) see below documents seismic activity from a recent match between Hungary and Belgium. (Belgium won […]

Describing the levels of this and that of an earthquake

The Mercalli Intensity Scale describes, graphically, various levels of damage that result from earthquakes of various intensities. (The intensity of an earthquake is a different thing — and may or may not be intimately connected to the level of damage from the quake.) A simulator at Northern Illinois University puts this into visually graphic form: (Thanks […]

Earthquake-activated house-levitating pneumatic system

The  Air Danshin Systems company of Japan says it offers pneumatic technology to protect buildings in the event of an earthquake. The shaking triggers a stream of air that levitates the house. The diagram below, from the company, shows to some extent how the system works, with blue representing the stream of air. (The Spoon & Tamago blog […]