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News

5.1 Earthquake Hits California 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the shake-rattle-and-roll dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A 5.1 earthquake hit Southern California at 9:09PM local time on Friday. It was preceded by a 3.6 earthquake, then followed by 3.4 and 3.6 quakes, as well as 100+ smaller aftershocks. The United States Geological Survey has a map showing the epicenter. There have been no reported deaths, though roughly 50 people have been displaced from their homes. 'The shake caused a rock slide in Carbon Canyon, causing a car to overturn, according to the Brea Police Department. Fullerton police received reports of water main breaks and windows shattering, but primarily had residents calling about burglar alarms being set off by the quake.'"
Education

Jewish School Removes Evolution Questions From Exams 431

Posted by samzenpus
from the everything-that's-fit-to-know dept.
Alain Williams writes "Religious sponsored ignorance is not just in the USA, a school in Hackney, England is trying to hide the idea of evolution from its pupils. Maybe they fear that their creation story will be seen for what it is if pupils get to learn ideas supported evidence. The girls are also disadvantaged since they can't answer the redacted questions, thus making it harder to get good marks."

Comment: Re:fall to Earth (Score 4, Informative) 122

by qvatch (#45378579) Attached to: GOCE Satellite Is Falling To Earth But Nobody Knows Where It Will Land
and http://www.spacesafetymagazine.com/2013/09/14/european-satellite-goce-uncontrolled-reentry/ his will be the first uncontrolled reentry of an ESA satellite since Isee-2, in 1987. Unfortunately, it will not be the last, considering that the bus-size Envisat’s altitude is gradually decaying in Low-Earth Orbit without control. According to ESA, up to 25% of GOCE’s mass will survive the extreme reentry conditions to fall to the ground. However, the risk for populated areas is very small since the majority of the Earth is covered by oceans. “The major part of what survives to the surface will be the core instrument,” says Dr. Floberghagen. “From the original mass which we have now in space, we have estimated that about 25%, about 250 kilos, will reach the surface, and these 250 kilos will be distributed over between 40 and 50 fragments.” The fragments that survive will hit the ground in a 900 km long footprint. The reentry will be a good test for debris monitoring systems and fragmentation models.

Comment: Re:fall to Earth (Score 5, Informative) 122

by qvatch (#45378571) Attached to: GOCE Satellite Is Falling To Earth But Nobody Knows Where It Will Land
Some, but not all of it. http://www.spaceflight101.com/goce-re-entry.html : With its fins and aerodynamic shape, GOCE will maintain a stable position in orbit as it approaches entry. During entry, the spacecraft will likely remain in that position for the initial phase of re-entry until it breaks up. Following the destruction of the spacecraft, most of its components will harmlessly burn up in the atmosphere. However, it is known that about 20 to 40% of a re-entering satellite's total mass reach Earth's surface. Dense components of satellites usually impact 800 to 1,300 Kilometers downrange from the Orbital Decay Point. Their journey back to Earth is strongly influenced by atmospheric properties like crosswinds that play a major role during atmospheric descent.

Comment: Re:States really need revenue (Score 3, Informative) 364

The impervious surface fee actually makes a lot of sense, and isn't simply a "rain tax".

Storm-water runoff is a negative externality that right now everyone in a community pays for regardless of their actual runoff. It's a tragedy of the commons - there's no incentive to minimize it. Charging a fee based on the area of impervious surface on a property converts that externality into a direct cost, rewarding those who minimize runoff and charging those who produce the most runoff more. A property owner need only replace impervious surfaces with pervious surfaces and they'll produce less runoff and pay less; everyone wins. It's the same idea as a carbon tax.

Comment: Re:Good idea (Score 1) 147

by qvatch (#43676999) Attached to: New 'Academic Redshirt' For Engineering Undergrads at UW
it depends what you call passed. 50%, 65%, 80% (here, that's the min undergrad, honours, grad grade to "pass"). Passing means you know enough to do that material, not that you understand it well enough to apply it without effort while learning the next level, so if you stopped there you could be considered to know the material.

When someone says "I want a programming language in which I need only say what I wish done," give him a lollipop.

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