The tsunami was at least three times the size of the damaging 1946 tsunami, which was driven by an 8.6-magnitude earthquake off the Aleutian Islands. Mammoth tsunamis, like the one described in the study, are rare, and likely happen once every thousand years. There’s a 0.1 percent chance it could happen in any given year, the same probability that northeastern Japan had for the 9.0-magnitude 2011 Tohoku earthquake and related tsunami, said Gerald Fryer, a geophysicist at the pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, who was not involved in the study. [Waves of Destruction: History’s 8 Biggest Tsunamis]
Results of the study have already prompted Honolulu officials to revise their tsunami evacuation maps, Fryer said. The new maps, which will affect nearly 1 million people who live in Honolulu County, would include more than twice the area of evacuation in some areas, Fryer said in a statement. County officials hope to distribute the new maps by the end of 2014, Fryer said.
Recently here at LGF a lot of people have been posting things refuting right wing fear monger about Ebola. Emil Karlsson however took on another false claim about the disease, this one dealing with how it ought to be treated.
Ebola is a virus that causes a dangerous hemorrhagic fever disease with a high mortality rate. Right now, there have been at least 9000 cases of Ebola viral disease and ~4500 documented deaths. It has spread to seven different countries: Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United States, although according to the October 17th update from the World Health Organization (WHO) the outbreak seems to have ended in Senegal.
In the wake of this human tragedy, pseudoscientific “treatments” against Ebola have cropped up like weeds around the Internet. Various websites suggest antioxidants, selenium, vitamin C, Vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, estradiol, infrared radiation, sodium bicarbonate, cannabis, coffee, fermented soy, silver and salty drinking water. Natural News, the largest website promoting quack treatments in the world, even posted an article recommending homeopathy and describing how to prepare remedies. However, this was pulled after a couple of days as apparently homeopathy for Ebola was a too deranged idea even for Natural News.
Recently, Fran Sheffield (the director of Homeopathy Plus Australia) put up a petition (webcite) at change.org urging the WHO to “test and distribute homeopathy as quickly as possible” to contain outbreaks of Ebola. This petition, together with 2000 signatures, were sent to Director General Dr Margaret Chan at the WHO in early October. Unfortunately, it contains numerous scientific, medical and logical errors that will be discussed in this article. The irrational peculiarities of the messages left from supporters of homeopathy for Ebola will also be explored.
When we slip into sleep and embark on a subconscious journey through our dreams, what exactly is our brain up to at that point? Theoretical physicist, best-selling author, and all around cool guy Michio Kaku returns to Big Think to discuss the science of dreaming, as well as everything Freud got right about our subconscious:
Kaku’s most recent best-seller, The Future of the Mind, places its focus on how science explores consciousness. In the interview above, he begins with a discussion of Freud, who Kaku believes may not have been “totally wrong”:
If you want to make a neuroscientist’s head explode, all you need to do is confidently and triumphantly tell them that humans only use 10% of their brains. Or that right-brained people are more creative than left-brained people. Or that jiggling your head around gets more blood to the brain so you can think more efficiently. These are myths about the brain that have now been around for so long, it’s a wonder they haven’t had a congratulatory message from the Queen.
Unfortunately, because they’ve been around for so long, neuromyths have taken hold in a broad range of aspects of everyday life. Nowhere is this more problematic than in the education system. A new article in Nature Reviews Neuroscience this week has cast a critical eye on the issue, and reveals some worrying statistics about the extent to which brain baloney have infiltrated the beliefs of teachers around the world.
The survey, conducted by Paul Howard-Jones at the University of Bristol, asked 938 teachers from five different countries whether they agreed or not with a number of statements relating to popular myths about the brain. The results paint a picture of a global epidemic of neurononsense. In the UK, 91% of teachers surveyed believed that differences in hemispheric dominance could account for differences in preferred learning methods for students - in other words, ‘left-brained’ students think in a different way to ‘right-brained’ students. Among Chinese teachers, 59% agreed that we only use 10% of our brains. Across all five countries - the UK, the Netherlands, Turkey, Greece and China - on average, a whopping 96% of surveyed teachers agreed that students learn most effectively when taught in their preferred learning style (visual, auditory or kinaesthetic).
Also See: Neuroscience and education: myths and messages
Millions of people across North America could have a chance to observe a partial solar eclipse next week, weather permitting.
Although Thursday’s (Oct. 23) partial solar eclipse may not be as spectacular as a total eclipse, it is still a beautiful and interesting event to witness. The sight of the moon gradually moving across the face of the sun fills most people with awe.
The best views of the eclipse will be in the north, in Alaska and the Canadian arctic, but everyone in North America should see some of it, except in the extreme northeast of the continent. In eastern North America, the eclipse will only be visible near or at sunset, so a low western horizon is essential. Venus is very close to the eclipsed sun, but you will probably need to block the sun from view to spot it.
The results show that human embryonic stem cells can slow or reverse the vision loss in people with degenerative eye diseases, the researchers said. In addition, the stem cells caused no medical problems for the patients up to three years after transplant, according to the study published today (Oct. 14) in the journal The Lancet.
Stem cells, with their ability to develop into many different types of tissue, have long been touted for their promise in regenerative medicine, yet treatments have been slow to develop.
Wildfires, whether ignited by lightning or people, show global patterns that are visible to satellites. In the United States, fire is increasing: on average, millions more acres burn each year than was typical a few decades ago, and fire season is longer. Prolonged drought in the West, provoked by climate change, is encouraging this rise in fire.
Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. This visualization was supported by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Watch as the wingnuts run with the headline and omit the fact that worldwide ice extent is at a net loss even with the record.
Sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s. The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.
The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.The new Antarctic sea ice record reflects the diversity and complexity of Earth’s environments, said NASA researchers. Claire Parkinson, a senior scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, has referred to changes in sea ice coverage as a microcosm of global climate change. Just as the temperatures in some regions of the planet are colder than average, even in our warming world, Antarctic sea ice has been increasing and bucking the overall trend of ice loss.
“The planet as a whole is doing what was expected in terms of warming. Sea ice as a whole is decreasing as expected, but just like with global warming, not every location with sea ice will have a downward trend in ice extent,” Parkinson said.
Since the late 1970s, the Arctic has lost an average of 20,800 square miles (53,900 square kilometers) of ice a year; the Antarctic has gained an average of 7,300 square miles (18,900 sq km). On Sept. 19 this year, for the first time ever since 1979, Antarctic sea ice extent exceeded 7.72 million square miles (20 million square kilometers), according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The ice extent stayed above this benchmark extent for several days. The average maximum extent between 1981 and 2010 was 7.23 million square miles (18.72 million square kilometers).
Evening viewers in much of Asia and early risers in parts of the Americas were treated to a stunning lunar eclipse on Wednesday, though clouds obscured it for some. (Oct. 8)
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