Science and tech stuff

Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
edited September 28 in General
Just a thread to post and discuss new, weird, or cool science stuff. Could be anything from the simple like "look at this cool thing" to the complex like the ethics of cloning or whatever.

Also tech stuff.
TaraC73
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Comments

  • https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chelyabinsk_meteor

    As a starting topic I present the most damaging meteor strike in modern history.
  • MichelleMichelle California
    edited September 27
    edit: nm





    GredalBeeTaraC73
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 28
    Somewhat related to both recent events in Vanuatu and also the GoT pod pack episode, do we actually have a clear plan of what to do if one of the US continental volcanoes violently erupted? Like Alaska and Hawaii have frequent volcano troubles but what happens if the Cascades explode?

    *Note: this is extremely unlikely to occur, but interesting to hypothesize about*
  • FreddyFreddy Denton, Texas
    edited September 28
    Alkaid13 said:

    Somewhat related to both recent events in Vanuatu and also the GoT pod pack episode, do we actually have a clear plan of what to do if one of the US continental volcanoes violently erupted? Like Alaska and Hawaii have frequent volcano troubles but what happens if the Cascades explode?

    *Note: this is extremely unlikely to occur, but interesting to hypothesize about*

    Based on recent natural disaster events, I would assume that we would all run to the nearest social media site and bitch about what physical position athletes take during the national anthem.
    gguenotTaraC73akritenbrinkgjulleen
  • Maybe more tech than science - I like a future that includes graphene.  Amazing possibilities.
  • Tech is a kind of science so feel free to talk tech.
  • TaraC73TaraC73 Manchester NH
    Alkaid13 said:

    Somewhat related to both recent events in Vanuatu and also the GoT pod pack episode, do we actually have a clear plan of what to do if one of the US continental volcanoes violently erupted? Like Alaska and Hawaii have frequent volcano troubles but what happens if the Cascades explode?

    *Note: this is extremely unlikely to occur, but interesting to hypothesize about*

    There are active volcanos on continental US!?

  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 28
    Mt. St. Helens erupted back in 82, so yes there are several active volcanos in the continental US. They're just not as active as the ones in Alaska or Hawaii.
    TaraC73
  • Mt. Rainier is active and reasonably close to Seattle actually.
    TaraC73Svcarlos7gjulleen
  • LordByLordBy Utah
    edited September 28
    I'm in Utah which is far enough from the cascades to not worry about them, but close enough to Yellowstone that if it blows there is nothing I could possibly do, so why worry?

    Earthquakes are the concern here.
    TaraC73
  • Earthquakes and storms are the more realistic concern most places to be fair. Yellowstone erupting would do serious damage to NA as a continent but it's unlikely to occur anytime soon and also I don't know if there's anything that could prevent it anyways. I do think some of the smaller volcanos in the Cascades have a fair chance of being a real problem in a few decades though and some of the North western states should have plans for that.
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 28
  • It's related to volcanoes, but I'm more worried about the Cascadia fault

    I love living in the Pacific NW and I don't want to die.
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Oh yes. Volcanoes are an issue. If you drive around any of the suburban areas south of Seattle you will see Volcano Evacuation Zone signs for Rainier. People down there have to have a plan for what happens in case of a volcano, there are shelter sites, schoolchildren have to do practice drills, etc. Also, Mt. Rainier can cause a lahar, which is a river of mud and debris, without even erupting, as I understand it. They can see where lahars have come from Rainier in the past and yet it was decided to build suburbs on top of it. So when this happens again, you're going to see suburbs and hopefully not too many schoolchildren covered in a river of mud and debris.

    Mt St Helens has erupted since the 80s as well- when I first moved out here in 2004 it was erupting. It might not have made the news nationwide because it didn't have much of an impact since the top blew off in 1980 so it's just kind of erupting onto itself. I haven't paid much attention to it in recent years so I don't know what it's like now.

    Here's a USGS page about the active volcanoes in the PNW and their threat levels.

    We also have the threat of earthquake and tsunami here in the PNW. Earthquakes are totally unpredictable (except perhaps being predicted a short time before by cats, as we discussed on another thread here). Volcanoes are somewhat unreliably predictable as they tend to be preceded by an earthquake swarm, but there are also lots of eqs on volcanoes without eruptions. Tsunamis are also caused by earthquakes and are more predictable since they tend to follow some time after the eq. Fun times.
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 28
    It's unfortunately very easy to predict where earthquakes will occur but very difficult to pinpoint an exact timeframe of when they'll occur or what the magnitude will be until it's too late so it's much harder to anticipate and evacuate than during a big storm. If you live in the Pacific NW it's good to be prepared even if you don't live in California.
  • redlancerredlancer Seattle
    edited September 28
    Alkaid13 said:

    Mt. St. Helens erupted back in 82, so yes there are several active volcanos in the continental US. They're just not as active as the ones in Alaska or Hawaii.

    May 18th 1980. I lived in the area and was an interesting experience as an 8-yr old.

    St Helens is still active, and goes through some fits and starts every couple years. Rainier is active also, and has history of eruptions every few hundered years. Biggest issue with the cascade volcanoes is the lahar, which is what you get when you mix a bunch of hot ash with glaciers and snowfields that instantly melt and quickly move down the mountains river channels in what is essentially a wall of hot mud, think of it as the flash flood from hell. 
  • akritenbrinkakritenbrink Lynnwood, WA (Seattle area)
    Alkaid13 said:
    Yup everyone outside the PNW got keyed up about that article when it came out, but in our media here this is talked about quite a bit so it wasn't news to us. Disaster planning and earthquake preparedness is discussed a lot here.
  • cdrivecdrive Houston, TX
    edited September 29
  • Drones are a godsend to modern archaeology.
    cdrive
  • Elon Musk's latest iteration of his Mars plan

    https://www.space.com/38313-elon-musk-spacex-fly-people-to-mars-2024.html

    He's not great at hitting deadlines, but he does get things done eventually and I have little doubt that SpaceX will beat NASA to Mars.
    jtmy92Melonusk
  • A_Ron_HubbardA_Ron_Hubbard Cincinnati, OH
    Man, everything I've heard of about Yellowstone gives me the willies.  It seems like it's going to be miserable for the US in particular in the world in general when it blows. It's kind of like a big asteroid impact, but without the ability to really protect yourself from it.  It would be great if we found a way to let some of these hot spots blow off steam without fucking things up worse.  Why are you guys and gals saying it's not an immediate concern?  I thought that Yellowstone essentially is due, considering geological time periods.  I mean, I don't think it's like a next year concern, scientist would have seen more activity, but in my lifetime?  Why not?
  • Everything I've read from people in the know says that although Yellowstone is "due" for an eruption that doesn't really mean much and they're predicting a small eruption on the Mt. St. Helens scale in the immediate future. If it were preparing to go cataclysmic we'd know months in advance.
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 29
    Essentially if the USGS isn't concerned then I'm not concerned as of yet. If they're wrong there's nothing we can do about it anyways so why worry?
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 29
    https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/yellowstone/
    They update this and other volcanos on a monthly basis so it's good to check semi-regularly.

    https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/updates.html
    Here's the US alert page. Current concerns appear to be the usual suspects: Alaska and Hawaii.
  • Alkaid13Alkaid13 Georgia
    edited September 29
    All that is to say: Yellowstone probably isn't the immediate natural disaster concern but it's definitely a hazard to the future of the American continent so we should probably be working on methods to lessen or prevent eruptions.

    I can envision a potential nightmare scenario where the coastal cities are ravaged by tropical storms regularly enough that combined with wildfire damage the Govt runs dangerously low on disaster relief funds just in time for the Cascadia fault to produce an 8.5-9 quake devastating the west coast and causing several of the cascade volcanos and also Yellowstone to erupt, that wouldn't destroy the global populous but it would turn the US and probably Canada and Mexico into essentially 3rd world countries for a few decades.
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA
    edited September 29
    Alkaid13 said:

    All that is to say: Yellowstone probably isn't the immediate natural disaster concern but it's definitely a hazard to the future of the American continent so we should probably be working on methods to lessen or prevent eruptions.

    I can envision a potential nightmare scenario where the coastal cities are ravaged by tropical storms regularly enough that combined with wildfire damage the Govt runs dangerously low on disaster relief funds just in time for the Cascadia fault to produce an 8.5-9 quake devastating the west coast and causing several of the cascade volcanos and also Yellowstone to erupt, that wouldn't destroy the global populous but it would turn the US and probably Canada and Mexico into essentially 3rd world countries for a few decades.

    I got a back up plan for that. I'll just move to Argentina, Its super cheap with super lax immigration and visa standards. I can labor on vineyards in Mendoza while sipping Malbec and eating Asado


    Sounds like a great bug out plan to me... So I'll keep my options open

    I'm not concerned about that at all, well just start constructing buildings to better resist storms, wildfires will eventually cease to be an issue since a good deal of fire activity is really due to bad forest practices and the fires are clearing out all that underbrush fueling them. Plus the level of destruction needed to render us third world countries would be tremendous. There was a 9 point earthquake on Good Friday of 1962 in Anchorage AK while it did tremendous damage, the actual death toll was low and the city was far from destroyed. We had an earthquake here in WA in 2001 that was a 6.7 and while it wasn't that scary magnitude of 8 plus it led to significant increases in seismic standards and retrofits of older buildings to better stand earthquakes.

    And Chile which is on a fault far more active across the Andes Mountains
    In 2010 an 8.8 struck and killed 520 people, which is terrible but consider that zone included Santiago which sits on a metro area of over 6 million people and is a very major city, and Chile is a first world country, so I don't think a cascadia quake will contribute to destroying North America







    cdrive
  • emnofseattleemnofseattle Mason County, Washington USA

    Man, everything I've heard of about Yellowstone gives me the willies.  It seems like it's going to be miserable for the US in particular in the world in general when it blows. It's kind of like a big asteroid impact, but without the ability to really protect yourself from it.  It would be great if we found a way to let some of these hot spots blow off steam without fucking things up worse.  Why are you guys and gals saying it's not an immediate concern?  I thought that Yellowstone essentially is due, considering geological time periods.  I mean, I don't think it's like a next year concern, scientist would have seen more activity, but in my lifetime?  Why not?

    Well really it's like preparing for nuclear war, how would you even begin to logistically prepare for a Yellowstone eruption? The real reason it's not a concern is there really is so little you can do about it that why worry? There was a movie called "Threads" that was a docu drama made in the U.K. During the Cold War about the effects of a full scale soviet nuclear attack on the British Islands, so part of the dramatization is after the bombs drop they show a hospital being overwhelmed and the narration points out the entire resources of the NHS couldn't treat the victims in just one medium sized town. When you're looking at prospects that grim in the very small chance it does happen then maybe it's a valid argument to say "why worry, just hope it doesn't happen"


    It's "due" but the timeframe of the due time is in thousands of years.

  • CRISPR is a sciency thing that has made some headlines but still seems like it isn't front page news.  I recommending looking it up if you haven't heard of it, it is kind of fascinating what our understanding of DNA is allowing us to find hidden in the codes of different organisms that can be used universally.  

    CRISPR is basically a simple and potentially powerful DNA editing tool that science is working on faster than ethicists can keep up with the moral problems it creates.  

    Radiolab (NPR show/podcast) did a great episode on it awhile back, when they still were more of a  science based show.

     
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