jill's blog

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Tomorrow? or 2012?

A new disaster movie is about to be released. “2012” is another in a series of fantastical apocalyptic stories, this time based on the Mayan "Long Count" calendar, which marks the end of a 5,126-year era on December 21, 2012. The movie has amazing visual effects that depict earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, fires, meteor showers, and all manner of nightmarish events unleashed on Earth – all at the same time – on this future date. Some (including this blogger) have noticed a familiar resemblance to widespread, and unwarranted,

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Travelogue: Gaining hands-on understanding through exhibits

Open Hazards provides people all over the world with online information about earthquake hazards, and it’s all free to site visitors and members. We hope you’ll return often to the site to gain a better understanding of how earthquake hazards might affect you and your family, and to learn more about what you can do to avoid the negative impact from a damaging event that could strike where you live.

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Introducing this Blogger

I’d like to introduce myself to Open Hazards visitors and members. If you’ve read any of the previous OH•Zone entries, you may have noticed that I’m writing to non-technical audiences – people like myself, who are not trained scientists or engineers, but who have a real interest in learning more about our world and how it works.

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Elastic Rebound

Earthquake Underground blogger John Rundle talks about the “Elastic Rebound” effect. If you hang out with earthquake scientists or engineers, it’s a term that’s commonly understood. But what if you’re like me, a non-scientist, and terms like this are used to explain why the earth occasionally heaves beneath your feet? Let's pull the term elastic rebound  apart to better understand what it means.

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An earthquake lesson, straight from China

A magnitude 5.0 earthquake struck this morning in Yunnan, southwest China, and caused great damage to the areas in and around the epicenter of Binchuan County.  Twenty-eight people were injured, and 300,000 people are affected. Over a thousand houses and other buildings collapsed, with more than thirty thousand homes and buildings damaged to varying degrees.

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Magnitude

Measuring the size of an earthquake is a complicated process, which is the main reason most of us have trouble understanding just how much power is released by an earthquake of a certain “magnitude”. I searched around for the simplest explanation possible. If you understand a little more about the potential power that can be unleashed during an earthquake, then you might also appreciate how important it is to be prepared.

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Why Should You Care?

Ever stumbled inside one of those carnival fun houses where the floors are all uneven and the walls are at odd angles? Ever been groping around in a dark room and put your foot on a stair step you thought was there -- but wasn't? Ever been on a small boat in a big storm at sea, with huge waves tossing the boat around like a small bottle cork? If you answered yes to any of these, or have a good imagination, then you know a little of what it's like to be surprised by a large, damaging earthquake.

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OpenHazards: A site you can trust.

It's out there, somewhere in cyberspace, that vast network of computers  where online communication happens. Sit down at a computer, open your favorite browser. In the search window, pose any question that comes to mind. Then scroll through the mountains of material served up in an instant. Easy!

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