Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13350 on: Aug 30th, 2015, 9:26pm »
Second Earthquake In 4 Weeks Strikes San Francisco Hayward Fault. Geologists Again Warn Of A “Big One”
Lisa Haven August 23, 2015
The San Francisco Bay Area has been struck once again by a 4.0 earthquake. This is the SECOND time in a matter of weeks that a 4.0 earthquake has hit the area. The first one happened July 21st of this year at 2:41 a.m. when a 4.0 struck the Hayward Fault causing thirteen smaller aftershocks. The second happened August 17th at 6:49am, only four weeks after the first event, rocking the area once again with a 4.0.
Geologists warned the first time the quake hit the area that they could be looking at the big one next. But now that two have struck the same area, I’m guessing the odds of the future “Big One” just increased.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13351 on: Aug 31st, 2015, 07:08am »
GOOD MORNING UFOCASEBOOKERS
Wall Street Journal
California Pushes Homeowners to Insure Against Earthquakes
By Leslie Scism Aug. 30, 2015 8:15 p.m. ET
California has a big earthquake problem: People aren’t sufficiently scared of them.
State officials and insurance companies are raising the alarm after persuading only a fraction of homeowners to buy quake coverage despite years of prodding. At best, about 10% of California homes are insured for quakes, according to figures from the state.
In response, state officials are ditching a lighthearted sales pitch and launching an $11 million-plus advertising campaign with graphic images of the damage caused by the magnitude-6.0 quake that hit Napa in August 2014.
The California Earthquake Authority, the state-run quake insurer behind the campaign, also is cutting the cost of policies by an average 10% to boost sales, among other changes it is making.
“I don’t think we have been doing a good enough job [getting the message across] to California consumers that the risk of earthquakes is very real, that a damaging earthquake is going to happen again,” said Glenn Pomeroy, the authority’s chief executive.
The effort has significant financial implications, and not just for homeowners. Seeking higher returns amid ultralow interest rates, pension funds and other investors have put tens of billions of dollars into “catastrophe reinsurance,” which helps insurers pay claims on policies they have sold to individuals and businesses. Most of it backs hurricane claims, and many hope to profit from heightened demand for quake coverage.
The challenge for insurers stems in large part from the government’s expanded role in responding to disasters. Since Hurricane Katrina a decade ago and the ensuing criticism about the government response, there has been a significant increase in the number of hurricanes, winter storms, tornadoes and other events that the federal government declares a disaster. There was an average of 63 such declarations a year in the 10 years through last year, compared with an average of 42 in the two decades before, according to federal figures and the Insurance Information Institute, a trade group.
Executives say the jump in such designations, which trigger eligibility for federal aid, has added to a sense of complacency among homeowners, many of whom assume their basic homeowners’ policies will cover structural damage from an earthquake or that the government will step in and bail them out.
In the authority’s sights are people like Marilyn Bailey, a retiree in Alamo, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay Area, who hasn’t owned quake insurance for her ranch-style house since shortly after a magnitude-6.7 earthquake in the Northridge suburb of Los Angeles in 1994.
That is when policy prices started jumping as private-sector insurers absorbed the blow of $18.3 billion in property claims, in 2014 dollars. Many insurers cut back on selling homeowners’ policies in the state to protect themselves from future losses. That led to the creation of the earthquake authority as a way to keep the private-sector market functioning.
Ms. Bailey said her policy doubled in price to approximately $2,000 a year, along with a higher deductible, soon after Northridge. “Most people I know dropped it.”
She said she isn’t sure what she would do if her home were severely damaged. “We all just cross our fingers...I assume that the government comes in and you can get loans that are low interest.”
The authority sells about three-quarters of the quake policies bought by California homeowners. ACE Ltd. , American International Group Inc., Chubb Corp. and GeoVera Holdings Inc. are among the private-sector insurers that sell their own quake policies to homeowners.
Based on current rates, annual costs range from $230 in San Diego to about $1,800 in the San Francisco Bay Area for typical policies providing $430,000 to $560,000 in coverage, respectively, typically with deductibles of 15% of the insured amount. The average 10% rate reduction goes into effect Jan. 1, and buyers will be able to choose a deductible as low as 5%, down from the current minimum of 10%.
Sean McGrath, an executive with San Diego-based ad agency Civilian who is working with the authority, said officials considered using dramatic images of the sort moviegoers see in “San Andreas,” with buildings collapsing into split-open earth. But focus groups found overly dramatic images off-putting, so the decision was made to go with real-life damage.
One marketing brochure that will be circulated to 9.3 million homes reads: “What triggers an earthquake in California is a sudden unexpected explosive release of enormous pressure…similar to the sudden pressure you may feel when faced with paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage yourself.” The campaign also includes television, radio and Internet ads.
The previous campaign, dubbed “California Rocks,” played on the perceived coolness of living in California and that the ground shakes from some 2,000 known faults.
One additional challenge is that mortgage bankers don’t require quake insurance like they do for fire, wind and flood insurance, according to Howard Kunreuther, a public-policy professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
Donn Peacock, a housing-restoration specialist in Walnut Creek, Calif., said it makes more sense to walk away from a highly mortgaged property than it does to pay the high premiums and deductible.
“I haven’t looked at the [quake-policy] prices in years,” he said. However, due to home-price appreciation that has boosted his equity stake, he expects to look anew.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13352 on: Aug 31st, 2015, 07:18am »
The Berkshire Eagle (Massachusetts)
Monument to UFO visit unveiled in Sheffield
1969 sighting gained recognition from Great Barrington Historical Society
By Phil Demers 08/29/2015 06:25:44 PM
SHEFFIELD — First affirmation as a historical event came by an adjacent town's historical society in February, and now a 1969 UFO siting in Sheffield is again affirmed with a 5,000-pound granite monument paid for by witnesses.
Around 40 people gathered on Wednesday to view the new monument, located near Sheffield Bridge on North Main Street. Among them was Thomas Reed of Kentucky, the former resident who says he and his younger brother saw a UFOs here in 1966, 1967 and again in 1969.
"It's a good spot, about 300 yards away from where we saw it," Reed said of the monument's placement.
The monument commemorates the 1969 siting, reported then by local radio station WSBS after a number of callers said they saw a lighted object making irregular motions in the sky.
It's also the siting that convinced Great Barrington Historical Society to the degree it, by a six to three vote, deemed it an "off-world incident ... historically significant and true," and worthy of admission to its archives in February. Dissenting members, though, were "strongly" opposed to admitting the material.
GBHS based its decision on documentation from the radio station, several eyewitness accounts (people from Sheffield, Great Barrington, Stockbridge and South Egremont are said to have witnessed the object and some gave testimony to the U.S. Air Force) and polygraph results on Reed showing a 99.1 percent truthful reading under questioning about what he saw.
"I know what I saw and a lot of people in town and other towns know what they saw, too," Reed said on Friday. "People from four towns could not see the same thing on the same night if it wasn't there."
Some media covered the GBHS decision as the first officially recognized off-world case in history. And the monument's funders have ensured that visitors comprehend the gravitas of the recent GBHS recognition.
The inscription on the monument hails the "official induction" of "our nation's first off-world/UFO incident." And by virtue of the GBHS decision, the inscription notes, the event now resides alongside Paul Revere and the Boston Tea Party in the annals of Massachusetts history.
Reed recounted the aftermath of the 1969 event.
"We didn't even know other people had seen it until days later when we heard it was on the radio and people were coming into my mother's restaurant saying what they saw," Reed said. "It was a reckoning, as far as I'm concerned."
In conversation, GBHS Director Debbie Oppermann explains her organization's rationale in accepting the material using a variety of phrases.
"We decided we were going to have the ability to say yes to new ideas," she said. The organization "is very passionate about local history," but "not in a million years" did she expect to be dealing with UFO material.
"They've not fallen into the typical fare of historical societies," Oppermann said.
The decision, she said, was "kind of scary."
And since the vote was taken, Oppermann said, GBHS has been receiving lots of feedback: A "mixed bag" of people who praise the organization for a "brave" choice and the "skeptics, who are greatly disappointed we would give it any attention."
The director acknowledged that the decision has and will only continue to increase public attention to GBHS, something that the group hasn't seen before.
"Nobody's asking about the last musket ball we found, that's for sure," Oppermann said.
She also said the organization, in perhaps a year, plans to hold a small conference on UFOs.
Reed said the magnitude of decision has not yet been fully understood — adding that it's likely to increase tourism in Southern Berkshire.
"Great Barrington is going to be a gold mine," Reed said. "The town has made history. There is no substitute for being first: It's something Great Barrington is going to be world famous for."
A 2013 HuffPost/Youth Gov poll reported that 48 percent of Americans believe UFOs "could be a sign of extraterrestrial visitation." Similar results have been recorded in polls for decades.
Reed said his mother's restaurant, in 1969, was similarly "divided" on the nature of the occurrence as well.
But, he said, there is no doubt the event has altered the "progression of the town."
"Women and children were drawing pictures of UFOs," Reed said. "There was a lot of buzz around. The radio station got flooded. This was a true event. It wasn't just [me and my family]."
In speaking with The Eagle, Reed did not discuss he and his brother's stories about earlier sitings, in 1966 and 1967.
Not always received well, these involved not only UFO sitings, but bizarre encounters with strange beings — the telling of which caused a young Reed to "ride my bike to school alone" for some time, he admits.
But then the 1969 siting — reported by 40 or more people — diminished the stigma, according to Reed.
The Reed case has enjoyed comparatively high currency among similar UFO incidents in the U.S. — mentioned in a United Nations General Assembly discussion on UFOs in 1992 and the subject of multiple television shows on the Discovery Channel and other major networks.
Reed attributes this to the social standing of his family.
His father, a successful attorney and Select Board member in Canaan, N.Y., was planning a book on the family's experiences in Sheffield before he died in 2006. His mother operated a restaurant and a farm. And Reed himself founded a successful talent agency called Miami Models in Florida.
Thomas' brother, Matthew, lives in Indiana and has also spoken to media in recent years about his experiences, though he has been less forward than his older brother.
In closing, Reed offered this advice: No matter how one feels about the town's UFO history and the GBHS decision: "Just enjoy it.
"Let's have a big barbecue next year, bring some people to Sheffield and Great Barrington," Reed said.
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #13353 on: Aug 31st, 2015, 09:03am »
It looks like we were the lucky ones.
At least 60,000 still without power after windstorm
Originally published August 30, 2015 at 8:15 pm Updated August 31, 2015 at 6:44 am
By John Higgins
On Saturday night, Emma Gardner, 79, and her 83-year-old husband, Gary, slept in a cold room of their Mountlake Terrace home with a tree on their roof, a downed electrical line in their rhodies and little hope that power would be restored soon.
“We’re sleeping in the rec room in the furthest corner from any big tree,” Emma Gardner said. “I’m sleeping on the Daveno and my husband is sleeping in a chair.”
But because the damage is isolated to their house, they’re low on the priority list of electrical crews focusing on repairs after Saturday’s wind storm. Some customers have been told it may be Tuesday before they get power back.
“We have people up the street who have power, and we don’t have power because it was pulled away from our house, so that puts us at the bottom of the list. I don’t understand it, ” Gardner said. “That Daveno, of course, is killing me with my rheumatoid.”
The Gardners are among more than 100,000 residents who still lacked power Sunday because of a windstorm Saturday that killed two people and toppled trees, snapped utility poles and downed electrical lines throughout the region.
Authorities Sunday identified the two people killed during Saturday’s windstorm.
Samara Iereneo, 10, of Burien, was killed while playing at a friend’s home when she was hit by a falling branch, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office and law-enforcement authorities.
A 36-year-old Gig Harbor man who was killed Saturday morning when a tree fell on his car was identified by Pierce County authorities as James Fay, an assistant general manager at Chambers Bay golf course. Fay’s 3-year-old daughter was also in the car but not hurt, officials said.
Federal Way police Cmdr. Stan McCall said Saturday that the 10-year-old Burien-area girl had been staying at a friend’s home in the 2300 block of Southwest 352nd Street. She was playing with other children in a grassy area behind the apartment building when she was hit by a tree branch.
Fay was director of sales and marketing at Chambers Bay, according to a course spokesman. Chambers Bay was the site of this year’s U.S. Open Golf Championship.
Fay, a native of Vancouver, Wash., was a 2001 graduate of the University of Puget Sound and was named director of sales and marketing at Chambers Bay in 2008, according to a company spokesman.
He was killed when a tree fell onto his Subaru station wagon while he was driving on Borgen Boulevard just before 10:45 a.m., according to Gig Harbor Police Chief Kelly Busey.
Autopsies for both victims will be performed Monday.
The storm Saturday left almost a half-million customers without power and set a rainfall record for that date at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, dumping 1.28 inches in a 24-hour period. The previous record for that day was .87 inches in 1983.
With gusts between 30 and 40 mph (and stronger north and west of Seattle), the storm would have been destructive at any time of year, but coming at the end of a dry summer when deciduous trees still have all their leaves made it worse.
“We had a lot more maples and that type of thing come down than we might otherwise,” said meteorologist Danny Mercer with the National Weather Service in Seattle. “We had gusts up toward Everett that were around 61 mph.”
Further north in Vancouver, B.C., winds reached 50 mph, and left an estimated 500,000 people without electricity.
The storm triggered wind warnings from Environment Canada, forced the temporary closure of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and slowed ferry service between Victoria and the mainland.
Ferry service between Port Townsend and Coupeville was suspended Saturday because of the windstorm, according to Washington State Ferries.
Cable provider Comcast reported that 30,000 Western Washington customers were still without service as of about 5 p.m. Sunday, down from 152,000 on Saturday.
Densely forested communities north of Seattle were the slowest to get power back with some Puget Sound Energy customers in North King County not expected to have electricity restored until Tuesday.
Puget Sound Energy reported 34,000 customers still didn’t have service at 6 a.m. on Monday. The storm at its height knocked out 230,000 of the utility’s customers.
Seattle City Light had whittled down the outage list from about 58,000 customers Saturday — including many in Shoreline, Lake Forest Park and Magnolia — to about 3,600 by early Monday morning.
Snohomish County Public Utility District still had about 24,500 without power Monday morning, including Emma and Gary Gardner in Mountlake Terrace, after reporting as many as 175,000 customers without power on Saturday.
Crews on Sunday repaired downed transmission lines leading to three substations in the Edmonds, Woodway and Mountlake Terrace areas, spokesman Bob Bolerjack said.
Repairs that deliver the most power to the most people get priority over those that might restore electricity to one or two houses, which is typical for utilities responding to a big storm.
“Unfortunately, they’re probably not alone in that boat,” Bolerjack said about the Gardners situation.
“We really suggest for folks like that they try to get a hold of family and try to make some alternate arrangement for the next day or two because it may be a while before we are able to get to all of those,” he said.
Emma Gardner said she does have neighbors looking in on them.,
One neighbor brought me over coffee in a thermos, and we got invited to go across the street to dinner at 5 o’clock tonight,” she said.
But they don’t want to leave their house.
“My husband, he’s so mad, and I said: Honey, there’s nothing we can do.”
British Atlantis: archaeologists begin exploring lost world of Doggerland
Archaeologists at the University of Bradford will be taking deep sea core samples to find the DNA of Doggerland to reconstruct the environment
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor 12:53PM BST 01 Sep 2015
A lost world off the British coast which was flooded by the rising North Sea thousands of years ago, is finally to reveal its secrets.
The ancient country of Doggerland was once the home to thousands of stone age settlers and was an important land bridge between Britain and Northern Europe.
Now archaeologists at the University of Bradford have begun a huge project to reconstruct the ancient Mesolithic landscape which is now hidden beneath the waves.
Using seabed mapping data gathered by energy companies, the team is planning to produce a detailed 3D chart that will show rivers, lakes, hills and coastlines of the country.
Specialist survey ships will also take core sediment samples from selected areas of the landscape to extract millions of fragments of DNA from plants and animals which once lived on the lost world.
“The only populated lands on earth that have not yet been explored in any depth are those which have been lost underneath the sea,” says Professor Vince Gaffney, Anniversary Chair in Landscape Archaeology at the University of Bradford.
““Although archaeologists have known for a long time that ancient climatic change and sea level rise must mean that Doggerland holds unique and important information about early human life in Europe, until now we have lacked the tools to investigate this area properly.”
Humans lived in Doggerland from around 10,000 BC until it was flooded at the end of the last ice age around 7,500 years ago. Recently a team at Imperial College showed that the later island of Doggerland was flooded in a single titanic event around 8000 years ago. A tsunami, with waves up to five metres in height, was triggered by a huge landslide off the coast of Norway. For hundreds of years, trawlermen fishing off the coast of Dogger Bank have pulled up finds and mammoth bones in their nets.
The team is hoping that the cool underwater conditions of the sunken land will have preserved DNA, so that they can build up a picture of how society and environment evolved during a period of catastrophic climate change.
“This project is exciting not only because of what it will reveal about Doggerland, but because it gives us a whole new way of approaching the massive areas of land that were populated by humans but which now lie beneath the sea,” added Professor Gaffney.
“This project will develop technologies and methodologies that archaeologists around the world can use to explore similar landscapes including those around the Americas and in South East Asia,”
Dr David Smith, University of Birmingham added: “ “This is the first time that this type of reconstruction has been attempted at this detail and scale in any marine environment.
“The opportunity to provide complementary analysis of established and new technologies, including DNA, at such a scale is also likely to provide a step change in our understanding of past environments and our approach to landscape reconstruction.”
Robin Allaby fro, the School of Life Sciences at the University of Warwick said: "The constant environment of the sea floor preserves ancient DNA exceptionally well allowing us to reconstruct palaeoenvironments many thousands of years older than is possible on land at the same latitude,” said Professor Robin Allaby, School of Life Sciences, University of Warwick
"The project promises unprecedented insight into the Mesolithic in North West Europe and will also enable us to continue to push the frontiers of sedaDNA analysis.”