Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Mar 31, 2011
March 31, 2011
Tampering with Mother Nature:
The National Academy of Sciences said yesterday the U-S is NOT ready for a big earthquake.
There are 18 recommendations in the Academy's report, including calling for more funding to research and better understand earthquakes, working on a quake "early warning system," improving emergency response and updating standards for highways, electric grids and water systems to insure they can stay up and running after a powerful quake.
In 2008, an earthquake exercise in California estimated that a 7.8 magnitude quake there would result in 1,800 deaths, $113 billion in damages to buildings and $70 billion in business interruption.
And outside California, the report's authors say the rest of the country is pretty much unprepared. The New Madrid fault, which runs through the central Mississippi Valley, poses a major worry for seismologists. The major quake that hit there in 1811 was reportedly felt up and down the Mississippi and as far away as the Boston and the Carolinas. Were that sized quake to hit today, it would impact two-thirds of the U-S population.
Oh, and outside of Memphis, almost no structures in the eastern half of the country are designed to handle earthquakes (and it's worse the further east you go, and the further east you go, the more populated it gets --Maiman).
Off the beaten path:
A Russian teen found a 24-year-old message in a bottle.
Agence France-Presse has the story of 13-year-old DANIIL KOROTKIKH. He found the old beer bottle on the beach, opened it, and discovered a note written in German. The letter was signed by five-year-old FRANK UESBECK of Germany.
Journalists helped the kid track the author down. Uesbeck is now 29. Uesbeck said, "It's just incredible. Can it really be possible that the letter is still readable after so many years in the water?" The pair are now communicating with each other via video conferenceing. (Still)
Idle gossip & unconfirmed rumors:
Rumors have been swirling that EMILY MAYNARD and BRAD WOMACK aren't a match made in heaven, but they're giving their made-for-TV romance a go. Friends of the "winner" from "The Bachelor" tell Life & Style magazine the little lady is moving from North Carolina to Texas to be near her man, but the two won't be co-habitating. Word is she's planning to get her own condo with her five-year-old daughter, RICKI. (Lee)
25 Stars that had babies out of wedlock from Us Weekly magazine:
--KIMORA LEE SIMMONS
Finally, for the philosophy majors in the audience, happy birthday to RENE DESCARTES (Day-CART), born in 1596, famous for the nugget: "I think, therefore I am." However, mathematics was his big love, and he was the one who gave geometry its "Cartesian coordinates" and he described how to handle negative roots (Editor's note: is my Georgia Tech background showing?).
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