Reading Around the Internet: November 24, 2014


The Ebola Diaries, which I’ve mentioned before, has a very insightful story up titled “Ebola and the Aid Industrial Complex.” The article describes one aid worker’s experiences in Liberia, the country that, arguably, has been hit the hardest by the disease. Take a look — it’s worth the read. By the way, Ebola Diaries has a Facebook page. If you’re interested in coverage of this, you might want to like it and get updates in your newsfeed.

Earthquakes in Oklahoma

Oklahoma continues to have more than its share of earthquakes: There have been 4,600 earthquakes this year so far. See the coverage here.

Planning for an Asteroid Hit

Yes, asteroids do hit Earth, and someday we may be hit by a very large one. So, scientists have been working creating an asteroid warning system. There’s an interesting article here. It’s difficult because scientists have to finds ways of not only locating objects in space moving toward us, but they also have to track them through debris fields, various gravitation fields, etc. All in all, its sounds both complicated and fascinating.

Sun’s Magnetic Field and Earth’s Weather

There’s a very informative and interesting story at Scientific American. Looking specifically at the number of lightning strikes when the Sun’s magnetic field is pointed away from the Earth, scientists have found that the occurrence of lightning increases. The theory is that the Sun’s magnetic field is affecting Earth’s magnetic field. Cosmic rays, apparently, can cause lightning and when the Earth’s magnetic field is stretched or skewed in some manner because of the Sun’s, scientists believe we see a higher incidence of lightning.

Reading Around the Internet: November 17, 2014

Happy Monday! It’s cold and snowy this morning in southeast Missouri — unseasonably cold, unseasonably snowy. That said, we only have a little snow on the ground. Compared to points north of here, that is nothing to complain about…  It’s been known to happen

In the meantime, here’s some interesting news for those of you interested in disaster management. I’ve got earthquake swarms, more volcano eruptions, and an Ebola update that is focused on the not so little question of who will pay containment costs…


Kansas had a 4.8 earthquake over the weekend. Here are some photos. It hit Witchita and the southern part of the state. Since then, they’ve had a few more ranging from 2.4 to 3.8 in intensity.  The state has recorded more than 90 earthquakes in the past year.

Meanwhile, northwestern Nevada has been experiencing an earthquake swarm as well.  According to USA Today, since early July, there have been some 750 earthquakes in the area, mostly with a magnitude between 2.0 and 3.0, and a few a little higher. Geologists say that there is a slightly elevated risk of a larger earthquake (above a 5.0) while the swarm is active, but the swarm is not necessarily an indicator that a big earthquake is coming.

In the meantime, on November 14th, a 7.1 quake hit the waters off the coast of Indonesia. It triggered a small tsunami, and was felt in several cities in the region.


On Saturday morning, Mount Pavlov in Alaska sent an ash plume 30,000 feet up and into the air.  As the LA Times reports, the lava flow from Kilauea has advanced slowly on the town and is now about 200 yards away. It is not yet posing an immediate threat on the residents of the town Pahoa, but Hawaii Civil Defense continues to monitor the situation as the lava edges closer and closer.

Over in Iceland, the volcano eruption there has been observed by what the National Geographic refers to as “intrepid visitors”.  Apparently, there’s a burgeoning tourist industry around this volcano’s activity. (Maybe I need to get on a plane and go — would love to photograph this…).


This morning, The Hill reports that on Sunday Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has called upon the federal government to pay for the costs of containing Ebola in New York City: “Local taxpayers should not foot the whole bill for handling this infectious disease that may have been physically present in New York City, but was truly a threat to the whole nation.”  According to The Hill, NYC spent $20 million, and Dallas spent $1 million in their containment efforts. The Hill has links to other stories of interest on this topic.