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When unusual earthquakes in unusual locations occur, there are always questions:

1. Were they induced?
2. did "fracking" cause them?
3. Would they have happened anyway even without human influence?
...and so on.

A region of Kansas southwest of Wichita has experienced, since early in 2013, a series of unusual earthquakes. At least 100-plus earthquakes have been recorded. The largest of this sequence came on November 12, 2014 and at M4.8, it was somewhat damaging to the village of Milton, KS.

Nearly all of the earthquakes are occurring in three south-central Kansas counties: Harper, Butler, and Sumner.

This has sort of become an irregular series of mine. The difference between this and my past work is I had published scientific background to work with--the substantial increase in seismicity in neighboring Oklahoma has garnered significant public scientific concern, particularly after the November 2011 damaging earthquake.

With Kansas, however, we do not yet have that. Although I can absolutely guarantee that people smarter than me are looking into this and hopefully will publish their findings within the next few months and years, please consider much from this point forward on the potential cause of these earthquakes as highly speculative on my part.

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This is a story I've hoped I'd be able to follow up on, with good news, for some years now.

And some good news is what we have.

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Fri Oct 03, 2014 at 04:49 PM PDT

When Conspiracy Theories Kill

by terrypinder

Daily Kos, meet Dr. Cyril Broderick.

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BIG EMPHASIS on MIGHT

I'll repeat before we begin: BIG EMPHASIS on MIGHT.

I've been documenting the continuing research into the increase in seismicity occuring east of the Rockies in the United States. Almost all of it is concentrated in a handful of states, like Oklahoma, where four wastewater fluid injection wells have been potentially linked to 20% of all the cumulative seismicity that's occuring in the region.

However, while the methods by which humans can induce seismicity are fairly well known and have been for decades, telling the difference between induced seismicity and natural seismicity is not as straightforward.

A short note in the October 2014 Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America suggests there might be a way.

Again, big emphasis on might.

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ENSO events are notoriously hard to forecast.

Earlier this year, it really appeared that an El Nino event would occur, forming in northern hemisphere autumn. It looked like, from the available heat in the tropical Pacific's waters, that this event would be spectacular, rivaling if not exceeding the 1997 El Nino event. For the parched western US, this would have been welcome despite the disruption it'd bring. It'd essentially start raining in late December and not really stop until March.

When the first preliminary forecasts were released earlier this year, I just didn't see it. I just didn't see the super-El Nino happening. As data came in and as I kept watch over the summer, the conditions necessary just did not come together.

And now, it looks likely that this will not occur.

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Sunday morning's M6 South Napa Earthquake jolted thousands of Bay Area residents out of their sleep.

It also proved an ongoing experiment correct: earthquake warning systems work.

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Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 03:43 PM PDT

A personal piece on depression

by terrypinder

Robin Williams passed on an anniversary of mine. Ten years. It's a date I'd rather forget, and mostly had, until this week.

I'd planned for weeks, meticulously researching methods.

I'd planned on ending my life.

I'm writing this piece out because Boise Blue shared her story.

Hey, if you want to bow out now, I understand, because I'm going to describe what I did.

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That something strange is going on beneath the central and eastern US is not in doubt. Since 2008, there has been a remarkable rise in seismicity, a good deal of it attributed to anthropogenic causes. States like Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Texas have all seen significant increases in seismicity.

A new study published in Science suggests that 20% of all central and eastern US seismicity since 2008---one-fifth---can possibly be laid deep at the feet of only four wells. 45% of of all of that seismicity comes from Oklahoma, a state that in 2014 has had more earthquakes than California, which as we've learned, has its own possible problems.

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Hobby Lobby's owner, and a not unsubstantial portion of the American population, believe that life begins at the very point of conception--the very moment sperm penetrates egg. And that conception begins at the point of ejaculation (this is what the lying conservative evangelical tribe actually believes). And that life is a complete human being. And preventing that life using emergency contraception, birth control pills, or IUDs is abortion and therefore murder. Therefore anything that inhibits sperm from meeting egg is abortion.

And the belief, despite being fucking WRONG, seems to be spreading and working. It's not how it works though. It's not how any of it works.

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I don't know how explicitly I can say this as we all go around and around stating "well, it's a narrow ruling" and "well, they sincerely believed it."

No.

Goddamnit.

They fucking lied.

You can say it.

Hobby Lobby LIED about the science of birth control and won.

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Mon Jun 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM PDT

Definitions, American* style!

by terrypinder

THE BELOW IS CYNICISM. IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE TRUE. IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE SATIRE. IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE SNARK. PROCEED WITH CYNICAL TONGUE IN CHEEK.

* - see definition of American

Religion: Christianity.

god: 1. the creator of everything except evolution, a 14 billion year old universe, and homosexuality and Satan too. Likes to punish the world for political decisions in America only apparently.

2. also not a religious icon or word too, thus the reason it remains on the money, is the national motto, and is in the pledge.

hell: the punishment place where everyone who god dislikes is sent to be tortured for all eternity.

Jesus Christ: the being whose return is imminent, at which time everyone who isn't properly christian will be sent to hell.

The Bible: 100% literal truth every word every single one is literally true.

Satan: that being who despite being unable to act in the universe depicted in the literally true every word Bible without god's permission is responsible for every bad thing.

Christian: conservative Protestant, with the members of other major Christian sects as considered acceptable by other conservative Protestants.

Christianity: 1. conservative Protestantism, with the portions of beliefs other major Christian sects as considered acceptable by conservative Protestantism. Also called "Judeo-Christian" because apparently they believe Judaism is an extension of Christianity and there's also some guilt there about the Holocaust.

2. a belief system that isn't a religion at all but is a "personal relationship with Christ."

3. a religion that's better served forced on your neighbors, legally too. See Religious Liberty

Religious Freedom: the freedom for conservative Christians (see definition of Christian) to live their lives and dictate the lives of minority groups.

Religious Liberty: the liberty for conservative Christians (see definition of Christian) to live their lives and dictate the liberty of minority groups.

Minority group: white people; Christians (see definition of Christian).

Patriot: American

American: white conservative Christian.

activist judge: any judge who doesn't rule the way Americans* (see definition of American) likes

contraceptive: abortion drug

abortion: anything that happens from the point sperm meets egg to birth that doesn't result in a live birth (but note that the 50% implantation failure rate is not abortion and is just "natural." No word on if heaven is just clouds and billowing clouds of naturally expelled fertlized eggs.)

fertlized egg: in humans, an actual whole person.

lifestyle choice: homosexuality. totally not religion--you don't choose that. that's totally inborn.

religious persecution: hearing "Happy Holidays" or the fact that civil legal marriage is extended to same-sex couples is what this is.

sharia law: that icky thing Muslims do.

atheists: the people who are ruining America all by themselves.

birth control: slut pill

employer: an individual who has every right to dictate the private lives of those they employ in every fashion

employee: serf

America: the best country ever to exist. The Bible says so!

liberal: a satanic individual who lies

communist: a liberal

socialist: a communist (see definition for communist)

fascist: liberal

Nazi: socialist

free market: the truly godly way of doing business

climate change: that thing communists made up, to block free market American values, and to persecute Christians, whose god said He'd never flood the world again oh and the Flood actually literally happened as written.

racist: liberal and or black person

corporation: a legal person

THE ABOVE IS CYNICISM. IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE TRUE. IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE SATIRE. IT MAY OR MAY NOT BE SNARK. I HOPE YOU READ WITH CYNICAL TONGUE IN CHEEK.

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Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:11 AM PDT

About that warp drive...again

by terrypinder

I apologize. I really do. I’m sorry, fellow Trekkies, I have to shit on your dreams again. Mine too.

It isn’t going to happen. Despite the lovely concept art NASA’s put forth, and the experiment that apparently is underway at a small scale, there’s no warp drive coming, probably ever. It isn’t possible, unless a fundamentally new kind of matter is discovered, and that little thing about causality is dealt with.

Relativity states you can’t violate causality, and a FTL drive would do just that. Special relativity states it’d be a type of time-travel. When you look up into the night sky, you’re essentially looking backwards in time. That light from the stars is light that took dozens and hundreds of years to reach us. This site explains it better than any site I’ve found on the internet and I highly recommend it. Even the comments are tolerable.

As one hard-science fiction site says,
Causality, Relativity, FTL travel: chose any two” and if you’re going to choose all three, make sure you have limits that are logical and consistent. Nerds will still try to break it. It's what we do.  It’s what NASA is doing.

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