Friday, August 14, 2020

Rare ‘Boomerang’ Earthquake Detected Under The Atlantic Ocean For The 1st Time

For years, scientists have been attempting to track an extremely rare “boomerang” earthquake. Now, they’ve recorded one in the ocean for the first time and it’s even more bizarre than they expected. Earthquakes are the result of rocks breaking on a fault, which is a boundary between two plates. A “boomerang” earthquake, also known as a “back-propagating supershear rupture,” means the fracture travels away from the initial crack before returning to it at even faster speeds, scientists said. According to a new study, a team led by scientists from the University of Southampton and Imperial College London successfully recorded a magnitude 7.1 earthquake on August 29, 2016. It ran along the Romanche fracture zone, a 560-mile-long fault line under the Atlantic Ocean near the equator, between Brazil and Africa. An analysis revealed the quake had two distinct phases. The rupture traveled upward and eastward first, before suddenly reversing and heading back west to the center of the fault at an accelerated speed of 3.7 miles per second. Scientists aren’t exactly sure how this occurred, but they believe the first phase somehow triggered its more aggressive counterpart. Only a handful of boomerang earthquakes have ever been recorded — the phenomenon has mostly been theoretical, until now. Scientists said that if a similar type of quake occurred on land, it would drastically affect the amount of ground shaking and possibly widen the affected area. Successfully tracking more boomerang quakes would allow researchers to better predict and assess the hazards from such events, improving impact forecasts. (Nature Geoscience)


Countless small businesses are gone

Nobody knows for sure how many small businesses have failed during the pandemic: Data is scarce but, also, the enterprises often carry no debt and as such don’t exit through bankruptcy court. Of the 80,000 small companies known to have permanently closed from March through July, according to Yelp, the vast majority were local with fewer than five outlets. Collectively, though, these businesses employ almost half of American workers, the U.S. Small Business Administration says. (Bloomberg)


Still can’t find those paper towels?

While toilet paper may have been the most sought-after item at the beginning of the pandemic, five months later some grocery items are still in high demand. The supermarket industry could face about $10 billion in lost revenue if shelves remain 90% full for half of the year. Approximately 10% of items remain out of stock — compared with 5% to 7% pre-pandemic, with baking ingredients and paper towels still a hot commodity. Two-for-one promotions have also mostly been cut, although are slowly reappearing over the summer. (The Wall Street Journal)


The British economy shrank 20.4% in the second quarter, plunging the country into its first recession in 11 years

The economy contracted due to a strict coronavirus lockdown, but things picked up in June, when the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson reopened parts of the economy. GDP expanded by 8.7% in June, up from 1.8% in May. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that the sectors that recorded the biggest downturn were construction (35%), services (19.9%), and manufacturing (16.9%). GDP contracted by 2.2% in the first quarter. ONS said that, in only two quarters, the pandemic has wiped out 17 years of economic growth. It noted that the 20.4% contraction in Q2 was the biggest quarterly decline since records began in 1955. (BBC)


A Scottish metal detectorist has found a 3,000-year-old sword

The sword was part of a bounty of Bronze Age objects that also included a horse harness, buckles, rings, and ornaments. Soon after discovering the artifacts, the treasure hunter said he was “shaking with happiness.” He contacted the government’s archeology unit, which sent experts to the site for a 22-day digging campaign. Archeologists are now trying to understand how such a collection of objects ended up buried in a field near the village of Peebles, about 22 miles south of Edinburgh. (Associated Press)


Dutch police have busted the largest-ever drug lab in the Netherlands

The facility was inside a former riding stable and had the equipment to produce 200kg of cocaine a day. It featured cement mixers that were used to extract cocaine from materials such as clothes that had been impregnated with the drug to avoid detection. Police arrested 13 Colombians, thee Dutch citizens, and one Turkish suspect. The owner of the stable is among the suspects arrested. He lived in a building on the property with his 92-year-old mother. Several dozen officers raided the property, which is located 75 miles (120km) north-east of Amsterdam. Authorities deployed a personnel carrier and a surveillance helicopter for the operation. Dutch customs police have confiscated 55,000 pounds of cocaine between January and June – twice as much as in the same period last year. The ports of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands, and Antwerp, in Belgium, are used by traffickers to smuggle cocaine into Europe. (The Guardian)


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has topped Forbes’ list of the world’s highest-paid male actors for a second year running

Forbes estimates that he made $87.5m in the fiscal year ending June 2020. Johnson’s main source of income was Netflix, which reportedly paid the actor around $23.5m for a forthcoming film entitled “Red Notice.”

The Forbes list of highest-paid actors:

  1. Dwayne Johnson – $87.5m
  2. Ryan Reynolds – $71.5m
  3. Mark Wahlberg – $58m
  4. Ben Affleck – $55m
  5. Vin Diesel – $54m
  6. Akshay Kuma – $48.5m
  7. Lin-Manuel Miranda – $45.5m
  8. Will Smith – $44.5m
  9. Adam Sandler – $41m
  10. Jackie Chan – $40m



Microsoft announced it will release its Surface Duo, a dual-screen Android phone on September 10th

The phone is available now for pre-order and will retail at $1,399. The Surface Duo is Microsoft’s first phone to run on Android, after phones using Windows 10 underperformed. The device includes two separate 5.6-inch OLED screens with a 4:3 aspect ratio that connect together to form an 8.1-inch overall workspace with a 3:2 aspect ratio. There is one camera on the Surface Duo, which can be used both for video calls and as the main camera, but it has 4K and 1080p video recording that will be supported at 30fps and 60fps. Foldable phones have had mixed reviews so far. Samsung shipped out defective versions of its $2,000 Galaxy Fold to tech reviewers, then delayed its April launch to September. (Microsoft)


Jobless claims slip below 1M

New jobless claims slipped to below 1 million for the first time since the pandemic hit the U.S. Initial filings for unemployment assistance declined last week by 228,000, to 963,000, the lowest since March, while continuing claims fell to 15.5 million — the lowest since early April. The Labor Department data shows some strengthening in the market, where unemployment fell to 10.2% last month from a 15% peak in April. But total weekly claims of more than 16 million still compare with a pre-pandemic peak of 6.6 million in 2009. (Bloomberg)


Thousands sign petition to remove ‘White Pride’ billboard at entrance to Arkansas city

A billboard in Harrison, Arkansas has grabbed the attention of thousands of people over the past few years – and is now the subject of a petition for its removal. A group has worked for years to remove a billboard advertising White Pride Radio and the alt-right TV website at the entrance to Harrison, Arkansas. The billboard went up in 2013. The Knights Party, formerly the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, own the alt-right media group. A Task force group is trying a new approach to get it removed, a petition. So far, they have more than 8,800 signatures. The mayor, chamber of commerce and county judge would also would like the sign to come down. They released a joint statement: “In the last few decades, we have taken community efforts to denounce racism on all fronts and we are committed to doing more … our race relations task force has worked to successfully remove four of the five privately owned billboards. They continue trying to remove the last one.” The owner of Harrison Sign Company, which owns the billboard, said he is just doing business. He said the content of the billboard is covered under the First Amendment. (KARK)


Intoxicated man mistakes a Canadian Police cruiser for taxi cab

The RCMP in Portage la Prairie in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba, Canada says an intoxicated man mistook an unmarked RCMP cruiser for a taxi cab after jumping in the back seat. RCMP officers were called to a report of an intoxicated man causing a disturbance. Two units, one fully marked and one unmarked, responded to the call where they found a 19-year-old man. RCMP said the man ran from police, but willingly jumped into the back of the unmarked cruiser and allegedly told the officer to ‘Take me to 17th Street, Bro’ before realizing he was not in a taxi. Officers just took him back to the detachment where he could have time to sober up. RCMP tweeted about the incident of mistaken identity, saying “It is just kind of a funny situation that we wanted to share with the public. It’s not always doom and gloom – there are some funny aspects of our job and sometimes it’s nice to let the public know about those things.” RCMP said the man was released without charges. (CTV News)


Samsung has revealed its plans for 6G technology, outlining its vision for “digital twins” of our physical selves

In a research paper, the South Korean smartphone giant stated that there will be three key 6G services: Immersive extended reality (XR); high-fidelity mobile hologram; and digital replicas. “With the help of advanced sensors, AI, and communication technologies, it will be possible to replicate physical entities, including people, devices, objects, systems, and even places, in a virtual world,” the white paper states. In a 6G environment, through digital twins, users will be able to explore and monitor the reality in a virtual world, without temporal or spatial constraints. Users will be able to observe changes or detect problems remotely through the representation offered by digital twins. Such advancements could contribute to the trend of people increasingly working and socialising remotely, with video calls replaced with immersive reality communication enabled by next-generation virtual reality (VR) devices and holographic displays. New generations of wireless telecommunications technology are generally released every 10 years, with the arrival of 5G’s successor pegged for 2030. But Samsung claims the earliest commercialization of 6G could occur as early as 2028. (The Independent)


Unsolicited masks arriving in US mailboxes from China

Last month officials warned of mysterious seed packages originating from China and showing up in people’s mail across the country. Now, there are reports of mystery masks. According to reports, unsolicited face masks from China are showing up in mailboxes in the Tampa Bay, Florida and in Houston, Texas area. People are not expecting these packages. When some opened them up, they find two masks inside. There was no note. The Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau called these incidents a “brushing” scam. The seller gets your address and your name, or sometimes even your Amazon profile, and sends you items. The unordered items are usually lightweight. (KOCO)



Friday Smacks Down With:

  • Creamsicle Day
  • Kool-Aid Day
  • Military Marriage Day
  • Navajo Code Talkers Day
  • Shop Online For Groceries Day
  • V-J Day
  • World Calligraphy Day

Add a Comment