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Southern California earthquakes: why predicting the next one isn’t easy



California’s largest earthquake in decades rattled homes, damaged buildings and led to widespread power outages on the Fourth of July — before being followed up by an even larger quake on Friday night.

On Thursday, a 6.4 magnitude earthquake hit southeastern California. Its epicenter was in Ridgecrest, a city of fewer than 30,000 people about 150 miles north of Los Angeles. The following night, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake led to structural fires and injuries, but no fatalities.

Although tremors were felt as far away as Las Vegas and Mexico, Ridgecrest’s relatively remote location may have helped contain the worst of the damage, Paul Caruso, a geophysicist with the US Geological Survey, told The Washington Post.

Still, California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) declared a state of emergency in Kern County, home to Ridgecrest, on Thursday night.

On Saturday morning, he declared another state of emergency in nearby San Bernardino County. The declaration detailed “widespread and significant damage to critical infrastructure, including roads, water lines, and gas lines, resulting in multiple structural fires.”

At a press conference on Saturday morning, Kern County Fire Chief David Witt said his team was responding to structural and vegetation fires amid reports of infrastructural damage.

“We have people in place, people in place out in Ridgecrest and all of our fire stations are staffed right now,” he said. He added that support teams had come in from nearby communities, including Los Angeles, Fresno, Orange County, and neighboring San Bernardino.

The San Bernardino fire department tweeted that homes had shifted and walls had fallen, and that gas leaks — but no quake-related fires — had been detected in their service areas:

According to Brandon Miller, a meteorologist for CNN, Friday’s event was five times bigger and 11 times stronger than Thursday’s. Now experts are predicting a series of follow-up tremors — and they have the potential to be even larger.

More earthquakes could come, but predicting them is difficult

The Thursday and Friday earthquakes were part of a sequence, Lucy Jones, a seismologist at the California Institute of Technology, told the LA Times, adding that another event in the sequence could surpass Friday’s.

“It is clearly a very energetic sequence, so there’s no reason to think we can’t have more large earthquakes,” she said, placing the odds of another surpassing magnitude 7 at one in 10.

“It would be extremely unusual if we didn’t have another [magnitude] 5 this week,” she added.

At Saturday’s press conference, Chief Witt said his team was ready for potential aftershocks, but predicting when they could come is a difficult task, even for experts like Jones.

While seismologists can use historical records and geologic measurements to figure out where earthquakes are likely to hit, it is much harder to predict when the next tremors might occur. As Vox’s Umair Irfan has explained:

It’s difficult to figure out when an earthquake will occur, since the forces that cause them happen slowly over a vast area but are disbursed rapidly over a narrow region. What’s amazing is that forces built up across continents over millions of years can hammer cities in minutes.

Forecasting earthquakes would require high-resolution measurements deep underground over the course of decades, if not longer, coupled with sophisticated simulations. And even then, it’s unlikely to yield an hour’s worth of lead time. So there are ultimately too many variables at play and too few tools to analyze them in a meaningful way.

Some research shows that foreshocks can precede a larger earthquake, but it’s difficult to distinguish them from the hundreds of smaller earthquakes that occur on a regular basis.

Scientists are able to make broad predictions, however. For instance, Jones has said an earthquake of the size that shook southern California on Friday could have “aftershocks that last for years.” Many of these are likely to be quite small: There’s been roughly one per minute in that region since Friday, according to the US Geological Survey.

Jones also told the Times that although the exact moments the recent earthquakes hit were a surprise, seismologists knew a fairly strong quake was likely. She said it’s a return to an old pattern of earthquakes in the state, which has recently experienced an unusual diminution of seismic activity.

“In California, we expect to have a magnitude 7 once every 10 to 20 years, and the last one was 20 years ago,” Jones said. “Think of this as a return to what California is supposed to be doing.”

In this way, the earthquakes are not likely connected to other abnormal weather patterns of late — record heat waves across Europe and in Alaska, for example — that have been linked to climate change.

Scientists haven’t linked earthquake sequences to climate change at all, actually, but they are studying the possibility increasing global temperatures could affect seismic activity. As Irfan explained:

As average temperatures rise, massive ice sheets are melting, shifting billions of tons of water from exposed land into the ocean and allowing land masses to rebound. That global rebalancing could have seismic consequences, but signals haven’t emerged yet.

“What might occur is enough ice melts that could unload the crust,” [Stanford University geophysics professor Greg] Beroza said, but added there is no evidence for this, nor for which parts of the world will reveal a signal. [Harvard University’s Marine] Denolle agreed that this could be a mechanism, but if there is any impact from climate change on earthquakes, she says she suspects it will be very small.

Most earthquakes, including those that quavered under southern California this week, stem from cracks in the earth’s crust, known as faults. As Irfan also explained:

An earthquake occurs when massive blocks of the earth’s crust suddenly move past each other. These blocks, called tectonic plates, lie on top of the earth’s mantle, a layer that behaves like a very slow-moving liquid over millions of years.

That means tectonic plates jostle each other over time. They can also slide on top of each other, a phenomenon called subduction.

The places on the planet where one plate meets another are the most prone to earthquakes. The specific surfaces where parcels of earth slip past each other are called faults.

As plates move, pressure builds up across their boundaries, while friction holds them in place. When the former overwhelms the latter, the earth shakes as the pent-up energy dissipates.

For years, scientists have warned about “The Big One” — an enormous earthquake that could rock the Pacific Northwest, affecting some 7 million people. Of concern in southern California is another, slightly smaller, predicted quake, one predicted to reach magnitude 8.2. That one would emerge from the San Andreas Fault.

Initial reports about this week’s quakes led to concerns that the San Andreas Fault could be triggered by these events, and that activity there could trigger a massively devastating earthquake. But their center was 100 miles away from that fault, and seismologists say there is no connection between the San Andreas and these earthquakes.

Instead, these tremors, while powerful, may not ultimately be so unusual.

Or as Jones put it: “This is an area that normally has lots and lots of earthquakes.”

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Komünist Başkan, Aldığı Kararla Sosyal Medyada Trend Topic Oldu




Mehmet Fatih Maçoğlu’nun belediye başkanı olduğu Tunceli Belediyesi Meclisi, ‘Tunceli’ yazan belediye tabelasının ‘Dersim’ olarak değiştirilmesine karar verdi. Bu karar sonrası Maçoğlu, sosyal medyada Trend Topic oldu.

Tunceli Belediye Başkanı TKP’li Fatih Mehmet Maçoğlu başkanlığında belediye meclis üyeleri toplantısında alınan kararla Tunceli Belediyesi tabelasının ‘Dersim Belediyesi’ olarak değiştirilmesi kararı alındı. Karar tartışma yaratırken ‘DersimdeğilTunceli’ etiketi sosyal medyada Trend Topic oldu.


Belediyeden yapılan açıklamada Dersim ibaresiyle birlikte Zazaca ve Türkçe beleriye hizmetleri verileceği duyuruldu. Açıklamada şöyle denildi: “Kentimizin kültürü, tarihi ve inanç biçimini yaşatmak adına belediyemiz hizmet binasında bulunan tabelada yazılı ‘Tunceli’ ibaresinin değiştirilerek yerine ‘Dersim’ ibaresinin yazılması oy çokluğuyla kabul edildi. Haber

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15 Random People Who Look So Much Like Celebrities, You May Want to Take a Photo With Them




It’s not an easy goal to meet a real celebrity in our everyday life. Sometimes they are too busy with their activities or simply prefer to avoid public places. But when you see one right in front of you, don’t be too quick to jump over the moon and ask for a photo. Try to check their IDs first, because we are ready to show you that there are too many ordinary people who look just like stars and who probably wouldn’t miss a chance to pose and giggle afterward.

We at Bright Side compared photos of celebrities to their clones to demonstrate that this isn’t a joke. IDs first, photos after.

15. Kylie Jenner and Kristen Hancher, but which is which?

14. “My dad actually does Jack Nicholson lookalike work in Hollywood as a hobby.”

13. Breaking news! It seems Kim Kardashian has cloned herself.

12. “This fella lives in my house. I think James Franco and he follow each other on Instagram.”

11. “My sister always gets asked if she’s Julia Stiles.”

10. Nope, those aren’t just 2 pictures of Steve Buscemi!

9. Here’s chance for those who are upset that Michael Fassbender is married.

8. We’re just interested to see if Meghan Trainor’s double has the same talents.

7. We know this is pretty unexpected for Taylor Lautner, but we can’t unsee it.

6. This girl claims that she gets compared to Katy Perry daily.

5. When Chuck Norris is on vacation.

4. “Never mind, I’ll find someone like Adele.”

3. If Cobie Smulders doesn’t want to shoot How I Met Your Mother 10, there’s a perfect replacement out there.

2. Wait, so you’re saying that isn’t Zooey Deschanel on the right?

1. Even Zach Galifianakis and Jonah Hill can see this resemblance.

Do you have any friends who look exactly like movie stars? Show us their photos!

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Research Says That People Who Blush Are More Generous and Trustworthy




Some people feel uncomfortable when they blush, because they believe that this reaction of their body makes them appear timid and insecure. However, the reality is very different, because blushing can make us look more sincere and trustworthy to other people.

Today, we at Bright Side would like to tell you why blushing is not a sign of weakness, as many used to think.

Humans are the only ones that blush.

Humans are the only species known to blush, according to the findings of Darwin. After observing the gestures of monkeys, while conducting his studies on evolution — he defined this reaction as “the most peculiar and the most human of all expressions,” that probably happens because of a social defense mechanism that humans create against feelings like guilt or shame.

It makes you more attractive to the opposite sex.

The truth is that, although it could be a social defense mechanism that speaks to our discomfort, we are more attractive when our cheeks begin to turn pink. This gesture reflects a bit of vulnerability, and it’s for that very reason that it also creates a sense of intimacy that is striking to the opposite sex. In addition, it makes us look radiant, which is why, when putting on makeup, we apply pink powder on our cheeks.

People who blush are more trustworthy.

According to a study that has been published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, people who blush easily are people who are considered to be trustworthy and more generous, compared to those who don’t react in the same way. The researchers of this study also claim that other forms of moderately expressing embarrassment and social vulnerability are true signs of virtue, since it’s not possible to reproduce these reactions voluntarily.

Other gestures that reveal our emotional state

In a series of experiments, 60 college students were videotaped recounting embarrassing moments. The results indicated that blushing generates trust in other people and that’s why we shouldn’t try to hide it. This investigation includes people who react with gestures like a downward gaze, covering their face, laughing involuntarily, and blushing at the slightest provocation.

Why we blush when we feel embarrassed

Our face turns red because when we are in an embarrassing situation, the body releases adrenaline, which is what causes the redness of the skin, as it increases the blood flow to the blood vessels. This process is linked to our sympathetic nervous system and, for this reason, we can’t control it. We can also feel our heart rate speed up, our breathing increase its frequency, and in some people it can cause them to start sweating.

When it comes to blushing, it’s impossible to lie.

Blushing is something that we, human beings, are unable to avoid. It’s a set of involuntary bodily functions that are unleashed when we are exposed to a situation that embarrasses us, although not always in an unpleasant way. But it always shows that something matters to us and that, if we’ve done something wrong, we do have the desire to fix it. Because of this, this reaction is linked to honesty. So, if you see your partner blushing, you should believe in what your eyes are seeing.

Do you blush very often? Do you find it embarrassing or is it something that doesn’t worry you too much? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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