The East Coast Earthquake is a Wake Up Call And Should Serve as a Warning of How Unprepared We Actually Are
The recent 5.8 earthquake that hit outside Washington, D.C. perhaps created more psychological than physical damage. So the good news is that only nerves were rattled, rather than buildings although there was small amounts of damage reported. For example, the 137-year old Washington Monument had a fairly large crack towards the top, paint chips and plaster fell from the Capital Dome, and the National Cathedral lost several hand made cap stones and even one of the large pinnacles at the top.
However, the bad news is that this earthquake is by all means a wake-up call, warning us of how unprepared we are for a major earthquake in the northeast, where we have been lulled to sleep by the lack of major earthquakes in the past century.
In the northeast, our building codes are in many ways obsolete not to mention that our nuclear power plants are relatively vulnerable. For example, the quake knocked out the off-site electrical power at two nuclear power plants in North Ana. Of the four back-up emergency generators, one of them failed. This is actually quite disturbing, because the North Ana plant was apparently only designed to handle a 6.2 earthquake. So, conceivably, if the earthquake had been a bit more powerful, it might have knocked out even more of the emergency diesel generators (at Fukushima, all the generators and batteries were knocked out, causing the recent tragedies in Japan). Without power, a nuclear power plant is dead in the water. Without cooling water being continually pumped over the super hot core, a meltdown is inevitable.
Also, if the earthquake had been centered around New York rather than Washington, D.C., it might have caused much more damage. For example, The Indian Point plant that is located roughly 30 miles north of New York City, is designed to handle a 6.0 earthquake. So, for both North Ana and Indian Point, this latest earthquake came fairly close to reaching their maximum ability to handle such an earthquake.
In addition, earthquakes are quite different on the east coast compared to the west coast. In Calif., because of the highly fractured nature of the fault lines, earthquake energy does not spread very far. The energy also does not transfer across fault lines very well. But the northeast sits in the middle of the North American Plate, much of it on bedrock, so the entire region tends to vibrate as a single unit. Hence, the energy easily travels much farther distances. So although earthquakes are more frequent on the west coast, the damage can spread much farther on the east coast.
Lastly, not much is known about all the fault lines in the northeast. In the west coast, because of the frequency of small earthquakes, it is relatively easy to create detailed maps of the various fault lines and even make some rough predictions of when they might happen again. In the northeast, this kind of detailed analysis is not possible. Earthquakes are less frequent, and there are fewer fault lines that are easily identified. But even in the middle of the North American Plate, you can have large earthquakes. The New Madrid earthquake of 1811, for example, was one of the largest earthquakes to hit the US, outside of the west coast.
Sadly, the northeast is not prepared for a big earthquake. Politicians are not interested in preparing for the "100 year storm" or "100 year earthquake" since it won't happen during their lifetime. However, sooner or later a big one might hit, and the damage could be incalculable.
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
- Push Past Negative Self-Talk: Give Yourself the Proper Fuel to Attack the World, with David Goggins, Former NAVY SealIf you've ever spent 5 minutes trying to meditate, you know something most people don't realize: that our minds are filled, much of the time, with negative nonsense. Messaging from TV, from the news, from advertising, and from difficult daily interactions pulls us mentally in every direction, insisting that we focus on or worry about this or that. To start from a place of strength and stability, you need to quiet your mind and gain control. For former NAVY Seal David Goggins, this begins with recognizing all the negative self-messaging and committing to quieting the mind. It continues with replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones.
If you don't want to know anything about your death, consider this your spoiler warning.
- For centuries cultures have personified death to give this terrifying mystery a familiar face.
- Modern science has demystified death by divulging its biological processes, yet many questions remain.
- Studying death is not meant to be a morbid reminder of a cruel fate, but a way to improve the lives of the living.
- Master Execution: How to Get from Point A to Point B in 7 Steps, with Rob Roy, Retired Navy SEALUsing the principles of SEAL training to forge better bosses, former Navy SEAL and founder of the Leadership Under Fire series Rob Roy, a self-described "Hammer", makes people's lives miserable in the hopes of teaching them how to be a tougher—and better—manager. "We offer something that you are not going to get from reading a book," says Roy. "Real leaders inspire, guide and give hope."Anybody can make a decision when everything is in their favor, but what happens in turbulent times? Roy teaches leaders, through intense experiences, that they can walk into any situation and come out ahead. In this lesson, he outlines seven SEAL-tested steps for executing any plan—even under extreme conditions or crisis situations.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.