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november 2008

GM, Ford, Chrysler CEOs may carpool to Capitol

Blogging on EARTH

Last week, members of the House Financial Services Committee blasted the execs at General Motors, Ford and Chrysler for arriving on the Hill in separate private jets — even as they pleaded for a $25-billion-dollar government bailout. But it looks like the Big Three auto companies have gotten the message.

26 Nov 2008

November 26,1872: Great Diamond Hoax Exposed

By Cassandra Willyard

On a foggy day in 1871, two men walked into the Bank of California in San Francisco. One held a rifle and the other gripped a large buckskin pouch. Both were covered in a thick layer of grime. Initially, the nervous teller took the shady drifters for bank robbers. But his anxiety turned to elation when they showed him the contents of their pouch — a shimmery bounty of diamonds, rubies and sapphires.

26 Nov 2008

US earthquakes actually a powerful Siberian quake

A magnitude-7.3 earthquake in Siberia Monday was mistaken by U.S. seismometers as temblors in Idaho and California.

The actual quake occurred about 500 kilometers deep, in the Sea of Okhotsk about 315 kilometers northwest of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.

25 Nov 2008

Wal-Mart to use wind energy

Wal-Mart’s reputation for cheap prices precedes it, but recently the retailer showed its greener side when it announced plans to supply 15 percent of its total energy load with wind power.

The energy will come from Texas wind farms constructed by Duke Energy, which will go online this spring, a Wal-Mart press release said.

That avoids releasing more than 139,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year — the equivalent of taking about 25,000 cars off the road, Wal-Mart said.

25 Nov 2008

Down to Earth With: John 'Jack' Reed Jr.

Geologist Jack Reed spent his career studying rocks the most strenuous way someone can — by climbing them. During much of his 47 years with the U.S. Geological Survey, Reed clung  to rock faces in Alaska, Wyoming and Colorado, while creating geologic maps of North America’s tallest mountain ranges. Along the way, he published dozens of books for climbers and hikers on the geology of places like the Tetons in Wyoming, Seneca Rocks in West Virginia, Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and, most recently, “Rocks Above the Clouds: A Climber’s Guide to Colorado Mountain Geology.” Shortly before his latest book hit the shelves, Reed took some time out of his busy retirement schedule to speak with EARTH contributor and fellow climber Mary Caperton Morton.

23 Nov 2008

The Disappearing Lake

For many tourists, Mountain Lake in southwestern Virginia has been an idyllic retreat. But in 2008, it pulled a disappearing act, leaving behind only cracked earth and a small pond.

In this multimedia presentation, EARTH reporter Cassandra Willyard tells the geologic story of Mountain Lake.

 

 

For more information on Mountain Lake, visit these sites:

20 Nov 2008

Energy Notes: July 2007-2008

Oil and petroleum imports data are preliminary numbers taken from the American Petroleum Institute’s Monthly Statistical Report. For more information visit www.api.org.

 
20 Nov 2008

Mineral Resource of the Month: Cultured Quartz Crystal

Cultured quartz crystal, also known as electronic-grade quartz crystal, is single-crystal quartz that has properties that make it uniquely useful in electronic circuits for precise filtration, frequency control and timing for consumer and military use. Common uses for cultured quartz crystal include aerospace hardware, commercial and military navigational instruments, computers, clocks, games, television receivers, toys and communications equipment like cell phones.

 
20 Nov 2008

Raising California's Sinking Delta

Over the past century and a half, the river delta that provides Central and Southern Californians with drinking water and farmers with productive cropland has sunk about two and a half centimeters each year. Some of the delta’s islands now lie more than six meters below sea level. Two thousand kilometers of aging levees keep them dry for now, but as the land sinks, the pressure on the levees grows. Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey in California have uncovered a way to rebuild the delta and sequester carbon in the process.

18 Nov 2008

Earthquake rattles eastern Indonesia

A magnitude-7.5 earthquake rocked through Indonesia's island of Sulawesi at about 1 a.m. local time Monday, leaving four people dead and prompting thousands to flee their homes. Following the mainshock, the region also experienced several strong aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from 5.1 to 5.6.

17 Nov 2008

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