Archive for June, 2012|Monthly archive page

Landslides and Deadly floods in Nepal

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2012 at 6:15 am

On May 5, 2012, a flash flood surged down the Seti River in Nepal, sweeping away people and buildings along the riverbanks. The same day, a seismic network half a world away detected a large landslide above the river’s headwaters. The landslide occurred on a ridge below the summit of 7,525-meter (24,688-foot)-tall Annapurna IV, one of the peaks of the Annapurna massif.

The Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) on the Landsat 7 satellite observed the region before and after the landslide and flood. The top image shows the area on May 6, 2012, roughly 25 hours after the landslide. For comparison, the bottom image shows the same area on April 20. Both images are natural color. The diagonal lines are gaps in the data, resulting from a partial failure of the satellite.

The Seti River channel begins in a largely snow-free valley, surrounded by steep, glacier-covered mountains. The clearest difference between the images is the wide swath of mud-colored debris east of the river channel. Landsat imagery contributed to mounting evidence of the natural disaster. The day after the flash flood, David Petley of the International Landslide Centre at Durham University posted a blog entry discussing a potential landslide.

Big landslides can generate small earthquakes, making those slides detectable to seismic networks like the one at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) at Columbia University. Colin Stark (based at LDEO) saw Petley’s blog post and suspected the event had generated a quake big enough for the network to detect. He was right. The seismometers could give the time of the event to within 15 seconds and the general location.

But to learn more about the landslide, Stark needed more advanced analysis. He contacted his colleague, Göran Ekström, also based at LDEO, and the two started to piece together the events of May 5. In the days after the disaster, they estimated the size of the landslide, the direction of the collapse, and the duration of the event. Images from Landsat helped them confirm their findings.

After looking at seismic data and satellite imagery, Stark, Ekström, and Petley offered a scenario of how the events might have unfolded: Roughly 22 million cubic meters (777 million cubic feet) of rock broke off the slope of Annapurna IV. When the rocky avalanche encountered more level land, it fragmented and became a rock avalanche. The initial rockslide, and other rockslides it prompted, produced a massive cloud of dust that drifted northward. The main rockslide shed some of its mass on the gently sloping ground, but some of the material continued moving, falling into the heads of several steep canyons.

The fact that the landslide and flood occurred in quick succession certainly suggested a link, but could the researchers be absolutely sure the two events were related? Early on, Petley wondered if the rock avalanche reached the river channel. Stark said: “There’s a drop of about 2,000 meters (7,000 feet) into the canyon, so we’re talking an enormous gain in momentum. Then I think the debris ran down the canyon at speeds upwards of 30 meters (100 feet) per second—a guess but what we see for the landslide itself. I think this debris flow overran the water flow. In other words, I think the water was largely already in the river channel and all that was needed was a massive, high-momentum debris flow to get it moving.”

In his May 23 blog post on the event, Petley elaborated, “At the moment, we can only speculate, but the most likely explanation is that a small proportion of the debris entered and then flowed down one or more of the steep gullies that descend to the main channel. It may well be that the flow traveled down several gullies at the same time.”

Some of the first news reports of the event suggested that the landslide formed a temporary dam on the Seti River, and water breaking through that dam caused the flash flood. But Stark estimated that events unfolded in a matter of minutes with no time for a temporary dam to form. As of late May 2012, Stark and Petley planned to continue examining the evidence to better understand the events in this remote region.

In addition to the satellite and seismic observations, a local pilot—who was flying a sightseeing tour over the region when the landslide occurred—has shared video of the dust cloud, which probably formed in a matter of minutes after the slide started. He also acquired aerial photos of the flood surge down the Seti River. His YouTube video shows flooding near the village of Pokhara, which was badly damaged. After the initial disaster, the BBC acquired video footage of a subsequent flood surge down the Seti River, where hazardous conditions continued.

Petley, D. (2012, May 6) Flash flood in Nepal kills at least 15, with up to 36 more missing. The Landslide Blog. Accessed May 23, 2012.
Petley, D. (2012, May 9) Using seismic data to analyse the Seti River landslide in Nepal. The Landslide Blog. Accessed May 23, 2012.
Petley, D. (2012, May 12) More information on the landslide that caused the Seti Flood in Nepal. The Landslide Blog. Accessed May 23, 2012.
Petley, D. (2012, May 23) Understanding the Seti River landslide in Nepal. The Landslide Blog. Accessed May 23, 2012.
Stark, C., Ekström, G. (2011) Landslide Force History inversion: Measuring the dynamics of catastrophic landslides using seismology and satellite remote-sensing. (PDF file) Geophysical Research Abstracts 13, EGU2011–5109. Accessed May 21, 2012.
NASA Earth Observatory image by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Image interpretation provided by Colin Stark (Columbia University) and David Petley (Durham University). Caption by Michon Scott.

Take severe action against smog creators

In Uncategorized on June 30, 2012 at 5:28 am

Take severe action against smog creators
Friday, June 29, 2012 – 16:56
IT is incomprehensible to see how Asean countries have tolerated Indonesia’s reckless, irresponsible and inconsiderate way of clearing the land in Sumatra and Kalimantan, year after year, for the past 15 years.

The resulting haze has cost billions of dollars each year in terms of losses in business and economic activities, tourism dollars, illnesses and environmental damage. Those who resorted to such wanton burning are like robbers who rob us of our fresh air year after year.

Surely the culprits must be taken to task! For their selfish gains, these people’s irresponsible acts are damaging our environment and polluting planet Earth, causing millions of people to suffer from the haze each year.

The whole world — not only the neighbouring countries — can no longer afford such indifference to this recurring and wilful act. It’s time for Malaysia, being the most affected country, to lead countries around the world and demand that Indonesia take immediate action to bring the wanton burning to a stop.

This is for the good of Indonesia, its Asean neighbours, and our planet Earth!

the malay mail


In Uncategorized on June 21, 2012 at 3:20 am

In China , statistics show that girls have a tendency to cheat during exams.

To stop the trend, Chinese school authorities finally devised a new method
to stop this incessant practice.

Biggest SNAKE in the world

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2012 at 3:10 am

Photograph purporting to show a 55ft snake found in a forest in Malaysia has become an internet sensation. Biggest snake in the world

The thread claimed the snake was one of two enormous boas found by workers clearing forest for a new road. They apparently woke up the sleeping snakes during attempts to bulldoze a huge mound of earth. This is Biggest snake in the world!!

“On the third dig, the operator found there was blood amongst the soil, and with a further dig, a dying snake appeared,” said the post.

“By the time the workers came back, the wounded boa had died, while the other snake had disappeared. The bulldozer operator was so sick that he couldn’t even stand up.”

The post claimed that the digger driver was so traumatised that he suffered a heart attack on his way to hospital and later died.

The dead snake was 55ft (16.7m) long, weighed 300kg and was estimated to be 140 years old, according to the post. Biggest snake in the world

Green Day – American Idiot

In Uncategorized on June 21, 2012 at 2:52 am

Green Day – American Idiot [Live]

Why Men Are Attracted to High-Earning Women

In Uncategorized on June 2, 2012 at 4:55 am

Why Men Are Attracted to High-Earning Women

There used to be a romantic stigma for single women who made money, but those days are numbered
By Liza Mundy | @lizamundy | March 15, 2012

Today’s high-earning women are justly proud of their paychecks — I explore the rise of the female breadwinner in this week’s TIME cover story — but they still often feel that men will be intimidated rather than attracted to them as potential mates. They think their success will seem too threatening and be held against them. As a result, some women in the dating pool devise camouflage mechanisms. A young ob-gyn working in Pittsburgh tells men she meets that she “works at the hospital, taking care of patients” — subtly encouraging the idea that she’s a nurse, not a doctor. When a university vice president in south Texas was on the dating market, she would vaguely tell men she worked in the school’s administrative offices and avoid letting them walk her to her car for fear they would see her BMW. “I want them to give me a chance,” says the Pittsburgh doctor. “I want them to at least not walk away immediately.”

But a growing body of research shows that while there may have once been a stigma to making money, high-earning women actually have an advantage in the dating-and-marriage market. In February 2012, the Hamilton Project, a Brookings Institution initiative that tracks trends in earnings and life prospects, found that marriage rates have risen for top female earners — the share of women in the very top earning percentile who are married grew by more than 10 percentage points — even as they have declined for women in lower earning brackets. (The report also suggested that the decline in those lower brackets may be because women can support themselves and are dissuaded from marriage by the declining earnings of men.)

We got the first indication of a major shift back in 2001 with a study by University of Texas at Austin psychologist David Buss that showed that when men ranked traits that were important in a marital partner, there had been a striking rise in the importance they gave to women’s earnings and a sharp drop in the value they placed on domestic skills. Similarly, University of Wisconsin demographer Christine Schwartz noted in a 2010 study in the American Journal of Sociology that “men are increasingly looking for partners who will ‘pull their own weight’ economically in marriage” and are willing to compete for them.

Indeed, men may be readier to cede their role as breadwinner than they are given credit for. Last year, Stanford University economist Ran Abramitzky, working with two European colleagues, published a fascinating study that suggests exactly this. Looking at demographic records for the French population after World War I, they found that men in regions that had suffered higher mortality rates (and were therefore short on men) were more able to “marry up.” Given the opportunity to marry into a life with more resources and prospects, the men hastened to do so. To Abramitzky, the surprise was “how flexible this marriage market was” and how quickly men were able to adapt to the changing demographics.

Now that women are poised to become the major breadwinners in a majority of families within the next generation, this research suggests that men will be just as adaptive and realize what an advantage a high-earning partner can be. Men are just as willing as women to marry up, and life is now giving them the opportunity to do so. So, women, own up to your accomplishments, buy him a drink, and tell him what you really do.,9171,2109140,00.html?pcd=pw-op