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Geologists Say California May Be Next

Drache Kubisuro Re:9.0 magnitude earthquake Unpossible? (258 comments)

The magnitude of earthquakes is a function of cross sectional area, average slip, and shear modulus of crust. Strike slip fault earthquakes rupture very near the surface. We can have a few hundred kilometers worth of rupture, but for some reason ruptures never happen along the entire length of the San Andreas but small portions of it (we've seen ~300 miles with the 1906 EQ). So there are limits to how large an earthquake can be on the San Andreas mostly because of limits to rupture lengths and the shallow depths of earthquake epicenters. If you were to rupture the entire southern San Andreas fault, you could get up to ~8.5. But that is may be unlikely. Crust in California is not homogeneous. Some parts of the crust can take way more stress than others. Some parts are constantly moving, preventing massive build ups of stress (e.g., around Parkfield), which may prevent a serious rupture in the area.

more than 3 years ago

Geologists Say California May Be Next

Drache Kubisuro predictions vs probability (258 comments)

If you look at earthquakes over many years, it's random. Humans love to see clusters. Actors die in threes. Airplanes crash in threes. It's what we do. Will a major earthquake happen on the San Andreas? Yes. Can we say when? No. Be prepared, but don't fear monger based on tenuous "global patterns" that have not been vetted by any peer reviewed science. Notice the probabilities in this new item. That is not prediction. It works like the 100-year flood. We know it'll happen based on "reoccurrence" intervals (which for earthquakes are more tenuous than for floods) and can assign a probability. We can know that there are a lot of stress on faults and know that a fault has not slipped in a very long time... but we can't know when the rocks will break.

more than 3 years ago

Help Me Get My Math Back?

Drache Kubisuro Re:The Teaching Company (467 comments)

I used The Teaching Company's Algebra series to get my math skills back -- with great results. I was in the military for 6 years, my brain was very idle, but I wanted to separate and go to college. I had terrible grades in High School. I used their algebra series to relearn everything and, when I finally left the military and started college, I had terrific results. While I did take algebra courses in college, I managed A's in all of them and also 1 A in Calc 1, and Calc 2 & 3 ended up with Bs. Frankly, that's pretty damn good in my opinion. The trick, of course, is actually completing the provided workbooks. I'm almost sure that I did not have to retake those algebra courses but I had prereqs to fulfill. I completely endorse Teaching Company's algebra products (well, the 2005-2006 versions, anyway, looks like they have changed their instructors :-(...)

more than 4 years ago

Pen Still Mightier Than the Laptop For Notetaking?

Drache Kubisuro Note taking in Geology classes (569 comments)

It is nearly impossible to take notes using an electronic device in geology courses. As the OP mentioned, diagrams are rather difficult to draw quickly and effectively on electronic devices. Thus I use a pad of engineering paper to write all notes and draw all diagrams. The exception occurs for those times when the lecturer posts slides online beforehand and *never* draws on the blackboard. If necessary I convert to PDF and then use PDFXChange Viewer to annotate, highlight, and draw *very* simple diagrams or point out important parts with arrows. It's nice to have notes directly on the slides and it saves me time since I don't have to correlate notes with each slide during study sessions.

The tablet industry needs to prove that tablets can be fast and accurate when taking notes and diagramming.

more than 4 years ago

Harder-Than-Diamond Natural Carbon Crystals Found

Drache Kubisuro paywall (250 comments)

I have to warn, however, that if you do not have access to the journal Earth & Planetary Science Letters on your campus, organization, or local library, you will hit a pay-wall.

more than 4 years ago

Harder-Than-Diamond Natural Carbon Crystals Found

Drache Kubisuro Journal Article (250 comments)

For those that are interested in considering scientific paper without the media filter:

Ferroir, Tristan, Leonid Dubrovinsky, Ahmed El Goresy, Alexandre Simionovici, Tomoki Nakamura, and Philippe Gillet. 2010. Carbon polymorphism in shocked meteorites: Evidence for new natural ultrahard phases. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 290, no. 1-2: 150-154. doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.015. http://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0012821X09007389.

I sure wish that secondary sources properly cited primary sources, even if they are only interviewing the main scientist involved. Giving the journal name and date as Discovery News did is a good step, though.

more than 4 years ago

NASA Mars Rover Opportunity Grinds "Cool" Rock

Drache Kubisuro Intrusive Igneous (70 comments)

So if this is a coarse grained rock with a basalt composition, then I guess that means it is a Martian gabbro (on earth they tend to be used ornately as black "granite" countertops). Which is highly interesting because that may indicate crustal deformation. Here on earth, such rocks form deep in the ground in what we call plutons. These are pockets of magma that differentially crystallize into grabbros and granites. Plate tectonics nudges them to the surface and weathering + erosion helps to uncover them. The Sierra Nevadas is a continuous grouping of them called a Batholith. Yes, all that granodiorite use to be underfoot!

Anyhow, this could be important in perhaps proving that, yes, at one point, Mars had active plate tectonics. Planet formation kind of requires it but good to know Mars may have had some crazy earthquakes in the past uplifting such rocks to the surface.

more than 4 years ago

Did Chandrayaan Find Organic Matter On the Moon?

Drache Kubisuro Contamination Concerns (141 comments)

Well, even U.S. scientists are very careful about the potential for organic contamination. Hopefully the satellite isn't simply detecting something deposited onto the detectors or nearby areas on the spacecraft. Carbon and oxygen are all over the universe, so even if contamination isn't a problem, detection of organics on the moon is not a surprise. To give an idea about the abundance of carbon, very large stars may end up in a carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) burning phase once they're used up all their heavier elements. What is really of interest is what organic molecules have been found. Amines would be exciting; particularly if they are amino acids.

about 5 years ago

Atlantis Seekers Given Thrill by Google Ocean

Drache Kubisuro It beware the Geologist's hammer... (321 comments)

I'm no geologist (yet) and I have only looked superficially at this but the feature reminds me of what can be seen with columnar jointing. Nature can be amazingly precise and geometric sometimes. Normally it's basalt, and the ocean is pretty much basalt at the top-most levels of the ophiolite. If the basalt cools from the exterior, this can happen. I don't know if this can occur in the ocean as we tend to get pillow lavas as the basalt cools INCREDIBLY FAST and kinda oozes out. Also, with the extent of this feature, this would have to have been some sort of flood of basalt.

It's a pretty neat feature, real or unreal. Although I have to wonder what these people think about the very long linear feature called the Ninetyeast Ridge in the Indian ocean. Anyhow, got to love the masters of pattern: humans. Never fail to see things where there's really nothing.

Example and description:

more than 5 years ago

Green Cars You Can't Buy

Drache Kubisuro PZEV in Utah (528 comments)

I bought a 2004 Ford Focus ZTS PZEV in Utah. It was the only one on the lot. I wonder if they were not supposed to sell it? I do know that the salesperson that sold it to me left the dealership shortly after.

I live in California now and I'm pretty happy with it, though it has no State provided benefits like the toxin trap that is a Prius. .000066667lbs of pollution per mile is pretty damn good if you ask me, especially considering most cars pump out around 1 pound of emissions per mile. I have only 9000 miles on the car.

I wouldn't be surprised if the car is more efficient than an incandescent light bulb!

But the fact it is burning gasoline is still a problem that cannot be ignored. I'm helping to legitimize wars, you know? At least it is not a Hummer.

more than 7 years ago


Drache Kubisuro hasn't submitted any stories.



Drache Kubisuro Drache Kubisuro writes  |  more than 13 years ago

Tuesdays suck. Mondays are always great, because after the weekend I'm energized to do anything at all on mondays. And even if things go down the tube on monday, I am still an optomist. However, when tuesday rolls around, I start at the lowest low possible. Today sucked. Last tuesday sucked, the tuesday prior sucked, and so on. They all suck.

My job stinks. All I ever do is a single little stupid piece of crap component of my job. There is so much more to do, but my supervisor limits me to this little unproductive area. And then, the littlist things can get your ass in hot water. Screwing in some screws? Make sure you got a Technical Order out! Oooh! Yes, I need a TO to know how to put on panels! What are the torque values? 10 pounds inches. But I still need a TO, because I'm dumb and like being treated as a dog.

I'm ready for something new. But I still have 1762 or so days left to go. Its like being in prison, counting the days left. But the unfortunate thing is, I have no idea where my niche falls outside of the armed forces. I want to stay AWAY from computers at all costs as far as a job is concerned. I mess with them when I get home, and I don't want to get sick of them. It is a hobby, not a job. I would prefer astronomy, however, I'm not a number cruncher. And I'm not as logical as I should be. I also enjoy oceanography or marine-biology. But all these requier a college education -- so there is the tripper. After my CDC's I MUST start my college education. But on base education is limited to management skills. I'm not a leader, let me tell you this. I am a follower, I accept instructions well, and go all out to comply. I can be a leader. I won't deny myself from that posistion of responsibility. But I don't relish it.


Ryan M


Life -- A limited box like the one I've typed in! I mean thi

Drache Kubisuro Drache Kubisuro writes  |  more than 13 years ago

Work today was A-OK. But as usual all my efforts are wasted due to misinformed people (including myself), and ill-trained individuals. These kind of things need to stop but never will.

Of course starting out my day without any kind of caffine whatsoever wasn't very nice either. I felt very withdrawn all morning. I like to drink Earl Grey in the morning, just once. Sometimes if I really crave for caffine, I'll go for some coffee. I make it in Bodum coffee maker...which is keen, but not nifty -- its a pain to clean out, especially in a limited dorm room such as mine!

I played a bit of Diablo II with the expansion pack, which I think was really worth it. Too bad they didn't include all these features originally. I also think there ought to be an easy way to let characters who had completed all the acts prior to have access to act V. Alas I cannot find that way, so I've got to defeat a good many more mobs before I can see that act.

This can easily be abused.


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