July 24, 2011
Alfred Wegener advocated continental drift theory. He found similarities in the coastlines of South America and Africa. He found three pieces of evidence.
All continents at present were split from only one continent: Pangea. This time, he could not show the proper reason of continental drift. Therefore, continental drift theory was denied.
Oceanic ridges and trenches were discovered, and gradually the age of the nature of the rock retreated from oceanic ridge. Because of these reasons, the Seafloor Spreading Theory was advocated by Harry Hammond Hess. It didn’t have enough evidence of Seafloor Spreading. Geomagnetic reversal happening every few million years is recorded symmetrically on both sides of oceanic ridges. It became evidence of creating new plate, Seafloor Spreading, and continental drift.
The US made World-Wide Standard Seismograph Network (WWSSN) to track the underground nuclear experiment during World War Ⅱ. Distribution of the earthquake drawn as a line was found by WWSSN.
The Earth’s surface is covered by more than a dozen plates, and then diastrophism is caused by relative motion of plates. This is Plate Tectonics. We can explain continental drift, seafloor spreading, and distribution of earthquakes because of Plate Tectonics. A plate boundary is decided by line of distribution of earthquakes.
July 10, 2011
Daren Nixon was arrested, simply for listening to music on his way home from work. A member of the public obviously had mistaken his MP3 player for a gun and reported to the police. After getting off the bus, and not knowing what was going on, he was told to put his hands up in the air with two cops pointing a “real” gun at him. No weapon was found on him, but the police went on and searched the surrounding area. After being proved innocent, he was released only with a quick apology, but with a big stain on his character.
This incident would have never happened if the person who reported to the police did not have such a big fear towards guns. The informer probably had always been aware of guns, or else, this misunderstanding would have never happened. An overreaction to things can be a definite factor to misleading events.
June 27, 2011
In 1985, Kirk Bloodsworth got a death penalty with a crime of raping and murdering nine-year-old child. The prosecution introduced evidence the consistency of the mark printed on the victim’s body and his shoes. He was put into prison
In 1992, Bloodsworth’s innocence was proved by testing of biological material preserved from the crime with DNA technology known as PCR (Polymerase chain reaction). The State of Maryland paid Bloodsworth $300,000 for lost income for the years from his arrest to his release. He became the first death row prisoner to be exonerated by DNA.
June 22, 2011
In 1980, a woman was murdered in her apartment. Steven Linscott was her neighbor and convicted of the murderer and sentenced to forty years in prison. He saw a dream about the incident and the detail in his dream was very similar to what really had happened. In the trial, the evidence was his hair which was “consistent” and “similar” to hairs from the crime scene. However, there isn’t enough empirical data on the various class characteristics in human hair. First he was convicted of the murderer but overturned it because the evidence was invalid. As a result, he had served three years in prison.
June 21, 2011
A real 90 kyat bill
The President of Myanmar ruined the economy by reissuing the currency because he believed astrologers. Astrologers told him that his lucky number was 9 and he could live until 90 years old if he was surrounded by that number. Therefore, he changed the counting system from metric to the base-9 system and issued 45 and 90 kyat bills. As a result, the economy collapsed.
I think belief in astrology is the biggest problem. If someone believes in astrology and makes a decision on advice from an astrologer, we have big trouble. Depending on the person, it is going to get decided if astrology is the harm.
June 21, 2011
42 innocent lives were taken by Achmad Suradji in Indonesia, as an attempt to increase his own magical powers. Being arrested in May of 1997, Suradji said that he started killing in 1986, after he had contact with his father’s ghost in a dream, ordering him to murder 70 women and drink their saliva to become a mystic healer. The victims were all those who had visited Suradji seeking spiritual healing and good fortune. His wives and sisters were also arrested for assisting in the murder. Suradji was found guilty on April 27, 1998 and was executed on July 10, 2008.
June 20, 2011
More than 500 people were working on the Safe Scandinavia oil rig.Then one day, a woman told her colleagues about her dream that a bomb would be on the platform. After her dream, the workers started to evacuate. Police investigated the truth of her dream. The RAF (Royal Air Force), coastguard and civilian helicopters were sent to the rescue of the workers. However, the incident in her dream never happened. And the large-scale evacuation of over 5 hours cost ￡500,000, including the operational cost of the RAF, coastguard and police.
June 9, 2011
The Solar System is a pretty big place, as we saw in our recent walkabout lesson, “Walking the Solar System.”
But to see how tiny and insignificant we truly are, check out this follow-up video.