Here’s a definition that should send chills down the spines of investors: “An unpredictable or unforeseen event, typically one with extreme consequences.” This sums up a black swan event. Nassim Nicholas Taleb mainstreamed the concept through his writings. His points became particularly topical through his book, The Black Swan, around the time of the financial crisis — a major, destructive event that many people found unexpected and, beforehand, maybe even impossible.
There’s a similar risk brewing on the horizon. Climate change could be the next black swan event that causes an ugly ripple effect through our lives and economies. The majority of current investment strategy comes up short on modeling, even considering that this as a legitimate concern, at least for our lifetimes.
Here’s a lesson in extreme irony: The term originated when people didn’t believe black swans existed at all. Because no one had ever seen one, it certainly looked as if Read more…
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Strong earthquakes shook central New Zealand on Friday, damaging homes and roads and sending office workers scrambling for cover in the capital. No serious injuries were reported.
A magnitude-6.5 temblor struck just after 2:30 p.m. near the small South Island town of Seddon, and at least six aftershocks were 5.0 magnitude or stronger.
Several homes near the epicenter were severely damaged, with chimneys collapsing and roofs caving in, said police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn. She said a bridge was severely damaged on the main highway near Seddon, and that rocks and debris had fallen onto the road. Police closed a section of the highway.
Some buildings in Wellington, the capital, were evacuated, and items were knocked off shelves in places.
Police said a number of people were freed from Wellington elevators that stopped working. The initial temblor also forced the nation’s stock exchange to close for more than an hour.
Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said there was Read more…
A University of Utah seismologist analyzed seismic waves that bombarded Earth’s core, and believes he got a look at the earliest roots of Earth’s most cataclysmic kind of volcanic eruption. But don’t worry. He says it won’t happen for perhaps 200 million years.
“What we may be detecting is the start of one of these large eruptive events that – if it ever happens – could cause very massive destruction on Earth,” says seismologist Michael Thorne, the study’s principal author and an assistant professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah.
But disaster is “not imminent,” he adds, “This is the type of mechanism that may generate massive plume eruptions, but on the timescale of 100 million to 200 million years from now. So don’t cancel your cruises.” This map shows Earth’s surface superimposed on a depiction of what a new University of Utah study indicates is happening 1,800 miles deep at the boundary between Earth’s warm, rocky mantle and its liquid outer core. Using seismic waves the probe Earth’s deep interior, seismologist Michael Thorne found evidence that two continent-sized piles of rock are colliding as they move atop the core. The merger process isn’t yet complete, so there is a depression or hole between the merging piles. But in that hole, a Florida-sized blob of partly molten rock – called a “mega ultra low velocity zone” – is forming from the collision of smaller blobs on the edges of the continent-sized piles. Thorne believe this process is the beginning stage of massive volcanic eruptions that won’t occur for another 100 million to 2100 million years.
Photo Credit: Michael S. Thorne, University of Utah
The new study, set for Read more…
The deadly 8.0 earthquake and tsunami that hit the Solomon Islands days ago, struck along a subduction zone, the same geologic setting responsible for the world’s most powerful earthquakes…
The U.S. Geological Survey reported a 3.0 magnitude earthquake struck near Irving Wednesday night.
The quake hit at 10:16 pm., with the epicenter in Irving just south of the intersection of the Bush Turnpike and Highway 114 and 3.5 miles east of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.
The USGS said it measured the quake at a depth of 10 miles.
In the minutes following the tremor, WFAA’s Facebook page received more than 250 comments — most of which were from people who said they felt the earth unexpectedly shaking.
“I’m in Irving off 161 and Rochelle,” wrote John Hendry. “Felt a boom and house shook; no apparent damage.”
“It freaked me out!” wrote Tonya Taylor Paris from Euless near D/FW International Airport. “My whole house rattled and crackled after it happened. My front large window rattled really loud.”
“We all thought our chairs were moving due to a plane,” said Lisa Olivero Riccetti, who was at D/FW.
“It felt like a bus ran into the building,” wrote Martin Ross at Belt Line Road and Walnut Hill Lane in Irving.
“This is the third time this has happened since I lived in these apartments,” said Veronica Rodroguez-Harris in Irving.
Last September, multiple earthquakes measuring 3.4 and 3.1 magnitude shook the same general area
Published on Jan 16, 2013
(00:05) Planetary Alignment / Earthquake Watch Jan 18-19, 2013
(03:49) Planetary Alignment / Earthquake Watch Jan 28-29, 2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEinkckbZNY Read more…
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said that a strong 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck off the southeastern coast of Alaska just before midnight local time last night (January 4-5, 2013). A local tsunami warning was issued for parts of southern Alaska and coastal Canada, and it has now been withdrawn. The warning area extened for about 475 miles and included coastal areas from about 75 miles southeast of Cordova, Alaska, to the north tip of Vancouver Island, Canada, the Alaska Tsunami Warning Center said. There were no initial reports of damage from the earthquake.
Here are the details of the quake from USGS:
Date-Time Saturday, January 05, 2013 at Read more…
The Bible gives many examples of signs that should warn us of the coming end of the age. Six such signs are given by Jesus, two characteristics are given by Paul, and eleven other occurrences are given by the prophets to occur prior to or soon after the end of the age. While we are also told we will not know the time of the End, God obviously wanted us to know when that time was getting closer. As the Christian church is increasingly drawn into the interfaith movement, and as more and more churches go into isolation, preparing to sleep through the growing attacks on their faith, perhaps God knew it would take a few signs to wake us up and remind us that we have work to do.
Unfortunately, many Christians take the verses that tell us we won’t know the time of His coming to mean they should ignore any and all scripture that might warn us of this time of tribulation. Others have fallen into the trap of fearing being labeled a “conspiracy theorist” should they display an interest in the Biblical prophecies about our future on Earth. My philosophy is simple. God included it Read more…
BEIJING — A series of earthquakes collapsed houses and triggered landslides in a remote mountainous part of southwestern China on Friday, killing at least 50 people with the toll expected to rise. Damage was preventing rescuers from reaching some outlying areas, and communications were disrupted.
The quakes started with a 5.6-magnitude shock before 11:30 a.m. along the borders of Guizhou and Yunnan provinces, and another equally big quake struck shortly after noon followed by more than 60 aftershocks, Chinese and U.S. government seismologists said. Though of moderate strength, the quakes were shallow, which often causes more damage.
Hardest hit was Yiliang County, where 49 of the 50 deaths occurred, said Yunnan province government agencies and state media. Another 150 people in the county were injured, said Zhang Junwei, a spokesman for the provincial seismology bureau.
China Central Television showed roads littered with rocks and boulders, and pillars of dust rising over hillcrests — signs of landslides. Footage showed a couple hundred people crowding into what looked like a school athletic field in Yiliang’s county seat, a sizeable city spread along a river in a valley bottom.
With some roads impassable, rescuers had yet to Read more…