Yesterday's 8.1 Magnitude Earthquake off the coast of Mexico was massive, and has caused significant damage and loss of life.
The quake was over 400 miles away from Mexico city, which escaped the worst of the damage, but still experienced deep swaying that caused lights and signs to swing around. One of the more dramatic results (in Mexico city) was numerous sparks, flashes, and bright explosions from power lines being damaged by the swaying, like in this video.
After the record breaking rainfall of Hurricane Harvey we now have Hurricane Irma, the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic. Already devastating small outlying caribbean islands, it's heading for the larger British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic/Haiti, Cuba and others, homes to million of people. Projections vary but it looks very possible that it will make landfall as a major hurricane in Florida sometime on Sunday.
When United Flight 175 hit World Trade Center Tower 2 on 9/11 some large parts of it passed through the building and landed in the streets to the north. One of these was a badly damaged core part of an engine. This landed at the intersection of Murray st and Church St.
This engine has long been part of 9/11 "Truther" mythology, with claims that it was impossible that it was used in the 767 (registration N612UA) that took off as Flight 175. This led to claims that the plane that hit the building was a modified drone, or even that there was no plane at all, and the engine was planted there, or in more extreme variants shot out of a cannon from inside the building.
The earth rotates around its own axis eastward. Or put another way, as viewed from the north star Polaris, the earth turns counterclockwise. Because of this we see the moon travel across our sky from east to west during the day.
But during the upcoming solar eclipse the moon's shadow will travel across the US from west to east. This is true, and it's a complicated problem.
The explanation: The moon orbits the earth, as viewed from Polaris, in a counterclockwise...
A variety of conspiracy theories have sprung up around the Charlottesville car attack. As usual there were suggestions that the attack was faked. One piece of "evidence" was the car license plate on the car driven by James Alex Fields Jr, an Ohio plate reading GVF 1111. Video of his mother, Samantha Bloom, shows a similar number GVF 1122. Conspiracists suggest this is an unusual looking number, and it's unusual that two family members would have such similar numbers.
Some claims are obviously ridiculous, like the idea that the "G" stands for "Government". The license plates are standard Ohio plates. Both numbers are correctly registered to the cars shown and show up on public info sites like SearchQuarry. But because their information comes from scraping public source it's...
Walter Bislins has created a very useful tool for visualizing what things should look like from certain positions, and with certain camera settings, on the Globe Earth, or on a hypothetical Flat Earth.
The Simulator includes recreations of classic and modern experiments and observations including the Bedford Level, the Pontchartrain Power Lines and Causeway, and the Chicago Skyline. You can stop the simulation at any point, and examine the scene and the settings used. Here's a (non-interactive) animation of the Bedford Level experiment.
I'd encourage anyone interested in the topic to play around with the various settings and watch all five demos.
On the night of April 25, 2013 at about 09:22 PM (local time), a Bombardier DHC 8 airplane operated by the U.S. Customs & Border Protection equipped with an Infrared camera, captured and followed a very peculiar flying object which yielded a fluctuating infrared signature over Rafael Hernández airport, Aguadilla (Puerto Rico). The object at times seemed to disappear (which was interpreted by some ufologists as “splashing into the ocean”) and also split into two pieces (1).