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Is fracking causing an epidemic of earthquakes?

Some Blame Hydraulic Fracturing for Earthquake Epidemic - NYTimes.com
Nine quakes in eight months in a seismically inactive area is unusual. But Ohio seismologists found another surprise when they plotted the quakes’ epicenters: most coincided with the location of a 9,000-foot well in an industrial lot along the Mahoning River, just down the hill from Mr. Moritz’s neighborhood and two miles from downtown Youngstown. At the well, a local company has been disposing of brine and other liquids from natural gas wells across the border in Pennsylvania — millions of gallons of waste from the process called hydraulic fracturing that is used to unlock the gas from shale rock. The location and timing of the quakes led to suspicions that the disposal well was responsible for Youngstown’s seismic awakening. As the wastewater was injected into the well under pressure, the thinking went, some of it might have migrated into deeper rock formations, unclamping ancient faults and allowing the rock to slip. As the United States undergoes a boom in the production of gas from shale, hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has come under fire from environmentalists and others for its potential to pollute the air and contaminate drinking water. But the events in Youngstown — and a string of other, mostly small tremors in Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, British Columbia and other shale-gas-producing areas — raise the disquieting notion that the technique could lead, directly or indirectly, to a damaging earthquake.

I hate to keep singing the same song, but that's what happens when the record gets broken

SOPA and PROTECT-IP still seem distressingly popular in Congress. I've...

This Modern World presents Fun Facts About Newt Gingrich

Ta-Nehisi Coates on the all White academies of the deep South

During the 60s when the government forced schools to desegregate, many schools in the South shut down. Just so they wouldn't have to give black kids the chance at an education. This is really recent, guys. These towns then opened up *private* schools--often paid for with tax dollars--and only let in white kids. This is part of the reason charter schools bug me. But now some of these schools--which are still around and still racially segregated--want to change their image by allowing one or two superstar black athletes to attend their schools. More below and of course at the link. The Past Ain't Even the Past - Ta-Nehisi Coates - National - The Atlantic This is actually a thing Coates is quoting from, but click through and stick around for his commentary;
Nearly 50 years after it opened as a sanctuary for white students in a county that resisted school desegregation to the very end, the Fuqua School wanted badly to prove its racist days were over. The private school in this town on the banks of the Appomattox River accepted its first black student in the late 1980s. But the black community here still knew Fuqua as central Virginia's most famous "segregation academy." It was still viewed, well into the 21st century, as a symbol of defiance to the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education ruling that racial segregation in public schools is unconstitutional. It was still seen as a place where black students were unwelcome. To shed that image, Fuqua needed a black student ambassador. So in 2008 the school's president, Ruth Murphy, sat down with Charles Williams, a freshman from the local public high school. Football coaches had arranged the meeting. Williams happened to be a quarterback with a powerful throwing arm who could burst through tacklers. He was faster and stronger than boys years older. The two met in Murphy's office and considered each other. "All I'd heard was that this was the 'white school,' " Williams recalled. "I was from the 'black school.' I didn't really know what to do or how to act." Murphy, a sparrow of a woman, also felt a bit unsure. "Here was this big strong guy. He was only 14, but he looked like a 25-year-old drug dealer," she recalled in an interview. When asked later what she meant by that description, Murphy acknowledged that it was a poor choice of words but said that she meant to convey his "maturity and intensity." Murphy laid out her offer. Williams could receive Fuqua's first full minority scholarship, covering the $7,300 tuition. But there was a condition: He would have to promote Fuqua among Farmville's black residents. Farmville, population 8,200, the seat of Prince Edward County, is one of dozens of towns across the South where private schools sprang up in the 1950s and '60s to serve an all-white clientele after public schools were ordered to desegregate. Prince Edward closed its public schools from 1959 to 1964 rather than complying. It was among the last school systems in the country to give up the fight. In the period of "massive resistance" to Brown v. Board, the Prince Edward Academy was founded for white students in 1959. The private school, later renamed Fuqua, was subsidized by tax dollars. Black students in Prince Edward were forced to drop out or move.

December 12, 2011

On London's stupid new camera ban

They claim that high rez cameras are banned, but they judge which are high rez based on the *size* of the camera. DSLRs Banned from UK Tube Station
While photography bans are pretty common, the station has decided to only ban DSLRs due to “their combination of high quality sensor and high resolution”. Other cameras are allowed in, as long as they don’t look “big” enough to shoot amazing photos.