The Aflac duck lost its voice Monday after the insurance giant fired the comedian behind the commercial quack for tweeting jokes about the earthquake and tsunami that has devastated Japan. The Columbus, Georgia-based company fired Gilbert Gottfried less than an hour after discovering the tweets, according to a news release from Aflac. "Gilbert's recent comments about the crisis in Japan were lacking in humor and certainly do not represent the thoughts and feelings of anyone at Aflac," Michael Zunda, the company's senior vice president and chief marketing officer, said in a statement. So far, the earthquake and tsunami have left more than 2,400 people dead, and thousands more in shelters or missing. Most of the tweets attributed to Gottfried make light of the natural disaster in either a flippant or sexual manner...
Tag Archives | Earthquakes
This is astounding. Paul Rincon reports for BBC News:
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Japan’s coastline may have shifted by as much as 4m (13 ft) to the east following Friday’s 8.9 Magnitude earthquake, according to experts.
Data from the country’s Geonet network of around 1,200 GPS monitoring stations suggest a large displacement following the massive quake.
Dr Roger Musson from the British Geological Survey (BGS) told BBC News the movement observed following the quake was “in line with what you get when you have an earthquake this big”.
The quake probably shifted Earth on its axis by about 6.5 inches (16.5cm) and caused the planet to rotate somewhat faster, shortening the length of the day by about 1.8 millionths of a second.
Japan’s meteorological agency has proposed updating the magnitude of the earthquake to 9.0. [UPDATE: Has been changed to 9.0] This would make it the joint fifth biggest quake since instrumental records began, but other agencies have not yet followed suit.
The likes of Matt Drudge and Alex Jones have been banging the drum to create fear among U.S. citizens that radiation from Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster will reach North America. Now Neil Katz poses the same question for a mainstream outlet, CBS News. The conclusion he posts is:
“As for America, experts say for now we are in the clear. ‘It is true that radiation emanating from Japan is moving across the Pacific and it’s feasible that one could detect those radiation levels in California,’ says [Dr. Cham] Dallas. ‘But it’s certain that it wouldn’t be dangerous.'”
Do any disinformation readers have expertise in radiation safety issues? Can we be so certain that there is no danger as Dr. Dallas suggests? Please post your thoughts in the comments.
Here’s some more of Katz’s story:
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As conditions worsen at four nuclear reactors in Japan, many here and abroad are worried about the health risks of radiation.
A friend recently shared a link to an image featuring a collection of facebook statuses regarding the recent events in Japan. All of which are blatantly ignorant and insensitive, to such a degree that it most likely will qualify as black humor for some. I am not sure the history of the image, however I’d assume they were gathered using something like YourOpenBook.org (A search on the site reveals many similar postings).
The ever lucid Phil Plait writes on Bad Astronomy:
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Japan suffered a massive earthquake last night, measuring nearly magnitude 9. This is one of the largest quakes in its history, causing widespread and severe damage. Before I say anything else, I’m greatly saddened by the loss of life in Japan, and I’ll be donating to disaster relief organizations to help them get in there and do what they can to give aid to those in need.
While there isn’t much I can do to directly help the situation in Japan, I do hope I can help mitigate the panic and worry that can happen due to people blaming this earthquake on the so-called “supermoon” — a date when the Moon is especially close to the Earth at the same time it’s full. So let me be extremely clear:
Despite what a lot of people are saying, there is no way this earthquake was caused by the Moon.
A year after tragedy hit Haiti, survivors are marking the anniversary of the devastating earthquake. A year later and hundreds of thousands of people are living in shelters, communities are slowly being rebuilt and there is a constant battle against cholera. BBC News reports:
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Haitians are preparing to mark the anniversary of the earthquake that devastated their country and left some 250,000 of their fellow citizens dead.
Church services are due to be held around the nation, including at the ruined cathedral in Port-au-Prince.
There will also be a minute’s silence at 4.53pm (2153 GMT) – the exact moment when the 7.0 magnitude quake hit.
Traffic stopped as the streets of Port-au-Prince turned quiet and businesses were closed.
People walked in solemn processions to prayer services marking the anniversary of the worst natural disaster in the nation’s history. Many people wore white, a colour associated with mourning in Haiti, and sang hymns as they made their way to the services.
The Earth is looking increasingly unstable — is this a sign of crustal displacement? From the Daily Mail:
The earthquake that devastated a city in New Zealand tore open a new 11ft faultine in the Earth’s surface.
The 7.1-magnitude quake which hit Christchurch, the country’s second-largest city, destroyed about 500 buildings and caused an estimated £930million of damage.
But hundreds of lives were saved by tough building rules, it was claimed. Only two injuries were reported.
The quake was caused by the continuing collision between the Pacific and Australian tectonic plates, said Professor Mark Quigley, of Canterbury University.
‘One side of the Earth has lurched to the right … up to 11ft and in some places been thrust up,’ he said. ‘We went and saw two houses that were completely snapped in half by the earthquake.’
The quake cut power across the region, roads were blocked by debris and gas and water supplies were disrupted…
[continues in the Daily Mail]
The year is 2010 and to anyone not in denial, the industrialized nations have entered the greatest calamity the world has ever known:
- Iceland is history.
- Greece’s economy, much like the ancient Parthenon, is in ruin.
- 46 states could face bankruptcy in the United States.
So then, why is President Obama going back on his word and drilling holes in the earth?
The Interior Department under Barack Obama offered for sale more acres of dry-land drilling on public lands than the Bush Administration had at the same point in 2008.
An economy in a state of rigor mortis doesn’t need oil to lubricate an engine that blew up on October 29, 2008, and our way of life won’t come back if the oil industry creates a handful of jobs or we reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Drill, Drill, Drill didn’t make environmental sense in 1973 or 2008
In 1973, America’s solution to the Arab oil embargo and long gas lines wasn’t mass transit, high mileage cars or alternative energy, it was the 800 mile Trans-Alaska Pipeline through some of the most pristine country in Alaska.… Read the rest