Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Unpredictable? Unbelievable.

This is not only unbelievable, but indefensible as well.

Earthquakes cannot be predicted. Not yet, not with any accuracy. Every method ever tried, no matter how promising in the beginning, has proven to not work.

Tell that to the Italian government.

Back on April 6, 2009, an earthquake struck on the L'Aquila fault system, and about 300 people were killed. Yes, it is sad. Yes, it is a shame it had to happen. No, the six seismologists and the government official should not be held responsible, even if there were swarms of minor quakes beforehand. Those types of swarms occur before big ones sometimes, and sometimes no big one follows at all. Sometimes big ones occur without the swarms. Again, no method has proven effective at predicting when and where a large quake will strike.

Yet these people are being charged with manslaughter for not predicting the unpredictable.

My thinking is that the Italian government officials doing this have lost their marbles.

Maybe they should be held accountable for trying to convince the public that earthquakes are predictable. Then again, they managed to convince the public that they would make good government officials and got elected, so they might be able to convince people of this, too.

Today is

Ambarvalia -- Ancient Roman Calendar (Festival of Dea Dia, date approximate, but always near the end of May)

Castile-La Mancha Day -- Castile-La Mancha, Spain

Feast of the Visitation of Mary -- Western Christianity

National Macaroon Day

Royal Brunei Malay Regiment Day / Royal Brunei Armed Forces Day -- Brunei

Save Your Hearing Day -- because once it is gone, you will regret it

Speak in Complete Sentences Day -- be a good example!

St. Petronilla's Day

What You Think Upon Grows Day

World No Tobacco Day -- International

Birthdays Today:

Jonathan Tucker, 1982
Colin Farrell, 1976
Brooke Shields, 1965
Lea Thompson, 1961
Gregory Harrison, 1950
John Bonham, 1948
Sharon Gless, 1943
Joe Namath, 1943
Johnny Paycheck, 1941
Peter Yarrow, 1938
Clint Eastwood, 1930
Denholm Elliott, 1922
Don Ameche, 1908
Norman Vincent Peale, 1898
Fred Allen, 1894
Walt Whitman, 1819

Today in History:

Rameses II (The Great) becomes pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, BC1279
A devastating earthquake strikes Antioch, Turkey, killing 250,000, 526
Mongol armies of Genghis Khan led by Subutai defeat Kievan Rus and Cumans, 1223
Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys records the last event in his diary, 1669
The Godiva procession through Coventry begins, 1678
The Province of Pennsylvania bans all theater productions, 1759
In Australia, Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, reached Mount Blaxland, effectively marking the end of a route across the Blue Mountains, 1813
In the Fenian Invasion of Canada, John O'Neill leads 850 Fenian raiders across the Niagara River at Buffalo, New York/Fort Erie, Ontario, as part of an effort to free Ireland from the United Kingdom. Canadian militia and British regulars repulse the invaders in over the next three days, 1866
Dr James Moore of the UK wins the first recorded bicycle race, a 2k velocipede race at Parc de St Cloud, Paris, 1868
Dr. John Harvey Kellogg patents corn flakes, 1884
Arrival at Plymouth of Tawhiao, King of Maoris, to claim protection of Queen Victoria, 1884
Over 2,200 people die after a dam break sends a 60-foot (18-meter) wall of water over the town of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 1889
The Union of South Africa (predecessor of the Republic of South Africa) is created, 1910
The last Ford Model T rolls off the assembly line after a production run of 15,007,003 vehicles, 1927
A 7.1 magnitude Earthquake destroys Quetta in modern-day Pakistan, 1931
The Republic of South Africa is created, 1961
The Ancash earthquake causes a landslide that buries the town of Yungay, Peru, 1970
In accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act passed by the U.S. Congress in 1968, observation of Memorial Day occurs on the last Monday in May for the first time, rather than on the traditional Memorial Day of May 30, 1971
The Muppet Movie, Jim Henson's Muppets' first foray into the world of feature length motion pictures, is released, 1979
The burning of Jaffna Library, Sri Lanka, is one of the violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the twentieth century, 1981
Forty-one tornadoes hit Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario, leaving 76 dead, 1985
Athena 98.4 FM, the first legal private radio station in Greece, starts broadcasting, 1987
Vanity Fair reveals that Mark Felt was Deep Throat, 2005