Rocks may hold clues to quakes

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas CityThe samples, taken from 21/2 miles beneath the surface of the San Andreas Fault, are the first rocks ever to be obtained from deep within an actively moving fault zone responsible for some of the world’s most damaging earthquakes. The project, with a budget of about $25 million, has been 15 years in the making. After drilling close to the fault in 2004 and 2005, geologists worked 24 hours a day, seven days a week last summer to retrieve 135 feet of rock cores, each measuring four inches in diameter. The last of the samples was brought to the surface in the pre-dawn hours of Sept. 7. The scientists unveiled the rock samples on Thursday. “For the very first time, scientists can hold the San Andreas Fault in their hands,” said Mark Zoback, a professor of earth sciences and geophysics at Stanford University. “It’s a new beginning for several different areas of earthquake research.” Researchers aren’t optimistic that the dark-gray chunks of rock will help them predict when the “Big One” is about to occur. But they will now know exactly what the fault is made of, which they hope will answer questions about the mechanics of earthquakes. Hundreds of scientists from around the world are expected to submit requests to study the samples, yet it will likely be years before they understand what the rocks have to say about the physics of earthquakes. “The ultimate goal is to understand how faults work,” Ellsworth said. The drilling has all occurred about 23 miles northeast of Paso Robles near the small town of Parkfield. The site was selected because it’s an especially active part of the San Andreas Fault that moves regularly, but does not produce large earthquakes. There is no risk of the drilling itself causing a massive temblor. Researchers can already see from the samples that chunks of serpentine are embedded within them. Serpentine is a green-colored mineral which scientists have long suspected might be one of the reasons why that stretch of the San Andreas Fault silently creeps. But it had never been proven that the substance was indeed in the fault. Scientists wonder if the serpentine (which, ironically, is California’s official state rock) has been literally smoothing the way for huge tectonic plates to slide silently past one another. During earlier drilling in 2005, mineralogist Diane Moore of the USGS detected talc in the rock cuttings. Talc is a slippery mineral best known for its use on babies’ bottoms. It can be produced when serpentine comes into contact with water. Scientists aren’t done in the belly of the San Andreas Fault, either. During the next phase of the project, scientists will create the world’s first underground earthquake observatory that is within an active fault. They will lower into it a number of seismic instruments that will await and observe dozens of small earthquakes and their aftershocks over the next 10 to 20 years. That phase of the project could help scientists determine whether earthquakes are predictable. The drilling, which first broke ground in 2004, hasn’t always been easy. The drilling equipment – the same kind used to drill oil wells in California – failed at times this summer as it faced the daunting task of burrowing into thick rock far below the Earth’s surface, where temperatures reached 240 degrees. Then, on the very day scientists had hoped to retrieve their first samples, a major lightning storm swept through the area, threatening their work. “Poetically speaking,” Zoback said, “the San Andreas Fault was fighting back.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! After drilling more than two miles into the ground in a remote area of central California, scientists said Thursday they have hit pay dirt – the first rocks ever to be obtained from deep within the San Andreas Fault. Experts believe the cylindrical samples, which have been washed, shrink-wrapped and gently tucked away in refrigerators for safekeeping, may hold many secrets about earthquakes and the 800-mile-long fault line responsible for the Bay Area’s devastating 1906 earthquake. Why do earthquakes start? How do they stop? What is the fault made of? Scientists believe that by studying the new rock samples they’ll be able to come up with answers for some of the tough questions that have eluded them for years. “This for us is really the mother lode,” said William Ellsworth, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Menlo Park. “They’re more precious than moon rocks and gold.” last_img read more

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Rising energy costs are taking toll on consumers

first_imgNEW YORK – Jim Ammons grumbles to himself every time he fills up his Ford Expedition, but he says gas prices would have to almost quadruple to $10 a gallon before he’d ditch his SUV. Still, paying $55 to fill his 20-gallon tank isn’t easy for the information specialist. “This right here is catastrophic for a lot of families,” Ammons, 54, said this week at a Houston Chevron station that was charging $2.65 a gallon for regular unleaded. “A lot of them have to choose: Do I buy food, do I send my kids to school or do I fill up my tank.” That choice may soon get a lot more difficult. The steep rise in oil prices to $90 a barrel over the past month means American consumers are almost certain to pay more for gasoline, heating oil, airline tickets and even food and goods that have to be transported great distances, experts say. Falling prices for ethanol, a gasoline additive, and rising imports of refined gasoline, which have helped keep supplies adequate, have played a role in keeping retail prices relatively subdued. But that’s not expected to last – many analysts now expect prices to rise by at least 10 to 15 cents a gallon, or more if oil pushes even higher. “Consumers will now see higher prices at the pump in the coming months and weeks,” said John Kilduff, vice president of risk management at MF Global UK Ltd. There are signs high fuel prices are already having an impact. The EIA says demand for gas fell 0.5 percent over the last four weeks from a year ago, and has been lower since Labor Day. That reverses a trend in recent years of steadily rising demand. During some weeks this summer, demand rose more than 1 percent over the previous year. The EIA also expects heating oil costs to jump 22 percent this winter. Demand may slip a little, but there’s only so much homeowners dependent on that fuel source can do to cut back, especially if it turns out to be an unusually cold winter. The result may be less spending on other goods and services, which could hurt economic growth. Higher jet fuel costs are already restraining airline earnings. For instance, Goldman Sachs analyst Robert Barry recently cut his fourth quarter earnings estimates for Delta Air Lines Inc. from 29 cents to 6 cents due to rising fuel costs. Spot jet fuel prices at New York Harbor rose to $2.42 a gallon this week, up from $1.80 a gallon a year ago, according to the EIA. Airlines manage rising fuel costs in part by bumping up prices, said Philip Baggaley, an analyst at Standard & Poor’s. But prices can only rise so far before they hurt demand. Diesel prices are averaging about $3.04 a gallon, 54 cents higher than a year ago, and the American Trucking Association estimates the industry’s total bill will jump $5 billion this year to $108 billion. Trucking companies such as Yellow Transportation and Roadway Express, units of YRC Worldwide Inc., and package delivery firms such as United Parcel Service Inc. are able to pass on at least a portion of those higher costs to customers through fuel surcharges. But that’s not an option for independent operators like Thomas DelBello, whose tab for each fill up of his dump truck has soared to $400. DelBello says it’s difficult for him to pass on the higher cost because many of the people he’s driving for already have contracts – fuel prices included – with their own customers. “It’s hard to get any of it back,” said DelBello, who lives 15 miles south of Houston. “These days, it’s the cost of doing business.” Ultimately, higher costs trickle down to the consumer, though Bob Costello, chief economist for the ATA, said it’s not easy to quantify how much. “You and I are eventually going to see something at the store,” he said. “How much, there’s no way for me to say.” Oil’s rise has been impressive. In 2003, New York Mercantile Exchange oil futures averaged $31.08 a barrel. The march higher in the following four years by almost $60 a barrel has increased the U.S. economy’s total energy expense by an additional $250 billion a year, said Lester Lave, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. “That’s a lot of money.” On Friday, light, sweet crude fell 87 cents to settle at $88.60 on the Nymex. Oil futures rose $4.91 last week. Unlike earlier oil shocks, the latest price spike has not sent the economy into a recession. In part, that’s because it has been gradual. Previous price shocks occurred over the course of weeks or months, not years. But it’s also because fuel efficiency has risen and personal incomes have outpaced the increases in energy costs, analysts say.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Some analysts are now predicting oil could go as high as $120 a barrel, but others argue that underlying supply and demand fundamentals do not support such a spike and that a drop in prices is more likely. What is clear is that oil has become a magnet for “hot money” from hedge funds and other momentum investors betting that the trend for higher prices still has a way to run. The dollar’s decline, which makes dollar-denominated oil futures a bargain to overseas investors, also has played a role in the recent run-up. Absent an astounding rise in prices, few economists expect high energy costs alone to push the economy into a recession, as previous oil price shocks did in the 1970s and early 1980s. That’s because the economy has become more energy efficient, and incomes have grown faster than energy costs. On a percentage basis, the country spends half the amount on energy today than it spent in 1980. Gasoline prices now average $2.76 a gallon across the country for unleaded regular, according to the Energy Information Administration. While that’s down almost half a dollar from their May peak, pump prices are still 53 cents higher than a year ago. Gas prices usually fall sharply after Labor Day – they dropped 62 cents last year between the end of August and mid-October, for instance. But this year, prices have actually risen slightly since summer’s end. In part, that’s because oil futures jumped 30 percent since late August, topping $90 a barrel for the first time ever on Thursday. last_img read more

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Area teams in running for A-Rod

first_imgHandicapping these sweepstakes is sure to be tricky. The Dodgers’ chances of landing Rodriguez certainly have been altered with the news that the team might make Joe Torre its next manager. Rodriguez and Torre were together in the Bronx for the past four seasons. During that time, Rodriguez averaged 43 home runs and 128 RBIs per season. Dodgers officials were unavailable for comment as they presumably tend to the Torre proceedings. Speculation as to where Rodriguez will land next season has been going on all summer. It intensified during the deciding game of the World Series on Sunday night, when Boras officially said his client would opt out of his contract. That means Rodriguez will walk away from a guaranteed $72 million. He had three years remaining on a record-breaking, 10-year, $252 million deal he signed with the Texas Rangers before the 2001 season. According to reports, Major League Baseball on Monday received the letter that officially requested Rodriguez’s release from the deal. The opt-out clause was written into the contract. The Angels have made it no secret that they are interested in upgrading their offensive attack. But as dominating as he can be, Rodriguez might not fit into their plans. Angels owner Arte Moreno has repeatedly said that even though he respects Rodriguez as a player, he has no interest in placing 25 percent of the team’s payroll in the hands of one player. Indications are that Rodriguez could be seeking anywhere from $200 million to $240 million over eight seasons. Asked about Rodriguez at the conclusion of the season, Manager Mike Scioscia did not sound as if he is expecting to pencil Rodriguez’s name in the 2008 lineup. “I would speak to what Arte said, and I agree to what he says,” new Angels general manager Tony Reagins said. “You want to position yourself to make your club better. For the club and the fans, if it makes sense, then you will explore the opportunity.” This might not make sense, though. “Obviously we will do things within reason,” Reagins said, declining to speak about Rodriguez in particular. “There is not an endless bank here. It has to make economic sense and it has to make baseball sense.” According to reports, the Boston Red Sox, Detroit Tigers, New York Mets and San Francisco Giants are expected to be interested in Rodriguez along with the Angels and Dodgers. Also Angels outfielder Tommy Murphy and right-hander Marc Gwyn were outrighted off the 40-man roster and are now minor league free agents. Another spot on the Angels’ 40-man roster was cleared when outfielder Nick Gorneault was claimed off outright waivers by the Texas Rangers. doug.padilla@sgvn.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BASEBALL: Dodgers and Angels both given a good chance to sign Rodriguez. By Doug Padilla Staff Writer You can bet on this: Alex Rodriguez will be playing for the Angels or Dodgers on opening day in 2008. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Really, you can bet on it. Now that Rodriguez has opted out of his lucrative New York Yankees contract to become a free agent, a proposition bet on where he might land is being offered by the gambling Web site www.bodoglife.com. The site is giving 3-to-1 odds that Rodriguez will be wearing Angels red next season, the lowest odds on the board. Just behind the Angels are the Dodgers, coming in at 4-to-1 to land A-Rod. Where the two-time MVP really ends up is anybody’s guess. Rodriguez is about to earn his third league MVP award in the coming weeks. Adding to the speculation that A-Rod will land in Southern California is information from a former National League general manager who is still involved in the day-to-day operations of a major league club. He has indicated that Rodriguez recently purchased property in the Orange County area. The unsubstantiated information could mean that Rodriguez already has his sights on joining the Angels, Dodgers, or even the San Diego Padres. Or not. It could just mean that his Orange County-based agent, Scott Boras, found him a sweet deal on a long-term investment. last_img read more

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Health officials say now is the time for flu shots

first_imgBy Rachel Jones Staff Writer With flu season under way, area health officials are encouraging people to get flu shots, and a number of clinics in San Pedro are offering the vaccine in the comings weeks. “There’s ,” said Dawn Galante, the infection control practitioner at Little Company of Mary – San Pedro Hospital. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre The shot is very important for people with long-term health problems, including heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS or asthma. It is also suggested for children 6 months to 5 years old, and women who are pregnant. almost always a reason for people to get a flu shot Even those who do not fall into these categories can get the shot to avoid spreading the flu when they spend time with children, grandparents or other people who are high risk. “People don’t seem to understand how important it is to not only prevent getting sick themselves but to prevent other people from getting sick,” Galante said. “Somebody who’s young and healthy thinks `I don’t need the flu shot.”‘ And contrary to urban legend, it is impossible to catch the flu from a flu shot, Galante said. “That’s like saying the dead spider in the corner is going to get up and come bite you,” she explained. The vaccine is made from a portion of the dead virus, not live cultures. Other tips to stay healthy during flu season include washing hands, avoiding contact with eyes or mouth and covering a cough with the arm instead of the hand. rachel.jones@dailybreeze.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img
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JOIN ARENA 7 ON THEIR FANTASTIC ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING TRIP TO BELFAST

first_imgBelfast Christmas Markets, City Square.Arena 7 have launched their annual Christmas shopping trip to Belfast, which will take place on Saturday, November 22nd.The hugely popular trip departs Arena7 at 8.30am on Saturday morning with a day packed with shopping, drinks and food.The itinerary for the day is outlined in more detail below. • Depart Arena7 at 8.30pm• Arrive in Benedicts of Belfast Hotel for Breakfast at 10.30am.• Shopping until 4.30pm• Cocktails at Benedicts of Belfast until 5.30pm • Depart Belfast at 5.30pm• Arrive in Arena7 for 4 Course Dinner at 7.30pm• Cost €60ppCall us today on 0749128853 or follow the link http://www.arena7.ie/christmasshoppingIf you’re interested in the brilliant details outlined above out then call us on 0749128853 or email sales@arena7.ie JOIN ARENA 7 ON THEIR FANTASTIC ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SHOPPING TRIP TO BELFAST was last modified: November 3rd, 2014 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Arena 7BelfastBusinessCHristmasFeaturesnewsshoppinglast_img read more

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‘I’m really comfortable!’ Sunderland ace convinced club will survive this season

first_imgSunderland midfielder Jan Kirchhoff has urged his team-mates to keep the faith after suffering yet another late blow in their efforts to crawl out of relegation trouble.The Black Cats came within seven minutes of a seventh successive derby victory over Newcastle at St James’ Park on Sunday, a result which would have lifted them out of the Barclays Premier League drop zone, albeit only on goal difference.However, Aleksandar Mitrovic’s late equaliser, which cancelled out Jermain Defoe’s 44th-minute opener, denied them two extra points for the second time in as many games and left them in great peril once again.Manager Sam Allardyce could not disguise his frustration after watching his side dominate the first half, but January signing Kirchhoff is convinced Sunderland will get themselves out of trouble if they continue to play as they have in recent weeks.The 25-year-old German said: “We are still above Newcastle, we are still in a position to stay in the league. We are two points behind Norwich, who have one game fewer, so it’s all in our own hands.“We can stay in this mentality, to be sharp, to be focused and believe in winning our games. That’s how we can go on.“I am really comfortable and I have the feeling we can stay in the league and are good enough to stay in the league.”The international break means the Black Cats do not play again for a fortnight, and successive home games against West Brom and leaders Leicester are likely to have a major say in their destiny this season with Allardyce having set his players a target of four wins from their remaining eight fixtures, one of which takes them to Carrow Road on April 16.With the Tyne-Wear duo both failing to collect the three points they craved at the expense of the other, Norwich were the weekend’s big winners after their 1-0 away victory over the Baggies.Kirchhoff said: “They won their last game, so it’s a good feeling for them, but we have got a game more so if we win it, we will go above them. We will have one point more than them, so it’s in our hands.“We don’t have to focus on Norwich. We still have to play against them in a really tight, big important game, so we can do it. It’s in our hands, we can go on, we can believe in it and just work hard.“If we go into the next game and get a clean sheet, I am sure it will be enough to win the game.”A clean sheet, however, is something the Black Cats have managed only three times during Allardyce’s five-and-a-half-month reign to date, the last of them on November 28, and the 61-year-old is acutely aware of how costly that has been.Allardyce said: “I know that we have got to keep clean sheets. If we don’t start, it’s going to go right to the very wire, and if we need two goals to win every game, that means that we need to score 16 goals at least in the next eight.“We are going to have to score two goals to win any game. There are eight games to go, that’s 16 goals minimum we have got to score. We can’t do that.“We could have won two games 1-0 now, and should have won two games 1-0 now and be sat on 30 points instead of 26.” 1 Jan Kirchhoff in action for Sunderland against Newcastle last_img read more

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‘Arsenal haters make me laugh’ – Adebayor shakes off Emirates boo boys

first_img Crystal Palace striker Emmanuel Adebayor battles Arsenal defender Gabriel Paulista Crystal Palace striker Emmanuel Adebayor accepts why Arsenal fans give him such a hostile reception, though he insists he just laughs off their jeers and boos.The Togo international returned to the Emirates Stadium with the Eagles on Sunday, and his introduction from the bench was probably the highlight of what was a largely forgettable afternoon in north London.Alexis Sanchez had opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, but Yannick Bolasie struck a deserved equaliser late on to seal a 1-1 draw, which sees the Gunners remain in fourth place.The arrival of Adebayor on 64 minutes attracted the most noise within the stadium, however, although the 32-year-old insists he will ‘forget about all the haters’ after being roundly jeered by the Gunners faithful.“It is not my first time coming back to play against Arsenal at the Emirates,” he said.“You can see when I was on the bench and warming up and they were booing me I was just laughing. I cannot say I’m used to it because it is not good to get used to this kind of stuff.“But at the end of the day it is funny, the weather was good, we were playing in London and 20 minutes from my house, I have to be happy. If I’m not happy then something is wrong.“For me, at the end of the day I have to be happy about where I came from and what I have become today – I have to forget about all the haters.”Adebayor left Arsenal for Manchester City in 2009 and sparked outrage among Gunners fans when he celebrated scoring for City by running the length of the field to celebrate in front of his old supporters.He has since gone on to play for fierce rivals Tottenham, before joining Palace in January, and knew he was always going to get a hostile reaction on another return to his former side.“All the Arsenal fans boo me and when I look back I understand where everything went wrong but there are certain things in life you cannot come back to any more. “You just look at it and say, ‘okay, I made a mistake’.“We all do things at some stage of our lives that we are not supposed to do, but the most important thing is to keep moving.” 1last_img read more

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Teenage goalkeeper commits future to Leeds United

first_img Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s contract was set to expire at Elland Road 1 Teen goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell has committed his future to Leeds United – despite interest from Premier League side Everton.The 19-year-old’s contract was set to expire at the end of the month and the Toffees had been linked with a summer move to secure his signature.The young keeper, who has impressed for the club’s Under-21 side, made his first-team debut against QPR in April but his future remained unclear with his deal coming to an end.But now Leeds have confirmed that Peacock-Farrell has signed a new two-year deal at Elland Road to ward off the interest from Merseyside.The teenager told the club’s official website: “I’m delighted to commit my future to Leeds for another two years.“It’s a massive club and it’s a great privilege to be a part of it moving forward.“I was never in doubt about where I wanted to be or where my future lies. It was just about getting the final pieces sorted – now it’s all done.“I had a great season and hopefully I can build on that and keep making steps forward under the new manager [Garry Monk].”last_img read more

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TRANSFER ALERT! Arsenal eye £32m deal for Inter Milan ace after Jamie Vardy snub

first_img1 Arsenal are set to reignite their interest in Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi after being snubbed by Jamie Vardy.The Gunners triggered the Leicester City forward’s release clause earlier this month, but the England man has now opted to remain with the Premier League champions.Signing a striker is at the top of Arsene Wenger’s priority list this summer and Icardi has now emerged as his primary target.Arsenal first registered an interest in the Argentine last summer and are set to lodge a £32m offer for the 23-year-old.The former Sampdoria man scored 16 goals in 33 appearances for Inter last term as they finished fourth in Serie A. Mauro Icardi in action for Inter Milan last_img

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