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Why Speed Matters in Earthquakes

Last September’s earthquake in Indonesia was so destructive due to its speed

Last September’s earthquake in Indonesia hit the Sulawesi city Palu and caused a tsunami – yet conventional analysis suggests it simply wasn’t powerful enough to cause the damage it did. A new analysis shows that the quake was fast, about 4 times the speed of sound and unusually wasn’t slowed down by the objects in its way. The narrow shape of the Palu bay also contributed to the tsunami, amplifying its effects.

Researchers in France and Australia have taught honey bees to do simple addition and subtraction. Bees seem to be capable of a number of mathematical feats, the researchers think such abilities might help them negotiate their environment, e.g. the best nectar is past the 3rd tree on the left.

More than half the daily food input of all people on the planet comes from just 4 crop species. All of these are affected by pests. It’s a particular issue for places where food is in short supply and people rely on imported food. Attempts to scale up local production are accompanied by a huge growth in local pest species. And in places with food surpluses, there is a lack of focus on targeting pests.

Temperature regulating clothes. US researchers have invented a new kind of material which adjusts to the temperature requirements of the user, fibres within the cloth can tighten to increase warmth ore loosen to allow cooling and evaporation. The system works automatically.

(Picture: Aftermath of the Indonesia quake-tsunami in Palu. Credit: Getty Images)

Presenter: Roland Pease
Producer: Julian siddle

Available now

27 minutes


  • Thu 7 Feb 2019 20:32GMT
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