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Tue, 21 Aug 2018
The World for People who Think


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Large sinkhole opens up on road in Toronto

City work crews attend at the scene of a sinkhole in the southbound lanes of Yonge St., just south of Highway 401, at William Carson Cres
© Metroland North York Mirror
City work crews attend at the scene of a sinkhole in the southbound lanes of Yonge St., just south of Highway 401, at William Carson Cres
A large sinkhole shut down two traffic lanes on Yonge St., just north of York Mills Rd., on Wednesday.

City work crews are attending to the large sinkhole, which appeared Wednesday morning at William Carson Cres., just south of Highway 401, and is large enough to swallow a car.

While the cause of the sinkhole is yet unknown, city workers speculate it may have been caused by a water main breaking during the recent deep freeze. With temperatures warming, it may well be possible the frozen water from the leak melted, creating a pool of liquid and causing the street to cave in.

Source: Metroland North York Mirror


UK: 'Very unusual' sinkhole on train tracks after Storm Eleanor, 'ground shifting' say engineers

sinkhole rail storm eleanor
A "mysterious void" has been discovered next to train tracks on the Cumbrian coast.

The sinkhole is around 4ft deep and 2ft wide and was found in the village of Harrington.

Engineers said the ground around the hole appeared to be "shifting". Services between Whitehaven and Workington were disrupted.

Network Rail, which manages Britain's railway infrastructure, said in a statement: "Engineers are working to repair and make safe the section of line after the mysterious void appeared yesterday in the wake of Storm Eleanor."

Phil James, head of operations for Network Rail's London North Western route, said: "Sinkholes are very unusual on the railway.

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Huge cracks appear on hillside prompting evacuation at Rattlesnake Ridge, Washington (VIDEO)

rattlesnake ridge yakima county drone
A potential landslide on Rattlesnake Ridge in Yakima County is threatening homes and Interstate 82 near Yakima.

The area of concern is east of Union Gap, east of Thorp Road -- an area also known as Anderson Quarry. A section of Thorp Road has been closed as a precaution and Yakima County Emergency Management has urged some homeowners to evacuate.

The landslide, which is 20 acres in size, is moving at a rate of about 1.3 feet per week and is accelerating each week, according to state geologist Dave Norman. The concern is that the landslide would keep moving, even closer to I-82.

Video shot from a drone showed the landslide in striking clarity, with giant fissures in a hillside, widening, as the earth shifts.


Bizarre whirlpool phenomenon observed in southern seas

© Flickr user Dave Stokes
A small whirlpool.
Scientists have spotted a bizarre phenomenon reeling through the southern seas: linked swirls of water that resemble giant whirlpools spinning in opposite directions.

Rotating masses of water called eddies are common in the ocean. The newly revealed pairs, however, churn through the water up to ten times faster than their single counterparts, and are connected underwater by a U-shaped vortex. What's more, they might be able to slurp up tiny marine animals and ferry them great distances. Researchers are now trying to figure out how these maelstroms came to be and why they behave so weirdly.

Eddies, which can measure more than 60 miles across, are typically created by turbulence in larger ocean currents. "When they reach a certain strength they spontaneously start meandering and breaking up into eddies," says Chris Hughes, an oceanographer at University of Liverpool in England and one of the scientists behind the new discovery. Eddies play an important role in the ocean by mixing water from different areas, he says. They can stir up nutrients normally found in deeper waters and transport water across gyres, patterns of circular ocean currents that can be thousands of miles wide. This is essential for transporting heat from the equator up to the waters around the poles. "That really wouldn't be possible without the eddies," Hughes says.

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Man falls into sinkhole as footpath opens up in southeastern China

Footage from two separate CCTV cameras shows the moment an unsuspecting pedestrian disappears into a sinkhole.

Footage from two separate CCTV cameras shows the moment an unsuspecting pedestrian disappears into a sinkhole.
Shocking surveillance footage captures the exact moment a man plunges into a sinkhole that opens beneath his feet on a paved footpath on Thursday in southeastern China.

Footage from two separate CCTV cameras shows the moment an unsuspecting pedestrian disappears into the sinkhole in Jiangxi Province's Nanchang.

Video posted online shows the pedestrian, who was with three friends on the footpath, getting ready to cross the road. Suddenly, the man disappears from sight as the footpath caves in. His friends are left stunned. A number of passersby rush over to offer assistance as the victim's shocked friends reach out to help him out of the sinkhole.

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Massive sinkhole swallows car in Manchester, New Hampshire

New Hampshire sinkhole
© Via Twitter/Mark Hayward
A car was pulled out of a sinkhole caused by a water main break on Langdon Street in Manchester, New Hampshire, early Wednesday morning.

Police reported the break at 5:46 a.m., asking the public to avoid Langdon and Canal streets.

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Huge sinkhole opens up in Rome

It is unknown what cause the large crater to appear
© Fatto Quotidiano
It is unknown what cause the large crater to appear
The huge crater, five metres deep and three metres in diameter, appeared on Wednesday morning in the Montagnola district.

Enzo Foschi was one of the first politicians to post a picture on social media, saying: "Luckily at that moment no one was crossing the street and no one got hurt.

"Rome collapses and mayor Raggi says everything is all right."

There was no immediate reports of injuries after the giant sinkhole opened up, according to local reports.


An update: Sunspots a la Cyclic Catastrophism

Sunspot Cycles
© NAOJ/Nagoya University/JAXA
Fig. 1 Fifty years of constant Sun observation.
This post is a response to "Variation of the Solar Microwave Spectrum in the Last Half Century", Masumi Shimojo et al. Astrophysical Journal, Volume 848, Number 1.

The abstract states:
"... we found that the microwave spectra at the solar minima of Cycles 20-24 agree with each other. These results show that the average atmospheric structure above the upper chromosphere in the quiet-Sun has not varied for half a century, and suggest that the energy input for atmospheric heating from the sub-photosphere to the corona have not changed in the quiet-Sun despite significantly differing strengths of magnetic activity in the last five solar cycles."
See Figure 1 above.

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20-foot-long sinkhole opens up on busy Manhattan street

Massive sinkhole opens up on Manhattan street

Massive sinkhole opens up on Manhattan street
New Yorkers had a scare early Monday morning after a water main failure caused a 20-foot-long sinkhole to open up on Manhattan's Upper West Side.

The sinkhole appeared around 8:30 a.m. on West 82nd Street between Central Park West and Columbus Ave., after residents reported a water main break, according to a local CBS affiliate.

Blue Planet

Huge hole opens up in Brazilian soybean field; depth unknown

big hole
Residents of a farm in Coromandel in Alto Paranaíba were surprised by a geological phenomenon last week. A giant hole, which would have been about 20 meters in diameter, appeared on a soybean plantation. Scientists from the Federal University of Uberlândia (UFU) were there and said that it might be a sinkhole.

Fazenda Santa Cruz is 30 kilometers from the city. According to the owner, Diogo Tudela, the hole opened between 5 and 6 November and was discovered by a resident. "You can not imagine the size of the hole," he said. The land was recently planted with soybeans. The phenomenon had never occurred on the property before. "That's why we sought out experts to answer our questions. Then we learned that there are already records in the region of this event, "he explained.

The farm owner hired a photographer with a drone to take the images. They believe that the diameter is 15 or 20 meters, and they Could not calculate depth yet.