One of the deadliest earthquakes in history struck Lisbon, Portugal, in 1755, killing at least 30,000. The earthquake, followed by a tsunami and raging fires, almost totally destroyed the city, leaving just 15% of its buildings standing.
The study of the quake’s causes led to the beginnings of seismology. Geologists today estimate that the temblor, with an epicenter in the Atlantic Ocean, approached magnitude 9 on the moment magnitude scale.
midden – (noun) – A dunghill or refuse heap.
Synonyms: muckheap, muckhill, dunghill.
Usage: His opponent, as proud as the rooster who is left unchallenged upon the midden, crowed away in a last long burst of quotation and deduction.
More than half of the electricity generated in the United States is produced by coal-fired power plants. Generally, only a small percentage of the coal used in those plants comes from the controversial practice of mountaintop removal mining, or MTR, which involves the use of heavy explosives to blast away up to 1,000 vertical feet of a mountain after its surface has been cleared of timber. What 1970s crises first sparked an increase in the demand for coal and triggered the widespread use of MTR?
The Mungo Man was an early human inhabitant of Australia discovered at Lake Mungo in New South Wales, Australia, in 1974, when shifting sand dunes exposed his remains. Although his exact age is a matter of debate, he is believed by many to have lived approximately 40,000 years ago, during the Pleistocene epoch—making his remains the oldest anatomically modern human remains found in Australia to date. What is significant about the method of his burial?
Smokejumpers are firefighters who parachute into remote areas to combat forest fires. While smokejumpers save many lives, the inherent risks associated with parachuting into a fire lead many to question the value of the profession. Proponents argue that parachute deployment helps firefighters reach remote areas quickly and with more equipment than other means allow, thus enabling them to begin containing fires at their early stages. Which country employs the largest number of smokejumpers?
Definition: (noun) A compartmental structure, often raised on a pole, for housing domesticated pigeons.
Usage: They were not allowed to keep doves themselves, and when the swarms from my lord’s dovecote settled on their crops they must not lose their temper and kill a bird.
The tragedy of the commons is an economic theory of a situation within a shared-resource system where individual users acting independently and rationally according to their own self-interest behave contrary to the common good of all users by depleting that resource.
Source: Tragedy of the commons – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not always – but most of us will smile at the sight anyway. A favorite of young and old alike for its vivid color and cheery song, the American robin is the state bird of Connecticut, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
We think of American Robins as harbingers of spring, so when we see them during the winter, what does that mean? Is spring coming early? Are there a few confused birds in your neighborhood? Find out in our Question of the Week: