Newsweek Quake Cover Story a Crock?

Mickey Kaus Columnist
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The Biggest Crock is Yet to Come! You mean that Newsweek cover story by Simon Winchester on “The Scary Tsunamis Yet to Come“- you know, the one that convinced you maybe there was hope for Tina Brown’s magazine yet, because it was at least reacting to something that happened in the last month, but that turned out to be an awfully thin two-pager with only one interesting point, that the earthquake on one side of the Pacific tectonic plate in Japan could trigger a quake on “the plate’s far side,” in California–was a crock? Apparently. From

There is no evidence for a connection between all of the Pacific Rim earthquakes,” Nathan Bangs, a geophysicist who studies tectonic processes at the University of Texas Institute for Geophysics, told Life’s Little Mysteries …

Schwartz explained that earthquakes can indeed cascade, with one setting off another — but only locally. “When an earthquake happens, it changes the stress in the vicinity around it, and if there are other faults nearby, this increase in stress can trigger them and produce more earthquakes. In other places, it relaxes the crust and puts earthquakes off,” he said.

… “But these static stress changes occur in a relatively restricted region,” Schwartz said. The effects of the stress changes aren’t just anybody’s guess, either: Scientists can produce very accurate computer models of the local stress transfer.

And what about Winchester’s last-graf claim that a Japan-California connection “makes the geological community very apprehensive”? None of the geologists contacted by Live seem to have been made apprehensive. Let’s just call it British … BS in the finest Newsweek tradition! “Hitler’s diaries—genuine or not, it almost doesn’t matter in the end.”  

And they said Tina didn’t know how to make a newsmagazine. … [via L.A. Observed]