Econintersect: Here are some of the headlines we found to help you start your day. For more headlines see our afternoon feature for GEI members, What We Read Today, which has many more headlines and a number of article discussions to keep you abreast of what we have found interesting.
Happy New Year!
For the rest of the New Year's message, go to the end of this article.
Plans for underwater 'oceanscraper' revealed (CNN) Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut has revealed ambitious plans for a series of underwater eco-villages that could house up to 20,000 people each in the future. His Aequorea project imagines entirely self-sufficient, spiraling "oceanscrapers" reaching to the sea floor from mangrove-covered marinas on the surface of the world's oceans.
Bone discovery suggests a mysterious ancient species of human lived alongside our ancestors (Quartz) An ancient femur found in a Chinese cave is unlike any bone formerly discovered, suggesting it belonged to a previously unknown human species that lived alongside modern man just 14,000 years ago. The distinctive shape of the bone indicates that the species would have walked differently from humans today and would have been far smaller than other humans who lived at the time. The bones indicate a creature similar to early human species that lived 2 million years ago. Evidence has been found indicating interactions may have occurred between modern man and these ancient ones, including mating with them, eating them and using thier bones for tools. Econintersect: Sounds like sex before a dinner date rather than after.
Half a Million Bank Jobs Have Vanished Since 2008 Crisis: Chart (Bloomberg) And staff reductions at some of the world's biggest banks are far from over. Deutsche Bank AG, which has held employment close to its 2010 peak, plans to slash 26,000 positions by 2018, following a trend that began with the financial crisis.
Southern states face floods as Midwest rivers recede (Reuters) Residents of Southern states along the Mississippi River are bracing for the flooding that has swamped communities in Illinois and Missouri over the last week, causing thousands of evacuations and killing at least 29 people. Officials in Louisiana are checking levees daily, and Exxon Mobil Corp has decided to shut its 340,571 barrel-per-day refined products terminal in Memphis, Tennessee, as floodwaters threatened to inundate the facility just south of the city's downtown.
Obama explores unilateral steps on guns (Associated Press) President Barack Obama is looking for ways to keep guns out of the hands of "a dangerous few" without depending on Congress to pass a law on the fraught subject of gun control. He's says he'll meet his attorney general, Loretta Lynch, on Monday to see what executive actions might be possible. Steps to strengthen background checks could come this week.
Just north of the San Andreas, however, lies another fault line. Known as the Cascadia subduction zone, it runs for seven hundred miles off the coast of the Pacific Northwest, beginning near Cape Mendocino, California, continuing along Oregon and Washington, and terminating around Vancouver Island, Canada. The "Cascadia" part of its name comes from the Cascade Range, a chain of volcanic mountains that follow the same course a hundred or so miles inland. The "subduction zone" part refers to a region of the planet where one tectonic plate is sliding underneath (subducting) another. Tectonic plates are those slabs of mantle and crust that, in their epochs-long drift, rearrange the earth's continents and oceans. Most of the time, their movement is slow, harmless, and all but undetectable. Occasionally, at the borders where they meet, it is not.
The amount of stress force built up along the fault lines between plate borders can be measured by geologists. For the San Andreas fault the maximum stress possible equates to about an 8.2 Richter scale earthquake. That is a powerful earthquake but only 6% of the megaquake that hit Japan in March of 2011. And the Cascadia fault can produce a quake up to about 8.6 if only the southern half moves and 9.2 for the entire fault rupturing. The "big one" will level much of "some hundred and forty thousand square miles, including Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, Salem (the capital city of Oregon), Olympia (the capital of Washington), and some seven million people". Then the fallen rubble and what remains standing will be swept away by a massive tsunami that will crash inland at least to Interstate 5. "When the next full-margin rupture happens, that region will suffer the worst natural disaster in the history of North America." Scientists estimate the probability that of a half-zone earthquake in the lower 8s in the next 50 years is 1 in 3. The full enchilada? One in 10. The first map below is from Cascadia Subduction Zone and Seismic Worries (standeyo.com/NEWS/06). The second map is fromi5Highway.com, annotated by Econintersect.
Tel Aviv shooting: Two dead, Israeli police say (BBC News) Two people have died and and seven others have been injured after an unidentified gunman opened fire with an automatic rifle at a bar in Tel Aviv. Security camera footage showed the suspect taking a weapon out of his backpack and shooting. Israeli security forces have launched a massive manhunt for the gunman, cordoning off areas of the city. The incident took place in Dizengoff Street, a busy part of the city center filled with bars and cafes.
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