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Disaster News Is Actually Making Us Less Scared To Live In Danger Zones

It’s a growing mystery: Why aren’t we more concerned about the increasing severity and frequency of natural disasters? A study published this week reveals all that disaster coverage is, paradoxically, increasing our “appetite for risk.” Uh oh.

Revisiting The Small Village That Was Completely Devastated By Toxic Red Sludge

Kolontár’s wounds are deep. Five years ago, on October 4, 2010, roughly one million cubic meters of liquid chemical waste burst from a red mud reservoir of the Ajka Alumina Plant. The 2-4 meters high wave of toxic sludge flooded the small village west of Budapest, and minutes later, six other villages and towns.

Last-Minute Stockpiling Only Makes Disasters Worse

When a hurricane takes aim at the coast or a blizzard looms in the forecast, something strange comes over us. We swarm into grocery stores, stripping the shelves bare of canned goods and staple foods. Lines stretch all the way around the supermarket, with people arguing and snatching food from each other’s carts.

What Would Happen If A Massive Solar Storm Hit The Earth?

We all know that major storms can wreak havoc, flooding cities and decimating infrastructure. But there’s an even bigger worry than wind and rain: space weather. If a massive solar storm hit us, our technology would be wiped out. The entire planet could go dark.

Tianjin Blasts Released So Much Energy They Looked Like Earthquakes

The explosions that devastated Tianjin yesterday were so powerful, they registered as seismic activity by China’s National Earthquake Network. And the “quakes” geophysicists saw don’t even begin to capture the magnitude of the blasts.

How Much Do Skyscrapers Actually Move?

The night Hurricane Alicia struck Houston in 1983, shattering high-rise windows downtown and stacking sailboats in the marina, there were two engineers waiting on the top floor of the Allied Bank Plaza. The 71-storey emerald glass tower — since renamed, and renamed again — had just opened that year. In August, its top floor was still unfinished. Unconnected wires dangled from the ceiling.

The Worst PayPal Horror Stories

Yesterday, PayPal agreed to pay customers $US15 million for ripping them off over the past few years. After I wrote about it, reader horror stories started flooding my inbox and comments.

Ancient Asteroid Impacts Boiled The Oceans And Made Life On Earth Hell

Roughly 3.3 billion years ago, Earth’s early life forms were plunged into an unimaginable hell, when a series of massive asteroids smashed into the young planet, vaporising the oceans and scorching the skies.

Drones Could Airdrop Relief Supplies To Combat Zones In Syria

Drones — like sharks and William Shatner — are often misunderstood by the public. Many associate the autonomous fliers with warfare and creepy government spies. But drones can be heroic, dropping life-saving supplies to civilians in combat zones.

These High-Tech Archaeological Tools Will Help Rebuild Nepal's History

As rescue efforts in Nepal begin to shift to recovery mode, relief workers in the earthquake-ravaged country are focusing on infrastructure — including the catastrophic loss of so many historic structures. And they’re increasingly using emerging technology to do it.

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