Softly, quietly raining this early Monday on California’s north coast and in the still-dark air there’s a sense that seemingly all is well with the world, and peace reigns from here to Timbuktu.
Beyond the Memorial Day services to be held all across the US, news junkies seeking a fix will have to way-internalize the pent-up Howard Beale rant until at least later in the day.
When Monday is a holiday, it’s inobtrusive as a deaf mouse in an abandoned church.
(Illustration found here).
One item this morningÂ still rattling fresh is earthquakes — some by nature, others by lotterized crazy-men:
Three dozen earthquakes over the past week in central Arkansas shook shelves, rattled nerves and prompted speculation about their cause.
“Are they being being triggered or are they natural?
That’s something we don’t know,” Arkansas Geological Survey scientist Scott Ausbrook said Sunday.
The chances of so many temblors in the region in such a short time are “Powerball kind of odds,” Ausbrook said.
“What was unusual was to have four different areas in the state to be active in the same week.”
More than two dozen quakes recorded since Wednesday have been centered north of Morrilton, Arkansas.
The strongest, on Wednesday and Thursday nights, had reported magnitudes of 3.5 and 3.4.
“Right now all we’ve gotten reports of is shaking stuff and rattling shelves, but people are definitely noticing them,” Ausbrook said.
And really not much ado about fracking in the area, is there? Fracking, of course, is natural gas exploration using hydraulic fracturing — bad shit:
“The best probability at this point is they are natural, but we can’t rule out the possibility that there may be a relationship,” Ausbrook said.
A swarm of hundreds of earthquakes centered near Guy, Arkansas, ended two years ago after state regulators imposed a moratorium on new injection wells in the area.
Meanwhile, in the natural category, over east from where I am, in about the same spot where a 5.7 magnitude quake rumbled last Thursday, was another 2.6 shaker this morning — creates a cluster bust on the USGS earthquake map. And because of the location, the recent quakes have ‘…generated curiosity from seismologists‘ because that section of Northern California hasn’t been studied like other parts of this shaker-maker state and has less monitoring equipment.
And way-back east, another slap at ‘The Man.’ New York City cops won’t like this — via the Village Voice:
Two studies have slammed assumptions about stop-and-frisk’s effectiveness this week.
On Wednesday, an NYCLU report showed that black New Yorkers have been disproportionally stopped for suspected possession of marijuana, with cops wrong about that suspicion 91.5 percent of the time.
Another report put out by the public advocate this week shows that white New Yorkers, when stopped, are actually far more likely to possess a weapon than African Americans.
The data would suggest that for all Police Commissioner Ray Kelly’s talk about stop-and-frisk saving lives, the practice of stopping young black New Yorkers at an absurdly higher rate than whites is statistically misguided.
This does not bode well for stop-and-frisk’s constitutional argument.
Depends upon how you view the Constitution — right-side up, or up-side down.
And this from my birth state,Â a story I read about last week and wondered about — I was born and raised in this same area:
Officials have determined the cause of a rash of sicknesses in south Alabama, and they say the public has no reason to fear.
After warning hospitals to take extra precaution earlier this week, The Alabama Department of Public Health said in a release Thursday the unknown respiratory illness cluster that hospitalized 10 people and killed two was caused by â€œa combination of influenza A, rhinovirus, the virus associated with the common cold, and bacterial pneumonia.â€
According to the Associated Press, State Health Officer Don Williamson said that health officials took extraordinary caution earlier because of two new viruses — one in the Middle East and another in China.
Of the 10 people, two have died, six remain hospitalized and two have been released. They range in age from 24 to 87.
Finally, this local story via The Arcata Eye, a weekly up here that focuses on politics, arts and the unusual, and a beach discovery going on the dock:
On April 11, Duke and Cindy were beachcombing on Agate Beach, where it’s fairly easy to find semi-precious stones. There, lying on a sand bank, was what Duke immediately recognized as an iron meteorite.
â€œI was excited,â€ he said.
The 1,052 gram/2.3 lb. lump bears the typical appearance of iron-nickel alloy meteorites. Itâ€™s the largest one Duke has ever found â€“ most are thumbnail-sized.
Duke and Cindy are advertising the meteorite for sale via the Co-op info kiosk at a price of $4,000.
They donâ€™t really want to sell it, but, says Cindy, â€œWe canâ€™t hold on to everything.â€
The meteorite comes in its own carrying case and is cossetted in a plaid cloth.
If you can’t eat it, sell it — another not-so-subtle Monday.