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‘Likely More to Come’…’Mauna Loa Really Scares Us’ – Volcanologist 

A volcanologist tackles that and other burning questions about the Hawaii volcano

Cracks open in the ground. Lava creeps across roads, swallowing cars and homes. Fountains of molten rock shoot up to 70 meters high, catching treetops on fire.

After a month of rumbling warning signs, Kilauea, Hawaii’s most active volcano, began a new phase of eruption last week. The volcano spewed clouds of steam and ash into the air on May 3, and lava gushed through several new rifts on the volcano’s eastern slope. Threatened by clouds of toxic sulfur dioxide-laden gas that also burst from the rifts, about 1,700 residents of a housing subdivision called Leilani Estates were forced to flee their homes, which sat directly in the path of the encroaching lava.

The event marks the 62nd eruption episode along Kilauea’s eastern flank, which is really part of an ongoing volcanic eruption that started in 1983. The volcano is one of six that formed Hawaii’s Big Island over the past million years. Mauna Loa is the largest and most central; Kilauea, Mauna Kea, Hualalai and Kohala occupy the island’s edges. Mahukona is currently submerged. All six are shield volcanoes, with broad flanks composed of hardened lava flows.

Kilauea’s activity has now shifted to its southwest flank, which continues to steam. No new rifts have opened since May 7, but the eruption may be far from over, says Victoria Avery, a volcanologist and associate program coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program, based in Reston, Va.

Science News talked with Avery about Kilauea’s fury, the quakes and what to expect next from the volcano. Her responses were edited for brevity and clarity.

Q: Is there anything unusual about this eruption?

A: Not to scientists; it’s typical of what Kilauea volcano can do.

Q: Were there any warning signs?

A: We saw shallow earthquake activity under [the eastern flank of Kilauea] for several days. That tells us that molten rock is moving underground. We also saw that the lava lake at the summit of Kilauea was lowering; there’s a vent called Pu’u ‘O’o [which has erupted nearly continuously since 1983], and the floor [beneath its magma reservoir] collapsed on April 30. That told us that magma is being withdrawn and moved elsewhere. That collapse, plus the new seismicity, told us something was going to happen.

TOXIC CLOUD A plume of ash burst from Kilauea shortly after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the volcano’s south flank. U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

TOXIC CLOUD A plume of ash burst from Kilauea shortly after a magnitude 6.9 earthquake shook the volcano’s south flank.
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Q. On May 4, two large earthquakes measuring magnitude 5.4 and magnitude 6.9 shook the Big Island in quick succession. How are they related to the eruption?

A: It’s not frequent but not unusual for Hawaii to have earthquake[s] like that, because a volcano is a very dynamic place. The [surface swelling] associated with the eruption probably triggered the quake[s]: The magma pushed on the volcano from inside. The whole south flank of Kilauea is an area that has a history of large earthquakes. We didn’t directly anticipate it, but we weren’t that surprised when it happened.

Q: Did the people who live there know they were in a hazardous zone?

A: The eruption is right on one of the rift zones of the volcano. The fact that there was a subdivision right on top of it, I can’t comment on. But those houses are right where we know it can erupt. Right now, [emergency managers] are allowing people back in briefly to check on their homes, but not allowing them to stay.

RIFT ZONE A helicopter flying over Leilani Estates on May 5 captured heat signatures of fissures (yellow labels) that had opened up within the subdivision along Kilauea’s eastern slope. White regions are the hottest. The subdivision was built in lava-flow hazard zone 1. That classification, based on the fact that volcano vents in the area are often active, is the highest hazard area designated by USGS.

RIFT ZONE A helicopter flying over Leilani Estates on May 5 captured heat signatures of fissures (yellow labels) that had opened up within the subdivision along Kilauea’s eastern slope. White regions are the hottest. The subdivision was built in lava-flow hazard zone 1. That classification, based on the fact that volcano vents in the area are often active, is the highest hazard area designated by USGS.

Q: How dangerous is the gas that’s also erupting with the lava?

A: The gas is chiefly carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. The gas is actually what propels the [lava] to come out of the ground. Carbon dioxide in enough quantity can suffocate people. Sulfur dioxide can react with the atmosphere to create sulfuric acid. It forms “vog,” or volcanic fog, that can exacerbate asthma. That’s why they’re putting gas masks on people who go in to check on their homes.

Q: How are researchers monitoring this eruption?

A: We’re using the classic tools: instruments measuring seismicity and deformation, visual observations on the ground or flying over in helicopters, and thermal and deformation imagery from satellites. Using remote sensing, you can take [high-resolution images of ground elevation using] synthetic-aperture radar, or SAR, measurements at two different points in time to see the deformation.

050818_CG_kilauea_inline4_370Hawaii is a supersite, which means we get a lot of free SAR imagery over it, at about every two or three days. That may not be enough time for frequent eruption warnings, but it’s useful to monitor precursor activity and know what to look for. In the future, we’d like to use drones as well to monitor the eruptions.

Q: Nearby Mauna Loa is on yellow alert (to inform the aviation sector of potential ash hazards), because the volcano is showing signs of unrest. Is it at risk of erupting, too?

A: Mauna Loa really scares us. It is the largest volcano on the planet; it’s the big monster volcano of Hawaii. Kilauea has been erupting continuously since 1983, but Mauna Loa last erupted in 1984. But Mauna Loa can pump out much larger volumes and much faster. It has been yellow since September 2015, when there was elevated seismicity and deformation. It’s still a yellow, but it has quieted a bit.

Q: What’s next? Does the lull in activity at Kilauea mean the eruption is almost over?

A: It’s likely only a pause. The seismicity and deformation can wane and then build up again. The best we can do is watch precursor phenomena 24/7. [These include] the seismic data, the height of the lava lake and the deformation of the volcano along the rift zone. Where it swells, the magma is underneath it; where it goes down, the magma is withdrawing.

Q: The lava lake appears to be sinking again (as of May 6). Does that suggest more eruption is imminent?

A: It generally means that the lava is traveling down the rift zone. There’s likely more to come.

A: It’s likely only a pause. The seismicity and deformation can wane and then build up again. The best we can do is watch precursor phenomena 24/7. [These include] the seismic data, the height of the lava lake and the deformation of the volcano along the rift zone. Where it swells, the magma is underneath it; where it goes down, the magma is withdrawing.

Q: The lava lake appears to be sinking again (as of May 6). Does that suggest more eruption is imminent?

A: It generally means that the lava is traveling down the rift zone. There’s likely more to come.

WARNING SIGN Within Kilauea’s summit sits a lake of lava that volcanologists use to help gauge the movement of magma within the volcano’s plumbing system. On May 6, the lake level had sunk to about 220 meters below the crater rim, suggesting the magma was heading elsewhere along the volcano’s flanks. U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

WARNING SIGN Within Kilauea’s summit sits a lake of lava that volcanologists use to help gauge the movement of magma within the volcano’s plumbing system. On May 6, the lake level had sunk to about 220 meters below the crater rim, suggesting the magma was heading elsewhere along the volcano’s flanks.
U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY

Carolyn Gramling
Science News

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Planet Earth

Piraha – people who live for the day and are considered the happiest on Earth

In the wilds of the Brazilian jungle, the people of Piraha live, which is difficult to understand for a modern person. They do not know the past and the future, consider prolonged sleep dangerous and have no idea what stress is. The missionary who came to the piraha to teach them life, came to the conclusion that these people are the happiest on Earth. And years later, he completely realized that he needed to learn from them, and not vice versa.

We are publishing rare pictures of these mysterious people and also tell the most shocking facts about Pirah people, who see the world absolutely differently from most people on the planet.. And we can also tell the most shocking facts about the people of Pirah, who see the world absolutely differently from most people on the planet.

Live here and now

The essence of the Pirah culture is explained very simply: “Live here and now” In their language there is only the present tense, because, according to the people, the only important thing that is worth communicating to others is what is experienced at that very moment.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet
©  bad.planet / Instagram

Piraha believe that sleep is harmful 

They were shocked when they found out that someone was sleeping for 8 hours. The people are sure that if you fall asleep for a long time, you can wake up as a different person. However, there is also an opinion that such a regime was formed due to the fact that the area where the people live is teeming with snakes. Therefore, they sleep in fits and starts for half an hour and no more than two hours a night.

They only distinguish between dark and light colors. Red and yellow confuse people, as well as green and blue.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet

The number of Pirah is only 800 people

Usually, representatives of primitive tribes would rather take their own lives than lose their honor and respect. But not a feast. They basically don’t understand what anger or despair is . “If Haaiohaaa dropped the fish into the water, that’s bad. No fish, no dinner. But what does Haaiohaaa have to do with it? ” – they just think.

The concepts of “century”, “time” and “history” are empty phrases for pirah, and almost none of them remember their grandparents. When asked what was the tribe before they laconic answer: “Everything is the same’.

Mothers don’t tell their children bedtime stories. In addition, here, in principle, no one remembers any stories: collective memory is built only on the personal experience of the oldest living member of the tribe.

Also, the piraha do not know what guilt and shame are. A husband can easily leave his wife if she is no longer young and pretty. Moreover, the woman will not be angry with him and will simply say something in the spirit:

“It happened because it happened, that’s all. So, we need to look for a new man.”

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet
©  Smithsonian Channel Smithsonian Channel / YouTube

In their language there are no words for the left and right sides, and the people do not understand why this is necessary.

Piraha mothers do not know how many children they have

But they distinguish them by their faces. The point is that this nation cannot count. Piraha do not even perceive the word “one”. However, they have concepts of “several” and “many”. That is, they can say that they have several children, but they cannot give the exact number.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet

Piraha show no interest in the achievements of modern civilization. Moreover, they completely do not understand the way of life of modern people. “ How can you sleep and eat so much? “- this is how the people think about white people. However, they began to wear clothes, and also used aluminum utensils, threads, matches and fishing tackle.

This culture lacks religion and the concept of God. Although belief in the otherworld is common in most cultures, piraha is useless.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet
©  Smithsonian Channel Smithsonian Channel / YouTube

Every few years, the inhabitants of the people take a new name for themselves, which corresponds to the next period of their life.

Due to the peculiar perception of time, this unusual people do not see the need to store food for future use. What’s more, they don’t treat food as significant at all. If you could not find something for lunch, then  you can skip lunch and eat the next day.

Кто такие пираха — люди, которые живут одним днем и считаются самыми счастливыми на планете

In the Pirah, everyone is equal 

There is no social hierarchy. Perhaps that is why researchers note the amazing vitality of these people. In their tribe there is no envy, anger, theft, conspiracies and intrigues.

They don’t say thank you, sorry and please. In other words, they don’t have any courtesies. Piraha are perplexed why all this is needed, because they all treat each other so warmly without any formalities.

Who are Piraha - people who live one day and are considered the happiest on the planet

Missionary and linguist Daniel Everett wanted to teach Pirah all the benefits of civilization and lived for many years among these unhurried, constantly laughing and knowing no sins people. During this time, he suddenly became an atheist and changed his worldview. After all, the Pirahaha absolutely did not understand why to believe in someone whom no one saw, and why this someone influences the happiness and life of an individual.

Piraha do not suffer from mental disorders and depression. According to Everett, this nation has a phenomenal degree of life satisfaction, and without banned substances and antidepressants.

Piraha are sometimes called the happiest people on the planet.

 According to some experts, while some people remember the past or spend time studying the features of other cultures, this people simply lives their own lives, smiles, laughs and knows no troubles.

Do you think a person from a civilized society cannot understand the inhabitants of the jungle? Or is there something attractive in their principles of life?

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Planet Earth

How to create a “heaven on earth” for all mankind?

We ask ourselves this question and tried to answer it. Of course, by “paradise” we do not mean “paradise booths” somewhere in the mythical nooks of the past, but a very real place – our home called planet Earth.

Moreover, this is our only home at the moment, since the prospects for the colonization of other planets of the solar system for us are still rather dreams, and very far from being realized.

Two main problems for humanity

Do you know what we like about people? The fact that even being in difficult living conditions, they do not limit their interests only to how to earn a living for themselves – no, they are interested in more global issues: political, social, philosophical or scientific in nature. But what worries them the most?

In our opinion, most people on our planet are preoccupied with two main problems:

1) Security (in every sense of the word, including economic)

2) Happiness (in the broadest sense of the word)

While these problems may seem very different at first glance, they actually boil down to caring for your own well-being.

In this context, it is quite easy to understand why humans do not live in paradise on Earth.

There are many problems that are prevalent all over the world today, such as wars and crime (with all the associated problems), as well as various health problems, both physical and mental.

It seems obvious that no one wants to live in a world where they are constantly under the threat of violent crimes, wars or other disasters, and it is also clear that many people want to find love and happiness not only, and not so much for themselves, but rather for those who are very dear to them.

Hence, the most obvious way to create a paradise on earth would be to increase safety for all people and increase the possibilities for human relationships.

When it comes to security, there are a number of obvious things that can be done. For example, many people are concerned about pollution and environmental degradation, as well as related issues such as global warming and overpopulation.

There is an obvious solution to this in the form of cleaner energy sources (such as solar energy) and more efficient modes of transportation (including space travel). This would help reduce fears about climate change at least partially.

Another issue that is widely discussed is the possibility of a nuclear war between large countries. This could potentially lead to the extinction of all of humanity, if it happened at the moment, given the advances in technology and weapons compared to previous generations.

In addition to these issues, there are a number of other issues that seem to be at least somewhat predominant, such as privacy, economic insecurity and social inequality.

What we can do?

If we digress from philosophical reasoning and look at the real situation that has developed in the world over the past ten years, we can see that the world has ceased to live by the rules.

If earlier, there were official and unofficial rules of “behavior of states in international relations”, now these “gentlemen’s agreements” are completely ignored.

One possible solution to this could be the creation of a “world government” that would control all aspects of human life (including economy and technology). However, this will almost certainly have some negative consequences.

World government: pros and cons

Pros : One government of all human civilization, by definition, will save us from wars, economic inequality, social inequality and the likelihood of global destruction in the event of a nuclear war. In fact, on planet Earth, there will be one huge country in which the entire population of the planet will live.

Cons : There is a risk that people will come to power who will turn the good goal of “heaven on earth” into the possibility of establishing a dictatorship in which all the disadvantages of the previous type of government will remain, when “everyone was for himself”, but already without the opportunity to defend their interests as it was when there was a system of scattered but sovereign states.

How, then, to create a paradise on earth for everyone?

1) Develop future technologies that will help us save the planet and stop global climate change.

2) To develop medicine in the direction of increasing the life expectancy of a person, which will entail an increase in the quality of life, and an increase in “happiness” for each individual citizen.

3) To achieve maximum protection of people from any threats . The safety of citizens in all spheres of life should become a priority for the state.

4) Revive the system of “international rules”, which must be observed by all countries, without exception.

5) Limit the proliferation of nuclear weapons in order to increase the overall level of the sense of security of all mankind, and save it even from hypothetically possible mutual destruction in the event of a conflict with the use of nuclear weapons.

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Planet Earth

Ways to have fun celebrating Halloween in the pandemic

Roughly 74% of American millennials and young parents think Halloween is more important this year than ever. They gather in online groups where they exchange tips and suggestions on the safest way to have fun on All Saints’ Day in a pandemic.

7 ways to have fun celebrating Halloween in a pandemic

The Los Angeles Times selected seven of the most successful ideas, and shared them with readers.

This year, when most of the candy lovers are staying at home, decorating their home is more important than ever. The more tinsel, the better. You can hang out flashlights, buy a fog machine, or make a stuffed animal out of old clothes. Carve some pumpkins and have an online contest among family members, asking them to vote for the best neighborhood crafts.

Of course, the bravest children will come under your door shouting “wallet or life”, but it is impossible to communicate directly with little ghouls who are always short on candy. It is better to arrange sweets in bags in advance and put them outside the door. You can wave your hand at them from the balcony or out the window if you want to see how happy they will be with the treat.

The candies can be hung from strings on a fence or from trees. Children will quickly figure out how to rip them off.

If your child really wants to go outside, and the level of infection in the region does not allow this, you can distract him by looking for sweets at home. Turn off the lights, take flashlights, and run with him in search of candy. For teenagers, you can do a whole quest with tips and tasks.

Plastic eggs, which many use for Easter gifts, can be pasted over with glowing scary faces and muzzles. Then fill them with candy and hide them inside or outside the house. You can decorate them with stickers glowing in the dark, then it will be more interesting to look for surprises in the dark.

It’s not recommended to have ghosts in the house, of course, but you can watch movies about them on Halloween. An impromptu cinema can be arranged both in the house and in the yard. Then the neighbors can join the session. To keep your distance, you should buy hula hoops. Then everyone will be accommodated on the same lawn in front of the house, but the risk of infection will be avoided.

The most important thing is to get a good mood on Halloween. Therefore, without further ado, you can put vacuum-packed sweets under the door of your neighbor, call and run away with all your blades. This will amuse you and your neighbors, who will spend half the night wondering whether to eat the offering or throw a potentially infectious bag in the trash.

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