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Earthquakes!

Wednesday, Jul 10 2019 by

There’s nothing more terrifying than the moment the very ground beneath your feet begins to shake, becoming unstable, and even crumbling away from you. Earthquake!

Earthquakes occur when faults in the earth’s crust move, causing the ground to shake as the earth’s crust is forced into new positions. Earthquakes can be felt hundreds and thousands of miles from the epicenter, and they can cause significant damage, even when communities and people are prepared.

Earthquakes happen all the time throughout the world, but because they are generally minor, occur over water, and don’t cause much damage we don’t hear about them. However, when they’re big, they strike on or near land, or they cause damage, the whole world takes note.

Here are some recent headlining earthquakes.

Ridgecrest, California

The first week in July, 2019, has seen several earthquakes near the town of Ridgecrest, in central southern California. The town is closely tied to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.

Tremors were felt hundreds of miles away, including in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The largest quake felt was rated 7.1, but because of substantial protections and planning, there has been relatively limited damage and no loss of life.

Because there have been multiple earthquakes over several days, scientists cannot say that the series is finished, or if more are on their way.

U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology (Google Maps)
U.S. Naval Museum of Armament and Technology

Tohoku, Japan

On March 11, 2011, a record 9.0 earthquake struck northern Japan. As an after-effect of the earthquake, a large tsunami struck the region shortly after, bringing a wall of water more than 100 feet high on shore, washing away homes, buildings, and even, sadly, people.

These aren't supposed to be here (StreetView)
These aren't supposed to be here

It left debris and carnage in the wake, damaging more than half a million structures and destroying nearly 200,000.

Destroyed house (2011 Tōhoku earthquake) (StreetView)
Destroyed house (2011 Tōhoku earthquake)

More than 15,000 people perished from the earthquake and tsunami. It also caused significant damage to three nearby nuclear reactors, causing Japan’s public to worry about a nuclear disaster for years following the disaster. However, due to careful planning and some good fortune, the damage was not worse.

Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant (Google Maps)
Onagawa Nuclear Power Plant

Port-au-Prince, Haiti

On January 12, 2010, a magnitude 7.0 earthquake hit near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. More than 220,000 people were killed and more than 1 million people died.

2010 Haiti earthquake epicenter (Google Maps)
2010 Haiti earthquake epicenter

Due to the country’s poor infrastructure, many people were left without adequate housing or access to water and sanitation, furthering their suffering and struggle to recover after the earthquake. Tent camps were constructed, financed by international donations, and some people have turned these temporary shelters into permanent residences.

2010 Haiti Earthquake Recovery Tent Camp (Google Maps)
2010 Haiti Earthquake Recovery Tent Camp

 Sumatra-Andama, Indonesia

On December 26, 2004, the third largest recorded earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia. The earthquake and subsequent tsunamis killed more than 225,000 people in 14 countries across southern Asia, and left devastation and ruin in its wake. The earthquake lasted between eight and ten minutes.

Banda Aceh, Indonesia, was hit by the earthquake and nearly demolished by the tsunami. The tsunami struck in at least three waves, leading to increased casualties as individuals saw the first waves recede and thought the worst was over, only to be swept away in subsequent waves.

2004-12-26 - Banda Aceh, Indonesia (Google Maps)
2004-12-26 - Banda Aceh, Indonesia

The city has created a tsunami museum, which helps commemorate and remember the terrible events of that day.

Tsunami Museum (Google Maps)
Tsunami Museum

Entire towns and cities were destroyed. Lhok Nga in Indonesia, was completely leveled by the earthquake and at least 15 large and small tsunamis. However, the town has been largely rebuilt, though the scars of the terrible day are still evident.

2004-12-26 - Lhok Nga, town destroyed by the tsunami (Google Maps)
2004-12-26 - Lhok Nga, town destroyed by the tsunami

We are reminded of how quickly things can change; whether it’s an earthquake or related tsunami, things can change in an instance. The threat of the “big one” is always looming. Be careful and be prepared!

 

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A Farewell to Game of Thrones

Sunday, May 19 2019 by

Whether you’ve bent the knee to Daenerys, Jon, Sansa or Tyrion, chances are you’re looking forward in anticipation the end of Game of Thrones (or aren’t watching the show and can’t wait for this all to be over with).

Over 8 seasons of production, Game of Thrones has filmed in hundreds of locations across Europe (mostly), using everything from iconic architecture to built-for-the show sets.

User kkeps has gathered an amazing collection of over 140 Game of Thrones filming locations that you have to check out:

Below you can check out a sample of these iconic real-world Game of Thrones filming locations!

Doune Castle (Winterfell in Game of Thrones) (Bing Maps)
Doune Castle (Winterfell in Game of Thrones)
Castle Black set ("Game of Thrones") (Google Maps)
Castle Black set ("Game of Thrones")
Great Sept of Baelor (Game of Thrones Filming Location) (StreetView)
Great Sept of Baelor (Game of Thrones Filming Location)
"Prince Oberyn vs. The Mountain" battle site (Game of Thrones) (Bing Maps)
"Prince Oberyn vs. The Mountain" battle site (Game of Thrones)
Jaime trains to fight ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Jaime trains to fight ("Game of Thrones")
The Bloody Gate site ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
The Bloody Gate site ("Game of Thrones")
"Prince Oberyn vs. The Mountain" battle site (Game of Thrones) (Bing Maps)
"Prince Oberyn vs. The Mountain" battle site (Game of Thrones)
Highgarden ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Highgarden ("Game of Thrones")
Castle Ward (Google Maps)
Castle Ward
Verdala Palace ("Game of Thrones") (Google Maps)
Verdala Palace ("Game of Thrones")
Nymeria attacks Joffrey ("Game of Thrones") (Google Maps)
Nymeria attacks Joffrey ("Game of Thrones")
Mdina Gate ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Mdina Gate ("Game of Thrones")
Pjazza Mesquita ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Pjazza Mesquita ("Game of Thrones")
Tourney of the Hand ("Game of Thrones") (Google Maps)
Tourney of the Hand ("Game of Thrones")
Tower of Joy ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Tower of Joy ("Game of Thrones")
Vaes Dothrak set ("Game of Thrones") (Google Maps)
Vaes Dothrak set ("Game of Thrones")
Banys Àrabs ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Banys Àrabs ("Game of Thrones")
Battle of the Bastards site ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Battle of the Bastards site ("Game of Thrones")
Itzurun Beach ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Itzurun Beach ("Game of Thrones")
Dany battles the Lannisters ("Game of Thrones") (Google Maps)
Dany battles the Lannisters ("Game of Thrones")

If you want more, definitely check out an interactive map of all 140+ filming locations: Part 1 and Part 2!

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Iceland is Nice!

Tuesday, May 14 2019 by

Iceland: the island of fire and ice, volcanoes and glaciers.

This tiny island nation of just over 300,000 people is quickly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, and one look at it’s unique features makes it clear why!

Reykjavík

The capital of the island country is small enough that it feels more like a town, but it still has the vibrancy of any global city. The city is particularly famous for it’s nightlife, with more than 100 bars and clubs for the city of 100,000. Icelanders head out to bars late at night, so plan to stay out late if you want to live like a local.

If you really want to fit in, try the national dish of pickled shark!

Reykjavík
Photo Credit: Wikipedia

The city places a high value on arts and entertainment, as can be seen with the beautiful Harpa Concert Hall.

Finished in 2011, it’s modern features are in stark contrast to the traditional feel of much of the city’s architecture, but it’s modern glass facade is actually inspired by the basalt features known throughout the country.

Harpa (concert hall) (StreetView)
Harpa (concert hall)

Hallgrímskirkja

Iceland’s relatively recent development has encouraged very modern and avant garde architecture, including the Hallgrímskirkja, the largest church in Iceland.

The church was inspired by a famous waterfall, as well as famous rock formations, and finished in 1986, paying homage to a historic Icelandic poet.

Hallgrímskirkja (Google Maps)
Hallgrímskirkja

Lake Mývatn

Lake Mývatn is part of a wider geothermal area, created roughly 2,000 years ago by the still-active volcano Krafla. The area is filled with breathtaking geographical wonders created by the volcano, including lava formations, giant waterfalls, deep caves and geothermal ponds.

Visitors can hike in the caves and along the waterfall and swim in the ponds, but they must be careful as some are dangerously hot.

Those Game of Thrones fans with a keen eye may recognize some of the landscapes, as the show has been filmed on location.

Mývatn ("Game of Thrones") (StreetView)
Mývatn ("Game of Thrones")

Goðafoss Waterfall

This waterfall is known as the Waterfall of the Gods. Legend has it that when Iceland converted to Christianity around 1000 AD, the local ruler threw all pagan statues into the waterfall, committing himself and the country to Christ.

Visitors can hike around the waterfall and enjoy the spectacular views of Iceland’s pristine landscapes.

Goðafoss (StreetView)
Goðafoss

Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is a geothermal saltwater lagoon that is soothing both for the soul and the body. The beautiful, sky blue water and volcano-formed landscape allow visitors to relax in the spa-like water.

The water itself has healing properties, including high levels of silica and minerals that relieve skin diseases and refresh the skin and body.

Blue Lagoon - geothermal spa in Iceland (Google Maps)
Blue Lagoon - geothermal spa in Iceland

Eldfell Volcano

Iceland was formed by volcanic activity over thousands of years, but it is still being formed and changed by active volcanoes, including Eldfell Volcano on the island of Heimaey.

Eldfell erupted over several weeks in 1973, requiring major intervention to prevent the island from being abandoned permanently.

Tourists can check out the results and learn about living cooperatively with nature.

Eldfell volcano (Google Maps)
Eldfell volcano

Contrary to it’s name, Iceland is the hot place to be these days, and tourists are coming in ever greater numbers to view for themselves the breathtaking natural wonders and participate in the unique and strong cultural traditions of the people.

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