Natural Disasters, June 21

2002    An earthquake measuring 6.5 Mw struck a region of northwestern Iran killing 261 people causing widespread fear due to a slow official response.

2007    An  F5 tornado struck Elie, Manitoba in Canada destroying part of the town, but with no fatalities or injuries.

EF stands for Enhanced Fujita Scale. This is a method of rating the intensity of tornadoes based on the amount of damage they cause. There are six categories ranging from 0 to 5 with 5 being the most severe. An EF 5 tornado has wind speeds over 200 mph and total destruction of buildings.

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Dog Tip of the Day, June 21

The first textbook on psychology was Principles of Psychology, by Fred Keller and William Schoenfeld. Fred Keller was a friend and colleague of B. F. Skinner and he used an instructional technique known as PSI or personalized System of Instruction. I use this method when I teach my ham radio classes because people progress at different rates, so do animals. I still think it is a good idea to enroll your dog in an obedience class, but the class is not enough. One should work on training the dog throughout it’s life. Stay with it, don’t put unreasonable expectations on the dog and have fun with it.

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Science Birthdays, June 20

Today is the birthday of Jacob Hubner, born in 1761, he wrote Sammlung Europaischer Schmetterlinge, a founding work on entomology.

Also born on this day:

6/20/1861        Frederick Hopkins, Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of vitamins. He also discovered the amino acid tryptophan, he died in 1947 at age 85.

6/20/1875        Reginald Punnett, he created the Punnett Square to predict the probability of possible genotypes of offspring, He wrote the book Mendelism in 1905 and it was probably the first textbook on genetics. He died in 1967 at age 91.

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Natural Disasters, June 20

1959    A rare June hurricane struck Canada’s Gulf of St. Lawrence killing 35 people.

1990    Manjil-Rudbar Earthquake, 50,000 people are killed in northern Iran when an 7.4 Mw earthquake of maximum intensity X, which is extreme on the Maximum Mercalli Intensity scale struck.

I know I have mentioned this before, but a Mw is a megawatt. The watt is a unit of power and a mega watt is a million watts, or (106) watts. We often see this used to describe the power of an earthquake. To put it in perspective, a diesel locomotive is capable of putting out about 5 megawatts of power, a typical U.S. nuclear power plant produces a little more than 500 to 1000 megawatts of power during the summer months.

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Dog Tip of The Day, June 20

If you want to reinforce a behavior, you use a condition reinforcer.  When a desirable condition takes place and you want to reinforce it, you have to associate it with something pleasant, then it will reinforce the behavior. This is why things like treats, a special toy, petting, making over the dog work for training desirable behaviors. So if you want to sound technical and scientific, the next time you reward good behavior, you can say you are using a condition reinforcer.

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Science Birthdays, June 19

6/19/1623        Blaise Pascal,               physicist, child prodigy, built a mechanical calculator when he was a teenager, mathematician of the highest order, also famous for Pascal’s Law – Pressure exerted anywhere in a confined, non-compressible fluid is transmitted equally in all directions throughout the fluid. He was in poor health after his 18th birthday and died in 1662 at age 39.

6/19/1897        Sir Cyril Hinshelwood, chemist, studied the explosive reaction of hydrogen and oxygen, described chain reactions, never married, he was fluent in seven languages. He died in 1967 at age 70.

6/19/1906        Ernst Chain                  chemist, described the therapeutic action and composition of penicillin identified by Fleming 9 years earlier. He died in 1979 at age 73.

6/19/1906        Lyman Craig                chemist, he invented the rotary evaporator, also the counter current distribution method. he died in 1974 at age 68.

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Natural Disasters, June 19

1718 Gansu Earthquake, 73,000 people were killed, occurred on this day.

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