The world holds its breath as Japan’s damaged nuclear reactors continue to spew radiation. In the worst case, a cloud of radioactive material could be blown inland, endangering millions. The crisis has forced a reexamination of American nuclear policy.
The NOAA took 20 years to develop a reliable tsunamograph, an apparatus that provides accurate, real-time data on tsunamis. It consists of an anchored, ocean-bottom pressure recorder and a companion buoy (called DART, for Deep-Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis). The recorder, sitting at a depth of up to 5,000 meters, measures changes in pressure due to changes in water level. The recorder transmits acoustic signals to the buoy, which, in turn, relays the measurements of wave height to satellites. This information is then used to forecast the progress of a tsunami. Although each tsunamograph costs a mere $200,000, there are only about 50 in operation worldwide. There are scarcely any in the middle of the Pacific, and practically none in the Indian Ocean. Each dot on the map above represents a single buoy, an object about five feet wide that resembles a flying saucer. Many countries, such as India and Indonesia, have resisted acquiring DARTs from the NOAA out of a sense of ...
When it comes to criminal cases, scientific evidence can seem like cold hard facts. But recently, advocates worry that both bad science and internal corruption is making forensics faulty—and innocent people are going to jail.
Content is supposed to be king. But in the world of electronic devices, Apple seems to be placing the crown on its own head, apparently believing that its iPad and iPhone are more important to customers than the books, movies, and music they store on them.