Oklahoma earthquake swarm, November 2011?

November 6, 2011

Is it enough to call it a swarm?  Oklahoma hadn’t had a quake of great signficance in about 30 years, but they had a 5.6 and a 4.7  yesterday — and look at this list for today and yesterday from the USGS (list will probably change at USGS as time moves on):

y/m/d h:m:s
MAP 3.3 2011/11/06 18:26:56 35.478 -96.864 5.0 4 km ( 2 mi) SE of Meeker, OK
MAP 3.7 2011/11/06 17:52:34 35.547 -96.819 5.0 7 km ( 4 mi) S of Sparks, OK
MAP 3.9 2011/11/06 15:07:05 35.535 -96.909 5.0 4 km ( 3 mi) NNW of Meeker, OK
MAP 3.2 2011/11/06 11:20:23 35.525 -96.883 5.0 3 km ( 2 mi) NNE of Meeker, OK
MAP 3.0 2011/11/06 11:16:20 35.523 -96.844 4.9 6 km ( 3 mi) ENE of Meeker, OK
MAP 3.4 2011/11/06 11:03:52 35.539 -96.825 5.0 8 km ( 5 mi) S of Sparks, OK
MAP 3.9 2011/11/06 10:52:35 35.567 -96.797 5.0 5 km ( 3 mi) SSE of Sparks, OK
MAP 4.0 2011/11/06 09:39:57 35.506 -96.865 5.0 3 km ( 2 mi) ENE of Meeker, OK
MAP 3.4 2011/11/06 09:22:04 35.585 -96.823 5.0 3 km ( 2 mi) S of Sparks, OK
MAP 2.7 2011/11/06 08:14:12 35.474 -96.794 5.0 7 km ( 4 mi) NNE of Johnson, OK
MAP 3.2 2011/11/06 07:32:40 35.544 -96.901 4.9 5 km ( 3 mi) N of Meeker, OK
MAP 3.8 2011/11/06 06:31:10 35.559 -96.874 5.0 7 km ( 4 mi) NNE of Meeker, OK
MAP 3.0 2011/11/06 04:54:00 35.540 -96.687 5.0 6 km ( 4 mi) N of Prague, OK
MAP 3.6 2011/11/06 04:03:41 35.554 -96.760 5.0 8 km ( 5 mi) SE of Sparks, OK
MAP 5.6 2011/11/06 03:53:10 35.537 -96.747 5.0 8 km ( 5 mi) NW of Prague, OK
MAP 3.6 2011/11/05 14:36:30 35.584 -96.789 4.9 4 km ( 2 mi) SE of Sparks, OK
MAP 3.4 2011/11/05 13:42:26 35.530 -96.766 5.0 9 km ( 5 mi) NW of Prague, OK
MAP 3.3 2011/11/05 11:24:15 35.521 -96.778 5.0 9 km ( 6 mi) WNW of Prague, OK
MAP 3.3 2011/11/05 09:12:11 35.591 -96.788 4.9 4 km ( 2 mi) SE of Sparks, OK
MAP 2.7 2011/11/05 07:50:42 35.559 -96.762 4.8 8 km ( 5 mi) SE of Sparks, OK
MAP 2.7 2011/11/05 07:44:34 35.488 -96.755 5.0 6 km ( 4 mi) W of Prague, OK
MAP 3.4 2011/11/05 07:27:20 35.566 -96.698 5.0 9 km ( 6 mi) N of Prague, OK
MAP 4.7 2011/11/05 07:12:45 35.553 -96.748 4.0 9 km ( 6 mi) SE of Sparks, OK

Back to Map Centered at 36°N, 96°W (That’s Tulsa, roughly)


23 quakes in two days.  Oklahomans might be excused for wondering what’s up.

Just technical details here.  USGS issued a notice on both of the larger quakes, the 4.7 on Saturday, November 5, and the 5.6 on Sunday, November 6.

Still, this isn’t much of a swarm for an active quake zone, like California, or Yellowstone, or Alaska.

But, for Oklahoma, this is big.  Plus, it appears to lay observers that earthquake intensity and frequency both have been building for over a year.   Recent earthquakes in Arkansas and Texas concern some local residents who fear the quakes are the result of hydrofracturing (fracking) activities being conducted in relation to natural gas and oil drilling and extraction.

And as this map of U.S. quakes in the preceding week shows, the quakes in Oklahoma are the largest in the U.S. for the week.

USGS animation of quakes in US for week ending Nov 6, 2011, afternoon

More quakes in California, on the USGS maps -- but the Oklahoma quakes are biggest

Research continues, and local residents stay nervous.

Here’s a map that should update with new quake information — which means, Oklahomans hope, that the indicators of quakes will go away over the next few days.

USGS map of Oklahoma City/Tulsa area where earthquakes occurred in the week leading up to November 6, 2011

USGS map of Oklahoma City/Tulsa area where earthquakes occurred in the week leading up to November 6, 2011


CNN special on “fixing” education in the U.S.

November 6, 2011

I get press releases in e-mail:

FIXING EDUCATION is Focus of New “Restoring the American Dream” FAREED ZAKARIA GPS Primetime Special

Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION Debuts Sunday at 8:00pm ET and PT

TIME Magazine Companion Story “When Will We Learn?” Hits Newsstands Friday

American primary and secondary education were once envied by much of the world, but over the last few decades U.S. students have fallen behind – while students in other countries have benefitted from improvements to their educational systems.  CNN and TIME magazine’s Fareed Zakaria interviews innovative and creative leaders working on solutions to fix what ails American education in his November primetime special, Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION, on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:00pm & 11:00pm ET & PT, and for a companion TIME magazine cover article, “When Will We Learn?” that hits newsstands Friday.

Time Magazine cover for November 4, 2011

Time Magazine cover for November 4, 2011, featuring Fareed Zakaria's story on education reform

PISA, the Program for International Student Assessment, ranks 15-year-olds for basic skills achievement in 65 industrialized nations.  In the latest PISA rankings, the U.S. ranks 15th in reading, 23rd in math, and 31st in science.  Zakaria guides viewers through tours of what is working in education in countries with high rankings – to South Korea where students have more classroom time; and Finland , where professionalization of the teacher workforce has improved educators – in order to mine ideas for what could put U.S. education back on the right track.

Featured in the special are:

  • ·Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, whose foundation has donated $5 billion dollars to schools, libraries, and scholarships tells Zakaria that the single most important determinant in the quality of a student’s education is the teacher.  The Gates Foundation is the leading source of private money for education in the U.S. .
  • ·Salman Khan,< founder of the Khan Academy , an educational organization that provides free, self-paced tutorials and student assessments online.  Khan’s famous podcasts have delivered more than 83 million free lessons in math, science and other topics, and he tells Zakaria that customizing education can improve learning through leveraging how students learn differently.  He thinks it would not be that difficult to teach all American students this way.
    • NYU Professor, former Assistant U.S. Secretary of Education, and author (The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education, 2010) Diane Ravitch has spent a lifetime in education policy analysis and has seen education reforms come and go – and harm students.  Ravitch supports a rigorous national curriculum and tells Zakaria that standardized testing, charter schools, and modeling public education after business models have politicized American education and degraded schools for a generation.
    • ·Michelle Rhee, former chancellor of D.C. Public Schools, in Washington, now leads StudentsFirst, a nonprofit aimed at education reform through, among other measures, ending teacher tenure and supporting charter school alternatives to traditional public schools.

A FAREED ZAKARIA GPS Special:Restoring the American Dream – FIXING EDUCATION – debuts Sunday, Nov. 6 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT on CNN/U.S.  It will replay on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 8:00p.m. and 11:00p.m. ET/PT on CNN/U.S.  Preview available here: Fareed Zakaria and Brooke Baldwin discuss what makes a great teacher.

Fareed Zakaria’s TIME magazine cover story, When Will We Learn? hits newsstands Friday, Nov. 4.

So the Time story is already out (home delivery has already occurred in many cases).

If you’re interested in this special, you may want to record it yourself — CNN tells me no DVD will be available.

I have AT&T cable, so we don’t get CNN, which is reserved for the high-cost, not-teachers-salary package.  Somebody tell me how it goes.

Zakaria thinks solidly and well on a number of topics, especially where comparison with foreign nations is made.  Ravitch was struck with an epiphany on testing and the No Child Left Behind Act over a year ago, as described in the press release.  She came to see that testing sucks rigor out of classrooms, instead of instilling rigor as we discussed 30 years ago in the education reform movement.

What in the world can Michelle Rhee add to this discussion?  From the press release it looks a lot like the “balance” fallacy makes the show suffer:  Journalists think they need a contrasting view, so when Euclid tells a writer that 2+2=4, the journalist seeks out others who have different opinions, and prints those opinions no matter how stupid, insipid, or dangerous they may be.

Let us keep hope alive.

See also at Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub:

Glories of Glacier N.P.

November 6, 2011

Seven-plus minutes of good reason to get your tail to Glacier National Park as soon as you can.

Produced and shot by Joshua Thompson, this is part of an award-winning film made to promote the park and get money for the research that the park hosts.

Grizzly Bears, Bighorn Sheep, spectacular sunsets and more…..

Part 3 of the recently shot Glacier DVD. This 20 min. film recently was nominated for best new nature documentary in the music category as well received an award for photography from the Wildlife Film Festival held in May of 2008. All funds for this project are being donated to the Glacier National Park Fund. For more info: http://www.glaciernationalparkfund.org/cart.php?page=glacier_national_park_fu…

I’ve been there only once.  A wise American would get there before turning 35, and return several times.

%d bloggers like this: