A review of a course on photographic lighting by Bret Lucas
Astrologer Ken Ring claims to be able to do something that scientists cannot do: predict earthquakes. Can he really? No. Do many people believe him? Unfortunately, yes.
There’s a very thoughtful analysis of Ken Ring’s predictions by Ph.D. student David Winter on SciBlogs, here. Winter takes a careful look at the evidence, failing to find any correlation between the phase of the moon or its distance from the Earth and the intensity of the earthquake sequence since the September earthquake in Christchurch. He did find that Ring predicts very many earthquakes indeed, with lots of false positives and false negatives. (Many others have had a crack at Ring, just Google “Ken Ring earthquakes”.)
Scientific historian Michael Shermer, in his book “Why People Believe Weird Things“, helps us to understand why people like Ken Ring can generate such a following. Here’s a summary of part of his argument.
Still on the theme of earthquakes and their effects: I learned some fascinating stuff while researching my article for Wild Tomato. A conversation with Prof. James Goff, director of the Australian Tsunami Research Centre at UNSW in Sydney was a highlight.
Professor Goff and his students have been looking for traces of ancient tsunamis in the Nelson region, including the Abel Tasman National Park. They look for areas where marine deposits washed up by a tsunami would not have been obliterated, e.g. by a meandering river. Once found, these deposits can be dated by studying their contents. For example, a list of the remains of various marine organisms found in a sample can help to provide a ‘date stamp’.