Avalanches are sudden falls or slides of large masses of material down the side of a mountain and are classified by their content, such as snow, ice, soil, rock, or a mixture of these materials. They can reach speeds of more than 200 mph (320 km/h), pushing destructive air masses, known as avalanche winds, ahead of the falling debris. The actual impact of avalanche material, meanwhile, can also cause major devastation. What can trigger an avalanche, and what measures might help prevent one?
Jerome K. Jerome
Back in the day
Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were seniors at Colorado's Columbine High School when they carried out one of the deadliest school shootings in US history, killing 12 students and one teacher and injuring 21 others before taking their own lives. The incident, widely covered by the media, stirred debate about the pair's motivation for the killings, the availability of firearms, and the role of bullying, video games, and music in acts of violence. For what crime had the two been previously arrested?
Born on a day like today
After moving to Paris in 1778, Pinel, a French physician, was appointed director of the Bicêtre and Salpêtrière hospitals. His experiences there prompted him to advocate for the humane treatment of mentally ill persons—then called the insane—and for the empirical study of mental disease. He further contributed to the development of psychiatry by establishing the practice of thoroughly documenting psychiatric case histories for research. What initially inspired Pinel's interest in mental illness?