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History

The Great Tangshan Earthquake

In July 1976, Wang Chengmin of China's State Seismological Bureau concluded that the Tangshan region would be struck by a significant quake between July 22 and August 5. Based on the prediction, Qinglong County undertook serious emergency preparations, a move that likely limited the number of casualties there when a powerful temblor struck on July 28, destroying hundreds of thousands of buildings and killing as many as 700,000 across Tangshan. What were the political consequences of the quake?

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Lazarus Taxa

The bony fish known as the coelacanth was believed to have been extinct for 80 million years—until one was caught off the southern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean in 1938. The coelacanth is one of the most famous examples of a Lazarus taxon, a group of organisms that disappeared from the fossil record only to reappear later. The classification is named for the man whom Jesus was said to have raised from the dead in the New Testament. What are some other examples of Lazarus taxa?

Born on a day like today

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Jacques Piccard

Piccard was a Swiss oceanographer and engineer who developed underwater vehicles for studying ocean currents. He came from a family of adventurers, and his father was known for exploratory balloon flights. Together, they developed the bathyscaphe for deep-sea travel. In 1960, Piccard and Don Walsh of the US Navy set a new submarine depth record when they reached the bottom of the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, a depth of about 35,800 feet (10,912 m). What cut the mission short?

Last updated on Sunday, 28th July 2013

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