160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Scientists will gather data without broadcasting alerts to residents or businesses. While a working system is still years and tens of millions of dollars away, many see the pilot project as a first step toward catching up with the rest of the world. PASADENA – The ground heaves, an earthquake is born. Underground sensors along fault lines detect rumblings humans can’t and relay signals to a central computer. Precious seconds before anything is felt, wailing sirens blare that a big one is on its way. That sliver of time could be used to warn people to flee from windows and take cover. Companies such as gas and electric utilities could take actions to protect their systems. Speeding trains could have enough time to brake to a halt. Such alert systems already exist in parts of Japan, Mexico, Taiwan and Turkey where the main users are businesses such as railway companies, power plants and manufacturers. But that’s not the case in the United States – except for a handful of schools, firehouses and airports that use commercially available, battery-powered seismic gadgets that warn a limited region. This summer, the U.S. Geological Survey is cautiously taking another look at early warning, beginning with a three-year test to gauge how well three experimental systems around California would work in the real world.
“Your left, your left, your left, right, left!” Marching in perfect synchrony is the first thing every soldier must learn. Many recruits consider the exercise an annoying way to teach obedience, but drill sergeants say marching produces better soldiers by improving not just discipline, but also morale. According to a study published online today in Biology Letters, the drill sergeants may be right. The researchers started by making the male subjects walk 240 meters. They were randomly chosen to walk either at their own pace or in synchrony with another male. After that they were shown a “criminal”—a mug shot of an angry male face—and asked to fill out a survey about their feelings. As previous studies have shown, walking in synchrony made men slightly happier and more friendly toward their fellow marchers. But surprisingly, the synchronized marching also affected how the subjects perceived the physical attributes of the criminal. After marching, men judged their foes as smaller and weaker. So if you’re feeling intimidated, find a buddy and go marching. It really will boost your morale. As a bonus, if you have thousands of buddies willing to march, like these North Korean soldiers on parade, you’ll be a terrifying spectacle.