Episode #696

News Items

Who's That Noisy

  • Answer to last week: R2D2

Science or Fiction

  • Item #1 Science

    In 1928 the St. Francis Dam near Los Angeles experienced sudden catastrophic failure just 12 hours after its final inspection, resulting in over 400 deaths. http://damfailures.org/case-study/st-francis-dam-california-1928/

  • Item #2 Fiction

    In 1971 the 40 story Hyatt Regency Hotel in Kansas City experienced total failure and collapse during a magnitude 4.2 earthquake, because it was not designed to existing standards, resulting in over 600 deaths. https://www.unbelievable-facts.com/2018/04/worst-engineering-disasters.html/2

  • Item #3 Science

    In 1984 a safety valve in a chemical plant in Bhopal India released 40 tonnes of methyl isocyanate, a toxic gas, into the air, immediately killing 3000 nearby residents, and ultimately being blamed for 15-20,000 premature deaths and over 600,000 injuries. http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph240/fernandez1/

Skeptical Quote of the Week

“I much prefer the sharpest criticism of a single intelligent man to the thoughtless approval of the great masses.” — Johannes Kepler