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Monday, March 1, 2010

  • Seismologist Roger Bilham: “In Recent Earthquakes, Buildings Have Acted as Weapons of Mass Destruction"

    Chile-earthquake

    Even as the people of southern Chile continue to grapple with the rising death toll and the devastation wrought by Saturday’s massive earthquake, many seismologists believe the wreckage could have been far worse. The 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile early Saturday morning was 500 times more powerful than the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12th of this year. But it caused only a fraction of the casualties in comparison to the 300,000 people estimated to have died in Haiti. Seismologists suggest that one reason for the difference in scale is that Chile enforced building codes for earthquake resistant structures after the experience of a 9.0-magnitude earthquake fifty years ago in 1960. [includes rush transcript]

  • Following String of Racist Incidents, UC San Diego Students Occupy Chancellor’s Office

    Ucsd-blackstudentwalkout

    Crowds of students stormed and occupied the office of a University of California, San Diego chancellor for six hours Friday after a noose was found hanging from a bookcase in the main library. The noose is only the latest in a string of incidents over the past few weeks. Protests were initially sparked by an off-campus party last month they called "Compton Cookout" that mocked Black History Month and denigrated African American women. UC San Diego has the smallest percentage of African American students in the nine-campus UC system. The Black Student Union at UC San Diego has declared the campus climate for racial minorities to be in a "state of emergency." [includes rush transcript]

  • Gary Greenberg: "Manufacturing Depression: The Secret History of a Modern Disease"

    Greenberg-democracynow

    Is depression manufactured? Two decades after the introduction of antidepressants, it’s become commonplace to assume that our sadness can be explained in terms of a disease called depression. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that more than 14 million Americans suffer from major depression every year and more than three million suffer from minor depression. Some 30 million Americans take antidepressants at a cost of over $10 billion a year. Gary Greenberg argues that while depression can be debilitating, it has also been largely manufactured by doctors and drug companies as a medical condition with a biological cause that can be treated with prescription medication. [includes rush transcript]