For decades, scientists have known that activities like mining, drilling and building dams can actually create earthquakes. As early as the 1960s, observers noted that deep-earth gold mining changed the stresses in rocks and caused earthquakes. Above, miners drill into the rock at the Sub Nigel East Gold Mine in Johannesburg in 1961, more than 6,000 feet below ground.
Small earthquakes in Ohio and Arkansas associated with hydraulic fracturing for gas have taken many people by surprise. Gas industry executives say there's no hard evidence that their activities are causing these quakes. But some scientists say it's certainly possible; in fact, people have been causing quakes for years.
In the 1960s, geologists realized that gold mines in South Africa had created small earthquakes. Caverns dug into the earth thousands of feet below the surface collapsed. The "pancake" effect caused quakes, in one case a magnitude 5.2 temblor.
Bahrain is the one Arab country where the government has suppressed a major uprising. Here, protesters wave flags at the Pearl Roundabout in the capital Manama on Feb. 20, 2011, when the demonstrations were at their peak.
An independent commission found that the Bahrain security forces used excessive force and tortured some of those detained. Here, family members look upon the body of protester Abdul Ridha Mohammed, who was shot in the head and died of his wounds on Feb. 21, 2011.
Arab revolts against secular leaders have been much more successful over the past year than those against monarchs. The one monarchy that faced a serious threat was the tiny Persian Gulf island of Bahrain. But after weeks of protests, troops from Saudi Arabia rolled into the country, the Bahraini regime imposed martial law, and a government crackdown followed. Kelly McEvers made several trips to Bahrain this past year and filed this report as part of NPR's series looking at the Arab Spring and where it stands today.
Renewable energy is growing rapidly in the U.S., with wind and solar industries enjoying double-digit growth each year. Part of that growth comes from more homeowners choosing to install solar panels.
With government subsidies, some people can even make a financial argument for installing the panels. But in recent years, the price of one fossil fuel — natural gas — has declined so much that solar panels are having difficulty competing.
Google is "downgrading the search result ranking of the company's own Web browser, Google Chrome, for 60 days," as PC World reports, because some bloggers ending up being paid to mention Chrome during a recent ad campaign.
Originally published on Wed January 4, 2012 3:09 pm
Several former rivals of Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann were quick to applaud the now-suspended campaign run by the only woman to have sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.
Jon Huntsman said Bachmann added an "energetic and passionate voice" to the campaign. Mitt Romney called Bachmann a friend with a "titanium spine." And Newt Gingrich extolled Bachmann's "considerable talent" and "great courage."
The story of how 18-year-old Sarah Dawn McKinley shot and killed a man who authorities say was breaking into her house on Saturday has been getting lots of attention because of the 911 phone call she made and the already tragic circumstances surrounding the incident.
McKinley, of Blanchard, Okla., called 911 to say that a man was trying to get inside her mobile home and that she feared for her life and that of her 3-month-old son. She asked the 911 operator if she could shoot him if he got inside.
In the past two games, Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark has 18 tackles, 14 of them unassisted. But Clark won't be playing when the Steelers face Denver at Mile High Stadium Sunday, due to his sickle cell trait condition.
When the Pittsburgh Steelers start the NFL playoffs with a road game in Denver's Mile High Stadium Sunday, they'll do it without free safety Ryan Clark. That's because Clark, who has 100 tackles and the confidence of his coaches, also has sickle cell trait, which can cause severe complications at high altitudes.
People without health insurance don't get enough preventive care — simple but important things like vaccinations and blood tests.
But surely having insurance every now and then is better than none at all, because people can get caught up on their tests when they are covered, right?
That's a widely held view, and one that would be good news to the millions of people who go on and off health insurance each year. Some of them are losing or changing jobs. Others slide on and off Medicaid as they take on temporary work, marry or divorce.