Friday Headlines: 12-28-12

Friday Headlines, December 28, 2012

THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES

 

ERUPTION MAY HAVE STARTED AT COPAHUE ON THE CHILE/ARGENTINA BORDER

 

Copahue is a stratovolcano on the border between Argentina and Chile.

This volcano is the result of subduction of the Pacific Plate below the South American Plate.

Subduction Zone

On December 22, a plume of ash was noted in an image from the GOES satellite.

Plume of ash from Copahue on December 22

Since then, alerts have been issued and the volcano is clearly erupting.

FIGHTING MAY HAVE SHAPED EVOLUTION OF HUMAN HAND

Michael Morgan and David Carrier of the University of Utah have shown that the human hand is not only a dexterous appendage, capable of precision gripping, but is also an effective weapon, but only when it is balled into a fist. When the fist is formed, it causes all the forces of a hit to be transmitted through the knuckles – a small surface area – resulting in a focused transmission of the power of the blow, maximizing the potential damage. The human hand can clinch a fist where the curled fingers leave no gaps at the palm of the hand (which would weaken the blow), and where the thumb can further buttress the fingers. No other animal can do this.

X-ray of a hand balled into a fist

PHOTO: MOUNT EVEREST, IN 3.8 BILLION PIXELS

You just have to go and look at this picture. It’s amazing!

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