NASA Hosts ‘Quest for Quakes’ Data Challenge

The “Quest for Quakes” algorithm challenge seeks to develop new software codes to search through data and identify electromagnetic pulses that may precede an earthquake.

Credits: topcoder

A new NASA challenge is looking for evidence to support a theory that electromagnetic pulses (EMP) may precede an earthquake, potentially offering a warning to those in the quake’s path.

The “Quest for Quakes” two-week algorithm challenge seeks to develop new software codes or algorithms to search through data and identify electromagnetic pulses that may precede an earthquake. Some researchers have speculated such pulses originating from the ground near earthquake epicenters could signal the onset of some quakes.

“Developing a reliable approach that can separate potential earthquake-induced electromagnetic pulses from the myriad of natural and anthropogenic sources has been a significant challenge,” said Craig Dobson, program scientist at NASA Headquarters in Washington. “We look forward to seeing the innovative ideas from this competition and learning more about this controversial phenomenon.”

The challenge opened for registration on Tuesday. Competitors will be able to submit entries from Monday, July 27 at 1 p.m. ET through Monday, Aug. 9 at 1 p.m. ET.

Contestants will be provided with electromagnetic signal data collected over three-month periods from multiple sensors in the proximity of past earthquakes. Control data with no earthquakes also will be included. Coders will have two weeks to develop a new approach to extract the signals and identify potential earthquake precursors. The individuals or teams developing winning approaches will share a $25,000 prize.

The connection between electromagnetic pulses and earthquakes has been debated for years. Researchers have been looking into the causes of distinct ultra-low frequency EMPs emanating from the ground near earthquake epicenters in the weeks leading up to some moderate and large events.

One theory suggests that fracturing rock in the Earth’s crust creates an electrical charge pulse that travels to the land surface and manifests itself as a small change in the local magnetic field. However, there are a number of natural and human-made electromagnetic ‘noise’ sources, such as lightning, solar storms, commuter trains, and traffic, that can mask or mimic EMPs and could be associated with earthquakes.

The data for this competition was provided by the QuakeFinder group, a humanitarian research and development project by Stellar Solutions, Inc., Palo Alto, California. QuakeFinder has 125 sensors in California and 40 sensor suites around the world. These ultra-low frequency magnetometers collect and transmit high-rate data to Stellar Solutions’ data center for management and evaluation. Over 65 terabytes of data have been collected from sensors along the San Andreas fault and other faults in California, Chile, Peru, Greece, Indonesia and Taiwan.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has contributed a research grant for approximately three terabytes of high-frequency magnetometer data and computational resources to be used by contestants.

“The “Quest for Quakes” contest is a great example of how the AWS Cloud infrastructure is ideal for many different research and scientific workloads,” said Jamie Kinney, AWS senior manager for scientific computing. “We are looking forward to the innovative applications that contestants develop to address this real-world challenge and may also save lives.”

The ”Quest for Quakes” challenge is managed by the NASA Tournament Lab established by NASA and the Crowd Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University in 2010 to create the most innovative, efficient and optimal solutions for specific, real-world challenges being faced by NASA researchers. The lab is using Appirio’s topcoder.com crowdsourcing service to host the challenge, which is open to the public and the more than 815,000 members of the topcoder community.

Sen. Cruz: This Deal Is No Different Than Calling the Iranian Supreme Leader, Asking If They’re Developing Nuclear Weapons, and Taking His Word For It

August 5, 2015

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – After attending a briefing on the Iranian nuclear deal, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) offered the following remarks:

“This Obama Iranian Nuclear Deal is a bad deal. It keeps getting worse. The more you hear about the deal, the less confident you are. I’ll tell you the discussions of the inspection regime, they’re classified, but they produce no comfort or security, whatsoever. At the end of the day the inspection regime we all know about the 24-days notice, which is a delay that is designed only to give the Iranian regime time to cover up their nuclear program.

“But hearing the specific details, this deal is not materially different than simply calling the Iranian supreme leader, asking if they’re developing nuclear weapons, and taking his word for it when he says ‘no.’

“The idea that we would trust Iran to inspect their own facilities takes a level of gullibility and naiveté that exceeds the standards even of the Obama Administration. Nobody would sign this agreement without knowing full well that the predictable and certain outcome of this agreement is that Iran will acquire nuclear weapons. And no one in their right mind would want a regime that is led by a radical, theocratic Ayatollah, who chants ‘Death to America,’ to acquire nuclear weapons.

“In my view, the Iranian nuclear deal is catastrophic, and there is no higher priority over the next 60 days than to energize and mobilize the American people to reach out to every member of Congress, Republican and Democrat, and urge them to reject this deal.

“In my view, the vote on this deal will be the most important vote any member of the Senate casts, likely, in his or her entire career. And the focus in particular, should be on Senate Democrats and Congressional Democrats because they face a fundamental choice: Will they put first the national security of our country, the safety and security of our friends and allies, the safety and security of the Nation of Israel, and the lives of millions of Americans? Or will they put first, instead, partisan loyalty to the Obama White House. I very much hope and pray we see a reemergence of Joe Lieberman Democrats, we see a reemergence of Scoop Jackson Democrats, of John F. Kennedy Democrats, of Democrats who say ‘My first priority is representing and defending the United States of America and keeping this nation first trumps any level of partisan loyalty.’ It is my hope and prayer that is where Democrats end up, and the next 60 days will resolve that question. Thank you very much.”

Gov. Walker Statement on President Obama’s Iran Speech

Madison, Wis. – Ahead of President Obama’s speech regarding Iran, Gov. Scott Walker released the below statement:

“President Obama could give 100 speeches attempting to justify his appeasement of the rogue Iranian regime, and it wouldn’t change a thing. The truth is, the Obama-Clinton bad deal with Iran jeopardizes American safety and that of our allies, especially Israel. That’s why, as president, I would terminate this disastrous agreement on day one.”

Sen. Cruz: We Should Not Rest Until We Have Done Everything in Our Power to Protect the Lives of Unborn Children

Calls for continued effort to defund Planned Parenthood

August 3, 2015

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202-228-7561

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tonight issued the following statement after S.1881, a bill to prohibit federal funding of Planned Parenthood, failed to reach the 60-vote threshold required for cloture:

“Last week, the Senate had an opportunity to stop the unconscionable use of taxpayer funds to murder unborn children. Instead, Republican leadership blocked a recorded vote on amendments to defund Planned Parenthood.

“Although the effort to reach cloture on a standalone bill failed tonight, this should not deter us in the fight to eliminate taxpayers’ funds being used to bankroll the abortion industry and what appears to be the ongoing criminal organization of Planned Parenthood.

“I encourage my colleagues to continue to fight to defund this organization that places more value on the sale price of babies’ body parts than it does on the sanctity of human life. We should not rest until we have done everything in our power to protect the life of unborn children. Ensuring no additional federal dollars go to the abortion industry or Planned Parenthood is a good place to start. This is why it is critical that we stand together to insist that not another dollar of our hard-earned money goes to a group profiting from the buying and selling of the body parts of babies.”

This Day in History August 6

Chronicles of Oklahomadigital.library.okstate.edu image

The opening to settlement of the Kiowa-Comanche and Apache reservations, in the southwestern part of the territory on August 6, 1901, was the superlative …
This Day In History August 6
by W.P. Akins
Images
by Bobbie Stewart
Every October the “Great North American Bed Race” is held in this Arkansas city, where you can compete for showmanship, speed and originality for your bed.
 
en.wikipedia.org- image Bed races[edit]
en.wikipedia.org- image
Bed races[edit]
Question: In the event you would like to design a special bed for this race, where can you go to enter?
1774 Mother Ann Lee, the founder of the Shaker Movement, arrives in New York.
Late 1890s circa  Shakers Group
Late 1890s circa
Shakers Group
1787 In Philadelphia , the Constitutional Convention starts it’s debate.
History of the United States Constitution - Wikipedia, the free ... en.wikipedia.org-image Washington as Convention President
History of the United States Constitution – Wikipedia, the free …
en.wikipedia.org-image
Washington as Convention President
1819 The first private military school in the United States, Norwich University is founded in Vermont.
Norwich University www.norwich.edu-image Captain Alden Partridge, founder of Norwich University
Norwich University
www.norwich.edu-image
Captain Alden Partridge, founder of Norwich University
1901 In the Indian territory in Oklahoma, the Kiowa land is opened up for white settlement, this brought an end to contiguous reservation.
Pintrest: Kiowa Indians circa 1898
Pintrest: Kiowa Indians circa 1898
1914 The first American to fight in WW I was Dennis Patrick Dowd, Jr. after he joined the French Foreign Legion.
Dennis P. Dowd Jr. | The Columbia University War Memorial www.warmemorial.columbia.edu- image Dennis P. Dowd Jr. Dennis P. Dowd Jr. was in the French Foreign Legion and the 170th Infantry, U.S. Army, and later was a student aviator. He was killed in an airplane accident on August 11, 1916.
Dennis P. Dowd Jr. | The Columbia University War Memorial
www.warmemorial.columbia.edu- image
Dennis P. Dowd Jr.
Dennis P. Dowd Jr. was in the French Foreign Legion and the 170th Infantry, U.S. Army, and later was a student aviator. He was killed in an airplane accident on August 11, 1916.
1926  The first American women Gertrude Ederle from New York swam the English Channel.
Gertrude Ederle -  en.wikipedia.org-
Gertrude Ederle –
en.wikipedia.org-
1965 The Voting Rights Act, which prohibits voting discrimination against minorities was signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
The Civil Rights Movement And The Second Reconstruction, 1945–1968 ... history.house.gov- image ... Photograph by Yoichi R. Okamoto, courtesy of the LBJ Library President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 on April 11, 1968.
The Civil Rights Movement And The Second Reconstruction, 1945–1968 …
history.house.gov- image
… Photograph by Yoichi R. Okamoto, courtesy of the LBJ Library President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968 on April 11, 1968.
1996 Sanctions on non-US companies, which invest over $40 million a year in the energy sectors of Iran or Libya, was sign today by President Bill Clinton.
Answer: Texarkana, Arkansas.
Texarkana, Arkansas: State Line Avenue photo, picture, image www.cityprofile.com-
Texarkana, Arkansas: State Line Avenue photo, picture, image
www.cityprofile.com-