The top 5 strongest earthquakes since 1900

• March 11, 2011: A magnitude 8.9 quake strikes off the northeast coast of Japan, sending a tsunami across the Pacific and killing a still-undetermined number of people.

December 2004: An Indian Ocean tsunami, triggered by a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, kills 230,000 in a dozen countries.

• March 1964: A 9.2 magnitude earthquake in Prince William Sound, Alaska, and the resulting tsunami kill 131 people.

• May 1960: A magnitude 9.5 earthquake in southern Chile and ensuing tsunami kill at least 1,716 people.

• November 1952: A magnitude 9.0 quake in Kamchatka causes damage but no reported deaths despite setting off 30-foot (9.1-meter) waves in Hawaii.

Sources: U.S. Geological Survey, Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology and WHO’s International Disaster Database


SEISMICALLY ACTIVE – JAPAN’S LONG HISTORY OF EARTHQUAKES – Earthquakes are common in Japan, one of the world’s most seismically active areas.
Earth will be at its closest point – some 221,567 miles away – to the moon in 19 years on March 19

The country accounts for about 20 per cent of the world’s earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

Several continental and oceanic plates meet in the Japan area, which is why there are so many volcanoes and hot springs across the nation.

Located in a volcanic zone so active it is nicknamed the Pacific Ring of Fire, catastrophic earthquakes occur several times each century.

Japan has suffered an estimated 200 recorded
tsunamis in its history due to earthquakes that take place below or close to the Pacific Ocean.

In October 2004, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.8 struck the Niigata region in northern Japan, killing 65 people and injuring more than 3,000.

That was the deadliest quake since a magnitude 7.3 tremor hit the city of Kobe in 1995,
killing more than 6,400.

Dr Roger Musson, of the British Geological Survey (BGS), explained that the
devastating earthquake occurred because the Pacific Plate is plunging underneath Japan.

He said: ‘The cause of this earthquake is that the Pacific Plate, which is one of the largest of the tectonic plates that makes up the crust of the Earth, is plunging deep underneath Japan.

‘It’s being pushed down and it can’t slide down smoothly so it sticks.

‘It sticks for tens of years and then eventually it breaks and moves very suddenly down and as it does so it buckles and gives the seabed a sudden kick over areas of hundreds of square kilometres and that displaces an enormous volume of water.

‘That water just races away in the form of this enormous wave in all directions.’ ( Dailymail )

The sexy yogini

The sexy yogini – She does not sit cross-legged, enveloped by fumes of incense. She does not quote from ancient Hindu scriptures or instruct students to chant Om and execute headstands for attainment of moksha. Tara Stiles, dubbed the ‘coolest yoga instructor ever’ by Vanity Fair magazine, usually walks around or stands at the back of the room.

She refers to ‘asanas’ as ‘poses’ and her students do ‘Triangles‘ (not Trikasanas) and ‘Downward Dogs’ (not Svanasanas) to the tune of Blues pianist Terry Butters. If a student can’t touch his or her toes, Stiles just shrugs and says, “It’s no big deal, just bend your knees”. She reminds them that the pose is “good for quads and hamstrings. “

Stiles, a model-turned-yoga instructor, has become the new face of yoga in the United States. Unlike her rivals, she has not branded her type of yoga. ( )

Joe Jackson invests in Vietnam ‘Happyland’ park

Joe Jackson invests in Vietnam ‘Happyland’ parkJoe Jackson, father of late king of pop Michael Jackson, was in Vietnam to attend Monday’s groundbreaking ceremony for a five-star hotel and amusement park called “Happyland.”

Online newspaper VietnamNet said Jackson, 82, was at the groundbreaking as one of the investors in the $2 billion, five-star 1,000-room hotel and amusement park in southern Long An province, located about 20 minutes outside Ho Chi Minh City. It is scheduled to be finished in 2014, and is designed to attract up to 14 million visitors annually.

“I like discovering different cultures in the world,” VietnamNet quoted Jackson as saying. “I like this project the most because it is located in a beautiful cultural and natural space.”

Vietnam has promoted the project — which includes a water park, theaters and restaurants — as the region’s largest entertainment complex.

Pop icon Michael Jackson, 50, died in 2009 from an overdose of the powerful anesthetic propofol and other sedatives. His doctor has pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter.

Michael Jackson was known for his creation of Neverland Ranch, a huge complex complete with an amusement park, in California where he lived. ( Associated Press )

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Halle Berry rejoins "New Year’s Eve"

Halle Berry rejoins “New Year’s Eve – Halle Berry has rejoined the cast of the ensemble romantic comedy “New Year’s Eve” after pulling out of the project last month to fight a custody battle for her young daughter.

At that time, Katherine Heigl stepped in and replaced Berry. But Berry was freed up this week when a judge in Los Angeles ruled in her favor, making it possible for her to travel with her daughter to New York, where Garry Marshall is shooting “New Year’s Eve.”

Berry’s new role in the film — she’ll play a nurse — is slightly smaller than the one she gave up.

Additionally, Carla Gugino has closed a deal to join the New Line project, which follows a number of couples whose lives cross paths on New Year’s Eve. Gugino, whose character is a doctor, will mainly play opposite Jessica Biel and Seth Meyers.

Gugino, who plays one of David Duchovny’s love interests in the current season of “Californication,” returns to theaters next month in Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch.” In June, she’ll be seen opposite Jim Carrey in the family film “Mr. Popper’s Penguins.” ( Reuters )

Becks’ lawsuit against mag dismissed

Becks’ lawsuit against mag dismissed – Soccer ace David Beckham’s libel lawsuit against a US showbiz magazine has been dismissed. Last year In Touch published a story claiming the footballer had cheated on his wife Victoria several times with a prostitute — a charge which he has denied. Judge Manuel Real ruled that Beckham didn’t show any evidence that the magazine published the story to damage him, reports

In the US, someone suing for libel has to prove the publication meant to harm them, which is called “actual malice”.

The judge said any allegations of cheating by the star would be of interest to the public. However, Beckham claimed that the facts in the magazine were all wrong and he was actually with his sick father on one of the occasions he was stated to have been with the prostitute Irma Nici, said the report on the BBC website.

BeckhamIn court papers, the 35-year-old argues he was actually with his sick father on one of the occasions he was stated to have been with the prostitute Irma Nici.

“We were left with two hands tied behind our back for the purposes of this motion,” said Beckham’s lawyer after the ruling. ( )

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Brad Pitt styles partner Angelina Jolie

Brad Pitt styles partner Angelina Jolie – Hollywood actor Brad Pitt takes interest in his partner Angelina Jolie’s wardrobe and even decides her outfits for red carpet. He stunned the Jolie’s styling team when he selected a blue Max Azria gown for her to wear at the Screen Actors Guild awards in 2009.

“We were going to dress Angelina Jolie and we had a choice of three gowns with us. When we got there, she said she wanted Brad to pick,” quoted Lubov Azria, chief creative officer of BCBGMaxAzriaGroup as saying.

“There’s usually a staff of 10 people who all have an opinion. But Brad was very decisive. He’s an architect and likes geometric things. He chose the dress that everyone thought was backwards, and it was. He likes boat necks – that’s all she wears.”

A boat neck – also known as a bateau neck – refers to a wide neckline that runs horizontally, front and back, almost to the shoulders.

While Pitt takes an interest in Jolie’s wardrobe, the 35-year-old actress has previously claimed she doesn’t worry about being fashionable as long as she feels comfortable.

“I don’t think too much about what to wear on the red carpet. I usually have three basic colours and I get the same shapes in different colours. But I like to get dressed up and feel like a lady every once in a while,” she said. ( )