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Standards and Codes

ASFE: Fighting Back Against Expert Witnesses

The ASFE website has an interesting article on the ethics involved in expert witness testimony. They have been at the forefront of that arena since the publication of Recommended Practices for Design Professionals Engaged in the Resolution of Construction Industry Disputes, a document endorsed by 37 major organizations. The most interesting part in my mind was how they point out the role of an expert witness is to provide an opinion as to whether the standard of care was followed or not. According to ASFE, many expert witnesses do not do the necessary research to determine what the standard of care is. More…


Geologic Hazards

Anniversary of Loma Prieta Earthquake – USGS Warns of Hayward Fault

October 17 was the 18th anniversary of the 6.9 magnitude Loma Prieta earthquake that struck the Bay area.  But a recent story by the Bay Area’s local ABC affiliate, ABC7, chose to focus on another earthquake, a 1868 earthquake of about the same magnitude that occurred on the Hayward Fault. According to the USGS, the Hayward Fault has a return period of about 140-years and  "It’s the most heavily urbanized fault in the U.S. and it’s just waiting to go off…" Next year will be the 140-th anniversary of the last earthquake on the Hayward Fault. At some point it has the potential to be a very bad earthquake there. More after the break. (Photo by sanbeiji)



Drilling for Origins of Humanity

Lake Malawi is an African rift lake, formed as the earth’s crust is slowly spreading apart. This lake is one of the deepest in the world and one of the lead geologists, Dr. Andy Cohen of the University of Arizona (go Cats!) says that the lake "acts like a rain gauge" and through their drilling expedition they have determined that the lake at one time dropped nearly 2,000 ft between 135,000 and 90,000 years ago. This drought in what is now a lush tropical part of Africa may explain why Man’s early ancestors migrated from that continent. More after the break.