Volcano under Yellowstone is way bigger than we thought

Published: Sunday, April 26, 2015 @ 8:23 AM
Updated: Sunday, April 26, 2015 @ 8:23 AM

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Remember Yellowstone? It's the one with the bison, the geysers, the scenery and, oh yeah, the giant supervolcano. 

That last part isn't as well-known, but it's there: an enormous magma chamber stationed directly under the nation's oldest national park.

And here's the news: Scientists at the University of Utah have discovered another reservoir below the old one, and it's much, much bigger.

The new blob of magma measures about 30 miles long, 44 miles wide and at least 12 miles deep. Put together, it's enough magma to fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over. (Video via The World From Aboveand The Smithsonian

And for now, it's just sitting there, helping the upper chamber heat up the water that gives Yellowstone its hot springs and famous geysers like Old Faithful. (Video via National Parks Service)

The chamber also pushes on the ground above it, causing the ground of Yellowstone to rise or fall up to 3 inches a year — between 2004 and 2011, Yellowstone was pushed almost a foot higher. 

But the volcano is capable of much more — its last full eruption was 640,000 years ago, in an event that covered most of the American West and Midwest in feet of toxic volcanic ash. (Video via CBS)

The supervolcano's epic scale and potential for destruction has made it a popular subject of conspiracy theorists and "what if" movies — something that this newest discovery is unlikely to change. (Video viaNaked Science)

But the scientists stress the actual hazard is still the same and the upper chamber we already knew about would be responsible for an eruption. Researchers put the chance of a large eruption in any given year at just 1 in 700,000. 

This video includes an image from National Park Service / Ed Austin / Herb Jones.

World’s largest Starbucks to set up shop on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 7:37 AM

Starbucks will open a Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019.
Starbucks

Chicago’s swanky Magnificent Mile will soon have a mega jolt of caffeine as Starbucks announces plans to open the world largest coffee shop of its brand.

The chain announced this week that it will open Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago in 2019, WMAQ reported.

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The North Michigan Avenue business will be four stories tall and will be a “full sensorial coffee environment dedicated to roasting, brewing and packaging its rare, small-batch Starbucks Reserve coffees from around the world,” according to a press release from Starbucks.

The 43,000-square-foot Starbucks will open in the building currently holding a Crate and Barrel at Michigan Avenue and Erie Street.

It is the third roastery in the U.S. The first is in Seattle and opened in 2014. The second is scheduled to open in New York City next year. There are roasteries planned for Shanghai, Milan and Tokyo.

Check your change jar for rare penny worth up to $85,000 

Published: Wednesday, April 26, 2017 @ 7:23 PM

A rare coin, the 1943 copper wheat penny, also known as the Wheat Cent, is worth a pretty penny these days, selling for up to $85,000 at auction.

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That’s according to the online coin value service CoinTrackers, which said the pennies are so valuable because so few were made and they were released by mistake.

The Wheat Cent is made mostly from copper, but steel versions were issued during World War II, CoinTrackers said on its website. Because the 1943 coin was mistakenly minted of copper instead of steel and released, its value skyrocketed.

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Coin experts have suggested the mistake occurred when copper plates were either tested or left among the steel plates from 1942, KTRK-TV reported.

A penny worth $85,000 may sound astronomical, but consider that in 2012 a 1943 Lincoln penny sold for $1 million at auction.

 

Republicans press for possible Friday House vote on GOP health care bill

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 7:58 AM
Updated: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 7:58 AM

With a group of more conservative lawmakers from the House Freedom Caucus now on board, Republicans in the House are setting the table for a possible Friday vote on a GOP bill to overhaul the Obama health law, a day before President Donald Trump marks his 100th day in office.

The clearest sign of a possible vote came late on Wednesday night, as Republicans posted the text of the GOP health bill – the American Health Care Act – and several related amendments, on a website which shows the expected schedule for the House floor.

The changes included language worked out in recent days by Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-NJ) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), which would allow states to apply for waivers to certain provisions of the Obama health law, like the law’s Essential Health Benefits.

Also posted by the GOP was a fix for the MacArthur-Meadows amendment, which would strike out language that seemingly exempted members of Congress from any changes that might be made to health insurance coverage.

But while it was clear GOP leaders were now thinking about a House floor vote, it still seemed an uphill fight to convince reluctant Republican lawmakers to vote for that plan.

“I always vote my conscience, and this will not lower premiums,” said Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ), one of a group of moderates who have not been sold on GOP health care efforts so far, worried it will go against the pledge to maintain protections for people with pre-existing health conditions.

In order to set up a Friday vote, Republicans would have to first have the House Rules Committee approve a resolution setting out the guidelines for debate, including on the new amendments to the GOP health plan.

Firefighters rescue woman clinging to top of crane

Published: Thursday, April 27, 2017 @ 8:02 AM

A woman is rescued from a downtown Toronto crane early Wednesday, April 26, 2017. Some streets in the downtown core were closed as dozens of construction workers and commuters gazed skyward to watch police and firefighters try to rescue the woman who got stuck atop the tall construction crane. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press via AP)
Frank Gunn/AP

A woman in Toronto can thank firefighters for getting her down from a precarious perch.

She had climbed a construction crane but then needed firefighters help getting down.

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When rescue crews arrived, she had been clinging on to a steel cable for at least four hours, The Associated Press reported.

Crews strapped her to a firefighter who rappelled, bringing her safely to the ground.

Officials do not know why the unnamed woman decided to climb the large crane, without the aid of safety equipment, in the middle of the night. She faces a mischief charge for her death-defying climb, The AP reported.