Southern California Earthquake Preparedness

Southern California Earthquake Preparedness

Mexico’s Early Warning Earthquake system worked in the 7.1 earthquake this week, giving 20 seconds warning for a quake that was 70 miles from Mexico City. Further cities got up to a minute of warning. Mexico City had just practiced a response drill where evacuating buildings is the proper response, considering their old brick buildings. It undoubtedly saved many lives. A map of Mexico City in the NY Times showed 62 collapsed buildings. Mexico City is built on an old lake bed covered by sediments, with many buildings not supported on pillars on rocks. Shaking from an earthquake is also increased on this type of soil.

The Los Angeles Basin, Huntington Beach, part of Irvine, and other areas are also build on soft soil that may suffer from liquefaction in an earthquake. Our high tech, aerospace, world leading university, wealthy Southern California area still does not have an earthquake early warning system, despite efforts over many years by Cal Tech’s Lucy Jones to develop and get funding for such a system. Last year, California and Gov. Brown passed a bill not allowing California to fund such a system. Trump’s budgets for 2017 and 2018 had cut out funds for such a system. Fortunately, the House has passed putting the system in the budget, and the Senate and President Trump had agreed on a continuation budget until December. But the system needs creation funds, and yearly funding.

Southern California is primarily threatened by the San Andreas fault, which expects an 8 plus earthquake every hundred and fifty years, and it has been that long since the last big earthquake on it. The Newport-Inglewood fault running near the coast had a 6.4 quake in 1933 in Long Beach, killing 115, and collapsing schools. There are many faults parallel to the coast and the San Andreas, and a lot of crossing faults. The Northridge quake in 1994 was a 6.7 and caused $13-$44 billion in damages. Despite being in the San Fernando Valley, it shook the Los Angeles Basin on its soft soil.

Other countries’ early warning systems were developed only after severely deadly earthquakes: Mexico lost 9,500; Japan more than 5,000; Taiwan more than 2,000; Turkey 17,000; and China 70,000. Do we have to wait for such a tragedy?

The overall project will cost only $38 million to build and $16 million to run.  On the scale of losses in an earthquake of lives or property damage, this is very small.  The House appropriations subcommittee overseeing the Department of the Interior, which includes the USGS, has approved on July 12 the continuation of an $10.2 million per year current budget.  This is included in the FY18 Interior Appropriations bill.  $23 million has already been invested by the federal government.

The system will shut down major natural gas pipelines, the Metro trains, airports, hospitals, oil refineries, and provide warnings to schools and universities.  It can give a minutes warning for a quake on the San Andreas fault originating on the Salton Sea.

California suffers from old buildings with parking spaces on the ground floor, with upper floors supported only on posts. A 2016 survey of such buildings in the LA area released by the LA Times, found 13,500. More than 3,200 buildings in the San Fernando Valley had 75,000 units. There are 55 buildings with more than 100 units, more than half in the valley. These are called soft-storied buildings, or ding-bats. Under a new law, owners are required to retro-fit such units within 7 years of being notified. The earthquake upgrades are often just X beam bracing of the ground floor walls and spaces between parking spaces. Estimated costs can be as high as $130,000 per building.

I hope the two Mexican earthquakes serve to speed up the retrofit process at least in response to tenant and insurance company pressures. I hope they also get the earthquake early warning system funded, and can speed it up also.



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Please Teach Trump What Bastille Day Celebrates

Please Teach Trump What Bastille Day Celebrates

Trump, having witnessed the Bastille Day or French National Day Parade, has decided that he needs that pomp of having a July 4 Parade next year showing off our military hardware. France’s parade celebrates the storming of the hated Bastille prison in the process of overthrowing the royalty and aristocracy of Louis XVI that ruled over the commoners of France, on 14 July, 1789.

The prison held political prisoners who were arbitrarily jailed for writings which displeased the government. Does anyone remember the Trump campaign and continued rally call to “Jail Hillary”, without due process? To change the libel laws to jail reporters? To have reporters fired who made a mistake? To fire an ESPN celebrity because of expressing her political opinion in a tweet, like Trump is addicted to? To ignore due process and declare any arrested suspect of any crime as already guilty (something all past presidents have avoided)? To labeling CNN, and the most respected newspapers as “fake news”? To retweeting cartoons that ran over a CNN reporter with a train? To retweet a gif of Trump knocking down Secretary Clinton with a golf shot? To removing all climate change information from government agencies? To having Kellyanne and Scott Pruitt trying to silence talk of Climate Change after the horrendous Houston flood of Hurricane Harvey, and after Hurricane Irma in Florida and the Virgin Islands?

Not working at a newspaper, I cannot complete a definitive list of Trump and his Administration’s suppression of reporting and information. However, there is the glaring childness of starting every news conference late, and then filling it with a dull agency report, and then having to rush to end it because there is a plane to catch or Trump is going to welcome some foreign dictator. Does the office of White House communications really think anybody is going to be taken in by this repeated ruse?

Bastille Day also celebrates the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which was drafted similar to the US Bill of Rights, and worked on by Thomas Jefferson and Lafayette. It guarantees freedom of speech and of the press, and due process of law. All of these Trump continually tramples on.  Article XV of the Declaration requires an accounting from any public agent of the administration, which Trump’s Administration regularly blocks.  Article I declares that all men are equal, in contrast to Trump’s pre-pardon of Sherrif Arpaio, and Trump’s slanders on immigrants.

Bastille Day celebrates the end of the feudal system, something that Trump has been working to restore by selling out to the fossil fuel oligarchs and Wall Street billionaires, and increasing income inequalities through more tax cuts for the super rich. He is also trying to end healthcare for those who do not get it from their employers.

Trump really represents the opposite of what the French celebrate on Bastille day. Did they invite him to try to make it a teachable moment? Or because the French Revolution was inspired by the American Revolution? Unfortunately, the lesson went unlearned.

Posted in AHCA, Climate Change, Donald Trump, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Freedom of the Press, Freedoms, Health Care, Houston Flooding, Hurricane Irma, Kellyanne, Tax Laws, Trump Administration, Trump on Climate Change, Trump Taxes, Upward Mobility, Voting Rights, Wealth, White House | Leave a comment

Challenges to the Breakthrough Starshot Dream

I hate to be an old skeptic about revolutionary technological ideas such as the Breakthrough Starshot laser driven sails to send exploration computer chips to Alpha Centauri. Especially since groups of brilliant scientists are already at work solving these problems, and I have only read about it tonight. But it is OK to mention the many challenges that they are going to have to face and solve. My source is just four pages of a Special Edition of How It Works about Mars from HP.COM/GO/MARS.

Whereas I had heard of giant and slow solar sails driven by the solar wind slowly accelerating around the solar system, the Starshot is just the opposite. Here, a set of lasers of 100 GigaWatts is going to accelerate a computer and instrumented chip attached to a one meter squared sail, for just two minutes to reach 20% of the speed of light. Each object will be accelerated at 60,000 g’s, or feel an equivalent weight of 60,000 times its weight at the surface of the Earth. I’m sure the reader is already also saying Whaaat?  The Wikipedia article says 4m X 4m sails, and up to 10 minutes acceleration.

Let’s start with the power source. Each nuclear reactor in the US has about 1.1 GigaWatts of power. There are still about 100 nuclear reactors in the US, which make up about 20% of US electrical power. How they are going to concentrate all of this current flow in one spot is already hard to imagine. In a figure, they show a 9 X 20 laser array, or 180 lasers. Are they planning a half a GigaWatt laser? Sending all of that energy as a single coherent beam is good for an equally distributed push on the sail. Sending uncoordinated lasers or just microwave light could create disruptive forces on the sail.  The maximum power ever generated across all of California was 50 GigaWatts.

The sail is shown perfectly reflecting all the light hitting it. Putting 20% of US power on a square meter would burn up anything in a flash, so it must be perfectly totally reflecting, another challenge. Even a tiny spot not reflecting would absorb so much energy to totally overheat the rest of a metallic conducting reflector. The coherent laser beams add their in phase electric fields together in phase, making it so much easier to eject electrons from the sail and chip.

How are they going to attach a chip to a sail in such a way that the sail can undergo 60,000 g’s acceleration and transmit it to the chip?

How do you create miniature instruments and electronics to withstand 60,000 g’s? That is roughly the force of a hammer strike, and it will be continuously pressed, for two minutes. The only thing I can easily think of that can withstand that is a hammer head. On top of that, the sail is only a few molecules thick (why not).

The laser beams have to go through the turbulent atmosphere, even from a high altitude location. The same atmospheric movements that make stars twinkle and have to be corrected by adaptive optics in telescopes, will also have to be corrected for in the lasers to keep the beam coherent and uniform. Also, there will be heightened disturbance in the atmosphere when part of 100 GigaWatts is absorbed into heating the atmosphere.

At 20% of the speed of light, to reach the Alpha Centauri system at 4 light years away, will take 20 years. The sail is really not needed then, but could be reshaped to an antenna for sending signals back to the Earth.

With long missions, there is always the possibility of the space traveler being overtaken by new technologies. Say the first Starshot was only moving at 10% the speed of light, with the mission taking 40 years. During the next 20 years we will convert to much better quantum computers. (Let’s ignore the fact that the quantum nature requires very low temperatures.). Say the lighter capsule could then be launched at 20% the speed of light. That would arrive 20 years later at the same time as the initial 40 year flight.

Miniature and Micro satellites would be great for exploring the solar system, but you still need large antennas and plentiful power to send signals back to Earth. Although, the small explorers can first send to a local large antenna.

Forgetting a relativistic acceleration formula, we just use a direct non-relativistic one to estimate the final velocity.

V = a t = 60,000 X 10 m/sec^2 X 120 sec = 7200 X 10^4 m/sec = 72,000 km/sec. The speed of light is 300,000 km/sec, so this give 24% of the speed of light.

The distance traveled while accelerating is:

s = 1/2 a t^2 = 0.5 X 60,000 X 10 m/sec^2 X 120^2 sec^2 = 4.3 X 10^9 m = 4.3 million km. The moon is 400,000 km away, the acceleration works until the Starshot is 10 time the distance to the moon. That requires amazing aiming to a meter square sail.

Lots of challenges. Maybe that’s why we haven’t seen any space alien chips flying by at a fraction of the speed of light.

While there may be a plethora of planetary and life varieties in the galaxy, the real jewel would be an advanced civilization, which could easily communicate with us at the speed of light with giant sending and receiving antennae.


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Mars Walking Robotic Explorers

While we have great slow rovers for robotic Mars exploration, and we had the moon rovers for manned exploration, we need a new kind of robot for lava tube exploration on Mars.

The surface of Mars is exposed to solar cosmic rays and solar storms, which could kill any life with long life spans. There is not a Martian magnetic field to divert the cosmic rays or solar storms. There is good evidence for an ancient lake in Gale Crater currently being explored by the Curiosity Rover, and for sediment deposits. So there will be a search for fossil life, starting at the unicellular level. But their is a possibility that there could be life in Martian lava caves, people want to investigate them.

People who have walked on lava beds or lava tubes know how dangerous they can be. It is difficult to balance using only two feet, and falling can give severe cuts. It would be excessively dangerous for an astronaut to fall, which they do easily even on flat surfaces due to the low gravity and the bulky spacesuit. It is even dangerous for them to grab onto the sharp rocks to stabilize themselves. It is possible that dust will form a base covering, but not enough to remove all dangerous surfaces.

So we need to explore the caves with robots that are not on wheels, but which can walk with stability. Four legs would be stable on a flat surface, but when one leg is lifted at a time to move, it is unstable. So it would need a fifth leg to move, while four held it stable. As I started writing this, the ad before watching PBS on Cassini, I saw a six footed robot.

The greatest danger that such a robot would face is getting a leg stuck in a crevice.  So even more legs would be useful to continue a mission.  Also, the ability to disconnect the stuck leg, and attach a new one should be possible.  This way it could continue its usefulness indefinitely.

Crabs, spiders, and the model that I saw can move very fast with six legs.  These robots could also be useful in dangerous situations on earth.

Now to get samples or carry equipment, the robot should have two arms. One arm only works by squeezing objects, not the best in many situations. Finally, the platform for visual and other sensors should not stick out sideways from the center where it might brush against rocks, so it would be mounted centrally, above the hands to direct them, so it would the head.

In a recent science fiction movie, the octopus like alien life forms has seven appendages.

A guiding computer, perhaps similar to self driving cars, would be carried on the robot, with instructions for choosing and examining rocks or potential life forms, and taking samples. The present Rover was not sufficiently sterilized, so it is not allowed near any possible water deposits.

Spacecraft have to be heated to sterilize it, which is hazardous, especially to computers. People are even more of a problem. The mechanical part of a robotic explorer could be sterilized, and the computer, sterilized by other means, could be inserted.

I’m sure many others have figured this out, and I am not claiming originality. But it does show that robotics are best for exploring the lava tubes directly, and possibly encouraging their exploration without astronauts, whose space suits would be contaminated with earth life.

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Top California Universities in the 2018 US News and World Report Rankings

We list the top ranked California Universities in the 2018 US News and World Report Rankings, with their ranking number (dropping the word “tie”), and their undergraduate enrollments.  What I really like to look at is the evaluation score, but I did not find them.  Students can find much more information for $39.95 under their College Campus service.  I’m sure I can’t publish such data on the web for free.

National Universities

5 Stanford;  7,034

10 Cal Tech;  979

21 UC Berkeley;  29,311

21 UCLA;  30,873

21 USC;  18,794

37 UC Santa Barbara;  21,574

42 UC Irvine;  27,331

42 UC San Diego;  28,127

46 Pepperdine U.;  3,542

46 UC Davis;  29,546

81 UC Santa Cruz;  16,962

90 U. of San Diego;  5,711

110 U. of San Francisco;  6,745

110 U. of the Pacific;  3,483

124 UC Riverside;  19,799

140 San Diego State U.;  29,853

159 Biota U.;  4,091

159 U. of La Verne;  2,809

165 UC Merced;  6,815

187 Azusa Pacific University;  5,770

202 Cal State U. Fullerton; 34,576

223 Cal State U. Fresno;  21,528


National Liberal Arts Colleges in California

6 Pomona College;  1,660

8 Claremont McKenna College;  1,347

12 Harvey Mudd College;  829

26 Scripps College;  1,039

33 Pitzer College;  1,089

39 Soka University of America;  419

44 Occidental College;  2,062

58 Thomas Aquinas College;  389

96 Westmont College;  1,298

128 Whittier College;  1,615

Regional Universities West




Posted in California University Rankings, UC Admissions, University Rankings | Leave a comment

UC Irvine in US News and World Report 2018 Rankings

UC Irvine has scored a 9th (tie) ranking nationally among Public Universities in the 2018 US News & World Report rankings.  It is 42nd (tie) among National Universities.

UC Irvine has 27,331 undergraduates, and 32,754 total students.  Its in-state tuition and fees are $15,516, its out-of-state tuition and fees are $43,530, and room and board are $14,829.

It is tied for 16th in Best Colleges for Veterans, tied for 49th in High School Counselor Rankings, tied for 40th in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, and #121 in Best Value Schools (but ranked much higher on this in other rankings).

I am only showing their publicly available rankings, and not revealing any of their paid for rankings, so as not to impinge on their copyright.

I will list their Graduate School Rankings, without indicating ties:

44 Best Business Schools; 42 Part-Time MBA

37 Best Engineering Schools

28 Best Law Schools

71 Best Medical Schools:  Primary Care

48 Best Medical Schools:  Research

82 Best Nursing Schools:  Masters

34 Biological Sciences

24 Chemistry; 12 Organic

29 Computer Sciences

34 Earth Sciences

47 Economics

17 English; 1 Literary Criticism and Theory

33 Fine Arts

34 History

41 Math

29 Physics

45 Political Science

36 Psychology

23 Sociology

In Graduate Physics Programs, I will just list California Universities: (adding the top 6, and ignoring all of the tie designations)


2 Cal Tech

2 Harvard

2 Princeton

2 Stanford

2 UC Berkeley

10 UC Santa Barbara

16 UC San Diego


29 UC Davis

29 UC Irvine

39 UC Santa Cruz

54 UC Riverside

60 USC





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Reflections on the Exploration for Life on Mars

Imagine we lived in a scientific society, without any religions or belief in God. Then we wouldn’t have alternate stories or a Bible to explain fundamental questions as the origin of the universe, or the solar system, or the earth, or the diversity and complexity of life. Then all people would accept that science has made great strides in solving these questions.

We still don’t know the detailed sequence of chemical synthesis or environment that led to the creation and development of primitive life, but given the diversity of environments and the the hundreds of millions of years involved, there were certainly enough environmental “labs” that made the creation of life possible.

Yet life did develop on earth, and lacking alternate stories, it seems to have developed naturally. Life would be expected to possibly develop in other watery planets in habitable zones around other stars. We may soon have evidence by detecting oxygen in other planetary atmospheres.

It now appears that most stars have planetary systems, and a few percent have planets in a habitable zone. With a given 10^22 stars in the universe, it would seem highly improbable that life did not originate on many planets, but we don’t know for certain. It may be that scientifically advanced civilizations may not be in our neighboring region.

Evolution has been highly successful in adapting life to many different conditions, and in creating successful ecosystems.

I attended the Mars Society 2017 Convention, fortunately held at UC Irvine this year. The question of the fundamental effect of discovering evidence of fossil life on Mars was partly looked at in the context of a religious outlook that life was unique to earth. It seems clear from Gale crater that the Curiosity Rover has been exploring that surface water was once present. Since Mars does not support much atmosphere, it’s not clear to me how long that water existed. Free water on Mars could have occurred 3.8 billion years ago when it also had an atmosphere. There is frozen water on Mars, and subsurface water.

Since I don’t think in terms of religion, the question in my mind was how important, and in which ways was it important, to search for life on Mars? And, is that sufficiently important to send men to Mars, or to colonize Mars?

I was mostly unaware of the goals of the Mars Society, run by Dr. Robert Zubrin, yet this was their 20th Convention. He and others gave several reasons to go to Mars, although the “Gold Rush” reason has not yet been discovered. UCI Astrophysicist and Science Fiction Author Greg Benford cited the US Western Frontier as a great motivator for development, and the need for a regular transport system to Mars to carry it out. Dr. Zubrin pointed out the inspiration that the Earth was not a limited resource for nations to fight over, but Mars gave it a new expansive frontier. He emphasized a program to give NASA direction, and going to Mars directly, without diversionary trial targets.

Space X pioneer Elon Musk has proposed reusable rockets to eventually make a Mars City with a million inhabitants. Since Mars is closest to Earth every two years, Zubrin proposes half year transits, with a year working on the Planet. Problems during the trip are weightlessness in space, radiation from solar storms, and crew psychology in confined quarters. Zubrin is upset at NASA for its measures in keeping the Mars free from Earth life contaminations in our rovers, and in human exploration. Since living Martian organisms seem unlikely, he has a good argument.

If we find evidence of life elsewhere, other than actual space men, will it matter to really religious people?  I don’t think so. Many religious people believe for spiritual, social, and moral reasons.  Some, however, believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible.  Despite evidence of evolution, they still believe that God created all life in all of its complexity. Despite knowing how the universe evolved and how planets form, they still believe that God made them a few thousand years ago. Despite scientific agreement on climate change, they still believe that only God controls climate, which they think of as weather. If they don’t believe in the vast paleontological record on earth, why are they going to believe in a few bacterial fossils from Mars?

Let’s look at the various rarity of life possibilities, and their detectable possibilities, both on Mars and in nearby planetary systems.

If life is easily formed, we may detect fossil evidence on Mars, and will definitely see it on nearby planetary systems, and have a problem with how it took hundreds of millions of years for life to begin on Earth.

If life takes hundreds of millions of years to develop, we may or may not find it on Mars, but should find it on nearby planetary systems.

If life is rare in occurrence, we won’t find it on Mars, and we won’t find it on nearby planetary systems.

Currently living life on Mars is negated by high surface radiation not being shielded by a magnetic field, and little atmosphere with little oxygen. Caves may exist with less radiation and with frozen water.

It seems much more likely to detect exoplanets with life, unless life is very rare.

Putting all of these prejudices together, I don’t see it necessary to send men to Mars to look for life, although I back more Rover missions. It’s not clear that we need sample return missions. We can do many analyses with robotics, including microscopes. We already know much about Mars rock and soil chemical composition and sedimentary layers from rover expeditions.

As usual, I am not an expert in any of these fields on which I opine.

Physicist Enrico Fermi had a classic argument that once life advances, it will rapidly spread across the galaxy, at least in the billions of years that the Earth has been around. It is called “Where is Everybody?”

Some are motivated to use our possible uniqueness in the universe as an argument for the importance of protecting our planet and our life forms. Even if life is abundant in the universe, we still have unique forms of it, and unique ecosystems. But we should preserve our planet because we feel humane to all human life, and are educated about the amazing evolution and adaptations and ecosystems in our life forms.

I definitely think that settling Mars to save humanity, as Steven Hawking suggests, is the wrong approach. All of that effort can go to preserving life on Earth and working on a sustainable future.

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Hurricane Wind Force Increases as the Square of the Velocity

Hurricane Wind Strength Goes Increases as the Square of the Velocity

We show the relative force strengths associated with the velocities starting the various category storms, and with the very high velocity of Hurricane Irma.

Force is generated by the change in momentum of the striking air in a unit time. The Force on a unit area is the momentum hitting it for density r and mass m, with velocity V, which is m X V in a unit time. But in a unit time, a horizontal column of length V, hits, with mass m = r X V. Substituting that for m gives F = r V^2. That is that the force per unit area or pressure is the density times the velocity squared. The relative situation is when a car is speeding through the air, the car hits the air, and the force of air friction goes as velocity squared.

We will give a table of the minimum velocity of each hurricane category of the Sappir-Simpson scale, the minimum velocity of each category, and then the velocity scaled by 100 mph and then squared for a relative measure.  The last column scales the minimum velocities by that for Category 1, V1.

Category.      Minimum Velocity.    V^2/100^2      (V/V1)^2

  1.                    74 mph.                          0.55.                1.00

2.                      96 mph.                         0.92                  1.68

3.                      111 mph                          1.23                  2.25

4.                      130 mph.                       1.69                   3.09

5.                       157 mph.                       2.46                  4.50

Irma.                185 mph.                       3.42                  6.25

Note that a category 5 at minimum is twice the force of a category 3 at minimum. A category 3 at minimum is 2.2 times a category 1 at minimum.  Since Irma’s velocity squared at its 185 mph maximum of 3.42 is twice the category 4 value of 1.69, it would have achieved Category 6, if their was one. The largest hurricanes have topped off at 185 or 186 mph.

One problem with using the scale on a map, is that right after the storm changes from 5 to 4, it is still close to a 5, yet could mislead viewers to think that it has sunk to the base of a 4.  CNN is now showing a sliding scale to prevent this problem.  It could also be solved by using a 4.5 or 4-5 label.

Below the hurricane scale is a tropical storm which starts at 39 mph to 73 mph.  39 mph scaled by 100 mph give a comparative entry for V^2/100^2 of 0.15.

The wind speed is the average over a minute at ground level at the eyewall of the hurricane.

The Catagory is determined by the maximum wind which occurs at tha edge of the eyewall.  The width of the storm is an incredible 370 miles.  The radii where Irma starts with Category 1 or  hurricane force winds in the four  different directions is 57, 57, 52, and 40 miles from the center.

With Irma, while the wind speed average was expected at 160 mph, the wind gusts could go up to 196 mph.  Clearly the gusts could cause the worst damage.  However, one commentator pointed out that the continued rattling of the steady wind causes the damage.  Scaling 196 mph by 100 mph and squaring gives the relative V^2/100^2  of 3.84.  Scaling it by V1 of 74 mph squared gives 7.02.   Even though 160 mph is at the start of category 5, the gusts would increase the force by 56%.

CNN also gave an example of how the wind speed increases as you go up higher in a building. We give a short table of different floor heights, wind speed in the example, and velocity scales by 100 mph squared.  The 145 mph is the expected wind speed from Irma in Miami.

Level.                  Velocity.                     V^2/100^2     (V/V1)^2

Ground.             145 mph                       2.10                  3.84

30 story.            174 mph.                      3.03                  5.53

80-100 story.    189 mph.                     3.57                   6.52

This says that if the wind velocity at the ground is midway between category 4 and 5, at a very tall building it would be at a Category 6 value.  The rule that they use is that the wind speed increases 20% above the ground speed at 30 stories, and 30% above the ground speed at 80-100 stories.

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California Universities in the Times Higher Education World Rankings, 2018

We cite the California Universities in the Times Higher Education World Rankings for 2018.  An = in the rankings mean a tie for that rank.  We also list the student/staff ratio for that University.  I assume staff means teaching staff.

=3.   Cal Tech.                6.5

=3.   Stanford U.            7.5

15.    UCLA.                     9.6

18.    UC Berkeley         13.1

31.    UC San Diego.     12.8

53.    UC Santa Barbara. 28.1

=54.  UC Davis.            13.8

66.     USC                     12.8

99.     UC Irvine.          17.0

162.   UC Santa Cruz. 23.0

=198. UC Riverside.   20.7

Posted in Education, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, University Rankings | Leave a comment

The Unnecessary Educational Loss from Deporting Dreamers

The Unnecessary Educational Loss from Deporting Dreamers

The number of people registering with DACA is about 800,000. But the number of Dreamers, which have the same circumstances of being brought to the US as children whose parents are undocumented is far larger. One leader on TV said there are two million, but the only estimate that I saw on the web was 1.8 million. These people may be in grade school and do not need to register, or may not have trusted DACA registration, which has now proved to be prescient. Neither President Trump nor Paul Ryan has addressed all Dreamers, but just DACA registrants.

On February 2, 2017, I wrote a post on estimating how much was investigated in the education of Dreamers. Just on K-12, I took the average California cost of education per student at $11,000. Multiplying by 13, gives $143,000 per student. I now want to multiply this by the numbers of DACA and Dreamers to get the value of the education we have invested in these students.

We start with the DACA number of 800,000, most of who are now out of grade school and in higher education or working. Multiplying by $143,000 per student, my iPhone calculator gives 1.14 X 10^11 or $114 billion. Using the full 2 million Dreamers give an investment in education of $286 billion, or almost $300 billion. Many of the high school graduates have gone on to higher education, with even more educational investment.

The US discretionary budget is about $500 billion. So the value invested in educating Dreamers is about 60% of the discretionary budget for a year. Why would Republicans, who always claim that they will limit expenditures and the debt limit, throw away that much talent and monetary investment just to satisfy some notion that all laws have to be obeyed? They are paid to change laws and make new laws every day. The people making the law, the government, of course, just never had to consider such a large class of Dreamers.

By ejecting Dreamers over the next two years, the Administration and Congress are just giving a $300 billion dollar gift to Mexico and other Latino countries. While Trump thought he could get Mexico to build a wall for $12 or $20 billion, he is instead giving Mexico this enormous gift of young and well educated workers, to compete with American firms.

As the Cato Institute calculates, the DACA registrants will contribute a fiscal impact of $60 billion, and an economic impact of $215 billion. I think those numbers would start with the $60 billion as the income alone of the full 2 million Dreamers at the assumed $34,000 per year average salary. The Dreamers are the young workers that we need to shore up healthcare, Medicare, and Social Security.

The US has allowed about a million immigrants a year for decades. The Dreamers are already here, expertly speak English, have been raised with all American values, and are well educated. A survey of DACA recipients shows that those still in school are 52.5% currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree, 13.1% a masters, 19.4% an Associate’s degree, 2.3% a Professional degree, and 3.6% a Doctorate.

Of course, the moral and legal arguments based on the Dreamers having not violated laws themselves coming to America, are persuasive, as well explained in President Obama’s statement. What I have tried to do here is appeal to the fiscal and business instincts of Republicans.

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