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Archive By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Earthquakes, mudslides can happen anywhere so prepare

The magnitude 5.1 earthquake that occurred around midnight on March 29 east of Los Angeles was a reminder of the unstable geologic conditions in Western states. Its epicenter was in a densely populated residential area of La Habra, Calif., just a quarter-mile from Sonora High School.

April 06, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Spring hiking in the mountains is a treat

Spring season is a great time for a sightseeing trip through the nearby mountains. U.S. 129 goes north from Gainesville toward Blairsville. After steep climbs and curves, you arrive at Neels Gap and the Waleisi-Yi Center, a popular stopping point for many hikers.

March 30, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Latitude, longitude and the International Date Line

The global coordinates you can get with a GPS or smartphone can be confusing. Their units are degrees, minutes and seconds of angle. With exact coordinates, you can pinpoint any place in the world. For example, 34 degrees 18 minutes 14.29 seconds north by 83 degrees 49 minutes 35.44 seconds west gets you to the home of The Times.

March 25, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: College network focuses on sustainability

There are a lot of differences between Georgia's colleges and universities. Some are privately funded, some with tax dollars. Some have historic campuses, like the University of Georgia, which incorporated in 1785. Others were founded in the 20th century, like Georgia State.

March 15, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Prepare for all-electric cars in near future

The "futurology" movement of the 1960s, which promised progress and prosperity, based almost entirely on technology, has long ebbed away. Science fiction literature and movies range from the realistic to the ridiculous.

March 08, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Jet stream in flux means more changeable weather

While much of the northern and eastern U.S. shivered in frigid weather, parts of England experienced severe storms. Recent research suggests that these record-setting events were due to warming of the Arctic.

March 02, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Quakes are rare, mild here, but not out West

An earthquake in South Dakota two weeks ago. Another in South Carolina last week. It would be tempting to come up with scary headlines now.

February 23, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Quakes a rare threat in our part of the world

The earthquake occurring 17 miles outside of Chamberlain, S.D.. on Feb. 7 didn't receive major news coverage. At 2.9 on the magnitude scale, it wasn't anywhere near the level of quakes that have destroyed entire cities in the past.

February 16, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: More rail transit would ease Atlanta’s gridlock

The winter storm that dropped 2.6 inches on the Atlanta area Jan. 28 will remain in many commuters' memories for years. Stories of children stranded in school buses and people taking up to 25 hours to get home made the national news, among the gridlock that paralyzed the roadways.

February 09, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Remember to check to avoid overloading electrical outlets

During these cold weeks, a hot fire is nice. But it needs to be in a fireplace. Destructive house fires are common right now, and the reason often reported is "faulty wiring."

February 01, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Recycling paper, cans saves green, too

If you had a festive Christmas dinner a few weeks ago, you probably didn't toss the leftovers. They made for another nice meal later. It doesn't make sense to spend money when lots of resources are already on hand. Recycling serves the same purpose.

January 26, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Polar vortex is nothing new

During the frigid spell of early January, news media were filled with articles about the "polar vortex." Some sounded like this is some new, dangerous phenomenon, apparently just discovered, and it's coming to get all of us.

January 18, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Clean, silent electric cars are the future

Soon it will seem like a bad dream that cars used to contaminate the air with harmful emissions, making people sick and causing developmental problems in children.

January 11, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: A few simple steps can save energy

Energy is expensive, and yet it gets wasted all the time. For example, observe drivers on our mountainous roads. Many use their brakes going uphill, when it would have been sufficient to just step off the gas pedal and let gravity slow the car to the desired speed.

January 05, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: Food supply, overconsumption a growing problem

For most of us in North Georgia, the holiday season is a time of abundance. Rich meals, cookies, candy and chocolate fill the tables.

December 29, 2013 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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Articles By Author - Rudi Kiefer


Earth Sense: Check house foundation to prevent dangerous slides

The March 22 mudslide in Oso, Wash., raises the question whether something like this could happen here. It's not likely, because we don't have the deep soil that led to the Western disaster.

April 19, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


Earth Sense: This is the best time to plan a European vacation

Late spring and early summer are some of the best times to visit Europe, especially the Upper Rhine Valley.

April 12, 2014 | Rudi Kiefer | Columnists


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