Monday, February 11, 2008

Discovery: Great Quakes 1.. San Francisco

In San Francisco, violent earthquakes have historically been downplayed by the city’s landowners. After the 1868 Hayward (7.0) and the 1906 San Francisco (7.8) earthquakes devastated the Bay Area, investigations that starkly illustrated the dangers of another large earthquake were suppressed and, in one case, investigation documents were actually destroyed. In another large event, the SF-Oakland Bay Bridge - the most-used bridge in America - would likely see its upper-deck collapse (as partially happened in the quake of 1989), and perhaps the entire eastern section of the bridge as well. The US Department of the Interior estimates that the dead and injured could number over 100,000. Today, another event is both inevitable and ill-prepared for. Can scientists and concerned citizens beat the geologic time-clock before the next big one?
In 2002, German cannibal Armin Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to over eight years in prison for killing, dismembering and eating another man - who allegedly agreed to the arrangement over the internet. In 2005, a German court ordered a retrial and Meiwes was eventually convicted of murder. This documentary explores the extraordinary case and features an exclusive interview with Meiwes, home footage and access to police evidence.

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