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Meredith Dobes

Earthquake in Southern California causes aftershocks over 120 miles away

An earthquake in California Monday morning covered 120 miles of land, the largest recorded in the Los Angeles area in three years.

When the earthquake first occurred, seismographs recorded three separate earthquakes of different sizes because of foreshock and aftershock. However, there was only one earthquake, and it registered at a magnitude of 4.7.

Shock from the earthquake traveled from the San Jacinto Mountains to Los Angeles, over the 120 miles shocks are usually felt from earthquakes of a 4.7 magnitude.

Seismologist Susan Hough told the LA Times that the large reach of the earthquake was due to the granite content in the mountains, which transmits energy more efficiently.

The San Jacinto fault zone is one of three fault zones that absorb friction from the motion of the North American continent and the Pacific plates rubbing together, and this type of activity is typical, according to Seismologist Robert Graves.

“It’s a good idea to take it to heart and make sure you’re prepared,” Graves told the LA Times. “We live in Southern California, and we have lots of active faults, and every once in a while it’s large enough to cause damage.”

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Monday’s earthquake had over 100 aftershocks that traveled northeast from its birthplace in Southern California, meaning that the earthquake occurred on a secondary fault of the San Jacinto fault.

Hough said the aftershocks were weak because of the depth of the earthquake.

No damages or injuries were reported from the earthquake.

Conan O’Brien weighed in on the incident, tweeting, “Felt a big tremor yesterday in LA. That was either an earthquake, or Ryan Gosling smiled softly in Southeast Asia.”

Exposed.su hack offers personal celebrity information ominously

Exposed.su provides interested Internet users with select personal information of a few celebrities and public figures. Using a former Soviet Union domain and pictures on each page that aim to make fun of the persons listed, the website is an obvious hack, but some critics say it’s not a very good one.

Speculation about the exposed.su hackers being from Russia because of the chosen domain name is popular, but the hackers have a whole page devoted to Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck.

Beck’s page features a screen capture of a newscast featuring protesters holding signs about law enforcement corruption in the case of Christopher Dorner, who was the target of a high profile manhunt after being fired from the LAPD and promising to murder his former supervisors and their families. Dorner was killed in a shootout with police in February. Why the case would inspire the exposed.su hackers to retaliate by creating an entire page for Beck is unclear.

The credit scores, social security numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, previous addresses and current addresses of each of the people exposed.su devotes a page are exposed. Michelle Obama’s information is right at the top of the list.

Exposed.su titles its homepage “The Secret Files” and quotes, “If you believe that God makes miracles, you have to wonder if Satan has a few up his sleeve,” in red text over a black background above a picture of a girl that looks like it could come from a horror movie.

However, critics find the aforementioned content and design to be laughable, saying that the actual content delivered really means nothing to the general public.

That hasn’t deterred the FBI from investigating how FBI Director Robert Mueller’s information landed on the site, according to the Justice Department.

A Twitter account supposedly linked to exposed.su posted a message March 11 in Russian, translating to, “Hello world, we are exposed. Our goal is to show you all that this is only one of a few tricks up our sleeves.”

SimCity returns with complexity and cooperative play

“SimCity,” returns with its newest rendition, an online game that attempts to give players what they loved of the original games: full control over building their cities. It has been over 10 years since the last “SimCity” game, “SimCity 4,” was released.

Reviews of the new “SimCity” aren’t quite finished yet because EA Games has not released the final version of the game or turned on the game’s global servers, yet. “SimCity” was released in the U.S. Tuesday, but IGN recommends waiting to buy it or attempting to get a refund because of issues with the game’s servers.

The new “SimCity” is praised for having a level of complexity that was absent from past versions of the game. Each person living in your city has a name and a lot of feelings about the decisions you’re making for your city. Elements of the buildings in your city have different looks to them depending on the inhabitant’s wealth and education levels.

Specialized city maps in the new “SimCity” allow your city to have different resources that other cities don’t, like oil. You can also choose to build casinos or tourist areas for your city to attempt to gain revenue from outsiders.

“SimCity” has a multiplayer mode that allows you to build your city near your friends’ cities and for the share of resources between these neighboring cities. Cooperative play may even be necessary for the sustainability of your city, according to Mashable. And if cooperative play isn’t your thing, you can always build more cities outward from your own and share resources between them.

The newest “SimCity” received great reviews, overall, aside from its server problems. It is expected to reach even better success with gamers once some troubleshooting is done.

Hangover 3 promises a return to obscurity

“The Hangover Part III” is set to bring the “Hangover” movie series to a close. The trailer for the third movie in the trilogy, released yesterday, was well-received by fans and followers of the series, and it features a giraffe in an unfortunate auto accident.

The third “Hangover” movie promises to be just as obscure as the first two movies, set in Las Vegas, once again. Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Phil (Bradley Cooper) and Stu (Ed Helms) attend Alan’s father’s funeral in the trailer, as Alan sings a rendition of “Ave Maria.”

Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong) will make his return to the series, along with Doug (Justin Bartha) and Alan’s father (Jeffrey Tambor.) Some movie critics are contemplating whether Doug will be kidnapped in “The Hangover Part III” due to his absence from the movie’s trailer.

At the end of “The Hangover Part II,” Stu says to his friends, “I told myself I would never come back.”

Phil replies, “Don’t worry. It all ends tonight.”

So what exactly could “it” be that is ending? On “The Hangover Part III’s” Facebook page, a poster depicts Las Vegas in flames. Some critics believe there may be a showdown between Alan and Mr. Chow.

New to the series in “The Hangover Part III” will be Melissa McCarthy, a love interest of Alan and John Goodman, who is reported to play the movie’s predominant villain. Other actors returning to their roles will be Heather Graham and Mike Tyson.

“The Hangover Part III” will be in theaters May 24.

Bonnie Franklin, 'One Day at a Time' star, dies at 69

Bonnie Franklin, actress known for her portrayal of Ann Romano on “One Day at a Time,” died in her Los Angeles home today at age 69, surrounded by family and friends.

Franklin was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in September, according to her family members.

Franklin acted out the role of a divorced woman busy with parenting, working, dating and being a feminist and combating with sexism on “One Day at a Time.” The show ran through the 1970s and ‘80s.

Franklin’s character dealt with issues many women actively deal with in their daily lives. Franklin supported the idea of presenting real issues on the show, though it was a situational comedy.

“One Day at a Time” dealt with issues like teenage pregnancy, sexual harassment, rape and menopause.

Franklin’s role was the first of a single mother not widowed.

Franklin said it was important for her to portray her character as a woman who did not need to rely on men to make decisions and that she carried this mindset with her into her personal life. She had to deal with her ideas and opinions being second guessed by the show’s male writers.

In addition to her well-known part on the show, Franklin acted on stage and in movies and sang and danced at nightclub acts.

Franklin attended Smith College in Massachusetts, Ms. and transferred to the University of California, Los Angeles where she graduated with a major in English in 1966.

Sequestration will begin at midnight as result of prolonged Congressional disagreements

The sequestration will occur at midnight tonight and could last for as long as seven months if the White House and Congress continue to not agree on a new budget plan.

This means that government agencies will have to find ways to sequester money from their budgets, totaling $85 billion, collectively.

The sequestration can be stopped at any time, if Congress decides on a more viable budget plan.

The main solution to the sequestration Democrats have offered is closing tax loopholes for large corporations and the wealthy. Republicans have not agreed to this.

If the sequestration does fully complete, it could cost the United States 0.5 percent of a point and negatively impact the global economy, according to the International Monetary Fund.

The Congressional Budget Office will have to submit necessary budget cuts to government agencies. The office predicts that 750,000 jobs could be lost. The Pentagon will have to cut 13 percent of its budget. Non-defense programs will face a nine percent reduction.

“This is not the apocalypse,” President Barack Obama told reporters. “It’s just dumb.”

Obama said the lack of a new budget and the sequestration is the fault of Republicans.

“This discussion about revenue in my view is over,” House Speaker John Boehner said to reporters about closing tax loopholes, as Democrats proposed.

To try to stop the sequestration, Obama will meet with moderate Democrats and Republicans and try to find common ground and make them act on their ideas.

“There is a caucus of common sense up on Capitol Hill,” he said. “It’s just it’s a silent group right now, and we want to make sure that their voices start getting heard.”

SpaceX Dragon capsule runs into problems after launch

SpaceX’s Dragon capsule ran into some trouble after its liftoff earlier today but remains on track to reach the International Space Station Saturday.

SpaceX is a private corporation with a $1.6 billion contract with NASA. The corporation will restock the space station 12 times and hopefully be on track to send other astronauts there in upcoming years.

SpaceX controls every aspect of its capsule’s flight before it reaches the space station. Once the capsule is in close enough proximity to the International Space Station, its flight will be taken over by NASA.

When the Dragon launched, three of its four sets of thrusters did not kick in when they were supposed to, delaying the release of the capsule’s solar panels, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said.

This is the first time a Dragon has had issues in orbit. This SpaceX Dragon has over one ton of space station supplies on it.

Once the Dragon reaches the International Space Station, the six astronauts on board are to draw the capsule in and dock it to the station using a robotic arm.

NASA’s goal is to have private companies like SpaceX shuttle astronauts to and from the space station. NASA said this practice is more efficient and has been spending more money on deep-space missions recently.

SpaceX’s goal for a manned Dragon flight is 2015.

Because of the Dragon’s difficulties, SpaceX will have to reconfigure rocket firings, which could affect the time the capsule meets the space station.

Once the capsule reaches the space station, the astronauts will spend back unneeded materials, components in need of analysis and experiment samples.

Andrew Mason, former CEO of Groupon, fired by board

Andrew Mason, former CEO of Groupon, was fired today by the board in lieu of the company’s struggling fiscal results.

Mason, known for his lighthearted humorous additions to company reports and announcements, remains in good humor about the situation.

“I’ve decided that I’d like to spend more time with my family,” Mason wrote in a memo. “Just kidding – I was fired today. If you’re wondering why… you haven’t been paying attention.”

Some of Mason’s leadership decisions have been questioned, like why he declined Google’s offer to purchase the company for $6 billion.

Groupon struggled with earnings and the company’s shares reached a 52-week low of $2.60 in November, according to CNN. Since then, the shares have improved, but they still remain under $5, a far cry from Groupon’s debut share price of $20.

“I care far more about the success of the business than I do about my job as a CEO,” Mason said. “I want what’s best for Groupon.”

Some businesses criticized Groupon for being too pricey and not effectively helping them build loyal consumers. According to reports, consumers really like Groupon, though, and the company gains more users each month.

Mason is a co-founder of Groupon and sent a memo to the company’s employees saying they deserve a different CEO to help them get the outside world to give the company a second chance.

The biggest problem Mason leaves behind and that the company has always had is whether the concept of the company, as a business model, can exist and gain profit.

Sinkhole in Florida traps man, sucks in bedroom

A sinkhole in Florida opened up last night underneath a man’s bedroom, taking him into the earth as it widened.

Rescue efforts were suspended today after officials determined the house was unstable and the sinkhole would continue to grow. Jeffrey Bush, 36, remains missing.

Bush’s five family members survived the sinkhole and escaped the house safely, but said they fear the missing man may be dead.

Bush’s brother Jeremy jumped into the sinkhole, attempting to save his brother. Rescue workers pulled him out, believing the hole would continue to widen.

“I feel in my heart he didn’t make it,” Jeremy Bush told Tampa TV station WFTS. “There were six of us in the house. Five got out.”

Hillsborough County Fire Chief Ron Rogers said, “The sooner we can locate the victim and determine his status, the better. We have to make sure we don’t endanger other personnel or other people in the process. It doesn’t help to compound the situation.”

The Florida sinkhole is estimated to be about 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep. The safety zone around it was extended to 100 feet in radius.

The family’s house was not affected externally, but Bush’s entire bedroom was reported to have been completely destroyed.

Sinkholes are common in Florida because of the amount of limestone in the ground.

“There’s a lot of groundwater that goes through the limestone and can erode the limestone away,” Hillsborough County spokesman Willie Puz said. “As the water table rises and falls, sometimes those voids in the limestone can’t support the weight that is on top of them, and they cave in.”

Scott Weiland fired from Stone Temple Pilots?

Scott Weiland, singer famous for his spot in the band Stone Temple Pilots, has been fired, maybe.

According to Weiland, he founded Stone Temple Pilots and co-wrote many of its hits. He said he learned of his termination this morning by reading about it in the press.

Stone Temple Pilots is a grunge band that has been around since the early 1990s. After a break up in 2003, the band reunited in 2008 and toured to promote its self-titled album released in 2010.

This morning, on the band’s website, remaining members Robert DeLeo, Dean DeLeo and Eric Kretz said, “Stone Temple Pilots have announced they have officially terminated Scott Weiland.”

“I learned of my supposed ‘termination’ from Stone Temple Pilots this morning by reading about it in the press,” Weiland responded in a statement.

Weiland, 45, will begin a month-long U.S. solo tour in March during which he will perform songs from Stone Temple Pilot’s first two albums.

Reuters referred to Weiland as a symbol of grunge rock, known for his growling vocals and bright red hair.

Stone Temple Pilots is known for hits like “Vasoline,” “Plush” and “Interstate Love Song.”

Weiland was a part of the band Velvet Revolver and has “dealt with drug addiction, run-ins with the law and two failed marriages,” according to the Associated Press.

In Weiland’s statement he said his lawyer will have to sort out whether or not he can actually be fired from Stone Temple Pilots.

Weiland’s tour begins Friday in Flint, Mich.