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Earth Science

Volcanic Activity May Split Africa In Two 170

An anonymous reader writes 'Volcanic activity may split the African continent in two, creating a new ocean, say experts. This is due to a recent geological crack which has appeared in northeastern Ethiopia.'
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Volcanic Activity May Split Africa In Two

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  • by lena_10326 ( 1100441 ) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @06:31AM (#29992808) Homepage
    3 pieces. Break a cookie in half 2 times.
    • Break #1: 1 = 0.5 + 0.5
    • Break #2: 1 = 0.5 + 0.25 + 0.25

    3 pieces. Not 4. You would need 3 breaks to get 4 pieces.

  • by imakemusic ( 1164993 ) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @06:44AM (#29992866)
    You can't break a cookie in half twice. You can break it in half once and then you can break a half-cookie in half. Saying that you're breaking the [whole] cookie in half twice implies that you are making the first break and then breaking both of those halves in two.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 05, 2009 @07:19AM (#29993034)

    You guys need to get out more.

  • by lena_10326 ( 1100441 ) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @08:30AM (#29993402) Homepage

    It does not work for cars because cookies and rocks have a property that cars do not--symmetry of matter. Materialwise, they are consistent. Imagine a plane slicing through a rock dividing it into two--slicing at any angle. The material on both sides of the plane will always be of the same type of material possessing the same properties. This is why a rock sliced in half results in 2 rocks--not 2 half rocks. That is not true for cars because I can slice only the tire and have rubber on one side and the remainder of the car (glass, metal, etc) on the other side. Slicing a car in half results in 2 half-cars

    Slicing a continent behaves like slicing a rock. You will end up with 2 continents: not 2 half continents because a continent is an organizational structure which we determine based on an arbitrary selection process (such as elevation above sea level). Since a continent is purely a conceptual organization, that means every point within it has exactly the same property value: inside. It is materially consistent just like a rock (or cookie).

  • by chronosan ( 1109639 ) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @08:52AM (#29993516)
    You can, however, have half an Oreo Cookie.
  • by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Thursday November 05, 2009 @11:41AM (#29995360) Journal
    Obviously the cookie is made of an exotic form of matter. Other substances, like water or salt, can be divided almost indefinitely (until you get down to a single molecule) without losing their properties. Not so with cookie matter. A chocolate chip cookie can be broken down only so far before it ceases being a chocolate chip cookie, and becomes just a plain cookie. This can happen even at centimetre scales. Some cookies have a directionality to them. Oreos, for example, when broken radially maintain their "Oreo-ness". However, when broken perpendicular to the axis, an Oreo can lose its "Oreo-ness" and transform into a simple chocolate cookie.

    I heard that there was some study done on this phenomenon, however the lab was plagued by a large, blue-furred creature who would yell "COOKIE!", and vanish with all of the sample materials.

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