power of god

31 01 2008

[By Shideh]  

I am auditing an awesome course on “human behavior and organizational factors, …” with Professor Bea, here in Berkeley’s civil engineering department.  He’s an amazing lecturer, one of those professors that you just can’t forget. 

Here’s one of his quotes that I’d like to share with you:

“You have the power of God in your hands, as engineers.  You can save lives and of course can easily take lives when your design fails.  Based on 50 years of experience as an engineer having witnessed many failures, I tell you now that almost 80% of all engineering breakdowns happen because engineers are not well trained in dealing with people and fail in effective communication and management.”


tehran historic earthquakes

31 01 2008

[By Shideh]   I read an interesting article by H. Hamzehloo, F. Vaccari, and G.F. Panza, “ Towards a reliable seismic microzonation in Tehran, Iran,” a few parts of which I am including below:

“Tehran, the capital of Iran, is located in a very high seismic zone at the foot of the Alborz Mountains, which is part of the Alpine-Himalayan seismic belt. The distribution of historical earthquakes around Tehran shows that the region has been experiencing eight large destructive earthquakes with magnitude greater than 7 from 4th B.C to 1830 (Ambraseys and Melville, 1982). These large historical earthquakes caused severe damage to Shahre Ray City, which is a part of Tehran city at present. The last large historical event was the 1830 earthquake with magnitude 7.1, which occurred approximately 100 km from the city. The closest historical event to the city was the 855 earthquake with magnitude 7.1.


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i have a dream

21 01 2008

[By Shideh]  Today is a national holiday in the U.S., dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the great leaders of the American Civil Rights Movement.  He is mostly known for his efforts to end segregation and racial discrimination through non-violent means.  His birthday marks a day of hope for all African Americans here as well as for many others around the globe.  This is one of my favorite holidays and I wanted to write a post here in his honor and in the memory of hope.  Here is a video of his famous speech, “I Have a Dream”:

richard frye

20 01 2008

[By Shideh]  A very interesting interview with an American scholar, Richard Frye, at Harvard University about his feelings for Iran.  Enjoy: 

children and earthquake safety

17 01 2008

[By Shideh]  I came across an interesting presentation by IIEES’ (International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology) public education department in regards to earthquake safety and particularly children’s safety programs currently being developed in Iran:


 A few highlights: About 131,935 classrooms need to be reconstructed; 126,010 classrooms need to be strengthened; 39% of schools need to become safe… 

eq-safety-and-kindergarten.jpg Read the rest of this entry »

iran’s international conference on integrated natural disaster management – this february

13 01 2008

Today, we received a message from one of the chairs of the 3rd International Conference on Integrated Natural Disaster Management scheduled in Iran for this February (2008).  The main themes for the conference are: earthquakes, floods, droughts, landslides, and hurricanes.  UNICEF, the City of Tehran, IAEM, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Shahid Beheshti University, York University, and Cranfield University are some of the sponsors of this conference. 

The deadline for submitting abstracts and papers is passed but you can still register and attend the conference.  If you have a paper that you’d like to submit, I personally suggest you send it even though the deadline’s past.  For more information: www.indm.org.  The image below is from their flash intro:


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مصاحبه دکتر قالیباف، شهردار تهران | FT interview with Tehran mayor

11 01 2008

[By Shawhin]  I just finished reading the transcript from an interview between the Financial Times and current Tehran Mayor, Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, published on January 8th, 2008.  There’s a lot of information in the transcript particularly regarding development, urban planning, transportation, etc.  Dr. Qalibaf has been mayor since September 2005 according to Wikipedia. 

I’ve summarized a few points from the article here – these are from quotes from the Mayor:

+        Development in Tehran is handled on three levels:

o       Small projects are handled at the local/neighborhood level: via assisting councils (“shora yaari”,  شورا یاری) – see details below,

o       Medium size projects are handled by the Municipality’s representative offices in 22 zones, and

o       Large projects (i.e. highways, Milad Tower, etc) are done at the national level Read the rest of this entry »