1356 – Basel earthquake, the most significant historic seismological event north of the Alps, destroys the town of Basel, Switzerland.
The Basel earthquake of 18 October 1356 is the most significant seismological event to have occurred in Central Europe in recorded history and had a moment magnitude in the range of 6.0–7.1. This earthquake is also known as the “Séisme de la Saint-Luc”, as 18 October is the feast day of Saint Luke the Evangelist.
After a foreshock between 19:00 and 20:00 local time, the main earthquake struck in the evening at around 22:00, and numerous aftershocks followed through that night. Basel experienced a second, very violent shock in the middle of the night. The town within the ramparts was destroyed by a fire when torches and candles falling to the floor set the wooden houses ablaze. The number of deaths within the town of Basel alone is estimated at 300. All major churches and castles within a 30 km (19 mi) radius of Basel were destroyed.
The seismic crisis lasted a year. The modeling of the macroseismic data suggests that the earthquake’s source had an east-west orientation, a direction corresponding with the overlapping faults on the Jura Front. On the other hand, recent paleoseismologic studies attribute the cause of this earthquake to a normal fault, oriented NNE-SSW and south of the town. The significant magnitude of the event suggests a possible extension of this fault under the town.
Due to the limited records of the event, a variety of epicenters have been proposed for the earthquake. Some of the proposed locations include faults beneath the Jura Mountains or along the Basel-Reinach escarpment. Another study placed the epicenter 10 km (6.2 mi) south of Basel.
The earthquake was felt as far away as Zürich, Konstanz, and even in Île-de-France. The maximum intensity registered on the Medvedev–Sponheuer–Karnik scale was IX–X (Destructive–Devastating). Notably, the macroseismic map was established on the basis of damage reported by the region’s 30 to 40 castles.
From this macroseismic data, various studies have been conducted to estimate the moment magnitude of the earthquake, which have resulted in various values of 6.2 (BRGM 1998); 6.0 (GEO-TER 2002); 6.9 (SED 2004) with a follow-up report suggesting a range of between 6.7 and 7.1; 6.6 (GFZ 2006); and a major Swiss study by 21 European experts, with American involvement, in which four sub-groups estimated values of 6.9, 6.9, 6.5 to 6.9, and 6.5 ± 0.5 (PEGASOS 2002–2004). There are also different opinions about which faults were involved.
The earthquake destroyed the city of Basel, Switzerland, near the southern end of the Upper Rhine Graben, and caused much destruction in a vast region extending into France and Germany. Though major earthquakes are common at the seismically active edges of tectonic plates in Turkey, Greece, and Italy, intraplate earthquakes are rare events in Central Europe. According to the Swiss Seismological Service, of more than 10,000 earthquakes in Switzerland over the past 800 years, only half a dozen of them have registered more than 6.0 on the Richter scale.
1897 – Isabel Briggs Myers, American theorist and author (d. 1980)
Isabel Briggs Myers (October 18, 1897 – May 5, 1980) was an American author and co-creator of a personality inventory known as the Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Briggs Myers created the MBTI with her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs.
MBTI personality indicator
Main article: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
Briggs Myers implemented the ideas of Carl Jung and added her own insights. She then created a paper survey which would eventually become the MBTI. The test was to assess personality type and was fully developed after 20 years of research by Briggs Myers with her mother and thousands of others. In the 21st century, research into this instrument is still being put into action with dozens of articles written per year. The questionnaire is meant to help people realize their “best fit type”, the personality type that will help them succeed most in life. The three original pairs of preferences in Jung’s typology are Extraversion and Introversion, Sensing and Intuition, and Thinking and Feeling. After studying them, Briggs Myers added a fourth pair, Judging and Perceiving.
Extraversion or Introversion: refers to where and how one directs his or her attention and energy — on people and things in the outer world, or alone in the inner world 
Sensing or Intuition: refers to how one prefers to deal with information — by focusing on the basic information, or by interpreting and adding meaning
Thinking or Feeling: refers to decision making — objectively, using logic and consistency, or subjectively, considering other people and special circumstances
Judging or Perceiving: refers to how one interacts with the outer world — with a preference towards getting things decided, or for staying open to new information and options
In the July 1980 edition of MBTI News, Briggs Myers attributed another reason for creating the MBTI to her marriage to “Chief” Clarence Myers. Their differences in psychological type (she was an INFP and he was an ISTJ) inspired her mother, Katharine Cook Briggs, to keep studying differences among people and their actions. Cook Briggs came upon the work of Carl Gustav Jung and introduced it to her daughter who then started studying the psychological types.
When World War II began, Briggs Myers wanted to help reduce conflict among people. People were dying, hurting and harming each other, and she wanted to help them understand each other instead of hurting them. She observed that some people also hated their jobs in the military and she wanted to know what was behind that.
In 1945, the dean of the George Washington School of Medicine allowed Briggs Myers and Cook Briggs to apply the MBTI to first-year undergraduates. This included about 5,500 students and Briggs Myers studied it for years by looking at patterns among dropouts and successful students.
The novel Murder Yet to Come, published in 1929, won the National Detective Murder Mystery Contest for that year. It applies her ideas about personality type into a murder mystery.
Briggs Myers’ second work of fiction, Give Me Death, published in 1934, revisits the same detectives from Murder Yet to Come but also describes personality type as racially determined. In it, a Southern family commits suicide one by one after learning they may have “Negro blood”.
In 1962, the Educational Testing Service published the MBTI for research-only purposes. In 1975, 1977 and 1979, three national MBTI conferences were held at the University of Florida, Michigan State University, and Philadelphia respectively. In 1975, Consulting Psychologists Press, Inc. published the MBTI as a tool for helping people.
In the 2000s, the MBTI is now taken by more than two million people per year and is translated into 16 languages.
In 1975, Briggs Myers co-founded the Center for Application of Psychological Type with Mary McCaulley. CAPT is a non-profit organization which maintains research and application of the MBTI. It also exists to protect and promote Briggs Myers’ ideology. Its headquarters are in Gainesville, Florida and its motto is “Fostering human understanding through training, publishing, and research”.
Memorial research awards
The Isabel Briggs Myers Memorial Research Awards exist to further MBTI and psychological research. These awards are given twice a year. They consist of $2,000 for up to two people. They are rewarded for advancements in understanding of these topics to focus on continuous research in the field.
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