Thursday, August 9, 2007

Happenings: 4.5 Quake Responsibility of Blogger

I’m sorry, everyone. The ~4.5 magnitude earthquake felt just before 1am last night was my fault. I was about to retire for the evening but had crept into the kitchen to eat some leftover chicken instead. Minutes after this dietary transgression, just as I was drifting to sleep, I was punished from Above. Obviously, I felt pretty embarrassed.

The news stories are a bit vague, but to me it felt like the shaking lasted for a little over ten seconds. It rattled free-standing crap but didn't knock anything over. At this point, every piece of furniture in California is bolted to a wall in ten different places, so this tremor definitely fell into the category of moderate refresher quake. I went to Wikipedia[1] and discovered that an earthquake in the 4s[2] is classified as "light" and dissipates energy equivalent to that in a small atomic bomb, perhaps the sort the blew up fictional-Valencia in 24.

Unfortunately, the site had no table for psychological impacts. I wonder whether little ones like this are more frightening to those who've been through a big one before--the people who know how they can escalate--or to earthquake newbies feeling the planet beneath them move for the first time.

[1] Link here
[2]If someone reading this works at the Signal please note how that plural was formed. In an otherwise enjoyable John Boston piece today, there are two acronyms that read "F.B.T's" and "NFT's". Neither is possessive, so the apostrophes aren't needed, and I believe that it would be best to be consistent in the assignment of periods to the constituent letters of the acronym. If you need a reminder, just recall that it's written "DUIs" in the LA Times, not "D.U.I's".

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll take the quakes. Here in Virginia we watch for hurricanes. It moves up the East Coast and we wonder if or when it will move ashore. Many days without sound sleep. I miss my 4.5 5.0 quakes. 10 seonds or so of OMG! and a few days of laughter about newbie reactions. Don't want to see another big one but still better it isn't a hurricane.