17 May 2009

There's gonna be a (bigger) earthquake

Yesterday, we wandered into South Mudd and there was a very nice lady who wanted to show us the new and improved earthquake exhibit.

And I sighed and said, "I liked the drum."

(I was told sotto voce that I was preaching to the choir.)

The old seismographs told you the whole story. There were needles and ink and paper and lots of squiggles! They were tactile and user friendly. Now you just go here and they show you this:

And yes, it's serviceable and tells you what you need to know (there was an EARTHQUAKE! Tonight! And AFTERSHOCKS!), but it just doesn't have the same feel. In fact, they computer-generate the squiggles now for the media to broadcast because everyone wants to see the damned squiggles. The number "5" does not give the same sense as a really large squiggle.

The modified Mercalli shake maps are pretty fun, though. You can input the intensity of what you felt and along with everyone else's response, you get something like this:

The intensity in our area was about a 3, which means we felt it and things rattled and shook, but no big deal. I am fine with this. I am fine with this because it was not this:

On January 17, we were sitting in the orange. It was not fun. The house had minor damage, stuff fell and broke, and the cat disappeared under the futon for about a week. Others weren't so lucky: more than 55,000 residences (including single-family and multi-family homes) were destroyed or seriously damaged.

Now. While Mother Nature has your attention, may I suggest you go here. Because the next earthquake you feel may be closer to Northridge than Hawthorne. And because when that happens--there is no if in this equation--I won't have to say "I told you so!"

Go listen to some fun music: "Earthquake Song" from the album No More Vinyl by The Little Girls. Why am I still nagging you about this? Because I know you haven't done anything to prepare yet! Milton was funny tonight, though. He was so busy yowling for dinner that he couldn't be bothered about the floor shaking. Tonight's map is here. Northridge map is here.

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