Apr. 23rd, 2007
Ricther Magnitude Scale for n00bs  
After a friend of mine replied, "6.0 or it didn't happen" in reply to friends' emails about the little 3-pointer that hit Ventura County earlier, I was inspired to write up the following guide.

2.0 - not worth even bringing up. 11 out of 10 people you talk to didn't feel a thing. You're just excited that the SCEC website showed it to be a quake and not a bus driving by this time. You feel suddenly vindicated for using that as your homepage since someone showed it to you a year ago. In general, at 2.0, no one except other n00bs will care.

3.0 - people start getting excited. IMs / texts "omg did u feel that? was that a quake?". Cue links to SCEC. Everyone has ~90 minutes of excitement refreshing page looking at the aftershocks. Productivity decreases across the Southland. In general, you'll find people are excited when there hasn't been any noticeable seismic activity in a while or when it's been very active. (Tip: if you're quick enough, immediately sign off after first "omg did you feel that?" IM; it can really freak people out.)

4.0 - cue call from parents. Regardless of time of seismic activity, call will usually occur the following butt crack of dawn:

Parental Unit: Are you okay? Your aunt called and said that she saw on the news that you guys had an earthquake. Everything okay there?

You: What? What time is it? Why is the sky orange? What?! Uhm, I guess I slept through it. Good thing you called me to make sure I woke up 5 hours later. kthxbye

5.0 - local news reporter films in empty grocery store parking lot. Poor bastard is reduced to pushing and then filming "runaway" cart. Roll stock footage of lone knocked over box or bottle in store that may or may not have been like that before earthquake. Cue interview with geologist who clearly wants to smack shit out of reporter asking retarded questions. n00bs will often freak out at this level and are usually the ones reporter will interview asking the same two stupid questions: "Where were you?" and "What did it feel like?" After watching this for the umpteenth time, you become dumber and can't understand why you didn't change the channel 15 minutes ago.

6.0 - you're wondering if you kept any of the bottled water in the last move. TV is preempted for hours. Cue interview with geologist who seems to have an inappropriately happy and excited affect while discussing what caused a home to partially collapse and slide down a hill, trapping 50 school children in the daycare center below.

the moar you know7.0 - EVERYBODY PANIC

Also: At some point someone will invariably refer to "earthquake weather" because his grandmother swears by it and tells colorful, anecdotal stories as backup. For the love of the gods, this is an urban legend. No one in science with any credibility in the history of forever has found a correlation between changes in weather and seismic activity... EVAR. Smack your grandmother next time she brings it up. It's the only way she'll learn.

Mood: hyper
Listening to: Bright Eyes - Road to Joy
( Post a new comment )
gethenix on April 23rd, 2007 - 09:46 pm
I felt it. Nothing to call home about. :/ Is that the fault's best shot?
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on April 23rd, 2007 - 09:51 pm
shhh... it can hear you.
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autosportscrew on April 24th, 2007 - 12:32 am
careful, the new madrid fault line is close to me. it blew in a lovely 5.0 a couple years ago. it was beautiful. it was as if my house was floating on the sea.

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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on April 24th, 2007 - 12:49 am
I like those. I think that happens when you're hit by the secondary wave, a bit farther away from the epicenter. I've slept through rocking types of quakes.

Now, get hit by a closer one that's near the surface and it's much more jolting and not nearly as much fun. Those wake my ass up. It's funny though, after one of those in the middle of the night, I can watch my buddy list suddenly come to life—like everyone signs on within 2 mins.

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autosportscrew on April 24th, 2007 - 12:53 am
i'm a bit anal about it all... i check:




several times a day, always looking for red boxes, big red boxes. =)
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on April 24th, 2007 - 01:00 am
If it's the same system that reports here, those sites take up to 5 minutes to update. You'll hear/feel a big, red box long before that site updates!

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Blissfully Aware: jay's paigekerfect on April 23rd, 2007 - 10:27 pm
i love you.
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cutenyeboicutenyeboi on April 23rd, 2007 - 11:01 pm
I love the folks in the midwest. "well you guys get earthquakes" yeah once in a while we don't have a TORNADO SEASON/HURRICANE SEASON though...
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on April 24th, 2007 - 12:57 am

I guess some people prefer having the warning of hurricanes. Personally, sounds like hours to days of anxiety and torment for me! I'd rather not know it's coming. And as far as tornadoes, that ranks right up there with lightning. seriously wtf! I'll take having to keep a bare wall above my bed to having to worry if I'm going to get picked up and thrown into the air with cows and pickup trucks!

...of course, I do have to say I felt a bit more cavalier about earthquakes when I lived on the top floor.
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Markmahka42 on April 23rd, 2007 - 11:03 pm
lolers. first year in la, i didn't feel anything below 4. never got a call.

when we were in japan, a 4.6 rolled through that freaked my mom and others out, and i just kinda shrugged it off. "eh, it was just an earthquake...probably a 4.5?"

the day a 7 rolls through...yes, panic. although a bunch of 5s in relatively short bursts would be better.
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Markmahka42 on April 24th, 2007 - 12:56 am
i just realized you used "parental unit"! all my friends give me weird looks when i use that phrase.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on April 24th, 2007 - 01:02 am
hehe. that's how they're in my phone too!
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Markmahka42 on April 24th, 2007 - 01:09 am
that's awesome. do they know they're "parental units"?
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baltpup25: sniffbaltpup25 on April 24th, 2007 - 12:59 am
LOL, and here I thought you just passed gas. :)
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Stewie...erm, Stanleyroamer1 on April 24th, 2007 - 01:12 am
yay, my laptop works again!

Atlanta, of all places, gets small earthquakes every now and then. Last one we had was a 4.9 I think -- and I got several phone calls from people wondering "WTF?" I'm surprised the phone network in north Georgia didn't come to its knees...
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erik: Celeb - Jamie Bamber 2elo_sf on April 24th, 2007 - 02:58 pm
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far_4m_normal on May 3rd, 2007 - 07:44 pm
Your blgo seems interesting - I added you, hope you don't mind.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on May 3rd, 2007 - 09:06 pm
oh that's too funny. i was looking at urs right before i went to lunch :)

I tried to add you back over LJTXT.... gonna look now to see if it worked!
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dirigibles: california republicdirigibles on June 15th, 2007 - 06:38 am
I love you for this post. I added you; hope you don't mind.
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The People's Exhibit Adavidology on June 15th, 2007 - 08:46 am
thanks :)

*adds you back*
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