In the second installment of neurotic, phobia-inducing, end-of-May posts, I’ll be addressing the concerns of an impending earthquake disaster in the San Francisco area. Not that I’m really scared every time I drive across the eastern span of the bay bridge. I mean, it held up pretty well during the Loma-Prieta Earthquake in 1989, and I’m sure all of the repairs probably made it much stronger than before. Which probably explains why they’re building the eastern span replacement at the speed of light.
I grew up in California, and have lots of fond memories of shaking around in bed and seeing things rattle off of shelves. I witnessed the horror of the ’89 quake and have driven through Hollister enough times to know what a building-with-a-giant-crack looks like. I’m not really scared of earthquakes at all, but my friends’ concern has gotten me thinking, and I realized that I know relatively nothing about the frequency and science of earth shaking.
I’ve wandered past the US Geological Service website when looking for elevation maps or pictures of rocks, but had no idea that they had cultivated an all-knowing network of seismic data. Without much work I was able to find RSS feeds of all seismic activity, categorized by size. Since I subscribed this morning, I’m completely hooked on non-weblog RSS feeds. It goes something like this:
“4.5 in the Canary Islands.”
“Yay! Merlin posted tips on how to shave precious seconds off of tooth-brushing.”
“3.7 in Northern Alaska.”
“You get the picture.”
Uhh, I mean, you get the picture. So the moral of the day is: if you’re afraid of something, find a constant source of news about it in the form of an RSS feed, and then your fear will go away! With Xanax.