Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Left Coast

I need three more posts in the next two days to meet my goal of 100 in the first year I've had this blog.

That means the bar is now very, very low.

There was an earthquake on the East Coast! Did you know?! Ok yeah, probably everybody knew that by now.

You might not have known about this article at the Atlantic though, which gets into some of the reasons that different earthquakes are different. I have fond memories of being a kid listening to the radio after an earthquake and one of the hosts on KGO out of San Francisco who always wanted callers to call in and diagnose the type of shaking. Was it a quick jolt? Wave like? Rumbley? It almost made you feel like an Eskimo with all the different words for snow.

The article is a little disconcerting though, because it suggests that the East Coast might get to have a type of earthquake that we Californians couldn't be familiar with:
...East Coast crust is 'older and colder,' which makes it a more efficient transmitter of seismic energy. 
That sounds like a direct threat to our right to scoff at the Easterners for overreacting to me. And that right is very important. Mostly though, I appreciate the article for this line:
At first, I had the West Coast-native thought that perhaps it wasn't actually that far from Richmond to New York and it was just the weird perception of East Coast distances that made it seem a long way.
I guess it's to be expected...the magazine is called "The Atlantic" after all...but I'm always kind of amazed how little the western states figure into the world view of so many of the political writers I read. It's nice to hear from someone like me for whom all those tiny-ass eastern seaboard states all kind of look the same. I mean, they are all kind of the same, right?

(Totally kidding about them all looking the same. I am very interested in all states and would love to have an opportunity to become more familiar with any or all of them. Plus, I think I might actually have some reasonable guesses about what makes North Carolina different from South Carolina, and I'm kind of proud about that.)

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