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Unpopular Ideas

Ramblings and Digressions from out of left field, and beyond....

Location: Piedmont of Virginia, United States

All human history, and just about everything else as well, consists of a never-ending struggle against ignorance.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ghost Earthquakes

It seems weird to me that it's been only a day since the earthquake.  Could that have been one of its "ghost" effects -- that it severely dislocated a part of my already impaired time continuum?

Today I made another tour of my house, checking out the windows.   I put in a lot of windows, of many shapes and sizes, and it amazes me that that severe shaking of the house between the pair of gigantic, invisible hands didn't cause a crack in any of them.  Maybe it's the fact that none of the panes are precisely cut and tightly puttied in like regular windows but are instead sitting a little loosely in their frames, wherein the space has grown even larger over the years because of the green oak slowly drying and shrinking farther away from the glass.   And in fact all of my homemade house is probably like that -- its various parts sitting loosely on and within each other.

Since my last post I've read that there was damage in at least two places in my hometown of Washington D.C., both of which rate high only on the symbolic list.   As is obvious -- and unless they've done something disagreeable since I stopped living there about 35 years ago -- the Washington Monument is, at about 555 feet, by far the tallest structure in D.C., and some cracks have been found at the very tip of that massive, granite obelisk.

The National Cathedral, a Catholic place of devotions, could very well be D.C.'s second tallest edifice, and the quake is reported as having caused "significant" damage there.  I'm not surprised.   The construction on that church seemed to be as never-ending and going on for about as long as the Israelis and the Palestinians have been at each other's throats.  Maybe longer, maybe for as much as 100 years, and I'm not sure that they even finished it, and I think a lot of the unfinished work had to do with the statuary and the other decorative bricabrac inside, and maybe they still didn't have enough time to sufficiently fasten all that stuff in place.

Somebody also proposed that earthquakes are more serious in California than they are on the East Coast because the Earth's crust is older and more solid on the East Coast than it is out west.   I'm wondering if that's the cause of what I regard as the ghostly nature of these three quakes that I've experienced here so far.   They all have manifested themselves in various physical sensations such as induced queasiness and especially in noise and not at all in the damage that should have resulted but didn't.   Maybe here the entire crust moves in one piece instead of breaking up into smaller sections, and that would account for all the noise and very little damage but with the perpetrators of those alarming sounds never anywhere to be seen.



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