yeah, that was an earthquake
September 1, 2011
Just in case you were wondering if that jolt was a truck driving by or an earthquake or, as Paul suggested, a truck driving into the library; it was an earthquake. Check out our local seismograph: and from USGS: It's the large blue block north of San Fernando. The small ones around it are aftershocks. It was a 4.3, which is just on the cusp of being detectable by Southern California natives. I'd definitely have slept through it. A 5.8, as the East Coast discovered last week, is definitely detectable, but I'd say is certainly not worth freaking out about. In case you're curious you can look at the Oxy seismometer any time you like. The page even refreshes itself so you needn't stress your F5 finger. Last 15 minutes. Most recent earthquake. The seismometer is just one of the instruments that make up the Oxy Weather Station, a collaboration between Physics and ITS; Dan Snowden-Ifft and Benjie Castro specifically. If you ever wondered what that weird metal thingy on the South-West corner of the library roof is, it's the rest of the instruments. Course that’s not where the seismometer is. You don’t want that up on a mast on the roof of a building. You want that as close to bedrock as you can get it, which at Oxy means the tunnels. Unfortunately I can’t tell you precisely where it is so you won’t be able to go jump up and down there and make your own quakes. When you’re Morlocking in the tunnels it’s hard to tell exactly where you are with respect to the surface world but according to Dan, it’s beneath the quad roughly in front of Fowler. Back in my day warning: There used to be a seismometer on the third floor hallway of Fowler when Geology was there, pre-HSC. It was a truly analog one with a rotating spool of paper and the pen arm that wiggled back and forth and everything. Many a study break was spent by us second floor Physics nerds jumping in front of it in eathquake creation competitions. I wonder where that went. Maybe it got lost in the move.
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