Bonafide Farm


August 23rd, 2011 § 0


Today we had a big earthquake not too far from here in Mineral, Va. It was a whopper for Virginia, a 5.8—the largest quake in Virginia since another 5.8 in 1897. I was at work, sitting at my desk, staring at my computer when the filing cabinets began to walk across the floor.

And just now an aftershock came through as I’m at home, on my computer. The casings around my front door and windows creaked, unflappable Tuck cocked his head to the side and regarded the vibrating that seemed to fill even the air around us, and then it was over.

The thing that amazes me more than the earthquake is how fast everyone knew about it, around the world! It was listed on Wikipedia’s Virginia earthquakes page within minutes of occurring. Just now that 4.2 aftershock was posted on the USGS site and the data tweeted by the Capital Weather Gang within 17 minutes of the event. I can get every bit of geological post-game with a half-second online search, and if that’s too much for me to process, there’s always some humorously competent professor on NPR who’s happy to break it down for me.

And that’s just the scientific stuff, the islands in the swamp of sensationalist journalism that proffers such astute observations as:

A helicopter inspected the Washington Monument, and it was found to be structurally sound, the National Park Service said. The grounds were being reopened late Tuesday afternoon, but not the plaza and monument itself, where the interior was being inspected.

U.S. Park Police spokesman David Schlosser said to his eye, the monument was “clearly not leaning. It’s standing tall and proud.” via CNN


Christina Summers, a young mother who lives in New York City’s Greenwich Village, said she thought the shaking was caused by construction in a neighboring apartment.

“Holy cow! My couch was wiggling like those beds you put a quarter in,” Summers said. via Reuters

So much information, so fast. How far we’ve come from cowering before the power of angry, trident-wielding gods!

Or have we really? Now we just worship at electron altars—as the temples crumble around us.

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