Monday, July 19, 2010

The Mogi Doughnut - Fire in the Hole!

The news about D.C.'s "largest ever recorded earthquake!" is amusing. A 3.6 is about the same as a freight train going by and not nearly as loud. Since I quit drinking and am no longer prone to taking naps on the railroad tracks, I don't wake up for either of them.

I grew up with earthquakes. I'm used to them. I'm thankful that California gets those instead of tornados and hurricanes. Here's the only two things you need to know to survive them:

1. Earthquakes don't kill people. Falling things that get shaken loose by them do. That's why there aren't many brick houses out here and why savvy folks don't have heavy stuff anywhere above their beds. It's also why I get a little nervous in tall buildings. Top floor, bottom floor, you're dead either way.

2. If an earthquake opens up a fissure in the earth between your feet, pick a side. Don't dawdle!

Interesting article in the LATimes, but this photo says volumes. I've been to Parkfield (Pop. 18, sometimes as many as 2 or 3 are visible at any given moment). If it wasn't for earthquakes and their bluegrass festival, nobody would ever go there. The nearest actual tourist destination is the James Dean Monument at the Jack Ranch Cafe in/which is Cholame (pronounced 'Show-lahm'). Busloads of Japanese tourists stop there, but they don't go to Parkfield. The Japanese are much more blasé about earthquakes than we are. Heh.

The 'Mogi doughnut hole' is a new concept to me. Then again, so was plate tectonics years ago.


Signs in Parkfield, Calif., alert tourists that they are passing over the San Andreas fault. The area is so prone to earthquakes that scientists have wired it extensively to collect data. The San Andreas, along with the Elsinore and San Jacinto faults, would be enclosed in Southern California's so-called Mogi doughnut hole. Northern California’s doughnut hole includes the San Andreas and Hayward faults. (Spencer Weiner, Los Angeles Times / July 18, 2010)

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