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a quake! a quake!

May 5th, 2003

It’s a quiet, peaceful night
The moon is shining bright
Giving not a hint of what’s in store
A few hours before morning
Without a single warning
Something strange begins to move the floor

A quake, a quake
The house begins to shake
You’re bouncing ‘cross the floor
And watching all your dishes break

You’re sleeping; there’s a quake
You’re instantly awake
You’re leaping out of bed
And shouting “Oh for heaven’s sake!”

I ran outside with neighbors
Their faces full of shocks
That’s because I’m standing there
In nothing but my socks

(Rest of the Lyrics here” [members.cruzio.com] )

What the hell is that all about? It’s from the Animaniacs CD Yakko’s World. Why am I quoting it? Because there was a earthquake near my parents house outside of C’ville. Now strange as it may sound this is not too rare. It’s happened a few times in my life. The first time I remember I was four or five. I was at the babysitters in her basement with about five other kids. I was on one of those big red balls with the handle on it that your bounce up and down on and then the ground shook while I was in the air and I don’t know what happened. Next thing I knew my head met the metal pole that is part of the house support. Yes there was a earthquake, a 2.8 on the Richter scale and what did I do? Head banged with a steel pole and got a concussion. Oh… man just thinking about it makes my head hurt.

Then there was the ‘not-an-earthquake’ that registered 2.5 on the Richter scale. When I was 18 I was driving down the Interstate near my house and the whole ground shook for a few seconds. I thought it was an earthquake — everyone did. The radio said that people where reporting the ground shaking in several counties. The USGS said the shaking registered 2.5, then the US Air Force said ‘wait a minute!’ Apparently the shaking had nothing to do with tectonics but everything to do with aeronautics. See an SR-71 goes about Mach 3 or so. So fast in fact that the pilot has only nominal control over the plane and the landing procedure is controlled by a man on the ground. When the thing slows down it usually does so very high up in the atmosphere where there is little air — thus not carrying the shock wave very far. Now, it seams that at the time in question the plane was coming in for a landing — in California! They where training a new controller and it seams that the newbie slowed the plane down a little too fast a little too low in the atmosphere and the shock wave caused a 2.5 earthquake in seven counties! I don’t know if the whole plane thing is true but thats what they said! ‘Belive it or not…’

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