Stan’s Obligatory Blog


The #1 thing you don’t want to see when you come around the corner…

Filed under: — stan @ 5:40 pm

This afternoon I had to go to the grocery store to pick up some things for dinner. While I was there, Cathy called me and said that our neighbor’s back house was on fire. It was fortunate that she was able to warn me about this, because there are few things more disturbing than to come around the corner and see three fire trucks and an ambulance parked in front of your house.

The fire department was very efficient, and they put the fire out pretty quickly. Have I ever mentioned that Pasadena has great city services?

Fortunately, nobody was hurt in this, although the entire neighborhood is probably going to be extra-sensitive to the smell of smoke for a while. Which is perhaps unfortunate in that I’m barbecuing dinner tonight…

Yes, we live in Earthquake Country

Filed under: — stan @ 9:11 am

Today there was a copy of “Putting Down Roots in Earthquake Country” included with the morning paper. Over the last ten years, I’ve handed out many of these booklets at disaster preparedness fairs all over L.A. I’m glad to see it getting wide distribution with the Times.

Next week is the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, which was the event that pretty much started all of modern earthquake science. This is what led ultimately to the current understanding of the earthquake cycle and why we need to be prepared for earthquakes. And in some small way, it’s also what led my having a job running the computers for the Southern California Seismic Network. (Have I mentioned ever that I really like my job?) And I even got to contribute a little bit to the book. I made the map on page 30, showing the first hour’s activity after the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. The ‘recent earthquakes‘ maps didn’t exist back then, but I took a catalog listing of the first hour’s earthquakes and fed them into the map program to simulate what it would have looked like.

So for everyone who lives in California, keep watching the ground. And for everyone who doesn’t, Nyeah, Nyeah! there are earthquake hazards in lots of other places, too.

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