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April 21, 2016


Glad you and yours came through OK, lj.

Great reportage.

And your kids will break your heart in such good ways at the most stunning times.

What count said.

I was living in LA for the quake in 94. There was a TV station we had on constantly which had a crawler along the bottom giving the Richter Scale reading for every aftershock, of which there were hundreds for weeks and months, many greater than 5. We became extraordinarily accurate in assessing the number, each stating our bid and then waiting mere moments to see who was closest on the TV. It took a long time to start trusting the solidity of the ground beneath our feet....

I was in a quake some years back, while working in a high-rise in San Francisco. When the quake hit and the building started shaking, it was instantly apparent who were the native Californians.

The non-natives did one of two things. Some ducked under their desks -- pretty much useless on the 22nd floor of a 30 story building. Others, the seriously ignorant ones, ran over and pressed their noses to the windows to see what was going on. (For those who don't know, when a high-rise sways and flexes, there is a chance that the windows will pop out. Creating a vacuum which can suck out anyone too close to them.)

In contrast, the native Californians casually wandered over to the nearest support pillar, or to the elevators -- both being the structural support most likely to survive a major quake. While commenting to each other: "What do you think? 5.3? 5.4?" (It was a 5.5 actually, but further away than we were assuming.)

P.S. LJ, we are still using the Richter scale here. But then, we are still using feet and inches and gallons and pints. Go figure.

Damn it.


I hope that Prince has a magnificent wake, where everyone parties like it's 1999.

Sad to hear that people aren't able to leave the classrooms for somewhere more comfortable yet. And 3 hour lines to bathe... yeah, that'd be miserable.

The reported earthquake scale sounds like the Mercalli scale, which measures lived experience. Do the buildings sway, are train rails deformed, etc?

The Richter scale used to measure the total energy of the earthquake, and has been replaced by the Moment Magnitude scale recently. It looks like the measurement corresponds to the area that breaks free and moves in an earthquake... pretty cool. Well, in a reading wikipedia sense, not in an "I want an earthquake here" sense.

wj: I don't think ducking under a desk is useless - it's a significant part of my quake survival plan, if feasible - though admittedly I'm not on the 22nd floor of a building. In the Loma Prieta quake, a bunch of the fluorescent light fixtures in the building I worked in broke loose from their supports in the ceiling, and came crashing down, at least partially (most stayed attached to their electric and or support cables). Being under a desk will keep something like that from hitting you on the head and messing up your day. The desk is somewhat less useful in a high-rise to protect against major structural failure, but even then I suspect a desk might create an air pocket for you in the rubble, depending on how the building failed.

The main foolish thing I've seen non-natives do is rush outside the building during or immediately after the quake. That's the main way around here that people get themselves killed in a quake, by getting hit by something falling off the roof. It makes more sense if you're in a part of the world where lots of buildings may collapse in a quake, but California building codes have been pretty good for a long time.

Well I rushed outside, and then turned around and went back inside.

I have a horror of being buried alive and the quake hit when I was on the first floor of a skyscraper.

Books were falling off the shelves. I was only a few feet from the door, so I just walked out.

Glass was cascading out of windows. The street lights were swaying like seaweed in the surf. There was no where to run, tall buildings everywhere. I stepped back inside and the shaking stopped.

Turns out hardly anything was damaged. I guess downtown Seattle is built for quakes.

Supposedly we are due for a really big one off shore that is predicted to wipe out everyone on the coast from Portland to the Straits. Death by tsumani. There are no evacuation routes out there that amount to anything. Most places you can't even run up hill enough to help yourself.

People in Oceanshores will just die. I have heard that some of the Native communities are moving to higher ground. It makes me nervous about our annual camping trip to the coast: is that how I will die? Washed out to sea? From what I understand, there might be about fifteen minutes notice. In the campgrounds there might not be any notice at all.

Is it a sign of aging that I worry about stuff like this? I never thought twice about disasters when I was younger.

Thank you for the account. I am glad your family made it unscathed.

I live in the SF Bay area and I was here for the Loma Prieta quake in '89. I happened to be on the 2nd floor of a typical tilt-up in San Jose and it was a bit exciting, but nothing was damaged.

A few years before I was consulting for the University of California, Berkeley and I drove on the Cypress structure (the one that collapsed) quite frequently. *whew*!

Best regards and good luck to you all.

I survived the quake of '84 when Reagan won 49 states. You just gotta' keep movin' on and bury these f*ckers. Their time will come.

Is this thing still on?

No. Leave us alone.

HSH: get a room, already.


Yep, still on. Waiting for any sign that there is anything left to discuss in the world that we haven't fully presented both sides, and the Obama is always right view. Luckily he has decided to fix Europe this week so the rest of the world is safe.

Obama only needs to be right 51% of the time.

Which would make it 51% to nothing.

Everybody needs an occasional vacation. Even us. And when all of us decide to GAFIAte at the same time . . . .

At least Obama is not working on rising his popularity over here this time. I doubt that him beating the drum for TTIP will have any positive effect on German public opinion, and Merkel needs no encouragemnet there. The German equivalents of the US Chamber of Commerce pushing for 'sign it now, no time to lose, watering down anything in it or leaving stuff for later will cause the world to end to-morrow' at the very same time does not help one iota either.

Seems to be doing the opposite just now, popularitywise, if anything.

Elsewhere, I thought this, and its explanation for Trump, interesting:
Of course Trump's willingness to 'do-anything-it-takes' doesn't mean he has a clue what that anything might be (other than as regards getting the nomination).



Trump said his sex life in the Sixties was his "own personal Vietnam".

He'll know how to fight ISIS, because he fought the herpes, the crabs, and the clap on the front line, though knowing him, he probably knows how to sneak up on em from behind too, especially if they are tied up and gagged.

It was hand-to-crotch combat and, let me tell you, it was the most disgusting thing he's ever liked.

There's a reason Republicans are increasingly itching to vote for him.

His first wife's name was Chlamydia Trump.

We're gonna need us some Republican-only bathroom facilities in this here country, if only to enforce the seat-up policy while we're pissing in the pot we don't have.

Nigel, as I read that article, it isn't Trump who is "willing to do whatever it takes." That was used to characterize Trump's supporters' view on what should be done about the economy. And, incidentally, to characterize Kasich's approach to governing.

The tragedy for the Republicans this time around is that Kasich didn't manage to connect with those who could have been his biggest supporters.

Not to be outdone, Ted Cruz says he'll wear a diaper and pee his pants from here on out if transgendered folks are permitted to use ANY public bathroom:

'Ted Cruz’s tour de transphobia, launched last week to capitalize on Donald Trump’s criticism of North Carolina’s anti-transgender law, has embraced a new extreme position. Speaking to reporters this weekend in Indiana, he actually admitted that he doesn’t believe transgender people should be allowed to use any restroom except the ones in the privacy of their own home.

“Every one of us has the right to live our lives as we wish,” he said. “If any one of us wants to dress up as a woman or man and wants to live as woman or man and believes that we might be something other than what we were born, God has made each of us with free will and the ability to choose to do that if man to wants to dress as a woman, and live as a woman, and have a bathroom at home.”

'A reporter sought clarification on the remark: “So then they shouldn’t use the bathroom out in public?”

Cruz then confirmed just that. “You don’t have a right to intrude upon the rights of others because whether or not a man believes he’s a woman, there are a lot of women who would like to be able to use a public restroom in peace without having a man there — and when there are children involved, you don’t have a right to impose your lifestyle on others.” '

This explains why, while lecturing down to all of us, he always has the smug look on his face of a precocious two-year-old who is letting go with a number two.

Well, since some of you are keeping the lights on, here you go.........


bomb throwing at its finest.

The American Family Association, who is boycotting Target over the bathroom fracas, but who also fakes not knowing that it has cross dressers and transgender folks among its family members, is boycotting Ted Cruz as well now because of his suggestion above that men who live and dress as women should be permitted to have a bathroom in their homes.

No word on women who live as men, but they may get a pass because they have been lowering the toilet seat after going all along, which made them a superior, well-mannered man despite their lifestyle choice.

as I read that article, it isn't Trump who is "willing to do whatever it takes." That was used to characterize Trump's supporters' view on what should be done about the economy...

Hey, wj.
Perhaps I failed fully to lay out the thought process, but the point is that they believe Trump to be that guy - and not without reason, as he doesn't appear to have any self-imposed (or ideological) limits on what he's prepared to do.

Which is a little worrying for the rest of the world.

Misogyny will be the base line in the ugly Republican campaign soundtrack against Hillary Clinton that is coming right up, just like racism and racial slurs were the fundamental drumbeat played against Barack Obama during the last two Presidential campaigns:


It will sound very much like this on Twitter and among the right-wing blog vermin, especially the examples toward the end of the clip:


At some point during this long summer and fall, Donald Trump will re-tweet bumpkin Rethugs calling Clinton the c-word, just as the n-word and its synonyms were so often invoked by Tea Party racist filth and their so-called political representatives against Obama.

Trump: "We know what people are calling her, don't we? I'm told by the politically correct crowd that I can't say that word, and I won't, but it's a terrific word, let me tell you, I've dated and have even married many of them in my own personal war years, which I like to call my Tet Offensive, and believe you me, I deserve more Veterans Dept medical help than all of those sorry-assed veterans, but I ask you, when is that you-know-what Clinton going to stop her shouting? It's making my head hurt! Someone give ME a Purple Heart! ME!!"

It's what gets the base to the polls.

Cancel the 2020 elections and just start the shooting.

he doesn't appear to have any self-imposed (or ideological) limits on what he's prepared to do.

The term "loose cannon" might have been invented for him. Not only are there no self-imposed limits on him, there don't seem to be any directional limits either. He not only might do anything, he might go off in any direction at all.

The rest of the world may only consider that "a little worrying" (or was that just British understatement? ;-). But from the US, it looks down-right scary.

Misogyny will be the base line in the ugly Republican campaign soundtrack against Hillary Clinton that is coming right up, just like racism and racial slurs were the fundamental drumbeat played against Barack Obama during the last two Presidential campaigns

And the problem with that (for someone trying to run a successful campaign) is that there are a lot more women voters to be offended than there were black voters.

But from the US, it looks down-right scary.

Pres. Trump: "Hey, what does this red button do?"

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