Interesting: sitting here in front of my computah a little while ago,
felt an earthquake go by. I say "go by" because that's exactly what it
felt like: as if something started out in the west and traveled straight
through the building under me, shaking everything at its crest and
making everything creak and groan.
The fun part was going to the USGS earthquake reporting site for the Bay
Area (http://quake.wr.usgs.gov/recenteqs/Maps/SF_Bay.html ) a few minutes
later and giving my perception of the event. If you click on an
earthquake (the one I reported will be a red square if you read this
message soon after I post it), you get a page of information, including
a link reading "Did you feel it"?, you can see the summary of responses
by zipcode, giving an average for the perceived magnitude (the Modified
Mercalli Intensity) for the quake.
They don't use this in computing the actual magnitude, of course, but
it's interesting to see how people judge an earthquake at different
distances from the epicenter. (Also an interesting graph, "Distance vs.
intensity plot" under the "Graphs" tab.)
Oh, but I guess this is just more useless guvmint crap that we should do
away with so we can pay less taxes. Who needs it?
Found--the gene that causes belief in genetic determinism