Thursday, April 27, 2006

Software Summit in Progress

The April Software Summit is in progress. One and a half days of code talk, bonding, meeting, scheduling, strategizing and testing. It's a wonder we don't have more of these.

It's definitely not this kind of summit.

We save that sort of thing for Friday afternoon.

Monday, April 24, 2006

WL and Bob from AccounTemps

Gee, WL, whatdja rush back for? Bob here was doing an incredible job while you were gone... Besides, if you'd stayed away another couple of days, we could have redecorated your office a bit more dramatically.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Oh, and it's Friday

It's Friday, and it's time for a little Friday cat blogging.

Neither are we immune

A modern analysis puts the Cape Ann Earthquake at between 5.9 and 6.3 on the Richter Scale. Below is a description of what it was like.

The Cape Ann Earthquake of November 1755

At about 4:30 in the morning on 18 November 1755, a strong earthquake rocked the New England area. Observers reported damage to chimneys, brick buildings, and stone walls in coastal communities from Portland, Maine to south of Boston, Massachusetts. Chimneys were also damaged as far away as Springfield, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut. The earthquake was felt at Halifax, Nova Scotia, to the northeast, Lake Champlain to the northwest, and Winyah, South Carolina to the southwest. The crew of ship in deep water about 70 leagues east of Boston thought it had run aground and only realized it had felt an earthquake when it arrived at Boston later that same day.

The 1755 earthquake rocked Boston, with the shaking lasting more than a minute. According to contemporary reports, as many as 1500 chimneys were shattered or thrown down in part, the gable ends of about 15 brick buildings were broken out, and some church steeples ended up tilted due to the shaking. Falling chimney bricks created holes in the roofs of some homes. Some streets, particularly those on manmade ground along the water, were so covered with bricks and debris that passage by horse-drawn carriage was impossible. Many homes lost china and glassware that was thrown from shelves and shattered. A distiller's cistern full of liquor broke apart and lost its contents.

Are we due for another?

The analysis above indicates that "The Boston ground motion estimates in this study correspond approximately to the 5% in 50 yr ground motions on the 1996 and 2002 USGS National Seismic Hazard Maps."

According to a 2004 article in the BU Bridge it sounds like another Cape Ann isn't due anytime soon, but smaller ones are not unlikely:

Is New England due for a strong (intensity 6.0-6.9) or moderate (5.0-5.9) earthquake? Abercrombie says no and yes, respectively: seismologists have determined that earthquakes with a magnitude of six or greater occur in New England on average once every 450 years. Since the last one was in 1755, we may not have one for several centuries. But a magnitude five quake hits the region every 50 or 60 years, and there was such a temblor in 1940 near Ossipee, N.H. So there is a 19 to 28 percent likelihood in New England by 2013, Abercrombie says, and a 41 to 56 percent likelihood by 2043.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

New Madrid

That's Maa-drid, emphasis on the first syllable, not pronounced like the capital of Spain, don'tcha know.

The greatest earthquake risk east of the Rocky Mountains is along the New Madrid fault system. Damaging earthquakes are much less frequent than in California, but when they do occur, the damage can be far greater, due to the underlying geology.

The New Madrid fault system, or the New Madrid seismic zone, is a series of faults beneath the continental crust in a weak spot known as the Reelfoot Rift. It cannot be seen on the surface. The fault system extends 150 miles southward from Cairo, Illinois through New Madrid and Caruthersville, Missouri, down through Blytheville, Arkansas to Marked Tree, Arkansas. It dips into Kentucky near Fulton and into Tennessee near Reelfoot Lake, and extends southeast to Dyersburg, Tennessee. It crosses five state lines, and crosses the Mississippi River in at least three places.

Here's the USGS link to the story of the great (magnitude 8) quakes of the winter of 1811 - 1812.

The Mississippi Valley-"Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On"

In the winter of 1811-12, the central Mississippi Valley was struck by three of the most powerful earthquakes in U.S. history. Even today, this region has more earthquakes than any other part of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. Government agencies, universities, and private organizations are working to increase awareness of the earthquake threat and to reduce loss of life and property in future shocks.

The 400 terrified residents in the town of New Madrid (Missouri) were abruptly awakened by violent shaking and a tremendous roar. It was December 16, 1811, and a powerful earthquake had just struck. This was the first of three magnitude-8 earthquakes and thousands of aftershocks to rock the region that winter.

Severe shaking accompanied the powerful New Madrid earthquakes that struck during the winter of 1811-1812. By winter's end, few houses within 250 miles of the Mississippi River town of New Madrid (Missouri) remained undamaged.

Survivors reported that the earthquakes caused cracks to open in the earth's surface, the ground to roll in visible waves, and large areas of land to sink or rise. The crew of the New Orleans (the first steamboat on the Mississippi, which was on her maiden voyage) reported mooring to an island only to awake in the morning and find that the island had disappeared below the waters of the Mississippi River. Damage was reported as far away as Charleston, South Carolina, and Washington, D.C.

These dramatic accounts clearly show that destructive earthquakes do not happen only in the western United States. In the past 20 years, scientists have learned that strong earthquakes in the central Mississippi Valley are not freak events but have occurred repeatedly in the geologic past. The area of major earthquake activity also has frequent minor shocks and is known as the New Madrid seismic zone.

Earthquakes in the central or eastern United States affect much larger areas than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the western United States. For example, the San Francisco, California, earthquake of 1906 (magnitude 7.8) was felt 350 miles away in the middle of Nevada, whereas the New Madrid earthquake of December 1811 (magnitude 8.0) rang church bells in Boston, Massachusetts, 1,000 miles away. Differences in geology east and west of the Rocky Mountains cause this strong contrast.


UPDATE: From the BU Bridge comes this tidbit:

But New England doesn’t have serious earthquakes, does it? “Not compared to California,” says Abercrombie. “The rock here is much more stable.” While California earthquakes occur along major faults, those in New England do not. New England is near the center of the North American tectonic plate, and earthquakes here are “internal plate quakes” produced by stress that builds up under the continent, rather than near a major boundary separating two of Earth’s tectonic plates, as is the case in California.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


It wouldn't stand up in a court of law, but this picture is suggestive, no?

Everyone ready for their shot?

Helluva way to start the week, no?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Best Vacation Picture

This is Charlotte Amelie, St. Thomas, USVI, the view from the restaurant at the top of the tramway.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Wait here for further instructions

LL is due back to work on Tuesday.

Perhaps there's a suprise for her.

Perhaps there will be muffins for all involved soon.

Perhaps there's a surprise of another kind awaiting those to blame.

Peeps Haiku

Please visit RaavensRoost for some delicious Peeps Haiku

Friday, April 14, 2006

What's good about it?

Well, for one thing, we all love RN, and she's gotten a promotion! (Or two, depending on how you look at it).

So, to celebrate, we're moving the usual Friday thang up one hour, to 3:00 PM.

There will be Rum, Coke, Chips, Salsa, Bean Dip, and Guacamole, not to mention Limes. So, if you're in the mood to end Lent a little early, drop on by.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Superchip is no panacea

Well, it turns out that superchip really must die - it's got nothin' that bubblegum ain't got.

I hear that you can use peanut butter to get rid of bubblegum. Maybe we should try that.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Brewing on both cylinders

Now that both of our coffee makers are being used to actually make coffee, we should have ample supply.

I just have one question, though... What was that (cough) coffee in the old coffee maker this morning? Ugh.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

2nd Coffee Maker

For days now, there have been two (2) coffee makers in the kitchen here, after a request by one (CC) who shall remain nameless.

Smashed has never seen coffee brewed in this machine, though he is assured by its owner that it does, in fact, work.

One wonders why one would complain about the insufficiency of only one coffee maker, then continue to use only one.

Tuna Day

While Smashed was visiting Curacao (on 04/05/06), it seems that "the committee" held a CC appreciation day, which took the form of a fine tuna lunch.

CC, I wish I'd a been there for ya - maybe I'll stage my own tuna day in your honor sometime - which days are you working again?