The Great East Coast Earthquake

8/23/2011 - Never Forget

I didn’t get a chance to post earlier about the earthquake. It was just a tiny earthquake for 15-20 seconds, but still extremely rare for this part of the world. Being 17 floors up the building definitely rocked a little bit. Hard to miss, but it wasn’t violent or anything like that. I was on a conference call which continued through it with no incident.

My first thought was construction in the building or across the street, but about half way through I realized without noise that wasn’t possible. My next thought was the fault lines near NYC, which I’ve heard about a few times before. I knew seismic activity is not unusual for NYC, but to the degree that we can feel it is very unusual. I suspect most never knew about those faults, but I like science 😉 . Oddly enough I wasn’t 100% wrong.

An immediate search of Twitter turned up reports of vibration in the city. A few seconds later turned up reports of the same thing in Philadelphia 94 miles away from NYC (which confirmed seismic activity in my head). Meanwhile my inbox had a bunch of reports about Pentagon evacuations and other happenings. A perk of working with a large news organization is being fed news 24×7 (it’s also a bad thing). Confirmation of an earthquake came what seemed like seconds after that. This all took place in a matter of a minute or two.

All together it took just a minute or two to find out the full story. I actually had the full story well before building management had it. They didn’t even know what happened and I knew it was about a 5.8. Amazing if you really think about it. Back in 2003 with the blackout it took considerably longer for substantially less information. Granted having electricity helped. Cell phone networks were still largely unusable for a short time after.

The jokes going across the net were quite amusing (as shown above).

Happy New Years!

Here’s to a better 2005. Can’t get much worse than 2004.

Spent the night watching Van Helsing and The Full Monty. Van Helsing was rather pathetic. Just about everything you can do wrong in a movie was done in this one. The Full Monty is always a classic. How could you not find that movie funny.

Oh… I miss Dick Clark. It’s not the same without him.

Good Night, and Happy New Years.

$350 Mil in Aid

About freaking time. It’s depressing it took so long.

Amazing how bias some of the media has been. $350 is the largest donation so far cash wise, but quite a few nations have cleared the effected countries debt’s away. That means the money those countries would have to pay can now be used for rebuilding. That’s substantial funds that don’t get accounted for. That’s millions of dollars of money saved. As the saying goes “a penny saved is a penny earned”. Those debts that have been erased will be very important as these countries try and rebuild their now destroyed tourism industries and get people back to work. This is going to take decades, not days, weeks, months or even years. This is decades worth of damage.

If tiny countries can give over 10 mil, I think the US can easily swing it. Were already funding Bush’s family feud with Saddam.

Kind of ironic how Bush needed hard evidence that the Tsunami actually happened before he could pledge this money (as if the world was pulling a prank). The US had to send personnel in to “evaluate” the situation first. Why didn’t that happen in Iraq? Instead we trusted faulty decade old intelligence. Even knowing that the intelligence was rather worthless, and conflicted with the findings of other nations also monitoring the situation.

I’m curious if the president will ever explain why the decision making process took so much effort for this disaster than it did to go into Iraq. Wasted time is costing lives.

Online Memorials, Fundraising

In the wake of this weeks events, I decided to spend several minutes browsing the home pages of the world’s largest companies, just to see how many made an alteration either as a memorial or to raise funds for disaster relief… I easily hit all the big brands here in the US, odds are I tackled most of the top 100 companies in the United States. Here were my findings:

Amazon.com
Apple
Google 1
Google 2
Marriott

Apple cleared the entire homepage. Amazon as usual took advantage of it’s ability to quickly collect payments. Google has a huge audience, and put a link to a page containing help info. Marriott did as well. eBay has setup a few things as well.

I was surprised how many have no indication of such events. During 9/11 several websites completely redid their corporate homepage. This isn’t anywhere near a US trend, as I checked many international companies as well. IBM, Intel, Microsoft, all have no mention or indication.

Speaking of doomsday…

Just read this interesting article on CNN regarding the Quake from the other day.

“It causes the planet to wobble a little bit, but it’s not going to turn Earth upside down”

Now if that doesn’t just send a chill down your spine… nothing will.

The power of mother nature is just beyond comprehension. Every time we think we have an idea of what earth can do, it decides to teach us a lesson.

In other news… it now appears the asteroid won’t hit us.