Surfing The Venice Earthquake In The Quake Pod

23 01 2009
Quake Pod

The Quake Pod

I was sitting in my magic floating office pod when there was a very explosive and intense jolt – I felt a big shock / compression wave burst through the house (and me).  Everything shook and rattled.  It was powerful and incredibly jarring.  Then, for a very short duration – maybe three seconds – there was major shaking; the house and its components made noises that I do not wish to hear again.  I made it out of the pod and up against one of the core beams of the house within that time, and waited a few seconds.  I looked out one of the small windows and the trees and telephone poles were visibly swaying.  There were several more seconds of diminishing wavey motion, underscored by the oddest, deepest, almost-soundless roaring I’ve ever heard.  Like the world’s biggest subwoofer turned way up, but without any actual music.

I stayed where I was for a bit, then checked around the house.  Pictures on the walls are moved, a few things fell over, but there’s no visible damage.

To find out that the quake was a puny 3.4 was also jarring.  A 3.4 felt like that?  I must be a serious rookie.  Virgin in the ways of earth-quaking.  Really new and gone all wimpy-Maine-kid on these nerves-of-steel Californians. But then I found out it was centered about 800 meters from my house.

So I grabbed the camera and zipped down to the epicenter – the end of Venice Boulevard where it meets Pacific Avenue – to see if there was anything up.  Everything looked normal; no sign of damage or anything.  I walked the canal area for a bit; chatted with some people at Canal Club [literally at the epicenter].  Fuck yeah we felt it, the staff said, that was crazy.  I talked with a girl who lives at Venice and Canal Street, and she said it was the biggest one she’d felt in her life, and she thought someone crashed into her house.  Everyone was buzzing about it down there.  This helped me feel a bit less wimpy.

Then I checked the Richter Scale article at Wikipedia and found that the approximate “energy yield” of a 3.5 is 747 gigajoules, or about the same shock wave as detonating 178 tons of TNT.  Put another way, that’s a quarter the yield of a small atomic bomb.

Whoa.

Nearby, Xeni had a similar reaction.

The pod is also where Deanna was sitting when we had the rolly-quake last summer.  She found that to be a unique experience.  So, I’ve redubbed it The Quake Pod, and don’t plan on going back in there tonight.



Los Angeles Earthquake

29 07 2008

I felt my first quake today – about five minutes ago – and think I just felt something again.  More like rolling waves than the “jolt” just described on MSNBC.  Everything looks OK here in Venice.  On-the-fly updates here.