Earthquake indicators

Not having grown up in an earthquake-prone country, I feel somewhat unsure whenever one happens. Not that I’ve noticed many since moving to LA 3 years ago; only the two 5.0+ “moderate” earthquakes in recent months.

Even so, I’m never sure it’s really happening. During the first one in July 2008, I was at my cell culture hood and only cottoned on to what was happening when I saw the sloshing water in our giant sonicator bath. It was then confirmed when the 2 Japanese postdocs ran in and ducked under the sturdy lab benches in case of aftershocks.

Today’s was another “was that real?” moment. This time, I was kinda sure. A quick check of the “Jurassic Park” effect in my water bottle assured me I wasn’t just dizzy. A few minutes later, it popped up on the USGS site, but that was a few minutes too long for someone as inexperienced as me. I need to know if I should duck under my desk a lot quicker than that.

My proposed solution? I’m going to autoclave some ddH2O in a wide diameter bottle and just leave it on my table. Far more reliable than the interwebs.

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