April 20, 2002

Earth Stuff

This morning at 6:50 AM I was awakened by what sounded like a huge gust of wind rattling against the windows.
It wasn't a storm, but an earthquake, magnitude between 5.1 and 5.5. The epicenter was near Plattsburgh N.Y., about sixty miles south of Montreal.

The St. Lawrence Valley here is something of an earthquake zone but ours are not the west coast variety. There's a rumble strong enough to be felt every year or two but only one other stands out in my memory - the Saguenay quake of 1988, which was centered about 300 miles northeast of us and had a magnitude of 6.5.

That one occurred during the day (late afternoon or early evening I think) and began with a loud *bang*. Then it felt like a convoy of semitrailers were rolling up the street.
According to the Government of Canada website, that was the largest earthquake in eastern North America in 53 years.

Peanuts compared to what goes on in California.

In fact, I'm certain there were more casualties and property damage as a result of the ice storm of '98 than all our earthquakes put together.

Surfing around, I found the National Earthquake Information Center site, which has a page with a map and a list of all the world's earthquakes in the last thirty days. There are hundreds! Only one in the eastern two-thirds of North America, though, probably mine.

Coincidentally, today was the day that the City of Laval, where I live, distributed the tools for a new level of household recycling. They are collecting compostable material, mostly kitchen and lawn related waste. We found a big green bin on wheels outside our home, with a mini-bin inside for the kitchen.
Housemate wasted no time in filling it halfway with old leaves and lawn crud from the first spring raking. I personally (and with much ceremony and ado) contributed a banana peel and some coffee grinds.

They intend to pick up the contents of the large bin weekly and bring it to a central composting location. The resulting product will be used for city planting projects and will also be available to homeowners at a cost of $1.50 for 15 kilograms.

Where else but in Quebec would I get the opportunity to buy back my own garbage?

All this earth stuff got me to wondering when was Earth Day, and it turns out it's this coming Monday!
Nice how the planets align neatly at times. Cosmic symmetry, or something.


Linque Du Jour:   New 'Burb - A Word to the Wise
Inmates of this burb must define their journals using one single solitary word - not the journal title.

Well, if I thought there was a better word to define my journal than its title, that other word would be the title!

~grumble...

Still, I wanted to play.
I briefly considered consulting the thesaurus for a synonym of inertia but then my mind went to entropy and then to chaos.. looking that up, I found fractal and its definitions.

More about that next entry.

Maybe they should subtitle the burb, "People who care enough to burn a few brain cells thinking up a word".

~grumble.


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