Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Swiss Drums...

Drums like you've never seen them before, trust me:

Quote of the Day...

From Mark Steyn, during his substitute stint on the Rush Limbaugh show yesterday.  I didn't hear this, but I wish I had:
You’re doomed, America.  You’re done for. No society can survive this level of stupidity. The school counselor is available to meet with any students who are traumatized by hearing reports of some guy four grades below them who nibbles a Pop Tart into a gun-like shape. I’ve never subscribed to this whole greatest generation thing, you know. But you look at those guys, they weren’t much older than the kids from the school. A lot of them were like 17, 18 years old. And they’re storming out of these transport ships in the churning waters of the English Channel and the North Sea, and they’re landing on the beaches of Normandy. And they're getting out of these, and they are storming up the beaches and they’re taking German gunfire and all the rest.

Do you think if you raised people so that you make a school counselor to available to them in cased they’ve been traumatized by someone who was nibbled a Pop Tart into the shape of a gun — do you think if they’re ever called upon to get out those ships and the storm the beaches of Normandy, do you think they’re going to be up to that? ‘Oh no look, the Germans, they’re all holding Pop Tarts! AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!’ No society can survive this level of stupidity. These small things are not small. They tell you a lot about the institutionalized stupidity of our institutions.
I share Mr. Steyn's sense of foreboding, though I am somewhat consoled by the fact that our most excellent warriors in service today somehow managed to emerge from a situation not much better than the Pop Tart affair.  The majority of our warriors come from the southern half of our country, where the culture hasn't deteriorated quite so much.  At least in places...


Yesterday at 9:56:06 Pacific time there was a magnitude 4.7 earthquake near Anza, California.  There were also a number of smaller quakes both before and after the big one.  I was outside walking our dogs when the shaking hit our house about 15 seconds later, and I never felt a thing (see seismograph below, from the seismometer in our house).  I did hear a neighbor's dog start howling mournfully at exactly the time the quake hit us, no doubt reacting to it.  The epicenter is about 77 km (44 miles) from our house, implying a seismic wave propagation speed of around 5 km/second, as expected.

Debbie was inside our house at the time, and she reports audible rumbling just before the main shock hit.  That is exactly what the seismograph shows, with smaller accelerations for about 10 seconds before the “big” secondary wave hit us at 9:56:31 (note that the seismograph is in UTC time, 7 hours later than Pacific time).