Monday, March 30, 2009

Earthquake today

I didn't feel the earthquake that hit Northern California today, but through the wonder of email, I heard about it pretty quickly. My friend A (I'll think of a catchy nickname soon, promise!) was the first to alert me, and she also sent this handy link from the US Geological Survey.

My coworker told me that through one harrowing week of frequent shakes, she and her husband were training their dogs to come stand in the doorjamb (did you know it was spelled that way? I just found out thanks to!) when the earthquakes came. The dogs figured out the lesson and did one better--they started moving en masse to the doorjamb 15 SECONDS before any of the humans could feel the next quake. WAY COOL.

My kids were fascinated by this information, and decided that scientists need to round up all these smart animals, and study them to figure out how they can tell. Barley also did a great little comedy schtick wherein a dog starts running for the doorjamb, telling his owner, "Come on, come on, here comes the earthquake!" When the slow-responding human gets knocked down by the furniture, the dog says, "Told you so!" DH points out how way cool that would be, especially the part where THE DOG TALKS! We all had a fit of giggles before we could finish dinner.

So, I tried to find information online about earthquake predicting pets, and I found this interesting story about animals saving residents from an earthquake in China. The results are not conclusive enough for seismologists to predict when "the big one" is going to hit, but some of the data quoted in the article is very interesting. This whole thing adds weight to our boys' campaign to get a family dog. The goldfish just aren't much use in an emergency.

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