Tag: earthquake

Earthquake Rattles Anne Arundel County

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Star marks the epicenter (USGS)
Star marks the epicenter (USGS)

Saturday night had a little extra shake in parts of Maryland this week. A small earthquake centered near Crownsville was reported just after 10 p.m. on August 8.

This Week in Research: Beautiful Diseases & DIY Earthquakes

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Cirrhosis of the liver, stained blue. Courtesy Norman Barker
Cirrhosis of the liver, stained blue. Courtesy Norman Barker

Strictly speaking, cirrhosis of the liver isn’t pretty. Neither are brain tumors. But, as Johns Hopkins pathologist/oncologist/surgeon Christine Iacobuzio-Donahue notes, “sometimes the worse the disease, the prettier it is under the microscope.”

Zoo Animals Predict Earthquake Via Sulking, Belch-Vocalizing

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You thought you’d put the earthquake behind you — but don’t get too confident, because apparently these mini-quakes keep striking poor old Mineral, VA. If you want to have some advance info on the next time the mid-Atlantic fault line decides to go berzerk, we recommend looking to the animals. Lore tells us that animals have a sixth sense for these kinds of things — consider the snakes and weasels that fled the ancient Greek city of Helice a few days before an earthquake destroyed the place.

The National Zoo in D.C. sent out a press release detailing how their animals reacted before/during/after the quake; we suggest you study their account closely, and then watch your own lemurs/apes/cuttlefish for signs of impending doom. If your giant elephant shrew refuses to come out for his afternoon feeding, it might not be because he’s sulking — it could be that he senses something! Oh, and don’t pay any attention to the oryx or the pandas.

  • About five to ten seconds before the quake, many of the apes, including Kyle (an orangutan) and Kojo (a Western lowland gorilla), abandoned their food and climbed to the top of the tree-like structure in the exhibit.
  • About three seconds before the quake, Mandara (a gorilla) let out a shriek and collected her baby, Kibibi, and moved to the top of the tree structure as well.
  • Iris (an orangutan) began “belch vocalizing”—an unhappy/upset noise normally reserved for extreme irritation—before the quake and continued this vocalization following the quake.
  • The red ruffed lemurs sounded an alarm call about 15 minutes before the quake and then again just after it occurred.
  • The black-and-rufous giant elephant shrew hid in his habitat and refused to come out for afternoon feeding.
  • Keepers were feeding the beavers and hooded mergansers (a species of duck) when the earthquake hit. The ducks immediately jumped into the pool. The beavers stopped eating, stood on their hind legs and looked around, then got into the water, too. They all stayed in the water. Within an hour, some of the beavers returned to land to continue eating.
  • Damai (a female Sumatran tiger) jumped at the start of the earthquake in a startled fashion. Her behavior returned to normal after the quake.
  • The Zoo has a flock of 64 flamingos. Just before the quake, the birds rushed about and grouped themselves together. They remained huddled during the quake.
  • The Prezwalski’s horses and scimitar-horned oryx hardly noticed although those that were inside did amble outside eventually.
  • According to keepers, the giant pandas did not appear to respond to the earthquake.

More zoo animal reactions detailed here.

BALTIMORE QUAKE 2011!

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It’s been all anyone can talk about online, on the phone, in person. Earthquake 2011: 5.8 magnitude! Jokes aplenty have kept us texting, and laughing. Check out buzzfeed’s funny photos of “damage.” And Gawker’s deliriously detailed, Obama-centered earthquake meditation. Love the photo we re-posted from FamousDC.com of one plastic lawn chair…knocked down. (Go there to see/hear Carole King’s “I Feel the Earth Move.”) To calm your mildly rattled nerves the Windup Space recommends the Earthquake Cocktail:

1 oz gin
1 oz bourbon whiskey
3/4 oz absinthe

We even heard of one 20-percent-off earthquake sale. Crabplace.com’s coupon code? 20 shakes.

But the most entertaining quake conversation remains: Where were you when it hit, and what were you thinking? Baltimore Fishbowl writers weighed in. Please do the same below and be sure to see the videos on our video landing from Baltimore Quake 2011!

“Standing in Matava shoe store at Bellevedere Square–shoes were falling off the shelves and we ran outside because I refuse to be found dead in a shoe store!” –Cynthia McIntyre

“In the dining room cleaning up the Goldfish [crackers] bag that my dog chewed up. I first thought the rumble was my bad dog running around.” –Krista Smith

“I was at the office…with my dog. My dog is awesomely welcomed at my office–he had been sleeping on my desk before he was startled by the rumbling, and immediately barked his displeasure that the room was moving. My first instinct was to pick him up and stand, ready for action. But then I just stood there, staring at my swaying iMac silently. Then one of the engineers, who were all in the next room having a meeting, yelled over the partition, ‘Sara have you been jumping up and down again over there?’ To which I replied, ‘Hey! That’s SO not nice!’ And he said ‘I SO didn’t mean it that way!’ Most fun office ever, even during an earthquake.” –Sara Lynn Michener

“I was driving around Litchfield County in Connecticut when the earthquake happened. Surprisingly the radio said it actually reached Litchfield County all the way up from VA and DC. I only found out about it when my friend called from Baltimore right after it happened. I was shocked, but relieved when he said nothing got destroyed and no one was hurt.” –Kristin Hughes

“I was doing my piano practice. My first thought was, ‘Are the chandeliers going to fall?’” –Mikita Brottman

“Sitting by the Gunpowder River, eating home-made cookies, laughing. The group of moms I was with all looked around, and said ‘Did you feel that?’ We counted heads of children, and reached for cell phones. Verizon network totally failed me, and it took 20 minutes to find out the rest of the family was okay. We stayed in our seats for a couple more hours.” –Elizabeth Frederick

“I got calls from friends and family in New York, California and Spain asking if we were okay.  You could hear the disappointment in their silence when I told them we were not in Baltimore today and missed the earthquake.” –Susan Dunn

“Alas, I am in Cape Cod, so I heard about it through text message and was jealous that I missed all the fun!” –Rachel Monroe

“I was home editing copy when the house began to vibrate. First brilliant thought: ‘Those are some big squirrels running the roof!’” –Betsy Boyd

“I was at my computer on the second floor of my apartment, when the construction team that has been working on the neighboring row house began operating a monstrously heavy piece of machinery. It was in fact so large and powerful that my walls were beginning to shake. I was going to have to go over there and tell them that they better turn off that impossibly thunderous watchamacallit right now; I mean it’s just unbelievable. It’s like a damn earthquake. Wait a second…” –Bob O’Brien

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