I am actually a geotechnical engineer, with a geophysics background, masters in rock mechanics, and doing earthquakes out of a love for dynamics.
I just got a call today from a friend about a friend of a friend. Seems most of their cottage just got wiped out by a big slope failure. In the fall, the contractors were preparing for an even bigger extension to the monster, and they did a lot of excavation. I haven't been there, knee-deep in the muck, but it looks like they might have cut out the toe of the slope. See my writings on Slope Stability. (as with all Wiki, it's been heavily added).
So the advice for today is "For God's Sake, don't cut out the toe of your slope!" Thank you for letting me get that off my chest.