Monday, December 31, 2012

Slab on the move - Alaska M4.1 earthquake

This is as exciting for me as the Arkansas sequence!  It is obvious that the slab is on the move, but at a very slow pace, and it may stop at any time.  So don't waste your panic juice!

With the slab moving down,  it was inevitable that the upper crust would see compression.  This last earthquake is too small to get a focal plane solution, but it is shallow, and I imagine it would show compression.  If things keep moving, we'll see more earthquakes here, and soon the Denali fault (terminal shear) will start singing.

As I have said before, no real earthquake has followed such an overture (just watched the new Lawrence of Arabia bluray).

Update:  Further discussion in the Geoscience community of g+.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Linux - Consequences on giving up the 386

Well, the disk drive on my main machine was constantly flaking out with io errors.  So I got myself a brand new solid state disk for Christmas.  Man that's fast!  But they are expensive, so I only got a 128 gb drive for the main Linux system.  General storage is still on old mag disks.

But, installing a new system ran right in to the current trend of abandoning the 386 (32 bits).  My Xerox 6125N only has a rotten old driver written in 2008, which needs 32 bits.  My new system has Debian Sid which has abandoned it.  It took half a day to figure this all out.

I upgraded

Basically you must run 'dpkg --add-architecture i386

then 'aptitude update'

then 'aptitude install ia32-libs-i386'  which is huge

Finally 'aptitude install ia32-libs'  and then run the device driver line.

My Nexus 4 Shipping!

This was a Canadian Dec 3 order, I just caught the 10 second window!  They missed Christmas, the donut heads, but this is for my son, and he can take it.  :)   They must be producing this thing in the thousands, instead of millions.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Galaxy Note II a Christmas Success

I call this a 'girlie phone', since the young 'real men' prefer to jam their phones 'naked' into their jeans' pockets.  Maybe the phone doesn't last, but they'll most likely lose it before it breaks.  :)

This phone is a 'phablet' and has to live in a purse.  If you have good young eyes you can do everything you can on a Nexus 7.  It has been a great success for the daughter.  Going unlocked means I am saving $50 a month over the old stupid Blackberry, and this pays for the phone in a year.  And finally the Android updates are over the air!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tablets - the cry for the old physics Java applets

My poor teacher friend.  He is a science and computer geek at heart, lost in a big private high school.  Every time they come up with a 'Good Idea', they smash him down.  First, they went totally MS, and he had to find a way to run Linux on sticks.  Now, it's all ipads for every one, and he's been sent away from techie stuff, since they don't like to hear him crying.

He loved all those MIT Java applets, that showed how gravity works, and other things important for posh students.  However, we know we can't run Java on the new things.  I looked it up for Android, and it has nothing to do with the Oracle lawsuit, it is just the conversion from keyboard-mouse, to touch.  The old things have to be updated, and who is going to do it?  I found out it's getting to the point where I can run Linux on my Nexus 7, and then I could run Java, but I can't see it working very well.  And I know this is going to be more hopeless for the i-world.

The concept of 'write once, run anywhere' is dead.  Nobody is interested.  The US educators are falling off the Fiscal Cliff.  Will they have to write 2 new versions of the old Java applets.  Not going to happen, and my friend screams in the dark once again.  Anybody know better?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Earthquake presents for Christmas

The world has given me some nice presents, in the form of minor earthquakes.  It's pleasant when they are small, yet reveal some interesting fault mechanics.

We've got to love Alaska.  They just had 2 M4+'s.  This is an active escalating zone, but it is quite likely that it might just get to some level, and then fade.  Nearly all the nasty earthquakes of history have given no warning.  I love this zone because there is subduction, which meets strike-slip transform, and it is all under a continent.  I don't know of any other place that is so interesting.

There have been lots of earthquakes in this zone, but almost nothing has broken above M3.  I'm not even sure about the mechanism here, but it is fascinating.  Would be a fun place to visit!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

One last day for my Nexus 4

When the store opened up for 10 seconds on December 3, I was sure I hit the 1-2 weeks window, at least the 3-4 weeks that appeared while I was hitting the 'Proceed' button a thousand times.  But there is nothing, and I think if they were really going to deliver Monday, my wallet would have been dinged by now.

So Sad!  No phone in the stocking this Christmas.  Yes, Google and Grinch start with the same letter!

No Earthquakes for Christmas

I have looked into the pattern of our World's Christmas Lights, and declare there will no earthquakes for Christmas, just as there will be no snow for Toronto.

Hold Everything! I didn't really say that.  My predictions are as good as global warming projections.  That's the wonderful thing about earthquakes, you have no clue whatsoever where the next big one will occur.  If it happens in the middle of nowhere, it's a big yawn.  Under a city, then it is news.

So everybody should give their house an Earthquake Christmas Present.  Accept the fact that there is a 1 in 500 chance per year of something really unexpected.  Do one thing for the house that will reduce the consequences.  Get that old chimney fixed or cut down.  Do not have heavy things over the kid's bed.  Have your camping things around where you can get them quickly.  If you are by the beach this Christmas and notice all the water leaving, do not go and pick up seashells!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Taste of Winter

So, silly me, we drove to Montreal this week, and came back today in the teeth of that winter storm.  Toronto never gets any snow, so I had to go to Montreal to experience it.  They had already got a foot of snow, and the sidewalks were horrible.  Walking around gets you really ready!  They really need those little sidewalk salter and sander machines.

This morning it was wet snow, but coming down like a real Winter Wonderland.  I have the new Hybrid, and I wasn't too worried about wet snow, but it was really heavy on the highway.  You get these high slush rows that want to throw you off the road (one car and one truck!).

My new Highlander Hybrid is the ideal road chariot for this, with the new super-stability control and the rear wheels that are electric and blast on in a flash.  I could see and feel this when I passed and hit the slush walls.  The stability light would be flashing, and I felt like I was on a boat!

Is all of this any safer?  Without all the fancies I'd be stuck in the slow lane, instead of electronic snow-boarding.  If I had winter tires, I could go 30% faster!  :)  As it was, the standard tires are quite aggressive, and held well, and the winter tires might be better in a snowstorm at -7C, when I wouldn't be driving anyway, since the salt just rolls off the highway.  Then you see a heck of a lot of cars in the ditch!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Clueless Swiss might be waking up to Canadian earthquake risk


Although British Columbia may have the highest earthquake risk in Canada, Ontario’s earthquake in June 2010 proved that other parts of the country also have exposure. It continues to be a case of when, not if, for the country’s next major earthquake.

I'm sure they're worried about massive death with the Gardner Expressway, and the destruction of Hamilton, or landslides in Ottawa.  Get your insurance while you can!

Monday, December 17, 2012

The Amazon that Stole Christmas

Just wanted to say that screwed up my Christmas order.  I don't think they are as well organized as the US, and they are only a front for rinky operations.  My order got swallowed up, you couldn't complain until the last possible day of delivery, and when you do, they just say 'Have a nice day.'.  Arg.

Christmas Lights


NASA is changing the lighting in the big space box.  They have finally realized the importance of the colour of lights during the day.  As a northern sufferer of seasonal depressive changes, you have to be real careful.  Get a blast of bright bluish light in the morning, but warm out the light by evening.  I think that at Christmas a lot of people might be getting these 'full spectrum' lights.  Do not use them in the evening!  I'm currently slowly replacing the most used lights with LED 'warm white' lights.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Caribbean earthquake M4.3

My favourite cluster has broken through the M4 barrier!  This is the slowest progression ever.  Normally you might expect 10 M3's for an M4, but here it is like 100.  Nevertheless, a progression means that it is not merely responding to some deep movement, but the slab is on the move.  However, waiting for 100 M4's might mean I'm in the Home by then.  :)

2013 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

After 10 years, I have given up my Town and Country.  It was still going strong and could last another 10 years, but all my kids have grown up and I was tired of it.  The car was built during the 'German Period' and they put in Mercedes parts.  I understand that no other model was any good.

So I ordered a new car from and I saved at least a few thousand off the horrendous difference for a hybrid.  Don't buy this truck for gas savings!  Buy it because you are an engineer, and it is the best engineered car on the planet (that I can afford!).

All I can say is that it is a magnificent drive, with totally smooth power, and it corners amazingly, since the rear wheels are electric as well, and are used for boosts.  Soon I'll be off to Ottawa and Montreal, and can test the winter ability of the 4 wheel drive and the zillion stability things.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Male depression and machine guns from vending machines

So, another shooting, each time using more powerful weapons with machine-gun speeds.  I can only say that I am sorry, but, like earthquakes, you can expect much worse in the future.

I am an expert in male depression, since I have it.  :).  It is totally curable with a few simple pills, but hardly anybody takes them.  Hollywood makes it manly to 'fight' the depression with booze and vengeance.   I don't know how many movies I've seen that screw up male depression;  and, be assured, all of these shootings involve suicidal people who want something more than just blowing their head off.

So, try and take your local depressive to the doctor, but it will be nearly impossible.  We eagerly await a good blood test to positively identify it.  I am thinking of doing that open genetic thing, just to see if anybody can figure out the switches that turn it on.

So, basically, if depression hits a male, he will turn to thoughts of suicide, and start drinking a lot.  The drinking doesn't help.  I thought long and hard about suicide, but no easy way appealed to me.  In Canada, we can't get guns easily, and everybody fences off high drops.  The subway is yucky and you may survive.

So, at the time, if I could go to the local vending machine and get a shotgun, then it would be over.  Even better, if I could get a super-powerful assault rifle with a thousand rounds.  I always had dreams of shooting those things!  Failing all that, however, I did the more difficult thing and went to the doctor.  Aren't we lucky we have free medical!  Imagine in States, where it is cheaper to get the gun.

No moralizing here, since nothing will change in the US.  The bright side is that no terrorist suicide bomber would ever get noticed down there, and so they give up.  My nephew lives down in Connecticut, I hope everything is ok.


California earthquake - M6.3

Maybe we can't call this a Callie earthquake, since it is so far offshore.  I am interested in California again, since the oldest son got accepted for a Stanford MBA!  May the Earthquake Gods hold their thumbs for 2 years.

This earthquake may have not been felt anywhere, since it is right in the weak oceanic crust, and shows an extension focal mechanism.  The Pacific Plate slowly drags everything upward, towards being buried in Alaska.  For some reason, the San Andreas is incredibly weak, and concentrates all the strain, but the major transform fault could have been at this point, where the continent meets the oceanic crust, but it seems tightly glued.  Nevertheless, it is a boundary of different stiffness, so the strains in the weaker oceanic crust must be high, and this earthquake is a result.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Toronto's Gardiner - seismic death trap


So, how close do you get to static failure before you can say it has zero capacity for seismic?  I would say that now it has zero capacity, so the odds of massive death during rush hour is exactly 1 in 500 per year, which is the same chance as a large earthquake (M6.5 +) near Toronto.

You can be sure that the foundations are on soft soil.  Anyway, I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, since it will collapse in 6 years, thus putting the 'time at risk' at a very small window.  :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Big and Little Japan earthquakes: equal but opposite

I just did this in g+ communities, but I'll do it here, since you can do a better layout.  I can't see switching a blog to g+ yet, mainly because of the formatting.

So, we have the fault-plane solution of the big earthquake.

These are lower-hemisphere projections, which means the lower slab hammered down, and all those seismic stations in the white section got a positive compressive pulse.

Now the recent M7.3

Total surprise!  Same fault plane but all the stations got the opposite pulse.  Shows it is a true aftershock of the M9, perhaps with a bit of snap-back of the upper hanging wall.

I only looked at this because the M7.3 was on the cusp of the curve that starts the next segment to Tokyo.  Sometimes these earthquakes are more bizarre because of mixed stresses.  The recent M8 at Sumatra was one such.  Anyway, the upshot is that I can't make dark inferences about the next segment, and I doubt that any stresses carry through the oceanic crust, so we can't even say that the Tokyo segment is closer to failure.  Studies have shown that these segments are very uncoupled.

Friday, December 7, 2012

M2.8 East Texas earthquake - injection

I'm calling every earthquake in this area injection, unless somebody proves otherwise.  This is famous East Texas where anybody can get a jury verdict on anything.  :)  We can wait for more earthquakes, or this is just a one-shot if they stop injecting.

Japan M7.3 earthquake - almost not an aftershock

This is right at the southern end of the big rupture.  These smooth trenches have to maintain themselves by a big M9 every few hundred years, otherwise they would just get filled in.  Only an M9 has enough fault displacement to 'clean' things up.

This M7.3 is now at the cusp of a sharp bend, which stopped the last rupture.  The next segment goes to Tokyo, and is probably under some stress because of the M9.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

LInux - funny characters in a Calibre epub

I like to read old books and I have a Calibre library.  The best books have been converted to epub, and in general, this is the best to read on my Nexus 7.  I use Aldiko Premium to read.  But once in a while, you come across those horrible MS 'closed quotes'.  Instead of a nice double quote that's on your keyboard, they have to use the fancy typeset quotes.  This buggers up the reader to no end, and you see a box with an x in it.

So, use Calibre to convert the epub to text (txt).  Then use gedit, highlight the first funny box, and paste that into your replace, and replace with "  (double quotes).  Do the same for the closing quote.  Save and bring back into Calibre (delete the original).  Convert to epub, and it is beautiful!  You can do the same for your hoary old txt books, since it is such a nice conversion, and easy to read on the n7.

I find I can read with the lcd screen quite well.  I think the old problems were simply a matter of resolution.  You can brighten or dim the screen easily.  This is now my only reader.  Buy one!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Colorado injection earthquake - M3.9

This cluster is the last of the regular injection earthquakes in the US.  As we can see, they get bigger and bigger.  All other such places have shut down, with more scientific evidence.  They finally got around to calling the big OK M5.6 earthquake as injection.  Bully for them!

Looks like nobody lives around here, so they can keep going, and maybe break a new record.  :)

Alaska Earthquake M5.8 - The Cluster Gets Serious

We've had quite the weird cluster in Alaska, mainly veering away from the subduction trench and going right under Anchorage.

Unlike my favourite harmless cluster in the Virgin Islands, this one is escalating, with the fault plane solution showing it is right on the slab, and loosening things up.  Wish I had the pattern before the big one in '64.

As we see here, Anchorage is not happily situated with regard to earthquakes.  You are either on dirt, or on an eroding mountain.

They will be lucky to get out of this with an M7 or 8.  Here's where the rubber hits the road with regard to soft soil.  For 40 years, the US engineers have said that soft soil is wunderbar for earthquakes because the peak acceleration goes down.  This they attribute to 'soil damping'.  Going with this flow, the city is golden!

But, if you realize that peak acceleration is garbage, then you use peak ground velocity (PGV).  And soft soil amplifies PGV by a factor of more than 10, perhaps up to 100.  Because of this, all the building codes are wrong when it comes to soft soil.  This has been proven many times by other earthquakes, not in the US, so they don't really exist.  :(

I really hate for Anchorage to be the proof of the soil pudding, but somebody has to be, Virginia wasn't strong enough.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Message to Gus

Gus!  Lucy is going to hold the ball again, in 30 minutes!  Get ready to kick!

Update:  The above message was highly coded with MS-grade encryption.  I got a message that the Canadian store would open for N4 orders exactly 4 minutes ago.

Update2:  I just ordered 1 16 gb n4, delivery in 2 weeks, cart crashed.

Update3:  So neat!  As my cart stagnates, the delivery time goes up!

Update4:  16 gb model ordered, who knows when?

Summary:  I had signed up for the 'Notify Me' a long time ago.  After much bitching on my blog, they were nice enough to actually notify me that it was going for sale at 3pm eastern.  Of course, I believe this was all for me!  I used the Chrome page alert extension, and had a nice chime ready.  At 3:03, the chime sounded, the fish was on the hook!  With fumbling fingers I refreshed the page, and found only the 16 model and a limit of 1!  As I was fumbling it said 1-2 weeks.  I got to the cart, and it said it was stuck due to high volume.  As I watched, the delivery time switched to 3-4 weeks.  I kept hitting that damn Proceed button, and finally got through.  Now, it is dead.  Poor you!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Nexus 4 in my hands!

My son's girlfriend stumbled in to the only 2 minutes that the Canadian store was open, and snagged the N4.  It's neato!  Apparently the LTE only works in downtown Toronto.

Linux: Making a photo poster

This is a fun thing for Christmas.  What do you do with all those digital pictures?  I've got mine backed up on a lot of disks, and they never see the light of day.  So, with the daughter finally ending her water polo career, I was going to make a big poster with her history of sports.

I used an old program called Fotowall, which is on the standard distribution, but hasn't been touched for a year.  It works well, and will throw your pictures on the mat, which you choose.  The nice thing is that it is totally compatible with Inkscape, so you make an svg, and finish it on Inkscape.

Then I export it as a high-res png which I then process with Gimp.  That's just to do a final cropping trim, since Inkscape leaves ragged edges.  I'm going to use something like 18 mpixs for the final jpg, which I will take somewhere.  Posterjack is good, but I'll probably use the local Costco.

Here is a sample, highly reduced to stop porn-revenge sites.  :)

Earthquake Climate Report: Alaska and Virgins

Predicting earthquakes is like predicting climate change.  No physics behind it, but everybody is oh so confident!  My favourite two clusters are now the Caribbean and Alaska.  Forget California, they're bankrupt!  :)

Anyway, these clusters show that things can go on a long time, and mean absolutely nothing.  Of course, tomorrow, when there is a big earthquake there, I didn't say this!  Just open this statement and forget the rest:  There's going to be a big earthquake.

Nuclear silly season starts


So, they got this big thing that they broke too early, and now they have to fix it.  There is no option, but we'll have quite a show!

Now, this station is on solid rock and doesn't have a seismic worry in the world.  Nevertheless, they will spend billions on seismic qualification that follows a script over 40 years old.  I was there when they did the first time.  Good for the economy!  :)

Friday, November 30, 2012

Fed geologists trash Bruce Deep Thing


Things are heating up at the old Bruce fishing hole.  The Feds don't like their simplistic flow models.

Although they attack for not considering the Cambrian, I'm still hoping somebody comes forward about the Precambrian.  Still nobody mentions grout or the pump water.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

OPG credit rating


Standard & Poors has changed the credit outlook for Ontario Power Generation to "negative," citing in part "the negative outlook on the utility's shareholder, the province of Ontario."

Now, I have to be real careful in not being catty about the 'old company'.  It doesn't do my mental health any good, and I have my pension.  :)

The Darlington rebuild comes early because they drove that plant into the ground.  All the original designers are rolling in their lawn chairs.  You can see that the slop in possible costs easily encompasses the few billion in overrun for the Niagara Tunnel, which is probably already hidden in the Darlington capital draw.

Anyway, for Christmas, I wish them the best of luck.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Nexus 4 - Me and Charlie Brown

This time it would be different!  This time I would get through and order a Nexus 4.  Whoops!  Flat on my back.  The ball was yanked away again.  Maybe next time....

Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — mighty Google has struck out.

Update:  Turns out I never had a chance from Canada.  This is the reason why the local gas station can't suddenly sell gas for half price.  They would tie up a city block, and there would be riots.  Even Costco can't sell too cheaply lest they overflow the approach.  I'm going for an S3.  :)

Monday, November 26, 2012

OUA Women Water Polo

I had great fun with the kids camera equipment.  Here's the full list of stuff.

Linux - Canon 2Ti video conversion

This is one fantastic camera but the video has proven to be a pain, and I have looked forever to find a way to deal with it.  First, the default is 1080p at 30 f/s.  Do not use this!  It looks sad when converted, since movies can get away with this frame rate, but not videos.  Go down a notch to 720p at 60 f/s.

The camera uses a super-compressed x264 thing that is difficult to play on anything low-powered.  I followed the instructions here, and converted to avi.  Then I use avidemux for trimming and still extraction.  It is good to have 6 processors humming away to convert these things!

Update:  the bit rate from the camera is a ridiculous 50,000k!  You can't play it on your average set-top.  Go to 5-10,000 k.

McMaster women win OUA water polo bronze

If there were any earthquakes this weekend, I didn't notice, for I was at the OUA finals for water polo.  This is my very last year because the daughter graduates - Yeah!  For the occasion, I borrowed my kids' fancy camera equipment - a Canon 2Ti and a monster telephoto lens.  I have oodles of great pictures and videos, which I will be releasing.

Here is the team photo with medals.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tiny earthquake hits Philly

Just an M2.1.  I really think it was the crowd knocking down the doors for Black Friday.  Hope nobody was in the way!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Ontario debates fracking


Yeah for fracking!  Fracking never did anything to anybody, but it leaves millions of gallons of rock water (much like pumping out the Bruce Pit!).  This stuff can't be dumped down the local creek without killing everything.  So they always have the bright idea of injecting it deep into the earth, out of sight, out of mind.  Here, they could destroy Toronto if they injected into the Hamilton fault (everybody hates Toronto, especially if they win the Grey Cup!).

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

M3.6 earthquake Illinois

I was practically giving up on earthquakes, and suddenly a whole bunch of red has come in.  This area has seen a lot of earthquake activity, so we can't rush to injection yet.  But it would be a great place to inject and get earthquakes!  :)

Like I said before, it seems that as soon as they get an earthquake, they are closing the injection site.  Not like the good old days where they would argue about it for months and keep injecting.  But they keep injecting in places where they aren't getting earthquakes right away, and that will creep up on you.

Oklahoma M2.8 earthquake - follow the highway!

I am impressed they are getting these earthquakes up the road.  Must be a heck of a lot of injection, since they are almost up into the footwall.  These earthquakes are quite shallow, which I believe, even through the uncertainties must be huge, what with the pitiful instrumentation.  For sure I can't see anything big coming out of this, since it is outside the main mechanism, but we all live for surprises??

Update:  Another earthquake just beside it.  Definitely injection.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Oklahoma M3 earthquake in new location

Wow, we haven't had earthquakes in the East for quite a while!  This is in a new location, and is hopefully a result of silly injection.  I only say that because we'll get a lot more, and I'll have something to comment on.  :)

In the past year, I've noted a trend where they probably sink a deep hole into the Precambrian and instantly get earthquakes.  Then they shut down because they don't want the bad publicity.  But they continue to inject huge volumes into the Cambrian sandstone right beside it.  One day these chickens will come home to roost.

Friday, November 16, 2012

M6.8 earthquake Kuril Islands

This is an 'every day' earthquake for this part of town.  However, I was just noting this morning that the whole Pacific Rim is aflame with dots this season, and there was this big gap that wasn't joining the party.  Now the gap is filled, and the circle is complete.

This time of year, I've noted that some pundits are wondering whether we've had a busier year than most, earthquake-wise.  This is usually a useless question, but it is always bashed around.  Just like warming cycles, nothing stays fixed to the average, so some years will always be worse than others.  But how do you measure it?  Total seismic energy?  Number of events over M5?  People killed?  You can't, so the question leaves the scientific sphere and enters philosophy (and maybe religion).

Update:  Demoted to an M6.4!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No Nexus 4 For You!


Google is going further down the Soup Nazi route by now telling the people that got their their orders through, that they aren't getting them.  I think it's all a Big Cruel Joke.  They only had a dozen of these things lying around, and they wanted to see all the puppy dogs jumping at the hanging meat.

I can just imagine them as the French Knights, taunting everybody outside the wall, while drinking their free Lattes, and playing Fussball.  "Euw yeu stoopid English!".  I am resigned to writing IOU's under the Christmas tree, just like in the good old days of the latest Nintendo.  :(

Bruce deep waste thing extra questions

This is a nice report on the extra questions raised.  Lots of good geology, but no intelligent questions.  As I expect, they will go to the sinking of the shaft by blasting, and that should be fun.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

LInux - check your Google Chrome

One thing you learn in Linux is that no matter how stupid you feel, there are a lot of kindred souls out there.  At one time, Google Chrome had a separate update repository.  I would regularly get updates.  At some point, however, it changed to the main repositories.  I didn't get the memo!

So today I was wondering why my version was stuck at 15, when everybody was talking about 23 or 25 (Flash sandbox).  I reinstalled it from their web site, and wow, it was at 23!  Then I used Synaptic, and it was there!  I use Debian.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

No hope for Nexus 4 in Canada

Here I am, up at 6 am, and there is no Nexus 4.  :(   I just read that the earlier world sold out within seconds.  What's to stop them shopping here?  Would the Canadian store have a shipping restriction?  Boo hoo.

Update:  Canada hasn't even opened!  Of course, it's just 2 guys in a garage, drinking beer.  The headlines shall blare:  "It's a Google-Quake!  Brittle House Collapsed to Rubble"

 It appears that sometime during the night, Bob and Doug did open the store for a couple of minutes.  No notifications though, so they broke their promise to me.  :(

Monday, November 12, 2012

Alaska M6.4 earthquake

This is a tiny earthquake for the region, but it is deep in the ocean crust, so I find it interesting.  Must be some high stresses there!  The whole Alaska area has been lit up like a Christmas tree, so I watch it with interest.

Alaskan Christmas!

I once did a big study of the 64 quake.  It was all soft soil damage, so I doubt Anchorage will do well the next time.  Decrepit old buildings on rock didn't have their toilets cracked.  If we had instruments we would have found a PGV of under 10 cm/s on rock, and 1-200 cm/s on soil.  I wonder if we even have the instruments now?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

M6.8 earthquake - Burma

I like using the old name.  I think the old generals changed it just to be miserable.  Anyway, I just like the picture here, with India pushing away, and the borders full of earthquakes.  Pretty standard earthquake for this area.

A seismic study of injection earthquakes


But however one views it, Frohlich said, industry and government officials need to take the issue of man-made earthquakes seriously as drilling spreads across the country to more densely populated areas.

They a seismic study around the airport in Dallas, which caused the injection wells to be closed down.  This is a good article, and I'm glad that scientists are putting some money along the lines I have been pushing for some time now.  As you know, it is a curse to be ahead of your time...  :(

They are now up to the position that high-volume injection into a fault causes the earthquakes.  They don't mention that the only place for earthquakes is the Precambrian, for then it would follow it is a Precambrian fault, and they have ignored the basement for years.  The injectors then state they can avoid these areas because of seismic imaging.  Are they imaging the basement?

I am pushing that the latest Kentucky quakes are a result of deep injection.  Either they are high-volume injecting directly into the mega-thrust, or their massive injection into the Cambrian is finally leaking.  I fully expect some bigger quakes before they shut down.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

More earthquakes hit Kentucky

2 more little earthquakes.  This is soooo injection!  As usual there aren't any maps, so we'll have to wait for a report from the scene.   I don't know how quick they'll be to turn off the juice, so maybe we can get a 5?

M4.3 Kentucky earthquake

This is along a NE trend, so it is definitely on a mega-thrust.  That whole area has been interesting since it has produced a lot of little earthquakes, and no big ones.  It probably doesn't have the water, but then again, why so many earthquakes?  This is in the middle of nowhere, probably coal country, so perhaps they are trying injection for coal seam gas.

Update:  This is near to a big purchase of wastewater injection wells, so I'm fairly confident that this is injection.  That's unusual, since most injection into the mega-thrusts has stopped.

Ancient Mayans caused climate change


Too Much Breathing!

Very sad.  A century of drought, caused by them, because we know that these things are always the fault of humans.  :)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Upper Caribbean earthquake cluster spreads

I'm indulging in pure wild speculation here, which I can do, since nobody listens to me.  All the other people have to keep their mouths shut.  This seismic cluster started as a very small spot above the Virgin Islands.  It has always produced M3's.  As such I have said that it was interesting, but meant nothing.

Now it spreads, and I no longer believe it is caused by fluid movement.  It is a real 'slow' earthquake, or stress adjustment.  Most likely it still means nothing, but I can go wild here.  As we know the strike-slip fault under Haiti activates the upper fault, and moves on to Jamaica.  (a historical trend of one!).  This has led me to dream that the whole upper fault 'marches' like other such faults, in that a big earthquake on one section eventually causes the next to fail (Right Istanbul?).

This cluster has spread from the upper fault (strike-slip or subduction, who knows?), and goes right up to the lower one.  The only thing missing is that the size of the earthquakes should be increasing, which they aren't.  If that happens, then we can expect a major earthquake.  If the whole thing just dies down, then it's back to sleep for everyone!

USNRC Head is a Geologist - wants earthquake studies


This won't go far, but it's nice to see.  When the plants were being built, there was a big burst of seismic and geologic studies for the East.  Then, they got in some weird studies which led them to believe they were totally immune to earthquakes, and not a penny was spent on seismic monitoring and such.

Without nuclear money, the seismic monitoring is pathetic in the States.  There has never been a seismic reflection study showing the Precambrian megathrusts.  So sad.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Vancouver M6.3 earthquake, probably triggered

You see that beautiful straight line up by the island?  That's what ripped for the last earthquake.  Probably the largest that section can hold, thus it reinforced the topography.  That's a general rule for everything, the largest earthquake is the one doing the landscaping, all the small earthquakes build up to that.

That straight line points directly at this earthquake, which is in a dog's breakfast of old spreading ridges.  You'll notice that the subduction zone under Vancouver is very curved and ill-defined, not at all like Japan or Guatemala.  Thus, I always have my doubts that we'll see a big one rip, perhaps a bunch of smaller M8s?

The ocean crust here is younger and quite strong, as seen by the large number of aftershocks in the crust from that last one.  Thus I have no doubt that a stress field could reach the site of this earthquake.  Anyway, this size is small beans to the region, and probably means nothing.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

LInux - Nvidia Nouveau driver now as good as blob


After years of suffering greatly, the open Nouveau driver is now as good on my machine as the old Nvidia blob driver.  The main reason that nv earned the legendary finger from the Big Guy, is that they are real bitchy about opening their specs and such.  They have had this horrible binary for years, which kills you every time you put in a new kernel.  Now with the latest Debian Sid, and 3.6.6, I can finally play my Foobillard smoothly.  (Geforce GT 520).

Of course, they claim to have upped their game with another binary.  Look for years for an open driver to catch up with their latest products.

M7.4 earthquake Guatemala

I am absolutely fascinated by what is happening on that upper border of the Caribbean Plate.  This earthquake looks far out, and probably didn't do much.  In that area, triggered landslides are the big threat.  They've had lots of earthquakes to knock down weak housing.  The clean topography shows that M9's regularly rip through the area.

I have no idea on the mechanism that pushes the Caribbean Plate.  Would an M9 in this region provide that push?  It is very weird.

Montreal earthquake - Post-Italy Seismology


So, the general question is that they've been hit by two teeny earthquakes in a row, so should they be concerned?  They went to a gov't seismoologist and got an answer.  I haven't listened to it, since that would restrain my wild imagination.  :)

What not to say post-Italy -  There is no concern whatsoever!  Continue to dance on your crumbling bridges, sleep in brick houses on swamps.

Now, we all know if they say that, there is going to be a big earthquake tomorrow where lots of people get killed.

The Proper Answer -   There is always a concern for a large earthquake under most cities.  The chance is somewhat remote, and these small earthquakes don't change it a bit.  The ability to 'take a hit' depends on the general seismic capacity of the city, which can be improved by long-term planning.

The most likely answer, post-Harperization:   I can't say anything.

Bell live chat

It's a most horrible curse in Canada, that sometimes you have to interact with the local phone monopoly. Everything in Canada is a monopoly!  (or cartel, if you want to get fussy).

So, I wanted my cottage phone suspended for the winter, and I was prepared for my usual hour-long wait on the phone.  But wait!  There was this 'live chat' thing.  So I did it.  I was connected quite quickly, but they must be using an MS system with dial-up.  Sooo  Slow!  The wait times were so long that I finally disconnected when I got the order confirmation number.  Can't they say good-bye?

Highly not recommended.  At least when you phone you get a nice person from the Philippines.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Virginia Earthquake - High PGV for more


I used to digest BSSA articles, but I can't afford it any more.  :(   Anyway, the triggering of landslides is 100% correlated with PGV (peak ground velocity), since that is directly related to induced shear strain.  In a happy world, this would put an end to PGA, blah.

Had this earthquake happened under Montreal, Boston, or New York, we wouldn't have even looked at Sandy.  Luckily it was in the middle of nowhere, and we don't have to learn a thing, as Homer would say.  As to whether it was unusual in the historic sense, I doubt it.  It was just in a place where you could get a lot of rock falls.  In other places, the 'power' or PGV is measured by looking at liquefaction.  For an M6 you would get rock falls, for an M7 you would get soft soil deformation.  New Madrid and Charleston are in that class.

Update:  Now they are finally getting the idea there is soil amplification.

Montreal gets hammered by tiny earthquakes



I'm glad these earthquakes don't bother the Maffie concrete.  I mean, who could tell?  One more chunk falls, big deal.  :)

So, this is a brand new M3.7 (4.2 with HST).  As we know, Montreal is just one city in the East, living with the 1in500 earthquake hanging over its head.  If a Virginia M6 happened here, I think we would hear most about Leda Clay landslides.  A lot of Montreal is on hard rock or clay, but the infrastructure is terrible.  Thus I rate its seismic capacity as very low.  An earthquake during winter would be too terrible to contemplate.

Computers triumph over geology


Field geology is dead!  Who needs to look for evidence of this flood water?  It can all be done by computer.

Unfortunately, I possess in my memory the results of a summer geophysical survey in the North Channel of Lake Huron.  There lies an infinite volume of granitic pea gravel, and massive erosion of solid granite.  Such is life....

Monday, November 5, 2012

Linux kernel install screws up

So, la, la, I installed a new Linux kernel the Debian way.  Everything wonderful until I rebooted.

Quel Horreur!  I get the horrible 'grub rescue' prompt.  Believe me, after several hours, there is no way out of this hell.

Then, lucky me, my other Linux computers helped me make a Debian rescue live dvd (my computer refused to take a rescue usb).  I used the 'rescue text', and just followed the results to reinstall grub.  Now it works perfectly.

Small earthquake gives a kick to New York

A small M2 at the bottom of the great failed rift.  Looks like there has been some activity there recently.  The earthquake gremlins just want to let people know they can do some damage too!

Friday, November 2, 2012

New hot water tank scam - Ontario Consumers


Came to my door today.  Seemed offended when I slammed the door in their face.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Earthquake Response - The Danger of Localism


Why are we going to be so screwed if there is a major earthquake?  It's because of Total Localism, which is my term for handling everything within the actual earthquake zone.

In the dictionary, localism is political, and it is politics that drives earthquake response.  Everybody wants this cushy job in the neighbourhood.  I know, because I did it for 30 years.  It's like being an 'earthquake fireman', only working when there is an earthquake.  Sure, I put all my effort into trying to mitigate the effects, but that was truly 'pissing into the wind', since nobody listened.  I had a few small successes, to keep me sane.  :)

The sad news is that every time we have an earthquake under Ottawa, the GSC is buzzed out of their mind.  They have centralized everything and are overwhelmed.  The same goes for the BC wing.

Our local emergency response team in Toronto is not in a good location for earthquake, and will be wiped out (in effectiveness), should we have our 1 in 500 earthquake.  BC is the same.  We will all have to rely on the US for information!

Really, we live in a modern world.  Information response teams, such as seismic assessment should be outside the immediate zone.  A small start would be to have the BC team do the East, and the Ottawa team do the West.  Why not?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Earthquake Halloween

Yes, earthquakes are scary things, but a necessary force of nature.  Tonight, rejoice in all things scary, for they are life itself!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

BC Earthquakes - Geofish Does the Italian

The BC aftershocks are well-contained.

There is no chance of this leading to the major M9 west coast subduction earthquake.  Everybody resume sleeping in your shaky condos!

No qualifications presented.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Memphis M3.9 earthquake

Wow!  Everybody wants to get in on the action!  Much like the hurricane, I've noted for some time that the New Madrid zone is on the move.  This has to happen if we want to stick to the schedules that the paleoseismic evidence indicates.  The existing fault zone may take centuries to get out of the stress shadow, so the seismicity has to move to areas of higher stress.  Even without injection, the Mississippi Valley has plenty of water for earthquakes.

I'm sure they felt this pretty good, since the whole place is one big jelly bowl.  We'll wait for the news reports.

Update:  Intensity VI, which is strong shaking but light damage.  Somewhere around 10 cm/s.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

BC aftershocks look interesting

This big earthquake - M7.7 did not produce much seismic ground motion (PGV), or much tsunami action.  I am quite amazed that the aftershocks are way out of the zone where the descending slab rubs against the continent.  That means high stresses within the slab and very little actual displacement downward.  It will all come out if they have strong ground motion sensors on the island, but I detect something weird here.  Remember Vancouver, if the whole thing doesn't unzipper in 2 days, you can breathe a sigh of relief that Halloween won't be spoiled.  :)

Update:  An M6.3 aftershock in the exposed slab!  Fascinating, but no action bleeding south, so everybody should be happy.

Update2:  Oblique strike-slip with some thrust.  That's why we have shallow aftershocks in the upper ocean crust.  Displacement of 5m, but the strike-slip makes for very little tsunami action.

M7.7 Canada west coast earthquake

I just woke up to this on the email ticker.  I have no idea what it did.  However, this is right on the big subduction zone, and is an excellent foreshock for an M9.  That being said, the odds are something like 1% that this leads to something bigger.  That's what got the Italians in trouble!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bizarre earthquake felt in Toronto

M2.5.  I am calling this bizarre, since we get this size of earthquake all the time around here.  So, why did I see it on the wall tv, while I was eating my fish and chips in Hamilton?  It's because this seemed to put a hefty PGV (peak ground velocity) for its magnitude.  Perhaps we should call it a Canadian M3.  :)

I like this location because it was at one of my obsessions early in my career - the Clarendon-Lindon fault system.  This was treated as something grand for a long time, until we found out it was the surface disturbance of a deeper Precambrian megathrust.  But, at the time, it was a star, and the whole Darlington seismic design was hinged on it.

Anyway, as usual, if you felt this earthquake in Toronto, you are in real doo-doo should we have a 'real' earthquake, because your soil is amplifying by more than 10 times.  Have fun!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Putting on the pressure


So, one summer I worked at a lab, exposing geological samples to high pressure.  This was a god-awful complicated machine they got from some scientific junk yard.  It was a bitch!  For the whole summer we never got to full pressure without some leak, or an anvil cracking.

Now, for something completely different:

Seems they got this working, and they use a brand new compound - diamond glass!  Sounds nifty.

For geology, we only need pressures up to the centre of the earth, so this seems overkill, but planetary science needs higher pressures.  But if we can easily get up to the pressure of the core, then this will help us with things like the magnetic dynamo, and help figure out the core - did things just settle when the earth melted, or is this an ancient untouched remnant from the planet's formation?  Such exciting things!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wind farm infrasound pollution

I have lots of old posts on this, and I had a CBC reporter contact me.  Now, you know my luck with the media, being ugly doesn't help.  But he wanted my contact with the Wolfe Island wind farm, and I can't remember anything.  Yeah Oldtimer's Disease!

But with all the gov't scientists being padlocked and vapourized, who would ever follow through on this?

Geofish Hypothesis

Giant wind farms periodically sync up and produce large volumes of infrasonic pollution, which drives people bonkers.

Method of Investigation

Fact:  wind farms do sync up as measured in England, using broadband seismometers.

Investigation:  do the same measurements in North America.  Chances:  zip!  Who would do this?

Investigation:  Impact of infrasound on humans.  Complication:  people live over subways.  Is there something about periodic noise at night?  Can people adapt only with a certain background noise level?  Are country people more likely to be affected?

Fact:  The Windsor Hum has had a detrimental effect.

Resources Required:  tests on human subjects using a giant acoustic chamber.  Again, who will do this?

This whole issue is being deliberately ignored, since nobody wants to open this can of worms.

Italian Disclaimer

The above was scientific opinion.  As such, it is subject to uncertainty.  Do not:

Invest your life savings in the stock market based on this.
Microwave your cat.
Stay in a house comprised of loose bricks.

Light Cornwall earthquake

An M2.3, but maybe the Canadians say it's a 4!  :)   Anyway, this interlude is brought to you by my fascination with the Cornwall earthquake of 1944.

I've investigated this earthquake by reading the old books, interviewing survivors, and walking around.  It is a perfect example on how low the PGV can be on rock, and how swamp amplifies the PGV by over a factor of 10.  PGA is never amplified, and that's why our building codes are so dangerous.  Since nobody learned from the Chile quake, we await our lessons.  :(

Costa Rica earthquake - interesting high frequencies


I find the whole Caribbean mini-plate interesting.  Is it on the move?  Can a small plate act as a rigid body?  We don't understand anything about the forces on plates - ridge push, slab pull, or under-currents.

This earthquake was interesting in that it was relatively shallow, and produced no significant PGV.  However, it did produce a heck of a lot of noise.  Had there been accelerometers on rock, we would have seen record-breaking peak accelerations, which are somehow important to engineers, but totally meaningless because of the high frequencies.

As such, this earthquake resembles something we would expect in our neck of the woods.  Note that they must not have any jiggly swamps, or that buildings on them were destroyed long ago.  We, on the other hand, put all our buildings on Christchurch-like swamps, and will suffer accordingly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

LInux: Remember to bring in UVC on a new kernel

With all my horrible kde problems (before I gave it up and went to xfce), I went to compiling the latest kernels.  I didn't want to do this, since I use Debian, and thought those 'Debian Patches' were important. Turns out they're not.  Anyway, even though I used the same .config (configuration file), the dang drivers for my Logitech webcam did not compile by default.  So I had to bury into the infinite number of options for a new kernel and find it.  Once I checked that off, and did the usual things, the webcam now works perfectly.

If you have an Nvidia card, and use the Nouveau drivers, you really should be using the latest stable kernel - 3.6.3  (this will change by tomorrow!).

Update:  Yuck!  The webcam, wireless usb mouse, and the Wacom tablet all fight!  I had to unplug the Wacom.

Update2:  usb devices suck up available bandwidth and the very few interrupts.  I could put in a new card, but they have trouble with interrupts.  I just have to spread the devices between different computers.  For example the webcam reserves the whole bandwidth.  My scanner went to another computer.  More reason to keep old computers around running Linux.  :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Italians burn seismologists at the stake!


Yes, this giant pile of rubble is fault of Science.

Really, it had to happen.  This is a local court which can't spell seismologist, so we can expect appeals.  I don't think it would survive the European Court of Justice.  I can't see seismologists covering their collective asses any more than they do already!  :)

Virgin Islands earthquake swarm continues

This is the most active earthquake swarm on the planet right now.  The earthquakes are very deep, and at this corner it is difficult to say whether the slab is pure subduction, or being wrenched into strike-slip.

Obviously we have simple subduction at the front of the Caribbean Plate push.  Montserrat is a fine example of an active subduction volcano.  But more to the side, as in Haiti, we have strike-slip forces.

Anyway this swarm is a fine example of how useless they are in predicting a larger quake.  :)  Somebody should tell the Italians!

Extra thoughts:  A possible earthquake would have low PGV, but a high chance of a big tsunami.  These guys are rich enough to have a tsunami education program, with sirens and drills.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Toronto's Gardiner - Classic zero seismic capacity


This is located on fill, and the concrete has decayed.  When discussing the whole thing, they never talk of seismic capacity.  Which is fine and dandy, except for the 1 in 500 earthquake that hangs over most cities like a sword.

The Tech Giants Stumble


This article states that these companies have failed technology transitions.  But my experience indicates that they are just in the line of all the companies that have failed margin transitions.

When a company starts up, it decides on a certain margin for its products.  The whole structure of the company follows that.  For example, pre-PC DEC and IBM had something like a 200% margin.  They died when Microsoft and generic PC's went to 100%.  That's because at 200% you have all these schmoozing salesmen, and big wasteful R&D.

So Dell came in a certain margin, and died when the margin went lower.  Likewise, Google has enjoyed a huge margin with desktop ads.  They threw money everywhere!  Like many, I live off their give-aways, and never buy the stuff that pays for it.

Now the margin gets cut again with mobile, since nobody goes shopping on their phone.  I don't even shop on my Nexus 7 tablet!

This blog lives off the Google margin, I wonder what will happen....

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Maine earthquake felt at nuclear plant


We know this was a tiny earthquake, but that is activated the soil basins of Boston, with 20-30 second rumbling.  As well, it was felt at Seabrook.

They are now going through a phoney inspection that will not find anything.  Far better would have been instrument readings with a PGV.  They probably got hit with 5 mm/s.  If the old me still existed, I would have railed at the lack of seismic recording at nuclear plants, but nobody cares.

Darlington has good instrumentation, and would have recorded this size of nearby earthquake, but it would be like pulling teeth to get the results. :)

Update:  this was felt as far as Ontario.  So really, if you felt this earthquake in Ontario, get earthquake insurance!

Ok and Texas earthquakes respond to Maine

Ok - M3.2  Tex-M2.7

The Ok earthquakes are part of a system.  They are getting bigger, and I can't see them sticking to the M3 range.  Who knows if they stopped injecting?

Tex is in a new area.  Do we have injection there?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Maine earthquake - M4.6

That's a nice-sized 'fun' earthquake.  Should be no damage, except to shopping malls on swamps.

The passive margin is interesting in that it can produce large earthquakes.  Boston rivals Christchurch in its seismic capacity, it is all on this goopy blue clay.  An M6 would rattle it good!

Update!  Now M4.0     -  Did anybody wake up?

Top Liberal spends his last dollar


Well, I've had a blast with this gov't, watching them throw away billions like grass seed, hoping it will grow on the parched soil.  We had hidden billions on the Niagara Tunnel, that helicopter thing, and, according to my sources, soon Ehealth will be back in the news, if they can't hide the billions in computer systems that don't work.

Life will be boring in the aftermath.  I don't even think we can waste billions on the Bruce deep waste thing, since they won't even be able to sink the shaft.  We need a new nuclear plant!  :)

Earthquake dynamic friction to zero


CR: Don’t be afraid—ride it out, enjoy it … I know a seismologist, who, when an earthquake occurs, will just drop to the floor and lie spread-eagle on the ground and try to determine which way the waves are coming from—I didn’t react fast enough to do that the other night.

Now, I really don't think she meant that all eastern earthquakes are a 'fun ride'.  If so, then there is no meaning to my life.  :(

However, she did mention that the Japan earthquake drove the dynamic friction to zero.  I've been postulating that this happens in most earthquakes, but especially 'super quakes', such as Kobe, Japan, or Armenia.  It's a question of luck, whether you are right on the 'hammer zone'.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Linux - Going to xfce

I run Debian amd64.  Lately, my favourite KDE desktop just went nuts, and kept crashing.  I did everything on the boards.  Nothing worked, and I went to ugly gnome.  Way too ugly, and I tried the new kid, xfce.  Now it looks nice and seems to work.

Update - Oh yes, this is much better than the others.

Old Faithful spits out earthquakes

This was on the top of the earthquake lists as I sipped my morning coffee.  Earthquakes have been sooo dull recently, so I jumped at it.  There should be lots of small earthquakes around the geyser, but I haven't seen them so far.  Did they just put in a new seismometer?

So, lets bring back the hoary old beast of the Yellowstone super volcano that will wipe out the world!  Whooo, scary!  Just in time for Halloween.