Monday, May 01, 2006

Monday Musing

Today at lunch I read more of Crack in the Edge of the World. I learned that 1906 was a very bad seismic year. On January 31st of that year there was a huge earthquake off the coast of Ecuador that created a giant tsunami whose waves traveled as far as Honolulu and San Diego. The earthquake's magnitude is estimated at between 8.4 and 8.8. Sixteen days after that, there was a large earthquake near the Caribbean island on St. Lucia followed by two to three weeks of aftershocks. Five days after that, there was a sizable earthquake struck Shemakha in the Caucasus mountains. Four weeks later on March 17th, there was a devastating earthquake in Taiwan that killed over 1,200 people, injured 2,000 and destroyed at least 9,000 homes. And if that wasn't enough, on April 6th, Mount Vesuvius erupted and kept going for ten days. Then, on April 18th, came the San Francisco quake. And in August the city of Valparaiso, Chile was struck by an estimated 8.3 quake that killed approximately 20,000. Yikes! 1906 was definitely a bad year for quite a few people. Making a big change of subject...Depending on your view of the English language, you may or may not get a chuckle from the Guardian article about how "Ancient English cliches and expressions are being mangled by the culture of cut and paste and the spread of unchecked writing on the internet." I got a chuckle. I love it when the purists fret over how English is degrading. You'd think by the way they talk the civilized world is about to end--again. In non-bookish news, in case you haven't heard, the free flow of information that makes the internet the internet is being threatened by the U.S. government and telecommunications companies who want to turn the internet into a series of toll-roads. Be sure to follow the link at the end of the article to sign a petition for "net neutrality."