Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Shorter Day

Aloha, my Friends!

I'm Back on Line

here in


please click on the photos to make them bloom
WE moved everything we own (well, most of the important stuff)

off/on our boat/home twice.

Sirens were blaring, and police clearing the
streets the first time.

We just hoped to get to a certain 20th floor

apartment nearby. We didn't know if we would be permitted to drive our

two vehicle caravan in that direction.

All the while Miss Kitty howled and

hurled her furry fury at the gate of her travel carrier.

Once we were parked above the third floor I felt myself relax a bit.

The tsunami might wipe away all normalcy in Hawaii for a while, but we

and all prudent people had been warned and moved to safer places.

We might find ourselves in Venice,

but we were high enough to survive
any wave that might come.

Last Spring I was riding along little Young

Street (about a mile and a half inland) when I saw groups of kids chalking

a blue line representing the Tsunami Inundation Zone.

We might have

watched as a good portion of urban Honolulu was covered with water!

WE are home, life is blessedly normal again.
And I'm well pleased with how our island behaved.
We all learned a lot about disaster preparedness,
and about how GREAT it is
when everything is humming along

Water has an orderly way of flowing in, and out.
We call them tides.
When a surge or energy moves through the sea disrupting that order, there are interesting eddies of hydro-force that result.

The water here in the harbor looked "stippled" and confused following the arrival of the first (blessedly small) tsunami wave and it's follow-ups. And it behaved most unusually.

We could not pull closer to the dock with two adults leaning into the ropes for a strangely long time. Usually momentum begins to accrue immediately. Or the normal sway of the tethered boat will metronome back and forth in the sea's rhythm. But this time, the boat just stood off and refused to budge. VERY unusual. Other boaters had unaccustomed difficulty pulling into their own slips.


Of course, there was a lot of work, carrying, pulling on ropes,
surfing the surging adrenaline.

Yesterday I had to sleep most of the day.

For me to go on line is more than pushing a button.

The modem must be plugged into the on-board phone line.
Then it's power cord is plugged in.
While I wait for the lights to stop blinking on that, I pull out this laptop and plug it into the power and DSL. . .

I simply couldn't face the simple work for a few days, but I'm back.

You were each missed. So, let's. . .



Chile Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth

The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.

The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said in a Monday update.

The computer model used by Gross and his colleagues to determine the effects of the Chile earthquake effect also found that it should have moved Earth's figure axis by about 3 inches (8 cm or 27 milliarcseconds).

The Earth's figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis, which it spins around once every day at a speed of about 1,000 mph (1,604 kph).

The figure axis is the axis around which the Earth's mass is balanced. It is offset from the Earth's north-south axis by about 33 feet (10 meters).

Strong earthquakes have altered Earth's days and its axis in the past. The 9.1 Sumatran earthquake in 2004, which set off a deadly tsunami, should have shortened Earth's days by 6.8 microseconds and shifted its axis by about 2.76 inches (7 cm, or 2.32 milliarcseconds).

One Earth day is about 24 hours long. Over the course of a year, the length of a day normally changes gradually by one millisecond. It increases in the winter, when the Earth rotates more slowly, and decreases in the summer, Gross has said in the past.

The Chile earthquake was much smaller than the Sumatran temblor, but its effects on the Earth are larger because of its location. Its epicenter was located in the Earth's mid-latitudes rather than near the equator like the Sumatran event.

The fault responsible for the 2010 Chile quake also slices through Earth at a steeper angle than the Sumatran quake's fault, NASA scientists said.

"This makes the Chile fault more effective in moving Earth's mass vertically and hence more effective in shifting Earth's figure axis," NASA officials said.

Gross said his findings are based on early data available on the Chile earthquake. As more information about its characteristics are revealed, his prediction of its effects will likely change.