Posts Tagged ‘days’
If you’ve been paying attention to the other Smart Chickens posts, then you know that my sister and I have each inherited teeth that chip fairly easily [see Dream Weaver post]. When you add in that my sis is one of those people who will always be honest when she can be, you get a conversation like this one.
Dentist: And how often do you floss?
Sis: Do you really want me to tell you?
I love that about my sister. Most people lie to their dentist thinking it will make the doc feel better. But I think dentists can usually tell. Unlike my sister, I’m not a ‘never’ flosser, but I totally see her point. My dentist keeps trying to get me to floss regularly – to which point he uses this argument: “But it only takes five minutes a day.”
The Chilean Earthquake was huge. An 8.8 on the Richter scale. That means it had 100 times the shaking amplitude of the Northridge Quake.
This works because of the logarithmic nature of the Richter Scale. It’s in base ten. In simple terms that means each increase of 1.0 is a tenfold increase. And in Richter terms that means a tenfold increase in shaking amplitude. Lots of people interpret this as power, and while the two are closely related, the amplitude and power aren’t 1:1. In fact, as the difference on the Richter Scale increases, the power varies even more than the amplitude.
Lots of the info out there says that Richter was measuring the power of the quakes, but the best info says he was measuring wave amplitude. This was what he could observe. And observe he did: the scale was born (not surprisingly) in Southern California.
Measuring wave amplitude means that the actual ‘power’ (in the Physics sense, not the everyday sense) varies by a 3/2 exponent (or you could say ‘to the 3/2 power’ but that’s the mathematical use of ‘power’, not the physics use, or the everyday use. Silly mathematicians.) Okay, what this all means is that a 2.0 increase in the Richter Scale for shaking amplitude means a 1000-fold increase in the power of the quake (in the physics sense). Yeah, yeah, if you really wanna know, get your pencil out and get your math on – it works.