Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Repent! The End Is Nigh!

So, Hurricane Irene is headed for our coast. She is projected to hit ‘somewhere’ between FL and VA (most likely in the Carolinas) this weekend.


Since we no longer have Pat Robertson here in Virginia Beach to pray away the hurricanes, I always get a bit nervous watching them bear down on our coast. I was in Charleston, SC for Hurricane Hugo…I will be perfectly content to never contend with such a storm again.

I know that Puerto Rico got a good dose of Irene, I hope that the family of our resident Boricua (talkin’ to you Spiff) came thru unscathed.

While dealing with hurricanes is always a fun part of living on the East Coast…today we got to experience something new and exciting.

A freakin’ earthquake.

More rockin’ and rollin’ below the fold…

Earthquake?? In Virginia??



The small town of Mineral was the epicenter.

5.9 on the Richter scale.

The quake was felt in VA, NC, SC, GA, DC, MD, RI, MA, OH, IL, MI, NY…and I am probably missing a state or two.

Apparently quakes are felt over a greater distance on the East Coast than on the West Coast due to the land composition.

According to the USGS: Aftershocks highly likely.

2 Nuclear plants in VA have been shut down (precautionary, not due to damage).

Amtrak has trains halted on the tracks while tracks are inspected for damage.

All of the Federal buildings/all historic monuments and museums are now closed/evacuated on the National Mall (bad day to be a tourist).

DCA, EWR, IAD, JFK, PHL are all shut down while towers and runways are inspected.

So odd.

I know that you on the West coast scoff at our ‘little tremor’…however, the fact of the matter is that the East coast is not prepared for such a thing.

On top of that, due to the ‘lay of the land’….the fact that the East Coast is ‘older’ geographically and situated on more solid rock…an earthquake can carry forth with up to 10x the force as in the West. Also, so many of our cities are older and have structures built long long before any real architectural techniques for earthquake safety were developed.

Bit of a wake up call for us, methinks.

To tell the truth, and now that it seems no great damage or harm was done….I must admit that it felt NEAT. Absolutely felt ‘wrong’…truly bizarre sensation…but, overall was a neat experience.

That having been said, it is an experience that I have now checked off my list and see no need to revisit it.  😉


  1. Kysen

    not really.

    It was just an odd ‘rolling’ sensation…bit rumbly…but, no doubt at all about what it was as it was happening.

    Any other Moose feel it?

  2. DTOzone

    that was sick. I’ve been through big ones before (Athens 1999), so this is just a walk in the park, but I wasn’t taken any chances.

    I was standing in my office doorway, felt the rocking, the door started moving, I darted out of the building. In a poorly-constructed building in a city not prepared for an earthquake…yeah, I’ll be in the street.  

  3. on the North Shore of Massachusetts.

    I did feel one back a few decades, when I lived in Boston, and it was truly weird.  I noticed first that some hanging plants were swaying for no apparent reason; then the couch beneath me joined in.  Lasted several seconds.  There’s nothing else like it.

  4. Kysen

    it appears as though the National Cathedral has suffered damage.


    Three pinnacles from the central tower have snapped and one is damaged and leaning.

    Very sad…such a beautiful structure…we are lucky, though, that with all the historic buildings in VA/DC that it seems to be the only one with significant damage.

  5. HappyinVT

    I was at home.  Our corporate headquarters in VA closed; apparently it has lots of glass windows.

    Good luck with Irene; I still get palpitations when I see hurricane warnings anywhere there are people.

    Somehow this is God sending the president a message (this isn’t the first earthquake to hit the area since he’s been in office).

  6. HappyinVT

    A nuclear power plant that was shut down after an earthquake struck central Virginia Tuesday had seismographs removed in 1990s due to budget cuts.

    U.S. nuclear officials said that the North Anna Power Station, which has two nuclear reactors, had lost offsite power and was using diesel generators to maintain cooling operations after an 5.9 earthquake hit the region.

    The North Anna plant, which was near the epicenter of Tuesday’s quake, is reportedly located on a fault line.


    According to the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy (DMME), the Virginia Tech Seismological Observatory (VTSO) removed all seismographs from around the plant in the 1990s due to budget cuts.

    In February, Dominion Virginia Power confirmed its commitment to add a third reactor to the plant.

  7. The report, entitled “The Internet storm is coming!” focuses on the Pentagon’s cyberwarfare strategy, concluding that a cyber-attack against the U.S. could be construed as an act of war against a country that is prepared to fight back. The report then looks at how the Internet can affect national security and examines U.S. efforts to counter cyber-attacks.

    The attack tool shows up almost as an afterthought, in a collection of b-roll footage used to give viewers something to look at while the narration continues.

    During the six-second attack-tool segment (starting at 11:04 of the video), the narrator talks about how Trojans and back doors can infiltrate computers, and mentions that there are many ways to conduct online attacks.

    With a few clicks, the attacker selects a website hosted by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) from a list of Falun Gong websites. Buttons on the bottom of the screen say ‘attack’ and ‘cancel’.

    Well, that isn’t nice.

    As an attack tool, however, it isn’t exactly state of the art. It goes after a website that’s been offline for a decade.

    Lamers. Stereotypical of Chinese development, though. Born out of date and lacking signs of innovation.

  8. HappyinVT

    have to:

    The gays. It’s always the gays. RT @davidfrum: Theories please: who in DC is God mad at? #earthquake

    APBBlue 5 hours ago


    Did the debt ceiling just collapse?

    KarlFrisch 5 hours ago

    There was no shaking in Atlanta, but there’s looting and pillaging anyway. You know, in solidarity.

    socratic 5 hours ago

    RT @lizzwinstead: Worst. Rapture. Ever. #Earthquake

    Shoq 4 hours ago

    A few of my favorites.

  9. HappyinVT

    the president is bothering Gov. Brewer:

    The East Valley Tribune reports:


    The governor told Capitol Media Services Monday she essentially had completed her writing of “Scorpions For Breakfast: My Fight Against Special Interests, Liberal Media, and Cynical Politicos to Secure the Border.” And then, “something came up.”

       “I’m working away, trying to get this all done on the weekends and late at night, trying to get it done, and all of a sudden, here we go: He starts it all up again,” Brewer said.

       The “he” is Barack Obama. And what he restarted, the governor said, is what she sees as another hit to border security, this time with the administration’s plans to stop deporting some illegal immigrants, focusing its resources instead on those with criminal backgrounds.…  

    Leave Jan aloooooooooone!

  10. HappyinVT

    MELISSA BLOCK, host: Same-sex marriage is now legal for a tiny sliver of Washington state. The Suquamish Indian Tribe announced this month that it will allow gay couples to marry on its reservation.

    From member station KUOW in Seattle, Liz Jones reports that the change is largely due to the persistence of one of the tribe’s own members.

    LIZ JONES: Four years ago, Heather Purser quietly began talking to people in her tribe about her hope to some day get married.


    …Purser’s quiet appeal for gay marriage turned to full volume. At the tribe’s annual meeting in March, she stood up and, as she puts it, asked the tribe for her rights.

    The tribe has about 1,000 members and these meetings are one of their biggest gatherings.

    PURSER: And then everyone voted and everyone said, aye….


    Leonard Forsman is the chairman of the tribe’s governing council. The tribe’s attorney revised its marriage ordinance to include same-sex marriage. And this month, the seven-member council unanimously approved it.

    Forsman sconcedes some tribal members may disagree with gay marriage, but he says they disagree more with discrimination.

    FORSMAN: We don’t go out and try to brand people if we can help it, because we were branded as being lazy or being uneducated. We don’t want to have those same things applied by our tribal government onto others.

  11. HappyinVT

    and Rachel Maddow tweeted:

    maddow Rachel Maddow MSNBC

    I wish that newspapers with paywalls made articles like this free on days like today, as a public service:

    The link takes you to a WSJ article:


    When an earthquake launched a tsunami that devastated a Japanese nuclear complex in March, U.S. regulators quickly reassured the public that American reactors were built to withstand the expected severity of earthquakes in their areas.

    Privately, though, internal emails from March show staffers at the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission fretted about the public attention on the potential earthquake vulnerability of some U.S. plants. Since 2005, the agency had been working on a study of seismic hazards that is far from complete but showed good reason to worry about two dozen reactors. Although the West gets the most earthquakes, the biggest …

    The biggest …what?!

  12. fogiv

    IBM, teaming up with four universities and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, has designed a chip that mimics the networked nature of the human neuron. The project is called SyNAPSE (Systems of Neuromorphic Adaptive Plastic Scalable Electronics).

    What makes this different is that ordinary computer chips separate the processing and the memory, linked by a connection called a bus. Human brains combine both. Human brains also operate a lot of neurons in parallel, which offsets the comparitively slow processing speed.

    A human brain has neurons, which connect to other neurons via axons. Chemical signals are passed from axons to other neurons via the synapses. The IBM architecture is built in a similar fashion, except in this case the synapses would be data pathways and the neurons combination memory and processing units.


    The 600 series had rubber skin. We spotted them easy, but these are new. They look human… sweat, bad breath, everything. Very hard to spot.

    I’m Fogiv. Sergeant Tech-Com, DN38416. Assigned to protect you. You’ve been targeted for termination.

  13. DTOzone

    New York City has had

    1.) a tornado- Sept. 16, 2010

    2.) back to back record-breaking blizzards- Dec. 26, 2010 and Jan. 19, 2011

    3.) The hottest day in 35 years- July 23, 2011

    4.) The rainiest day in history- Aug. 14, 2011

    5.) An earthquake- Aug. 23, 2011

    and now

    Hurricane Irene.


  14. fogiv

    Want to know more about what happened, and if it can happen again? We’ll answer these questions and more during a live, online chat with one of our top scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey today at 11:00 am EDT.

    To join the chat, go to If you would like to submit questions prior to the chat, you can do so by emailing us at

    Once you are logged in, just type your question in the chat window and we will get to as many questions as time allows.

    Events like these remind us that science plays a crucial role in our daily lives. We hope that we’ll be able to answer your questions about the East Coast Earthquake. We look forward to you joining us at 11:00 am EDT.

    Thank you,

    Tim Fullerton

    Director of New Media

    U.S. Department of the Interior

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