Tag Archives: japan earthquake 2011

TWSB: Japan’s Earthquake and Day Length

I heard about this a few days ago, but I’ve been listening to the news on the radio pretty much continuously since the 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Japan on Friday. I just finally got around to finding an actual article about it.

According to NASA geophysicist Richard Gross, it turns out that the massive quake accelerated Earth’s spin enough to shorten the length of the day by 1.8 microseconds (a microsecond is a millionth of a second). The earthquake changed the distribution of the earth’s mass, shifting more of it towards the equator and thus causing the faster spin (like when you spin on a wheely chair and tuck your legs in to go faster. Don’t pretend you’ve never done it). The quake actually moved Japan’s main island about 8 feet. 8 feet. Think about how insane that is.

The Chilean earthquake last year also shortened earth’s day by about 1.26 microseconds, and the Sumatra earthquake in 2004 shortened it by 6.8 microseconds. Gross believes that the aftershocks, smaller but great in number, could have a cumulative shortening effect on earth’s day as well.

Crazy, no?

I thought the spice of life was cumin

Poor Japan, man. The videos on CNN are terrifying. There are a lot of Japanese individuals here in Vancouver, and I’ve heard quite a few conversations today regarding people not being able to get through to their families in Japan due to the loss of cell service in areas affected by the quake/tsunamis/chaos.
Vancouver Island was on a tsunami warning late last night too owing to the after effects of the giant quake, but I think that’s lifted now. 


I’m posting my 101 in 1,001 list here on my blog as a tab, because who knows when/if the website will ever go down again, and I’d feel more secure having it in more than one place. YES I KNOW I’ve got fewer than 50 goals as of right now; I’m trying to think of more meaningful goals than things like “buy new pants” or “try not to hate rain with all of my soul.”

Tab’s up at the top with my book list and info tab.

OOH, OOH, and I have a new plan. An expensive plan, but a plan nonetheless: since I’ve already got a song for every day of 2010 and am on my way for doing the same thing in 2011, why not try to get a new song for every day of the decade? That’s 3,652 songs.

I’m also hyper. I have broccoli and M&Ms.