Daily Archives: March 10th, 2010

Chile earthquake topography

The west coast of South America is a subduction zone, where the Nazca Plate is plowing under the South America Plate at an average rate of 80 millimeters (3 inches) per year. Their collision gives rise to the spectacular Andes Mountains as well as to devastating earthquakes, such as the 8.8-magnitude quake that struck offshore to the north-northeast of Concepción on February 27, 2010.

This map of topography and water depth reveals subduction’s influence on the landscape. Lighter colors indicate higher elevation on land and shallower depth in the water. Quake locations and magnitudes are indicated by black circles. The topography is based on radar data collected during the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which flew onboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in mid-February 2002.

The boundary where the two plates converge is marked by a red line, but even without the line, its location would be revealed by the trench located about 100 kilometers (62 miles) offshore. The trench occurs where the Nazca Plate begins its descent beneath the South America Plate. The trench is most sharply defined on the eastern (continental) side: depth plunges rapidly from a few hundred meters (light blue) to several thousand meters (deep blue).

In places along their boundary, the two plates may slide easily past each other, but in other locations, they become locked together for a time. Eventually the pressure is too great for the rocks to withstand, and they break. The plates lurch past each other violently: an earthquake. When large quakes occur underwater, the seafloor may heave or sink. The ground movement is what triggers a tsunami.

The Chilean coast has a long history of very large earthquakes. In fact, the February 27 quake occurred about 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of the strongest earthquake ever measured: a magnitude 9.5 event that occurred in 1960. A magnitude 8.5 quake occurred about 870 kilometers (540 miles) farther north in 1922.

Source (image and text): NASA Earth Observatory.

Google loses relevance

Google, I have a serious question for you:

Why are you wasting my fucking time?

I don’t really have an answer to that, but my guess is that it has something to do with money. Doesn’t everything?

Don’t get me wrong. I like Google. I prefer it to Bing, which is inane on many levels. But lately I’m noticing some cracks in Google.

Today my particular beef centers around a simple multi-word search phrase. In this case, the phrase contains three words.

It is my understanding that Google performs “and” searches. For example, you want term #1 and term #2 and term #3. In other words, you want results that contain all three words. That seems pretty simple, right?

You can even go to Google’s “advanced search” and it Google spells it out for you there: “Find web pages that have all these words.

So why doesn’t it fucking work?

I came home from work today energized and ready to go on my next exciting blog post. It’s going to be about a serious topic of great social importance. After only a minute at the computer, though, I found myself feeling frustrated and dealing with search engine crap rather than spewing text about the topic at hand. I quickly deflated and my enthusiasm was gone. Google had stolen it.

I did my three-word search phrase and what did I get? Here are the top three results:

  1. A lame ass scraper site. You have got to be kidding me!
  2. A commercial web page that didn’t even contain term #1 – at all! I even checked the page source. Nope, my term was not there. This one just floors me.
  3. A “links” web page hosted on a college web site where my search terms were not even the primary focus of the page. There was a connection but it was a minor one.

Where are the relevant results, Google? Where did they go? I mean, isn’t that the single most imporant thing about Google? Isn’t that what you do?

By the way, Google. Out of curiosity I went and tried my humble little phrase in Bing. The results kicked your ass in relevance. I think I’m going to be sick …


Bad boss, bad boss

Appropriate attire for the urbane jungle

Bad boss bad boss
Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
When I fling poo
Bad boss, bad boss
Watcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do
When camo hat surprises you

This post is “boss.” This is my Tuesday Twofer of a boss-themed post. Actually, this is my Wednesday post, but it’s still Tuesday while I’m writing this.

My boss returned recently from a trip and had a little present for me. It was a camouflage baseball cap. If I wore it with a camouflage t-shirt I imagine I’d look just like the gentleman in the inset photograph.

I think it’s the gift that keeps on giving. For example, it’s the perfect attire for going hunting. With that sucker on my head I’ll blend right in and it’ll really increase my chances for a head shot from someone toting a beer and a rifle. My boss probably didn’t even realize how tickled I’d be with this one. 🙂

Speaking of which, 44 states currently require hunters to wear bright orange in the field as a safety measure. A recent poll of hunters in Oregon, which is considering a similar policy, found that 70% of the members in the Oregon Hunters Association wanted the wearing of bright orange vests to remain a “personal choice.” Right on, my brothers.

Being told what to do by a pinhead idiot always puts a smile on my face

In other boss news…

Let’s say one day your boss stops by your desk and chews your ass because you didn’t get a task done on the same day it came in, like a customer order. He uses the opportunity as a teaching point to reinforce that orders must go out the same day, no matter what. He does this to you and he does it to your co-worker.

Then, let’s just say, about a week later your boss wants you to drop everything you are doing for some allegedly urgent and inane task that must be completed right now.

Being a diligent employee, of course you respond, “No problem. I can get right on that as soon as I complete these orders that have to go out today.”

Wait… for… it… you already know what comes next…

That’s when the boss says, “Oh those can wait days if needed.”


Thanks for confirming what you told me earlier doesn’t even matter, but it sure was worth rippin’ me a new one, wasn’t it, you submoron!

I love the smell of team building in the morning!