Monday, April 26, 2010

Those look like about a Moment Magnitude 8.5 to me...

Here's a teensy funny; a young woman in Indiana is conducting an experiment to see if her rather delightfuly displayed frontispiece (see Figure 1, below) can cause seismic activity in the normally rather tectonically bland regions of the central U.S. I admit to being rather unprofessionally seduced by her off-kilter geek girl charm and her clever idea, but then I'm a fool for the smart geeky gals. Hell, I went and married one.

Figure 1: Potentially Seismogenic Breasts
For, you see, a brief verbal monograph on plate tectonics (referred to in the media somewhat curiously as a "Friday sermon" - there may be some cultural reference I'm missing here) has been published, based on the work of a previously little-known Iranian seismologist, Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi. Dr. Sedighi (I'm assuming the doctorate, since this level of seismological work is usually done at fairly advanced levels) who has been quoted as saying; "Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which increases earthquakes..."

The investigator is shown in Figure 2, below:
Figure 2: Potentially Non-Seismogenic Iranian Cleric
"What can we do to avoid being buried under the rubble?" says Dr. Sediqi, "There is no other solution but to take refuge in religion and to adapt our lives to Islam's moral codes."

Mind you, the Iranian cleric/scientist has not been able to explain the relative lack of seismicity centered around the French Riveria, Rio de Janiero and the Oregon Country Fair.

But I'm hopeful that the Journal of Geophysical Review can provide some insight into Dr. Sediqi's methodology and analysis that will explain this omission.

Now in case you think I'm getting all snarkily academic; please note that I'm generally all in favor of the notion that science is for everyone. IMO one of the most pernicious things we've done since the Enlightenment is make scientific knowledge the province of the specialist, the "egghead", the science geek. In return, most people know less about natural phenomenon like earthquakes and volcanoes than they do about electronic gadgets, sports statistics, and the marital status of Sandra Bullock. This, to my mind, is NOT a healthy way to run a technological civilization.

Now, unfortunately, my work safety dress requirements preclude my participation in this fascinating experiment. Add to that the well-known tectonic activity of the Pacific Northwest, even if I could help out it may be difficult to rule out pure randomness in the "scandalous attire = seismic catastrophe" connection.

But you bet that when I get home tonight Mojo and I are going to put on our grass skirts or our Speedos and do the Barbie Girl dance, you betcha. Swinging fleshy bits mean M9 subduction zone earthquake? Bring it on, baby!

Anything for science.

Update 4/27: Well, the U.S.G.S. has come down squarely on the side of boobs. They're seismologically friendly!

Not only did the global frequency of seismicity NOT increase yesterday, but the mean magnitude actually decreased. Perhaps flaunting female bounty actually has a sort of pleasingly calming effect on tectonic activity?

Works on me that way, so why not the Cascadia Subduction Zone?

Kudos to Jen for her ground breaking experimental work.

And a shake of the finger to certain Iranian clerics and their theological counterparts everywhere. What she wears is her business, giacomo. You want to keep your chastity uncorrupted? Try and grow up and act like a man; she's not your rubber love-doll and she's not dressing for your sexual uses. Her body, like yours, is and should be a wonder of nature - strong, swift and healthy. She is a sunrise, a flower, a hawk in flight; beautiful, an inspiration. Try and think past your goddamn penis for a moment, eh?

What IS it with religion and women's bodies that makes so many men so stupid?

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