Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hiding From Pretend Earthquakes

Posted By on 04.28.11 at 01:03 PM

ShakeOutCUSlogo.jpg
Today was the "Great Central U.S. ShakeOut," a safety drill organized by some people in Memphis who are concerned about all the earthquakes that could happen at any time, anywhere—even in Illinois, though probably not. "[D]ozens of schools, businesses and other institutions will take a moment to prepare for a catastrophe some scientists believe is extremely unlikely to happen here," our local paper of record reported earlier today. "At 10:15 a.m., more than 200,000 people in Illinois are expected to pretend that the earth is trembling. They'll duck under their desks and grab on to its legs to protect themselves from falling objects."

So, did you do this thing? How did it go? I did it and feel really prepared now—not just for potential earthquakes but also potential imaginary ones. All kinds of calamities, really. The Reader has never experienced an earthquake per se, but a lot of things are changing around here and you just never know.

Actually, don't tell anybody but I'm still hiding under my desk. I mean, it's kind of comfortable down here. It sort of feels like camping, but without all the insects. It's a little dark, but I've got a special reading light set up, and a good book to read, and I don't know, it just seems like the right place to be at the moment. It definitely feels safer than sitting, which doesn't just expose you to falling objects but also causes sitting disease.

What other types of safety drills do you think Illinois should host? If you said "volcano drill," then you're off to a really good start. Illinois doesn't have any volcanoes right now, but our history of volcanic rock producing suggests that anything can happen. Safety first, etc.

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