Monday, July 16, 2007

Earthquake in Japan

Sky News reported today an earthquake in Japan measuring "5.6"

Presumably this was on the Richter scale, but even so, does anyone really know what "the Richter Scale" really means ?

My initial thought was that "5.6"sounds rather like the sort of scores given out by judges at international ice skating or diving competitions, or in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Based on this compelling evidence and insightful analysis, my guess is that the Richter scale is done in a similar manner, with a panel of leading international experts who review TV footage, assess damage reports and award marks for loss of life, damage to both landmark and general residential structures, and also a component of th emark being awarded for artisitic effect (how many bridges are swaying alarmingly, number of houses left teetering alarmingly on the edge of precipices etc etc).

These judges must be spread around the region - doing it globally would cause insurmountable problems with time differences - and so to end up with a "5.6", its highly probable the Japanese judge would have handed down a "6.3", but this would have been offset with the Korean's raditional low marking of Japanses quakes - perhaps a "4.7" ?

Unconfirmed reports say that some more competitive countries now hold earthquake training - where the population are taught to sway alarmingly en-mass and in synchronised fashion in order to score higher marks.

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