All shook up


It’s been awhile since that’s happened. Or at least since I’ve felt it.

Earthquake in (well, I presume near — it wasn’t *that* strong) Ottawa at about 1:45pm.

Thank god for Twitter, that’s all I can say.

I’ve been on a weird night shift sleep pattern lately so I was sleeping when it happened. Thought someone was blasting or something. (We have construction going on near here.) But it went on for quite awhile, longer than blasting or a big truck passing by would be — about 20 or 30 seconds, followed by a little lull and another little shimmy. (I don’t know if it was related but within about a minute of the shaking ending, a number of emergency vehicles went past here. Surprisingly, there were no car alarms.) Then I thought maybe I was (a) imagining it or (b) having some kind of weird back spasms.

So, I did what any self-respecting person would do. I Googled “Ottawa shaking”.

Internet WIN.

Loads of tweets within seconds. Blog posts within minutes. And there are already news reports about it. The Earthquakes Canada site is impossible to load, as is much of the rest Natural Resources Canada. (I can just imagine how many hits their servers are taking right now).

Edited to add: Finally got the Earthquakes Canada site to load (kind of) and all it says about today is “June 23 1:45 pm Eastern Time – A moderate earthquake has occurred in the Ottawa-Montreal region. More information to follow.”

The US Geological Survey DYFI (did you feel it?) page for the event (event ID us2010xwa7) loads much more quickly. (The main USGS page for the event offers more details about the event.) They say the earthquake was at 13:41:41, centered about 50 kilometers northwest-ish of us (see Google maps), a magnitude 5.5 at a depth of 15 kilometers. Until the Canadian site is working better (and updated), report your experience on the USGS site.

Edited to add again: The Earthquakes Canada home page is now only loading the message I quoted earlier and nothing else. But you can visit the page for this event (which has been downgraded to a magnitude 5.0, with a depth of 18 km) directly and submit a report without going through the home page.

And again (16:00): An interesting commentary on how the earthquake became a Toronto earthquake in the Twitterverse. Some particularly awesome tweets include freemurphy (“Pitchfork gives the #earthquake a 5.5, calls it “derivative, clearly influenced by more seminal eastern quakes”), kylemcinnes (“Ottawa government buildings evacuated. Productivity unaffected.”), and Guin (“Reports coming in that the #earthquake caused a tsunami at the #g20 fake-lake :P”). Some nicely in-depth coverage by the Ottawa Citizen now, as well. Some raw CBC video footage (you can see what that looked like on TV here). Some YouTube video coverage:

And finally a little apropos xkcd:

xkcd Seismic Waves


Genie Awards coming to Ottawa

The 29th Annual Genie Awards are  scheduled to take place Saturday, April 4, 2009, at the Canada Aviation Museum.

Via the Ottawa Citizen: Genie Awards coming to town

More details — including a list of nominated films and who will host the show — will be revealed Feb. 10 in a press conference in Ottawa.

I’d say it was cool except that I’m hoping to be in Toronto that weekend so I’ll miss the hoopla.

Blah blah blah bus strike continues yada yada

Big surprise that the strike vote went 75% in favour of rejecting the city’s offer. Not.

Most people that I’ve talked to today are even less supportive of the striking bus workers than they were before, if that’s possible. There is some bitterness but mostly it’s a firm, don’t-give-in-to-the-union, hunkering down for a long seige kind of thing. I expect this to go on for a long time.

More news from last couple of days:

And other sites:

  • ATU Local 279’s strike site – Chock full of yummy union goodness (OK, “goodness” isn’t the word I was really thinking but I think you knew that)

[This post was originally written mostly on January 8 and partly on January 9 for intended publication on January 9, but technical issues prevented me from doing that. So it was pre-dated and published on January 13 instead.]

Strike vote day

Ottawa snow storm, January 7, 2009
Snow storm and empty Transitway

Day 30. Vote day.

Wonder if the turnout will be affected by all the snow that fell yesterday (15 cm, plus another 10 cm expected by rush hour this morning).

Cue the thriller music. Duhn duhn DUUUHN. What will happen? Will the city be rescued in time? Or is Superman stuck in traffic?

There’s a Citymark page for the strike that pulls relevant information from various social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Youtube, and photo repositories like Flickr.

Latest news articles (there aren’t many since there really isn’t much to write about that hasn’t already been written until after the voting today)

Other interesting sites: