The Globetrotting Meghan

The Globetrotting Meghan

Friday, February 22, 2008

This is the apartment that I will soon be moving in to. We go tomorrow to actually pick out the apartment that we will have. Of particular interest is the large living room that will soon hold our piano, the gigantic walk-in closet, the dishwasher, and the washer and dryer in the apartment. If you cannot tell, I am way excited by the prospect. Because of my cat, I will have the room on the right as it has its own bathroom. Lisa will have the room on the left that is attached to the main bathroom. We have decided that the living room will be decorated in reds, oranges, and yellows. Which means I finally get to buy and hang those posters by Andy Warhol that I am absolutely in love with. I think most everyone will finally be happy that I have a room in my apartment that is not green... Now we just have to decide which kind of cat friendly blinds and curtains we are going to put on the sliding door. As we have to be on the first floor because of the piano, these are absolutely necessary, but I am slightly worried that Inkling will have a field day with any kind of hanging cloth... Hmmm, problem. Anyways, I just wanted to share my excitement. (And this seemed much funner than working on my complex homework like I should be doing right now.)

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Ice Crystals and Hail

So the Ice Quake was on Wednesday afternoon, and on Tuesday we went from warm enough to melt all the snow in the morning to pouring hail in the afternoon to dropping 50 degrees by that night.

The pouring hail was quite interesting. And it hurt. We got so much hail that day that it looked like we had 2 inches of snow on the ground, only it was all hail. We also got some quite pretty ice crystals forming on the windows. So all together the weather has been just a little bit interesting recently...

Madison's "Earthquake"

And just because I thought you wouldn't believe it from me, here it is from the paper:

Lake Mendota ice quake shakes UW and MadisonBrief tremor hits shoreline buildings on ThursdayDavid Medaris on Thursday 01/31/2008 3:44 pm

There's a lot of expansion and contraction happening out on the big ice sheets that cover Madison's lakes in winter.Credit:Kristian Knutsen
A UW-Madison news release reports that this afternoon's brief tremor may be attributable to an ice quake. According to the release, dozens of employees in buildings along the Lake Mendota shoreline phoned UW police and the facilities staff to ask about the shaking, which occurred at about 12:50 p.m., lasted for two or three seconds and registered on a seismometer at the geology department.
The release goes on to state that ice quakes (or a cryoseism) are often synchronized with loud cracking noises, "are caused by large shifts in ice and are most commonly triggered by drastic temperature changes" similar to the significant thermometer variations of recent days, and may result in pressure ridges or other fractures in the ice.
Such events are not without precedent. There's a lot of expansion and contraction happening out on the big ice sheets that cover Madison's lakes in winter. One of the most dramatic such occurrences happened a little before noon on Jan.15, 1948, when seismographs measured a tremor at 3.8 on the Richter scale.
That's not much by the standards of California or other active earthquake zones, but press accounts of the time noted that the shaking was "accompanied by loud reports of breaking ice fields" and "had the sound and force of a blast." An account in the American Journal of Science ascribed the quake to "an ice fracture on Lake Mendota," and noted that it "was of sufficient intensity to shake some plaster off the ceiling of an office and to crack the sewer drain of one fraternity house."
The day after that tremor of 60 years ago, a group of geology students discovered "a four-foot overthrust in ice 1-1/2 feet thick."
Today's shake-up was minuscule compared to the reports from 60 years ago: UW-Madison geology Prof. Cliff Thurber estimates today's brief tremor at less than 0.2 on the Richter scale -- enough to be noticed, but well short of calamity.
The UW-Madison news release noted no reports of damage as a result of today's tiny quake.