Earthquake!: Let's Not Anger Chuck Norris Again Shall We?

Earthquake!: Let's Not Anger Chuck Norris Again Shall We?

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Jason Yang
Aug 24, 2011

Yesterday afternoon at around 2pm EST, a magnitude 5.9 earthquake shook up the east coast. While west coasters will laugh at the reactions on the opposite coast, it's not a daily occurrence - consider a blizzard dropping down in the middle of L.A. People filled the streets and parking lots as they hurried out of their buildings. Some remained calm, either playing down the tremors or heading towards doorways and under desks. Many were in a panic, dropping everything and running out the door. One of many fascinating subplots of the earthquake is how quickly we reacted from a technology standpoint. Facebook and Twitter activated went through the roof, as did texting and cell phone calls - even overwhelming the networks at times. Share your experiences with Unplggd and tell us what you did during and in the aftermath of our little excitement for the day!

"Chuck Norris doesn't do push-ups, he does earth-downs."

I for one was sitting on our 3rd floor office next to a coworker and had accidentally bumped his desk at the exact moment we felt the first movement of the building. We both looked at each other curiously, wondering if that little bump really shook the place that badly. Ken, our creative director said, "did something just happen?" to which I replied, "I don't know - but I did bump the table." To which I bumped it again on purpose, exactly as another rumble took place! The shaking was definitely more than the table though.

Ken exclaimed, "it's an earthquake, let's got out of here." I ran to my office to grab my phone, wallet, and keys, but the funny part is a minute later I hadn't come out of the office, prompting Ken to yell out, "what the hell are you doing? Let's go!" I will very sadly admit that my answer was - "I have to protect my computer monitors." To be fair, what I really was doing was ensuring that my two Apple Cinema Display monitors wouldn't fall down and go crashing through my glass desk during the earthquake. I had an insurance deductible and thousands of dollars of tech and furniture to think about! In hindsight really I should have just gotten the heck out of dodge, but I couldn't help myself - that was really my first reaction.

Outside there were hundreds of people, half of whom were chatting amongst themselves and the other with their heads down buried in their smartphones. I just happened to need to head to the pharmacy to pick up a subscription so I headed out. Ten minutes later while I was bored waiting in line I checked Facebook and unbelievably there were hundreds and hundreds of status updates related to the earthquake. A surprising number of posts had timestamps seconds from the initial tremors. In fact, millions upon millions of people were posting to Facebook or Tweeting about the earthquake mere moments after it happened. A common thread of jokes about it have been that social media travels faster than seismic waves, the news having reached other parts of the country in mere seconds.

So where were you during the earthquake and how did you respond? Did you reach to save any personal belongings or tech? Hopefully there were no injuries out there! Share your stories, we'd love to hear about your experiences.

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(Images: Flickr users Official U.S. Navy Imagery and dbking under Creative Commons.)

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