Monday, January 18, 2010


So, I decided that for every trip we go on for track this year, I’m going to write a blog post about something that’s been on my mind. I think that the majority of the time it will turn out like this one, with no specific direction or purpose other than a fulfillment of a goal. I don’t even know what I want to write about right now…

Generally speaking, I sit down and write about something that is occupying my mind and want to get off my chest. So, I thinking about it for a minute I realized that something that has been on my mind a bit lately: earthquakes. Yep. I’ve talked to a few people about this but I figured I’d reiterate my point to everyone (all the millions of people who read this thing).

Ever since my first earthquake happened a week or so ago, I have been more aware of their occurrences. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like there’s been a lot of them lately, like more than normal. I’m going to go into a little “apocalyptic” moment here, so don’t judge me.

Like I said, we had a little 4.1 earthquake here in Cedar City about a week ago while I was in the ELC just wasting some time before my next class. The building is pretty old and there’s been construction going in there the past year or so and so when the building started shaking and that noise happened, at first I attributed it to the more probable option of it being construction. Then, of course, I posted on Facebook, “Was that an earthquake?” Within a minute or so I got a link to the UofU’s seismograph site where it had measured our earthquake at a 4.1. I thought I was pretty freakin cool because I was now officially an earthquake survivor. Of course, the curiosity didn’t stop there. As soon as I saw all the other little earthquakes on the map, I began looking for more maps and data.

Fast forward a few days later.
I was online again and there was a thread on the ‘stat about the sea lions in San Francisco and how they had just randomly left overnight. As I read the article and the quotes from the biologists, it felt like I was in a movie for a second reading how “they just disappeared!” It was kinda eerie, not gonna lie. They were confused as to what had caused them to leave so suddenly like that but nobody really had a solid explanation. A few people, mostly seen as extremists, were citing the ’89 San Francisco quake and how they had done the same thing right before it struck. A few days later after the sea lions disappeared this time, a 6.9 quake hit just off the shore of northern California.

Fast forward a few more days.

Front page of Yahoo has the headline of “7.x Earthquake rocks Haiti.” I was like, wtf?? How many earthquakes are gonna happen? As I was driving back from practice that day, it dawned on me that I was super bummed out for some reason. I couldn’t really figure it out but then I realized that this Haiti thing was really bothering me. They had a headline a little later about there being possibly 100,000 people dead. That is what I think really was bothering me.

As I went to bed, I started thinking of it all again, and the Bible verse from Matthew popped into my head from “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.” (Matt 24:7) I then began thinking, “I wonder if the earthquake frequency really has been increasing or is it just an increase in my own awareness...” I jumped right back out of bed and true to the super nerd that I am, jumped on my computer for some research. A few google searches later looking for info, I stumbled on the USGS site with historical earthquake data since the 80’s. They mostly just had bar graphs of each year but I noticed that there was a significant increase in large earthquakes over the past three decades. All that info did was stoke the fire and I became all the more curious. So, I kept on searching and found a site that had gathered info from 1860 to the present. As I read the article and looked over the graphs, the info I was searching for became very easy to see. The increase in earthquake frequency since the mid-19th century was surprisingly large. I thought it would have been a little more subtle than that, especially for a geological trend which I would assume would subscribe to a scale of millions of years, not tens of years.

Needless to say, my suspicions were confirmed and my curiosity satisfied and I went to bed. I’ve been pondering on the subject for a few days now and the spiritual ramifications of these findings are substantial (not saying I was the first one to see this, it’s just been more applicable as of late). It feels as though the majority of those that are passively or actively looking for the “signs” are looking for things to be very black and white. In this case, unlike many others, the signs are very distinct and unmistakable. Once again, I’m not trying to be apocalyptic or anything, I’m just pointing it out so do with it as you will.