Thursday, October 29, 2009


Do you still use listservs? They used to be one of the coolest things online. Now we have Twitter (coughs, still unconvinced about Twitter).

It was 20 years ago that the 6.9 magnitude earthquake known as the "Loma Prieta" hit the San Francisco and Monterey Bay regions of California. The USGS has a brief description and collection of photos available at among many other sites. This was the World Series quake that occurred while the Giants were playing the A's.

Marty Hoag reports that after he heard about the quake, he wondered what we could do in the middle of the country. As an administrator of our LISTSERV(tm) service he decided to create an e-mail list. He expected it would be a temporary list and then disappear. But it is still running, as QUAKE-L.

You can review the entire archive and search the text of the postings at 

At first the focus was on the impact on computer networks (BITNET and the rather young Internet). For a few years there were discussions about earthquakes but early in the 1990 James Fisher started to provide the list with timely earthquake reports from the USGS. These are the main items on the list now. Currently there are 131 subscribers to the list. (I'm still one of them.)

Times are changing, though. If you haven't done so, just type the word "earthquake" into your Google search engine, and see what you come up with as the first hit. 

My son tells me that Twitters will be good in real-time emergency reaction and response. He is probably right, if the right Tweets can be heard over the technobabble.

To join the QUAKE-L list simply send e-mail to LISTSERV@LISTSERV.NODAK.EDU with SUBSCRIBE QUAKE-L in the BODY of the e-mail. 

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