Earthquakes and birds

24 06 2010

So we had an earthquake yesterday. I was at my desk at work when it happened: all of a sudden, everything started shaking and rattling. It took me a few seconds to figure out what was happening, and even then I just sat there, stupefied. Hopefully, if things started actually collapsing or something, I would have had the sense to get out of there. But, since this was my first significant earthquake ever, I didn’t really have a sense of whether it was bad or not. People in California probably have this all figured out by now.

The only thing I could compare it to was the movie Earthquake, which I saw at the Odeon Fairlawn in Toronto in the mid-1970s. This movie was filmed in “Sensurround”, which was a set of low-frequency speakers that vibrated loudly during the earthquake scenes in an attempt to simulate a real earthquake. Having now been through both, I would say that Sensurround did about as good a job as it could have done, given that it was just sounds and wasn’t actually able to move the earth or anything like that.

Unrelated to earthquakes: when I’m at work, I often eat my lunch in Frankel Lambert Park, which is on Christie northwest of Dupont. For the past few days, when I go to a seat in the park to eat lunch, I am followed with close attention by a red-wing blackbird, who hovers over my head and chirps loudly at me until I get past a certain point in the park. My guess is that there is a nest close by, but not close enough for the bird to actually attack me.

Speaking of attacking birds: while I was eating lunch today, I saw a bird divebombing and screeching at a cat. The bird would start from the top of a nearby parked truck, and would swoop as close to the cat as it dared, squawking as loudly as possible. The cat, who had just wandered into the park for a bit of a random stroll and looked too dumbfounded to be interested in attacking birds or anything else, just crouched and put up with the screeching as best as it could. Eventually, the bird moved away and the cat, somewhat dazed, continued on with its stroll.

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