27 January 2016

The Earthquake, Seasonal Affective Disorder, and Other Things

No, I'm not musing about quitting.

The last couple of days have been lacking in inspiration for this writer, other than numerous local articles about the earthquake. Most of them have dealt with reports of damage, user-submitted photos of fallen items, and the like.

There's a report about our seismic network consisting of some 40 sensors around the Anchorage area, and how some parts of town shook much harder than others.

It's primarily dependent upon the type of soil in each location, as clay and rock have different responses to a 'quake. Go figure, eh?

There's also a new article this morning about mushers during the big 'quake - the title includes the words "rolling, cracking, spurting river ice":
For mushers in the 300-mile Northern Lights 300 Sled Dog Race, the big earthquake came while some were negotiating an icy trail on the frozen Yentna River, which started bucking and cracking. “It was the longest two minutes of my life,” said Karin Hendrickson.
Iditarod veteran Colleen Robertia's dog team crosses large fissures and jumble ice on Cohoe Lake on Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016, in Kasilof. The obstacles resulted from the 7.1 earthquake that occurred early that morning. Joseph Robertia

That would be unsettling, to say the least!

I think a big part of what's "wrong" with me is the lack of snow. That white stuff reflects back even small amounts of light, and makes everything seem brighter. There's an op-ed in today's paper which describes my current symptoms perfectly:
With the start-and-stop of snow in Southcentral the past several winters, the weirds have settled in pretty hard for me. My eyes feel tired and swollen as if I had a mild sinus infection. I am cranky and think about sunny places in a resentful “if only” way — as though it’s not my choice to live in Alaska. They say if you consistently get outside, it’ll help you through this part of winter. Maybe I could feel worse, and I do wonder, but I get outside a lot, and I wouldn’t exactly say I feel “better.”

Yep. That. Having said that, I'm clinging rather desperately to the upcoming trip to the Midwest, where the sunlight is some 30% brighter than in Alaska. I'll get out, soak it in, and spend all day walking around in it.

Let's just say that April can't come soon enough, this year.


ProudHillbilly said...

That makes sense. I had started thinking that I'd like some snow just to brighten things - it's just been sort of mushy brown for a long time. But I meant in maybe occasional doses, not a couple year's worth all in one weekend.

Different soils do change the shaking. And one reason why San Francisco is so vulnerable is that there's major chunks of the city built on fill, which, among other things, can become quick-mud when shaken.

One of our guys was out in the field after the last big quake in S. CA, and they were camping because of the areas they were making their observations in. He said it was hard to sleep at night because when you put your head down you could hear the rocks below still shifting and grinding together.

Rev. Paul said...

The movies always get that part of the earthquake wrong: they never depict how noisy it is, both before and after a big one.

Chickenmom said...

Light makes all the difference - aren't indoor lamps sold that simulate natural sunlight? Maybe that would help a wee bit along with being outside as much as possible.

Rev. Paul said...

Chickenmom, most of the larger stores here sell "SAD lights". We may look into that for next winter.