Levi And Bristol – Together Again?

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Man, if true… Andrew Sullivan’s going to be pissed!!!!!!!

The “Temblor” Controversy

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Is “temblor” the correct word to use when describing a seismic event? As it turns out, several of my bass playing brethren over at Talk Bass are also geologists, and they say no.

In 1978, when I was about 13, my family moved from Texas to California. When I heard a news reporter saying the word “temblor” I thought at first he meant to say “tremor” and just make an on-air mistake. When I heard it repeated over the years, being a California transplant, I just figured that’s what they call Earthquakes here.

I moved from Dallas to Lemoore California (yeah, I know…. where?). Having experienced a few tornadoes, I was ready to experience my next natural disaster, an Earthquake! I was bummed because they said we never get Earthquakes in the San Joaquin Valley. Seven months later, while in 8th grade algebra class, we were sitting in the portable classroom (why do they call it a “portable”, they never move them) taking a quiz or something, when the girl behind me started to shake my desk…. Except it couldn’t have been the girl behind me, because (a) she was absent that day, and (b) everyone else started looking around too wondering what was going on. Then, someone pointed to the hanging retractable screen that was swaying nicely. “Earthquake” someone yelled.

Some panicked and got scared.


My thought….. “Oh My God…. This is Soooo COOL!!!!”

It seemed no one ever mentioned that if the quake was big, you could feel it a long distance away. This quake was centered in the Mammoth Lakes region, and would be the start of a swarm of quakes, the largest being a 7.2 a year or so later.

After that, I was hooked. As long as nothing falls on me, I love the things.

The closest I’ve been to the epicenter of a large quake was the 6.5 quake in 83, centered in Coalinga, a town just 40 miles from Lemoore. I was looking under my mom’s car, trying to pinpoint the source of the oil leak, when the car started shaking a bit. I thought my mom was playing a joke, but when I saw she was standing several feet away, I scooted out from under the Maxima. I probably never moved so fast! Man, that was a big quake. You could see the streets rolling. By that time I had done a lot of reading on the mechanics of quakes, and could feel the difference between the P wave and the S wave. What I didn’t know was that this quake would become an important one seismologically because it confirmed the existence of blind-thrust faults was much more prevalent in California than previously recognized.

Anyway, I loved Earthquakes so much I went back to college in 98 to study seismology. The bummer is that I couldn’t handle the calculus, so now I’m a geology school drop-out. Oh, and I also don’t recall ever hearing a professor using the term “temblor”.

PS. Do I ever get scared during an earthquake? During one aftershock of the Coalinga quake, a 4.9’er, we were in the high school auditorium rehearsing a play. With all the heavy stage lighting banging away up in the fly space, yeah, that was scary. And yes, I flew out of that building like there was no tomorrow.

PPS. Yes, my San Diego guitarists did e-mail me last night to rub it in about the latest Ocotillo aftershock, which he felt and I didn’t. Man, I have to get out of Fresno. I miss all the fun!

The Problem With The News – The Pea Under The Thimble.

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There is news concerning Rand Paul and his lack of membership in the American Board of Ophthalmology. The article opens like this:

Rand Paul, who touts his career as a Kentucky eye doctor as part of his outsider credentials in his campaign for U.S. Senate, isn’t certified by his profession’s leading group.

After being a member for about ten years, disagreements with aspects of ABO re-certification policy led him to walk away from that organization and form a rival group, the National Board of Ophthalmology. His actions, as described in the article, sound well within a libertarian character; that would be something an independent libertarian might do. Note there is no hint in the article that there is any question concerning his competence as a surgeon. The thing that is interesting is that neither group, the ABO and the NBO have nothing to do with state certification.:

Neither group has anything to do with medical licensure, which is handled by state boards.

So, what is this story about, and why is it so important to be a member of this group? From the ABO homepage:

Founded in 1916, the American Board of Ophthalmology is an independent, nonprofit organization responsible for certifying ophthalmologists (eye physicians and surgeons) in the United States… …The mission of the American Board of Ophthalmology is to serve the public by improving the quality of ophthalmic practice through a certification and maintenance of certification process that fosters excellence and encourages continual learning.

But it also notes this:

It is not the purpose of the Board to define the requirements for membership to hospital staffs or to gain special recognition or privileges for its diplomates in the practice of ophthalmology. Neither is its purpose to state who may or may not practice ophthalmology, nor to define the scope of ophthalmic practice. The Board does not seek to obtain special privileges for its diplomates over other qualified physicians. The certificate of the Board does not confer any academic degree, legal qualifications, privilege, or license to practice ophthalmology.

And according to the FAQ page, they don’t have any investigatory responsibilities either. So what is the function of the organization? It appears to be something like a union. I’m not knocking the organization at all. They do perform a very useful function in the medical community… for those who wish to participate. But membership to this organization is not mandatory, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Paul’s NBO membership get’s a nice boost due to this publicity.

PS. The granddaddy of them all, the AMA, also falls into this type of medical union-ish club.