Saturday, April 15, 2006

various forms of danger

Late, late last night -- or early, early this morning -- I thought I felt the ground moving, and I wondered if there was an earthquake. I've had this experience several times now: I'm usually half-asleep, and can't be sure if it's the ground moving, or me moving, or vibrations caused by a truck, or a completely imaginary event.

When I woke up hours later, I rolled over to look at the weekend paper Lisa had brought in. The front page headline was about the anniversary of the great San Francisco quake of 1906. An old black and white photo showed a collapsed building in Salinas, but the article explained that, unlike San Francisco, nobody died here.

Even so, it made me pause to realize that April 18 will mark the 100th anniversary of the worst earthquake disaster in U.S. history, and that it occurred in the wee hours of the morning, before 6 am.

Later this morning, while I was preparing coffee and unloading the dishwasher, I overheard a report on CNN, which Lisa had on in the background. There was mention of a terrible car accident on the Long Island Expressway that had been fully captured on video by a new kind of camera installed on the bus behind the car. The man in the car survived, and was interviewed; Jill Claybrook of Public Citizen was also interviewed. Then they showed the section of the LIE where the accident took place, and added that it's one of the most dangerous stretches of highway in the state. At the end of the report the newsman said, "From Old Westbury, New York..." I took that as a sign to call home, which I was planning on doing anyway.


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