Sunday, October 28, 2007

Earthquake drills

For the person who came to my blog in search of the answer to the question: What is an earthquake drill used for? please come back. I have the answer for you. Make yourself comfortable, and prepare to be educated. I am a teacher, you know. Even if you don't understand everything I say, you will become cleverer just being around me.

As you may already know, most earthquakes originate very deep in the earth, where the giant catfish lives. The connection between the catfish and earthquakes was made several hundred years ago in Japan:

The earliest known written record linking catfish to earthquakes is a letter from Toyotomi Hideyoshi (1536-98), the unifier of Japan. Near the end of his life, he decided to build a castle in Kyoto's Fushimi district, and of course he wanted it to withstand any earthquake. In a letter to the Kyoto official in charge of administering and policing, he wrote, "During the construction of Fushimi Castle, be sure to implement all catfish countermeasures." His choice of words indicates that at least as early as 1592, when the letter was written, a connection was being drawn between seismic activity and catfish.

These days, catfish countermeasures are far more sophisticated than they were in the sixteenth century.

Giant catfish are unpredictable creatures, and although they sleep most of the time, now and again they wake up and turn over. This causes the great upheavals we call earthquakes. However, it is now known that the worst earthquakes happen when the giant catfish has a nightmare and starts thrashing around in its sleep.

The small turning-over-catfish earthquakes are relatively harmless to human beings, but the larger catfish-nightmare earthquakes can be catastrophic. This is why scientists have been working for years on ways to prevent giant catfish nightmares. For this, they need to study the giant catfish and its habits. This has proved to be difficult.

Getting close enough to the giant catfish to study it is a major problem. As mentioned before, the giant catfish is a subterranean creature. This is where the especially developed "earthquake drills" come in.

Earthquake drills are very long, of course, and they are also hollow. They have a dual purpose. Firstly, they are equipped with lighting and cameras, so that scientists can study the catfish. Secondly, it is possible to send through the drill various sounds or even small objects or gases, which might calm the catfish and prevent the nightmares. It should be noted that scientists are taking the viewpoint that it would be irresponsible to attempt to kill the catfish, as it is possible that the giant catfish may have a vital role in the earth's ecosystem. The risk is too great.

Studies and experiments are ongoing, and have had varied success. The Great Hanshin Earthquake in 1995 was the result of one failed experiment. The giant catfish was heard to grumble in its sleep while grinding its teeth, and in an attempt to calm it scientists piped the tune of Für Elise through the drill. Unfortunately it was not known at that time that the giant catfish has an aversion to Beethoven. This mistake has not been made again, but in 2004 experiments with piping nitrous oxide through the drill caused several earthquakes in Niigata when the giant catfish had an uncontrollable attack of giggles.

It is hoped that with further study using the earthquake drill, and recent experiments with computer catfish, scientists will be able to discover the secret to calming the giant catfish, and further disasters will be averted. It is possible, of course, that there is no answer and that occasional violent movement is a necessary component in the life cycle of the giant catfish, but if this turns out to be the case there are tentative plans to move the catfish offshore. Since this would involve digging up most of Japan, it is hoped that this extreme measure can be averted until around the year 2150, when the population of the archipelago is predicted to reach about five, only two of whom will be inconvenienced because the other three will be working abroad.


Anonymous said...

I wonder if the giant catfish is any relation to the giant tuatara, which, as you know, was entirely responsible for the 1931 Napier earthquake. And we won't mention the massive moa which single-handedly destroyed the Pink and White Terraces in 1886. Curse it.


Keera Ann Fox said...

Oh, wow, I so like your version much better than mine: "It's like a fire drill, but you don't have to go out the window." And I even learned something.

Anonymous said...

You're brilliant! =)

kenju said...

You ARE brilliant! This is the most creative story I have read in a long time. Thanks for the visit and for recounting your story of protecting your friend. I LOVE it!

Bill C said...

Oh dear. Five in 2150? That hardly seems enough to even keep the hamsters fed and watered.

Anonymous said...

Yea this is lyk sooo realistic...Itz still pretty creative tho...i lyk ur style =]lol