Tuesday, August 23, 2011

5.8 Earthquake in Washington Area Today

A very, very interesting day in Washington, DC with the 5.8 earthquake.

I was with Paul Warndorf, VP of Technology and CTO for AMT, and a member of AMT in the Board Room when the earthquake hit.  The first rumble, I said "must be construction."  When things started to really move, the AMT member said, "I have been in Japan, this is an earthquake."   We got at out AMT pretty quickly at that point.

I immediately blamed Pat McGibbon, but later I was told Pat was not responsible for the earthquake :-)

The first earthquake I was in was in the Philippines in 1968 that was 7.3.  I have been in a few earthquakes in California when I worked for Sun Microsystems.  Once, I was driving a rental car and I thought, "I am going to return this rental tomorrow because the suspension is crap."   The next morning I was told by a friend that I was driving when the earthquake hit.

Below is from the USGS on the earthquake:

"The Virginia earthquake of 2011 August 23 occurred as reverse faulting on a north or northeast-striking plane within a previously recognized seismic zone, the "Central Virginia Seismic Zone." The Central Virginia Seismic Zone has produced small and moderate earthquakes since at least the 18th century. The previous largest historical shock from the Central Virginia Seismic Zone occurred in 1875. The 1875 shock occurred before the invention of effective seismographs, but the felt area of the shock suggests that it had a magnitude of about 4.8. The 1875 earthquake shook bricks from chimneys, broke plaster and windows, and overturned furniture at several locations. A magnitude 4.5 earthquake on 2003, December 9, also produced minor damage.

Previous seismicity in the Central Virginia Seismic Zone has not been causally associated with mapped geologic faults. Previous, smaller, instrumentally recorded earthquakes from the Central Virginia Seismic Zone have had shallow focal depths (average depth about 8 km). They have had diverse focal mechanisms and have occurred over an area with length and width of about 120 km, rather than being aligned in a pattern that might suggest that they occurred on a single causative fault. Individual earthquakes within the Central Virginia Seismic Zone occur as the result of slip on faults that are much smaller than the overall dimensions of the zone. The dimensions of the individual fault that produced the 2011 August 23 earthquake will not be known until longer-term studies are done, but other earthquakes of similar magnitude typically involve slippage along fault segments that are 5 - 15 km long.

Earthquakes in the central and eastern U.S., although less frequent than in the western U.S., are typically felt over a much broader region. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area as much as ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. A magnitude 4.0 eastern U.S. earthquake typically can be felt at many places as far as 100 km (60 mi) from where it occurred, and it infrequently causes damage near its source. A magnitude 5.5 eastern U.S. earthquake usually can be felt as far as 500 km (300 mi) from where it occurred, and sometimes causes damage as far away as 40 km (25 mi)."

The Beatles, Florence (Italy), and [MC]2

This is an article I wrote the for August 2011 IMTS Insider.

The Beatles, Florence (Italy), and [MC]2

August 10, 2011

MC2, November 8-10, 2011 - Hyatt Regency, Cincinnati, Ohio What do The Beatles, the city of Florence, Italy, and the MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference [MC]2 all have in common? Are we moving [MC]2 from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Florence, Italy, and having Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr as the entertainment for the opening reception? That would be nice, but highly unlikely. So, what is the common thread? Let me explain.

There are a number of books and articles that have been written of late attempting to quantify the age-old question of "nature vs. nurture" in determining someone's success. In Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers, Gladwell quantifies just how much The Beatles played together before their "instant success" appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in February of 1964. The Beatles played live in Hamburg, Germany, more than 1,200 times from 1960 to 1964. Those nights totaled more than 10,000 hours because they were playing 8 to 10 hours a night, 7 days a week.

It would be easy to misunderstand the premise of Outliers if that was the only story I shared. Gladwell discussed the concept of his book further when he was interviewed by USA Today in late 2008. "The biggest misconception about success is that we do it solely on our smarts, ambition, hustle and hard work. There's an awful lot more that goes into it than we admit." Gladwell emphasizes that if you want to understand why someone is successful, you also need to look beyond the nature and nurture argument, and take a look at other data points such as when and where they were born. Everything from current technology to societal and cultural shifts can have a strong influence on success.

In Daniel Coyle's book, The Talent Code, Coyle asks the question: "Why did so many incredible talents come from Florence, Italy, during the renaissance?" By incredibly talented, we are talking about Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Dante, and Galileo, to name just a few. What was different about Florence, Italy? Guilds. What made Florence so unique were how these guilds were organized and the proven mentoring framework. Young boys were put into apprentice programs with masters that would last 5 to 10 years. The apprenticeship was very organized and emphasized a hands-on approach that would build apprentices' skills from the ground up. These young artists invested thousands and thousands of hours learning their skills under the tutelage of masters.

So, what do The Beatles, the city of Florence, Italy, and the MTConnect: Connecting Manufacturing Conference [MC]2 all have in common? While we won't have Paul or Ringo as entertainment, we will have the masters of MTConnect and manufacturing, and we will be providing days of business and technical sessions in a hands-on framework to create the virtual "guilds" that will continue to live on long after the conference. At the MTConnect Institute, we strongly believe that [MC]2 could be the best investment in your future that either you or your company could make in 2011!

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By: Dave Edstrom
Director, The Office of Strategic Innovation
AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology