2011 August 23: Earthquake!

Yup. We had an earthquake here! Even though where I live is basically smack in the middle of a continental plate, halfway between the nearest two fault lines, earthquakes do happen around here. I also happen to live near a quarry, so initially, I thought it was a normal quarry blast, but then I realized that compared to a 0.5 second long quarry blast, the shaking was going on for a good 19.5 seconds longer. Truthfully, 3 hours after the event, I'm still shaking slightly and warily awaiting the aftershocks.
Even though I live far from established fault lines, apparently earthquakes can happen here because of loose soil just above the bedrock collapsing on itself. It has happened before; this is simply the biggest one in a long time, tying the biggest one on record (magnitude 5.9).
I just think it's ironic that my first real earthquake (I heard of, but did not directly experience, the magnitude 7 earthquake that occurred in Baja California, Mexico when I was visiting Caltech over a year ago — the only indication I got that something was amiss was that I was visiting the beach during low tide, but the tides were almost twice as high as typical high tide) would happen at home; that said, I apparently would have felt had I spent the summer at MIT as well. I say this because when I visited MIT and discussed my housing situation for the coming year (and at that point I was still deciding on which college to attend), the housing manager casually asked where else I Was considering enrolling, and I mentioned Caltech; the manager humorously told me that it's a very good school, but that I should stick with MIT unless I wanted to experience earthquakes every other day. So I enroll at MIT, yet I still feel an earthquake, something I honestly thought I would never experience in my life. Go figure.