Some odd facts are too wonder-full not to share. I have just read that the earthquake in Chili changed the speed of the earth's rotation -- by a fraction of a micro-second. This is not a singular event, an earthquake in Indonesia a few years ago did the same. The article explained that when two of the big tectonic plates crunch up together [not the exact wording] the effect is similar to when a figure skater brings her outspread arms closer to her body -- she speeds up a bit. Having just seen a ballet documentary, I suppose the same thing must happen to spinning dancers.
It's amazing what physicists are able to figure out all this. The article also said the Chilean quake may have changed the position of the earth's axis ... a bit. We are tiny little bits of matter on this great big ball, going about our every day lives, totally unaware of the dynamics of the ball -- except if we are unfortunate enough to be too close to the epicenter of an earthquake, or in the way of a tsunami that the quake causes. BUT those scientists with their computers full of calculations can figure out what happened and tell us about it. It's all pretty wonderful [as long as you're not where the quake happens. Then it's all quite horrible].
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