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Earthquake, Statue of Liberty lightning strike, and the photo voltaic eclipse. So…is the world ending?


If I’m on trip, within the ocean, salty breeze in my frizzy hair, then sure, certain. I just like the bobbly feeling of being in the midst of a comfortable wave.

However, once I’m sitting on a settee in the midst of my lounge, holding my 6-month-old niece, and the home begins transferring from underneath us? No thanks.

Like most East Coasters, I felt like Friday’s 4.8 magnitude earthquake got here out of nowhere. Along with higher meals and the actual change of seasons, holding our ft firmly planted on the bottom is likely one of the causes we favor life right here over the sunshine and seismic exercise of the West Coast. We don’t do rattly, paintings-fall-off-the-wall earthquakes in Jersey.

Now that this out-of-the-ordinary factor has occurred, we’re completely consumed by it. I despatched and obtained extra texts than I wish to admit buying and selling struggle tales concerning the 20-second rumble. I Googled, in order that I felt assured sufficient in my earthquake experience to carry conversations about it with family and friends. It’s what we talked about over dinner.

After which social media identified to me – because it so typically does – that this wild incidence shouldn’t be alone. Right here’s a major-weird-stuff timeline for you:

Wednesday, April 3 – the Statue of Liberty is struck by lightning, and caught on digicam in gorgeous images by Dan Martland that make Girl Liberty seem like a pop star in the midst of a pyrotechnically enhanced present.

Friday, April 5 – The newborn and I, and about 42 million different folks, are actually sofa browsing through the quake.

Monday, April 8 – Get your glasses out, children. It’s photo voltaic eclipse time.

Naturally, the web now thinks the world is ending.

I’ll admit I loved scrolling by means of all of the memes, witty feedback, and nasty spats on social media concerning the confluence of those occasions. I notably preferred the posters who predicted it was all “some subsequent stage Ghostbusters advertising technique,” or that the aliens are coming for us subsequent week.

They bought me enthusiastic about why, when confronted with unusual (and fortunately in these circumstances not really harmful) happenings, we instantly go to the tip of the world situations. All of us get the joke of the man who posted the Godzilla meme – in any case of this, what’s subsequent?!

I texted Brandon Valeriano, a Seton Corridor professor and all-around good man with a humorousness to ask his ideas. He identified to me that the three occasions I discussed weren’t actually as out-of-nowhere as they appear.

The Statue of Liberty, AccuWeather stories, is really struck by lightning a number of occasions a yr.

Average earthquakes listed below are uncommon, however they do occur. We get small ones far more typically than you most likely understand. (We’ve had 28 quakes in New Jersey prior to now 17 years.) And, one other stronger, 5.9 magnitude earthquake that hit Virginia in 2011 rattled us in New Jersey and New York, too.

And photo voltaic eclipses don’t occur on a regular basis, however they’re a standard a part of the planetary rotation and are fully predictable.

So why does X-formerly-Twitter say we’re in for it?

Professor Valeriano informed me we use humor and conspiracy theories to make sense of the world.

“People attempt to search for patterns to arrange … (the) world, and generally one thing that you just see as a sample, or a streak, is basically simply one thing that’s taking place naturally.

“The world is huge and stuffed with complexity,” Valeriano texted me. “Loads of conspiracies are simply methods to determine order.”

So, he doesn’t assume we have to put together to be beamed up. That’s good.

However hey, I’ll nonetheless put on my pajamas inside out and hope for a Might Day snow day in case you guys wish to. (And really, it did snow in Might in New Jersey in 2020. However 2020 was approach too out of the atypical to rely.)

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