One of the best uses of your tax money is funding the U. S. Geological Service. These guys keep track of what lies beneath the nation, and they have created some very interesting Internet sites to report the results.
My wife introduced me to one of the most intriguing sections of their site, the one dealing with earthquakes. They post maps showing all the places earthquakes have occurred, of any size, within a variety of periods. If you look at the tally for the week, you will see immediately what it means to be part of the Ring of Fire, the area around the Pacific Ocean that contains most of the world's volcanoes. California has dozens of little quakes each week, not big enough to merit news stories and probably good news anyway because they release pressure from tectonic plates sliding past each other without allowing a Big One to build up. There's a zone in the middle of the country that's regularly featured in those maps-another area that's nervous about someday having, as they have at intervals in the past, a major quake. Our neighborhood is pretty calm, but if things do happen, and any time you're curious about something you felt or that got reported, check with the USGS. There used to be a seismograph on a building at the core of the Middlebury business district, which would suggest with squiggles in a continuously drawn line on a revolving drum what had occurred in the recent past. I used to miss it, but not now that I know another source