Shake up the future

Predicting the future is usually best left to the sages and mathematicians, both who come to their answers in equally mysterious ways. The sages of the scientific community have been foretelling of a giant earthquake in California’s immediate future. So far nature has yet to deliver on this promise, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be taking preventative measures.

Today the Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation will be shaking a 6-story wooden condo at a force equal to a 6 on the Richter scale. This building has been undergoing ramped up test in Miki, Japan for the past several weeks. So far it has survived with minimal damage.


“Basically, what happens during an earthquake in multiple-story building is something called a ’soft story,’” John van de Lindt of Colorado State University, the condo designer, told Wired. “It’s not as stiff as the story above it, and the earthquake demands more stiffness from the lower story. This can develop into a pancake collapse, which damages the building and can kill people.”

There will be an update today after the live Webcast of the test.

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