XKCD strikes again

xkcd is one of the more inventive on-line comics out there. Most of the sciencey lean towards math and computer science, but it has had some superb pieces that deal with earth science. Some of my personal favorites include

The Geologist Trophy Hunter

Geology Erotica (please make me the #1 google hit for the term “Geology Erotica”)

Earth Bathymetry to scale

and the unsettling nature of learning about Earth’s internal structure

This most recent post is actually about frequencies. It is a graphical representation of the pace, or heartbeat of things. Some of them are terrifying (check out the pulse of producing 50,000 plastic bottles), and some are annoying (at least for me, the two car blinkers). Included near the top are the frequencies of four different magnitude earthquakes, 1, 2, 3, and 4. I assume these are rounded down in their groupings, but the general picture is fantastic. The M1 quakes go off about every 2.4 seconds, and for each magnitude jump you lengthen the recurrence interval by about a factor of 10. I haven’t had the patience to wait for a M3 or M4 yet. Click through for the full gif-ed version.

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