I’m reminded of Boobquake because of this
Obligatory photograph related to Boobquake:
When boobquake happened, I checked the USGS for earthquakes and found, if memory serves, a quake of about 7.0 magnitude. Such quakes happen just over once a month, so that seemed important. However, either memory does not serve or the magnitude of the earthquake was adjusted (initial estimates are often revised) and it turns out that the only 6+ earthquake to occur over the three day period before, during, and after April 26 2010 was a 6.5 magnitude quake (on Boobquake Day itself). It occurred about a thousand klicks east from the northern Philippines, in the Philippine Sea, or about 10,000 klicks northwest of R’lyeh.
There are about two or three such earthquakes a week on Earth. The probability of an Earthquake of this magnitude occurring on Boobquake day is about 1 in 3. Does this mean that promiscuous dress caused the earth to shift in the north Pacific? Maybe. Correlation does not prove causation, but contrary to popular belief it does imply it. In other words, it is suggestive.
One observation is hardly a sufficient sample. We can not say based on science if the link between boobs and quakes is empirically disproved. It is, of course, impossible based on everything we know about the two (boobs and quakes) but that is hardly the point of Boobquake. Boobquake was not a celebration of scientific models or deductus ex petrus (reasoning from the rocks). It was meant to be an empirical demonstration. It does not really matter if there was an earthquake or not on that day, or how strong any such earthquake was. The experiment must be repeated thirty times.
But seriously, folks: Blag Hag’s appearance on this weekend’s Atheist Talk (see this) reminds me to remind you of something: This July’s CONvergence-embedded SkeptchiCON will include, it is hoped, a bit of Desiree Schell, and this is all related. You see, when Boobquake happened, a fight broke out in the blogosphere (who would have thought!?) between those who thought that spontaneous and perhaps over the top (of the v-neck,in this case) demonstration is counterproductive compared to organized action, vs. those who thought the opposite. Desiree is one of the few people who is actually qualified professionally to speak of such things who is also active in the Skeptical community; Her day job is all about training people in everything from effective negotiation to direct action. Desiree will be doing a session on this question. And if you were wondering which side of the Internet fight she was on, you’ll have to keep wondering. That’s not how she rolls.
Stay tuned to this blog for further developments regarding SkepchiCON.