Two very interesting stories about the Chile earthquake. First, an op-ed: 

In Chile, Life Between the Tremors
By ALBERTO FUGUET
Santiago, Chile

IN Santiago, we feel both lucky and guilty to have been stricken with an earthquake registering 8.0 instead of an 8.8, as it was in Maule and Bío-Bío to the south. Still, most people now keep a glass of water close by as a makeshift seismometer, to see if the rumbles they keep feeling are real or imagined.

We are as shattered as the windows and mirrors that tumbled when that 300-mile fault tore open in the middle of a late-summer night. People are shaking, living in a daze of anxiety, sadness, exhilaration, gossip and a tremendous need to connect with one another and feel that the quake is over.

It is not.

Not all the country is down. Friends got together in cracked buildings with no power for Sunday lunch with not-so-cold chardonnay, to swap stories from the front. People lined up at the local hot dog franchise, reading sold-out editions of all the local papers.

For the rest of this beautifully written witness to disaster, go to http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/02/opinion/02fuguet.html?hp


Second, scientists looks at the geologic importance of the event. Hold on to your hats for this one: 

Chile Earthquake May Have Shortened Days on Earth
By SPACE.com Staff
posted: 02 March 2010
10:02 am ET


The massive 8.8 earthquake that struck Chile may have changed the entire Earth's rotation and shortened the length of days on our planet, a NASA scientist said Monday.

The quake, the seventh strongest earthquake in recorded history, hit Chile Saturday and should have shortened the length of an Earth day by 1.26 milliseconds, according to research scientist Richard Gross at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

"Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis," NASA officials said in a Monday update.

The story continues, at http://www.space.com/news/chile-earthquake-earth-days-100302.html