Quake prep

By Jonathon Rowe
Flapjack Chronicle

In an instant mother earth can transition from her finest and most elegant form to her darkest and most destructive form. The earth trembles and shakes while humanity embraces the destruction to come.
California happens to be earthquake country. That’s why it’s imperative that citizens stay prepared, say state officials.
Humboldt State University along with all major universities in California took the time on Oct. 18 to recognize the possibility of a major earthquake. The California Shakeout is an annual event that is designed to simulate a devastating earthquake — at exactly 10:18 a.m.
Last year more than 12.5 million people were registered in Shakeout drills worldwide. Participants are expected to drop, cover and hold on while also taking part in possible evacuation drills.
Head Geology Professor Susan Cashman discussed the importance of the drill as it pertains to Humboldt State.

“Humboldt County is in a very active fault zone, it is one of few places in the world with a triple fault junction,” said Cashman. “The Cascadia Subduction Zone has the power to produce a 9.0 magnitude shaker that could wreak havoc on Humboldt County.”
The Cascadia Subduction Zone itself is the plate boundary between the Juan de Fuca Plate and the North American Plate. It stretches all the way from British Columbia to the cold and desolate beaches of the Lost Coast.
Cashman expressed the importance of preparation in the event that such a catastrophe should occur. “Students need to be aware of the possible dangers that accompany living in a seismically active region,” said Cashman. “At any time all hell could break loose and the only preparation is knowledge along with knowing what to do in the situation.”

Most classrooms at Humboldt allowed students to get under their desks and simulate their reactions to a sudden earthquake.
Business major Mick Johnson, 21, discussed this experience during the drill.

“I was in one of my morning business classes when my professor told us to get under the desks,” said Johnson. “To be honest most students were screwing around and didn’t take it seriously which is unfortunate.”
Johnson explained his past experiences with earthquakes based on the region he lived in. “When I was younger there was an odd earthquake swarm where I lived in Reno, Nev.,” said Johnson.
“Reno is not really considered earthquake country but it took us all by surprise especially the state government which had no idea how to respond.”
Kinesiology major Danielle Gaumer, 19, discussed other methods for preparation within your own home.

“Have flash lights on hand and extra water in case the power goes out in the earthquake or the damage is really bad,” said Gaumer. “Know safety spots to hide in your house in the event of an earthquake.”
The Shakeout’s plan is simple; promote preparation while informing citizens of the right things to do during chaos. It is definitely a positive to promote awareness as well because most students do not take earthquakes seriously. In the end the ones who are most prepared will be the ones most likely to survive the disaster unscathed.


Blondie’s Open Mic: No Musician Left Behind

By Diover Duario
Flapjack Chronicle staff

On any given Thursday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., if you wander up LK Wood and California street in Arcata, you might smell and hear it. The scent of freshly brewed coffee, a dozen lit cigarettes and a symphony of 20 or so people clapping and singing inside a packed coffee house. A festive sensory spectacle customary to open mic nights at Blondie’s.

“I feel lucky working here,” says Tessa Fray, a barista and cashier working at Blondie’s Food and Drink for over two years. She’s been on the clock for many an open mic night and says despite the greater foot traffic even all her co-workers enjoy the shift.

Among her most memorable experiences in open mic is when a performer once stopped playing in the middle of a song to buy everyone a beer and had everyone shotgun it together. He then played on where he left off.

It’s tough not to enjoy working on a busy night when everyone is in high spirits, she says.

“Whether or not they’re regulars, the majority of people who are here are really friendly.”

The audience is treated to a vast assortment of music every Thursday. An intense, funky four-minute Jazz bass exhibition, a searing Eddie Cochran cover, a shoegaze rendition of “Baby Got Back,” and even Irish hymns in sung a cappella are common amidst a diverse musical scene that come every week to Blondie’s. A regular performer consists of a trio called Pussy Trails performed their song Missis Mashed Potatoes (available on Youtube) driven by an acoustic guitar not unlike a slapstick Beastie Boys tune. The entire room seemed to answer the call for a good time.

It’s not surprising musicians love playing at Blondie’s given the sense of community bred from a collective sense of musical appreciation. They meander amongst the crowd drinking and having fun while cheering on their fellow performers as they await their turn.  For many local musicians Thursday is circled on their weekly schedule.

“Everyone here seems to want to be here, [in] a very supportive atmosphere for musicians,” says Fray.

Guitarist and songwriter Sean Fettis, a regular musician at open mic night for the past three years, says that the musicians are drawn to the kind of people who shows up.

“There’s no one who’s going to come on stage and get booed,” he says. It’s a great outlet for musicians looking to perform regardless of experience.

Short of a record deal, for an aspiring musician it’s like a dream come true. A supportive outlet for any form of musical expression accepted by every willing participant that serves food, booze, and cigarettes. Though there’s registration, organizers usually welcome drop-ins. There’s a house guitar for anyone willing to step up and fill time or close the night. They even book shows during the week for free. And there’s no admission so one could invite as many friends or family to the show.

For many musicians here it seems that Thursday brings a kind of thirst only Blondie’s can satisfy.

Beneath the waves — on the big screen

By Jenny Lavell
Flapjack Chronicle staff

The lights dimmed while people chatted, drank beer and listened to inspirational music playing over surfing videos as everyone waited for Arcata Theater Lounge’s monthly Ocean Night to begin.

People of all different sorts show up to ATL on the first Thursday or Friday of every month to get their ocean fix. Surfers, divers and marine studies students mix with local activists from Surfrider, Humboldt Baykeepers and the Ocean Conservancy. Kids run all over the place, excited to watch the videos with cute otters and interesting sharks.

Typically a well-established documentary is shown followed by an inspiring surf film. But October’s event was no ordinary Ocean Night. It was the Beneath the Waves Film Festival. Seven videos were shown, all filmed and produced by students. All touched on climate change and its affects on the ocean. All were research based with a social commentary.

The first film, “Time Will Tell” by Madison Stewart, had won best conservation message. Stewart narrates the film, telling the world about her life in the ocean and her love for the sharks. Only 18 years old, Stewart describes the changes in the shark populations that she has seen in this beautiful, moving film.

The next film was “Plastics Future: the Midway Story” by Claire Feisler. This was one of the more devastating films shown as it focused on the accumulation of plastics on Midway Island and how this affects the birds living there.

A commercial came on between the second and third film. Modeled after an eHarmony commercial, this was an ad for seaHarmony. This parody featured one of the oddest of couples; a young woman with a hermit crab. “Other dating sites are so species specific,” she says. “When I look into his compound eyes, I see bioluminescence.” This little fluff piece was a great relief from the horrors of plastic, both already shown and to come.

The third film, “Gloop” by Gaby Bastyra and Joe Churchman, had won People’s Choice. This film was a chilling rhyme about plastic’s past, present and future. Completely animated and voiced over by a young girl with a British accent, this film was fascinating in its darker approach to voicing the dangers of plastics.

The next three films were all uplifting messages about sharks. “Befriending Giants” by Shawn Heinrichs told the amazing tale of of a village in the Philippines feeding and befriending the local population of whale sharks.

“Sharkwater Saipan” by Angelo Villagomez and Rob Stewart may have been the most inspiring of the videos shown at Ocean Night, telling the tale of the reaction of a sixth grade class in a Saipanese elementary school to a documentary on shark finning and how they helped pass a bill to make Saipan the second place in the world to ban shark fin soup. The last film, “Solstice” by Simon Spear, was about the search for basking sharks in the waters off Scotland.