Tag Archives: experiences


Isn’t it curious how when you are younger time seems to pass so slowly?

I could fit a whole adventure in the backyard in between lunch and dinner. Things felt eternal, but somehow they weren’t. Every year I told my little brother that we’d catch tadpoles at the park together. But it was always either too early or too late. That sweet spot ever alluded me.

Sure things moved slow, but I moved slower. I hesitated to take advantage of my youth, saying that I’d have time another day.

We can always catch tadpoles next summer.

What a load of shit.

My brother is growing up, he doesn’t want to spend his time catching tadpoles with his brother.

Me? I can’t seem to find the time anymore.

A Different Kind of Short Story

Hey all, not sure if anyone still looks on this site after such a long period of inactivity (My bad). I’ve been pretty busy with finishing up my degree but I never really stopped writing. It just shifted focus. I just wanted to post a sample of the type of stuff I’ve been doing.

Below I have a science highlight for one of my recent papers (it ended up being 20+ pages so I didn’t want to post the actual thing here). Water and geology are my passions, along with writing. So I thought it’d be cool to mix my worlds together a little bit. And who knows, maybe you’ll learn something too 🙂

Study Finds That California Summers Contribute to Seismic Events

Jacob Edwards 5/7/18


With the changing of the seasons in California, there are many factors that affect the likelihood of earthquakes. The most prevalent of these seasonal controls is called hydrologic loading. During the wet California winter, the weight of water and snow compresses the continental crust. When that water and snow is evaporated in the summer, the crust raises again. This happens around the late-summer or fall, depending on the area of California. The type of ground that the water is absorbed into plays a part as well. It can affect how long it takes the water weight to drain or evaporate. Areas like the central valley have more soil to hold and retain the winter rains, whereas the coastal and Sierra Nevada mountain ranges have less of a soil layer and also drain down into the valley.  (Nature, http://doi.org/10.1038/nature13275, 2014)

The up and down movement of the crust, especially in the coastal mountain ranges helps to loosen the San Andreas fault system. When the weight of the loaded water is removed in the late summer, the strike-slip faults of the San Andreas unclamp, making it easier for them to slip and cause an earthquake. (Nature, http://doi.org/10.1038/nature13275, 2014)

The Uniform California Earthquake Rupture Forecast model geometry or UCERF3 is a tool used by Johnson et. al in the scientific paper: Seasonal water storage, stress modulation, and California seismicity, 2017. It was a collective effort by the geology community to measure the likelihood of fault failure of nearly every fault in California. Johnson et. al used the data to see just how much stress these faults undergo every year and when it was at its maximum. These times happened to be when the crust was under its maximum stress due to hydrologic loading. Then Johnson et. al compared this data to the historical records of earthquakes in California. The majority of earthquakes in the past fit this model, happening when stress from the weight of winter rain and snow was at its greatest. (Science Vol. 356 Issue 6343 http://doi.org/10.1126/science.aak9547, 2017)


  1. Johnson, Christopher W., et al. “Seasonal Water Storage, Stress Modulation, and California Seismicity.” Science, vol. 356, no. 6343, 2017, pp. 1161–1164., doi:10.1126/science.aak9547.
  2. Amos, Colin B., et al. “Uplift and Seismicity Driven by Groundwater Depletion in Central California.” Nature, vol. 509, no. 7501, 2014, pp. 483–486., doi:10.1038/nature13275.

Lesser-Known Life Pro Tips

#1 Don’t call someone on a stranger’s phone.

We’ve all been there, your phone died because you were playing too much Flappy Bird on the bus. You’re tempted to ask someone if you can borrow their phone for a few seconds to call your friend and let him know to bring two handles of Jack to the BBQ.

Don’t do it.

I’ve been on the other side of that interaction. An acquaintance asked if she could use my phone to call home. I handed her the cell phone and she thanked me. Only I knew something she didn’t. I had dropped that phone in the toilet the night before. It still worked, and I cleaned it fairly well. But I cringed all the same. From that point on I’ve been no better than R. Kelley. I basically peed on her face…

So don’t make someone go through that, just text your friends on that stranger’s phone. And be sure to wash your hands afterwards.

#2 If you ever have maids in your home, hide your unused toothbrushes.

I was not home when this happened, but according to one of my roommates when the maids came to our apartment they started with no toothbrushes and left with at least one.

“TOOTHBRUSH!!! I GOT A TOOTHBRUSH HERE!!” Apparently that’s what they yelled when they raped my privacy. My roommate mentioned that afterwards they started using a toothbrush to clean all sorts of shit. When I showed him one of the toothbrushes I had bought in bulk he confirmed that it was the same kind as the ones the maids had been using.

I had a half full package of toothbrushes under my sink goddammit! But when I returned only two remained.

The worst part. The absolute worst part of it all, was that they didn’t even do a good job. When I opened the door to my room all of the stuff I had on my sink (we have sinks in our rooms) had been pushed onto the floor.

I wouldn’t know anything about this if my apartment didn’t offer a free maid service once a year. I’ve never had a maid clean up for me ever before. So mind you, this has happened to me 100% of the times that I have had any maid service.

#3 Don’t smell water bottles you suspect are filled with piss.

This should be pretty self explanatory. Yeah, it smells bad. But few people know the hidden consequence.

I smelled a bottle of pee a little over a year ago. In my defense, I thought someone had left a water bottle full of apple juice by the side of the road and I had to know.

However, once I realized that the bottle was just full of piss something strange happened to me. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon describes that moment when you learn something exists, only to see it frequently a short time afterwards. This happens a lot after learning new words. It was a lot more shocking in my case when I realized the sheer number of pee bottles scattered everywhere. I can’t go a couple miles without seeing one now. It’s really bad. We really haven’t moved past the days when people would throw their shit out onto the streets. We just bottle it now.