Tuesday, June 08, 2004

All earthquake, all the time…

Iran is a rumor mill. After the earthquake in Bam, there were all sorts of rumors. Some people said that the earthquake was caused by an underground atomic test. Others said that the people of Bam were warned the night before. Every little tremor in the country was reported on which gave people the illusion that the small tremors were not normal. People have said that America has a new satellite that can predict earthquakes all over the world; others have claimed that x-rays will give them the information they need to predict the "Big One."

Every time you turn on the television here, there is a discussion about earthquakes. Predicting an earthquake is still impossible; predicting an earthquake is possible; what to do in an earthquake; what not to do… that sort of thing. Honestly, I am not interested in long-term predictions. I do not care if you can tell me that in the next 10 months there will be an earthquake. That's like telling someone in Oklahoma that there will be a tornado this summer. What I want is a few minutes, but I'll settle for a few seconds. This article says that a few second warning is indeed possible: (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/science/20040602-9999-1c2warn.html). If you give me a few seconds, I'll go outside with a mattress on my head. How about it? Is the Iranian government willing to spend $20 million on an earthquake warning system? Seems like a good deal to me.

More talks with taxi drivers
"The problem with Iran," the driver told us, "is that we are not free. That is our problem. Khatami has been great. He has opened things up a lot and life has gotten better for us."

"I don't know why the government is complaining about America in Iraq… for 8 years, during the war, all we heard was how bad Saddam Hussein was. Now they want us to be unhappy that America removed him? Why? America did the right thing, and they are still doing the right thing."

"When the new government comes in, there will be a civil war. The government bothers young people too much. Young people cannot take it anymore. We will have a civil war."

"Make sure to tell Americans that we are not their enemy. Iranians are not the enemies of America."

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