A series of booms heard in Wisconsin earlier this week rattled windows and woke residents. The official line is that it was caused by magnitude 1.5 earthquake. Really? How much energy would be in an earthquake that size and would it produce that kind of tremors? The Richter scale is logarithmic, with each point in the scale about 10 times the energy of the one below it. Consulting Wolfram Alpha for the numbers, we see an earthquake of that size would release about 11 Megajoules or 5.9 lbs of TNT, or given a stick of dynamite releases 2.1 Megajoules, about 5 sticks of dynamite. So could 5 sticks of dynamite cause booms like that? Probably if they were in the open air, but underground where earthquakes happen? Sounds iffy to me.

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