Jell-O Seismic Detection System Goes Into Effect

May 1, 2011 3:10 pm
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Jell-O Seismic Detection System Goes Into Effect

In light of the recent catastrophic earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Stanford’s Geophysics department has placed giant vats of Kraft Jell-O at various locations around campus. The initiative, spearheaded by earthquake-expert Professor Walker Johnson, has been met with great acclaim from both the university administration and student body. “We were trying to find a cheap and easy way of alerting the community of seismic activity,” said Johnson, “and I think that the Jell-O really will do the trick nicely.”

The innovative campaign — with its catchy slogan, “If the Jell-O shudders, duck and cover” — promises to bring the field of earthquake-detection to the everyday man and woman. “Yeah, I feel like I’m a lot more conscious of all those little tremors I wouldn’t usually worry about,” said Earth Systems major Peter Staten. “If I see any jiggles at all, I stay away from buildings for a bit.”

Though deceptively simple, the implementation of this bold new system of seismic sensors faces numerous challenges. For one, large amounts of red Jell-O have gone missing from several of the vats lining Serra — birds, squirrels, and foreign tourists are all suspect. The Stanford police have already apprehended five saboteurs this week who evidently had decided that having Jell-O shots at their party on Friday night was more important than the safety of their fellow students.

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