Earth-shaking revelations

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The Independent Online

Small earthquake in Dudley: nobody hurt, although listeners to all-night radio got some real news.If you want to be first to report on a British earthquake, be the host of a small-hours radio show or one of its listeners. The statistics don't lie: nine of the 25 biggest earthquakes in Britain in the past 100 years have happened between midnight and 6am, which is about twice as many as you'd expect by chance.

Small earthquake in Dudley: nobody hurt, although listeners to all-night radio got some real news.If you want to be first to report on a British earthquake, be the host of a small-hours radio show or one of its listeners. The statistics don't lie: nine of the 25 biggest earthquakes in Britain in the past 100 years have happened between midnight and 6am, which is about twice as many as you'd expect by chance.

But why? The scientists don't know precisely what triggers a quake. Is it the slumbering Earth metaphorically turning over in its bed? Or is it, as one might suspect, nature's way of requesting all those chat-show hosts to please, please talk about something other than... well, does anyone remember what Edwina Currie was talking about before it happened?

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