This may sound as an infomercial, but there will not be any black & white videos of people failing at things. Today I want to talk about the Virtual Earthquake Lab of the Virtual Courseware Project.
Click on this link to access the virtual laboratory. Be sure to enable popups on your browser and to have Java installed, and click on the buttons to the right. If you go from top to bottom of the page you’ll get an idea of how seismologists read seismograms, calculate travel times, amplitude of the waves and you’ll also get to find the epicenter and magnitude of historical earthquakes.
There is a lot of explaining in each of the exercises and the user interface is very intuitive, so you’ll get the hold of it in no time. You can get through all there is in the virtual laboratory in around one hour; after that, you’ll be tested and you’ll earn a cool certificate, qualifying you as an earthquake researcher of sorts!
I first did this exercise on 2006, but I must say it hasn’t lost charm and entertainment and is worth a try. If you are running an old PC, or if you hate Java, you can access an older version of the virtual laboratory here.