A 5.9 magnitude earthquake has happened in northern Virginia, and was acutely felt in Washington, D.C. Obviously an unusual occurence in the northeast corridor, but nothing to hyperventilate about. People in Manhattan felt it also. I’ve just heard a report just heard that tremors were felt in Martha’s Vineyard. But seriously, folks — hardcore Southern Californians are used to this. Earthquakes can be devastating and deadly, but most of the time they’re a metaphor for the general unpredictability of life and the instability of things.

We need video of stuff falling off shelves and ceiling-hung fleurescent lamps swinging back and forth. And if no decent video results, we need to put it to bed in a couple of hours. 11:55 am Update: A pretty good video has emerged. This Brooklyn guy is on it. “Bowl of cereal at 12 noon…Jurassic Park 5…T-Rex…stock up on cans of sardines…the friggin’ world is about to end.”

Scott Feinberg‘s mom was watching a professional tennis tournament in New Haven, and “the entire stadium shook,” according to a tweet.

A female friend about 15 minutes ago: “Oh my God, I have to call my father and see if he’s okay!” Me: “Yeah, it sounds really serious! The earth trembled! You’d better make sure he’s okay!” Female friend: “That’s very cruel, Jeff. And it’s not funny.” Me: “No, but it is the huddling instinct. And you’ll be shutting down the nationwide cell phone network along with millions of others. But don’t let me stop you. Go for it.”

My son Dylan was catching a cigarette on the roof of my ex-wife’s apartment building. “What I felt was so subtle I didn’t immediately assume it was anything. I didn’t put a name to it. It was like ‘wait…what was that?” Then I went on Facebook and everyone was talking about an earthquake.”

I’ll bet $100 dollars that the woman who shot that Ryan Gosling video immediately called two or three of her friends on her cell and went, “Oh, my God! My God, my God! Oh, my God! OhmyGod! OhmyGod! This didn’t happen, this didn’t happen….ohhh, my God!”