Creating and destroying miniature buildings and other structures is an enjoyable way to spend an hour or two. If watching toy-size skyscrapers shake, crumble, and even disintegrate becomes tiresome, it's always possible to experiment with bricks in saturated sand. While such activities may seem unusual for adults, these experiments, when conducted on a shake table, are a remarkably effective and popular way to illustrate earthquake hazards such as resonance and liquefaction. On a more constructive level, one can easily illustrate ways to reduce or avoid earthquake damage, such as shear-wall strengthening or base isolation. All these demonstrations require a shake...

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