Traveling north/south along the coast and driving through the farmlands on the outskirts of Arcata you are likely to run into harmless blue signs with a picture of a wave, an anonymous sexless figure scrambling up a hill, and the words "TSUNAMI HAZARD ZONE". I had never seen anything like them before coming here, being from the East Coast where the fault lines are less active. I now regard the beach suspiciously; the ocean is ominous and full of evil intent. "Those signs are the fruit of an overzealous HSU professor" our friend Daniel said the other night with a mischievous glint in his eye. "He's a friend of mine." Daniel is a homeschooled type who went to college when he was fifteen, and has since graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Engineering. He runs Solid Rock, the college church group. He has a scruffy beard and a loud deep voice with a joyful ring in it that reminds me of my grandfather. According to Daniel, the worst in recent tidal history occurred after an earthquake in Japan a few years ago - a wave traveled across the Pacific and hit the coastline, but was only four feet higher than normal. Eight feet at Crescent Beach, according to our friend Eric. Would a hypothetical seismic event cause a wave to reach only four feet higher than normal, eight at the most? Or could it build up to twelve feet, or twenty feet, and wipe out the Arcatian lowlands and all who dwell there in one fell swoop? Katie and I have just accepted an apartment that is generously within the so-called Tsunami Hazard Zone - and I for one will be hightailing it for the hills if I feel so much as a jiggle.