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World Survives Boobquake And Brainquake

Women in Tehran try to prevent further seismic activity.

Women in Tehran try to prevent further seismic activity.

If a senior Iranian cleric is to be believed, the 6.9 magnitude earthquake in Taiwan today was a boobquake, not an earthquake.

Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi warned last week that "women who do not dress modestly...lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which [consequently] increases earthquakes."

The comments have provoked both outrage and amusement in the West. One young American blogger, Jennifer McCreight, responded by establishing her "Boobquake" group on Facebook, in which she called on women to use the power of cleavage to prove the cleric wrong.

Over 100,000 people have joined the group and are presumably out there showing off their stuff today.

The next thing you know, Taiwan is rocked by a massive quake. Coincidence?

Absolutely unrelated, says McCreight. First, the quake occurred outside her "Boobquake" time zone. Second, she wrote in a rapid-response Twitter update: “On avg, 134 magnitude 6-6.9 earthquakes occur annually. Taiwan's today is not special unless a ton more are to follow."

You also have to account for McCreight's rival Facebook group "Brainquake," created by those "saddened," as they put it, by the superficiality of "Boobquake." The women among "Brainquake's" roughly 900 members were asked to “show off their resumes, CVs, honors, prizes, and accomplishments" today.

But even McCreight sees the irony in the situation. “Just remember, the imam could have blamed 'banana hammocks,'" she wrote. "Today would be soooooooo different."

-- Kristin Deasy

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at

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