As most of you know about the earthquake hitting Japan, most people don't know about the dangers of being under a table or a desk during a major earthquake. Being under a table during a minor earthquake is a good idea because it can protect you from the smaller falling things. But in an 8.5 or something, then bigger thing like light fixtures or support beams could start falling. In this case, you should be next to a couch or at the very least, the edge of the table. This would kinda of create a safety triangle, if you can visualize it. Also, being curled up on your stomach with one hand on your neck is not the safest position during an earthquake. Animals instinctively get into the fetal position, and our instincts being there to keep us alive, so therefore the fetal position is the best position you could be in if you want to survive. If you need fact to back this up, the read on. If you were on your stomach, then your spine would be completely exposed. Even though your covering your neck, the rest is still showing. Yes it is covered with thicker, protective muscle, but if something heavy falls, then that won't matter as much.
I got this information from an article by a now-retired earthquake rescue team member. He remember the horrible sight when he once went to a school to rescue everyone, only to see the gruesome sight of every single child who had been told to get under their desk crushed to death under what was thought was supposed to save them.