Stopping the power from going out should be our first priority, but it’s also smart to prepare for a “soft landing” when blackouts do happen. Here there should be two priorities: first, systems that fail gracefully rather than catastrophically; second, long-term backup power for critical systems.

via U.S. Woefully Unprepared for a Blackout Like India’s: Analysis – Popular Mechanics.

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Meet Dentist in A Box, the dental emergency kit for the soldier in the field. For basic everyday dental emergencies, this Australian company has created a re-sealable plastic kit approximately the size of a CD (6.3 inches by 5.9 inches) that weighs about an ounce and a half.

via Whole Truth For Hole In Tooth? Meet The ‘Dentist In A Box’ For Soldiers | Fox News.


Pretty cool.

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In unlikely place, the human face of 9/11 |

5 September 2011

Or listen to Monica Burke, a 44-year-old emergency dispatcher from Seattle: “Our whole world was in chaos. We didn’t even know where we were except that we were in some weird time zone in Canada. I didn’t know when I was getting home, but these people basically put their lives on hold. I mean, their [...]

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Waffle House Index Measures Hurricane Recovery –

1 September 2011

When a hurricane makes landfall, the head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency relies on a couple of metrics to assess its destructive power.First, there is the well-known Saffir-Simpson Wind Scale. Then there is what he calls the “Waffle House Index.”Green means the restaurant is serving a full menu, a signal that damage in an [...]

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Quake rocks Washington area, felt on East Coast – Yahoo! News

23 August 2011

Quake rocks Washington area, felt on East Coast – Yahoo! News.
That could be a problem. Not too much damage but the inspections will be a pain.
There was a 5.3 in Segundo, CO. but that doesn’t make the news. sigh.
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Obama: I reversed recession until ‘bad luck’ hit | Campaign 2012

16 August 2011

“We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again,” Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa.  “But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck.”  Obama listed three events overseas — the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises — which set [...]

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Virtuosity or just practice

15 August 2011

With pianists getting better and better, so many are so good that, paradoxically, I am less impressed by virtuosity.
via Yuja Wang and Kirill Gerstein Lead a New Piano Generation –
For an article from the NYT, I would have expected them to ask the obvious question. Is it because they are finding more talented students [...]

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Massive Cuts.

4 August 2011

According to the CBO baseline spending (go here, page 18), which I understand is the baseline for the cuts of $2.4 trillion, the Federal government will spend $46.1 trillion over the next ten years. So we’re going to go from 46.1 trillion over the next ten years to a mere $43.7 trillion?
via Shame on you, [...]

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Community gathers to remember those lost in Big Thompson flood |

1 August 2011

Sunday marked the 35th anniversary of one of Colorado’s most tragic incidents, The Big Thompson Flood. More than 140 people were washed away in a matter of hours and five bodies were never found.
via Community gathers to remember those lost in Big Thompson flood |
While Colorado is unlikely to ever get hit with a [...]

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PEak Dirt

26 July 2011

Then, there’s what Grantham calls “the real bugbear” — soil. We don’t often hear predictions of markets in soil or wars fought over soil, but soil erosion caused by deforestation becomes a vicious circle, he writes. History is rich with examples of erosion, mainly due to plowing.
via FT Alphaville » Grantham on looming peak dirt.
You [...]

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