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This is the archive for August 2005

Sunday, August 28, 2005

A disaster of unimaginable proportions is brewing. I've been following this storm since she was just a little tyke - Tropical Depression #12 - here. A lot of things would have to come together just right (and so far they are coming together), but this could be a geography changing event. It's remotely possible that there may be no such place as New Orleans two days from now.

This, from the National Weather Service (scroll to the third post), is an astounding statement from a normally understated government agency.
WWUS74 KLIX 281550
NPWLIX

URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE NEW ORLEANS LA
1011 AM CDT SUN AUG 28 2005

...DEVASTATING DAMAGE EXPECTED...

.HURRICANE KATRINA...A MOST POWERFUL HURRICANE WITH UNPRECEDENTED
STRENGTH...RIVALING THE INTENSITY OF HURRICANE CAMILLE OF 1969.

MOST OF THE AREA WILL BE UNINHABITABLE FOR WEEKS...PERHAPS LONGER. AT
LEAST ONE HALF OF WELL CONSTRUCTED HOMES WILL HAVE ROOF AND WALL
FAILURE. ALL GABLED ROOFS WILL FAIL...LEAVING THOSE HOMES SEVERELY
DAMAGED OR DESTROYED.

THE MAJORITY OF INDUSTRIAL BUILDINGS WILL BECOME NON FUNCTIONAL.
PARTIAL TO COMPLETE WALL AND ROOF FAILURE IS EXPECTED. ALL WOOD
FRAMED LOW RISING APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL BE DESTROYED. CONCRETE
BLOCK LOW RISE APARTMENTS WILL SUSTAIN MAJOR DAMAGE...INCLUDING SOME
WALL AND ROOF FAILURE.

HIGH RISE OFFICE AND APARTMENT BUILDINGS WILL SWAY DANGEROUSLY...A
FEW TO THE POINT OF TOTAL COLLAPSE. ALL WINDOWS WILL BLOW OUT.

AIRBORNE DEBRIS WILL BE WIDESPREAD...AND MAY INCLUDE HEAVY ITEMS SUCH
AS HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES AND EVEN LIGHT VEHICLES. SPORT UTILITY
VEHICLES AND LIGHT TRUCKS WILL BE MOVED. THE BLOWN DEBRIS WILL CREATE
ADDITIONAL DESTRUCTION. PERSONS...PETS...AND LIVESTOCK EXPOSED TO THE
WINDS WILL FACE CERTAIN DEATH IF STRUCK.

POWER OUTAGES WILL LAST FOR WEEKS...AS MOST POWER POLES WILL BE DOWN
AND TRANSFORMERS DESTROYED. WATER SHORTAGES WILL MAKE HUMAN SUFFERING
INCREDIBLE BY MODERN STANDARDS.

THE VAST MAJORITY OF NATIVE TREES WILL BE SNAPPED OR UPROOTED. ONLY
THE HEARTIEST WILL REMAIN STANDING...BUT BE TOTALLY DEFOLIATED. FEW
CROPS WILL REMAIN. LIVESTOCK LEFT EXPOSED TO THE WINDS WILL BE
KILLED.

AN INLAND HURRICANE WIND WARNING IS ISSUED WHEN SUSTAINED WINDS NEAR
HURRICANE FORCE...OR FREQUENT GUSTS AT OR ABOVE HURRICANE FORCE...ARE
CERTAIN WITHIN THE NEXT 12 TO 24 HOURS.

ONCE TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE FORCE WINDS ONSET...DO NOT VENTURE
OUTSIDE!


And that doesn't even mention the storm surge and intense rain. For a city like New Orleans, 6-12 feet below sea level, that could potentially be unrecoverable.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Well, not my roots exactly, but the roots of this blog.

When I started this blog, my purpose was to spend less time on the things holding us back, and more time on what they are holding us back from. Richard has manged to tie the two together nicely and in the process, take me back to one of the founding articles I wrote when I began this.

I've managed to stay mostly out of the fray of commenting on every new political and social outrage, not because they're not outrageous, or because they are not worthy of comment, but because there's plenty of others who do a much better job than I could, and because I wanted to have a different focus. But I've been drawn into it more often than I'd have liked, in part because it's such low hanging fruit, and I don't always have time to get out the ladder.

But there's a reason for some of those entries in my blogroll, the ones marked "Life", "Intelligence", and "Technology" that are mixed in with all those that say "Freedom" or "General" (which has mostly turned out to be a broader version of "Freedom"). They are the things I wanted this blog to be about. Go follow some of those links, they're not only good reads, but you'll be astounded by some of what you find there. They represent what we are going toward, not what is holding us back from getting there.

The four together - Life, Intelligence, Technology, and Freedom - are what I believe to be the irreducable requirements for a human future. They are as inseperable as are the mind and the body of man. In fact, they are the mind and body of man - of human man. Without any one of them, we may have a future, but it is likely to be as inhuman and as ghastly as most of our past has been, if not more so.

Forward.

And don't look back, it's not a pretty sight.