Jul. 13th, 2014 03:18 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Well, well. An archive of plans, blueprints, and exercises for wars that never were.

Goodbye, productivity!


Jul. 29th, 2013 06:14 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Someone's trying to build an authentic medieval fortress in the Ozark Mountains as a living history and archaeoengineering project. I don't know if this site is legit, but it's an awesome concept.

Also, I want to give this a 20-year offset and make it the base of some group of interest in Airlords of the Ozarks.

Edit: H/T to B.F., who has informed me that the project went under due to lack of funding. Sad but not unexpected.


Feb. 21st, 2013 08:58 pm
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
This seems to be Resilience Week here in my lane of the information access road. Poking at Oregon's recent report on the Cascadia Subduction Zone (discussed previously) put me on to the Resilient City initiative from the San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR). SPUR appears to do some broader work in disaster planning policy advocacy, but I'm particularly impressed by what I've read so far in their Resilient City documentation. I don't know if any such initiative is translatable into action - I remain unapologetically cynical where human behavior under stress is concerned - but it's one of the better visions I've seen for citizen-level preparedness.

I also like the "disaster hub" concept, which establishes pre-hardened public buildings (libraries in the current draft) as neighborhood assembly points, coordination centers, and relief supply distribution points. I'll need to think some more before I decide if it's really workable because it presupposes (1) hardening sufficient to withstand whatever quake or other disaster occurs, (2) cross-trained library staff who are capable of shifting to crisis operations, (3) community access to the facility, and (4) adequate security for personnel and supplies. I don't think all of those factors are as guaranteed as the concept's authors seem to assume, but I'm willing to extend them the benefit of the doubt for now.

Also, is a well-done preparedness outreach site with basic information for the citizen who doesn't spend all day thinking about this stuff. See my previous post for thoughts on the whole 72 hour rule, but... you gotta start somewhere.


Feb. 17th, 2013 10:03 am
tegyrius: (Ol' Velvet Nose)
Although the San Andreas Fault and the New Madrid Seismic Zone get most of the megaquake disaster headlines in the United States, they aren't the only threats. Some of my three loyal readers may also be aware of the Cascadia subduction zone, a portion of the Ring of Fire off the coast from Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and northern California. The geologic record indicates it's produced some rather significant quakes, most recently an estimated magnitude 9.0 on January 26, 1700. Because it's an offshore fault line, it also spawns tsunamis.

Last week, the Oregon Seismic Safety Policy Advisory Commission (that's a mouthful) released the draft version of their report on the Cascadia hazard and their recommended measures for state disaster resilience. I'm reading through the whole report because it's relevant to both my studies and my interests, but it is a monster - 319 pages. However, if you have an interest in these things, and particularly if you live in the threatened area, I strongly recommend you download the file and read the executive summary. The article that originally tipped me off to the report is here.

One item that struck me as particularly significant was the acknowledgement of individual household preparedness. For a while now, I've seen various emergency management blogs saying that FEMA's 72-hour recommendation - that you should stock supplies sufficient to get through three days before outside help arrives - is insufficient. The prepper/survivalist community has been saying that for even longer. Response efforts in major disasters over the past decade do seem to support those assertions. This report is one of the first official documents I've seen that openly acknowledges the inadequacy of a mere three days of supplies:

The old guideline of having a 72-hour emergency survival kit falls far short of the anticipated needs given the extensive impacts of a Cascadia subduction zone earthquake. Even if basic supplies could be readily and broadly dispersed, it would likely take more than three days to achieve that dispersal, and emergency supplies would still fall short of what many people need to avoid deteriorating health (for example, medications, medical equipment, and ongoing healthcare support). There is clear value in members of the public having robust emergency supplies. In many areas, subsistence levels of food and water may be available within a week, but the public should be advised that response will take much more than 72 hours, and recovery times will likely be measured in months. This is especially important in coastal communities where response times could be measured in weeks, and recovery times could be measured in years.

Of course, it's easier to recommend than to implement. Many households don't have the financial resources or storage space to set back 72 hours of essential supplies, let alone two weeks or more (this report's new recommended minimum). Of those that do, fewer will actually have the awareness and motivation to make not only the initial investment, but the more critical ongoing commitment to rotation and maintenance. It doesn't have to be done all at once, though. Incremental preps, a general awareness of the issues, and a strong mutual support network of trusted and like-minded individuals can all help offset individual disadvantages.

The biggest thing I'm taking away from this report, though, is that it's not all doomie-doom. Whether on a household, local, state, or regional level, there are a lot of measures that can be taken to mitigate any given disaster's effects and ensure individual and community resilience. That resilience is really the report's main thrust, which aligns with the "culture of resilience" model that the federal government has been trying (and, in my opinion, failing) to promote for the last couple of years. I don't think the resilience culture is implementable on a national plane. Cultural change like that has to come from lower levels, where the recommendations are more specific and relevant to the people whose mindsets need to change and where the local first responder community that will deal with the disaster is the source of the recommendations and actions. Something like this is a good first step and I'm interested - and tentatively hopeful - about Oregon's ability and willingness to work toward the goals outlined in the report.


Dec. 22nd, 2012 08:07 am
tegyrius: (ORLYsaurus)

Still here.

Apocalypse fail.


Dec. 28th, 2011 11:03 am
tegyrius: (Default)
Check it out: a massive photo set of the Caspian Sea Monster.

Wing-in-ground-effect technology is just one of those things that makes me happy because of its sheer absurd awesomeness.


Feb. 25th, 2011 07:30 am
tegyrius: (Warning Self-Evolving System)
Hey, Team Louisville... the same guy who runs Unusual Kentucky has a separate photo blog for defunct storefronts in Louisville.

... Jeebus. Showcase Cinema apparently went under seven years ago. I never knew. You really can't go home again. Welcome to Friday, here's your cognitive dissonance...
tegyrius: (paranormal tongue-in-cheek)
Nouadhibou, Mauritania (Google cartography) hosts one of the world's largest ship graveyards:

Given my animistic tendencies, I think I actually find this creepier than AMARC.
tegyrius: (2013 armor)
It snowed last night - snow in Kentucky in April. Go figure. The roads are clear now, but there's about a 3/8-inch accumulation of big fluffy wet flakes on everything else. Unnatural.

The sun has just finished creeping over the horizon. If I lean back in my chair just a little, it throws a red tint into the water droplets on my window. Roll back about a foot and I can see it out the corner of my office window. It's glaring at me with the impersonally virulent red of the warning lamp that says, "hey, this piece of equipment critical to your survival has just catastrophically failed."

It's a post-apocalyptic kind of day.

My muse is upon me and I must write. See y'all in a few thousand words.
tegyrius: (2013 armor)
We have frost on the ground and fog hanging in the air as I write this. The effect is as if the whole world's been turned slightly gray from entropy. From my window, visibility is down to perhaps a couple hundred feet. No birds are moving, and a car passes on the street only every few minutes. Between those momentary glimpses of other people, it's easy to imagine that my neighborhood is largely empty. The only evidence of human passage is a ragged contrail to the east, which, through the fog, appears as a jagged laceration in the sky.

All in all, it's an auspicious morning for working on 2013.
tegyrius: (Default)
Asheron's Call II, lacking the critical mass of players necessary to make it profitable, is shutting down at the end of the year. This article takes a look at impending virtual apocalypse. It's really creepy in an undefinable sort of way.

Tangentially, I really wanna find a copy of Avalon. There's session fodder there.


tegyrius: (Default)

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