A warehouse, artists colony and music venue known as the "Oakland Ghost Ship" went up in flames Friday night during a concert promoted by the house music record label 100% Silk, featuring several musicians from its roster. "People who previously lived there recalled a building that lacked fire sprinklers and had a staircase partly made of wooden pallets. Partygoers recalled a rabbit warren of rooms crammed with belongings — pianos, organs, antique furniture, doors and half-finished sculptures" (L.A. Times). A Reddit user who identified himself as a survivor of the fire posted about his escape from the inferno. The whereabouts of Ghost Ship owner Derick Ion Almena, who apparently lived in the building with his wife and children, are unknown.
Suffering from exceptional drought conditions, the areas around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park haven't seen significant rainfall since September. Wildfires have ravaged the southeast for the last few weeks, however, starting on Wednesday, November 23, a fire near the summit of the Chimney Tops trail in the GSMNP caused Park officials to close the trail and surrounding others. The fire spread from the park to areas near Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge and as of 4 PM EST on November 28, an evacuation order was issued for areas of Gatlinburg. [more inside]
8000 Match Chain Reaction — what better and more-satisfying way to encapsulate 2016 than with a red flower of FIRE? Imagine your least-favorite person or organization consumed by the flames of their own wrath... h/t Atlas Obscura
Reflections on ten years working as a fire lookout:
My lookout tower is situated five miles from the nearest road, on a ten-thousand-foot peak in the Gila National Forest. I live here for several months each year, without electricity or running water. Although tens of thousands of acres are touched by fire here every year, I can go weeks without seeing a twist of smoke. During these lulls I simply watch and wait, my eyes becoming ever more intimate with an ecological transition zone encompassing dry grasslands, piñon-juniper foothills, ponderosa parkland, and spruce-fir high country.--A Talent for Sloth
Last summer, the Rocky Fire, followed by the Valley Fire, followed by the Jerusalem Fire, tore through Lake County, California. Yesterday, the Clayton Fire began. Now, just over 24 hours later, the fire is at 2000 acres with 5% containment, and has destroyed most of Lower Lake. Thousands are evacuating in a small community that is primarily low-income families, and there are reports that the elementary and high school are burning. Once again, the traditional news organisations are less useful than Twitter in distributing updates, videos, and devastating pictures. Many people following the fire on Twitter have had to teach the traditional media how to use Twitter. [more inside]
How to Make Fire by Rubbing Sticks is the latest video in the Polynesian How-To Series. [more inside]
More than 80,000 people have been forced to flee the raging fire in Fort McMurray, Alberta. Now, two airlines have relaxed their rules about animals in aircraft cabins, offering a chance for all family members to stay together onboard.
The 2013 explosion at the West Fertilizer Company has been ruled as arson. After 3 years and more than 400 interviews, the ATF has ruled out accidental and natural causes. [more inside]
As the Fort McMurray fire burned down their house, they could watch it happen on their indoor security camera.
KC Green, the artist behind the "this is fine" meme, talks about its origin and meaning.
Fort McMurray, a city of more than 80,000, has been ordered to evacuate after a massive wildfire breached the city limits today. The city wide evacuation order advised remaining residents to evacuate north to Noralta Lodge with the work camps that service the oil sands being pressed into service to house the evacuees. Earlier evacuations to the south producing some harrowing footage. Highway 63 has been closed south of the city, cutting off the main road connection between Ft. McMurray and the rest of Alberta.
Balcony Seats to the City: "Officially of course, the urban fire escape is primarily an emergency exit, but in New York, this prosaic adornment of countless five- and six-story apartment houses has assumed myriad other functions: faux backyards, platforms for criminal getaways, oases for marginalized smokers and makeshift bedrooms popular during an age before air-conditioning." [more inside]
New York Times' Frugal Traveler columnist Lucas Peterson was frugal travelin' on a Megabus from Chicago to Milwaukee (average fare $10) today when the coach burst into flames. He livetweeted the entire ordeal. [more inside]
"WHAT IF, SET FIRE TO 10 000 SPARKLERS!" (3:04 SLYT)
We've seen 'All-Natural' Fire Tornadoes and 'Home-Made' Fire Tornadoes, but The Slo-Mo Guys have finally brought us a Slow-Motion Fire Tornado.
A man takes his car for a drive through town. Stuff happens (SLYT).
After two devestating fires - Rocky and Jerusalem - Lake Country is hit again. This time with the Valley Fire. Lake County is an hour north of Napa in the San Francisco Bay Area, and it has spent the past three months more or less constantly on fire. In just under seven hours, the fire has burned an estimated 20,000 acres. This time, it's heading straight for two of the larger communities in the area: Middletown and Hidden Valley Lake. Four firefighters have been treated for second degree burns received while fighting this new, explosive fire. [more inside]
In 1988, he was convicted of killing his stepsons—based on arson science we now know is bunk. A quarter of a century later, Texas granted him a new trial. While the state has not budged in its use of the death penalty—just last year topping 500 executions since the state brought back capital punishment in 1982—it has reinvented itself as a leader in arson science and investigation. A new fire marshal, Chris Connealy, revamped the state’s training and investigative standards. He also set up a panel comprised of some of the top fire scientists in the country to reconsider old cases that had been improperly handled by the original investigators. Graf’s case was one of the first up for review, and it was determined that the original investigators had made critical mistakes.
The Rocky Fire, about 100 miles north of San Francisco, has defied projections and containment for more than a week. Almost 1/3 of the firefighters dispatched to California's wildfires are working on the Rocky Fire, which is over 100 square miles and only 40% contained. Last weekend, aided by the hot, dry weather, the fire doubled in size in five hours. This fire season has been one of the worst in California, particularly because of the drought and years of budget crises. It is so big that the smoke can even be seen in space. "'It has gone in every direction with intensity,' including downhill said Scott Upton, a unit chief for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and an expert on fire behavior. 'It’s like an amoeba.'" [more inside]
While California's water shortage continues, Cascadia has been suffering its own drought conditions, to the extent that expanding wildfires have lent the skies of Vancouver, B.C. a Mars-like orange hue.
Building a stove is simple. Building a good stove is hard. Building a good, cheap stove can drive an engineer crazy
For their senior project, George Mason University students Seth Robertson and Viet Tran decided to ignore all of their professors and classmates who told them their idea was terrible. They proceeded to invent a fire extinguisher that uses sound waves instead of chemicals to put out fires. The project was partially inspired by the fact that traditional fire extinguishers do not work in space. [more inside]
September 8, 1934, the SS Morro Castle suffered a catastrophic fire, killing 135 people. Was a crewmember responsible?
This happened where I work and live, it's a devastating read about ignorance, healing and forgiveness Well balanced NYT article about Sasha Fleischman, an agender teen who fell asleep on a city bus and was set on fire by a 16 year old named Richard Thomas.
After nearly a decade, it was time. The old fire was still burning, sure, but technological advances meant the flame could be brighter, the sparks a little sparklier. And so in the driving rain, exactly seven weeks before Christmas, a crew of four (plus one mysterious cast member) descended on a rustic homestead on Vancouver’s North Shore, to build – and record – a fire.
“We all said, ‘Can we be the hand that just pokes the fire?’”
The answer was no. [more inside]
“We all said, ‘Can we be the hand that just pokes the fire?’”
The answer was no. [more inside]
About half of the people fighting wildland fires on the ground for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) are incarcerated: over 4,400 prisoners, housed at 42 inmate fire camps, including three for women. Together, says Capt. Jorge Santana, the California Department of Corrections & Rehabilitation (CDCR) liaison who supervises the camps, they save the state over $1 billion a year. This year, California has had over 5,300 wildfires, which is about 700 more than had occurred by this time in 2013, and a thousand more than the five-year average. Now, as the West is coming to the end of one of the driest, hottest years in recorded history, the work of inmate firefighters has become essential to California’s financial and environmental health. (SLBuzzfeedNews)
White noise a little too stuffy? Nature sounds a little too outdoorsy? Wish Starbucks had a cricket infestation? Mix it up with a custom ambient noise generator!
Abdel Kader Haidara awarded Germany's 2014 Africa Prize for rescuing Timbuktu manuscripts. Under his direction centuries' worth of texts were smuggled out when the city was taken by book-burning religious conservatives in 2012. The collection is currently in Mali's capital Bamako where it is being preserved and digitized. More text, slideshow, video, previously previously previously [more inside]
“San Francisco's Fire Department is one of the few left in the United States that still uses wooden ladders. Each is made by hand at a dedicated workshop. Some have been in rotation for nearly a century.” [more inside]
The county vibrated with fire engines groaning over gravel driveways. The county vibrated with suspicion. The county went about its business. The county burned down. People assumed that the culprit must be someone who lived among them, and people would be right. It would be a love story. [more inside]
Chinese New Year's eve and its the Year of the Wood Horse according to the annual rotation of 12 animals and 5 elements followed by Chinese geomancers. Horse babies are always welcome, especially boys. Less known however is the stigma attached to the girl child born in the year of the Fire Horse. [more inside]
Yule Log. Yule Log on TV. Yule Log '83. Yule Log on YouTube. Yule Log with Music. Yule Log on Netflix. Yule Logs for Designers. Yule Log with Bacon. Previously, previouslier, previousliest.
Fire Point is a free downloadable puzzle-platformer (Windows only, sorry) with retro graphics and a cheerful chiptune soundtrack. Use your fire hose and ladder, along with portable fire extinguishers, to fight fires and rescue people from the blazing infernos! A trailer is available here.
Last week, high school student Sasha Fleischman was set on fire while riding a city bus, most probably related to their gender presentation. Sasha identifies as agender and was wearing a skirt on the bus. A couple of lights in this appalling and sobering story are the solidarity rally held by Sasha's classmates, and the moving and compassionate letter from Sasha's father.
"Last week, Arcade Fire swooped in and took a Canadian-sized shit all over this year’s CMJ. They totally ruined it."
Matt Levine writes in the Wall Street Journal: Morgan Stanley Now Obeying Rules, Reducing Risks, Eating Cupcakes
So while of course it's possible that this is just next-level perception manipulation and I've fallen for it -- that Morgan Stanley has found a novel way to take on immense amounts of complex risk and hide it behind an army of retail brokers and a layer of cream-cheese frosting -- I think that this story is what it appears to be. Morgan Stanley seems to be de-risking by cutting back on risky activities, and responding to new regulations by obeying them.On the New Wall Street, Boring Is Better [more inside]