The annual fireworks festival at the town of YenShui in southern Taiwan is notable for many reasons, notwithstanding the extreme danger to the many participants (youtube link
Large “beehive” structures created by the townspeople each contain hundreds of rockets which are launched into the crowd. (youtube link
The ubiqui-pedia link is here
posted by mattoxic
on Mar 7, 2007 -
Not just a condiment, salt is a major force
shaping our world. In Australia, what do you get
when you combine ancient salt-pans with European farming practices? In one state alone, we're losing a football field an hour to the salinity crisis. What do you farm
when all you have is salt?
posted by ninazer0
on Nov 25, 2006 -
Giant Concrete Caterpillar.
Driving on I35 south out of Dallas to Austin, you pass through Italy, Texas, and on the side of the road is Bruco
, the Texas Italian Caterpillar, and the home of the Monolithic Dome Institute
, makers of fine homes
, and churches
. These domes
and disaster resistant
. (See previous thread
). They also can be visually interesting
. These domes are concrete as opposed
to R. Buckminster Fuller
's Geodesic domes
, such as Epcot Center
or the incredibly interesting Eden Project
posted by dios
on Oct 10, 2006 -
America's worst school violence ever
was not a recent event
, but the Bath School disaster
of 1927. Andrew Kehoe
, a school board member upset with his tax bill, used dynamite and some pyrotol
from WWI-era military surplus to blow himself up along with the elementary school of Bath Township
, Michigan, leaving 45 dead and 58 injured. See a 1927 book
on the disaster, a list of victims
, the coroner's inquest
, a historical marker
, a memorial park
, an oral history from a witness
, and a 1920s KKK rant
denouncing Kehoe as an agent of the Roman Catholic conspiracy.
posted by jonp72
on Oct 5, 2006 -
...Consider the stunning magnitude of the failure. Iraq has been the top priority for the world's only superpower for the past three years, and a central one for many regional and international powers. The United States, intent on keeping Iraq together, has spent more resources in that country than any state ever has spent on another in the history of the world... In this perspective, one central measure of success of the intervention in Iraq is this: Three years later, have the prospects of regional and global security increased or decreased? The answer should propel a debate that's bigger than Iraq.Challenge Bigger than Iraq
See also Defeat or a Widening War -- or Both?
posted by y2karl
on Apr 9, 2006 -
Take a trip with me to 1913.
To Calumet, Michigan
, in the Copper Country
I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall
Where the miners
are having their big Christmas Ball
This time of year, Woody Guthrie
's haunting ballad "1913 Massacre
" brings to mind one of the most tragic incidents in American labor history. At the midpoint of the bitter and violent miners' strike of 1913-14
, miners and their families gathered for a Christmas party given by their union. An unidentified "stupid person
" gave the shout of "fire
", causing a panicked rush to escape. Unable to get out the door, more than 70 people
, mostly children, were smothered to death. A forthcoming documentary (main link) explores the legacy of the event, using Guthrie's song as its starting point.
posted by Miko
on Dec 21, 2005 -
The Day the Sea Came.
The stories of six people caught up in last December's tsunami.
Maisara did not look back. She could hear an odd, ever-louder roar. But she never actually saw what she was running from. Only Anis, looking over her mother's left shoulder, beheld the oncoming water. "Mama, what is that?" the little girl kept yelling.
I know, it's the Times
, it's long, it's old news, but it's absolutely riveting. Great reporting by Barry Bearak, and for this you need a reporter, not a novelist, because you can't make this stuff up. Part 1
), Part 2
), Part 3
), Part 4
posted by languagehat
on Nov 27, 2005 -
Classic Aardman (of Wallace and Gromit fame) animation stuff up in flames
posted by magullo
on Oct 11, 2005 -
Dept. of Homeland Security: Emergencies and Disasters
In the event of a terrorist attack, natural disaster or other large-scale emergency, the Department of Homeland Security will assume primary responsibility on March 1st for ensuring that emergency response professionals are prepared for any situation. This will entail providing a coordinated, comprehensive federal response to any large-scale crisis and mounting a swift and effective recovery effort. The new Department will also prioritize the important issue of citizen preparedness. Educating America's families on how best to prepare their homes for a disaster and tips for citizens on how to respond in a crisis will be given special attention at DHS.
Clearly, we are in good hands.
posted by Ethereal Bligh
on Sep 3, 2005 -
The Matrix shatters before the eyes of the nation (sorry, WMP link) --
and on Fox News! For those old enough to remember, it's so significant that Geraldo Rivera says of conditions in the New Orleans Convention Center, "it's like Willowbrook in there." (Rivera became famous in 1972 by
exposing the horrendous conditions in a home for the mentally retarded called Willowbrook; finally, after decades of degrading himself, he remembers what his job is.) And Slate's Jack Shafer on "the rebellion of the talking heads
" -- the refusal of reporters on the ground in New Orleans to regurgitate the official spin. [via TalkLeft
posted by digaman
on Sep 3, 2005 -
Innovative Emergency Management
So this private company got the contract to develop the plan last year. The original release: the Baton Rouge-based emergency management and homeland security consultant, will lead the development of a catastrophic hurricane disaster plan for Southeast Louisiana and the City of New Orleans under a more than half a million dollar contract with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Now all press releases regarding it have been pulled from their website
posted by amberglow
on Sep 3, 2005 -
Everyone is (probably) familiar with Something Awful
. However, you may not be familiar with their hosting company - located in a New Orleans office building on Poydras in the CBD... but have you noticed that SA hasn't gone blank yet? It's because Zipa
, and directNIC
upstairs have the whole data center disaster contingency thing on lockdown
from the directNIC guys are regularly updated. Color me impressed.
posted by kuperman
on Aug 31, 2005 -
National Data Buoy Center
(Google cache), "the premiere source of meteorological and oceanographic measurements for the marine environment" in the U.S., is located at the NASA Stennis Space Center
on the Mississippi gulf coast, is a primary source of hurricane observational data, and is currently offline
. At present, the U.S. spends only $50 million annually on ocean observations of vital socio-economic impact. The latest national commission for ocean policy
recommended $4 billion annually, including the construction of a distributed, disaster-proof, national ocean observing system
, as a component of a global system
. The previous ocean commission report in 1969 resulted in the formation of NOAA
and the passage of the Coastal Zone Management Act
. Will Congress act? The E.U. has
posted by 3.2.3
on Aug 31, 2005 -
Live Local Coverage Of Hurricane Katrina
New Orleans television stations WWL
are providing nonstop live coverage of Hurricane Katrina. The Mississippi Department Of
has live cams along the major highways which show the massive evacuation of the coastal areas of Louisiana and Mississippi including the metropolitan areas of New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast. With gusts of 207 MPH this could set a new record for the largest hurricane to ever hit the United
posted by robliberal
on Aug 28, 2005 -
Katrina targets New Orleans.
Mandatory evacuations have been declared, and contraflow evacuation routes are in effect near New Orleans, as Hurricane Katrina
, a very wet, drenching hurricane, approaches the city from the Gulf of Mexico
, where it is gaining in size and strength, with an estimated 45% chance
of making landfall as a category 4 or 5 hurricane. The computer models
suggest that New Orleans will sustain a direct hit from Katrina, which could be "The Big One"
warned about by experts, capable of flooding the city
, polluting it with industrial waste, and even flooding the pump stations, leaving it incapable of pumping out the water. The hurricane is predicted to make landfall early Monday near Port Fourchon
, which handles approximately 13% of U.S. oil imports, and 27% of U.S. domestic production
posted by insomnia_lj
on Aug 27, 2005 -
Have you got ICE in your mobile? "Following the disaster in London . . .
East Anglian Ambulance Service have launched a national "In case of Emergency (ICE)" campaign with the support of Falklands war hero Simon Weston.
The idea is that you store the word "ICE" in your mobile phone address book, and against it enter the number of the person you would want to be contacted "In Case of Emergency"
posted by azul
on Jul 11, 2005 -
A fire supreme.
An all-too brief series of photographs demonstrates the disastrous after-effects of a coal train with an overheated wheel bearing stopping on a wooden bridge to investigate the cause of the smoke...
posted by jonson
on Jun 11, 2005 -
A massive earthquake - the largest since 1964 - centred off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra has caused tidal waves that are devastating coastal areas around the Indian Ocean including Sri Lanka,
India and Indonesia.
Eyewitness report from the south coast of Sri Lanka.
The death tolls are still rising, there is the risk of further tsunamis and it is being estimated that 100,000s of people will be left homeless.
posted by i_cola
on Dec 26, 2004 -
Forget terror attacks, the real reason for an orange alert in NYC has to do with ... rocks. I'll bet you've never heard of Cumbre Vieja
. In fact, if the first hit on a google search
for something is a PDF, you know
it's obscure. (It's a volcano in the Canaries)
. If it erupts, it'll spell the end for Washington, New York and Boston (and parts of Europe will get a bit wet.) Hoo!
Now, short of hoping it will go away, there's nothing you can do, because it will take 35 million years
to dismantle the dangerous bits of rock. Instead, the boffins are talking about evacuating the east coast. Yet more obscure places you wish you could forget menacing the future of the US, hey?
posted by bonaldi
on Aug 9, 2004 -