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when faraway places f*ck up NYC

Boom! 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 - 33 comments

Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster'

Retired general: Bush foreign policy a 'national disaster' A former Air Force chief of staff and one-time "Veteran for Bush" said Saturday that America's foreign relations for the first three years of President Bush's term have been "a national disaster" but that the president's Democratic rival was "up to the task" of rebuilding.
posted by Postroad on Aug 1, 2004 - 26 comments

Earthquake Rattles Midwest

4.5 magnitude earthquake hits Chicagoland.
posted by whoshotwho on Jun 28, 2004 - 40 comments

Terrible affair that General Slocum explosion...

One hundred years ago today, 1,358 members of the Kleindeutschland, the German neighborhood on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, boarded a chartered ferry named the General Slocum for a picnic excursion to Long Island. A fire broke out in the ship's hold while it cruised up the East River, the captain ran the vessel aground on the rocky shores of North Brother Island amid the swift currents of Hell Gate, and when it was all over 1,021 people (mainly women and children) had perished by drowning or from the fire, and it remained the worst single-day New York City disaster until 9/11.
posted by Vidiot on Jun 15, 2004 - 16 comments

Devastation

Pre- and post- explosion satellite images of the Ryongchon train station in North Korea.
posted by PenDevil on Apr 30, 2004 - 37 comments

Dramatic Climate Change

Dramatic Climate Change. The director who brought us aliens blowing up the White House has now turned his sights on climate change. In a very dramatic way. Will this highly sensationalized and unrealistic presentation of global warming have any impact on public attitudes? Are we looking at a possible a tipping point, or is director Roland Emmerich jumping the shark?
posted by alms on Mar 15, 2004 - 33 comments

Columbia's Final Minutes

Columbia's Final Minutes A fascinating (if horrifying) account of the shuttle's destruction.
posted by jpoulos on Jan 27, 2004 - 12 comments

Help Iranian quake survivors

Iran quake death toll hits 50,000. 150,000 survivors are homeless, hungry, and freezing. They really need your immediate help.
  • $110 can provide a tent for a family of five
  • $60 can provide drinking water to 30 people
  • $45 can provide space heaters to three families
  • $25 can provide blankets to a family of five

  • Mercy Corps has raised $188,397 so far, but this is far from enough.
    posted by hoder on Dec 30, 2003 - 39 comments

    20,000 feared dead in Iran quake

    20,000 feared dead in Iran quake. Google News Cluster.
    posted by arnab on Dec 26, 2003 - 63 comments

    8.0 Earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan

    8.0 Earthquake in Hokkaido, Japan. Holy crap. The Kobe quake in 1994 was a 6.9 - am I right to think that an 8.0 is about ten times worse than that one? Any mefites in Japan who can give us more information?
    posted by majcher on Sep 25, 2003 - 61 comments

    The Columbia Accident Investigation Board

    "These are good people"...but changes must be made. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board final report was released on Tuesday. Putting technical answers aside for the moment, the report targets the organizational and behavioral issues that led to a breakdown in communication, safety and responsibility. While acknowledging the good will at NASA, the report holds no illusions that changing this culture will be very difficult and very necessary in order to return to flight. What types of management/behavioral obstacles have you encountered in home, work, school or social organizations? How did you try to effect change and what obstacles did you encounter in an effort to make it more effective, safe, productive or enjoyable?
    posted by tgrundke on Aug 28, 2003 - 11 comments

    %

    The Pale Horse Percentage. The demise of civilization has been predicted since it began, but the odds of keeping Planet Earth alive and well are getting worse amid a breakneck pace of scientific advances, according to Martin Rees, Britain's honorary astronomer royal. Rees calculates that the odds of an apocalyptic disaster striking Earth have risen to about 50 percent from 20 percent a hundred years ago.
    posted by The Jesse Helms on Jun 9, 2003 - 21 comments

    Would duct tape help?

    When will Rainier erupt? Last night, I dreamt that Mt. Rainier erupted. Now, I don't believe in prescient dreams, but if this were to happen, and it has, we in Seattle might not need to leave Seattle, but those closer to the mountain are probably going to want to get out of the way quickly. I wonder if an earthquake could trigger an eruption, sort of a double-whammy natural disaster that would instantly transform Seattle into the least desirable place to live in the country?
    posted by tomharpel on Apr 5, 2003 - 26 comments

    Each according to his ability... not his guilt...

    The lawyers for the victims of the Rhode Island nightclub disaster are planning to sue a radio station that broadcast commercials for the concert. Wistow said that while he still needs to nail down the precise nature of Clear Channel's responsibility, he's all but certain to name the company [in the suit].
    posted by Pretty_Generic on Mar 10, 2003 - 34 comments

    A Burning Question

    Fire Disaster, What Have We Learned? The recent Great White nightclub tragedy has made it imperative to study previous deadly fires in public buidlings, such as the Iroquois Theater, the Cocoanut Grove, the Beverly Hills Supper Club, the Natchez Rhythm Club, the Happy Land Social Club, and the 1944 Hartford circus fire. The sad thing is that many of these deaths could have been preventable.
    posted by jonp72 on Mar 5, 2003 - 13 comments

    ready.gov

    Tom Ridge wants you to be ready. Kind of like Airtoons for the Homeland. I particularly like how Texas is the location of the radiation threat.
    posted by MattS on Feb 18, 2003 - 26 comments

    Disaster Kit

    US government suggest that all homes should have a disaster kit, in case of terrorist attack.
    posted by Beholder on Feb 11, 2003 - 59 comments

    Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster

    Cosmic bolt probed in shuttle disaster - Scientists poring over 'infrasonic' sound waves Federal scientists are looking for evidence that a bolt of electricity in the upper atmosphere might have doomed the space shuttle Columbia as it streaked over California, The Chronicle has learned.
    posted by y2karl on Feb 7, 2003 - 29 comments

    Shuttle Achille's Hell ?

    Shuttle "Achille's Hell" According to this article, Shuttle has one. Curiously it's in the area in which that piece of insulation hit during launch.Were the astronauts warned ? Did they do some space walk to see what was wrong ? I would stop my car to go out and see if I heard a loud "thump" coming from somewhere.
    posted by elpapacito on Feb 3, 2003 - 38 comments

    Trophy Boys

    It's kind of weird how people in East Texas seem to have to "pose" with the debris, like it's a dead deer or a fishing trophy...
    posted by sparky on Feb 3, 2003 - 53 comments

    5...4...3...2...1...Goodbye, Columbia

    5...4...3...2...1...Goodbye, Columbia "There is something noteworthy a rocket can do that the shuttle cannot. A rocket can be permitted to fail." Gregg Easterbrook's 1980 Washington Monthly cover story looks into the Columbia's beginnings, the hazards he saw in the shuttle, and its weaknesses compared to rockets.
    Once you get into space, you check to see if any tiles are damaged. If enough are, you have a choice between Plan A and Plan B. Plan A is hope they can get a rescue shuttle up in time. Plan B is burn up coming back.
    [via Slate]
    posted by kirkaracha on Feb 2, 2003 - 32 comments

    Internet Collapse?

    Is the Internet in danger of collapse from a disaster or terrorist attack? The Internet was a product of DARPA and designed during the Cold War because it was thought that the centralized phone system networks providing most or all of the National Defense communications networks- used at that time would not survive a nuclear attack disabling our ability to communicate with our troops. At the suggestion of the RAND Corporation and a number of Scientists the design scheme was to make the Internet a system with no central control in order to make it difficult for an enemy to disable our countries ability to communicate during a War. Has the decentralized Internet now become a threat to our very Centralized Goverment that initially created it-and other Goverments? Why would terrorist organizations want to destroy something that they in fact use themselves? Or perhap the researchers are right that the emergence of large centralized hubs brought forth by the increased commercialization of the Net has in fact made the Internet more vulnerable to attack or disaster! Perhaps there are lessons in this story regarding the whole Centralization/ Decentralization dichotomy that Goverments, and Individuals can learn from?
    posted by thedailygrowl on Nov 26, 2002 - 9 comments

    The Death of a Dirigible -

    The Death of a Dirigible - "The airship Shenandoah, nose to her high mooring mast, was floating gracefully with the variable breezes. Her twenty gas bags were about 91% full; her tanks loaded with 9,075 pounds of water and 16, 620 pounds of gasoline..." I was fascinated by this account of the disaster that befell the Navy airship 'Shenandoah', marking the beginning of the end of the era of rigid bodied airships. [ Via a comment on /. ]
    posted by GriffX on Aug 6, 2002 - 14 comments

    An asteroid the size of a football field

    An asteroid the size of a football field just missed the Earth last Friday. Coming in fast out of the sun, where we ain't watching, it missed us by an astro-paltry 75,000 miles (a third the distance to the Moon). If it had hit, the impact would have been about 10 megatons -- not a planet-killer, but enough to spoil your picnic.

    In related news, Attorney General Ashcroft arrested a box of moon rocks and the entire staff of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA for questioning. The director of the Office of Orbital Security was at a pro-am golf tournament in Fond du Lac, WI and unavailable for a statement.
    posted by anser on Jun 20, 2002 - 39 comments

    Fighting to Live as the Towers Died

    Fighting to Live as the Towers Died : the NYT continues its fine reporting, reconstructing the final moments of temporary survivors on the upper floors, through over 150 e-mail and telephone contacts used to reach friends and relatives (as well as videotapes and recordings of 911 calls and emergency radio bands). Since I briefly worked in the trade center, I have often wondered what this experience must have been like. You may want to take a moment to prepare, and expect to need breaks.
    posted by dhartung on May 26, 2002 - 48 comments

    Bradbury Software donates money earned from TopStyle

    Bradbury Software donates money earned from TopStyle Every dollar we earn from TopStyle during the months of September and October will be donated to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund.
    posted by Nick Finck on Sep 17, 2001 - 7 comments

    Current NIDS Data.

    Current NIDS Data.

    I like this page because I can see if my house is going to be fried by a lightning strike or flattened by a tornado without having to put up will all of weather.com or intellicast's popup ad B.S. It's very convenient and timely.
    posted by dr. zoidberg on Jun 24, 2001 - 9 comments

    Let us prepare for impact.

    Let us prepare for impact. A group of scientists is working on a standardized protocol for dealing with the possibility of a comet or massive asteroid striking the Earth, saying humans can do more than the dinosaurs ever could before a colossal impact precipitated their extinction 65 millions years ago.
    "We have now overcome the giggle factor."
    I don't know if we have........
    posted by nonharmful on May 7, 2001 - 24 comments

    Should all of America pay for Davenport?

    Should all of America pay for Davenport? If a community has the ability to avoid a natural disaster and chooses not to, are the rest of us responsible? How many times. Apparently, Davenport benefits economically from the great view, unobstructed by a floodwall. Maybe it should use some of those benefits to clean up the mess?
    posted by anapestic on Apr 25, 2001 - 40 comments

    We're overdue for a big disaster.

    We're overdue for a big disaster. "Two years without a harvest? It would probably bust civilisation. People would survive all right. It really would cut us back, and that is the sort of thing nobody really prepares for. It's not some ecological poison or GM foods or nuclear that is going to get us, it is going to be some perfectly ordinary natural event." Almost enough to make me stock canned goods again.
    posted by norm on Sep 19, 2000 - 0 comments

    Concorde crashes near Paris.

    Concorde crashes near Paris. Oh, no. Not again...
    posted by iceberg273 on Jul 25, 2000 - 19 comments

    Tornado Pictures

    Tornado Pictures On Tuesday March 28th at 6:11 P.M. a tornado pummeled downtown Ft. Worth leaving glass, office furniture, insulation, paperwork, and various other materials littering a 12 block area of the city. The downtown streets were covered in shattered glass from the many High-Rise building that were struck by the violent winds and flying debris. I took some pictures from a 26th floor office window 1 block away from the epicenter of the storms wrath. At the top of picture 3 you can see the Cash America building that they keep showing on the news - I don't have a Telephoto lens or it would be a better pic, DOH! You can also see clean up crews on the roofs of the buildings picking up debris.One of the windows I took the pictures through was cracked by flying debris, you can see it in picture 2,3, and 6. PICTURES: 1 2 3 4 5 6
    posted by Jeremy on Mar 30, 2000 - 0 comments

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