Re: We'll Remember You Fondly, If At All

1

This is too bad. Seattle seemed really nice.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:16 AM
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I can't think of the last piece of science writing in the New Yorker that actually got my heart rate up.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:18 AM
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I go back and forth between schadenfreude that there's a place arguably in more danger than the Barea and mortification that I am nowhere near as prepared as I could be for what is likely here.

Also I found tsunami maps - I assumed the East Bay was mostly safe due to buffering, and it is, but my workplace is in the small inundation zone.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:23 AM
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SF: also surprisingly safe, with all the hills.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:26 AM
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But Seattle is much nicer than SF.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:30 AM
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I thought everyone knew about the pacific NW subduction zone earthquake threat already, but I guess people up there are less prepared than I'd thought. Maybe reflexive anti-Californianism?


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:39 AM
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Home looks good, kid's school, dance studios and music teachers' houses look good, office - not so good.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:42 AM
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7 sounds pretty optimal.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:42 AM
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They say nobody ever drowned in their own office wishing they'd spent more time at the office.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:43 AM
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I guess people up there are less prepared than I'd thought. Maybe reflexive anti-Californianism?

You could blame dysfunctional state government or the mild libertarian tendency in the PNW, but I think the answer is, simply, that it takes a long time to set up large-scale preparations (and even longer to change building codes) and this is only something that people have been aware of for a couple of decades, and which doesn't feel urgent because there's no lived experience of significant earthquakes.

I know that, personally, every time I read something about the possibility of a major quake I get scared for a couple of weeks (or months) and then gradually stop thinking about it.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:50 AM
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I'm on the 25th floor, building is on rollers, hopefully have time to run downstairs and hot foot to high ground.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:51 AM
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That's sort of how I am about gastritis pain that could also be angina.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:51 AM
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11: the risk with that is that the tremor makes the building roll into a jurisdiction with higher corporate tax levels. (Wheee!)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:53 AM
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What's going on with the insanely big stuck tunnel-boring machine? Last I read they were making new parts to be reassembled underground.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 10:28 AM
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I felt pretty clever when I figured out that tsunamis are the shear force of earthquakes transmitted through an incompressible medium. But there hasn't been much use for that insight ever since. And I still haven't passed the Seismic section of my engineering licensing exam.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 10:30 AM
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"Did the earth move for you?"

"I'm not certified to answer that yet."


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 10:31 AM
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Great piece of writing. I go through parts of the tsunami area frequently, and mostly when I see the warning signs, I consider that the only place I have a chance of ending up is under water. Low-lying towns will be scraped over more lowland or smashed against cliffs, and the roads (not to mention the drivers) will not be capable of any kind of mass evacuation.

The second paragraph is great. I've felt a handful of minor quakes here, but at least of couple of times in Tokyo the duration went way beyond the "hey, cool" stage into the "holy fucking shit" stage.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 10:56 AM
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I admire your dispassion. You're gonna die.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:08 AM
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I'm amazed by the guy they interview who explains how anyone living close to the ocean will simply die (probably in a horrible way - I've always thought drowning seemed a particularly nasty way to go) and there's literally nothing they can do to alleviate that danger, and who has an office a few blocks from the beach. I would think he'd have a really good reason to petition to move his office to, for example, Idaho. Or work from home. Or something.

This whole story describes the kind of characteristic 'yes but what have you done to me lately' trait in human beings that sits behind almost every huge natural disaster. I sometimes wonder what the world would look like if this wasn't exactly how pretty much everyone behaves when it comes to these sorts of things, but I'm guessing it wouldn't be something I'd recognize.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:21 AM
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My first quake in Tokyo, I was woken in the middle of the night by the house bouncing around like a landrover driving fast over a badly potholed road, which scared me nearly shitless. It was large enough to merit a small paragraph on an inside page of the newspaper the next day.

Earthquake preparedness was a fact of life. I kept three days' worth of dried food and bottled water in a safe place, and an emergency rucksack for me and the kids was always packed and in the hall in case we had to evacuate. Everyone in the family knew where to meet up (the elementary school, which was our local evacuation centre) if a big quake happened while we were separated. Our house was built after regulations were tightened following the Kobe quake, so I was pretty confident it would withstand even shaking of the magnitude of the Tohoku quake, and we were far enough inland not to have to worry about a tsunami. We were living several hundred miles south of Tokyo, so had no physical impact at all in 2011; friends living in high-rises felt the long, slow shaking that's all that's transmitted that far away, and knew that something huge must be happening somewhere else. But psychologically, it was a massive trauma for the whole country, and even now when I'm visiting Japan and near the shoreline, I'm subconsciously looking around for where I might be able to run to if a tsunami did arrive.

Oh, and DQ, if you're on the 25th floor, stay up there! I've heard stories of drivers fleeing from the Tohoku tsunami still dutifully stopping at intersections, but I doubt a panicked American crowd would be quite so well behaved, and the streets would be full of broken glass and fallen electricity lines. Better wait until the whole lot has been washed away.



Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:24 AM
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18: I'm east of I-5, so at least my fate will be decided by Mad Max-style combat amid the ruins of civilization rather than by the immediate effects of the quake. Unless the quake coincides with the anticipated eruption of Mt. Hood, in which case I get front-row tickets to the Apocalypse.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:30 AM
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Thanks Ume but the building is in the tsunami inundation zone, although strangely one block away isn't. Do 30 plus story buildings survive tsunamis?


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:31 AM
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According to the first couple of google hits that seemed relevant, yes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:34 AM
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I assume that any reinforced concrete building that's already survived the quake should be fine. Much of the most horrific tsunami footage from 2011 was shot by people who took refuge on the roofs of taller buildings (there are some harrowing scenes of people yelling desperately at others on the ground, trying to get them to get inside and up the stairs in time).


Posted by: Ume | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:35 AM
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Ironically, the only earthquake I've ever felt was in the Seattle area.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:39 AM
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I know all about this stuff because I lived through a 5.8 earthquake despite being only a few hundred miles from the epicenter.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:40 AM
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Those who are in Ferry land

In milk and honey dwell

But at the end of seven years

We pay a tiend to Hell.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:47 AM
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Has anybody seen my unabridged dictionary?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:51 AM
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18.2: You're gonna die.

JMcQ beat me to it in 21, but that would be (for the east of I-5 crew) "You've got a 0.18% chance of dying in the vent" (about the same as dying in a car accident in the next 20 years). Not wishing to minimize that massive disruption and chaos (and things like the un-evacuatable schools are criminal) but I'm sure we can all agree that overheated "You're all going to die" rhetoric is stupid and counterproductive.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:54 AM
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It's probably just as well that Seattle's tunnel project is never going to be finished, because the thought of being down there during the Big One is the stuff of nightmares.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:55 AM
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21.last: Right, when I was studied natural disaster risk it was the Rainier or Hood eruption/mudflows that got mostl of the attention in that area.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:56 AM
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31: I'll take a distant tsunami over a pyroclastic flow any day.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:58 AM
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NIMBYism!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:59 AM
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34

Water over lava makes obsidian.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:04 PM
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I live 3/4 mile east of I-5 so I'm good. (Does that measurement apply to LA? I'm waiting for the paper article to come in the mail.)


Posted by: k-sky | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:05 PM
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34: See, there's always an upside—Tacoma could make a fortune from the obsidian countertop trend.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:09 PM
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I was thinking of nether portals and making my chests creeper-proof.


Posted by: Miby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:12 PM
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Stupid form memory.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:13 PM
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39

Obsidian is really pretty stuff.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:32 PM
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And Tacoma is mostly not pretty, so I think this could be a win-win situation.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:44 PM
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Nature Bats Last


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:44 PM
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The earthquake will have ... caused damage as far away as Sacramento, California

She kinda buried the lede.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:48 PM
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Tacoma is seriously underrated. Just because it used to have a lot of paper mills doesn't mean it's still shitty.


Posted by: Unfoggetarian: "Pause endlessly, then go in." (9) | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:56 PM
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44

The train thing didn't go that far, so there's no way to know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 12:58 PM
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In fairness, it's true: Tacoma is less shitty than it used to be. And it also inspired a a really terrific Neko Case song.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:09 PM
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46

My knee-jerk reaction is to not trust New Yorker science writing. But I haven't read this thread or the article.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:11 PM
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47

I can summarize it for you: Jesus is a dead man.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:20 PM
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48

But where did the writer go to college?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:24 PM
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49

If only I had been in Philadelphia.


Posted by: opinionated jesus | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:24 PM
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My knee-jerk reaction is to not trust New Yorker science writing.

I'm curious where this came from? Jonah Lehrer, or somebody else? Some of my favorite science writing has been in the New Yorker.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:25 PM
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51

The Yellowstone Supervolcano will get ogged. And probably me.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:26 PM
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52

Wasn't Gladwell also a "science writer" before he became a brand?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:27 PM
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I agree with 50. This piece in particular is in the tradition of John McPhee's geology writing, which was terrific.

51: The Yellowstone Supervolcano may be Earth's last salvation from the scourge of humanity. It will probably even wipe out some Canadians.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:30 PM
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And don't worry about me, I'll be fine. I'm moving into a tent in the backyard tonight with some canned goods and heavy weaponry.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:33 PM
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Cegłowski for the New Yorker!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:33 PM
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50: Also that Jared Diamond article he got sued for. But maybe he won the case?

Distrust may have been the wrong wordword to describe my general dislike for other science pieces I read when I still read the New Yorker regularly. There were a few where I wanted to know more about the research as science rather than as a narrative about people doing the research. The only example I can think of is something about Alzheimer's, though.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:38 PM
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Isn't that narrative most of the point of reading about science in the popular press instead of just reading the abstracts of journal articles?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:39 PM
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Yes, probably. I don't subscribe to the New Yorker anymore or read about science pretty much anywhere else so it's safe to discount my views.

I'd have to dig up and reread some articles to be more specific and I'm not going to find/make time for that.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:44 PM
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Every Monday I go to the New Yorker and read the cartoons. That's about it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 1:45 PM
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Okay, people, I'm in a reasonably deep trough of the rolling mental health crisis I've been having since roughly 2009 (or, if you prefer, 1992, but the uninterrupted shitshow started six years ago). How can I help save people from natural disasters? How can I get paid for full-time work trying to save people's lives? (If the quake hits before I finish retraining, tough. Gotta try.) Two or three of you must know something.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:05 PM
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Firefighter?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:18 PM
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Army?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:21 PM
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I was thinking about what effect this article will have. It's quite arresting, so will people start bringing this up at planning meetings? Or will it just be forgotten in a few weeks, when the next cool disaster story comes along?

Anyway, lurid, why do you want to save people? Learn to make chocolate or something; you know, actually making the world a better place.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:22 PM
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Or, I suppose, National Guard.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:22 PM
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Coast guard!


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:24 PM
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Baywatch!


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:26 PM
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63.1 -- for all its flaws, the one thing about the New Yorker is that rich people, maybe especially in places like Seattle or the San Juan Islands, read it. And that article was nicely unequivocal. I'll bet there's an effect.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:27 PM
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The issue does seem ripe for some kind of entrepreneurial NGO movement in the PNW. Maybe LK should move to Seattle and start one. Perhaps staring with "bolt your house motherfuckers."


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:31 PM
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This article is trending on Twitter.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:33 PM
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It will absolutely be forgotten in a few weeks. We probably won't even need to hear about a new potential/actual disaster first. But we probably will hear about one, at least as part of the more or less constant drum beat of "oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit" we get from climate science these days.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:39 PM
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"Twenty-nine per cent of the state's population is disabled, and that figure rises in many coastal counties." Huh? I have imagined Oregon full of people who are helplessly stoned, but this figure makes very little sense


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:39 PM
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71: resource extraction communities running out of resource. Scarce jobs, lots of disability, the only people moving in are retirees looking for cheap.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:43 PM
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Chocolate is doomed, ogged! I was just reading Leopardi's great disaster-pastoral "La Ginestra' last night, and I don't think he'd approve of my wanting to save people. Avoidable casualties get under my skin more than anything else I can think of, and of all the things I could do, I think feeling that I'd materially contributed to making a large number of people safer would sit best with me in the final assessment. (Still unqualified existential failure without one finished novel, but that's not itself sufficient for the good life.)

It seems like there'd be no shortage of boots on the ground if you wanted to start a helpful disaster-preparedness NGO in the underemployment capitals of the northwest. So that's indeed one direction. The army definitely would not take me. I don't know about the Coast Guard.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:45 PM
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60: You get a masters in Disaster Management (preferably in Boulder Colorado and go hiking a lot) and get hired as an emergency responder at a state or local agency. Disaster Management is a career now and you enter it like other fields.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:53 PM
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I work with CalOES (Office of Emergency Services) on stuff. They get paid fulltime to prepare and respond and recover from disasters and they are just like regular bureaucrats. Counties have an office for that, and some police departments too. CALFire does a lot, but they only pay attention to one kind of disaster.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:56 PM
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74 answers a long-standing question I had about whether that was a made-up degree. Boulder just because of the perks, or is that the most highly regarded program?


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 2:56 PM
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71: so, former lumberjacks with an odd number of fingers, or miners with an odd number of feet? (actually, they probably don't mine anything much by the coast)


Posted by: Nworb Werdna | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:00 PM
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Just because of the perks. Also because it was the one that hosts the conference I saw when I was looking into this for other friends years ago. I couldn't speak to which programs are good.

You'd learn SEMS/NIMS, and probably have a class in disasters and probably in people's behaviors in disasters and I don't know what else.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:01 PM
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Lumberjacks and the associated road and dam builders, and fishermen, and small scale farmers.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:10 PM
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Oh god, I was in charge of "disaster recovery" at my job, and that was the worst. Do you want to be the person, when everything has gone to shit, that they turn to and say "fix it!" No, you do not.

Chocolate.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:14 PM
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I thought the disability stat was a little slick. ADHD isn't going to be a hindrance when you're running from a tsunami. Unless you just can't stick to a direction.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:16 PM
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Maybe that was meant to be "elderly or disabled"?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:22 PM
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No, I checked the stat elsewhere.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:25 PM
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Huh. ACS 2013 5-year figure is 12.1% disabled nationally, 13.8% in Oregon. Of whom, 4.6% with actual disability status, 3% with hearing difficulty, 3.3% vision difficulty, 3.4% cognitive difficulty, 3.4% ambulatory difficulty, 3.4% self-care difficulty, 3.4% independent living difficulty.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:31 PM
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ogged, the point is to help plan so we're less fucked. I am told that they have finally found a way to read those scrolls cooked by the pyroclastic flow at Herculaneum, and it turns out (so far) to be mostly Epicurus. A cookbook, right? Yum!

I'm not sure I could handle more higher ed, though. Just the thought of switching the money flow yet again is making me woozy.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:32 PM
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I have an extremely annoying, probably mentally ill neighbor who is super into neighborhhod disaster planning and keeps urging me to show up at 4 hour meetings on Saturdays to talk about her disaster responsiveness plan for our street and some city-sponsored disaster training she's into. She likes to go door to door on the street with one of those ridiculous orange vests and a construction helmet on. It's depressing that this person is going to be my only lifeline and will probably leave my family abandoned when the big one hits but no way am I spending a weekend going to her fucking training.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:34 PM
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God. I knew about this fault zone, but the article still made me feel like throwing up.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:34 PM
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88

That was me of course.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:35 PM
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lurid, by the time disaster comes, it is pretty late in the game. Could you intervene somewhere in the building code or policy stage? Someone who could keep houses off flood plains would do real good.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:51 PM
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So eventually rising sea levels should affect federal flood planning, right?

The states most likely to lose cities (FL, Miami, and GA, Savannah) are legislating denial. Drawing flood plan boundaries is apparently a complicated activity, I have not been able to find even a clear schedule of when boundaries get reconsidered. Does anyone know anything about this?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:57 PM
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There's a program here to act as demi-firefighters because nearly all of them live outside the city and won't be able to get here post earthquake. You get to run certain equipment, including hoses? It sounded potentially like the training could be tons of fun when someone was explaining it to me a couple of years ago. But then I realized it would involve lots of interaction with firefighters and I find them so self important and annoying as hell so nope.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:57 PM
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The little I know about that is that there was a schedule and it is running way behind but whenever a map comes out with new boundaries, the locals go batshit because their insurance quadruples.

That's all the detail I know. I wouldn't trust a published schedule if you find one.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:58 PM
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That is much more like what I'd hope to do, yes.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 3:59 PM
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That was to 89. Trying to run interference in the middle of a fucking tsunami is not, even for me, an attractive career plan.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:00 PM
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87: Hey, if it makes you feel better large scale destruction of cities and other industrial centers combined with the resulting and massive economic consequences is probably the closest thing we've got to reducing the amount of carbon we're putting into the atmosphere on a yearly basis.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:06 PM
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Oakland has a citizen's emergency preparedness training program, with volunteers heavily involved. Does your locality have some equivalent you could enter?


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:09 PM
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95: ?? The EPA is applying itself effectively to the shittiest old power plants in the Ohio valley (finally). The dropping real cost of solar panels and wind farm incentives both help also. Solar is driven by improved material as much as by policy.

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/usinventoryreport.html

Apocalyptic thinking makes me kind of irritated. being able to think through how to respond to things getting somewhat worse but not disastrously so, that doesn't seem like too high a bar to clear.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:13 PM
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95: ?? The EPA is applying itself effectively to the shittiest old power plants in the Ohio valley (finally). The dropping real cost of solar panels and wind farm incentives both help also. Solar is driven by improved material as much as by policy.

http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/usinventoryreport.html

Apocalyptic thinking makes me kind of irritated. being able to think through how to respond to things getting somewhat worse but not disastrously so, that doesn't seem like too high a bar to clear.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:13 PM
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lw


Posted by: also posting once, manageable! | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:13 PM
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ACS 2013 5-year figure is 12.1% disabled nationally, 13.8% in Oregon

This page says 25% disabled in Oregon. I have no idea.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:14 PM
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96 -- the LA version of that is exactly the thing that my annoying neighbor is into. LK, if you do it, make sure to pair your 4-hour weekend meetings with scotch tastings.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:15 PM
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It does! I will admit to being a little wary of people like Tigre's neighbor, but I should totally do it and deal with the weirdos.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:16 PM
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And yet the closest thing we've seen to a decrease in carbon emissions was 2009, right after the 2008 economic disaster. It wasn't a big one, but at least it wasn't an increase which is what's been happening.

Sure we are doing all sorts of things, but we're not facing a problem that can be addressed easily with small incremental changes that happen gently enough that they don't have massive effects on everyone's lives.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:21 PM
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Although this is likely to become the story I tell ruefully later about "the summer I got super depressed and started going to local prepper meetings." Christ. But you're right, Roberto, it can also be the summer I dabbled in self-medication.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:22 PM
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Probably you know this, but alcohol and depression are a bad combination. Depression is tough, hard to fit constructive advice into these little boxes. But drinking even moderately hard is the opposite of helpful. Good luck.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:25 PM
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103.1 declines in 2010 and 2011 also. SMall ones, but absolute declines independent of a recession.

103.2 Not proven. Cheaper solar panels and PRC policy are a possible way out. Or maybe not, but making the case that disaster is inevitable makes it more difficult for sensible policies to take hold.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:28 PM
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My theory was that LK should provide scotch for her neighbors to get them to come to the disaster preparedness meetings. That's what would get me to attend.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:31 PM
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107: I sort of doubt that is in the org budget.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:43 PM
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I'm wondering if the PNW quake sets Mt Rainier etc off.

If Yellowstone goes off, maybe we end up with an ice age, and the return of Lake Missoula. Which then wipes out Portland.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:43 PM
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Ah, I get it. Yeah, I could spice things up. Jumping castles are popular in my suburb. Making a bunch of drunk neighbors run around a jumping castle trying to find the fake gas shutoff valve would be good. "This shit has been shaking for twenty minutes! It's off the Richter scale! You're probably in the Bay by now! Do you remember where you put your spare keys? Any keys?"

(lw, no worries, I'm a pretty light drinker, especially when both sad and medicated.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:44 PM
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I'm not seeing those declines here.

And, yeah, this is genuinely a really dangerous super scary not at all small easy to fix thing. We crossed the 400 ppm line this year, which is terrifying. And we're still putting carbon in at a higher and higher level. The chances that we can avoid 2C is really small and would take immense changes right now (we've already locked in something like 1.5 at this point so we've got that barring some new way of pulling massive amounts of CO2 out of the atmosphere which we don't have right now).

I mean, maybe it is more difficult to get sensible policies to take hold if you're saying things like "we're pretty much going to cross the line that we were calling 'catastrophic' just a decade ago no matter what we do". But the sort of policies that, at this point, are actually sensible aren't ones you're going to get without people panicking and making huge changes so there's a really nasty catch 22 going on there.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:45 PM
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111, sure, I'm looking at the US only.

Can't manage a debate about whether we're inevitably globally fucked now, sorry, maybe another time. I'm alarmed but less pessimistic about inevitability.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:52 PM
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111: see 109.2. Could we just detonate a nuclear bomb inside Yellowstone and maybe stir up some activity?


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 4:53 PM
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It would have the advantages of cooling the earth down (temporarily) and reducing carbon output! It's a twofer!

The US is probably one of the places on the best (but totally insufficient) trajectory though. I'm not sure where the most efficient supervolcano placement would be, but probably not Yellowstone.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 5:09 PM
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Predictably, the Dwarf Lord and I are organizing a neighborhood block party and disaster planning this month, under city aegis. I don't wear my hard hat down the street unless I expect things to be falling, but we do our pantry shopping in bulk to double as disaster planning. The city course on When There Is No Fireman was fun - I've been junketed to "indoors adventure and puzzle" dinners that were duller - and I've used the lessons in improvised cribbing to move a Very Large Thing without anybody losing fingers.

The Dwarf Lord does all the interacting with commercial prepperism because the gunny isolationist biological idiocy makes me useless with rage for hours.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 5:10 PM
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It will absolutely be forgotten in a few weeks.

Yeah, just like "Silent Spring" and "LA Against the Mountains," nobody will ever speak of this piece again.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 5:13 PM
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I think I mentioned that the Republican candidate for mayor of Pittsburgh was on Doomsday Preppers.
And that he moved to Israel after winning the primary but before the general election.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 5:24 PM
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China may be improving. Lots new nuclear and solar capacity, leadership is beginning to respond to environmental problems.

For the inevitable doom approach, I'll irritate everyone by saying that albedo adjustment is possible once we see how bad things are. Of course that would take cooperation, and look how well that's worked in Greece.


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 5:40 PM
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albedo adjustment is possible

I thought it pretty much wasn't possible, but I'm basing that solely on hearsay rather than any actual expertise.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 5:45 PM
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I'll chime in to say that there are many different ways to help out with disaster planning, and they can often play to your strengths. E.g. if you are a tinkerer, helping to think through CB or other communications strategies. If you are an animal lover, helping to plan for pets in case of disaster. If you are a behavioral scientist or marketer, thinking about games or other ways to improve disaster preparedness. If you are bilingual, doing flyers or otherwise helping to draft communications to reach immigrant communities. Goes on and on.

Also, as we unfortunately saw in Philadelphia recently, your ordinary run-of-the-mill disaster can still call upon many ordinary citizens in addition to first/second responders. There are poor neighborhoods in every area, and they are often the hardest hit by chemical spills, flooding, apartment fires, and the like. So you don't even need to wait for the Big One!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:06 PM
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She says, cheerfully.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:08 PM
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On the bright side, serious enough catastrophes will mean less stuff in digital formats to worry about preserving.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:11 PM
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Palimpsests ftw!


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:18 PM
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That's a great article.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:30 PM
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116: VW - How many people *do* remember Silent Spring or read it in the first place? Will people remember it enough to do anything about the problem?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:33 PM
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I'm slightly down-beat about political possibilities right now, since I'm going to a Harper-supporting riding in Canada.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:36 PM
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Ok, fine, I'll read the article.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:37 PM
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There's a whole bridge named after Rachel Carson. I think there is a pickle festival on that bridge this coming weekend.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:38 PM
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That makes her as famous as Andy Warhol or Roberto Clemente.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:40 PM
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125: Lots. And DDT is now banned. Also, buck up: Harper is trailing in the polls at the moment.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:45 PM
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Plus the bridge and the pickles.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:46 PM
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"Albedo adjustment" seems like the sort of thing that, if it were a thing at all, would be easy to tell what it is by googling. But the phrase doesn't produce any results in Google at all.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:48 PM
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We did manage to wait till DDT wasn't going to do us any real substantial good before restricting its use though. I'm fairly certain that if we start getting serious malaria problems in the United States DDT will suddenly turn up again.

Also I'm pretty suspicious of the idea that a lot of people remember it. These are Americans, right? I doubt a majority knew about it when it was a live controversy.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:49 PM
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129: I presume they have their own pickle festivals.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:49 PM
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134


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:51 PM
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(Produces results but nothing that seems to explain what it is, I meant to say)


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:52 PM
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Clemente not being so easy. Maybe this?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:54 PM
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In my experience, Silent Spring remains extraordinarily well known among the public -- and I do mean the public, not the reading public. People can't tell you more than a sentence about it, but the general idea (a view-changing environmental book written by a woman) is remarkably widely understood.

As an example, the Kansas City Library's stunning facade. You don't get your title chosen for something like this unless your book has embroidered itself onto the cultural fabric.


Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:55 PM
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Is there like, one big FEMA disaster map? With gradations based on risk? I think that would be neat. East Coast and Gulf Coast would have hurricanes, of course, with some earthquake and tsunami danger but not much. North would be ice storms (although, as we saw a couple years ago, it's really when winter comes south that you start to see serious problems). Center of the country has tornadoes of course, plus the New Madrid fault, and the fracking earthquakes. West has earthquakes, tsunamis, drought. Rising temperatures are everywhere, of course, plus civil unrest in any big city. And of course there's asteroids, nuclear war, SARS, Ebola, bird flu, West Nile disease, industrial pollution, nuclear accidents, gun fever in Chicago...you might as well live!


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 6:59 PM
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Right... Just like the non-reading public is all familiar with Joseph Heller.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:00 PM
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I doubt a majority knew about it when it was a live controversy.

Knew about what? "Silent Spring"? I have no idea if a majority of Americans knew about the New Yorker articles or the book. I do know that "Silent Spring" led to the DDT ban and helped trigger the modern environmental movement. What have you accomplished this week? Kidding aside, my point is that it's impossible to know what will become of the article linked in the OP. Denial is a powerful thing -- if it weren't, we couldn't get out of bed in the morning -- but New Yorker articles can have a huge impact. Will this one? I have no clue.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:01 PM
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Malcolm Gladwell wrote a memorable article about DDT.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:02 PM
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Rachel Carson is as famous as both 16th Street and David McCullough.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:03 PM
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139: We'll always have West Virginia.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:07 PM
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139: Alaska seems relatively safe.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:09 PM
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Come to Central Pennsylvania for the artisanal meth. Stay for the relative safety from unnatural disasters!


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:13 PM
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Or course, a historian worthy of the name will almost always have a bridge named after them.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:21 PM
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145: Really? We've got earthquakes, volcanoes, forest fires (big problem this year in particular), flooding, erosion, and occasionally even storms with hurricane-force winds. We did have our catastrophic earthquake fifty years ago, so that's not an immediate threat.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:23 PM
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Not to mention this guy.


Posted by: Kreskin | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:28 PM
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Yes, we in the Great Lakes region get a lot of people in other parts of the country mocking us on Facebook when we complain about winter weather, but then I'M the jerk when I make fun of places for having hurricanes or tornadoes or droughts or wildfires or earthquakes.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:28 PM
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Nothing can have a huge impact anymore.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:50 PM
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The issue does seem ripe for some kind of entrepreneurial NGO movement in the PNW..."bolt your house motherfuckers."

Actually, the bolt-your-house message got big play after the Spring Break Quake, the biggest I've ever experienced here, and awareness of the dire consequences of a Cascadia subduction event has been widespread since the Japan tsunami. It's definitely been part of infrastructure discussions since the latter, but voters' highest priority is not paying taxes, even if that means that my children will be buried in the rubble of their already underfunded schools.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:50 PM
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I like living where tornadoes are the worst things that can happen. What other natural disaster is survivable with nothing more than a convenient hole in the ground?


Posted by: Todd | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:51 PM
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And if not: Oz!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:54 PM
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As far as science writing in the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert's 2007(?) two-parter on climate change was highly effective for many people I know in cementing the imminence of the threat.

lurid perturbed my equilibrium at work by sending me this. I got to live in Portland for 2003-04 until lack of a job sent me to Berkeley for grad school. I've sometimes thought of going back, and have always taken a shred of comfort in those temperature projection maps that show the future planet gone mostly yellow and red, but retaining a strip of green in the foggy northwest.

We went to the Oregon coast for a family vacation a few weeks ago, and my thoughts on the beach were much like Jesus's in 17.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 7:55 PM
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Nothing can have a huge impact anymore.

I'm googling impact factors to decide if a certain article merits being in given journal. I really don't know who else to do it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 8:01 PM
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In conclusion, fuck Juan de Fuca.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 8:48 PM
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Juan de Fuca was an interesting guy. Apparently there was for a long time a controversy over whether he even existed.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 8:52 PM
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I'm going to assume that Ioánnis Phokás is Greek for "John the seal."


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 9:44 PM
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Oh and further to 45, I like that Neko Case song too and want to throw in a bid for this Jolie Holland number about a drive through the tidal zone. It's about two minutes in that the guitars first get busy.


Posted by: lourdes kayak | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 10:25 PM
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I read it. Some parts are really well-written; I'll keep any gripes to myself..


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-13-15 11:14 PM
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The Yellowstone Supervolcano may be Earth's last salvation from the scourge of humanity.

Nah, we'll carry on scourging the other six continents as if nothing had happened.

DDT is still in common use to control disease vectors like malaria mosquitos. The agricultural ban is still in force mainly to prevent the emergence of resistant insects (see also: antibiotics). I don't think anybody cares about the effect on birds these days.


Posted by: chris y | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 1:38 AM
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135: You really expect us to click on a link labelled 134?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 2:47 AM
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I'm late to the thread here, but isn't there a math error near the beginning of the story on the relative strength of a maximal San Andreas quake (8.2) and the 2011 Japan (9.0) where it says "but, because the Richter scale is logarithmic, only six per cent as strong as the 2011 event in Japan." Assuming by logarithmic they mean 1 unit = 10x change, a difference of 0.8 should be 6.3-fold different, or 16%, not 6%.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 4:31 AM
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Although I shouldn't rely on my reading comprehension, since it took me until after the second or third doom quote to realize that Goldfinger was the scientist's name and they weren't pulling relevant quotes from a James Bond villain.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 4:48 AM
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164: Actually, 6% is about right.

1) It scales with 101.5. So 1 unit is about 32x in terms of energy released.

2) For a big quake like that, I presume they are actually using the moment magnitude (Mw) scale which is more accurate for large magnitude quakes (but scales like the Richter).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:12 AM
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The Richter was developed off of the log10shaking amplitude, the energy released then scales at 32 the power of the amplitude.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:16 AM
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Ok, so my knowledge of the base unit was off.
In my defense on the Bond villain thing, though, if you were playing "Scientist or Bond Villain" and got quotes in this order you'd miss it too:
1. "...all the right anatomical parts" Totally Bond villain.
2. "In the late eighties and early nineties, the paradigm shifted to 'uh-oh.' " Could be a late-era villain.
3. "The science part is fun," Could go either way...
4. "And I love doing it. But the gap between what we know and what we should do about it is getting bigger and bigger, and the action really needs to turn to responding. Otherwise, we're going to be hammered. I've been through one of these massive earthquakes in the most seismically prepared nation on earth. If that was Portland" Ok, that's really specific to the topic of the story.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:24 AM
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161: Some parts are really well-written; I'll keep any gripes to myself.

A lot of good stuff, the scientific detective story is very nice, and the region is certainly under-prepared; but I have decidedly mixed feelings about the apocalypse porn portions. To me things like "Our operating assumption is that everything west of Interstate 5 will be toast" (someone else's quote admittedly, but I believe it exemplifies the ZOMG part of the piece well) are not at all helpful in generating useful steps towards meaningful risk management.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:33 AM
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What about the south-bound lane of I-5?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:37 AM
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Nah, we'll carry on scourging the other six continents as if nothing had happened.

If hyperbolic BBC documentaries have taught me anything, it's that the other continents, or at least the humans living on them, are going to be just as fucked as North America by the supervolcano. Think Siberian traps level extinction event.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:42 AM
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Siberian traps were hunted to extinction for their pelts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:45 AM
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||
On a cheerily optimistic note, Bill Kristol on the Iran deal:

@BillKristol: Let us act so historians will say "July 14, 2105[sic] was the bottom, the nadir, from which America went on to recover."

It must be better than I imagined.
|>


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:05 AM
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Some people are still disappointed that we did not invade Iran.


Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:12 AM
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Iran has a strong culture and a rich history that covers thousands of years. There's no need to rush to invade it. It will still be there when we're ready to invade it.

#TrueViolenceWaits


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:15 AM
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Anyway, America's nadir is determined by my ankle pain. That was last week. This week I can walk down stairs with very little pain even if I don't use the bannister.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:18 AM
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174: ...yet


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 6:54 AM
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173 - You guys, we only have 90 years to turn America into a feral, cannibalistic Dust Bowl that makes Mad Max look like a Whit Stillman movie! We need to elect a Republican, stat!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:18 AM
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I really want to see a Whit Stillman directed sequel to Mad Max now.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:20 AM
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"I prefer to read good apocalyptic criticism. That way you get both the cannibals' ideas as well as the critics' thinking."


Posted by: OPINIONATED WHIT STILLMAN LORD OF THE SMOKING WASTES THE ROOLAH OF THE WATTAH THE SULTAN OF THE DUST | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:24 AM
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Thank you.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:25 AM
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It was supposed to say "The Sultan of the Dustin'" but whatever.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:26 AM
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It's the thought that counts.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:29 AM
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This post title keeps making me think of "The Hollow Men".


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 8:18 AM
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This week I can walk down stairs with very little pain even if I don't use the bannister.

Morning in America!


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 8:37 AM
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MHPH @ 19:

I would think he'd have a really good reason to petition to move his office to, for example, Idaho.

Are you suggesting that earthquake risk near the coast is one of the reasons for the concentration in Idaho of anti-seismists?


Posted by: marcel proust | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:43 AM
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This week I can walk down stairs with very little pain even if I don't use the bannister.

Morning in America!

My ankle pain is usually the worst in the morning. And especially on the stairs.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:56 AM
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Sliding down the bannister is more fun anyway.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:15 AM
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Yeah, but you still have a landing.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:19 AM
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One ankle was good enough for Kerri Strug.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:21 AM
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187: That's how it starts. I recommend not running so many half marathons/taking so many long hikes until it stops hurting. You can stretch until it goes away.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:22 AM
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I assure you I haven't been doing either of those things for quite some time.

Actually I haven't had much ankle pain in that interval, either... hmmm


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:24 AM
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Dead thread, but this risk assessment tool based on precise location is cool. As I anticipated, my house in NE Portland will likely sustain heavy damage, but I will probably live on to kill or be killed.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 5:39 PM
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Speaking of preparation, I am now the proud owner of a very light poncho/tarp. If the disaster of the future involves rain and temperatures below about 75, I'm set.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:20 PM
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I got the idea to buy one when ogged was talking about how his wife and in-laws were trying to get him killed in a thunderstorm. Then REI had one on sale.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:27 PM
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This article is scary, but the information's been around for 20 years. Bill B\ryson wrote about it, and growing up in Portland with a beach house on the Oregon coast, the idea that we needed to prepare for a massive quake/tsunami was pretty well known. Our beach house was about 150 feet above sea level on the side of a cliff, and I remember feeling happy about that because it meant we'd probably survive a tsunami. We also had tsunami drills and warning signs all along the coasts. Earthquake preparedness in terms of building design is indeed lacking in Portland. They retrofitted our schools in the 90s and we grew up with earthquake drills, but I remember being told in class that if we lived in a brick house we were screwed. We also used to watch videos on giant earthquakes in Japan and told that we should be building buildings like the Japanese, but weren't.

With further preparedness, I don't know what this article will do, given that none of this is new information. The problem on the Oregon coast is the actual residents are all crotchety old Republicans who are unwilling and unable to invest in the infrastructure improvements necessary. It's in the state interest to help these towns out, but the Oregon legislature is kind of a basket case.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 7:41 PM
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Wait, I thought you grew up Midwestern and wholesome, not coastal and decadent.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 9:18 PM
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Yeah, I wonder how much of the article is directed at the new money in the northwest's cities, which, as Roberto Tigre points out, is a target demographic for the New Yorker. (That is, money in general, and money in liberal metropolitan areas in particular. SO MANY tongue baths for Silicon Valley over the last few years, although the wave seems to have crested for now.) I don't know where the author went to college, but her trajectory seems to have been midwest - Oregon - Brooklyn - Hudson Valley, so maybe she's preaching to the people who moved the other way.

Hey Jesus, any chance you'd be around the evening of 8/30 and/or daytime on 8/31? I will probably be in Portland after some naive outdoorsiness in the area, although I haven't bought my tickets quite yet.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 9:18 PM
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197: Scandinavian but not midwestern, I think. We do have a whole lot of "midwestern and decadent" here.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 9:21 PM
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Scandinavians did a lot of NW logging and fishing, for one thing.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:22 PM
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I could have sworn some of Buttercup's stories had Minnesota or Wisconsin settings, but maybe that's just because there are so many people here with midwest connections I merged Scandinavian family with midwest family.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:46 PM
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blah blah blah i have so much alcohol in me and inn 6 hours and 13 minutes i have to be at work learning how to do QA for a system that we hardly even use anymore. See how good I typed that though? Why am I not on the fucking senior management fast track, yo?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:49 PM
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197, 201: I had the same impression.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 10:51 PM
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I guess all those times driving up and down the Oregon coast to and from Canada, I should have made time to stop at the Tsunami Gallery in Gardiner, Oregon.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:13 PM
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SO MANY tongue baths for Silicon Valley over the last few years


Fuxck! Knew I should have stayed in Cali in 96.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:15 PM
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69 to 96 is only 27 years. 96 to now is 19 years. We are all non-avian dinosaurs.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:18 PM
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I lived in Seattle for 10 years, and I knew almost nothing about the fault. I knew there was a fault, but that's it.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:36 PM
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Hey Jesus, any chance you'd be around the evening of 8/30 and/or daytime on 8/31?

I wish there were, but I'm going to a wedding in Boston that weekend.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 07-14-15 11:40 PM
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Yes, I had a Scandinavian PNW upbringing. Lots of fish, lots of logs, and a dreary climate, so all things to make Scandinavian immigrants feel at home. This is the second time this week someone assumed I was raised in the Midwest, and I don't know if I should be offended because I come off as too straight laced to have grown up in Portland or because it's blatant ethnic profiling.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 2:43 AM
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As to degree of coastal eliti-ness, the Portland and Seattle of today are not the Portland and Seattle of the first half of my life.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:33 AM
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Speaking of changing elites, what does it mean that the IMF is calling for more debt relief in Greece? Is that just because they're the only ones getting a haircut now?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:43 AM
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Speaking of changing elites, what does it mean that the IMF is calling for more debt relief in Greece? Is that just because they're the only ones getting a haircut now?

I find the whole thing a bit perplexing in that it's so obviously form over substance - a maturity prolongation is practically the same as a haircut, economically, especially if it comes with an interest rate reduction. So it seems possible that in a certain sense it's just the IMF telling the governments to man the fuck up and admit it. Given that they just want to get repaid at this point, and they're going to be the first to do so once some kind of semi-viable plan is in place, they don't care whether there's a haircut or some other NPV reduction, so long as Greece gets put back on a sustainable path.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 6:51 AM
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because I come off as too straight laced to have grown up in Portland

Not this one! Go with ethnic profiling. (And in general, is it "offensive" to be considered straight laced? You're the anthropologist. I was going to joke about it but then realized I'm genuinely curious. Because it correlates with bigotry and closed-mindedness, I suppose; with giving offense to others.) As for me, I'm going to keep wrongly believing you're in China until you disclose your current time zone.

(Possibly related aside: I always thought of the U of C as being full of Illinois and Wisconsin natives, but it doesn't look that way from the population here. I've probably got better things to do than look up statistics this morning.)


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:16 AM
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Yes, I had a Scandinavian PNW upbringing. Lots of fish, lots of logs, and a dreary climate, so all things to make Scandinavian immigrants feel at home. This is the second time this week someone assumed I was raised in the Midwest, and I don't know if I should be offended because I come off as too straight laced to have grown up in Portland or because it's blatant ethnic profiling.

The latter. Scandinavian immigrants are synonymous with upper Midwest according to our cultural shorthand. I never knew there were any in the PNW. And my uncle grew up in the Scandinavian immigrant community in Jamestown, NY which is equally obscure.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:33 AM
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I knew PNW, but would have bet plenty on WA rather than OR. And at this point have no idea why.

We should now post guesses of each other's SAT scores, incomes, and home towns.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:41 AM
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My income is probably a disappointment given my SAT scores.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:43 AM
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209: Profiling, in my case too. The decadent/wholesome part of the comment was just joking about geographical stereotypes. Also, Unfogged seems to have a lot of people with Minnesota connections. Maybe I should have guessed Pittsburgh.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:57 AM
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I recommend not running so many half marathons/taking so many long hikes until it stops hurting.

Ok, I need advice. This is exactly the approach I have taken (on a doctor's advice). Now, this is my knee, not my ankle, and I've never run marathons anyway. (I never really "ran" period.) But I used to exercise fairly regularly, and then I hurt my knee in a way that seemed to be aggravated by pretty much any exercise, and so I stopped exercising (on a doctor's advice), hoping that the rest would fix whatever was wrong. (The doctor said "nothing" was wrong, which struck me as bizarre, but I assume he meant "nothing that requires medical intervention".) THAT WAS NINE YEARS AGO. I've been basically completely sedentary for nine years now and my knee has not healed. It's (mostly) okay through the course of ordinary, sedentary daily life, but if I exercise at all (more than casual walking) it will start to hurt. It doesn't really seem to matter what sort of exercise--weights, cardio, etc. If my knee is involved, it will start hurting, and hurting pretty badly.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:17 AM
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You should see a different doctor. Not just seek a referral for your pain, but set a different GP.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:23 AM
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218: My recommendation is to stop wearing high heels.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:28 AM
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Aside from not being good for your cardiovascular system, if you do no exercise at all, you could make things worse for your knee. If your muscles are reasonably used, they can sometimes compensate for structural defects. Not that you should just start running now. If you have significant, persistent knee pain triggered that easily, you should get somebody to look at that to figure out what is wrong. It's probably osteoarthritis, but it could be other things.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:30 AM
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You've nursed an injury for nine years without getting a second opinion?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:34 AM
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Injuries, grudges, babies. They all deserve to be nursed.


Posted by: Opininated La Leche League | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:37 AM
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222: Not exercising was working for him.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:37 AM
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Cartilage doesn't really heal in adults and with your level of symptoms, you likely have cartilage damage. It's unlikely that a different doctor will be able to cure you. The issue is one of managing pain, making deterioration as slow as possible, and/or deciding when to replace the knee.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:46 AM
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Pain in a middle aged or younger knee at anything over a casual walk isn't "working".


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:47 AM
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Yeah, get a second opinion, get that pain managed or maybe surgery. Find a doctor who agrees that getting you regular exercise is a priority.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:49 AM
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I would be very cautious about surgery, if a subsequent doctor advises it. Buck had surgery to repair cartilage damage in his knees shortly after I met him, and he was worse off after the surgery than before.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:50 AM
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220: If this doesn't help, there are many options for electric scooters.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:51 AM
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Knee braces while exercising?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:53 AM
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228: I'd be very, very cautious about surgery like that also. But with that level of symptoms at what I'm assuming is urple's age, it would be foolish to rule out considering a knee replacement. It almost always gets worse with age. It's a good idea to think about what to do if casual walking causes bad pain.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:55 AM
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231: My boss had knee replacement surgery on both her knees. She got to take 4 months off work!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:59 AM
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My mom and my brother have had great success with hip surgeries. Maybe you could get that instead? At the knee location, get it replaced with a ball-and-socket, I mean.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:00 AM
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The muscles of the knee joint won't work with that kind of a connection.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:02 AM
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My dad had a great experience with a new hip, but I do understand that knees are much harder.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:04 AM
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They're getting better at knees, but it will always be harder than hips.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:07 AM
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My boss has had a couple of hip-replacement surgeries too!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:08 AM
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With a knee replacement, you have a small (but certainly not trivial) risk of a bad outcome. Without a knee replacement, you have a very high chance (but not 100%) of progression to the point of disability. It's not an easy choice, and it clearly wouldn't be an imminent choice someone in urple's condition would face, but I'd want it to be something on the radar to monitor.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:11 AM
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Yeah, exhaust physical therapy before considering orthopedics.
My recommendation is to stop wearing high heels.
Maybe, but he should start walking as if he were wearing high heels.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:11 AM
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Sounds transformational.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:12 AM
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My grandfather ended up getting both he knees replaced (long term trouble caused by a car accident when he was younger), but only one of them actually worked right which turns out not to be much of a benefit overall.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:16 AM
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The other one worked left. Ba-dum-ching.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:17 AM
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Get a second opinion. (Nine years? Of course, of course.) The handful of people I know who have had knee surgery have had mixed results, but a treatment protocol of strengthening exercises from a conservative doc/PT might help. Try a sports doctor, if you can.

Also, running is stupid. Lots of other ways to stay in shape.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:19 AM
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With a knee replacement, you have a small (but certainly not trivial) risk of a bad outcome. Without a knee replacement, you have a very high chance (but not 100%) of progression to the point of disability. It's not an easy choice,

Woody Allen nailed it:

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness. The other, to total extinction. Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:24 AM
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Sure. If you have bad knees before 60, it means your odds of being alive for another 60 years are very slim.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 11:48 AM
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Shit. I guess I'll go to a doctor.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:07 PM
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246: My powers of persuasion are terrifying!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:09 PM
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Thanks Obamacare.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:13 PM
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Sure. If you have bad knees before 60, it means your odds of being alive for another 60 years are very slim.

Christ! I have had bad knees since I was an early teen. Goodbye everyone!


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:15 PM
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Don't worry. The study wasn't powered for bad knees at 20.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:17 PM
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If you have good knees at 59, however, prepare your Guinness Book entry, just to be safe.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 12:25 PM
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213

The offended part was a bit of a joke, I am really more amused. I am kind of straightlaced/"uncool" in a lot of ways, but also kind of eccentric in a lot of other ways. I think most Americans assume that if you're conservative in demeanor, you're conservative in other ways. This is mostly by non-anthropologists. Anthropology is still nerdy enough that a large contingent of successful anthropologists only wear baggy button ups and stone washed jeans. But anyways, I think that's why even in the US I mostly get hit on by Europeans. Americans see me and think "Minnesotan" and Europeans see me and think "Swedish," and apparently there is no stereotype that Minnesotans are wild in bed. I do look like a Portlander from the 90s, in that I still wear hiking boots, baggy jeans, flannel, and fleece on the regular. I have retired socks with Tevas from the repertoire.

With the knee, definitely see a new doctor and try a knee brace. Also, does your knee hurt after swimming? It would probably be a good idea to get some sort of exercise.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:01 PM
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Does that mean you now wear Tevas without socks?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:07 PM
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I do. Baby steps.


Posted by: Buttercup | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:10 PM
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Even in the winter?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:15 PM
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Europeans are into the 90s Portland look?


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:16 PM
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With the knee symptoms you might have floating bits of cartilage, or a tear in the cartilage, or it's just worn through. The first one is pretty fixable with minimally invasive surgery. The second is fixable but not as certain to have a good outcome. The third requires at least a partial knee replacement, which actually can work well for a long time. All of them are quicker to recover from than a full replacement, and cheaper.

So see an orthopedist, which you should have done at minimum 8 years ago already. (Sorry for piling on, but don't believe a GP who says, "Oh, just watch and wait for a year.")


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:24 PM
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apparently there is no stereotype that Minnesotans are wild in bed

Siri Hustvedt, all your efforts have been in vain.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:25 PM
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All of them are quicker to recover from than a full replacement, and cheaper.

On the second one, ask for the placebo. It's cheaper and works just as well.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:36 PM
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After finishing her dissertation, Hustvedt began writing prose.

Ouch, wikipedia author.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:48 PM
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Little known fact: if you complain about something on Wikipedia without fixing it, you burn in Hell for all eternity when you die.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:52 PM
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259. AAND, but my wife had the second one and it worked well and put off the third one for quite a few years. The third has been going strong for even longer. In my experience if you approach the rehab part seriously, you are going to be better off. urple, if you have been nearly sedentary for ten years that's likely to be the toughest part no matter what you do.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:55 PM
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Do you know the dissertation wasn't written in blank verse?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:56 PM
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262: I'd try the rehab without the surgery first. That is, physical therapy.

Not that I think you should share the placebo thing with your wife. If somebody is getting a placebo effect, it's kind of an asshole thing to mention that's probably what it is.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 1:59 PM
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I was confused by 262. Partial knee replacements have been shown to work.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 2:00 PM
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Stepmother had both knees replaced, happy as a clam.


Posted by: dairy queen | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 3:26 PM
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Clams don't have knees, though...


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 5:19 PM
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How can I help save people from natural disasters?

As it happens, disaster planning and response is one of the areas in which I pretend to be an expert. I'm not an actual expert, mind you.

If you just want to save some lives, there is an emerging infrastructure whereby groups of people on the internet are providing off-site support to responders on the ground. This includes reviewing satellite imagery - trying to identify roads and stuff - and wading through tweets and media reports to compile a real-time database of what is happening where, so that responders can have situational awareness and figure out where the most damage is and where people are in trouble. If you want to get involved, take a look at Crisis Mappers.

Of course, that's all volunteer. If you want to get paid, your best route might be getting some certification in Geographic Information Systems and get a public sector job working on tsunami maps or hurricane simulation or some such. FEMA does this, but also there are scads of state-level agencies.

Internationally, all the real money in the disaster response field is wrapped up in Climate Change Adaptation, so that might be the more effective angle of attack.



Posted by: Spike | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 5:22 PM
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My knee pain is the result of a bad bike accident (with a very hard knee collision). So I don't think it could be an issue with the cartilage, or I assume the doctor would have noticed that.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:36 PM
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Did the doctor take an x-ray or MRI?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:40 PM
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Scandinavian immigrants are synonymous with upper Midwest according to our cultural shorthand. I never knew there were any in the PNW.

Whereas I was well aware of the Scandinavian presence in the PNW (which in this respect definitely includes Southeast Alaska) and have no such excuse. Sorry for profiling you, Buttercup!


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 7:40 PM
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The only appropriate thing to do now by way of apology is to hit on Buttercup at a meetup.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 8:36 PM
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Wait, is there another vote for GIS certification? That sounds more fun than a degree in Disaster Management.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:24 PM
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Disaster Design, Disaster Engineering, Disaster QA, Disaster Post-production, Disastrobiology, Disaster Coaching, Disaster Development. DISASTER CONSULTING.

So wait: is distaste for disaster porn a form of prudishness? My brain is still stuck on pretending not to understand how people use words to mean things.


Posted by: lurid keyaki | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:38 PM
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272: Noted.

273: Sure, I'll vote for it. GIS is fun and useful for lots of stuff beyond disaster planning.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:58 PM
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GIS is great stuff. I wish I had had the time to get my certification as it's certainly very relevant to a large part of what I'm doing now. I did muck about with QGIS though and will be using it in some future projects. There's lots of call for doing GIS stuff in libraries with historical maps and other collections. The kinds of projects out there are really neat and I'm aware of some very interesting and potentially ground-breaking stuff coming down the pike. Not totally relevant to disaster planning but also not completely irrelevant - e.g. take a look at the NYC flood maps and the work done comparing them to the famous Viele water map of Manhattan.

GIS is a really in high demand skill-set these days in a variety of fields both sciencey and humanities and can take you in so many different directions.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:58 PM
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pwd by shorter teo.


Disaster porn: "Taken by the tsunami"


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 9:59 PM
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277.1 pwd should be pwnd.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:00 PM
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The map library at a university in the bay area has a couple people who have been involved in crisis mapping, I think. Maybe both map libraries.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 07-15-15 10:13 PM
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270: can't say I remember with certainty but I think an x-Ray.


Posted by: urple | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 5:17 AM
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I had my first acupuncture treatment yesterday. Try that.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 6:08 AM
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280: That's a good sign that he did see nothing bad. But after that long with pain, it's time for another look. Or getting stuck with needles. Whichever.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 07-16-15 6:13 AM
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