Coping: A Longish Quake Rap

image This is going to be a long and winding ramble, so get that warm-up and we begin, as I explained recent to Peoplenomics subscribers, with Mr. Ure’s not-yet-patented “REAL Threat Board” which lives on my desktop.

Oh, sure, the market is going to go up some days, and it will go down some days, but – in the end – most of the stuff in the daily news will not really “reach out and touch” you.  Instead, it will evoke some discussion and so forth, but meaningfully change your life?  No-no…just tension, hype, news channel ratings and revenues.

But there is a list – which maybe I could add to, of things which – if they go wrong – could really, seriously F/U your life.  Not the least of which is earthquakes.  That’s because – if you’re not completely dead – you will be vaguely aware that there’s a continuing nuclear disaster going on in Japan and as David Suzuki, science dude with the CBC and author of many science books, said earlier this week, the West Coast may become untenable with one more major quake.

Presto!  Or, more correctly, Presto #1.  In pops the latest monthly report from reader Tony R who volunteers his time monthly to run earthquake data going back to 1963 and then he runs out the graphics (OK, a macro does, then, picky, picky) which ends up telling us what to expect.

And this month, it ain’t pretty because the Magnitude 7+ quake trend we’ve been yammering about for years is (sit calmly here) really coming to pass – at least so far.


Now, it’s not bad enough that the 7.0 quakes seem to be moving up really close to that 2-per month line, but what’s REALLY worse is that the 3.0 quakes are declining.

image You shouldn’t need a four-year edjumacation in the earth sciences to connect the dots on this one, but if you really skated on the science part of school, it’s simple:  Earth’s crust is a bunch of small plates (think of the panels on a soccer ball, but oddly sized) that move about, hither and thither, and as they move they strike one another and sometime slide over or under each other in a process called subsidence (on the sinking side).  And that causes up thrusts on the rising side.  Simple enough.

So now we move on to Presto #2, which came out around 5:30 AM Central from the Solar Influences Data Analysis Center of in Belgium:

An X1.1 flare was detected peaking at 04:26 UT today in the Catania sunspot group 35 (NOAA AR 1890). The SDO/AIA data indicates that the flare was accompanied by coronal dimmings, indicating the eruption of a CME. More information about the CME will be sent around once the SOHO/LASCO data becomes available. Due to the position of the source active region close to the solar central meridian, the arrival of the CME-associated interplanetary disturbance at the Earth is possible.

If you’ve been watching the sun’s activity lately, you will remember that there have been a series of solar “pops” and that we are presently in the period of high risk for large-scale flares (the first half of the decline of the solar cycle) and over the next couple of weeks, that back side activity will rotate toward a planet Ure standing on.  Following this?

OK, now come the really worrisome parts.

imageFirst is a pet theory that says Einstein’s movement of matter into energy works (which folks in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more recent Fukushima can testify to) but there’ nothing in the formula that says “This is a one-way street.”

My guess is it’s not.

All of which has some profound implications for how the solar system probably works.  Not the least of which is that because the Sun puts out a lot of E, and planets seem to be “condensing” around suns all over the known universe, then would it make sense that a) the Earth used to be a lot smaller (check how everything fits as far as continents go at about half present size, and while you’re at it, that would mean weaker gravity which might encourage giantism (yep, my friend Steve Quayle’s 9-footers) and then there were dinosaurs, which got to be of extraordinary size, which would have been helped by what?  Lower gravity, smaller Earth, yada, yada.

OK, now, here comes the fun part:  The data (above) and the Sun’s rotation, seem to be coming up on a period in the next month, or two, where we could have some real kick-ass earthquakes.

And  – in yesterday’s column – where I told you about how I was of the opinion (and it was just opinion at that point) that I believed the San Juan Island mess Gaye and SursvivalHubby of were enduring was likely due to land shifting about as Vancouver Island and the San Juan (tectonic) Plate are under building stress..

Well, Gaye got connectivity (off island) yesterday, called me (and sent an email which had the simple subject line “You Nailed It!” and held the following map which is  quickly becoming a Big Deal up in the Islands right now:


That’s not a quake which can be found in headlines and splashed all over the Mainstream Media, but I want you to pay close attention to it.  The eastern edge of the “Ring of Fire” is due.  We are liking to get some “energy condensing into matter” over the next couple of weeks from flares, if I’m right.

Then you can toss in the Earth’s rotation, into your thinking.  If you had to just throw a dart and wonder “Gee, where would Big Quakes” be likely to happen?   Around Equinoxes and Solstices would be my pick.  Boxing Day tsunami of 2004, the March 11, 2011 Tohoku (Fukushima) Nightmare… Oh, want me to mention the March 27 Good Friday quake that heavily damaged Anchorage, Alaska, back in 1964?

Something to consider:  Reading the news is seldom done slowly and deeply.  Back in my newsing days we made jokes about “rip & read” newscasts which could be “torn down” from the old Model 19 teletype newswires run by the Associated Press and United Press International back in the day.  Miles of copy have been writing (by writers) about how news should be rewritten, and in a sense, that’s what UrbanSurvival and (though to a lesser extent) Peoplenomics is about. Hell, that’s what Time and The Atlantic do, too:  Rewrite in a sense, but more importantly, we all provide contexting  (do-connecting) which is so missing in the #160 world.

News by itself if…well,…useless.  It’s like the difference in management science between ‘data” and “information.”  The one is great if you’re trying to spy on every American, but if you’re really after “terrorists” it’s the information distilled from that data that is key to operational success.

And so it is with what you put into your head on a daily basis.  My view, which has evolved from being on both the consumer and disseminator side, is that you should really focus on developing your own personal “threat board” and list everything that could go wrong in your life, develop a series of hedges (prepping is a key part of it) and then blow off the “bullshit filler” stories like what Kim or Kanye or Gaga or Lindsay are doing.  They don’t have much (if anything) to do with how the local quality of your life will work out.

A 9.3 earthquake in the Pacific Northwest, when a sister island to Vancouver Island is formed, running from the south end of Puget Sound down to the Kelso-Longview bend in the Columbia River?  Would that have real impact?   Hell yes, that would be a mighty extreme example of news that really matters.

I’m not suggesting that it will happen any time soon, and likely  not this week, or next (knock on wood) but the geological precedents are there, and the broken fiber cable may keep the San Juans offline for another up to three weeks, so I’m of the (not particularly humble) opinion that an aware person pays attention to the really big picture stuff and doesn’t get all mixed up in the head-tripping of the War on Terror or the intimidating efforts of government to become the Guido and Luigi of the healthcare lobby. 

And mornings like this are a fine time to be looking around for the thoughtful news and commentary sites on the web which have at least a clue as to how the world operates and where we really might be going.  For example, The Atlantic’s “A Parable of Disconnectedness” is a worthwhile read.  Focuses on the San Juan Outage which is not on the MSM in a big way – yet.

But on the flip side,  the emails going around the net that claim FEMA is going to take down the net deliberately as part of next week’s big Region III Gird test next week?  No, no way in hell and rankings starved alarmist crap, seems to me.

But, there are some very smart people at FEMA who can read the same tea leaves we can around here, and which The Atlantic also groks. A little paranoia goes a long way, but in cases like this Grid test, maybe it goes too far.

Oh sure: It’s going to happen sometime.  It’s just a matter of the hour and the day.  For now, we’ll keep scanning the geophysical journals looking for someone else to grok the “matter condenses from energy inside planets, which is what keeps them hot…” and from there, a look at the calendar.  Solstice is coming, and equinox, too.  Which one?  Beats me.  But land is moving right now.

And before either of them arrives, care to bet that Gaye doesn’t have her ham radio ticket?

image Tomorrow, the Seattle Mike and Key Amateur Radio Club is holding the first day of a two Saturday class to get your ham ticket.  I’m always shocked that there’s not a line around the block for such grand public service efforts.  But then again, I’m always shocked the the ink and electronics Kim, Kanye, Gaga, and Lindsay get, too.

This morning as the sun begins to brighten the clouds down here at the ranch, it’s this kind of thinking that gets me motivated:  Build a three-seasons room this weekend, prep the plane again, this week.  And service the antennas (which involves taking down the tower for some work) next weekend.  I necessarily will miss Entertainment Tonight.  But I’ll be ready for the entertainment of tomorrow and the beam’s kept pointed out toward the Northwest and Japan until….

Our Kind of Flying, And a Driving Tip

A little hangar-talk:  As you know, I really like short-field landings.  Never been sure why, except that in my young news directing days, I was most intrigued when the late KOMO radio traffic reporter/pilot Ted Garlatz, Sr. put his plane down (safely) on a golf course due to an engine failure. 

(I was running news at KOL and if you read the story at the link, you get three guesses who got stung…in the Great KOMO traffic report “sting.”  Smile 

Anyway, Ted Sr. was a hell of a fine pilot and ever since, I have always felt rather embarrassed to use more than a thousand feet of runway when putting the old Beechcrate down, and with 5-knots of wind on my favorite runway, 450-500 is what I aim for.

So it’s with this (yada, yada, personal baggage long build-up) that I found this YouTube vid making the rounds about a light airplane landing on a ship — and then taking off again — so cool.

Probably the most watched “short landing” video on YouTube is the 2011 Valdez May Day STOL (short takeoff and landing) fly-in, which is over here.  Landing in some low multiple of the aircraft’s overall length is a fine art that requires some coordination. 

The trick on the professional circuit is to have the airplane set up for high utility use and run super light.  Putting on big tires gives better braking and then, a combination of flap and leading-edge modifications (on some this means moveable slats), vortex generators, landing with “barely legal” reserve fuel requirements and so on, is what works.

image But even in the old ‘Crate, which has the VGs and flight plans way over 60-minutes of fuel reserves (I’m not that stupid – the major of small airplane accidents are caused by running out of school, which reveals that the “cool factor” of being a pilot is often not based on IQ), the most important (required) placard on the instrument panel reminds the driver to “raise flaps to assist braking.”

It’s not something you think about in a car; how much weight is on the tires, so you can’t apply too much brake at first because the tire will lock-up and skid.  But doing a short-field landing, you need to nail the approach speed and then as soon as the wheels squeak, dump flaps to get some weight on the wheels and facilitate braking.  Dumping flaps helps to “STOP FLYING” quickly.

Ah, which gets me to this morning’s crappy weather driving hint.  If you drive anywhere it rains, and you want to drive aggressively (or are a serious defensive driver), go read this short report titled “Hydroplaning of modern aircraft tires, particularly noting that the lower the tire pressure, the lower the hydroplaning speed.

Take this as you will, but with colder weather (and rainy seasons) keeping your car’s tires pumped up to the upper area of manufacturer’s recommendation may give you a little more bumpy ride, but if you plan to avoid a “long-field landing” into the rear-end of the car in front of you, nothing like the right tire pressure to shave the odds a bit in your favor.

(I assume you’ve been for the “online ride” around the airport traffic pattern down here in  East Texas…)

Speaking of Videos

This is short, but the life hacking video, over here on YouTube, explains that although you might think fresh veggies have more nutrition than freezer section veggies, t’ain’t necessarily so…

OK, much to do before Monday, so off the butt and into the rut…write when you break even.