Thursday, August 10, 2017

"How Japan Is Preparing for North Korean Threats" (HBO)

HBO and Vice News offer a short film, “How Japan Is Preparing for North Korean  Threats”.

There is an elementary school drill, and then some demonstration of bunkers for sale for $200,000 each, which contain hand pumped air filters.  The shelters would be good for two weeks.

Picture of Hiroshima memorial by HKT3012 under CCSA 4.0. 

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Vox offers video: "What Happens When ISIS Fails?"

Vox has produced a short film (7:30) by Sam Elllis, “What Happens When ISIS Fails?”

The film does go into the issue of fighter (sometimes whole families) returning  after ISIS loses all its territory that it had claimed as an unrecognized “state”.  Many return with very radical views, and many were recruiting by slickly produced media on the Internet, and then processed subsequently on the Dark Web.

The video above on YouTube asks “What’s It Like to Fight for the Islamic State?”

Wikipedia attribution link for Qayyarah fighting near Mosul, by Chernov, CCSA 4.0. 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

"Salvation" on CBS looks at the threat of a hidden asteroid, 6 months out, able to extinguish civilization

Salvation”, a new CBS sci-fi series created by Elizabeth Kruger and Craig Shapiro, poses a rather “obvious” dilemma for an end-of-the-world scenario.  The Pilot episode aired tonight (CBS link ).

Liam Cole (Charlie Rowe) is an appealing, clean-cut MIT teenage student working on a project to map all of space.  One night, after a date and while in bed with a girl friend (maybe a first time) he gets a cell phone text that his project has discovered an asteroid due to hit Earth in 6 months.
Here is where there are too many coincidences. The government conveniently has a gravity deflection rocket that it wants to use against asteroids, but it wants to keep the knowledge of the asteroid classified.  But the kid has found out, and might talk (or blog about it).  The Pentagon already has a holographic simulation of the projected course.

Liam somewhat resembles the precocious college student Sal in my novel "Angel's Brother".  But what does Sal know in my opening chapter?  In my case, it's a meeting that sets up the dangerous knowledge for both lead characters, as a plot point.

The opening of the series is intriguing, as Liam is in a scene in a bar with the girl friend that reminds you of the opening of “The Social Network” (Thirsty Bernies), also in Cambridge.  Neither show or film is concerned about drinking age of 21.

But how the world would deal with an asteroid is important, and we don’t know that there isn’t something like this out there.  Is Trump ready for this?

“Space” discusses the physics of the project here.  Comets would be less dense than asteroids.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

CNBC "Squawk Box" features James Woolsey with dire warning about North Korean EMP threat now

CNBC’s “Squawk Box” featured an interview with former CIA director James Woolsey July 5 on the idea that North Korea has the capability to detonate a small nuclear weapon from an orbiting satellite now, over the US, knocking out the power grid.  So, for the sake of this blog, I’ll call this a “short film”.

Woolsey says that satellite technology is much easier to master than ICBM’s, and cites the Soviet Union’s Sputnik in 1957 as evidence.

Some reports say that this claim has been disputed.

But Woolsey repeated this assertion to Don Lemon on CNN on July 6.

But other than that, major media outlets have not picked up on this and the Trump administration has not yet acknowledged this particular risk.

Tony Cordesman has suggested that a limited military operation against DPRK could do a small (non-nuclear flux) EMP to take out their grids, but woukdn’t that trigger a retaliation if Woolsey is right?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Terror in the Library" in ABC's "In an Instant" series, 1994 event disturbing for singling out hostages

ABC’s “In an Instant”, a series of 2-hour documentary films sponsored by 20-20, aired
Terror in the Library” (link) Saturday June 24, about an event March 5, 1994, when Clifford Lynn Draper took hostages and threatened to block himself and the hostages up if many demands related to his military service were not met.

The perpetrator was said to be a paranoid schizophrenic. He was finally shot by an off-duty policeman who used specific intelligence to decide when to act.

The episode is unusually disturbing because he singled out hostages, made one of them call a TV station, and made them draw straws.  One of the hostages almost went into a diabetic coma.

Incidents like this have happened (before 9/11), from non-islam-related causes more often that people realize.  The most notorious was he kidnapping of Patty Hearst in 1974.

This is particularly disturbing to me, as I have outlined here.

The Salt Lake Tribune has a detailed story here.

Picture of Salt Lake library today, Public Domain, Link

Thursday, June 22, 2017

"What Is Happening Under Yellowstone Park in 2017?": Is a massive eruption about to destroy 1/3 of the U.S.

What Is Happening Under Yellowstone Park in 2017?”, from News USA 2017, plays on the recent reports of earthquakes in Yellowstone National Park as a possible precursor to a massive eruption.

The video mentions the rumor that the US has contact four countries to ask for radical hospitality to house US homeowners made homeless by the eruption. A map in the video shows the predicted zones of destruction, which would encompass about one third of continental United States.  There are reports that there is a 10% chance of a massive eruption by 2100. Eruption occurs about every 650000 years, but we are about due (but statistically any given year is unlikely).

The video then goes on to speculate about a secret network of underground bases all over most of the US, with many subterranean high speed lines already bit.  It even speculates these bases could explain some UFO abductions.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Weather Channel's "Tornado: Inside the Vortex"

Today, Saturday, June 17, 2017, the Weather Channel presented its own hour-long documentary “Tornado: Inside the Vortex”.

Here’s an excerpt dealing with mutli-vortex tornadoes.

The documentary also explained the SLIM system for anticipating tornadoes:  S for Shear (speed and height), L for Lift, I for Instability, and M for Moisture.  Both cold fronts and ordinary surface low pressure systems can produce big thunderstorm complexes.

The documentary also showed the spot in Moore OK crossed by both the 1999 and 2013 tornadoes.

Here is some discussion of NOAA's discussion of the categories of risk for severe thunderstorms:  marginal, slight, enhanced, moderate, and high.

Wikipedia attribution link for 2013 Moore OK damage, p.d., FEMA.