Friday, July 25, 2014

"Carrington-Class CME Narrowly Misses Earth", video of shocking report presented at the University of Colorado in April 2014 (marrow escape in July 2012)

Science Casts offers a four-minute video “Carrington-Class CME Narrowly Misses Earth”. 

The event happened around July 23, 2012 and blasted two successive coronal mass ejections through the same area a few hours apart.  Earth had passed through the area a week before.  At that time, I was on a trip in West Virginia looking a mountaintop removal, a bit ironic. 

The event is covered in “The Blaze” and was mentioned on CNN News late tonight (July 25) but not on local stations.  The story is here. The East Coast had just endured the derecho three weeks earlier, on June 29, 2012.  But this could have been much more catastrophic. Note the tone of the comments from users.

Large solar storms can fry transformers, and because they are largely manufactured overseas, cannot be put in place here quickly. 

A paper on this incident was presented at the University of Colorado in April 2014.  It was only the data on a satellite that was hit that told us the severity of the event.

Reuters in the UK published a short article (by John Kemp) on the need to prepare for solar storms today, link here.  It is possible for power utilities to take some protective measures if there are several hours notice. These would probably include deliberate blackouts.

The solar storm did appear during a period near the peak of the sunspot cycle when some observers had warned of the possibility of severe solar storms.  See my book reviews blog:  April 13, 2013 (Michael Maloof), Oct. 20, 2012 (Oak Ridge National Laboratory), Aug 9, 2012 (National Academy of Sciences), June 8, 2012 (NatGeo), Nov. 9, 2010 (Lawrence Joseph).

Predictive Science has said there is a 12% chance of a major solar storm hitting Earth in the next decade, although it isn’t sure what that’s based on.  

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"How North Korea Got to Be This Way", short film from Vox

Vox Media has a short film “How North Korea Got This Way”, by Joe Posner and Joss Fong.

I wasn’t aware that North Korea is a relic of the Japanese empire.  What’s even more surprising is that North Koreans will return to the country and accept the idea of militarism which keeps the country impoverished.

Outside of the leadership, North Korea represents Maoism in the extreme: equality by making everyone impoverished. 

And it is dangerous.  Besides the silly talk (going to war over a US movie, or bellicose threats) it may well one day be able to lob a nuclear missile toward Alaska or the US Pacific Northwest.  It makes too easy a “friend” for US enemies.  The film “Red Dawn 2” in 2012 was based on a North Korean occupation of the Pacific Northwest with a preceding EMP device.  

Monday, July 07, 2014

US Customs produces "Dangers Awareness Campaign" video to discourage "Unaccompanied Minors"

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection has reportedly produced a video in Spanish called “Dangers Awareness Campaign”, intended for families in Central America to see to discourage unaccompanied minors from trying to travel north to the US, which some families believe will take them.
I could not find this video online on YouTube yet.  The best page with their information seems to be at this link.   I found a close approximation, a ten-minute report by PBS News Hour, “Why So Many Immigrant Kids Are Coming to the US Alone”
I felt that this was the most objective news report (free of political or social moralizing) that I could find.  The film reports that kids often ride on the tops of boxcars or flat cars on Mexican freight trains and sometimes fall off to their deaths.   The film explains the steps that happens once they are picked up by Border Patrol, mostly in the Rio Grande area between Laredo and Brownsville, TX.  There is a period where the kids are under a “sponsor”.  I don’t know if a “sponsor” can be an individual, a family, or particularly a faith-based group (which sounds likely, especially Catholic).  Curiously, if so, that provides a small plot-hook to an early episode in one of my own novel manuscripts.

There is a 2006 comedy film called “Unaccompanied Minors.”