Tag Archives | disaster

Michigan State Offers a Course on How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse

I am not sure what to think about college courses about speculative events. I bet it will be interesting, but whose got the money to burn? I’ll tell you this though. If I learned anything from Left 4 Dead, I am taking the Auto Shotgun and a katana or machete as backup.  Anyways, Check out this trailer for the course.


via Mental Floss

According to its Facebook page, the online course “uses the idea of a Zombie Apocalypse to attract attention to the important topic and research on ‘Catastrophes and Human Behavior.’” Students will “learn about the nature, scope and impact of catastrophic events,” and will be “assigned into Survivor Groups located throughout the United States and must face the challenges of living and surviving together during a catastrophic event.”

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Yes, Things Are Very Bad at Fukushima, but It’s Not the Apocalypse

Pic: VOA (PD)

Pic: VOA (PD)

Yes, this article is from Greenpeace, but it’s not hyperbolic.  Jan Beránek writes:

There have been a number of news stories recently about the radiation escaping into the ocean at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant that have raised great concern. Some are worried about how escaping radiation  may or may not be affecting ocean eco-systems around the world.

Since Greenpeace has been working on the Fukushima nuclear crisis since it first began in March 2011, we can offer some thoughts on people’s concerns.

We have sampled sealife along the Japanese coastline, both from the Rainbow Warrior and in conjunction with local fishermen and Japan’s food cooperatives.

You can find some of the results of our independent measurements on our Radiation Surveys – Fukushima webpage.

While we don’t have a marine biologist on our team, we have a number of radiation specialists whose findings and assessments we share with scientists and academic researchers.

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Why Should We Try?

Pic: Ashok Prabhu (CC)

Pic: Ashok Prabhu (CC)

What follows is a bit of my own internal dialogue that’s been built into why it would even be worth the effort to launch an international tour to speak about how gnosis is a term that we should all have a good grasp of.

In the discussions of what our real ends are, some ideas have come up that have sent me into a back and forth about the actual value of any of it.

Have you ever felt yourself slip into an existential funk in which ask, “Why the fuck should I even care? Why the fuck should I try?” I mean what’s the point? Many of us have been long disenchanted with Religion, Politics, Love and pretty much every other institution of this mad consensus reality that we call life.

Take for instance the viewpoint of Nisargadatta Maharaj, a Spiritual teacher in the Advaita Vedanta tradition in his exchange with an interviewer:

Q: There is suffering and bloodshed in East Pakistan at the present moment.Read the rest

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Japanese Gangsters Hiring Homeless To Clean Up Fukushima Disaster Area

447px-Yakuza_sign_near_Sento

Pic: Sean Wilson (PD)

Organized crime controlling construction and waste disposal? That sounds familiar. Crime bosses in Japan are recruiting the nation’s homeless and paying them next to nothing to clean up the deadly remains of the Fukushima disaster.

Japan’s three biggest crime syndicates have established illegal recruitment under construction powerhouse Obayashi, a top contractor. Reuters speaks to one man paid by a gangster to collect potential homeless workers: Seiji Sasa would find men at a local train station and get them work through a number of smaller contractors that eventually reported to Obayashi (which has not been fingered in the scheme). The workers would be paid less than minimum wage after middlemen skimmed some and deductions were taken for food and housing; in other cases, those deductions were taken from their scant pay, leaving the workers with no money, or even in debt.

Keep reading at Newser.Read the rest

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Japanese Authorities Admit Fukushima Has Been Leaking Radiation Into Water For Two Years, And Cannot Be Stopped

fukushimaVia the New York Times, a reminder to always take officials with a grain of salt when they issue statements denying that the oceans and air are being poisoned:

The stricken nuclear power plant at Fukushima has probably been leaking contaminated water into the ocean for two years, ever since an earthquake and tsunami badly damaged the plant, Japan’s chief nuclear regulator said on Wednesday.

In unusually candid comments, Shunichi Tanaka, the head of the Nuclear Regulation Authority, also said that neither his staff nor the plant’s operator knew exactly where the leaks were coming from, or how to stop them.

The operator, Tokyo Electric Power, has reported spikes in the amounts of radioactive cesium, tritium and strontium detected in groundwater at the plant, adding urgency to the task of sealing any leaks. Radioactive cesium and strontium, especially, are known to raise risks of cancer in humans.

Until recently, Tokyo Electric, known as Tepco, flatly denied that any of that water was leaking into the ocean, even though various independent studies of radiation levels in the nearby ocean have suggested otherwise.

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New Yorkers Rattled By Fake PSA Chemical And Nuclear Warning Posters

The work of “pranksters” providing the public with technically correct information. ANIMAL New York reports:

Relax, they’re not real. MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg, who dismissed the postings as “the work of pranksters,” told us so. But though neither of the posters were distributed by the MTA or any other state or city agency, both are totally truthful in their contents.

The NYPD will indeed be pumping the city with invisible gases called perflourocarbos this summer, in an effort to test how more harmful airborne substances would spread in the event of a chemical attack. And the nuclear power plant at Indian Point Energy Center is so at risk and so close to the city the Natural Resources Defense Council warns of a disaster ten to 100 times worse than Fukushima if it ever encounters seismic activity. Should you be worried? That’s up to you.

fake posters

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Institute Pinpoints Which Cities May Be Consumed By Rising Sea Levels

If you’re planning on being cryogenically frozen and then revived in the 22nd century, consider selling your apartment in Tokyo now. New Scientist writes:

Sydney, Tokyo and Buenos Aires watch out. These cities will experience some of the greatest sea level rises by 2100, according to one of the most comprehensive predictions to date.

Sea levels have been rising for over 100 years – not evenly, though. Several processes are at work, says Mahé Perrette of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. Some land is sinking, some is rising. The gravitational pull of disappearing ice sheets lead to a fall in sea levels in their surrounding areas.

Perrette has modeled all of these effects and calculated local sea level rises in 2100 for the entire planet. The global average rise is predicted to be between 30 and 106 centimeters. Coasts around the Indian Ocean will be hard hit, as will Japan, south-east Australia and Argentina.

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Unclear Holocaust: The Ultimate 9/11 Movie

The art group Anti-Banality Union has created a feature-length movie which is impossible to stop watching. Fifty Hollywood blockbusters portraying the spectacular obliteration of New York City were cut up and interwoven (somehow fitting together seamlessly), revealing the meta-narrative running through them all — the “death-drive on the part of capitalist culture”:

Unclear Holocaust is a feature-length autopsy of Hollywood’s New York-destruction fantasy, gleaned from over fifty major studio event-movies and detourned into one relentless orgy of representational genocide. It is the unrivaled assembly of the greatest amount of capital and private property heretofore captured in one frame, that, with unfathomable narrative efficacy, suicides itself in an annihilatory flux of fire, water, and aeronautics…We see the Cinema as it really is; an unequivocal annihilation, the auto-genocidal mass fantasy of a megalomaniacally depressed First World.

 

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Elite Panic In The Aftermath Of Disasters

Relevant in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, a conversation between BOMB Magazine and Rebecca Solnit about this hazardous, even deadly, phenomenon:

The term “elite panic” was coined by [sociologists] Caron Chess and Lee Clarke of Rutgers. Elite panic [is] the way that elites, during disasters and their aftermath, imagine that the public is not only in danger but also a source of danger. In case after case how elites respond in destructive ways, from withholding essential information, to blocking citizen relief efforts, to protecting property instead of people.

[Elites] believe that only their power keeps the rest of us in line and that when it somehow shrinks away, our seething violence will rise to the surface—that was very clear in Katrina. Timothy Garton Ash and Maureen Dowd and all these other people immediately jumped on the bandwagon and started writing commentaries based on the assumption that the rumors of mass violence during Katrina were true.

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