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Hurricane Sandy Nears East Coast 281

An anonymous reader writes "Scientists have been following and projecting Sandy's path with all the tools at their disposal: ocean buoys, radar and satellite imagery, and computer modeling. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration also gathers information from special reconnaissance aircraft, which fly over hurricanes and can drop instruments into them to measure wind speeds, air pressure, temperature, and altitude. The latest data gathered on Hurricane Sandy point to an unprecedented and mighty tempest, scientists say." A couple of our East Coast offices are closed today and people have been told to work from home. Please share your storm stories, and updates while you still have internet access.
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Hurricane Sandy Nears East Coast

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  • Amazon (Score:5, Funny)

    by GeneralTurgidson ( 2464452 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:14AM (#41802829)
    I'm sure it will somehow take AWS down :)
    • by arcite ( 661011 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:46AM (#41802991)
      God is just visiting New York to cast his early voting ballot.
      • Don't forget to bring a towel. Proper towel safety and use is important.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        We all know this is a sneaky plot from the Romney camp to disenfranchise liberal voters by sending a massive 1000 mile storm in their path. Huff Post and Daily KOS told me so!

        In all seriousness, if a storm does do significant damage to an area right before/at an election, what do we do? Is this a constitutional crises?

        • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:40AM (#41804101) Journal

          We all know this is a sneaky plot from the Romney camp to disenfranchise liberal voters by sending a massive 1000 mile storm in their path. Huff Post and Daily KOS told me so!

          I realize you're making a joke, but do you realize that at least one right-wing radio talking head is accusing President Obama of "seeding" Hurricane Sandy using (you knew it was coming, didn't you) HAARP?

          I'm not going to promote this turd, so you can find out who's making this accusation yourself if you are so inclined.

          So, if you're going to make a sarcastic comment about someone probably accusing someone of a plot to disenfranchise the electorate, you better make sure that someone on your side hasn't already done it.

          • And I'm sure I can find at least one person on the left who has made the same claim about Romney, which would actually make more sense (in crazy-logic-world) given that, you know, the east coast tends to have more liberal voters than conservative ones. Can we just agree to ignore the crazy people, instead of trying to claim the other side is crazier or made crazy claims first? Please?

            Ah no, I guess we can't, crazy people make for such great news and even better demagoguery.

            • Re:Don't PANIC! (Score:5, Insightful)

              by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:16AM (#41804641)
              Thanks for your 'voice of reason' post. 'Sandy' has already been the cause of death for over 60 people, so far. This storm is no joke, and to hear how it's being "politicized" is a shame.
            • Re:Don't PANIC! (Score:5, Informative)

              by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:23PM (#41808219) Journal

              And I'm sure I can find at least one person on the left who has made the same claim about Romney

              OK, please do. Find someone on "the left" with a national profile who has said this.

              I'll wait here.

              See, this "both sides do it" equivalency is false. It's always been false.

              Can we just agree to ignore the crazy people, instead of trying to claim the other side is crazier or made crazy claims first? Please?

              No, we cannot ignore the crazy people, because voters on one side of the political spectrum are electing them to office in large numbers.

              It makes it harder to ignore someone when they are a member of the House of Representatives and sitting on a major committee.

          • You assume I have a side which is a fair to do, but inaccurate. To make the joke less funny, since I have to explain it, the reason I chose Romney as the supposed cause of the storm and cries of disenfranchisement coming from the left is that it is more common to hear the left make arguments that the right somehow prevents the left from voting rather than the other way around. I'm not saying if they're correct or incorrect in their assessment, but they do make that complaint more. Combine that with the f

            • Re:Don't PANIC! (Score:4, Interesting)

              by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @02:36PM (#41808435) Journal

              To make the joke less funny, since I have to explain it, the reason I chose Romney as the supposed cause of the storm and cries of disenfranchisement coming from the left is that it is more common to hear the left make arguments that the right somehow prevents the left from voting rather than the other way around. I'm not saying if they're correct or incorrect in their assessment, but they do make that complaint more.

              I want to point out just how intellectually dishonest and morally questionable the very common argument that gameboyhippo is making actually is.

              When you have voters being disenfranchised, these people in the "center" who are saying "Oh look, the people being disenfranchised are complaining about being disenfranchised. They're such crybabies" become a double-insult to those people. These are not hypotheticals. There is no "question" about whether there are organized attempts at voter suppression by the Right. There are people, today, in this country who are being prevented from voting in a carefully planned and executed strategy. People who are being registered to vote by Nathan Sproul for the Republican Party who are then having the addresses on their registration form changed so that when they show up to vote they will be required to cast a provisional ballot (which will not be counted). Hundreds of voter registration forms showing up in dumpsters. People in states where the Supreme Court said there can be no voter ID requirement being told that they will go to jail if they try to vote without an ID. Official government notices going to potentially Democratic voters from Republican government officials telling them to vote on November 8 when the election is on November 6.

              And you're joking about how these people being disenfranchised are a bunch of whiners.

              I do assume that you have "a side". You are on the side of the kind of civic cynicism that is poisonous to a society. Whether you meant to or not, you endorse a kind of zombie conventional wisdom that is hurting people. Not hypothetical people, but actual human beings.

        • In all seriousness, if a storm does do significant damage to an area right before/at an election, what do we do? Is this a constitutional crises?

          It is up to the state to prepare and make plans for such things...but it won't stop the election and keep the other states from turning in their votes.

          But seriously, I'm thinking "Sandy" is being way overblown (no pun intended), this is a WEAK cat. 1 storm.

          I live in New Orleans, and most people don't bother to leave for a storm this weak in intensity.

          Don't get

    • I'm sure it will somehow take AWS down :)

      As a DC area resident who works in Reston (where Amazon's servers are), signs point to YES. Especially since DC area residents have already settled into "PANIC!" mode which includes posting on Facebook on how everybody is going to die and how the Mayans were right, buying every roll of toilet paper and every tube of pimple cream in the grocery store, filling their Viagra prescriptions so they can die happy, hiding in their basements, and emerging 2 days later asking "Why was everybody panicking?" This proce

  • Wall St. Closed (Score:5, Interesting)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:15AM (#41802835) Journal
    Interesting factoid I heard on my way into work: all the major banks and trading centers in New York City are closed today in anticipation. The last time that happened due to weather was for Hurricane Gloria back in 1985. Given the fact that Wall St. is just a few blocks from the water on three sides, and all of about 5 feet above sea level (depending on the tides), I'm surprised it isn't more frequent than that.
    • Re:Wall St. Closed (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dupple ( 1016592 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:26AM (#41802891)

      Wall Street might be closed but the Wall Street Journal is open however. Both they and the NYT have removed their pay walls for the duration of the storm []

    • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:30AM (#41802909) Homepage

      In unrelated news, the crime rate in New York is down dramatically today, as the number of frauds committed dropped dramatically.

      • But that doesn't make sense. Most of the trading volume is done by high speed trading computers which live on site and aren't affected by the transit shutdown. They could keep trading all day. They just wouldn't have any humans to take advantage of. Oh, wait... You mean they're useless beyond their capacity to cheat humans? Can't they just cheat each other today? Or would that not be as much fun?
    • North of Baltimore (roughly) hurricanes coming onshore are pretty rare... But if you're not prepared/built for it, even a Class I hurricane can handle you pretty roughly.

      • Re:Wall St. Closed (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @09:36AM (#41803339)

        Exactly. Imagine the mess South Florida would have if a freak winter storm dumped 2 inches of real mid-afternoon snow on downtown Miami and the surrounding 3 counties, and it kept coming down all night so that we woke up the next morning to a city where every road was impassable to anything less than a SUV or truck, seriously dangerous regardless, and every vehicle that was outside overnight had ice crusted over the windshield wipers. We'd have people getting electrocuted trying to melt ice on the windshield with blow dryers (until the weight of the ice caused the power lines to fall down), and I shudder to imagine the carnage on I-95 and 836 when drivers who can't even avoid accidents during afternoon rainstorms suddenly had to deal with ICE.

        A category 1 hurricane making landfall in South Florida is like a "Snow Day" in Cleveland or Buffalo -- work from home today, limp and tipetoe around tomorrow, life as normal on day 3. An afternoon snowstorm that persists into the night would shut down South Florida for almost a week, and probably cause more deaths than a landfalling hurricane.

        • Re:Wall St. Closed (Score:5, Interesting)

          by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:03AM (#41803699)
          I don't have to imagine that. A little farther north than Miami, but I remember Christmas of, I believe it was 1989, we had an inch of ice followed by about two inches of snow in Jacksonville, FL. Entire city had to shut down and people were stranded for up to a week because all the bridges had to be closed. There was nothing the road department could do. They didn't have the equipment to deal with it. Of course as a kid, I thought it was awesome.
    • by cod3r_ ( 2031620 )
      Sweet! Economy will start to function normally then. Hopefully power is out for a few days we might just get right out of this economic crisis.
  • by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:20AM (#41802861) Homepage
  • Prepared (Score:5, Funny)

    by areusche ( 1297613 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:23AM (#41802877)
    Room mates got a little nutty with the disaster preparedness. I took it a step further and bought a cooler, bag of ice, and a 24 pack of Corona. Bring it Sandy!
  • by jkrise ( 535370 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:25AM (#41802889) Journal

    all the tools at their disposal: ocean buoys, radar and satellite imagery, and computer modeling.

    At times like these, the only technology is that which helps in mass exodus, plain and simple values like sharing and caring; and them coming back to pick up the pieces all over again.

  • by rickb928 ( 945187 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:26AM (#41802893) Homepage Journal

    Since most of my family is up in that part of the nation, thru are getting the for measure of fright. but for the NY and Maryland regions, this is more about the water. Manhattan will be in a position similar to NO, except no river, just storm surge, and not as many pumps.

    And sustained wind.

  • In New York City (Score:5, Informative)

    by sticky.pirate ( 1114263 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:27AM (#41802895)
    My office has "strongly advised" everyone to work from home, and the subway and buses have been shut down since 7pm Sunday evening. Right now (8:30am Monday) we've got some small wind gusts and scattered rain.
  • No work? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:28AM (#41802901)

    I live in south Alabama, we get plenty of hurricanes. I have to drive across Mobile Bay in order to get to work. Unless there is over 100mph winds, I have to go to work. I work in an office, punching buttons on a computer. The company that I work for has a main office in the effected area of this storm, and although the storm is still waaaay the fuck out in the Atlantic ocean (yes, it's waaay the fuck out since it's only 85mph winds), we get word that the main office is closing Monday (we got word on this Friday). I have never understood the mindset behind who I work for. I think a better question would be, "What is considered dangerous-enough weather to close an office?" Because here recently I had to drive across 7 miles of open water in over 100mph gusts, and many roads were closed due to flooding during hurricane Isaac.

    • Re:No work? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Lieutenant_Dan ( 583843 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:44AM (#41802973) Homepage Journal

      I hear you. The elements that you have to face is different than what senior management is willing to face. Two sets of rules. They don't mind putting you in harm's way while they spend the day at home watching Sportcenter.

      Can't ask your manager for remote access to your terminal and/or tools?

      • Sell working from home as part of a disaster preparedness plan. Ensure employees *can* work from home in case the head office loses power or floods. Ensure there's a secondary datacenter for core services too of course.

    • I live in Utah, where we regularly get snow. We almost never close schools because of the weather, and I can think of exactly one time in my adult life when work was called off early due to snow (and that event fizzled into nothing).

      In Texas, when they get even half an inch of snow, everything shuts down!

      The point being that we are much more well equipped to deal with that kind of weather event here in Utah than they are in Texas. I imagine some of the same is in play in your situation.

  • See what happens? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gmuslera ( 3436 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:39AM (#41802945) Homepage Journal
    Started as a minor storm but the press have blown it out of all proportion. Now is a big one.
    • by cffrost ( 885375 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:54AM (#41803035) Homepage

      Well, all that hot air can evaporate a lot of water.

    • by slashmydots ( 2189826 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @08:56AM (#41803039)
      Amen to that! Any news agency with a presence in New York (all of them) turn it into the end of the world. The last time New York had a snow storm, CNN covered it like it was the black death. Meanwhile, Wisconsin got slightly more snow than they did and nobody gave a shit. Seriously, we were out shopping and driving and tailgating Packer games like it was normal weather, seeing as how it was. This is a class 1 hurricane. Time to un-bundle their undees and report on something useful and just pack a goddam umbrella.
      • Re:See what happens? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by deains ( 1726012 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @09:27AM (#41803283)

        It's the same everywhere really. Not a single snowflake can fall on Greater London without half the British press running a story about it, meanwhile in the North of England and Scotland, it could be 10 feet of snow and the media wouldn't even blink an eye. It's all about perspective, and the world experience of a journalist stuck working in a dingy skyscraper all day is very limited.

      • by bws111 ( 1216812 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @09:31AM (#41803301)

        Yes, it is 'only' a category one hurricane. That is going to cover ALL of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusettes, and parts of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine with at least tropical storm force winds.

        Do you realize how many people live in that area? And, OK, it is 'only' a Category 1 storm, so the most likely effects (away from the coast) is power outages. Except that when the entire mid-Atantic and Northeast regions are covered, there is no help available from neighboring states.

        And, oh yeah, the storm surge at NYC is supposed to be 'only' 8 to 11 feet - which has happened never before. Since much of NYCs infrastructure is underground (including, of course, the subways), this is a big deal, regardless of the category of the storm or what similar storms have done elsewhere.

        • by DarkOx ( 621550 )

          It really does not take all that much wind or snow load to cause lots power outages. What the utility companies usually do is loan each other extra crews before big weather events. Lots of that has been going on this time naturally.

          The challenge of this storm will be predicting where most of the damage will happen because of its size and actually having the crews near that epicenter of the damage (not always where the epicenter of the storm happens to go) because of its size. If the damage is spread over

        • by Guppy ( 12314 )

          Yes, it is 'only' a category one hurricane. That is going to cover ALL of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusettes, and parts of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine with at least tropical storm force winds.

          Yup, it's a good example of quantity having a quality all it's own. Although the local damage will likely be mild compared to famous storms of the past, it will be applied over a huge area, resulting in a very large $ figure when it is finished.

        • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

          Yes, it is 'only' a category one hurricane. That is going to cover ALL of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and parts of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine with at least tropical storm force winds.

          So, in other words, it's not that different than the winter storms we regularly get out here in the Montana, Nebraska, North/South Dakota, Minnesota regions of the country where we'll have 2-4 days of gale force winds, blowing ice and/or snow, zero visibility, and 15' drifts at regular intervals? You know, the ones we'll sometimes have 2-3 times a winter.

          The only really significant thing about this, IMO, is the storm surge. That's pretty damn bad. It's basically a "New Orleans diagnosis" except there's noth

          • by bws111 ( 1216812 )

            And again, your comparisons are meaningless. First, if you are in an area that gets certain kind of weather 'regularly', the same weather is going to affect those areas differently than in areas that don't get that kind of weather. For instance, if you are in an area that regularly gets gale-force winds for days at a time, you are not going to have a lot of trees that lose their limbs or fall over in gale force winds.

            I seem to recall seeing a lot of news reports about drought in those states you mentioned

        • by kiwimate ( 458274 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @11:02AM (#41804443) Journal

          Thanks for injecting some common sense. Slashdotters usually like to sneer at the masses and call it "common sense", but in this case common sense means being prepared.

          The sheer extent of the storm will mean a massive impact. Emergency responders can only work as fast as they can work. The expected number of power outages will mean that linesmen just can't fix them all in a timely manner.

          Philadelphia International Airport has shut down. PHL is the 12th busiest airport in the world. That's a simply huge impact considering the number of people who would ordinarily pass through the area on a given weekday, and the financial losses. It's not a decision they'd make lightly (and an airport has their own very sophisticated weather monitoring and analysis stations).

          Margate, NJ, was already flooded this morning, and the storm has barely even started. It's both massive and slow moving, so it'll be hanging around for ages as it's dumping rain on us.

          Here's Red Hook, Brooklyn [], and that's just the beginning.

          Here's more, courtesy of NY Times. [] They've opened their paywall. Scroll down and have a look at the pictures and remember it's barely started yet.

      • You don't use an umbrella in a hurricane. The wind will turn the damn thing inside out. Besides, umbrellas are relatively pointless anyway. I don't mind getting a little wet.
    • by us7892 ( 655683 )
      By this time in southern New England, it was supposed to be much worse. Still waiting. I'm finally hearing a little bit of back-tracking from the radio weather person. Likely will be much worse from NYC to PHL.
    • by colfer ( 619105 )

      Agree there's too much crying wolf but the actual numbers are pretty bad. Here is an analysis of why the predicted 11 foot tide at the Battery in lower Manhattan is bad news for the subway: [] The alarms have been indiscriminate though, so there is a lot of noise in the signal. The recent eagerness to close the subway is particularly irksome. The "officials" would never close a large road system because in 24 hours it would be covered in seawater. The people making

  • Wilmington, NC asks: What storm?
  • by OffTheLip ( 636691 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @09:16AM (#41803173)
    Abandoning ship into 25 foot lifeboats to battle monster seas is bad for the crew and hard work for the Coast Guard tasked with their safety. The graveyard of the Atlantic is set to claim another prize. []
  • Mean while, the mummified corpse that is the Southeast continues its slow, unexciting evaporation into oblivion. Compared to the wham bam thank you ma'am of a storm like Sandy, us here in the south maintain a steady relationship with death by dehydration. Nothing to see here folks, just move along (sigh). I mean, compared to a pounding shore line backdropped by winded swept spume, how boring is reporting from a dried up hay field, or hard-packed pasture with nothing but an empty lake in the back ground.

  • Snowfall (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CaroKann ( 795685 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @09:33AM (#41803313)
    One interesting aspect about this storm is the snowfall. Snowfall is expected in WV and KY. Moisture from the storm is wrapping around into cold air in the higher elevations. A hurricane producing snow, how unusual! []?
    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )

      Not all that unusual. We have a circular supercell during the winter out here in the upper Midwest with considerable regularity. "Hurricane force winds" is commonly stated, and not always associated with a circular supercell. It's just common.

  • My storm story is well documented in Henny Penny, with the public as the role of Chicken Little. The one without a happy ending.
  • Super hyped???? (Score:5, Informative)

    by PortHaven ( 242123 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:09AM (#41803751) Homepage

    In 1992, when I was in Connecticut, they hyped a nor'easter. It was to be the worst thing since Hurricane Gloria. It came, it fizzled, it was a little more windy than normal. But seriously, didn't even make me blink. It was hyped the same way Sandy is being hyped.

    Two weeks later another nor'easter approached. The embarrassed media downplayed it. This second storm turned out to be everything the first one wasn't. My school was evacuated. Boats were floating down the road. The pier was 18" under water.


    My fear is this will fizzle. And then, in a month or so we'll have another storm, and that will be the one that devestates.

  • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:10AM (#41803753)
    Around Sept.1992, during Hurricane David (I believe), I was helping out my friends. "Warren" had been diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer, and with the aid of his wife and of Hospice, was home to die. In their bedroom was a tv that was tuned to The Weather Channel, playing constantly, 24/7.

    While I was sitting next to a weakened Warren laying in his hospital bed, idly staring at the tv, he turns his gaze to me and with a smile asks, "Isnt weather great?" I agreed, "Yeah, Mother Nature's really cool", or something like that. Warren passed on not too long after that display of nature. That's just one of the many learning moments I received from that time, that good or bad, weather is great!

  • Google has launched a crisis map showing rainfall, active emergency shelters and quite a bit of other info. []
  • I'm listening to an audiobook version of Kim Stanley Robinson's AGW novel 40 Signs of Rain, published in 2004; towards the end Washington DC is flooded by Tropical Storm Sandy. Who says SF writers can't predict the future?

  • From the NY Times website []:

    To Our Readers
    The Times is providing free unlimited access to storm coverage on and its mobile apps.

  • by SternisheFan ( 2529412 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:56AM (#41804339)
    Where I am in Long Island, N.Y. we're predicted to get only 3" of rain from Sandy. The real issue here is the storm's 'tidal surge' to occur Monday evening throughout Tuesday. 75mph gusts, coupled with the full moon's high tide effect will be pushing ocean waves north over the entire southern edge of L.I., with an 11.5 foot surge expected around 9pm Monday night Evacuations in N.Y.C. and everyone south of Sunrise Highway (27) in L.I.'s Nassau County.

    For a storm like this, there's nowhere for this water to go but to get pushed into the 'bowl' of Jamaica Bay and into N.Y.C., and to flood the southern parts of L.I. Also, since L.I. is basically one long 'beach' of sand with 6-10 inches of dirt on it, tree's roots grow spreading outward, not downward to anchor properly into the ground. With water-logged soil, the expected high winds are going to topple trees with ease, and L.I.'s power company is expecting outages to last for up to a week until all repairs are made. It's going to be one heck of a ride!

  • by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Monday October 29, 2012 @10:57AM (#41804341)

    An unprecedented and mighty tempest? This is a category 1 hurricane. Since the scale goes up to 5, I think it's safe to say this isn't unprecedented, unless you expect me to believe a hurricane has never hit the eastern seaboard. And don't give me that superstorm nonsense, we've had big snowstorms on the eastern seaboard before. There's nothing unprecedented about it, big storms hit the eastern seaboard every once in a while.

    • by PPH ( 736903 )

      That's the wind speed. And you are correct: Its not a big deal.

      But the size of the storm is going to increase the storm surge. Add to this the full moon tide (spring tide) and sea levels are going to rise quite a bit.

      Now figure the added time that a storm this size will dwell over land, dropping more precipitation. The inland flooding will be bad. Worse yet due to rivers' inability to flow as well against the extra high tide.

  • The storm must have skipped the seaboard and struck here already. Cars are flying off the road. Buildings and roads are crumbling. People are begging for money on the street while others are shouting religious mantras to nobody in particular. Cell phone service is spotty and gas prices are climbing.

    Oh, wait. It's just Monday. This happens every Monday here. And Tuesday, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Move along, nothing to see here.
  • by the eric conspiracy ( 20178 ) on Monday October 29, 2012 @12:00PM (#41805415)

    I've been pretty impressed by the accuracy of the storm track predictions at least so far. The influence of other weather patterns on the the storm is pretty complex this time, and fairly unusual.

    Yet the simulations seem to have been very accurate in predicting what looks like a fairly complex pattern.

  • by notaspy ( 457709 ) <imnotaspy&yahoo,com> on Monday October 29, 2012 @01:00PM (#41806561)

    Wednesday, October 31, 2012. RIP USA. In hindsight, it all should have been obvious three days earlier. That would have been early enough to have prevented it - the shockingly abrupt and utter destruction of the Unites States of America.

    On Sunday (that innocent Sunday just before the end of our world), the events on opposite sides of the country seemed natural, coincidental. The Frankenstorm that Sandy was about to become was just another prediction made by a bunch of self-anointed experts. No biggie, New Jersey could use a good scrubbing. A couple. And the earthquake off Alaska was only about as big as the one we had here in New England last week. Meh. The tsunami that hit Hawaii was measured at nearly half an inch. Not even worth a âoemeh.â

    Most people watching the northeast were anticipating a couple days of storm, a week of cleanup, a bunch of bitching about damage, but employment would have went up in a hurry with all the rebuilding and repairs. One of the Presidential canditates would have made it a central theme of his last campaign week â" The Reconstruction of America. The country would come together, mostly, in a national unity of rebuilding. Spirits and the economy would have soared, the elections turning into a catastrophe for one of the major political parties. But none of that happened, it's just the ravings of a lunatic refugee. A refugee with a goatee. Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha-Ha!!!!! Sorry, I've had a rough three days.

    The Chinese have been doing large-scale meteorological experiments for many years. They were open about their efforts to control the weather for the 2012 Olympics in the Beijing area. There have been articles published in legal and even mass-market periodicals about the scientific, legal and ethical implications of such research have been debated. It wasn't something unknown to the general public. On the other hand, nobody except a few graduate professors and pharmaceutical chemists noticed the paper in the April issue of Chem. Phys. Acta. entitled âoeRacemization of Novel Isotopes of Mercaptothionitrite.â

    The Alaska earthquake (5.5 Richters) on Sunday caused a mass evacuation of Waikiki and other populated regions of the islands. An overabundance of caution maybe, or maybe a proper abundance of caution. Who knows? It's a statistical thing, so I'll get back to you every Sigma, just like with bosons. How many you want? Three? Four? Five? How much time you got? I got lotsa Sigmas.

    The Vancouver quake on Monday, however, took people by surprise. It was huge, over 9 R, one of the largest quakes ever recorded. Plus, it was a diagonal slip-shear transfer fault. Fortunately, these are extremely rare, and nearly always found in the deep ocean. A series of tsunamis emanating from the quake bounced around the Puget Sound, creating dozens of transitory superharmonic tsunamis over 100 feet high that pretty much created a brand new coastline, mostly devoid of structure or vegetation underneath all the wreckage. But that's getting ahead.

    Nobody paid much attention either to a page 6 story from a supermarket tabloid about a school in India that mysteriously disappeared. The magazine had actually come out in June and was really only a paragraph without many details beyond name of the local region. But somebody did pay attention, and using Google Maps found that in every recent satellite photo of the named region, there was a nearly circular region that was blurred out. In archived photos, however, there was a small town (~75,000 folks) at the location. Somebody pointed this out on Slashdot, and several experts quickly came on to say that they didn't think the photos had been edited. The pictures showed what was actually there. Well, that did it, suddenly a thousand geeks, shut-ins, hackers and conspiracy theorists had a race/joint project/contest, and the story was quickly put together.

    A former pharmaceutical chemist from Bangalore had retired inland, and was running an informal school for recent college gr

May all your PUSHes be POPped.