April 2009

2012 Carrington Event Fear Meme Is Rampant

by Limbic on April 29, 2009

For the last few months I have been tracking a huge upsurge in interest in the Carrington Event sheduled for 2012.

Even Wired have picked up on it. From The 2012 Apocalypse — And How to Stop It | Wired Science:

For scary speculation about the end of civilization in 2012, people usually turn to followers of cryptic Mayan prophecy, not scientists. But that’s exactly what a group of NASA-assembled researchers described in a chilling report issued earlier this year on the destructive potential of solar storms.

Entitled “Severe Space Weather Events — Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts,” it describes the consequences of solar flares unleashing waves of energy that could disrupt Earth’s magnetic field, overwhelming high-voltage transformers with vast electrical currents and short-circuiting energy grids. Such a catastrophe would cost the United States “$1 trillion to $2 trillion in the first year,” concluded the panel, and “full recovery could take 4 to 10 years.” That would, of course, be just a fraction of global damages.

Good-bye, civilization.

Worse yet, the next period of intense solar activity is expected in 2012, and coincides with the presence of an unusually large hole in Earth’s geomagnetic shield. But the report received relatively little attention, perhaps because of 2012’s supernatural connotations. Mayan astronomers supposedly predicted that 2012 would mark the calamitous “birth of a new era.”

Whether the Mayans were on to something, or this is all just a chilling coincidence, won’t be known for several years. But according to Lawrence Joseph, author of “Apocalypse 2012: A Scientific Investigation into Civilization’s End,” “I’ve been following this topic for almost five years, and it wasn’t until the report came out that this really began to freak me out.”

ABC News has a similar piece..

Are We Ready for a Solar Katrina?
Severe Solar Storms Could Harm Power Grid, Navigational Systems and Spacecraft, Scientists Say

More than a million people without power. The distribution of drinkable water disrupted. Transportation, communication and banking upset. Trillions of dollars in damage.

Solar storms could have devastating consequences on Earth, scientists warn.

Hurricanes, blizzards and other earthly tempests aren’t the only natural forces with the potential to sow catastrophe.

Severe weather in the sun’s outer atmosphere could knock out much of the country’s power grid, incapacitate navigational systems and jeopardize spacecraft, scientists say.

While the odds of a solar disaster are relatively small, scientists warn that we need to ramp up our defenses against solar storms, especially given our increasing dependence on technology that is so susceptible to radiation from the sun.

“It’s one of those events that is of low probability but high consequence,” Dr. Roberta Balstad, a research scientist with Columbia University’s Center for Research on Environmental Decisions. “The consequences could be extreme.”

So is it worth worrying about this? Probably.

I think its worth keeping an eye on what the real scientists are saying about it. There is not much that most of us can do except make preparations in the event the damage and disruption is likely.

{ 1 comment }

Belgrade Pigeon feeders

by Limbic on April 5, 2009

One can tell how any lunatics there are loose in a city by the number of pigeons. Belgrade has swarms of the vermin in the old city, lured, no doubt, by the extraordinary number of dedicated pigeon feeders.

I know of at least three old lunatics operating in my neighbourhood alone.  They have a well established routine and the pigeons are ready in their hundreds when the stale bread is released to them by their elderly benefactors.

{ 1 comment }

James Shore on Stumbling Through Mediocrity

by Limbic on April 3, 2009

“I wasn’t really being asked “Does Agile scale?” (By now, though, we know the answer: yes.) What I was really being asked was, “Does Agile work in large, dysfunctional organizations? Can I keep doing all of the ineffective things I’m required to do and still say I’m Agile?”

James Shore: Stumbling Through Mediocrity


A Guy In a Cube

by Limbic on April 3, 2009

YouTube – A Guy In a Cube

Vital Smarts, the people who brought out the fantastic “Crucial Conversations” a few years ago, have a great ad for their consulting business.


PowerPoint…replace the sentence with the grunt” – Edward Tufte


Find me (occasionally) on Twitter here: http://www.twitter.com/limbic