Government Spending

Do-Nothing Congress Ignores Threat from the Sun


If you're going to land on the surface of the sun, do it at night when it's not so hot.

A Slashdot contributor gazes up into the firmament and is frozen with horror at the madness dwelling in the deep skyey voids: 

A privately employed solar scientist named Pete Riley estimates there's a 12 percent chance of a massive solar storm comparable to the Carrington Event in 1859 which resulted in breathtaking aurorae across the United States and other temperate regions of the globe. The electromagnetic surge from the 1859 event caused failures of telegraph systems across Europe and North America. A similar storm today could knock out power grids, GPS and communication satellites, data centers, transportation systems, and building and plumbing infrastructures and wreak $1 trillion or more of economic damage in the first year alone, according to a 2008 report from the National Academy of Sciences.

In the journal Space Weather, Riley explains how he got his figures:

By showing that the frequency of occurrence scales as an inverse power of the severity of the event, and assuming that this relationship holds at higher magnitudes, we are able to estimate the probability that an event larger than some criteria will occur within a certain interval of time in the future. For example, the probability of another Carrington event (based on Dst < ?850 nT) occurring within the next decade is ?12%

At Wired, Adam Mann has details on the Great Chastisement

When they hit the Earth's atmosphere, those [solar particles traveling at 4 million MPH] generated the intense ghostly ribbons of light known as auroras. Though typically relegated to the most northerly and southerly parts of the planet, the atmospheric phenomenon [in 1859] reached as far as Cuba, Hawaii, and northern Chile. People in New York City gathered on sidewalks and rooftops to watch "the heavens … arrayed in a drapery more gorgeous than they have been for years," as The New York Times described it.

Auroras may be beautiful, but the charged particles can wreak havoc on electrical systems. At the time of the Carrington Event, telegraph stations caught on fire, their networks experienced major outages and magnetic observatories recorded disturbances in the Earth's field that were literally off the scale.

In today's electrically dependent modern world, a similar scale solar storm could have catastrophic consequences. Auroras damage electrical power grids and may contribute to the erosion of oil and gas pipelines. They can disrupt GPS satellites and disturb or even completely black out radio communication on Earth.

During a geomagnetic storm in 1989, for instance, Canada's Hydro-Quebec power grid collapsed within 90 seconds, leaving millions without power for up to nine hours… 

 "A longer-term outage would likely include, for example, disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration," the [National Research Council] report said.

A one-in-eight chance seems much higher than, for example, the likelihood of a chemical/biological/radiological/nuclear attack estimated in this Risk Management Solutions study [pdf].

Newt Gingrich: Another fine caricature by Roman Genn.

Yet we spend $60 billion a year on the Department of Homeland Security, and we have yet to send even the first star cruiser to deliver a weather-controlling machine to the surface of the sun. When will the government do something about the electromagnetic pulse? 

When Newt Gingrich becomes president, that's when! The Newter has been warning us about the EMP threat for years now. But the former House Speaker's fears are limited to terrorist EMP attacks by North Koreans or Iranians, who are always using their high-yield nuclear weapons and state-of-the-art ballistic missiles to do stuff like that. 

Once again, the wages of fear get spent on low-probability threats mainly because the high-probability threats tend to be events you can't blame on anybody. You don't have to accept at face value all those studies that conclude you have a better chance of being crushed under a vending machine than of being killed in a terrorist attack – and who says you can't be crushed under a vending machine during a terrorist attack? But as our collective boredom with fast zombies and bathroom accidents shows, we tend not to fear the stuff that can actually kill us. 

Fortunately for America, one man is ever-vigilant about the extraterrestrial threat. Reason's Ron Bailey assesses the threat of an asteroid collision; weighs the probability of a collision over time; and wonders why being freed of the burden of putting people into space has not made NASA any better at watching the skies. Whether the threat comes from the sun or from big rocks, one thing we know: It's time to stop sticking our bayonets into each other and start sticking them into space. 

NEXT: The Wiki Stratfor Dump

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  1. Take your cloths off.

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  13. A longer-term outage would likely include, for example, disruption of the transportation, communication, banking, and finance systems, and government services; the breakdown of the distribution of potable water owing to pump failure; and the loss of perishable foods and medications because of lack of refrigeration,

    …and people smoking weed and fucking their dogs. There you have it… Libertarian wonderland, courtesy of the sun.

    1. “And in the end times there will be people fucking their dogs, and rumors of people fucking their dogs.”

      1. But what will happen to my iPhone? My God, what will happen to my iPhone?!

        1. It, along with all Apple products, will be raptured to safety. You’ll be stuck with a BlackBerry, which won’t be any use. So no change there

          1. Oh, OK. Cool!

            [tweets his followers]

  14. Take your cloths off.

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  20. Yet we spend $60 billion a year on the Department of Homeland Security, and we have yet to send even the first star cruiser to deliver a weather-controlling machine to the surface of the sun. When will the government do something about the electromagnetic pulse?

    What the government could do is improve the infrastructure of the power grid by “hardening” it. Our power grid is actually more vulnerable to an EMP than it was in the 60’s due to the fact that we, at sometime, decided to stop hardening an expansions of our grid against EMP.

    1. I’d be more worried about this solar event, myself.

      1. Based on this and his earlier posts, like the one where he displays his utter ignorance of the utility of military wargaming, I shall now encourage all of you to refer to Black Swan Theory/Normalcy bias as “Cavanaugh’s Folly”.

      2. You really should be much more concerned about your dog.

    2. Harden my grid. Please.

      1. Set your tummy on my plastic forehead and I’ll get to work.

    3. I’ve heard the claims about power grid vulnerabilities before but the details of exactly why are always a little hazy.

      How exactly does protecting from an EMP event or a solar flare event differ from protection from a lightning strike, a relatively common event?

      1. I defer to any Electrical Engineers or such, but according to the Wikiwoo:

        The E1 pulse is the very fast component of nuclear EMP. The E1 component is a very brief but intense electromagnetic field that can quickly induce very high voltages in electrical conductors. The E1 component causes most of its damage by causing electrical breakdown voltages to be exceeded. E1 is the component that can destroy computers and communications equipment and it changes too quickly for ordinary lightning protectors to provide effective protection against it.

        1. Damn, you beat me to it while I was making the earlier post!

          That being said, it only takes a VERY small amount of EMP to seriously fuck things up. If you’re in an educational mood, go ahead and wiki “High Altitude Nuclear Explosion” when you want to see just how fragile our electrical infrastructure really is!

          Detonating a nuke in orbit creates a near perfect artificial geomagnetic storm. And even the biggest fuckers (like Starfish Prime) are just a firecracker when compared to the Carrington Event! The HANEs were back in the 50’s/60’s and the results where NOT very pleasant. The various effects were so catastrophic that the Soviets and Americans both agreed to the Partial Test Ban Treaty to stop the madness!

          The fact that we BOTH banned something during the height of the Cold War is a pretty good indicator of how serious a geomagnetic storm (natural or artificial) is to be taken!

          1. Needs more explanation points!

        2. I have a degree in EE and my specialty was emag but I never actually worked in the field so my knowledge is pretty damn hazy.

          How does one actually “harden” the infrastructure? Add more redundancy and backups? How effective would this be in the case of a Black Swan event?

          1. There’s a couple of “hardening” techniques (some more effective than others):

            1. Completely encase the electrical components in a metal shield. Easy in theory but hard in practice since holes are usually needed for access ports, wiring, and so on.

            2. Use high heat tolerant semi-conductors; EMP destroys them by causing powered devices to reach temps WAY past their design limit. Very rare and extremely expensive to utilize.

            3. Bury big items underground with concrete encasement and thick metal doors. Think along Vault-Tec lines.

            4. Ground the shit out of everything. Even if an item is already hardened, items that are connected to it may conduct a charge into it in unexpected ways. Example: A train’s engines may be hardened but an EMP attack can (and has) be channeled into the electrical systems via the rails conducting the pulse!

            1. (FUCKING TROLLS AND THE 900 LIMIT!)

              Continuing from earlier:

              5. You also need to use components that can handle currents/interferences FAR beyond the expected work load and uses as much nonconducting/anti-static materials as possible.

              6. Redundancy, redundancy, redundancy!

              7. Avoid integrated circuits and magnetic storage like they’re cursed (in this case they are). Good old fashioned analog is the way to go here. I’m not sure about the current generation but the Russian MiGs used VACUUM TUBES in their design during the Cold War. After a Ruskie defected with his brand-new-state-of-the-art MiG, our engineers opened her up and laughed at the “dumb” engineering. Then we soon realized that the MiGs in question would have been the only thing still airborne during WWIII!

              Bottom line, hardening is expensive and time consuming!

              1. Ah thanks, interesting stuff.

                I’m curious about encasing stuff in a metal shield, I remember that a static em field inside a Gaussian surface has to be zero but how does that effect a non-static field like an EMP? I guess if the metal shield (Gaussian surface) is heavily grounded then it can absorb some of the flux but does it make that big a difference?

                1. Amazing how one can spend a lot of time studying the theory of this stuff and still be completely clueless of the nuts and bolts aspect.

                2. The only practical protection against an EMP is a Faraday cage. Cover your house in copper mesh (no gaps, must be well connected around all the doors). Set ground rods about every 5 feet around the perimeter. Wait for apocalypse. Profit!

                  Shorter answer – there is no protection against EMP that is practical for the power distribution network (all those millions of miles of wires act like big antennae) and you can just forget about the internet. Every switch that’s hooked in will be fried. All of those EPA Tier IV compliant engines are toast as well, too many computers. We’ll be back to carburetors in no time flat.

                  1. The problem with a Faraday cage on your house is that you CAN’T have your home connected to the power grid as the pulse would come right through the cabling and be broadcast inside via your home wiring.

                    That and who the hell has enough copper mesh to protect even a studio apartment?

                    1. Why would it have to be copper? Surely a sufficient thickness of aluminum would be equivalent?

              2. Bottom line, hardening is expensive and time consuming!

                Bottom line, something that expensive isn’t going to be done for such a rare Black Swan event until AFTER a Black Swan occurs.

                And I think that 12% estimated risk per decade is WAY high, since it implies that such an event occurs on average every 80 years.

                1. 12% estimated risk per decade is WAY high

                  I don’t think it’s 12% every decade. It’s 12% for the decades covering solar maximums.

              3. nonconducting/anti-static materials

                Aren’t those contradictory? I was under the impression that anti-static materials do their job by being slightly conductive, thereby draining off any accumulated charge faster than a less-conductive material can.

                1. I should have said nonconducting OR anti-static materials. Generally, you’re right about such a concept being contradictory BUT their are cloths that do manage to accomplish both. I don’t know how, that’s just what their specs say.

                  And yeah, a geomagnetic storm IS a Black Swan but Uncle Sam DOES have hardening incorporated into MAD doctrine systems such as missile silos, SSBNs, and so on. With WWIII on the way, parts of our infrastructure were hardened back during the Cold War like the power grid in mission critical locations (DC, Norfolk, etc.) and damn near our entire phone network.

                  The further the Cold War fades into history, the more and more of the hardened parts of our infrastructure are upgraded with “better” systems. Federal Law keeps certain things protected like parts of the military and pretty much anything nuclear power/weapons related but the protection we had is waning.

                2. If they’re thick they can absorb the energy. If they’re too conductive, they can completely reflect the energy.

          2. With respect to the solar event, large distribution transformers have to be retrofitted to drain off DC voltages induced on transmission wires. Even small DC voltages can seriously fuck up transformers, which cannot show an impedence to the, resulting in huge currents that burn them out.

        3. That’s not entirely correct, the E1 peak isn’t the big risk to the power distribution network, it’s the E3 Pulse. It’s longer lasting and the E3 frequency does the Lions share of the damage. This is important, because lower yield nuclear devices can still produce this much energy, and thats well below the range of a big geomagnetic storm.

      2. Short answer: Because a lighting strike, as often as it occurs, is an extremely localized event and is relatively easy to mitigate with just a small amount of preparation. Up until the 18th century, the only way to safely protect a building was to make it out of stone until Benjamin Franklin came along and invented the lighting rod. A technology that was so fundamentally important Uncle Ben just GAVE IT AWAY rather than profit by it!

        1. I’ve heard this effects things whether their powered on or not. Do you know if that’s true and is there a difference in damage severity?

          1. Take this with a grain of salt, but this is my understanding…

            It is true and there is no difference in damage severity. However, it’s not the generating of current from the EM field itself that causes the problem. It’s the resonance that lets it become powerful enough to damage stuff. Only lower resonances can make it through the atmosphere. The power grid resonates at those levels and so anything connected to the power grid is going to get fried.

            Your home electronics, car, etc. might generate a little current, but not enough to cause damage – they resonate at a higher frequency. So as long as they aren’t plugged into the grid, they are safe.

    4. We should attack the sun before it attacks us.

      1. Fight it there so we don’t have to fight it here.

      2. The Suninians hate us for our freedoms.

      3. Let’s just pay Venus to get in the way.

  21. Two gripes/questions, Reason:

    1- Why the fuck am I seeing an Elizabeth Warren ad?

    2- Can you not do something about the spam comments?

    1. 1- google ad serve based upon previous habits. You must hate-read liberal blogs like I do.

      1. I do. Thanks for info. 🙂

        1. What about if you hate fuck a liberal?

          1. I can’t. She’s pissed that someone doesn’t give her free contraception.

            1. Obsessed much?

              1. Elizabeth is trolling for neo-cons and terror hawks. Bush/Obama Surveillance-War-State supporter. Scary:


                1. Seriously, take her name off and post the text and you wouldn’t be able to distinguish which establishmentarian asshat’s campaign sit it was from.

                  1. Damn spelling error.

                    You guys of course know I meant “campaign sight.”

                    1. I thought you meant “campaign site”.

                    2. campaign shit?

    2. Most excellent. Thanks.

    3. Adblock – learn it, use it, love it.

    4. 2 – reasaonable for chrome is useful but not 100%

    5. Click on the Elizabeth Warren ad, dude.

      Don’t you realize that costs her money?

      It’s like you get to walk up to her while she’s in a meeting, rifle for the change in her purse, give her the finger, and walk out.

      1. It’s like you get to walk up to her while she’s in a meeting, rifle for the change in her purse, give her the finger, and walk out.

        Or, in other words, It’s Awesome.

    6. 1- Click on the ad. It takes money out of her campaign and puts some of it in Reason’s pocket.

      1. About $.005 or so.

  22. Take your clothes off.

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  40. It could be worse, like a village fighting off a case of typhoid.

  41. Is this the new normal?

  42. Kudos to you, sir. You’re the first reviewer to use a quote from “The Colour Out of Space” that I’ve ever read.

  43. I read about this a few years ago, and to me, it’s by far the most serious “civilzation-ending” threat there is. We know for a fact it’s happened before. In fact, the solar storms happen on a regular basis, but the chances of them lining up exactly with the current location of the Earth are quite small. But over time, the odds catch up with us. In fact, it’s practically a certainty this will happen again. It’s only a matter of when.

    1. This is why we must elect The Grinch. For the Grinch will lead us on an inter-martianary planet conquering expedition. And then we’ll be the proud owners of a planet with no air. And we can fight over it.

      You think the Iranians are a threat now? Just wait until they figure out we’ve got Mars. They’ll be building an illegal space ship to go steal it from us in no time.

      1. I’d be more concerned about Iranians stealing my Mars-Bar…

      2. Mars has air; it’s just useless to us.

  44.“>Gear up and enjoy the show!

    Beautiful images in the user gallery at this site

    1. And finally

      Don’t fear solar weather. There isn’t much of anything you can do about it anyways.

  45. Wasn’t there some article about how there is no natural cancer-causing agent? How do they explain the sun? I must have missed the class that teaches how man made the stars.

    1. man ruined the ozone layer which made the UV rays dangerous

      1. Nobody got skin cancer before that, right?

        1. Human beings have had cancer throughout recorded history.
          Your source is wrong.
          It’s just more prevalent because of man’s interference in nature.

          1. Actually French-wad, it’s more prevalent because people are living longer. Just like dogs, who have much more maleable genes more prone to mutation. With them living longer due to better nutrition and hygiene, they are more likely to succumb to cancer at the end.

            1. That’s why so many kids get cancer now?

              1. Kinda like how more kids are diagnosed with Autism than ever before. Instead of this maybe having to do with a better ability to identify it, we’ll just suppose its man’s “unnatural” ways.

                1. Or maybe the chemicals we pump into our bodies increase the propensity for disease to appear

                  1. Or maybe a hundred years ago the small percentage of kids that died of cancer wasn’t considered important when compared to the much bigger kill ratios of smallpox, malaria, measles, polio, malnutrition, influenza, famine, and war?

                    1. Not to mention that the primary cancers attacking kids tend to weaken the immune system.

                      Think of all the sickly kids that were done in by a fever…

              2. That’s why so many kids get cancer now?

                Decreased infant mortality. Kids with shitty genes don’t die at birth anymore.

          2. If Mankind didn’t interfere with nature we would all be extinct.

            1. killed by those billions of creatures we’ve driven to extinction no doubt

                1. Um, eating is interfering with nature, isn’t it? How about creating shelter?

              1. Odd how Endangered Species International and the World Wildlife Fund could only find about a thousand species we’ve “driven” extinct.

                1. We’ve extinct-ed “billions” of creatures?

                  1. If you count every insect, fuck yeah!

                    1. “we’ve extincted billions of creatures”… Typical Anthropocentric Mammalian Species Bias. And way too low Dude. The best current estimates seem to indicate around 8.7 million species on earth http://www.sciencedaily.comreleases/2…..180459.htm but at least 90% of the species that exist probably haven’t been discovered yet,nor are they likely to be anytime soon,nor do we have the methods to accurately quantify and positively differentiate between species on the level most life exists on earth (microscopic). Who can say with any degree of certainty how many species exist in and on their own bodies or a random rock in Seattle or a beetles ass in the Congo let alone how many of those may be unique species ?

                    2. I forgot about that; most species on earth are bacterial, and we have absolutely no freaking guess as to how many different “species” there are.

                  2. We’ve extinct-ed “billions” of creatures?

                    If you count every insect, fuck yeah!

                    Don’t forget bacteria. So it’s really more like trillions upon trillions.

              2. killed by those billions of creatures we’ve driven to extinction no doubt

                Haters gonna hate.

                1. Perhaps,if perfect knowledge was ever possible in this department,we might even discover that statistically every human being was “responsible” for the extinction of one species apiece on the average. Do to the overwhelming numbers of unique species in the world at bottom end of the Anthropocentric Pyramid of Life this is probably closer to being the truth than most of us will ever realize.

          3. What source? You mean the sun? I’m pretty sure numerous studies suggest that repeated, prolonged exposure to the sun’s UV rays can cause skin cancer.

            Besides, my original question was whether there are natural cancer-causing agents. The sun is one. Therefore that study I mentioned must be incorrect.

            1. it must be.

              1. You sound like White Indian.

                1. You sound like a neo-con who thinks humans can do whatever they want without any consequences.

                  1. Now I know you’re White Indian.

                    1. so you are an idot.

                    2. …strikes again!

                  2. Ready to wreck and maim.

          4. “….man’s interference in nature.”

            Now there is a good belly laugh.


        2. Only if one engaged in excessive gamboling.

          1. That’s how you get places like Atlantic City…

        3. “Nobody got skin cancer before that, right?”

          No one lived long enough to develop it.

  46. It’s a Krugman wet dream – “broken windows” all over the world.

    1. Imagine the stimulating effect on the economy!

    2. Good point.

  47. The last time the magnetic poles reversed was 780000 years ago. Before that 50000 years ago. We are way over due for another reversal.

    When they go down and the magnetosphere goes down and

    if a big solar flare goes when they are down we = toast.

    1. Fucking magentosphere, how does it work?!?

      1. All pink and purple and shit.

    2. If the poles reverse will we lose our moral compass?

      1. We will become the pointy-beard universe.

    3. That’s supposed to happen in du-du-duh 2012!!

  48. Will this wipe out my porn collection? If I build a faraday cage can I keep it safe?

    1. only if your’e in the cage with it

  49. Bring it on…btw, you’re ignoramuses.

  50. Reason’s Ron Bailey assesses the threat of an asteroid collision; weighs the probability of a collision over time; and wonders why being freed of the burden of putting people into space has not made NASA any better at watching the skies. Whether the threat comes from the sun or from big rocks, one thing we know: It’s time to stop sticking our bayonets into each other and start sticking them into space.

    Two points, if we’re doing arithmetic.

    1.) Homeland Security $60 billion + estimated $63 billion annual loss to taxpayers from Medicaid= $123 Billion.

    2.) NASA’s budget (NASA, the one government agency that everyone will expect to have the answers for the inevitable celestial catastrophe) = $17.7 Billion.

    1. We’re not doing arithmetic.

      1. Didn’t watch Sesame Street as a kid, did you?

        1. Nope. And you apparently haven’t watched Congress as an adult.

          The purpose of us Congressional Animals is spend other people’s money. In the process, we are at times forced to conduct arithmetic-like activities. You know, to make others believe we actually worry about balancing that check book. But it isn’t our money anyway.

          Arithmetic-like activities. Which is not the same as doing real, actual arithmetic.

        2. If we were doing real, actual arithmetic then there’d be thunder, and lightening.

          One! One dollar! [ka-pow] Ah-ha-ha-ha!

          1. I was channel surfing recently, and I actually got a laugh out of the daily show.

            Stewart: the last time i saw someone this excited about a number it was a felt vampire.

    2. Begging your pardon, sir, but it’s a big-ass sky.

    3. Yeah, but there are terrorists literally everywhere. Anybody is a potential terrorist-enemy-of-the-state. There is probably one hiding under your bed right now. Cutting that budget is out of the question.

      1. There is probably one hiding under your bed right now.

        This is why I would mandate that people set their boxsprings right on the floor instead of using a stand.

  51. Why don’t the libertarian billionaires wasting money on seasteading instead put some money into launching EMP-generating satellites into orbit?

    I think we need to see a little less Friendly Hippie and a little more Bond Villain out of our libertarian billionaires.

    1. Probably because they would prefer not to have a cruise missile come through their front door. Being a Bond Villain isn’t what it is cracked up to be.

      1. I could be a great 5-minute Bond Villain consultant.

        “OK, Bond Villain. Here’s what I’m gonna tell you. You’re a professional; act line one. It’s called a Dead Man’s Switch. Google it. I just solved your pesky cruise missile problem right there. That’ll be a hundred grand. Thanks.”

        1. Cate Blanchett wants to play a Bond villain. I suspect she wouldn’t be satisfied with your five-minute “consulting” but would demand more

          1. Cate Blanchett would get a coupon for free 24/7 Bond Villain advice.

            1. Blanchett would be the best Bond Villain ever. She is exotic, hot and can actually act.

              1. “exotic” is stretching it. But you’re right – imagine her facing off against Daniel Craig

                1. Yeah, I’d hardly call a tall american-looking blonde “exotic.”

                2. imagine her facing off against Daniel Craig, from the vantage of your bunk.

          2. Considering how she did in the last Indiana Jones film, she ought to be doing community theater. Then again, the Bond films jumped the shark decades ago.

        2. Better to keep a low profile and count your millions.

          1. Know, weigh your gold. Better yet, stack it up into a grounded igloo-like structure with a gold floor. That would make an excellent Faraday cage.

      2. I mean, forget the rest of the World Domination checklist or whatever it’s called.

        A Dead Man’s Switch changes the outcome of just about every Bond movie.

    2. Imagine all of the millenials wihtout their cellphones and Facebook.

      I use to build Faraday cages in college and at work, maybe I could start a business…

      1. License fees, please.

      2. Tinfoil hat wearers already have a lock on that market, sorry.

    3. Why aren’t they spacesteading?

    4. You may be onto something. But then again you may need that hollowed out volcano if the federal government responds to your provocation with their arsenal.

      1. so the feds can just fire their earthquake ray at my island and roast me in an eruption? No thx.

  52. Good ole Sun! Cant live with it, cant live without it lol.

  53. Yo, fuck the sun.

    1. Win.

    2. second that. Win.

    3. I just figured out something: the sun is racist! It unfairly targets lighter-skinned folks!

    4. Fuck Off, Solar Slaver.

  54. picky or racist?…..le2348129/

    1. I think that depends on whether you consider sexual attraction an irreducible primary or something that’s amenable to conscious choice.

      I think it’s the former.

      And if it is the former, then specifying your preferences in a personal ad is just saving everybody’s time. That article appears to be about Grindr, where time saving is not only at a premium, it’s the whole point of the app.

      1. It’s some combination of the two. Otherwise we’d all love the same fatties in America that they love over there in Africa.

  55. That picture is teh awesome by the way. Excellently done.

  56. “Power grid” is the result of central planning. We’ re better off getting rid of it than hardening it.

    1. Small-scale Modular Nuclear.

      1. Man, I’d give up my left ear for a small-scale modular nuclear!

      2. What about CHP fuel cells run off natural gas?

        1. Yeah, you could use fuel cells if you’re a Communist but having an Atomic Battery buried in your back yard is just SO much more American!

          And manlier.

          And cooler.


          It’ll keep the fucking neighbors kids off my lawn when they see that the grass on my side isn’t just greener, it fucking GLOWS!

  57. … and assuming that this relationship holds at higher magnitudes, we are able to estimate the probability

    Needs to read Nasim Taleb. Fitting some equation to a set of data does not establish that the natural phenomenon actually behaves according to that equation.

    If someone were to say, “Solar flares can cause a lot of damage. We should try to make our systems robust against them.” That would be a legitimate statement. No need to make it more sciency by wrapping it in statistics.

    1. No need to make it more sciency by wrapping it in statistics.

      How else are you supposed to develop a consensus, so the science can be settled?

      1. Toss a couple of EMP bombs into DC traffic?

  58. All the talk about Faraday cages has me thinking reasonoids like tin foil hats. At least for their hard drives.

  59. I’m ImmorTEAl sTEAlth, and I aprove this message:
    Learn to THINK, it’s esay, if you have the direction and CE LES TIAL or AT LIST extraterrestrial UNIVERSAL MENTALITY, billenias existing “most of the visible times, millions/years, before actual “dominium of men”, which started a few millenias, about only 3 thousand years before Addam’s back to Earth from Eden, with God’s concept, 10 billenias (10,000years) before Noah’s flood.
    Floodings… God promised not to destroy the Earth again… this eternity (the 5th of 1 BILLENIA, ONE THOUSAND MILLION/years periods (with water, takes millions of years to leak oceans inside the Earth), but… fire?…
    Nostradamus said an end of the world (another) will occur on the year of Our Lord of…: TADAAA: 3434. I know what will happen: the other GIANT GASPLANETS WILL IGNITE.

    1. OOPS: God promised not to destroy the Earth again… this eternity (the 5th of 1 BILLENIA, ONE H U N D R E D THOUSAND MILLION EACH ETERNITY

      1. omG, I was right on 1 billenia= one thousand million years, 1 eternity.
        “God promised not to destroy the Earth again… this eternity (the 5th of 1 BILLENIA, ONE H U N D R E D (not 100, but 1, sorry) THOUSAND MILLION EACH ETERNITY” (millions more million less…)…
        I know what happened: I forgot a millenia is 1 million years (not like our 1 thousand years) in celestial and universal (et) mentality…

  60. You have seen warm from Jupier ignitions (fourtunetly he ignites every 3 yeas/warming SOLAR ACTIVITIES OF FLARES, BLACKSPOTS,RADIO&SATELITE; PROBLEMS…NASA HAVE PREDICTED WITHOUT MISTAKE THE 3years/warm, and 3years/cool periods. But the last decades are two things being more notoriuos: warm, we have a yellow sun and his oldest babysun igniting… WHILE RECORD SNOW…

  61. So, the universe can have at the same time warm, and cool, at the same time.
    PD: dinosaur’s asteroid turned completely the Earth’s axis enough time to MEGAICEAGE a new world hundreds of thousands of years later…
    For free, as only freedomedia can bring you… youtube historychannel Saturn lord of the rings, the moons/planets we will find as santuaries and… colonize
    Comming up: more prophesies

    1. Randomly putting words together doesn’t make a sentence. Sorry.

      1. and… who the h(BEEP)l ask you anything?
        so, iran, why don’t you go and blog there? take dabywassermanshults,powers,pelosi,
        theview,fast&furiousholder;,sodomiceducation,noGOdatschools but pre-sharialaw sodomy, all of’m, WHY YOU JUST ACCEPT THAT????!!!!, explain WHY HAVEN’T PPRR AGAINST IRAN, CUBA,ACLU,ACORN LAWAYERS bhorK, C$arumen, “etc”, there you’ll find daylyexecutions entertainment, and “other” “real” things, for brains like yours, and can STFU anybody you don’t like.

        1. I also encourage proper word spacing, and you should refrain from using random capitalization.

          1. cOw I think the MAYORAL POLICE PSYCO_TRN_RECL FROM FIU CASTROCOMBOS permitting this ON MY FACE INSURGENCY, NOT “JUST” ANAMONTES CASTROAGENTS NO MORE as you are “different” stratusses on the surely acornorK “new” (blackpanty)face “THE LAST MONTHS ON MY FACE AS ON “TEDPALPATINEKENNEDY’S “TIME” DARK PERIODS

    2. ah!: the other giant gasplanets, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune turn with us on the orbit most of the time, Jupiter turns and lately ignites for days, alone in the orbit, on the other side of the sun,but not the other future minisuns. You saw methors from Jupiter&the; sun flaring exchanges, now… flares from/to the sun to the other igniting suns, with us in the orbit… with the Earth in the middle… surely Nostradamus 3434(aprx) year of the end is compatible with God, science, astronomy… how the h(beep)l he knew Jupiter (and the other) would ignite????!!!!!

  62. Good scifi book on the subject – One Second After; though it isn’t the most pleasant read.

  63. ok, more BIG THINGS… soon

  64. I worked in EMP testing and analysis for many years so I thought I’d throw my $0.02 in.

    EMP has been played up as a dire threat but many factors tend to mitigate that threat. Nuclear bombs have great energy but it’s not infinite and only a portion of that energy is coupled by the atmosphere and converted to EMP. The typical example of a bomb over Nebraska would make for a bad day in Omaha but the large populations on the East and West Coasts would not notice much due to line of sight and 1/r^2 limitations.

    1. HANE testing back in the 60’s caused a shit ton of trouble for entire CONTINENTS!

      Then again, the biggest one (Starfish Prime) let Hawaii have a second sunrise at midnight so we’re probably talking a level of power WAY higher than at your test range.

  65. Hardening against EMP is really not that hard, either. The energy is measured in kV/meter so very short antennas will have very little energy coupled. Long power lines are largely protected already by spark gaps and transformers, surge protectors and UPS generally do an adequate job of blocking high-voltage spikes.

    … Hobbit

    1. If I can pick your brain then.

      I keep hearing wildly different levels of effects for EMP (as evidenced in this thread). Why is there such a range of opinions on this? Is it just because it’s hard to simulate? Or is it some confusion about the level of the EMPs power?

      1. I think that a lot of it is misunderstanding of science combined with a press that loves to hype stories.

        I worked at several EMP simulators delivering dozens of 100 kV/m pulses to military test objects. At the end of the day my car still started and the radio worked on the way home.

        As I mentioned above, most things that are protected against lightning strike are protected from EMP.

        … Hobbit

        1. Did you park your car inside the test range ?

          1. Open air facility, similar to this

            As Test Director I took thousands of pulses from less than 100 meters from the source.

            … Hobbit

            1. What was the A/C field strength compared to what you would experience right underneath the dipole? One would think “double exponential” fields would decay over much shorter distances than 1/r^2 ones.

      2. Maybe because too many people are thinking with adreneline rather than the way a decent engineer would. If the EMP/solar flare catastrophy comes though, at least it won’t be followed with endless anti-corporation anti-big-science anti-nuclear anti-environmentalist anti-capitalist anti-green-energy discussion threads about it. No hysterical wall-to-wall coverage on CNN either. We can all scavenge for wild turnips and rats in peace.

        1. We can all scavenge for wild turnips and rats in peace.

          I’ve got a great recipe.

          1. (hint: it’s fried)

            1. Fried turnips? Sounds mighteh tasteh. Bound ta’ be reeeel gooood wif roast rat.

              1. 1. gut the rat & scorch the fur off. sort of butterfly the carcass
                2. score the turnip deeply and roast for about 15-20mins
                3. wrap the rat around the roasted turnip
                4. deep fry for about 5-8mins
                5. Profit.

                1. How many cooking utensils does it require?

    2. What does measuring field strength in kV/meter have to do with antenna coupling? Short antennas receive certain short wavelengths very well by design, but with gigantic fluctuations in the magnetic field, any circuit becomes an antenna. And if the fluctuation is in the kV/meter range, that’s bad.

  66. “Fortunately for America, one man is ever-vigilant about the extraterrestrial threat. Reason’s Ron Bailey assesses the threat of an asteroid collision; weighs the probability of a collision over time; and wonders why being freed of the burden of putting people into space has not made NASA any better at watching the skies.”
    We’re fucked!

  67. So my foil hat is of absolutely no use?


  68. Instead of theorizing about what autocratic tactics are needed to save civilization from the ravages of cataclysmic events and the danger “interdepency” that results from a 21st century economy and standard of living……..ceweather/

    …why don’t the theorists look at the actual technical impact of near-cataclysmic events in the recent past? No, people will not be trying to use their ATM’s after the power grid goes down. Haven’t heard of people dying of starvation after big hurricanes, either. Geeze.

  69. I don’t use the power grid. I just use electricity.

  70. So has anyone here seen any of the the Doomsday Prepper shoes on NatGeo? Couple of the people are specifically preparing for a Solar Flare/EMP event, at least one other for a polar shift. Different reasons for different folks but they take their preperation to the extreme. I think it probably makes sense to have a small supply of potable water and non-perishable food on hand for a natural disaster but these people dedicate their lives to this stuff. Maybe something like that will occur and they’ll get the last laugh but I prefer not to live my life like that.

    1. Not bad to have varying levels of preparation if you live somewhere semi-remote.

      If you aren’t semi-remote, the best thing you can have is guns and ammo and will and knowledge to use them.

  71. If shit does hit the fan, it will be open season on government employees.

    The only other group that will be targeted more heavily are journalists.

    People will really take their time with them.

    1. No self-respecting zombie would want the brains of journalists, government employees, or politicians.

      1. just because the brains provide no sustenance doesn’t mean the rest of the carcass is devoid of value.

        Leather, cord, fertilizer, get a deathstill goin and you got a decent source of water. Plenty of non-nutritional possibilities.

        1. Deathstill? Is that like something out of that SF book Dune? I for one would not allow my water to mingle with a government employee’s water.

          1. it can be poured onto the sand, to water crops.

            1. That’s good to know.

    2. Government employees like policemen and soldiers? Bet their guns outnumber redneck psychopath guns. Maybe.

      1. Ever met a redneck psychopath?

      2. Number of Law Enforcement Officers in America: 800 thousand.

        Number of Military Personnel in America: 3 million.

        Number of gun owners in America: 75 to 100 million.

        Assuming some overlap, yeah, that’s a real big fucking MAYBE!

        1. Is every gun owner an inbred psychopath?

          1. Oh hale yeah!

            1. Dangit, I need nuther beer…

            2. Where’d I put my meth? When I don’t git my 9pm fix, I git psychopathic.

      3. Country folk CAN survive!

      4. Fer them deer don’t stop runnin’ season.
        You know them bucks fear us for more than one reason….
        Country folk CAN survive!

        1. Gol’dangit, I fergot the words:
          …Fer them deer don’t stop runnin’ after huntin’ season
          You know them bucks fear us for more than one reason…
          Country folk CAN survive!
          Survivalists CAN SURVIVE!

  72. During a geomagnetic storm in 1989, for instance, Canada’s Hydro-Quebec power grid collapsed within 90 seconds, leaving millions without power for up to nine hours?

    Yeah, or as we call it here in Quebec : winter…

  73. Rest assured if there is no money in it for them, they dont care. American politics, best politicians money can buy!

  74. oops again, you know, existing trial&error; 99% failures science facts + a tealeaf pioneer pursued by the trill(LION)$ before acorn “times”… see?: money can disterrupt nice commentaries and limitate some of’m:
    before Addam’s back to Earth from Eden, with God’s concept, of aprx 10 billenias before Earth (and “recently” came back,16,000yrs/ago, 10,000years after Addam)… before Noah’s flood… (Elves “breaking of the world”)… from… all breakinglines between continentalplaques, they are not for lava, no… they are “Noah”s flooddings from the inside the planet… you saw the inneroceans at LOTR… most of Jupiter, Saturn,etc giant gasplanets (SEE EUROPA) are frozen under a kind’a Noah”s floodding wich just got FROSTED ON ETERNAL ICE “forever”…another fact for “ancienct worlds… and suddently… Saturn “just” turned off durring the global (Noah”s) floodings

  75. and oops again (I’m not God ok?): Jupiter, Saturn,etc giant gasplanet’S MOONS (SEE EUROPA) are frozen under a kind’a Noah”s floodding…
    sugested anctient ocuppiers of the Earth video prove: youtube GIANT UFO 2008 (READ THE INFO FIRST),_ Over One MILE DI…
    “unknown” base destroyed:
    I know: a soviet base (1 of 3, all destroyed by ets durring the 80s, specially while Iraq I war)

  76. The soviets had 3 anctient “rosewell” et bases (have on any country-sea-moon-Mars (they exist since billenias ago as well as celestials) , the last 10 years of the urss destroyed aviation superiority (more planes,rockets,missiles,nukes…)…
    Americans and allies orders for ufos: intercept and follow (youtube 2 jets escort ufo)…
    soviet imperialism orders (I wonder if orders remain) for ufos: intercept and destroy… History channel had a soviet pilot who shotdown one by pure luck, he was shooting anotherone away the one hit… as you see… ets came at night… wherever that mig landed on… see (hear) the soviet base’s alarms defenseless against a “globaly known mothership” appearing (with no problems on America 1968 and everywhere in the world)

  77. Iberia is free, I leave you my friends (by TEA moment) with youtube Mecano: ?D?nde est? el pa?s de las hadas?

  78. psst: elves are angelic descendency, wizards archangel, hobbits cherub, dwarfes seraph… fairies ancentry (fairies exist from the beginning… of the universe… not Earth)
    archangels where “natural genetics”, angel (the loyal angels), the problem of the 1/3rd rebelion was bigger: archangels, not angels, angels are…: guardiangels of men, “smaller” than archangels, and… they resurrect, they re-encarnate… all (bad,good) are immortals, return from “superman movie “glass-cell”… left away
    ah! murmaids are also celestials (lighting at will, protector spheres… and “powers”, planet of origin: Venus) youtube las Sirenas son Reales parte 4… megaiceages lands… warmer waters…

  79. ah! there were murmaids, tritons, etc…

  80. and oops (I’m not an editor, NO BAILEDOUT EDITION “RE$OURCES”):
    “ah! there were murmaids, tritons, etc”… MERMAIDS
    AH!!: the universal end of the ussr’s mayor air powers tha lasts 10 years: youtube kapustanyar and tunguska wars: UFO FILES Russian Roswell Full Documentary…

  81. three, at TEA moment:
    youtube blinded by TEA light, princess Fiona kicking chiraque’s “French” ayatola (castro on west) coyote civillian in-situ pre-invasions…
    definetly, TEA third, for tonight… man, and our descendance (under God): woman…: Billy Preston & Syreeta Wright – With You I’m borned again…
    yeah, I’d take those too to space…

  82. Dance with me, TEA music started can’t you see… I want to be your partner…
    I can take you where you want to go…

  83. The next millenia (untill 3434aprx Nostradamus “end of the world with fire, not water as God Himself promised”) will be I’m sure the longest recorded exodus of the world’s population on the Earth’s memory…
    We need to go to Jupiter’s moons to prepare the final destination: Staurn’s moons. Jupiter, as a dwarf or mini blue star (I’m not sure but I think are called “coldstars”) surely will remain having the same cold-warm (sunflareexchanges years) 3 years/cycles, impossing us the need to stay underground at least 1 year of each of the 3 warmming by flare activity, + Jupiter flares…

  84. The problem will be Staurn’s location and orbit with us igniting (10 years-1 century of really globalwarmming Earth), so then (on Nostradamus’s year of our Lord jesusCrist of 3434), we face the real exodus problems: we go to Uranus’s moons… cold… after Saturn is another star… we come back to Jupiter and… Earth (by 3450aprx).
    Maybe Saturn’s ignition won’t be (as Jupiter’s) any problem but what we
    face now on earth: warm and cold, even with smaller Uranus and Neptune, is colder as you leave the sun… and the sizes smaller… so the flares…
    Maybe both exodus in 1 millenia are nice&easy;.

  85. and another oops: prepare the final destination: Staurn’s moons. (Saturn’s moons)

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