We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Tuesday, May 21. 2013
Cool reconstruction of von Richthofen's death
Fixed - how to sell a boat to the guys
Israel’s Other Enemy: The Blue Social Model
Climate slowdown means extreme rates of warming 'not as likely'
But they insist that someday it will be terrible...maybe.
Loneliness and social isolation are bad
That's news? But is it cause, or effect?
The danger of asking a gal for a date, on campus:
It keeps getting worser and worser
A Do-Nothing Congress Won’t Surprise These Beltway Insiders
The White House’s shifting IRS account
Andy Borowitz writes satirical columns for The New Yorker, His point of view is reliably liberal. But...
BACKGROUNDER: Palestinian Arab and Jewish Refugees
The game of chicken over Syria with dangerous consequences
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[i]Call out the architects and engineers ![/b]
Let's make today the day: the day we hold architects and engineers responsible for the deaths of those children in Moore OK.
Don't pass the buck ever again! Hold these limp wristed cowards accountable for bad design!
Here's how it works. The agency in charge sets a budget for the new school building. Architects/engineers propose their designs. But, those designs are not done in accordance what is known to be the very best procedure--those designs are done "to code" and most often to "minimum" code. They do this so they can put in those design items which will make their drawings look best. Things like skylights an porticos, etc. you know "the pretties". They do that so their design will be chosen over the competition. HOWEVER, if minimum code does not require a basement with poured concrete walls of appropriate thickness there won't be a basement!
In areas where there are children and tornadoes I believe that anyone who designs/builds a school should be accountable to a higher standard of construction--to a standard that is known to be good sense -- 8" cinder block is not good sense. Texas Tech university has had a tornado research center for years. I am sure they could tell you what is best practice--not what is minimally required (that decision is a political agreement between the lobbyists for the construction industry and their unions and the local state representatives). It is the limp wristed architects/engineers who "KNOW BETTER" and "DO NOTHING" to make certain that children in tornado alley are safe in their schools. Please contact the AIA (AMerican Institute of Architects) and tell them that from now on they do not get to escape their responsibility. THey can no longer walk both sides of the street -- trying to serve their masters the contractors, and themselves (to hell with the client!) NO MORE! They are the key figures in this scenario! They must begin to show some courage and stand up to the pressures of the economic game at hand.
FC - I'd like to collaborate with you about doing a post on this subject. If you're interested, leave a comment in one of my posts with a valid email address.
Remember Wizard Of Oz, the movie, and everyone except Dorothy, and her little dog Toto, too, went into the storm cellar? I grew up in a house with a cellar, and then another house with a concrete basement. I've never seen a tornado, but I have seen the sky turn green, which is tornado weather. Schools need storm cellars in Tornado Alley.
Dang it I must be getting old--can't type the correct symbols for make something BOLD !
In the 1970s there was a book published called “Harvard Hates America.” Nothing has improved at Harvard since.
The college dating problem is solved by attending a college close to another one, and dating only the other college's girls.
Generalizing the principle, create two co-located independent colleges, with separate administrations, for boys and girls, and then they can date each other.
That rule does nothing for the poor shlub who shouted "shut up, you water buffalo" from the open window of his dorm room. That indecency apparently deserved to have the full force of the United States Government come down on him!
"Cool reconstruction of von Richthofen's death"
You're right, BD, that was very cool. It's amazing what even amateurs can do with CGI these days. Great post!
Richtoffen didn't get to fly the Fokker D.VII in combat, which was so formidable a stipulation in the armistice required that they all be turned over - I think the only German airplane to be singled out. The Germans said that plane turned a poor pilot into a good one, and a good one into an ace. Who knows how high his score might have climbed in that plane.
I'm fascinated a bit by WWI dogfighting. By the end of the war top speed in level flight for most the fighters topped out at about 120 mph - not all that fast. And biplanes are much more maneuverable at those speeds than single-wing aircraft. When you see those corny old Hollywood model recreations of dogfights, with the planes all packed together turning around each other in a tight ball, they aren't as far from the truth as you might think. Airspeed didn't carry you very far beyond your opponent if you passed him, and you could turn back on him in a pretty tight curve.
Look, you want a bunker, then put out a request for bids for a bunker. You want a fancy, elegant, light-filled school, you aren't going to get a bunker.
No doubt OK is now going to review their requirements for school buildings. Perhaps a reinforced section of hallway with heavy, blast doors as a refuge?
About a year before Katrina, I worked on the Gulf of Mexico. I had a guy come to work for me from Guam. He came back from driving around the coast and asked a very important question. "Why are the houses made out of wood?" "In Guam, only poor people live in houses made out of wood." In Guam where they have annual super typhoons. Told of one that sat over the island and after 3 days, his storm shutters started buckling.
So really, why do we permit stick-built houses in coastal areas, the GOMEX, NY, NJ? We should require concrete block construction with flat roofs, or steel container modules.
It's a tragedy, terrible things happen.
"what this means is that any verbal comments may qualify as harassment if a particular student happens to find them offensive"
This is the standard every special interest group want to use to apply to everyone outside their special interest group. This what the gay and lesbian alliance wants, what women's lib wants, what Al Sharpton wants, etc. Then the perpetually offended can punish anyone who offends them.
And when a conservative or regular white guy is offended, complains, and gets ignored, he can sue for discrimination/lack of equal treatment.
JKB--yes, you are right we cannot protect every individual from every meterological possibility. However, in a public place built with government money for the purpose of educating children it might be sensible to realize that in some particular areas, tornado alley being one of them, the government should be required to demand their safety during an event which re-occurs on a yearly basis. You painted your last comment with too broad a stroke: you do not need to design a school that feels like a bunker all day every day. What can be done quite easily is to build a basement (use it for a gymnasium, or theatre, or whatever. If you want to demand accuracy from science and I for one do, then you must acknowledge there are systems and systems quite often can indicate what we can do to improve security.
Now, for the question of hurricanes -- coastal events-- stick built houses in areas that frequently experience hurricanes is of course not practical. If you want to move to FL and live in stick built that's fine by me--just be sure to pay the additional insurance costs, so I don't have to pay to rebuild your house every few years! With regard the damage done last year -- now is a grrreat time to push the housing zoning back away from those beaches. Leave more space for the public--Christie's got enough money to make sure these homes are rebuilt and the beaches maintained in such a way as to reduce the threat. Can be done--just have to want to ! Above all if you are a developer and you want to put in a housing development cheaply built then at least put an underground bunker under the cul de sac to house all those poor people who will be living in those houses if an emergency like this occurs. Build the cost into the price of the house--just think of what a selling point that will make!
The same thing goes for the developments of flood plains in the Midwest, for the rows of million-dollar homes set on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Coast or, now, for subdivisions of chalets teetering on the sides of mountains in the Rockies.
Where are these peoples' brains?
Well, there is no such thing as government money. There is forcibly pooled money. But that is not the matter.
You are correct. And there was a time when "code" and community made such facilities. I wonder why we moved away from requiring protective shelters? Why schools aren't built as such for not just the students but the community. I don't even see a need for a basement. Several reinforced sections of hallway with heavy doors could work. I did read of one trailer park that the state required to have a community shelter of block for the residents. Of course, a shelter is also a good place for a school killer to drive his victims where police would have difficulty breaching so there is that to mitigate.
But this raises the cost, pushing the poorer residents out. To make a "public beach buffer" would mean telling quite a few people, they can't live in their neighborhood and possibly town anymore. Although, granted Hilo did that after a tsunami. Now the town sits way back from the harbor with a large park. Hotels on the beach are built to permit waves 20' or so to wash through with no structural elements blocking them.
People may pay for a bunker or other unseen tornado improvements for a few months but not after. I used to work ships and I would push to fix some vulnerability but the common refrain was "Nothing has happened before" and these were old ships. Of course, a hundred years of no disaster doesn't have a bit of influence on the next one.
Thank you, I appreciate your comments. Yes, JMA you are correct. The question is are "we the people" ready to have this discussion?
I believe the first step is to allocate additional insurance costs to some of these places, or better still, just permit the insurance industry to refuse to insure in certain areas. That ought to make folks think twice.
I know that the loss of beachfront is painful. But having beachfront is not necessary for a good quality of life in a beach town. You can build so that many have views, so that many more have access, and also you can build so that some have private beaches, but thinking through these issues necessitates that we are allowed to mention some politically unpopular ideas.
Both sides will loose something--but children will live and play and people will find shelter from these events. Not too bad a trade off would you say?
I believe that Texas Tech would tell you that no above ground...conventional construction would withstand a direct hit by an EF4 or higher event. New construction in OK City and environs does require hurricane clips however according to the mayor those reinforced structures didn't fare any better than older ones. As for the schools, I know there are conflicting reports but what we heard is that the children, who died, drowned, because they... were... in the basement.
Assuming the death toll in Moore doesn't explode, it seems to me that progress has been made. This storm was pretty comparable in duration, intensity, and foot print to the Joplin storm but it passed through a more densely populated area. If the death toll remains constant the OK death toll will be 1/6 of the Joplin statistic.
We have been hearing that the children who drowned were in the hallway on the main floor. The roof collapsed and pinned them down, then a water main broke and they drowned. They were not in a basement according to the reports we are getting here.
Here is a list of major tornadoes that have tore through this very same area. The city of Moore was damaged by significant tornadoes on October 4, 1998; May 3, 1999; May 8, 2003; May 10, 2010; and May 20, 2013. Moore is located in Tornado Alley, a colloquial term for the area of the United States where tornadoes are most frequent. About twenty tornadoes occurred within or in the immediate vicinity of Moore from 1890 to 2013.
I have a proposal. What d'ya say they turn the whole town of Moore into a cattle ranch--a business in which each home owner who lived in Moore owns an equal share. They can then move some place west to an area with a better history.
I am not defending Moore, I would probably pass on an opportunity to live there.
4 states have a higher rate of tornadic events than OK. I'm just saying it is not as straightforward as lots of folks want to believe, short of clearing the plains of human beings. I am sure insurance companies have calculated their cost benefit ratios which would be a good place to start getting perspective.
Yes, you are right taking a look at what the insurance company actuarials say would be an indicator. However, in this PARTICULAR case, I think we need to consider seriously the fact that this one particular housing development has been re-built three times in the last 12 years! Enough is enough! Nobody says we should empty out the plains, though I do know some NYC investment groups that have done a thorough job of destroying the family farm and thus reducing the population of a vast area of the plains to pre settlement days!. I am saying that when a particular placement of ground gets hit over and over and over, we should acknowledge that rather than pretending "God will provide", etc. God does provide, however it is sometimes at a terrible price because of (wo)man's stupid, arrogant refusal to use critical thinking in order to "play the odds" game with human lives!
I don't exactly follow you, but two EF5 tornadoes in 13 years is enough for me even if it is a statistical anomaly. I understand how very distressing Plaza Tower Elementary is to most people, and I actually think that hardening schools for community shelters makes sense, since they are usually distributed widely through a community. But, even though it may be worthwhile, I just don't imagine that this effort will save the lives of hundreds of school children, given the statistical history. If I've omitted anything feel free to add.
Fatalities at schools due to tornadoes (assuming children, but stats don’t specify);15 ( an additional 13 were on school buses not in the building) in the last 46years:
May 2013 Moore OK 7 children
Mar 1, 2007 Enterprise AL 8 children
April 1967 Belvidere IL 13 children ON school buses
Feb 1955 Commerce Lndg MS 17 children
May 1929 Rye Cove VA 13 children
Nov 1926 La Plata MD 14 children
Mar 1925 Desoto and Murphsboro IL 58 children
Jan 1918 Dothan AL 8 children
Jan 1917 Vireton OK 16 children
Mar 1897 Arlington GA 8 children
Yes, school buildings have improved since the Our Lady of Angels fire in 1958.
I don't exactly follow you, but two EF5 tornadoes in 13 years is enough for me even if it is a statistical anomaly. I understand how very distressing Plaza Tower Elementary is to most people, and I actually think that hardening schools for community shelters makes sense, since they are usually distributed widely through a community. But, even though it may be worthwhile, I just don't imagine that this effort will save the lives of hundreds of school children, given the statistical history.
Fatalities at schools due to tornadoes (assuming children, but stats don’t specify),28 in the last 46 years: 15 died in the building (an additional 13 were on school buses not in the building) Yes, school buildings have improved since the Our Lady of Angels fire in 1958.
Sorry for double post. I got an error message so posted an abbreviated comment, not realizing that the first comment had posted afterall.