« March 4, 2013 | Main | March 6, 2013 »

March 5, 2013

Perpetual Day•Date•Year Ring Calendar


Res ipsa loquitur.


17.5"H x 14.8"W x 1.6"D.



March 5, 2013 at 08:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Experts' Expert: Where to go during an earthquake (if you want to survive)


Doug Copp's credentials which lead me to call him an expert on earthquake survival: "I am the Rescue Chief and Disaster Manager of the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), the world's most experienced rescue team." 

More: "I have crawled inside 875 collapsed buildings, worked with rescue teams from 60 countries, founded rescue teams in several countries, and I am a member of many rescue teams from many countries. I was the United Nations expert in Disaster Mitigation for two years, and have worked at every major disaster in the world since 1985, except for simultaneous disasters."

Below, his earthquake survival guide

Where To Go During an Earthquake

The first building I ever crawled inside of was a school in Mexico City during the 1985 earthquake. Every child was under its desk. Every child was crushed to the thickness of their bones. They could have survived by lying down next to their desks in the aisles. It was obscene — unnecessary.

Simply stated, when buildings collapse, the weight of the ceilings falling upon the objects or furniture inside crushes these objects, leaving a space or void next to them — NOT under them. This space is what I call the "triangle of life." The larger the object, the stronger, the less it will compact. The less the object compacts, the larger the void, the greater the probability that the person who is using this void for safety will not be injured. The next time you watch collapsed buildings on television, count the "triangles" you see formed. They are everywhere. It is the most common shape, you will see, in a collapsed building.

10 Tips for Surviving an Earthquake

1) Most everyone who simply "ducks and covers" when building collapse is crushed to death. People who get under objects — like desks or cars — are crushed.

2) Cats, dogs, and babies often naturally curl up in the fetal position. You should too in an earthquake. It is a natural safety/survival instinct. You can survive in a smaller void. Get next to an object, next to a sofa, next to a bed, next to a large bulky object that will compress slightly but leave a void next to it.

3) Wooden buildings are the safest type of construction to be in during an earthquake. Wood is flexible and moves with the force of the earthquake. If the wooden building does collapse, large survival voids are created. Also, the wooden building has less concentrated, crushing weight. Brick buildings will break into individual bricks. Bricks will cause many injuries but less squashed bodies than concrete slabs.

4) If you are in bed during the night and an earthquake occurs, simply roll off the bed. A safe void will exist around the bed. Hotels could achieve a much greater survival rate in earthquakes simply by posting a sign on the back of the door of every room telling occupants to lie down on the floor, next to the bottom of the bed during an earthquake.

5) If an earthquake happens and you cannot easily escape by getting out the door or window, then lie down and curl up in the fetal position next to a sofa or large chair.

6) Most everyone who gets under a doorway when buildings collapse is killed. How? If you stand under a doorway and the doorjamb falls forward or backward you will be crushed by the ceiling above. If the doorjamb falls sideways you will be cut in half by the doorway. In either case, you will be killed.

7) Never go to the stairs. The stairs have a different "moment of frequency" (they swing separately from the main part of the building). The stairs and remainder of the building continuously bump into each other until structural failure of the stairs takes place. The people who get on stairs before they fail are chopped up by the stair treads — horribly mutilated. Even if the building doesn't collapse, stay away from the stairs. The stairs are a likely part of the building to be damaged. Even if the stairs are not collapsed by the earthquake, they may collapse later when overloaded by fleeing people. They should always be checked for safety, even when the rest of the building is not damaged.

8) Get near the outer walls of buildings or outside of them if possible — it is much better to be near the outside of a building than the interior. The farther inside you are from the outside perimeter of the building, the greater the probability that your escape route will be blocked.

9) People inside of their vehicles are crushed when the road above falls in an earthquake and crushes their vehicles [picture above], which is exactly what happened with the slabs between the decks of the Nimitz Freeway. The victims of the San Francisco earthquake all stayed inside of their vehicles. They were all killed. They could have easily survived by getting out and sitting or lying next to their vehicles. Everyone killed would have survived if they had been able to get out of their cars and sit or lie next to them. All the crushed cars had voids 3 feet high next to them, except for the cars that had columns fall directly across them.

10) I discovered, while crawling inside of collapsed newspaper offices and other offices with a lot of paper, that paper does not compact. Large voids are found surrounding stacks of paper.


[via reader Alan Fick]

March 5, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Best tweet of the day, from Heather Russell: "OK guys, ready to play grab ass in the club NOW? Just got my Yellow Jacket iPhone stun gun case."



Yeah, maybe best steer clear of this babe.

Love her!

Yellow Jacket's Twitter:

Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 10.00.40 AM

$139.99 (for the case — iPhone/Heather Russell not included. In your dreams.)

March 5, 2013 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack

Malcolm X at Oxford — 1964

From Open Culture: "I enjoy replaying this vintage gem every now and then — Malcolm X debating at Oxford University in 1964. In this classic video, you get a good feel for Malcolm X's presence and message, not to mention the social issues that were alive during the day. You’ll hear X's trademark claim that liberty can be attained by 'whatever means necessary,' including force, if the government won't guarantee it, and that  'intelligently directed extremism' will achieve liberty far more effectively than pacifist strategies. (He's clearly alluding to Martin Luther King.) You can listen to the speech in its entirety here (Real Audio), something that is well worth doing. But I'd also encourage you to watch the dramatic closing minutes and pay some attention to the nice rhetorical slide, where X takes lines from Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and uses them to justify his 'by whatever means necessary' position. You'd probably never expect to see "Hamlet" getting invoked that way, let alone Malcolm X speaking at Oxford. A wonderful set of contrasts."

Malcolm X, from the video:

I read once, passingly, about a man named Shakespeare. I only read about him passingly, but I remember one thing he wrote that kind of moved me. He put it in the mouth of Hamlet, I think, it was, who said, "To be or not to be." He was in doubt about something — whether it was nobler in the mind of man to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune — moderation — or to take up arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing end them. And I go for that. If you take up arms, you'll end it, but if you sit around and wait for the one who's in power to make up his mind that he should end it, you'll be waiting a long time. And in my opinion, the young generation of whites, blacks, browns, whatever else there is, you're living at a time of extremism, a time of revolution, a time when there's got to be a change. People in power have misused it, and now there has to be a change and a better world has to be built — and the only way it's going to be built is with extreme methods. And I, for one, will join in with anyone — I don't care what color you are — as long as you want to change this miserable condition that exists on this earth.

March 5, 2013 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

What is it?


Answer here this time tomorrow.

Hint: smaller than a bread box.

Another: inedible (don't be fooled by appearances — as Gilbert & Sullivan wrote in "H.M.S. Pinafore" [1878]: "Things are seldom what they seem/Skim milk masquerades as cream.")

One more: comes in colors:


Wait a sec... what's that music I'm hearing?

March 5, 2013 at 04:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

"Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead" — Even better after 46 years

I first read this magnificent play in 1967, the year it was published.

I was a freshman at UCLA and this slim work of art (115 pages) absolutely jolted me out of my accustomed way of thinking and jump-started a whole new way of looking at the world.

It was as revolutionary to me as 1968's "Whole Earth Catalog," another book whose appearance during those late 60s days of weirdness and wonder in Southern California lifted my train of being from its accustomed Made in Milwaukee track onto a whole different course.

Below, excerpts that, when I read the play today, made my heart once again sing with their sheer originality and power.

There is an art to the building up of suspense. Though it can be done by luck alone.

The scientific approach to the examination of phenomena is a defense against the pure emotion of fear.

Fearful lest we come too late!! [Too late for what?] How do I know? We haven't got there yet.

Why, we grow rusty and you catch us at the very point of decadence—by this time tomorrow we might have forgotten everything we ever knew. That's a thought, isn't it? We'd be back where we started—improvising. 

Otherwise, for a jingle of coin we can do for you a selection of gory romances, full of fine cadence and corpses, pirated from the Italian; and it doesn't take much to make a jingle—even a single coin has music to it.

We've played to bigger, of course, but quality counts for something. I recognized you at once—[And who are we?]—as fellow artists. [I thought we were gentlemen.] For some of us it is performance, for others, patronage. They are two sides of the same coin, or, let us say, being as there are so many of us, the same side of two coins. 

But they cannot match our repertoire... we'll stoop to anything if that's your bent....

We keep to our usual stuff, more or less, only inside out. We do on stage the things that are supposed to happen off. Which is a kind of integrity, if you look on every exit being an entrance somewhere else.

We're more of the blood, love and rhetoric school. [Well, I'll leave the choice to you, if there is anything to choose between them.] They're hardly divisible, sir—well, I can do you blood and love without the rhetoric, and I can do you blood and rhetoric without the love, and I can do you all three concurrent or consecutive, but I can't do you love and rhetoric without the blood. Blood is compulsory—they're all blood, you see.

All your life you live so close to truth, it becomes a permanent blur in the corner of your eye, and when something nudges it into outline it is like being ambushed by a grotesque.

Wheels have been set in motion, and they have their own pace, to which we are... condemned. Each move is dictated by the previous one—that is the meaning of order. If we start being arbitrary it'll just be a shambles: at least, let us hope so. Because if we happened, just happened to discover, or even suspect, that our spontaneity was part of their order, we'd know that we were lost.

We cross our bridges when we come to them and burn them behind us, with nothing to show for our progress except a memory of the smell of smoke, and a presumption that once our eyes watered.

The truth is, we value your company, for want of any other. We have been left so much to our own devices—after a while one welcomes the uncertainty of being left to other people's.

[You!—What do you know about death?] It's what the actors do best. They have to exploit whatever talent is given to them, and their talent is dying. They can die heroically, comically, ironically, slowly, suddenly, disgustingly, charmingly, or from a great height. My own talent is more general. I extract significance from melodrama, a significance which it does not in fact contain; but occasionally, from out of this matter, there escapes a thin beam of light that, seen at the right angle, can crack the shell of mortality.

March 5, 2013 at 12:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

« March 4, 2013 | Main | March 6, 2013 »