Everyone is quiet the last week or so, as is to be expected. As for me, I have been enjoying the flu dose that’s been going around – posts should be back to normal in 2005. Happy New Year!
Archive for December, 2004
Dan Drezner has a good round up of the stinginess debate.
I really don’t know what Glenn is getting so worked up about. He is persistently misrepresenting what was said. Is anyone fact checking Glenn?
Matthew correctly points out:
Besided that, a word on the “stingy” issue. What the UN official actually said was that rich countries including the US are stingy with aid money. Whether out of anti-UN malice, or simply demented America-centrism, this has been widely reported as the claim that the United States is stingy which has pissed people off. But no one said that. The US government is stingy with official aid relative to the size of our economy, but the karmic balance is evened by the fact that our citizens are much more generous than the rest of the rich world in terms of individual donations. We also provide some global public goods — clear shipping lanes and the like — for self-interested reasons that wind up benefitting everyone. Which isn’t to say we shouldn’t do more. Indeed, virtually every rich country should do more. We’re all stingier than we ought to be, especially in terms of doling out aid that history teaches would be effective like to fight disease and provide clean water in rural areas.
And as for levels of donations – perhaps we should wait six months to see how much everyone donated – looking back, rather than when the events are still unfolding.
Go here, and click refresh every few seconds….amazing.
This marks a new tactic by the insurge… terrorist murderers.
Insurgents lured Iraqi policemen to a house in west Baghdad and set off a huge amount of explosives, killing at least 29 people, seven of them police.
It’s estimated that 1 tonne of explosives were wired to the building. It does seem like alot of effort for the relatively small amount of casualties, especially since most of those killed were civilians. Are Iraqis not getting pissed off with this?
This one from Slashdot:
It’s not news at all that scientists predict an eventual “mega-tsunami” that will sweep across the Atlantic that will still be anything from 60 to 150 ft high when it hits the U.S. Eastern seaboard. This Old News, however, suddenly seems fresh. Like an asteroid hit, it could be millenia away, or tomorrow, that a volcano in the Canary Islands just off Africa drops half a trillion tons of rock into the Atlantic. A short description of the problem from BBC News and some more graphic descriptions (of up to 100 million dead) and shrewd commentary on the politics of warning from journalist Gwynne Dyer.
One for my September 11 conspiracy theory category:
In the speech, Rumsfeld made a passing reference to United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania after passengers attempted to stop al Qaeda hijackers.
But in his remarks, Rumsfeld referred to the “the people who attacked the United States in New York, shot down the plane over Pennsylvania.”
A Pentagon spokesman insisted that Rumsfeld simply misspoke, but Internet conspiracy theorists seized on the reference to the plane having been shot down.
And if it was shot down to save more potential casualties on the ground, then it was the right thing to do.
Unlucky for some maybe, put Friday April the 13th 2029 in your diary.
The chance of this asteroid hitting earth is now 1 in 45. It is pretty small though – it would leave a crater about 4 miles wide, and would probably hit water, perhaps leading to a few million deaths.
On the other hand, anyone within a hundred miles of the impact would likely have a tough time. The crater will be nearly 4 miles across. Anyone within 50 miles will get 200 mph winds, a bombardment of rocks ranging from golfball size to football size, and the equivalent effects of a magnitude 6.8 earthquake. (Data from the Impact Effects Calculator, with parameters of Velocity 12.59 km/sec, 0.44 km diameter size, Dense Rock, 45 degree impact angle).
In any case, the projected energy of impact is 2,200 megatons. Now we turn to one of the earliest posts on Arcturus, Thinking About the Unthinkable, where I used some handy equations from Arsenal to find that the 5-psi overpressure radius (which may be regarded for the purposes of this discussion as the Bad Day radius) for a 10-kiloton explosion is just over 900 meters. These things scale inversely as the cube of yield, so ³√(2,200/0.01) × 0.9 km = 54 kilometers or thereabouts. The area thus affected, A = πr², is over 9,000 km², which at the average population density in the US of about 31 per km² (derived from this source) would contain about 280,000 people.
At the average population density of India — which as I explained in my earlier post, is quite a bit nearer the probable impact site — however, this works out to nearly 2.5 million people. Yikes.
Happy Christmas to everyone out there in the blogosphere!
The US military is now saying that the attack in Mosul was a suicide one. This post by a US military chaplain in Mosul details the aftermath. A warning to readers, it does contain some graphic descriptions of injuries.
With this kind of first hand account, I am beginning to wonder what the world would be like without blogs.