The Capital Weather Gang over at The Washington Post has written an excellent description of the threat that our sun poses:
Space weather: Are we ready for a solar strike?
This first in a three part series makes the point that the "more potent solar storms ... have the potential to wreak long-lasting havoc on electric power supply and communications infrastructure around the globe," and that we would have at most a 12 hour notice. What can we do about it? As individuals, not very much. The effort needed to protect our infrastructure requires everyone to pitch in.
The Undead have long been the subject of classes, even at the university level. I myself have taught several on the subject of area defense and removal strategies. I see now that the subject is making its way into the liberal arts realm: Exploring the undead: University of Baltimore to offer English class on zombies. I like the course description:
Is "Night of the Living Dead" a simple zombie film or a subtle antiwar statement? Precisely when did viral pandemic supplant nuclear radiation as the lead cause of zombification? And which sort of animated dead has the greater potential to frighten: shambler or sprinter?
I applaud this move.
The Washington Post reports Town in China Closed Off After 3 Die of Pneumonic Plague. You know the drill:
- Clean your house from top to bottom and clear out any brush in the immediate area.
- Be leery rodents. Ideally, since you've cleaned up, you'll have none around. If you encounter one, make sure you're protected from fleas before you move in for the kill.
- Bug bombs, lots of them.
- Report any symptoms to the local health authorities. Just as with Solanum infection, think of the greater need.
The consensus is that so many random factors played out to our disadvantage that preventing the outbreak that led to TEotWaWKI was impossible. We should be thankful that humanity survived, even in its much reduced state.
I'm thinking, perhaps not. Here's a story from a 2009 edition of the Washington Post: Infectious Diseases Study Site Questioned . That's smart, "locate a ... research facility for highly infectious pathogens in a tornado-prone section of Kansas."
I'm hoping that the catastrophe culled out those with such flawed thought processes. As for the present, I would rather we didn't engage in such research, though I suppose we could learn valuable lessons. We must assume, though, that the worst will happen. Not only should we not locate these facility in dangerous regions, they should be isolated from the population, too.