Friday, September 30, 2011

How Tohoku Tsunami Destroyed Fukushima Dai-ichi

For some time following the Great Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami earlier this year I wondered how the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant could have possibly sustained tsunami damage enough to knock out its generators used for for pumping water used to cool its nuclear fuel rods. This particularly intrigued me given the fact the facility had a protective tsunami wall. It wasn't until I saw this series of photographs below that my question was thoroughly answered leaving me thoroughly impressed at what the tsunami did and thoroughly intrigued at the naivete of the designers of the wall.  As one can plainly see the tsunami completely overwhelmed the tsunami wall not only over topping it but also knocking it completely down as one can vividly see happening in photo #3. Hopefully what can be learned from this is to build tsunami walls not as thin vertical steal reinforced concrete structures but as much thicker structures with the configuration of a levee wall. 

Photos courtesy of Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Destroy She Said

Several years ago I purchased a music CD entitled "Ultra.Trance:3". In it was a haunting song entitled "Destroy She Said" by CIRC remixed by De Donatis. The song was certainly catchy but possessed a distinctly edgy darkness as evidenced by its lyrics below:

Like towers falling down
Like a bomb blast in your town
Like a hostage tied in chains
I could not forget your name

Destroy, she said
My love again
The end will come quickly

Don't try again
To make amends
You'll just end up sinking

If you explode in aftermath
Don't think you've been dreaming

Destroy, she said
My love again
When it's not worth keeping

Like a helicopter crash
Like a ghetto that's been smashed
Like bodies on a battlefield
I can't live with how you feel

Destroy, she said
My love again
The end will come quickly

Don't try again
To make amends
You'll just end up sinking

If you explode in aftermath
Don't think you've been dreaming

Destroy, she said
My love again
When it's not worth keeping

Not along and not apart
You finished what you could not start
In the corners of the day
You catch my eye and then looked away
What a generous remark you made
When you blew it all away

Destroy, she said
My love again
The end will come quickly

Don't try again
To make amends
You'll just end up sinking

If you explode in aftermath
Don't think you've been dreaming

Destroy, she said
My love again
When it's not worth keeping

Destroy, she said
My love again
The end will come quickly

Don't try again
To make amends
You'll just end up sinking

If you explode in aftermath
Don't think you've been dreaming

Destroy, she said
My love again
When it's not worth keeping


Although I can't say for sure when this song was written I can say with certainty it was released in 2002 and it seems clear from both the lyrics and the video that it is heavily influenced by the events of 9/11 in both mood and theme.

While earlier this year doing some research on Alexander Perls' song "Starfire" I discovered he was the original source for "Destroy She Said". CIRC then actually recorded and released the song and under that name. Please take the time to watch the "Destroy She Said" video below and perhaps even share with me your thoughts on it.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Chicxulub Tsunami Run-Up Graphic

Below is a graphic that comes from the Fall 2011 issue of the quarterly publication Lite Geology by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources. It is a wonderful graphical time-line of the propagation of the tsunami caused by the Chicxulub impact across the then-Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea and adjacent coastline and even into the adjacent part of the Atlantic Ocean. The following colors correspond to the following tsunami maximum heights as determined by mathematical equations and computer simulations:

  • Blue - Dark Purple ~ up to u4-1/4 feet
  • Medim Purple - Light Purple ~ up to almost 8 feet
  • Pink - Light Red ~ up to 13-3/4 feet
  • Various Red ~ up to 24-1/2 feet
  • Various Orange ~ up to 43-1/2 feet
  • Dark Yellow - Medium Yellow ~ up to 77-1/2 feet
  • Light Yellow ~ up to 138-1/2 feet

The brown-gray colored part of the map shows the then-current land mass and corresponding coastline in the region at the time of the impact about 65 million years ago while juxtaposed atop it is a map showing the outlines of the current coastlines and state and national borders.

Graphic courtesy Lite Geology by the New Mexico Bureau of Geology and Mineral Resources

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Too Much Rain Over Paradise

Following the Hurricane Mitch disaster that befell Central America in November 1998, Andre "The Teutonic Trance Master" Tanneberger (known to the world as "ATB") created a song entitled "Too Much Rain Over Paradise" in tribute to and for the aid of the victims of the storm.

The first video below merely plays the song as no video was created for the original version by ATB.

This song was then remixed several times by a collective of trance DJ's called United Dee Jay's For Central America 1998 as part of a fund-raising competition to assist survivors of the regional disaster that was Hurricane Mitch. The storm killed over 20,000 people across seven Central American nations as well as nations in North America (Mexico and U.S.) and in the Caribbean (Jamaica) making this possibly the first hemisphere-wide disaster in the modern history of the Americas. Below is a remixed version of the song and the one I believe won the competition. It comes with an interesting video that juxtaposes images of the storm with stills of the various artists involved in the project.

In my mind the only other event that comes close to Hurricane Mitch as being a hemisphere-wide disaster in the modern history of the Americas is the "Storm of the Century" of 1993, that devastated parts of Cuba, the U.S., and Canada which killed over 300 people along the way.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Atlantis Was Actually Two Separate Places

All too often human beings, emotionally and intellectually, operate in accordance with their Inner Cave Man's (or Cave Woman's) survival imperative, which is that he or she simplifies matters down to their most easily understood formulations. This is done to expedite decision-making in a fight-or-flight survival situation. However, in the context of the modern world, where survival is much more certain on a day to day basis and the modern milieu is a much more nuanced complex of time and place, such formulations are mostly inaccurate and invalid.

Roughly 2,400 years ago, Plato gave the world the Atlantis myth within two of his dialogues: Timaeus, but moreover in Critius.  Plato expounded upon many myths in his lifetime, but his marvelous tales of Atlantis, its civilization, and its sinking into the ocean became the familiar story we became acquainted with as children.  Myths are typically a mix of fact and fiction with the fiction often inspired by facts; the resulting combination is designed to explain something or to teach something. Throughout the centuries since Plato's time, some people, as long ago as Classical Antiquity, believed Atlantis might have been a real place, and so they tried to figure out where it was located.

Plato places Atlantis outside the "Pillars of Hercules," which lies on the western side of the mouth of the Straight of Gibraltar. However, no suitable locations have ever been found in or on the margins of the Atlantic Ocean Basin that might point to where Atlantis was likely located. This fact has led many intelligent people (as well as some not so intelligent) to start looking nearer to Plato's homeland, which, to the inquisitive, was the smarter bet. A suitable suspect was found in the Aegean Sea at an island called Thera ("fear" in Greek) in ancient times and Santorini in modern times. The area was formed by a cataclysmic eruption of a massive volcano (VEI of 6 or 7) that devastated the immediate area around Thera circa 1628 BC; this volcanic event even wreaked havoc upon peoples all around the Mediterranean Sea Basin.

A well accepted fact is that the Minoan Civilization was based in the Aegean Sea; Crete was their capitol, but Thera was their crown jewel. Ancient Thera's volcano caused the cataclysmic destruction of that island, which in turn, led to the ultimate destruction of the Minoan Civilization by mainland Mycenaeans. The Mycenaeans absorbed the Minoans genetically and culturally, and in the aggregate, they all became the Greeks.

The Greek Island of Santorini in the Aegean Sea
Image courtesy of the Thera Foundation
In terms of their cultures, the circumstantial and anecdotal evidence connecting the Minoans to Atlantis  is quite convincing. The connectivity between the Minoans and  King Minos' kingdom on the island of Crete (in Greek mythology) is even greater. This connection demonstrates that the ancient Greeks had a strong cultural memory of the Minoans, centuries after the latter's civilization was absorbed. The tri-partite problem with the Minoans representing the factual inspiration for Plato's Atlantis is location, location, location. My own theory (until this new Spanish discovery, whose theory was not uniquely my own invention) is that Plato merely moved the Minoan story outside the Mediterranean Sea Basin to give it a more exotic and mysterious flavoring to his Greek audience. Setting the Atlantians in the Aegean Sea would place them too close to home for the ancient Greeks to be as impressed. Such a location would be too domestic, and thus, harder to believe such things could happen, as opposed to a much less well known and well-understood region like that beyond the Straight of Gibraltar; to ancient Greeks, such a distant locale was like saying it lay beyond the frontiers of the known world.

Now comes word of a discovery along the Atlantic Coast of Spain, north of Cadiz; a remarkable footprint of a splendid coastal city buried beneath a marsh. The means of interment could have been caused by an ancient tsunami created by an ocean impact of an extraterrestrial body, or a massive submarine landslide, or a flank failure of a volcano  (like Cumbre Vieja on the island of  La Palma in the Canary Islands) or perhaps even an earthquake such as a major fault rupture along the nascent subduction zone west of Cadiz that was responsible much later in time the tsunami-genic 1755 Lisbon Earthquake (and resulting urban conflagration). Certainly the location of this lost city and its layout (multi-ringed port city) perfectly match Plato's descriptions of both aspects of Atlantis. Also, the time factor better fits Atlantis because, according to Plato, Atlantis was destroyed 9,000 years prior to his reporting. Although that time is certainly contrived, it better suits this new discovery which, according to initial indications, is much older yet than the Minoan Civilization. 

The buried city under Dona Ana Park just north of Cadiz, Spain.
Image courtesy of the National Geographic Society.
My conclusion is that Plato created the story of Atlantis using two separate stories based upon oral traditions of two separate historical events: the doomed pre-Spanish civilization and the doomed pre-Greek civilization. These two incidents were, in turn, recorded to some degree at the ancient Library of Alexandria, to which Plato's ancestor, Solon, had access and was known to have visited as a visiting Greek statesman. Solon shared these tales within his family, which were passed down to Plato generations later. Plato then merged the stories into the single myth we know as Atlantis.

Modern writers of historical fiction conflate multiple locations, events or people into one place or event or character as a matter of routine and we call it poetic license. Plato certainly was poetically licensed, as were all of the Greek philosophers and historians. Factual accuracy was often not the top priority; think Herodotus. Simply put, Plato took the location and the cause of death of one doomed city-state and married it to the culture and the cause of death of another doomed city-state and created a moral lesson about hubris and decadence called Atlantis. Additionally, this theme is also found in Sodom & Gomorrah in the Book of Genesis and in The Lost City of Ubar from the Qur'an.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Monsoonal Sunset - September 2011

Since yesterday there have been numerous Red Flag Warnings posted for the Central Coast of California where I reside as well as other areas of California north and south and east of here as of late this afternoon. A low pressure system is passing nearby and pulling monsoonal moisture up our way on this first full day of Autumn 2011. This evening has afforded the Paso Robles area where I make my home with hours-long pyrotechnic displays in nearly every direction. This moisture and energy continues to stream up from the southeast and the Red Flag Warnings have been extended until 5 AM tomorrow morning. So far all the lightning I've seen has appeared to have been associated with moderate to heavy showers. However, the concern is that some of the lightning will come without a lot of precipitation and start fires and that then the thunderstorm winds will fan the blazes. Already this evening Kern County has experienced numerous fires and a number of hours ago I heard on my scanner of firefighting resources from San Luis Obispo County being sent out of county as mutual aid up to the Highway 198 corridor between King City and Coalinga. Below are some images I captured several hours ago on the way home from work as the sun set.

All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mistah Richter "Earthquake Rumble"

While searching for another earthquake-related song tonight to place in this space I serendipitously found this gem I was previously unaware of and thus am sharing it instead.

MISTAH RICHTER ~ "Earthquake Rumble" - Soundtracks of Science/Not That Bad Records

Sunday, September 18, 2011

20th Annual Rockhounds Roundup Rock Show Redux

Day Two of the Santa Lucia Rockhound's 20th Annual Rockhounds Roundup is now history as is the show itself for another year. The weather cooperated this year giving us milder than usual temperatures which was nice given how hot this show can typically be. There were no minor problems this year unlike last year when a kid fell into one of our displays damaging it or the year before when a redneck made some ignorant comments to an Afghan dealer selling lapiz.

The Pioneer Museum at 2010 Riverside Avenue in Paso Robles, CA 

Silversmith David Nelson hardly looks surprised when I flash him after promising not to.

Barbara Bilyeu's lovely assemblage of biconoids and thunder eggs

A very cool native copper collection

One of my recent interests has been myrackite which received due honor in this year's show.

Wes Lingerfelt's display case centerpiece: a azurite-malachite fill sphere 

Cliff Brewen's display case centerpiece: a limestone pine cone cast from the Big Sur Coast.

Ralph Lawless honored us with his flint-knapping prowess a second day.

Austin Moore of Earth Art Gems & Jewelry 

Ernie Defever demonstrating his happy look 

The irrepressible Dale "The More You Buy The More You Save" Harwood 

A trio of SLOGMC ladies paying a visit ( Leslie Nelson and Lynette Bayless are right-most) 

Rockhound legend Ralph Bishop of the OMS opened up today and shared some of his knowledge.

The Santa Lucia Rockhound's Chris Driesbach's amazing petrified wood collection 

Chris's wood was found in concretions which he split and soaked in acid.

These specimens all came from "Secret Canyon" on the Gaviota Coast 

The "rock mafia dons" Don's Pierce and Huntington first place winning case in photos 

Each piece is a cut and polished slab piece of various stone types per each figurine. 

Dane Jensen and two of his daughters of which one, Karigan, won an award for her display case.


All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Be sure to check out Day One of the show if you haven't already right HERE

Saturday, September 17, 2011

20th Annual Rockhounds Roundup Rock Show

Day One of the Santa Lucia Rockhounds 20th Annual Rockhound's Roundup gem and mineral show in Paso Robles, CA, rocked and rolled at the Pioneer Museum and the adjacent Pioneer Park. The energy of the show has been good today from the start. The weather turned out to be perfect today as it was in the high 70's into the low 80's with fog most of the morning. Not only did the show receive a lot of visitors through the first half of the day but there seemed to be a good deal of interest in the club and new members will be joining after today. We hope and expect to see more of the same activity tomorrow. This evening at 6 PM we will host our barbecue dinner open to our members and dealers and anybody else who wishes to join us.

Front view of the Pioneer Museum today 

View from the corner of Riverside Avenue and 19th Street 

View from the Pioneer Park parking lot 

Member Sally Veder and Mary Caperone "womaning" their booth 

Dealer Ernie Defever is a member of the SVRGC

SLOGMC officer Mike Lyons visits dealer and LGMC member  Keith Olivas 

OMS Member Sharon Duncan visits our very own Kincy Scott 

Scary Gary From Tulare trying to look innocent in his booth with Mike Lyons 

Gary's wonderful wife Janice Stevens both of whom are members of the TGMC

Dale Harwood (left) doing his thing with "the more you buy the more you save" 

Dale's lovely sister Barb hanging out with us for the weekend 

Barb's wonderful canine child "Lancer Shake It Out Baby" or just "Shake"

Tom DeMaris of Junction City formerly of Kingsburg honors us with his presence in our show 

Joseph Rubio and his daughter hanging out in their Rubio's Gems booth 

Manuel and Dalia Hernandez of KMS giving me "the look" as always

Abalone King's Lu and Sandy Hernandez honoring us again with their presence 

Our very own Joyce Baird spelling Kincy Scott a break in their booth 

View from the park looking north at the museum 

Our silent auction table immediately outside the front doors of the museum 

Our hospitality booth just inside the front doors to the museum 

Show co-chair David Nelson doing his silver-smithing demonstration 

Our club's premier sphere-making member Cliff Brewen doing his thing.
Next to him to the left is  Hi-Desert Rockhounds member Roger  Thompson

Up and coming member Chris Driesbach's awesometacular regional and local petrified wood 

An amazing display of cut, carved and polished dinosaur bone creations made of various jaspers 

OMS member Jeannie Lingerfelt's incredibly beautiful wire-wrapped jewelry collection 

A wonderfully notable slap of petrified oak from Oregon in part of a display 

This is a really nice Fluorite mineral specimen display 

The Rock Mafia Dons Pierce and Huntington showing off their rock carved dino bone display 

Dan "The Man" Manion of the SLOGMS hanging out with us 

Esteemed members Cliff and Elethea Brewen in their booth 

Club treasurer Shasta Palmer "womaning" the booth she is sharing with Austin Moore.
Shasta and Austin are the two silversmiths for Earth Art Gems & Jewelry.

A westward view looking down the show's east-west axial run 

A southward view looking down the show's primary north-south run 

Esteemed member Craig Rambo manning our Santa Maria-style tri-tip barbecue station with help 

Esteemed member and master flint-knapper Ralph Lawless doing his thing 


All photos by Kim Patrick Noyes (all rights reserved)

Be sure to check out Day Two of the show if you haven't already right HERE