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Posts Tagged ‘Forest Fires

Out of harm’s way?…

The online real-estate service Trulia has crunched federal-disaster data to create a series of local maps and a collection of national maps showing the worst cities to live in for weatherphobes and quake-haters – stay out of California metropolises if you fear having your home burnt down, for instance, and Oklahoma City is a terrible place to hunker if you don’t want EF-4 twisters knocking at your door. The Trulia team warns:

Most metros were high risk for at least one of the five natural disasters [hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, forest fires and earthquakes], even though no metro area is high risk for everything. Earthquakes and wildfires tend to go hand-in-hand, with California and other parts of the West at high risk for both. Hurricanes and flooding also tend to strike the same places, particularly in Florida and along the Gulf Coast. Tornadoes affect much of the south-central U.S. What parts of the country are left? Not the Northeast coastal cities, which – as we all know after Hurricane Sandy – face hurricane and flood risk. Instead, the metros at medium-to-low risk for all five disasters span Ohio (Cleveland, Akron, and Dayton), upstate New York (Syracuse and Buffalo), and other parts of the Northeast and Midwest, away from the coasts…

Where should one head to avoid the next great storm? Here are the top 10 large housing markets in America that are most removed from “nature’s wrath,” according to the company’s risk assessment (the prices refer to the average home-asking price per square foot):

  1. Syracuse, New York* ($89)
  2. Cleveland ($80)
  3. Akron, Ohio ($81)
  4. Buffalo ($93)
  5. Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, Maryland ($174)
  6. Dayton, Ohio ($72)
  7. Allentown, Pennsylvania-New Jersey ($109)
  8. Chicago ($113)
  9. Denver ($129)
  10. Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, Michigan ($94)

* Syracuse: Trulia says the “data on flood risk, which comes from the Federal Emergency Management Agency [FEMA], is incomplete for Syracuse and for several other metros not on the ten lower-risk list.”

Read the whole story at “These U.S. Cities Are the Safest Refuges From Natural Disasters“; and explore the Trulia maps here.

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As we dream of Oz, we might recall that it was on this date in 1834 that Mt. Vesuvius erupted. Again.

Vesuvius famously erupted in 79 CE, destroying Pompeii and Herculaneum; but the volcano had erupted many times before, and has again, many times since.

The last major eruption was in March 1944. It destroyed the villages of San Sebastiano al Vesuvio, Massa di Somma, Ottaviano, and part of San Giorgio a Cremano.  At the time of the eruption, the United States Army Air Forces 340th Bombardment Group was based at Pompeii Airfield near Terzigno, Italy, just a few kilometers from the eastern base of the mountain. Tephra (rock fragments ejected by the eruption) and hot ash damaged the fuselages, the engines, the Plexiglas windshields, and the gun turrets of the 340th’s B-25 Mitchell bombers; estimates were that 78 to 88 aircraft were completely destroyed.

Vesuvius from Portici by Joseph Wright of Derby

source

Written by LW

August 18, 2013 at 1:01 am

Life begins at 65 (or so)…

Meet Ted Wilson.

I’m an artist, musician and good friend and widower. I started drawing at a young age because my dad did it and I got really good. All the other kids in school always liked my drawings of Dick Tracy and Krazy Kat, so I stuck with it. When I was 15 I got a job as a ghost artist for the syndicated strip “Kingsley Masterson and his Pirateens.” Then, after high school I started my own strip called “Jungle Hustle”. I plan to put some pictures of it up here some time soon.

I gave up being an artist when I met my now deceased wife Rosie because she thought it was childish. Instead, I got a job as an accountant and worked for over 40 years at Rockville Insura-best, Inc. I retired soon after Rosie died because i didn’t need as much money anymore.

Now I’m a musician in a fun band called the Ryan Montbleau Band.

Ted is also a journalist, a reviewer of…  well, everything.

In each week’s edition of The Rumpus (an online zine your correspondent heartily recommends), Ted tackles an aspect of existence…  This week, he gave 3 out of 5 stars to “Forest Fires.”

… There are benefits to forest fires even to those not responsible. For instance, a recently contained forest fire is a great source of freshly cooked meat. Free meat is important in today’s economic climate. Not only can one find all the regular woodland creatures, but there is also the possibility for less legal and culturally unacceptable meats. I like to keep a picnic set in the trunk of my car, ready at a moment’s notice.

On the downside, the loss of all those trees might mean hundreds of pieces of Ikea furniture the world will never be able to assemble and enjoy temporarily before discarding on a sidewalk or giving away through Craigslist to someone else who will eventually discard it on a sidewalk.

It’s also a sad time for people who live near the fire and are forced to evacuate their homes. But at least it causes them to really evaluate what’s important in their lives by reducing their belongings to the essentials. It’s a great way to purge.

While forest fires can be bad, they’re not nearly the dire experiences Smokey the Bear makes them out to be.

Next week he’ll be reviewing Garth Brooks.

And while at The Rumpus, Dear Readers, do check out the resident cartoonists, among them the delightful Lucas Adams

As we look again at the elderly gentleman in the seat next to ours, we might recall that it was on this date in 1829 that the first Boat Race between the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge was rowed. (Oxford won).

The tradition began with two friends: Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge, and his Harrow schoolfriend Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet William Wordsworth), who was at Oxford.  Merivale and Cambridge sent a challenge to Oxford –and so the practice was born which has continued to the present day, by which the loser of the previous year’s race challenges the opposition to a re-match.

The first Boat Race took place at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire; contemporary newspapers report that a crowd of twenty thousand traveled to watch.  Shortly thereafter, the race was moved to Putney, where it has become an annual tradition.  But the first fixture was such a resounding success that the people of Henley later decided to organize a regatta of their own, the event now known as the Henley Royal Regatta.

The Boat Race

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