Sunday, November 19, 2006

THOUGHT - Let's Nuke DC

So my little "let's nuke DC" project is turning up some interesting results... basically, a relatively "small" nuclear weapon in DC would require the evacuation of nearly the entire east coast. The attached images show the extent of the damage:

I modeled a larger peacemaker-sized nuke and it basically said that pretty much everyone between Baltimore and Washington is dustbound; and all you kids sitting happily in PA and NJ are going to get one hell of a tan. With the larger nuke, it even forces the evacuation of Boston. Dagnabit, that surprised me... that's the entire northeast that all of a sudden becomes Appalachian-bound. Crikey.

Good news: dirty bombs do absolutely nothing. The area of impact for a dirty bomb is just a couple dozen meters (a bit moreso if you're downwind) and the fallout is easily contained by buildings and terrain. The only real impact is the panic that everyone will go through, even though there really isn't much reason. Changing your clothes and taking a shower gets rid of most contamination; and hopping in your car is probably a dumber move than staying in your house. There's also the cost of cleaning up of a few city blocks, but in the long-run that's really not so bad. I'd be more afraid of the crazy panicking nut-job in the SUV than radiation. ...and for that matter, this area is full of crazy nut-jobs in SUVs everyday, anyway.

...Oh and in case DHS stumbles upon my "let's nuke DC" catchphrase and ponders dispatching agents the whole mile or so to visit my apartment, I should probably point out that this is for my transportation class at school. I can't even figure out how to turn on a microwave.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

USA, DC - Of Police Chases and Dog Chases

Today I traversed through four states and the District. I suppose it could be said that I traversed nearly 10% of the United States of America. Also, I was (momentarily) involved in a police chase this morning. Um... no, that's not really related to my driving all over the place; and it's not related to my dog story. Dog story, you ask? OK, I'll tell you. Mind you, it's not really that interesting... but alas, it is...


Approximately thirty minutes were spent tracking a dog through the woods until the animal control guys found me. I was out in the field coming up MD 210 when I came upon a big Saint Bernard slowly ambling across the arterial highway. I slammed on my brakes and thankfully so did everyone else beside and behind me.

The red truck to my left did everyone and the dog an extremely helpful service, as the driver -- in a moment of courtesy, generosity, and all-around friendliness -- decided to honk his horn at the dog. The dog stopped... slowly turned its head back at the truck... and then a couple seconds later kept on trotting along.

The dog looked pretty old and not in the best of shape; and considering that I was in my field gear and the dog was sauntering about a State highway: clearly it was my authority to get involved. So I pulled over to the shoulder whilst the dog continued its slow walk across the highway. I stepped out of my car, reached into the back seat, and unsheathed my machete. It didn't quite occur to me that this may give the wrong impression to the motorists nearby...

I tracked the dog into the woods and called Animal Control; and they arrived in about 5 minutes -- pretty good considering I was out in the middle of nowhere. I'm thinking that the machete may have helped send a couple people reaching for their mobiles.

...I think there was some other stuff today, but meh no one needs to read about that; and frankly my memory is not good enough to remember it all.