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Video - Mobile Phones Without Towers Coming Soon

The Sydney Morning Herald - September 1, 2011

A mobile phone communications system that doesn't need towers is being developed at Adelaide's Flinders University.

The Serval Project was inspired by the 2010 Haiti earthquake in which the phone network crashed as infrastructure went down.

Creator Paul Gardner-Stephen said the earthquake showed the lack of resilience in a communications system that relied on infrastructure.

"If the towers are knocked out, mobile phone handsets become useless lumps of plastic in our hands," he said.

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Improved Response to Disasters and Outbreaks by Tracking Population Movements with Mobile Phone Network Data: A Post-Earthquake Geospatial Study in Haiti

                      

Abstract

Background

Population movements following disasters can cause important increases in morbidity and mortality. Without knowledge of the locations of affected people, relief assistance is compromised. No rapid and accurate method exists to track population movements after disasters. We used position data of subscriber identity module (SIM) cards from the largest mobile phone company in Haiti (Digicel) to estimate the magnitude and trends of population movements following the Haiti 2010 earthquake and cholera outbreak.

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Cellphones Could Help Doctors Stay Ahead Of An Epidemic

submitted by Michael Kraft

by Christopher Joyce - npr.org - August 31, 2011

      

Two women check their cellphones as they hawk their wares on a bridge over the Artibonite River, whose waters are believed to be the source of Haiti's 2010 cholera outbreak.  Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

The year 2010 was a very bad one for Haiti. It started with an earthquake that killed over 300,000 people, mostly in the crowded capital of Port-au-Prince. After that, cholera originating in a U.N. camp broke out in a northern province and eventually spread to the city.

But public health researchers learned something useful from the tragedy: Cellphones can help stem an unfolding epidemic and funnel aid to the needy.

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The Economics of Rapidly Emerging Cities

As the human populations of our small planet exceeds 7 billion on its way potentially to 9 million or 10 billion by the mid-21st Century, migrations of millions are becoming common place -- some out of desperation, others out of seeking opportunity and a better life.  According to a large percentage of climatologists and other scientists that are studying global change, the social ecologies of many large cities will become non-viable for their human populations and many other species due to climate change, the drying up of water supplies, the lose of food sources, natural disasters, wars, and other factors.  In other cases, new cities of opportunity or attractive culture will draws those seeking a better life and way of being.  

Tens of millions, and perhaps hundreds of millions will be forced to leave their homes in search of more viable communities.  Millions more will create new communities with intentionality, exploring new economic, social, and political models that improve health, human security, resilience and sustainability for the new citizens.  In some cases, simple shared principles will shape new, fast growing economies, and, in other cases, rules and conditions will be imposed on inhabitants of new communities and cities.

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H5N1 - Possible Bird Flu Resurgence

crofsblogs.typepad.com - August 29, 2011

More on the mutant H5N1 strain

Thanks to Sari Setiogi for tweeting the link to this article in Kompas.com: Indonesia Facing Biggest Problems of Possible Bird Flu Resurgence. First an excerpt, then a comment:

The United Nations warned of a possible major resurgence of bird flu and said a mutant strain of the H5N1 virus was spreading in Asia and elsewhere. 

When Capitalism Converges With Resilience

It is hard to argue against that fact that the U.S. and even "Communist" China, for that matter, have great influence in global markets and on health and human security -- for their own people as well as human populations world-wide. The power of capital within global, regional, national, and local markets has been transforming the world since the growth of the industrial revolution, which has only accelerated since the broad introduction of global communication and computing in the 20th century. That said, there has been growing criticism of the destructive nature of market fundamentalism and laissez faire economics in the face of a growing awareness of ecosystem carrying capacities, and the problems inherent in growth economies in decline.  So what happens when capitalists become aware of the destructive nature of growth economies, where populations are exceeding the carrying capacities of ecosystems and mass consumption economies begin to collapse?

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Under NYC's Streets, Power Lines Stayed Safe

       

Photograph by Eduardo Munoz, Reuters

AP Business Writers - by Jonathan Fahey and Peter Svensson - August 28, 2011


NEW YORK (AP) -- Below the streets of New York City, a network of pipes, cables and tunnels up to 200 feet deep transports power, gas, water, Internet traffic, trains, sewage and more. When Hurricane Irene hit the city Sunday, this underground network was largely protected from major damage.

On the island of Manhattan, only a handful of its 1.6 million residents lost power. And roughly 50,000 households in the city's outer boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island lost power.

Elsewhere, Irene left millions of East Coast residents without power, as winds knocked trees into above-ground power lines.

But while the city's buried infrastructure is safe from wind, it is vulnerable to flooding. Some experts say the city simply got lucky that the flooding wasn't more severe. The subway system is especially at risk, which is why transportation officials preemptively shut it down.

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Grand Central Station NYC 27-28 August

Central Station NYC 8.27-28

PHOTO: Metropolitan Transportation Authority of the State of New York

Hurricane Irene Map & Visualization Resources

NEW YORK

New York City Hurricane Evacuation Zones Map   (Click on Map)

NYC Evacuation Zones Map

 

New York (Potential) Storm Surge Risk Map incidating 250,000 residents reside below storm surge level (Click on Map)

NY City Storm Surge Risk Map

The National Disaster Medical System and U.S. Public Health Service have been activated in anticipation of the need for medical teams and hospital evacuation support.

       

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

Public Health Emergency - Public Health and Medical Emergency Support for a Nation Prepared

Hurricane Irene 2011

August 27, 2011:  The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to provide public health and medical support to states along the east coast as Hurricane Irene makes landfall.

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