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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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 - August 29, 2011

More on the mutant H5N1 strain

Thanks to Sari Setiogi for tweeting the link to this article in 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 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.

US Northeast Megacity (in the path of Hurricane Irene)

Megacity region US Northeast

US Northeast Megacity population map displayed by census block data.

New York Times interactive Map of Hurricane Irene's path (Click on image)

NOTE: as of Saturday afternoon, state and utility reports from North Carolina and Virgina report 1 million power customers were without electricity.

State-by-State Developments Related to Hurricane Irene

CNN - August 26, 2011 - 8:44 p.m. EDT

(CNN) -- On Friday, President Barack Obama said of Hurricane Irene that "all indications point to this being a historic hurricane."

Numerous local, state and federal agencies, among other organizations, have taken steps in preparation. Here are some of those measures, for states most affected by Hurricane Irene:


Irene was off the South Carolina coast on Friday, with its outer bands bringing gusty winds, heavy rain and dangerous surf.

No evacuations were ordered, as the storm path appears to be too far east to present serious problems. However, state emergency officials were monitoring Irene and have contingency plans. The state emergency management agency is using its website, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to keep the public informed.


Hurricane Irene is expected to make its first contact with the U.S. mainland on Saturday morning near Beaufort, according to CNN meteorologist Sean Morris.

Hurricane Irene Moves North, FEMA Sets Expectations

The Washington Post - August 25, 2011


Hurricane Irene appears headed towards the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions this weekend — areas that haven’t endured tropical storm-force winds and rain in years.

And the Federal Emergency Management Agency, panned by Southerners almost six years ago for its inept response to Hurricane Katrina, is reminding Americans up north that they should turn first to local and state authorities in advance of the storm.

“If the public’s seeing FEMA, it’s most likely if we’ve had impacts and we have requests for assistance,” the agency’s administrator, Craig Fugate , told reporters Thursday. “Otherwise, we’re doing things to get ready, but we’re not getting in front of the governor’s teams, we’re there to support them.”

NOAA - Hurricane Irene - Latest Advisory from National Weather Service

Hurricane Irene - Resources for Preparedness and Recovery


(Additional Resources are available by clicking on "Read more" at the bottom of this post.  This list will be updated periodically.)

Citizen Command Center Relief Database (Searchable by State)

NOAA - National Weather Service - Graphical Hurricane Local Statements

NOAA - National Weather Service - Hurricane Local Statements (that have been released within the last 12 hours)

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services - Public Health Emergency - Hurricane Irene: Northeast

NOAA - Tides Online - High Water Condition - Hurricane Irene

Links - Hurricane Irene Storm Surge Probabilities

by Dr. Jeff Masters - - August 25, 2011

ESRI Interactive Map - Social Media Feeds, Storm Projected Path, Precipitation, Storm Surge


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