EPA Fracking Study To Focus On 5 States, But Not Wyoming

The Huffington Post - June 26, 2011

by ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten

The Environmental Protection Agency will focus its national study of hydraulic fracturing on seven areas in five states, but will exclude the two Wyoming gas fields where agency researchers have already collected some of the most in-depth data on drilling's environmental impacts.

The study – which was announced last March, without specifics on research sites – will investigate alleged water contamination from drilling in five areas in Texas, Colorado, North Dakota and Pennsylvania. It also will encompass cradle-to-grave research projects in Pennsylvania and Louisiana, where the agency will track drilling's effects on water quality from before the drill bit hits the ground to after hydraulic fracturing has been performed.

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Why a Hyper-Personalized Web is Bad for You (Q&A)

submitted by Joyce Fedeczko

CNET News - May 17, 2011

We all like having things tailored to our specific needs and interests. But Eli Pariser thinks we should beware of the substantial risks inherent in the increasing personalization of the Internet.

Better known (so far) as the executive director of the progressive political action committee MoveOn.org, Eli Pariser is making noise these days as the author of "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You." His new book, which was released yesterday, argues that the latest tools being implemented by the likes of Google and Facebook for making our Internet experiences as individual as possible are taking us down some very unsavory paths.

First, of course, Pariser explains the dynamic we all face online today: that no two people's Web searches, even on the same topics, return the same results. That's because search engines and other sites are basing what they send back on our previous searches, the sites we visit, ads we click on, preferences we indicate, and much more. Not to mention the fact that we are more and more shielded from viewpoints counter to our own.

Week's Quote by Michael Chertoff: On the Importance of Open Source Data


"When you're dealing with a large social phenomenon, there is a huge 
amount of open-source data out there. If you can marry that together 
with sophisticated analytic tools and subject matter expertise, you can 
see a lot about trends and things that are developing that you're not 
going to get in an intelligence report."


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The Nation: Russia's Federal Atomic Energy Agency Claims a Near Catastrophic Meltdown of the Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Plant in Nebraska

 This unusual story from Pakistan's "The Nation" claims that there has been a cover up of a near catastrophic meltdown for the Fort Calhoun nuclear power plant near Omaha, Nebraska.  Evidence from the nuclear power plant and U.S. regulators indicate that the Pakistani story and Russian claims are significantly over-reaching.  The flooding that caused a Fukushima reactor 4-like spent fuel rod cooling pond interruption of power led to a 90 minute interruption of power, but the temperature of the cooling pond and the water coverage of the spent fuel rods did not approach circumstances that would cause a meltdown, according to U.S. officials. 

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Vermont Resilience Serious Game Simulation

U.N./Brookings Meeting: Good Practices for Humanitarian Response in Complex Security Environments

To Stay and Deliver: Good Practice for Humanitarians in Complex Security Environments Tuesday, June 21, 2011, 9:00 am - 10:30 am The Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave, NW, Washington, DC Humanitarian assistance providers have always acknowledged the risks inherent to their line of work, yet recent statistics demonstrate that this is a particularly hazardous time to be an aid worker. Within the past decade, casualty rates have tripled, reaching above 100 deaths per year. Since 2005, hundreds of major attacks have been reported on aid workers in Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia and other countries, prompting aid agencies to limit their presence in areas where assistance may be most needed. In response to the growing tension between maintaining humanitarian access and ensuring humanitarians' safety, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has documented strategies and practices for upholding effective operations in high security risk contexts. On June 21, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement will host the launch of the OCHA- commissioned study, "To Stay and Deliver: Good Practice for Humanitarians in Complex Security Environments," with a discussion exploring risk management strategies to protect humanitarian operations and personnel.

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DOE Meeting: Lessons Learned from Japan Event

FYI: Website regarding DOE meeting last week on lessons learned from
Japan event as they apply to DOE facilities.

On June 6-7, 2011, the Department of Energy (DOE), Health, Safety and
Security (HSS) Office held a nuclear safety workshop on the preliminary
lessons learned from the Fukushima Daiichi event for the DOE nuclear
enterprise.  The workshop was held at the Crystal City Marriott in

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FEMA: Whole Society Initiative and Community Resilience

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The mission of the FEMA Whole Society Initiative and Community Resilience working group is to explore the best practices for engaging whole society initiative in mega-disasters.

Failed States Index 2011 Launch Event: National Press Club on June 29


oin The Fund for Peace (FfP) and BENS for the launch of this year’s Failed States Index (FSI).  The FSI is a leading index that annually highlights current trends in social, economic and political pressures that affect all states, but can strain some beyond their capacity to cope.  Apart from the impact on their people, fragile and failed states present the international community with a variety of challenges. In today's world, with its globalized economy, information systems and security challenges, pressures on one fragile state can have serious repercussions not only for that state and its people, but also for its neighbors and other states halfway across the globe.

The Launch event will include:

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New smartphone app reduces information overload

Published 14 June 2011 
Researchers have developed a new smartphone application to avoid information overload by processing large quantities of data in real time and presenting it in user friendly clusters; the software is the first to allow a user to make real time adjustments to how information is displayed on a phone as it is acutely "aware" of how cluttered the screen is; the new application can be used in a wide array of instances including natural disasters, monitoring multiple hospital patient's heart levels, and mapping the locations of first responders deployed during an emergency

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Interim Resilience Report

In response to the recent disasters in the U.S. and Japan and the release of Presidential Policy Directive-8: National Preparedness, the George Washington University Homeland Security Policy Institute (HSPI) today released the Interim Report of its Preparedness, Response, and Resilience Task Force.  The report urges policymakers to develop a shared-and actionable-vision of resilience.


Video - NLE 11 DHS FEMA New Madrid Fault Earthquake "History"

The DHS, FEMA, and US Army Corps of Engineers is "celebrating" the 100 year "anniversary" of the 1811 New Madrid Fault Earthquake.


This video is from the US Army Corps, DHS, and FEMA.

NYC Mayor Bloomberg, FEMA, FCC Detail NYC Emergency Notification System

From Wired

   * By Sam Gustin Email Author
   * May 10, 2011  |
   * 4:39 pm
NEW YORK — Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled the nation’s first comprehensive, geographically targeted emergency notification system for cellphones on Tuesday, declaring the launch to be a “quantum leap forward in using technology to help keep people safe.”

Flanked by federal officials, members of New York’s congressional delegation, the city’s top law-enforcement officials, and top executives from the nation’s largest wireless companies, Bloomberg detailed the Personal Localized Alerting Network (PLAN) ata press conference overlooking ground zero of the 9/11 attacks nearly a decade ago.

PLAN is a free service that will send geographically-targeted, emergency text alerts to enabled mobile devices, alerting citizens of “imminent threats to safety” in their area. The service will be rolled out in New York City by the end of 2011 — at least two quarters, the Mayor emphasized, before the rest of the nation.

Human Security Index for the U.S. Published

A paper introducing the Human Security Index for the USA has been published by IEEE Earthzine:

For those who might be curious about the global HSI, about 1/5 of the way through that paper is a short note on the global HSI.  In the 2nd paragraph of that section is a hyperlink to "global HSI version 2" which goes to a page hosting data, sample maps, and an evolving documentation note on the global HSI.

US map

US Map

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