Tuesday, April 28, 2009

More than a feeling

Kirk rehearses his part outside the studio...

...and then inside the studio...

...and then it's time for a break.

It may not seem like it, but we're an incredibly productive group of artists tm .

Friday, April 24, 2009


Anyone have photos of our Crocodile show they wanna post, er...
I'm looking at you johnemofunk and vic2. I know you were there!

Put them in our photo hole!

[confidential to moxie: you're off the hook for this. good job.]

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Sun: Bringer of Life and Destroyer of Civilization

You travel west. Maybe it's because of rumors of gold, or cheap land, or just an escape from the crowded East. You reach the pacific ocean and it seems you've come as far west as you can. Any further west and you've arrived in the far east. The only thing more west is the setting sun, bringer of warmth and life.

It's the early morning of September 1st, 1859. The gold miners around San Fransisco can feel the early light through their tents and begin to prepare breakfast, already thinking of where to pick up from yesterday's digging. But something isn't right. It's too early for the sun to be up. The light in fact comes from an extremely bright aurora -- never seen this far south before. Most of the men have no idea what it is. Suddenly all the telegraph machines on the planet simultaneously fail. The world's electrical systems (still in their infancy) have been knocked out by the Carrington Event, set of powerful solar storms -- a coronal mass ejection caused by a giant sun flare.

According to a recently released NASA report, a sun storm of this magnitude happening today would destroy much of the world's power grids. Western civilization comes to a screeching halt.

From The New Scientist:
First to go - immediately for some people - is drinkable water. Anyone living in a high-rise apartment, where water has to be pumped to reach them, would be cut off straight away. For the rest, drinking water will still come through the taps for maybe half a day. With no electricity to pump water from reservoirs, there is no more after that.

There is simply no electrically powered transport: no trains, underground or overground. Our just-in-time culture for delivery networks may represent the pinnacle of efficiency, but it means that supermarket shelves would empty very quickly - delivery trucks could only keep running until their tanks ran out of fuel, and there is no electricity to pump any more from the underground tanks at filling stations.

Back-up generators would run at pivotal sites - but only until their fuel ran out. For hospitals, that would mean about 72 hours of running a bare-bones, essential care only, service. After that, no more modern healthcare.

The truly shocking finding is that this whole situation would not improve for months, maybe years: melted transformer hubs cannot be repaired, only replaced. "From the surveys I've done, you might have a few spare transformers around, but installing a new one takes a well-trained crew a week or more," says Kappenman. "A major electrical utility might have one suitably trained crew, maybe two."

Within a month, then, the handful of spare transformers would be used up. The rest will have to be built to order, something that can take up to 12 months.

Even when some systems are capable of receiving power again, there is no guarantee there will be any to deliver. Almost all natural gas and fuel pipelines require electricity to operate. Coal-fired power stations usually keep reserves to last 30 days, but with no transport systems running to bring more fuel, there will be no electricity in the second month.

Nuclear power stations wouldn't fare much better. They are programmed to shut down in the event of serious grid problems and are not allowed to restart until the power grid is up and running.

With no power for heating, cooling or refrigeration systems, people could begin to die within days. There is immediate danger for those who rely on medication. Lose power to New Jersey, for instance, and you have lost a major centre of production of pharmaceuticals for the entire US. Perishable medications such as insulin will soon be in short supply. "In the US alone there are a million people with diabetes," Kappenman says. "Shut down production, distribution and storage and you put all those lives at risk in very short order."

The NAS puts the recovery time at four to 10 years. It is questionable whether the US would ever bounce back.

The sun's storm activity comes and goes in roughly 11-year cycles. It's quiet now. The next peak of solar activity comes in 2012.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

Friday, April 3, 2009

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Uneasy Heavens Await Those Fleeing:

A somewhat secret show tonight at 7pm, open to the public, only $5, and featuring:
  • new music from John Osebold, John Ackermann, Rick Miller, Marimba-ist Erin Jorgensen, Sunday Services, Brangien Davis and Daniel Spils;
  • a music video piece from Sean Nelson;
  • dance pieces by Amy O'Neal, Mark Haim, and Zoe Scofield;
  • readings by Rebecca Brown, Trisha Ready, John Olsen , Matt Briggs, Jennifer Borges Foster, Karen Finnyfrock and more;
  • visual art by Ben Beres, Jed Dunkerley, Counsel Langley, Elizabeth Bisegna Gaston, and too many others to name;
  • plus a performance by me that I'm not quite sure how to classify.

The space is directly above the Theatre Off Jackson in the International District: 409 7th Ave S.
doors open 6:30.