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If my father was an earthquake, my mama was a hurricane

Posted in Natural Disasters, Popular Culture on April 14, 2010 by coolaccordionest

This week I wanted to stray from my creative writing stories and change my blog post up to flood our class with videos, blogs and links to things on natural disasters and pop culture.  One thing that really interested me about this class was seeing how apocalyptic and environmental issues are shown to us today. I wanted to get down to the basics for my research so of course I choose Google. I mean, what does every average American do when they want to know the answer to something or want to learn more about something?  As quickly as they can, they type whatever they’re searching for in some search engine.  So with the whole internet in front of me, I typed in “Natural Disasters and pop culture.”

This past year has been full of natural disasters from the Haiti earthquake to the less known flooding of Cusco, Peru and to the earthquakes and tsunamis of Chile.  When huge environmental crisis’s hit,  it seems like the whole world get’s involved.  An example of this is the earthquake in Haiti.  Everyone from the Red Cross to celebrities did everything they could to do their part. I mean, who knew that Shakira was a saint for finding time in her busy schedule to help rebuild schools in Haiti?  I sure didn’t until I googled natural disasters. 🙂 Even celebrities got together to remake the song “We Are the World” to get the word out Haiti (as well as to honor the late M.J.).

Our culture is in awe of anything that has to do with natural disasters.  I mean, look at this huge list of movies on disasters: LIST!
We could watch endless trailers on movies or hear a whole slew of songs about them.  I mean, remember just a couple years back when all the musicians got together to play at Live Earth — getting the word out about how to save the planet?

So now that I’ve bombarded our class with links and videos, what do you think this does for the average American? Do you think we’re better or worse off with all this information just floating around through the interwebs?

Although I already posted this song for the dust bowl, I thought it fit in really well with the category of Natural Disasters.

Also, here’s the link to the trailer Soylent Green.  I came upon it looking for documentaries on PBS. Apparently, turning people into crackers could be a possibility if resources really ran out. 🙂  []


The Voice’s View

Posted in Popular Culture, Post-Apocalypse on March 31, 2010 by coolaccordionest

Josh’s heart seemed to beat out of his chest.  For months he had figured he was the only one alive in this godforsaken city, possibly the only one in the country or the world.  Now though, he had been proven wrong as he found himself standing in the dark with a girl pointing a gun at him.  Her dog was near, the fur on its back standing straight up.  She walked closer to him, her flashlight in his eyes.

“It’s okay.  I promise.  No need to shoot,” he said as calmly as possible attempting to block the extreme shine of the flashlight.

“How do I know that?  I have no idea who you are.”  She tilted the flashlight down.  From here he could get an outline of her and some details:  medium height, athletic figure, dark cherry red hair.  The song “Apocalyptic Love Song” by The Pop Culture Suicides starting playing in his head at the sight of her. God, how could he get so lucky?  The only other person on this planet and it turns out she’s an incredibly hot girl who knows how to use a gun?  Life doesn’t seem so bad anymore.

“I’m Josh, Josh Kane.  I’ve been living in this building since, well since everything happened.  Who are you?”

“Remy, this is my dog Ruby.  We live in a flat about an hour away in the city…” Josh stopped her.

“Woah, woah, woah…. In the city?  Are you insane?! Don’t you understand the dangers of living in the city?  I mean, the left over pesticides and toxins from the final cloud and the creatures from all the government experiments, just to name a few things.”  Remy glared at him.

“You’re going to lecture me on the city why you live her in the forest?  I don’t think you understand how dangerous it is to live out here.  I basically had to gear up for war just to walk out here.”  She shook her head as Ruby growled.

“Why do you live out there anyways?  What’s the point of risking your life so much?”  He looked at her as she held her breath.  Slowly exhaling, she started to speak.

“I live there because my mother prepared it for me.  When the cloud was coming she was incredibly sick and ended up dying while it passed over head.  Before she passed, she had created what she called a ‘safe spot’ so if anything happened, I would be okay and have a place to live.  That’s how I got the flat.  It’s equipped with everything I need and Ruby and I are comfortable and safe there every day and night.  Why’d you lock yourself up in here?”  Josh just stared at her for a second.  Add tough to the hotness factor, he thought.

“I had family working in the building and before the huge cloud came I was visiting them.  You must know they have a huge kitchen in this building right?”  She shook her head yes.

“Well, I thought it would be a good idea to hide inside the fridge when the cloud was overhead why everyone panicked and got in their cars or hid in open areas.  In the end, I was the only one who survived. Granted, it was really cold but I managed.  I’m one of those strange folks who wears hoodies in the middle of summer.”   He laughed watching Remy smile.  Glad she thought he was somewhat amusing.

“So… do you just plan to continually point that gun at me and have your dog growl at me?  I mean, that’s fine if you want but I could give you a tour and hook you up with some more supplies.”  He pointed at her.

“Oh right,” she said stumbling over her words.  “That would be great.  I’m sorry.  You don’t seem too deadly, at least for now.  I’ll follow.”  Josh nodded and turned around making his way towards “his place.”  He couldn’t wait to see the look on her face when she saw how he had hooked himself up in this building.  Not only did he have the whole place to himself, but he had the best room with the best view.  Not many people realized that the building was sitting on the edge of a cliff out looking the only oasis of Waverly.  He kept his hand on the string attached to the wall to find his way back to his room.

He smiled hearing Remy and her dogs’ footsteps following him.  It had been too long since basic human contact, let alone any contact with a very beautiful woman.  His guy thoughts were hoping that she needed to get her emotional stress out on him in a physical way.  He wouldn’t mind.  But for now, he would have to act somewhat normal because he would hate to lose his one connection to the human species.

“It’s just around this corner.  I think you’ll really like it.”  She mumbled yes and continued to follow.  “And here it is.”  He unlocked the door and swung it open.

The Toxic Avenger

Posted in Environmental Security, Nuclear Apocalypse, Popular Culture, Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized on March 24, 2010 by coolaccordionest

“Hurry up, Ruby. Come on, girl.”  Remy looked back at her chocolate lab wagging her tail behind her.  The red suns’ rays beamed down on both of them as they trotted their way towards the forest.  It seemed hotter than normal this morning.  Remy looked down at her iWatch, only 114 degrees.  She wondered why she felt like it was out of the usual.  It could have something to do with the massive amount of supplies she was carrying for those “just in case” moments.  Today she planned on walking towards the government building for more supplies and to snoop through their files.  It wasn’t if anyone was there to stop her.

The walk to the building was simple if you could easily find the pathway.  Even though the droughts had come and the people had vanished, the land had started to rebuild itself.  Certain areas of the Waverly city had become densely populated with huge forests. A small stone pathway made its way from the main city to the forest.  Once you got there a small path was barely recognizable.  Remy knew she had to be careful do to creatures created a decade ago.

Before Remy’s mother Susan passed away, she had informed Remy of the government’s undercover plan to alter animals with toxic waste. The toxic waste used was left over and created from the decades when humans still believed it wasn’t completely harmful.  People had always laughed at the stereotypical ideas of two-headed cows, things like “the flukeman” from the x-files, villains such The Joker and heroes like the Toxic Avenger, but now the government’s undercover chemists and biologists where making it a reality.

In 2019, a group named SCAMM (Scientists Creating Advanced Mutated Mammals) started working on a program called Project Skyscraper.  Their idea was to use toxic waste in certain doses to mutate mammals creating a race of super species making them potentially faster, stronger, and generally better than before.  This project started off using mice and rabbits, testing them in minute doses.  At first the changes were barely recognizable.  The rabbits could hop a little bit faster and the mice could carry heavier loads.  The scientists started to get impatient with their project therefore testing bigger animals like dogs and cats on much higher doses.  Not only did the animals become incredible strong and fast but their senses also drastically increased.

After finding this out, the next step for the scientists was to start human testing.  They figured that humans would have the same results as animals but they were wrong.  The first tests in low doses worked out fine, increasing health and wellness.  The scientists had the idea of turning these “doses” into pills to sell to the general audience. The pill was labeled Zoodacliftin (zoe-da-cliff-tine) and was sold for $300 for a bottle of 20.  The idea was to take one pill a day but as humans are, they started to over dose on the pills.  The effects became the opposite.  Everyone over dosing would get weaker and weaker, their senses going out of wack.  Quite a few people became blind, stopped hearing and smelling and even some lost the ability to talk.  When the people started to take a stand against the government, the government blamed the pharmacist saying it was wr0ng and unmoral of them to try and play God.  This brought up an upraise.  Not only were people dying of the drug, but now the war it caused.

Ruby barked towards Remy.  “Hold on, I’m coming, I’m coming….” She looked through the last bit of trees. Sure enough, Ruby had informed her that she was there.  The sign above the door read “Waverly Government Building.”  Remy opened up the door which let out a huge creak.  She slipped inside shutting it fast after Ruby entered.

Pat pat pat pat.

Remy turned quickly, hearing a set of footsteps.  Ruby growled at the darkness.   “Ssshhhh girl!” she whispered.  She brought out her gun and flashlight, pointing both in the opposite direction. The outline of a man turned towards her.

“Hello?” the voice in the darkness called.

Radiation Poisoning Killed Spy Article

Posted in Uncategorized on March 11, 2010 by coolaccordionest

Here it is!

I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm

Posted in Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Apocalypse, Popular Culture, Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear on March 9, 2010 by coolaccordionest

June 2031

Remy’s iWatch buzzed causing her to open her eyes to the blistering sun.  Falling asleep under the old gazebo wasn’t the smartest idea due to the dangers of the creatures and the weather.  Then again, neither was living alone.  Granted, that wasn’t much of a choice these days in the first place.

She picked up her backpack, making her way towards the flat.  Walking slowly, she thought back on her dream.  These days it was the same thoughts playing over and over.  The memory of when the global crisis warnings where just warnings and not reality, right before they really started to kick into effect.

The droughts, dust storms, and sweltering heat caused by global warming had been the start of it.  In school, she had learned about the Dust Bowl in the 1930’s but by the time the modern day dust bowl set in, no one could take anything from history.  It was already too late.  Overpopulation started to really effect the world causing famine, even worse pollution and very little pure drinking water.  Mankind continued to break the world with its nuclear waste and genetically modified organisms.  The question then became how long could we play God?  Now the Earth was rebelling against its people and there was nothing they could do to stop it.

Remy remembered her mother talking about the environmental protests to save the Earth before it was too late.  The main thought was it was a government hoax to keep people in line.  Even celebrities who promoted the cause couldn’t help.  People were too stubborn and it was them and only them that could have prevented the mess Remy still found herself in.

Remy opened the door to her flat, walking into the biohazard arctic entryway.  She took off her clothes leaving them wash bin and hopped in the shower.  Because of the massive amount of pollutants in the air, she had to be careful to keep her apartment clean and free from anything that might make her sick.  She had to stay here to take care of Ruby, her chocolate lab, and see how the world would end up.

Remy dried off, put on clean clothes and entered the flat.

“Hey Ruby.  How’s my girl?”  Ruby’s soft coat rubbed again her hand.  “I should have let you go with me.  You could have kept me from falling asleep. That could have been really bad.”  Ruby’s sorrowful eyes replied back to Remy with a yes.  The lab was her only companion and sometimes the only thing that kept her sane.

“Let’s get us some food and update our Facebook status…. Not like there’s really anyone who cares to know.”  Ruby barked.  “I know, terrible joke.  I’m trying to stay positive.”

She walked to the kitchen looking in the pantry for something other than Spam.  When they said that food would last a nuclear fallout, they weren’t lying.  Looking down at her iWatch, she scrolled through the music selection.  Just like Billie Holiday, she had her love to keep her warm for a long time.

EcoCollapse is a Social Crisis: The Dust Bowl

Posted in Climate Change, Natural Disasters, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized with tags , on February 24, 2010 by coolaccordionest

How to explain a place where black dirt fell from the sky, where children died from playing outdoors, where rabbits were clubbed to death by adrenaline-primed nesters still wearing their Sunday-school clothes, where grasshoppers descended on weakened fields and ate everything but doorknobs?  How to explain a place where hollow-bellied horses chewed on fence posts, where static electricity made it painful to shake another man’s hand, where the only thing growing that a human or a cow could eat was an unwelcome foreigner, the Russian thistle? How to explain fifty thousand or more houses abandoned throughout the Great Plains, never to hear a child’s laugh or a woman’s song inside their walls? How to explain nine million acres of farmland without a master? America was passing this land by. Its day was done.

–  pages 305 and 306, The Word Hard Time by Timothy Egan

Photos of the Dust Bowl

1st Interview with Tim Egan on Dialogue: The Worst Hard Time

Watch Surviving the Dust Bowl: The American Experience , a PBS Documentary

Surviving the Dust Bowl is the remarkable story of the determined people who clung to their homes and way of life, enduring drought, dust, disease—even death—for nearly a decade. Less well-known than those who sought refuge in California, typified by the Joad family in John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes of Wrath,” the Dust Bowlers who stayed overcame an almost unbelievable series of calamities and disasters.

“Only one-quarter of the Dust Bowlers fled to California—most stayed, persevering through ten grueling years,” says producer Chana Gazit.  “I was intrigued by their stories—their stamina and resilience to battle through frighteningly powerful, devastating wind and dust storms.”

Rain: A Dust Bowl Story
Since our class is a English class, Doc. Ray showed me this great website that has poetry about the Dust Bowl.
“Enter the world of a small fictional community that puts a human face on the greatest economic disaster and the greatest environmental disaster of  our history.”

Blame the Government: The Dust Bowl is Man Made

Apocalyptic Living Today

On September 23, 2009, Sydneysiders woke up Wednesday to a confusing orange haze that turned out to be one of the worst dust storms on record, grounding flights and causing all kinds of chaos, wonder and amazement.   Dust Storms In Australia

Is this a picture of what is going to happen with global warming and over-using the land?

Food, Inc.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on February 18, 2010 by coolaccordionest

This movie will make you change the way you think about food.  It covers everything from organic farms versus big corporations farms to GMOs.  After watching it, my family made the decision to only eat organic, especially when it comes to meat.  Check it out, it’s worth the rent.  The Food, Inc. Movie Website.

Here’s a clip from the movie.