Thursday, September 22, 2005

DAILY MUESLI: Fateful Trip to Weehawken Averted, But What About Hurricane Rita?

Good morning. The great battle over a minor correction in The Hill has concluded. A duel on the heights of the Hudson River's Palisades has been thankfully avoided. Two-party talks in Seoul have resolved the situation of which I've been writing about the past few days. (We fortunately kept Kim Jong Il's representatives out of the negotiations.**) The lesson here is that the squeaky wheel gets the grease. And fighting for one's online record is important. Google, after all, (like Hadrian) will control everything in the known world someday.

1.) As I wrote yesterday, Houston has a very good chance of being in considerable danger on Saturday. While there were thoughts earlier on Wednesday that the Hurricane Rita strike zone would skew closer to Corpus Christi, Texas, now it looks like Rita will be taking a track closer to Freeport and Galveston. (Update, 8:44 a.m.: Now Rita looks closer to making a direct hit just to the east of Galveston Bay.) This spells trouble for Houston -- and in particular its south and southwestern suburbs (Sugar Land, Katy, Rosenberg, Missouri City and Manvel) -- as the powerful northeastern quadrant of the storm and its storm surge will steamroll over Galveston and Galveston Bay through Houston's massive port and energy complex (get ready to pay $5 a gallon) and into the heart of Harris County (which is the nation's most populous). This is going to be bad.

For experiment's sake, I will be watching closely over the Bay City, Texas, area. Though the city itself is located well inland, something tells me that that investors who thought securing prime property at the intersection of Creekside Drive and Seagull Road are reconsidering their decision. Looking at the satellite view on Google Maps, you can already see some sort of ominous fire burning off in the woods. Let's hope everyone's evacuated the subdivision, because those who stay will be sitting ducks when the Gulf of Mexico rolls over the Intercoastal Waterway and on farther inland.

The Houston Chronicle has been doing an excellent job at covering Rita. The Chron's science blogger, Eric Berger, had this to say late Wednesday night:
Unless the storm turns south or north in the next 24 to 48 hours we are set up for a truly horrific event. I am not going to sugar-coast this, my friends. If the storm comes ashore as forecast, it would essentially be the worst-case scenario described here.

As a Houston resident and property owner, I am truly mortified right now. If you are under a mandatory evacuation order, you should heed it.

The storm has gone from potentially bad on Monday to terribly bad today. Tomorrow will have to bring better news, won't it?

One can only think the a city that opened its arms so wide to the victims of the truly catastrophic Katrina deserves a better fate. We shall see ...
Scary stuff.

2.) "Very few aquariums are commercially successful," says Bob Masterson, president of Ripley Entertainment. But as the Financial Times reported on Tuesday, that hasn't stopped Bernie Marcus, co-founder of Home Depot, from coughing up $200 million to build the largest one in the world. Atlanta, that great landlocked Peach State metropolis which developed independent of a navigable waterway, will be getting a grand aquarium in November. If the entire Gulf Coast must resettle inland by the end of the hurricane season, then all of Neptune's creatures might as well come with them.

3.) In happier news, Super Furry Animals will be coming to the 9:30 Club on Tuesday, Nov. 8. Fantastic. Information Leafblower has the lowdown. I'm looking very, very forward to this show. (Neal, if I journey north to Philadelphia for the Wednesday show, you must promise to come down from Princeton.)

With SFA, I've been enjoying their older Welsh-language work as of late. (I wish I could sing without a traditional dependence on common vowel-consonant combos.)

From Ymaelodi Âr Ymylon, Mwng (2000):
Mae'n hnw'n dweud bo' ni ar yr ymlon
Yn weiston bach ffyddlon, yn arw ac estron
Ac mae hi'n llugoer yn llygad y ffynnon
Ond ar yr ymylon mae'r danadl poethion
I wonder if the band will eventually cancel its Nov. 15 show in Houston ...

4.) I agree with Articulary Loop, this is quite interesting. How can I get an ant colony to create natural herbicide and keep panda cub tourists off my front stoop in November?

5.) And this is simply genius. Who knew that the Olsen twins generated such a rapport with the greater Washington Square community? Who gets their dorm room?

** Diplomatic melodrama added for entertainment purposes only. Everything was resolved mostly amicably over e-mail.
-- Image of Weehawken, N.J., duel between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton from
-- Image of doomed Bay City, Texas, area from Google Maps
-- Photo of Olsen twins projection on E. 14th Street, Manhattan, from


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