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Centauri Dreams in Deep Water

The remains of hurricane Alberto didn’t seem terribly menacing as they approached North Carolina, and much of the state got no more than a good soaking. But here in Raleigh we were inundated with over 7 inches in a short period of time, leaving Centauri Dreams with a flooded office. I’m back online, but only just, and there is still a lot of cleaning up to do. Please bear with me and expect things to get back to normal in a day or so.

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  • ljk June 15, 2006, 11:37

    Very sorry to hear this. Hope the recovery goes quickly for you.

    Makes me wonder if this is what one mild hurricane can do, what
    will the rest of the season be like? Or am I still just paranoid
    from Katrina?

  • Administrator June 16, 2006, 9:18

    Nobody is paranoid after Katrina, I think. We haven’t had a bad storm here in Raleigh since Floyd (I think that was ’99), and then Fran before it. And this one wasn’t bad in terms of wind or damage other than the water, but the amount of rainfall was a real surprise. I must say it does cause a slightly ominous feeling as we enter what promises to be a pretty active hurricane season.

  • qraal June 17, 2006, 6:44

    Hi All

    Can sympathise with the hurricane worries. Glad Centauri Dreams is still afloat, rather than floating away, after the hurricane.

    Down Under we call them cyclones, and just recently “New Scientist” discussed the rather worrying research that the last 200 years was a cyclone quiet time, and we are now entering a renewed period of nasty cyclones – more repeats of Cyclone Larry, which you Northeners apparently heard about too. Bananas are still $12/kg thanks to almost total devastation of the crop, and several other fruit crops have suffered too. That and the trashed city up north. Not quite a New Orleans, but pretty close to total disaster – our emergency services were REALLY quick, perhaps after all the Katrina news they watched with interest.

    Ironically my home city, Brisbane, is experiencing its worst drought ever. All our dams are down below 30% – mud-level virtually – while nearby cities have just come out of their droughts after rather nasty flooding. Our last big flood was 1974 and most of the city went under. Drainage channels were recut in response, so we won’t repeat it, but we also have a lot of new suburbs that haven’t been flood tested either.

    Does anyone know about the big cisterns they dug in California after the big drought in the early 1970s?

    Adam

    Here’s a thought on relevance to CD’s ‘charter’ – alien worlds will be as big and varied as our ‘little’ planet, each ceaselessly reworked by its storms, volcanoes and ‘hydrospheres’. A huge and varied range of environments on each and every one. Getting there is a mammoth task, but really getting to know just one other world will be an equally garagantuan task too. Just think of the painful crawl across Mars by the MERs, or the frustratingly teasing image of one tiny sliver of Titan’s surface thanks to Huygens. Or the varied surface at each of the different Apollo landing sites and the many, many more all over our little Moon we’ve yet to see, walk and dig. And what about the utterly bizarre RADARed surfaces of both Venus and Titan? Imagine the task of ground-truthing all of those worlds, of studying them long enough to know of their 1,000 year storms, like the phantom floods that appear to have shaped Titan.

    Almost makes me want to be immortal.

  • Administrator June 17, 2006, 15:46

    It will just about take immortality to learn all we’re going to learn about these myriad worlds! And you’re right, we focus on the propulsion problem and the difficulties in getting to exoplanets, but once we actually do arrive, studying each will be the work of lifetimes.

    Sorry to hear about the Brisbane drought. We’ve been in a drought here for almost a year, but the 7.6 inch rainfall the other day caught us up quickly. Not the best way to get back to normal lake levels, that’s for sure.