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flooded
August 15, 2002
12:50 pm
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eve
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The city I live in and most of the east of Austria was severely flooded. Lots of people lost their houses, cars, some lost their jobs, because whole companies were destroyed.

The place where I work had a narrow escape - I just emptied the place on monday whith help from the neighbours, and now we put everything back, and things are up and running again.

And now I'm musing about how people react in times of crisis:

The elderly couple in the house next door:
They had the third flood since they live here (almost routine) - they and their family emptied the basement and most of the ground floor and then just listened to the radio for the latest forecast. Their grandchildren came today and helped a lot.

The old woman in the house around the corner:
She heard the forecast - but she didn't put anything away, she also refused people who asked if she needed help. Because she lives at ground floor she lost everything, furniture, clothes, papers... Yesterday she just sat there and cried the whole night. Volunteers and neighbours are now helping to clean the mud out of her flat.

The Internet Company next door: as soon as they heared the forecast they started evacuating the place, they were amazyingly organized, had three lorries that came in and twenty people (the staff) carrying everything outside. Like my place they made a narrow escape. Today they are moving in again - still very organized, but you can see that they haven't slept well.

The Couple that live upstairs around the other corner:
They live at the third floor, but they help their neighbours a lot, go around informing everybody about forecasts, organizing help from volunteers or the army, and giving support and kind words to people who are at the edge of their nerves.

The tourists: They are all over the place, staring, trying to take it all in. Some of them are kind and ask if they can help. Others are really bad - strutting into cellars that are just now being pumed out, peeking everywhere, pointing at people who stand there crying, staring or sorting through the things that people had to put on the street and stealing things.

Isn't that a beautiful metaphor for how people handle problems - generally, I mean?

But I'm really amazed of the altogether huge wave of helpfulness and people caring for each other.

Everybody take care!

August 15, 2002
5:39 pm
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silence
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I never understood that reasoning of the planet flooding if the ice caps melted. I know that I'm no ecologist or physicist, but isn't water the only substance that expands when it freezes? Remember that old Mr. Wizard show where he filled a glass with ice cubes and then with water and then let it melt. The water was below the rim of the glass when he came back a few hours later.

Maybe there's some factor I'm missing in all of this--but if the ice caps melt, wouldn't the water level of the ocean decrease?

August 16, 2002
2:18 pm
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eve
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silence - that theory is correct, but only if the pole caps were floating freely in the ocean like a big iceberg. My geography is lousy, but I think that there is firm ground under quite some area of the north pole and antarctica.

But I didn't really intend to talk about ecology, or physics here.
I'm musing about problem solving techniques. This old woman who did nothing to cut her losses and now is beginning to complain to the neighbourhood, because nobody has sorted out her problem, yet - she seems sooo silly to me, to say the least. But when I think about how I handle some of my more recalcitrant personal problems - I see the parallels (and I truely hate to see that I do silly things).

August 16, 2002
3:27 pm
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Cici
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I think the Mr. Wizard show was about the rates of melting ice versus evaporation. But if the polar ice caps melted, the evaporation rate wouldn't really affect it that much because the global water cycle moves water from evaporation to rain relatively quickly. Also - ice cubes aren't like ice bergs. Ice bergs have like 90% of their mass below water.

August 16, 2002
3:56 pm
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silence
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Yeah. I'm sorry. My mind gets sidetracked by stupid stuff like that.

I asked my nerd friend about it and he said I was right that water expands when it freezes because it's a chain molecule. Blah blah blah. My mind phased out after that. he went on to say that I was wrong about the flooding for a bunch of different reasons. One of them was the above ground snow of antarctica. Up north there is supposedly no land under the ice.

I don't know. Anybody want to form a betting pool to see what will happen in the next few years?

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