Emergency Supplies For Your Family

The most important supply to have on hand for any emergency is drinking water. It’s also the bulkiest item.

I’ve focused on frugal emergency preparation, but one place where we really splurged is an excellent water filter. Ours is a hand pumped filter that we use for camping, and also actually used to pump a daily household supply for several years when we lived in a house where the water taste was unpalatable. So our expensive purchase paid for itself, since most people in that area purchased an in-home system for thousands of dollars. WEll, it would have saved us money if we would have purchased a more expensive system, but we wouldn’t have.

Ours is a Katadyn with an extra filter for flavor which the Headmaster added. Because we are a large family with frequent guests, we bought a large capacity. A smaller version would suit most of our readers quite well, and other brands might be just as good or even better.

Meanwhile, you don’t have a filter and you don’t have money to go buy jugs of water at the grocery store, so what do you do?

You store water. If you live in a hurricane or typhoon area you have plenty of advance warning. During that time you fill your bathtub(s), a trash can, an ice chest, pitchers and jars- whatever containers you can round up. You want about a gallon a day per family member, plus extra for pets. You can continue to flush the toilet by pouring water into the bowl of the toilet, but it requires more water to flush it that way.
You should have some water on hand anyway for those emergencies you don’t have time to prepare for- terrorist attacks, earthquakes, flash floods, etc. Use soda bottles, canning jars, gallon jugs, etc. Check them every 3 to 6 months to make sure they don’t smell funny, and go ahead and water all your plants (or flush a toilet a few times) with the old water and refill your bottles with fresh.
Store water away from light.

If you are caught without water, in a pinch you can drink the water in your hot water tank and even from the tank on teh back of the toilet (if you don’t put nasty blue chemicals in there, and you shouldn’t). This website has tips for emergency preparedness, and this link will take you right to the water page. Please read it and implement the suggestions in it. Copy the page and put it in your emergency notebook.

Another really cool tool for emergency preparations is the U.S. Army Survival Manual (that link is to a PDF file. This link takes you to a text website which also has diagrams). This is an excellent book to have. It’s a great homeschooling textbook, too. Boys especially will love learning nature craft and survival skills from the information in this book. Even pacifists should have a copy- go on, just because it says ‘army’ doesn’t mean it doesn’t have useful information! It is a really fun book to read.

I like the ideas in chapter 6, which is the chapter on Water Procurement.
What little boy won’t be enchanted to learn,
“Wherever you find banana or plantain trees, you can get water. Cut
down the tree, leaving about a 30-centimeter stump, and scoop out the
center of the stump so that the hollow is bowl-shaped. Water from the roots will immediately start to fill the hollow. The first three fillings of
water will be bitter, but succeeding fillings will be palatable. The stump
… will supply water for up to four days. Be sure to cover it to keep out insects.”

Or

“You can use stills in various areas of the world. They draw moisture
from the ground and from plant material. You need certain materials to
build a still, and you need time to let it collect the water. It takes about 24 hours to get 0.5 to 1 liter of water.
Aboveground Still
To make the aboveground still, you need a sunny slope on which to
place the still, a clear plastic bag, green leafy vegetation, and a small
rock.
To make the still—
Fill the bag with air by turning the opening into the breeze or by
“scooping” air into the bag.
Fill the plastic bag half to three-fourths full of green leafy vegeta-tion.
Be sure to remove all hard sticks or sharp spines that might
puncture the bag.
CAUTION
Do not use poisonous vegetation. It will provide poisonous liquid.
Place a small rock or similar item in the bag.
Close the bag and tie the mouth securely as close to the end of the
bag as possible to keep the maximum amount of air space. If youhave a piece of tubing, a small straw, or a hollow reed, insert one
end in the mouth of the bag before you tie it securely. Then tie off
or plug the tubing so that air will not escape. This tubing will allow you to drain out condensed water without untying the bag.
Place the bag, mouth downhill, on a slope in full sunlight. Position
the mouth of the bag slightly higher than the low point in the bag.
Settle the bag in place so that the rock works itself into the low point in the bag.
To get the condensed water from the still, loosen the tie around the
bag’s mouth and tip the bag so that the water collected around the rock will drain out. Then retie the mouth securely and reposition the still to
allow further condensation.
Change the vegetation in the bag after extracting most of the water
from it. This will ensure maximum output of water.”

The link I provided will take you to chapter 6, where you can even find pictures!

Start your water supply today. It’s important.

Previous posts on this important topic are all linked from THIS post.

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Douglas Brinkley Accuses FEMA of Fending off Would Be Rescuers

Today while toodling about the country roads in our van I listened to NPR, so I got to hear Terri Gross of Fresh Air interview David Brinkley (historian, professor at Tulane in New Orleans), who is already writing a book about NOLA and Katrina. He’s also starting an oral history project to document the events following Hurricane Katrina.

Because we write this blog in part for our high school age children who may not realize who Brinkley is, I provide the following biographical information. Brinkley is also the author of Tour of Duty, John Kerry and the Viet Nam War; biographer of the deranged and now deceased reporter Hunter Thompson, and a member of what the Aspen Daily News called the ‘makeshift Democratic election headquarters’ at Hunter Thompson’s house on election night and mentioned in the Aspen Daily News report of November 4, 2004, which report says, “Actor Sean Penn, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, Kerry press secretary David Wade and others checked in with Thompson “ for his views on how the election was going (I think they mean something other than presidential historian).

Terry Gross asked Brinkley about his Katrina Oral History Project, and he said:

“I’m very determined to make sure we don’t forget what happened and this is not just a catastrophe, it’s a deluge, try to get to the bottom of it, the media has been very good and is generating great stories, but I want to do my own oral history project…”

She asks him to tell her more about it, and he says (I transcribed this from the audio file at NPR as carefully as I could):

“The first thing is to communicate which is what didn’t happen. I was in New Orleans for Katrina and then got out of town afterwards and I came back and I was constantly encountering people on dry land, mainly FEMA people, trying to stop rescue attempts of people that were desperate for help, and that, um, startled me that this could happen in our country. uh I understand politics and I understand that sometimes we can debate something like the war in Iraq, but this seemed so basic, ‘people are flooded they are screaming for help- get a boat and go get them-’ yet people that had the means to save a lot of people weren’t doing it, and I recognized at that point something Dwight Eisenhower had said um when he was general after WW 2 and encountered the concentration camps in Europe and he said immediately I wanted it completely documented by photographs, film, interviews, everything because uh
If our government can turn their backs at these people in need they will try to whitewash what happened and make it seem like it was uh God’s uh storm and there was not that much that could have been done, and I think it’s uh , uh, the story’s much bigger than that.”

You probably want to read that again slowly and carefully. He says he saw FEMA people wave off rescuers from people who were screaming for help. He says he was immediately reminded by concentration camps in WW2 (Nazi references so soon?), and that our government turned its back on people in need, and he’s got an obligatory backhanded swipe at religion.

Terry Gross asks him about this incredible accusation, ‘You say that you saw FEMA representatives preventing people from rescuing people?

Brinkley:

Yes. Um First off they would stop trucks in Baton rouge that they didn’t have on their clip board um and if you were a private sector truck trying to bring in supplies you were just completely derailed. Secondly, in New Orleans at St. Charles near Manalli’s (he stutters on this and I don’t know the restaurant) restaurant um there were groups of federal officials who didn’t want to get a wrinkle in their, their clothes who stood by when virtually people including schizophrenics, people with diabetes, elderly people with arthritis, uh were being having to be saved by common citizens in fishing boats who would bring them to dry land. we’d put them on the shore and then the government officials would just let them sit there and they‘d tell you well we’re gonna get them to a hospital. I didn’t trust them bec- uh, and so I would circle back and four or five hours later these people that were in desperate pain with nothing still sitting on a street curb after they were pulled out the water- nobody there to help them yet they are surrounded by a sea of government officials. You know, part of it seemed to be a resentment that these people had stayed in New Orleans. The feeling was you had a warning to get out, why did 100,000 of you stay?

Okay, so he’s a mind reader, too. FEMA deliberately left wet, sick, suffering people sitting on shore because they didn’t want their suits wrinkled and they didn’t want to take these people to the hospital anyway because it was all their own fault. Brinkley knows this for a fact.

Terry does not point out that he has not even come close to supporting his original accusation of having seen FEMA officials actively preventing these people in boats from rescuing people in the water. She just asks him why he decided to become a freelance rescuer.

He says he got his family out and got them set up in Houston and watching the news coverage made him feel guilty, because it was his city and he needed to do something, So he went to go check on some friends and relatives of friends. A friend wanted him to check on the friend’s mother, who had altzheimers and was in an apartment. I hope the friend had a good reason for leaving a mother with altzheimer’s alone in an apartment during a hurricane while the friend escaped.

Then he says he met a preacher who told him some children were trapped, so he got a boat and he rescued peopled. We do not ever find out about these children. He tells us instead that the people he saw were generally people who were left behind because they “were too ill to go, living on pension checks, couldn’t leave, were elderly people living by themselves and people with mental disabilities who weren’t really loved by anybody, people who had drug addiction, and people with AIDS- the downtrodden, people we don’t see a lot or hear a lot, were there in mass, hadn’t left and were frightened to death, it would have been a normal reaction for anybody who was there on the spot” to save them (except FEMA people, I guess) .

It’s interesting that his motivation to go was, according to him, this urgent need to go down and do something, and this need came over him as he watched the coverage on television. Tim Blair quotes the New York Daily News as saying that Brinkley was “assigned by Rolling Stone editor Will Dana to write about New Orleans’ recovery.” So he took the time to get in touch with Rolling Stone before he left to get this trip paid for, and he already has a home for his first article on it.

Brinkley also says “I’m very disappointed in my country… I love America… I am a great patriot… but I feel that our government, particularly our federal government, but also our state government in LA let us down”

I wanted to know more, so I did some internet searching.
At the Bookblog we learn that: Bestselling author and historian David Brinkley has inked the first major Hurricane Katrina book deal.
Douglas Brinkley is planning “an analysis and narrative of the ongoing crisis in New Orleans in historical context,” according to his publisher William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, tentatively titled The Great Deluge, is scheduled to be published by Morrow early next year.

Financial terms were not disclosed Monday and there was no immediate word on whether any proceeds would be donated to charity. “Hurricane Katrina is without question the worst natural disaster in American history,” Brinkley, a professor at the New Orleans-based Tulane University who was in town when the storm hit, said in a statement. “With the death toll rising and toxic sludge draining into Lake Pontchartrain, it’s imperative that we learn what went wrong.”

According to the NPR website the proceeds will be donated to “the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum and research center in the city’s French Quarter.”

Elsewhere (at Fratpack) Douglas Brinkley has claimed he personally saw Sean Penn rescue forty people in his waterlogged boat, saying he saw Sean up to his waste in ‘toxic sludge,’ and Brinkley does show up in the photograph of Penn bailing water with a red plastic cup. So is this boat rescue adventure Brinkley talks about the same trip? Because if so, Sean’s account differs slightly from Brinkley’s: “Penn said he spent about nine hours in the water. In that time, he told Larry King, he saw only three military-helmed boats.
“Most of the National Guard presence was in the air,” Penn said. “They were doing a great job, those that were there. But there weren’t enough there.” ”

Sean has made no claims about personally witnessing FEMA fend off would be rescuers, keeping them and their boats from screaming victims.

Brinkley has lately inked a development deal to become the featured star of a new, independently produced reality show set in New Orleans. Its creators haven’t yet settled on a name for the program, but Brinkley will play the role of “director” at the “Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization”–described in the show’s promotional materials as a division of “Tulane University.”

The art of writing only gets one so far. To really succeed in the field, one needs to be very good at self-promotion. Just saying.

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Rock ‘n Roll as Literature?

In a 1971 interview Beat Instrumental’s reporter Steve Turner asked Keith Reid, lyricist for the 60′s band Procul Harum (the group which originally performed Conquistadore and Whiter Shade of Pale) about Mike Brewer’s (of Brewer & Shipley, a folk music duo) statement that rock was the new literature. Reid’s response was, “If rock is the new literature the new literature is a load of c_ _ _p.”

Turner says,

“He believes that 95% of rock is merely ephemeral and won’t stand the test of time. All this is said in spite of the fact that his own work has certainly been regarded as literature, and is probably known to more people than the work of our great novelists. However, he doesn’t see the medium of rock replacing the function of the written word. “Rock and roll music is the most easily accessible culture but it doesn’t make it the best. As far as my own work is concerned, no artist can ever dictate how he wants to be appreciated. Rock is often pseudo-intellectualized by pseudo-intellectuals.”

A Whiter Shade of Pale

We skipped the light fandango
turned cartwheels ‘cross the floor
I was feeling kinda seasick
but the crowd called out for more
The room was humming harder
as the ceiling flew away
When we called out for another drink
the waiter brought a tray

And so it was that later
as the miller told his tale (‘mirror told its tale’ in the Willie Nelson version, which Keith Reed agreed was an improvement. Reed says this is not a reference to Chaucer’s unseemly tale of the same name, as he has never read Chaucer in his life.)
that her face, at first just ghostly,
turned a whiter shade of pale

She said, ‘There is no reason
and the truth is plain to see.’
But I wandered through my playing cards
and would not let her be
one of sixteen vestal virgins
who were leaving for the coast
and although my eyes were open
they might have just as well’ve been closed

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The Stories we Missed

From Real Clear Politics:

“With body recovery teams in New Orleans finding far fewer than the expected 10,000 to 25,000 dead, despite the flooding of 80 percent of the city, it is time to ask: What went right?

Largely invisible to the media’s radar, a broad-based rescue effort by federal, state and local first responders pulled 25,000 to 50,000 people from harm’s way in floodwaters in the city. Ironically, FEMA’s role, for good or ill, was essentially non-existent, as was the Governor’s and the Mayor’s. An ad-hoc distributed network responded on its own. Big Government didn’t work. Odds and ends of little government did.”

Click on the link in the title for more details. Very interesting stories. You’ll want to read this one, because in a little while I’ll be posting link to an oddly contrasting story.

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Large Family: Small House

WE’ve been living in houses designed for families about half our size for many years now- having been living on one income since 1983. We’ve come up with various solutions to help fit our family into the house we have.

We don’t always have a lot of spare sheets, but what spare sheets we do have are stored between the mattress and the boxspring of the bed they fit.

Aim High, a suitable phrase for an Air Force family: by this I mean we work to have vertical storage rather than horizontal. I’ve put one dresser on top of another one to make more floor space before, and I’d rather have a tall, narrow bookcase than a low, wide one.

Put the legs of beds on bricks or buy those ‘bed risers’ from the local department store ( we found a set on clearance; turns out they even work under bunk beds). This gives you more under the bed storage. Updated to add, we’ve also used small paint cans- leftover from when we built and painted the new house. This doubles as stoarage space for our extra paint!

Get dual purpose furniture. Need a bench for the dining room table? Get one with storage space under the seat. Need an end table? Get a piece of furniture with storage space. Need a toy box? Make it one the children can sit on when the lid is closed.

Look for skirt hangers at thrift shops. These handy hangers have a row of rungs with clips on them. You can fit multiple skirts on these in tiers, and they take up no more space than two or three skirts would in your closet.

Do not limit yourself to the intended use of a particular space. We’ve used a kitchen cupboard for a bookshelf, a bathroom shower for a broom closet and tool storage, a storage room for a dining room, kept the microwave in a bedroom, put a hutch top on a desk, used a hutch top on a workbench for a baking center, and we currently use an old ice-cream table and a crate for a computer desk.

Use a walk in closet for a small play room or napping area for baby.

put hooks on walls, doors, anywhere you can to hang up coats and clothes.

Get a potrack in your kitchen. It does not have to be a big, expensive fancy one. Mine was 7.00 at a thrift shop, plus the price of the chains and hooks to hang it. Mind was not originally a pot rack. I don’t exactly know what it was. It is a smallish, green rectangular wrack of some sort. I turned it upside down and it makes a great pot rack. I have seen them made with old wagon wheels, bicycle wheels, even an old oven rack would work. Be creative!

When you need to maximize floor space you need to wring out every inch of closet space. When our older children were smaller we put an extra rod in the closet, several feet below the first one. Five little girls could share one closet because dresses for small people don’t take up much space, and by the addition of the extra rod we’d doubled the length of their hang-up space. We hung up everything in that closet because we wanted the floor space that dressers took. An entire outfit could fit on each hanger. This made dressing much simpler, too, as everything they needed, including underwear, was right there on the hanger. Shirts, sweaters, skirts, blue jeans- everything goes in the closet. Sweaters can be attached to a hanger with clothespins to prevent those pointy hanger marks from stretching out the sweater.

Today I realized just how long we’ve been making do with the space in which we find ourselves when I overheard Pipsqueak and Head Girl (an honour student in college, please remember) discussing the new house we’re building. Pip wanted to know if there would really be closets in every bedroom, or would some of them have to share closets (our house comes with three closets, two of which are upstairs where only three of us sleep. Can you do the math? Downstairs: one closet for six people).

HG told her yes, they’d have their own closets, the only people who would share would be the people sharing a room. That would be HG and Pip (and the DHM and HM, of course, except the parents’ room has two closets, so never mind).

HG told Pip that they might be sharing a closet, but she had this really cool idea that she’d learned while visiting a friend in Texas. “Pip,” she said, “We can get a dresser and put sweaters and t-shirts in the drawers! That frees up lots of closet space!”

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Better Archeology Through Google

From the New Editor comes a fascinating story that all our Common Room Scholars will find thrilling:

Using satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth, an Italian computer programmer has stumbled upon the remains of an ancient villa. Luca Mori was studying maps of the region around his town of Sorbolo, near Parma, when he noticed a prominent, oval, shaded form more than 500 metres long. It was the meander of an ancient river, visible because former watercourses absorb different amounts of moisture from the air than their surroundings do.

His eye was caught by unusual ‘rectangular shadows’ nearby. Curious, he analysed the image further, and concluded that the lines must represent a buried structure of human origin. Eventually, he traced out what looked like the inner courtyards of a villa.

Mori, who describes the finding on his blog, Quellí Della Bassa, contacted archaeologists, including experts at the National Archaeological Museum of Parma. They confirmed the find. At first it was thought to be a Bronze Age village, but an inspection of the site turned up ceramic pieces that indicated it was a Roman villa.

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Collected Quotes

Those of us who have been true readers all our life seldom realize fully the enormous extension of our being which we owe to authors. We realize it best when we talk to an unliterary friend. He may be full of goodness and good sense but he inhabits a tiny world. In it, we should be suffocated. The man who is contented to be only himself, and therefore less a self, is in prison. My own eyes are not enough for me, I will see through the eyes of others.

C.S Lewis

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Douglas Brinkley Accuses FEMA of Fending off Would Be Rescuers

Today while toodling about the country roads in our van I listened to NPR, so I got to hear Terri Gross of Fresh Air interview David Brinkley (historian, professor at Tulane in New Orleans), who is already writing a book about NOLA and Katrina. He’s also starting an oral history project to document the events following Hurricane Katrina.

Because we write this blog in part for our high school age children who may not realize who Brinkley is, I provide the following biographical information. Brinkley is also the author of Tour of Duty, John Kerry and the Viet Nam War; biographer of the deranged and now deceased reporter Hunter Thompson, and a member of what the Aspen Daily News called the ‘makeshift Democratic election headquarters’ at Hunter Thompson’s house on election night and mentioned in the Aspen Daily News report of November 4, 2004, which report says, “Actor Sean Penn, presidential historian Douglas Brinkley, Kerry press secretary David Wade and others checked in with Thompson “ for his views on how the election was going (I think they mean something other than presidential historian).

Terry Gross asked Brinkley about his Katrina Oral History Project, and he said:

“I’m very determined to make sure we don’t forget what happened and this is not just a catastrophe, it’s a deluge, try to get to the bottom of it, the media has been very good and is generating great stories, but I want to do my own oral history project…”

She asks him to tell her more about it, and he says (I transcribed this from the audio file at NPR as carefully as I could):

“The first thing is to communicate which is what didn’t happen. I was in New Orleans for Katrina and then got out of town afterwards and I came back and I was constantly encountering people on dry land, mainly FEMA people, trying to stop rescue attempts of people that were desperate for help, and that, um, startled me that this could happen in our country. uh I understand politics and I understand that sometimes we can debate something like the war in Iraq, but this seemed so basic, ‘people are flooded they are screaming for help- get a boat and go get them-’ yet people that had the means to save a lot of people weren’t doing it, and I recognized at that point something Dwight Eisenhower had said um when he was general after WW 2 and encountered the concentration camps in Europe and he said immediately I wanted it completely documented by photographs, film, interviews, everything because uh
If our government can turn their backs at these people in need they will try to whitewash what happened and make it seem like it was uh God’s uh storm and there was not that much that could have been done, and I think it’s uh , uh, the story’s much bigger than that.”

You probably want to read that again slowly and carefully. He says he saw FEMA people wave off rescuers from people who were screaming for help. He says he was immediately reminded by concentration camps in WW2 (Nazi references so soon?), and that our government turned its back on people in need, and he’s got an obligatory backhanded swipe at religion.

Terry Gross asks him about this incredible accusation, ‘You say that you saw FEMA representatives preventing people from rescuing people?

Brinkley:

Yes. Um First off they would stop trucks in Baton rouge that they didn’t have on their clip board um and if you were a private sector truck trying to bring in supplies you were just completely derailed. Secondly, in New Orleans at St. Charles near Manalli’s (he stutters on this and I don’t know the restaurant) restaurant um there were groups of federal officials who didn’t want to get a wrinkle in their, their clothes who stood by when virtually people including schizophrenics, people with diabetes, elderly people with arthritis, uh were being having to be saved by common citizens in fishing boats who would bring them to dry land. we’d put them on the shore and then the government officials would just let them sit there and they‘d tell you well we’re gonna get them to a hospital. I didn’t trust them bec- uh, and so I would circle back and four or five hours later these people that were in desperate pain with nothing still sitting on a street curb after they were pulled out the water- nobody there to help them yet they are surrounded by a sea of government officials. You know, part of it seemed to be a resentment that these people had stayed in New Orleans. The feeling was you had a warning to get out, why did 100,000 of you stay?

Okay, so he’s a mind reader, too. FEMA deliberately left wet, sick, suffering people sitting on shore because they didn’t want their suits wrinkled and they didn’t want to take these people to the hospital anyway because it was all their own fault. Brinkley knows this for a fact.

Terry does not point out that he has not even come close to supporting his original accusation of having seen FEMA officials actively preventing these people in boats from rescuing people in the water. She just asks him why he decided to become a freelance rescuer.

He says he got his family out and got them set up in Houston and watching the news coverage made him feel guilty, because it was his city and he needed to do something, So he went to go check on some friends and relatives of friends. A friend wanted him to check on the friend’s mother, who had altzheimers and was in an apartment. I hope the friend had a good reason for leaving a mother with altzheimer’s alone in an apartment during a hurricane while the friend escaped.

Then he says he met a preacher who told him some children were trapped, so he got a boat and he rescued peopled. We do not ever find out about these children. He tells us instead that the people he saw were generally people who were left behind because they “were too ill to go, living on pension checks, couldn’t leave, were elderly people living by themselves and people with mental disabilities who weren’t really loved by anybody, people who had drug addiction, and people with AIDS- the downtrodden, people we don’t see a lot or hear a lot, were there in mass, hadn’t left and were frightened to death, it would have been a normal reaction for anybody who was there on the spot” to save them (except FEMA people, I guess) .

It’s interesting that his motivation to go was, according to him, this urgent need to go down and do something, and this need came over him as he watched the coverage on television. Tim Blair quotes the New York Daily News as saying that Brinkley was “assigned by Rolling Stone editor Will Dana to write about New Orleans’ recovery.” So he took the time to get in touch with Rolling Stone before he left to get this trip paid for, and he already has a home for his first article on it.

Brinkley also says “I’m very disappointed in my country… I love America… I am a great patriot… but I feel that our government, particularly our federal government, but also our state government in LA let us down”

I wanted to know more, so I did some internet searching.
At the Bookblog we learn that: Bestselling author and historian David Brinkley has inked the first major Hurricane Katrina book deal.
Douglas Brinkley is planning “an analysis and narrative of the ongoing crisis in New Orleans in historical context,” according to his publisher William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. The book, tentatively titled The Great Deluge, is scheduled to be published by Morrow early next year.

Financial terms were not disclosed Monday and there was no immediate word on whether any proceeds would be donated to charity. “Hurricane Katrina is without question the worst natural disaster in American history,” Brinkley, a professor at the New Orleans-based Tulane University who was in town when the storm hit, said in a statement. “With the death toll rising and toxic sludge draining into Lake Pontchartrain, it’s imperative that we learn what went wrong.”

According to the NPR website the proceeds will be donated to “the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum and research center in the city’s French Quarter.”

Elsewhere (at Fratpack) Douglas Brinkley has claimed he personally saw Sean Penn rescue forty people in his waterlogged boat, saying he saw Sean up to his waste in ‘toxic sludge,’ and Brinkley does show up in the photograph of Penn bailing water with a red plastic cup. So is this boat rescue adventure Brinkley talks about the same trip? Because if so, Sean’s account differs slightly from Brinkley’s: “Penn said he spent about nine hours in the water. In that time, he told Larry King, he saw only three military-helmed boats.
“Most of the National Guard presence was in the air,” Penn said. “They were doing a great job, those that were there. But there weren’t enough there.” ”

Sean has made no claims about personally witnessing FEMA fend off would be rescuers, keeping them and their boats from screaming victims.

Brinkley has lately inked a development deal to become the featured star of a new, independently produced reality show set in New Orleans. Its creators haven’t yet settled on a name for the program, but Brinkley will play the role of “director” at the “Theodore Roosevelt Center for American Civilization”–described in the show’s promotional materials as a division of “Tulane University.”

The art of writing only gets one so far. To really succeed in the field, one needs to be very good at self-promotion. Just saying.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Stories we Missed

From Real Clear Politics:

“With body recovery teams in New Orleans finding far fewer than the expected 10,000 to 25,000 dead, despite the flooding of 80 percent of the city, it is time to ask: What went right?

Largely invisible to the media’s radar, a broad-based rescue effort by federal, state and local first responders pulled 25,000 to 50,000 people from harm’s way in floodwaters in the city. Ironically, FEMA’s role, for good or ill, was essentially non-existent, as was the Governor’s and the Mayor’s. An ad-hoc distributed network responded on its own. Big Government didn’t work. Odds and ends of little government did.”

Click on the link in the title for more details. Very interesting stories. You’ll want to read this one, because in a little while I’ll be posting link to an oddly contrasting story.

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Rare September

‘Tis the radiant rare September,
With the clusters ripe on the vine,
With scents that mingle in spicy tingle
On the hill slope’s glimmering line.

And summer’s a step behind us,
And autumn’s a thought before,
And each fleet sweet day that we meet on the way
Is an angel at the door.

~unknown

From Child’s Calendar Beautiful, arranged by R. Katharine Beeson, 1908, “a collection of poems and prose selections to be memorized by children,’ arranged by year and month. This poem is for September Fourth Year students.

Posted in Child's Calendar Beautiful (nature and other seasonal poems from the book) | Leave a comment